Mod Nauseum: Free-To-Play Games and Mod Support

Midair is a new game in the general vein of the Tribes series (of which I have spoken before); in summary, it is a team-oriented, round-based shooter focusing on the Capture the Flag game mode in a futurist setting involving jetpacks and high explosives. Like Tribes: Ascend, the last entry in that series, Midair are focusing on making their money with a free-to-play game model that hooks consumers by monetizing the game progression, rather than asking people to buy a shooter sight unseen.

Overwatch: Hanzo and Consistency

I could rant. The tl;dr is the new Hanzo ability is awful in two specific ways that both come down to consistency. Please pardon any vitriol I might spill, I have a bit of a condition.

First... no let me get a piece of explanation out first. I am anxious and ADD. Because of these things I preferred Hanzo over Widow, because Hanzo was--not is--a character where holding down the mouse button was safe. It's releasing it that triggers an action. It was wonderfully consistent with his character--meditative, building action. While holding the button you could even switch into and out of firing modes for your abilities. Think things through, reconsider, then act.

A brief catalog of daydreams

For whatever reason--depression, a lack of discipline--I never manage to write down the stories that circulate in my mind. This is a synopsis of some I've had over the last few years.

How That One Hyperdrive Scene in "The Last Jedi" is an Insult

This entry contains a spoiler discussion for 2017's "Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi".

So while there are things to like about The Last Jedi I have been stewing over the writing and how some of the plot points are terrible. It feels like I am seeing in this movie what I have seen and argued against in game designs at least four times. While I could sum it up in a variety of ways, I would suggest that there is, basically, a responsibility that comes with writing, and it's upsetting that people at once don't seem to believe this and also get promoted to positions where they can scoff at the idea while working on large public projects.

Heroism and Replacement Goals: Game Design and PUBG

In an August 2017 podcast, NPC Cast discussed what Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) might teach tabletop game masters and people who were making role-playing games in general. At the time I started to write this essay, which got set aside and forgotten, the summary of which is this: in a round-based game where you are more likely to fail than succeed, players are constantly making their own objectives. I would argue that these are not "side quests" or "side objectives" in the sense of coexisting equally with the "main objective", but rather to a degree they replace the seemingly unreachable main objective.

reMarkable Review

This is a brief review of the reMarkable Tablet, which I ordered as a Kickstarter project. It is, for those not aware, a touchscreen e-ink tablet (10.25" screen) with a stylus, so you can write on it like paper.

Overwatch: Mercy Resurrect and Strategic Play

This is a copy of something I posted in the Overwatch Feedback Forum regarding the late-2017 changes to the healing character Mercy.

I am wondering if maybe the Mercy change and this nerf are both... well, it's difficult to explain. I understand why the nerf, but I don't understand why the original Mercy change, since that flies in the face of both good game design and good strategy.

Overwatch: Mercy Changes

This is a copy of something I posted in the Overwatch Feedback Forum regarding the late-2017 changes to the healing character Mercy.

Caveats in advance: I prefer old Mercy, am used to current Mercy, and what I am going to suggest is something nobody wants, which is yet another massive overhaul to Mercy. I would also accept old Mercy again.

The Reasoning:

Overwatch and Team Assets

Overwatch Free-for-all deathmatch has opened my eyes a bit to something which might actually drive me away from Overwatch in the end. It may not really be their fault; I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and certainly they have been trying to make the best game possible. But playing Overwatch for the first time without any semblance of being on a team made me realize just how lonely I feel playing Overwatch in general.

The Definition of Augmented Reality

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.


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