Ho hum, a human is a busy creature, and apparently the first thing I cut when I’m busy is blogging. This is a fortunately non-pressurized medium, though, perhaps because of the singular publication model: no need to edit, print or publicize yourself when you want to write. Nice.
Anyway, as a brief explanation for the latest month-long silence, I offer thee this. In other words, I’m going to Gencon this year with the Forge booth if everything goes well. There’s quite a bit of planning involved with all the flight plans, hotels and, foremost, preparing products for the convention. I’m going to perchance discuss my products in greater length later either here or some other medium, for now it’s sufficient to say that I’m being pretty busy writing and producing the games I want to sell at Gencon.
I’m still hoping to write the blog as well during the summer months, though. The first order of business is to write more extensively about different flavours of fantasy gaming, which topic has stood open for a while now after my latest post. A big topic, but I’ll tackle it soon.
Meanwhile, a bonus actual play report: as a part of my recent research into video games from the millenial times (games from 5-10 years ago are both cheap and plentiful, a good reason to focus your video game hobby on those) I’ve been playing American McGee’s Alice during the last couple of days. The game seriously sucks! I mean, I’m really rather glad that I didn’t make that game. The disappointment was that the concept at first glance seemed nice and poetic: bloody remake of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland suits me just fine, especially if you mix in some suitably titillating mature content and a nice psychoanalytical story about a teenage girl working through childhood trauma by bashing her inner demons in the head with a cleaver. Sounds fine to me. I mean, just look at that menu screen picture, doesn’t that seem like the kind of artistic /trashy/dramatic horror stuff I’d like?
The game itself, however, is actually a linear platform jumping / shooting game built on the Quake engine. It’s horribly pretentious, full of badly written dialogue and visually clumsy as hell. I have nothing against the game being an action title (even if I think it’s a weird direction to go with the narrative premise), but it’s full of annoying instant death jumping with a difficult control system and boring fights with weapons that either home in automatically or are impossible to aim. I wouldn’t mind the subpar action stuff so much, but the chosen technological basis combined with the pretentious writing pretty much means that there’s no artistic merit in the game: the characters are the unexpressive polygon combinations you get by not having actual artists draw anything and they move clumsily. Of course there’s nothing interesting in the movement, either, as it’s just jumping from platform to platform without any particular significance. Stupid waste of time, playing this.
I’ve been uncommonly positive on the video game form during the last year, perhaps because I’ve hit on so many surprisingly decent games. American McGee’s Alice is more like what you’d expect computer games to be like: vapid, clumsy, unchallenging and written by a 5-year old puritan geek.