Right now, it's pouring the-fuck down rain in Austin. Which has provided me an excellent setting to do some writing.
Another thing about Austin: Mosquitos. At least the part I'm in. There are a lot of f-ing mosquitos. Like an increase of a factor of 10 over where I'm used to living. So many that I don't like to be outside. Like, five minutes is too many. Which really sucks when I want to sit on the porch for a few minutes, because it's stuffy in the house, or perhaps to make a phone call.
That actually reminds me of a game idea: Mosquitos. That is to say, if you are traveling in a region that is ripe with them, then maybe you receive 1 damage every few seconds, like a really mild poison. I don't know why, but I'm frequently thinking in terms of weak status ailments in a mid 90s JRPG game. Probably because my teenage years were the peak years of gaming for me. Now that I'm twice as old, I guess I'm just living in the past.
Another thing to mention is that I'm listening to the experience points podcast, which I've mentioned before. I really like this podcast. The hosts are articulate and critical, and they're pretty good speakers. Not a lot of 'ums' and 'uhhhhs' in the podcast. I just listened to their review of 'the last of us' which is a majorly hyped game, and I really like how they break it down. I get a sick joy from hearing that it's not 'the greatest game ever' and more of just a great game that does some things really well and other things really mediocre.
I'd also like to mention that out of nowhere, I had a stage theme form TMNT for the nes stuck in my head. If you'd like to listen, it's the first portion of the stage theme link I've provided, and it goes on for 30 minutes, in case you just can't get enough! hah. Also, this reminded me that the mini boss theme really is rad.
Also, here's an idea for gaming difficulty: Start a game on nightmare difficulty - no choice, there is only one setting. After the first 5-10 deaths, you unlock 'very hard.' And then after another 10-20 deaths, you unlock 'hard mode' and so on until you unlock easy mode. I think that might be a fun way to balance difficulty in a game. The first difficulty setting change would have to come early, so the player wouldn't just give up. I'd like to see how this would work with test audiences.
P.S. Check out this short episode of RadioLab about Quicksand. I'll give you a teaser: Apparantly kids aren't really afraid of quicksand anymore. wha?