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  1. Yesterday
  2. Axioms Of Dominion

    Been a while since I posted here, mostly cause it isn't very active. Did a ton of work on optimization for RAM, this game is quite RAM hungry for various reasons, as well as basic multithreading, getting 80% less time spent on the NPC AI Planner, actually if player turns last long enough, like 60 seconds or so, you don't even spent end turn time on it, just executing the plans. Generally filling out the AI with various capabilities so the game becomes "playable". Also wrote plent more blog posts which you can find at the substack linked above.
  3. Last week
  4. Designer Notes 67: Old World In this episode, Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk interview Soren and Leyla Johnson about their new historical 4X, Old World. They discuss whether the Old World timeline really makes sense, how they approach Early Access differently, and why Soren didn’t want to give up on the name 10 Crowns. Games discussed: Old World, Civilization series, FrontierVille, Neptune’s Pride, Crusader Kings series, King of Dragon Pass, XCOM, Empires of the Middle Ages, Alpha Centauri, Seven Cities of Gold, Colonization, Power Grid Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  5. Hey all! Just a note here that Cantata is released on Steam! Lots of people found the game through the podcast, so really appreciate getting to sit down with Jon and talk about the game! Sitting at an overall Positive review score as well! We've also got a launch discount of 20% till tomorrow, so it's not the worst time to pick it up if you're interested!
  6. Free Music / SFX Resource - Over 2000 Tracks

    Greetings Fellow Creatives, I've got some brand new sounds to share...100% free to use with attribution, just like my music tracks. You'll find them on my SFX - Weather page: RAIN AND THUNDER – OUTSIDE RAIN AND THUNDER – THROUGH WINDOW RAIN TAPPING ON METAL CHIMNEY Enjoy and keep being creative! :-)
  7. Now is the time for the next generation

    I think a machine-learning deepfake version of important if true would be appropriately cursed, but what kind of longevity would it really have?
  8. This format is enjoyable, just so long as it's not all the time- maybe one in every four episodes. I would rather have more content than wait for people to say all get on the same page with a particular game for a show. Also, thanks for the reference- made me look up that Rimworld article: Interesting read- I think the code has been changed since the article, but not before the predictable backlash against the female journalist.
  9. Broken Sword is a mythical game, you made me want to play it again. Mini Militia App Lock
  10. The Elden Ring Thread

    An excellent game: beautiful, fluid, bug-free, vast but full of secrets, we find what makes the strength of a Souls. The game promises many hours of fun. SHAREit MX Player
  11. Three Moves Ahead 559: Off Duty - May 2022 Len and Rowan are joined by Fanbyte's Steven Strom to test fly a new episode format. Our usual episodes covering a specific game or digging deep on a single topic aren't going anywhere, but this week we're just sitting down to have a chat about what we've been playing and what's on our minds relating to the world of strategy games. Steven needs a new management game to sink their teeth into. Rowan has been moving and putting Civ through its paces on the Nintendo Switch. And Len has some good and bad news about class warfare. If you enjoyed the show this month, we always really appreciate your support over at Oh all kinds of stuff Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  12. Building a Free Library of Images for Everyone

    Hi Everyone, I've had some people ask me why I don't provide maps (like normal maps, roughness, ambient occlusion, etc.) with my texture images. The answer is: I think it's better to let people generate their own maps from my images so they can make them (and, hence, their final materials) look exactly the way they want them to. I've recently discovered a free tool called "Materialize" that does exactly that, and it works really well. Here's a link: That said, this week's brand new images are on these pages on my site: BARK - Artistic - Tile-able BRICK - Artistic - Tile-able CONCRETE - Artistic - Tile-able You can access them from here: Enjoy! :-)
  13. Earlier
  14. Free Music / SFX Resource - Over 2000 Tracks

    Hi Everyone, I have a couple of new tracks to share: On my Classical Sounding page: "STRINGS OF SADNESS " On my Country page: "COUNTRY DOO WOP" As always, they're 100% free to use with attribution, just like my 2400+ other tracks. If you can, please consider making a small donation on my site to help support my efforts. :-) Have a good week and please stay safe.
  15. It's safe to say it's not you.
  16. Sorry, I changed your quote to use numbers to discuss each one separately because it's simpler to read than using interleaved quotes There's a whole spectrum on this point - I don't think you can discount designers often simply not realizing or purposefully ignoring the unfortunate implications of aspects of their design. Listening to some of the interviews with game designers and the Designer Notes podcast, it's apparent that sometimes, mechanics are often added purely for gameplay reasons to improve pacing, provide challenge, etc. and a setting-appropriate justification draped on later (or never at all). I assume that's doubly true for systems-based games like 4x or grand strategy titles. On the one hand, some games are strongly authored, even if not actively editorializing. Alpha Centauri, for example is indelibly imprinted by Brian Reynolds (or late 90's Brian Reynolds, at any rate). On the other hand, you have extremely sterile PR-massaged design-by-committee games or ones where the ideas never quite gel. I think I would put Beyond Earth squarely in this category - I seem to recall interviews with the co-design leads giving the impression that they loved Alpha Centauri but never quite managed to analyze and dissect what made the game click with them, leading to Beyond Earth's surface-level varnish over the Civ V bones. On the gripping hand, you also just have cases where designers either don't recognize some of the oddities of their own specific experiences/background that they bring to the table. The standout example to me is the Armed Police ( policy tree in Democracy 3 which is jarring mostly because of how unusual the UK police situation is ( Games that end up being meme engines often seem to develop their entire weird fanon among devoted (obsessed) fans, and that intensity of attachment leads to its own mythos and interpretation of lore that take on a life of their own, like the myth about Gandhi being nuke-happy in Civ 1 because of an integer rollover that continue to propagate despite being debunked by the actual developers who wrote the game and had/have access to source code (specifically called out by Sid Meier himself in his memoir) I'm not even sure which civ game is being discussed here, since not all civ games even give you the choice of government types. Civ 5 used the Civics system to determine national values, but I don't recall a government choice, although the expansions greatly altered the game systems. Fundamentalism in Civ 2 was infamously the best way to wage war due to modifiers and bonuses to units. It's an exceedingly gross generalization without even mentioning which Civilization game is being discussed (a series that's had a different lead designer for almost every incarnation and that stretches for three decades...) That's an interesting self-set challenge to be honest. Like playing with a single city in a Civ game. Personally, there are some games I've opted out of buying (or have purchased to support the developers, but never played) because I'm not interested in interacting with the subject matter. (Spec Ops: The Line, and This War of Mine) are also on my list of games that I purposely set aside. I've read enough first-person accounts of/from various war zones to know it's not material I have any interest in engaging with in an interactive format I think they've confused the Punishment Sphere base facility (eliminates drones and talents at the base, with fluff text that mentions nerve staplers) with the effect of the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm (makes a faction immune to probe teams in vanilla/1.0 and only vulnerable to probe teams with a special ability in the expansion) and the video of Self-Aware Colony (the video of the vandalism being erased and the vandals tasered/killed, but whose gameplay effects are much more prosaic - reduced energy consumption and provides the equivalent of a free police unit - if police units are allowed by the player's values selection) secret projects I think intentions are a big one. Designer notes were part of Alpha Centauri's manual, and explicitly stating intent is helpful. Intent might not be properly expressed, and can be interpreted differently by the player given different cultural contexts/experiences. "A period of anarchy" has different implications depending on if your point of reference is the 1999 WTO riots or The Cultural Revolution. Culture also shifts rapidly. Without the context of the attitudes of the place and time the designer's intent comes from, their intent can seem anachronistic or regressive simply because attitudes have changed so much in the intervening years. (An issue with all art mediums, to be sure) Unfortunate side effect of increased gamification of some mechanics, I suspect and seems quite likely one of those things that improves/increases player engagement by juicing that drive to optimize and min/max I'm not sure if more editing would be as useful as preparation/planning on talking points so that each member can get their arguments a bit more organized and examples ready, Off-the-cuff/improv conversation sometimes gets overly glib and quickly slides into hearsay/the vagaries of human memory because well, that's what happens in conversation (just like the Alpha Centauri anecdote) I think it could have used a lot more discussion about the process of making a video game (and the way that can differ radically depending on a studio or developer's size and internal dynamics). Sometimes good pitches fall flat when it gets to the gameplay stage and the team is left to try and salvage a playable game from the assets/code they've already created. Other times, it might get all the way to beta before a playtester backlash forces a rethink. I imagine that can be a real issue with cultural attitudes when a game crosses borders/demographics (CD Projekt Red anyone? Or if a Japanese studio tried to make any game set in Japan's militaristic period and the historical baggage that will bring in neighbouring markets...) Games are (or at least can be) a form of communication and thus a useful mechanism for bettering ourselves and other human beings. It's hardly a binary choice and a useful way to analyze or train decision making processes or practice analysis. The video part is ancillary.
  17. Idle Thumbs Mastodon

    It was recently updated and Doug and I are both there daily.
  18. Free Music / SFX Resource - Over 2000 Tracks

    Happy May Everyone, Continuing my quest to build my free ambient sounds library, I've got a couple of new ones to share: "ELECTRO DRONE" "ELECTRO DRONE 2" You'll find them here: Enjoy, please stay safe and keep creating! :-)
  19. Does anyone care about the new consoles?

    Sorry for bumping an old thread but if you do find this message, just curious, how are you finding your Xbox Series X so far? I bought mine earlier this year and despite mostly having PS5/PS4 friends (I come from a PS4, too), I'm loving the Series X a lot. Game Pass is incredible and without it, I don't think the Series X can really float. The reason that impeded me before is budget. It's too expensive, I'll admit that, but once I was able to cough up the cash, I believe it was worth it just for the games alone and the jump to a Series X and PS4 can be felt. Game Pass had so many good titles, from the Gears games to Yakuza 0. I also bought other retail titles separately like Cyberpunk 2027 and Elden Ring. And while they are on PS5, too, just being able to alternate from a random, casual Game Pass title to any of these retail titles is just amazing.
  20. The Elden Ring Thread

    I tried search but could not find any threads for good ole Elden Ring. It's my first souls-type game and I'm immensely enjoying it. It was, of course, very difficult for me. One boss kicked my behind for almost 2 hours, accumulating what must be about 50+ deaths, but 100 hours in, I'm finally getting the hang of the difficulty curve. So far I've completed all optional ruins, dungeons, and bosses on the map, including the underground areas, and I just have 2 more legacy dungeons to complete + 1 map event. Almost about to finish it (maybe this weekend). Anyone who'd like to share their thoughts about the game? I'm so ecstatic about it right now!
  21. Building a Free Library of Images for Everyone

    Greetings Fellow Creatives, My mad experiments creating seamless textures continue! This week we have some from my Wood and Vegetation pages. 100% free to use with attribution, like my thousands of other images. Enjoy!
  22. The discussion is pretty enthusiastic over at the forums! (There are a couple of far right people in there too, but I guess that's something you have to put up with in most online communities now...)
  23. Great necro. Before Tale of Monkey Island released in 2009, we've had like 500 threads discussing the upcoming release on the Telltale forums. And although this Italian "This is not MI5, the real MI5 is my fan game" guy kept coming back, the whole anticipation and discussion on that forum really made the game a special experience for me. Damn, I wish those times would come back and some forum would discuss Return to Monkey Island with as much enthusiasm.
  24. Three Moves Ahead 558.5: Movie Night: Gettysburg (Patreon Preview) Over on Waypoint I’ve spent about a month looking back at Sid Meier’s Gettysburg and teaching the game to the rest of the crew (with varying levels of success). But since I was already hip-deep in 90s Civil War culture, Troy and I decided it was time to tackle one of the films that we’ve been intending to discuss for years: 1993’s Gettysburg, directed by Ron Maxwell and bankrolled by Ted Turner. There are a lot of issues with Gettysburg. It’s evasive on the subject of slavery, wanting both to ennoble is white Union heroes by reminding us that theirs was an army of liberation but to not think too deeply on who was being liberated or from what. Because it is also a product of Lost Cause traditions where the conflict was predominantly one about culture, or as the foppish British observer in this story declares, the root of the conflict is the “different dreams” of its antagonists. Not pictured: the Confederate dream. It’s also a very incomplete military history of the battle of Gettysburg but this really stems from the decisions author Michael Shaara made with his novel The Killer Angels, which finds its central narrative drama in James Longstreets’ prescience that Robert E. Lee is marching the army into a decisive defeat while on the Union side the story is told from the perspective of characters who do recognize the stakes and the dangers and have the agency to rise to the moment. It’s the stuff of a great war novel but not of a comprehensive military history, and so Gettysburg ends up being a film where Union command is effectively invisible. However, within those choices Gettysburg remains, as Troy says, one of the all-time great battle films. The murkiness in which decisions are made, the clarity of a commander’s intentions to his subordinates, the places where the rubber of generalship meets the road of combat… all of this is brilliantly rendered in Gettysburg and, for me and Troy, maintains it as a favorite even for all of its manifest flaws. We also decided that this episode, because it’s so directly in dialogue with a ton of work I’m doing over at Waypoint and on streams there, is one we’d just make public instead of reserving it for the Patreon. Troy and I love having these monthly chats for our backers (and our last one on Knight’s Tale and Marie Antoinette was another favorite) but here it felt like a useful place to show how we set these discussion about history movies in the context of all the other work we do as critics and professional strategy nerds. And by the way, after having tackled some heavier films of late, next month we’re giving ourselves a break with Branagh’s Death on the Nile as well as the 1978 version. Troy is trying to convince me to watch the Suchet one was well, and while Suchet is basically to Poirot what Jeremy Brett is to Sherlock Holmes, I’ve been warned that version is not one of the better Suchet adaptations. But we will at least be alluding to it in that conversation, even if we are focusing on the 2021 and ‘78 versions. Gettysburg Listen on the Episode Page Listen on Soundcloud Listen in iTunes
  25. I played the 1st demo you put out and I really liked it, and was particularly struck by the aestethic you have. It was weirdly familiar to me, and suggested inspiration by scifi covers and 70s/80s comics like Loane Sloane series by Phillipe Druillet, but hearing you mention Kill Six Billion Demons I can see some of that in here too. I am excited to see how the game turns out!
  26. Right, I had a look at a walkthrough and apparently there really is nothing to the game, either puzzle- or story-wise, except 'wander about, click on absolutely everything, and try everything with everything else in the hope that something happens'. So bugger it, that's me done with the Space Quest games. They could occasionally be funny, but they played like shit, sounded like shit and mostly looked like shit. I played a tiny bit of Broken Sword, and wow it's a breath of fresh air after all that Space Quest (and even The Dig, Amazon Queen and Gabriel Knight 2 tbh). It starts off with a lovely opening cutscene full of kinetic, cohesive animation. Very Don Bluth, and clearly expensive even though it's quite low definition, of course, and a few of the shots could do with being a bit longer. And then quickly into the main game, where the art all looks great and there are a bunch of nice animations. The music and sound are very organic, and the acting is good. The story is intriguing and the writing is deft and gently witty - it feels like a Tintin cartoon or something. And a nice simple cursor-only interface, with context-sensitive verb on left button and examine on right button. Ahhh, so refreshing! Anyway, I'll leave it there for now. Something nice to come back to.
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