Blog 878: Dark Forces

I used to like Star Wars. The original trilogy? Bangers. The prequels? Flawed execution of a fundamentally solid plotline.

Then there were the video games. Jedi Knight II has long been one of my favourite Expanded Universe adventures, but I’ve never played the game where this particular storyline began and I’ve been meaning to catch up for years.

Kyle Katarn started his life in 1995’s Dark Forces. Now, I struggled to play Doom and gave up on it after a few levels because it was too old even for me, so it was with some trepidation that I took this particular plunge…

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Blog 877: Supreme Commander 2

Sometimes I am taken by the oddest notions. I never played Supreme Commander 2 at the time because, well, it didn’t exactly get rave reviews, and I’m on the fence about Supreme Commander itself anyway.

For some reason, however, the thought of it entered my head recently. And once I get a thought in my head, there can be only one answer.

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Blog 876: Dark Sector

I can’t remember where I first heard about Dark Sector, but it came up in conversation somewhere fairly recently. People said it was good.

The funny part of this story is that it’s a game by Digital Extremes — who were vital to the creation of the several cast-iron belters in the Unreal franchise, but who were also subsequently responsible for the catastrophic misfire Pariah. Funnily enough, Digital Extremes don’t mention Pariah at all on their website’s games list. They do, however, mention Dark Sector. That’s an encouraging sign.

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Game Development

Blog 875: Welcome to the Waystation

I think it may have been something of a mistake to design a campaign where the second level — the gateway to the rest of the game — front-loads six or seven brand new, fully-fledged systems. But I am nothing if not stubborn; once I’ve committed to a goal, I will reach it, regardless of how long it takes.

So after months and months and months of work, the Friendly Arm Waystation and its attendant subsystems are almost ready for play. Phew.

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Blog 874: Tracks of My Years

I have been moaning a lot recently, so I wanted to write something positive for once. What makes me happy? Music!

The mid-morning Radio 2 show does a feature every week, where a celebrity picks ten songs that are in some way meaningful to them. Each day, two get played along with a snippet of interview to explain their choices. I’m never going to be a celebrity so I’ll never get on the radio to do it for real, but I do have a blog… So here’s ten fantastic songs that marked important moments for me.

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Game Development

Blog 873: A Little Bit of Procgen (All Night Long)

I snuck a little last-minute bonus feature into version 0.05 of Exon: Fragment with no fanfare — the ability to say “Surprise Me!” on the character naming screen. That’s right, I dropped in an exon name generator.

Why did I do this? Partly because it’s hard to think of character names for my test runs and partly… because I have a nefarious plan.

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Blog 872: Tower of Time

I have to admit that I tend to choose which game to play next based on one critical factor: does it have audio worth listening to, or can I turn it off and sing along to my own CD collection instead? Sometimes the decision is easy; the likes of Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex have spectacular soundtracks and sound design in general. Sometimes my hand is forced, by a game like Command & Conquer just not having subtitles. Finally, though, you have your Skyrims, your massive overwrought RPGs that never have enough music to cover the thousand hours you’re about to put into them (and the music’s probably forgettable orchestral munge anyway).

After a period of enjoying deserving games with their proper audio, my vocal cords start to get nervy. I like to sing. But I also want to play video games. So I need to find a game that can allow me to satisfy both needs at once.

Thus we end up at today’s candidate: Tower of Time. This may be slightly uncharitable of me, but after playing for a quick burst, I was assured that, yes, this is one I can sing along to.

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Game Development

Blog 871: Kicking Ass(et Bundles)

Yes, I’ve been procrastinating by taking on another large restructuring project instead of working on Ultralight or the Rest of the Prologue. I could ship new content for you to play, or I could… yes… rebuild another system…

To be fair, today’s insanity is something that I shouldn’t really need to do, but because Unity refuse to fix the Resources.Load API, my hand has been forced. Oh yes, it’s time to divvy up all of Exon‘s contents into Asset Bundles and do the exact same thing as before, but in a much less convenient and intuitive way.

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