new challenger

I make games. I also play them. I talk about both activities here.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Welcome to the Power Stone World!

Power Stone is coming, again, and I could hardly be more excited. Between the original and its inferior sequel, the series only managed to sell some three hundred thousand or so copies in America, and while critically celebrated, it is publicly considered forgettable. Admittedly, the game doesn’t seem to try very hard at winning people over, with its esoteric character design, unrealistic graphical style, and barebones presentation. Acknowledging its obscurity, Derek and I affectionately designated Power Stone, “a game that only developers play.” Yet the game’s influence is undeniable, with Power Stone clones donning numerous disguises over the years. It is a game that I myself have tried to replicate – twice – with tragically poor success. This incessant desire to recreate the tepidly received series is, I conclude, because of the game’s fundamentally basic yet undeniably compelling strength – its genre-defining gameplay promise. Power Stone is the second evolutionary step in fighting games. It is the fish that emerged from water onto land, leaving familiarity and comfort behind, and changing the course of history forever.

Allow me to wallow in nostalgia for a moment:

I imported my copy Power Stone. Being the Sega fanboy that I was, I had actually purchased a Japanese Dreamcast to get my hands on Virtua Fighter 3 as soon as possible. I didn’t know it then, but the Dreamcast would go on to become the greatest fighting game console ever, with Capcom’s tireless dedication to the prematurely terminal little white box (with some help from a little weapons-based fighting game, as well as some truly underrated games from Sega themselves). I still remember reading the back of the Power Stone jewel case, fascinated by its three green bullet points:

Nandemo dekiru – You can do anything.

Daredemo dekiru – Anyone can do it.

Henshinmo dekiru – You can even transform.

I guess it flows better in Japanese, but its effect on me was substantial, particularly the first line - you can do anything. This is a formidable boast, particularly from a fighting game. But the boast was somewhat justified, as Power Stone broke from the traditional fighting game structure in a very meaningful way. You see, despite the change from two dimensions to three (a change that for years was largely cosmetic), fighting games have always been about controlling space, and using that control directly to defeat your opponent – classic player versus player gameplay. Power Stone did allow dramatic situational advantage to be gained through controlling space. Items encased within treasure chests yielded upgrades in the form of various weapons. The player could use background items to facilitate his direct attacks: ceilings could be clung to and leapt from, poles could be uprooted, and chairs and tables could be picked up and thrown. And not only was the environment beneficial, it was also harmful; conveyor belts led the player into spiked hazards, pots crashed down overhead, inhibiting movement, and even the walls themselves could fall down around you. While you couldn't exactly do anything, you could sure do a helluva lot more than you ever could within the confines of what we consider fighting games.

The second bullet point - Anyone can do it - undoubtedly led to the game's lack of a meaningful following; in a lot of ways, Power Stone felt not only like anyone could do it, but that it had mostly already been done. Power Stone's traditional gameplay mechanics - the punching, kicking, throwing, and jumping, were largely perfunctory. There were some clever innovations in terms of defensive schemes (although in-close attack dodging was disappointingly exploitable) and environment negotiation (auto-navigational movement over small objects was practically defined in Power Stone), but these were subtle nuances that only manifested themselves through extended play. Power Stone, if judged on these factors, was nothing special. And make no mistake - it is on these elements that the game was largely judged by many game players - hardcore and otherwise.

It's only now, nearly seven years after first playing the game that I realize it is the 3rd bullet point that is the game's true strength, and it's most important feature. It is a feature that every single Power Stone clone overlooks, because what it produces has a difficult time existing within the worlds the clones recreate. Players are able to transform into more powerful versions of their characters upon collecting three gems randomly spawned throughout the level. In a wrestling game, it would be odd to have dramatic physical transformations through such artificial means (wait a minute...). But it's not the transformation itself that's key; Power Stone as a game is built around the impetus created by wanting, needing, to get those damn gems and the advantages that they represent. The gems facilitate a transition of power, the transformation, which then enables one player to exert a dramatic situational advantage over the other. You controlled space in Power Stone to get gems. You got gems to make yourself strong. You got strong to control space better.

You can even transform.

Power Stone's player versus player versus environment gameplay changed video games forever by connecting the dots that were always there, yet few people realized the significance at the time. Others have tried to replicate the successful formula contained within, but none have succeeded in creating something as universally powerful and effective as the original. So while I wait for the fates to align again (and don't count me out - I still plan on giving it a go again myself, one day), at least I can bask in the glory of the original, and best, one more time.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Games I'm Playing Right Now - Part 2

I'm debating the possibility of making this a weekly/semi-weekly topic on which to post. As I mentioned before, I tend to play a fair number of games, and as such, I would have a new batch of games to talk about fairly regularly. So instead of rehashing a bunch of stuff, let's just dive into the games that are currently tickling my fancy.

Full Auto
I can't believe how much undeserved hate this game is getting. It is easily one of the most entertaining games out there for the 360 right now (although I guess depending on your perspective, that ain't saying much). It's fast, it's got shiny cars and guns, and yes, it actually has quite a bit of strategy going for it. Sure, the back of the box probably reads like a generic parts bin for mass-market gaming features (rewinding time, exaggerated car physics, nitrous, and the aforementioned shiny cars and guns), but I'll be damned if when you put 'em all together, you don't get a really fun game - and isn't that what it's all about? Full Auto will probably join the elite list of Xbox 360 games I bother to beat.

Fight Night Round 3
I am a perversely huge boxing fan. It is the only sport I watch with any sort of regularity, and in this case, regularity means several times a week. Thus, I'm probably not the best person to objectively score this game. Thankfully, I am in no position where objectivity is a requirement. This game is fucking awesome! If you're any sort of gaming fan, you probably already know the graphics are mind-blowing, so I'm not even going to go into just how great they are (best of the generation). This game's play is really where the series has always shined for me. You see, even with the incredibly annoying parry system that the series has floated for years, this game can still be played very much like a real boxing match, in that positioning, punch choice, and counterattacking are all vital strategies that you need to employ to win. They've gotten rid of the haymaker travesties that plagued the last game, and they've added several new offensive and defensive styles that really add to the wholeness of the experience. I've only played a handful of matches (including a few over Xbox Live, which were fantastic), but already I can see I'm going to be playing this game for quite some time. It is truly that awesome.

State of Emergency 2
I didn't even know this game was out - even the publisher's website has the release date listed as sometime in early April. I just happened to be in my local video game store buying Fight Night when I saw it behind the counter. Anyway, this series seems perpetually maligned. The original was released shortly after Grand Theft Auto 3, and was (wrongfully) marketed as a sort of spiritual brethren to its label mate. It sold reasonably well based on this characterization, but it was regarded harshly by many for its perceived shortcomings. The sequel seemed doomed to vaporware status, jumping publisher, then developer, being shown at one E3, then not the next, only to appear again the following year. Ultimately, the game has emerged triumphant, although not unscathed.

You see, the original SoE had this charm about it, primarily because it was so busy. The cusp of the game was that the player was some sort of freedom fighter in the midst of political unrest. To further the aims of your comrades, you would engage in various missions, but that's not where the game's draw lies. You see, you would perform these missions in the middle of full-scale riots. There were dozens and dozens of people everywhere, clogging the halls and streets of every location. It was downright mesmerizing - particularly so, I think, because of the game's charmingly simple graphical style; a technique no doubt utilized to permit the raw volume of people the game allowed. The sequel, tragically neuters a great deal of the chaos in favor of a more focused end. You see, it's obvious that the developers want to tell a story now, and in adding the order they felt the game required to do so, the game has lost a bit of what made it special. To be fair, I'm still fairly early on, and I find a great deal of the game's charm still intact. It's just that I had expected lightning to perhaps strike twice, and now I don't think it will.

Well that about sums up the new stuff on my docket. I'm still playing some of the old stuff too, particularly The Rub Rabbits and Drill Dozer (there's something to be said for portability), but hopefully I find time enough for it all. I also hope that you all find time to play some of these games too.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Tekken PSP - A Sign of the Times?

So Tekken Dark Resurrection is coming to the PSP, completely sidestepping a console release. I have to say, as a longtime Tekken fan - at least, someone who has played Tekken for quite a while - this is quite disappointing. You see, while the PSP does possess multiplayer capability, most see handhelds as largely a single-player device. Particularly the PSP, which despite being the dominant handheld in America, is perplexingly uncommon. And while certainly fighting games can be played single-player, their greatness is truly born out of the multiplayer experience (one of the things that I attribute to the decline in popularity of fighting games, but that's a subject for another time).

So why is Namco doing this? Well my first guess is that they don't have much choice.

Back in March of 2002, Sega unleashed their legendary opus Virtua Fighter 4 on the Ps2, garnering immediate praise and rare commercial success for the series in America. Always the perfectionists (and opportunists), Sega released an update to the game - called Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution - in Japanese arcades in the summer of that same year. This update, offering substantial upgrades to both the combat system as well as the highly-regarded customization modes, catapulted the series to even greater heights of popularity. In a circumstance that has become internet legend, Sony is said to have balked at Sega's application for license, refusing to allow Virtua Fighter 4: Evo to come out on the Ps2 at full price. Wanting to release their game on the dominant platform, Sega was left with little wiggle room. They released their semi-sequel as a Greatest Hits replacement for the original Virtua Fighter 4 in August of 2003, retailing for twenty dollars.

I bring this up to speculate. While we may be gnashing our teeth and shaking our collective fists at Namco, is it possible that we're placing the blame in the wrong place? Maybe they wanted to bring the goodness home to the Ps2, and it's Sony, in their desperate attempt to gain a foothold in the portable market, who're strongarming Namco into releasing their hugely successful franchise on their software-anorexic device. And let's not forget, while Sony might let Namco release Tekken Dark Resurrection as a Greatest Hits on the Ps2, which would sell for twenty bucks, the PSP version will sell for $40 or $50 - effectively earning Namco more money for the same product. Tekken on the PSP is almost guaranteed to sell more hardware, and I can easily see the game becoming one of the system's best sellers. Plus, despite the complaining that some of the hardcore may do, ultimately they're going to buy the game anyway. So really in the end, Tekken on the PSP is a minor annoyance for some, and a huge win for most.

It won't stop me from complaining, though.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Place for Hardcore

As a developer, I've grown to hate the hardcore. You know, the guys who complain that Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is too easy, thus causing Ubisoft to revamp the checkpoint system in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones so that saves are oh, about 2 hours apart. Most of the people I work with share this general disdain for the hardcore. In some ways, we are completely justified in our severe dislike for this group; there is evidence that adhering too closely to their tastes can ruin your product's sales potential, as the hardcore are a pitifully small percentage of the people who actually buy games (and let's not kid ourselves, please - if games are not profitable, people will stop making them). But the more I think about it, the more I begin to recognize the potential usefulness of the hardcore, just not in the way that they'd probably like.

Videogames aren't the only scene populated with hardcore. Fashion, music, and movies have them too. Know someone who thinks Paper, Denim & Cloth is tired, and that Levi's Capital E is where it's at? What about someone who listened to Fall Out Boy "before they sucked?" How about someone who asserts that Chan-Wook Park is the new Tarantino? We don't necessarily call these people hardcore, we call them trendsetters, and within their respective specialties they are envied, not vilified. What these people revel in today, the mass market glorifies tomorrow. These people are cutting edge, and not because it's easy to do, but precisely because it's hard; it takes an exclusive amount of effort to stay ahead of the next big thing, effort that the mass market - while not willing to spend - is more than willing to exploit. They are pioneers on the forefront, romanticized, not ridiculed. So why the discrepancy?

One big difference, I think, is that games require more from consumers than perhaps any of the above examples. Sure, a pair of expensive jeans may cost quite a bit of money, but they take no more effort to wear than the $30 pair of jeans from the mall. The prevelence of easily obtainable music and movies makes it so that pretty much anyone with a fat enough pipe and a big enough hard drive can have virtually any recorded song or video in the history of man. Games on the other hand, while relatively easy to obtain, are not all easy to enjoy. Some ask for a level of dexterity and game logic familiarity that automatically disqualifies all but the most dedicated patrons of a particular sub-genre (more about that dangerous subject here). It's unrealistic for me to expect a veteran of console shooters to enjoy a game made for first-time console shooter players; the methods I use to teach players the fundamental nuances of play will seem tired and mundane to the veteran. He will get bored, and he will think my game sucks. And yes, it probably does suck for him. No matter how well executed a tutorial is, it's still a tutorial. Dead or Alive as a series was specifically made to appeal to people who hadn't played fighting games before. Is it any wonder that it was almost universally panned by fighting elite? The conventions and rule sets that the game tried to establish were oftentimes contradictory to ones established in other fighting games, which of course felt odd to people who had already adopted a set of conventions for a decade or more. While the game was profitable, it was never accepted by the hardcore, magazines never gave it any credit, and it sat behind other established series as a sort of second-class citizen. Finally, the developers relented, added some changes to the core fighting engine, and released a more hardcore-friendly Dead or Alive 4. Isn't it ironic, then, that these changes haven't warranted any appreciable change in the game's perception?

As a player, I probably am the accursed hardcore. I want games made to satisfy me, with my 25 years of gaming experience. The trick that developers need to master is a way to satisfy the hardcore and the mass market with the same product; while the hardcore, like all trendsetters, don't drive sales directly, what they like trickles down into what the masses like. It's how a small-time community game (in the West anyway) like Virtua Fighter can go from laughing stock to The Best Fighting Game Ever Made. It's also up to the hardcore to realize that every game on the planet doesn't have to be made for them to love, or is somehow less of a game if it isn't. Return of the King was not the best movie of 2003 for everyone - Battleship Potemkin fans probably weren't jumping for joy (or were they?) - but it was the best movie for the most amount of people.

So what are developers to do? Well, I would suggest not writing off the hardcore entirely. There are many elements of play that the hardcore enjoy that can be extracted and presented to the masses in a digestible manner. Head to the message boards, listen to what they're saying. Sift through the fanboism and elitist bullshit and try to get to the meat of why they like or dislike something. Then, be a responsible developer and ask yourself if those kinds of things have a place in your games. The hardcore might not love the way you present a feature in your game, but it may open the door for the hardcore of tomorrow.

Immediately following that, find a pair of Levi's Capital E jeans and buy them. They're the shit, I promise.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Games I'm Playing Right Now

I play a fair number of games. I hesitate to say I play "a lot" of games, because inevitably that opens the door for someone who really plays a lot of games to come and tell me so. Anyway, I'm working on a rather large article, and I thought to fill the time until I post it I'd give a quick rundown of the games that I am currently playing. My definition of currently playing means I would have had to actually played the game at least once in the last week. Whether or not I pick them up again depends on a lot of things.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (PSP)
While I will always pledge allegiance to Street Fighter, as I imagine any fighting game fan who started playing them around the time I did probably does, I'm not particularly fond of the Alpha series. I used to be a fan of Street Fighter Alpha 2, but even now playing that game is somewhat laborous. The original Street Fighter Alpha was fun for about 1 day, until the novelty of chain combos wore off (ironically, chain combos propped up the entire Versus series for years, seemingly without complaint [although I hated those too]. Go figure.).

My biggest complaint with the PSP version of the game is its controls - it's just too hard to do anything. I can't even jump forward reliably. I guess I could use the gamepad thingie that Capcom's selling, but here's one thing they don't tell you - once you attach the little do-dad to your PSP, it's not meant to come off. Attempting to do so apparently seriously fucks your hardware. I don't think I'm willing to destroy an overpriced accessory like the PSP just yet, especially for a game that for me, it's average at best.

Anyway, I figure SFA3M will be a sufficient fighting fix until another Street Fighter I'm not particularly fond of is released

Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition (Ps2)
This is my 3rd attempt to play Devil May Cry 3. I've always been rather disgusted by the series, but I persevere because I know this game is loved by many, and I really do look forward to the times when I finally "get" whatever it is fans of things "get." I think Dante is an asshole, and I think he looks ridiculous; neither of these things helps my cause to complete this game. Then there is that aggravating initial difficulty when you first start out. I'm sorry fanboys, the first level really is unnecessarily hard, and I completely understand why many people turn away in disgust. There's also the distinct repetitiveness of the singular attack button, a feeling compounded by your limited moveset in the early goings - alternating between those two combos gets old fast. And don't get me started on the game's structure: cut scene, action, score splash screen, menu menu menu, cut scene, action, blah blah blah. I think I'd like the game a lot better if it stripped out any story elements whatsoever. They seem to get in the way of the true essence of the game, which is basically that of a skill challenge.

With all that said I'm actually liking the game more than I ever have before. I don't think I "get" it yet (if getting it means I will somehow like it better than God of War, because I don't), but I at least look forward to playing it, and that's a start.

The Rub Rabbits (NDS)
I'm something of a Sega fanboy. I guess there are degrees to this whole fanboy thing, because I don't love all things Sega does, but on a scale from 1-10 I'm probably at least a Level 8. I really loved the original Feel the Magic, and this sequel, which I've played all of one mission of, looks to be more of the wonderful same. I really dig the art style, and if I'm ever in need of a DS tech demo, well there are few games that fulfill the job so completely. Plus the whole thing is just so unapologetically weird that you just have to acknowledge the effort that went into it. Well, I guess you don't have to, but I like to.

Drill Dozer (GBA)
I was somewhat reluctant to buy this game, mostly because I've developed somewhat of a GBA bias recently. Although Nintendo insisted that the DS was not to be considered "The Next GameBoy" I can't help myself but to see it that way, and buying games for the GBA feels about as weird as I'd imagine buying a new Ps1 game to be. Nevertheless, this game seemed interesting, and so I bit the bullet. I have to say I'm glad I did. While you won't see a reinvention of the wheel in Drill Dozer, what you will find is a pretty solid action/platformer with a cool drill mechanic. Plus, there's just something about the 2d gameplay sensibility (that Eric really should write an article about) that just feels right.

One large complaint I have about the game is in its drill gear system. You see, your drill can operate at 3 different speeds - the higher the better - depending on how many gears your drill has equipped. You have to find the gears scattered about each level of the game. Once you find all 3 and you've got your drill feeling all nice and powerful, they take your gears away and you start the next level with only 1 gear. Why games do this just absolutely baffles me. You see, you actually feel really strong when you've got all 3 gears going. You kill enemies really well, and you can drill for much longer, allowing you to travel faster. Taking all of that away makes the game feel bad (well if not bad, at least not-as-good), and that's just bad design.

I still think the game is reasonably enjoyable, and I'll continue to play it, but damnit they were so close to having something really great.

Zombie vs. Ambulance (Ps2)
I've been looking forward to this game for a while. This game was described by its developers as a sort of Crazy Taxi with logic. Essentially, the game has been overrun by zombies, and you as the player take your ambulance around town picking up recently infected people and bringing them back to the hospital. For doing this, you're rewarded with upgrades to your ambulance, which allow you to travel faster and carry more people and such.

I really, really like zombie movies. There is something about the despair involved in being the last few normal people in a world overrun with monsters that's just too cool. It's a shame this feeling hasn't really been translated into games yet. Zombie vs. Ambulance seemed to hint at doing this - rescuing people and all that. It's a damn shame that this game is one of the ugliest, clunkiest, most un-fun games I've ever played. You basically drive around these really short streets in a car with controls right out of GTA. On occasion you'll see a group of zombies - run over those. On even rarer occasion you'll see a big blue circle with a pedestrian inside. Stop within the circle and the pedestrian will get in. Go back to the hospital and you'll be rewarded. Sometimes you'll unlock upgrades to your ambulance, sometimes you won't. Then it's back out onto the streets again to rinse, wash, and repeat. It's really, really bad, and that's a shame.

So that's what's on my docket as of late. Some of these games I'll beat, some I won't. Check some of them out, if you'd like; I recommend it (although I won't tell you which ones).

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Suck at Geometry Wars

I'm serious. I really do.

This is fairly new to me - being so awful at a game at which so many are accomplished. My video game origins lie primarily in the arcade. When kids were at home geeking out on their consoles, I was getting to know the boys at Namco, Capcom, SNK, Midway, and Sega in a completely different way. It hadn't even occurred to me, in those early days, to be good at something purely for the intrinsic value that being good offered; being better than the next guy meant you got to stay on the machine a little bit longer.

So now, in this late stage of my gaming life, I find myself being left behind.

When the Xbox 360 was fresh and new and rare, I was somewhat not horrible. I could score in the mid 100k range, which at the time wasn't that bad. Confident in my early domination, I let my interest settle on other things. Time passed and the 360 became more prevalent. Some of my more dexterous friends started playing. It wasn't long before my score ranked dead last amongst my friends, there for all the world to see (if "all the world" can be considered the nine people I know who purchased Geometry Wars) on the Xbox Live Arcade screen. The shame of it all finally forced me to resume my campaign against the shapes (damn you, pink squares), and I am somewhat embarrassed, and somewhat proud to say I have just broken into the mid 250k range.

So don't expect any insights into the future of game design or deeper meaning or any of that crap in this post, no! Consider this me putting the Geometrically Inclined on notice - I'm coming for your scores, bitches.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My Manifesto: Contextual Narrative Through Gameplay

As a designer, I think it's fairly natural to develop an approach; a perspective from which to consider ideas. I've seen this tendency in my other fellow designers. Derek Daniels has a very tactile focus when he thinks about games. He considers what sort of repeated motions of activity a player's hands will undergo, and he dedicates focus to ensuring that each and every moment of the player interface with the game is fun. Eric Williams is a systemic designer. From the overriding rule set of the game world to the laws that dictate AI logic, he enjoys creating web-like mathematical road maps for the player, that once understood create entertainment through exploitation. Both of these strategies are very effective at making games fun.

For the last few years, I've been developing my own approach, primarily formulized through the games that I not only find both entertaining and noteworthy, but also vital to the future of game growth (it's not as dramatic as it sounds, trust me). Games as an entity have gone through many stages of development, from the early hand-eye dexterity tests to the heights of postmodern political exposition. But perhaps because of the comparatively rapid maturation of the video game scene, these two divergent focuses - the game made for its play and the game made as a narrative experience rarely ever meet (and even more rarely is that meeting successful). Sure, you'll have games that play great, and games that have effective story, and sometimes those elements even exist in the same game. But do you really have great games that succeed in merging their play and story into the same action?

When I'm playing Ratchet: Deadlocked, I am treated to enormously entertaining cut scenes, some of the funniest stuff I've had the pleasure of witnessing in video games. They're mostly television-esque newscasts poking fun at modern-day television news journalism. When I play the game, I'm mostly shooting stuff and jumping over gaps, actions I greatly enjoy. But isn't there some way for these aspects of games to become one? As a matter of fact, there is.

ICO is a game that haunts me. It's like a constant reminder of heights I haven't reached. In it, you play a boy who meets a girl. You're both trapped inside a castle, and you commit to helping the girl escape. This is mostly communicated through non-interactive cut scenes. For the next five to ten hours, that's exactly what you do - help a girl escape a castle. This is mostly communicated through play; holding this girl's hand, helping her get around to places she normally couldn't get to, occasionally swinging a piece of wood at shadowy monsters who would very much like the girl to stay with them. It is the most captivating, troubling, fantastic experience I've ever had in a video game. Everything in it is contextually dedicated to facilitating a constant narrative through action. Many developers fell in love with this game, and there's rarely a week that goes by where I don't hear it mentioned. Yet rarely, if ever, do developers actually attempt to recreate this technique.

This is most likely due to the mechanics that modern games typically employ. Western game development is largely comprised of driving, shooting, or some sort of sporting. The game mechanics that these genres employ just don't lend themselves very well to narrative. For gameplay and storytelling to truly integrate, new mechanics will need to be created. In 2005's breakout original IP, God of War, you play as Kratos, the hound of Ares, and the world's foremost kicker of ass. Hellbent on revenge for the slaughter of your family, you slice and dice your way through hordes of enemies until you finally reach the murderer of your family - yourself. In a moment best realized in video games, you (as Kratos) face down a battalion comprised entirely of copies of yourself. This clone army attacks not only you, but a facsimile of your wife and daughter. To keep your family alive, you must hug them and transfer your life to them. It is a powerful, touching, and wholly unforgettable sequence that elevates God of War from the best action game ever made to one of the best video games of all time, period. It serves as a shining example that developers are learning, and responding to the desire in the public for video games to live up to their potential as the true inheritors of the storytelling mantle.

So there you have it. In the future, I'll probably go into more detail about the different ways these two divergent aspects of video games can better be melded. I'll undoubtedly also talk about games that do a very bad job at reconciling their play and story, yet still enrapture me.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Cor. xiii. 11

When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.