Saturday, December 1, 2007

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas

In regards to the creation of Marvelous Diversion, Derek and Alec's game Aquaria was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I'd long browsed the Internet for fabulous and captivating games and had been planning to start writing about them. When I first heard about Aquaria winning the grand prize at IGF this past year, I knew it was time to start disseminating news about my greatest finds. And so, along with the help of all the other wonderful independent games out there, Marvelous Diversion was born.

Well, now is the time to celebrate! On this snowy December day, Alec and Derek have announced that Aquaria will be released next Friday the 7th! Not only that, but every day until its release, we'll be getting an update on the bit-blot blog of screen shots, art, music, and chat with the creators! Capping it all off, we'll be getting a downloadable demo and be able to buy the game for $30 (US)! Woo hoo!

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas. Are you?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A happy coincidence

There I was, making my nightly rounds on this big thing we like to call the "world wide web". And by "we", I mean "dorks". Most of us normal people call it the Internet.

In any case, I first played Kingdom of Loathing before it closed for nightly maintenance. Then I checked the weather for tomorrow and went on to check some websites and blogs I read regularly. I browsed the new pickings at and then stopped short after reading the first post on Since I just mentioned the Watchmen in my last post, I was more than surprised to find that a big screen adaptation is in the works for the classic graphic novel! How spectacular is that?

That was a rhetorical question. It's spectacular. Really spectacular. Check out the official blog for the Watchmen project here to track the movie's progress.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Good things come in threes

So I’ve not posted anything in a long, long while.

I’ve been here for the most part, right where I usually sit, but three very important things have been preventing me from updating Marvelous Diversion.

Very Important Thing Number One: the TV show Heroes. A friend at work lent me the first season of this spectacular show. As always happens when I get my grubby little paws on a season of a great show, I tend to spend all of my time either watching or wishing I were watching it.

I’ve always loved comics. In recent years, many superhero movies and TV shows have been made, none of which has quite had the depth of NBC’s Heroes. Now that I’m all caught up, I can’t help comparing the first season to the classic graphic novel “The Watchmen”. While the first season had a more compelling storyline than the second thus far, I still can’t wait till next Monday night to find out what happens next. Yay for beautifully crafted TV!

Very important thing #2 was Final Fantasy 12 going on the cheap-o rack at Target. There I was, minding my own business, sifting through the pre-torn (distressed, they say) hoodies trying to find one that didn’t look like it came from the bottom of a dumpster. I didn’t have much luck in menswear, so I thought I might as well see if there was anything new on the video game bargain rack. Man, was that a good choice.

FF XII is a tie with FF VII for my favorite 3D final Fantasy. Introducing a lot of MMO elements and customizable AI for your party members, the twelfth installment in the glorious Final Fantasy series has been a joy to play. The only time I felt regret about any piece of the game was when, 25 hours in, I find out that I can’t get the ultimate weapon anymore because I opened a chest earlier in the game that I shouldn’t have. According to the walkthroughs, I’m a little more than halfway through right now and loving every minute. In any case, FF XII is the best 20 bucks I’ve spent in a while.

Thing Number Three was the release of a tiny little 2D platformer/open level editor by Nicklas Nygren, better know as Nifflas. You may have read my review of Nifflas and his amazing little platformers, Knytt and Within a Deep Forest. His newest game, Knytt Stories, came out a few weeks ago out and, until tonight, has been distracting me from updating this website. Check out the review by following the Games link above.

In any case, I should be back on track now. Let the regular updates recommence!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Casual gamers, beware of Peggle!

So, Zero Punctuation has been one of my favorite pieces of video game reporting since he started posting videos on The Escapist this past August. This installment in Yahtzee's reporting fits with the theme of this site, especially that of the last post. So, I decided to give you, my devoted readers(yes, you Jim), a permalink to the latest installment of Yahtzee's ranting. Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Shift of Paradigm

I know that there's a whole community of people out there looking for and reporting on cool video games that fit my criteria. I read a lot of blogs and gaming news sites out there in the vast expanse we call the "World Wide Web". And by "we", I mean lame-os. What surprised me was, a few weeks ago, my local newspaper ran an article on the "casual gamer" phenomenon. I'd read more than a few articles about the revolution that the Wii is bringing to the market, but I never imagined that there was a sizable enough group of frustrated gamers out there to warrant an article in a nationally syndicated paper regarding the downfall of the "simple" gaming experience and how there's a whole group of people out there creating meaningfully fun experiences for others.

Don't get me wrong. A complicated storyline and detailed character development in an RPG or the advanced tactical skills necessary to compete on are not what I and many have been frustrated with. There has always been a lot of crap out there, but with the graphics revolution has come a sad time for fluidity in games; for stories and game play to mesh harmoniously. What I've been looking for in a game is threefold: innovation, beauty, and simplicity.

Included in this article was a link to a game that exemplified all three of these qualities. Check out the Games link above for a full post on little game called "flOw". In this post, I'm really hear to direct your attention to an article in The Escapist entitled "A Childhood in Hyrule" that accurately captures quite a bit of why this decline has occurred; why games seem to have lost their depth at the same time their complexity and polygon count have gone up. The Escapist is a fabulous zine (I can't believe I just said zine...). Check out the other articles there while you're browsing too, but be sure to read June's cover story.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Aquaria on Linux

The good folks at have been so kind as to release an in-game show of the wonderfulness that is Aquaria. If you've been following bit-blot's blog, this is only the 3rd video that they've released for the game. It looks like it's getting more and more polished every day!

For those of you who havn't been following bit-blot too closely, Aquaria was scheduled for release June of 2007, but was delayed for polishing up and general final tweaking. It's going to be released for Windows, Mac OSX (courtesy of Ambrosia Software), and now it appears that there'll be a Linux version also!

Aquaria for all and all for Aquaria!

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Post With the Most

Ever since the days of Gemstone III when it was hosted on AOL, I've been hooked on the MMORPG format for games. I played Gemstone III in all of its black-and-white, textular glory throughout my last years of middle school. Then it was on to Ultima and eventually Everquest the First. I played EQ for perhaps the longest of any of the massive online RPGs, starting my freshman year of college and ending shortly after I graduated.

So what's happening now? Am I continuing to turn the pages of Norrath's saga in Everquest II? Maybe questing through Azeroth with so many others in World of Warcraft? Or maybe just hanging out in Second Life?


I'm looking for something new. I'm looking for something innovative. I'm looking for the best of the best! And, well, let's face it: with my budget, I'm looking for something free! I've been on this kick ever since discovering a little game called Tibia back when Everquest started to lose its iron grip on me. There's a wonderful game somewhere out there that's completely free to try; perhaps even completely free to play forever. This game is amazing. It is the most marvelous diversion imaginable.

My search continues. In my sifting of the murky river that is the Internet, I've come up with a few flakes of gold. Some are completely free. Some are merely cheap. Some are neither cheap nor free, but I'm so excited about their eventual release that I will shell out twice (nay, three times!) what they're asking for them just so I can put a copy in my shrine to eternal awesomeness.

Since this is my first post, I think it's a good time to state my thesis. I'm here to disseminate news on fun games I've found online. OK, not just "fun" games, but truly amazing games. Deviating from this goal a bit, I'll be reporting on other interesting content that I find online, such as funny web comics and news on upcoming games and movies. Really, I'll be posting on anything that's interesting me at the moment. Along the way, I'll hopefully be releasing a few minor diversions that I've been working on in Flash. So, that's about it really.

Mill about. Browse the links. Enjoy.

If there appears to be not much happening, you've probably got a good impression of the state of the blog right now. I’m still adding stuff. There’ll be more to come in the next few days, so check back soon.