Merry Recession-mas!

Being a full-time college/university student for a little over 4 years now, I really learned to pinch my pennies. That shiny $60 game released today may well be worth $20 a few months from now if you’re willing to wait it out. Instant gratification is all well and good… but there’s something to be said for frugality.

My current favorite of the lot: Mechanarium.   Sure, completable in one evening, but a real feast for the senses and with puzzles that are just right in terms of difficulty.

Indeed, between Direct2Drive’s “21 days of Christmas” sale and Steam’s Holiday sale, it has been a very good month to be a frugal gamer.  I suspect I can blame the recession for a lot of this – with everyone’s wallets being a bit tighter, purveyors of fine digital entertainment have been forced to make compromises.  Some of the more interesting deals I picked up:

  • Genre-rocking immersive behemoth Grand Theft Auto IV for $7.50 (75% off).
  • Quality medieval games Drakensang and Mount and Blade for $5.00 apiece.  (Over 80% off,)
  • Excellent indy games Audiosurf and Braid for $5 each.  (75-80% off).
  • Innovative if forgettable genre breaker Mirror’s Edge for $5.00 (75% off).
  • Indy city builder/RPG hybrid Hinterland: Orc Lords $6.50 (75% off).
  • A city builder RTS with RPG undertones, Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim for $7.50. (75% off)
  • Turn-based strategy RPG hybrid King’s Bounty: Armored Princess for $9.99 (75% off).

In addition to the “wow” deals above, I also pulled some pretty decent 50% off deals such as:

  • Quite good indy-made Mechanarium and Torchlight for $10 apiece.
  • Behemoths of yesteryear, Prototype and Command And Conquer Red Alert 3 (including Uprising expansion) for $20 apiece.
  • Quality indy adventure games of Samorost 2 and a package of Zombie Cow adventure games (“Ben There, Dan That!” and “Time, Gentlemen, Please!”) for $2.50 apiece.

This is to say nothing for the gifts I received this year, including the complete Lucasarts adventure pack, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Borderlands Zombie Island DLC, and Left4Dead 2.

Overall, my gaming cup runneth over once again. Through, like many aspiring game designers, most of these games won’t get more than a few hours of play from me, it seems I’ve now a goodly amount of research materials.

A Matter Of Process

In some ways, I’m a pretty experienced BYOND programmer. In other ways, as is made clear from time to time, I’m an incredible newbie.

After wracking my brains to produce something simple since Wednesday, I’ve decided that my trouble is actually this: I’ve been trying to experiment within the confines of BYOND and a text document. Why is that trouble? Because it’s an incredibly inefficient method that ultimately serves only to sap one’s motivation and kill the project.

While you can just dabble with BYOND and see what you come up with, and maybe be pleasantly surprised with the result, it’s better to look at programming as just explaining what you want to the computer. The reason why having a completed design first is necessary is because if you don’t know what you really want, you won’t know what you’re explaining to the computer.

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2009 For Me Is Wrapping Up

As common knowledge would indicate, failure to update this blog regularly would result in the world stopping spinning, causing the Earth to heat disproportionately and bring about the end times.

Thus, out of the great responsibilities this brings to me, I am creating a blog entry about my easiest of topics: what I’ve been up to since the last blog entry.
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