Life Gets in the Way

I swore I wasn’t going to write any kind of “sorry I haven’t been blogging” post. Turns out, I lied. Sorry I haven’t been blogging!

Life and work got really busy for a while. I had an insanely busy summer and fall with the job, and somewhere in there decided to pretend I’m a grownup and bought a house. (Well, a condo… this IS Southern California and I’m not independently wealthy yet.) Along towards Halloween, I got pretty sick. Long story short, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This has proven to be a shocker in that, well, now I have one of those chronic diseases and I’ll be monitoring it for life. On the other hand, the treatments largely consist of eating well, getting exercise, and generally taking care of myself. (OK, and a couple of pills.) It’s a wake-up call… but compared to the laundry list of truly horrible health conditions I could have faced, it’s quite manageable.

Gaming is another habit that I found I was sorely neglecting. This was a situation easily remedied! I’ve rekindled my affections for World of Warcraft… Say what you will about the dumbing-down of MMOs and the like; I find the game fun and quite playable in the shorter time doses I tend to have available. Sometimes, I’m not looking for an epic and engrossing sandbox experience. No, for that, I have Skyrim! (Also, any reports you’ve seen of maxing out enchanting to get free spells in two schools? They’re totally right. Infinite doublecast master Destruction spells make you, well, pretty darned powerful.) SW:TOR is on the horizon; my wife and I are both awfully big Star Wars fans, and that means a couple of Collector’s Editions are on order. And EVE has released a pretty impressive update in Crucible; I finally had a chance to fit the Crow I’d had lying around and had some fun laying down some 4km/s trails!

Sadly, my programming has been nearly or completely left to rot. I’ve been focused on production and design, and that’s left me little time (or, to be honest, energy) for the nerdlier side of the craft. I find the product side of game development to be awfully fascinating, after years of immersion in the day-to-day life of coders. But since I’m drawing a paycheck for doing this kind of work, it seems mostly inappropriate to blog about anything that touches too closely on my work. With any luck, I can reinvigorate a side project or two — after all, I DID buy that iOS SDK and Corona subscription.

I’d like to close with a bunch of impressions on Skyrim. This is my way of doing my best to summarize how I think it was, all things considered, a great game worthy of mention.

  • I’ve never finished the main storyline in an Elder Scrolls game before, despite having tried quite heartily with both Morrowind and Oblivion.
  • While I don’t know the development cost, the remarkable sales (estimated at $450M or more from launch) have GOT to be attractively profitable.
  • I heard more chatter about Skyrim in the week following its launch, via Facebook and Twitter, than any other game in the last few years.
  • I felt totally like an epic hero. I led the Stormcloaks to victory. I was the Archmage of the College of Magic. I was the Dovahkiin! FUS RO DAH!
  • I ran into bugs, including the dreaded CTD. I ran into continuity silliness. The game got pretty easy as I maxed out some skills and perk trees. The UI felt clunky and console-oriented again (though not quite as badly as Oblivion). Everyone I know hit the same kind of problems. And yet, none of us even got especially annoyed about this, because…
  • Everyone I know playing Skyrim just plain had an awful lot of fun.

I once again have a tremendous amount of optimism for the future of gaming. Now, let us solve all of our problems… with shouting.

About Tachevert

A cofounder of www.WorldIV.com and full-time geek, Tachevert writes about whatever strikes his fancy. Despite the inherent contradiction, he can often be found videogaming or attempting to run.
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