Well, I tried the "Civilization" phase of Spore tonight. It was pretty much an impenetrable mess of unplayability. Impossible to tell friend from foe. Impossible to conduct useful diplomacy because you needed to remember made up city names in order to get an ally to assist you (without even the aid of team color as a mnemonic). Terrible feedback: I had no idea how to interact with the neutral villages. Hard to wield 3-d camera -- unconstrained freedom means that I can get myself lost and into disadvantageous angles.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So I finally muscled my way through the RTS phase of things. Now I'm just starting the more Civilization meets Rise of Nations portion of the game.
Posted by Jason Schklar at 12:57 AM
Monday, September 22, 2008
So, I'm still stuck on the "tribal" stage in Spore. Sigh. I'm on normal difficulty and need to figure out how to put it on "easy".
- Even though I'm obviously having difficulty, there seems to be no dynamic difficulty adjustment. I get crushed the same way every time: Trying to defend one group, attack another, and be diplomatic with a third. I feel like there is some hidden "correct" way to do things that I'm not able to discover.
- As an RTS, this game has all sorts of problems that most 2d and 3d RTS games have solved like: Unit identification (I can't tell the difference between various unit types; it's also hard to tell friend from foe some times); unit selection (there is so much popup text and the camera is allowed to zoom/pan to really into unusable positions); camera controls in a 3d world (why do I need to do so much of it?)... and the list goes on.
Friday, September 19, 2008
My 360 is dying. It no longer displays video.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
First things first. It looks like my 360 might be on its last legs. I've been noticing degraded video quality for a few weeks now. I figured it was due to the capture device I have attached, but I was able to rule that out. Then I wasn't able to change from 480p to any other HD mode. Then I wasn't able to get any video signal (but I do get audio). I checked the cable with a demo kit that I have and it seems to work fine.
Monday, September 15, 2008
First, Nintendogs. I broke down and bought Liza (and I) a DS Lite the other day. I thought it might be more relaxing for her than playing games on her huge MacBook Pro. And I know there are a ton of great games available for it. And I am somehow hoping that I find time to do some DS gaming myself.
- Will there be socially connected instances or places to hang out? Will there be a deeper guild or alliance system?
- Will there be mods -- puzzles or scripted scenarios that tell a narrative or provide some other guided experience?
- Will there be a better way to streamline the discovery of cool new community content and provide rewarding feedback to quality content contributors? I left a comment for some guy who created a creature I befriended (and that became an effective tank for me) but I never heard back. Nor do I know whether he benefitted in any way by getting a note of thanks from me.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I played a bunch of Braid today, lost several hours of game play due to a corrupted save file in Spore, and completed a few missions in GTA IV (my fiancee wants me to off my in-game girlfriend -- but she must know something is up because she is ducking my calls).
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Well, I'm reminded of what the "state of the art" is in terms of the PC install experience now that I've got Spore up and running on my machine.