The first shade of Sycamore House made no attempt to evade us. It squatted, spherical and shimmering, directly in the first doorway we came across. It made no movement at us, eyes set wide apart and unblinking like a frog, and when we found a path around its barrier it made no effort to stop us. Donald was certain that it was guarding us from a specific room, and as we found shortly the room was indeed its only objective. It sat in the doorway and watched when we grew near, then vanished when we moved away. A camera revealed inside of the room appeared to be nothing so much as a collection of bone fragments, which we presumed to be from wildlife; Donald wanted to enter, reasoning the shade could not actually stop us. We resisted, and Donald acquiesced. But in the middle of the night, his bunkmate Henry woke us with a cry, and we saw that Donald had gone. We rushed to the room to find the shade squatting outside the door, a stain of crimson blotched across its too-wide brow. In the … [Read more...] about WRUP: The first shade of Sycamore House edition
Early years education
We’re no tiger experts or anything, but from a careful analysis of the above picture, we’re going to say that guy is not long for this world. Or for the world of Vantage, where he had previously spent a rough stretch of time trying to survive in very primitive situations. This early access survival game is coming on May 22nd to Steam with most of its functionality (including both online and offline play). In Vantage, you’ll take the role of a caveman who must forage, craft, hunt, and survive in a fairly hostile world. One interesting twist is the death system: When a character dies, he or she is gone forever, but points from that character’s progress can be applied to the next character’s skills or bonus items in order to give him or her a stronger start. The project sounds like it’s the effort of a single developer who wanted to make the game of his dreams. He does admit that the graphics and animation are not up to par and wants to use funds from … [Read more...] about Vantage throws players into a primitive survival situation
Games alone won’t make the world better. They won’t even make gamers better. We publish some articles that certainly seem pretty pro-games, but we’re very upfront about the catches. One big one is on us, the players, and how we game. However, game designers can do a lot to help us. “But that’s hard, expensive, and/or boring!” some of you may be thinking. And yeah, sometimes that’s true. But for both indies and AAA companies, not only are there organizations able to help, but there’s the potential for government aid in unlikely places. Games for good isn’t just a pipe dream, either. Some of the most (deservedly) vilified gaming communities have not only helped with their time but their wallets as well. Even before going to GDC this year we knew this, but a few panels I watched really helped it click. The concept of player power for good I’ve mentioned how despite the fact that we have evidence that play helps … [Read more...] about GDC 2018: Games can help humanity, be profitable, and get support from gamers
The Blizzard Entertainment we once knew and loved has vanished into the mists of time. Blizzard was once a shining city on a hill that stood out as a beacon of gamer-centric righteousness in the sleazy wasteland of the video game sausage factory. Blizzard’s extraordinary game development philosophy defied conventional wisdom. Blizzard did things their way. They didn’t care what anyone thought and their fans loved them for it. Today, the maverick Irvine-based gaming studio once known for its unwavering commitment to quality has been transformed by ambitious leadership that wants to turn Blizzard into the next Disney. But, there is a price to pay. To gain membership into this exclusive club you must be willing to sell your soul and conform to the obligatory leftist worldview that is held by most California-based entertainment and tech companies. For the last few years, the new Blizzard — Blizzard 2.0 — has proceeded to implement their part of the Faustian bargain. … [Read more...] about Blizzard Jumps on the Social Justice and Identity Politics Bandwagon
Last week, Second Life announced that premium members are now allotted double land for their starting tier! I tried and failed to think of a title for this post that would convey how important this really is. Let’s just say, what I’m about to blog about is a pretty big deal. Enough for me to announce my return to Second Life! A Quick Personal History My past with Second Life stretches back to 2004 when I first stumbled into the strange virtual world. I created an avatar named Aywren, and chose the last name Sojourner from a list of possible surnames… which became a name that I now use for just about everything. I came and went from SL over the years until I got caught up in breedable pets back in 2010. I had a pretty successful SL pets blog for a while, and it was a lot of fun. But, I eventually drifted away to other games that required more time, and though I still enjoyed breedable pets, it wasn’t enough to hold my interest and sub money. I put down the … [Read more...] about Second Life: Returning… and Getting More Land!