East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


A weekend killing monsters

We should strive to look on the bright side of… well, everything that happens to us.
For instance: I spent about twenty years, more or less, without playing PC games, basically because I was too busy doing other stuff. And right now, I have a very old, no-name PC on which two thirds of the recent games don’t run.

Bright side: I can get old PC games for real cheap, and they run a wonder on my anything-but-state-of-the-art system – and right now I feel like playing something new.

So yesterday I spent three euro and a half (the price of a bucket of ice cream) on a 2012 game called Torchlight II – a fantasy RPG with a vague steampunkish flavor and lots and lots of monsters.

I found it on Steam, it runs on my Linux machine and it is a pleasure to see.
Sure, it’s old, but considering I missed it when it came out, it’s new to me. And it’s kinda fun to play in the role of a wandering engineer taking quests together with his pet alpaca.

Yep, every character you play gets a random pet at creation, and I got an alpaca – not the fiercest of creatures, but he’s saved my life a few times already.

So that’s how I’ll spend the weekend – killing monsters and exploring strange places, and letting off some steam.

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Creative Task – Tex Murphy and Me

This week’s Creative Task for the Future of Storytelling course requires me to write about my favorite video game.

Now, I used to play more on video in the past – both on my PC or on my old Playstation 2; these days, I stick to tabletop roleplaying games.

Texmurphy_largeBut in terms of fascination, involvement, sheer fun, I’m still very much a fan of the old Tex Murphy games created by Chris Jones in the ’90s – the trilogy Under a Killing Moon, Pandora Directive and Tex Murphy: Overseer.

The series started as standard point and click games with two early entries called Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum.
Both the games pushed the boudaries of gaming by being multi genre (Mean Streets was part side-scrolling game, part flight simulator, part point-and-click adventure) and by adopting high quality video cut scenes and dialogues.

But it was in the later titles of the series I mentioned that thing really got interesting. Continue reading