Update 7: Running Out of Time

Dang. Summer is really close to being over and I still haven’t finished those tutorials in Unity. I know exactly what prototypes I want to do make the engine, but I still don’t have a good enough grasp on the software. I can’t seem to stop dragging my feet every step of the way, though, so those ideas probably won’t bear much fruit until after my next semester starts. Since the semester starting will also bring school-work, then I will more than likely find myself distracted from these projects for longer periods of time, so I don’t want to even begin to approximate when I’ll finish any of the prototypes I have planned. My time management skill seems to have a negative modifier attached to it. I kind of wonder what kind of miracle dice-throw it took to get me to finish that Tower Defense game at the beginning of the summer. Unbelievable.

If I have any reason for excuses, then it would be the LONG shifts I work at the job I now have. I don’t have many shifts, but they all seem to be 10 hours long and involve me standing up for about 9.5 of those hours. It’s hard to find the energy to do anything after that. Hopefully I can find a better job next summer.

I haven’t even been playing many games. I got around to playing Legend of Grimrock, which has the genre of dungeon-crawler refined to a sharp point. Great gameplay, but with the lack of any story to grab a hold of me, I haven’t found myself compelled to play it since. Also, the inventory management can get a bit tedious and the combat controls, while they are pretty clever, can be pretty clunky.

Update 6: In which I think I have a job.

Well, it happened. I, like many before me, have offered up my time the could potentially be used for productivity to be sacrificed in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Not that I have been particularly productive lately, anyway. I spend much of my week at the beach and am still slogging through Unity tutorials, but haven’t gotten very far with anything I’ve been doing. Having a summer job to keep track of could force me to become more active and improve my time management. Maybe it can even get me organized enough to work harder on this blog. Not likely, though.

So, as I said, I haven’t been doing much lately, but I have been playing a few games. First is Locke’s Quest, which I had gotten for my birthday. I haven’t gotten very far in it, but it has already shown some very interesting ideas. Unfortunately, it lost a bit of my good-will with a shoddily-designed turret section, which I hope won’t have to be repeated very often. I also managed to get a few games so far in the Steam Sales, but of those I’ve only been able to play Antichamber. The game is phenomenal. It’s like a virtual Escher drawing with splashes of vibrant color and mind-bending puzzles. Well worth anyone’s time and seems like a worth candidate for some dissection of its design some time down the road.

Update 5: Post-Birthday Break

No update last week because last Saturday was my birthday. I celebrated by continuing to plod through these lessons and tutorials for Unity (because I know how to have a party). For the next few days, though, I took some time off from those videos to catch up on some games I’d been meaning to play, starting with Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I did have to buy a 3DS first, but I think it was worth it. Of course, the day after I got my hands on the game, my sister decided to borrow it until the end of the week. Oh well. It gave me the time to look at other interesting games like Picross 3D and The Swapper (now that the game supports Intel graphics cards).

A few weeks back, I mentioned that I was going to write about ludic languages, but I decided to hold off on that until I had played Picross 3D because it seemed like the kind of game that would fit perfectly into that discussion. It does, but not in the way I hoped it would. More on that when I get around to writing about it. As for The Swapper, it was a brillant game that created great atmosphere and had some really interesting puzzle designs. The pacing reminded me of Vessel, which also had some interesting puzzles and mechanics, because both could stand to have had some of their puzzle rooms cut for a tighter experience. Where the two games mostly differ is that Vessel left the player on a vague, anti-climax, while The Swapper ends the game with a moral choice (presented through gameplay, no less) that ties into the game’s themes and the questions it had presented up to that point. To sum up, it’s good. Go play it.

Also for my birthday, I got access to the beta version of Scrolls. I have had some experience with CCGs before (well, only MtG, really) so I was excited to see that the game was a combination of a card game and a lane-based battle system like Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. So far the game has been really fun, but I feel like I might have picked the wrong deck to start with. I wonder if I will get the option to restart with a new deck or if I will have to earn the in-game currency to buy a second deck. Either way, I look forward to seeing how Mojang adds to the already well-made game.