I'm just going to have a short conversation with myself, if you don't mind. Go about your business, I'll be done soon.
How's it been going?
Can't complain. You?
Been good. So I have a question for you.
Sure. What's up?
Do you remember post number 007?
Do you remember what that was about?
That was almost a year ago, man. I don't remember last week.
We'll you said that Adventure Caddie would launch this year.
Yeah. I might have said that.
And the year is almost over.
Yep. Yep. That's true.
So, yeah. I suppose that won't be happening.
So, why then?
Well, okay, here it is. I figured that by the end of the year I would have something ready enough that I could post it up as an alpha and have people test it out. Launch can really mean a lot of things in these crazy modern times.
So then nothing this year?
Why not? Where did you drop the ball?
It's pretty easy really. I didn't get enough art done to get the game into a presentable state. Rich has done a great job on the programming end, and it does sort of function, but I haven't finished nearly enough assets and gotten them game-ready. The game works, but there is nothing to do yet. It's a 100 piece puzzle with 7 available pieces and some of those are taken from other boxes.
Is it ever going to get done?
Yeah. Oh yes, definitely. I’m working on those assets right now. I can only work about 2 uninterrupted hours a day, so it’s slow work.
That sounds like an excuse.
You’re probably right. Yes, you’re right, it is. I’ll work harder.
So when will people be able to play with it?
I’m not doing that again.
Learned your lesson?
Yes. No more promises. It’s done when it’s done. Can I make deadlines, but just not tell everyone?
Yes. In fact, I think you have to do that.
Sounds good. So Adventure Caddie, still working on it, and it will be available… sometime.
Works for Blizzard.
Not fair. They have all the money.
Bah, give it up. You don’t have any problems.
You’re right. Okay, fair enough. Thanks, me.
No Thank you, me.
I stab at the screen with my thumb in a quick fluid motion. It's mostly muscle memory at this point. Swipe down, tap, swipe up, tap, tap, tap. Nothing. Wait for a few minutes and try again. Go to take a leak, try again. Sit down to eat, try again.
Several times a day I’m hitting the google servers, checking for the latest update to android. My Nexus 4 works great. I have never had any problems with it. Most of the features that are getting an update are useless to me anyway. I barely leave the house and I have so few appointments to keep track of, that any reason to venture out is a celebrated event. I don’t typically need any reminding, scheduling, or instant communication with "the office". I'll just check one more time before I finish this paragraph.
The proposition of a new update to any device in the house makes me salivate. There is no good reason for it. Most of the time these things are in the house because they currently do the job we want them to do. I just want them to do that job a tiny bit better. I'm jonesing for a firmware upgrade.
From time to time one these 'upgrades' will actually break something that was previously working. I've been at this a while and I'm fairly confident in my ability to fix the problem, or at least work around it. For anyone who has to deal with my upgrading, it must be like watching someone dance around pulling levers and turning valves while a rickety steam engine shakes itself apart. I'm deeply sorry but I need my fix.
I went ahead and manually updated the Nexus 7. That involved a multi pronged attack of driver installation, Linux terminal commands, and hardware recovery modes. I think it's worth mentioning that the Nexus 7 was functioning just fine before the update, and there are no new features that anyone here will ever use. I could do the same to the Nexus 4, but I thought it would be okay to wait for the Google sanctioned over the air update to arrive. The phone is, after all, my primary means of communication if and when I do leave the house.
For now I will keep checking to see if the update is available every half hour or so, even though it will make little to no difference once it actually is installed. I might have a problem.
I think the PS4 came out this week too.
6 interlocking foam mats
2 cans of blue acrylic paint
A small dollop of white acrylic paint
Small tart tin of silver glitter paint
good quality hot glue gun
12 sticks of hot glue
2 Kids with Diamond armor Halloween Costumes
Best Games - Alpha Centauri
I used to keep my copy of Alpha Centauri stowed safely in the bottom drawer of an end table, deep in the back, nestled under old papers and envelopes. This was for my own protection. Now it sits in the bottom of a box, stored under the stairs in the basement. This is also for my protection. Alpha Centauri is almost guaranteed to make me sick.
Civilization was a loose computer adaptation of the board game of the same name. I love, and have loved, the Civilization series on the PC. It is a solid strategic empire building game, a micro-detailed version of Risk. You have to be simultaneously aware of the global military mechanics, and, municipal level, social and economic dealings. You can, in equal parts, out fight, out negotiate, out research, or out spend the rest of the world. All these machiavellian interactions are set against a scrambled world history that borders on satire. Gandhi is often played as a loose cannon with his finger squarely on the nuclear button.
Alpha Centauri picks up where Civilization ends. Humanity has left the cradle of earth to seek a new home, the extra-solar planet Chiron. Nations lose all meaning and the small population of immigrants become divided by extremist ideology. Most of the gameplay and mechanics that make Civ a great game are still in Alpha Centauri, and some, like the custom unit creator are vastly deepend. Exploration, city management, combat and negotiation with other factions are handled similarly to previous Civ games.
What makes Alpha Centauri a step above the rest of the Civ series is the setting and the tone. Where Civ picks and chooses events from across human history, the story in Alpha Centauri is linear and evenly metered out. Where Civ will play events for satire, Alpha Centauri tends toward the deadly serious. Quotes and writing from history dot the Civ series, but most of the writing in Alpha Centauri is wholly original, and, more often than not, disquieting and poetic.
The Civ series alway boasted exploration and discovery, at least in the early stages of each playthrough. With the exception of a few barbarian tribes early on there is very little danger in exploring or expanding your territory. Chiron, simply referred to as Planet, is the harshest of frontiers. The crust of fungus that covers planet will push against your territories with increasing ferocity as you expand outward. Unthinkable terrors known as mindworms act as Planets native defence, overcoming your explorers with psychically projected nightmares before burrowing through their flesh and bone. Planet does not want you. It is made very clear that you are the alien.
As the game progresses, and the story unfolds, you discover that you are not playing a game of simple mechanics and management. Alpha Centauri is a playable novel with a rich narrative, and a lot to say about the awful nature of colonialism, extremism, and the human drive to dominate. It also has a lot to say about human endurance, adaptability, acceptance of being of the land and not it's master.
That story is what keeps me playing until the wee hours. It's that story that I can't put down. That is why I keep it safely tucked in a box in the basement. If I started playing it I know I would have to see it through. I know I’ll play it again, some day. Or three consecutive days. It will probably make me sick. That’s why Alpha Centauri is easily one of the best games ever made.