renegadefolkhero: o (cullen o face)
[personal profile] renegadefolkhero
Yeap.

I've had a lot of restless energy lately and I've decided why fight it, and I've been raiding my Humble stash, but nothing really beats a nice new shiny game you didn't own yesterday, amirite? I self-medicate with games, as should we all.

So I've been eyeballing Niche, a niche genetics survival game that just came out to overwhelmingly positive review. I wasn't convinced it was my thing. (I think it might be your thing, which is why I mention it here.)

I am very satisfied with the reviews of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider but the Dishonored world is not what I need right now.

So I wait for the Steam weekend stuff to roll over and I'm clicking and what do I spy with my little eye... but SteamWorld Dig 2. You know that feeling when you love something, and then suddenly there's more when you were least expecting it? I'm pretty sure I have an extra key to SteamWorld Dig, if anyone wants it.

Have I discussed my little mining problem?

ok so I have a little mining problem. I like to dig. Anywhere. Any circumstances. Dig Dug was one of the first games I played and I loved it, so maybe that's why, but I don't care to overthink this stuff. So a game where the entire point is digging is just the best. I know some of you can't relate, it's ok. We're all God's children, unique in our own special ways.

Edit: SteamWorld Dig is currently free on Origin.

Let me explain you a thing

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:49 am
kjorteo: Scan from an old Super Mario Bros. comic,, of King Koopa explaining something to his son with an 8U facial expression. (Koopa: 8U)
[personal profile] kjorteo
Those who know me know I, uh, kind of have a problem with overexplaining things. It's just something I enjoy doing, and the impulse is very hard to control. You may have noticed my SoulSilver LP is on track to be like eight hundred thousand words or more by the time it finishes, and probably at least some of that is due to occasional "For those of you who have never played a Pokemon game before, you throw a ball and there's a certain percent chance depending on...." asides. But trust me, I promise you, what you're seeing now was after I went back and cut out as many of those as I could stand before it became almost physically painful to cut anymore. You should have seen the rough draft.

That being said, last night I had a dream where I was on a team-based game show that looked like some sort of Knightmare/Crystal Maze/Laser tag crossover; teams put on special vests, entered the maze, and then presumably stuff happened. I'd apparently seen this show zillions of times before and knew the procedure by heart, but for whatever reason, our team getting our usual orientation like we were supopsed to. I kind of had to take over that role instead, and the rest of the dream devolved into, "Guys, I know no one said anything but we're actually supposed to all file into this room first to get the mission briefing before we start. It's like an out of the way broom closet I know but the secret door is right here. Guys, no. Guys, you can't enter the main hall yet, you don't even have your VESTS. GUYS."

I'm pretty sure that dreams like this are a sign that the problem is more serious than I thought.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
I believe the ancient words of invocation are: "Forgive me, I'm back on my bullshit again."

Okay so... There's a handful of reasons why I'm playing Elder Scrolls Online instead of hopping straight to another single player game. In the interests of appeasing that voice in the back of my mind that's been going "You should actually do things that mean progress instead of playing an MMO!", I've decided to lay them out.

To start with, I own the thing. A while back I picked up the "Gold" collection for $20, which included the base game and four of the DLC extra areas, relating to the Thieves' Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Orsinium (Orc-yland) and Imperial City (which is a PVP-y zone I think).

It's a good thing I did, because my current character, the Argonian/lizardlady "Mottlescale" is going heavy on the thieving and is hanging around the orcish homeland doing their quests to help them rebuild their ancestral city and get a new king on the throne. ... Well, really I've mosly been romping all over their part of the continent and doing whatever catches my eye.

A couple of years back that wouldn't have been possible. ESO is in a really good place right now as far as solo content goes, because the list of solo content right now includes everything except certain group-forced dungeons/raids/PVP, and the level range you can do these things at is "Whatever, just show up". A bit ago they rolled out the "One Tamriel" update that basically means you can fuck off into the wilderness and do whatever you want instead of riding the zone-by-zone quest express.

This is both great and kind of nerve-wracking to me, because I usually rely on the zone-by-zone express to know that I'm doing the right things at the right time and not missing anything. It feels very odd to admit that I've been craving feedback to know that I'm not messing everything up with my character and gear and whatnot. It's also been nice because I can hyperfocus on this one zone and doing everything in it, and the game's just like "Okay, all of it scales to you, have fun."

There ARE exceptions. I wandered into something called a "Public Dungeon" once and got pasted by a solid wall of enemies (maybe if I were AoE-built I could've handled that?) and I learned swiftly that the skull-and-crossbones map marker means "World Boss, tuned for like three dozen people, do not go say hello".

For the most part, though... exploring around lazily at my own pace has been pretty great, and it doesn't require any other people involved. It feels less like an MMO and more like a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game, and I guess if I wanted to hop into a dungeon I could... but I still don't understand my character's build so why would I? I'm doing all right by myself, and I kind of want to make a catperson alt to try out being a Sorcerer. Oh, and I need the cat to make furniture for the house I'm gonna get in Morrowind.

Because I'm gonna buy the Morrowind expansion.

Because I am firmly back on this bullshit again.

Forgive me.

Airport game 3

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:19 pm
dreadlordmrson: The eye of Shinigami. (Default)
[personal profile] dreadlordmrson
Okay, shall we try this again?

And maybe for once not lose my damn place before I even find a major town that might have an airport?

First, some things:

1. I learned how to shrink the images using HTML so I don't have to go fuss with Photoshop! Sadly, the images aren't really shrunk, so they're just as rough on the bandwidth, but at least they're not stretching the page any more.

2. I've been forgetting to link to the site I play this on! Here: MapCrunch. Just set your options to "stealth" and "all" before pressing "Go!".

And then there was... road. )

Read the second one first.

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:32 am
atomdrache: Likeshine drew the good part.  I made the awful background. (Default)
[personal profile] atomdrache

Hey ArtSnacker,

You may see the statement "This product contains cadmium" on both A and B tubes. Don't let this fool you! Regular cadmium paint tubes require this warning sentence (US only). We can assure you that one of these tubes is definitely cad-free.

The Liquitex Team



There's a little pamphlet in the box which explains what they're doing: For two colors, they are providing one tube each of their regular cadmium-pigmented acrylic and their new formula which does not use cadmium. If you read that first, then it makes sense and is perfectly un-alarming: They are challenging artists to compare them and try to guess which one is which.

Separately, however, they also added in a little card with the above text on it--to reassure me, I suppose--and if you read that first it looks instead like they just have no idea what they did with their cadmium and it comes off kind of scary if you haven't dug deep enough to find the pamphlet yet. A friend remarked that, really, they should have just put the contents of that card at the end of the pamphlet.

Airport game 2 - p1

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:36 pm
dreadlordmrson: The eye of Shinigami. (Default)
[personal profile] dreadlordmrson
Okay, remember me saying how the end of a rail line meant I was in the middle of nowhere?

Large image )

Airport game 1

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:30 pm
dreadlordmrson: The eye of Shinigami. (Default)
[personal profile] dreadlordmrson
Me: "Oh, I'll definitely start reading Kjorteo's Pokémon LP soon. Definitely before I have anything more to post to Dreamwidth. Where they talk to me. And will see me continuing to not read their LP. Like a chump. Like a bad friend."

Also me: "Hey how about playing one of those games where you pull up a map site, get dumped in a random location, and try to find an airport?"

Me: "Surely this is a great idea and I am the best at decision-making!"

So, I decided to share my adventure with you in screenshot form. Warning: Lots of images. )
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
Remember when I bought a big disc of a buncha Kirby games? I needed something fluffy after Nier Automata, so that came out and I started playing.

Kirby's Dream Land, being a Game Boy game, takes about an hour start to finish. It's pretty good though. There's a lot of personality (Kirby totally derailed my train of thought when I paused and he started doing stretches while the rest of the game was frozen), it's just a fun and gentle game.

I unlocked an "Extra Mode" by beating it but I dunno if I'm gonna do that. I already had a tough time against King Dedede, or King Desmond Difficultyspike Duck as I refer to him.

Mostly it's weird seeing all the pieces of what I know comes together. This enemy uses a beam attack, but you can't copy it yet. That's not gonna happen for a few years. Come back later.

My only problem is that now that I've beaten the game, when I try to access it again from the Dream Collection menu, it's stuck on the ending screen that tells you how to open Extra Mode. Uhm.

...hopefully I'll work that out in the future.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
It is of course a well-known fact that if you establish a residence near an existing cartoon, there's the exciting chance of being allowed to guest-cameo on said 'toon and perhaps eventually get a spinoff show of your own. This is why Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Taz-Mania had so many characters: Taz alone had at least a dozen close neighbors in proximity and guests kept cropping up.

I was therefore on a boat, sailing down a string of islands looking for a house to call my own that bordered tight on an existing 'toon. Except Cartoon Network had been through, so all of the good locations had already been taken, used, and canceled. Which was really irritating, because I'd swing the boat towards a nice looking place and oops no wait that's where Sheep in the Big City lives, they're in retirement and nobody's gonna produce a cartoon on top of that anymore.

No particular ending to that dream, it sort of dissolved into a mess of "Hey, remember the Kung Fu Creatures gag from Garfield and Friends?" and ... then I woke up, because leg cramp.

Wonder where all the new cartoons live. Maybe there's a Netflix Apartments I should try to sneak into, next dream.

Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:07 am
renegadefolkhero: Demon Saito (demon-saito)
[personal profile] renegadefolkhero
I have a two-step process to confirm if Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome is the right otome for you.

First, I must inform you the game contains body negativity and name-calling. The heroine is called sow, pig, etc., as Saito tries to goad her into dieting. He also calls her a bitch a few times. She refers to herself as "slant-eyed" on multiple occasions. If you can tolerate this, go to the next step.

Now, I will need you to view the image under the cut. Please be advised this image may be disturbing to more sensitive viewers.

Read more... )

Still game? Okay, let's get to it. FLML is best described as an irreverent parody that occasionally breaks the fourth wall. It has two main routes and a third unlockable 3P route. The heroine, Ema, is a tall recluse who wants to eat pizza and be left alone, but when she crosses paths with two handsome guys, one who claims she is his "muse" and is obsessed with designing clothes for her, and another who demands that she let him be her producer, she can't get a moment of peace. They won't leave her alone until she agrees to be their model, and then the real torture starts as they whip her into shape and force her to wear embarrassing clothing.

Read more... )
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
Code: Realize ~ Guardian of Rebirth is one of those sprawling multiple-route otome ("man-dating") visual novels. They gave this one away for the Vita on Playstation Plus (uhm-?) months ago and I was playing it quite avidly ... sometime in January? I remember it was before we moved to this current apartment...

VNs live and die based on their characterizations and storylines, and... this one is pretty strong. It helped a lot that instead of a sort of "Your Character Here" main character, we got Cardia. Cardia is a girl who lives alone in a run-down mansion because she is literally straight-up acidic poison to anyone she touches. Like her actual touch melts through metal kind of acid.

For the first chapter or two she's rather passive and moody, but around Chapter 3 (of 13 per route) she gets a change of outfits and she starts actively participating in things.

From there she goes straight-up action heroine in a couple of routes. Lock Cardia in a room and leave her unattended? She'll melt off the lock and kick the door down. Door is treated alchemically to be unmeltable? She's learned to lockpick from Arsene Lupin. Turn your back on her? She knows kung-fu. She can co-pilot an airship and she's never really treated like the group's waif. Everyone treats her like the person she wants to be, instead of the monster she thinks herself to be.

I found Cardia deeply refreshing and she's maybe my favorite character in this thing, which is great because no matter which guy's route she was on I was cheering for her happiness, instead of thinking "Man I wish I was on that other dude's route, he was so much better".

There was a little of that though. 8 of those chapters are identical aside from the "Today I want to go with (GUY YOU ARE PURSUING)"/"I think (GUY YOU ARE PURSUING) has the best suggestion" forks, so you get a long common route to introduce and set up everyone and then it goes into personal stories.

Uh, let's meet our lineup.

ARSINE LUPIN - Gentleman thief, the first guy to be introduced and the last one to unlock a proper plotline. Lupin's route is tough because it has to be a strong canonical ending AND resolve every loose plot thread involving Lupin AND resolve all Cardia's business AND because it's the final route unlocked it has to deal with the shit that came up in everyone ELSE'S route, so there is SURPRISINGLY little time for actual LUPIN in the Lupin route, so the WEIRD thing is that Lupin on this route path actually feels like he has less personality than he does on OTHER PEOPLE'S. I cannot account for that. Whatever. Lupin is all bluster and pride and thiefly ways.

IMPEY BARBICANE - Engineer of hearts and also steamships, ornithopters, secret weapons, you name it he can build it. Impey is Lupin's partner and an incurable romantic who swoons over Cardia at first sight and spends the rest of the VN either A: flirting with her desperately, B: being the butt of everyone else's jokes, or... interestingly, C: once you're locked into other people's routes and it's clear he has no chance with you Impey pivots and becomes the loudest possible cheerleader for Cardia and her chosen. His route is all about Jules Verne SUPERSCIENCE and AIRSHIPS and CHASING YOUR DREAMS and MAKING FUN of CAPTAIN NEMO. He's the light and fluffy character and probably my favorite of the entire crew. I like Impey.

ABRAHAM VAN HELSING - The guy who wears little glasses and goes "Hmf." a lot and is scary-ass prepared in combat. Hero of the Vampire Wars, wields twin shotguns, is basically a weapon in human form. It's hard to warm up to Van Helsing because he does not warm up to anyone else, but there are hints he cares. I think one of his unlockable CG illustrations is just him doing a tiny-ass little smile. His route is all about his PTSD over vampire genocide and also about stopping Jack the Ripper and other serial killers from terrorizing Steampunk London, so hey if you like lots of blood BOY HOWDY we got a route for you.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN - Yeah I know, but this one's just an Alchemist. No giant corpse-men in sight. Frankenstein is the shy dude with a soft voice and a soft touch and a DARK SECRET IN HIS PAST and yeah that's an archetype. He is probably my second favorite character in this thing. His route is about his DARK SECRET PAST and also about Queen Victoria going completely bugnuts and trying to start a megawar for British expansion. As one does.

SAINT GERMAINE - nnnnnhhhhh I just did not like this dude that much. He's the "always has his eyes closed, always has a little smile, is fake as hell" archetype and when his secrets start spilling out they just DERAIL this plot into a spiral of "What the hell. Really. What the hell. Why. Really?" ... so I can't say anything about his route because it's just... so many miles out into left field that it makes this sound like a TOTALLY DIFFERENT DAMN GAME. And Lupin's route cements that yeah all of that is canon so ... nnhhhhhh I dunno whatever.

ANYWAY I really got into this one even if it did take me the better part of the year to complete. Distractions and all, y'know. I realize all that crap up there doesn't make a lick of sense without the game, but I'm half-asleep and have been plinking at this all night so ... butt noises whatever I'm done writing.

Good VN. Had fun.

[EDIT] - Oh right also this is getting an anime adaptation this October! I hear otome VN anime adaptations are kind of ass most of the time, because A: It's hard to compress five routes into 12 episodes and B: in a visual novel your heroine can stand at a window and monologue to herself in 69,105 lines of text about her situation but in an anime you have to trim that down to her eyes half-closing as she says "I wonder..." and then smashcut to end credits.

But there is the chance we will see an animated version of the Van Helsing Cannon.

So it may not be any good but I'm gonna watch it anyway.

Brogue

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:59 pm
renegadefolkhero: @ (at)
[personal profile] renegadefolkhero
I've become moderately obsessed with Brogue. I wasn't sure if I'd take to ASCII roguelikes, they seemed a bit impenetrable. I can happily report Brogue is a great starting point. It's an item-driven roguelike wherein you (@) are trapped on the first level of a dungeon and must descend to the 26th floor and obtain the Amulet of Yendor to escape. There is no character build or lore to learn, you just go.

Within a few minutes I was totally engaged. Short, evocative descriptions set the scene nicely and the game's symbols quickly become familiar. Each playthrough the potions and scrolls are named differently (in one PT a red potion might give strength and another the red potion makes you invisible) so while there is some cumulative knowledge from trial and error there is also a lot of, "Okay, stand back, I'm going to drink this and see what happens." You can sneak up on enemies and stab them in their sleep, or hide in a corridor and wait for a wandering enemy to pass and get in a surprise hit. You learn tricks, like the surest way to beat a Jelly (fucking jellies) is to back into a tight space so they can't spawn behind you. You can recruit allies or go alone. There is no one way to play. I just learned you can even succumb to demonic temptation (enable easy mode).

Typographic symbols are naturally beautiful and Brogue enhances its ASCII with creative and pretty effects, from blazing fire to the pastel haze of confusion. Toads, when touched, may cause you to hallucinate, and everything in the dungeon ceaselessly changes form until the effects wear off. There is a tileset version of the game (right screenshot), but I started with the ASCII version and I find it easier on the eyes and more appealing overall.

In his overview of roguelikes, Waltorious notes that these games generate memorable stories, and user-generated stories are the strength of the medium. I remember that time I was backed in a corner, surrounded by jackals, desperately chugging all my unlabeled potions, and just happened to drink a potion of descent, which whisked me to safety. I remember the time I decided to burn a wooden door with a fire staff I'd just found and seriously underestimated how powerful it was, engulfing the entire room in flames. In some ways, this type of player-driven story feels more personal than big cinematic story-based games because so much of this story relies on my imagination, how I've come to perceive the dungeon and its inhabitants. I think this is a game I'll be playing off and on for a long time.

Recordkeeping: Nier Automata COMPLETE

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:24 pm
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
If I talk too much about Nier Automata, I will inevitably convulse violently and let out a stream of raw emotions peppered with giant-ass spoilers. It is a difficult game to talk about, but it's a difficult game NOT to talk about.

So...

Nier, the original, may be what I consider the strongest game ever made. Not the best or most fun or anything like that, although it DOES have one of the best soundtracks in gaming. I mean it overwhelmed me with emotions and feelings and all kinds of things. It is the 'most game' in my personal history. The gamest.

Nier Automata is not better than Nier, or stronger, or more fun. It is different in many ways and similar in many ways, and by the time I was up to the second ending I liked Nier more, and by the time I was finishing ending E I was in big blanketing sheets of tears and my hands were shaking and I was just so intensely, powerfully grateful that I live in a time when games like this are being made.

I don't know if I will ever play it again, but it affected me deeply and will stay in my memories a long, long time. In this it is like the game that came before it.

It is something very special.

I hope they keep giving Yoko Taro work.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:48 am
dreadlordmrson: The eye of Shinigami. (Default)
[personal profile] dreadlordmrson
Nature of Nature’s Art is the singularly most obtuse "actually telling real stories and not just random nonsense” webcomic I try to read.

Normally I tend to shun “artsy” hard-to-crack things. They feel like trying to pick 13 locks in a row only to find out the safe is empty.

But I can see something in NoNA! It’s there, it’s just so difficult to access. It’s more like trying to figure out the lifestyle of a creature who’s fossil you’re busy chipping out out of the rock.

And often it doesn’t even feel like the artist is intentionally trying to obscure the meaning. I tried looking at their BIO to see if they were from another country. Maybe a differing cultural perspective would explain it? But it didn’t say, and honestly I’m not sure even that would make so much of a translation problem between their brain and mine. I think them and I just think so sideways to each other it’s hard to rotate my perspective around to get a glimpse at whatever angle they’re working from.

Every time I go back for another try, I leave not knowing what to think.
swordianmaster: daxter peering from bottom right. is it safe? (Is it safe?)
[personal profile] swordianmaster
After Undertale got big, a whole bunch of games came out where a central conceit was the ability to confront your adversaries in non-violent ways. It became a trend-bubble in gaming for a little while, though it's still up to minor debate as to if it made a lasting impact or if it was just a flash in the pan.

Thing is, very few games went further with it than "do a violence" vs "don't do a violence". They gave you skill checks to avoid conflict (West of Loathing, Bioware games), or made it purely dialogue-based. Or they were things where "oh, the things you're up against aren't actually bad and just want to give you milk and cookies".

This is a lot of words to say that Renowned Explorers is the very first game I've played, maybe ever, where nonviolence is a tactical decision instead of a moral one.

Taking inspiration from the 19th century explorers of the British Empire (and the pulp fiction based off of such), Renowned Explorers is kind of like a mix of a 4X game and a standard turn-based strategy game, where you explore regions one node at a time with limited resources (there's that FTL similarity again, I don't know what to call that genre in particular), but conflicts are played out like a normal TBS.

Thing is, each of the characters you can choose in your team of three has one or more of three kinds of attacks: Aggression (aka actual violent stuff), Deceit (taunting, emotional abuse, etc) and Friendship (encouragement, compliments, ego fluffing). These three types interact constantly, and set a kind of field effect to the battle based on the tone of the fight, and one sort of action will always have the upper hand over another - violence always bowls over peace, but gets worn down and misled by trickery, which is no match for encouragement. The way your team and your opponents are both "feeling" work together to create the Mood. In other words, if both sides are boasting the powers of friendship, they're both vulnerable to sudden backstabs, whereas if one side is violent to a still-peaceful opponent, they'll have a bonus that makes them harder to subdue, that sort of thing. It's surprisingly intricate for a game where you can offer a peace treaty to a monkey.

I mean, I don't really know what to say about it that isn't oddly detached "reviewer-ese" or just me saying "hey this game is good and if you like TBS stuff maybe give it a try", but when I say that, keep in mind to take it with a slight bit of caution - the difficulty curve gets pretty sharp near the end, and the main story mode has permadeath, in a game that takes maybe 4-6 hours to push through if you're working at a brisk pace. It can be frustrating to lose progress like that, and lives (or "Resolve", as it's called in-game) are hard to get more of in the span of the game. You lose one every time one of your characters is KO'd or disheartened, and can lose them for failing particularly harsh random events, too, so it's kind of rough.

Definitely a game you could put the time into to learn how to master, though.

Wayward & Early Access

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:42 am
renegadefolkhero: hyper light drifter (Default)
[personal profile] renegadefolkhero
Well, I broke my no early access rule recently so I could be distracted by Wayward, a survival rougelike. You can play a free version in the browser. I wanted a new survival thing and I read it had a steeper learning curve than Terraria.

In Wayward you are a castaway who washes up on a randomized turn-based island with randomized tools who has no memory except... treasure. The game's difficulty is controlled by a malignancy/benignity point system. Destructive actions like mining, chopping down trees, and hunting peaceful animals earns malignancy (negative) points, nurturing actions like farming and foraging give benignity (positive) points. The island is kinder to those with positive scores, but if the number drops into the negative the island becomes increasingly angry and more powerful enemies (and ultimately bosses) spawn. It's an interesting system that gives the player control of the difficulty level. There is a default hardcore permadeath option and a casual option with endless lives. You are awarded certain permanent bonuses when you pass milestones (like survive x turns, craft x objects), and these bonuses can affect your starting stats, skills, and inventory on future games.

The reviews for this game were spot on. The game is difficult in that it has a learning curve and realistic implementation of things like encumbrance. You can't just run around with 500 boulders in your pack. Going in blind, I died a bit and wasn't really sure what to do, but I kept experimenting and trying, and once the game's rules and mechanics began to click it was a lot of fun. Discovery is a huge part of the fun and the community is very spoiler-conscience, but I can give you one non-spoilery tip: if at first you do not succeed, try, try again. This goes for actions like mining or harvesting as well as general play. I recommend the permadeath option because dying over and over helps you experiment with new starter tools and learn from your mistakes. Once you get the hang of it and you know some tricks starting over isn't a big deal. I've found I prefer playing that way. Casual mode takes some of the sense of urgency out of emergency situations.

Wayward has really piqued my interest in roguelike games in general and there is no shortage. A lot of these games have been in ongoing development for years (sometimes decades), so many of the titles are perpetually betas/early access while still being fully playable games--early access is part of the culture basically. I still have complicated feels and reservations about early access games but think this genre pulls off the "buy this unfinished game!" thing better.

Wayward is not ready yet, but the core components are there and it is really close to what I wanted, a turn-based top-down pixel-art hybrid of Starbound/Stardew Valley/Star Tropics?/Something Something (that's a lot of stars). That's a pretty specific ask and I haven't seen anything else like it.

Because I'm a sentimental doof

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:29 pm
kjorteo: Portrait of a happy Celine hugging a big plush snake. (Celine: Plush)
[personal profile] kjorteo
We briefly interrupt your not-really-regularly scheduled gameblogging because this is still my all-purpose journal and sometimes I write about life stuff too. I mean very very rarely, but it can theoretically happen! This DW is still like 95% games and I'll Poke more Mons as soon as I can, don't worry.

So, I have this plush snake, Snakey. I've had him literally since I can remember (you can tell I was young when I got him because his name is Snakey) to the point where I don't even remember where he came from--as far back as my memory goes, he's just always been there. Between seeing The Brave Little Toaster way too many times as an impressionable child and growing up into someone whose fursona is a literal packrat, suffice it to say that childhood things like Snakey are very, very important to me. To the point that I've commemorated him in a couple of my commissions here and there--that's him in the icon for this post, for example. And here he is IRL after being repaired and restored with fixed seams/more stuffing/new felt eyes and mouth/etc. as a Christmas present in 2013, which was one of the most special, meaningful presents I've ever received.

Today, I happened to get curious about where did he come from, since I couldn't remember, so I asked my mom. It turns out that he was originally a Christmas present from my grandfather to my mom, when she was around 10 or 12. My grandparents had the foresight to hang onto things like that in case grandkids ever happened, and I ended up inheriting him.

I don't have much of a point to this entry, I guess (this is one of those things you write under the "I can dump whatever's in my head because it's my journal" excuse) but I'm just... wow, Snakey is, like, fifty. I had no idea he had so much history, you know? Toy Story 3 fucked me up hard and now I've just kind of been sitting here Feeling Things all day.

I'm gonna hug him so much (gently though!) tonight.

52 IN 52: Orion Trail cleared

Sep. 13th, 2017 03:53 pm
swordianmaster: montblanc would explain it, but (supernerdy)
[personal profile] swordianmaster
What happens when Oregon Trail meets FTL, they have a baby, and that baby becomes fascinated with the subtle charms of a bag of dice?

Yeah, that's this game. Honestly, I have no better ways to describe it. It's about three parts Star Trek tropes, two parts Oregon Trail resource management, and fifteen parts RNG.

How is it like FTL then, you might ask? That's easy, the FTL similarities come in two forms:

1) You choose your next destination from a spiderweb-like set of branching paths, though in Oregon Trail style you can only ever go forward, never double back, and
2) Your ship is constantly on fire and crew members are dying hideously.

Past that it's little more than a series of skill/RNG checks at each destination, with good/bad random encounters between them. You pick a crew of four members generally named as bootleg sci-fi characters (yeah, the game embraces its funy, though I admit I had a bit of a chuckle at the Borg Analog refugee's name, Seven of Eleven) with stats distributed amongst five qualities: Combat, Tactics, Diplomacy, Science, and Bravado (the latter being your ability to Leeroy Jenkins your way into and out of scenarios in one piece). At every junction/skill challenge, you're asked to pick a few responses based on the scenario, each keyed to a different stat (or, rarely, all keyed to the same stat with different penalties for failure). Each point you have in that stat changes another negative result on the RNG wheel to a positive, and once you run out of negatives you can change (you can't remove critical failures, and there's always at least one) you start changing the positives to critical successes. Thus, a lot of the "strategy" of the game is "reduce how much you can get screwed over by luck via jacking your stats up as high as possible and favoring your high stats in choices". It's a pretty simplistic game, but that also means it's a nice little casual romp, albeit one that is far more about rolling a dice and praying the RNG favors you this once.

And speaking of the funy, the jokey references and crap - remember back in Saturday Morning RPG's writeup where I mentioned that one of the ways to do it right was to own it as hard as you can? Yeah, Orion Trail does that. Everything is holograms and synthetic food, there are several scenes which poke at the concept of "space typhoid/dysentery/cholera" and how those are totally different than the earth versions, honest, one of your necessary resources is redshirts, which act as a buffer protecting your actual important crewmembers from getting hurt (and yes, every last one of them dies with a Wilhelm Scream), even the nudge-nudge-wink-wink Geico Gecko joke turns out amusing because it turns out "saving you money on your insurance" means "the space lizard mafia will only break your legs a little if you don't pay your 'protection money'". It takes the references and plays around with them, as opposed to just going "HEY LOOK, A THING".

Also, you can have a bear as your captain. More space games need Captain Space Bear.

My one complaint is that it's going for $8 on Steam, and with only five "maps" to go through, that's maybe a bit too pricy for it. Wait for it on sale, as usual.
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