Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Random Shots: In Memoriam - 2014

  • Once again, it is time to look back at those we lost in 2014, the people who made our lives a little brighter

    • Justin Carmical, 42, aka JewWario, YouTube instructor on playing Japanese games on western consoles

    • Greg Martin, box cover artist for several Sega, Hudson, Capcom and Namco games

    • Kenneth Melville, 65, co-founder of Digital Pictures, developer of several FMV games including: It Came from the Desert, Sewer Shark, Make My Video: INXS, Make My Video: Kris Kross, and Corpse Killer, as well as developing Total Annihilation: Kingdoms.

    • Joel Green, 5, the inspiration for Ryan Green's game, That Dragon, Cancer.

    • Matthew Crump, 40, game developer, coordinator of the SXSW Gaming Expo

    • Masato Masuda, 48, game developer, creator of Pro Wrestling (NES) and the Fire Pro Wrestling series

    • Python Anghelo, 60, artist, game and pinball designer, best known for Joust, Bubbles, Pin*Bot, Cyclone and Taxi

    • Douglas E. Smith, 53, creator of Lode Runner

    • Ralph Baer, 92, developer of the first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey
  • Farewell. You will be missed.

© 2015 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 7, 2014

News Filter: Blizzcon 2014 - The Ongoing Saga

  • It's Blizzcon time again and I can't help but get excited. I'm going to use this space to blog about the news as it happens. Is there anything you're looking forward to?

  • The biggest news is obviously the announcement of Overwatch. It's a Team Fortress 2 inspired shooter that I will probably never play, but it sure looks beautiful. The cinematic looks like something I would watch in a theater, it's that good.

  • It was good to see a bigger announcement about the final Starcraft II expansion, Legacy of the Void. If anything, I'm glad that they are finally bringing that game in for a landing. Blizzard does things on ValveBlizzard time, but I'm still glad they are done. Maybe I'll try playing the campaign one of these days.

  • And, of course, more news about Hearthstone. I continue to bounce off that game every time I try it, but I'm glad it's being supported in several different ways. I thought the Curse of Naxxramas expansion was fascinating, but a traditional expansion seems like a good move.

  • So that was Blizzcon. What did you think of the announcements?

© 2014 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Random Shots: Failure of Character

  • About two months ago, an eternity in internet time, I wrote an impassioned defense of the term "gamer". I have always identified as a gamer. Games have helped me through hard times. Games have given me opportunities to make friends when I might otherwise find it difficult. So as the GamerGate mess was just forming, I decided to toss in my two cents.
  • I was wrong to do so.
  • A lot of what I see in GamerGate is people in pain. People like myself, hurt by the very people that they thought of as allies. I understand it because that is what I felt. I was confused because I did not know why I was being attacked for being even tangentially tied to the horrific events that were underway. In the midst of all that, I rushed to my own defense as though it was ever really about me.
  • But instead of speaking, I should have been listening. Instead of writing, I should have been reading. GamerGate has never been about me. It is about the pain and suffering inflicted by people I might once have called friends.
  • And so, far too late, I apologize. I hope that those who identify with GamerGate come to realize that their lashing out as though they are the victims will do more harm than good in that long run. The gaming community may be irrevocably damaged now, but I don't think it's too late.

© 2014 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Played Lately: Destiny - Alpha, Beta, and Launch

  • The hype got the better of me. After reading, listening, and watching so much about Bungie's new magnum opus, I had to try Destiny for myself. So when the Destiny Alpha opened on the PlayStation 4, I downloaded as fast as my wireless router would allow.
  • The Alpha had potential. There were a few missions to play in the Old Russia, Earth, zone. I wanted to see them all. I rolled a Titan, the soldier/tank class, because I am terrible at shooters. I needed a class that would let me play a little dumb and still survive encounters. I didn't play a lot, but I had fun trying to reach the level cap.
  • The Beta also showed potential. I almost didn't get in, but the folks at NeoGAF had my back. I played as much as I could and even made it to the bonus mission on the Moon. My daughter, who normally will not give up her reign over the television, sweetly let me log in with just fifteen minutes left to access the mission.
  • And that brings us to launch. The game, as launched, has a lot of potential. I've been playing since Destiny came out. I stay up to late, trying to complete one last mission, one last patrol, one last bounty.... Even though I agree with the middling reviews, the game is still enough fun to keep me going.
  • All the way up to level twenty. I can't stop playing the game. It don't help when my daughter asks if we can visit "our friend" (my character) to see how she is doing. She cuddles next to my so I can protect her from the bad guys. She points out loot chests when she spots them. So sometimes I'm playing just so she can watch me jump around on the Moon. AnjinM on PS4 if you want to help keep her entertained.

© 2014 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

News Filter: Destiny's Loot Cave Is No More

The social experience of a cave farming run is amazing: the herding to get a team of Guardians all behind the line and firing in the right direction, the rush to grab the loot, the scramble when the panic wave starts, the beckoning glow from inside the cave. The speed at which the community organized around this activity was inspiring and humbling to us.

But shooting at a black hole for hours on end isn't our dream for how Destiny is played. Our hope is that social engagement in public spaces is only one part of the Destiny experience. Expect changes soon which decrease the efficiency of cave farming and correspondingly increase engram drops from completing activities.

  • You have to give Bungie credit. They know how to write. At least their bloggers do. Maybe they should help write the game next time.

  • I just last night reached level 20, so I never spent any time farming the cave. I strongly dislike exploiting, so there was no chance I would have done so anyway. However, I'm glad Bungie finally got around to plugging this hole.

  • Does blogging about Destiny qualify me as an MMO Blogger again? Please?

© 2014 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
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