events on my mind

Thursday, 19 June 2008
  1. Squash ladder match #3
  2. Binghamton Airshow
  3. Ithacafest
  4. Williams Reunions
  5. AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference and Exhibit
  6. Jonathan Coulton concert in New York, NY
  7. Spore Creature Creator Trial release

roofball rules, as explained to me at the ’73 reunion

Tuesday, 10 June 2008
  • The court is the back side of Tyler House; the ball is a tennis ball
  • Service is from beyond the sidewalk on the right of the court
  • The serve must hit the slate roof on the far left of the court and must hit the slate elsewhere on the roof to be legal (the “two-slates rule”)
  • The other team must catch the ball and return it to the roof from the point where they catch it
  • If the ball intentionally hits a window on the building, it is a fault on the throwing team
  • A team scores a point when their opponents fail to catch the ball on their serve
  • The game is to 11 points, and must be won by 2 points

Miis that people need to stop making

Monday, 26 May 2008
  1. Darth Vader.  Okay, guys, none of them actually looks like Vader (especially the small ones), and can you really see Vader playing bowling?
  2. Those shark-head things.
  3. The little designs on the heads, and nothing else.  Particularly the obscene ones.
  4. Michael Jackson.  Those are just frightening.
  5. Jesus.

Starcraft 2 campaign story prediction

Saturday, 17 May 2008
  1. Zerg: Kerrigan hatches evil plan, battles Protoss and Dominion forces.  Go back to Earth to infest the population?
  2. Protoss: The intrepid warriors discover Kerrigan’s plans, which of course involve the Protoss’ own Xel’Naga origins, and devise a way to circumvent her.
  3. Terran: Rebel forces led by Jim Raynor fight against the Dominion for a while, but then Raynor’s old allies the Protoss come to him and he launches their bid to stop Kerrigan.  Raynor gets the girl?

winter means…

Tuesday, 1 January 2008
  • Thick, quiet blankets of pure white on pine trees
  • Cross-country skiing on forest paths
  • Sledding down the orchard hill
  • Hot chocolate and soup
  • Crackling fires with board games and books
  • Snow forts
  • Bundling up (and then unbundling again)
  • Snow days!

features I wish were in TES IV: Oblivion

Wednesday, 17 October 2007
  1. Mounted combat. No-brainer. There’s no reason why I can’t just look down sideways from my horse and click to swing a sword or shoot an arrow.
  2. With this should probably come a restructuring of the horse-riding controls; e.g., “kick,” “rein in,” and “rein left/right,” with an option to rein “hard” left/right to get it to turn quickly, and there should be some AI built in to have it avoid obstacles on its own. It sucks to get hung up on a rock.
  3. Supply and demand. People in City #1 ought to want certain goods from City #2 a lot and be willing to pay more than their nominal value for them. Right now the mercantile system kind of sucks.
  4. A much better way to organize spells and access them quickly from the keyboard. (e.g., a key to quickly flip through all the spells in one particular school, or an option to “forget” spells that you don’t use any more.)
  5. If you know how to cast a spell, you ought to be able to perform the target, touch, and self versions with different keys on the keyboard. And maybe an area-effect version centered about your character, too.
  6. The haggling and disposition mini-game-things ought to just be built in to the conversation system.
  7. Randomly generated mini-quests. This could be way easy. Some merchant has run out of X, do you have ten X’s to sell? Some dude has lost his Y, can you get him another one (bonus points if you find his)?
  8. Lots more of the puzzle-solving, clue-tracking, and negotiating varieties of quests, and fewer of the dungeon-crawling variety. Leave those to the random ones.
  9. Players should have to eat/sleep at least once a day or suffer a penalty in fatigue. I mean, there ought to be an incentive to do these things.
  10. Different types of armor/weapons ought to behave in qualitatively different ways. e.g., glass would be absolutely stupid to make armor or battle axes out of, but I ought to be able to stab some ogre with a glass dagger and then break off the blade, dealing massive amounts of damage. Or set a guy in ebony or fur armor on fire.
  11. The amount of damage my swords and arrows do should depend on where I hit a guy.  And I don’t care what level he is, if I put a poisoned, enchanted arrow through his head, he should just drop dead.
  12. While higher-leveled enemies ought to be introduced into the world gradually as the player levels up, there always ought to be a good deal of the lower-leveled enemies that the player can knock off easily.
  13. I think there ought to be a few other adventurers in the world, doing the same things you are–maybe not the main quest, but they ought to be accomplishing things, completing side quests, and affecting the state of things in the world. This could make for really interesting quests where you would get to compare notes with/work alongside/fight against your competitors.
  14. NPCs should have different disposition ratings for each topic they can talk about, and this should have a much more dramatic effect on what they tell you.
  15. Some of the bandit groups/goblin tribes/city guards/etc ought to have their own objectives and go out in the world to accomplish them in a coordinated fashion.
  16. Oh, and make all that run beautifully on my current one-and-a-half-year-old laptop.