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Strip 770, Volume 5, Page 31

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< Piro >

a new Pirogoeth color works on Fredart..

"trouble and trips"

Saturday - October 8, 2005

[Piro] - 17:16:00 - [link here]

Ok, i have two news items to touch on today, one of them being something we've been planning for over a month, the other is something completely unexpected.

First the bad stuff. It appears that a major upgrade installed by our shopping cart vendor has unfortunately broken International Shipping. At this time, we are not able take international orders in the MegaGear store, and we are unsure as to when this issue will be resolved. This is a big deal because the holiday season is approaching, and those of you outside of the US have to order things fairly early to ensure you'll have them for Chirstmas. They are working on it, but we are also looking at various other solutions.

The biggest change in the upgrade was a new and revised checkout system. The new system does not seem intuitive to us, so please make sure you pay close attention to the various steps in the new interface. Yay for fixing things that weren't broken. ^^;;

The second news item today is about a little trip Sarah and I will be taking towards the end of this week - Sarah has finished pulling together all of the gift purchases of art and school supplies all of you have made to the Pine Ridge Reservation. It's quite impressive what all of you have enabled her to pull together, and we decided that the best way to get it to them is to fill the van and drive it out there ourselves. Besides, we haven't had any kind of vacation since our honeymoon two years ago.

The trip is kind of like a super long weekend trip - October 13th to October 19th. For the MegaGear store, please be aware that all orders placed after 1pm on Wednesday, October 12th will not be shipped until October 20th. You can place orders while we are away, but we will be unable to respond to email inquires or process orders until we return. Kinda hard to ship things when we aren't even in the state :P

Sarah is working on a rant with all the details, so look for it in the next few days :)

I'm pushing hard to try to NOT miss any comics because of this trip (an attempt thwarted by the shopping cart issues this week) I have a horrible track record with getting ahead, but i'm gonna see if i can beat the odds this time. Story is rolling along too nicely now to have any huge gaps in it. Worst case there will be a DPD or SGD or something in the mix. Wish me luck :)

< Dom >

A fun game, but yet another wtf endgame.

"Not-so-impending doom"

Friday - October 7, 2005

[Dom] - 13:00:00 - [link here]

I borrowed Tales of Symphonia from Opus the other day, and I was having fun with it--until I read that some of the game's content doesn't happen until you've stepped into the room with the last boss and walked out instead of fighting him.

Now, this would be a pet peeve of mine, but it's only occurred in a couple of games, most famously Final Fantasy VII--or, as I like to put it:

Random Citizen: OH NO! THE METEOR'S COMING DOWN TO DESTROY US ALL! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! WON'T SOMEONE SAVE US?
Cloud: Quiet down, spaz, I'm watching chickens have sex! This is important business!

Well, it's one of many complaints I had, really, including the fact that the plot just stopped after disc 1, and the game system encouraged generic characters, and... yeah, let's stop there before millions of FF7 fans try and lynch me. It's bad enough that Cliff and I nearly got our friends into a murderous rage by standing around making fun of Advent Children while they were making the folly of trying to take it seriously.

Anyway, going back to the end game thing.

It just pisses me off as a writer when the story simply unhinges itself to fit in a "non-linear" experience, allowing players to shop, find lost puppies, and watch oversized birds getting their freak on while the world is mere hours from doom.

I mean, Tales of Symphonia even has a moment where it asks the main character if he's ready to go on, because there's no turning back--that should be the moment the endgame starts, right? But no, you can fight your way to the end, come face to face with the villain of the piece... then turn right around, run your way out of his space station, and help lost children. Because, you know, it's completely sensical to run errands when Yggdrasil is going to try and drain all of the magic from the world, killing it in the process.

Uh-huh.

Would it really kill writers and programmers to get together and say "okay, this is the part where you can't do sub quests any more, it just doesn't make sense"? Baldur's Gate II had that, when you're sent to another dimension and can't just pop out of the pocket dimension to take care of a loose end you left behind in Amn.

I mean, seriously, it wouldn't be that hard. Give people the question "are you sure you want to go on? Because we won't be able to come back after this" and actually mean it. And after that, when you try to leave, you get a message along the lines of "What're you thinking, moron? The world's about to end, we've gotta stop it".

Wouldn't be hard at all... but nooooooo, people have to cling to the illusion of non-linear storylines so they can run around fiddling while the world burns.

I hate video games sometimes.

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