Tag Archives: pc

PC Fest

I am now torn. Torn between three things that I can do, but can only really do one of them. Of the three. Let’s add an extra one thing to this, that being a fourth thing that I can do and have to do regardless, and that fourth thing will be ‘re-write this intro so it makes sense’.

Okay. Try again.

I have two things I can be saving up for right now, and it’s a case of one or the other. On one hand, it’s the roughly £1,000 necessary to go to Gainesville, Florida and attend The Fest in late October. This would be with friends, it would be over a week-and-a-bit, it would be absolutely brilliant.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and it’s something I feel the need to do this year, as spurred on by actually starting to Do Things again this year after some time convalescing/being a twat.

The second option, which would also cost roughly £1,000, is to purchase a new PC. Now normally this is a vanity thing or because, like in 2007, I wanted to play Supreme Commander (and admittedly part of the reason is because I want to play Starcraft II and Diablo III on super-high settings), but it also has foundations in legitimacy.

I do a lot of work on my PC and upgrading it to a higher standard, allowing me to use a keyboard that isn’t half-broken and edit videos in less than four weeks per minute modified would be excellent. This hardy little bastard is still capable, but I’d rather give it a classy retirement than wait for it to take its last breath before unceremoniously cannibalising it and shipping the piece out to needy kids/making jewellery out of it.

Safe to say, both of these options have their merits and both are necessary – though for wildly different reasons. My funding being as it is, I can only realistically go for one or the other. Attending The Fest would mean saving for a further god-knows-how-many months for a PC, while getting a PC would mean not having enough time to re-save for Florida.

It’s a pickle made all the more vinegary by the fact the third, and probably most sensible, option exists: to simply not spend the money I save. To, you know, save it.

But nah, that’s not going to happen. It’s going to be one of the first two. Unless someone wants to buy me a badass PC for my birthday in two months.

**This Self-Indulgent Post Brought To You By Self-Indulgence**

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OnLive, innit

Today I have briefly dicked about with The Future, and it was a fun place in which to dick about. The other day a service was launched in the UK (it’s been elsewhere a while, I think. No, I can’t be arsed checking) called OnLive. It’s videogames, so yeah, that.

Basically it lets you play games by streaming them. Think Youtube, a bit higher quality and with the ability to have input on what happens. It means you don’t need a £1,000 PC to play the newest and brightest titles.

Basically, it’s brilliant. It removes a massive barrier of entry for a lot of people and opens gaming up to a far wider audience than it might have had before.

Except for the fact that the games are indeed still the same games, meaning if you had no interest in them before you’re not going to have any interest in them now. And while the barrier for entry that is the hardware has been removed, there’s still that just-as-big barrier in the form of really complex games that need you to know whatthefuck is going on before you can even hope to start having fun with them.

Know what WSAD means? No? Ah. Sorry, you’re still not invited.

And even I, the wondergamer extraordinaire, even though I now have very few barriers to entry for near-proper PC gaming and even though I know what WSAD is and won’t even make a joke about it being ‘well sad, like’ – even though all that, I still want a behemoth of a new PC. I still want to spend that £1,000 getting a monster that can run everything.

It’s just nice to have OnLive there as an ‘also’ option. Some will use it for more, and it will be great for them. It might even encourage some new folks to get involved. Good. That’ll be great. Me? I’m going to pore over the relative merits of a 2500k i5 as opposed to a 2600k.

Ladies: form an orderly queue.

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How to be surprised by a 10-year-old game

This is yesterday’s entry – I was travelling all yesterday evening and have been doing THINGS today. I’m not sorry. I AM NOT. Also this is about games, so jog on if you have no interest.

Doing that whole long-haul thing yesterday allowed me more time to explore the games I have littering this here Tiny Laptop. Between bouts of watching Penn & Teller’s Bullshit (more on that later, most likely), I had a bit of a muck about with a few games I have installed. Eventually, after dicking about with the likes of Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment I settled on one I’d never heard of, but had recommended to me a long time ago: Anachronox.

I put about an hour and a half into it, and I’m not about to go talking about the game itself as I really do feel like I’m a long way off even scratching the surface, but it does have quite a lot going for it. The one thing that really struck me – that really stuck with me – is something I didn’t even notice for half an hour.

Such is the thoroughly thought-out nature of this game – so complete is its world, so fleshed-out is its fiction – that the cursor (the mouse pointer you use to click things in the game, on Windows, on OSX etc) is actually a character. There is a narrative reason why there is a floating pointer device going about its business around the main character. The mouse pointer is introduced; it has a history and motivations of its own.

This is an aside – something that like I said, I didn’t even notice for a while. But at the same time this is one of the best things I have ever seen in a game. It’s witty, it’s clever, it’s funny and – probably most importantly of all – it makes sense. On one hand it’s the kind of thing I’d want to see more games adopt, but then on the other I do think the impact of this method of getting the player more immersed in a game would be neutered if everyone was doing it.

So even if I never go back to Anachronox again, at least I’ve bore witness to one of the great, forgotten things that those hidden gems out there are daring enough to do.

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