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  1. Today
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  3. Books, books, books...

    Currently rereading my personal favorite - Animal Farm. That book deals with such universal concepts and I feel it will always be relevant till the existence of humankind.
  4. Last week
  5. Three Moves Ahead 509: The Insider and All The President's Men Troy and Rob discuss two films about exposing the seedy underbelly of the institutions of power: Michael Mann's The Insider and Alan J. Pakula's All The President's Men. How has the film industry's portrayal of investigative journalism and corporate whistleblowers changed with the times? What can each of these stories still teach us today? The Insider, All the President's Men Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  6. Does anyone care about the new consoles?

    I really want to have the ps5 but unfortunately it's too expensive for me
  7. Earlier
  8. The CEO of the small business that I work for wants to invest in me (I work for a local MSP) to learn marketing and do it for the business. We have built a reasonably decent image of things that we want to build in the long run. I've spent the last few weeks getting acquainted with SEOs, quotes, marketing influences, content development, marketing tactics for and social media site, etc. Setting the vision of what we want to do has been simple in a way. What does my day to day look like the challenge I'm running into? I've never done marketing before and until this point, I've only worked at the entry level of retail, distribution and customer service jobs. This was the first job that offered some exciting career development, and I want to give it my best. I'd love to know what the daily grind looks like for a marketer and any other tips you might offer to an industry newbie.
  9. Free Music / SFX Resource - Over 2000 Tracks

    Greetings everyone, Here are this week’s new free MP3 music tracks: On my Fantasy 11 page: OF FAR AWAY PLACES – (Looping) On my Puzzle 6 page: WHIMSICAL RIDDLES – (Looping) ENCHANTED ANOMALIES – (Looping) NEWS If anyone is interested in listening to playlists of my tracks on Youtube, here’s the link: I also post new tracks throughout the week on my Facebook page. Here’s the link: Please consider making a small donation on my site to help support my efforts if you can. Stay safe and keep being creative!
  10. Idle Thumbs Readers Slack & Discord

    @Chance Telly -
  11. I was delighted to hear Rowan restoring historical accuracy by talking about Wizardry.
  12. I grew up with RTS like WC 3, Age of Empires 2 & 3 and AoM. I'd always take the time to read through the manuals while the game were installing both as a way of killing time and learning how the game worked. Another part of the joy of reading them was seeing the alpha-beta screenshots that were included with them that had precisely 0 to do with the finished product (WC3 when explaining itens shows a print where all the icons are wholly different from the finished product; AoM when explaining the interface has wholly different icons, age names and units models, just to give you an example). This is what the historian in me misses from modern games more than anything else -- glimpses into the game development that used to be released alongside the finished product. Nowadays we do have manuals, of sorts. Instead of the Good 'ol books that came with the game we have either in-game documentation -- which leaves a lot to be desired, like with the Total War encyclopedias -- or wiki pages that were either created and maintained by the players or the devs -- like how it is with EU 4's documentation. The problem now is that, with games being ever evolving, the wikis by default erase older versions of the game out of existence and maintain only the newer versions (yes I know you can see a page's history but to me that is more akin to archaeology and cataloging changes). This may be related to the change in documentation or not but I distinctly remember having to smash my head against many brick walls in EU 3 where important mechanics weren't explained in-game at all and I had to go hunting for them in one of the manuals (which only superficially explained them, but tat least they did.) while EU 4 does a much better job os explaining stuff in-game, while at the same time omitting vital information for the player that can either only be found on the wiki or is only presented in very specific situations.
  13. Stolen Realm (cRPG)

    A few buddies and I are making a new CRPG on PC/Mac. It's similar to something like Divinity but on a hex based grid (targeting on a non-grid based world can be tedious) and with simultaneous team turns (for a faster paced battle). We just launched a Kickstarter for it so if you're interested check it out. Also we would love any ideas you have that you'd like to see in a game like this. Thanks so much guys!
  14. Free Music / SFX Resource - Over 2000 Tracks

    Hi Folks, Here are this week’s new free music tracks: On my Puzzle 6 page: GRUMPY MONSTERGRAMS – (Looping) On my Fantasy 11 page: ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE KINGDOM – (Looping) FARAWAY CUTSCENES – (Looping) NEWS Ogg Tracks I’m working on creating more high quality Ogg tracks. I’m glad to see that people are using them! “Dune’s Island” If you happen to have kids (or know someone who does) please check out my free eco-learning series, “Dune’s Island.” It’s available to watch on Youtube as well as on Vimeo (where you can actually download it if you wish.) Since this was my first try at this, any and all constructive feedback is welcome and much appreciated. Here are the links: I’ve also created a website that has tie-in curriculum. Here’s the link: Stay safe and keep being creative!
  15. Does anyone care about the new consoles?

    I was just about to preorder a PS5 last week but then I saw it'll take until NEXT YEAR before it'd arrive cause they're so sold-out, so I dunno, maybe I'll see if I can find one in the local stores on opening day? That's probably wishful thinking. But yeah, an upgrade feels like a no-brainer since it'll run all the PS4 games I'm currently playing anyway, but with an improved performance.
  16. Haven't listened all through yet but I am guessing you may not have mentioned that this is turning up on Xbox GamePass on the Xbox this month? It would be interesting to do an episode on how/whether these subscription services (and Epic's free games) are enhancing games' findability....
  17. Yes, games are no longer seen as (at least potentially) finished products, but as works in progress. If that's the model, is it really absurd to ask that a game manual is kept up to date as the game gets "improved" over the years? When Civ5 came out without a printed manual, they were not only saving the rainforest, but also pointing out that the pdf-manual could be kept in line with patches and expansions. It would be great. Of course, that never happened. Most players don't expect it any more and by now they don't expect any documentation at all. Many players never have ... there was even a joke about that in the Civ2 manual from 1996. I'm not sure why players of strategy games have always been so proud and vocal about not reading/needing manuals, so I'm just glad that they lasted as long as they did and I appreciate pleasant surprises like Troy Goodfellow's manuals for the EU4 expansions. The passion that the manuals for Pirates, Railroad Tycoon and Civilization showed for the theme of these games and the concise language they used to describe the mechanics has rarely been matched. I miss both in current strategy games and I am happy to reminded of the "good old days" by an episode like this one.
  18. Three Moves Ahead 505: Crusader Kings 3

    Yep, it was the same in CK2. Paradox games in general have very limited trade. I think only Stellaris gives you an ability to give something in exchange for other thing. And even there most of the agreements can't be traded. Two thoughts about it that may help: 1) The AI and the way it thinks is pretty open. So you can see that AI thinks, say, "I score this proposal of alliance/marriage -2. +10 cause I like you, -12 cause your army is small, +5 cause we have common rivals, -5 cause you're wrong religion" (not real numbers). Instead of paying for the privilege of alliance you can influence a lot of thing. Have an additional common rival, raise their opinion by throwing money at them, get bigger army etc. Yes, this approach means you spend a lot of time to get a deal instead of seeing what exactly they want. But on the other hand you influence the state of the game by a variety of tools to influence the deal instead of just taking options from the list. 2) See it as an indirect control element. I know that in EU4 many people don't like the fact that in addition to other countries having an opinion on yours, your country has an opinion on others too. If your country doesn't like another one you can't propose an alliance. And you can sometimes even see AI deciding they have to fight you and consciously working to lower their opinion on you so that they can attack with no stability hit. In CK3 it's not as direct but you can clearly see that you aren't actually your character, your character sometimes does things beyond your control. You nudge and influence everything. You create a world where alliance or marriage are created, not just writing a suitable terms of transaction.
  19. Now that players basically expect strategy games to have a long lifespan with a lot of transformations manuals don't seem relevant to me. With Age of Wonders Planetfall or Imperator Rome - both are relatively recent games! - reading a manual today might give me info about the setting, maybe explain developer intention and stuff but even the very basic definitions would all be wrong today.
  20. Three Moves Ahead 508: Star Renegades Rowan and Jon Bolding are joined by Fanbyte's Steven Strom and Waypoint Radio's Ricardo Contreras to discuss spacefaring tactical roguelike Star Renegades. Star Renegades Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  21. The excitement so many people show about Crusader Kings 3 still baffles me. I really want to get into it but I find that very obvious gaps are hugely frustrating to me. Doesn't it bother anybody that you don't have any diplomatic options with nobles & kings outside of your court that don't involve either intermarriage, hooks or war? At one level the game seem to be largely about the inter-personal but there is no option for even simple horse-trading (stop messing with my vassal or else, trade you this duchy for that one, I will marry your daughter for 500 gold - that kind of thing). Was that impossible in Crusader Kings 2 also?
  22. Thank you for this one. It was a joy to listen to the discussion (as well as a temptation to fire up Pirates etc. again). A couple of comments: - "A series of interesting decisions" ... Not having read the book myself, this may have been discussed by Mr Meier, but there is an almost matching phrase in the Civ1 designer's notes: "a mix of interesting decisions". - "People just don't understand probabilities" ... I actually blame Civilization for my poor intuitive understanding of probabilities. Civ1 translates the ratio of unit strengths directly into the odds of winning a combat. Intuitively a unit twice as strong as its opponent should have a much better chance of winning than just 2 : 1, all other things being equal. The game never explains that the odds of combat represent not only the strength ratio, but also the fact that in warfare all other things are very often *not* equal. Some flavour text popup when a combat result goes "against the odds" could have given generations of players a better sense of probabilities. Instead, beginning as early as Civ2, they started fudging the math and actually reinforced the false perception that a high probability equals certainty. - "Design documents are the abomination of evil" ... Maybe they are, but game manuals for users are not. User interfaces are designed well enough these days to need little explanation, but the concepts and rules of a strategy game still deserve to be set out in a concise body of text. "Tutorials" that feed us game rules one popup at a time, online wikis and (worst of all) youtube videos are poor substitutes. There were occasionally criticial comments about the quality/lack of game documentation in past 3MA shows (for example for the HoI4 release). Maybe it's time for a show to celebrate excellent manuals of the past like Bruce Shelley's Civ1 manual, Chris Stone's manuals for EU3 und HoI2 and the Imperialism manuals.
  23. Idle Thumbs: A Patreon

    Hi Thumbs. This may be the wrong place for this. If so, please let me know and I will remove/move it. A few years ago there were some postcards sent out to patreon backers. It has a lovely picture of a girl sitting on a stack of books on the moon with a puffin nearby. I love this postcard, and I've used it as a bookmark ever since. I noticed recently that the puffin is getting really worn. I would love to get a new one, so I can properly frame it and not ruin it with my disgusting human hands. Maybe someone has one lying around that they wouldn't mind selling me. Another option might be to find out who drew the art in the first place, so I could purchase it from them? Thanks for any help or suggestions!
  24. Does anyone care about the new consoles?

    I mostly care about finally getting an UHD Bly-Ray player (PS5) and maybe a system that is better/faster/quieter with improved versions of streaming apps (I hope) than my current PS3. For some reason after my first XBox died (I don't even remember which version it was, maybe the 360) I switched to PlayStation and never looked back. But yeah, I plan to play some games on it too. Not sure if I care about any of the PS5 games, but I still haven't played some PS4 games that I'd like to.
  25. In what might be the final update for this thread, I'm happy to announce that LOTCG is now available on PS4. According to Greg Rice, it also works on PS5! To justify the thread bump a little more, here's a joke mock-up video I made of a 'CD special edition' version of LOTCG with a couple of animations I made for Artober bunged in:
  26. Monochrome: rubberhose RPG on Kickstarter

    Hello, hello! Our game roughly two-n years in the making has FINALLY launched on Kickstarter! Monochrome Episode One is a pun-filled turn-based adventure RPG! Explore a 1920's toon society, perform on stage, entertain enemies, and build your own acting troupe full of punstoppable toons! Delve deep into a modern story with themes of betrayal, gray morality, and where everyone has their agenda. To say Monochrome connects a century of culture--1920's art with 2020's storytelling--would be perfectly accurate! Take the stage and see the unique perspective our game has to offer on turn-based battles: either entertain foes and recruit them or let your fists do the talking! Every action takes an amount of "time" and you can spend a certain amount of time on actions per turn, allowing you to do multiple small jokes or one big performance! If you're interested at all, once again you can check out our Kickstarter by clicking on this link! If you can't back, even sharing the url to friends and/or family or a quick retweet of our Twitter post helps immensely! Thank y'all very much for your time!
  27. Free Music / SFX Resource - Over 2000 Tracks

    Greetings everyone, Here are this week’s new music tracks. 100% free to use with attribution. On my Puzzle 6 page: WEIRD MONSTER PUZZLES – (Looping) FUTURE WORLD PUZZLER – (Looping) On my Sci-Fi 9 page: CYBER STREET URCHINS – (Looping) If you find my work helpful, please consider making a small donation on my site through PayPal to help support it. I don’t allow advertising on the site because I feel it would be distracting to my visitors so I pay for everything myself. Also, the keyboards I use to create free music for everyone are very expensive…I actually make monthly payments for them…so donations from the community help me to pay for them as well. Thanks for helping out.
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