One of the things I love about games is the ability to take me places. That is one of the very few things I miss in Eve is that all space feels the same. I mean vacuum is not conducive to weather, flora and fauna, etc.

My wife and I will go on minecraft binges where we hunt for just the right place to build out houses and set up shop. But not only is the locale important but also what are the neighbouring biomes. Is there snow, water, river, lakes grassland . . . we like the variety and challenge. And sometimes I like to just sit back and watch the sunset over the blocky terrain. It seems my mind smooths out the edges and it is a perfectly acceptable landscape, worthy of taking a snapshot and hanging on a wall. (No I don’t do that but in the moment it is very relaxing)

I have started streaming tours of Elder Scrolls Online where I just walk about and do not go gung ho into delves and dungeons, just admiring the scenery and lore inherent in the ruins and landscapes. It is relaxing, for me to enjoy the art and work that the devs have put into a game, especially when you start looking for the little details and easter eggs that the good ones hide, here and there.

WAAAYY back in the dawn of time when I wen tot University there was a classic Japanese garden maintained on the campus and my Uni level Geography course spent some time discussing it and the subtleties that it contained. It seems that the designers would put an ‘odd rock’ on the ground that did not match the rest of the pathway. Dark grey amongst white stones, for example. It was the designers way of saying that there was something they wanted to show you, right there. One was a carefully trimmed sequences of plants that would allow a view of a distant shrine ONLY if you stood on that rock. Another was a view of the highest variety of plants . . . but one had me stumped for days. I looked all about but could not figure out what I was supposed to see.

Then it hit me. It was not visual. They had even tuned the bamboos stream markers and the way water and across stones and right there, on that stone, you could clearly hear more than any other spot in the garden.

Now I know devs are (probably) not Japanese zen garden aficionados but I bring the same appreciation to games that I did to that garden and I spent a lot of time in that garden while at that university. It was my calming place when life threatened to overwhelm. I have similar spots in games.

If any devs of games that I play read this? Thank you one and all.

fly it like you won it


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