Monday, July 14, 2014

IOU BLOGS

Here's the blog about the cool thing I did.

Here's the analysis of that game I'd been meaning to write.

Here's the storify of the fifty tweets about that thing which pissed me off.

Here's the photoblog of the funniest taxi names I've seen in the Philippines.

Here's the alt take on the security conference I went to where I fell asleep during the keynote and missed all the talks.

Here's the one where I embed an instagram pic and describe in detail what I was doing that day.

Here's the one where I got back to writing music and posted up a bunch of my stuff for you to listen to.

Here's the post with all the old board games I found in the attic, including Key to the Kingdom, Ghost Castle and a magnetized Popeye chessboard something or other.

Here's the one where fuck this guy.

Here's the one where fuck that guy.

Here's the fad where I do a return to comics and complain about DC for six months.

Here's the post about Sontarans and strawberries.

Here's my movies of 2012....13.....14.....oops

Here's the one where I tell you I fixed all the missing Posterous images (I haven't).

Here's the one where I tell you I changed publishing platforms (I haven't).

Here's the one with the music I'm now listening to because all my bands went away.

Here's another videogame thing.

Here's the rage post about how utterly terrible ISPs in Manila are when it comes to setting up SIM based internet sticks.

Here's the then and now post about Uplay and how it still makes no sense to me whatever.

Here's the one about the woman who keeps singing in a nearby club with a repertoire of six songs, all of them consistently terrible.

Here's the blog about the upcoming trips I'm going on which I shall surely publish.

Here's the one about the awful "report people recording movies on their phone in the cinema for a reward" adverts, complete with stupid slide whistle sound effects.

Here's the one about the gaming laptop juggernaut that lasted six months then took six weeks to repair.

Here's a top ten list of things.

Here's the one where this post is a lot shorter.

I think that's me caught up now. I'll assume we're cool like Fonzy.

Friday, July 04, 2014

What I bought - and played - from the Steam Sale

The best of the best from the recent Steam Sale. I bought a lot of stuff, but I'm only mentioning things I've played since picking them up.

1) One Finger Death Punch

All you do is hit left or right. "All you do".

If you think your reflexes are up there with Neo then feel free to give this a shot. It's like Space Channel 5 with punching.



2) Doom 3 BFG Edition

You have to understand, playing this game all those years ago freaked me the hell out, even while running it on an underpowered Pentium 2 (or whatever it was). I never managed to get more than a few hours in before saying "nope" loudly and doing something else instead. Weirdly it feels like I'm cheating in the new edition due to being able to wave the torch and the gun around at the same time. I'm too fast. I should be more sluggish. Maybe that's just the Pentium 2 talking.



3) Ghost Control Inc.

Okay, a bit of a cheat here because I don't remember if I bought this in the sale or just prior to it starting. I don't really care, because it's fantastic. Remember the map screen from the old Ghostbusters game on the Atari 2600? Take that and mash it up with XCOM style ghost battles and you have a great little game. I mean, look at it:



4) Super Amazing Wagon Adventure

oh my god



5) Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition

There's meta, and there's this. If I have this right, you play regular people dressed as fantasy characters playing  tabletop RPG where they're attacked by fake real fake monsters. Or something. You also gain stat boost by pimping out the Dungeon Master's pad, and it has a TARDIS in it. How do you not own this game, basically.



6) One Way Heroics

Take Groundhog Day, the left-to-right chase mechanic of FTL and a chatty fairy. This is the game you'll end up with. If you're bored of endless yakking with characters in RPGs, you'll love this because it's a little bit like a solo Marathon (albeit with swords and the occasional monster). How far can you run?



With the exception of Doom, none of the above are AAA+ games. To be honest most of the big titles available right now look like they'll bore me to tears so these are a welcome addition to the ranks. I'd ask you what you bought and played, but I'd be amazed if there's anybody still out there.

Is this thing on

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Current Status

A few things:

1) Yes, I'm aware I haven't posted in aaaages. I admit, I was surprised by the length of time gone. On the other hand, I changed jobs close to Xmas which is never a sensible time to change anything and I had a bunch of other stuff to sort out alongside it. Then I had to deal with six alien invasions, rescue a kidnapped Eastern European Prince and...uh...look, I just forgot. Or something.

2) The new blog is over here.

3) It isn't really the "new blog", given I've been writing on it for close to seven months and LOOK I FORGOT.

4) The publishing interface is still a bit rubbish. Also thanks to Posterous dying, my worst fears have come true and nearly all old images uploaded via Posterous have vanished. I will get around to fixing it eventually, but oh man that's a lot of blog posts to dick around with. True story: uploading images to blogs is the slowest, most painful experience of blogging you will ever come across.

5) Don't go Googling for Peep Show slashfic.

Videogames: The Hacking Edition

I did an interview with Gamespot a while back on the subject of hacking in videogames.



Off the back of this, I wrote a piece on the history of hacking in videogames. If you'd like to see some of my favourites (alongside a few "What were they thinking" efforts) then here comes Christmas.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Payday 2: doing something with the safehouse and encouraging stealthy gameplay

Problem: I have a safehouse and a ton of offshore money / loot stashed in said safehouse. At present I can't do much with either.

How to make them more interactive?

The dev team are going to bring in safehouse customisation, but I don't want to just spend thousands of dollars making it look nice. I wonder if it's possible to do the following:

1) More than one safehouse. maybe 3 or 4. I don't really care if they all look the same.

2) It makes sense that the police would be constantly looking for your safehouse / money. The less stealthy you are in accumulated missions, the more likely they are to find your safehouse.

3) Imagine being in a heist and getting message that one of your safehouses is being raided. Do you bail and go to defend it or finish the job you're on?

4) The safehouse customisation should be about shoring up the safehouse. The more cash you spend, the harder it is to breach (locked doors, metal doors the cops can't shoot open and / or drill, barriers, traps, tripmines, glass / boarded / shuttered windows etc.

5) You have to decide which safehouse(s) to keep all your money in, and maybe your safehouse(s) can only hold so much loot so you have to split it up between the ones you have until you can upgrade them. Given how much offshore money you're likely to have, upgrading should be multi tiered and cost serious amounts of offshore money. This would mean you don't just end up with millions and millions of offshore cash and would constantly have to keep dipping into it to be able to make more down the line.

All of the above results in 3 things:

1) It makes the safehouse(s) play an active role in the game, and gives a point to customising them.

2) It gives a reward / incentive to go stealth and not just shoot everything up.

3) If you decide to bail on a heist, you could bring your current crew to help defend and they get a share of some of your cash as a reward (offshore or otherwise).

4) It would increase the feeling of always being on the run.

Here endeth my idea.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

10 thoughts on The Wolverine (spoilers)

1) It's good to see Poison Ivy still getting work.

2) Did they even giver her a name? I thought I heard "Viper" but I could be wrong. Hot damn, that costume is terrible. Wait, she's peeling off her skin. Oh boy, she's going to look like a lizard or a snake underne-

...nope, she looks like a bald woman. Uh, okay.

3) I was massively excited to see a SEGA sign. Shush.

4) "We're going to remind you Logan has been depowered by having him shot every ten minutes."

5) His depowering is kinda weird, isn't it? He can't regenerate but he can jump around on trains and bounce all over the screen? Worst most expensive power sapping spider robots ever.

6) Why didn't he bleed to death when his claws came out? #nerdynitpickbutwhatever

7) Rila Fukushima was the best thing in the film, and she's written out for a huge chunk of it in the middle.

8) "We're going to remind you Logan has regained his powers by having him stabbed like fifty times in five minutes."

9) Good job that Japanese guy had his head conveniently located in the body of the robot instead of the helmet, right?

10) Not content with writing Fukushima out of a significant chunk of the movie, she also manages to vanish from the post credits sequence. At the very least, she should stand a good chance of appearing in the next one.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3



Flawless victory

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's not me, it's Who

[Note: I'm aware the finale has now aired, but I can't see it yet due to insufferably stupid bullshit so here's a vaguely whiny rant about the new series, most or all of which may now be totally null and void due to whatever happens in the last episode of Series 7. Meanwhile, let's also wonder exactly how many people waiting to see the finale on iTunes will either sit around until they've eaten fifty gallons of spoilers or just go see it someplace else. Protip for the BBC and iTunes: not many. Also, I won't be giving you any more money for your staggeringly late "season pass" episodes. Well done.]

I think I've had this post bubbling for a while; the Rings of Akhaten and one or two episodes from Series 7 all watched in the space of a few days pushed it over the edge.

I'm done with Moffat / 11 Who, I think. It's finally shuffled beyond the point where I just throw my hands up and do that Seinfeld leaving the theatre routine. In fact, I doubt I'll see any tie-up to any massively dangling plot threads anytime soon.

(Exploding TARDIS, the voice saying "Silence will Fall", the entirely convoluted and not-much-sense-making "plan" of the Silence, Rory and Amy waving to themselves, what the Doctor saw in his room during The God Complex etc etc so on and so forth).

I'm particularly sick of the Doctor's increasing tendency - or should I say, the people in the charge of the show - to have him save the all important companion at the expense of everybody else (aka collateral damage). Those people on the ship in Power of 3? Yeah, leave them up there as the ship blows up. The people who were trapped in the computer network in Bells of Saint John? Doesn't matter, a whole bunch of them will be returned to severely brain damaged / non functional bodies, or freshly rotting corpses in the ground or something. No biggie. While it's (reasonably) clear that the big Parasite from Rings was not a Sun, but in fact a large planet so everybody hasn't just been condemned to death by freezing, it's entirely possible they've all just been condemned to death by a large object hurtling through space with no large parasite planet to absorb the blow.

Let's not dwell on the fact that the Doctor claims to have been there before yet somehow wasn't aware they send a child over to die once every thousand years, either.

Probably best to avoid thinking too much of how the Doctor "dies" and River sacrifices herself to a long stint in the slammer to keep it a secret, yet almost immediately he's signing threatening notes to the Great Intelligence as "The Doctor", and getting Clara to join in on the incredibly tiresome Doc-Tor-WHOOOO chant we keep being meta beaten to death with (all those Daleks at the end of Asylum repeating Doctor Who is only funny until you realise he just ran off and left a large contingent of Daleks to go wandering off and slaughtering their way across the galaxy. Ho ho ho).

When Matt Smith started his run, I just wanted a season where we weren't obsessing over some "special" companion. Oh, sorry - here comes Amy Pond. Nope, now we're going to obsess over the "mystery" of River Song except it wasn't very mysterious after all. Well, they're all gone now so we can sit back and look forward t - whoops, Clara can't stop dying and we're going to spend the rest of the season being drip fed teases of a resolution that likely threatens to go nowhere fast. We're going to get River back at the end of the current run, aren't we?

/ Seinfeld

I know it's entirely possible to pin too much blame on the sonic screwdriver as a convenient plot device, but really - if it had a horseshit setting it'd be dialed up to 11 after Akhaten. You can argue that it's supposed to get the plot moving, but isn't that only a good thing if there's something worthwhile in the place of whatever problem solving was skipped to dazzle us with more empty action and Feels of the Year (aka your new favourite Tumblr gifset) emoting in the first place?

 I don't know about you, but being told that opening a large heavy door with advanced technology is "impossible", only to find that - surprise - he opens it within about 30 seconds is just one hand wave too many. Wouldn't things be MORE interesting if they'd spent 5 or 10 tension filled minutes trying to work out a way to open the door? Instead, we got a Harry Potter style wand battle, a chorister that....killed himself? Teleported away? No idea....and a confusing sequence where Clara got stuck to the glass keeping the vampire inside. Apparently the kid did that. I thought Vamps did it. Who knows, gotta keep selling those sonics to cosplayers and kids so you'll never get rid of the damn thing now.

As for the singing: it's someone deciding that Rimmer singing Kumbaya is an actual tactic. The dramatic call to arms of everybody singing along to the Doctor having Those Feels (TM) would probably have been greater if the accompanying music didn't begin with what sounded like a tinny Bontempi keyboard loop from the 80s. I get the feeling that if this had been Tennant and RTD doing this episode, they'd have allowed the Doctor to win the battle himself. But we have to be constantly reminded how special the companions are even when total absurdity is the end result, so of course Clara can now magically pilot space sleds and kills the parasite with a leaf, complete with the most dreadful pseudo-emotive "logic" I can remember in a long, long time.

Waving a leaf at a giant planet sized parasite and claiming the leaf contains an infinite amount of potential for a lost life so you have to die now Mr Parasite Planet does not make this any different to two kids playing wargames in a playground and one deciding he's a tank so he wins, bang bang.

It's just.....nonsensical bullshit. I was also hoping Clara would splat head first into a passing chunk of rock, which would have been hilarious. This will always be remembered as the episode where the Doctor disintegrated a giant space pumpkin by shouting at it.

To be fair, things picked up in later episodes - even if they usually almost, ALMOST make it to the finish line without screwing up then decide to go full Thelma & Louise with hideously contrived "twist" endings.

Cold War: Would have been much better without all the entirely predictable padding filler of "Red Shirts hunt for monster, die horribly" scenes.

Hide: Not mind-blowing but probably the most solid episode of the series. Nice set, nice atmosphere, vaguely creepy ghost, interesting resolution and I'm willing to accept the last five minutes or so as they actually tie into the rest of the episode for a change.

Journey: Seriously, did we need all of the backstory for the brothers? What did it add? Who cares? Also padding: clock watching "Is it over yet" sequences where someone runs offscreen to the left and reappears on the right. PLEASE STOP. Ultimately, we saw very little of the Tardis except for bland metal walls and boring monster of the week chases - with Clara inexplicably pausing to giggle to herself every few seconds.

Shouldn't you be running away? (Hat tip to J. for pointing that one out).

Also congrats to the Doctor whose name is such a super big secret that he leaves it scrawled in huge and prominently displayed books in his library (given how easily Clara spotted his name, I guess it says WITH LOVE FROM STEVE on the inside front cover).

Crimson Horror: I actually thought this was pretty solid (if unremarkable), but the ending - oh boy. The scene with the kids was A) Amazingly stupid, B) Horribly contrived if this is seriously the best thing they could think of to show Clara her "old" Victorian incarnation and C) filmed like something from the Sarah Jane Adventures. Did Gaiman want these kids in his story? I couldn't help but notice they were shelved fairly early on in Nightmare in Silver. Speaking of which...

Nightmare in Silver: The only parts of this which were interesting involved the chess game. Everything else was more Red Shirts running around, kids doing their "We're kids" acting and (for reasons I still don't quite follow) Clara being in charge of a bunch of space marines. It seems Gaiman wanted to do much more with the Cybermen, but the production team nixed a fair bit of it. Silent Cybermen would be awesome - we're stuck with the clank clank clank.

Anyway, that's my whiny rant ramble.

PROVE ME WRONG, FINALE.