unimural

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About unimural

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  1. Idle Thumbs Streams

    Nick's Star Citizen stream probably belongs in a museum. https://www.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/clip/DifficultLongKumquatCoolCat
  2. I've decided to wait on the expansions to see if the game matures a bit. Thematically I do like the game, but I can't help but feel the execution is too clumsy. My biggest issues are on the tactical side, but I also feel like the geoscape side isn't very cohesive either. The maps are too small compared to the massive movement potential the units have. This, combined with the single minded AI quickly removes all tension from the encounters. Perhaps this will improve later in the game, but I rarely felt like I had to react or adjust to the enemy. Mechanically, the manual aim mode is always the superior option. However the manual aim is slow, finicky and it's affected by the idle animations of the enemies. This means to get the best shot you have to wait for the right moment to activate the manual aim. Free aiming is a fun idea, but in practice I think this system is almost terrible. Also my soldiers would constantly shoot their own cover when in overwatch. And the UI is just a bit too weird and buggy. The weird pink-white bar is hard to read, but since you're pushed into manual aiming all the time it's not very meaningful anyways. On the strategic side, while I kind of feel the Firaxis XCOMs value significance of decisions perhaps a bit too much, here thus far I've rarely felt decisions having any impact, which really sapped my enthusiasm for the game on the strategic side. Despite all of this I still kind of like the game, or want to like it. I think the Gorky 17 comparison by Rob was very apt.
  3. I suspected this might happen. I believe a big reason why this happened is that working in a small company you likely adopt a helpful, DIY attitude. This is something both Chris and Jake have also referred to both on IT and elsewhere. However, in a larger environment like Valve you will receive requests for help/assistance from a multitude of directions, and unless there is someone who makes sure progress happens on them main project, something like this tends to happen. The reasons for helping with Underlords or Alyx or whatever are good reasons and it's good to help. But it's not good for you own project. It's not out of malice or lack of interest, but rather a death by thousand helpful cuts. Of course I might be wrong, and perhaps there were unforeseen challenges with Valley, or perhaps it just wasn't there. But my money is on Campo folks underestimating the destabilizing effect of a larger environment, even to a cohesive team. Still, I'm sure working on Half-Life has its own appeal, and I hope and suspect the move has probably been a good thing for all involved. Even if I'm personally a bit sad there very likely won't be another Campo Santo game or more of Thumbs the cast. Although, Tom Francis just moved to Vancouver. A Nick and Tom cast would either be terrible or great, awesome regardless.
  4. I've listened to the first two episodes, and loving the cast thus far! I apologize for the likely rantlike nature of my post. In general trailers and spoilers don't evoke strong feelings from me, but whenever I try to explain my point of view, I tend to get a bit, well, rowdy. Trailers are not for me. I am fascinated by them, but I have a hard time of thinking of a trailer that I would not consider as a spoiler. In the theatres I have my headphones on and read some website on my phone (the excellent CRPG Addict is a perennial favourite for some reason) while the trailers are playing. Unless I am with friends. I am indeed one of those people who will see a scene taking place on a boat in the trailer, and spend my time watching the movie waiting for the boat to show up, contemplating what could take the characters to the sea. I simply can not help myself. I wish trailers only conveyed a mood, a vague sense of theme and nothing more. I wish trailers had very little to no footage from the actual film. Many of my best movie watching experiences have been of movies I knew nothing about beforehand. Film festivals are excellent for this reason alone. While I no longer watch as many movies as I used to, I realize I'm simply not part of the audience trailers are meant for. Trailers are meant to sell movies, and in general I'm already bought in. I do watch movies to be entertained and enagaged, but based on writers, actors, directors, rarely because of the subject matter. I simply wish I could opt out. When I heard of a new Yorgos Lanthimos movie, I already wanted to see it. In January I was thoroughly spoiled by the trailer. (mild) SPOILERS for The Favourite After seeing this trailer in the cinema, I expected the following structure: 1. The Rachel Weisz character has the Queens favour. 2. Enter Emma Stone, who has it rough 3. A contest for the Queens favour between Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. 4. Emma Stone gains the Queens favour, dispatching Rachel Weisz (at 2:00 there's the "Hell" -bit with roughed up Rachel Weisz) 5. ? This instructed my entire watching experience and turned out to be fairly accurate. I needed to know none of this. From my point of view, all of the structure offered in the trailer only makes it harder for me to enjoy the movie. I know the movie is based on historical facts and thus the question of spoilers is a bit different, but the historical facts are not the point of the movie. The trailer describes the emotional arc for the characters up to the last quarter. The only thing left out is the final result of the conflict between the two main characters. I only want the basics of the setup, none of the journey. I did really like the movie, but I imagine I would have enjoyed it more without the trailer. Of course, I might have been wrong in my extrapolation of the movie. Sometimes I see a trailer, and misinterpret it. Yet the language of trailers is uniform enough that this is fairly rare. It's probably not a surprise that I enjoy teaser trailers more than the trailers. For some reason the Back to the Future teaser pops into my mind. My probably all time favourite trailer is the Gabriel Knight 3 trailer. GK3 is a game, but it's a linear adventure game that kind of wishes it was a movie. Roughly half of the trailer is non-game footage, and the game footage isn't structured. It conveys the mood and the theme very well and I am sold. Anything more is spoilers. I couldn't find a good version and the compression doesn't do any favours to what is probably low SVGA source material: Despite my rant here, I do enjoy trailers, after I have seen the movies. I also sometimes watch trailers to remind myself of the movies, instead of watching them. For example, Amélie is a movie where the European trailer pretty much replicates the film. To me, it's very much a 90 second edit of the film. Then again, Amélie is, among other things, a movie about film makers being clever, so it fits very well to the condensed format. I couldn't find a decent version of the EU trailer, but it's the first trailer in the following trailer collage. Anyways, sorry for the rant and thanks for the podcast. It is really great!
  5. Marvel movies

    Thanks for your responses. @SecretAsianMan's view of the film as a series of non sequiturs does make a lot of sense, even if I don't share the view. With regards to Iron Man 2, I found that movie a mess. Admittedly I don't remember it that well any more, but what I do remember strongly is being bored the entire time. The bits about Tony's dad didn't work for me, I seem to recall some weird War Machine jokes that I didn't understand, and everything very much feeling like a sequel: the constant need to one-up the first movie. On the other hand, Iron Man 3 takes the opposite approach, and steps most everything back from the previous films, and focuses on Tony as a character. I kind of liked Captain Marvel. I was bothered how much the movie serves the audience, instead of supporting the characters. For me, the soundtrack was perhaps the most glaring example. Yes, it's cool you have Garbage and No Doubt on the soundtrack, but compared to Guardians of the Galaxy, where the music is very clearly something that's personal to whatshisname, so emphasizing the nostalgia-soundtrack is in service to the movie. Here, the music is only for the audience. And similar use of overt references is way too common. But I did really enjoy Brie Larson practically in every scene, and I also liked the buddy cop movie featuring Samuel L Jackson and Brie Larson.
  6. Marvel movies

    I'm somewhat baffled why people don't like Iron Man 3. I do suspect part of the reason why I enjoyed it is that it did not feel like a Marvel movie, so that may be a part of it. But it did something with Tony Stark after the meaningless Iron Man 2. I also think it's a very solid movie by itself. The main reasons for me are the character focus, the Shane Black humor and great pacing. The movie has a real heart, and that's quite an achievement for a silly action movie. Most of the performances are good, and the kid is great! I don't really have strong feelings with regards to the twist, but Ben Kingsley is great. I do admit Guy Pierce is thoroughly boring, the script doesn't do him any favours either. It is a shame it is a Marvel movie and has to have the customary CGI-actionsnooze ending.
  7. Episode 452: After Dark 2018

    I would enjoy an episode or two of 3MA about some generalist/popular boardgames. I'm sure Rob's take on Kill Team would be entertaining, even if miniature stuff isn't my cup of gaming. Then again, if the option is to have either that or a Gerykcast, I would definitely vote for the latter. With regards to the games you mentioned, Shut Up and Sit Down has reviews on Kill Team and Fallout, with Kill Team seemingly only for miniature-hobbyists and Fallout simply for no one. I don't know about Song of Fire and Ice. Have you given the X-Wing miniatures game a look?
  8. Episode 299: Earliest Access

    The email is contact@conifergames.com I'm not sure if the build is only for high-tier backers or not. The steam keys (and DRM free download link) should go out on the release day, the 23rd, for backers.
  9. I have difficulty imagining what CK3 should be. Mounted Crusader Blade Kings sounds cool, but how would that game work? Is Paradox willing to build a whole new engine for a game that would support landless characters? I think they should, but it's a big risk. There's a lot they would simply have to guess at, and it's likely the first game in that style to suck in many ways. It's much safer (and more profitable) to just tweak the formula a bit. I do think King of Dragon Pass offers some ideas they could fairly easily incorporate into the CK model, which would make the storytelling aspects a lot richer. But a big part of it is indeed the presentation. For a game that's evolved to be about the characters, they sure are hidden. I have also wondered if it would be better if we were at CK4 or 5 at this point and talking about what the next game would be like. As much as I've enjoyed most of the DLC in CK, I do think they should have stopped already. Probably after Horse Lords, definitely after Monks and Mystics. I certainly never really put the time into Monks and Mystics, despite buying it. I kind of would want to, but there's too much other stuff to do, and as much life as it brings to the game, I practically feel guilty these days if I play CK2. Although perhaps I'll go back to it after they announce CK3 and I know they won't add any more stuff/fluff to it.
  10. Great episode, I absolutely loved the viking music bit! Three Kingdoms! I don't remember anymore if Romance of the Three Kingdoms II was the first Koei game I played, or if it was Nobunaga's Ambition. Despite being more interested in/prejudiced in favour of Japan, I was surprised to find I enjoyed RTK much much more. Ever since then I've been one of the Three Kingdoms listeners. Also, I always have trouble comprehending the timescale of Chinese history. Three Kingdoms is contemporaneous with the crisis of the third century! 2003 was an odd year for strategy for me. I never played Rise of Nations, and I was quite fed up with RTSes, with them never being my favourite genre anyways. So I played a lot of questionable games. I played a lot of Ufo Aftermath. I've always been an apologist for the ALTAR UFO games, probably because Fish Fillets and Original War were quite impressive. I also played a fair bit of Railroad Tycoon 3, however poor a copy it is. Victoria ruined one set of exams for me. Although I suppose I actually played a lot of Hearts of Iron in 2003, and might have gotten Victoria only for Christmas. The game I hoped would have gotten a mention is Ghost Master. It's a quirky tactics game, where you manage a set of ghosts with the purpose of haunting a house. It consists of a campaign of roughly dozen levels, each being house you must hunt and either make the residents go insane or flee in terror. You buy/level up your ghosts between missions, and select a team of ghosts for each mission. In many ways it's a typical tactics game. You have to come up with efficient ways of scaring the residents, some of which have resistances/weaknesses. There is humour, which I found mostly harmless. I always thought it was a really clever game, and a quite unique one as well. The interface has not aged well, but I do recommend at least checking out some lets play. Also, Dominions 2 was released in 2003. I did not discover it until a couple of years later, but had I discovered it then it probably would have ruled the year.
  11. Idle Thumbs Hiatus

    I suspect it's mostly about a bunch of things happening at the same time making it difficult to get started: the move, Nick probably being up to his eyeballs in work, work, need to rebuild the studio, getting old and less energetic, other obligations and so on. It may be the inertia eventually gets too big and they never get back to it. If so, it's been a blast, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they get back to it a year from now. I fully get them not really having an idea when they will or would, and not wanting to say anything until they know something for sure. Although I do like the Valvetime theory. They have truly become the twenty year old wax house, baby.
  12. Jeff Goldblum

    There's a somewhat off-looking statue of Goneblum in London. https://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/a-giant-jeff-goldblum-is-smouldering-topless-in-london-a3890166.html I rather like the image of people sitting on deck chairs right in front of the statue.
  13. Other podcasts

    For me the Crate and Crowbar is the replacement for Thumbs. It's a bit more focused than Thumbs ended up being. They currently have 4 to 5 regular hosts and occasional irregulars as well, with most having a games press background. Any given pod is usually 3 people. It is a UK cast, so that might affect your enjoyment. I think their balance of humour and deep diving discussions is really good and enjoyable, and reminds me of Thumbs in many ways. http://crateandcrowbar.com/
  14. The threat of Big Dog

    The strategy is working. I spent most of the video being truly impressed by the engineering marvel this thing is. The three black sleeping SpotMinis in the background at the end were quite spooky however.
  15. I do think Important If True is too much of one thing. The thing that made the Thumbs' madness really shine for me was how it contrasted the ordinary discussion. Sometimes the ordinary discussion was very sincere and very focused, sometimes more rambling, but Idle Thumbs tended to have a lot more grounded portions. Even if I felt they sometimes tried too hard to constrain themselves from reverting to the bullshit. I do look forward to my weekly dose of pods, but I also do kind of miss the guys discussing things seriously.