No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #64

Did I ever tell you about my friend Sera? She's a very geeky girl who likes videogames and anime a lot. I've been meaning to highlight her Let's Play series here for a while now, but couldn't pick a suitable video -- we have very different tastes in gaming. But recently she posted this:

Now that looks like a lot of fun. Sexist fun, as Sera points out in the video, but some girls like boobs too, you know? It can be forgiven for once. So, enjoy. And while you're there, don't forget to check out Sera's fundaiser. (Yes, she's transgender, and she needs your help. Any bigoted comments will be deleted. I don't care.)

Now on to the few gamedev news I have this week.

Quite clearly, a lot of people think games are better with stories, and game developers are usually happy to deliver. Trouble is, not many of them have writing experience -- and to be honest, not many pro writers get this one right, either. So I welcome Carolyn VanEseltine's article on writing characters unlike me. Between lack of representation and painful stereotyping, that's something writers for all media need to work on.

In unrelated news, I was never a fan of the Ultima series myself. But I am a fan of retrocomputing, and so it was good to hear that a fan took the time to remaster Ultima IV for the C64, thus proving once again that old computers were capable of a lot more than people give them credit for. And if you happen to have an account, either as a player or developer, you might want to know there are clients for the platform in the works -- all of them open source like the software powering the service itself. Not that I need one, especially now that the site is mobile-friendly, but it's good to have options.

Last but not least, I'm forcing myself to take some time off coding and write a few lines about Tomb of the Snake. I'm not posting any new screeshots because, frankly, by now you know what the game looks like. The changes are nevertheless substantial: combat rules are implemented, complete with ranged attacks; monsters drop trophees; you can eat and drop items, and finally lighting works. Cue dual-wielding torches like Indiana Jones to get a good look at the dungeon. Mwahaha.

Sounds like progress. Feels like progress. But look at what remains to be done, and despair:

It will be a miracle if I can get any testing and balancing done before my self-imposed deadline of April 15th. Hopefully early players will be forgiving, because there's no way I'm delaying any more. This project has been eating at my nerves, and it hasn't even been that long since March 1st. How do people make epic RPGs without going mad?