bike tire blowout.
tuesday, august 29th, 2023.
I was riding my bike home from work yesterday and my rear tire had a blowout. I had just hit the stretch of highway where I can pick up speed to around 20 mph, and *pop!* my rear tire gave up the ghost. It'd been bulging a little bit but I wasn't really expecting the wire to separate from the sidewall like it did.
Alas, I'm out of commission (bicycle-wise) until I can get a new tire on it. I ordered a pair of 26" x 1⅜" Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires straight from Schwalbe. They've been shipped and should be here next Wednesday. That's pretty darned quick, but I'm still bummed I'm going to miss bike commuting later this week when the temperature is supposed to be in the 80s.
I'm real excited about those Marathon Plus tires, though! They're supposed to be darn near flat-proof according to many of the bike commuters on the Internets, if a bit slower than lighter-weight, more traditional bicycle tires. After having my fill of staples and road debris puncturing my tubes, I think I'll be okay with a little more rolling resistance!
thinkin' 'bout games.
Other than the bike tire blowout, things have been plugging along just fine. We've been eating at home almost exclusively, we had some plumbing work done to fix our shower and hall bathroom sink. And I've been enjoying the hell out of American Truck Simulator, strangely enough!
Since we've been minding our budget a little more, I have entirely stopped purchasing new games. I've got a large enough collection and it's about time I actually, you know, play the games I already own. I have a sort of paradox of choice thing going where I stare slack-jawed at my computer, unable to make a decision on what to play if I stop to consider the breadth of my library.
If, instead, I have a game or two that I hyperfocus on, those games start to feel comfortable like an old pair of bedroom slippers. And that got me to thinkin': what are the qualities of games that I find comfortable? I posit that there are several axes of qualities to consider. Here are some:
- strength of narrative: is the story important or is it incidental?
- novelty of gameplay: do gameplay mechanics change or remain static?
- type of trophy: do you become better or do you collect things?
- determinism: is gameplay randomized or deterministic?
- depth of media: is the presentation simplistic or all-encompassing?
- length of session: is it pick-up-and-play or a longer commitment?
If I sat here for a while, I could probably think up many other axes of qualities. But, the evening is winding down and I think I'd like to put a thumb on the pulse of games I enjoy. Of the qualities above, these are the ones most likely to apply to games I find comfortable:
- strength of narrative: I don't find the story important! Frankly, there are few games I even remember the stories of. I find books and movies to be better story-telling devices, personally.
- novelty of gameplay: I like to repeat the same gameplay often. I don't mind a few new mechanics that get introduced, but I like to do the same sort of thing for the entire gameplay loop.
- type of trophy: I think there's an uncanny valley here; I prefer games on either extreme. I love games that challenge me, mechanically, but I also enjoy a good loot-based game. I don't think I enjoy games that mix the two.
- determinism: deterministic all the way. I like my games to be puzzle-like. Chance is a little frustrating, although some games like texas hold 'em have probabilities that feel deterministic when sample size is increased.
- depth of media: I think I prefer simplistic presentation over deep-dives. There's definitely some games that have captivated me with amazing graphics and cutscenes, but I like games I can pick up and play quickly with little friction.
- length of session: I like a game comprised of short sessions. Small battles that I can finish in 5-10 minutes are great, especially if I can string together several for a longer play session. I like bite-sized, bookended gameplay!
Anyway, that's quite enough waxing poetic about games for now. What scales or qualities do you admire in the games you play?
Until next time, be well! :)