Escaping the RPG Trap

Now that the snow has melted, I’ve no excuse not to be looking for work, and I’ve decided that so long as I’m unemployed on a weekday I’ll instead spend that time self-employed learning how to make games. No forums, no TV, no gaming — at least during work hours.  That seems to have broken the procrastination lock.

Suddenly, I’ve a massive void of time to fill while waiting for callbacks.  Consequently, I’m happy to report that I’ve returned to my BYOND work.  First thing on the menu?  Ditching this irrational fixation to make a roleplaying game.

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It’s Not Gaming, It’s Research!

As with the other 1 in 365.25 people, Christmas is also my Birthday. I’m now 32 – Happy Birthday to me.

As of late, I’ve been researching Mercenaries 2 and Mass Effect, by purchasing a price-dropped $30 copy of both games’ PC versions.  Between the two, we have a game I’d like to develop: an open-ended space travel game (ala Mass Effect) with a simple economy driving a powerful dynamic content system (Mercenaries 2).

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Still Loafing

Though perhaps I’ve little of significance to say today, I’ve always taken exception to leaving a several day gap since my previous entry.

I said in the last entry that game development was imminent, and it’s still imminent, because since the last entry I pretty much just sampled Warhammer 40k (recently dropped on GameTap) and completed the entire Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People series.

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Two Things RPGs rarely get right

I’ve found a simple solution for motivation that has worked remarkably well, and that is to simply lay off the forums. While time flies, time also needs to be filled with something, and creating a void can provoke action.

Going slowly stir-crazy helps, too.  About the most entertaining thing I’ve done is check out the pilot episode of Game Damage, a feature that Zero Punctuation’s Yahztee and a couple of friends are putting together.

I would go play a game instead, but I’m yet again in that funk where I don’t want to play games, I want to make better games. It feels better to make my own crappy game than play games that (due to my predisposition) feel crappy.  It’s a good funk for me to be in, a relatively new habit I’ve undertaken that makes a world of difference in terms of turning procrastination on its ear.

Yes, game development is imminent.  I’m so picky right now the only game I’m even considering playing is perhaps Strongbad’s Cool Game For Attractive People, and a lot of that is out of comedic appeal and not gaming appeal.

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Procrastination Immortal

Has it really been 5 days?  How time flies.  As of late, the majority of my time has been largely dumped on the Escapist Magazine forums and Kohan II with a brief visit through the Drakensang demo.  Due to popular agreement (I put it to a vote on a thread) I think I’ve settled on a good focus for my BYOND game, but progress has been slow (though not nonexistent).

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Grappling With Matters Of Sheer Necessity

Though I’m dwindling away the last 2 weeks of it, my academic career lays in burning ruin, just 12 credits from graduation.  It’s back to work for me, right on the cusp of what threatens to be the third great American depression.  At least all that time in the unemployment line will leave a lot of time to think about game design.

I’m not here to mope.  On the menu today is Harvest: Massive Encounter and some minor thoughts on BYOND development.

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Something Different In CRPGs: The Rings of Zilfin Approach

Artforms tend to get formulaic after awhile (it’s certainly easier and more practical than reinventing the wheel at every turn) and Rings of Ziflin is an interesting example because it represents a road less traveled.  The following is a video I made that captures some gameplay from Rings of Zilfin better than a screenshot can.

What’s the big deal?  Well, let me break it down.

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