c.e. taillefer

March 18, 2016

Just Star-Do It: a Stardew Valley post

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Unlike most who played Stardew Valley right from launch day, I hadn’t been following it’s progression over the past four years at all.  It came up in my Steam queue as a suggested title, and I bought it on a whim.  Looks cute, has farming, supports indie development? Sure, why not.

200 hours later:

what is sleep? what is food?

There’s a few reasons why SDV sucked me, and so many others (it’s currently 3rd on the Steam top seller list) in.  One major one for me is I don’t know when to quit sometimes and SDV capitalizes on that – not in a malicious way, but the mechanics of saving are tied directly to going to bed at the end of the day.  You fall into your little pixel bed at the end of a long day, get a progress update on your farm’s productivity, and the game saves.  Before logging out, however, the cheery 6AM music entices you to just check your mail.  Maybe see if that chicken hatched? All of the sudden it’s 10PM in-game, and another hour of your life is gone.

The simple tasks – farming, brewing, raising livestock, mining for ore and treasures, fishing – are compelling enough to keep players on their own.  But it wasn’t until I started investing in the community that the game really got its hooks into my tender heart.

Read more ››

November 22, 2015

Officially For Real – The BGNLab is Launched!

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Laurier Brantford professor Scott Nicholson wants to help his students change the world — one game at a time.

Nicholson is leading the university’s innovative Game Design and Development program, unique to the province, which debuted this year at the campus.

Friday marked the official opening of new Brantford Games Network Lab, known as the BGNlab, located on the main floor of the university’s Grand River Hall on Colborne Street.

The former credit union building has been transformed into a gamers’ paradise.

Students wearing white lab coats welcomed dozens of guests into the lab outfitted with computers, white boards, screens, game tables and a huge collection of board games. It’s here that students will work on their gaming projects.

A lounge area, equipped with plug-and-play screens, will be used by students to test games. In an area called the Zone, students will mostly have fun with various gaming consoles and high-end PCs.

The goal of the lab, said Nicholson, is to spark engagement and collaboration between Laurier students, community organizations and local game enthusiasts to develop “made-in-Brantford” solutions to improve lives through games and play.

Read the whole article at the Expositor here.

As you can surmise, the past four months has been something of a blur with starting a new program, full-time work, raising a puppy (yes, he’s still here. More on that later!), house work and frivolous stuff like sleeping and eating.  It also occurred to me at the Friday launch event that as a part-time student, I’ll be part of four or five different cohorts of students, which is a shame because I really like the ones I’m with now.  I know I’m in the right place though, because half of my insomnia lately has been on account of having Too Many Ideas, which is a good problem for a creative type person to have.  It was the same when I was starting Paucity, and we all know how well that’s been going.  That’s not even sarcasm, it’s been going pretty well!

I also want to re-iterate again what a friendly program GDD is to mature students; because it’s not solely about programming, or AAA games, I genuinely feel anyone, of any age, with an interest in games and social change, would do very well here.  Hint, hint, pretty much all of my twitter friends.