Having listened for some time to tech commentators talk about the potential of augmented reality glasses (commonly known by the acronym AR), I'd like to offer a deceptively simple litmus test to help us determine when that technology has finally arrived. Because, spoiler alert, I don't believe that what we have *is* AR; it's simply a heads-up display or a head-mounted display that shows content that we already have. For real augmented reality, you must generate a new reality based on the real world around you.
I think it's pretty consistent in my mind that the single greatest cause of my life's problems is not knowing where I belong. And now, having spent my earnings for the last few months on a 3D printer and some Arduinos, it kind of crystalizes a thought in my head: if I had had these resources twenty years ago, today I might be a human being instead of a walking disappointment.
This is just how my life is: I write novels in my mind in my spare time, but I just can't write them down without help, so they are always lost. The way my life is, these things never get told, because I need help, and no matter what help I need, I can be assured I won't get it. But I might as well write *about* it, when I can do nothing to actually *write* it.
In thinking about Rogue Academy I am reminded of another style of game, where you must navigate a predetermined timeline full of trouble, in part by going (in character) into the past, and in part by (out of character) reloading an earlier save. Thinking about that got me interested, in particular, in how to *present* a game like that, especially if, as with RA, the game is about getting one or more desired endings out of a complicated, randomly generated timeline.
1. The premise
This is a list of podcasts I'm currently following, and possibly a few I have previously followed but do not any more. Anything on this list is a personal recommendation, for one reason or another.
With the release of Starbound 1.0, I am not¹ upset but neither impressed with the game. As I had kind of expected, the writing is a little poor, but they were trying to find a mechanical premise for advancement that fit into the game, and that is hard. So instead of rambling on about their past choices, here is a sequel concept.
1. Game theme: Colonization, Industrialization, BBEGs, and Intergalactic Politics
So I have come to play and to love Factorio, a smallish game about automation, creation, and some amount of defense against alien hordes. I have to emphasize the "smallish" part; I haven't finished it, but I have a hard time envisioning the latter portions of the game as engaging me quite as much as the development challenges in the early game. As I can never really step out of my armchair game designer shoes, I wondered to myself: what would I do if I were in charge of a sequel?
Dear Square Enix, team Final Fantasy:
The system of elements--a combination of literal elemental power and schools of magic--was probably the first thing I ever tried to design for the Demonsword Project, and I have never really settled on what they ought to be and why. I think I have found a solution that I like--but I've thought that before. I would warmly welcome any comments on the matter.
Can we talk briefly about Starbound? At press time, the 1.0 update hasn't come out yet, and the news I'm reacting to is around a month old, but I just... can't stop being really stupidly upset by the blog blurb, in part because it seems to confirm something I've feared for a while: the Starbound team has no writers worth writing home about.