Cult of Jared

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Everything posted by Cult of Jared

  1. GDC 2013

    Thanks! Turns out the badge was expo only, but I still got to talk to employers, see the IGF pavillion, and invade the personal space of Steve Gaynor. That last one was exciting for one of us. Sorry Gaynor. This is a long shot, but if you live in place I can get to, I will buy you that beer.
  2. GDC 2013

    An odd thing happened, and I suddenly ended up with a GDC pass for the last day. So now I'm throwing together a resume, and trying to figure out which talks are worthwhile. Thing is, I'm working by smell here. So I figured I'd throw this to the peanut gallery at the last minute. If you help me here I will buy you a beer. Who are you going to see? Who would you see? What do I need to know? Will USPS take beer? Help me Thumbs, you and Unicorn-Obama are my only hope.
  3. Bruce Geryk invades russia

    Is anyone else reading Bruce Geryk's War in the East Game diary? It's gotten really good. I know anything about wargames. I don't even know anything about war, or simulation games. So it is fascinating to read his thoughts on the difference between history and a cardboard-based representation of history. Or the first wargames and their failings. Or any number of other things. Y'all should seriously read his words. Here are the four current entries. The last two in particular made me think of the idle thumbs crowd. Weird Twilight Fellowship of the Panzer A Question of Scale Chess Piece Face -Jared
  4. Recently completed video games

    I just finished Portal 2, right on schedule. I liked it, which says a lot given that I was not predisposed to. If ever there was a game that didn't need a sequel, portal is it. Pros -More portals -The narrative did surprise me, which I didn't expect. Recursive style. -A really good sense of moving between distinct places. I miss that sort of thing in smaller games. -Haven't played it yet, but I love the idea behind the co-op campaign. -The comic book they used to sell it. That thing was beautiful. Cons -While it isn't 'Portal 2: more cake jokes', I do hate that we are now exploring Glados's backstory. Every bit I learn about that world erodes my enjoyment of the first game. -I was getting pretty good at portaling by later portals. I could quickly identify the few 'moving parts' in a puzzle, and then all that remained was to conjugate them.

    The survey just came, and I get to add a name to the Idle Thumbs wall of gratitude. This is very exciting. I can't decide if I should be ZENIMAX THE IMPLACABLE or Spiders-man (who is a mild mannered reporter by day, and 30,000 crime fighting spiders by night). Anyway, how long do I have to decide which fever-dream inspired name I want to submit to the wizard-baboo list?
  6. Plug your shit

    I enjoyed it. I am barely a writer, but when obliged I adhere to the "If you can't make it good, at least make it short" mantra. Your piece is nicely bite sized, but could probably be even more compact. It has one core idea, but still required some scrolling on my part. Also most of your beats fall into the 'sentimental' category. I don't know how much Journey allows for this, but you might try adding some surprises in the middle. Keep in mind I am only an internet person. For real peer review, there is no substitute for the real life people you trust to make your work better.
  7. Other podcasts

    Our podcast cup floweth over. Specifically with this one on audio design. After listening I spent the entire day thinking of novel things you could do with sound. GDC is so very exciting. And I am not even physically present.
  8. Life

    I saw Indie Game The Movie (This Is A Terrible Title). It was pretty good. I hadn't realized that Edmund McMillen was a Santa Cruz native. Best parts: 1) The delicious suffering of humans. 2) 3) In the QA Phil Fish said he is not a huge believer of narrative in games. Which is wrong, but bold, so we love him anyway. Worst part: 1) Not really a movie you can show to people who don't already know these games. To the general public, this will look like any other 'comeback kid' movie. 2) The crowd of bummed out social game developers lingering after the show The movie also made me miss Idle Thumbs. I haven't really found anyone who likes talking about games like I like talking about games, and I like ended up going alone. Looking forward to having piping hot podcasts flowing back into my ears.
  9. Books, books, books...

    I'm not the person you want to ask about Nietzche. I have this pathological hatred of philosophy, which was not disabused when I read his polemic. It has some literary merit beyond the silliness, but not really enough that you should seek it out. You millage will probably vary though. Nabokov is sort of singular. His writing is wonderful to the point of exhausting the reader. Lolita remains the only epic I have enjoyed, and a book I think about all the time. Speak, Memory is on my bookshelf, but apparently he spoils some of his books in it. So I might be a while in getting to it. Here is one of Nabokov's short stories.
  10. Books, books, books...

    Since this is pretty much the only thread I ever frequent anymore, I might as well post my goodreads account. Every couple of months I feel the need to be less productive, and add a bunch of books. Then paw over them like some self-satisfied completionist.
  11. Plug your shit

    The best part of the strip is the word "adverbsaries". That is all.
  12. Books, books, books...

    I'm not worried about books significantly changing in the next 7 years, but if I was, I would worry about the loss of dedicated editors. I have long suspected those dudes are more important to quality writing than the original authors. Heart of Darkness is super good. I have never read a book so slowly. Normally I would recommend The Quiet American to follow that, but it isn't public domain. So you might have to make do with short stories from Kipling. Dubliners and Pygmalion are unrelated, but personal favorites.
  13. Books, books, books...

    Can you download public domain books? If you can, then all of literary history is the alternative. If you can't, then boo hiss. And yeah, with current e-readers, books are expensive, ephemeral and exclusive. Which is super unfortunate, as I would genuinely like to have fewer books.
  14. Backlog Busters

    I always thought it was dumb when rpgs start out with rat slaying, until I faced an actual beady-eyed and hateful rat. Now I think games should show you the victory screen if you don't give the rat your lunch money. Anyway I am moving the goalposts. I will now try to play at least 5 hours of all games I believe to be worthwhile. Dungeons of Dredmor finished, VVVVVV up next.
  15. General Video Game Deals Thread

    That's me. Doing the cheeseplate of games is great fun, but fuck coupons. They just remind me that my fun is actually a clever marketing idea. And it really is just the word 'coupon'. If instead they were giving out 'puzzle pieces', where each piece discounted a game more, I would be totally on board. It is rather! Not exactly relaxing though. Are there any estimates for total amount of coal? If there aren't I'll probably just craft my coal. Gambling is foolish, and gambling without any inkling of the odds is double foolish.
  16. New Idle Thumbs Website

    The nickname clicky-bit is inspired. Particularly Nick's* and Doug's. I reflexively clicked on the guest names and was disappointed to find no hilarious** alternate names. I generally try not to get excited about things that haven't even been confirmed yet, but the recent Idle Thumbs activity is making that difficult. * Fact: Nick has the best sex life. ** (libelous)
  17. Paths of Exile (free game)

    The words 'action RPG' and 'Free to Play' together make me nervous. Pacing is vital in a good aRPG, that delicious trickle of novelty while you smack monsters is one of the primary reasons to play. Free games tend to profit by turning the trickle into a drip feed. The two seem entirely at odds. Though free to play also means I will immediately try it, if people here generally like it.
  18. Books, books, books...

    Knowing nothing about your taste, I might recommend Christopher Moore. He is modern (so you'll have to shell out), but is good enough that he he and Raymond have something in common. Start with Lamb. For older stuff Mark Twain is always good, and very accessible. Maybe start short. Grandfather's Old Ram is a personal favorite. For novels Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is great, though it finishes super-dark.
  19. General Video Game Deals Thread

    Could I nab that copy of Portal for my sister? I have some miscellaneous games and coupons you are welcome to in return. My steam name is also Cult of Jared. I've sent you a friend invite thing, so we can trade (and be best buds, in the digital sense).
  20. General Video Game Deals Thread

    I have won Operation Flashpoint: Red River in the steam sale thing. I already have all the games and none of the time, so it is free to a good home. It actually looks sort of promising.
  21. Books, books, books...

    What exactly is this proposal logistically? A monthly 'official book' of this thread, or something else? I am theoretically interested in this proposal, but tend to be busy and forgetful when not on vacation. If you wanted to force the issue, you could pick a scene from Lolita, write some commentary, and make a thread inviting more. Rinse and repeat with other good scenes and short stories. But that also sounds like a lot of work.
  22. 2011

    Eh. You didn't play and didn't like the game, which is different. I am also exaggerating. The point I was trying to convey is that when I talk about Bastion, I can feel my fanboy gland draining. Which is unusual. Games with a similar effect (Portal, Civilization) tend to be better games. I should maybe write up what I didn't like about the game. I have some complaints that I haven't seen elsewhere. And it might be healthy for me. I was thinking the same thing about the current steam sale. The prompt to play a lot of small games is wicked fun. If only the reward coupons were less crass.
  23. 2011

    Bastion is also my goty:2011. I'm not sure I could have a conversation with someone who played and disliked Bastion. The game was so personally appealing that I would probably take the opinion to heart. There is no part of Bastion that doesn't feel special. From narration and level design, all the way down to the tile based graphical engine. Each piece is beautiful and unique to this game. Kroms and everyone else have spelled out why the game is exceptional. They might even be overly generous, the game does have specific shortcomings. Those don't matter though, Bastion is now on the short list of games that are important to me.
  24. General Video Game Deals Thread

    I was fairly into the whole steam sale present game thing, but then I opened my first present and got a "25% off any valve game" coupon. Woo! I won an opportunity to pay you less money! I love that only slightly less than I love sarcasm! The funny part is that 'a small effective reduction in price' is what all these promotional contests reduce to. I noticed this time only because I have negative associations with the word coupon. Anyway, if someone is planning on buying a valve game between January second and March first next year, send me a message. I have the world's worst holiday gift for you.
  25. General Video Game Deals Thread

    The seasonal Valve celebration of crushing and guilt is upon us! I have already started celebration by helping murder the steam servers (crushing), and playing nothing but Dawn of Discovery for 3 months (guilt). Has anyone here played Orcs Must Die or Edge? Are they recommended? I like these kinds of games, but my cup already runneth over with tower defense and puzzles. Also, it is hilariously hard to find reviews of Edge. Googling just gets reviews of Tim Langdell's morality.