Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer's almost here

Summer's Here!

Well, sort of.  It's warm, the rain has mostly abated.  Well, apart from when it hasn't and my PC occasionally shuts down coz it gets too hot!  The Steam Summer Sale has happened as well, which means that, once more I  have some games that were on sale that I want to play when there's time.  I still have a few of those from last year but I'm sure this year will be different... right!?

What summer also means is that I'm sat infront of my PC tapping away at my dissertation.  I have to write a Games Design Document and produce a prototype for the piece I am producing and it's due in on the 21st September.  All systems are go.  This weekend has seen the first 'break through' of work - I've been pottering about doing bits on it for ages but quite a lot of it all came together in my first draft and that's good.

One of the things that I've found difficult is getting started on the numbers.  I got a bit obsessed with this until I did quite a lot more reading on 'Game Theory' and balancing and things.  These were all very interesting, and relevant but in the end a lot of them came down to the suggestion that 'it doesn't matter: start and balance correctly, which is what I did and I think it's working so far.  I guess it's rather geeky to admit that I rather enjoyed my weekend which partially involved me tapping numbers into Excel and watching it create graphs for me.  Not to mention the wonders of Visio which enables me to produce effective flow charts of how events link together.

September moves ever closer and the time to look for a job is looking.  It's a daunting prospect, starting something new is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.  Having to convince people that I can do what they want me to is going to be the challenge, but challenges are good things in some ways, and I am determined to push forward with it.  In some ways I look forward to it.

I've been playing quite a bit of The Secret World and I'm enjoying it a great deal.  I'm not quite sure where the game is going as yet, but I'm liking it and it's conspiracy theory plot-lines a great deal.  It's the games first update tomorrow and I look forward to what they bring.  At £11.50 per month it sort of needs to be good.  Not that £11.50 is much, but it's more than a lot of monthly subscriptions and is £138 per year... Sadly what this also means is that Star Wars: The Old Republic has lost my attention.  It just didn't keep up with the excellence that was the levelling up.  I enjoyed that process very much, the story worked, the journey was fun but the destination was very poor.  Maybe it will get better, maybe it will go Free to Play (it's apparently lost 23 percent of users already which is a lot and I know there's been job changes at Bioware.  It's a real shame, because it had so much promise. 

I've also been playing a lot of Civilisation V - I know I'm behind the times a bit with that, but it's a very good game and the recent Gods and Kings expansion was great, but possibly that's because it added religion and I'm a sucker for that, not to mention adding new nations, which just gives a different feel to your games.

The other thing that has really caught me is the iPad version of Magic by Stainless Games which is extremely playable and addictive.  I haven't played much magic for many years (although played a lot of it in the early days).  I am shocked at the power of some of the cards (Primordial Hydra anyone!) but it remains a fun game and this version is a very good one.  Give it a go!  

I am a proud owner of an iPad.  That's an iPad 1.  I have had it since the early days and I love it very much.  Increasingly though it's finding it harder to keep up with recent releases and that makes me a bit sad.  I look forward to being able (to afford) to upgrade to a new generation, but they're still amazing bits of kit.  I feel like I should be on their sales team as I know how many people have bought iPads directly and once removed because of mine.  Although I did fall asleep with it on my face on Saturday night - that's not a good look for anyone!  So, yes, my iPad is a bit of a dinosaur but I still love it.
It is also the season of LARP and I've done a few events so far, but they have been rather rainy it has to be said.  Still good fun though and I look forward to more as the season goes on.  Some where I don't have to scrub everything of mud afterwards would be nice now!  

Oh it's the Olympics too - and finally people are starting to get behind them in a more public fashion, just as it always seemed likely they would.  Yes there are still nay-sayers.  Yes they often have loud voices and are quite vocal, but there seems a good spirit about it and that's a good thing.

Enjoy the summer folks.