Not Gencon Friday

Not at Gencon, and definitely feeling it today. That calls for Bullet Points.

Starcraft 2 has been proceeding apace, but I think it’s safe to say that I liked Blizzard more than I like Activision-Blizzard. Certain secondary things like the quality of writing and of music production have been pretty clearly deprioritized. I’d be more worked up about things like policies if I cared more, but I don’t. I’ll finish the campaign eventually, maybe get some multiplay in (but maybe not) and then forget about it until the next game is released. I mean, the gameplay’s good. What the campaign lacks in writing it makes up in excellent level design. But I contrast this with my experience with the original and it’s a little disappointing. Maybe it will grow on me, though.

Mostly, this makes me worry about Diablo III. I may hold off on pre-ordering that one if I can expect this kind of experience (that is to say, good, but not measurably better than others, as I had come to expect from Blizzard). That said, it also resolves my internal conflict between Blizzard and Bioware for champion of my personal universe: Bioware takes the throne.

I’ve been enjoying the webcomic Supernormal Step enough to add it to my regular reading rotation. The art is colorful and fun, the story moves at a decent clip (with some periods of dragging to explain), and the characters are enjoyable (A lot of that is, I think, that the artist sometimes really *nails* expressions). I could totally see doing a game in this style, with lots of fast and loose “zappy” magic.

Couple new good finds on the ipad.

  • iAnnotate PDF is, as the name suggests a pdf annotation app. Admittedly, this is a kind of a specialized need, but if it’s a need you have, it’s pretty cool.
  • Flipboard is a twitter/facebook reading app that I really think everyone should try. Basically, it takes feeds and, if they have links or pictures, grabs the content the point to and posts that, along with the feed, to turn your whol feedreading experience into something akin to reading a magazine. It’s free, and it’s something you really need to see to believe.
  • I got approved for Hulu Plus, so I can watch hulu on the ipad now. So far, cooler in theory than practice, as there seem to have been network issues, but I’m hopeful. I am mostly sad that their anime seem to mostly be subtitled, which is not my bag.
  • For pure visual fun toys, Gravilux and uzu are both cool, and maybe a buck each.
  • Small World has released its AI expansion, so you can now play against the computer, and get whupped. This is pretty cool, but I admit there are other Days of Wonder games I would FAR rather play on the iPad.
  • Tried Droptext for a while. Love the theory (text editor that works directly on files in your dropbox) but got quickly frustrated in practice. Because it needs to sync up every time you start it, it is not fast to get in and out of, which is a pain. Returned to myTexts as my primary writing app.
  • Couple of really excellent games. I’ve bought into the Angry Birds movement, and while I don’t think it’s grabbed me as much as others, it’s still pretty fun. More obscure, but totally worth getting is Honey, That’s Mine! which is just a reskinning of Hey, That’s My Fish (an awesome game) that supports solo or multiplay.
  • By the way, may I say how annoyed I am that none of the ipad apps do .rtf? Pages doesn’t. The various Office apps can display it, but not edit it. Maddening.
  • I’m still using Twitterific as my primary twitter client, but I have to admit that Osfoora HD is good enough that I could see using it instead. Tweetdeck continues to promise the world, but disappoint on delivery.
  • Dicebook looks very promising. PDF reader plus dice roller is creeping up on a super GMing App.
  • Clock Apps all suck. Why couldn’t apple include one so I could set a freaking alarm? Can you maybe throw it in with ios4 along with my long awaited folders?

Game went ok on Monday. Some issues with Fate Point economy, as discussed yesterday, but more broadly, it’s proving an interesting challenge to run a game with a true espionage focus,(rather than merely action with espionage elements). A lot of my instincts and well-worn tools are poorly suited to the specific needs of the genre, but expressing what new tools I need is still a little fuzzy. No doubt I’ll talk about it more when I have something more concrete to go on.

That’s about it. Hopefully a burst of gaming this weekend will blow away my no-gencon blahs, but for now, I’m pretty well tapped. Have a good weekend, all.

3 thoughts on “Not Gencon Friday

  1. Doc

    For clock apps, try Touch LCD. I tried about 6 or 7 before I found this one and fell in love. It has good alarms, a cool look, and when you tap the faceplate of the iPad a nice man clearly enunciates the time for you.

  2. Whirly / R00kie

    Dicebook LOOKS very promising – but at present the pdf reader is rather lacking in functionality.

    Depending on your requirements I’d either stick with GoodReader or iAnnotate and a bag of good old fashioned dice.


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