Phaedrus' Street Crew
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Noyb

  1. Read Facing Unpleasant Facts, a collection of essays by George Orwell last month. Fascinating stuff. It goes from Orwell purposefully getting arrested for public drunkenness in order to investigate the terrible conditions in public prisons, to a 1940s war diary commenting on the distance between what the British media reported on and the actual war conditions and how he was surprised to find himself getting accustomed to the sounds of war during the Blitz, to a puff piece on the perfect pub, to a memoir of boarding school tyranny.

    Then I read Kafka on the Shore. Murakami hasn't disappointed me yet. The

    incestual undertones and overtones

    were a bit much, but the characters and writing style kept me interested until the end.

    I also just finished Tom Bissel's Extra Lives, which was rather disappointing. Now, I'm not that poorly-read, but I found his diction unnecessarily overwhelming. Sentences like

    [T]he plot provides a stage for the considerable malversation of your erstwhile teammate Wesker

    keep popping up, breaking the flow of each piece with the use of words that really aren't necessary to convey his meaning. He also occasionally breaks flow with odd asides like

    Final Fantasy VII awoke American gaming to the possibilities of narrative dynamism and the importance of relatively developed characters -- no small inspiration to take from a series whose beautifully androgynous male characters often appear to be some kind of heterosexual stress test


    While I waited to be fetched by Ubisoft game designer Clint Hocking, I noted the number of attractive young women wandering about the premises and began to wonder if the company had expanded to include an escort service or modeling agency or both.

    The book is at its best when he's getting designers like Clint Hocking or Jon Blow to open up about their creative process, and parts of the New Games Journalism-style pieces on playing Resident Evil 1 in historical context, or playing GTA IV while nursing a coke addiction are interesting to read. But I walked away disappointed, having heard better analysis and recollections from Idle Thumbs, RPS, and others that were simultaneously more insightful and not laborious to read.

  2. It probably isn't Rob Blanc (by Yahtzee)? Or 7 Days a Skeptic (also by Yahtzee)? Those are the only spaceship AGS games I remember. I also remember that screen being turned upside down thing, but don't remember the game (not sure if it's one of the two above)

    [edit] there's also this but that's probably not it either and it's newer

    Definitely not 7 Days. The one I'm thinking of was squarely a comedy game.

    It's been ages since I've played the Rob Blanc series, so it could be one of them? I'll give them another shot.

    Update on the Lemon Demon end, Neil tweeted back with links to his games:!/neilyourself/status/82159028888801281

    Neither of them is what I remembered, but amusing nonetheless.

  3. This one's really obscure and has been bugging me for ages.

    Late 90s early 00s freeware point-and-click adventure game. Might have been made in AGS. Purported to be the first part in a multi-part series. Plot involved you dying on a spaceship, being turned into a ghost, and trying to find your way to an earth-like planet. The only specific thing I remember about it was there was a really cheesy joke about a camera pan that turned the screen upside down. My memory tells me it was made by a developer called Trapezoid (same as Neil Cicerega/Lemon Demon?), although I'm not sure I entirely trust it.

    Edit: Whoa. Lemon Demon was a member of BigBlueCup back in the day. I guess I should trust my mind more. Not sure the name or where I can actually find any of his old games nowadays. Definitely not geocities. :sad:

  4. Especially since Minecraft's development strategy seems completely at odds with Microsoft's aversion towards agile development, what with long QA delays for patches and a history of pressuring devs to charge for substantial updates.

  5. Not too hard to find it with some cybersleuthing. I'll respect your wishes and not say the name here.

    FWIW, the game doesn't look terrible. Could use a much more streamlined UI and a more cohesive art direction. The latter part must be killing you, since it's not your fault if there wasn't enough communication to ensure coherency or if your art was just downright misused. At the very least, you'll have some kick-ass individual drawings for your portfolio.

    On the other hand, the game's not even alpha. It's possible the game was just shown off too early, before any one area had a fully polished vertical slice. Still time for these issues to potentially be resolved.

  6. I just realized that I can still use my original DS to play GBA games on the top screen even if the bottom screen dies entirely, since the main menu can be controlled with the buttons. :getmecoat

    DSi it is, I guess, though I would have thought the DSi would be cheaper after the release of the 3DS.

  7. I started noticing dead spots on my original DS touch screen when starting Picross 3D at the beginning of the year, and just as I finished the game tonight, the screen started displaying colored lines and developed an intermittent jitter.

    Way past warranty, so it'd cost $75 to fix the lines alone according to Nintendo customer support. That's significant enough for me to consider a replacement.

    Looks like it's hard to find new units of the original run. I'm looking at DS lites, since I still make use of the GBA port and the DSi doesn't have one, but I seem to remember hearing they had some easily broken shoulder buttons. Is this still the case?

  8. I really wish it didn't take me until Hard Level 10 before I realized (spoilered since it is a useful feature that can nevertheless be easily exploited)

    the quicksave doesn't actually disappear once you load it. If you quicksave, load the save, then make a mistake, you can revert back to the quicksave by quitting and choosing to keep the save.

    Would have saved a lot of time and hassle for all the times when I swore I deleted the right block, but the game thought I wanted to delete a block in the background with just a few pixels showing.

    Still enjoying it, but a number of these later puzzles have really insane time limits.

    Edit: This game also made me realize there were dead spots on my original DS screen. Probably from one too many rounds of Elite Beat Agents back in the day.

  9. I'm currently reading William Gibson's Pattern Recognition. Very interesting and fresh setting and I'm enjoying it quite a lot. My biggest problem reading it in English is that every once in a while there is a strange term that I don't know and have to look for someplace, only to find out that it's explained a couple of sentences or paragraphs later. To some extend, the same goes for character backgrounds and things like that. Mildly annoying but I can live with it.

    Just finished reading that last month. I totally agree about the undefined terms.

    CPU = Cayce Pollard Units = "cute" term for pieces of clothing stripped of brand labels and not the standard tech acronym for "Central Processing Unit"

    confused the hell out of me until he actually explained it. And I got really sick of how many times he used "mirror world" by the end.

    I appreciated a few of the things he was trying to do in the book, like show some of the negative effects of saturating the public in brands and advertising, making a cyber thriller that acknowledges the presence of apophenia in the world, and the whole F:F:F subplot rings very true with modern Alternate Reality Game culture and general nerd fandom. And I really like how he handles Boone Chu,

    who at first seems to fit the stereotype of the suave, knowledgeable spy-partner-turned-love-interest, but then turns out to be such a complete poser and has absolutely no romantic contact with Cayce whatsoever.

    The book tends to get into spurts where it narrates solely in sentence fragments, particularly when the protagonist is jetlagged, which is a neat effect, but not entirely smooth to read. Never really felt the stakes were that high until almost towards the end, which made the middle drag on a bit.

    All-in-all I found it interesting. Not a classic, but I enjoyed it by the end.

  10. Blendo Games (developer of Gravity Bone, Flotilla, Atom Zombie Smasher, etc.) did a blog post recently about replaying Half-Life:

    Here it is: the first time I played it, I cheated my way through Half-life. Back when Half-life first came out thirteen (!) years ago, there were two sections of the game that consistently twisted my nipples and made me cry uncle: the underground rail-train chapters, and the Xen chapters. The former is because the soldier enemies are soul-crushingly brutal, and the latter is because I’m terrible at jumping puzzles.

  11. As any RPS reader will know, is becoming the go-to place for indie news.

    Shame the comments section isn't any less idiotic than any other site.

    Actually, does any gaming site besides RPS actually have intelligent discussion in the comments?