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Showing posts from November, 2012

Aftermath: Steam Autumn Sale 2012

The Steam Autumn sale has struck my wallet like a fall wildfire hitting a national forest preserve.  On top of that, Origin (EA's Steam competitor) has been running some pretty enticing sales as well.  Considering I happen to have a less-than-part-time job, something resembling income now, I was able to partake frugally.  (Yes, I know piracy is even more frugal, but unlikely the majority of PC gamers (just ask Ubisoft) I prefer to support the industry.)

Here's what I ended up buying:
Cities In Motion Complete (2012) - $13.54.  I know, if I have Tropico 4, why do I need another city builder?  Well, part of that is because this is not a city builder.  It's a Transportation Tycoon kind of game. I've found these can be quite relaxing, and Cities Of Motion has been on my wish list for quite some time.  (Nearly all of these games have, actually.)  Age Of Wonders Trilogy Pack, Dead Hungry Diner - $12.72.  Four games for less than $15!  The former, the Age Of Wonders series, is…

Viva La Banana Republico!

I do not play a whole lot of games from the "city builder" genre.  SimCity (the original) was briefly fun, but it was not long until I found laying down residential areas and providing them with power to be a substandard gaming experience.  Making citizen satisfaction charts change because I zoned a building is rather a rather trite concept of gameplay, don't you think?  That's not fun interaction... not for me, anyway.

Modern city builders have come a long way since SimCity (a 1989 game) but the trouble is that they will usually make one of two mistakes.  The first is to utilize too much abstraction, simulating the individual in broader lights, to the point where there's a loss of suspension of disbelief as some arbitrary game design decision rears its ugly head.  The second is to fall too far into the territory of becoming a real time strategy game.  You end up with a unit-commanding game that is mired down with a kludgy city management requirement.

Last weeken…

Life, Ponies, Towns, and Gnomes

Life's little troubles

I love my sister and my nephew and niece, but I do come to dread their visits from Seattle because they usually bring a nasty bug from the big city.  I was already suffering from a bit of a head cold that left me tired and weak, and now my mom seems to be suffering from something else.  Good thing I'm not scheduled for work for over a week: I'll need the time to recover.

Being as much a computer addict as I am, another thing that makes me feel under the weather is when my computer won't boot.  This happened again this morning when the SSD drive I was using as a boot drive started throwing error 0xc00000e9.  A bit of Google-fu search tells me is a hardware issue possibly related to a loose cable but, even after fiddling with the cables, Windows 7 still refused to boot.  The SSD drive has since been reformatted and does not seem to be having any issues on diagnostic tests, but I don't trust it to be my boot drive anymore.
Between my motherboard…

Towns: Fumbling After Dwarf Fortress's Crown

A copy/paste of a Steam Forums post I just made clarifies my position on this new game I just finished playing for a bit, Towns.
I like Towns but, after playing it pretty hard over the past couple days, I'm thinking I'd be best off waiting for a few more builds.

The biggest issue I have is that the division of labor is all off. Part of this is that the task AI tends to do last happenings first, which oft provokes the Townies to run extremely far away to do something even if there’s an identical goal right next to them. The other part is because, unlike Dwarf Fortress, you can't assign a person to only do woodcrafting, or stoneworking, building, or hauling, ect. Instead, you have a priority queue, which seems to roughly assign tasks for everyone to do.

Because the configurable priority queue is too fuzzy to resolve it, you’ll typically end up with a nasty backlog where things are being done slower than their needs to be done, and it just builds and builds.

Even on the…

Another Weak [pun] Ends

At four hours a day over six days, my twenty-four hours of on-the-job training is considered complete.  Of course, this left plenty of time for me to try to figure out how to spend my free time.  Yet, even knowing that message boards are a colossal waste of time, I'm finding it hard to commit to anything else.  Maybe I'll have something more interesting to do when my first paycheck comes in.

I did, however, manage to commit briefly to a couple of games:
Revisiting Minecraft

I've got a rather nice custom mod balance going for Minecraft 1.2.5 that looks something like this:
Minecolony rc19 - Among the best "build your own village full of NPC workers" mods out here.  It's almost a cheat having all these extra hands to help you out.  I should probably get rc20, I wager it doesn't break anything.Mo' Creatures v3.7.1 - Adds significantly to the variety of Minecraft creatures to be found.  I wish there was a version that did not add item bloat, but it's a …