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).

My forum activity on Escapist Magazine is largely the same old forum addiction triggering: I just love a deep conversation, apparently to the point where I’m willing to search exhaustively for one that may never materialize.  Fortunately, I think that itch has largely run its course again, and I’m in the process of again disengaging from the forum now.

I wonder if perhaps my relentless inquiry into life would be better saved as a rare visit.  Then, mayhap, I can come off as some sort of modern day sage instead of that guy who won’t go away or shut up.  (More likely, people wouldn’t have wherewithal to even notice my existence.)

Kohan II

Kohan II is a 2003 game that I gave a spin for free on my GameTap Gold account and stuck with it for some 18-19 missions.  It’s basically an empire-building real time strategy game – a genre of no real shortage.  Its differentiating features are upgradable cities in fixed locations and, instead of controlling individual units, you custom-build companies which are made up of about 4-9 units each (a leader, 4 frontliners, 2 flank, and up to 2 support units).

There’s overall a very streamlined, balanced feel to Kohan II.  There’s quite a bit of automation – companies can take care of themselves, even fleeing when they’ve sustained too much damage, so you don’t need to babysit them or direct them in battle.   Normally, that would bother me – I like to be involved.  However, the building and maneuvering is still involving enough to feel like a meaningful part of the action.

This hands-free combat is actually pretty satisfying, ridding of all the nitpicking involved in the unit manipulation in heated RTS combat, leaving the players to sit back and witness the spectacle.  The only real problem is sometimes a unit will wander off and get themselves killed if you’re not paying attention.  (Lucky thing those Kohan heroes are immortal, but they lose their memory (levels/xp) on defeat.)

I’ve lost a bit of interest in finishing Kohan II because progress towards the end of the game has been needlessly slow, the game probably would have been better a few missions shorter.  Regrettably, the GameTap version is unable to be updated even via the in-game patcher, and an occasional lockup and balance issue is the result.  If I have any regrets about GameTap, it’s that their staff apparently doesn’t check for patches to the games they serve.

I should probably check out Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War when it comes to GameTap.  I suspect it will be technically superior while integrating the best parts of Kohan (the way the map is served in the lower left is certainly similar).  That said, I’d be surprised if I play it long: Warcraft 3 imitation no doubt robbed enough independence from the game that I’ll find little to keep me.

Drakensang : An Alternative To Neverwinter

Drakensang is interesting in that it is a computer game based off of a popular fantasy tabletop RPG from Germany.   Usually, the fantasy RPGs based off of tabletop games we see in the United States are exclusively Dungeons and Dragons.  The demo of Drakensang: The Dark Eye, a game due out in early 2009, was stunningly beautiful, and possesses a great deal of flavorful fantasy fare no doubt inherited from a robust tabletop RPG lore.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be pursuing this game past the demo.  While it looks drop-dead gorgeous, and the source material is quite rich, I cannot identify a single other thing it does better than Neverwinter Nights 2.  The combat seems unintuitive, and I feel like no more than a spectator with an extremely limited number of meaningful choices.  For me, that is a common failure: RPGs need to offer choices, but not enough do!

Consequently, I’d sooner give NWN2 another go than buy Drakensang. .. and that’s unlikely, I’m burnt from NWN2 to the point of failed alt-a-holicism.  Maybe when Drakensang hits the $20 yesteryear game price mark I’ll look into it (if I can find it).  See you in 2010, then, if I remember…

Until then, I should probably forget about both games and consider shelling out $30 for the Spellforce 2 series over steam.  Then again, I should probably seek a demo first – my pickiness makes buying before trying a risky endeavor.  There’s also Gothic 3 on GameTap, which looks and plays well except for the technical problems.

Change, damn you!

I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that I’m no longer a student and, consequently, I need to be looking for work.  It takes a bit of mental effort to curb 3 1/2 years of habit, but this obliviousness is a large part of why I sabotaged my academic career: it needs to stop.  Time to wake up, dazed student, you’ve put the real world on hold for too long.

Unfortunately, my immediate impetus to change has been disrupted by fate actively conspiring to keep me indoors.  My car’s alternator is acting up, temporarily leaving me without my own transportation (though I can borrow a family car, the availability of another’s wheels is not reliable enough for work).  I’d have taken my car down to the shop today, but a major cold snap is making travel hazardous and is even shutting down some local businesses.  At this rate, I might be kept from seriously inquiring about local work until closer to the end of the year.

Still, that’s no real excuse to put my game development on hold.  I plan to get back on board with that soon.  I have time now, and BYOND is a vital first step best not abandoned.  I know exactly what I need to do in order to be an IT professional or a developer, having been married to computers all my life it comes naturally, however motivation has never been my strong suit.

One Response

  1. […] a year ago, I said I’d grab Drakensang if it came down to $20.  A Direct2Drive promotion has the game on sale for $5!  It’s downloading as I write […]

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