Journal #200 – Time flies and I’ll do me (with video games)

Time really flies. If you aren’t careful, hours, days or even weeks will just slip by you. If you have any kind of life plans or goals, there is no better time than now to start taking action. Because, before you know it, you are already in your mid thirties or forties and it may be already be too late to start doing anything. It’s especially problematic if you aren’t an entrepreneur or simply don’t have that inclination since ageism is a thing. In Singapore, once you cross about thirty-six year old, you either find a way to carve your own path or is working at some companies waiting for the day when they decide to downsize and cut you out.

Personally, I’m good with what I’m doing and that is getting my hands dirty: writing codes, taking instructions, etc. Of course, I do my have own strong opinions about some things but most likely you will see me overruled by the more senior people.

Well, I suppose most people would expect me to be in some kind of leadership position due to my age or work experience— I’m 30 and have worked for at least four different companies (internship included). But I have no inclination or desire to be in any managerial position. I rather focus on doing what I do best and let someone who’s better at management do management. Also, I like my long downtime after six pm and being in the management position means I won’t get that chance even with careful scheduling. My prioritization of video gaming yesterday demonstrates just how much I love and need my downtime. No complains there.

Talking about gaming, I spent most of the morning (after I finish my morning routines) and early afternoon playing Everspace. It’s one of those games that really test your reaction time other than testing your patience. Yes, I’m using it to train my patience too due to the drudgery involved.

I took some screenshots during my gaming sessions yesterday and today. Let’s see if I can tell a story.

I shall start with Everspace.

Everspace

Over the various sessions that I played this game, I have upgraded various parts of my spaceship, focusing primarily on the engines, boost capabilities, hull hit points, and energy reserves for my weapons.

This first image shows my ship yesterday morning, two weeks since my last play.

After I upgraded the engines, boost capability with the credits that I collected in-game, there were some visual changes, especially how the engines and thrusters looked.

This next image is from my final session from yesterday afternoon before I went off to play Cities: Skylines. I have already maxed-out all the engine, boost, and energy reserves. There are no obvious signs of change but looks great nonetheless.

This next screenshot is from my session this morning, after encountering a combat situation. It’s very obvious that my ship’s hull took some damage with pockmarks everywhere.

This next screenshot is from I forgot which round (this game feature permanent death. The only persistent thing is your spaceship and its upgrades). I hid in an abandoned space station because I was scared to go out. I was surrounded by a full alien combat fleet featuring corvettes, fighters, and gunships. I’m just a lone ship.

Of course this is where I ended that specific round. I made an extremely stupid mistake here when I fired the ARC-9000 missile within the confines of this space station, killing myself. It was pretty sad because I had a pretty good run here, reaching sector 4.

My next game, after I further upgrade my ship with the credits I have collected so far, saw me fighting droves of both human and alien spaceships.

Well, as my spaceship shows, I’m pretty much in an extremely dire situation. I’m about to die with no ability to repair my ship. I had used up the last of my nanobots that would allow me to repair.

I made my way into another sector of space and faced off with more enemies. This is the end result of that combat. I was lucky that I didn’t die during that fight.

Well, that’s it. My next encounter with the enemy saw me crashing into the asteroid while attempting to evade enemy fire. My spaceship exploded in a massive explosion. That marked my second last game for today as I was getting very tired from having to spend so much mental energy keeping track of so much stuff, fighting off enemies, avoiding obstacles, etc.

I made my last few rounds of upgrades, finishing off the credits that I have collected and then made my way into sector 2 of the game, and saved the game there.

After that I went for a run around my neighborhood.

Cities: Skylines with Green Cities DLC

As I mentioned yesterday, I went ahead and bought the Green Cities DLC. This whole game series is now one of my favorite ones.

With Green Cities DLC, the game get a new office zoning call IT Cluster. You can think of it as having the ability to create your own silicon valley.

I did allocate a section of my city for that purpose. This next image is the night view. The buildings in the foreground are those IT buildings surrounded by normal office buildings with the low-density residential buildings at the near back. In the background, it is the other part of my city.

This is the day view from another angle.

Subsequently, I re-zoned another area of my city into IT Cluster. Originally, it had normal office buildings. It is night view and was raining. Around it are basically leisure and tourism zones, forestry zone, high-density residential zone and the only airport in my city.

Anyway, my city did reach such a density that I am having a hard time adding more zones to increase my population time due to the amount of pollution everywhere. Of course there is the new recycling center which had reduced pollution level and ecologically friendly water treatment plants with the DLC and I have added them into my game, replacing the original incinerators and water treatment plants.

Some people may say that I should remove all the factories and replace them with offices. Well, I could do that and maybe free up even more space to add more residential zones. But I like to try to constraint myself and I like to play it real. I mean no real-life city can truly survive purely on services and tourism right without some kind of heavy or light industries. Those that did rely heavily on tourism and services are hard hit when no one visit them. You see, even when I play video games, I bring my authenticity value to it. I like to replicate that aspect and then see how far I can push. I want to see if I can get to 400k population without mods with this kind of constraint.

Here are some statistics of my city as of last night.

This first stat you can see how my city is faring with the kind of population changes, the budget that I have allocated and the amount of tax I’m getting.

This next stat shows the taxation of my city with how much that is in my city’s treasury. There were many dips and climbs due to some rather massive population changes, increase budgets across all the services. I suppose that’s how it is in real life too.

This next stat shows the amount of residential zones, industry and office zones. As you can see, it somehow replicates real life. The amount of heavy/light weight industries either falls or stay stagnant while the number of services (aka offices) rises. And to ensure a healthy economy, the amount of residential zones must increase drastically to deal with massive immigration.

Not sure what happened here. I get increased tourism but don’t get increased tax income from tourist-related activities? Is it because of the amount of parks that I have and tourists just aren’t spending money? Not sure how realistic is that.

So my city consistently has a higher birth-rate than death rate until towards the end? More people are dying? Oh, what happened there.

The last stat show how happy my city is. I don’t think they are especially happy. The highest is around 92%? I need to do better there. Let’s see if I can push it up to 100% next time.

That’s all for today. I shall spend the rest of the night catching up on some of the shows that I watch and see if I got time to write my novel.