Posts Tagged games


So I’m listening to a new Pandora station this morning (Thanks Robert for the suggestion — good stuff). The music of the particular track that I’m listening to at the moment reminds me so much of an old MS-DOS game called Privateer by Origin Systems. I remember distinctly getting the game from my Dad in 1993 and loading all 7 or so diskettes into our ancient beast of a computer. After some tweaking to fix some memory issues, we finally got it up and running. The basic gameplay is as a pilot of [initially] a small ship, flying between planets, space stations, asteroids, and other bases while choosing to play as a trader, a mercenary, or whatever you chose.

This game was amazing. The graphics of course look awful now as I review the site. But the game play was incredible. The joystick took some skill to use effectively whether you chose life as a merchant or a gun for hire. Interaction and AI wasn’t great, but for the time, it was pretty good. I spent many hours playing the game and really enjoyed it. The music was “futuristic” synthesized music, probably not the best quality, but it always felt so fitting for the game. The game created an incredibly immersive world that sucked you in despite the relative simplicity compared to modern games like EVE Online. It was a good balance. I was inspired, intrigued, and entertained but not to the point that I forgot about reality altogether. Newer games definitely provide more depth than this old-time game, but I can’t afford to spend an average of 2.5 hours per day (which apparently is average for EVE Online players).

I did also play Freelancer (made by the same designer after Origin was acquired by Electronic Arts) but it just didn’t feel the same.

Anyone out there know or or can recommend any games like this that can balance a high level of fascination with a certain restraint that still encourages reality?



I’m getting old…

Today on the way back from work I stopped at the wonderful oasis of Fry’s. I was kind of stressed out from a long and not terribly rewarding week of work and I figured that for once I’d actually just buy a game.

Well, I ended up with two games! I drove home, slightly faster than usual. After some much-needed mowing in the back and dinner I figured I’d get down to installing them. But wait, the computer I intend to install them on is in pieces after I’d tried swapping some parts around. 45 minutes later it’s all assembled (I had to reattach the motherboard and everything) and booted it up. But wait, I had Ubuntu on these disks, not Vista or XP so I’ve got to install the wonderful Microsoft product before I can start. Vista installs quickly (I was actually sort of impressed. But not that much.) But wait, although the video card is detected and installed, the audio drivers aren’t. A hardware scan doesn’t even see them I power off and pop in a spare sound card that I have lying around. The audio drivers get installed and the game begins. I start with the tutorial. Patrick (who has been very patient this whole time) is interested. He especially likes when the guys I’m controlling open fire on an opposing team. Explosions, gun fire, this is great stuff. We finish up the tutorial and start the first mission. Within 30 seconds the sound card starts crackling and 10 seconds later the sound dies. I check the connectors and then check the software settings. When I try to save the software settings, the game crashes.

So, despite being home by about 7:45pm, it is now 11:45pm and I’ve barely even started playing the game since I’ve been too busy working (again). How depressing.

The worst thing is that the game felt a little confusing and difficult (I’m sure it’s not — it’s just me getting old). I’m pretty sure that Patrick understood it. If I’d let him, I’m sure he’d be on there for the rest of night.

Or maybe the worst part is that I just spent the last 10 minutes writing this blog entry. So much for crazy wild 7+ hour gaming sessions. I’m lucky if I can clean out my inbox.

I’m exhausted. Time for bed.

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