Thursday, January 26, 2006

Level 3

Two days short of two years ago, Avert Your Eyes started off with the same vague ramblings that most sites like this do. I'd never planned on updating with any amount of frequency. In fact, I'll let you all in on a little secret - the only reason AYE updates on Thursdays is that, after a few weeks, I realized all my posts had been on Thursdays and decided it was a fine enough day to update. This week we're taking a look back at the past year, which henceforth shall be known as "The Year With Many Missed Updates".

I ended up writing about the Darwinia demo a mere two weeks after voicing my concerns about Steam. Strange, that - as less than a year later, Darwinia is being distributed through that vile service. That said, it's still great to see such an amazing game finally get some of the spotlight time it deserves. Hopefully it'll get some attention in the independents portion the next time I "cover" the GDC.

I suppose 2005 was a year for firsts as, at the very least, it saw me try my hand at "playing" a creepy visual novel. Another first? Me not liking a space-based game. Another? The complete awesomeness of the Spore video. The year also saw the first time I actually received a rebuttal of sorts from a disgruntled team member. By the way, sorry to say it Nexuiz folks, but your game hasn't gotten any better. I'll be over here playing Warsow while you're working on it. Last, but not least, you can't mention firsts without mentioning NERO.

Before I wrap this up, I'm going to give credit where credit is due and mention some of my favorite games that saw their first releases during AYE's last "season". Some of them I've already mentioned above, such as Darwinia and NERO. Other favorites of mine include Glest, GalaxyMage, and a handful of abstract shooters that finally made their way over to Linux.

Thanks to everybody who's stuck around and kept reading the site through all the missed posts, I'm going to try to make that happen less during the next "season". Although I did complain a little bit, it's been a great 12 months for the scene - let's hope it keeps up the momentum.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Like Mixed Nuts, Only Not

Yeah, yeah - I've been missing for two weeks. I guess that's what happens when I walk the streets with a bag on my head and a sign that says "You don't get this joke". Kudos to you if you did. Anyway, given my recent absence, today's post is going to be a hodge podge of a few different things. On to item the first.

It seems that the team behind a game I've always had quite the soft spot for - UFO: Alien Invasion - has gone MIA. Well, that was actually rather apparent a year ago. Anyway, fear not. It seems some enterprising members of our community have stepped up to pick up the workload. If you read what is currently the top post on the LGT page linked above, it seems their missing a few files, so if you happen to have what they're looking for, help 'em out. Watch out! It's item the second.

GalaxyMage has been rolling along rather steadily, hitting us with a 0.2 release that's huge improvement over what was already a very solid 0.1 release. The new features packed in are surprisingly in abundance. Terrain smoothing, random maps, new character classes, and improved A.I. are just a few. While there's still no apparent mouse control, the keyboard controls are as solid as the last release. Not to mention, they do add to the console feel of the game. I've got to say again that I'm really impressed with how this project is coming along. You knew it had to be coming, didn't you? Item the third.

Things have been damn fun in Anarchy Online lately, and apparently I've made a good name for myself within my organization. Last week I received a promotion to Squad Commander, meaning a whole lot more responsibility for myself. Granted, I've noticed this has caused me to log in quite a few times more because I felt like I should than that I really wanted to play. New responsibilities haven't stopped me from gaining level 80 and a nice shiny Yalmaha, which was actually bought for me by an org-mate who I now owe my soul, ass, and my sole ass. This turn of events effectively locks the door I had left open for myself as an escape route, meaning I'm not going to stop playing AO any time soon.

Well, hopefully this week's installment makes up for the lack of posts over the last two weeks. Anything I've forgotten to mention, I'm sure you've already read somewhere else. Next week is going to be special, as it's A.Y.E's 2nd anniversary post, so make sure to stop by.