This will no doubt disappoint more than a few people, but my next Let’s Play series is actually just my last one. Go read it, if you like. Or, stick around and read some ramblings about why we’re doing a re-run and what I’m working on next.
The thing is, these things take time to write. Lulzy’s tale clocked in at ~50,000 words, which is just long enough to count as a novel. Add in the fact that each entry required several hours of gameplay and then the time it takes to add in all the screenshots, and we’re talking about a non-trivial amount of work.
I’ve spent the last couple of months casting about, looking for a new MMO. Trek Online is fantastic in terms of setting. (True science fact: It is impossible for there to be too much Trek satire in the universe. If you were to go back in time and replace everything ever written with Star Trek satire, then history itself would be full of plot holes. Actually, that sounds like a pretty standard setup for a Trek episode.) I wrote a few pages of stuff for it, but the game itself had almost nothing in the way of story. Most missions were just generic fill-in-the-blank auto-generated filler. My material was almost completely divorced from the game itself and was basically just fan fiction. That’s not a horrible idea, but it’s not what I want for this series.
I tried a couple of other games, but none of them really grabbed me. APB was so monotonous and devoid of fun that I don’t think I could bring myself to play it for any length of time, no matter how much amusement you might get out of it. D&D Online looked possible, but I didn’t want to go buying little bits and pieces of content à la carte, looking for stuff that would be fun to cover.
So we got down to the end of Lord of the Rings and I didn’t have a new series ready. I didn’t even have a game lined up. I suggested we run a condensed version of my Champs series instead of just going on hiatus, and that’s how we got where we are now. Most Escapist readers haven’t seen it, so it will be new to them and will keep my spot warm while I come up with new content.
I’ll be shortening the series a bit by combining some of the shorter entries and cutting some of the longer digressions on gameplay.
I’m playing WoW again and noodling around with ideas. Well, actually I’m just leveling a couple of characters. I emailed Blizzard twice trying to re-activate my old account. (Which I can no longer log into since to migration of WoW accounts to Battle.net accounts.) After a week they finally got around to sending me an auto-generated email saying, “please tell us again you need help or we’ll just pretend the whole thing is resolved.” And no that is not a joke. So, I punished their ineptitude and apathy by purchasing the game again. I’m hoping someday they will all be crushed to death under a mountain of All Our Money.
But now I’m on a brand new account and cut off from all of my old contacts and characters. I forgot what a hassle it is to try and play this game fresh like this. No bags, so you’re constantly starved for storage, which makes it hard to earn money, which is bad because you’re flat broke, which makes it hard to get the upgrades you need, which impairs your leveling, etc.
I rolled on Kirin Tor (Alliance) simply because that’s where I lived last time around. I’m probably going to find another roleplay style server and roll some Horde characters as well.
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.
A Telltale Autopsy
What lessons can we learn from the abrupt demise of this once-impressive games studio?
There are two major schools of thought about how you should write software. Here's what they are and why people argue about it.
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.
The Opportunity Crunch
No, brutal, soul-sucking, marriage-destroying crunch mode in game development isn't a privilege or an opportunity. It's idiocy.