Thursday, August 31, 2006

SF Minis

I think I have a basic framework idea for an easy table top war game. It came to me quickly, so I need to sort it all out. And write it down. Some times simply shining the light on an idea can make it go away.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wincon '06

The largest Wincon in years. Of course it's been sleeping for years as well, but I have to say I'm actually looking forward to taking a short break from PC gaming for a Saturday. I found (and said recently) that there is a human dynamic missing from online gaming. This will probably change a bit in the next couple of years as voice over IP becomes more feasible.

Some Zombies!!!, a bit of Bosworth, and I think I'll bring my stack of SimCity Cards. I need to spend an hour working on my tourney rules.

I miss RPG night...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I've been back in the land of Azeroth lately (well when not getting my butt shot off, that is). The new twist is I'm playing on a Player vs. Player server. What this means is the real bad guys (that would be other players who have alter egos who are in the faction which happens to be opposed to mine) can choose to seek out confrontations with alter egos from my faction in designated dangerous areas.

Previously to this I had been playing on a Player vs. Environment server. On these servers my character can only be attacked by the opposing faction if I choose to be in player vs. player mode. On this new server, entering the contested area flips the flag automatically. Fortunately going back to an aligned area flips it back after a set amount of time. That's all good, until you accidentally forget the flag is set, while standing at a goblin traveling sales man.

Yup. I got Samurai Jacked by an orc.

Monday, August 28, 2006


OK. R0x0rs. I think that's what I'm allowed to say. I do have a couple of minor complaints, standard version stuff, really. If you haven't at least tried the demo of Battlefield 2, and are remotely interested in first person tactical shooter games, do it. And you'll have a pretty good idea of the game play, which hasn't changed a whole lot.

The grim setting is pretty grey.

I'm evenly splitting my time between this beta and WoW, which still gets top bill after 2 years. World of Warcraft (in case you've been hiding under a rock), is not really the best computer role playing game ever. But, it is fairly consistently enjoyable. Which is better than many rpgs I've tried lately.

Still these two titans are going to have to make room. There's a whole schwack of Warhammer related games and expansions coming out soon. And I really hope fileplanet secures a beta of Supreme Commander.

Sleep really should be optional.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Two betas in one week! I just got a beta key confirmation on yet another game from FilePlanet. Best 5 bucks a month I spend.

No, I probably am not supposed to tell you what it is. Let's just say it is yet another sequel to a certain tactical shooter which is immensely popular. I have a feeling that I won't be disappointed by this one (as opposed to the one I got earlier this week).

In all fairness, I suppose I have a duty to bang on that other game for a bit. It is a beta test. The fact that the company didn't bother to include a report tool may indicate how much feed back they're expecting.

What? What picture of Battlefield 2142? The Game? No, that's not the game I have a beta key for.

Tee Hee.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

This other game

Ok, I have a thought if you're thinking about designing a massively multiplayer on line role playing game. Play World of Warcraft. About 25 hours of it, at least.

I have the honour of being in the beta for an MMORPG. I have not read the EULA or NDA, but I will go out on a limb and assume I can't tell you what it is or any details about it. It doesn't suck, in fact parts of it are well done. But a lot of it looks like somebody trying to re-invent the wheel.

Now, it is a beta so I am willing to let a fair bit slide. However, the bits I'm talking about are the core game, and not all that likely to change. It needs work.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Larry is a big, dumb, jerk.

I think I've got the wireless working (in spite of Windows XP). The crashing on playing of DVDs (or anything off of the DVD drive, really) may be related to bad USB drives, or Larry's bad USB. Hard to tell. I'm beginning to think this all really started about the time I installed the G15 keyboard.

Stupid Larry.

Summer Lanfest '06 was a hit. We played an uncountable amount of Battlefield - which r0x0rs with more than one person in the room. We played one round of Empire Earth, loosing side on me, thanks. At least they didn't give us gifts from the heavens. Well, it never got that far.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Beta Blog

Blogger has offered me a spot in the beta of the service, so if this spot starts to look like a mess, that's what happened.

So far - looks the same to me.

PSP: r0x0rs. I've been watching the mini-series for Battlestar Galactica. Then I'm going to transcode the episodes. Then season 3 should start. Sweet.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mr. Slacky

Jeeze. I would set a reminder in my google calendar, if I did not think I would ignore it.

Update 1: Quest for Bill.

At a time when finances have reached an all time low (how can tuition for pre-school be THAT much), I am on a quest to come up with financing for a trip to Valley Con. Why? Because William Shatner is going to be there. I have to be, too.

Some of you will remember that up until now, the high point of my fandom participation was meeting Mark Hamill , who was super cool (and, it turns out also a big sci-fi geek). But this is an order of magnitude more important.

And I'm broke. I don't know how one makes the kind of money required to not be broke, but I am beginning to suspect that legality is an issue...

Update 2: Lanfest fast approaches

The only down side here is that I'm down to four participants. That's not really bad, but I would prefer six or 8. Meh. Battlefield 2 is still going to roxor.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Game On!

David and I had an epic game of Empire Earth over the weekend (well Saturday, all day). It went an easy six hours. Massive game, to bad the AI is so poor. Really can't wait for Supreme Commander.

I also played through about 80% of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Perfect example of platform gameplay. The second time through, I can honestly say the only thing that holds this game back from being a best of show is the rotten camera, which seems to try to get in your way. I can't wait until my copy of Warrior within arrives for my PSP - I've been led to believe that the story is not as good for the sequel, but the gameplay holds up.

My next PSP investment really has to be an arcade anthology, I think. These kind of games should be very adaptable to the format of the PSP.

Just a little under 2 weeks to Summer LanFest '06. I can feel my itchy trigger finger...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Cranky Larry

Larry is now rebranded Cranky Larry. Spent most of my evening recovering from a bad driver install. Admittedly that was partially my own fault. I sloppily picked the wrong driver for me Ethernet card. But I shouldn't need to be reinstalling the thing.

About a month-ish ago my wireless stopped working. I do not think it is a coincidence that this was also about the time I last had to re-install secure remote (which hacks your network settings), which bombed.

Spent almost an hour frantically backing up data from the C partition (OS partition) to the D partition (where data should be). Then spent about 3 more recovering my network connections.

Windows. Grumble.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fidel finished?

Looks like it could be curtains for Castro. Hard to believe that the era will end. And if he is kaput, I think you want to take Cuba off your winter hot-spots list. As the most stable non-rational actor in the modern era, the power vacuum, I suspect, is going to be quite big. Probably civil war big. Well, as big as that could get on an island of Cuba's size, I suppose.

Keep an eye out. Of course 'Dubya' will take credit if he has moved on...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why RoShamBo isn't the only answer.

Lately I've noticed the following statement in a growing number of previews and reviews of current games (in this case by games we mean "Real Time Strategy Games" Don't get me started about that name.). "The combat follows the traditional Rock-Paper-Scissors formula, creating blah blah blah..." That's about enough of that.

So let me understand then. You've built your system based upon an artificial interaction of x is better than y is better than z is better than x. And I'm supposed to be excited by this? For how long then? Is that why you're spending so much time making it look good? So I'll be distracted when I realize all you've done is put a fancy GUI on a game play mechanic as old as the hills?

You know who you are.1

Hey Chris has a good idea. How about you create a simulation. Seeing as we're now building multi-processor rigs with the same juice as early super computers, how about the units having more axis' of definition than 'beats archers'. How about we make the real time tactical game depend on tactics. With the amount of beefy hardware available at bargain basement prices these days, why aren't you making the interactions between units more complex?

Things that are still mostly missing - variable sensing, multi role platforms, fuel, ammunition, morale, unit training, positional damage, variable accuracy, weather. We've seen a bit of some of these, limitedly, but how about all of them in one giant package? How about a damage system complex enough to allow for variance in ammunition type and quality.

Look it's not that rock-paper-scissors does not or can't work. It is that when we have the horse power to do so much more, I'm no longer satisfied with rolling a d6 to see who gets a higher result.

1. Actually you probably are not reading this, so you may not. Your loss, not mine.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


(Not Safe For Work?)

Ya, not so much. The good news is you're probably never going to see that here. The bad news is, that means you'll get bored and wander off. PSP

Where's the motivation anyways? If your looking for that kind of content, how did you end up here?


I'm going to try to get my posting rate up. I can tell my quality is going into the basement, though, so no promises. What's up with storage cubicles? If you don't need that stuff at your house, why keep it? It's like, I'm renting an apartment for my stuff that doesn't fit in my house.