Friday, July 18, 2014

Moving Parts

A little plastic tab broke. Less than a penny worth of plastic gave up structural integrity, and now this expensive device is no longer able to operate properly. The plastic tab is hinged and sandwiched between complicated...
 BREAK! Once again things got busy and I got distracted and the blog post withered and died on the vine.
The plastic tab has been a) replaced by a whole new device for official use and b) scavenged from another differently broken device to create one cobbled together working device for use in my ragtag collection of stuff I've managed to fix. Once the official use criteria has been met voiding the warranty by breaking the device into its component pieces isn't a concern anymore.

My writing project has been sidelined for the last few weeks. The mind is seeking distractions and luckily work and gaming and literature are more than happy to oblige.
Reading: I picked up the first several books in the Dresden files a while ago and finally dove in. The style feels a little ham-fisted at times but I'm having a good time. I'm on the third or fourth book and am looking forward to continuing reading during my lunch break.
Gaming: I've sunk quite a few hours into Drox Operative while listening to my vast and growing backlog of Podcasts. I recently added Welcome to Night Vale to my queue and am enjoying the strangeness of it all.
Drox Operative is a fantastic little rogue/diablo/civ mashup of a game. You play a persistent character that gains experience and equipment running through a series of sectors (dungeons) that are randomly generated. Each sector has the same available win/lose conditions, and once you win/lose you generate a new sector.
The sectors are populated with several race factions that you can align with or fight or do missions for or trade with etc etc, and to 'win' you must either build up your status with the last remaining faction to the point where you can be allied with them (military win), work to be allied with all remaining factions and have them be allied with each other (diplomatic win), generate enough tribute and mission rewards to reach a specific amount of currency (economic win), rampage through the system like the wrath of an angry god (fear win), be a general do-gooder and take on epic quests (legend win).
Each faction has different traits and the systems seem to employ an aggressive 'monster' system where enemy ships will spawn and if left unchecked will generate boss-level creatures or spawn maladies to harass the factions, sometimes wiping them out.
There are enough wheels turning so that even a bad game will have lots of ways for you to pull yourself out of the fire if you pay attention.
At the higher levels the sectors can have additional modifiers, making monsters more aggressive, or more plentiful, fiery asteroids zipping through the systems, anomalies and gravity wells all over the place... it's fun!

Last weekend we had a friend over for gaming and movies and the next day we went to the Durham Museum Train Days. But I'd better get moving again. More soon, I hope!

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