I’ve not slept for thirty hours and I’m driving a truck from Aberdeen to Rotterdam.
I’m partly past the point I could actually get to sleep anyway, but most of it is that I have a tiny baby on my lap that is getting some much needed rest. I was told they always sleep, but I wasn’t told they always sleep on you.
Wait a minute…I can’t see my hands! AAAAAAAHHHHHhhh
I’m not allowed to go to sleep. If I go to sleep whilst looking after this tiny goblin wrapped in a fluffy blanket, then I don’t want to think about the end of that sentence. Netflix has been the answer so far, but I’ve just finished House of Cards and I’m in that between-shows limbo so I have turned to my old friend video games to bail me out.
That means I’m now driving a virtual truck from virtual Aberdeen to virtual Oslo in Euro Truck Simulator 2.
I struggled to condense my feelings on the latest World of Warcraft expansion into a short easily readable and pithy blog post so I gave up and decided to write all the words instead.
Prologue: The Sword in the Stone
For a very brief moment I thought I was going to be the King of England. It was very brief, and by that I mean about half a second.
Why yes my shoulders are on fire and I do have a small bird on my head.
I went to Disneyland Paris when I was about 18 with a youth orchestra group. We were playing at one of the little side stages which was a big deal for us, but not really such a big deal for the five people who mistakenly wandered over to the backwater of the park we were playing in.
Being 18 with a youth orchestra group abroad basically means you’re in quasi-parent-guardian mode. If one of the mini-clarinetists falls over and skins a knee, you’re the one that’s responsible for tracking down a plaster and making sure they haven’t broken anything. It’s not like you can just leave them for dead and head over to Space Mountain, you have to work to stop tears and tantrums. What I’m trying to say is by the time I was in Disneyland Paris, I was old enough and in the mindset of an adult enough not to be tricked by any nefarious Disney dark magic.
In one quiet part of the park, there was a sword lodged into a stone, a la the Legend of King Arthur, a la Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. Of course you have to go and try to pull it out. It’s there. That’s what it’s there for. Everyone needs to go and try to pull it out. So that’s what I did, knowing it was a stupid prop that you were probably supposed to pose for a picture with, pretending to struggle to pull it out. Mild laughs all round.
The sword moved…
Everyone has had a fantasy of commanding a star ship on a mission of exploration through the galaxy. Now, you too can experience the thrill and the tension and the stress of starship command in Crisis, Captain!
Wormholes, abandoned space stations, arguments with your officers and hostile warships are just some of the things you are likely to encounter in an average mission. Can you complete it without your ship exploding, your crew dying or your officers revolting? Well, no, you can’t – one of those things will definitely happen, but how much can you discover before the end inevitably comes?
I’m soft launching my first game into the internet today. Crisis, Captain! is a free Android game and is still in development with new content and fixes being released semi-regularly. This is pretty much the first thing that I’ve ever created that has a certain degree of completion to it, the first finished project I’ve managed in Unity and the first game I’ve built for mobile.
Update: There is now a PC build available for Crisis Captain over on Itch.io – it is very much the definition of a lazy port, but it took me about five minutes to throw together. Basically I can see how tempting it must be for developers to make bad ports now.
You can download Crisis, Captain! for free from itch.io for Android and PC.
I have a belief that anyone trying to create anything will inadvertently create self portraits of themselves over and over again without even realising.
I have started working on some pixel art for a new project and was very proud of some alterations I made on my ‘Ding sprite’ from Ego to make him a low level dungeon-crawling adventurer.
I thought that looked pretty good, until my girlfriend noticed the following things:
1) That’s probably closer to my actual hair colour anyway.
2) I appear to be wearing that particular tee-shirt today.
Right down to the V-neck.
Score one for extra confidence in a theory, lose one for falling back into artistic self-insertion habits.
Why yes, I did just post a review for a game that’s three years old. That’s either post-modern games journalism or post-relevant games journalism.
This review originally appeared on X, a site I now pretend I never created. You can read my full review below the fold.
I’ve always been a big fan of the Dark Knight in almost all his forms. That Batman has seen so many variations baffles and intrigues me.
Although my taste may indeed have been tempered by the fact that I was a teenager and didn’t know any better at the time, I would highly recommend the No Man’s Land series of graphic novels. They have an interesting if not far fetched setup with Gotham City cut off from the rest of the states and being carved up by the wide variety of Batman villains, it puts well known characters under unusual stresses, and the ending…well, it’s disappointing. The point is there were some great moments there, some extraordinary artwork, a few gems of good story telling and the first two volumes were probably what pushed me off into the deep end of trying to draw my own comics, be that for good or ill.