Link Dead Radio: Indie Overload and Internet Insanity

The links

  • An interesting analysis from a former dev about the failures of Spore although it’s much of what we already knew and that was ridiculously obvious if you played
  • Blue Manchu, the folks behind Cardhunter did a interview at Gamasutra where they talked about development and possible tablet app
  • IndieCade has some really interesting indie games vying for recognition and a release spot on Desura; some well-known others a bit more obscure but great nonetheless
  • There is an upcoming Asylum game jam focused on exploring the horror genre with Polygon giving a good rundown of the aims. In my mind we’ve had enough of those in recent times to last me a life time but it seems to be a genre people enjoy and when they do the standard scares aren’t good enough
  • Blessing of Kings has an interesting post regarding the effects of breaking Trust in Eve with implications towards many other online experiences.
  • Critical distance has a very in-depth and well researched post on the art of level design. I’ll be honest here and say that most if not all of what was said and linked went well over my head plus I’m usually more interested in the experiences of the player rather than the mechanics behind them but if your interested in-game design it would be a great read.

The Vids

New video dev diary for elite; dangerous. Dog fights in space are a special kind of awesome.

So many interviews and marketing posts circulating the net at the moment and it’s all just blending into a feeling of Meh to me. There is just too much self-congratulation going on about a game we really have no idea how is going to function yet, it’s interesting for sure but we’ve heard it all before and it’s at a time where we need to see action over words.

Anyway here’s the Everquest Next dev diary.

Beyond Eyes is a game about navigating a blind girl through the world in search of her missing pet and watching it unfold with touch. It’s currently seeking funding on indiegogo.

One of the greatest gaming commander speeches ever

Top 5 most anticipated indies

The Pics

the internet is a weird place and it seems the wvw crew are even weirder

jedquarry

My Halloween outfit for the year. I usually always go for some sort of pirate or gypsy costume just because I like that style but once seeing this I couldn’t resist. Now it’s not for trick or treating more something colourful to wear at childcare for the day that will be funny for the kids too.

83959-polka

cuteness overload

And speaking of pirates I painted this for our pirate ship

pirate flag

The progress Report


For some reason I’ve been playing a lot more Card Hunter this weekend and enjoying it much more than I was before. Before level 10 the game is actually rather easy in terms of the enemies it throws at you and the strategy required. The combat was more using rote mechanics and repetition to succeed.

Now I am really having to think and reorganise my set in order to succeed at times, changing how I fight dramatically from ranged to focusing on movement, defence from ranged and a few more other strategic changes. It is also starting to rely on luck more than ever and I kind of like the exhilarating feeling of everything going right at times or even being rushed from a bad draw. To balance this, with the gold cost being low for revival combat more revolves around finding the right strategy.

As a side to playing Card Hunter I’ve been watching Cardfight!! Vanguard (it was either that or re-watching Cardcaptor Sukura). It’s easy to play while watching as a you can easily reorientate your attention without the game punishing you, the beauty of turn based strategy I guess

Hmm, so Cardfight is pretty much your standard card based anime… if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all and at first it looked like it was going to be a lousy cheap knockoff. It is in many ways but it also has enough about it to stand apart from the herd.

It is nice for a change to have a protagonist that isn’t a completely self involved, egotistical ass hat. And surprisingly it isn’t about some ridiculous premise of a card game holding with it the fate of the world at hand, or some sort of evil organisation mastermind. It was going that way at one stage but it is more just about the human.. or anime experience of it. (it did end up like that.. le sigh)

My town in Towns is starting to shape up really nicely now. There are so many parts of it that I had forgotten or never really worked out. The management of food and resources is a bit more complex than I realised and I was running short of things quite badly once my town’s population began upgrading but it all worked out in the end. I run short occasionally when starting some of the larger projects but it quickly balances which is good.

Towns Farming

Those trees at the bottom there are now my wood farm. I was finding the trip to and from the nearby forests for wood was taking lots of time and the more I cut down the longer I had to travel, It also invoked the wrath of the tree gods. Now I have a quick easy renewable source close to town. I cut one then seed it again, then cut the other.

The building aspects are also progressing as well. Space is always an issue to look out for even in the early game as you don’t have unlimited expansion and it begins slowing the process down dramatically if your sleeping or working areas are too far away from each other. With that in mind I’ve starting building my multi-story housing areas. I’m guessing that 2 stories should be enough for now and my first complex is nearly finished with a second starting soon.

I’ve also began development of the barracks to house my soldiers and the Tavern as a way of enticing heroes into town. It’s great now that I’m starting to explore deeper into the underground complex as I’m finding much of the earlier materials I need. Lots of Iron and Spiderite meaning I have some reasonably powerful protecting soldiers now. I’m still looking for coal though as it’s needed in a lot of different recipes for items and utilities so more exploration is at hand.

Towns Building

And lastly this week It has been more Mass Effect. I haven’t played as much as for some reason both card hunter and Towns grabbed more of my attention, my interest isn’t waning though and I  am still very interested in getting further, collecting more members, and seeing the conclusion.

I will say I am enjoying the modular nature of the game. Each mission has a good variety of mobs to fight and visuals to experience and they really are a great length. It is enough that you get more into the combat and experience but not enough that you get bored with it. Great pacing. I also like the aspect in how it encourages pick up and play, I can finish a mission now and then and it feels like each have a sort of conclusion but also prompting of further exploration.

This Time I collected my very own Krogan in a cage and of course I just had to push that button. Thinking over the options I had during the conversation it seems I should have been further along before doing it as I was missing both the paragon and renegade choices. I just couldn’t resist, I have a curiosity for these sort of things that urges me to learn more and leaving it in stasis just wasn’t going to satisfy.

MassEffect2 grunt

While I haven’t exactly warmed to the character, the themes and stories he talks about are very interesting. I like hearing about the effect of  the genophage from the Krogan perspective and how the culture of child rearing had to change to match. Before it was a society based on survival of the fittest, now it turned into a society of protecting and supporting the young. In a group where the birth rate is restricted each and every Krogan is needed in order to continue the race whether or not their strength is up to standard.

Grunt doesn’t like this at all and still believes in the pure being stronger than a collection of weaklings. The horde vs the Lance. It is an interesting proposition to make but I more think his urge to fight and prove his strengths clouds his thinking. When your making war with a small force loses are felt in a greater magnitude. If the race kept going with this view it would eventually lead to extinction.

I would say that for some reason I would have preferred the original Krogan you get to meet during the mission. The one that was more childlike; rejected early and now lost and confused amongst the rubble of this world. The way he was talking about the “Tank Mother” was actually rather endearing and made me want to protect and nurture him as well as help him grow. That might be my childcare interests and mothering instincts at work but I believe he could have ended up being a more nuanced and interesting character than the “hulk smash” Grunt.

Next week… well I really have no idea what it’s going to bring. My moods and interests seem to be swinging rather widely at the moment. After a long stretch of one game, genre, and gameplay style it seems I’m more after a variety of experiences and there is a lot of excellent stuff out there to satisfy whatever urge I have. Hopefully I get some mmo’s in there.

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