I confess to preferring grey weather, but today is cool and pleasant enough that I am not minding the lack of cloud cover. I raked a lot of the back yard (I have no idea what I’m going to do about getting the violets out; they are absolutely brutally stubborn, and I would like a back yard that is not-them), I went out for a walk, and I’m making progress on both my current sweater and my tsundoku pile.
I’ve got *mumble* revisions on the burner and two stories in progress, so that’s going to be keeping me busy probably until the end of the year. I’m trying to make sure that I clear out time to just be not-productive; it seems to help. (Video games and horror TV, yay; I keep getting recommendations for a couple of things, so I’m bumping them up the list.)
Sent a withdrawal to what I’m pretty sure is a dead market this morning, which is never a particularly cheerful event. Still, I got two stories out today, and am going to be aiming for more.
Well, seven months into lockdown. That feels a lot less weighty than six months – unsurprising, given that it’s not an especially neat fraction of a year – but I do kind of miss summer.
We went to a drive-in over the weekend! Apparently one opened up ten minutes from home, and I missed hearing about it until the season was nearly over. The screen wasn’t quite as large as the drive-in we went to last year (my first time ever), but… hours spent out of the house. For fun. It was kind of lovely.
Managed to pick up Wasteland 3 again over the weekend (I ended up putting it down for nearly a month), and it’s… I mean, part of it may be that I was forgetting to specifically schedule leisure as a thing that had to get done, but it’s really a lot of fun. It’s also one of the few longer games where I feel like I really want to play through again and try substantially different choices.
(Nothing that supports slavers, though. There are lines beyond which fun is not had, dammit, at least not for me.)
I am playing Wasteland 3, as one does, and I just really want to say I appreciate the richly textured setting and all the opportunities you have for terrible, terrible decisions.
Want to have your armory run by the local crime cartel? Want to then upset that local cartel by shooting one of the lieutenants? You can do that! (In my defense, I mean, the lieutenant wanted me to pick on the movie monsters. There are limits, I tell you.)
Want to invite a fourth-generation clone of the great scientific villain who tried to wipe out humanity and invite him to work in your medical lab? Also possible! It’s probably okay, he says the genocidal impulses were nurture rather than nature, and he’s a scientist! He would know.
Want to help the robot figure out how to defend other robots by removing his empathy for humanity? You can do that too! I am sure this will have no negative consequences down the line whatsoever. >beams<
I’m having fun, all told. Now, having mortally offended the religious order of the wives of Reagan, I just need to go pick which character gets to use the self-inserting spinal implant from the robot doctor whose assistant we convinced to run away to freedom.
I have another novella drafted (that sound you hear in the background is the sound of me despairing of finishing anything before winter; the drafting went fairly quickly, but the revisions generally don’t, and right now I mostly have a lot of things that need revision). I also went to WorldCon, which was what WorldCons usually are; full of people I did not have enough time to catch up with (some of them have been making their own ribbons!), possessed of fascinating panels with conflicting scheduling, and generally a happy experience. I collected many signatures and made it to the Hugos.
My sleep schedule still hasn’t quite steadied. I expect it will over the next week, and then I will spend the first few weeks back home getting up at 5 a.m. or so. (Yes, I am hoping this works out as writing time.)
There’s an effort being made to create a Hugo for games–you can read about it at www.gameshugo.com–and I’m really hoping that that succeeds. Possibly more thoughts on that later; for now, this was the fifth and final day of the con and I can’t do more than mutter vaguely about “Powered by the Apocalypse”-this and “Choice of Games“-that and “the decision to not give the player character the option to ask about weird and surreal details in Kentucky Route Zero is a subtle but powerfully-effective way to suggest that the strangeness of the setting is normalized to some degree!”-other.
So a thing that’s been on my mind a bit lately; I wrote a very small game, and it’s not very good.
I’m figuring out how to be okay with this. It’s not as hard as I expected it to be (the coming to terms, I mean, not the writing).
I don’t know how to fix it, exactly – I have fetched up hard against the taste gap, and knowing it’s not as good as I want doesn’t mean I can tell how to make it as good as I want. And I’m not sure I have the time to learn how to fix it. I mean, I could read up and study and analyze and fix it (or make a new one that was better), but I only have so much time to spend on making things , and ultimately, there are things I want to do more than I want to figure out how to make the game better.
(This feels like a very old-person post, in some ways. The finite amount of time.)
And it was a fun game to make, too. So I guess I’ll give it another pass to polish it, and call it good. It’s useful to know that I can still just do something to play around, and enjoy that.
My vacation has officially begun! (And I already have a list of things I’d like to do that would take me approximately three months, so managing expectations is going to be a big thing.)
Mostly, though, I’m hoping it will be a pretty quiet two weeks that gives me time to settle in to some heavy editing, get some stories lined up for submission next year, and a chance to sit down and play some video games. (Kentucky Route Zero has really grabbed my attention; I think there’s something to be said for all the questions it doesn’t let you ask, and thus forces you to take as somewhat natural to the setting.)
I’ve just finished a first draft of the novelette (I ultimately didn’t go with the restructuring I was hopping to do, because of time contraints) and given it to my weekly writing group for crit, and this morning I was casting about to find something to distract me from “oh dear god did I actually leave all those things in there they are so goofy.”
Bethesda stepped up.
I was gleeful to start with, and then someone pointed out that at 0:29, you can see a date on the PIP-Boy, and that the year is 2102. In-universe, this puts it 25 years after the Great War and 159 years before the first Fallout.
It’s not that I don’t love the Fallout setting, and the way the institutions have grown up over time (and yes, still ridiculously pleased that the Khans survived New Vegas; they’ve been around longer than the NCR!), but I love the Fallout world, too, and am very curious to see what it was like a mere generation after the bombs fell.
I have rhymes in my head this morning; a little bit of Poe, a little bit of lyrics from the Traveling Wilburys, the perpetual stressed-silver-and-dust chime of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”.
I didn’t get as much done as I’d like to have gotten done over the last few days, but on the flipside, it was actually really relaxing. The weekend felt like it was a weekend, not just a recovery period.
Possibly related to this: the light of my life has set up his controller in my office, and I got to play video games again for the first time in a while. There is a bit of a learning curve with the new controls, but it’s definitely a workable solution. At least for Fallout: New Vegas, which is what I have especially been craving lately.
(Also, I cleaned off everything which had slowly accumulated on my desk. Currently my desk is much neater, and I hope to finish sorting the accumulata by the end of the week.)
 I am constantly astounded that I never heard of them until this year. First, I am really fond of at least two of their songs, and second, their lineup is the kind of thing I would expect to have heard of.
Today’s actually been a really good day. It was a low-pressure morning, I got the tracking information for my incoming shinies, I installed and noodled around on Pillars of Eternity, and I went to go see It Follows with the light of my life. (Who discussed doing science to the monster in the car on the way back.)
Pillars of Eternity is fun; it feels a lot like playing Baldur’s Gate back in the day, although I haven’t yet resorted to the tactic of summoning kobolds to fight for me and then looting the short bows for resale when they got killed and disappeared in a puff of smoke. It’s a bit crunchy, it feels fairly linear so far, and it has some gleefully creepy moments that I’ve been enjoying greatly. It’ll be good to play through, I think.
It Follows was… I don’t want to say it was surprisingly good, because I wasn’t expecting it to be bad. (Following under cut due to spoilers–mild ones, but it’s a really solid movie and people should get to watch it without spoilers if they so choose.) Continue reading “Hectic times”
(Yes, well, it’s the holidays. I can’t use the mouse too much, but games which are heavily or primarily keyboard-accessible? I am all over those.)
So, I finished Walking Dead: Season 2–the story game, not the TV show, definitely not the Walking Dead™: Survival Instinct game which from what I’ve heard is absolutely terrible–and it was good. (I generally find the Telltale Games stuff to be really good; the only work of theirs I haven’t picked up is the Game of Thrones one, and if they ever do a 100 Bullets game I will probably go missing for several hours at regularly spaced intervals. I find they don’t branch as much as the Choice of Games narrative fiction, but they are very good at inspiring an emotional connection with the characters.)
Anyway, the game’s been out for a year or for four months (depending on whether you count from the first or last episode), but I realize some people may not have played it yet, so I’m putting the rest behind a cut. Continue reading “Walking Dead: No Going Back”