Saturday, November 26, 2011

Limbo for $2.50 is today's Steam jam! Loved the demo but never bought the full game, so all over it.

So, Kingdom Builder after a few plays is pretty good. Didn't blow me away or anything, but I don't regret buying it. It might be a little too light-weight and/or abstract, but I still need to play it with more than 2 players. We tried it 4 or 5 times. Quick breakdown: you take turns putting down settlements on a hex map that's randomized every game (you connect 4 map pieces out of 8). The winner of the game is the person with the most VP, which is also randomized via 3 Kingdom cards (out of 10) that set the rules for each game. Example, score VP for building next to water, your longest group of settlements on a horizontal line, or the most settlements in a sector of the map. So each game is potentially pretty different. Lastly, each board section has a unique location to it, meaning every game there are 4 unique location tokens you can collect that give you an extra action on your turn, like "build an additional settlement on a grass tile" or "move any settlement 2 spaces in a straight line". So, on your turn, you turn over a terrain card that dictates where you must build 3 settlements (everyone has 40 settlement pieces), adjacent to you existing settlements if possible. There's 5 terrain types. So, pull the card, place your settlements, do any extra actions you've earned, then that's it. Game is quick because once someone depletes their supply, you play out everyone's last round then that's that. Some of the scoring conditions were pretty fun, but when it comes down to it, it really feels like a relative to "Through the Desert". More variable for sure, but still pretty close to that level of depth I think. I bet a lot of thought went into the design of the game, and how the maps fit together is pretty interesting, but since you can really only do so much in a turn, it doesn't feel very deep. It's quick though and I bet if you were playing with some competitive players, it could get interesting. In a 2-player situation, there's enough room to not really bother each other, so maybe we were missing out on some cutthroat aspects that exist in 3-4 player sessions. I'll bring it next meetup and if you get a chance in the meantime, def give it a play. Not bad by any means, but def not what you'd expect from the guy who created Dominion.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I've heard really good stuff about Risk Legacy, like its basically the best version of Risk yet. That'd be great if you grabbed it. I was a littled weirded out by the "permanently" marked up and changed stuff you do to the game, but I bet it'd be a blast. Don't we get to name cities too? Can't wait to see what gems come up.

Bought Kingdom Builder today, the new game from the Dominiom creator. Gonna try it in a few hours. Looks fun and fairly light, so Ill post my thoughts later.
Has anyone heard about Risk: Legacy? It just came out, and it's a very intriguing idea. I think I'll pick up an Action Team copy over the holidays.

The basic engine is a simple wargame similar to Risk (rewired to take 1-2 hours to play, instead of infinity). The twist of the game is that cards, actions, and game outcomes can permanently modify aspects of the game including the board, card mixes, and faction/unit abilities.

For example, the first thing you do in the game is pick a modifier for the faction you picked. This gives the faction something like an extra unit/turn, an extra die, etc. This modifier is a permanent sticker so it doesn't just apply to your game, but anyone who ever plays that faction in the future. Similarly events will place cities on the board. Whoever plays them, physically stickers and labels the board with the new terrain, and names the city. Provinces can be destroyed or modified. Cards and components removed from the game are physically destroyed.

After playing enough games (20 or so I think) you run out of changes, and then you've got a uniquely customized version of the game. Sounds fun!

Some good stuff on Steam today! The new Deus Ex for $25 and Space Marine for $33.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Had an epic t-day. Didn't overdo it this time although I'm draggin my feet for sure.

Arkam City is badass! Best intro to a Batman game.

Gonna go kill rampage through Battlefield, shotgunning fools in the face. That's what I'm thankful for :)

| Oh my god, I thought I was going to puke for a minute there..

Ate 2 whole plates LIKE A BOSS. Had a giant pressure buildup.. wasn't sure if it was going to come out clean natural gas or black gold. Thankfully I didn't puke all over the place. If you had asked me before hand, I would have put it 50/50 at best.

Brined turkeh and all the fixins!

| All fixed!

OK, did some rewiring and cleanup and the house should be all fixed up!

Today's Steam deals didn't seem that great -- New Vegas for five bucks (tempting), everything else is kind of a pass.
Same to you! We're loning it this Thanksgiving, which is a first for us. (Maybe one other year.) Just too busy with the baby and the long trip to where all of our friends are! I'm looking forward to a chill day, though. I ended up ordering a turkey and fixin's from Mimi's Cafe. We'll see how it is... it was a pretty staggering amount of food for eighty bucks. Should have leftovers for sure. I did make my signature Jell-O salad (with secret ingredient) however. The wife is hooked on that stuff.

New Steam sale items come up in an hour! I decided to pass on Orcs Must Die. I played the XBLA demo and it seemed fun, but not something I'd play for more than another hour or two.

I loved those Abe games back in the day. Oddyssey came out in my second or third year of college and I played the crap out of it. Way better than going to class, hanging out with girls etc.
Have a great Thanksgiving guys!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

| Batman Arkham City - $1

Onlive has a sale right now. First game you buy is $1. ONE DOLLAR! Your choices include Batman Arkham City. I got that shit! Do the free trial first and see if youre happy with how it runs. Runs fine with my internet and looks good. It would look better if it wasn't streaming, sure, but it actually is totally passable and plays great. ONE DOLLA! They also have stuff like Deus Ex, Saints Row 3, La Noire, and some other new games.
Ugh, didn't even know the sale started today. Orcs Must Die was really fun from the demo, so might get that. Edit: Got it! It's really fun, and 75% off makes it $3.74. It's a weird action/tower defense with a total WoW look and humor. Already had the oddworld box, man those games are hard.

| Falling in MY lava... sheesh!

Don't feel bad you missed it! It would've sucked balls!

I think you're the ONLY one who will get to see the whole, functioning experience.

Thanks for the headsup! I do want to play F:NV... although I have a backlog of games and the Steam holiday sales are about to start up... maybe I'll hold off a bit?

Edit: I see the sales have begun! Ooh, you can get all the Oddworld games for 3.75. I never played Stranger's Wrath and supposedly they're putting out an HD upgrade which owners of the original get, so... click!
Dear Jon,

Best Buy has Fallout New Vegas for PS3 for $8 bucks with free shipping:

I don't know if you already got it, but you like PS3 jams, so get it.

Yeah, jr0n was pretty pissed. Ooops. I even took a screen shot of him scolding me.

Also, eLzar has been working out lately...

Wish I would have checked it out before Enron broke it all! I bought some more RAM and now I can magically play Battlefield 3 with maxed graphics and it never crashes. Thank god it didn't work this well when it came out or I would have never left my room. But I promise to go back into Minecraft when you fix your place up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

| Well, never mind!

Well, Enron had some fun adventures checking out my place:

1. Died in some lava, in a place where I didn't really think it was possible to do so (note to self: add more safety glass)
2. Found an issue that meant Room 3 didn't happen at all (note to self: time for some substantial rewiring)
3. Had a creeper blow up right outside the front door.

Sorry man! Next time will be better!

Meantime, I've got the place closed for renovations... stay tuned!

There are now roads connecting everyone's houses, courtesy of the L-Rock Public Works Division.. including signposts with names / arrows!

I forget where everything is in relation to spawn, but I think Eric's place is closest (the beach house). North of him is the Burning Man monument. Hang a right after that to go to Jon's place, or go straight ahead to Pump Palace. From there, you can head off to the left (west) to Aaron's Imporium of AAAAAAAAAAARON or you can head out farther Northwest to my place (ShopVac).

There's also roads to two of the NPC Villages (one north, one south). Other than that, it's a big wide open world.
It's crazy how PC games are making the creep to $60 bucks, but it's been happening. I think the last Call of Duty was $60, and obviously the new one is as well. Skyrim will most likely go on some kind of sale during the holidays, so I'll probably wait for that. No rush on janky Bethesda gaming, although it looks pretty sweet.

On the way cheaper end of the gaming spectrum, I've been playing a point-n-click adventure on Steam called Gemini Rue. It's great! It's totally got a vibe along the lines of "The Dig" crossed with Blade Runner. Also has that look from the Sierra/Lucasfilm heyday. I'm loving it. I think it's $10 bucks on Steam, but I've got a couple copies for non-Steam copies if anyone is interested. Email me and I'll shoot you a link. It was a part of one of those indie game bundles, so I've only used the Steam version.

Cave Story+ just came out today, and I will probably pick that up soon. The free version was amazing, and the new "HD graphics" are amazing. Super fun platform/adventure game.

I've got a bunch of other game codes in fact I've gotten from those indie bundles, so I'll give them out next online meetup (there's some incentive)!

You're Minecraft house looks sweet! I will have to check it out soon - did you give the cords? If not, please do, because I don't really no where anyone's stuff is - I don't remember where I wandered off to.

| Wiring! Room 1 (spoilers)

Dunno if all you guys have had a chance to poke around with the little mini-dungeon I set up (I think everyone but Rude saw the first and the functionally complete second area?). If you haven't, check it out, it takes like five minutes to go through the whole thing. Anyway I thought I'd put down a few notes on how it works since I know most of you haven't played with redstone too much and maybe you can get inspired to do way cooler (certainly cooler looking) stuff than I've done. Also it's fun for me to think through this stuff myself and how I did certain things in ways that turned out to be stupid and inefficient or (accidentally) sort of clever. Today I'll do the doorbell itself.

I thought about a few ways to make the doorbell ring and then dump the user into the basement. I spent a bunch of time wiring up a completely different method based on regular pistons and then realized that sticky pistons would be a lot easier. I could stick wood to the pistons, extend them, then retract them when the user pushes the button. It also took me a while to figure out the exact best way to wire the pistons. Especially in Beta 1.8 pistons were/are a little wonky and the positioning of the wiring takes a little experimentation.

This picture is directly behind the entry. The wire runs out from near the doorbell, then runs through a series of note blocks with repeaters in between them. The repeaters are important for three reasons. First, current will only travel so far (15 blocks or something) and you need a repeater in there to extend the range. Secondly they let you introduce a delay so that you can space out the notes. (I still think the notes don't sound quite right -- it's the Pirate LeChuck's theme from Monkey Island -- but eh, good enough.) Third, current can only move in one direction (from the back of the repeater to the front).

So the current travels through the seven note blocks/repeaters. Then it hits the sticky pistons. The pistons have wood blocks attached to them (which they push/pull with them).

In their normal state, the pistons are extended, so that the attached blocks are under the entryway, because they are connected to a redstone torch. A redstone torch will power anything connected to it perpetually, unless it receives power from behind (also known as a NOT gate). A wire directly into a block then into a redstone torch is how you create a NOT gate in Minecraft.

The picture above shows what the pistons are like when extended. I chopped the central wood block out for the picture.

So this is the exact order of events:

1. User stands in the entry, which means they are on the wood blocks that are connected to the extended sticky pistons.
2. User pushes button.
3. Current passes sequentially through note blocks, with the notes spaced out because they are separated by repeaters.
4. Current hits the NOT gate which de-powers the redstone torch and all the sticky pistons attached to it.
5. The sticky pistons retract, pulling the wood blocks out from under the user, dumping them into the basement.

I hope I've done Grimtooth proud!
Haven't played either of those games. You're leading the charge, dude!

I did ask a couple of the games group guys about Kingsburg and they weren't super sold on it as a gateway game. I guess it's on the long side? But who knows.

Nice post Pump! I like the top comment (right now) about how the people in the video just won't shut up.

Edit: Oh man, the new Serious Sam came out? I'm tempted.
Edit 2: Skyrim is $59.99 on Steam? WTF man. That shit might fly on consoles but not for PC.
Cthulhu stirs and calls forth his minions. You have been warned.


| further up this rabbit's hole

So, let me throw out some more board games that have caught my eye. Wanna know if any of yous have tried them. These are well reviewed games that SEEM right up my alley for casual-friendly games.

Kingsburg? See lots of raves for it being a great gateway game - I guess it came out right before Stone Age, which gets thrown around as one of the penultimate gateway games. (I totally think penultimate is wrong because it means "next to last", but that word is rad and popped into my head, so it's staying.) Anyways, I've only vaguely heard of Kingsburg but reading reviews and peeping it's game, it looks pretty rad! Anyone try it? Is it quick/fun/rad/wack?

Oh, another game that I think is super new so I don't expect anyone to have played it yet, but looks cool is Mondo! Horrible name! But check out the video explanation on there. It almost looks like a lighter version of the ship building part of Galaxy Trucker! You build worlds not Galactic Trucks. I dunno, looks fun.

| Ding-dong!

OK, I finished prettying up/tweaking the place and now my "doorbell" is all ready for you guys to check out! Thanks Art and Pump for doing some QA on it. :)

You will need to check one thing beforehand. Run over to the really ugly tower next to my house and check the window with the sign on it to see whether you need to throw some gravel in there (it should be pretty obvious from the instructions).

After that, mosey on up to the front door, let yourself into the foyer, and ring the doorbell! No mining blocks or anything after that, but buttons are safe to push.

Probably not gonna be fatal, but you might not want to go in with, like, all your diamonds or anything.

To exit my place, use the iron door in the corner, there's a hard-to-see button next to it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I got a little distracted while making these two, so these are the burnt ones I was disposing of as the chef's penalty for losing concentration, lol.

But yeah, they were pretty yummy.

In other news.. I think I know what it's like to be on mind-altering substances after Haylee loaded up the Willy Wonka texture pack for Minecraft. Everything is either chocolate or candy.. it's complete madness, lol.