2015 Digital Goals

I dislike resolutions because in the wrong mindset they can feel like impossible obstacles to overcome. There are a lot of standing jokes/memes out there surrounding impending resolution failures.

Nonetheless it is good to set goals as long as they are realistic. So here are mine.

1) Post 3x a week on average. I loved pushing myself for Blaugust daily posts but that is unrealistic for my non gaming personal and professional goals. 3x a week will keep my creative juices flowing and help me continue to improve as a writer.

2) Finish more games then I buy. I have already stopped buying bundles for most of 2014 and have set fun buying standards – such as no Steam purchase until 75%+ off (and that can come back and bite me in the butt). I have a slew of games at the 20-50% completed mark and they are good games I am interested in – I just lack gaming focus and discipline! Well, no more!

3) Fix my nagging blog issues. Pingbacks still don’t work (although I got one yesterday, oddly enough!) and right now I can only post to my site via the WordPress Android app. Not sure why. I need to get better at the technical side of the blog!

4) MMO more. I am going to continue working on TSW and SWTOR and I expect I will eventually end up in WoW to continue my journey with my 10 year old toons, but much like resolution #2 without focus and consisentcy I’m not getting as much out of my gaming.

Four is a good number for a nice easy percentage success rate at the end of the year and while none of these are exceptionally hard goals they will take some effort.

Do you set goals at New Years?

21 Gaming Questions

Questions are fun! Especially about gaming. I found this through the tech-support friendly Welsh Troll who links the original author and other bloggers there as well. Off to the races!

When did you start playing video games?

I started playing video games right when the Commodore 64 came out. I had a family member who worked for Commodore (I actually had the Vic-20 first, but really started gaming on the C64. So, 1982? I was 8. My favorite games are all from there – Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, IK+, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Pool of Radiance, M.U.L.E!

What is the first game you remember playing?

I actually programmed (on a tape drive no less!) my first real game. It was an arkanoid clone. It was amazing. Other early games that come to mind is HARDBALL! for the C64 – played that a lot with my brother early on. There are so many. If I had to pick one defining game I would choose M.U.L.E. It had everything that made gaming great for me.

PC or Console? 

PC mostly, but I also own a Wii (which is now rarely used) and an Xbox 360 which I use for co-op gaming with my 9 year old. Telltale Lego series mostly. We recently graduated to Diablo III there. (nice stretch, eh?)

XBox, PlayStation, or Wii? 

Xbox and Wii (Wii is dusty…) – got ahead of myself on the prior question…

What’s the best game you’ve ever played? 

Best is a tough definition! Longest stretch was EQ, DAOC or WoW. I pumped weeks of my life into those games. The best memories for me though is anything on this list.

What’s the worst game you’ve ever played?

I honestly don’t even recall. I think every game has a good point, none I have ever played would qualify as “the worst”

Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.

Splinter Cell – I never got into that series. Solid Snake just seems like a jackass. Even his name is. =)

Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.

Beach Head 2002. It reminded me enough of the original beach head and I played that a lot longer than anyone should have =)

What are your favourite game genres?

RPGs, MMOs, and Sports games. Baseball in particular, which makes me a sad panda for both PC and XBOX.

Who is your favourite game protagonist?

The ones that I make in my games. Me! =) I did love The Grey Warden in DA:O. Who was also me.

Describe your perfect video game.

Non grindy, community oriented, engaging to the mind and heart.

What video game character do have you have a crush on?

Alyx Vance, HL2.

What game has the best music? 

I’m not music oriented and I often play with the sound off.

Most memorable moment in a game:

Ragnaros kill in WoW. Defining moment for me in raiding and gaming. When he popped up for the first time it was JAW dropping. Heart raced as we executed our strategy. Amazing moment.

Scariest moment in a game:

I’m very jumpy in scary games – I remember some zombie dogs in one of the Resident evil series.. but can’t recall exactly which one! They jumped out, I spilled my drink all over my keyboard, had to buy a new one.

Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:

Not even game related – but I was in a game, EQ, and my daily questing partner shared with me that he was suicidal. It was a real, human connection in a virtual world. We sat there just talking for hours about it. If it was in person I would have hugged him and bought him beer. Unfortunately, I could only be a digital supporter and it felt so helpless that I couldn’t truly help him, or be there for him physically. I remember the place too – it was on the shores of Lake of Ill Omen. It’s a powerful gaming memory for me that spilled into real life.

What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?

I read blogs mostly, and on my blogroll over there—> are the ones I read the most. I sometimes go to joystiq or gamasutra and the like, but for the most part, its blogs.

What’s the last game you finished? 

I did a round of Civ 5 recently, that was the last. Also finished Diablo III act 4 in anticipation of act 5.

What future releases are you most excited about? 

Everquest Next is top of mind, Star Citizen if they actually start making a game at some point.

Do you identify as a gamer?

Yes! Among friends and family I’m known as the gamer geek.

Why do you play video games?

It’s active entertainment. I consider TV/MOVIES passive entertainment. I hate absorbing content by watching and listening – I like to contribute to content through actions!

There are my 21 – I kept them pretty short and sweet but some were hard to not expand a bit on. 21 ended up taking me a lot longer than I had expected – but it was a fun look back (and at present) to think about.


In current MMO land I am certain I’d get an achievement DING and maybe a blogging battle pet (or something). Personally I’m not one for making big deals out of milestones (especially when it comes to blogging) but when checking my dashboard noticed I had crossed that threshold, and for a fleeting moment thought it was kind of cool =)

The 1000th comment was bhagpuss talking about EQ which is pretty fitting I think, considering my MMO lineage, in partial glory below:

I think that’s a specific change just to those specific Kobold camps in Steamfont, not a generic change to difficulty at that level. They’ve been the way you describe for a very long time, many, many years. Possibly it happened when the zone was revamped with the new art.

In fact I’m going to log in now and whack an orc in one of the Commonlands camps to see how many come…

There is the epic-ness of my 1000 comment on this site. Bhagpuss should probably win something… does my eternal gratitude count as anything? =)

Regardless, it will go down in IHASPC history!

My Influential 15

One of my favorite blogs to visit is The Ancient Gaming Noob (TAGN) and he recently posted an Influential 15  list – started by another blogger and other sites are also playing along. The parts I read indicated not too many rules, but just do not overthink it – only take 15 minutes, and list them out.

This sounds like fun. I am going in chronological order!

Mario Bros (arcade) (1985)

I spent most of my allowance money playing this game with two of my best friends at the local bowling alley. It was close enough to our school that we could run there at lunch breaks, and always went right after school as well – but just for 20 minutes before racing home. This introduced me to the side scrolling platform [honorable mentions: Ghost and Goblins, Castlevania, Bionic Commando]

Hardball (c64) (1987)

Two teams – the red, power hitting team and the blue, speedy team. That was it in this baseball game. My brother and I played for hours at home – nice to not have to be at the arcade. (I always got stuck with the blue team). [Honorable mention: Madden (I still buy it every few years]

Police Quest (PC) (1987)

My first foray into the Sierra games series (King’s quest, Space Quest, etc.) and it was always a weekend event at one of my friend’s houses who had it. I think it took us 6 months to complete, since we only had limited weekend time (we mostly played outside – kids those days!)[honorable mention – Maniac Mansion]

Street Fighter (Arcade, SNES) (1987)

Another arcade favorite the one on one bragging rights was a blast. Learning the combos, fighting friends (and arcade enemies) for the right to stay on the machine for the next challenger… flipping a coin for the left or right hand side. All sorts of home field advantages. [Honorable mention: Mortal Combat]

Star control 2 (PC) (1992)

Exploration, adventure, discovery. Space. Has anyone come close since? I am avoiding throwing my money at Star Citizen yet watching it closely. That is a completely separate blog post. [Honorable Mention: Wing Commander. If only for the space.]

Doom (PC) (1993)

We had huge contests at university with Doom – inter dorm rivalries. My philosophy class suffered fiercely. I made a philosophical argument about augmented reality to the prof and he BFG’d me. University was so cool. [Honorable mention: Half Life]

NHL 94 (SEGA) (1993)

Oh Sega hockey, with the one move that would score 100% of the time.. that was up to you do defend properly. Both ends of the rink, there was that ONE move. Yet it was still awesome. Plus bleeding heads.

X com (PC) (1994)

Turn based mastery. This is on many ‘best of ever” lists, so not going to explain its full awesome-ness. Many have explained it better than I ever could. Xcom is the perfect example of a game you loved but refuse to play it again. I have it through steam. It sucked to relive it – but awesome the first time around. We are not conditioned to accept failing the first X missions before we have a chance. (see what I did there?) [Honorable mention – Civ 1 – bit of a stretch, but very turn based]

Baldur’s Gate (PC) (1998)

I had played a lot of Pen and Paper games and this one reminded me the most of them. I hadn’t played a lot of D&D at the time  and this was my first real foray and experience into that. I don’t even remember if I won or what happened in the game – I just remember the hours spent hunched in the darkness… in amazement. Just one more encounter. One more.

Rainbow Six (PC) (1998)

The AI could be buggy as hell when you were planning your rescues, but this was an AMAZING shooter – one shot and you are dead, get caught/spotted and the hostages are dead. Great premise and superbly executed at the time. You could do many missions in many different ways and had the choice of your own path. The planning and thinking part was as exciting for me as the executions. And oh yes, permadeath! [Honorable mention: Counter Strike]

Everquest (PC) (1999)

The MMO game changer that has spawned 100 clones, for better or for worse (often better, jaded vets may argue worse. It doesn’t even matter anymore. It was awesome and really kickstarted the genre.) It has ruined MMOs for me since, but that is also because of the testserver play environment (hint: community). The rose colored glasses often adorned!

Sims (PC) (2000)

Sims the original was the first game that I could get my girlfriends to play. And my non-gaming roommates. It was the first time I realized games could be for everyone. Then I invented the Wii. (or should have, at least). All that being said, I am pretty sure the things my girlfriend at the time did to the Sims (or tried to do) made me realize that maybe she wasn’t the one. Sicko. May have saved my life.

Dark Age of Camelot (PC) (2001)

My second MMO I played the heck out of and my first real PVP experience was also amazing. I also played on the testserver (Pendragon) and the strength of the community there really improved the overall experience. Sadly, game developers have learned that test servers make bad for the quick hitting types of testing they want with enough sample size, and they don’t really exist anymore. The lesson they should have learned is that smaller, more dedicated communities make for stronger ties. Another post. DAOC taught me to embrace PVP and how humans always beat AI on experience – always.

World of Warcraft (PC) (2004)

What to say? The most successful MMO ever made took an inaccessible genre and made it easy for everyone to participate. While I have spent my fair share of time arguing WoW has hurt the MMO space in many ways, you cannot argue against its influence. I still go back every expansion, do the theme park rides, /hug and /hi to my friends still playing, and then out again.  I think the next MMO Blizzard makes is going to say a lot about what they have learned from WoW. I’m intrigued.

Battlefield 2142 (PC) (2006)

The multiplayer FPS I judge all other FPSs against. It was great. It was better than great – it was awesome. The kits, the vehicles, everything. COD always felt too twitchy and gamey in comparison (even the DICE successors did) and I started playing more strategic, slower paced shooters afterwards. BF2142 was just the perfect balance for *me*. [Honorable Mention: Project Reality]

That’s It!

There is my list! Crazy, and a *bit* sad that the most recent game launch on my list is 8 years old already, but influence is influence. As I re-read this there were a few I wanted to add (RTS such as Warcraft -or- Command & Conquer) but I decided to keep it pure – the ones that spoke to me first. I’m sure as I read through other’s lists I’ll have many an “aha!” moment. I hope mine brought along some positive smiles and memories!


In MAY 2009 I wrote a post about Remakes.

In it, I listed my three favorite old games I wish would be remade – this was on the heels of Mike Tyson’s Punchout being relaunched which I bought for the Wii, and played all the way to the champ himself.

This is why it is fun reading your old posts sometimes!

#1 – X-COM – Remade 2012

I *still* haven’t played the remake. I read a lot about it, and want to make the time – I’m sure it’ll go on sale on Steam at some point. Dropped the ball on my favorite game of all time. (To be fair, I did rebuy the original on Steam, but man, its hard to play. That’s a whole separate, future post.)

#2 Star Control 2 – Fan Remade 2012

Haven’t played this either. I am a terrible fan. To be fair, I just googled it to see if anything had been made of SC2 and lo and behold. I’ll be trying this soon. I’m really pumped for it =)

#3 Privateer – Coming soon!

Ok, not *exactly* but Star Citizen can be spiritual successor. 37 Million in “fundraising”? Holy $H^T! Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into another rockstar computer CEO shenanigans.

While I have a lot of excitement for these titles, is it also a Hollywood-esque issue that new, creative ideas for blockbuster games are getting thin, and rehashing the greats of old is the way to go?