Paladin is a progressive-minded Catholic, an educationally-minded martial artist, an aspiring writer/game designer, a gamer of many sorts, a sci-fi geek, and on occasion a snappy dresser. May contain seemingly-random tangents of stairwell philosophy, generally-incomprehensible rambling, peanuts, and red dye #5. Do not operate heavy machinery while using Paladin. Dry clean only. Void where prohibited.
There’s to be an assortment of categories here to vaguely organize my ramblings. Most posts will fall into one of the following categories: Stairwell Philosophy, Five by Five, On Writing, Link of the Moment, and perhaps others to come.
Stairwell Philosophy is a general heading for the various strange ideas that go through my head in an average day. They may not make sense to anyone but me (or sometimes anyone at all), but then again they might. They’re the sort of ramblings you get into with your friends when the party’s wound down and it’s late in the morning and you’re just hanging around talking about everything and nothing in that lucid time when you’re kinda out of it and not really sure if you’re awake or asleep. If you’ve ever envisioned an entire sci-fi setting from a single mispronounced word, planned out how having a jetpack would affect your daily life, or had a serious discussion on who would win in a fight between Goku and Superman, you’ve experienced stairwell philosophy. These may appear pretty much whenever a cool/weird/strange idea occurs to me, but I’ll try to make sure most of them have something interesting to say.
Five by Five is my game (and occasionally other stuff) review corner. For the curious, the origin of the term ‘five by five’ (aside form where most of us probably first heard it) is an old radio communication term meaning the best possible signal strength and clarity out of twenty-five possible transmission conditions. Here it means attempting to provide the clearest possible idea of whether or not you’ll enjoy a particular game. I eschew the numbered review method because it tells you what most folks might think of the game but not necessarily what you’ll think of it. Instead I pick out five factors I think the game did well, five that weren’t delivered well, and a final word. I’m fairly open-minded in most areas and when it comes to games I endeavor to reccomend what sort of gamer would enjoy a particular game rather than whether or not I’d enjoy it myself. In general I like to like things, so if there’s somebody out there who would enjoy a given game I’ll try to point them in the right direction. This format has tentatively been replaced by Commentary, in which I just kind of ramble semi-coherently about the game/movie/etc. at hand, especially for stuff tha tjust doesn’t fit well into the 5×5 format.
There is of course at least a little bias with every reviewer, and here’s mine; game design is king. Good gameplay must come first; good story is just a little below that, and audio/visual presentation comes in somewhere way farther down the ladder. This may seem counter to how games are made these days, but hear me out. See, these days having really nice presentation is pretty much a given. Everybody polishes their games up as spiffily as the hardware can manage, and everyone can generally manage either realistic graphics and sound or an entertaining art style, so looking good really isn’t the edge it was back in the early days of the console wars. Eventually looking at pretty pictures gets boring unless those pictures have a fun story to tell. I’m not saying of course that every game needs to tell an epic sweeping tale, but there needs to be at least enough flavoring to give me motivation to go kick down the next door and liberate/destroy/collect/feed/snuggle/defenestrate whatever’s inside. If even that is dull good gameplay can still keep me hanging on. Some games don’t need to be pretty or smart if they’re just plain fun. If it’s got poor gameplay but a great story I might hang in there because I want to see how it plays out, but if all it’s got going for it is looks I may barely give it more than a youtubeing. Reviews of new games depend entirely on finances, but you can expect to see quite a few reviews of old classics.
On Writing will be home to random ponderances that come about as a result of (you guessed it) writing. I tinker primarily in sci-fi (though I’m working on branching out), and a lot of it involves ‘what-if’ ideas that can be interesting to ponder even if they don’t get used in a story or game idea. In particular there’s an ongoing RPG design project in the works which often involves wrestling the two-headed dragon of ‘Good Game Design’ and ‘Awesomeness’. Sometimes they get along, sometimes not. Ideally these updates will be semi-frequent, but not too frequent. On one hand, posting my gradual progress (and folks poking me now and then to say ‘hey why hasn’t Paladin done any new writing in awhile’) may help keep me on track. But also as the saying goes, talking about writing is not writing. So we’ll see how this goes.
Link of the Moment will highlight random neat stuff one sees on the strange wonderland that is the internet. Like the internet itself, this category will be perhaps the most random of all. You may see anything from insightful linked articles to neat games to strange videos. Updates to occur pretty much whenever.
There’s another project in the works as well, something that could be big. It’s gonna take a good amount of research and preparation first, but stay tuned.