I've been playing a lot of Jagged Alliance 2 lately. It's the Gold Pack edition with the 1.13 fan-made patch installed, which improves a lot of elements of the game. I had played it when it originally came out in 2000 or so, but I didn't enjoy it at the time. Either this patch really improved the game or I just approached it differently this time, but right now, winning back Arulco for the people is really goddamn enjoyable.

The game's been taking up a lot of my free time over the last week or two--all the free time that isn't taken up with Life Stuff or working on my level. I feel conflicted about this. When I'm playing the game, I feel guilty for using my time in an unproductive manner. I don't know if I should feel that way.

I think it's something that informs my play habits in general. When I pick up a game, I generally play it intensely for a few days and finish it as quickly (though thoroughly) as possible, so that I 'waste' the least possible number of hours/days on it. Similarly, I'll often stay up late into the night playing a game and then get up at my normal time in the morning, essentially playing the game instead of sleeping. It's a way of unconsciously compensating for time 'lost' or 'wasted' playing games.

I guess all good things in moderation is what it comes down to. I don't think I should feel guilty about playing games for leisure, but considering that I'm trying to have this level ready in a fairly short timeframe, should I be more disciplined in the time I spend actually playing games? It seems like putting aside time to play games is an admirable trait in someone who is invested in making them as well...

I think I'll clear out a SAM site before I go to sleep.

UPDATE: Actually, I just lost a bunch of progress due to a crash bug in one of the patch features that ruined my current savegame, so maybe I'll just never play JA2 again! Problem solved!

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