Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
I’m the one on the left – a slinky Draenei huntress. I have no idea if I enjoy World Of Warcraft or not, but I’m definitely physically dependent on it at the moment. I think the reason it eats so much of our time is that they’ve hit upon the gaming equivalent of TV: something comforting and unending that requires little effort from you. You’re always progressing through it, consuming New, but it’s dilute New, tastes a little like Old, and you’re drinking it slowly.
I’m Sobaseki on Steamwheedle Cartel, and I’m only level 7. I’m in it for the pets – Rhianna was telling me about a Scorpid she had called Mexican Pete, after the way he waved his claws nonchalantly as he scuttled, and at that point I knew I would have to be a Hunter. I wanted to be a Blood Elf – the Draenei are a bit of a non-concept as races go – but my colleagues are all Alliance filth and I faced exile if I stuck to my Horde inclinations. I don’t have a problem with pets, like all interesting stuff being held off till level ten, but I wish they had enough ideas to keep that feeling of progression going through the later decades. As they get exponentially further apart in the time-invested stakes, the interest and value of their perks simultaneously plummets, and it’s kind of a lethal combination for me.
It’s a much more pleasant game to play once you fiddle with the controls a bit, I now discover. If you enable Click-To-Move, you still don’t get rid of the endless error messages during combat, but your idiot does now fix most of them herself. She still says “It’s too far away!” when told to attack a distant target, but now she actually moves in range and does it. Ditto for usable items and talkable NPCs. It’s also handy for making long journeys with single clicks, without having to hold anything down or risking going too far if you, er, alt-tab away. Which I have a tendency to do a lot. In fact:
Update: Okay, the preceding paragraph is also an update, but this is why I’m really updating: tonight I…
If they just took out the 80% of quests that are utter dross, it’d be a fantastic game. I still don’t have a proper pet yet, just a feeble cat I befriended, and christened Clawgasm. I’m torn between a better cat, a big ostrich, a small and rubbish crab, or holding out for something stranger. I’m leaning towards the small and rubbish crab.
Jason L: As the informed-but-hostile brother of one and friend of three WoW junkies, Burning Crusade is relevant to me in pretty much one way: we are all agreed that much of the high-level female Blood Elf clothing looks A. badass and B. really beautiful. Take note, other game designers: there is barely a thigh or a midriff, or for that matter a knee, in sight.
OK, that's a lie. Two ways. Upon making a facetious remark about use of "Holy Light" by what I assumed to be pagan Blood Elves, I was informed that the Blood Elves have captured and imprisoned an angel and essentially squeeze holy-juice out of it. This is cool backstory.