It’s here at last, the third and final installment of Starcraft II bonus campaign Nova: Covert Ops. Which has, to date, featured six ops but none of them particularly covert. With three missions left in the bag and the second pack a good improvement on the first, will these finally hit the spot? (Also thank goodness there are only three packs, because as you can see I’ve already run out of title puns.)
Chris McPhail and I have been working through the Star Wars fanchise in its cinematic chronological order in our audio/video podcast Close, But No Biscuit of late. During one clip that didn’t make the cut, I was raving about The Force Awakens (as I am wont to do) but accidentally said The Force Unleashed instead. Twice.
Obviously it got me to thinking about that game. I accused it of being hideous fanfiction the first (and only) time I played it, but in the light of the even more hideous fanfiction of The Force Awakens… Maybe it’s not so bad? Maybe its story, crass as its foundations might be, actually… kind of works?
We are on full spoiler alert today, but The Force Unleashed is from 2009 so it should be safe by now.
If you’ve been following my game development activities for any length of time, you’ll probably have seen me attempt to create a level building workflow about… four times. I started with heightmaps and static meshes, but bare meshes aren’t particularly comfortable to work with and Unity’s heightmap is, err, too high-poly. I tried to roll my own voxel terrain editor, but that was too complex and janky and didn’t really tick my boxes after all.
I had a stab at procedural generation quite a long time ago now, which created levels based on a 2D grid of tiles. I ported all that to Unity more recently, and it broadly worked but I ran into some snags, so I gave up on it. But, even more recently, I finally came up with an answer to those snags. This time — this time at last — I reckon I’ve got a sustainable answer.
It took me until far too late to even conceive of the notion that one could travel to a gig rather than waiting for it to come to one’s home town (or not). The first time I did it was to see Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s special gig in the Museum of Liverpool, then I followed them to London for the truly stellar Royal Albert Hall performance of Dazzle Ships and Architecture & Morality (I even bought the T-shirt for that one!).
Now, I’ve done it again, albeit to a slightly more modest venue. This time, I followed my favourite Greek synth-pop duo Marsheaux to… Norwich.
Why do we have to talk about Jar Jar so much? He was terrible, but he was also phased out of the subsequent films so his damage was successfully limited. However, he is such a large part of The Phantom Menace that you can’t ignore him, so let’s scrape the bottom of the barrel one last time before we move on to Episode 2.
No transcripts this time, just some additional thoughts in the post.