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Shoot the Breeze: The Feed


Occams "I sure hope he's okay with me using this picture" Electric Toothbrush.

Good god, that's more than enough blog writing for tonight. Jesus. Okay. There's words down there somewhere. All yours. Go get 'em. Are they edited? Pfft. Pffffft. I'm going to go eat some pie. Where'd I get a pie? Hey, read a little, find out.


During the exam period, when I wasn't studying, pulling out hair, or vomiting tears, I played some Dungeons of Dredmor. 's pretty good.

If you haven't checked it out, Dredmor is a roguelike, but one dolled-up all pretty-like for those of us who, confronted with the ascii interface of a conventional roguelike, recall our perfectly rational fear of words and punch the monitor with both fists at once. This game slaps a pretty coat of paint on the traditional gameplay and boils the mechanics down to an easily grasped mix of combat, abilities, loot, and lutefisk. It makes the normally daunting barrier of entry that plagues games in this genre much easier to swallow, particularly because the randomly generated corridors have been sugarcoated with a healthy dose of humor.

Like it's kin though, it's not so much a game intended be won as lost less. However, Gaslamp, the developers, have done a wonderful job of presenting that to the player. Surviving the many floors of the dungeon is an almost hopeless prospect, but the game goes so far as to tell this to the player, making it clear that victory isn't as important here as the thrill of challenge. Death is as much a reward as it could be - it's not defeat so much as a chance to roll a fresh new character with a different selection of skills and plunge in again.

I've reached kind of a bizarre point with the game though. Like, this weird bit of limbo. After, what, a half dozen woefully unsuccessful attempts that ended in bloody defeat on the second or third floor, I started a game which has absolutely sailed above my previous attempts. After about a week I'm on the ninth floor. It's a pretty big deal. But the mathy part of my brain is arguing that my character doesn't have enough healing items to keep going for too long and this fluke is going to come crashing down around me. That week's worth of progress? Gone. And the thing is, if I had built up to this, died on floors four through eight getting here, it wouldn't be such a big deal, but this fluke? I need to hold on to this fluke. It has to go all the way.

So, to preserve that slim possibility of winning, I can never play again and thus, never fail. Yeah, this? This is healthy.

Deme, Deyou, Dehim, Deus

Played a bit of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. And then put it down. Again. Good purchase, that. Worth every one of those hard-earned sixty dollars.

At a conceptual level, this game is to me what fruity pebbles are to Barney Rubble - a grim addiction that drives a man away from even his closest friends. Sci-fi that revolves around the sultry cyborg peach that is transhumanism? Nuanced characters with complex, human interaction? Arms that are also robot guns? Yeah, take my limbs, give me a bizarre fauxhawk-horn, and sign me up.

But, I don't know, this game. The ennui.

I can't. I simply don't have it in me. I understand what this game is, but I don't have the patience to put up with another violence-saturated role playing melange. Not in any high-minded anti-violence way, I'm just finding the shooting part of the game entirely too wearisome. I can't put my finger on exactly why it is, but the killing in this is draining. There's an argument that I could do most of the game via stealth and speech, but I ran into the first boss and it was frustration beyond compare to be forced, without apparent alternative, to resolve the issue in blood.

Again, I'm not sure exactly what's so wrong about this. I've started playing Borderlands again and hell, that game is made out of carnage. Maybe it's the honesty of Borderlands - it's about guns and killing people with those guns and nothing else. I think I expected a little more from Deus Ex - the option of intellect and, heaven help me, peace. Whatever it is, I've come away from my latest encounter disappointed and I don't see myself returning to the game any time soon.

Two Stacked-Up Eleven-Year-Olds

It's Jonathon Holmes' birthday today and truth be told, I'm a little sorry for the man because it looks as though the celebration of his birth has once again been eclipsed by the celebration of my own. Yes, the people are thronging the streets, full of cheer that they may pay tribute to me and the glory of me. And also, how dang old I am. Man, what a bummer.

I'll say this though, just as far as typing goes, 22 affords me a laziness I won't see for another eleven years.

And how did I celebrate another orbit around the sun? Boy howdy, did things get rowdy.

I, uh, I got my driver's license renewed because, surprise surprise, it expired today. So that was rad. And now I'm without photo ID for about a week, which is just, really, phenomenal as far as going out with friends to celebrate. Whoo.

Actually, it gets a little sadder. Since my friends and I have a pretty strict pact to not buy gifts for one another and since my family is a city away, I, gosh, I ended up buying birthday presents. For myself. Because no one bought me any. Yes.

But dang, I got me the sweetest Transformers. There's, like, a helicopter and a jet and an Optimus Prime. Truth be told, we're getting to a point where it's less practical to describe my collection in the currency of dollars than it is the currency of Optimus Primes. I also bought half a pie because I live dangerously! I know what you're thinking: Who is this lunatic of a man that dares eat half a pie? Well, I'll tell you who. The only man with the courageousness, the braviosity, to do what needs getting done.

Oh, you were thinking that this whole thing is incredible stupid? Yeah, fair enough.

Actually, I'm going home for winter break in a few days and I've reached that point where almost every perishable item has been consumed and I can't buy anything that either can't be eaten before I leave or produces a mess in preparing a meal. Guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm aiming to survive the next thirty-six hours on a loaf of bread, a carton of orange juice, and, well, we're down to a quarter of a pie now.


Speaking of answering questions no one was asking, I've got my next work term to look forward to when I get back. Hey, we can even jam this news into that tiny closet labelled "video game-related." I'm about twenty percent confident telling you that I'll be working at Inlight Entertainment doesn't violate the NDA I signed. So, no, I'm not exactly going to be living out the life of Clifford Bleszinski for the next four months, but c'mon, a job ain't nothing to shake a stick at. Eh, I'm not here to impress you.

And it looks like I'm succeeding.
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About Beyamorone of us since 1:10 PM on 06.24.2009

I知 a gamer. Take a minute and get over that shock. I can say I知 an Xbox man, though I値l support anything that advances gaming (I love you Sackboy). I致e also got a DS Chunky, so I can take this whole nerd thing on the road.

As far as genres, shooters and western RPGs top my list. Halo, Fable, and Morrowind, for instance, rock my socks hard. Of course other things, stuff like Animal Crossing and Kingdom Hearts, do their share of stocking rocking.

In the world outside of buttons and pixels, I知 an engineering student (that nerd thing I mentioned? I do it hardcore) on the west coast of the Great White North. I知 a fan of a harder rock, bands like Breaking Benjamin and Hurt, though I値l kick it (very much figuratively) to stuff ranging from The Fray through Franz Ferdinand to Five Finger Death Punch. Optimus Prime is my hero, but I do love Starscream. Finally, thumbs up to you for reading this. You池e never getting that time back.

Kirbey by the talented and generously endowed (probably) Enkido