Author Archives: Idgaf

Race for the Galaxy is on Android & iOS

Race for the Galaxy is finally on Android on iOS and officially on PC.  It’s a good game.

Race for the Galaxy is a card game where you have to build a space empire.  On your turn you get to choose actions such as trading goods for points or more cards, concentrating on building up your military, settling worlds and developing factories.

On each turn you pick an action, but the quirk is your opponent can piggyback on that and copy your action.  You want to develop a world? He can too.

The theme’s pasted on, but thanks to the artwork on the cards it all works and definitely feels sci-fi.

Games don’t last long have interesting decisions.   The AI and game logic was developed by the same guy who did a fan-made version.

I really enjoy it and you should buy it.

Off-screen footage of Skyrim VR on PSVR

Some people are complaining about this being a six-year old game.  So what?

I had to return my PSVR because of various issues – the tracking drift and wobble were issues – but the sense of scale.

That’s enough.  THat’s enough.   Mountains will seem like mountains.  Castles like castles.  You’ll feel dwarfed by the world.

Oh shit – and the DRAGONS.

 

 

Speedrunners is a fun little multiplayer game

Speedrunners is a 2D ‘don’t get caught off-screen’ racing platformer.    It’s fun.

Up to four players can play at once, with the host able to put bots in to make up the numbers.   You race around Super Meat Boy style levels, doing multiple laps.

The screen scrolls at the pace of the person in front.  If you’re in last place and the screen scrolls past your character, you’ll die and have to sit out the rest of the race.

 You can hit people with missiles, turn them to ice and even swap places using a grappling hook.

It’s free on Xbox Live Gold at the moment.  Play it with friends; you’ll end up calling them effing sees.

People in front of polling stations are not part of the election. Ignore them.

The people in front of polling station that ask for your polling card are not part of the election.  They have nothing to do the voting process.  Ignore them.

They work/volunteer for political parties.  They are there to keep track of who voted. This way they can see who is politically active.  You can ignore them and still vote.

A woman asked me for my polling card as I walked approached the station.  She had no identification on her.  She said she was from X party and pointed to her associate who had a political sticker on her coat.

I said I didn’t see the sticker.  The first woman then said that her sticker was on her baby – a baby that was on the ground in a box between her legs.

In retrospect, I should have said ‘Am I supposed to have checked the baby for ID, then?’.

Turn a reality TV show into a game. Describe it.

From NeoGaf:

I’ve been watching Highway Thru Hell. It’s a reality TV show about a group of recovery drivers in Canada that specialise in clearing crashed big rigs. Most of the show is filmed in winter when it’s very very cold and there’s heavy snow.

Before each job they go to, there’s a CGI video explaining how and why the truck crashed.

During each job they’ll show them picking up the big rigs with cranes and cables; the drivers will talk about the geometry of each wreck and how they’ll recover it.

Will a single tow truck do, or do they need a crane? Should the chains be attached to the top of the rig or the side, or both? If the trailer is full of supplies, how does it affect the momentum as it’s pulled upright?

It would make a great physics based game. The obvious part would be about having different ‘puzzles’ of crushed trucks, where you have to choose the right equipment to recover them.

You could even have a prelude section where you try to recreate the crash to understand it. It could be like Burnout’s crash mode, but more serious. You have to create a jackknife truck that ends up straddling concrete barriers in the middle of the road.

If you wanted an RPG element, you could unlock new trucks or try to manage party members – different drivers and how they relate to each other.

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyyINDKeRJ0

Film review: IceMan (1984)

IceMan is a film you’ve probably never heard of, but should probably watch.  A group of arctic scientists find a frozen 40,000-year old Neanderthal man who comes back to life.

It’s a slow film, without much dialogue or exposition, at least compared to modern films.  But it’s thoughtfully made and touching, asking the viewer to be patient with the story and characters and to think about what makes us human.

Trailer 

Switch Mario Kart has a cluttered minimap

I played a Switch for the first time today.  Mario Kart.  The on-screen minimap is cluttered and doesn’t need to be.   I hope there’s an option to change it.

I played a two-player VS AI using the Switch as the screen.   We had a three-player game, against AI.   Both were league races on a variety of tracks.

In both modes the minimap was in the centre of the screen, so everyone could see it.

Problem 1 –

Because it was shared, it didn’t rotate according to my position.  It’s easier to follow a map it turns and orients itself in the direction you’re travelling.   This shared map was confusing because I was constantly having to re-orient it in my head.
Not the game’s fault. I can’t think of an easy solution to having a map that’s supposed to rotate to show four players’ positions.  But the fact it didn’t move was compounded by…

Problem 2 –

Each player had a large icon on the map, so you could see people’s position.   But as players bunched up, which was all the time, it was hard to pick out your position from the group.

In a game that’s split across AI/humans, I don’t care about AI positions on the map.   It doesn’t matter much if I beat the AI, but it matters if I beat my friends.   I hope the game has an option to toggle whether I want to see everyone, nobody, AI or humans, then other players or friends.

Pushing that idea farther, there’s an argument that in racing games in general we don’t need to see players’ positions on the minimap.

Firstly, the map becomes less useful the longer you play.  You get used to tracks and stop relying on the map for information about turns and straights.

Second, if end up behind someone am I not going to overtake them?   What does the map add to my decision making in this situation?  (See above for decisions on when to overtake.)

Maybe it would be useful if they player on the map had a weapon and it was shown on the map, so I could know what to expect.  Or if I had a limited turbo boost and wanted a better idea of when to pop it.  (But again see two paragraphs up.)

But that’s not most racing games.   So exactly what information do we need to see on a minimap?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actors should be hypnotised to believe what’s happening is real.

I’m watching the latest Independence Day films. One of the Hemsworth brothers is flying a spaceship through falling debris and chunks of rock. He’s shouting, because it’s exciting and dangerous.

He’s doing a fine job of screaming and shouting, but there’s no tension to the scene because I’ve seen it all before. Better graphics don’t make it more immersive.

I need to rely on the actors, but they can’t out-act over-familiarity and desensitisation. But if they were hypnotised?

COuld you elicit a more realistic performance than terror?

Destiny 2 – It’s like every videogame ever

Bungie kept on saying Destiny 2 is about ‘starting with nothing and having to become more powerful’.  But that’s literally every videogame ever made.

Not only that, it’s every human endeavour.  Learning to walk.   Making an omelette.  Climbing mountains.

You start off without the skill, then you acquire it over time.

How is that a selling point?