Dishonored and XCOM came out on the same day in the United States, doing few favors to the free time of serious gamers. As for me personally? I haven’t had any free time in the past six months. It’s been one very long, very exhausting sprint of professional responsibilities, leaving me scarcely time to check my email, let alone immerse myself in games. I haven’t seen anyone socially in months. And then Dishonored and XCOM arrive, both on the same day, and of course I bought them both because I’m me, and here I am trying to insert slivers of play time no wider than acupuncture needles here and there into the unyielding mass of my schedule. Luckily I think that’s a light further on down the tunnel, so hopefully things will go back to normal soon. And I have been finding a little time to play.
FTL: Faster Than Light is a roguelike(-like) that puts you in command of your own ship and crew on a desperate mission to save the Federation – as long as you can survive countless hostile ships, assorted space adventures, and the capricious randomness that seems to decide your fate at every turn.
Due to circumstances outside of my control, I was away from the internet and most games this weekend (other than my trusty old DS Lite). While I was sitting in an airport terminal, waiting for our flight to board, a copy of the New York Times – Dead Tree Edition – happened its way across my lap. On the front page of the Business section, I saw an article about Slim Jim’s marketing strategy. It was presented without irony.
I implore you to read the entire thing, since it’s all painful. There’s an associated commercial on YouTube, but I’d rather not link it myself since it’s not so popular so far and I don’t really want to give Slim Jim the hits and satisfaction. But please do read the article.
I was casting about for a good topic to write about in this month’s installment of Culture Clash, my montly column for the International Game Developers Association, and this one fell into my lap. It is, after all, American Politics Season – and a completely irrelevant race in the state of Maine got my attention. Topic discovered!
In other news, this is actually the second time I’ve used a play on World of Warcraft in my title- wait… third time? I’ll have to check. In any case it’s not the first. Originality and me, we’re not always, you know, together. Enjoy!
UPDATE: The server work is complete and our path to world domination is clear. Thanks for the patience!
The third and final part of my coverage. Phew.
Last year the Indie Arcade was a narrow corridor with computers lining each side, on counters roughly above waist height, showcasing the various indie games. It got pretty cosy in there at the best of times. Additionally, it was positioned right next to a booming Just Dance 3 stand so talking was strained and anything coming out of the headphones connected to each computer was polluted by the Black Eyed Peas’ Pump It, which seemed to be on loop throughout the expo.
Well this year the corridor seemed a little wider, but the computers were on counters just above knee height with very few seats, if any. Kiss those knees or that back of yours goodbye. Furthermore, it was sandwiched between Just Dance 4, Dance Central 3 and the Scan Computers stand which had its own DJ and PA system. I love you Scan, but damn you Scan. The expo was very loud anyway so the added noise didn’t make that much of a difference, but the lower computers and the general lack of seating made playing much more uncomfortable than it really should have been, especially after spending several days lugging our bags around London.
This year’s Eurogamer Expo took place over the weekend and I, along with Mat C, Joel ‘Harbour Master’ Goodwin and a couple of other friends, had the fortune of being able to attend again and spend a few days bumbling about sampling whatever we could. And there was a lot more to sample this year.
I first started watching Red vs Blue in the DVD format, rather than on-line. It was at a party held by a friend. If I recall right – and it’s been years – alcohol and actual sessions of Halo were also involved in these festivities, because geek parties are awesome. I don’t think Red Vs. Blue itself needs much of an introduction: you’re probably at least passingly familiar with the series, a Halo-based mostly-comedy series done by Rooster Teeth Productions. What you may not realize is there’s already been ten seasons of it (with the newest season coming to DVD November 6).
With all the polished games I’ve managed to snag lately, last night I lost an evening to an unfinished alpha. Prison Architect, by Introversion Software, was released to early testers this week. Introversion is selling access to the alpha under a tiered “pay what you like” system (as long as what you like is at least $30). And thusfar, it seems to be doing quite well for an unfinished game.