Tag Archives: computers

It Belongs in a Library

Steam salesI kissed my family goodbye, packed my bags with supplies and headed out in search of treasure.

I dug for hours in the scorching hot sun until sweat covered me. Then I found something shiny in the dirt. It was a tempting treasure, but no one goes on an adventure just to settle for the first bronze trinket they find. So I dug a little deeper.

At first I couldn’t believe my eyes. The resplendent surface of a gold nugget blinded me. Was this a desert mirage?

No, this was the real deal.

It was…

Alan Wake with a dramatic discount on Steam!

My First Steam Sale

It happened a while ago, but I’ll never forget it.

I saw Alan Wake priced at $29.99. Then the sale started and all hell broke loose when the game they slashed the game’s price to $14.99. I was so green back then, but I knew Steam could lower the cost even more.

And Steam did it.

It was like a genie granting my three wishes: cheap, cheaper, cheapest. The numbers changed faster than the cherry images on a slot machine. I blinked. The next thing I knew Alan Wake was in my library and probably reading one of his books.

So my journey came to an end, and I returned to my family. The golden nugget lay safely in my library for my eyes only. But, hey, what do we have here on Steam? I should check this out. It can’t hurt for me to buy more…

Time for me to close Steam.


Filed under Video Games I Play

Hack a Game to Bits

hacking in video games“Connect power coupling A with coupling B, then repeat three other times, and do this before the timer runs out. Avoid electric shock. Do not eat coupling or drop it into a bathtub.”

I don’t know about you, but I think this sounds boring. It sounds like a technical writer’s manual – keep in mind that I think they are swell people – for some product. It certainly does not excite me enough to read more.

Yet, some games ask you to fiddle with couplings, cogs, etc. when you hack, say, a security camera or computer. In these hacking mini games, you quickly memorize patterns or solve a puzzle. Then you earn a shiny reward.

I understand that people want to hack to gain rewards in games. There’s a huge payout when you finish the hack that makes you feel proud of your skills. You could gain control of a turret, as your reward, and mow down enemies. You could also grab more coins after you avoid a vending machine’s security system. These bonuses sound great.

However, it is a pain to hack things in games; the process itself is not fun. Developers could make both the process and the rewards fun to impress players. If they cannot do that, they should cut boring game segments like an editor faced with a bad sentence.

Granted, hacking things is a small part of most video games. Mass Effect and BioShock are excellent even though they have these hacking mini games. So why should anyone bother to make these mini games more fun?

Developers can stand out if they take the time to make hacking fun. Play then becomes a joy instead of a chore when every moment of the game is fun. Next-gen, I’m looking at you.


Filed under Video Game Trends