Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 10 2002

I have banished the ‘refresh’ buttom from my brows…

I have banished the ‘refresh’ buttom from my browser menu, owing to its recent treacherous behavior. Hopefully it will spend the time thinking about what it’s done, and how it can improve itself, make something useful of itself in the future. This should also send a strong message to the ‘home’ and ‘favorites’ buttons concerning what should happen to them if they fail to keep their noses clean.

Lileks wrote about first-person shooters today in a way that echoed many of my thoughts on the subject. I’m getting tired of running around shooting things. Perhaps it’s the inevitable mellowness settling over me in my old age, but I wonder what a game would be like if, instead of pouring all of their resources into huge maps and the telemetry of spinning corpses, developers concentrated on a pure and vivid atmosphere, the essence of what made games like Dark Forces and Half-life such fun to play. You might think that it was the shooting bit that did it, but for me it was the feeling of being ensconced inside another world, a place to explore. Unreal was beautiful, but it lacked the atmosphere. In many such games I turn on the god mode just so I don’t have to worry about the shooting part, just walking around and enjoying the feeling of being in the place. At the moment I am playing Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. Recently I made it to a place where you’re in a cavernous, darkened cantina, with tinny music playing and a sprinkling of characters sitting around. I would have loved to just sit down at a table and watch what happened, take in the details, etc. But as soon as I began talking to the bartender, the blast doors came crashing down and everyone in the place started shooting at me. Then, after I had killed everyone or run them off, the corpses disappeared, and the place was dead, a collection of interesting polygons.

I know it sounds cheesy, but what if there were a game where there wasn’t such a lethal mandate to kill everyone in sight, where one had to make decisions, subtle ones. Programmers would probably tell me that we don’t have the technology to do such a thing and do it well, but surely we have attained a level where we can begin thinking about introducing a greater level of complexity into our killing games, at least making us thinking a bit about slaughtering everyone in the room before, or even as we do it.

(There is a Chinese-American woman a couple of cubicles over from my hammering away at the computer at at least 90 words per minute. She’s been on there for about half an hour so far. Is it the world’s longest email, or have I inadvertantly discovered one of Jody Lin’s many hidden posting spots?)

This morning I was offered, quite out of the blue, a tech-writing position out in Neihu for a bit more money than I am making now (not an incredible feat, that). If the idiot residents of that area hadn’t kept arguing about what capacity line they wanted for so many years and kept the Muzha Line from continuing up to Neihu, I would probably go for it. As it is it is tempting, but the commute would be problematic and possibly expensive, therefore reducing any financial benefit I gained from it. I also know precisely fuck-all about tech writing, but that doesn’t appear to be a problem for most tech writers.

In case you’re wondering what’s been going on with me in a photographic way lately, here are three new pictures at the Mirror Project, all from the Kymco event downstairs a while back.

In other news, Mayor Ma announced today, no doubt from underneath a very large umbrella, that the drought is over. It feels like the end of a dry spell on several different levels. All of the sudden, with the onset of rainy weather, many different developments and choices are presenting themselves, like insects crawling out of the woodwork: The publisher thing. The film festival. A possible new place to live. Job offers. Little P. A new monitor, a new helmet even.

It never rains…

posted by Poagao at 6:30 am  

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