Wednesday, June 29, 2011

VG: You Never Forget Your First(time playing TF2)

Last night I played a video game on the internet with other real live people. Not a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, since people have been doing it for years now. Just not this person. I've been so terrified of getting annihilated and verbally abused by obnoxious douchebags to the point that I avoided any serious online gaming.

Oddly enough, this fear never stopped me from accepting challengers way back when arcades existed (Ryu 4 life!). For some reason, though, playing online just seemed much more ... exposed? visible? I'm not sure what the word should be, but the idea behind it being that if/when I crash and burn, the whole world be able to see it.
So Team Fortress 2 goes free and it's simply too big, too famous, and the 'Meet the' movies too entertaining to pass up. The first two times, I relegated myself to playing Dustbowl with some Easy bots. Did okay, but was far from getting on the leaderboard during those practice sessions. Despite some of the anti-F2P sentiment I was noticing online, I finally decided to heed some advice I read on the Penny-Arcade forums and simply jump in with real players.

So I decided to go with the Medic, since I figured he's useful to have regardless of the situation. And then the most amazing thing happened ....

I didn't totally suck.

In fact, after an hour's play, I had my self a nice collection of Medic achievements - 6 or so AND I managed to kill a Spy with the bonesaw (Very nearly had a Sniper, too, but he got away)- which felt REALLY good, given the number times I was stabbed in the back.

Now, I'm under no illusions that I'm some kind of prodigy. But overall, I felt positively reinforced by the experience. Which is the point, I guess. As for the abuse, the worst I got was "Hey Medic, with the ubercharge at the end, that would've been a good time to use it."

So, if you run into me (kingworks) playing TF2 sometime, do me a favor and slow down so I can heal you already - or, if you're on the other team, hack you to death with my saw! ;-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Art: Two Zombie Pics

A couple of recent pics done for Nevermet Press' stock art catalog, it should be up on soon. These are obviously scaled down for the web, the ones available for purchase will be print quality (300 dpi). Both were done in Photoshop CS with a Wacom Graphire 4 (6x9) tablet.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Video Games: Sayonara Supreme Commander

The latest victim of my campaign against time-wasting video games is Supreme Commander.

I picked this up at Ollies' for $5 - not a bad deal at all. It looked nice, despite being a few years old, and I was in the mood for sci-fi RTS - additionally, I'm too poor to get SCII and do not yet have a high-end machine to the game justice.

So what went wrong? The problem came to a head in the third mission of the UEF campaign when the Aeon were constantly attacking my bases and denying my attempts to expand the southernmost island. It took me FIVE HOURS to beat it. Needless to say, the wife was not happy when I came to bed at 2:30 am.

The game has this annoying approach of adding to the map and mission objectives incrementally. So you think you're building towards one corner of the map and when you finally get there - Oh, by the way, you have to clear out this base way over here that you had no idea existed, because we wouldn't let you explore that part of the map.

I looked up a walkthrough online and, from what I can tell, nearly all of the 15 missions are structured that way. Assuming each mission takes four hours (benefit of the doubt), that's 60 hours of enemy forces throwing themselves against my massed banks of turrets while I slowly pick away at their defenses. Also, I was so annoyed with the talking heads continually bugging me with comments about needing to check my objectives and that there are still alien scum that need killing. I get it - I'm slow!

60 hours of game play might be fine for your average gamer - heck, it would have been fine for me in college - but it's more than I have to give these days. Especially for a setting and story I really don't have any interest in.