Defensing My Imagined Online Fables To The BYOND

Over the past few days, I’ve been more or less engaged with more of the same as was described in the previous entry.

Defense Grid: Purchased (and 10+ hours later, main campaign finished).

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online: Investigating.  (It’s free.)

Fable II: Ignored (for no good reason).

BYOND: Neglected (- as a self-employed fellow, I’m a lousy taskmaster).

Sovereign Nation

In what will probably be my last game purchase until I get a job, I shelled out $20 for Defense Grid and enjoyed perhaps 10 to 15 hours making a run through the campaign.

I think a lot of impetus to buy the game was based off of dissatisfaction of the way I saw it done in the typical YouTube video.  A great deal of my mental cycles lately have been dedicated to finding new and clever ways to defeat the alien horde as it comes.

Though I might be barely over the bar in the favor of being an INTJ (as opposed to an INTP) it seems my Mastermind tendencies are indeed strong here.  It’s hard to describe the satisfaction of putting together an elaborate virtual automated defense system and seeing it take down wave after wave of hostile invaders like a single well-oiled machine.

Little wonder I wanted to turn a tower defense game into a MMOG — that’s the kind of thing you want to show off in terms of dynamic content.

I finished the main campaign in Defense Grid with just barely with 5/24 cores left, with most other missions being completed at 100% (a rare few missions with only a few lost cores).  However, there’s a number of alternate modes I can go back and play, as well as scores that could be pumped to earn the “gold medal” for all missions.

Coalition

Most recently I’ve been dabbling further with Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online.  Though SMTIO certainly highly resembles any other free-to-play Eastern game in many ways, as I get deeper into it I realize it is remarkable in that you’re essentially in full control of two characters at once.

I know, it’s not the only game that lets you do that.  A game like Sword of the New World gives you 4 characters under your control, and Atlantica Online is a turn-based strategy game in which you manage an army.  However, SMTIO is unique because of the extent of the two character control.

In SMTIO, you basically have a full timing-based combo system and magic system on both your character and their currently summoned demon.   You functionally have two characters until your control at any time: your main character and a swappable partner with a separate bank of hotkeys.

Your partner has some automation, but a good player can enjoy micromanaging combos and special moves or spells for both your character and the partner.  SMTIO would be very difficult to multibox to full efficiency, and that’s a seal of quality in terms of demonstrating that the game requires player interaction.

Here’s hoping some nasty grind-related mishap doesn’t harsh this gaming vibe as I get deeper into the game.   Before I was rudely disconnected from the beta server last night, I was enjoying going through an instanced dungeon, just my Mage Gunner and his Kodama.  I can actually hold up to 6 demons at a time, and they can be mixed and matched to skills, so that’s pretty nice in terms of flexibility.

Stagnation

I haven’t touched Fable II in a few days.  It’s not a bad game by any means, but priorities have been higher elsewhere.

I’ve recalled a great deal of the reason why I was able to invest time in BYOND before, and that is because it’s very much about self-improvement.  Sitting around playing games all day might be fun, but in avoiding work one is essentially sacrificing an opportunity to improve themselves in some way.

Every day I spend not mucking about with game design is a day of progress lost towards ever being a professional gamer designer (or whatever else I’d want to do with my life).  This fundamental fact endows great impetus to action by one as cognitively driven as me.

I just wrote “every day you don’t work at something is an opportunity for self-improvement lost” on a sticky note and put it on my monitor.  We’ll see if that reminder works.

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