Saturday, March 6, 2021

SunDog: 44 Hours

Last time I wrote about Sundog, I was trapped because of multiple problems:

  • I had very little money.
  • My ship was in need of repairs.
  • I had to find a colony of cultists.
  • If I left the planet I was on, with a ship full of trade goods, I was going to get attacked by a neverending swarm of pirates.
  • If I somehow managed to deal with that or ignore it, I would be a smoldering wreck.

Somehow, this wasn't the worst time I've ever had in a sci-fi trading sim. I had a boring, but obvious solution to solving my problem. Trading between cities. I needed enough money for a full cargo of decent trade goods and a fully functional ship. Eh, just the former.

The colony
While wandering around the planet, it occurred to me that this game is close to twenty years ahead of its time. This massive open galaxy with every attempt to make it lifelike. People wandering in and out of a bar. Sure, its very artifcial open world, effectively a series of static vignettes that don't affect each other, but its 1984 or something. I didn't feel like I was in a living world in Starflight, I feel that here. I also feel like I'm playing that one Morrowind creepypasta where you can only quicksave and quickload. Most old games I don't play on the edge like that.
Also while wandering around, I find the colony. In order to win, assuming there's a real win state, I need to find all the trade goods the colony wants. I don't pay any attention to that at the moment, because I'm going to explore the galaxy a bit first. However, I do know from my exploration of the planet, that I'm going to need to find wherever the other cyrogenics are, there's only one in a warehouse on Jondd, the planet I'm currently on.

After a few trips around the planet, I'm satisfied with how much money I have, and set a trip for the nearest system, Lafser. This is incredibly slow. So slow. While checking my ship, because this is slow, I examine my engines, which are at half strength. Figuring this is the problem, I reload and fix them, only to discover that's exactly how its supposed to be. I hope that resurrection project under the NDA is going to fix this crap, because if it isn't that's a joke. This game is living on borrowed time, because I haven't played Iron Seed to completion, and that's infinitely better than this.

It turns out the problem is the game isn't advancing towards a warp point. I don't know if that's an issue with this remake or the original, but I no longer care to make the distinction. The author may consider that a lucky turn of events. Once I figure that bit out, it just takes me to Tcana. It was the system I wanted to go to, but this is worrying me a tiny, tiny bit.

Tcana or Lafser, I dunno, this game is confusing as to where I am, but it is the place I wanted to be, so I'm not about to whine; Is a fine place, only, I fail to see the point in coming here. I can do low-level trades on Jondd, and no real new items are here. I could even transfer a screenshot from a different city and you'd never notice the difference. I do encounter a map who sells me stuff, a Dexbooster, its temporary though. I decide to leave the city, for the other city on this planet.

SURPRISE! ITS YELLOW HELL! YOUR EYES BURN AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO! GAME DESIGN! On a serious note, this is possibly one of the worst and yet most alien planets I've ever seen. Yellow is hardly a typical theme amongst us Earthlings for alien planets. Yellow and brown, interesting in theory. In practice, this is ugly. I don't know where I'm going, sometimes its logical, sometimes its not. There's another city here, get this, [i]perfectly[/i] situated on the practically exact opposite position of the planet. I burned through all my food trying to reach there, twice. If I find out I actually have to go there at some point, I am quitting this game in disgust.
So I reload, and blast off from the Hell I'm currently on. I set off for another system. This also has only one planet. "W'orrad". I can't help but feel like these names have no real thought put into them. The starport town is Sheshco, which is better...I guess. The good news is that this planet has a set of cryogens. what? I guess I go back to the cultist colony with the cryogenics here and the cryogenics there.

This Session: 2 hours

Total Time: 4 hours

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