raddevon's forum posts

#1 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -

I'm a bit late to the party, but I just saw Kombat's excellent response to Dave Snider's tweet requesting ideas for a premium Whiskey Media. I have a number of ideas I presented the last time this came up, but I would like to reiterate those as I would love to pay money for them. 
This is a particularly timely question for me as I just paid another of my favorite web communities, reddit.com. I now have reddit gold membership which includes a "trophy" on my user page in addition to a few features and the promise of more features down the line. The gold membership is really little more than a donation drive right now. I paid $30 for a year, and I really don't care if I get anything else for it. In fact, I didn't pay to get the things they gave me in the first place. For me, it was a simple decision. Here's a site I love that is struggling. If I can pay the $30, and all I get is that the site survives, that is worth $30 per year to me. Maybe Whiskey Media needs to do something as simple as a donation drive like this even if only to get the ball rolling. Start out at a low price for charter members, give us some idea of what features you want to implement in the future, and hit "go." 
As far as the specific features I would enjoy, I definitely agree that existing features need to stay free. I believe the staff itself has stated none of the existing features will be taken away from users. The features I would most love are related to blogging. The Whiskey Media blogging platform is excellent and robust but needs a few more features to be complete. It would be really nice to be able to save drafts. There are many times I would like to start on a post and finish it later. Taxonomy features would also be helpful like tagging and categories. Here's a list of some other ideas for premium features not related to blogging: 

  • user video hosting
  • a VIP forum (This wouldn't eliminate all trolls, but, in general, people willing to pay are less likely to be trolls.)
  • user blacklisting (with which I could never see content from my blacklisted users again)
  • priority access to beta codes and giveaways
I imagine most of these would not be terribly difficult to implement. I have one more idea I separated from the rest as it would be more of a departure for the site. What if the site instituted a Bitmob-esque system whereby premium users' content has a chance to be featured on the frontpage alongside that of the staff? I would enjoy that. 
The Whiskey Media family of sites have some of the best community features around. It's difficult to charge for content on the Internet, but I would gladly pay for these existing features to be expanded upon. 
For those of you who would be willing to pay, what is the highest fee you could see yourself paying if all your desired features were implemented? I would top out at about $30 but $20 per year for those features would be really nice!
#2 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -

One of my favorites that never gets any love: 

Heavenly Sword
The only drawback is that you can't really find it cheap despite it's launch early in the console's life.
#3 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -

I'm with trophyhunter. Just buy a PS3 or 360, pop in your Maya DVD, and render away! Use your Live Vision camera or PS3 Eye to capture textures and such. I would actually recommend PS3 since it has keyboard/mouse support. The pointer moves really slowly with the analog sticks.

#4 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@CompleteInanity: I will definitely check out the PDF. Thanks for that and the glyph tips! 
I hate to hear that you didn't like Zeno Clash. I have to admit the sheer bizarreness of it was probably all I needed to like it. I also had trouble getting into Indigo Prophecy despite loving Heavy Rain. I'm in full agreement on both Dead Space and Mirror's Edge. 
@Teirdome: I will keep my eyes open for a trial. I'll also be looking for your review!
#5 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: Sounds like time for an upgrade, my friend! ;-) 
@Teirdome: I've seen you online playing Global Agenda quite a bit. What's it like? 
I can understand being turned off by The Witcher in the early game. Each of my other two attempts, I was swayed by some other game promising instant gratification. And, yes, the sex is oddly trivialized. I hadn't considered the stark contrast of the relative gravity of your other decisions. Good point!
#6 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@jams: Those big packs are always fantastic deals.
#7 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
Steam sales make me fall in love with PC gaming all over again. This most recent sale was no different. I acquired 21 new games, 17 of which were for myself. Steam has a way of making you feel like a real asshole by suggesting for each purchase that you could give it as a gift. I digress. 
I'm going to wrap-up the sale with a silly (and hopefully fun) list of awards. Enjoy and please add your own in the comments. 

Most fun indie game I discovered during the sale but otherwise has nothing to do with said sale: 


Desktop Dungeons

Derek Yu has a way of taking a simple concept and layering in cool unlockables and fun things to discover to really make it an experience to be savored. If you played Spelunky you know what I'm talking about. (If you haven't played Spelunky and own an Xbox 360, you will soon have an opportunity to experience it for yourself!) Desktop Dungeons is a roguelike mated with a puzzle game. In terms of appearances, it resembles a roguelike in nearly every way. You start with a top-down view of a a randomly generated dungeon. The only part of the dungeon you can see are the tiles immediately adjacent to your starting position. You proceed to uncover the remaining dungeon along with the loot and monsters therein. You must seek out monsters close to your level to avoid being killed and to advance in level so as to have a chance at killing the higher level monsters in the dungeon. Each dungeon has a boss monster--a level 10 baddie who must be killed to finish the dungeon. 
Late game in a dungeon 
Each dungeon is very compact--much moreso than a typical roguelike--which plays directly into the puzzle aspect of the game. Health and mana are restored as you uncover previously dark tiles of the dungeon. The player must carefully manage how much of the dungeon has been explored to allow for health regeneration in the late game. 
The player will also find spells throughout the dungeon. They come complete with clever names like lemmisi (let me see), the spell which reveals three random tiles in the dungeon. These will also play heavily into the strategy. The game employs some other elements as well which I will leave for you to discover. 
Games last about 15-20 minutes and most end with the death of the player character. Those which end in completion of the dungeon are rewarded with cool unlocks. The game is free and is a great way to burn a couple of minutes here and there or to cleanse the palate between more robust gaming sessions. 
Official homepage 

Most disappointed purchase (despite being incredibly cheap)  

The graphics are serviceable. The rest... not so much. 

Gothic 3 

There were several disappointments coming out of this sale. Most of them were daily deals and were picked up on impulse (the idea not the service ;). Among these, the most disappointing game was, by a nose, Gothic 3. The reason this was more disappointing than the two Painkiller games I bought or Flatout: Ultimate Carnage is that I believed Gothic 3 had a chance to be something. The reviews weren't all that bad. Also, it was born of a highly regarded PC RPG series. In the very recent past, I have become enamored with the PC RPG or, to be a bit more contemporary, the Western RPG. It is a genre I couldn't wrap my mind around for a long time due to being funneled through stories for many years by Japanese RPGs. The breadth of possibilities was paradoxically crippling! No more though. Now, I count this as possibly my favorite genre. I have gotten much fun and play out of Fallout 3, Oblivion, Dragon Age, another game to be named later, and others. Gothic 3 had that spark... in my mind, at least. I'll admit to playing very little of the actual game. The few minutes I tried were a terrible 3D fantasy beat 'em up. Click to swing until the enemy falls down. Repeat until all enemies are down. *Yawn* 

Former Steam purchase not made during this sale but re-discovered during it nonetheless  

 The Witcher does a great job capturing the desperation of the commoners.

The Witcher 

The Witcher and I have a tumultuous relationship. We've had two false starts which is usually enough for me to stop trying. However, I felt strongly there was still something there. Now, we are in the honeymoon phase. The only reason I can muster for my lack of interest previously is that I never actually made it through the opening part of the game. (Yes, I know I have a short attention span.) Once you get through the tutorials and the first mission, the game opens up and stops holding your hand. You are thrown into a much larger region with plenty of quests to complete, people to talk to, and things to discover. The rhythm-based combat isn't perfect, but it becomes more satisfying as you learn spells ("signs" in the game's parlance). I strongly prefer it to the combat of Dragon Age (which admittedly is not saying much). Character advancement is very rewarding, and the story is adult in a way that makes even Dragon Age seem a little silly. I'm at about 15 hours currently, and I can see The Witcher and I going the distance. 
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the bizarre card-collecting sex mini-game. 

Most pleasant surprise  

Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse  

This shouldn't be a surprise as Telltale is at the top of their game. The point-and-click adventure genre hasn't had it this good since the '80s. Everything I have purchased from them has been a delight, but this latest season of Sam and Max is even a cut above the fantastic games they've been turning out for years now. It has a level of cinematic polish that caught me off guard. It would be redundant to say a Sam and Max is funny, but this one is especially so. Despite my rabid Monkey Island fandom, this has trumped even Telltale's Tales of Monkey Island as my favorite adventure game. 

Most bizarre game purchased  

 Part of the game involves drawing symbols on the screen with your color. I have never done this successfully.

The Void 

All I know about The Void is contained in this alarmingly short paragraph. You are dead. You are collecting hearts which will convert the color (which you must also collect) into a kind of color you can use in the world to either kill things or bring them to life. Also, all the characters appear to be nude and may be at least partially anatomically correct. It's twice as creepy as all that makes it sound. Enjoy! 
Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me about the awesome, terrible, and/or bizarre games you picked up from the sale!
#8 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@Teirdome: You can't have a Steam sale without that last second waffling! 
@HitmanAgent47: They might surprise you. 
 @Downandout: My relationship with Steam is a love/hate one. On one hand, I wouldn't be able to acquire games so cheaply without it. On the other, I probably would never buy these games in the first place... and most likely wouldn't miss them.
#9 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -

I'm a little late with this, but there are still a few days of the sale left. 

Steam is currently having one of its periodic fire-sales. Hundreds of games on the PC digital distribution service are currently marked down to prices apparently set by Malfunctioning Eddie. Steam has sales every weekend, but these major sales take on a particular structure which lends itself to a strategy when deciding what to buy.

I start by making a list of games I want. Feel free to derive inspiration from my own list:

  • Painkiller
  • The Maw
  • Jolly Rover
  • Lead and Gold
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Saira
  • Overlord 2

Steam makes maintaining this list easy now with the Wishlist feature. Simply add all these games to your Steam Wishlist. Now, it may be a good idea to go through the sale listing and see if there are any games you missed. Here's the important (and most difficult) part of the strategy: restraint.

You'll be tempted to immediately blow your load on everything in your wish list that's on sale. In my case, that's Painkiller, The Maw, Lead and Gold, and Overlord. What you need to do is exploit the structure of the sale I mentioned previously. These sales consist of a number of games that are on sale for the duration of the sale along with daily deals. Often, the two overlap. What is on sale for the duration may go to a daily sale at some point. That's when you want to buy as these markdowns are even more dramatic than the regular sale. Keep your list nearby, and check the daily deals each day. Until today's sale goes up, Overlord 2 from my list is currently one of the daily specials. The game is currently $6.79. The entire Overlord series (including Overlord 2) is on sale for $4.50! I am buying it at that price. I will save the rest of my games until the last day of the sale (July 4th) or until they are a daily sale item, whichever comes first.

Using this method, you will get the most out of Steam's big sales. Nothing hurts more than buying a bunch of games as soon as the sale opens only to see them one-by-one come up as the daily deal for an additional 20% discount over what you paid.

Have fun, and be sure to save some money for the rent!

#10 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -

If I'm not mistaken, it has recently moved from indie games to XBLA proper.