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My Gaming Journey


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My Gaming Journey

A Blog by @BruceVC

 

"Where did it start? How did it start? These are questions I asked myself when I made this post. The question being “my love of fantasy and fantasy RPG PC games? And why not Sci-fi, why fantasy as my favourite genre?"

240622.The_Magic_Faraway_Tree.jpg.96cf85ff68351880bd45ab7908c3c2b5.jpgFor me it was the late 1970’s, I was young and don’t remember much but I do remember my dad reading to us Enid Blyton’s “The Magic Faraway Tree” and that’s where it started.

I was absolutely enthralled and mesmerized by this idea of a tree and portals that led to incredible and fantastic lands. You never knew what creatures they were going to meet or what place they were going to discover and my love for fantasy only grew from there.

In the 1980s I also started collecting comics with Conan being my favourite and to this day I still RP my characters in RPG on Conan’s personality and world views. Basically, Chaotic Good but someone who helps the downtrodden, wanting wealth and never saying NO to a damsel in distress.

It was also in the 1980’s where I started playing the very popular and loved Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone books and I was given my first D&D Red Box ruleset with that indelible image of a fighter and   dragon and a new world opened up to me. The world of tabletop RPG. I still consider D&D ruleset and the various D&D fantasy worlds my overall favourite because that’s where my journey on RPG really started.

Due to Apartheid sanctions, we had limited access to general fantasy paraphernalia and goods, but my dad was an investment banker and he travelled 3-4 times a year to the UK and sometimes the US and he would buy us things we couldn’t get in South Africa.240622.Conan_the_Savage_6.jpg.6ad96a45b2783ec0167b8753813a28c5.jpg

But we were generally behind in IT and the advancement and creation of the PC, and this included Internet access and connectivity speeds. I used to read Dragon magazine and they had these adverts and stories about games called Ultima, Wizardry and Might and Magic and I always wondered “it looks and sounds amazing … imagine an RPG on a computer.”

But in the late 1980’s that started ending because Apartheid was ending and suddenly people had PC at their homes and that meant PC gaming was also coming to South Africa.

And in 1989 at my uncle’s house was the first time I saw a PC game and it was one of the classic Sierra games, Kings Quest 1. The PC had monochrome graphics and was incredibly basic, but I still was blown away by the concepts and how you needed to type actions to advance the game like “open door” or “push witch into fire “ 😀 . It was a life changing experience and my love, enjoyment and passion for PC gaming never ended from that moment like my love of general fantasy.

I stopped gaming from 1995-2007 because of RL responsibilities and I was travelling overseas a lot, but I bought my first real gaming machine in 2007 and PC gaming has been an active hobby of mine since then.

I play many different genres like action or RTS games, but fantasy RPG are still my preferred choice and it’s because of my childhood connection to the Magic Faraway Tree books. The idea of what waits behind that door, what lives in that ancient temple, what strange beasts await me are still the most exciting design themes of RPG that I treasure and appreciate.

240624.png.50a1f15760f8078d23c53d674e2d0746.pngAnd Obsidian has created many games that align with my core expectations of what I want to experience in playing any RPG.

These 3 Obsidian games are all in my top 10 of “best RPG of all time “and it’s tough to think of a top 10 or 20 list because there are so many excellent games out there. Lots of competition which is a good thing for gaming. 

NWN2: MoB: Brilliant D&D setting with an exciting and fascinating narrative that takes you on this epic journey to the Planes with memorable and interesting characters and companions. I love the entire NWN2 series, but this expansion was my favourite with the whole Spirit Eater curse and then the choices you need to make about the Wall of Faithless

Fallout:NV: It’s my favourite third person\first person Fallout game outside the first 2 isometric games. I love open world and sandbox games and I like the concept of exploring anywhere you want and F:NV provides that reality. I had the single most appreciated moment in F:NV and that is the most appreciated of any game I have ever played.

240622.SierraOnLine-Box-KingsQuest1.thumb.jpg.3731dd9d33e3122d194c57a4d710b023.jpgTo get to NV I didn’t go directly and went through small regions and areas of interest, and I remember I reached a point where I was wounded with no ammunition, and I was being chased by brutal and indefatigable Deathclaws. I had a sniper companion who bravely stood his ground and died while I fled. But the Deathclaws continued to pursue me, and it was night and then I went around a corner and saw something … incredible bright lights on the horizon. I had reached NV finally and I was saved.

I have never been so relieved in any game to find my destination as that single experience.

PoE2: I thought Obsidian created a fun and worthy alternative to standard D&D ruleset and the whole PoE mechanics worked for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the overarching and depth of the narrative, the lore of the game world, the companions were interesting, and I appreciated the whole naval exploration of islands and open world design PoE2 created.

So, in closing its easy to support Obsidian and love their games because Obsidian is not just a name of a company, it’s a world-builder and creator of so many games that resonate with me and the mystery and allure of The Magic Faraway Tree from my childhood.

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About Me

" I was born in South Africa and I have lived here my whole life. I have spent about 6-7 years working outside the country but this was on projects that didn't last longer than 6 weeks and then I would go back to South Africa for 3-4 months and then overseas again."

We are English\Anglo South Africans and most of my ancestors came to South African in the late 1800's from the UK because of the second Boer War. They were soldiers and then some of them stayed behind and South Africa became there home.

I am a software consultant and I work primarily with eDiscovery and software auditing tools that also align with your normal security products but they mostly used in the Financial sector.

I have lived all over South Africa but now I live in the beautiful city of Cape Town and I love it. I go jogging every second day  in the shadow of Table Mountain and Im fortunate to be staying here.

 

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Nice reading Bruce!

I don't know the specific book, but Enid Blytons "The Famous Five" books were something I loved, growing up. The four kids and their dog going on all kinds of adventures, helping a young mind escaping the limitations of the physical world and go to various places of the imagination. Had the very same "red" D&D basic rule book too 😁

Good to see, that circumstances didn't completely block your access to things that interested you 👍

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Thank you, Bruce, for sharing your journey into gaming. It's intriguing to see how our reading interests lay the groundwork for our digital inclinations. The recurring theme of the power of storytelling is striking, as it not only motivates us to engage in gaming but also to connect with and remain loyal to exceptional storytellers

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6 hours ago, Gorth said:

Nice reading Bruce!

I don't know the specific book, but Enid Blytons "The Famous Five" books were something I loved, growing up. The four kids and their dog going on all kinds of adventures, helping a young mind escaping the limitations of the physical world and go to various places of the imagination. Had the very same "red" D&D basic rule book too 😁

Good to see, that circumstances didn't completely block your access to things that interested you 👍

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faraway_Tree

There are a  whole series of fantasy books based on the Faraway Tree theme and these books were written from 1939-1951, I had forgotten how much they had influenced my love of fantasy because I had assumed it had started with the Steve Jackson books but when I was thinking about the blog and my journey I realized it had started much earlier. I didnt read these books myself so that was what had created my original love of fantasy 

And that red box D&D image, I will never forget it :dragon:

 

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14 hours ago, Gorth said:

Nice reading Bruce!

I don't know the specific book, but Enid Blytons "The Famous Five" books were something I loved, growing up. The four kids and their dog going on all kinds of adventures, helping a young mind escaping the limitations of the physical world and go to various places of the imagination. Had the very same "red" D&D basic rule book too 😁

Good to see, that circumstances didn't completely block your access to things that interested you 👍

Fascinating! The Famous Five books were the first books I started reading for myself, as opposed to having my father or grandfather read them to me. Prolly when I was four or five years old. 😃

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They were soldiers and then some of them stayed behind and South Africa became there home.

's an authentic BruceVC post all right. :p

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lol  Bruce, you glorious bastard!  I have a feeling we'll be laughing together soon. I read your post and I thought, "this is sweet."  We will meet sometime, brother.  If not in this life, then in the next.  I hope Valley of Fire, only without the Deathclaws.

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1 hour ago, MedicineDan said:

lol  Bruce, you glorious bastard!  I have a feeling we'll be laughing together soon. I read your post and I thought, "this is sweet."  We will meet sometime, brother.  If not in this life, then in the next.  I hope Valley of Fire, only without the Deathclaws.

Sounds like a plan, count me in. Hopefully we get  to read your blog and gaming journey as a contribution 

Good to hear you still around :)

 

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