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Everything posted by Berzee

  1. Discworld

    The books about Tiffany Aching (that's The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, and Wintersmith) are among my favorites, and they're likely to be in the Young Adult section so you might accidentally overlook them which would be a SHAME!
  2. Wizaaaaaards!!

    A search suggests this hasn't been mentioned before, but apologies if it has: Did Anyone Play the Half-Life 1 mod "Wizard Wars"? It was the best thing, a sort of Team Fortress with wizzards. (I would say "AirWizard4Life" because they were the best, but there was also a Life Wizard, so that would be confusing).
  3. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    When riding the public transit, courtesy is invaluable. [media] [media]
  4. Only "requiescat in pace", because he said it SO MANY TIMES.
  5. For most games I tend to agree regarding narrative spoilers. I'm also the kind of person who reads plot synopses of T.V. shows so I can find out who dies beforehand and decide whether or not to keep watching the show accordingly. =P But how do you feel about "mechanical" spoilers and/or puzzle spoilers? (Mechanical spoilers meaning things like, "the A.I. seems really good but if you use this one particular obscure tactic they fall for it every time!"...and now when you play, you've got that tactic in your mind and didn't even have the fun of figuring out for yourself how to break the game...or as another example, all that Ant-Lion stuff discussed on the cast)
  6. All the talk on this here cast about stuff like studying wasps, making hypotheses about how strange creatures live and interact, learning through interactivity, etc... it reminds me of a magnificent story I read about a guy who played the Starcraft demo so much when he was a kid that he essentially squeezed a whole new sort of Anthropology game out of it (you could only play Terrans but he wanted to know about the Zerg). Well worth a read (despite the rocky beginning paragraph or two wherein crass remarks are substituted in for actual jokes), if only to make you sad that that game doesn't exist =P He captures an uncommon feeling uncommonly well, and made me think I am Bad At Having Fun and need to learn to do it better. http://electriccarti...starcraft-demo/
  7. I would not be averse to a "The Ship" key gifted to my person, if anyone has one and wants to PM me about it! (I'll probably wait to see what wondrous fruitcake-plan is dreamed up though, and that will solve all possible problems)
  8. (I was going to say something about Harry, but then realized I wasn't interested enough to actually read the article and find out if his quotes were out-of-context and by how much, so I retract sayings! I will listen to the remainder of the podcast now and maybe say something about Vide o' Games)
  9. I just got an email from Paradox saying that they've given away half a million steam keys for Europa Universalis III: Chronicles. I could see this becoming a sort of fruitcake. =)
  10. Haha. And that's often the case when people try to build programs that build stories -- they get final products that are syntactically correct but devoid of meaningfulness and/or not worth caring about, but are still at least funny. =P I have a pet theory for how to avoid some of that disbelief-inspiring gibberish. I think the problem is that items in game "worlds" lack most of the connotations they have in real life. From your example -- in real life we know that a grate is an item that has a humdrum functionality and some moderate decorative potential. We know that it isn't the sort of item that becomes Legendary without prompting a great many questions. =P But in a game (even Dwarf Fortress) I'm guessing that to most of the game systems, it appears to be just another collection of Value Units, Burden Units, and a description that's just for the player's benefit. To use another (and hackneyed) example, a doll half-buried in the smoking rubble of an abandoned house could be evocative -- but an NPC couldn't procedurally find it evocative because it doesn't know that dolls represent childhood, friendship, playtime, security, responsibility, etc. On a basic level, it's not known within the program that "Dolls are happy" or that "Rubble is sad". I (uncertainly) think that it might be interesting to try and make some semi-procedural stories (or at least some procedural NPC reactions to manually authored world events/situations) but only if the designers are willing to pour some Scribblenauts-esque thoroughness into imbuing all the Nouns in their game world with some abstracted and simplified "meaningful connotation" descriptors. Human experience and understanding needs to enter the picture somewhere, and if that's not an author piecing together story elements based on all his unspoken knowledge of how players will respond to those elements, then maybe it can be an army of interns mapping a giant list of game items to a small library of Feelings. All for some unspecified Future Robot Shakespeare to make use of...
  11. The talk about the real life room escape game and Cedar Point in the same cast reminded me that I should post this. It's called Wizard Quest. It's in Wisconsin, in a town that is 95% water parks at tourist shops (Wisconsin Dells...there's also a root-beers-of-the-world repository). As the video above clearly shows, Wizard Quest is actually super fun, creepy little pixie statues included...especially when you've accidentally stumbled across Wisconsin Dells on a road trip at 2:00 in the morning in a thick fog while trying to find a motel near a national (or state?) park, as I did. (Imagine you've followed a GPS to a motel address, but it takes you to an abandoned field with a ramshackle barn. Terrifying. So you call the motel during a brief spike in phone reception and they give you better directions, and as you arrive 20 minutes later -- thinking there's nothing nearby but a national park, mind you -- you see looming up out of the mist, in succession, a dozen motels, then a giant statue of King Kong wrestling a Kraken on the roof of a building, and then suddenly, in the midst of it, you see something amazing and you scream "WIZARD QUEST"...we meant to visit the national park after all, but after clambering through all those secret tunnels the next day, we were pretty exhausted and were content to sample root beer instead). So um. Yeah. I like things that are like Games. In real life.
  12. FTL

    The great realization (which is a little bit of a mechanical spoiler but also basically necessary for success so I don't feel bad mentioning it) is that your speed in a previous sector doesn't matter for subsequent ones. You can hang around the exit until the rebel fleet is almost upon you, jump out to the next sector, and still have as much time as if you'd hurried to get there. This means there is no reason not to saunter across the galaxy (with your vital world-saving information) hoovering up all the loot as if you were playing Dredmor or Desktop Dungeons. (This was mentioned above, I just wanted to clarify that going as slowly as possible won't rob you of time later on...because that's how space works). Also -- I've found the Layout Unlocking Achievements are all really good at teaching you about various parts of the game and introducing you to the strengths of each ship. If you find yourself (as I often do) thinking that you've no idea how to use a ship effectively, try for some of its specific achieves.
  13. FTL

    Wow -- I must say, watching the stream must have endowed me with reams of unconscious and conscious knowledge. Playing with the combined power of 2.5 hours of chatroom advice and seeing someone else beat the scary boss, I was able to destroy all three stages where previously I had never beaten the first stage! Thanks, stream. I wonder why I never tried cloaking and boarding parties on my own? (Except for the obvious problems with boarding parties; though I'm pretty proud that I managed to attain victory even after sending two of my units onto a nearly-empty Rebel ship which seconds later jumped away...I like to think that they befriended the remaining crew members out of necessity and sailed off into the outer reaches of once-again-Federation space, having lots of adventures and adopting a puppy named Jonathon Winslow along the way).
  14. FTL

    Thank you for the unreserved trust. I've probably put about 6 hours into the demo and you're right -- it does start out feeling somewhat frantic, and it's possible to win some fights just by throwing basic attacks. The fast pace becomes more manageable as you get a few basic opening strategies in your head, though, and there are some craaAaAzy opponents against whom the brute-force tactics won't really work unless you're playing a specialist in arcane spamminess. (So for example, there's a type of magi who had stupidly effective shields, and it took a few tries before I hit upon a good combination of defensive minions and...I think it was, like...a swarm of plague insects? that would just fly over there and cause damage over time, and could pass through shields). In other, shorter words, I at least think it gets better and has some nuanes. =) I doubt it ever quite loses the element of panicked rapid clicking, though -- which is probably deliberate. Perhaps it was made by people who do not have chin-beards for stroking thoughtfully. The decision to not include a pause-and-issue-orders option is a big consideration, and one which I'd entirely forgotten about since the last time I played it. =P In any case, as far as FTL goes, I enjoy being able to pause the combat so that I can take time to do all the clever little things with doors and fires and etc. I only ever had played the big ol' Magi demo, but after making this post I saw it was down to $10 so I purchased the full game with money, and after I have played it a goodly amount I may create a thread with my findings! Also, your post reminds me that I still need to play more than the first 30 minutes of E.Y.E, if for no other reason to experience yet another wildly different "hacking" minigame.
  15. FTL

    Got this game with Christmas Monies on Friday night; it's good! Anyone else notice the similarity between the combat in FTL and the game "Magi" from MoaCube? Not carbon-copy similar by any means, but as I was fighting in FTL I had a moment of realization wherein I exclaimed silently, to myself, "This feels just like Magi!" It's been a while since I played it, but I remember Magi is a wizards-dueling game (nothing else, just a series 1v1 battles) where the ultimate goal is to defeat Death so you can be a wizard forever. Anyhow, the choices in that game around which schools of magic ("channels") you upgrade, whether you summon beasties or focus on defense or offense, whether you try to end it quickly or play an endurance game...the options and the timing and the mana allocation all feels akin to the power allocation and choice of offense/defense systems in FTL. Especially noteworthy was the Engi ship I got -- the dependence on Drones and Ion weapons felt just like the class (I forget its name) in Magi that relies almost entirely on summoning and debuffs, with little direct damage to speak of. And perhaps most importantly of all, they both have that tense moment where you're just watching your attack timers recharge, hoping you get to fire off that key round before your enemy does. I just mention this to see if anyone else noticed the similarity, and to suggest that if people like FTL's combat they will probably also like Magi. =)
  16. As an added bonus, the bad guy in the AoM single player campaign walks around quoting G.K. Chesterton's "Lepanto" out of context all the time.
  17. Episode 199: Some Assembly Required

    I listened to this electronic broadcast! I did it because I was sad that there were no new Shut Up & Sit Down things to listen to yet, and then I saw that Mr. Paul Dean was a guest upon your show! I discovered that the show is entertaining even when I have only played 10% of the games discussed! Your brief foray into board games was a sneaky trick to draw me in, and now I have gone back and listened to the first four or so episodes thus far, and these also are pleasant! I say all of this to highlight the impact of internet celebrities like Mr. Paul Dean, and how they are the most important people in the world. But also, the podcast prompted me to have a think about board game modifications. I'd seen some suggested mods for the game Citadels -- specifically, the addition of a new card, The Fool, who is not very powerful but takes his turn before any other character. Inspired and emboldened by your discussion, I went on to invent several alternative special powers for this new card, which I am keen to take a vote on if and when I manage to wrangle my family into agreeing to such a presumptuous adventure as Modding a Beloved Game.
  18. Full Bore: Its a game I'm making

    Can I consider the combination of studio name and game name to be a solemn resolution that you will only ever make swine-themed software entertainment products?
  19. Me too: I was so excited about it when the question came up. I was very close to yelling at my radio in the manner of a game show audience: "Say regreeeeet!" Then they started talking about it in detail, and I remembered that in addition to being Game Dialogue it's also a question that you can answer IRL.
  20. Real Lives

    Something happened to me yesterday and it was this: I spent too much money at Wendy's on stupid Premium sandwiches. After I drove away from the restaurant I saw in my mind (as in, it literally popped in with a little "bup-boop!" sound) the dreaded, exasperating pop-up message, "Your spending is creeping up." Then just like I do when that happens in RL2010, I threw my hands in the air and yelled "Come ON, People!"
  21. Plug your shit

    Very positive thoughts! It was smooth and fast and didn't have any necessary cryptic hacks involved. It doesn't offer quite enough in the way of sprites and animations, but that was solved by my serendipitous discovery of Zoetrope one day after I started the project -- which builds on top of LOVE to make it about 90% as convenient as my usual choice of framework (Flixel). I did this game as a test to see if I wanted to give the library a whirl for a bigger game, and I think, barring any terrible surprises, I will.
  22. Plug your shit

    We've been playing where neither player watches the other, so the actual battle is a surprise. If one player needs a handicap though, letting them go second and watch and try to devise a counter is another way to use the problem to your advantage. =P When I work on it some more, I think I will add an optional alternation (so P1 goes first one round, and P2 the next). I am pleased that you find it neat! Thank you, Mr. Peel.
  23. New people: Read this, say hi.

    HELLO. My name is Berzee. I just realized that the first thing I posted on this forum was in the shameless plug section, so I also came over here to say Hi so that I don't seem entirely so much like a sinister vagrant. Starting this summer, I listened to the entire archives of Idle Thumbs and caught up just after the Ruinationcast went up...I just haven't had anything interesting to say. =P
  24. Plug your shit

    So, here's an Interactive Electrodiversion I have made over the past few days to try out a new language and game engine (Lua/LOVE2D/Zoetrope), called "Kata vs. Kata". This video is me versus my wife (not pictured -- the game before this where she obliterated me in two rounds) It's about katas, and how they perform vs. other katas. Specifically, it's a hotseat two-player fighting game where your inputs are recorded and then simultaneously executed (like, say, Street Fighter crossed with Frozen Synapse o_O) ... um, I don't know the genre name for that. I find it entertaining, and I hope that you may too! It's free to download here: (I think that's Windows only -- I don't know enough about this framework yet to be sure =P) Also, hello internet.