A Scatterbrained Update

My update frequency has dropped dramatically over the last two years or so as I’ve settled into my job, been busy with college and found myself with less focus on completing games or doing things which would easily lend themselves to blog posts. This month, I haven’t made any significant progress on any sort of project, but I’ve been flitting between a few things, between serious research into retro gaming platforms (some of which is intended to give me a base for the third part of my series on European retro computing), acquiring the SN76489 sound chips to complement my AY-3-8910s (although I haven’t built a working circuit with either type of chip yet) and making some limited progress in a few games, all while being awkwardly reminded that I’ve got a Red Hat exam that I need to study for in the next five months.

Something I noticed recently was a working release of BloodCM, a port of the 1996 FPS title, Blood, to the EDuke32 source port for Duke Nukem 3D and the Build Engine. I was a big fan of Blood back in the day, but never managed to complete it. The game is rather novel in a number of respects, being set in the 1930s and starring a brutal gunslinger and anti-hero, Caleb, who has risen from the dead in an attempt to get revenge on a cult following an evil god named Tchernobog. Like many Build Engine games, the game has a rather adult and tongue-in-cheek aesthetic and sense of humour, while the weapon selection is bizarre, but very interesting, with Caleb starting with a pitchfork, progressing to a flare gun, dynamite bundles, sawed-off shotguns and a Tommy gun before getting really bizarre weapons like an aerosol can flamethrower, a shrunken head and a voodoo doll.

Part of the reason why I never completed the game in the past was the rather awkward setup for mice in the Build Engine without a source port; like System Shock, it makes the game more difficult than it needs to be. Maybe, like System Shock, I’ll be able to complete it now that the controls are more fluid.

I’m also trying to work my way through Planescape: Torment. I already have all of the engine modifications to improve the game and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve seen so far; in this case, it’s just a case of focusing on completing the game. I should have more to say about the game once I’ve completed it.

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