Happy Anniversary, or perhaps more appropriately, This Was A Triumph

Doesn’t seem that long ago that I started this project.  I suppose it isn’t in the grand scheme of things, but on August 15, 2007, The Chaos Fold was born.  By some minor miracle I’ve managed to accrue 103 published posts, and while I’ve dropped off the blogosphere a couple of times, I’ve more or less stuck with it.

I’ve turned 21, I can legally drink.  That may or may not improve the quality of my bullshit here.  Some fun self-indulgent blag facts.

My top post of all time is “Thinking with Portals”, written shortly after I’d first played through the now ubiquitous game and internet-meme factory.  It was a quick one-off post about how Portal mechanics could make other games better and still make sense.  I thought it was interesting, but it has since accrued 1,104 reads.

I’m somewhat less proud of the others in the 100+ crowd, the second and third places going to posts with the “Dick Jokes” tag, proving once more that is an ever-fertile ground.  Interestingly, I get more hits to Thinking with Portals from Google than anywhere else.

My recent Pettrout posts are also in the 100+ club, apparently people are as confused as I was about them, and a lot of them have started coming here for the answer to the mystery.  Traffic has surged lately due to this.

The all-time record-holder for page referrals is the WordPress tag for “Cocksucking” which I am not proud of, but I thought that was a pretty funny post so I’ll take it and leave it.  In something that amuses me to no end, the rapidly-rising second place for most referrals goes to Ragamuffin Soul, home to a “Musician, Blogger, and Pastor” from Atlanta, Georgia.  Seeing as we’re in the grips of the first of many Epic Legends, the Atlanta Saga, and that I’m a staunch (though tolerant) atheist, it amuses me that this, admittedly rather interesting pastor is second to “Cocksucking” on the all-time greatest referrers list.  A few more hits and he’ll surpass that.  Personally, I’m pulling for him on this one.  I’ve read his blog and he seems to do what few Christians do these days, that is to say a lot of good.

As for search engines, the undisputed #1 champion is “portal gun” which has brought me a grand total of 367 views.  Other luminaries of the top ten include “portal glados”, “thinking with portals”, “glados portal” and of course “now you’re thinking with portals”.

My humble blog has been viewed a total of 4,598 times.  The all-time daily record was set one week ago today, when my Too Human editorial and the PetTrout pages brought in 112 unique views.

When I started, I never expected to get more than a couple dozen hits a week, and honestly expected to give up not more than a couple months into the whole thing.  Various catalysms, events, and medically-induced bouts of writers block have kept me from doing as much as I’ve wanted to do, but I’ve surpassed my own expectations.

Most of all, while I could have become the Portal Blog or the Dick Jokes blog and drowned in traffic, I’ve done my own thing and done it pretty well.

The conclusion and Epilogue of the Atlanta Saga should go up later today, and though I haven’t yet decided on the next story in the series, I’m nearing a decision, and that one should follow hot on the heels of Atlanta.

So to everyone who’s dropped by my corner of the blagoblags, thank you for your time, thank you for your feedback, and most of all, thanks to one Karen Chu, a great friend and semi-mentor, for inspiring me to go all copycat after she started her second blog and make a new one for myself.

Love, Luck, and Lollipops,

Andrew “MagicSwordKing” Zimmer

Late breaking edit: In an odd turn of events, this post has recieved over 150 hits since it went up and my all-time one-day record has doubled, with no signs of slowing.  Also, Los has overtaken Cocksucking as the #1 referrer to The Chaos Fold.  I believe this officially ushers in a new age of peace and love across the world.  Uncanny!

Latest breaking edit: While I love all the new readers, there was something of a change-up in the works for the site.  So it’s moved!  Because of the tremendous influx of readers I’ll be cross-posting everything to both blogs for a while, but The Chaos Fold has a new home!  http://thechaosfold.com!  Update your bookmarks and feeds!


The Year of the Stunner: The Chaos Fold’s Gaming Year in Review (Part One)

2007 has been a banner year for video games. The titles that have bombarded store-shelves month after month continue to impress even the most jaded of critics. We have seen beloved franchises leap forward, new franchises born, and new developers rise to prominence.

In particular, 2007 has seen a stunning leap forward in the world of interactive storytelling. As film matured from silent clips of ribald comedy into spectacles of visual splendor and daring innovation, so too is gaming finding its own unique voice, and its own unique language for storytelling. As the Year of the Stunner, 2007 will not soon be forgotten. Continue reading

Thinking With Portals.

There’s a nice discussion on The Escapist in regards to everyone’s favorite First-Person-Puzzler, Portal.

It got me thinking, as it were, about just how much Valve (and the inevitable copycats) will be able to do with this concept. The game, if you haven’t played it yet, is perhaps the best technically-executed idea in gaming right now. The concept is simple, you have a gun, the gun can fire two portals, you need to use it, along with the laws of physics, to complete a series of challenges in exchange for some delicious cake.

Did I mention it is also one of the funniest games of the year? I should.

The aforementioned thread is mostly about what you would do with a portal gun in the real world. Suggestions range from solving the planet’s energy crisis to theft. The fine folks at Rooster Teeth have their own predictably scatological take on the idea, as well. And while the possibilities are truly endless, I’m more interested in how this is going to change games.

What if we put the portal gun into other games? Take Bioshock, for instance. One could open a portal below a nearby font of water and then open another above a group of unsuspecting splicers, proceeding to give them the trusty electroshock. A non-FPS game, maybe.

Take the sci-fi third-person-action-rpg-wtf-bbq of Mass Effect. In a tactical setting, you could order one squadmate to open a portal behind a patrol of enemies, and another to open a portal in cover, allowing you to flank them before they realize you’re there.

In Starcraft 2, something like this is more or less in place for the Protoss, and let’s not forget the Nydus Canal of the original. Send a single scout-type unit to a distant staging ground, and use it to bring your army in without them having to traverse the chaotic middle-fields of RTS.

Perhaps a more potent example would be for Supreme Commander. The vast expanses of that title lend to massive offenses, flanking maneuvers, and feints, not to mention aerial and naval combat. By adding a portal-gun device the entire game could be turned into a frenetic game of militaristic cat-and-mouse, perhaps an airship capable of deploying two portals at a time, allowing for a hasty retreat from a compromised staging ground, or a surprise rear-assault into a heavily fortified enemy encampment.

The same sort of idea can be adapted to fantasy settings by swapping technology for arcane magics. Take an Elder Scrolls game with portal-oriented puzzles. Set up a portal near an inquisitive guard and wait on the other end for them to inspect, delivering a fearsome bolt of lightning at them once they take the bait. Then drag the body back through to hide the evidence from his friends.

The mechanic is solid, and can add a whole new layer of depth to games that are conducive to it. I’d look for some very, very similar ideas being announced for future titles, soon.