Meanwhile, at the Scalzi Compound

No school today because of cold (and likely no school tomorrow, since it will be even colder), so what better day for Athena to run about in Unreal Tournament 2004, killing bots? None! None more better, I say!

Also, Unreal Tournament 2004: Still the best arena shooter, especially if you don’t actually want to play against other humans, because they are usually irritating butt monkeys.

In fact the last couple of days, when I’ve not been writing on The End of All Things, I’ve been playing video games, which explains my scarcity here (I’ve most recently been playing Dishonored, if you’re curious). I’m probably going to give games a couple night’s rest, however, because my wrist is reminding me that mice aren’t actually good for it, especially when I play obsessively for hours at a time. RSI, man. It’ll get you.

How are you?

50 Comments on “Meanwhile, at the Scalzi Compound”

  1. I switched to an Xbox controller for my PC a couple of years ago precisely because of RSI issues. I do a bunch of mouse-intensive drafting work at work and was simply unable to play for more than a few minutes at a time at home until I plugged in the controller. It’s not supported for all games, but enough.

  2. UT:2k4 seems kind of minimalist for that monster PC.
    I actually finished Dishonored last year and I don’t get all the way through very many games. Almost tempted to play it again, even.

  3. I’m glad your silence here was balanced by productivity, or at least plenty of fun, in real life. You mentioned recently having an impending (or possibly overdue) deadline, so I figured it would be quiet around Whatever for a while. Good that you’re balancing it with some games, though do be careful with the wrists. I am discovering that poor choices I made decades ago have left me with very unhappy joints in many areas, and that’s not especially pleasant in weather like this.

    Bitterly cold here, too, and most of the rural school districts closed today, though the bigger city districts held regular classes. Since our offspring are in their 30s at this point, it doesn’t matter much, and listening to coworkers with small kids stressing over whether or not they’ll have to scramble to find childcare makes me glad that I’m well past that stage myself. I stress about other things now.

  4. School is not canceled here, but email and recorded phone messages have been sent bidding parents to minimize skin exposure to the air, have their kids wait for the bus inside a building or car, and if a walker takes more than 10 minutes to get to school, DRIVE THEM.

    Of course, mine has had a stomach bug since yesterday, so this may be a moot point for us. (The wind is howling outside. Wind-chill is way, way negatives…)

  5. With week off for holidays, I had plenty of early morning (get up at 5:30 with the dogs) Skyrim time. Hard to go back to just Saturday/Sunday mornings. Am afraid if I had gaming PC, and wasn’t hogging TV with console, I might disappear into computer.

  6. She’s going to be independent in less than two years and you’re sending her out into the world accustomed to moving with the NUMPAD!? You are a Terrible, Neglectful Father!

  7. UT!!! *ahem* It brings a joyful tear to my eye to see the younger generation snuggling up to a good ol’ game of UT. *wistfully reminisces about LAN parties of yore*

  8. I was always more of a Quake 3 Arena fan, but I liked playing against other people. Still had a lot of good times on UT 2K4. So much nostalgia.

  9. How am I? Cold. Really, really cold. Damn 200 year old Farmhouses – air comes in everywhere and when it’s this cold you notice. Also I dropped my laptop and trashed the hard drive. Don’t ask if I backed it up recently. Luckily the wip is on dropbox. Did I mention that it’s cold?

  10. We’re in sort of the reverse situation here in Australia – Monday here in Perth hit 44C, and it’s still nice and warm with temperatures in the mid to high 30s C. So I tend to deal with the heat of the day by either napping (because one of the side effects of long warm nights is to leave me low on sleep) or by playing computer games. The one I’ve been playing most lately is “Banished” (a build-a-mediaeval-village simulator). Finally got a village to the point where I was earning some of the achievements yesterday, so I’m pretty chuffed about that.

  11. There wad an episode of mash where it was freezing and one guy had electric hested socks. 40 years later. Screw drones, i want heated clothing.

    Went to hot yoga 110 degrees in the room…

  12. Have to say I agree about Unreal Tournament – hilarious and gratuitous. Though I think Athena needs a visit from the ergonomics police.

    Back into the 70s here in San Diego – it dropped to 37 last week. I almost had to put on a long sleeved shirt.

  13. I personally loved Dishonored and it’s one of the few games I’ve actually beat multiple times. It had some issues (as most things do), but the world felt genuinely unique and well developed. I was actually excited to find new books or notes in game talking about the world.

  14. Two (plus) years after backing the Kickstarter for Shadorun Returns, I’m finally playing it. Once I’m happy with how I did in it, I’ll go for the sequel, Dragonfall. The main reason I’m even playing it now is they just announced they’re going to have another Kickstarter for a Hong Kong scenario, and I don’t want to be three games behind when they finish Hong Kong. I put the ‘Pro’ in procrastination…

  15. Sick and playing a whole lot of Dragon Age. Finished a second run-through of Inquisition and now going back to replay the first two so I can remember who half of these people are.

  16. I’m with JoeFerrara: more a fan of Quake 3 (now basically reborn as Quake Live). Especially freeze tag.

  17. Coincidentally, I have also started playing Dishonored. As opposed to playing it coincidentally, which would be both weird and impressive.

    Unfortunately, I started broadcasting my playthrough, which means the foul cold that struck my lungs has left me with a choice of stopping play until I can narrate audibly for extended periods or having a gap in the video series.

  18. @Knightwork

    Dragonfall is excellent. You will not be disappointed. Play the Director’s Cut version, though, it containts some nice UI improvements.

    Glory is my favorite Shadowrun character of all time, btw. Once you play Dragonfall, you’ll understand why.

    If you like that, be sure to check out Invisible Inc. Also a cyberpunk tactics game, although focused on stealth/infiltration, rather than all-out combat like most Shadowrun encounters turn into.

  19. So modern… My brother just installed me some emulators so I’m playing the original Tomb Raider just now.

    Also, not as cold here in the UK but incessant rain today.

  20. I’ve been playing Dishonored repeatedly the past couple of months. The world design is incredible. If you haven’t played the dlcs – The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches (play them in that order), you really really should. You get a chance to play from Daud’s perspective and the story is good.

  21. I’m all about the Lionheart Tactics on the iPad. But then I’m the type that only has limited time to sit and play, so full inversion games aren’t my thing at the moment.

  22. Dishonored is so good. I love that you can play it as a proper stealth game. The level design is excellent and there are so many ways to get from A to B. You can kill everyone or no-one. I just wish there were more like it.

  23. I got some fancy current generation titles for Christmas, but I’ve found myself being sucked back into the Jedi Knight series and Morrowind. Old(ish) games are the best!

  24. In gaming, World of Tanks would be great except for the other people you’re playing against.

  25. Never tried Unreal Tournament. Heard about it, but not much else. Dishonored is a game I need to finish on the xbox. Dropped it awhile ago and never got back. Right now it’s either FIFA 15 or EVE. My son did let me know that he’d let me play Shadows of Mordor on his machine. I may have to take him up on it. And yeah, my wrists get tired it there’s too much xbox/pc action going on. Eyes too. Ah well.

  26. Manny: Glory is my favorite Shadowrun character of all time

    My god. Shadowrun is a videogame now???

    (starts twitching uncontrollably)

    GLG: Kerbal Space Program

    Man, if I got a nickel for every time my spaceship blew up, I’d have a hangar full of nickels. And yet, I keep trying.

  27. Recovering from a really nasty cold, caring for parents who caught said nasty cold, and obsessively playing Dragon Age Inquisition. It’s slowly killing my shoulders and lower back but it’s WORTH IT.

  28. If you are a bit of a masochist, go buy yourself Dark Souls 2. It’s fun to play on bitterly cold nights.

  29. It’s been so foggy here at night that P. and I have been saying “We’re back in the Construct again?” before putting the blinds down. This morning’s visibility is about 2 miles: the Cascades are probably still there, but I can’t see ’em to verify it.

  30. DISHONORED, huh? A great game, and I’m playing through the “Game of the Year” edition….but I’ve had to put it aside to play my rented copy of ALIEN: ISOLATION. Now this game is easily one of the best I’ve played, and it truly captures the mood of ALIEN. It is not an easy game, but it forces you to think first before running out and doing something stupid.

  31. I like Kerbal Space Program quite a bit

    As much as I like it, there are many places in the game where you can’t speed up time enough to suit me. So I haven’t played in a while.

    I know am am several versions out of date.

  32. Kerbal is pretty damn cool.

    Though I’d suggest downloading the MechJeb mod to actually make flying the rockets easy for the old of thought (like me).

    They can still wobble and explode in entertaining ways. And don’t get me started on spaceplanes…

  33. @Greg

    Yep! And a pretty good one! Manages to really capture the feel of the old Pen and Paper game, although it kind of smoothes over the rules a bit (sort of a combination of 2nd and 3rd edition rules, but simplified) for the sake of playability.

    Not that I mind. I used to run Shadowrun games, and also play in them. I could run the game smoothly because I had every damn chart memorized. Most GMs and players didn’t. The systems could be a bit clunky if you didn’t know them backwards and forwards off the cuff. A little streamlining would have been nice.

    Let me again also add my support to those praising Alien: Isolation.

  34. Also, if the game industry feels like casting Kezia Burrows as the lead in *all the things* from now on, I wouldn’t complain.

  35. Playing UT2004 is okay – spent about 10 years at it but playing against bots is tedious.
    COOP or FPS with/against friends is always more fun than playing solo or against random idiots.

    Christmas taken over by 7 Days to Die coop zombie killing.

  36. There’s a small but active and very friendly UT2004 Freon community. I play almost every night. It’s a team deathmatch mod where you freeze when you run out of health. Your teammates can thaw you by standing next to you. Round ends when all players on one team are frozen. Look for SoL in the deathmatch tab. My 11 year old daughter occasionally plays and she has a great time. :)

    I played through Dishonored twice last year – it was an amazing game! One of my top 5.

  37. I used to play other games. Now I just play Destiny. I’m not completely sure why, but it seems to fill all my game-playing needs. It’s probably the polish on the gunplay and traversal. It’s just fun to shoot and jump around. Jump around.

  38. I agree with mister slim, destiny is amazing, maybe give It a shot? (Well as long as your willing!)

  39. I get the feeling John doesn’t own any consoles, and that’s a big paywall to climb over, just to play one game.

  40. Okay, a bit late but how am I? Busy…

    Anyhoo, my gaming time has been playing Fall Out: New Vegas. I love open world games.

    For those of you with a science bent (see Kerbal earlier) the NASA APOD site had a cool solar system simulator a week or so back that IMO is worth poking at.

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