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So, having been made wise to Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak thanks to another TWW thread, I’ve been watching a playthrough of that over the weekend. I have to say, it’s a great-looking game. The storyline is also enjoyable, but I especially find the game inspirational for its “techy” sci-fi aesthetic (you know, that “modern classic” Homeworld vibe that turned a lot of heads when the first game of the series was released back in ’99), and for the realistic desert environments. The latter are quite monotonous (there isn’t even any plant life), but intentionally so and to good effect. It goes to prove one of my own convictions when it comes to world building: That sometimes, to make a setting more interesting, you have to exclude more stuff, not include more of it. Exclusions are limitations, limitations are borders, borders are contours, contours are shapes. A setting that excludes stuff is a setting that has a distinct shape. Deserts of Kharak is commitedly and exclusively a “desert game”, and all the more atmospheric for it. To me as a terrain-building enthusiast, each battlefield is like a separate, subtly different study in eremology, geology and aeolian processes. It’s clear someone put a lot of work into studying and emulating all the intricacies of real Earth (and probably Mars) deserts when they developed this game.

I’ve also been watching gameplay of No Man’s Sky, albeit very casually with a lot of skipping forward past the parts that don’t interest me. I can kind of see why this game turned out to be so anticlimactic for most of the video gaming community (or so I hear). It is monotonous, and I mean that in an entirely negative sense this time. I’m watching it for one reason only, namely to get concrete inspiration for alien flora and fauna for miniature gaming purposes. In that sense it’s interesting enough (assuming, again, that one skips past all the boring bits, like the space travel and the trading), though I’ll probably have had my fill of it soon. The plants and animals haven’t begun to look terribly repetitive just yet, but I’m sure they will soon enough. It’s all very outlandish and probably (I hazard to guess) not believable from a xenobiologist’s point of view, for better or worse.

I also mean to get back to Mass Effect, and to give the Borderlands and Starcraft games some of my attention.

I’m still also looking for more suggestions for games to watch. Sci-fi, fantasy, historical, whatever. Anything that’s inspirational to a wargamer, or even just anything with a good storyline that “must” be experienced.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Rhoderic.