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Topics - Uroboros

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Everything Else / Kickstarters of interest
« on: November 23, 2012, 07:48:31 pm »
Given links to kickstarters have become a semi-regular thing now, I guess it makes sense to have a central thread for them for bored browsing.
It's a crying shame when interesting projects slip on by, plus sometimes we could use a helpful reality check when something smells like a scam.
Not limited to games, either.

So, I'll start us off with a generic fantasy-looking game with a fun looking underpinning system, for your curiosity :

As well as a potential (official) Elite game :

PC Games / "Tastes May Vary"
« on: April 23, 2012, 01:28:20 pm »
Ever really disliked a game that seemed to be generally be liked by others?
This is the thread for it. Kindly add a brief of why you disliked it, so others can figure whether to dodge the game or not.
Feel free to offer counterpoint, the idea of this is to expose those critical little details that can make or break a game, depending on a person's tastes.

I'm going to open with : "Superbrothers Swords & Sworcery EP"
Now, normally I can really sink into an artsy "experience" kind of game, but this is completely hollow to me in every way, and yet people seem to love it. I don't even think it really fully qualifies as a 'game', and even fails on the utterly linear story side of things. The trailers are pretty damn dishonest about it. For instance, one of it's features is supposed to be being able to use twitter to cooperate with others or give hints. Instead what you get is a button attached to most snippets of text in the game, that copy-pastes it into a tweet, which will mean nothing to anyone without the game (and apparently the tweets have a link to stuff relating to the game). I suspected this was the case, given a lot of the text snippets that appear in a point-and-click manner, always sounded to be deliberately passive-hipster-cool and like they were from your own mouth, to bait people. Plus the game keeps not-so-subtly poking you to use Twitter for this free advertisement even though you gain nothing.

Then you get the linearity. Linearity isn't always a bad thing if there is a story to be told, with plot points that need to be adhered to, but the 'game' outright hand-holds you through close-knit hoops, and then when it finally stops doing this, it leaves things very obscure. Add to this the fact your character moves pretty slow, and any undue wandering around becomes more a chore than the "pleasant walk, soaking in the atmosphere" it seems they were hoping for. Then you get intermittant fourth-wall breaking by a random character in a suit who is always smoking, telling you that apparently the game is some kind of therapy and choking out trying-too-hard-to-be-deep lines that sound akin to Star-Trek techno-filler. This isn't the charming fourth-wall breaking in things like Monkey Island or Metal Gear Solid, it's stuff like :
"Liminality is the recourse of somatic lucidity, our mythopoetic ergonometry facilitates internal growth, but we'll talk more about this later". I kid you not.

The parts that remotely add up to being gamelike, are brief interruptions for combat, where clicking and holding a shield icon blocks damage in most cases, and clicking the sword takes a swing. I'm sitting at 65% completion and have only faced two standard enemies, which consisted of block->attack->win. An additional two were 'bosses' consisting of floating triforce chunks, which were almost as simple. The non-combat 'puzzles' are largely a matter of sitting around staring at the screen looking for faint glows and then clicking on them randomly until you find the right order, with very little variation. Failing that, click at random. One of the novelties of the game was that real life moon phases effect gameplay. It's more that one of the chapters stonewalls your progress until you have played during two certain moon phases, and unsubtly suggests you alter your computer's date/time to speed the process, with a non-cheat alternative in-game that has a design flaw preventing access to some, for 24 hours. The cheating comes with a petty in-game penalty of preventing you from hitting 100% completion stat and apparently altering the ending, but giving you an achievement.

My conclusion thusfar is that this is just hipsterish garbage that was made as an after-thought to the music. The music itself is alright, it's still growing on me, but that alone can't really hold up all these flaws, no matter how cheap the purchase was. I'm normally all about a chilled, atmospheric experience, especially with a pixelcore graphic style, but this has been tedious and feels pretentious. Plus the big dishonesty really rubbed me the wrong way.
It baffles me how so many people are really liking this. :I

PC Games / Syndicate (2012)
« on: September 30, 2011, 10:57:12 am »
Anybody remember the old RTS game?

It turns out, they're re-imagining the game as an FPS, and it's release is currently chalked up to February 2012. Oh, and there is up to 4-player cooperative, apparently. As somebody said in the comments of it's Announce Trailer : "The audio/visual editing crew just sold millions of copies of this game outright. They're probably due for a raise." :

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Now lets just hope Origins isn't mandatory. I already had to give up on the idea of BF3 due to Origin's horrible EULA.

PC Games / The Humble Indie Bundle!
« on: December 15, 2010, 01:25:01 pm »
The current bundle (31st May 2012) contains:

Superbrothers : Swords & Sworcery EP

And the bonus game for beating the average is :

For those who don't know, the humble bundle is a recurring pack of indie-games that have been offered up for the price of : "Pay what you want."
Whilst the developers and the humble bundle organisers get a slice of the profit, some of it goes to two charities too, and you get to pick exactly where your money goes through a neat little slider thingy, literally letting you decide whether only the charities get the cash, how much the developers get, and so forth. Depending on the individual pack, the source codes are often released too, though sometimes only when a certain overall donations mark has been reached. They do actually expect a fair amount of people just to purchase it for $1, because of both lacking interest, greed, and the fact not everyone can afford to buy videogames (at least not without skipping their daily out-of-date insta-ramen ration). Just give a little thought on it, okay? Each bundle is time-limited, lasting about 15 days, so don't think too long! Just lately they're adding in previously released bundle games if you beat the average purchase price.

Amnesia is a notoriously effective horror game that relies on suspense and atmosphere, rather than outright combat. Psychonauts is a real classic, a platformer following a kid named Raz through a psychic summer-camp. I had my doubts at first due to the art style, but it quickly grows on you if you let it. Limbo is another platformer, a heavily atmospheric, dark journey of a child apparently trying to find his way back to his sister. Swords & Sworcery is liked by a lot of people, but I found the game to be a mere afterthought to the soundtrack. To be honest, I found it hollow, hand-holdy and pretentious, but at least you get it's music, and maybe you'll be one of many who adore it. If so, shame on you more power to you! Bastion, which you get if you beat the average, is another little gem. Whilst the gameplay itself would be samey, where it really excels is in the storytelling, which is done through active narration from a friendly acquaintance of the main character. That might not sound like much but it's done to good effect.

(This topic will be updated and bumped at the release of every new Humble Indie Bundle.)
(The bumping will probably be done by folks with faster reaction times than me)

PC Games / Prototype (PC)
« on: June 11, 2009, 01:21:26 pm »

Against my better judgement, I preordered a game that was to be released on the PC at the same time as on the 360.
Maybe THIS port won't be ridiculously bugged, after all, its dual release!
Oh how I was wrong.

Straight from installing, all cutscenes lag, the audio is filled with abnormal amounts of 'grain', and is strangely surpressed (with all my software-side volumes maxed, and my speakers maxed, I get normal playback volume... barely). The game starts out smooth but looking a touch sub-par at first, and then grinded to a halt with sudden, cumulative bombs of graphical lag. A quick google revealed that lo and behold, they shipped the PC game with a mass-encountered set of screw-ups. Like the game refusing to detect your video card... and requiring that you disable audio acceleration... and that you don't use the V-sync graphic option... and that you remove all but the necessary HID's from your device manager list... and that you alter your default playback sample-rate... I mean FFS how the hell did this stuff get past beta testing?

The game could be promising, but i'll have to wait until I can actually play the damned thing before I can remark on that. Technically I could struggle onwards having been forced to skip some important scene-and-story setting cinematics, and just wait for the next payload of lagspikes and grainy audio to kick in, but why bother? I'll just sit back and wonder why on earth people pirate games so much, whilst they no doubt take their sweet time in releasing a patch to make it reasonably playable. Assuming they don't do something similar to what happened with the Saints Row 2 port, where you only get mono audio unless you disable sound acceleration and call that a 'fix'. You know, like when you tell a dealer the brand new car you just bought can't seem to roll its windows down, and they say "its fine, just use the sunroof! FIXED!!1".

Buggeration, I can't believe I actually paid for a full-price new release and thought it would turn out well.

Spore: General / Urge to be unconstructive, rising...
« on: September 19, 2008, 05:23:37 am »
I've kept a clean posting record ever since I joined the GS forums, so allow me this one, okay?
Let it sink if you must, but... im'a venting my E-RAGE.

Anybody remember Luminar? Ex-poster here?
Yeah, well i'm still in touch with him, got him on my friends list in Spore.
Turns out he just recieved a 7-day ban from Spore. No uploads, no downloads, no logging in, no forum access.
What did he do? He made a comment in relation to a gooey monster : "God damn that looks unpleasant. Downloaded!"

Yeah. A non-vulgar, non-explitive, common public-use phrase got him a 7 day ban. It wasnt even "god damn", it was just "damn". Which, now I checked, is even wordfiltered in the official spore forums. He got punished, for a common non-offensive phrase, and used in the positive. When not so long ago, on those very forums, the word "retard" or "retarded" wordfiltered to "downs-syndrome". Isnt that a little more beyond the boundary of taste and offense? Yeah. Thats what I thought. Seven days isnt exactly a crippling length, but being treated like you're one of those disruptive, nasty little comment trolls? Disabling some of the key features of the game? Preventing him from logging in, so stuff he makes doesnt even get stamped with his username?

Not cool.
It reminds me of City of Heroes, who also decided to wordfilter the word "fist", and the word "facial", simply because of the fringe pornographic terms. A passing aqquaintance I made in City of Heroes, a martial-artist by the name of Flaming Fist, would appear to those who kept the default wordfilter on, as "Flaming ****". Many chuckles were had.

Still, the word "damn" has long since been a passive non-negative, non-explitive, non-vulgar, common use word. Often used as a simple enhancer. I could understand a little more if it was because of "god damn", but it was for the word "damn" on its own. Even then, the phrase "god damn" is not a singular religious statement or inherantly offensive, as that too has long been common use, and even then, the better part of those who would find it offensive are more likely to be only the christian folks.

So... I dont think I really had a point, here. I wont lock the topic to let it sink, because posting a thread and locking it would be even worse. Thoughts? Similar experiences?

Spore: General / For those still waiting for Spore...
« on: September 05, 2008, 08:12:19 pm »
A little reassurance, yay!

I just spent the last two days hunched up to my screen, giggling like a lunatic. Whilst I havent really ventured far into the space stage yet, I have played two species through to the space stage, all the way up from Cell. Now, you know all those people saying Spore is really empty and boring? All those people saying its a big let-down? Disregard it.

Spore seems to be exactly as it should be. Granted, there is a little period of adjustment, when you realise Spore does have its limits and internal workings you can work at mentally mapping... but the game itself remains true to its original vision. You create, you play around, you create some more, you complete a task, you create even more...

It ended up a little more drivenly task/mission-based than I expected, but it gives you a sense of direction, I think. When you actually decide not to do exactly what the tooltip suggests you do, and stop, look around, take in the sights, go exploring by looking at the world rather than the arrow on the minimap... its great. Some aspects feel a little hollower than I expected, but its not game-breakingly so. What few things I noticed that seemed to be missing, I suspect might get patched in later on.

The people saying the game has no replayability were likely only viewing the game from a fixed perspective. In their mind, all they'd get from the game is a series of tooltips saying "Befriend/Hunt 5 Blobboids to get 35 DNA". However for me? I stopped early on in the space phase of my first species, just to go back and do it all again, wondering what the next planet would be like, and how carnivores would play out.

Rambling, yeah... but its far from as bad as some would have you believe. I really havent seen many bugs, and those that I found were far from game-breaking, and didnt ruin anything. So cheer up, you'll soon be merrily concocting all kinds of crazy stuff!

Spore: General / Ramblings and challenges.
« on: July 20, 2008, 09:54:41 pm »
Its late here. 5:30am late, and I havent slept. I was going to arrange my thoughts more tidily and somehow make them all relevent to one another, given I started a new thread, but fuggit. Have some Spore-related thingies :

First and foremost, I stumbled on a trick in the Creature Creator tonight. You know how you resize limbs by scrolling the mousewheel on the joints of a limb? The hip, knee and ankle in a standard leg, for example? Maybe im just waaay behind, but I found you could actually resize the musculature between the joints by scrolling the mousewheel on the limb sections themselves (the shin section, for example). Its slow, but for limbs with more muscular definition, you can shrink and emphesise the bulging, which is great if you're making particularly strong, athletic, or weak looking creatures.

Secondly, for the love of god, DONT post comments on a creature if its primary purpose is to advertise your own creatures. You know how in youtube you'll get people who comment like "Meh. Come watch my videos"? Some people keep trying to pass "Not bad. Check out my creature index" comments recently, and its annoying as hell. Some people will look at your creature index out of curiosity, or out of courteousy for having commented on theirs. Grabbing for praise is annoying. My suggestion is to keep a hammer or screwdriver near your keyboard, and if you ever find yourself ending a generic comment with "look at my creatures" or "please vote my creatures", you need to maim yourself. Its a pain for a better good!

Thirdlillerly, the test drive is a great part of the creature creator. Using it is awesome too. It makes people like you. Phasing is pretty much unavoidable in some creatures, but if half of your creature ends up beneith the floor in nearly every animation, or if your creatures surface texture is reduced to a mile-long stretch of stringy smudges between two limbs and the body? Then the creature could probably use some tiny tweaks. Just a thought...
Fourthly, and less cantankerously, since our recent talking on creature stealing, I figured it might be nice to set a good example. If you have a friend somewhere in the sporepedia, or just another user who you exchange comments with regularly, think about taking a copy of their creature and making a kind of offshot breed, and crediting them for their original work. Someone has a "Mighty Grundol"? Make a "Lesser Grundol" scavenger version. Someone has a "Mountain Blingo"? Make a "Swamp Blingo". Spread the delicious creature lovings, and mark the end of your description with "(based on a User1924's Sharkleech)" homage things. Even those who just dont pay attention to what they're doing should catch on eventually, but we've got two million creatures to catch up with. So get to it! Grab a friend and pay tribute! :3

That was inspired by a creature exchange that me and Luminar did recently. We occasionally throw 'challenges' at each other, in the shape of music, or words, or random names, and the other has to come up with a creature that feels like it matches the challenge material. Or make an 'evil' or 'cute' version of a creature that the other person made, just things like that to break through a lack of inspiration. Gets some interesting results sometimes.

What is there to discuss here, other than telling my nearly-6am self to stop being so grumblesome? I dunno, feel free to use this thread to throw down some challenge material, or link to tribute/offshoot creatures. I hope that limb-tip thing isnt something that people have been using since day 1. Eesh. Anyway, why am I still awake? Oh thats right, the 'post' button...

Spore: General / The incredibly important thread of emergency +4.
« on: May 26, 2008, 09:52:20 am »
Dilemma! Tragedy! Panic! Shockness!

A very serious emergency has raised its ugly, merciless head, and it requires immediate assistance!
Spore! What to do? Do I pre-order it from a store so I have the delicious pristine box and DVD, and risk not having it the day it is released? Or do I pre-order it from the EA website and sit through the painful second-by-second download observation torture, and go without my oh-so-desired physical box? claims that it can deliver it to me, so that it will arrive on the day of the release... but what if due to TRAGEDY SURPRISE MANIC EVIL my DVD arrives a day late? Or worse, two days late? Or due to several years worth of pre-orders, I dont get it for more than a week? But... the box!

(Thank you herr doctor)

And then, do I buy the full creature creator in June? All those delicious parts to play with, but i'll overplay it! It will remove some of the magic when the final thing is released. Maybe if I go with the free demo I wont ruin too much, and might not feel frustrated about having to earn pieces im already highly familiar with, and used to using on a whim. But what if by making any of my creatures prior to the game, I get used so used to seeing them, watching them do stuff in the main game isnt really that fun? Or I cant decide which creature to use, and end up trying to run several playthroughs at once (which i've done before, considerably slowing it all down).

(Activate the ubercharge)

Did I say that Spore isnt overhyped and people are being quite sensible about it? You FOOLS! How could you fall for that? Of course Spore is overhyped. It is everything! It is the very lynchpin holding all of existance together! Without it world economy and our entire social structure would collapse! But seriously, I cant decide whether to hazard a pre-order on the boxed edition, for fear of having to sit out of spore for a week, given how long places have been taking pre-orders. I normally get the physical box and DVD simply because online downloads can be unreliable, plus I have a whole inch of spare room to fill with useless objects. So, out of plain curiosity, how've you gone about your pre-orders, or how to you intend to buy this damn thing? Im fairly unfamiliar with straight download purchases, aside from two .PDF files I grabbed, and I dont know how reliable online pre-orders are compared to straight pre-orders visiting a store.

Spore: General / Concerns, directed at the forum.
« on: July 05, 2006, 10:11:07 am »
Whilst this doesnt directly relate to Spore, it does relate to this part of the forum in particular.
I've noticed that grammar/spelling police seem to be popping up out of the woodwork more often now. Its not necessarily a bad thing to point out someones mistakes, but its getting to a point where people are just being completely tactless about it now. I know its annoying, but its generating a lot of little arguements that are in effect bogging down the original threads topics. Just recently, there was one that wasnt even about grammar or spelling, but was based on the word "satellite" and what it really means, as opposed to how it is commonly used (for a man-made orbiter).

Its understandable if someone doesnt read and write english as a primary language, most of the problems there are avoided by simply saying "I dont speak english very well, please excuse", but a lot of people really just dont seem to even -try- to write any more. Being a forum, the entire way we communicate is through written posts. Some people find needless txtspk abbreviations hard to decipher sometimes, or even when they're obvious, it forces people to slow their reading pace down to work out what you mean. Typos will always happen, though, and people shouldnt be too quick to carpetbomb a forumgoer just because they misspelled something. It happens. Give people some elbow-room for mistakes, but if you have to correct them, try not to send another thread into a flaming cartwheel over a single misplaced letter or a mistaken word.

People dont want immaculate, spotlessly forged posts and replies, but a little consideration for those who would read it is all we want really. If you spoke like you wrote, it would be like your mouth was anaesthetised and you had a golfball-sized hole in your tongue, its just not pretty! In return, how about some of us spelling/grammar nazis disarm and go off-duty for a bit? Its annoying to see most posts getting all hung up on minor things, just as annoying as those genuinely horrendous posts that crop up from time to time.

So uh, what im really saying is CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? :-\
*is then promptly beaten under a barrage of 13375p34k and post critiques*

Spore: Creation Corner / Inspiration, and the lack of.
« on: June 18, 2006, 03:05:48 pm »
Its strange really. I look at all these threads filled with detailed descriptions and pictures, and I remember when I used to be able to do that pretty easily. Right now? Im uninspired. Even if I had the inspiration I probably wouldnt go as far as to write up the history of an advanced creature, when I havent even played the thing yet to find out how it should grow... and I have serious troubles designing building exteriors, never been any good at coming up with that (pre-game planning, I mean.)

What do you use to help inspire yourself, or what do you normally find yourself thinking about when you happen upon your best ideas? Not trying to keep you all on a leash here, but i'd appreciate it if you keep posts full of page-long lyrics or large images out of this. This is just going to be a thread that might help save someone from an artists/writers block. I personally find my better scribblings come out on their own, when im relaxing on a night. Best way to unwind is with a glass of something really cold (preferably a little sweet, fizzing and with ice), a good sandwich, and perhaps some kind of online radio and some decent headphones. Then, I just scribble away randomly whilst listening to music and chilling out, just doesnt work for buildings is all   :3

Spore: General / The concerns of a jaded gamer.
« on: June 11, 2006, 07:12:52 am »
Like most of you here, im looking forward to Spore.
Problem is, im a jaded gamer, and im worried.

When I saw the little smiley symbols rise off another creature during a video presentation of spore, I thought of the Sims, and when I thought of the Sims, I cringed. Dont get me wrong, I liked the Sims, and the Sims 2 had me hooked for ages. There is one little thing that is now niggling at me as a result though. In the Sims (1 and 2), after the initial wow-factor had stopped blinding you, you could see a lot of the games workings quite easily. Action A results in Stat A going up, whilst Stat B went down. Action B results in Stat B going up, whilst Stat C went down. Thats not such a bad thing, it removed a lot of needless messing around, and let players achieve what they wanted in a pretty direct manner. The problem with this, is that in the longer run, the game seems more shallow than it should. Particularly in the Sims 2 with the inclusion of "woohoo". If any one of my characters felt so inclined, all they had to do, to get someone in bed, was to repeatedly pommel their target with positive social interactions, and then hop into the sack with them. Now, its nice to have any member of the households I make, able to seduce any person they so feel like, be it another player-character or someone I met at the store, but that just doesnt seem right. I dont mean 'right' in a moral sense, I mean 'right' in a game sense. Once you understand the mechanics, there was no game behind it, just keep stabbing the left-mouse-button at social interactions they liked, then by the end of the second day you're likely to have had a roll in the hay with them. Or like when once you've come to terms with how you advance your Sim in their job, the game can devolve into simply a race against the clock to make a mass amount of family friends, prevent yourself from drifting apart with old friends, squeezing in a meal and a few hours sleep, then going back to work again. Whilst still a fun game at heart, once the core of the mechanics become glaringly apparent, all we tend to do is dance around them, and forget its a game, and not a stat-builder. Yes, its our responsibility as gamers to have fun and prevent ourselves from falling into that behaviour, but it seems in our nature. Who has played an RPG of some remote kind, loved it to bits, but then had to stop playing because the game became entirely about "levelling up" and the grind became boring? This tends to happen when the game lets you 'free-fall', and we let it happen, we're like lemmings.

"So Uroboros, what does this have to do with Spore?" I hear you ask?

What happens if social interactions between creatures in the creature stage end up like this? If you want a social species, spam communication. If you want a loner species? Dont. What about the spacefaring stage? Will a single error always end up with the target culture declaring war on your home planet? Or will it just be a choice between a short list of instant responses? Every time we play through the game in the tribal/city/civ stage, will the technology trees be the same? Will each species not only have the same core technology, but will they all appear and behave the same way as well? If I create three completely different species, and grow them to the spacefaring stage in different manners, once I research everything, despite how the shell of my buildings and spaceship appears, will they all behave the same way? Generic beamlaser, generic abduction beam? I wonder just how deep the other customisation goes..
Can we make our abduction beams a "roswell style" white light or a green 'laser tube' like in the video presentations? Or will these things be decided for us on our tech research levels? If so, will this cause us to want to stop advancing our technology when we find something we like the looks of?

Yes, I am a touch paranoid, but just because im paranoid it doesnt mean they ARENT out to get me, y'know ;)
I worry, because Spore is a game that i've always dreamed of. Seriously. That sounds sappy but ever since I was a kid, i've thought about how a game like this would be fun. I've always loved customisation, and have always felt pulled towards games with it in. And yet somehow, every attempt to give us -real- freedom of creation has fallen short somehow. I have my hopes up over spore, but I wonder if this game, with its Maxis roots can pull away from predictable core-systems. I have enjoyed Maxis games, but I will personally cry tears of blood if Spore becomes predictable to the point, that every creature I get streamed from someone else, ends up looking the same (due to 'optimum builds') or having 5 stars in nearly everything (due to predictable growth). As someone else pointed out, just how limited will the use of our land-vehicles be? Once we have researched everything, just how much fun will zipping around in our spacecraft be?

Just for once, just once, i'd like to see a creative game have some real soul, and have long-term appeal. I have faith in this game, but it cant prevent me from worrying. Why do I sound like this is such a tragedy? Because real entertainment is hard to come by, after you have seen and played a thousand clones of every damned game on the shelf. Im likely going to get suckered into buying the 1001 expansion packs that come out for Spore, but if it were to ever exist, the direct multiplayer expansion would be what i'd go for first. Yes, there is no confirmed direct multiplayer, and there appears to be no direct interest in it either, but im not talking about direct wars (after all, we're not all online at the same time). I'd love it if by warping through certain kinds of black-hole, you ended up in a new universe, which is actually an online lobby. What for? Im not sure. Chat. Trading. Pre-determined mini-games like 'creature chess' in a window that pops up, where each piece can a card you've collected. Sporepedia card-games (card battles too), space-ship hockey with black holes as goals and meteors as pucks. Silly things like that. In reality, I dont think I want Spore to be a game, but nothing more than a toy. No "endgame" goals, no predictable linear core-system (outside of the initial play, so we can learn how to do things), but more of a toy, a catalyst to fun through our creativity.

Yeah I know, im gushing. This is result of caffiene and boredom.
So what is my real point? I guess I dont have one. What are your thoughts?

Jaded gamer, over and out.

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