Adam's blog formerly game development, now just casual madness

Welcome Back

There are two things I’m refering to with the headline here.

All games and nostalgia

First, I bought Command & Conquer: Remastered on Steam. It’s pretty good! Nostalgia well-captured, in the sense that you don’t notice any difference to your memories of the original, almost overlooking the fact that graphics and audio have been improved tenfold.

I can’t really say I’d recommend playing it though - and that’s not necessarily the games fault. It’s just the combination of being essentially purified nostalgia and probably more than 30 hours of playing time that, for me, doesn’t work in its favor. Besides not having as much time as I used to, those hours feel like eating too many snacks in one go. I’ve seen it all before, right? I’m indulging in a memory, not exploring a new experience.

So instead of continuing that, I decided to actually check out at least some of the ~1700 games I recently got in the Bundle for Racial Equality.

Four games in, I can definitely recommend The Novelist, which is all about (you guessed it) the narrative and how you relate to it. It does have some gameplay, but it’s purely optional and I chose to disable it entirely without feeling I missed something important.

What remains is exploring the thoughts of a family facing various issues, and making choices on how to move forward. In the end it’s always about a trade-off, and you can’t make everyone happy - only the best of a situation that, in some way, is always flawed. It’s this constant juggling of priorities that makes it so interesting, because it easily becomes a mirror and an examination of your own.

Islands and FarFromNoise didn’t really do much for me (though they seem very well executed), but CellTune is pretty neat. Granted, it lacks polishing - but it has interesting gameplay! You construct a self-replicating cell and see how it fares in a simulated world compared to other cells. The levels gradually add more challenging competitors and environmental obstacles. If nothing else, it’s a great playable prototype and if I had more time, I’d probably dive in to build my own based on some of its ideas.

Some blog work

And second, I finally managed to spend some time with the blog again, after another one year gap. Being the tech person I am, this doesn’t mean I spent time writing any new content, oh no, haha. (Seriously though, I’m trying.)

Instead, I refactored a lot of its static site generation code to make some things easier for me to deal with, added a few convenience functions for readers and polished the design a bit.

There’s no longer any JavaScript of note, or any external content on this site at all - it’s just you, your browser, the server, and a bit HTML and CSS. The internet has enough analytics, tracking and clunky frontend code already, so if this page can be part of a tiny oasis, all the better.

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