Blog 609: The Anatomy of a Character

Owing to my background in modding strategy games, I call them Units, but they’re already so much more than that. They’re more complicated in some ways than what I worked with throughout ten long years of modding Warcraft III, while in others, they are only a mess of undeveloped potential. Do you think they are deep enough to call them Characters instead? Hmm.

However we choose to call them, they are the most important parts of No Excuses — without them, there is nothing but a static scene, for even the player is in command of a Unit like any other. Maybe gameplay will demand that it has more or less capabilities than those around it, but it’s still “just” a Unit.

Continue reading

Blog 608: Minimum Viable Home

So, last weekend, I finally got the last set of curtains for my flat. Custom-made because my lounge has two windows — I needed a roman blind and a pair of curtains that matched. Thank goodness they fit perfectly.

Still got loads of furniture still to get, but with the studio desk and lounge settee in place, and now all the windows sealed too, it’s fully armed and operational.

Continue reading

Blog 607: Giants

Giants: Citizen Kabuto was, believe it or not, my first ever experience of cockney banter. This banter, if nothing else, had a profound impact on my life and most definitely how I conducted my earlier Warcraft maps (if not the later ones too). Everybody goes on about finding the mythical Citizen Kane of games, but what about the Citizen Kabuto of films?

Funny, then, that I’ve never blogged about Giants. Maybe it’s because I don’t think I’ve actually played it for four or five years — in fact, I’m not even sure I’ve played it on Daedalus at all, who is now more than six and a half. (Sidenote: help me build a replacement, I have no idea what I’m doing and I want to play all the modern games.)

Continue reading

Blog 604: Invisible Endings

That Invisible War, eh? I just couldn’t put it down, even when the dreaded black screen crashes started blitzing the immersion even worse than the lengthy loading screens already did (the fix seems to be to End Task on DX2Main but not Ion Loader; after a minute or two, it will spontaneously relaunch the game, loading where you left off).

So, we could have established that maybe Invisible War might not actually be all that bad after all, but it definitely does get ugly as the finale approaches. Thematically ugly, that is; the gameplay remains consistent.

Considerable spoilers this time.

Continue reading