Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Time, a precious thing.
The only thing, perhaps?

And while you're doing other things,
Time is what will lapse.

Always, we wish for more,
To do what things we like.

But, the things that bore,
Take ten times what seems right.

The last few weeks were free in my calender, and I had hoped to manage to get Planescape:Legacy finished and out of the door. However, various things have managed to sap up most of my free time. As a result, the module is still in an unplayable status and will unfortunately remain in this state for the foreseeable future.

It is not really bad news though (at least for me!) as I am off on a world-spanning trip for the next year which should be incredible. There is no doubt that I will be back into modding at some point - whether that be NWN2 or another platform.

The wheel turns,


Thursday, 6 March 2008

The end of the Begining

I learnt today that Gary Gygax, the creator of D&D recently passed away. My thoughts, and those of the whole gaming community go out to his loved ones. It was the work of Gary and the others in TSR that fused proper mechanics and story telling to form the basis of RPG.

Here is to you Mr Gygax.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Now, a long time back I posted a set of character intros for potential companions. Of course, things change, and as I have progressed some new characters got picked up and some got lost. Things are a lot more developed now, and as it stands you should have your choice of taking four of the following with you on your adventure:

Hans – The grumpy, realist dwarf has recovered from his hangover, and is back in full swing. His cutting realist observations are sure to stop any smart arses in their tracks. Failing that, his greataxe will.

Taker Alm - As an orphan he was brought up by the Bleakers, an education at the school of hard-knocks. His quick wit, and quicker hands soon saw him ejected from the orphanarium, but he rapidly found his place in the Fated.

The Magpie - This young woman makes out that she is the scourge thief that has recently been burgling the normally impenetrable homes of the Gold Lords. Indeed, she seems to be a wanted woman, but something about her demeanor doesn't quite ring true.

Lucas Debonair – Self proclaimed 'greatest everything, ever' , to say Lucas is Narcissistic is an understatement. As a fully paid up signer he believes that everything around him is actually just part of himself. Annoying, but such self belief can prove useful sometimes.

Verity – This strong minded albino follows Hoar, the patron of revenge and poetic justice. As a Mercykiller, she hunts down lawbreakers whom have evaded capture and applies her own special form of punishment.

D'axos – A bard of sorts, strange sorts that is. Her speech is a babbling stream of metaphors, with little rhyme or reason. Just as his speech changes, so does her shape. Who is to tell what his true form is, or if she even has one.

Others - Over the course of your travels you will possibly have a number of temporary allies. Just remember, that although adversity makes for strange bedfellows, they are often gone in the morning with more than a stolen kiss.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

2007 – the best EVER year for story based games!

Balderdash! I hear you say. Well alright, maybe none of them are better than Balder's Gate 2, but they are gems in their own right. So if you have missed any of the below, then do yourself a favor and go play these delectable digitized diamonds. Now.

Yes, right now.

I already devoted a whole post to this amazing action driven story. Combining an empathic bad guy, fun game play and a unique setting (1960's underwater anyone!) this is a must play.

The Witcher
As it was built using the NWN1 engine, I expect that many readers already know a bit about this. What you might not know is just how fun it is. When the game started, I thought 'Oh no, not another amnesiac story' but this is downplayed (for a while) and you are hooked into a unique mature fantasy setting. Often original settings feel unrealized or cobbled together, but even the somewhat sporadic English translation doesn't do too much harm here. In places it even works to make the world seem otherworldly and believable.

What is more, you get a lot of freedom, some plot changing decisions, a heap of (generally fun) side quests and a combat system that although action based, is not too twitchy. Of course there are a few bad things as well. Too many 'trash' fights, some parts of the main quest drag on a bit and the collect-the-nude-girl-card gimmick is more than a tad trashy.

Overall, still a great game though. I will be keeping an eye on CDProject's future, erm... projects.

Yeah, it's another FPS. Well more like a FPP (first person puzzler). Clocking in at just under three hours, this gem is a great afternoon of fun. Just for it's totally original puzzle mechanic this would be tieme well spent. What really makes the game shine is the antagonist.

Think of a female version of HAL from the classic Kubrick film “2001 – A space odyssey” but more psychotic, with PMS, on LSD. GlaDOS provides 'Guidance' as you pass though an ever more complex (and deadly) maze of 'Test Chambers'. This is often darkly humorous, emphasised by the unfeeling monotone of the crazy computer. As for the ending, well that just takes the cake.

Mass Effect
The latest effort from Bioware, and this time (as with Jade Empire) they have their own world to play with. As expected, they deliver the usual high class of story, and a good dose of semi-FPS game play fun. Where Mass effect really stands out though is the cinematic feel. Many games have previously tried to appear movie-like, but none has come as close as Mass Effect. Combine a great musical score with full camera control, camera focus, motion blur and a large range of character choices and it really feels like you are in a movie (or maybe a TV series). As a modder, I am just drooling at the thought of getting my hands on something as powerful as that...

Talking about modding – as well as playing all these great games I have been working quietly on my Planescape mod. I now have a targeted release of end of March start of April. More soon.

PS: Also I forgot to even mention MoTB and HL2:Episode 2 in the above, both great story-based games. In fact, even the more classical shooter games like FEAR and STALKER are having a crack at telling more interesting stories. Many PC gamers moan about consolisation, but to me it looks like stories are becoming more important every year. And that is a a good thing in my book.