Backlog of games

Currently not having my own place or even most of my things, I got no hardware to play games on. Well, I got my trusty netbook (which I use to type these words), but it even struggles making video calls over Skype.

I did get it to run Half-Life 1 with a decent framerate, though. But it ended up just being a nice experiment. I’m not going to spend my evenings replaying games I have already spent too many hours with. Perhaps someone reading this could give some suggestions on good, modern games that works well on a netbook? I’d appreciate it.

As I don’t have my desktop, or my Xbox 360, my games backlog grows and grows. I did get to play a bit of Deus Ex: Human Revolution during a weekend in Oslo, and I can’t wait to get back to it. I love deep, open game worlds, and that game seems to scratch that itch. Of course, not being able to play it just makes the itch worse.

Here’s my current backlog:
– Deus Ex: Human Revolution
– Risen
– The Witcher 2
– Bulletstorm
– Dead Island

Just those games could easily swallow a couple hundred hours (especially the RPGs). And that list only contains games I really do want to play – my Steam list of games I own but have yet to play is far longer. Games I don’t necessarily want to play, but need to play.

That is the plight of the game designer.

We’re all zuckers

Waiter. There’s a social media in my soup.

And in my bread. In my drink. Looking closer, even the salt cellar is contaminated. But the waiter just smiles, telling me that it’s a service. Reminding me that it’s free.

Well, I’m about to look for a better restaurant.

I’ve always felt that Facebook is a mess. Poorly structured GUI, poorly communicated functionality, and poorly respected privacy. Changing constantly. It’s just not transparent, in so many ways.

But I use it, because everyone’s there and it’s a way to keep in contact with people and have some idea of what’s happening in the lives of acquaintances and relatives.

But that’s also all I want from it. Facebook, for me, is a tool – not a way of life. Already having serious issues trying to present me with an overwhelming amount of information (mostly noise), it now wants to tie more and more external services to it. Did you know that person X listened to song Y 34 minutes ago? Thanks Facebook and Spotify! I wasn’t encumbered enough with information overload as it was.

You can no longer register a Spotify account without having a Facebook account. How bizarre is that? Spotify itself has tried to convince me to integrate it with Facebook a number of times. I don’t think it’s healthy to be on the recipient end of all this data.

Every time I log into Skype it opens “Skype Home”, showing me the latest Skype status updates from my contacts. It too wants me to connect it to Facebook, so that it can show me the Facebook stream. Why? If I want the Facebook stream I go to Facebook.

Netflix, Hulu, IMDb, Flixter and many more are currently being integrated with the big F. And this is only the beginning, of course. Facebook wants to be the center of your life.

I don’t want you to know what music I’m listening to as I write this. I don’t want you to know what I’m reading just before I go to sleep. What I watch, where I go, who I meet – it’s my private life and I have no interest to broadcast my every move to the world.

Yes, I guess I can remove a lot of the bothersome junk from Facebook. Again. But I can’t get Facebook out of Spotify or Skype.

Hi Sweden. It’s been a while

Since a bit over a month and a half, I’m back in Sweden. Kind of. I’m writing this from my flat in Oslo.

Me and Lena had thought about moving to Sweden for some time, and one of the reasons I decided to take the plunge now was the opportunity to join Machinegames. A fairly new studio in central Uppsala, founded by industry veterans. Two stylish floors of very talented and experienced artists, designers, engineers and other crazies. To get the chance to work with what I see as one of the best teams in the games industry makes me very pleased. I can do good work here.

Uppsala. It means “oops” in german, but it’s no mistake. This time I trusted my intuition.

I spend many of my weekends in Oslo. My girlfriend and most of my things are still in the old apartment, and will remain there until late October (Lena is currently busy as one of the coordinators of the Film fra Sør movie festival). Then, when the festival is over and we have the keys, we will move into our own place in downtown Uppsala. But for now this is the state of things, so I tend to fly a lot to Oslo.

It feels like coming home. Because it is. Kind of. How confusing.

I’m currently sharing a flat with someone in Uppsala. It’s easy on the wallet until me and Lena live together again, and I haven’t had to worry about a bed, cutlery and all that. Still. I used to say that I never wanted to live in any kind of collective, and I still stand by that statement. It’s just not for me.

But it will do until October. Then I have a proper home again.