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Posts posted by Berzee

  1. Hoo boy, my name just got srsly dropped! =P


    I like what you've done with the shapes and piece colors, and especially with making the grid layout match the way that the points are positioned on the map -- probably makes it easier to tell at a glance where you've been.


    The digital board is great ^_^ For some reason I love computer programs that represent physical board games without having built-in rules enforcement.

  2. That one was kind of poorly done imo, I forget how it was phrased but it said something about type the answer into the box blah blah blah, and I typed "the answer" and it was wrong. I tried a whole bunch of stuff and finally tried just "answer" and it was right.

    He said "type the answer to that question" and typing "the answer to that question" would win you the quiz. SPEAK FRIEND AND ENTER.


    Anyhoo, I loved checking in on my candybox for a while, but I've stopped now because

    Figuring out the right combination of potions and scrolls for each level feels more like Sploitz than like Getting Better At The Game, even though I think that's how it's supposed to be played =P

  3. I just quit Candy Box! I was still enjoying it tremendously, but for some reason I felt like if I beat it, I should beat it without using "cheap tricks" (aka winning strategies) and that looked like a long road ahead...and I was thinking way too much about candies after two or three days. So I opted out. =P


    Then I loaded it up again at work today because why not? And then Firefox locked up before I could save my hour of progress, so I quit again. For good this time. For reals.


    Unless I want to try a different enchantment.



  4.  sort of apply this weird logic to action films where i kind of believe that the spectacular thing people do in these films are actually just the best version and the times they failed have been cut out 


    In order to enjoy the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it is necessary for me to apply this kind of thinking to the part where that bomb rolls up to Legolas' feet and then doesn't explode. "Oh, lots of sons of cursed pirates got blown up every day. They only made a movie about the luckiest one."

  5. Did the admin / cheatyman get into a position to unassailably win the game by his sneaky tricks (did he win, even?), or was it just that moment where you realize "Ok, the fact that someone's started acting this way is a pretty good indication that everyone's too tired to keep playing this match properly"? That happens with me sometimes in all sorts of games from TF2 to card games, where I'm in the mood to cause surprise or dismay more than actually trying to win the game. (I try to confine this sort of behavior to 32-man 24/7 insta-respawn 2fort games, where it belongs =P).

  6. My mom decided to buy a few of the Nancy Drew games. It has been a few years and neither of us have come close to beating any of them. Those things are much more difficult than they appear.


    Whew, this shared experience makes me feel slightly better about getting trounced by the last game! =P

  7. I beat a game! It was Nancy Drew: Message In A Haunted Mansion!!! (ooOoooOooOOOOooo...)

    It was actually a much easier one and we were able to beat it without a walkthrough...on Junior Detective level...frequently calling Nancy's friends on the phone for hints...but STILL, a solid victory for us.

    The mystery seemed a little more cliche and simplified than in the later Crystal Skull game I mentioned previously, and there wasn't anything nearly as zany as an iguana in clown clothes, but there were a lot of parts I liked quite a bit better. I liked that there weren't so many crazy mechanical puzzles, and that a lot of my time was actually spent exploring rooms and finding secrets instead of doing minigames (there were still plenty of those too but they were less in the limelight). Also, I probably just enjoy Victorian mansions and artifacts more than the N'awlins setting in the Crystal Skull. I mean, look at this beard (apparently it contains VALUABLE HINTS):


    Edit: of course I forgot to mention the one truly special thing about these games, which is that they are games from this century which require you to write down tons of stuff in, like, *real life*, if you want to finish them. (I have a nice big stack of post-its now, which would really confuse any burglars who happened across them ^_o).

  8. Haven't played NP, so not much to add to that(aside from the observation that I'm in a similar place as malkav boardgamewise, where my family likes pleasant games about building cities a lot more than games about lying and secret alliances).


    But I will mention, here's a quote from the last entry in the Neptune's Pride diary on RPS. This is how the guy in first place felt at the end of the game:


    it turns out that winning within the mechanics isn’t fun.


    He also observes


    I don’t feel bad when I backstab a trusting Medic in TF2


    Is this part of what you were saying, malkav, about Neptune's Pride supporting but not creating the stories of brilliant deception? TF2's Spy essentially comes with a "lie" button and a "backstab" button inside the game, while Neptune's Pride diplomacy is further removed from the actual game controls -- which might make "uncool" friends like ours apparently are ;) less inclined to engage in that aspect of the game.

  9. This game seems awesome, but I don't know if I would be willing to invest the necessary brain power to master it and achieve full enjoyment. Maybe I'll try the demo even though it sounds like it's had its space-wings clipped.


    Regardless, I will be totally on board for the visceral 2023 reboot, "Kerbal Space Marine".

  10. Me and my wife just beat NANCY DREW AND THE LEGEND OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL!

    I thought it would be an easy "casual" game for twelve year old babies.

    It was SUPER HARD. You was like...if Myst let you call your boyfriend on a cellphone every 15 minutes, it would be this game. It was a big nonlinear mansion+garden+cemetery full of statues and furniture and other stuff that looked normal but was secretly PUZZLE MACHINES covered in BUTTONS and STRANGE SYMBOLS. I deciphered a thousand rhyming scraps of paper, and gave this guy some bad gumbo that gave him diarhhea.


    We played it with a walkthrough handy at most times and it was still quite a challenge. We might need to play the next one on "Junior Sleuth" mode. Friends, respect Nancy Drew. Her games might crush your face. (I still haven't decided if it was a good game, but it was certainly difficult and pretty engaging when it wasn't being incredulously confounding).



  11. I don't know where I got this link from, but it's in my bookmarks so I will share it with you in case you haven't stumbled across...which seems unlikely, considering it seems to be a prominent Google result, but anyway. =P



    One time, I made a flash game (basically an Age of Kings knockoff with tiny pixel art =P) and sent it through the MochiAds distribution channels and it did moderately alright...and then suddenly started getting thousands of views per day from Brazil. Now it's up to more than 400,000 views mostly from that country. Its hour of glory has dwindled and it usually gets a handful of views each day now, but sometimes it will spike up to 1,000 views over a Saturday or something. I don't speak Portuguese and therefore have no idea why this happened or why it keeps happening.


    The moral of this story is just that I too am bad at marketing, to the point where when I do obtain a small amount of success I do not even understand it.


    Good luck! :-P

  12. 10,000 hours is the going rate to become really really good at something apparently. It's a lot of time. Can't really spare that much for just any passing fancy: Gotta be something you love.


    I am currently testing this theory with (of all things) Kingdom Rush. =P =\


    Was excited today to see you've put up some videos of Kerbal Space Program! I think the streaming playthroughs are especially good for games that are fascinating but maybe hard to get into -- things like Kerbal, FTL, DayZ. (The other thing the streaming videos are perfect for is forcing people to watch videos of years-old games that nobody would otherwise remember, haha).

  13. I can think of a lot of games that I liked *until* the ending (or until I found out about the ending on Wikipedia), and then it was ruined for me and I never wanted to play it again. I have trouble thinking of many games that worked in the reverse, though. =P


    I won't mention any of the other good games where the ending ruined it for me, in case spoilers, but I will say that I thought Deus Ex: Invisible War was kind of awesome when I played it 2.5 years ago, all the way up to the ending, whereupon you are presented with four distinct and incredibly depressing options for the future of humanity. I've played it again since then, but never had the desire to see the endings.


    Ah-hah! I did think of a small game, at least, whose ending retroactively gives new meaning and enjoyment to the experience. It is the wonderful pOnd.

  14. This pod makes me wish I used Twitter and had a smart phone, so that immediately after finishing it I could have tweeted "Just listened to Idle Thumbs 102...garbage." Just as an experiment, understand; I don't think it was garbage. Now that I wrote it up there, I might. No!


    Thoughts About Exploring Spaces!


    First, regarding ways to replicate that natural feeling of looking for answers in a space that's familiar to your character...getting the whole "immediately runs to the master bedroom" scenario...I thought I remembered Deus Ex 1 doing this, when you break into the DuClare Chateau with Nicolette. Watching a replay of it now (

    ) I see that it doesn't happen as much as I remember -- she doesn't go running off the important parts of the house by herself. However, when you walk into different rooms she does call out the important pieces like computers, paintings that move, other clues like that. That's one of my favorite parts of the game, because it's a nice homey space, but completely new to you, and the vicarious sense of familiarity you get through Nicolette's accompaniment doesn't seem at odds with that. As in Gone Home, the house also contains secrets that even Nicolette doesn't know about. I can see that it would be more of a challenge in Gone Home when you don't have Expository Sidekick tagging along doing the natural human scanning-for-things-out-of-place; but it was a memorable use of Expository Sidekick, to me. =)


    Secondly, regarding the problem of Exploring in games being a weird methodical room-combing forensic exercise. I've thought about this in the context of the neighborhoods of Skyrim, but it also applies to rooms in something like Gone Home. The problem (if it's a problem) is:


    In the real world, stuff just lays around. Most of it's not important or related to you at all (unless you're a poet who drinks in mundane discoveries and writes about their hidden signficance). In COMPUTERGAMES, especially single-player ones, everything that you see is For You. You're the most important (and only) person in the universe, and if a thing exists, it exists to be seen and interacted with and acknowledged by you. Junk isn't junk; it's "content". ^_^ If I'm looking for my harmonica in real life and I pull open all the drawers in the house and find a stack of useless bills, I get crabby. If I had to find a harmonica in Gone Home and I pulled open the drawers and found a stack of useless bills, I would say "Woww, look at all this atmospheric miscellany! So authentic, and quite possibly one of these fifteen letterheads contains A CLUE?! If no clues, that means it's here just to draw me further into the world and delight me with attention to detail. Thanks, Scoops et al." and then I would read every single one of them. Because they're mine. They're meant for me.


    Another way to look at it is that the house in Gone Home, every detail of it, is part of a creative work that's meant to be enjoyed. So if you don't dig through every drawer, you're missing part of the craftsmanship. If I bought, for example, a lovely hyper-realistic dollhouse, I feel sure that I would test all the drawers and coo over whatever tiny home supplies they contained, even if it was a "mystery dollhouse" I was supposed to be solving. This desire to experience everything that the creators created (whether because you appreciate it, or because you paid for all that content!, or because it is For You) doesn't *require* the systematic room-by-room approach...but that's the easiest way to make sure that you won't miss a single thing. I do it in games like Baldur's Gate as well, clearing every bit of fog of war in every zone before moving on -- because I just know that the one little space I don't explore is going to have a crazy guy with a funny dialogue in it.


    I don't know how you would drop a person into a meticulously handcrafted virtual environment, and then convince them to -- at least for starters -- act like most of the objects are incidental, atmospheric clutter that needn't be scrutinized before moving along. As was mentioned in the podcast, you don't *need* to make people play this way. The urban archaeology style is fine. =) But assuming you wanted to, I'm not sure how you would do it. Someone (Nick?) mentioned some kind of danger or time limit pushing people forward. Maybe a better method is to turn the player's motivation against itself -- if the reason I comb every square inch of the floor is because I don't want to miss something cool, then convince me I'm missing out on something amazing by spending all my time staring at a stupid floor. Make there be events happening in other parts of the house that you'll miss if you aren't paying attention. Instead of danger pushing you to stop exploring and start running, make intriguing flashes of light or muffled voices emanate from other rooms, and make it so that the player needs to react by running over there to explore. Everything still exists For You, but it won't wait around for you -- and if you miss it because you're pixel-hunting, you might hopefully break out of the obsession. =) Also perhaps these real-time events would happen in a confined space, perhaps the cars of a train...perhaps the LAST train. And perhaps if you miss one you can rewind time with an egg. >_>  (But the real-time events passing you by in The Last Express can also be kind of stressful and bewildering if you aren't prepped for it going in, as happened to Mrs. Berzee when I started playing that game with her without describing it first ;)).


    The other way to make people stop being methodical is The Elder Scrolls method of filling the world with so many piles of tongs and spoons and utterly useless rubbish (much of it unpleasantly heavy) that the player really does eventually need to get over the idea that everything needs to be looted. Eventually, I had to give up my hyper-thorough looting behaviors because it was making the game take so long; eventually, I was able to walk past a barrel without pawing through its grubby contents. I actually started looking for environmental clues to let me know where the good loot was supposed to be. It's fun that way! Thinking "the chest at the foot of the bandit's bedroll is probably worth my time; the pile of 16 crates probably is not" and actually being right, is pretty rewarding. :) can't know you were right unless you also look in the crates. =P And as Nick's Skyrim tutorial anecdote suggests, the game is still designed with an expectation that you'll be at least moderately interested in dumpster-diving -- so maybe all the tongs and plates and stuff are there not so much to discourage you, but to make the treasures you do find feel more like that one pretty nice chair that your keen eyes detected in the pile of busted furniture on the curb.


    This post is long.

  15. Since I was a little kid, etc.


    You basically told my precise story in the process of telling your own ;) The only major differences being that I do not yet have an baby, and I fizzled out trying to make games with C++ and Java, then switched over to Flash games using Flixel, which is nice, because you can put it on Kongregate and be pretty sure that at least a few people besides yourself will play it (and tell you that it runs slow on their computer)! I'm in a situation like you describe, thinking "If I make progressively better one-person games on the side for a goodly while, I will be READY when <video game developer celebrity> emails me and offers me a Glorious Opportunity!!!"...but at the same time, the more I make games by myself the more I worry that I will become spoiled by not having to respect anyone's opinions but my own during the development process. =P

  16. A new intro song! The last new intro was episode 51, and this is episode 100, so are we entitlted to expect, nay, demand, a new one every 50ish episodes from now unto forever? We probably are.


    Alternatively, it was 50 episodes before the first new intro, 49 before the second, so maybe it will be 48 episodes before the third and then 47 and so on. If the episodes remain consistently weekly, we should be receiving a new version of the video games song every single week! in...approximately 22 more years of Idle Thumbs.


    (I hope that Idle Thumbs still exists 22 years from now, and that they are still talking about HIMEM.sys).