Project Awesome: Goals and Measurement

We have almost all the elements to execute on Project Awesome. Now we know Why we chose to get fit and healthy, and What we’re going to do to get there. The final component is How. I work for a company that has a culture of making decisions based on two things: Goals and Measurement. You can’t change something if you can’t count it. You can’t achieve what you want if you can’t prove that you got there. Continue reading

Project Awesome: Motivation

I’ve lost a fair amount of weight in the last few months. It’s an incredible achievement, and while I’m proud of myself, I’ve found it a bit odd that my family and friends have been asking me how I did it — I only followed what seemed common sense. Still, at the risk of making this a humblebrag, I’m going to offer my advice. Continue reading

“Ever, Jane” promises dancing and backbiting

Ever, Jane is a new type of MMO: there are no dungeons, swords, guns or spells. Instead, it is set in the polite society of Regency England. Your goals are to advance your status by attending balls, making matches, and vicious gossiping.

Even though I’m not a fan of Austen’s work (I appreciate it — it’s just not for me), I’ve often wondered how one would build a computer game with a non-combat conflict resolution mechanic. Tabletop RPGs have a whole indie niche dedicated to this (and there’s always freeforms), but this would be my first encounter with a computer game that attempted this.

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The Last of Us

Spoiler warning: This game is really good and you should definitely play it. I’ll do my best to talk in generalisations, but since this is a discussion of the story, I will have to make some assumptions. You have been warned.

If I were going to call a contender for the 2013 Game of the Year award, it would have to be Last of Us. It’s no technological marvel, and the gameplay is nothing new, but it sets a new standard in storytelling. Well, probably not as high as Torment – little approaches the masterpiece – but for a linear stealth/action game, it sets the bar really high.

Stories are most effective when we can identify with the characters. P likes to say she prefers Boromir over Strider because of his flaws. She finds Aragorn almost inhuman in his heroic perfection, while Boromir is more relatable because of his pride and susceptibility to temptation — and his redemption brings a little hope to the rest of us mere mortals. Continue reading