Monday, July 31, 2006


A few years ago, just before the PS2 came out, I photoshoped an ad picture to look like JP2 rather than PS2 on the console frame. I should whip one up for my new obsession, the PSP. It rocks. Durability is still in doubt, I'm terrified of dropping it by accident.

That and the analog stick is too close to the edge of the unit for my giant hands to use comfortably.

Battlefront II is quite playable, and the screen is very nifty for video playback. The sound is acceptable from the speakers, and reasonably good from a head set.

The UMD makes too much noise. When it spins up its this high pitched grinding noise, like sand paper being used on wood (by hand).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hardware Updates

Two notes: David and I have built an extremely beefy gaming rig for him. Of he would suggest it's all about spreadsheets or some such rot, but truth be told, he's mostly looking forward to how many guys he can have on screen in Empire Earth.

And I picked up a used PSP. Got a fair deal on it, now I'm trolling eBay for software. Converting and putting movies on the stick was easy like pie. It's defently going to help the boring bus blues.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Core

Gaming is about reward. And it's a really basic reward loop at that. The rules of conditioning seem to indicate it shouldn't be this easy to get hooked on a game. I mean, yes, the random-reward, random-interval has the best return on investment. But how did I generalize the concept of reward to 'game score'.

Actually, I'm half lieing to myself there. The reward is that every time I do something worth a point, my name scrolls up the status area.


usually accompanied by

You killed AnonymousOtherPlayer

And that's a point.

That and ducking what should be a "killed situation".

Monday, July 17, 2006


Sometimes it's all about validation. I'm not a huge blogger (I mean that figuratively). What I'm really looking for is gratification. I want people who I don't know to read stuff I wrote and say to them selves "Ya. What he said."

I suppose this would be some what similar to the feelings of the author character in Camus' 'The Plague'. I'm waiting for my "Hat's off, gentlemen." On the other hand, I have always had an overdeveloped sense of personal grandeur.

One of the issues is this format. I get very little feed back from all but the most motivated of readers. This is unfortunate, as it results in one of two feelings. Either I simply don't care if no one pays attention, which is dangerous, or it stuns me into apathy about writing, because I know nobody is reading.

I think I need to write. I'm neutral (or trying to be) about my level of talent, but I would describe it as a need. Ah well, it's good practice. I think.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Pools of liquid

The design pool has been mostly empty lately. I think I needed a big break. Not sure where I'm going to go next, but I have a taste for card based gameplay again. I'm split on theme. Earlier this year (or was it last year already?), I worked on a concept for a fantasy empire card game. It never really came, but I'm back again so there must be something to learn here.

The basic concept is easy, possibly even lovely. All the mechanics of the game are encompassed by cards and dice. No tokens or maps. Cards represent units, locations, actions. Dice are used to create the random elements.

I think I got hung up on the art last time. I'm going to approach from a different angle this time, and try not to spook the idea. It might be sci-fi, or it might be fantasy, but the basic play will be as outlined there. I'm going to build the mechanics and then build the parts. I know I like designing the bits, and that gives me something to look forward to. I hope that this time when I get there the bits I build will fit together better.