Hot damn! I guess I should start with my history and get this out of the way.
So I started gaming at a VERY early age. You know those guys who say “I’ve been playing Super Awesome E-Peen since you were in diapers, kid!” ? I can truthfully respond with,” Yeah? I’ve been playing it since I was in diapers too, brah.” And yeah, I really have been. I started playing Doom (albeit on my dad’s lap) on a 486 when I was 3. I probably played a whole slew of early 90’s children’s games too, but I don’t remember any of those at all. For the longest time, that 486 was the only computer I knew of (I think I had it and used it since I was born until we moved out to Texas when I was 10.) and so I played all kinds of retro games for a very long time. Doom, Doom 2, Duke Nukem 1, 2, and 3D, Eradicator, Star Control 1, 2, and the non-canon Star Control 3. Magic Carpet 2, TIE Fighter, I played a LOT on that. And from the time I was about 5 until I turned 7 I had a SNES that had a bunch of games that I probably shouldn’t have been playing (ie Mortal Kombat, Ballz, “Shut Up, Barkely, and JAM!”. I didn’t have any of the standard Nintendo games. “Mario? WTF is that? There’s no blood, gaaaah, no, IT BURNS!” Naw, but on a serious note, I did end up eventually owning and playing Mario titles.)
Now, when I got a Playstation for my 7th birthday, I was absolutely stoked. Granted, my parents had no idea that I had found it that morning, but I was just like “SCREW IT, I’M WAKING UP!” (at 5 AM) walked out to the living room, and there was Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee sitting idle on this massive grey brick. I LOVED it. So of course, with the Playstation, I was exposed to a whole NEW library of games to play. So I beat Abe’s Oddysee and its “sequel” (read: expansion pack that costs the same as a new title) Abe’s Exoddus. Am I eventually going to get to reviews of ALL of these ancient titles? Maybe. Anyways, I was introduced to oldschool classics such as Final Fantasy VII, Twisted Metal, and Intelligent Qube, along with some obscure titles, like Steel Reign, Dragonseeds, and Pitball (Again, if you’re curious about ANY of the titles that I mention, ask away in the comments below and I will be happy to explain what these were or provide links to wiki pages).
About the time that I turned 14 or 15 I got my first playstation 2 (So that was 2004/2005ish) and only had one title for it for ages: Star Wars Battlefront. I eventually got The Kingdom Hearts series, expanded into games like Destroy All Humans, Final Fantasy XII, and Guitar Hero. Now, one of the most obscure titles I found (I will definitely be doing a review of it sometime in the future) was a beautiful find known as “Rogue Galaxy”, which was essentially Level 5 laughing at FFXII and doing it better.
So about a year later, I got my first working PC that was able to run games that were somewhat on-level, on-generation, so to speak. I was able to experience things like Doom 3, the Warcraft series, the Command and Conquer series, Quake 4, and the Battlefield Series. This was great! I found all sorts of cool things too, like ports of older titles that I liked to play, like UQM (a 32 bit/64 bit port of Star Control 2), Zdoom (A 32 bit/ 64 bit port of Doom), and JFDuke3D (a 32 bit /64 bit port of Duke Nukem 3d). And so through highschool, I did did some pretty cool geeky stuff.
Junior year, I got a game that would change the way I looked at sandbox gaming forever: Spore. Spore was awesome, because it allowed me to do some really expressive things, like create flying, carnivorous, psychic burritos. That’s totally artsy, right? I thought so. But on a serious note, Spore (I will review this at some point as well) was…well, it was a great idea that was terrible in practice, simply because it was too many games in one game. “But Vol, that’s an amazing quality, how could that possibly be bad?” I’ll get to that later, trust me on this.
Following Spore, I took a basic level programming course in high school and was able to create a short frag frenzy deathmatch game called “Hellwarz”. Now, the story behind this is important, so bare with me. Originally, I wasn’t really getting the material. And for the game project, I was assigned to just to pixel art for it, because all of my previous projects had been, quote “really pretty, but they don’t do much”. I was completely content to do just that. However, I noticed after a week that my partners WEREN’T DOING ANYTHING. So I started tweaking with the engine, and after spending a few hours after school messing around with it (with Mr. Mickel’s assistance) I was able to make it so that the background scrolled when you hovered the mouse over the edges of the window and there was a big red block that you could move around the environment with the arrow keys. Well, one thing led to another, and after about a month, those blocks had turned into marines with plasma rifles shooting at each other with AI and bullets and corpses and…well, you get the point. It turned into a game, I had done the art, the music, the sound, and the majority of the engine (I will try to find the demo I made and compile it into something you guys can play and post it soon).
I was then Introduced to World of Warcraft sometime in Early 2009. There, I proceeded to waste 2 years of my life repeatedly pressing Q, W, E, S, and any combination of 1 – =, and F1 – F12 and watching numbers and meters go up and down and things dying and listening to nerds yell at people over Ventrillo. (I know, that’s SO thrilling…it’s uh…it’s more exciting when it’s happening.) As awful as the game really is, there was(is) definitely something compelling and enchanting about the game world that makes MMO players come back. I’ll probably end up mentioning it again when I get around to the whole “My opinion of MMOs” post/rant. Intermingled in there were games like Fallout 3, League of Legends, Starcraft 1 and 2, New Vegas, Mass Effect 1 & 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal, and recently, a long-ass Rift binge. Oh, and Minecraft. ❤ me some Minecraft. SHOUT OUT TO NOTCH!
Hope you guys enjoyed seeing what has kept me sane (or made me insane) for the past 2 decades. This has been the Vol Log. PEACE, LOVE, and GANKING! ❤
References for lazy people:
http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ (UQM site)
http://www.zdoom.org/About (Zdoom site)
http://www.jonof.id.au/jfduke3d (JFDuke3D site)