The Only Constant Is Change

So, I just started doing this Drawing of the Day thing where I was doing a drawing based on the word of the day as posted by either or Webster’s. I did four of them and stopped. I haven’t given up, but I had a thought.

First off, doing something daily is a bit hard and actually detracts from my ability to do other things. Also, some of the words of the day are just odd to think of alone. It’s just a word with a definition, no direction, and what I wanted was actually a bit more of a directed exercise.

You see, I can always sit down and just make shit up. My problem has always been that when I return later to the work from the “make shit up” session, I find it hard to continue the work. So, what I’m really looking for is more like the writing prompts you can find all over the place where they give you a subject and a direction and you are supposed to write on it. But with drawing.

To that end, I’m changing the project from Drawing of the Day to something like A Picture is Worth a Week of Words. Instead of using just a single word, I’m going to take seven words, still using the and Webster’s sources (I’ll choose all 7 from one source, and either I’ll do one, the other or both), and I’m going to do a drawing. I may also do some writing to go with it. They’ll go up on Sundays and use the words from the previous week (Sunday to Saturday).

I’m excited. I was excited before but quickly became drained. This less intensive version should be exciting without the exhaustion.

Driving Tips & Truths

I’ve been driving cars for over twenty years now, and what follows is a mixture of helpful tips and venting about stupidity.

  • Turn signals are not for the driver. It would almost be better if they somehow made it impossible to turn left or right, or change lanes, without using a turn signal.  The problem is that doing those things is possible without the turn signal so many drivers don’t use them.  But the turn signal isn’t for the driver, hence why they are on the outside of the car, where the driver could not possibly see them.  This is because turn signals are to tell other drivers what your intentions are and allows them the ability to react.  Brake lights work the same way, which is why it’s nice when people “cover” their brakes (touch the pedal lightly so that the lights kick on but the car isn’t actually braking yet) before they start braking.
  • No one knows what flashing your head lights means. One time, I was driving down the road and a person coming the other direction was flashing their head lights.  Over the next hill there was a police car waiting to catch speeders.  Obviously, flashing head lights means “cop ahead!”  So, another time I was driving and a person coming the other direction was flashing their lights.  I slowed down because there was going to be a cop… only there wasn’t.  Instead there was a large dead animal in the road.  Flashing head lights must mean “something ahead!”  This held true for years as people flashed lights for construction and accidents and other things, until I realized that in my own driving I’d only ever flashed my head lights at two other people and both times it was because the other drivers didn’t have their head lights on after dark, and I recalled someone doing that for me once too.  So, flashing head lights must mean “something!”  In the last twenty years, I’ve come to realize that flashing head lights can mean almost anything from a cop to trash in the road to head lights being off to acknowledging that the driver of the other car is attractive, and so now I pretty much ignore them.  Well, I do make sure my own head lights are on, because that’s the only meaning that matters.
  • No one can see you waving. Really, the only time anyone will ever see you wave is when they are looking for it.  If someone lets you in ahead of them in traffic, a courtesy wave to that someone is not only encouraged, it is greatly appreciated.  Always do it.  On the other hand, if you are coming up on a left turn and you see someone on that street you are about to turn on also wishing to make a left turn, especially if the road you are on is a busy one, there is a temptation to slow down and wave them out.  Only, 90% of the time, they can’t see you waving.  Want to know why?  A) they aren’t looking at you, they are watching traffic for gaps so they can make their left turn.  B) Window tinting and glare and about a dozen other things means when they do look at your car, they can’t see you except for perhaps a faint ghostly swishing of something that might be a wave, but they can’t tell.  By the time they can see you waving, you’ve stopped short, there are now ten cars backed up behind you and the gap in traffic they were actually paying attention to a couple cars back is now closed.  And odds are you may have to honk your horn to let them know you are waiting for them.  Being nice is one thing, letting people in to stop & go traffic is awesome, but if the traffic is flowing, the best thing you can do is to get where you are going as quick as you can.  Don’t stop traffic and break up the flow just to be nice to some random person.

Got any tips or truths you wish to share?

One Character

Would you play an MMORPG that only allowed you one charcter?

I’ve been thinking about this alot lately, mostly because I strive for a little “identity” in games. I am Ishiro in the World of Warcraft, and Ishiro is me. So far in games I’ve never run into another Ishiro (but I don’t play asian games), and only one Ishira. That means, more than likely, if you are in WoW and see Ishiro, its a pretty good bet it is me. The problem comes in with if I tire of being an alliance human priest on Durotan, or a horde undead warlock on Eitrigg, or any of the other Ishiros I have out there, I can’t change him without deleting him and starting over.

I think this is why, more and more as I think about fundamental game design, I favor a skill based system of some sort, where everyone starts exactly the same and becomes different through the choices of skills. The advantage, of course, is that if the game allows me to redistribute skill points or simply to focus on new different skills, I can be an all new person but without the crazy item swapping of class based mechanics where I have to delete my character, or the complete identity overhaul of playing a new name.

Now… take that desire to play one identity and take that to a physical limitation of being only allowed to create a single character in the game world. Again, I think I’d be in favor of it as long as my character worked like I’ve described above, where my fate isn’t decided at character creation and the only way to change is to dust off and nuke the site from orbit.

So yeah, that appears to be the direction I’d like to see games go, and the direction I’m going to take my silly Game That Never Was project.

Can Someone Really Do That?

One thing that irritates me in games is the lack of reality in certain aspects. Don’t get me wrong, I think being able to carry a half dozen backpacks loaded with gear is actually a good idea because reality in this care would impeed fun since you’d have to keep running back to town and dropping off loot instead of playing.

However, in combat, I am annoyed with people who whiz around running at full speed and jumping like they are on crack.

In reality, if you tried to attack someone with a sword while you ran around them in a circle, sidestepping, while jumping every second, you’d be fairly inaccurate and your swings would be pretty weak. In order to get good power into a swing, either you have to be charging, using your momentum to push the blade, or you have to plant your feet on the ground to support the muscular force you wish to bring to bear.

So, to that end, I wish to introduce a little reality into the game. Movement in any direction other than toward your enemy should have a negative impact on accuracy and power (damage). Moving toward an enemy should increase power based on the distance travelled (makes horseback lance fighting a possibility), and standing still should positively impact accuracy (chance to hit). Jumping should pretty much destroy accuracy and power. However, on the other side, if you are moving any direction but toward your enemy, your ability to dodge should increase. Jumping will actually make you harder to hit.

Now the question is “Well, I could just be jumping when I’m defending and stand still when attacking. Right?” No, not with any noticable effect. The jumping, or moving away from an opponent, would cap fairly quickly and be only a small modifier. The attack bonuses would be greater the longer you stayed still (or charged). So the end result of the proposed scenario would be “You’d be a little harder to hit, but have almost no attack bonus.”

It makes the combat engine very complex, and means that reduction of client/server lag is of paramount importance, but I think it would make for a much better game, especially in PvP.