February 10, 2015

Beware the Shutterfly!

She's a monster!

Apparently this really is a thing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 01:15 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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February 01, 2015


There's a patch for at least one of the Pokemon games called "Moemon" which changes all the pokemon into "gijinka", a word I just learned. It means all the pokemon look like moe girls.

Which leaves me breathless, and nearly wordless.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 11:22 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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December 11, 2014

Geek and Sundry: Tabletop

I've become rather a fan of Wil Wheaton's Youtube channel "Tabletop" which consists of shows in which he invites (usually) three people to join him in playing some board game.

Until now they've always been adults, but in the latest episode all three of his guests are 9 years old. They're playing "Catan Junior", a version of "Settlers of Catan" which is cut down and changed to make it appropriate for kids.

It's well worth half an hour of your time. (If you can do so, play it full screen at 1080p.)

Wheaton is in full Dad mode for it, which is pretty cool. He married his wife in 1999 and she had two sons, so he's been a dad, and helped raise them. Apparently it was successful; both of them turned out to be pretty nice guys, and when one of them was 19 he asked Wil to legally adopt him, which Wil did.

Anyway, board gaming was one of the things the four of them did together back in the day. (An interesting factoid: he mentions in one of the episodes that his wife and both of the sons are color blind. That must have been interesting.)

His wife and both sons have, at various times, been guests on the show. Anne Wheaton is gorgeous, I'd just like to say.

Obviously Wheaton is on his best behavior on camera, but he comes across as a pretty nice guy. And it's obvious that he's left Wesley long behind. Wheaton now wears a full beard, and I'm sure that's deliberate. Anyway, he's 42 now and doesn't look like a little kid any longer.

He has no regrets about the role. He mentions it in this episode, leading one of the kids to say, "What's Star Trek"? ... it's a setup; I'm sure she was told to say that, but it's still funny.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 11:07 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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October 06, 2014

Master of Orion bug

I just had something interesting happen.

The Space Amoeba entered the board, and headed for an uninhabited star. I sent my fleet there, and it turned out to be Orion, so I defeated the Guardian.

Then the Amoeba showed up -- or did it? Instead of fighting the Amoeba, I had to fight the Guardian again. But when I won, I didn't get another cache of goodies.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 07:30 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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June 28, 2014

Different goals

XKCD sometimes posts a cartoon where he talks about how he plays some game a different way, or for a different goal. I have one of those, myself.


I play spider solitaire with the goal of reaching a point where the only way I can proceed is by "taking back" a move which removed a column of cards. That was even cooler in the Vista version of the game, because it wouldn't let you "take back" a column take, so the only thing you could do in this situation was to quit the game.

As a result of this, when I reach the point where I have one deal left and have taken six columns, I usually quit. It isn't possible any more for me to win (my way) and winning (their way) is easy. As a result my long-term win/loss record is really poor (according to them, counting wins their way) because I usually don't bother.

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June 19, 2014

Master of Orion

I got tired of endless games of Master of Magic so I switched back to Master of Orion. Odd how no modern game works for me as well as these two.

One of the frustrating things in MOO is when you get deep into your research tree and discover you are totally missing some critical technologies. I had one game where I reached the end with Robotics III as my best factory technology. Fortunately I had enough planets to compensate.

It's also frustrating when your best drive is Warp 2. It's frustrating when you don't get any of Atmospheric, Soil, or Advanced Soil. It's frustrating when you don't get any of the higher level beam weapons. And it's particularly bad when your best colony technology is Tundra, which just happened to me. I quit that game.

Which is why the Psilons are less frustrating than any other race, since they get more entries in their research tree. On the other hand, it means that most Psilon games are nearly the same. Variations in the research tree, as long as they aren't really debilitating, are part of the variety.

I'm finding that my favorite race is the Klackons. Their advantage is subtle: each worker produces twice as much as any other race. But it means that planets start fast before you have any factories, and that really makes a big difference.

It turns out that the exploration, research, and planetary development are what I enjoy most. So I've been cheating, a little. I play on a huge map, with only one opponent. And I save the game and use a hex editor to put my sun in the upper left corner and my opponent in the lower right corner, so I don't run into them for a long, long time. Usually it's because I've reached the point where I'm ready to take them on, and then I build a string of colonies down to their part of the board.

Changing the initial placement so that the enemy is as far from me as possible is the only cheating I'm doing, though.

In case you're interested: use a hex editor to find the entry for a planet, and its position is 2 16-bit numbers at offset 0x0c and 0x0e. Change them to 40 00 40 00 for the upper left corner and 40 01 20 01 for the lower right corner of the huge map. (If you use those numbers on one of the smaller maps, the enemy will be off the edge of the map. Which, oddly enough, does work; they just develop their own home world and you never run into them.)

It's really amazing to me just how good both MOO and MOM are. Steve Barcia hit it out of the park. But the era of turn-based 4X games is over, sadly. WOW made everyone switch to real-time, which I hate. (I guess the recent Civilization games are still turn-based, but they're ridiculously over-elaborate as far as I'm concerned.)

When I bought MOO from Good Old Games, the package included MOO2. I've never tried it and have no interest in doing so, even though the graphics are vastly superior. I think I'm too old and brain-addled to learn anything new which is that elaborate.

UPDATE: It's also amazing to me just how awesome the graphics for MOO and MOM are, considering they were designed for 320*200 displays. (Or 320*240? I'm not sure. It was a pitifully small number of pixels, regardless.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 06:12 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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June 02, 2014

I think we just found Eden...


...except that there wasn't any heavy industry in Eden IIRC.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 03:13 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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May 04, 2014

Dekamori Senran Kagura

I just ran into this trailer for Dekamori Senran Kagura. The entire thing is Asuka gainaxing in various costumes.

It doesn't show us any game play. Is Asuka cosplaying all the game offers?

UPDATE: Apparently not. Here's some gameplay.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 01:11 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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February 01, 2014

Great power without great challenge is just crass spectacle

What will CFC do when they've wiped out all their competition? They already took down the TEST Alliance, and just now they badly wounded N3PL. With damage this bad it's not impossible that morale will fail and N3PL will collapse.

Once CFC has no one to fight except coalitions much smaller than they are, what happens to all the people in it? What will they do?

When one coalition effectively "wins" the game, will interest in it flag, and will the number of players decline?

I suppose they could try to take on CONCORD... (How many titans does CONCORD have?)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 08:02 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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January 26, 2014

The Ultimate Idol Game

Anyone up for hunting members of AKB48 with a hand gun?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 02:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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