@GozerTC: I know this comment is ridiculously late to the party, but have you played Galactic Civilizations II? It's like MoO2 and Civ4 had a baby and it is awesome.
SparroHawc's forum posts
@NoelVeiga: @NoelVeiga said:
If a market is left to be policed by the customers, then it's poorly regulated. If the copyright law can't cope with software, then it needs to get updated. It does just fine in film, tv, print and music, so it needs to be adapted to work in this space as well. There is nothing about games that doesn't support anti-plagiarism legislation. And if small devs can't afford the cost of defending their case in court, then that's the legal system's fault and it becomes a political issue at that point. It'd be regrettable if instead of lobbying for better gaming-based copyright we instead resorted to the fundamentally broken, draconian patent regulation instead.
I mean, it is possible for this market to adjust once people start becoming more aware of quality or creativity differences within it. It already happened once (remember "doom clones"?), but it would be a shame for us to make it through that process without coming up with some legal protection so that indie devs can defend their copyright without breaking the ability to build upon each other's ideas. Because the best way to ensure that nobody passes bad regulation is to pass good regulation first.
If copyright is extended to gameplay, it is going to spell the doom of innovation in games. Patents are already destroying the software and hardware industry thanks to submarine patent warehouses, and copyright is worse when it comes to lifespan (over 100 years and rising). You want to know why you almost never see minigames in loading screens? Namco has a patent for it, and no one wants to pay Namco to license that patent. Instead we get to sit through loading screens, twiddling our thumbs, despite including a little minigame to play during that time being an obvious invention in the mind of just about any gamer alive - and thus should be outside of patentability.
Plus, what will happen in situations like Desktop Dungeons when the clone is released before the original? Will we get cloners who catch wind of a new idea who then rush out to secure a patent/copyright on the gameplay concept before the independent, less-funded original developer has a chance to? (Answer: Of course we will, if there's even a slight chance it will be profitable.) Patents and copyrights overwhelmingly benefit large companies more than small ones, in no small part because of what it costs to hire a lawyer to deal with them. With enough money to throw around, everyone else just starts looking like a big, fat target. The game industry has been burned too many times to trust law-makers, and hey - the ESRB is a method of self-policing that works great. Why can't we find a way to solve our issues ourselves and leave the government out of it?
@umbaglo said:What's really fascinating about Enemy Unknown is how closely it hews to the design and pace of the original XCOM--a game made 18 years ago, by the way. And yet, looking at it up close, I found myself unable to really think up other recent examples of games like XCOM that exist on modern hardware.
Not even the UFO series (Aftermath, Aftershock, Afterlight)?
The UFO series are basically designed like they are someone's half-assed approximation of what X-COM is after watching an hour or so of UFO Defense. Also, they're kind of bad in their own right as well.
To clarify, the UFO series isn't turn-based, the aliens aren't really deadly, your bases aren't customizable, the environments are entirely static (no destructible terrain), and a lot of the depth of XCOM is missing from it. The original XCOM was terrifying from the outset; your first exposure to the game usually consisted of stepping outside of the troop transport and discovering that you are outgunned in the most painful way possible - getting shot to pieces by alien scum - and then slowly learning that you have to use varied tactics, use your squad as a team, and adapt to the aliens' abilities as you come across them if you want to survive.
The first UFO game's first few missions are against enemies that can only barely be considered 'armed'. You have to work at it to lose. There's no challenge, no risk/reward, no tension, and no fun. It consists of clicking on your unit, clicking on where you want them to go, then clicking on the monsters they see to shoot them. It's almost more MMO than tactical strategy. Even the pacing is awful.
I played a half hour of the first UFO game until I realized the first time I lost a soldier that I didn't care about them, I didn't care about the story, and the gameplay was too lackluster to hold my interest. I went back and played more XCOM: UFO Defense instead, and actually enjoyed myself. I could see the UFO series being okay on their own, but when compared to XCOM it simply didn't stack up. I haven't played a UFO game since then.
You can use grenades and rocket launchers. Explosions exist, even if they aren't drawn out very well.
Posting your chardump is optional.
So far I have one ascension as a rogue, and one as a barbarian (the barb ascension was vastly easier). Unfortunately they were both a while ago, so I can't remember any specifics. Except that my barb used the barbarian attire bonus for the last few levels, and boy did it come in handy.
On a whim I went looking for Jack Thompson stuff, and found out that just last month he made a statement against a bill that would restrict the placement of ads for M-rated games on public transportation. The reason? There's no way it would hold up in court. Of course, he does have some suggestions for how to change the bill to be more effective, but anything Jack does that even looks like it's in support of mature games bears a bit of WTF.
HitmanAgent47 has it right. The way lightguns work is focusing on a very small point on the screen - the NES Zapper dealt with it by checking to see if that spot was white, others most likely checked when the screen was refreshing and used that to determine where on the screen it was looking. Since flatscreens update the entire image at once instead of using scanlines, the lightguns we used to use won't do jack. The Wiimote is the closest thing we have to a lightgun, and it doesn't let you aim at the screen properly unless a game actually has a calibration setting. Even then it depends on you standing in exactly the same spot all the time. If you want a good lightgun game, you'll have to find an arcade, and that's getting harder to do as time marches on.
A lot of good, heavy hitting titles here.
Want something lighter-weight and lighter-hearted? Guards, Guards by Sir Terry Pratchett. Then read the whole Discworld series. It's like Douglas Adams with a fantasy setting and a plot you can follow.