Jason McCullough

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About Jason McCullough

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  1. Episode 414: Classic Year in Review: 1997

    Great show. Imperialism 1 is definitely the tighter and more satisfying design, but that interface has not aged well and will rapidly give you carpal tunnel. There's all these windows with tiny close hit locations in the upper right you have to close with the mouse and no keyboard shortcuts to do so. That said, it's still wonderful to play and the gog.com forum is full of useful advice on it. In post #4 of this thread I explain how to run it in a window with resolution scaling, as full screen is a 640x480 nightmare.
  2. Aww, man, this will getting me all excited to actually buy the game until you discussed what a nightmare the air war is. It's been shit since the first game, hasn't it?
  3. Episode 350: Aging Gracefully

    A couple points on specific games mentioned, based on playing them in the last two years. Daggerfall Surprisingly, even with the terrible graphics, highly confusing and tedious plot dungeons, and goofy mechanics, this is a lot more fun to play than you'd think. Why? * If you switch into mouselook mode the interface is fairly functional tolerable. * The regional criminal reputation system and chaotic store looting was Skyrim/GTA emergent gameplay long before that was a thing. * It's incredibly fast paced. In contrast to say, Skyrim, you can clear out most randomally generated dungeons in 15 minutes. * Flying your horse around never stops being funny. * The skill system is not quite as good as Morrowind's, but it's so arcadey, simple, and fast-paced leveling you get a constant series of significant upgrades. Imperialism I * The basic design is still fine, but the interface is total agony. There is no way to close all the popup windows except clicking the upper right corner, which will give you carpal tunnel in a hurry. Imperialism II * It's still just as great as the day it was released. Well, not the graphics, you know what I mean. * The things that really stick out is how it was from the days before focus testing and careful balancing. About half of the technologies are completely useless, for example. The technology dependency chain is painfully complex. * More thoughts.
  4. Episode 340: Hegemony 3: Clash of Ancients

    I haven't played any of the three; which is the "best" mechanics wise, you think, to jump in?
  5. Episode 336: Star Wars: Rebellion

    I was surprised to see this show up in the queue, given that it's one of the few games that inspires shuddering revulsion when I hear the name. You're all entirely correct; it is a remarkable bit of asymmetric insurgency design I didn't recognize at the time, full of creative options, and the design's opaqueness somehow makes more fascinating. I bought it again to remind myself, and after an hour poking around I can confirm: there is no goddamn way I, or anyone else, should put up with that horrible of an interface ever again. It actually gave me a terrible incident of carpal tunnel back in college due to long, long play sessions of obsessive clicking. * Every basic operation requires a window drag and three clicks. * Some windows close with escape, and some don't. * Every action's duration is measured in days, but the game is real-time for no apparent reason. Did they know what a train wreck they were making? There's some cries for help in there. * The manual actually goes to the trouble to explain the difference between modal and modaless dialogs - yes, really - on page 62/64. * There's a sidebar to save minimized window views of screens you want to go back to. I literally cannot think of another game that has done this. * There is a specific hotkey for switching back and forth between the message list and the encyclopedia. * The droids very much look like a after-the-fact workflow patch when they got feedback that no one could figure out how to do anything without their wrists snapping in half. I suppose if you're trying to build a heavy EU-style window system at 640 x 480 you're kind of doomed, but christ. This is the same year Railroad Tycoon 2 came out, I don't know what the problem was Amusingly, the tactical interface is mostly fine. I suppose if I had literally nothing else to play I could put up with this, but life is too short and there are too many other great games. Rebellion truly stands alone in my memory as the most painful to use interface ever created.