Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ex 16 Part 2 : Shakey Dawn

Without further ado, the continuing story.  Now with loads more pictures.

0530 Day Two
It occurs to me now, as I near the Embankment again, that I didn't spot the time of the next blowout before I  set out.  It's usually some time on day two.  So I don't really know if heading to the Garbage is a good idea as yet.  As I've mentioned before, the nearest safe place in the Garbage is pretty far along (at the place known as the Rail Hanger) and as such actually further than I've actually been yet *cough*.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Expedition 16: Time bubble almost closed.

*sigh* *double sigh*.  Some habits are a little hard to break.  Then you do a couple of dud attempts inbetween and you wonder why you're bothering.

Good old hubris eh.  I like to think I've learned my lesson.  Right up until the point that it's obvious I haven't.

The truth is, I'm not sure you can a lot of the time.  Learn your lesson, that is.  As I'm sure I've gone on and on about before, in a risk rich environment like this you take your life in your hands just walking out the door.  Admittedly some chances are a little more obvious and easier to avoid than others.  Don't get drunk in the wilderness and don't assume soldiers will miss when they shoot back.  Those two are pretty solid, I'm thinking

It might be an idea to remind folks that I'm glossing over some details of the early stages of the game just for the sake of space and repetition.  You can read about the initial business in one of the first expeditions.  Mostly though, unless something interesting happens, I tend to skip straight to where the shooting starts (the title is a reference to the fact that this expedition is still in progress.  Oooh!) 

05:44 05 -01- 2012
A fine day in the Zone today.  Almost welcoming.  I could stand to have a little more light for the Garage fight so I dawdle around, pretty much like usual.  Mostly when I do this I have a fair stock of vodka and canned food and not much else.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ex 13 Part 2: Pride Goeth

Last time, I had one of the best first days ever.  Flush with money and guns I sleep the sleep of champions, with my friends all alive and well in their various hidey holes.  I'm starting to fell like I've got this.  I've got this game now. I've got it. I've assimilated the various lessons of this difficulty and damage level and I can deal.  It's all good.  It's cool bruv.  It's sweet.  This Zone ain't all that.

Ok that's fine for dreams.   Just have to remember to wake up.

Day Two

The light comes back to our little world. There's nondescript salami, I guess, stuff for breakfast and Blowout for lunch if the early morning forecast is to be believed.  Something to look forward to there. I wonder what I can do in the meantime, since I'd rather not over commit to being out in the open around that time.  Plus the army will probably be out for blood after yesterday.  Need to watch out for wandering patrols.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ex 13: Luck on my side

One of the problems of doing this sort of project is it becomes very hard to play the game casually.  It's serious business now, you can't just reload anymore.  Usually when I start a new game or load up a save session there's this small honeymoon period where I'm happy-go-lucky about the whole experience, "Yay, videogames!", trotting around like there's nothing to worry about.  Luckily it usually dawns on me to stop doing this before I do something stupid or something eats me and then there's that strange feeling of lost  innocence that overwhelms all sense of hope, optimism etc.  I love this game.

It helps that I'm usually in the village at the time, where it is generally safe, and I remember how serious it all is shortly before the fence line.

Case in point: today the game has decided to place a whirligig right on the driveway, in case any positive outlooks should happen by.  I've had anomalies in the area around Sid's bunker before, of course.  But I saw this one and thought how many times I've reached the top of that driveway and practically skipped down into the bosom of safety and security that is the village.

Skipping is never a good idea in Stalker.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Compilation Episode

Yes, it's back.  I've been kinda ill lately and that put me well behind on proper work as well as my vague internet amusements like this.  But I do keep trucking along even though everyone's probably too busy playing Minecraft to worry about old games like this.  So, onward.

If you've read a few of these entries, you might have noticed something a little odd about the numbering. No it's not because I just plain can't count, although that happens sometimes.  This is because behind the calm exterior of a smooth running blog about dying repeatedly, lies a tumult of crashes and corrupt save games. Of pointless endeavours barely long enough to talk about.  Here's the story so far (plus some from "the future").

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ex 10 Part 3 : The Better Part of Spinelessness

If you recall last time,  I was just about to embark on another foolhardy attempt to assist Bes and Co at the junkyard (note that this is the second whole time I've made it this far in ten attempts.  No one's ever going to believe that it's quite this hard and I'm not just crap, are they.)

I've got a few grenades and some AK rounds I picked up around the place.  All of which I vow to use.

Some, four legged, thing has just tear-arsed in from the north and disappeared at the far end of the yard.  I've got a fair idea what it probably was.  Do I really want to get closer to it and a bunch of guys with guns?

Although, the bandits are taking their sweet time coming our way (amusing to think this amounts to only a few more seconds than you'd expect).  And the fire directed to us seems a lot less than you can hear going on over there. Hmm...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ex 10 Part 2 : 3AM Eternal

So here we are.  Time is against me again.  Or should I blame the light? I'm not too clear on that.
Visiting Sid's All Night Eating and Rip-Off Emporium isn't nearly as much fun nor as time killing as I'd like.  Plus there's that blowout coming in the "morning".  Maybe it'll pass soon and I'll get the daylight all to myself.  Yeah right.  For now I hover around the edges of camp and twiddle my thumbs.

It's a really moonless night. The kind that makes the headlamp range seem just that much more pathetic somehow.  I think if I wandered out there I'd prefer to turn it off.  If sudden charging death is a split second away I'm not sure I want to know.

Stalker Nights (artists impression)

So instead I hang around with the gate guard listening to the trilling of some anomaly in the distance, the odd howl from some horror of the wildlife, the guy on the PA down at the army post berrating his men all night long.  I wait for the light.  Patience; that's the key.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ex 10 : Things Ill, Considered

Yes, don't drink and stalk kids. I did and look what happened to me. Left alone in the woods to be shrapnel buggered by the army in the middle of the night, that's what. (The poster is obviously an idealised representation, of course. As if a stalker would use a knife and fork.)

I've discussed old habits dying hard before (usually followed by you dying quickly), but it's difficult not to dwell on what's been learned, what could have been learned, what kinds of personal growth one can take away from a situation of another embarassing ignominious defeat by taking on board and actualising any factors arising in view of taking a positive perspective going forward.

If that sounds like bollox, it's because it is.  Not just for the way it's written either. I'm thinking more and more that there's a point to these Zone dwellers being a bit detached. One that goes beyond being computer game NPCs of limited interactivity. No, somewhere behind all that there's an understanding of how to live at the whims of capricious fate without going nuts.

That moment when it all goes horribly wrong and you have to make one of a number of choices, there's likely to be a couple of good reasonable options. Any of which might just put you in line for something just as bad or worse. Ducking that bullet just makes sure the dog to your left bites you in the face instead of the arse. Maybe the guy would have missed. Who knows.

Actually, now that I think about it, I've kinda made it difficult to make any decisions at all with that logic.
Rather than try and think that through I'll just start again. Drinking in the Zone: Bad.

It's 5:53 on 5-1-2012

Sidorovich sends me out into the world in search of the flashdrive again. The weather is looking really nice this morning, for a change. With any luck it'll stay that way.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Expedition 8: Looking for Miss Adventure

0553 5-1-2012
Well, don't look too pleased to see me or anything

OK, so I got caught by one of the meanest traps the game throws at you in the early stages (hah! It's not early anymore!).  The waves of bandits in that vehicle yard fight are notoriously brutal to even the casual player in the unmodded version of the game.  The power of the guns in this thing does give you a certain confidence, particularly when you appear to be doing alright.  Stupid confidence is still confidence.

There's also something just not right about turning your back on people trying to kill you.  Frankly I blame whoever put our arms on backwards.  More eyes wouldn't hurt either.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Call of Pripyat

I believe it's customary when you get cool new stuff to take picture of the box or whatever and post it.  But there isn't one!  So here's a picture of my modem looking slightly ominous across a field of mixer knobs.

For it is by that road from whence it came.

I'm pretty new to the whole digital downloading thing, particularly when it comes to games.  Given the state and cost of Australian bandwidth that's really no surprise.  It took several days of careful offpeak downloading to get Call of Pripyat (which is quite small and well compressed.  Ask me how much fun it was getting GTA 4 recently...).  On the other hand, given the state of Australian game prices and release schedules it's no surprise that I and probably everyone else are jumping ship.  I feel bad for a couple of nice game retailers I'm stiffing by doing this more often.  I'd tell them to get into the downloads business ASAP, except Gabe Newell kinda got there before them, not to mention a few others.  Maybe if they hitched themselves to my ISP and they came up with some deal so downloading the stuff is not counted towards your quota (which they already do a lot of with other stuff).  That'd be nice.

Anyway, impressions.  I only played it for a little while but it seems so different already.  Truly a lot closer to the old 'Oblivion with guns' notion.  You're dropped in without much intro and have to make your own way.  A bit confused, you chat with the first guys you meet and they'll send you to the nearest camp and tell you about interesting stuff.  Then there's bandits who don't shoot you on sight and guys conspiring against each other from opposite sides of the room in the same bar.  Visually it's a little too brown so far.  The short-ish vegetation rendering distance becomes a little too obvious for my liking in this colour scheme.  Hopefully it gets more green and blue as we go along. 

They seem to have really pulled out all the stops this time though, so far.  It's going to warrant a lot of attention, if I can find the time.