It’s Been Over A Year Since I Posted Here

Boy, does time fly. It doesn’t feel like a year has passed at all. My last post, Gone, came about so easily from a writing perspective that I had thought things were looking up for this website. But I’m bad at keeping up with things and like a lot of other things it went to the wayside.

Things have changed so drastically in my personal life that I haven’t really had the time to keep up with it. I’ve missed it though and I’m pretty keen to get back into it. So that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m not making any promises, that’s pointless, but I’m going to try.

I have a few projects in the works. I’ve put working on novels to the back burner for the time being to focus more on the short and serial forms and in this respect I have a couple projects. I want to talk about.

The first is Gone. A story about a unique sort of apocalypse where people just disappear. I initially intended for it to be a single short story, but after writing it I had all these ideas for how the story could unfold that I turned it into a serial that I hope I can continue.

Another project is Derelict a sci-fi serial set in a world where the universe has become unstable and derelict ships from other realities show up randomly. I’ve had this idea swimming around my head for a while and I’ve finally decided to make some strides in writing it. It would be different to Gone in the sense that I plan for Derelict to be episodic in nature. Kind of like a TV show. Think Stargate or Star Trek, the former of which is a great inspiration to me.

I have a few other ideas rolling around in my head, but at the moment I’m just trying to maintain focus. Keeping it down to a couple seems like the best move. I’m hoping things work out better this time around. Maybe I’ll make something of myself.

Or not. You never know until you know.

Finish Them: XCOM Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a turn-based tactical strategy game developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games. It’s a reboot of the original XCOM games and quite a well received one.

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The first aliens you encounter in XCOM.

In XCOM, the player is put in charge of a top secret facility located in an area of the player’s choice. From there they send out soldiers to defend Earth from a hostile alien invasion. The player makes the decisions in regards to everything the base does, research, deployment, recruitment and other things. Because the facility is funded by various countries around the world the player is required to keep these countries happy so as to keep getting their money. They do this by launching satellites over the countries or sending troops in to defend. Because the player only has access to one dropship for troops they have to be careful about where they send their troops. Failing to please countries can lead to them pulling their funding from the XCOM Project, making the game harder to complete.

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Squad selection screen for missions.

I’ve had XCOM for a long time now. Like Sacred 2, I got XCOM in a Humble Bundle, along with all of the other XCOM games (to quell any sort of speculation: the original XCOM games are not in the pool of games to finish, though I do have them). I’ve also played it a lot, but I’ve never managed to actually finish it. In fact I really haven’t managed to get that far at all. This time, the plan is to complete the game in Ironman mode (the only way I ever play). As always, I have a week. For XCOM I do plan on possibly making some mini-posts that detail my progress. XCOM just seems like the kind of game that warrants that.

Numbers in the Void

When I think of good RPGs I think of Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, and Mass Effect. I think of the characters that I become and the worlds that I inhabit. I think of stories that make me feel like I am apart of the world I have been put into. I think of immersive campaigns that make me feel like I’m the character I’m playing. Sacred 2 is none of that. Sacred 2 is numbers upon numbers in a world that failed to keep me interested for more than two hours. What begins as an intriguing world slowly turns into a numbing exercise in number crunching that gives me nothing to work with, and it’s unfortunate that this is the game I drew first in this little adventure of mine.

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I’ll admit, it’s a pitiful attempt, but I just couldn’t do it.

Sacred 2 began with a rather complicated character creation screen that involved a lot of variables and a lot of reading. You decide everything up front. Whether you want to take the light path, or the dark, what god you want to worship, on top of the standard race, class and such. As far as character creations go, it’s a pretty standard one.

Where Sacred 2 disappoints me the most is its world. There is just nothing there. I couldn’t quite figure out why I was doing anything, or who I was working for. I knew I was doing the shadow campaign, but the only sort of direction I had told me nothing of what I was or where I was going. From ‘interactive’ objects that did nothing to NPCs that basically told me nothing, the world was empty.

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It does nothing.

RPGs should have an immersive world. Having the number crunching and the multiple builds is all well and good, but it means nothing if you’re running around in a void. I want a world that pulls me in with every second. I want to look away from the clock for a second and have hours pass. Sacred 2 doesn’t do that. It’s like watching an hourglass drop sand grain by grain. I wanted to like it, I really did, but ultimately it was nothing.

Playing Sacred 2 felt like I was just a series of numbers coming up against another series of numbers in a futile effort to see who came out on top, and as much as I wanted to finish it, I just couldn’t. Sacred 2 is not a game for me.

 

So that’s not a great start to this little project of mine. I did anticipate teething problems. I promise the next game is a definite completion. It’s a game I’ve been actually meaning to complete for some time. Find out tomorrow when the post drops.