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Topics - Tr0n

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PC Games / Multiwinia!
« on: September 23, 2008, 12:30:44 pm »
I've always been a fan of Introversion, a small company in the UK that creates some astoundingly good games.  They're all about gameplay and they're focused on their community's input.  If you haven't heard of them, their games (Uplink, Darwinia, Defcon, and now Multiwinia) are all extremely fun with a lot of thought put into their specific gameplay.

The latest release is Multiwinia, a frentic RTS with only one soldier type... the 2d sprite called the Multiwinian.  These little guys spawn by the truckload, ready to do your bidding (as long as a grenade doesn't get tossed their way).  You can play through 6 game modes vs the CPU or vs other Humans.  Modes include Domination, where you capture spawn points and overrun your enemies; Capture the Statue, where you have to grab and (slowly) haul randomly placed statues to your safe zone; Assault, a team attacks a very heavily defended fortress in an attempt to get to the main structure and destroy it.  There are three other modes too.

They offer a free demo of the game, letting you test out King of the Hill and Capture the statue modes (I think).  The best thing about it is if you wish to buy a license (for 25 bucks), you can just input the code into the options menu and you unlock your demo... it's Shareware style :)

(Edit) (Edit)

Good luck and have fun.  If you purchase the game and play MP, I'll be "Tron"... the one swarming your base with my suicidal little soldiers.

Spore: General / Your space stage philosophies and some things I've found.
« on: September 09, 2008, 07:39:17 am »
This may help some of the more pacifist people playing the game.  I've been mucking around a lot in the space phase and have found some... features... that will help races get out of the whole "I get war declared on me every 10 minutes" problem.

Everyone seems to know by now that if one wants to explore the universe, they don't need allies.  Allies bring enemies as well and here's the math behind it.  If you watch your relationship with a given race, you will notice that the scale goes anywhere between -100 to 100.  However, the total pluses and minuses in the breakdown can add up to MORE than 100 or LESS than -100.  However, a given issue can only affect the score by 100 or -100.

This means that if you neglect to pay a race tribute twice and they dislike other races, you get the following:
Did not pay tribute: -100 (-100 is the max.  it's a -60 relationship penalty every time but won't go below -100, which is good for you)
We do not like outsiders: -30

This means that they hate you and will declare war on you.  However, -130 is easy to make up.  Here's how... when you meet them, introduce yourself and do about three missions for them.  Missions vary in impact, but most add between 30 to 40 in happiness towards you.  Introcuding yourself and saying that it is an honor to meet them gives you a 15 increase.  Thus, you get this:
You did missions for us:  +100
You introduced yourself: +15.

This is a net -15 relationship... easily manageable if you do it early!.  Why?  Because the next time he demands tribute, you'll already be at -100 for that particular issue and cannot go any further down.  Thus, you ignore his demands, you'll see the angry face above his empire, but their disposition towards you won't change! 

You have already done 3 missions for them (no use in doing more if you're already at +100 unless you need the money)  If you can gift them a few Sporebucks and trade with them (two seperate issues that give + relationship), you may even make them happy with you.  At which point, you can add between 5 and 30 relationship with them in a trade route.

Bottom line is that once you've angered them and offset it with missions, gifts, trade, etc. and their "Didn't pay tribute" score is at -100, you can ignore the rest of their demands for a good long while.  Same goes with empires at war with you, but you usually don't get time to reason with them before you get rolled by their UFOs.  And once you've blown up 20 of their ships and dropped a bomb or two over their colonies, you can forget about making peace with them.  Killing their ships goes to -100 and bombing their colonies goes to -100.  Making your way to +200 is impossible because you can only gift up to +100 relation.

Bottom line, play the numbers game.  Look at the breakdowns and know that if they're already at -100 or +100 for a given issue, you need not address it anymore.  This has kept me out of war for a long time.  Now I can pick and choose (with the obvious exception of the Grox) whom I go to war with.

Spore: General / Spoiler (Perhaps): Problem with buying systems?
« on: September 08, 2008, 09:33:11 am »
Have any of you purchased a system in the Space game yet?  I blew 1 million credits buying a system with a T2 Planet and some good spice with a planet full of another race.  When I purchased the system, I went to look at my new colonies and start reaping the harvest of my planet....

...but I found a desolate T0 world, no colonies, and only the spice geysers.  Is this a bug or has anyone else purchased a system only to have it turn into a bland system needing to be redeveloped?

PC Games / Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space
« on: November 08, 2005, 07:03:33 am »
I know most of us love to sit down for 8 hours straight and play with our veritable tinker toys of games... Morrowind, Simcity, so on and so forth.  However, what if you could explore a star cluster, engage in battles, find new technology, and build a 5 ship fleet of fully configurable starships, all in about 20 minutes.  Well, either the game is a miracle of programming technology, or it just plain out sucks.  I'd like to turn you all on to a game from Digital Eel called Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space.

This game is simple... explore the known galaxy for either technology, weapons, other species, or all three (depending on your starting ship class), and avoid being blown up, sucked into black holes, enveloped by a supernova, or never making it back to home base.  You have twenty years to complete your mission (20 years can pass anywhere between 10 minutes to 30 minutes).  You'll meet some powerful allies, but some even more powerful enemires... it's up to you to either run or confront them.

If you've played Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, this is the sequel, and rocks the socks off of it's little brother.  This is one of those rare games that gives you a little bit of nostalgia from lunch break games, but is robust enough to play for hours if you want to.  I highly recommend it if you don't mind 2-d but colorful and crisp graphics, just enough sound to keep you sane, and gameplay that's addictive and fufilling.

The demo for the game should be coming out soon.  Otherwise, if you bought Weird Worlds (like me), tell others what you think.  I'm happy to support some of the smaller developers who are looking to create a new niche in gaming... old school meets new school, and for once, it works.

PC Games / Ragdoll Masters
« on: October 03, 2005, 11:08:42 pm »
I've found a new addiction.  This one is called Ragdoll Masters, not to be confused with Ragdoll Kung Fu released through the Steam engine on Oct 12.  Ragdoll Masters is quite simply a 2d beat em up with one twist.  You're a ragdoll, and so is your opponent(s).  You pretty much move your head around a low gravity environment and bounce about, kicking the crap out of anyone who gets in the way.  This goes reverse as well, because your body is not controllable... you simply move with the physics of the events the happened moments ago.  If you just got whcacked, you're going to fly back, painfully.  You can rebound off of other opponents and flip in mid air, kicking the other opponent flying at you.

There is a demo of the game at

Try it out.  For five bucks, it'll engross you with all the cool stuff you can do.  There are 20 levels (highest I can get is level 7).  And there are a small variety of enemies (most notably multiple enemies), as well as an infinite number of cominations of physics settings (gravity, body flexibility, blow force, speed, etc.)  There are also 2 player vs and co-op modes.

Check it out and see what you think.

Console Games / We Love Katamari!
« on: September 21, 2005, 07:33:07 pm »
Yes I do.  The sequel to Katamari Damacy is coming out tomorrow in retailers and I for one am psyched.  Sure, you get strange looks when you're buying a game whose box art looks sexually ambiguous or at least 5 year old caliber, but these folks don't know what they're missing.  So instead of all of those people who buy a 60 dollar crap game, why not spend 50 and buy Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari?  What do you think?

To me, the original was like a cold glass of water after working in the yard for seven hours straight.... so refreshing.  From what I've seen of the sequel, I'm in for more of a treat.  Maybe I'm the only one around who likes the game....if you haven't played Katamari Damacy, you should look it up at your local game store... it's 20 bucks, so what do you have to lose.

PC Games / That wily Jack Thompson!
« on: August 10, 2005, 09:52:11 pm »
Looks like some moron tried to blame GTA for influencing him to kill three police officers... mind you, this moron is TWENTY years old.  So they convicted him.  I'm surprised they didn't let him off due to insanity or lack of mental capacity to form large words.

Hot on the heels of some convicted moron comes good ole' Jack Thompson... always ready to make a buck off of dead people and ruined lives.  He's no suing Wally World, Gamestop, Take Two, and Sony.  If you ask me, that's aobut as stupid as suing Bill Gates because WIndows XP lets you play these horrible video games!!!  Going after Sony?  That's second only a to a deathwish.

Nonetheless, be careful, ladies and gentlemen... next week, Jack Thompson will be suing you because you thought about hurting someone sometime in your life.

Here's the quick read:

Read Jack's quote... that's a good one.  Yeah, GTA taught me to pick up a gun and murder three law-enforcement officers.

Officer: "Drop your weapon!"
GTA-crazed-moron:  "WTF?!  No auto-aim?!"
Officer: "I won't ask you again!"
GTA-crazed-moron:  "Where the hell is the L1 button?! ... Dude!  Wait!  I need to find the L1 button!!!"

Sadly, he found the L1 button, three times.  No, GTA didn't inspire him to do anything... he was already screwed up.


Spore: General / El-Fish and Spore... evolution of an idea.
« on: April 28, 2005, 02:06:32 pm »
If any of your remember the 386/486 era of computers, when Maxis was pumping out games like crazy, some of you may remember a game that floated quite literally under the gaming radar.  Animetek and Maxis joined forces to create a virtual aquarium game called El-Fish.  Reading about spore drew some pretty striking lines to this piece of software.

For those of you who don't know what the game is, it's the virtual aquarium to end all virtual aquariums.  It allowed you to build your own tanks, complete with custom music and items.  But the really crazy part is the fact that it offered an infinite number of fish to put into your tanks.  First off, you could go sailing in a 2-d map to catch randomly generated fish.  They would be all sorts of colors and shapes, from the mundane to the specatular.  Not only could you catch fish, but fish you already had could be bred or evolved to create even cooler looking fish.  One could even breed/evolve mutant, sterile fish that would look really wild.

If that wasn't enough, each fish you got was then animated ON YOUR COMPUTER (ahem, Spore) and was then ready to be dropped into an aquarium.  Granted, this animation took hours on the old 486 computers, and were only animated in 2.5-d (like some of the later-generation Super Nintendo games).  But every fish you got had the ability to operate on it's own completely independent animation.  This offered an unprecidented amount of customization.

In addition, each fish you got was stored in a .roe file... it was a mere description of your fish.  Tons of these files could be put onto a floppy and taken over to your friend's house, where it could be animated there as well.  There wasn't an online community providing millions of fish at the time, but I'd say that this idea was brought into what Spore is trying to accomplish.  The compression ratio was about 1:300-700... each animated fish was about half a meg in size, give or take a few K.  Each .roe file was like 1 to 3k in size.  This alludes to me that each .roe file was simply the math required to calculate the exact same fish multiple times.

So, one could build infinite custom tanks and put infinite, computer animated, custom looking fish into the tanks.  Maybe Will Wright never had El-Fish cross his mind when he was dreaming up Spore, but if you can find this game (it's 4 floppies in size and can be found at your nearest garage sale), give it a whirl...

Now, the fish in El-Fish probably weren't generated using procedural code (as the time it took to generate the animations seemed more iterative than anything else), and you couldn't explicitly define how a fish would look or be built.  However,  El-Fish stands as a diamond in the rough and possibly may have been a precursor for the idea of Spore.


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