Tag Archives: star wars

March 2012 update

Wow, a lot has happened in a month.

Finished replaying Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: How Many Subtitles Can We Add. I played TSL with the Restored Content Mod (1.7), and, because of it, the game was amazingly good–better than the first one, even. I played these to remind myself of the references that I’d been seeing in Star Wars: The Old Republic back in Dec/Jan, but since finishing those two games, I haven’t really had much time to hop back into SWtOR.

Instead, I went to the Digital Media and Learning conference, March 1-3 in San Francisco. It was good, but the most progressive and interesting stuff came from panel talks and hallway conversations, imho, not the keynote or plenary sessions. I think this has to do with who I am, as the main events were a lot of proselytizing to teachers and policy makers. While the conference was happening, I started a Google doc to take DML 2012 collaborative notes (like the previous two years and at other conferences I attend). This year, we got some pretty good coverage (thanks to Cathy Tran and Kat Schenke).

Hung out in San Francisco *during* Game Developers Conference, March 5-9, and, as luck would have it, someone gave me their pass on Wednesday since they were leaving early. I totally squandered it and mainly went to the expo, but I did see a really great talk by Rich Lemarchand. The energy at GDC put DML to shame, and surprisingly, the innovative game play and talks that I did go to I felt were better and more substantial than those at DML. Too bad, it costs 17 times more to go to GDC than DML.

Was introduced to Draw Something, the mobile game where you and a friend guess what each other are drawing, kind of like Pictionary. I love how it’s encouraging a lot of people who don’t normally “do art” draw and be creative. It’s pretty much taken over as my idle activity of choice, leaving my twitter feed languishing.

Played Mass Effect 3, March 11-18. (Massive) spoiler warning!!!

 

 

Spoilerz aheadz!

 

 

There’s a bit of controversy over the ending. I thought the ending took away player agency in a way that was dissatisfactory, not letting me make choices that I thought Commander Shepard would make. (The most awesome rewrite of the ending is, by contrast, very satisfactory, and I’ll pretend that’s how it ended.) The synthesis ending is completely bizarrely space magic. And when I think about the whole game, I am a little disappointed that so much of if felt like I was just hitting a button to continue to watch the cutscenes play out. In many cases, there wasn’t really a choice to make, and most of the cutscenes felt like Bioware was just dotting Is and crossing Ts, methodically tying up loose ends from the previous two games.

These activities and events have basically prevented me from attending to my inbox, and it will take me a while to go through everything I marked with a star to check out later.

 

thoughts about Knights of the Old Republic

Yes, that’s the original Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR), not the new MMO, The Old Republic (SWTOR).

From Games

Some of you may know that KotOR was an influential game in steering me to become a PhD student looking at cooperation collaboration and teamwork in (online) games. Anyway, I decided to reinstall it, throw in some mods, and check it out, now that I’ve played SWTOR for a while. Here’s some really brief notes:

  • Low poly count and textures. The extent of this surprised me. I remembered it being much more detailed, but that was back then… It’s not as bad as playing Deus Ex these days, at least.
  • Sparsely populated, so… no change, really.
  • You can actually talk to everyone and get a line of banter, it seems. There’s even just people who’ll engage in a one-line dialog with you. Nice flavor.
  • I like that it isn’t clear who are quest givers.
  • I love how NPCs appear as recurring characters who you just sort of chance upon at first, like Cordo, the bountyhunter, or Mission Vao. You see them in a scene but then have hardly any interaction with them until later in the game. Lots of foreshadowing or “here’s some info and set-ups, which we won’t tell you when they come together for something bigger or if they’re just flavor.” I like the unpredictable nature of it… uncertain nature of it.