Sunday, December 7, 2014

Board Game Glory: Ogre

By Al "Alface Killah" Brady

Yes, I am enjoying my time away from PC gaming!  It feels good to get involved with a fresh game genre again.  And I couldn't have picked a better time: board games and miniatures seem to be going through an veritable explosion of creativity, something that is, coincidentally, being fueled through Kickstarter and other crowd-sourced methods that are also popular with the PC gaming crowd (but I think with better results).

To be honest, I have begun to believe that not all of the problems that are plaguing PC gaming is due entirely to shoddy business practices.  Rather, I think video games have hit a brick wall of realistic possibility.  That is, while the technology to make a super-realistic, super-immersive games might now exist, the programming skills to take advantage of that possibility don't exist.  Or, perhaps more accurately, those skills do exist, but the task of programming such monstrously complex games requires more time and money than any game developer has available, hence why so many exciting games arrive incomplete with the promise of "fixing it" later.  Gamers are demanding the impossible, and in short order no less!  This is something that is just not humanly possible.  Sadly, game developers currently seem to prefer over-promising and under-delivering rather than have a frank conversation with their customers about just what is and isn't realistically possible in a given time frame when it comes to game development.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Distant Worlds: Transferred to Oblivion!

[Get ready for some bad fiction.  It's been some time since I wrote a bit of fanfic based on a game, but Distant Worlds, like Crusader Kings 2, is just great for such emergent storytelling.  This story is based on one such incident....]

"Come on, it's safe,"  whispered Junior Research Assistant Ile Freun.   "It's just around this corner," he added.  He determinedly pulled the dame behind him, his hand like a cuff around her wrist. Why don't people just listen to me?  I am smarter than them, after all. He indulged himself with one of his all too common sighs of exasperation that was usually triggered by the stupidity of others.

Freun peeked around the corner.  With no one in sight, he quickly trotted up to the door marked Research Lab 143b.  He swiped his free hand in front of the security lock, his sub-dermally implanted Ident-o-Chip acted as a key, and the lock released with a click, followed by a hiss as it retracted into the wall.  Freun gave the pretty blonde thing a self-satisfied smile, and again pulled her behind him.

"But I want to be up there!" she said as she gestured at the ceiling with the nearly empty Martini glass that was in her right hand, in the process splashing what was left of its contents on her arm. "With the rest of the party!" she whined.  "Not down here," she wrinkled her nose, "in some boring lab."

Freun rolled his eyes.  If this broad wasn't so attractive, he would have....