Saturday, August 30, 2008

Space (Under?) Siege

So yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day downloading the Space Siege demo. About 930mb later I had the tantalizing demo waiting on my computer. I was ready to spend all night checking out the new action RPG from Chris Taylor.

Well, I watched the intro cinematic, a pretty looking attack on earth with capital and fighter ships dueling on the edge of Earth's gravity. Finally, the awesome movie ended, and I was taken to the intro menu, where the same movie began playing again, but this time with a menu around it... So I started a game and after a short in-game cinematic of aliens assaulting my ship I commenced my defense of humanity.

The game uses the WASD setup to control many things, except movement, and I have to say this threw me. The mouse moved and controlled firing while A and D were used to rotate the camera and W and S zoomed in and out. The controls otherwise were very convenient and straightforward, but finally as I began to get comfortable with the non-FPS scheme, the demo ended.

I'd say I finished the demo in not more than 30 minutes, after downloading almost a gigabyte. I was disappointed. I think it was a fun game, and it looked awfully pretty, but I'm back into a phase of trying demos of all the new games, and it's hard for me to discern if my excitement of a game is warranted after 25 minutes, especially with such a hefty download. I realize that's how games are today, but you'd think I could get a little more content for a gig. Also, I'm still trying to figure out if the game is deep or not. It was straightforward, and though pretty, also quite simple. Well, Chris Taylor, the ball is back in your court. I'm intrigued, but not sure yet about $50 of intrigue.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A game called reality

So I'm now home for a couple weeks recovering from actuality before I head back to my senior year of college and work and all that jazz.

What exactly is this actuality that I'm dealing with? I decided to ride a bicycle from Boston to Washington, DC. And I did it! I'm one who often doesn't do a lot of actual preparation, I usually prepare in my head and then either do something or don't. I find so many things fascinating that a large-scale project is daunting and unlikely. I do lots of little things, except for when I'm at work or school, because having that framework gives me a solid set of boundaries that I actually find the most comforting. Pressure, I need a box to not necessarily be thought within, but to allow myself to bounce off the edges and come back to reality.

But rarely do I think about non-creative endeavors. I certainly think about travel, but just about how I should go travel, go visit other countries. Never solid plans. So lo and behold, I thought that this summer would be the ripest time, a last ditch effort to be crazy in college, for some sort of road trip. And I settled upon a crazy biking trip, realizing that a trip between Boston and DC would be feasible and probably fun. I started preparing by telling everyone I knew that I was thinking about it, so that if I didn't go they would call me out. Then I got a bike (somewhat necessary) and just started biking again. Then I alloted time for the trip, asking for a leave from work and not having school anyway. I followed this by continuing to tell people about my trip and started making a list of things I would need.

Then I just continued to ride and began to train with a friend. We went a solid 150 miles one weekend to test out the items needed. It was good we tested our equipment and what would be needed, because I was not entirely aware of all I would need. But then I bought that, I kept biking, and then, well, after some route-planning, I found myself stuck on the trip.

It was great. It was really a learning experience, a challenge, a mission, and just relaxing. I had worries during the ordeal, but they were so pure and simple that I think my brain really enjoyed the trip. Never again do I plan on doing a long challenging trip like that alone, because a pal would have made it so much more fun. But it was nonetheless an incredible experience that I definitely am proud to say I completed.

570 miles in 7 days of riding. Not bad, eh?

Now back to games!