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  Aaaaand we're back! 11:35 AM -- Mon January 2, 2012  

Wait, I think I did that title once before. Oh well, I'm doing it now.

Happy new year, it's 2012, Mayans blah blah etc boom. I don't have a big self-improvement plan this year. I'm definitely stepping up to try to get stuff done, of course, as with the start of every year, but I haven't come up with any fabulous plans or grand goals.

But wait, let me backtrack. For the past week, I have been on real, true, vacation. Except I stayed at home. Oh, I ate so much candy. I watched all the TV. I gained 8 pounds. And I played more games than even a largish stick could be shaken at. I made the mistake of checking on the Steam christmas sales. I had some gift money I had gotten, and I spent $50 of it there, on about 20 games. I am still picky though, I didn't just get all kinds of weird indie junk (no offense, I make that stuff too). I got things that really interested me. So far, I'm loving Orcs Must Die. It's nothing amazing in terms of gameplay, but it's got such a great feel and style, and nothing can stop me from playing a tower defense game! In a similar vein, I also got quite into Anomaly: Warzone Earth ("Reverse Tower Defense", but it feels pretty much like tower defense in most ways), and The Binding Of Isaac is disturbing and fun. I just wish it didn't limit you to 4-way fire, which is so annoying, and not a legitimate design choice by my personal rules (it made sense in 1986, guys).

What other quick game non-reviews... I tried to earn as many of the Gift Pile gifts as I could, so I dipped lightly into millions of games. Team Fortress 2, I haven't played since before there were hats in it. It's really classy now, I'm almost tempted to play except I hate getting stomped by humans. I like to play computers, because I can beat them. And Yet It Moves - hated it. Just not fun at all. Clever design is not the same as fun design (I didn't buy that one, somebody gave me a Humble Indie Bundle code. Thanks, JT!). Bastion is really cool, but feels quite constrained, not enough freedom of choice and movement, and no options to backtrack or grind (I've been playing that off and on for a month). King's Bounty is pretty good, it's like Heroes of Might And Magic in a lot of ways, including the fun of "walk 2 steps and you find some new special thing". Just constant goodies everywhere, and tactical battling madness. Not quite crazy about it, though, not sure. Sanctum is Orcs Must Die's more boring brother (and infinitely harder on my video card, ouch. Orcs looks 10x better too, despite being one of the few games that didn't leave me saying "I need a new video card"). Bulletstorm is just awesome. I do need a new computer before I can play it any further, but I'm dying to play more of that despite it being in slow-motion the whole time I played at the lowest settings.

That's the overriding theme of all the games - I need a new computer. So I'm gonna work on making that happen. It's been quite a few years, that's for sure. This computer used to be alright for this stuff, until the fancy video card burned up and nearly took the computer with it. Now I'm using on-board video, and WoW is about the only game that runs semi-smoothly (if you like 20FPS). It feels wrong to buy a computer for gaming purposes, but let's say it'll improve my development in some unspecified way. Maybe it'll compile faster. Or I can keep developing on this one and have the game one somewhere else. Keeping the games away from me while working would help my development a lot! The real trick would be to remove the web browsers, but that's not very feasible. Also, I do work on the web. Like right now. And now.

So, that's my steam game-fest, the misery of the exploited game developer being turned into this particular game developer's joy. I'd be happy to have Steam exploit me, since it's great money overall, but man, the gaming industry is headed into a scary collapse right now. I paid $5 for a recentish AAA game. I paid $0.99 for indie games. Like everybody, I bought more games than I can play, and I bought bundle packs which included stuff I don't even care to play. It's a glut of games, and the prices reflect that. The world is doomed. I am actually quite concerned about the future of this industry, and I spent a lot of time in the past couple months banging my head on just what else I can do for a living when the well is too dry to continue here. I didn't come up with anything. I only make games. Anyway, the industry's always in a massive state of flux, so who knows what will happen next. There will be some other boom, and everybody will be into Dumb Games, and I will be rich, rich as nazis!

Okay, that's enough of all that ranting. In short-term news, I have a week or so to go on my secret Christmas Game, then I don't know when you'll get to see it (other than testers, which I will be obtaining later), and then it's back to the Witch Game, except that I think I am going to be doing another game that will interrupt it, for somebody else (take a wild guess!).

Also, I should probably come up with a witty and charming t-shirt for the month, and write a newsletter and do things like that. It's not only a new year, it's also a new month!
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