Meet you back here in half an hour.
What are you going to do?
What I always do - stay out of trouble... Badly.

Friday, May 10


Oh My Stars, There's Another One

Amid all the random craziness and angst that makes up my life these days, there's a steady drip of light in the form of brick-based role-playing-strategy-gamey-things.

The aptly named Cube World.  No idea when it's coming out.

Fifteen months ago, I was looking forward to only two games - Mass Effect 3 (which EA managed to fuck up, though not irredeemably), and Torchlight II, which was pretty good, though I remember the first more fondly.

Since then, we've had a new XCOM game, EA has announced, launched, and irrevocably ruined SimCity - to the point where the major feature announced for The Sims 4 is that it will be single player - I've discovered KairoSoft, and Kickstarter has exploded onto the indie gaming landscape like a big bomb made of money.  Starbound is on its way, and Terraria has been revivified.  Kerbal Space Program is amazing, but requires more time than I have (which is zero) to really get anywhere.  We've got four major new isometric party-based single-player role-playing games on the way, with the first (Shadowrun) due next month.

And now we have these voxel-based games like Stonehearth and Cube World which take a fascinating tack, using the absurd amounts of graphics power that we have at our disposal today (you can get 1.8 TFLOPS for less than $150) to make games that manage to look endearingly retro and fluid and engaging at the same time.  I can't wait for them to come out so that I can not have time to play them either.

Oh, and here's the gameplay trailer for Stonehearth, without the talky bits.


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Tuesday, May 07


Intercourse The Penguin: A Critique Of Artificial Scarcity In A Post-Scarcity Economy

If you subscribe to a magazine electronically on Amazon, they will delete your back issues after six months "for your convenience".

Yes, they actually say that.  They delete your property for your convenience.  If you go searching for why your back issues - THAT YOU HAVE PAID FOR - seem to be missing, you find that in the fine print on "How magazine subscriptions work".  A shorter and more accurate explanation would have been "They don't."

And if you think that smacks of doublespeak, don't forget that this is the company that made news by deleting unauthorised copies of 1984 off customer's devices. 

I've sent a complaint to Amazon; it's hard enough to even find how to do that these days.  I was very good and didn't swear...  Much at all.

But, frankly, FUCK DRM in all its forms.

I may expand on this subject once I have calmed down a little.

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Sunday, May 05



Reading the comments on the Stonehearth Kickstarter, I learned that the developers are using a product called Qubicle for the graphics.  It's a voxel-based design and rendering system built on Unity.

Unity itself is quite impressive: It's a comprehensive game engine (covering rendering, animation, graphics effects, sound, UI, AI, networking, mapping, and more) that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Xbox, Playstation, Wii, and even most browsers, and costs $1500 for the professional desktop development kit - and the basic edition is free.  Most of the games I've been backing on Kickstarter are using it, which is how they're able to offer Mac and Linux ports on a shoestring budget.

Not that I have time to play any of these games, of course; the last game I spent any time with was Kairosoft's Pocket Stables.  Well, and BvS.  But that's a responsibility - I have a ninja village to look after!

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Friday, May 03




The game is apparently in a very early state (despite appearances); the developers estimate there's a good 16 months of work before release.  With any luck the millions of dollars they raise over the next few days will help speed things along.

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Wednesday, May 01


Meelions And Meelions

Good news, everyone!
  • The Starbound pre-order has passed the meelion-dollar mark and bagged all three stretch goals set so far (a new alien race, alien fossils, and alien starter pets).  No telling yet what else may be in store, but the development team - some of whom had taken second jobs in order to keep things going - are apparently still slightly dizzy from their unexpected success.

  • The Torment2: Tidy Numerology Kickstarter Drive Bonus Paypal Round hasn't quite tipped the project over the $4.5 meelion dollar mark for the final stretch goal - an in-game Fortress of Tormentitude player stronghold.  But it got pretty darn close, and with (apparently, significantly) lower than average payment failure rates, inXile have deemed their fundedness sufficient to add that particular fig to the pudding anyway.
Since these are two of the games I'm most looking forward to, this news is most welcome.

Oh, and Futurama got cancelled again.  But it had a decent run in the end.

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