Obdormio.com Unwasted Hours

10 February, 2013

One More Step

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Obdormio @ 14:03

I think I was quite spoiled, when it comes to adventure games. My love for the genre was kindled by playing some very good games at an early, formative age. Though the exact order is somewhat muddled now by the mists of time, I recall playing Pyramid: Challenge of the Pharaoh’s Dream in primary school, and while I suppose you might quibble a bit on the genre of that game, I certainly class it as adventure. It was marvellous fun. Then, picking through the PC games shelf in the library, I went on to play such excellent games as Pink Panther’s Passport to Peril and Riven. Although I didn’t understand a single thing on that first play, you all know how I’ve landed when it comes to that game. Eventually, I played Myst itself, of course. All great games, with fun and intriguing stories, and that’s where I’ve been spoiled – eating the best fruit first.

And then, when I was 13 or 14, I played The Longest Journey.

On the list of my favourite games, Riven holds the number one spot. The Longest Journey is on number two. Man, that game told an excellent story. It was one of the first games I actually bought, rather than borrow at the library. I don’t know how long it took me to get through it all, but it was a gloriously good time.

The sequel, Dreamfall, was also a good game, but it did not measure up to its predecessor. Funcom decided to experiment with action-adventure, adding half-hearted combat and stealth sections to the game, and choosing controls better suited for the X-box than the PC, though PC was the main platform. The story was excellent still, and masterfully told, but the actual gameplay left quite a bit to be desired. And it ended on a god damn cliffhanger. Six years ago. And then Funcom began digging itself its MMO grave, and we hear nothing more.

Until just recently! Ragnar Tørnquist, the mastermind behind these games, founded his own little studio and licensed the rights to finally make a new game in the series. And it’s up on Kickstarter right now, trying to fund the project. And they’ve said they’re removing the combat and stealth and going back to pure adventure! I am giddy with excitement! I have seriously been reloading that Kickstarter page over and over for the past two days, watching the number climb, ever slower, towards the goal. I pledged $50 myself, though I am debating going for the physical box, just to have it in my shelves. Will have to do some maths on whether the budget can take it.

If you haven’t played The Longest Journey, I heartily recommend it. It’s on GOG for a pittance, and I believe it is available on Steam as well, for those of that persuasion. Dreamfall‘s on there as well, if you want to check it out. But the Kickstarter is the real thing here. An actual proper adventure game made by people who damn well know how. I only wish I had more spending money at hand.

21 January, 2013

I Am Not a Blogger: A Look Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Obdormio @ 20:46

Though we did the whole Year in Review business a few weeks ago, around the actual New Year, this is the day I choose to mark as the anniversary of this here blog – the third Monday of January. A good time to look back on that first post, a year ago, where I declared my intention to waste a few hours less.

I said I wanted to start posting regularly, and I’ve done posts! 52 weeks of at least one post a week – usually on Monday – and a few with two, mainly before my workload increased. Fairly regularly, in other words. So am I a blogger yet? I don’t feel like it. The fact that this post is late says lots, I should think.

I started strong, with two weeks’ buffer in the bank before even launching, but the buffer did not last very long. There’s been some good stuff, quite a few duds, and several panicked evening where I had no earthly idea what I’d say.

That last thing is something I don’t really want anymore, so I think I’ll stop stressing about a midnight update from now on, as this post should show. When better to make changes than an anniversary?

Next, I lamented my lack of a specific topic, and that’s pretty much borne out I think. I’ve written about various and sundry, but I don’t think anyone can accuse me of having an overarching theme.

Have I avoided wasting my hours? Yes and no. I think I have wasted fewer, but surely a man must be allowed to waste some. There certainly seems to be fewer hours in the day these days, but I am assuming that’s all in my head for now.

I am still not a blogger, I think, not at heart. But I may be on my way. Ask me again in a year.

14 January, 2013

Cookery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Obdormio @ 00:00

I’m not an especially good cook. In fact, I think I’d call myself a boring cook. I tend to make the same small selection of dishes over and over again, and mostly just do those by following the familiar steps, without much experimentation.

I like baking a good bit better than cooking – not so much for the process as for the results – but cooking seems to be more called for in everyday life. Dinner every day, and all that.

But I cook boring, Three or four dinners that just rotate around, occasionally changing rice for potatoes. And it tends to be made from powders, just add water. Dull. Unfortunately, when I do try to break out, the results tend to be disappointing. Which was the case today, when I tried to make fried rice myself for the first time ever. The results weren’t unpleasant, but also not good enough compared to the effort required.

I bought a bit cookbook a while ago, with vegetarian recipes, but have only tried a couple. Most of them didn’t look appealing. I guess I need better books. Cause right now, dinner is boring.

7 January, 2013

Sticky Stories: The Tolkien Legendarium

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

There are some stories that just seem to stick. Some stories that latch on, and stay with me, never leaving my brain, and resurfacing every now and then to make me ponder the intricacies and details and themes they explore. Stories that I periodically just have to read or see or experience again.

The Myst franchise contains such a story. As does The Dark is Rising Sequence. And the one that’s currently bubbling around near the surface is the vast story found in the works of Tolkien.

Obviously, what has brought this fit of bubbling thought on right now, is the first Hobbit film. I’ve seen it twice now, and enjoyed it greatly both times. It has its flaws – I’m basically of Dave Kellett’s mind here. While it is a very entertaining film, I am far from convinced that it needed to be split in three. And when it is split in three, it does not need to be three hours long.

But while the film is greatly entertaining, it isn’t the book, isn’t the depth and mad brilliance of Tolkien’s writings. Much like the Lord of the Rings films, it is a good, nay great, effort to tell that story in film form, but it mostly just whets my appetite for rereading the books. I want to see again how it all fit together in the text.

The Encyclopedia of Arda did a series of articles back when the Lord of the Rings films came out, the Movie-goer’s Guides, which listed some of the most important changes from book to film. I wish they’d do more of those for the Hobbit, I’m always game for a good explanation of Tolkien’s work.

I did find another list of changes, but it seemed less thought through and coherent in its presentation, listing even the most minor of quibbles as its own huge point, and I was so annoyed by its Cons section I eventually couldn’t read on. Oh, no, this change means using a word of dialogue that Tolkien didn’t write! Horreur!

The point is, I’m now in a mood to revisit this story. The best way would be a reread – Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion all – but considering how little reading I get done these days, I doubt it’s be the best idea. Maybe I can just do the Hobbit, and contend myself with that.

Or maybe I’ll just watch the Lord of the Rings films again. Yeah, that sounds nice and lazy.

31 December, 2012

Small Skinny Quiz of 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

It is the last day of the year, so it’s a good day to stop and look back at what has happened so far. If you’ve been reading my little blog, I hope you were paying attention along the way, ’cause here comes the quiz. If you haven’t been reading it and are just coming in now, I hope you’re a good guesser. Best of luck, and happy new year!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

24 December, 2012

The Slump

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Obdormio @ 00:00

It never fails. The last couple of weeks of the semester, as the exams loom overhead and the list of things that absolutely critically need to be done this very moment is always at least a few points too full, I get filled with creative sparks and a burning desire to do anything but this. The procrastination muscles work overtime, and I am brimming with energy I want to apply to something not at all exam-related – start up that online D&D game, finish a stupid story I’ve been neglecting for years and be done with it, reorganise the shelves and sort through the piles and piles of comics that my childhood built up. The second the exams are over, I’ll be ready to go.

And then the exams are over, and I’m not really doing anything at all. Plenty of time now. It can all wait. Let’s play a short game of Sims instead.

In case you’re not familiar with the game yourself; there is no such thing as a short game of Sims.

This post-exam slump is as predictable a part of the process as the panic-induced burst of procrastination energy that precedes it, and yet I never get around to counteracting it. It is at its worst in December, as this break is so much shorten than summer, and as I am a big Christmas fan, I also want to just wallow in holiday bliss without doing more work that strictly necessary.

Speaking of, unless something’s gone wrong, this post goes up on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, the lot of you!

The next semester will be my last as a student – at least for the foreseeable future – so I guess the pattern of panic and slump will also reach its end. I don’t think life in regular gainful employment has quite as many crunch periods. Next December, I’ll be making tests rather than taking them – which I’m sure is still a good bit of work, but probably with less of the stressful wait beforehand. So no more slump? I’m hopeful, ’cause I’m an incurable optimist, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have Sims to rule and cookies to eat. Merry Christmas, once more.

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