Jan 14, 2020

False Positives?

Seems like there is always a story about how the Apple Watch saved someone's life by alerting them to some irregular heart problem. Being the cynical person I am, I always wonder how many false positive have there been? How many people were alerted to a "problem" only to visit their doctor and be told is was nothing, or worse, visit the emergency room and be billed thousands of dollars (US citizens only).

I'd love to get a smart watch and the Apple Watch suits my needs due to me having a iPhone, but I refuse to wear a silly square watch. I haven't worn a watch since 2002. I dug out my old watch and I'm tempted to start wearing it again. It's pretty cool because it has an analog flight computer built in. I'm going to be the center of attention at the next party.

Jan 13, 2020

My guild RIP

My Wow classic guild fell apart. Not sure what happened, no big drama. Everything seemed good and then I went on Hollidays and when I got back it was a ghost town. Guild officers are still in the guild, but none have logged on in close to a month. Maybe I was the secret glue that held it all together (joke).

So, now I start looking for a new guild. I want a guild that actively runs 5 player dungeons and is raiding at 60 or pushing towards it. But I don't want to be in a guild that takes it all too seriously. All guilds say they want to help players get geared and learns dungeons and raids, but what I've often found is that they turn into cliques where the cool kids raid and the rest... well I'm not sure.

There are a few guilds on my server where you have to "apply" and give them logs of your runs. Yeah... that sounds !fun.

I don't want to start my own guild. When it comes to Wow, I'm a follower not a leader. I think that's why I love healing. The only decisions I want to make in a dungeon is who lives and who dies.

If your guild meets the above criteria and wants an amazing undead priest healer named Delores... hit me up.

Now, back to my pile of adventure games I'm speed running.

Jan 11, 2020

Verbs and Adventure Games

I was chatting with a friend the other day and the conversation turned to modern point-and-click adventure games and there was much lamenting on how the UI (the way you interact with the game) hasn't changed that much.

I'll be the first to admit I don't play a lot of adventure games these days. It's an occupational hazard. I usually rage quit or eye-roll quit within 20 minutes. I spend too much time analyzing puzzle structure.

While I love making adventure games, I love playing RPGs (I use this term loosely). If I have free time I'll go slaughter enemies in some dungeon or log onto Wow Classic and... go slaughter enemies in some dungeon.

I do quickly look at new adventure games but as soon as I realize they aren't doing anything new or interesting I'll bounce off. Occupational hazard.

Thimbleweed Park used the maniac mansion/monkey island style verb interface mostly because of nostalgia reasons (see Kickstarter), but I'd never use that for a new game. It's a very functional interface and there is a lot I like about it, but it looks old and dated and a simple screenshot can turn off a lot of people. It's a problem we had with Thimbleweed Park. I don't regret using it, it was there for a purpose and it served that purpose brilliantly.

It seems like most new point-and-click games op for the "use verb" interface. Maybe you have "Look" and "Pick-up", but after that everything can be done with just a "Use" verb. "Push?" "Pull?" just use "Use". It's probably better called the "Poke" verb. Just poke at everything and see what it does.

Much of the puzzle solving then falls to what is in your inventory. How do I "use" this thing I'm carrying with something in the world? Now the game becomes an exercise in dragging everything in your inventory to everything on a screen to see if it does anything. The only friction is how tedious that is. The "verbs" interface didn't make this any better, so I'm not trying to defend it with regard to using everything with everything in desperate frustration.

So I turn to my esteemed readers and ask the following:

Name a point-and-click adventure game that has come out in the last few years and had a novel and interesting way to interact with the world, your inventory and solve puzzles. Something that really felt new and fresh. Something that made you say "Yeah, that's the way I wish all adventure games worked."

I have a small list of my own, but I'm curious what you've found.

Jan 05, 2020

Wanted: writer

I think the Seattle Central College needs a better tagline writer. No tagline would have been better.

Monkey Island
One of the games released in 1990

Stores wouldn't have been able to keep it in stock.