25 December, 2011
It’s Christmas (or a few days after Winter Solstice if you prefer), and I’m taking a moment to write a blog. Mostly so nobody has a sad Christmas fearing I’ve disappeared into a void. :)
What I’ve been playing
It’s Steam Sale season, which means there are a lot of cheap games for a stingy bastard like me to buy. A few gifts have come my way, too, as well as a recent indie bundles. I have an embarrassment of games to play currently.
The game I’ve been obsessive over is Dungeons of Dredmor. Some people have criticized the game for being “roguelikes for dummies”, but I’m not a hard-core roguelike fan so I like it just fine. I’m on my second playthrough with a Wizard-focused character. My first character was mostly Rogue, with a focus on crossbows and Golemancy.
I also played way too much Skyrim on the 360 when I was in London working with the Storybricks team. Fun enough, but not something I’m going to run out and buy for the PC now that I’m home. For the Elder Scrolls games I usually wait for the GotY version which has all the bugs fixed, all the expansions/DLC, and has great mods ready to go for a cheaper price than the original game.
What I’ve been working on
As my trip to London indicates, Storybricks has been a big focus recently. Our announcement of a February release means we need to push hard to get everything done we want to by that date. It will be a very early version of the tool (not a full game), but we still want to put our best foot forward. We just hired some very impressive artists (bringing the art team up to 4 from… 1 originally!), so the game should look very nice, too. Obviously there’s a bit of nervousness as we anticipate what the reaction will be; this will be our make or break moment, as we’ll need a good response to help convince investors to invest in us for the following round early next year.
Personally, I’m in a bit of a strange situation. I’m the MMO Wizard, but we’re not focusing on the more MMO-like aspects currently. My bout of jet lag meant that I didn’t get a chance to dig into the programming side as much as I had hoped while in London. I’m doing a bit more project management/producer work than I have in the past, along with more business stuff like talking to potential partners and investors. On one hand it’s exciting for me to grow in new ways, in other ways it’s scary to dive into new areas I’m not as experienced with.
A holiday bonus
Here’s a little bonus for those of you who read the whole thing. Some years ago game designer Greg Costikyan posted up a great cranberry relish recipe on his site Play This Thing! It was a bit out of place between the insightful game reviews, but it turned out to be a great recipe. I pretty much fix this for every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner I have; although I leave out the walnuts as I’m not fond of them. The neat thing about the recipe is that it’s simple, you control the ingredients (I prefer low calorie sweetener to sugar), you can try out different wines to cook the sauce in, and it turns a nice bright red color after you add the oranges at the end. Tasty and festive!
Hopefully you’ll enjoy it, too. Cranberry Sauce w/ Wine, Orange, and Walnuts
Happy holidays, everyone!