Blog 646: The Devaluation of Items

I like equipment in games. There’s a thrill to finding a new, better sword, that looks cooler and does more damage. But it seems to me that more and more games are somehow getting equipment… wrong. Everything seems to have less value, everything seems more disposable. There’s no thrill anymore, just a treadmill of incremental but almost invisible advances.

I don’t want this.

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Blog 645: Pillars of Eternity

Ah yes, another Kickstarter darling, and another monstrous RPG with more than a little dose of throwback (but I’m still of the mind that we need to go back before we can go forwards so let’s continue doing that). Larian’s Divinity: Original Sin was a wonderful romp and a roaring success. Is Pillars of Eternity going to survive the inevitable but unwarranted comparisons?

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Blog 643: 18-Gun Salute

A game with only a single type of enemy is not much of a game. Well, okay, actually, Unreal Tournament technically gets away with it (the differences are visual only, though they are heavily parameterised), but I’m not operating on that level — so I want there to be as big a variety of mechs as I can make.

But up until recently, I only had one character: the Delta mech. In order to stress my systems a little bit and help work out the kinks, I decided that the next mech had to be the monstrous three-legged Alpha…

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Blog 642: Expendable

When I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself, I like to buy some hoary old low-poly action game for a pittance at gog.com. My wishlist is absolutely chocka with… well, things that I find visually appealing and seem like decent games too. Every Friday they announce the weekend’s sale and I look down that list and see if there are any matches, and then think to myself… do I want this?

The answer this time is… yes. Yes, I want this. It’s called Expendable and it’s an “arcade shooter” from 1999.

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Blog 641: An Unbroken Frame

It was a cover version that first got me into music. I mean, I had some passing interest in some songs before, but it was Erasure’s cover of Solsbury Hill that turned on the taps. I remember I was playing Unreal Tournament mod Operation: Na Pali when I first heard it.

Marsheaux have always been good at doing cover versions. Some, like their idea of timeless synthstrumental Popcorn, might be obvious because they’re famous tunes, but others from off the beaten track you wouldn’t even know were covers without somebody telling you, because they all nestle so well amongst their original work.

So when they said they were going to cover an entire album for their next project, what was I to think? Especially when they made the so very… interesting choice of Depeche Mode’s difficult second album, A Broken Frame.

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Blog 640: A World of 1D Arrays

It’s amazing what you can do with only global state and one-dimensional arrays, when you really put your mind to it. What was supposed to be a quick fart in the general direction of a Warcraft project has grown into something quite incredible.

Well, incredible on the technical side. The game itself is no more or no less than a streamlined version of my standard WC3 RPG formula. You may or may not want this.

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