Abilene Backlog: 10.26 - 10.29.06

In the morning, we left from Mandy's house (where we'd crashed upon returning from DC) and drove straight to Abilene--do not pass go, do not go home and do laundry. After this point, my travel-logged memory becomes fuzzy, as I stopped taking analog notes and neglected to go directly digital, either.

Thursday, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Abilene Civic Center, to celebrate HSU's successful Secure the Future Campaign. Friday... I'm not sure what we did Friday, to tell you the truth. I think Alex and I spent several hours reading through Jared's print volumes of Penny Arcade, and then I think we wandered on campus awhile to see the new Alumni Wall. Alex and Jared stayed up late making Mii characters, and I passed out after reading comics. Saturday was the usual Homecoming mix: Kathryn and I did our BYA duty at the Cowpoke Posse table, preused the bookstore, and made our usual appearance at the Art Alumni Reception (wandering the halls and critiquing student art while laughing at the memories), and Alex and Cameron set up the computer lab for the Gaming Tournament. Jared and I joined them later, and then the festivities began--hosted by Tiibo Tibo Thibault. (Sidenote: It was crazy and awesome to see our friend Seth dating Lisa, who is my college roomie Martha's younger sister.)

First we played America's Army, a game that is at first incredibly frustrating, but at the same time has got to be one heck of a recruiting tool. Yes, the US Army actually provides this game freely, in the hopes that they will recruit some enthusiastic youths into military service. You've got to wonder, though, if recruiting gamers is the wisest idea... I forsee the Army's motto changing in the near future from "be all that you can be," or "an army of one" to "fraglords."

I hated this game until the very last few rounds, when I discovered missiles. This is pretty typical; I detested Battlefield 2 until I learned I could get an anti-aircraft missile launcher, camp out on top of buildings, and really spectacularly snipe people. Muawahahahaha, ah, the beautiful destruction that ensued. I'm not much of one for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, either, except for the "Gold Rush" and Stargate maps. Now, when we returned to Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons last year, I was a lot happier.

This year, we played Savage. And oh-my-freaking-gosh, that game is amazing. The music, the look, the gameplay is all so different from what I've played before, and I love that the light changes throughout the game. Although to be honest, I had some difficulty navigating through an area a second time in the dark when I'd previously been there in the light. But you get used to it.

The neatest aspect of the game is that it is both a RTS and a FPS. Each team has a commander who views the game from RTS mode, while the rest of the team is in FPS multiplayer mode. It's nice to get direction from the commander--it really helped me, since I'm not a good enough gamer to do well in a multiplayer game alone. I can't really describe the experience adequately enough, but you should download it yourself, as it's free.

We played until midnight, then headed back to Jared's--and thus ended another year of Homecoming festivities.

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