Saturday, June 26th, 2010
posted 4:52pm
"Champions of Krynn"
Well itís getting to the end of June 2010 and I feel I have to mention Champions of Krynn, a real treat for anyone thatís a Dragonlance fan. It looks like Champions turns 20 this year, and it just so happens that Iím playing it. I never got around to this game back in 1990, I didnít even know it existed, but I bought it off e-bay years ago knowing one day I'd get around to it. You see, the game comes with a bunch of journal entries that are easier to read in book form than online, at least for me, but still the whole thing sat around except for the poster hanging on my wall.

I happen to tire of things quickly, that whole follow-through thing can be a problem, and after playing LotRO for a bit, I wanted to move on. So I picked up Champions of Krynn. Interestingly enough, when I did, I didnít even realize that this month marked its 20th anniversary.

Now a game 20 years old is going to look a bit dated, but Iím lucky enough to be playing it through an Amiga emulator. And it looks great, full screen, just like Iím back in the early 90s. And we had full windows environments back then, everyone was doing it: Mac, Commodore,  Microsoft   -   though they were the latecomers here.  The work done at Xerox PARC was amazing. And itís fun trying to install old software on the Amiga drive. A lot of games out there wonít install, but every now and then you find one that does. I got lucky with Champions.

So you might be asking yourself, how is the game? Itís really fun to waste a little time playing it.  The whole thing is built on the Gold Box engine,  the same one that created Pool of Radiance (1988), and the design is similar with a few little improvements, like allowing easier access to towns and any of the goods inside. Thereís also plenty of experience to earn here with tons of monsters to kill. The game is filled with combat events, and its structure caused me to rethink my own module, a design which is basically using the same development tool. I even went back to it last week to change a few things based on some of the ideas Iíd found within Champions, so itís been a bit of a learning experience too. And maybe down the road I might even release a game that now looks like Iíve been working on for 10 years.

Hmm, maybe I should put a little more time into it - D

Currently Playing: Champions of Krynn





Saturday, June 5th, 2010
posted 6:15pm
"LOTRO"
We seek shared experiences.

We want to experience things together.

The best way I can explain this is to take a look over the past few weeks. Iíve been playing a lot of Fallen Earth in my spare time, but now that Iíve capped my level thereís not a lot to do. Iíve been feeling a little bored in the evenings and looking for something new to do. So a few weeks ago I resubscribed to Age of Conan and started playing around with Scalv. Heís my level 31 Barbarian. I was having fun with him so I bought the new expansion, Rise of the God Slayer, along with the deluxe upgrade. But the expansion seems bogged down by lag, and the earlier zones are still plagued with the same problems, like funneling players into areas making it a struggle to get around. I joined a guild at the end, but their Vent was sectioned off, and the main channel was just dead. Once again, AoC failed to capture me.

Back in Fallen Earth, hanging out in my clanís Vent, Iíve been asking a few of the guys what are some of the newer games they've been playing, and one of them said Lord of the Rings Online, though it's an older game. Now I have a founders account with them, I donít pay a monthly fee, so Iíve been checking it out. And theyíve really done a lot with the new Mirkwood patch. Well, new as in, the latest one to come out. I really haven't been playing the game since new patch dropped back in December.

But to get back to my main point, we seek shared experiences. Just talking to this guy got me back into the game, and heís not even on my server. But when he comes back into Vent next time to say ďHi,Ē I can ask him about LotRO and some of the new things going on in there.

Itís almost a drive to find common ground. Whether itís games, music, sports, movies, or books, they become cultural touchstones where in the sharing of the experience we can express a bit of ourselves.

- D

Currently Playing: Lord of the Rings Online