Just wait

The beta run of the video game StackExchange is chugging along nicely.

Recently some poor soul, stricken with buyer’s remorse (I bought an awful game, what now?!) asked about any recourse for bad, expensive PC games.

My answer (surprisingly well-received – top answer):

I think research before buying is the best answer (as many have already said – especially demos, videos of actual gameplay and reputable reviews sites).

But I’d like to add:¬†wait. The game will still be there in 6-12 months, but:

  • Less $ wasted: you can buy it on sale on steam (often for as low as $5-10 at some point in the first year or two after release)
  • More honest reviews: the reviewers will get over their initial excitement. If the game¬†was really good (once they look back, with the benefit of hindsight) they’ll put it in a “best games of the year” list.
  • Maybe even better visuals: you may have upgraded to a faster PC by then

It may seem hard to wait, but there are a million other things to do while you wait: sports, social life, novels, movies, study, family, travel, learning… and if that doesn’t appeal to you: have you really played through all of the best games of all time already?


Warbreaker Map

If you’re reading Warbreaker, you may have noticed that it’s a bit hard to find the landmarks on the included map of T’Telir.

I did, anyway, so I made a colour-coded version:

Warbreaker Map - coloured

Click the image for the full sized version. If you’re reading the book on your phone, you can download this to it for reference as you read.


Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings” is out

Brandon Sanderson is my favourite author at the moment. He writes epic fantasy novels with carefully constructed plots and colourful, life-like characters.

He is famous for complex, cohesive “magic systems” – that is, the magic in his books is always consistent within its own internal rules. He’s also known for original story concepts; many of them turn well-known fantasy tropes on their heads, such as the Mistborn trilogy, which is about a world in which “the Dark Lord won” – a prophesied hero, fated to destroy an evil villain, unexpectedly failed.

If you’d like to try out Brandon’s work I recommend Warbreaker, a full novel he released for free (cc licensed) which you can download as a .pdf or .prc from his website: Warbreaker downloads (I tried to convert the latest version to an .epub but my reader won’t open it, anyone else succeeded?).

I can’t wait to read his latest book, The Way of Kings:

It’s just been released and is available as an eBook, as a physical book ordered on-line and in bookstores in the US (and some here in Australia, try Borders). There are sample chapters available on tor.com, too.

So if this looks like something you might like, given Brandon a try.