Random Junk III

Le Hasard:


Most of my time this week was consumed through playing Die2Nite, the zombie survival game I mentioned last week.  I've also played a fair bit of Spelunky (playing on a new load, we just got the warp tunnel to the yeti zone), while my S.O. has been playing a ton of Gladius since we got the machine up and running again. 
 
Gladius is still fun, although we get a bit of lag that I don't remember having on our old television, such that we have to gauge the swing meter for attacks a bit differently.  I've been told I should get an AV Cable, more for graphical fuzziness than the lag problem, but since this an old XBox, I imagine those are a lot harder to find than they used to be.  Anyone know a lot about hooking up older systems with digital televisions?
 
If you haven't checked out Rock Paper Shotgun this week, they have an interview with the two Terrys of Monty Python fame, and the interview only gets around to plugging the game they helped create at the end, which is a plus. 

World Changing Leak!!


It seems that details on Bioware's new project accidentally leaked a day early.  My instincts rise up and are ready to scream: "who cares if it was a day early?"  People gossip about how this may result in someone being fired, and it leads me to feel that this attitude large companies have about constricting press releases is a bit draconian.  Sure, there's probably some Adam Curtis documentary waiting to be made on how game producers are following in the tradition of old creation-of-demand, social control ad executives, but when I hear about a game that isn't anywhere close to being finished, I sort of nod my head and say "OK, please bring me evidence that this game will not be a huge disappointment to everyone.  It's OK, no rush, in your own time."   
 
I think part of the reason they want to keep these releases from being too aggressive is that they want to avoid saturating the press with information. Too much of that means less speculative pieces which may rope random people in, and more people getting tired of hearing about it and wanting something new. If we're too familiar with what's going to come out, many might not be seeking it out when it's released just because they feel all the mystery's already been laid bare.  This means that some of the question and answer sessions and feature descriptions are going to necessarily be more vague than they probably should be.  I know many people, myself included, who have gone into a game purchase deluding ourselves into thinking a specific game mode or game mechanic will be in the game, just because there's an indirect implication that it MIGHT be in there somewhere.  
 
Still, I don't think people are terribly afraid of buying Mass Effect 3.  I hear it's somewhat popular, ha-ha.  I also heard that the data about how many people played what gender Shepard was actually skewed, since it never kept track of second playthroughs.  Hmm.
 
I'm eager to see what sort of data carries over into the next game, mainly because all the loose ends that have been revealed sort of demand some kind of tying.  There are tons of factions, for lack of a better term, that have been exposed over the course of two games, and I think the leaked blurb about uniting them against the coming threat seems to suggest that this will happen in some capacity.
 
Also, it appears planetary mining is back in a similar way, which may please some people TO NO END.
 

Die2Nite

 
Die2Nite has been an interesting experience.  At times it was hurry-up-and-wait, the kind of stuff that always happens whenever you try to organize something with a lot of people in it online. At others, there has been some genuine tension as we try to keep coordinated out in the wastelands, picking up bits of junk to supplement our town's defenses.  There have been several expeditions in the past few days to get two absolutely vital components: handfuls of nuts and bolts, and cement, with minimal results.  Many people have died since the town started (I think we started near the max of 40 people, but lost an average of 1 a day), and we're facing an zombie attack tonight far in excess of what we can defend against.  Some people are going to get dragged off screaming tonight, and one of those people could very well be me.
 
While we haven't been the highest scoring town, we've lasted a long time, all the way back to when the full release of the game started.  It's a bit rough at times, even in real life terms, because you get to know a group, fight with them, learn to trust them, and you sort of become a family that eventually has to be torn apart by hordes of undead that have a taste for your flesh.  
 
Last night, Day 10, was a desperate scramble to come up with enough materials to build temporary defenses, which is a bad sign.  Temporary defenses go away after an attack, but still consume resources, which meant that despite our surviving that attack we'd be at a reduced defense capacity all over again for today.  
 
One positive thing, even if it's Pyrrhic, is that after days and days of desperately low water supplies, we managed to do a major construction which gave us much more water in the well than we could possibly use. It's unfortunate that water rationing is strictly enforced, though, otherwise we would have been able to use the water for some alternate construction projects that might help minimize the damage tonight.  As it is, too many people are thirsty or dehydrated from the night before and need the water just to live, so it's been hard to get people to chip in.
 
A lot of Die2Nite is discussing in the forums about what needs to be done.  Naturally if you don't have a good group this isn't going to go too well, but most people you'll find are fairly reasonable once the usual early mistrust bleeds away.  The game is sneaky in that it creates a bunch of situations that may give rise to conflict, and at the beginning I thought this was a terribly manipulative setup, but I found that the secret charm of such situations are that if you can work through them, work together to fix something and get the doors closed just before the attack, that you are rewarded in ways that other more isolated game experiences could never manage.
 
It's rare to see a game that manages to bring about both the ugliness and beauty of humanity in the span of a few days.
 
The game is free-to play and not system intensive, which is a good match for me. You can pay to have in-game advantages by giving yourself a hero class.  These allow for more customization and more powers out in the wasteland, but because this is ultimately a cooperative game this doesn't leave a bitter taste in my mouth like micropayment competitive games do. If anyone's willing to try it out, you can use this address as a referral to give me a bonus or two. 

Who knows, since my town looks like it might be dying soon, I'll always be on the lookout for people to join my coalition, which is I guess the closest thing this game comes to a guild.  Anyway, you may be hearing more about my experiences of this game.
 

Good Bit of Luck:


Finally found an electric axe in Might and Magic II.  Able to sate Lord Hoardall's lust for junk, I got a chunk of XP and am no longer annoyed that I can't find the axe.  Trouble is, I don't know how to fill out the spellbooks for both spell types.  Maybe my next adventure will involve something like tracking down the errant spells.
 
Got farther in Tyrian 2000, although I think what that game needs is some sort of level select system, because I do get tired of playing the same planet over and over trying NOT to die.  I think the illusion of choice you sometimes get, when it lets you pick between different stages, sort of spoiled me, and I want to be able to choose stages all the time.
 
Anyway, take it easy this weekend.
4 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by ahoodedfigure

Le Hasard:


Most of my time this week was consumed through playing Die2Nite, the zombie survival game I mentioned last week.  I've also played a fair bit of Spelunky (playing on a new load, we just got the warp tunnel to the yeti zone), while my S.O. has been playing a ton of Gladius since we got the machine up and running again. 
 
Gladius is still fun, although we get a bit of lag that I don't remember having on our old television, such that we have to gauge the swing meter for attacks a bit differently.  I've been told I should get an AV Cable, more for graphical fuzziness than the lag problem, but since this an old XBox, I imagine those are a lot harder to find than they used to be.  Anyone know a lot about hooking up older systems with digital televisions?
 
If you haven't checked out Rock Paper Shotgun this week, they have an interview with the two Terrys of Monty Python fame, and the interview only gets around to plugging the game they helped create at the end, which is a plus. 

World Changing Leak!!


It seems that details on Bioware's new project accidentally leaked a day early.  My instincts rise up and are ready to scream: "who cares if it was a day early?"  People gossip about how this may result in someone being fired, and it leads me to feel that this attitude large companies have about constricting press releases is a bit draconian.  Sure, there's probably some Adam Curtis documentary waiting to be made on how game producers are following in the tradition of old creation-of-demand, social control ad executives, but when I hear about a game that isn't anywhere close to being finished, I sort of nod my head and say "OK, please bring me evidence that this game will not be a huge disappointment to everyone.  It's OK, no rush, in your own time."   
 
I think part of the reason they want to keep these releases from being too aggressive is that they want to avoid saturating the press with information. Too much of that means less speculative pieces which may rope random people in, and more people getting tired of hearing about it and wanting something new. If we're too familiar with what's going to come out, many might not be seeking it out when it's released just because they feel all the mystery's already been laid bare.  This means that some of the question and answer sessions and feature descriptions are going to necessarily be more vague than they probably should be.  I know many people, myself included, who have gone into a game purchase deluding ourselves into thinking a specific game mode or game mechanic will be in the game, just because there's an indirect implication that it MIGHT be in there somewhere.  
 
Still, I don't think people are terribly afraid of buying Mass Effect 3.  I hear it's somewhat popular, ha-ha.  I also heard that the data about how many people played what gender Shepard was actually skewed, since it never kept track of second playthroughs.  Hmm.
 
I'm eager to see what sort of data carries over into the next game, mainly because all the loose ends that have been revealed sort of demand some kind of tying.  There are tons of factions, for lack of a better term, that have been exposed over the course of two games, and I think the leaked blurb about uniting them against the coming threat seems to suggest that this will happen in some capacity.
 
Also, it appears planetary mining is back in a similar way, which may please some people TO NO END.
 

Die2Nite

 
Die2Nite has been an interesting experience.  At times it was hurry-up-and-wait, the kind of stuff that always happens whenever you try to organize something with a lot of people in it online. At others, there has been some genuine tension as we try to keep coordinated out in the wastelands, picking up bits of junk to supplement our town's defenses.  There have been several expeditions in the past few days to get two absolutely vital components: handfuls of nuts and bolts, and cement, with minimal results.  Many people have died since the town started (I think we started near the max of 40 people, but lost an average of 1 a day), and we're facing an zombie attack tonight far in excess of what we can defend against.  Some people are going to get dragged off screaming tonight, and one of those people could very well be me.
 
While we haven't been the highest scoring town, we've lasted a long time, all the way back to when the full release of the game started.  It's a bit rough at times, even in real life terms, because you get to know a group, fight with them, learn to trust them, and you sort of become a family that eventually has to be torn apart by hordes of undead that have a taste for your flesh.  
 
Last night, Day 10, was a desperate scramble to come up with enough materials to build temporary defenses, which is a bad sign.  Temporary defenses go away after an attack, but still consume resources, which meant that despite our surviving that attack we'd be at a reduced defense capacity all over again for today.  
 
One positive thing, even if it's Pyrrhic, is that after days and days of desperately low water supplies, we managed to do a major construction which gave us much more water in the well than we could possibly use. It's unfortunate that water rationing is strictly enforced, though, otherwise we would have been able to use the water for some alternate construction projects that might help minimize the damage tonight.  As it is, too many people are thirsty or dehydrated from the night before and need the water just to live, so it's been hard to get people to chip in.
 
A lot of Die2Nite is discussing in the forums about what needs to be done.  Naturally if you don't have a good group this isn't going to go too well, but most people you'll find are fairly reasonable once the usual early mistrust bleeds away.  The game is sneaky in that it creates a bunch of situations that may give rise to conflict, and at the beginning I thought this was a terribly manipulative setup, but I found that the secret charm of such situations are that if you can work through them, work together to fix something and get the doors closed just before the attack, that you are rewarded in ways that other more isolated game experiences could never manage.
 
It's rare to see a game that manages to bring about both the ugliness and beauty of humanity in the span of a few days.
 
The game is free-to play and not system intensive, which is a good match for me. You can pay to have in-game advantages by giving yourself a hero class.  These allow for more customization and more powers out in the wasteland, but because this is ultimately a cooperative game this doesn't leave a bitter taste in my mouth like micropayment competitive games do. If anyone's willing to try it out, you can use this address as a referral to give me a bonus or two. 

Who knows, since my town looks like it might be dying soon, I'll always be on the lookout for people to join my coalition, which is I guess the closest thing this game comes to a guild.  Anyway, you may be hearing more about my experiences of this game.
 

Good Bit of Luck:


Finally found an electric axe in Might and Magic II.  Able to sate Lord Hoardall's lust for junk, I got a chunk of XP and am no longer annoyed that I can't find the axe.  Trouble is, I don't know how to fill out the spellbooks for both spell types.  Maybe my next adventure will involve something like tracking down the errant spells.
 
Got farther in Tyrian 2000, although I think what that game needs is some sort of level select system, because I do get tired of playing the same planet over and over trying NOT to die.  I think the illusion of choice you sometimes get, when it lets you pick between different stages, sort of spoiled me, and I want to be able to choose stages all the time.
 
Anyway, take it easy this weekend.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

To be fair, I'm far more excited about Elder Scrolls V than I am for Mass Effect 3. Maybe because I know that the latter is practically a known quantity, with all the GOTY awards that ME2 will no doubt win this year (including mine, for that matter) fully encouraging Bioware to keep on going in the direction they were already going in. Until they actually reveal it and ruin everyone's expectations that it will print money and create world peace (or, in the case of Morrowind diehards: murder puppies and mentally retard anyone who touches it), I think everyone thinks the same way. 
 
As for Zombie game, I commented on that on your other blog piece.

Online
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater:  I didn't know TES was being announced at the same time. I was just reporting (tongue in cheek) about the all-important leak.  I'm eager to see what they'll do with TES, but since I think I've said before that I want *big* more than it seems they're capable of or that most people would want, I sorta need to look elsewhere for that.
 
For a second I forgot which race was associated with Skyrim.  Ah, boring Nord guys.  If they head to the Black Marshes some day I'll be happy.
 
I'm almost tempted to check out Arena, but something deep inside of me keeps telling me to trust in those who have walked the path before.
Posted by ArbitraryWater
@ahoodedfigure:  In Arena's case, to be fair, I know I have a lower tolerance for that kind of stuff than you do. You could probably be able to enjoy it more than I did. It's not a very polished game, but at least it doesn't have overwhelming issues of scale like Daggerfall. Maybe I'll watch some LPs on the Youtube to see if it gets any better or not.
Online
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@ArbitraryWater: I got a bit of a hinky feeling when I saw how massive that inn was.  But yeah, once Bethsoft stops redirecting my attempts to download Arena, I might try it out, or at the very least watch it on The Preview Channel.
 
I just wish it had come out before 3D modeling.  I looked at a bestiary and a lot of those guys are just plain sad looking.