Over the weekend, I played a whole two games: Quantum Break on Saturday morning, and Endless Legend on Saturday evening. I feel that this is a somewhat appropriate workload…maybe a bit much actually.
Story Mode, Engage!
I had some time to kill on Saturday morning before I had to head out to help @Mindstrike move to his new pad, so I tried to get as far as I could in Quantum Break in the hour or two before my wife would be shouting at me that it was time to leave. Because I’m playing for the story (on Easy level), the gameplay part took less than a hour or so. Then I got to watch the chapter’s live action episode which took me right up to the point where we had to leave. I’ve been told there are five chapters to this game, so now that I’m moving on to chapter three, I could have the game complete sometime this week if I set my mind to it. I know folks who have already completed it, but I’m not so much in a rush. I’m really enjoying the story and the mixed media presentation.
With DLC, All Legends are Endless
I bought the latest expansion to Endless Legend since the whole series was on sale this weekend. I prefer EL over other 4X games because it’s got a different atmosphere from…well, Civilization, I guess. Since Civ is grounded in reality (more or less), the fantastical presentation that EL puts forth is both a little more difficult to grasp (I know what a tank does; I don’t necessarily know what that creature with wings and a spear does) but also allows the game to take greater liberties in what it allows you to do. At the core, EL is the same as Civ, but I just like it more. I tried streaming it using Forge’s new built in abilities, but someone who stopped by the stream said they couldn’t hear me at all, despite the mic being at the position and settings I usually use for streaming. So I guess Forge as a streaming solution is kind of out of the picture.
I’m a Model, You Know What I Mean…
The bulk of my weekend (aside from moving on Saturday) was spent back on the 3D modeling project. On Saturday evening I completed the chapter on modeling the bowling pins and ball. The bulk of Sunday-day was spent working on the next chapter: modeling a chess set. The project started out with a chess board, and creating a common model for the lower portion of each piece (since they all have the same design at the base). After modeling a simple pawn, the lesson had us create a significantly stripped down, low poly version from the higher poly version. In the end, the whole thing worked, but I wonder if the methods used to translate the high poly version to the low poly version were actually useful in a real world situation. Here we’re talking about an object based around a cylinder that was simply edge-looped and modified. It was easy to remove key edges to reduce the counts across the board, but what if we had something far more complex? Although I understand the high-to-low-poly pipeline, I’m still not entirely sure how to get a complex model pared down to a less complex model without rebuilding the whole thing, but with significantly less detail. Maybe that will be addressed in a future lesson.
Mind Your Manners
After I’d put this post to bed, I thought about it again and realized that it might come across in a voice that I personally despise: that “born again” voice where the writer heaves a very public sigh of relief that he or she is finally “break free of the addiction/lifestyle/stench/grasp/pot luck from hell of video games”. There have been a lot of times where I’ve seen people proudly announce that they are playing less than they used to, or that they talk up some other hobby that they have tied themselves to, and frame it in terms that sound like all of the years they were gaming were misspent. Maybe it’s my perception of such things, but I always felt that folks who wrote those kinds of posts or Tweets were somehow “looking down” on those of us who were still enjoying ourselves with our chosen hobby, tut-tutting us for not having the fortitude to make something of our lives. I dunno…maybe it was just my reading too much into people’s sense of self-satisfaction at having dealt with something that was personal, but which I somehow misunderstood.
I don’t want this post to be read as something like that. I’m not interested in leaving gaming behind, and I certainly am not interested in making people feel like they’re wasting their lives while I ascend to some hobby-world godhood. As usually happens, I suspect that I’m just turning towards something else for a while, and at some point my batteries will be recharged and I’ll return to the longest hobby I’ve had in my life.
See, I’ve always had issues reconciling my desire to make stuff with the amount of time I spend consuming stuff. I’ve even said to myself “you could and should be using this time to work on stuff you want to get done”. I’ve finally got a fairly decent trajectory across a landscape of something I’ve always wanted to try (3D modeling), and I have to utilize that excitement before it inevitably runs out.