Saturday Sketch Dump is the weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of NPC comic. Click on the images to view them at full size.
NPChloe is the weekly inward musings of one pensive and game-loving feline, Chloe. The words and art below have been ripped directly from her diary and spread out on the internets here for all to see.
*Chloe’s a little too tied up this week to write a journal entry. So we’re posting this old drawing she did when she was a kitten. It depicts her jumping on Lisa’s head, one of her common kittenhood activities.*
A couple weeks ago I posted about my latest evil addiction: Bejeweled Blitz for the iPhone. I confessed my score was 63,050. Well, I’m happy to say that my score had improved to at least 115,000. I don’t know exactly what it was, because the score gets erased each week when the tournament starts over again, and it’s not that high now…./cry. But I know that at one point I was somewhere in the 115,000 to 119,000 range. For reals.
Alas, I know that’s not very high. I’m no where near my Facebook friend’s score. Last I checked she had a score of 340,300! But at least I’ve learned a thing or two these past weeks. At first, I thought I did a little better when the sound was on. On the iPhone, the sound of breaking jewels gets higher pitched with each consecutive break, as long as you’re breaking them fast enough. If you don’t break them fast enough, then the sound starts back over each time at the lower pitch. But if you can keep up the frantic pace, you get a jewel with a score multiplier of ‘2’ on it. If you break that one, and make some more fast breaks, you’ll get another score multiplier with the next highest number on it. I’ve seen up to a “x5,” but never broken more than “x4.” These multiplier jewels seem to be the key to getting a high score. My problem is that I’m just not fast enough to make them appear.
At least I think that’s how it works.
I quickly learned that the music makes me crazy. I keep it off now.
No, I still haven’t gotten the WoW add-on. I love to be immersed in WoW when I play, and the idea of playing Bejeweled or Peggle while I’m flying just breaks a 4th wall for me. I realize I’m being a little silly, since I sometimes watch TV while I play WoW, or switch over to the internet to check something. But I have a line, and installing that add-on crosses it. I also don’t like to play it on the computer, because I’m so used to swiping my finger over the iPhone screen.
I thought about deleting the game, but I think my addiction is under control. I waste more time than I should on it before going to sleep, but at least I’m not picking it up in the middle of the day now while waiting for an animation to render. Unfortunately that probably means I’ll never break 200,000, but at least I’ll keep my sanity. That has to be worth something, right?
This is just a quick note to let everyone know that I changed the email address you can use to get in touch with me to email@example.com. Just kinda makes sense, you know? Plus this way I can better keep track of who’s emailing me about the comic versus who’s emailing me about personal/freelance animation stuff. If you’ve emailed me in the past and want to email me again in the future, I’d really appreciate it if you could use the new address. I’ll still see it just as often as my regular email.
First Impressions is a regular feature in which Mary shares her -surprise! – first impressions of a game she’s been playing while she should have been making comics.
I recently got a windows laptop and was all excited to try Steam for the first time. On Christmas day, I gave myself a little present and downloaded Steam, along with the RPG Torchlight, which was running a special of only $4.99. Between WoW and STO and life, I haven’t had much time to play it, which is why this is just gonna be a “First Impressions” post.
The first the thing I noticed as I entered the game as a scantily clad vanquisher (kind of the marksman/hunter class) is that the visual design is slick and heavily World of Warcraft influenced. It’s cartoony and very fun to look at, and very impressive for the low sale price of $4.99. Essential things like skills, quests, inventory and the like are intuitive to find and navigate, and have a nice little interface in which they slide in on the right and left sides of the screen.
The story didn’t interest me too much. Something about Ember, blah blah blah. Good thing I was watching Glee at the time. But a quest got me quickly in a dungeon, where I discovered that this is a pretty standard fun dungeon hack ‘n’ slash romp. The enemies weren’t difficult, which made for a fast pace. Go go go, loot loot loot. Oh, and you get a pet! I chose a cat and named him Bink. Bink fought for me and did another really cool thing. He carries his own backpack worth of stuff for me, and when it gets full, I can send him to town to sell it all and come back! Pretty sweet.
I should mention that I’ve read that this game is a lot like Diablo 2. I can’t make my own judgement call on that, since I confess I’ve never played Diablo 2. Just thought you should know that a lot of people are making this comparison. The only comparison I can make is that it’s similar to Dungeon Hunter for the iPhone. Which, go figure, I’ve also heard compared to Diablo.
So the thing I really can’t stand about Torchlight and has me whining whenever I launch it, is the point and click. I target with the mouse, shoot spells with the mouse, and even move with mouse – but not in my preferred method of mouse moving. (Which is my favorite MMO way – push both buttons and steer. Or hold the ‘W’ key and steer.) I actually have to point to where I want to move. And my left hand is just laying there on the keyboard, useless and bored. I’m wondering if this is how Diablo works and how all dungeon hack ‘n’ slash games work, and you’re all wondering why I’m surprised or annoyed. But look, even Dungeon Hunter on the iPhone has me using both hands – my left thumb for movement, and my right thumb for selecting attacks. I just feel so inefficient using just the one in Torchlight. There are some actions you can use the number keys for, but none of them are essential, all-the-time actions, and either way, I automatically shoot any enemy I click on.
That being said, usually after a few minutes of playing, the fun of killing and looting drowns out the whiny voice in me. Not entirely, but mostly.
Oh, and the fishing is kinda cool. Not super fun or anything, but the fish themselves are nice little prizes – you feed them to your pet so it can gain new temporary abilities. There’s also enchanting and gemming and who knows what else I haven’t gotten to explore.
I’m excited to hear that the game’s developers, Runic Games, are already in development of an MMO version of Torchlight. If the MMO can retain the wonderful design, relative low cost, and casual-friendliness that the single player game has, I certainly would want to try it.
Torchlight is sold as a digital download for Windows for $19.99 – but keep an eye out for sales if you’re interested in it.