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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January 08, 2014


This doesn't exist. Yet. And it's unlikely that it ever will.

But the renders are amazing; they really do look like photographs. Someone put a lot of work into that model.

What I want is for someone to take this sucker and create a map for a FPS out of it. Wouldn't you like to shoot up that master bedroom? Or have a running gun battle on the go-kart track? Chuck a satchel charge into the swimming pool? Or set yourself up as a sniper on top of the bridge? It seems like a natural for a PvP scenario!

UPDATE: Actually, it would make a pretty darned good single-player scenario, too. Hostage rescue mission!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 12:14 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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December 18, 2013

Master of Magic -- strange error message

I've been playing Master of Magic for years, and two weeks ago it surprised me with this:


Since then it's happened twice more, and I got a frame grab from the third time. Looks to me like a debug hook left in the game.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 10:22 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 08, 2013

Senran Kagura video game

I was curious to see just what the game experience is like for Senran Kagura, so I checked out a youtube search and found an extended sample. It ran on something called a "PS Vita" and it's surprisingly good. The main characters gainax nicely during play. (Actual game play begins about 2:00.)

As one of the main girls gets progressively more damaged she loses her clothing. It's obvious why they did that -- but the incentive structure is wrong. If you're playing Asuka (for instance; that's who was being played in that video) then you get rewarded for losing. The right incentive structure would be for her to lose clothing as you gained points -- but of course that wouldn't make any sense.

Not that the game makes a lot of sense anyway.

I don't play games like that; I never have. But I enjoy watching other people play them, on occasion, and this one isn't the worst game I've ever seen.

I wonder if you can play all five of the main characters from Hanzou Academy? Hibari would be the problem, because she's not as good as any of the others. Her big thing is special attacks, and I wonder if she accumulates mana faster than anyone else?

In that video, Asuka used two special moves. One was an enhanced attack. The other was a heal that restored all her clothes (boo). She didn't call her frog, and in fact I don't recall her ever summoning her frog in the anime. But Hibari calls her rabbit a lot of times. I wonder if she can do that in the game? (Yagyuu summons her squid a lot of times, too, but Ikaruga and Katsuragi never summon their totems.)

I would think that Ikaruga and Yagyuu would be the best two player characters, and then Asuka, then Katsuragi, and finally Hibari. But I imagine they've done things to balance them all, so that they're approximately equal.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 01:35 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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April 29, 2013

Game Dev Tycoon

Yesterday a new game called Game Dev Tycoon became available. The developers (a two-man garage shop) also released a pirated version of the game onto the torrents, which had a change: if you play the pirated version, you can't make any profit because of all the people who steal your game.

And now the irony of ironies: gamers are flooding discussion sites, asking how they can implement DRM for their pseudo-games to prevent the piracy that's stealing all their revenue inside the real game.

The real game they themselves stole, depriving the real authors of revenue...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 07:05 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 21, 2013

What in the hell is Jita and why do so many people want to burn it?


From here.

As a wild-assed guess, Jita is a star system in EVE Online, and it's in a strategic location on the star map, and the current owners of the place have done something to make everyone mad.

Or maybe, "Just because".

By the way, I'll join her fleet.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 09:34 AM | Comments (19) | Add Comment
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