Monday, 27 April 2009

In case you missed it: My Resident Evil 5 review

In case you missed my linking to it on twitter late last week, here's another link to the full 1600-odd words I had to say in review of Resident Evil 5. I have a lovely relationship with the people at GamingSA and I hope they keep sending me games to review occasionally.

I was pretty critical of the game overall, but I was otherwise quite happy with how the review came together. It starts like this,

Here’s a quick test to decide whether or not you will find Resident Evil 5 (RE5) enjoyable – what reaction do you have to the following image: “Chris Redfield punching a car sized boulder into boiling lava”. Do you find the image a) awesome and exciting, b) silly and clichéd, c) brain-offendingly stupid? Depending on your choice, you will have a radically different experience with RE5. That image is representative of the kind of Guano crazy logic this game uses to tell a story with more twists, turns and convolutions than 6 volumes of The Law Society Journal. At the end of this review, I’ll reveal which option I picked. See if you can guess by the end.

And carries on like that for a good few paragraphs.
I'm really not going to miss playing this game now that I've completed my review.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Rampant Speculation: Spot the Temp Track

I was listening to some music by esteemed videogame composer Jeremy Soule late last night and it hit me that one particular piece of music sounded quite like another piece of music from a certain major motion picture.

Here’s a short section the track in question, it’s called “The Dragon’s Eye” by Jeremy Soule and it’s from the first Icewind Dale game.

And now here’s the piece of music it reminded me ofl; It’s called ‘High Wire Stunts’ and it was composed by renowned film scorer, John Williams. It from the filn… well, why don’t you try and guess which movie it’s from. ;-)

If you guessed that it was from the 1993 motion picture Jurassic Park, you’d be right! Did you hear the similarity? Not convinced yet? Let me make it a bit easier for you – I’ll edit in a “good seg” across the two songs. The first is the Icewind Dale track; the second is the one from Jurassic Park.

Now, this could be one big co-incidence and I’m willing to accept that. Also, I’m not trying to call out Jeremy Soule for unoriginality and copying, as he is well and truly one of the premier videogame composers (I’ve actually got a post planned about some of his music from Oblivion) so I’m going to refrain from make any big conclusions from this initial observation. I will propose, however, that what we can hear in this example may in fact be the nefarious influence of the bane of all composers for image: the “temp track”.

A temp track is just as it sounds, a temporary piece of music that is used as a place holder and a musical guide until the final music is put into the game. I gather that what often happens is a member of the development staff finds a piece of music with certain feel and they use it to give the composer an idea of what they want the finished composition to sound like. The problem with this is that (as listeners) we can get quite attached to certain pieces of music and we run the risk of wanting a final track that essentially emulates the original.

I wonder if someone involved in developing Icewind Dale was a fan of the Jurassic Park soundtrack and used the aforementioned ‘High Wire Stunts’ track by John Williams as a temp track for the composer. Soule may have then been asked to make it sound “just like” the track without “being” the track (to avoid copyright infringement, obviously) and may have been encouraged (or explicitly told) to make it sound more like it.

Alternatively, Soule could have just been a John Williams fan! It’s entirely possible that he was completely and unconsciously influenced by the original (I do, however, find it highly unlikely that a composer like Soule would be unfamiliar with the majority of John Williams work, so I’m going to rule out “simultaneous and independent composition” as a factor). Composers are often influenced by pieces of music they find particularly effective and emulating other great composers can often be good for practice, as it were.

So there you have it – a case of temp track influence, unintentional sound-alike, or deliberate influence? We have no way of knowing, but its fun to speculate, so tell me what you think in the comments.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

World of Warcraft is The Loneliest Road

For all that it is called a massively multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft is a surprisingly solitary experience. Obviously there are thousands of other people in your world with you, but to play WoW – to enjoy WoW – is to become absorbed in your avatar. You can’t touch, bump into, or otherwise interact with other players without the aid of a spell or weapon. Even public chat via the “say” command, which displays as a speech bubble from your character, leaves no lasting trace of its existence. The spoken word is as ephemeral as the players themselves, and they avoid walking through each other, spread out in group raid photos, to avoid breaking the illusion that they are actually in the world with other players.

WoW remains the most embodied and immuring game I have ever played. Every action and interaction is mediated through your avatar. The story of WoW is your story and it is reflected in every quest text and every suggested goal. You see the world through the prism of your character and while the viewpoint of above and behind gives the illusion of an objective view of Azeroth, you cannot escape the invisible ties that bind you to your character.

You also can’t make other people play better, level up quicker, or keep pace along side you. Anyone who has played for longer than a few minutes knows that all it takes is a little bit of extra time spent questing or grinding to find that your friend who was once the same level as you is now far below (or beyond) your abilities, becoming another cloud of dust on the horizon, another runner in front or behind you on the road. Any attempts to “slow down” the inexorable pull towards the level cap (and beyond, with item acquisition and stat improvement), that elusive goal of perfection and ultimate attainment, are irresistible short of outright rejection. Waiting around for someone else feels like 'wasted time' in the WoW paradigm, and so you’re back to square one. Back to a single player game and grinding alone on trolls in Stranglethorn Vale in the hope of one day reaching the peak at level 60, 70, 80.

Dominic and I tried it a couple of times, first on our original toons (both were Warlocks; I was Daverick, he was Marcos) and then later with our alternatives. By then I was onto Davethree (literally named as such) and he was a Warrior. Dominic was a Paladin. We spent a fantastic afternoon one day in the twilight days of ’07 working together on quests as per the instructions in the popular Jame’s Leveling Guide. He enjoyed collecting a number of enemies on himself while I swung a selection of large swords at them.

That afternoon we fought trolls, goblins, tigers, panthers, crocodiles and other players and enjoyed the simple pleasure of having each other’s company. We were glad not to have to travel that section of the loneliest road alone. Inevitably though, school and other commitments made him log off for a while and an abundance of time left me to plod along by myself. I rapidly out-leveled him.

We met up again, months down the track. By then I was 70, and he was still 68. Getting keyed and geared for Karazhan was my goal while he was still grinding mobs in Blade’s Edge, focusing on the inexorable accumulation of experience points. The loneliest road took us to 70 separately and resisted our best efforts and resolutions to “stick together”.

Tolkien placed these words into the mouth of Bilbo Baggins;

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

World of Warcraft will do more than sweep you away. Like an overflowing river that has burst its banks, it stands ready to break apart the group of unwary travellers that attempt to cross it. The current will carry them downstream for miles one by one - how far it carries them wil be governed by how well they can swim. I was a WoW player and I was carried off by myself for 18 months. How about you?


This post was inspired by the recent discussion of World of Warcraft and the addicting nature of some videogames on the Idle Thumbs podcast – episode 25 ‘pause theme from battletoads’.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Secret Projects and Miscellaneous Errata

So the super secret project I was working on last time (and which has been sucking vast amounts of my time since) is finally out in the open and glistening in the moonlight like a freshly dropped cow-pat. Critical Distance is operating at about 60% capacity so don't expect too much too soon, but the core idea remains solid - accepting submissions for exemplary critical pieces of games writing.

And it's also the new home for my This Week In Videogames series. Hop along now and catch up on the best of the blog-o-sphere of the week.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Raider, The Prince and The Assassin

Another Steam weekend sale was the entry vehicle for my first foray into the Tomb Raider series since the third instalment on the PlayStation One in the late nineties. The series had since changed developers and I had heard whisperings the game had received a positive rebooting. Tomb Raider Anniversary had certainly changed, and indeed for the better, the controls having escaped the “forwards/backwards, turn left/turn right only” paradigm and decided to rejoin the rest of the 3D platformer fraternity in allowing for agile changes in direction more reflective of normal human movement. Strafing and the ability to move much more naturally bring the game into the 21st Century and encourage an enjoyable level of exploration and navigation of the characteristically over-complicated world.

The game stands or falls on the strength of its level design – the fun in running; jumping; climbing; swinging is what the game wants to give the player and it necessitates some rather elaborately trapped tombs and other remnants of past inhabitation in order for the player to have a flipping great time (pun intended). But these elaborate death-traps can come in a couple of forms in TRA – in the early stages they are often just minor setbacks – a bit of lost health or a missed jump that needs to be attempted again. By the time the player has reached the second chapter of the game – set in a beautiful Grecian monastery – the traps and tasks the developers for the player to traverse become decidedly binary in a kind of ‘pass/fail’ way.

One of my personal favourite game developers for talking about game design is Clint Hocking and at the recent Game Developers Conference he gave a talk about the ‘rhythm’ of his most recent game, Far Cry 2. He explained that the game was designed in such a way as to present a myriad number of small setbacks to the player at any given time, and he called this ‘analogue failure’. Examples of this are when a player’s gun unexpectedly jams in the middle of a firefight and they are caught unawares while they clear the jam. As a part of the design of the game there are a plethora of systems all working against the player to provide these minor setbacks (malaria attacks, the wounding system, procedural fire propagation, etc, etc) and the result is that the rhythm of what the player does in the game takes on a back-and-forth kind structure that Hocking illustrates like this:

Hocking notes that most games are actually not like that, particularly on that micro-level of moment-to-moment play. Instead, depending on which part of the composition/execution split they favour they will either be more puzzle-like (if they favour a long composition phase while the player figures out what they have to do) or more like a theme park ride (if they have short composition phase and long execution).

Coming back to Tomb Raider Anniversary, the the second chapter gets really frustrating for me largely because the composition/execution balance in the game, along with the cost of failure being unrelentingly binary, means that whenever I get kicked out of the execution phase I don’t usually even get to reformulate my plan. Instead I just have to try the ‘execution’ again until I get it right.

There is no room for slight slip ups in TRA. The number of times I have botched a single jump in the ‘execution’ phase, knowing full well what I wanted to do but was simply unable to execute it because of either haste with controls or lack of skill, I have lost count. Anecdotally, the first section of the second chapter has a time trial aim of 34 minutes for completion, but in the end it took me 4 hours plus spare change to finally manage to do everything the designers were asking of me.

So this idea of ‘analogue failure’ is an important one – what Hocking points out in most games happens in TRA. When we fail in execution, we are usually faced with a load screen and gets stuck replaying the (increasingly tedious via repetition) execution phase. As Hocking said in the presentation, it’s like the developers are training us to jump through hoops, and both he and I find it personally unfulfilling.

An aggravating factor in the above scenario is the length of the execution phase – when the player fails it can take a good several minutes to get back to just the same spot in order to try again and if we were to measure the cost of failure in time (As suggested by videogame academic Jesper Juul’s GDC talk about balancing difficulty) we can see from my own 4x the recommended time that I was being severely punished.

One answer to this problem is the Prince of Persia solution, and you can take either ‘Sands of Time’ or the newer reboot. Both titles reset the player (or give them the opportunity to reset via rewinding time) to the point just prior to the ‘failure’ that would otherwise have ended their game. Thus, the execution phase is stopped from becoming the bloated, frustrating time-waste that it so easily becomes in Tomb Raider Anniversary. Still, whenever the player fails in execution, all that exists is re-execution. There is usually no re-composition involved.

Lastly, we can look at Assassins Creed for another example. Say what you will about the main game, the fact remains that the developers got the act of moving and navigating a crowded cityspace so right. Whenever you fall from a rooftop, whether you either failed in your planned execution or you are knocked off by a pursuing guard, you rarely die in Assassins Creed. Instead of being thrown back to a load screen, Altair experiences an amount of ‘analogue failure’ as the game pushed back against the player. Ultimately, the player picks himself up, dusts himself off and starts to recompose a route through the city again. You don’t even get to retry your execution unless you specifically go back to the point you failed from. In fact, there’s also little reason to since the failure is not binary, and less strictly win/lose than in Tomb Raider Anniversary or Prince of Persia. It only so much resembles the player being kicked out of execution phase and being placed back into the composition phase, much like Hocking described in Far Cry 2.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have another game obsession to cultivate.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Three Month Giant Gonzo S/Mashup

An SLRC Update:

For those actually worried by my April fools post, I haven’t left videogame blogging to pursue a career as a writer for Garden Gnomes – I’ve just been busy with an exciting secret project which, in a few days I’ll hopefully reveal a bit more about. Until then, I decided that in the finest tradition of Gonzo Journalism’s slap-dash and often ‘straight from the tape’ aesthetic I would cannibalize all of my half-finished and pre-maturely aborted gonzo articles into One Giant S/Mashup piece and mix it all together with some other random words and pieces of text I accrued along the way. It is as follows, with minimal edits from the originals. Warning: Your Mileage May Seriously Vary.


January 1st:

It’s seems like an extremely Thompson-esque thing to do, starting a blog post after being up for two days. New Years was last night, and more than a few drinks were had by all – our psych-out, early river-side fake-out countdowns are probably famous to anyone out on the water last night for a cruise. So now, I’m going to start my next Gonzo project – I’m going to play some games in a state of high exhaustion and blog about it. But first, I have to make sure my animal charges haven’t died overnight. You just never know with New Year’s.

Note: I think I either played some Far Cry 2 or went to sleep instead.


Early-Mid January - ‘Offline Live blogging/Gonzo Playing Gears of War’. Following is a running commentary for approximately the first half of the game and is closely related to my epic tweet-powered GoW2 marathon which seemed to draw quite a crowd at the time:

  • "Tip: to curbstomp an enemy: Press X"
  • Who is this motherly narrator figure and WHAT IS SHE DOING IN MY GoW?!!?!
  • Woah. Wimminz in my Gears of War 2. WHAT IS THIS?! (/irony FYI)
  • Yes, put the story inside the game. Not in custcenes. Thanks @cliffyb
  • Awww, Dom is so upset. I can tell because he is angry. Grrr!
  • Uh oh... Title screen in 2nd act. Damn, it's another Holywood trick in a game. LLLAME
  • Seriously, I'm not even watching these cutscenes they are so crap
  • Oh man, you give me back control for 20 seconds, its all talk, and then hit me with ANOTHER cutscene? What is WITH this game?!
  • Into the second level – A turret mission: being killed was the calmest part of the level. Tank just cruised on over the edge… reminded me of certain scripted things from FC2…
  • Underground level. Guy we rescue (Carmine) I thought was dead, as I was standing over his body. In an attempt to pick him up/interact DID A BARREL ROLL over his body! D= Not what I meant to do and totally broke sentiment of the moment.
  • With no sound on GoW2 becomes an ironic satire of videogames.
  • Examples: “King Raven and Delta Six are KIA” over a scene of burning rubble. My response: “Oh are they? Oh well. LOL”
  • Examples: Coletrain’s American Football move-filled entrance. “Nobody plays this game better than me!” LOOK SEE! It’s aware that it’s a videogame! (Lets just pretend that it’s post-modernistically self-aware)
  • Example: The Locust reaching for a grenade planted on his back takes on Marx brothers visual humour that had me laughing out loud.
  • Example: Fenix “Where’s your squad”. Cole “Here’s my squad LOL” (Dangles some bling – actually COG tags) (Unsaid: Cole is the ONLY squad Cole needs!)
  • My wounded limping towards Dom, without sound, highlighted the weirdness of it. I’m gimping along
  • “I can’t believe they did that to Tai… he… he survives everything doesn’t he?” – (This is GoW teaching us that people really die… *cough*Far Cry 2 did it better, a LOT better*cough*. See Hocking’s Masterpiece)
  • “You hear that? Could that be a heartbeat?” IUNNO LOL, no sound!
  • Wow, a malfunctioning AI. How original… >_>
  • When you die, you don’t get told “You are dead. Game over” it’s “Objective Failed”. Oh, so if I could complete the objective while dead that’s fine? I guess that could be construed as saying something about the disposability of the soldiers in GoW2… but somehow I doubt that it was intentional…
  • I got a 5sec video showing me how I died… being swept away. I swear I thought it was going to be another intentional thing & cutscene.
  • Wow, flamethrower AI can be DUMB. Shoot me from 100m away? Yeah… good luck!
  • “There are no greater warriors anywhere!” – The Queen. “We’ll see about that Bitch.” – Marcus or Dom.

Fuck. This. Shit - Gears of War 2 is not a game for me. I like games that don’t make me feel like I’m losing brain cells as I play. I like games that aspire to some level of moral, ethical or – hell – I’d even take mental engagement with the player over the brain-dead way that GoW2 hits the player over the head with story. Hey dummie! This story is important, so we’re going to make you listen to it, says the game. I like games that say something, and say it well.

I subscribe to the belief that ‘everything about you says something about you’ and that this applies to both people and videogames. So even if a game like Gears2 largely doesn’t set out to make epic, meaningful statements about Life, The Universe and Everything, that does not preclude it from saying something anyway. Every product, every thought, every action by a person (and a game is a result of actions from people) is a result of a combination of different ways of viewing the world, different ideologies and beliefs.

I should add that I’m really only playing it because I have it. I’m playing out of convenience and because I am mind-killingly bored, at home alone and trying to pretend I’m not desperately waiting for someone to talk to me. I’m also trying not to think about what the Sydney Morning Herald described the other day as their prediction of a massive increase in the number of out of work young job seekers. Hint: That’d be me.

Another reason Gears of War 2 isn’t for me is that I’m not the kind of person that likes cussing. It’s not classy and I don’t pull it off very well, so I generally steer clear. I’m not CliffyB’s target audience – I’m not HARDCORE enough… or am I? Michael Abbott described me on the holiday confab podcast as “a bit of a harcore gamer”. Oh really? Well, if I’m so hardcore, then I can beat Gears2 in one evening, right? RIGHT? This is the tale of what happened when I tried and the lessons I learned along the way.

And I’m beating it by accident. A lot of things are inconceivably over-the top or inexplicably contrived. “It’s bulletproof for a reason!” is followed shortly by the window being shot open. The spiritual dimension should not be missed too – “everything happens for a reason” says a COG soldier. Yeah, because some idiot scripted it with the intention of MOAR BANGS = MOAR AWESOME! The game only has one speed – FASTER and if I thought the music of Spore was a bit one note, GoW2’s is even more.


Mid-Late January:

The best thing about Gonzo is that it’s unexpected. Like the Spanish inquisition, it thrives on the everyday turning into Monty Python’s Flying Circus or going belly up like a bloated fish floating upside down in a fish tank. Example; my last Gonzo piece – who would have thought that missing a train and spending 54 minutes waiting in the cool midnight air would be so conducive to good gonzo?

After the aforementioned post, which started me in a direction towards one of a few games (Bioshock, Spore, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, or Fallout 3), it was maybe a little inevitable that I wouldn’t even play any of those games at all in the time between then and now. Which is true with the exception of Spore – I haven’t touched them – but I went so far as to bring them all down to the Xbox in the living room to play in the two weeks I had the house to myself from late December to early Januay.

But it’s hard to get motivated to repeat an experience, even a good one, when it comes to a media experience like a movie or a game. I have a tendency to go rifling through the filing cabinets of my memory mentally searching through the list of previously fun activities I have at hand when stimulated by boredom. I’ll get to the point of mental assent that the thing I’m thinking of doing/watching/playing is good and will be entertaining… but then I balk when I remember the number of times I’ve put something on only to lose interest because it’s something I’ve already experienced.

And I’ve done it again, blown my lead in on something irrelevant to what I want to talk about – Dynasty Warriors 6 (count ‘em!) for Xbox 360. It’s interesting that I keep doing that though because while HST flourished in his obscure tangents, with them being some of the best bits of his books (or the best bits of one of them anyway – “On the Campaign Trail in ‘72”) does tangential writing actively work against the blog format? That would be a bit sad if true.

Er… back to Dynasty Warriors! But before I get there, today I read a really thoughtful post by Kieron Gillen on Rock, Paper, Shotgun which was part eulogy for an ended television program and part manifesto against anger and an overly critical attitude in games writing. And it made me stop and think before I started writing this bit of the post, because originally I was going to criticize Dynasty Warriors 6 (I still can’t get over how many of them there are!) for a whole bunch of things like:

  • Ridiculous voice acting.
  • Ridiculous story-telling, plot and dialogue.
  • Atrociously ‘period inappropriate’ music, and
  • The occasional degenerate strategy or frustratingly unexplained mission objective.

But then I threw my hands up in the air and said “You know what, even though it doesn’t excuse the very real flaws, the bit of the game that matters most is still the original and still the best”. It’s like the idea that is Dynasty Warriors – fighting epic battles involving tens of thousands of soldiers and their commanders – is still just sheer brilliance and awesome. And the game is also a fantastic example of the case for iteration and sequels in videogame design. Just a few weeks before I received DW6 as birthday present (Note: A present from a fellow blogger no less! Thanks Dan!) I played the fifth iteration on Playstation 2 with a friend and while we enjoyed it immensely, I do not think I could go back.

It also tickles the same parts of my brain as WoW, in that a lot of it is an often repetitive but generally pleasurable grind. Unlocking characters has been a part of the game since the beginning and I’ve only completed one character’s story mode campaign.

In DW6 not all characters are created equal – my first character was Sima Yi who was an absolute dandy and a shoe-in for a topic in Denis at Vorpal Bunny Ranch’s Fanny Friday series.


January/February: LBJeffries Asked for suggestions for “The Best pieces of New Games Writing from 2008” to which I was only too happy to oblige. I made them all into this list, and then some.

Planetside – The 1%

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Simmer

The Great War

My Name is Nico and I’m a law abider

Paul Ferenc’s Pistol

Frank Bilders is Dead

The Cliffsters Badass plan to fix New Games Journo

3-2-1 Action Half-Life

Alien Swarm The Longest 30 Yards

Fear and Longing in Paris

Replaying SWAT 4

The Joy of Coop

Towards an elitist critic future



BG&E Music Analysis:

· Hillyan suite (In Two halves)

o ¾ time sig

o Marimba

o Flute (ethnic flute?)

o African percussion

o Single violin

o String melody

· Second movement of Hyllian suite:

o Piano riff comes in replacing Marimba?

o Whispered words / vocal percussion


February 12th:

An Audiosurf quote from ‘2008 and The Indie Renaissance’:

“When Audiosurf-creator Dylan Fitterer climbed up on stage to receive his award, he was already hurtling towards riches. His audio-visualiser game hybrid was to be the top seller on Steam that month, even out-selling Valve's own recently released titles. In the same month Fitterer had been exulted by his gathered peers in San Francisco, and found financial security in a game he'd made with just a bit of help from friends. It was a fine achievement for any programmer: to have made a popular independent game, and have received a money hat too.” – Jim Rossignol


February 24thNote: I obviously never bothered to finish the list:

Why does Audiosurf have block collection sound effects?

Aren’t the blocks supposed to represent the music?

  • Ten Best Dance Remixes I know for Audiosurf
    • The 2x FRANKMUSIK remixes


Early March:

I’m a fan of violence – when it serves a purpose.

I’m a fan of violence when it’s presented in a way that doesn’t cheapen the act, or glorify it by over stylizing it.

- The watchmen & violence

- Far Cry 2 and violence

- Violence when grounded: when it takes a moment to let you think about what’s just happened, what you’ve just done.


March 7th: In a document called 'Taxonomy of Videogame Posts.doc':

Every video game blog post ever written:
  • The Review
  • The Half-Baked theory (probably reading too much into XYZ game or game aspect)
  • Something about storytelling in games – (are they, can they, how, etc)
  • Are games art (LOL!)


March 16th: In a word document called ‘Why do we want to say what is and isn’t a game.doc

  • Excluding games (i.e. flower, Spore, the Wii, etc as ‘toys’ rather than games)
    • Meaningless definitions and distinctions?
  • Including all things as games: inclusive is the alternative I guess, but is that useful? Is that going to end up diluting what we call games to the point of being un-usable/un-useful?


Mid-Late March:

When going gets tough

Tough Spartans reach for weapon

Covenant defeat


V.Late March

It’s probably a bad sign when you finish the first day of a new job and go home feeling depressed. It’s not the pay – although the pay is, to put it mildly, shithouse. It’s not even the fact that, after expenses, I end up with virtually nothing in my pocket to spend. The worst thing is the feeling it gives me, like I’ve given up on a chance at a better job. Like my potential, all my university training and developed skill, is going completely to waste. It’s a kick in the teeth to the dream that I can do what I love, do what I have dreamed of doing since as long as I can remember. It’s really hard to remember it’s temporary.

The other thing about this new job that sucks is that, working only weekends, it means that the only time my friends ever all get together is when I’m working. Okay, so I don’t finish too late to go join them after, but will I want to after a hard evening’s work?

Note: After bashing this out I got the hell over it and the following weekend hung out with my friends after work. Yay for happy endings!


So in contrast to L.B. Jeffries output, which is largely consistently and consistently excellent, mine is erratic and strange. Never mind.

I hope this was at least mildly interesting for you - it feels a bit like self-archaeology. I've also got a whole series of posts brewing in the slow-cook pot about songs that really 'make the game', which could be a while off yet, but be sure it's coming. Thanks for sticking with me readers - I've got a job now (not a great one) so at least I have cash and my personal situation is a bit stabilised. The upside of my job being so mediocre is that I have all this free time still! One day I'll trade my hours for dollars as a 9-5 wage slave, but not just yet... Till next time!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

SLRC Shifts Focus

Dear Readers,

SLRC has been quite a good blast,
But I think that its heyday
Has most truly passed.

Henceforth SLRC shall no longer be known,
As a blog about games,
But a blog about Gnomes.

You and I both realize,
I’m sure it is clear,
That games are exhausting;
Art potential - unclear.

So I grab my pen;
I ignore the fear.
And turn my attention
To a topic most dear.

This most pressing task,
One so serious and dire,
Will not be stopped
By any man’s ire.

SLRC stands vigilant and alone,
But unlike Call of Duty,
We’re upright,
Never prone!

My motivation is simple,
I count it but once,
To silence those,
Who call Gnomes a “dunce”.

Those who say Gnomes,
Are “boring” or “simple”.
This is clearly a lie,
Yet lies they remain - just like pimples.

Thusly I strive to turn a critical eye,
To the practice and discussion
(This being a matter of pride)

Of the literature of Gnomes!
Short, thought they may be,
But not without important history.

What blogs be for Gnomes?!
I now wonder aloud.
At least SLRC,
And in this - I feel proud.