For a while now, I've been thinking about building a new computer for myself. It's something I've never done before, but after looking at some tutorials online, it seemed doable. And, really, my 3 year old e-machines PC could really be retired without much reluctance. It did what I needed it to do, namely get me through my masters degree, but it doesn't have the power for much more than surfing the net and playing really old games (Civ III anyone?). Unfortunately, I really wanted to play a game I bought when it first came out, Legend of Grimrock. It's a neat old-school dungeon crawl game, but even it's rather minimal requirements were a bit too much for my poor computer. In order to be able to play it at all, I had to turn all of the graphics options down to their minimum, and even then it wasn't really a pleasant experience.
Before ordering all new parts for an all new computer, I talked to Erik, one of my Friday night D&D players who knows his computers. After asking me a bunch of questions about what I've got and what I want to do, he suggested that I didn't really need a new computer so much as needed to upgrade my current one with more RAM and a graphics card. So, off to Amazon...
Once the parts were in, I went to work installing them. The RAM wasn't a big issue, but the graphics card proved to be a little more effort, and since I didn't really know what I was doing, Erik helped me out. Not only did he get everything installed, but he also did some software cleanup, helping to get rid of some of the bloatware that sucks up memory and slows the computer down.
So now I've got a computer that can run Grimrock, and earlier this week, I actually had some time I could sit down and play it. I made a party consisting of a human and minotaur fighter, an insectiod wizard, and a lizardman rogue. Together they defeated numerous giant snails, a skeleton warrior, some fungus creatures, and numerous puzzles and traps before both gaining enough XP to hit 2nd level, and descending to the second level of the dungeon where they were killed by a combination of a poison spitting fungus and a larger melee fungus.
Sadly, I'd forgotten to save my game... I don't mind too much, since I want to make some tweaks to my next party anyway. I'll probably get some more game time in this weekend!