30 April, 2006

The Plot Thickens

I somehow managed to spend nearly all day and night playing Urban Dead, with just a three hour break to drink coffee and read a Greg Egan story.

I have taken over a hospital and am using it as a cornerstone for an impenetrable survivor fortress in eastern Heytown. You can read our hilarious wiki entry here.

A particularly valuable member of the Cornelius General Hospital Family is one Bake Hayes. He's started an Urban Dead blog which I've been enjoying. Also benefiting from quite a bit, since he's been motoring all around Heytown and Spracklingbank doing zombie head-counts.

Sorry I have nothing to say about anything else. Actually I have a scary Eve story to tell you, and an event idea for Anarchy Online which my guild rejected without comment... but right now I need ravioli and sleep, and sex. Well, two of the three should do the trick, but not at the same time.

22 April, 2006

Good News for Me

I just wrote an entry asking that one of you Urban Dead players search the Desensitised forums for any evidence of a forgotten early morning drunken rant by myself, because some time ago I was banned from there, and I was pretty sure I'd never posted.

Well it turns out I'm unbanned, so there goes that problem. And no, I never posted an early morning drunken rant, or anything else for that matter. Go figure.

It may be true that no good deed goes unpunished, but a happy corollary to this truth is that good things happen to people who sit around and hope their problems will just go away.

My Urban Dead Wiki Page

Not much on it at all, but I feel like linking it anyway. What the hell.

21 April, 2006

Nexus War - First Impression

I think I won't be getting too involved with this game. For reasons I can't quite pinpoint I've forgotten to play it most days, and even now I'd rather write something not very interesting about the game than actually play it.

It's got a nice interface. Maybe it feels too nice, too fancy. Part of Urban Dead's charm is that there's just nothing there but the game. Any bells and whistles come from the numerous Firefox extensions which have sprung up as necessity warrants. I'm probably balking on some deep level. How dare you try and upstage our glorious leader?

Likely it's partly just unfamiliarity. Lots of buildings that seem pointless but probably aren't. But the game also gives me a sense of purposelessness or at least overcomplicated purpose. I don't like that when I die I possess a new body, and to have all these mundane things like gas stations and apartment buildings in a fantasy world torn in half by a huge void is a bit jarring. But it's also fresh so I have some hope for recovery. And it's brand new.

Like the title says, this is not a judgment, just a first impression. I wouldn't mind getting a little posse together and bopping around around. Anyone interested? Leave a comment.

Oh yeah, here's the link.

14 April, 2006

Nexus War

I eavesdropped on a discussion in the Ridleybank Resistance Front's IRC channel. A fellow by the name of jorm is working on a new browser game called Nexus War. Some people who like Urban Dead quite a bit like this game quite a bit more. At a glance it looks too complicated and overly kind, but so is Eve. And I really like the place names. I'd write more but I haven't actually made an account yet and I'm kind of excited.

11 April, 2006

Why Urban Dead Works

I finally broke down and sent Kevan some money so I can infect my lovely girlfriend with the undead plague and not worry about the 160-hits-per-day limit.

I realized today with full force what exactly it is that appeals to me so much about this game. Not since Subspace has a game so organically woven conflict and incident out of its players' will.

I say woven not because it sounds silly but because for once a massive multiplayer game has not created, but allowed its players to create, its history, its political landscape, and even its rules. We see many of these elements in Eve and on Darktide, and I've always contended Anarchy Online reached for it with occasional success. These are all great games, and their enjoyability argues for the restrictions they've adopted - but I don't love them as much as I could, and for the most part no one will remember what happened in them and say: I made that happen and it changed everything.

Before now, only one game has really let you do whatever the hell you wanted, and more importantly forced you to deal with players who could do whatever the hell they wanted, to such an extent that the game had not rules but ethics and the deadliest weapon in the fight was inventiveness. That game was Subspace. Its successor is Urban Dead.

I'll finish with a story.

At the beginning of 2006, a horde of over a thousand zombies organized and began shambling from one shopping mall to the next. But for one such they found abandoned, throughout January they laid siege to and in time overran nearly every mall in the city of Malton. At the beginning of february they reached Caiger Mall and began their final attack.

But this mall was different. Bolstered by refugees from the fallen malls and a powerful, well-organized police department which ruled the neighboring suburb of Dunell Hills, Caiger Mall stood against the zombie threat. For six weeks the throng clawed at the barricades while breaking into nearby support structures and safehouses. Finally the zombies conceded defeat and moved on.

Caiger Mall was victorious. We made t-shirts. The Mall Tour '06 took their loss out on Dunell Hills, quickly moving through the neighborhood and destroying it block by block. If no good deed goes unpunished in life, it certainly should not in a game. I'm proud to have been a small part of the Caiger Mall defense, but creeping through the ruins of Dunell Hills searching in vain for any sign of life is something I can tell my grandkids about.

How did you spend the winter, you frightened little night elf?


Once again I've been a shit.

Urban Dead excepted, I started this page out as a sort of substitute to playing the games I really love. I think I've mentioned game block in passing; I won't go into it, ever, but suffice it to say I was spending a lot of time on games I don't care about. World of Warcraft, Oblivion, dabblings in the MMO curiosity of the week.

It sank in how important it is, at least in my world, not to do this. So I'm back to playing Eve and Anarchy Online each day and pretty much nothing else. So you won't hear about much else for a while, maybe.

Except for Urban Dead, of course. The rest of this post turned into another impassioned advocacy for that game, so it's now a different post.

About Me