Goodbye July

What is this I don't even...

What is this I don’t even…

I’ve already covered issues about my car yesterday. But the truth is far more sinister. The whole month of July… sucks. 

Besides the vehicle, my cable and internet provider has been unable to assign a decent time to come over and repair my internet. I can get it done on Saturday, but they won’t do it after 5 on the week days, when I’ll be at work. Although they’ve refunded us for the month, Diablo III and Team Fortress 2 are out until it is fixed. 

Thus, with reluctance, I cracked open Mass Effect 3, one of the view recent games in my collection with optional online elements. 

It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to it. But I wanted to savor the time I had to myself, not playing the game.

Once Mass Effect starts, you can’t really divert time away from it. After playing through the original game twice, once as a “Good” Soldier Shepard and again as an “Evil” Engineer Shepard, I decided to try a femshep (female Shepard). But I stopped, recognizing a very addictive new experience.

Y’see, I barely started and it was already a different experience, as Kaidan Alenko was hitting on me.  “Man,” I tell myself. “I’ve barely started and this is only ME1. Everyone’ll be humping down my door once I hit ME2.” 

It’s true. Play ME as a man and the women will be coy and make you chase them. Play it as a woman and they’ll be after you. In gaming, the choice to play as a woman is often more like choosing your favorite Barbie doll to play an MMORPG or Diablo. But being a woman in an intricate storytelling experience like this? That’s something else. 

But if I’m going to play a woman, I’m going to do it from the ground up. Which means going back to Mass Effect and slugging my way back up. 

My impressions after 20 hours of ME3 are pretty basic. I like how they dropped the obnoxious resource-searching for a game of Reaper tag. The combat is tight as ever. The “explory-telling” is nice, but I keep wishing I could take the story off of the rails: Options to use charm or threaten are rare, the tale doesn’t let you go about things in any order you choose (the first game was great at this) and I get the feeling that, at this point, everything that happens is barely my decision and more the consequences of my actions from the previous 2 games. 

Choice is an illusion once you’re facing the consequences.

My hunt for a new roommate continues, but I’m closing in on a few likely prospects. I also meant to bug the writers of my anthology yesterday night about their progress, but decided to wait until tonight when I had access to Gmail and a regular computer (not my phone).

I’m half through Brunner. I was hoping that the stories would become more simple for movie making purposes, but that is not the case. His arsenal also expanded, with a new Skaven repeating crossbow, a hatchet and Drakesmalice, some kind of magic longsword. Therefore, I’ve picked two prospective stories which would be ideal for a short movie: “What Price Vengence” and “The Money-Lender’s Price”.

Two new horror stories coming out for a different anthology soon. Hope to be done this weekend.

Advertisements

Parkour, Mass Effect and More Writing

Spoooooky...

Spoooooky...

While cruising IGN today, I was surprised by an article that some Mass Effect 3 fans were angry about the ending (no spoilers in the link). I have no idea what their issue is, because I’ve only just finished Mass Effect and have no plans to get the second until I’ve unlocked every achievement. But this news certainly makes me want to step on the gas.

But before I really go crazy on Mass Effect, I want to finish my anthology. The good news is that I’ve gotten positive feedback on my first two stories. One story seems about fine, might need perhaps a few hundred more words to expand the protagonist’s background. The other story could make do with another scene to further expand the antagonist.

But the good news is that both stories require expansion andnot rewriting and story “refactoring.” Writing a plot is like writing code. And like code, if there’s a fundamental flaw in the design, the entire program is doomed to failure. But the news is good and I am feeling confident that the story will turn some heads.

Inspired by Brink, I have added basic parkour to my morning workouts while jogging. I’ve actually been doing this for two months and it is a great way to expand the workout regime. But I’m careful not to do anything that would tick off pedestrians though, nothing crazy like leaping off the wall and pulling myself on the overhanging platform above the theater (despite how often I daydream about it). Just leaping over low fences, rolling in the grass of the park.

But you know that phrase, “Skateboarding is not a crime”? To my knowledge, I’m the only guy in my town who adds parkour to his jog. But if more people start, then accidents and damage can occur. Too many people start parkour and suddenly the local county government will ban it.