A Stratagem to Actually Play Some Games

Bill Loguidice's picture

I've been chomping at the bit to play a good multi-character CRPG for some time now, but am typically presented with various barriers, which I'm constantly looking to overcome. I think I've found one way to get through one of the most egregious barriers, and that's minimizing set up time. Whether truly necessary or not, when it comes to a good CRPG, I like to read the manual first so I can plan out my character creation strategy and then hit the ground running. Unfortunately, gathering the motivation to actually break out the manual and read it is difficult at best since there are so many other demands on my time, many of which are considerably more fun than reading rules. Since the Kindle app on my iPad 2 now supports the sending of documents over email directly to the device, I was able to send both the PDF manual and PDF map for Darklands (which Matt Barton covered here and here) from my Evernote account via my Kindle-specific email address. While I own the complete boxed version of Darklands, having both the manual and map on my iPad are considerably more convenient since I can read the former at my leisure, and refer to the latter as needed. In fact, I read about half the manual today during lunch, and will probably get through the rest when doing cardio at the gym tonight after hitting the weights. This way when I do have a little time in the evening, I can simply start the game. And speaking of the game, I got Darklands on gog.com, and it's already installed on my gaming PC, so no need for me to set up my original disks on an old PC and go through the whole tedious process that that would involve. This of course further streamlines my ability to actually get to the game before using up all of my time and/or energy.

Anyway, even though Matt covered Darklands pretty much as extensively as it could be covered, I may offer a play blog or video here or there, depending upon how things go. Naturally, my first priority is to PLAY, something - as stated - I rarely get the pleasure of engaging in for something with the kind of depth Darklands has.

If you have any strategies for getting down to the serious business of actually playing a game you want to play, I'd love to hear them too!

Darklands PDF manual on the Kindle app on the iPad 2 (landscape mode)
This is what the Darklands manual looks like in the Kindle app in landscape mode on my iPad 2. Obviously, if you tap, it will show the pages without the overlays.

Comments

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
yes

I have put seveal manuals (and hint maps) on my Kindle just this way and its not to bad. I can see the IPAD and color enhancing it. I think on Jan 1st we need to start a GAME PLAYED thread.. ONLY put completed games in it (maybe keep some lose idea of time invested) and see who can waste the most time by end of the comming year.. for no reason other then fun.. as some of you have far to busy lives to compete with us slackers :) of course.. eh. seing i wasted 3/4 of my free time in games in ayear from now might be slighlty depressing :) one mans fun is anotehr mans waste of time, its all relative.

As for Darklands.. EXCELLENT choice high learning curve and frustrating to start as you need to sorta "go your own way" to start.. no clear cut questing , back alley patrols and such. But once you get in a bit, very good game. I honestly think it holds up very well graphics aside and while hte interface is no winner, its clearly good enough and not painful like many old ones are.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Darklands
clok1966 wrote:

As for Darklands.. EXCELLENT choice high learning curve and frustrating to start as you need to sorta "go your own way" to start.. no clear cut questing , back alley patrols and such. But once you get in a bit, very good game. I honestly think it holds up very well graphics aside and while hte interface is no winner, its clearly good enough and not painful like many old ones are.

In reading the manual, what I find interesting is the obvious frustration the devs (and whoever wrote the manual) must have had with trying to accommodate relatively early mouse-based controls, while still needing to have everything controlled with the keyboard, since, unlike today, you couldn't assume that everyone would have a mouse. In fact, the mouse doesn't even control 100% of everything to show how one foot in/one foot out the design was no doubt required to be...

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Well, I didn't get through

Well, I didn't get through the manual at the gym - it's incredibly long - but I think I'm at the point now where I can start the game to get some much needed live perspective and finish the manual later. I was hoping to start last night, but I ended up watching with the family the MST3k take on Jack Frost on YouTube on the Xbox 360 since it's not available for streaming on Netflix at the moment. So, no matter what, I'll start today.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
That would explain some

That would explain some things, The mouse control is a bit eratic i thought, it feels almost like its got some issues. I chalked them up to dosbox and win7 but it may have just been the way it played. its still on my machine with about 3-4 hours into my replay after matts Chat about. I just am to scatter shot nowdays to finish stuff. And with so much cool TV to catch up on (Dresden files, Wharehouse 13, etc.. ) that i have missed in hte last 20 + years.. To just a few months ago I had only seen the X-Files moveis and 2 of the TV shows ( and one was the banned one.. which while highly entertaining and twisted.. kinda was not one to judge the show on).. after watching a few.. now I gotta watch um all.. Who says adults dont play Pokeman.. I just gotta watch all the tTV shows.. Fringe, Burn Notice, New Dr Who's (half through these), Stargate ( love hate..its almost good enouhg to hook me, but it alwasy seem to just be enouhg I cant really get "into" it).. and about 20+ more.. I'm behind in Dexter by 2 seasons ( and I love that show) and Walking Dead ( while not as good as teh comic) is pretty great. and games.. I just simply cant imagine how you people with lives do it.. if it talked family onto my day.. hack.. if i got 1-2 hours a week in gaming i would be lucky..

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Darklands is a fun game, one

Darklands is a fun game, one of the few I played that has held up well. It's far too big of a game to plan to finish IMO, though, unless you're really in it for the long haul. If you don't care about actually completing it, though, go for it!

I'd like to get a list of great CRPGs that you can finish in weeks instead of months. That'd be awesome to have a really great CRPG that you could complete in under 8 hours. You could come back to it every so often when you're feeling down and hack'n slash through it all over again.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
8 hours
Matt Barton wrote:

I'd like to get a list of great CRPGs that you can finish in weeks instead of months. That'd be awesome to have a really great CRPG that you could complete in under 8 hours. You could come back to it every so often when you're feeling down and hack'n slash through it all over again.

And there ya go Matt, you have plans for a RPG, be a nice way to start ... no 40-100 gameplay, start small and see what works (and what doesnt).. and expand for your "dream" rpg :)

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Yup, that's a great

Yup, that's a great idea!!!

Bill had suggested I go with episodes. I know Jay (Rampant Coyote) started off that way but soon expanded out until it got crazy. I think he has something like 100+ spells, for instance.

I plan to talk more about this in my dev diary, but it appears from reading that almost EVERY aspiring game maker suffers from the problem of taking on too much. Ultimately, I think, it's PAINFUL for creative, ambitious types to have to realize that even making something "only" as good as Diablo or Final Fantasy is WAY, WAYYYY beyond their means.

Anyway, I'll shut up and talk more in my diary.

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