Archive | February 2017

Goodbye, cruel (adventure) blog! (Total: Day 400)

Yep! I’m (probably temporarily) ending my blog. I’d say it’s not “giving up” because it let me achieve exactly what I set out to do, and I don’t think I’m getting much out of daily updates at this point.

I started last year unemployed, so I decided to update the blog daily as a way to stay creative and productive, even on the worst days. And I did it!

I kept it going this year because I didn’t feel like I had a compelling reason to stop. Now I’m working full time – and with my commute, that takes about 13 hours out of each of my weekdays. I have to write my blog on my phone (which is awful) while on public transport; I’m writing this from South Yarra station while trying not to fall over in the train. It’s not ideal!

Now that I’m more productive than ever, the blog felt like superfluous stress. More importantly, I didn’t feel like I was producing very interesting content.

The idea of this blog has always been selfish. I wrote for myself, but shared it with friends and strangers for feedback as a means to improve. It was never specifically designed to be read by others, though obviously having others read it was never a bad thing. The problem is that it wasn’t interesting to me.

So it’s not so much that I’m worried about the perceived quality of content – I just don’t feel like I’m personally benefiting at this point. It’s cutting into my tiny amount of free time, which stops me developing other skills (like art and programming, both of which I need to improve) as well as writing for Goomba Stomp, which I haven’t been able to do for a while. Also, writing blog posts on a moving rickety bus is the worst.

Thanks to all those who have helped me out to this point. This isn’t a sad thing for me – I feel like this was a success, and I’m only quitting now because it feels like it won’t succeed further (without some serious time investment to make it more entertainment-focused).

Signing off! Have a great day, and thanks for reading.

On Gun Modification (Day 33)

The ability to modify guns is one of those modern staples of gaming that doesn’t often add anything interesting. Sure, you can slap a laser pointer on your M4, but why would you? Or – and this is more often the problem – why would you not?

Gun customisation is something that’s often a bit limited by real-world logic. Sure, you can add a new type of scope to your gun, but it’s usually an arbitrary choice. If they affect stats, one will almost certainly be the best choice; if they don’t, then the choice matters even less.

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Ideally, I think, additions to a weapon should come with a drawback of some kind. It can be a hard thing to balance, but it’s certainly doable.  A drum magazine that adds a bunch of ammo capacity at the cost of making the weapon heavier or unwieldy is a classic, but it can be harder to justify why adding a foregrip is going to make your gun worse.

Most of the time, there’s a best set up. When there’s not it’s usually because the customisation options don’t ultimately matter much. This is like almost any game with a gear system, only guns tend to be much more heavily based in reality, which – to me – gets very boring, very quickly. That’s why I love Resonance of Fate so much.

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Yes, that’s a handgun with five scopes, two silencers and a foregrip. It’s outstanding.

I’d love to see more games take gun customisation to ridiculous heights – why not let me attach another gun to my gun, like Moe from the Simpsons? What about a  bullet-shaped gun that shoots other guns? Oh.

Even Fallout 4, the game toted to have amazing weapon customisation, has a set of upgrades that are clearly better than the rest. At this point it’s not customisation, it’s just a bunch of bullshit to get through on your way to the scope that can see through time or whatever.

What about you? Are there any games with outstanding weapon customisation that you know of? What do you love or hate about the idea? Let me know in the comments!