Tag Archives: android

Weekly Wyrm: The Weather Outside Is Frightful

guild wars 2 class changeIt’s a warm 82 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix in the first week of March. Summer is coming soon–the season to crank up the air conditioning, close down the blinds, and play games in the half-light.

Summer is winter in the desert. Instead of freezing, we blister.

A few days ago, Angry Joe posted an interview video on the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns. Colin Johansen mentioned major class and advancement restructuring–a Mastery system.

Colin also mentioned the Hunter profession being able to swap to Druid spec or back again, as well as to others if/when more specializations are added to the game.

Suddenly the Guild Wars 2 buy-to-play game is a lot more interesting than Elder Scrolls, which seems more flexible in theory but just doesn’t click with me. Too much flexibility means generic, overlapping, and useless skills, a criticism often mentioned in Rift.

My druid is probably my favorite class in World of Warcraft, although my WoW characters have always seemed limited compared to Rift. I never wanted to stick with just one.

Maybe this class-swapping will be the answer, and I can put a hunter/druid on my very short list of dedicated, lifetime-favorite characters. So speaking of World of Warcraft.

Return To Hearthstone

For now, I’ve returned to Hearthstone on Android. This was released just this last December, and thanks to my new 8″ Tab 4, I’m good to go. The game runs smoothly and beautifully, and is just barely sharp enough and large enough to read the text and enjoy the experience.

I can play Hearthstone in bed, on the toilet, in the kitchen, or even standing on my head. Really only in bed, since I’m way behind the curve on legendary cards, and it’s easier for the poor kitty to take it in the tail while lying down.

So Blizzard just announced a new expansion at PAX East a few days ago, entitled Blackrock Mountain. I skipped the first two Xpacks/Adventure things (Goblins vs. Gnomes and Naxxramas), but Blackrock Mountain has always been my favorite place in WoW, and I spent a lot of good times farming the Spire and Depths.

This might be my first pre-order of a game in quite a while. We’ll see. I’m reminded that I promised to buy Diablo 3 since Blizzard made both genders of each class, but I still haven’t. Anyway, if you haven’t tried Hearthstone on Android, it’s worth a look on a compatible device.

It’s hard to feel like you’re progressing and not just wasting tons of time playing Hearthstone, but it’s a lot of fun in those odd moments, or if you really go hardcore. That’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading.

Free Sorcery! For Android

screenYolari just mentioned that Steve Jackson’s “Sorcery!”, which released as a mobile app for Android a few months ago, is currently FREE on Amazon.com, available instantly.

This game has a truly old school lineage. It doesn’t get more old school than print. I enjoyed the books when I was a kid.

This kitty does not have Android at the moment. She has made up her mind to get a sweet Samsung tablet, but is waiting for the new “Android L” in November, which will offer significant graphics upgrades and presumably hardware support for shadows and things that make me happy as an artist and designer. I do want to support tablets with my video game.

So during the last month or so (or four if you include development of art assets), I’ve transitioned fully to game developer status from player status. I’m hips-deep in my HTML5/CSS3/Canvas/Javascript online RPG project, featuring my own art and fantasy writing.

This has been a fascinating process. I’m constantly reviewing and pondering all of the ideas and concepts I’ve ever had about CRPG design. I’m thinking about all of the criticism I’ve leveled at various titles, and thinking of how to do it right. I could launch into an exegesis on my ideas, but I’m just too busy!

Here is the top of my design principles list:

  • Smiling Jack. You’ve got a friend.
  • Make the story personal.
  • Make the text interactive, not passive.
  • Convincing interplanar travel. i.e. Alice.
  • Romance with LGBT inclusivity.

Most games today fail at all of these things. You meet people, listen to their problems, and then do things for them. Elder Scrolls is the lone outlier that skirts the fringes of this short list. It almost makes it on each score, but in my opinion still falls shorter than it could have even in comparision to the single player titles.

So far this is a solo effort using my passing interdisciplinary skills, but I’m happy to maybe have Yolari online for some combat coding. The thought of a Kickstarter is a pipe dream, but just thinking of any outside funding as a reality allows one to glimpse the amount of pressure this puts on an Indie team or individual like Phil Fish.

Sometimes one wonders, when a questionable or wonky MMO design decision is made, if the devs actually play their own game. No. I think no. Too much to do. Tick tock. Here is a screenshot of my interface in process. I have functional dialog, location movement, core databases and basic code at this point.

Am I taking this too seriously? No. This is really just a student exercise and proving ground. It’s just that I’m really enjoying it and doing well for the moment, more so than I imagined.

I’ve gained two levels so far in LotRO. When I hit 5/5, level 100, I can go back to Elder Scrolls Online. This is the incentive I’m holding out for myself.