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About ShadowTiger

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  1. Episode 402: Battle Brothers

    I have had my eye on this game since it launched on early access, but now that I know its finished development I will put it in my queue. I think the game does a really good job making a modern tactical RPG. The tight focus around the combat is very good for the game, and the mechanics, including customization/equipment are very well done. I do think it is a little too random (I hate random level ups) but I can get over that. One thing you didn't discuss too much is the injury model, which I think is something I would like to see explored more in games. I was even imagining what it would be like to have a game where there are no hit points, only wounds/injuries. I do think its unfortunate that there are no female characters, unlike other games like X-Com and Expedition Conquistadors. I think its interesting that often times developers think that having diversity needs to be extra work... it doesn't have to be. They don't need to have unique backgrounds or a bunch of aesthetic variations, they are overthinking it. Just a few different skin tones or adding in some tomboy female fighters wouldn't break the bank.
  2. 3MA has a Patreon

    Those poll choices are all very good... I hope at least second place carries over to next month!
  3. Episode 328: King of Dragon Pass

    I really enjoyed playing KODP. I had a very warlike clan and I aggressively raided my neighbors and expanded my borders. I had around 50+ weaponthanes and plenty of cows and silver goods from trading and finding resources with explorers. I loved creating a blood feud with another clan and forcing them to move away in defeat. Then later I accepted a truce and we became allies, with them being instrumental in convincing other clans to form a tribe. Also, I always screw over the duck people, I just can't take them seriously being raised with Ducktales. Another thing I like about the game is how you learn it over multiple play throughs. Eventually you figure out... oh our children grew beards? I know how to handle that. I guess thats a sign of a good strategy game. It was a bit frustrating when I ran into two major issues though. 1. There is a random event that gives you a choice to be allies or enemies with another faction. If you choose to be enemies, they basically wipe you out and its game over. This felt a bit odd to me, as I was doing very well and close to finishing the game. I could either just shrug and start over, or reload and choose to go against my ancestors in order to survive. I didn't like that there wasn't even a battle, I just lost 80% of my clan. 2. There seems to be a general loss of talent as the game goes on. You start out with very skilled clan nobles but as they get old and die you are left empty handed. I found that I had fewer nobles coming of age than were dying, and their skills were all very average. Maybe I was trying to win too quickly and needed to wait another 5 or 10 years for my children (50% of my population) to come of age. Perhaps you are supposed to use Hero Quests to level up your nobles but considering you typically only do that every other year I feel like it would be slow going. Perhaps I just need to learn the system better. I think what makes the game really shine is all the different elements of the game that support eachother. The management system for your farmers, workers, and warriors gets a little tedious after a while, but it is really important to keep your resources balanced. This is because you need resources to get favorable outcomes in random encounters as well as to give sacrifices to the gods and build temples. The sacrifices can help turn the odds in battle, as well as feed the powerful warriors. The warriors are needed to keep your resources safe and to plunder from other tribes. Basically everything is connected and mirrors the seasonal rotation. The mechanics and theme are so intertwined that it immerses you in the world and make you want to actually read through the manual and lore sections to succeed at the game. Its no surprise then, that KODP is an inspiration for the game I am working on!
  4. 3MA has a Patreon

    I could be spiteful and go on a rant "its about time" but instead I will up my monthly pledge to compensate for all the great content across 300+ episodes! I haven't had as much time recently but I do catch the podcast when it covers games I care about. Those are usually 4x or RTS games... the Historical Wargames and LoL talk usually goes over my head. Can't wait for the next podcast... I think it might be King of Dragon Pass related!!!
  5. Episode 274: Mail call!

    I would give $5 / month on patreon without second thought.
  6. Smaller game will make it much more likely to succeed. At this point a free for all might be best *shrugs*
  7. I think some amount of planning should happen or else you can really mess things up. For example, if both teammates choose avatars that can't move, they will have a hard time capturing thrones (unless they also choose magic that allows such movement). Only one of the factions in the list has a level 3 priest that they can hire (which can also capture thrones). Since this game will go on for months, I suggest we allow plenty of preparation so nobody feels like quitting half-way through because they made bad starting choices.
  8. It looks like we are going with Vanheim(Troy)/Helheim(ShadowTiger)
  9. I'm ready for this weekend. Should be fun!
  10. I would like to join. I never played Dom 3 but I had a blast with 4 over the last 2 weeks. I guess it should be a disciples game since there will be lots of people, maybe teams of 2? I think it is cool to pick races that are thematically similar. 2 nations that like warm weather or two nations that have the same cultural inspiration. I generally don't like the wrap around maps just because they are confusing to scroll around.
  11. Episode 239: A Blizzard of Enthusiasm

    If you haven't already, look up some manuals for Warcraft 1, Arcanum, Baldur's Gate, and you will see how awesome the writing and presentation used to be. Yes, you can present the in-game lore through the gameplay, but sometimes that just doesn't work. If a game has a particular narrative style, the manual is a great way to flesh out the world in a different way. I collect video game manuals for every game I play (alas many games don't even make them anymore), and the classic ones are a blast to read through once in a while. Certain strategy guides are also awesome, with Master of Magic and Civilization being prime examples. The key to a good manual is not merely having information you need to play the game... that is just a market requirement. You need to put love, thought, creativity, and a good writer & artist working together to create something special. Every game can benefit from a well designed manual, especially now that tutorials and gameplay help no longer need to be a major part of it.
  12. Episode 239: A Blizzard of Enthusiasm

    @hexgrid, I actually agree for the most part. I never really enjoyed most of the base building RTS games that much. However, I have sunk hundreds of hours into Starcraft and Warcraft 3 based on the editor. Custom maps are so much fun, both to play and make! There is so much variety, chances are you will find several game types you really enjoy.
  13. Episode 239: A Blizzard of Enthusiasm

    I used to be really big into custom maps for blizzard games but the issues with the launch of SC2 caused me to feel like its a waste of time. Another big issue is that making something in Starcraft 2 inherently takes 10 times as along as making something in Warcraft 3. If you want to do something complex it needs a team of developers or a huge time investment. I haven't looked at it recently, but someone would need to make tools that streamline the process. Diablo 3 was a big disappointment. I can believe they have the gall to say the auction house was a mistake but online only wasn't a mistake. I remember reading that 80% of people played Diablo 2 single player only. I played it both offline and online with some friends, but with friends you don't have to worry about hacking/cheating, so that argument is BS. Also, about 60% of the enjoyment I got out of Diablo 2 was from using the item editor to make my own items and run around in hell with "8 player" difficulty and whack people with my weapon of 100% chance to cast level 40 meteor on strike. I didn't play too much with mods but the LotR mod for Diablo 2 was really cool because it re-arranged the acts and changed most skills and items. Similarly in Borderlands, which sold just fine without online only DRM, I had a bunch of fun with item editors and even exchanged illegal items with friends because it is an awesome way to spice up the max level end game. Unfortunatly they patched the game to prevent you from mixing different gun parts which was very disappointing. (I had a sniper rifle that shot 14 bullets by mixing in a revolver part, as well as an alien gun that shot a giant ball of energy for 2000 points of damage by mixing in a rocket part). I really hate it when game developers take away toys from players in order to "secure the online environment." Again, people are mostly playing these games offline, its a very simple math equation to figure out which audience to cater towards. I am really looking forward to Warcraft 4 anyways, and Lords Managements are not really my thing. Did anyone play the original DotA back before Frozen Throne came out? The reason why DotA became popular was because it was one of the few maps that had custom hero skills before Frozen Throne enabled that natively. Basically you had to extract out the game data from the map file, edit it, and then re-import it. The game has really changed greatly since then but its cool knowing that I was there for the beginning (where I still had the same conclusion: Meh).
  14. Episode 213: On Campaign

    As a developer of a non-basebuilding RTS (its a tactical card game) I can say we had to deal with many of these issues. At first, the single player campaign was created to replace the awful tutorial we made. It ended up turning into a really cool story that influences the battles. The campaign is totally different from the multiplayer. The designer had lots of fun throwing a bunch of stuff at the player that is unbalanced either for or against the player and it enhances the story telling in some cases. It also has a cool system where your main character can buy new skills after each mission and swap them out, which can really change your strategy from mission to mission. Luckily for us, the multiplayer and skirmish is identical. I had to write the AI for that... well its still a work in progress. It plays the game fine but I have to code instructions for using over hundred unique abilities and also how to counter an opponent using them. I put in things like user-adjustable reaction time as well as an APM cap so you can limit the AI's micro advantage over you and play more of a strategic game. We also have plans for a puzzle mode where you solve literal puzzles that are turn based and all about using your brain. Then there is challenge mode, where you have to try and find the perfect combination of cards and strategy so you can defeat a scripted scenario. So yeah, I am glad that we managed to get the right balance for our game. The campaign is not revolutionary or anything but its well constructed in my opinion, I find it pretty addictive, and because its all 2D graphics the in-battle cut scenes are identical to the out of game cut scenes, making it immersive and seamless. In general I buy RTS games to play single player, about 50/50 between campaign and skirmish. I like campaigns because of interesting mission design... not because of the story. I would prefer if there was no story and there was just a sequence of missions and the only thing tying it together was progression in the form of a tech tree, RPG mechanics, especially veteran units. I loved Warlords Battlecry 2... that game is awesome! I also like Dawn of War: Dark Crusade. Oh yeah... and my favorite part about RTS's is modding. C&C games were super easy and fun to mod... in Generals I created several units that were very similar to those added in the expansion pack Zero Hour.
  15. Episode 212: Set Disruptors to Acts of God

    Shooting the Moon is kind of like casting the spell of mastery in in Master of Magic... how disruptive it is depends on whether you get caught out of position. I am a little bit confused... it seems like what you are looking for is a sweet spot between having a big change in the came that you can adjust for but isn't routine or easy enough to adapt to that it becomes just another part of the game.