Not a good day at all

As days go, this one could definitely have been better. As reported here (the details of which have probably been spread all over by now), about 20% of Funcom’s work-force are being laid off or put on forced leave, and most of those being affected are situated in the Oslo-office, where I happen to work.

I was not, thankfully, among those 20%. Unfortunately, plenty of others were, and it’s going to be really hard to get used to not seeing the now familiar faces of those departed friends and colleagues in the hallways, during the morning meeting, in the cantina – or face to face as a part of the development process. Though not quite as hard as being without a job, obviously…

Best of luck to all those who were affected by the layoffs/forced leave; I really hope I get the chance to work alongside with some of you guys again one day, be that at Funcom or elsewhere. You guys all rock several different sorts of awesome.

One-button action-game: Canabalt

I haven’t posted in a while, but the following game has finally brought me out of my current post-drought: Canabalt (WideScreen version)

Found this on Raph Koster’s blog, and it has probably been posted elsewhere as well, but I really need to post about this game myself. It’s to blame for the most fun I’ve had in any game I’ve played in recent months, despite being a 2D sidescrolling platform-game made in only 5 days, with pixel-artwork, requiring only the occasional press of a single button to play.

My entire lunch-break at work went past in a Flash (hoho) while playing this game, where you take on the role of some random dude who starts running from within an office building or some such, jumping over a couple of chairs – and then out through a window and onto the rooftops, where he promptly takes off running again all by himself, leaving it up to you to bring him (with your one-button press) from rooftop to rooftop. Your character will gradually run faster and faster, and if you avoid the various crates (which will slow you down if you hit them, intentionally or not) scattered across the rooftops, eventually he’ll run so fast you’ll have a hard time reacting to what appears on your screen, whether it be a window you need to jump through (into a building and out another window on the other side), debris from a rocket(?) you need to jump over, or buildings collapsing under your feet.

Long story short, I’ll be playing this game all weekend to try to beat my co-worker’s record run of around 11370 m… my own record stands at a puny 6838 m :(

Games like these really bring me back to the good old days, when the gameplay mattered and graphics was something you did as an afterthought… nowadays it seems to be all about presentation, Presentation, PRESENTATION! As long as the graphics are good and the interface fancy enough, it doesn’t matter if the gameplay sucks hairy donkey-ass, as the screenshots will look still look good and sell many boxes.

Last bit of advice – do not under any circumstances play this while at work. It can be hazardous to your productivity. Or so I’ve been told.