Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
I have too many computers. But I have only one that is stable and trustworthy — the Thinkpad — and that’s by my own device. I always keep one with Internet access, so when the others are broken or compiling or torrenting (is that a verb?) I can find answers to problems or mistakes. It’s just common sense.
I don’t usually install games on that machine because usually it’s overloaded with other tasks anyway — polling my e-mail accounts, watching #crux or managing my desktop wiki where I keep notes. Osmo, Xpad, XChat and Zim are usually running any time it’s on, and I keep XMMS running too, so I have some tunes to listen to.
But I followed a link in a signature this morning and spent an hour playing The Mana World on it. Probably one of the things that hooked me right away were the graphics, which are quite enjoyable for the mood of the game.
I’ve only scratched the surface (as you can tell, since my avatar is still dressed in peasant garb) but what I’ve tried thus far is quite fun. I believe there’s something like a quest system (I’m still learning), and there seem to be external events that have an effect on the collective world experience — which is a polite way of saying I saw some sort of news event about a volcano, and an invitation to explore. My apologies for such a cursory introduction.
But the real point of this was to mention what you could do entertainmentwise on a machine that has almost no high-end graphical capability. Mind you, an 8-year-old Celeron isn’t much of a pixel-pusher, so it’s not fantastic. I get framerates in the single digits sometimes, but if I turn off all the background chatter and disable the fancy GUI effects, it’s quite playable.
And network speeds are satisfactory: Even with an 11b wireless connection, I’m having no problem keeping up with the action. No lag, no stutter, and aside from occasionally choppy animation it’s quite nice.
Arch users can install this out of community; Ubuntu has packages for Gutsy and up. Crux users can code it themselves, with the obligatory butterflies, ozone layer, etc. Okay, just joking about that last part — it’s in contrib.