Cat. Heat. Fucked

Right after the sleep deprivation of the LAN I am going through some sleep deprivation problems due to suddenly having a cat in heat inside the house (better than outside where there is a risk of her getting fucked silly and spawning). This is one of those unique things in life that you remember FOREVER because it’s just so nuts. the last time this happened to me I was about 20 years old and in college with a new cat. Lucky for me and my gf at the time, the cat got outside a few of the nights so everyone could sleep a bit and did not get knocked up. Before that incident, it was common when I grew up for cats to be humping under the dining room table while we trying to eat breakfast cereals.

Just how loud it is is what amazes me and that it goes on and on and on and on and on. I’ve said this since I learned the word fuck as a child: FUCKING CATS!

So long 2016!

Running Man

2016 was a busy year, but not totally insane like 2012 or 2013.  I got some good gaming in,  not as much RPG playing as I would have liked with only the 13th Age game really going strong.  The GM for the Strahd game never held another session after two, and we just couldn’t get Runequest/Mythras going again after a couple sessions, though the PVP gladiator game was fantastic.

Board game play was pretty much Dungeon Quest revised this year and shockingly it’s a game that everyone enjoys that has played.  What’s more it’s a board game emulation of old school D&D with rapid death from traps, terrible calamities and the like. Who knew?  With the GW/FF split, best pick this one up quick-like.

The big game from CMON this year was the Others. We played several times, but while beautiful and well designed, it has the quarterback problem in games with more than two players.  There’s just no reason to play it more than two and really this is not a multiplayer game.  The lack of connection between scenarios was a bit of a miss as well.   For two players though, it’s great.   I did not get to play enough Blood Rage (can you have enough?) Dead of Winter, Struggle of Empires, Study in Emerald or Eclipse this year.

My new board game of the year has to go to Game of Thrones: Iron Throne.  Great implementation of the Cosmic Encounter rules, let’s hope there is an expansion with the remaining factions!  This year, I expected to like INIS a lot, or Scythe but wasn’t really a fan of either.  Scythe is a beautiful game (like INIS) but while it seems like a war game, it’s really one of those Keyflower/Hegemony/Francis Drake style point accrual and worker placement games.  I’d just rather bust out Eclipse instead of Scythe and Blood Rage instead of INIS.

Video games are going to be biased towards what I am playing at the end of the year here.  I just started playing DOOM and it’s quite WOW, I can see why many people have chosen it for the video game of  2016 hands down.  Notable games this year include the redux of Master of Orion, Stellaris also in the 4X space pysse genre, I am really digging both Guilty Gear Revelator and Blazblue: Chronophantasma extend as well.  Game of the year for video games for me personally has to go to Attila Total War by far.  TW games are probably my favorite computer game, and we were at a low low with the original release of Rome 2 and all it’s bugs, but CA has certainly come back from the brink and not only fixed that game but came out with one of the best TW games right after.

2017

I’m working on a few things, including a Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure though it really won’t matter the system (it’s been playtested so far in 5th Edition).  I’ve got a Feng Shui adventure that I have written but just need to finish the playtesting.  Lastly I’m working on a campaign adventure that I will probably do in Mythras, but maybe Lamentations.

In terms of running games, other than 13th Age, I’ll likely give Dungeon Crawl Classics a go as soon as the 4th Edition book comes from the mail man next month.  Really looking forward to that from the Feeder/Flaming Carrot perspective.  Must be played with the right group though!

Looking at getting in on a game as a player in FASERIP, which I haven’t played since the 80’s and I wouldn’t mind someone running Strahd in 5E as well, or any of the good big modules.

Let’s start the year off right with a reading of The Shunned House by HPL read by Wayne June.

Fuckstarters 2016 edition

A year ago I posted about fucked kickstarters that I made the terrible mistake of backing. I want to post again because some of them have become unfucked, made progress or are now even more fucked than before. I backed a couple more since and I want to add one I’m really sad about being fucked as well.

First let’s get Star Citizen out of the way. From the Kickstarter viewpoint, there hasn’t been an update since 2013: that’s almost THREE YEARS and no updates. I realize there are other channels they are going through, but my policy is this: deliver me your finished game and we’ll call it a day. Based on kickstarter, this has never happened, and the backers on kickstarter have been abandoned. The last time I installed anything Star Citizen it did not work at all. There have been big articles on the internet the last couple months on issues surrounding development– bottom line is: I kickstarted this game and haven’t been contacted via kickstarter for three years.  Poster child of Fucked.

Second, River City Ransom. This is fucked as it’s shockingly late at this point (2014), and updates aren’t looking very good for completion. This is not an easy game to make but you know who did it? Behemoth with the Castle Crashers! It can be done. Where is it? is it Fucked forever?

Third, Exalted 3. There’s no book. Nothing has come in my mail box. The rules are out in PDF form and despite them not being all that great, (what did we expect, seriously….) they are better than 2E’s.  The art, even with all that budget, ALL that fucking budget, is weak compared to 2E though.  Those things aren’t the issue, the issue is that I don’t have the book I paid for nearly four years ago. Fucked.

Fourth, Bulldogs! 2nd edition.  It’s a year late now.  I shouldn’t have backed this as it uses FATE, which we had a brief affair with for five sessions or so, and like everyone else, we realized that FATE quickly becomes a total waste of time.  FATE is useful in that it influenced other games, but itself is just not worth bothering with.  Despite that, I like the Bulldogs! universe and adventures– it just needs a better system to go along with it (Mythras? Sci Fi 13th Age?  Numenera???).  Fucked.

Fifth, Thirteenth Age in Glorantha.  While I don’t think I would ever game using Runequest in Glorantha as a GM, I’ve played some con games and am intrigued by the setting due to King of Dragon Pass.  This is over a year late!  What’s the deal? FUCKED.

Last is going to be nearly a year late, and that’s the 4th Edition of Dungeon Crawl Classics.  I talked to Goodman at Gencon and saw the proof version of the book and had a fucking orgasm right there over it. It is a massive tome. Ridiculous really.  Technically this is a fucked kickstarter, but like 13th Age Glorantha, it’s just real fucking late: it will happen.

Here are kickstarters that have become UNFUCKED in the last year.

Moongha Invaders – this took a long, long time to come, but it did and it’s a great game.  If you can find this, for sure pick it up.  It’s a Martin Wallace jewel.  UNFUCKED.

Double Six dice rollers.  Came late in 2015.  Great dice, was just very late. UNFUCKED.

 

Auralux 2

We need to face facts, despite the size of the Iphone 6+, it’s still not a very good form factor for gaming.  All the really good stuff, with a few exceptions, is on the ipad (or the 3DSXL!).  Mostly I can’t read the stuff on the iphone (I want to say — “anymore” here but it’s not that) since the screen size is still super small, and they just don’t do the type big enough for most games.  While I liked quite a few games for a short period, many got too annoying at the screen size to really bother with for long, including, unfortunately, Heroes of Normandie.

So I’m left playing Tigris and Euphrates, (cheating) Backgammon, King of Dragon Pass and now and then, Ascension.  For those with iphones and no ipad to play actual games on, I want to point out a game in a genre that I thought could not be done at this size: an RTS!

Auralux 2 is a stripped down RTS game with a lot of stuff going on for all it’s minimalism.  The staples are there: real time attacking and moving fleets, building up fleets and timing.  The setting is an abstract space war.  I thought that there was no way this could be anything good seeing the istore entry, but it is and quite addicting at that.

all blue
all blue

What’s good about it?  It’s an RTS on the phone for starters, and because it’s so minimalist, the controls are super easy.  Tap and drag is pretty much it.  There’s no base building per se, just minimal upgrades and moving fleets.  For the basic gameplay, everything is awareness and timing.  When to attack, when to defend and build up, and when to move a fleet to a strange position for a ‘drop.’   I figured from the demo I would play just a little bit, but then it got real addicting once I tried some of the not-free constellations.  They have some really odd stuff, like moving planets, super novas and the like.  This adds some tactical challenges that are not present in the free demo so if the demo doesn’t totally grab you but you like it, grab one of the constellations.

The game is relaxing, but it does get very difficult at the INSANE stars within a constellation. I’ve only beaten the base one and the first Constellation so far.  There’s one level I just CANNOT get past currently.

img_1782

Best thing is that it’s free for the basic game and just a few bucks per constellation (about 8 levels each) after that.  I’d recommend getting the free version and then one constellation if you liked that.  If you can finish all levels in that constellation, you are probably going to be itching for more.

A rare occurance: an iphone game recommendation!

More types of bad rolls to laugh at players for

Mild finger pointing.
Mild finger pointing.

To hit rolls, spell casting failures, botched sneak rolls, now we have recovery rolls to jeer and laugh at other players when they fail, especially since in some situations PC’s make a huge effort to supply healing potions, roll skills to stabilize fallen compatriots and then, they roll their recovery like this!

13thage2

Thank you, 13th Age.

night 2: excitement failure

sigourney3no man’s sky is a bad game. after 2 more hours of play for a total of 5 hours there is jack shit going on. the procedural nature of all the planets means they are all more the same than different. i can already feel the desire to quit this game. (though there is a small voice saying play some more because you may find some new shit)

the game is becoming more and more boring exponentially. if the first couple of hours of play could be BUILT upon no man’s sky would be a HIT, instead it almost immediate becomes repetitive and dull as shitcake.

this game is going to have to pull off a miracle to not be considered a complete and utter failure.

i could talk in deal about all the shitty stuff in the game(combat, resource management, doing the same search and find shit over and over) but you can just search youtube for reviews and there are plenty of them that talk about how the game is shite.

i’m not going to report anymore on no man’s sky. it’s not worth playing or talking about. there are 1000’s of other games that are carefully crafted experiences which are worth everyone’s time.

hello games, never again will i purchase your shit.

NMS Night 1: Impossible Expectations

no man’s sky on PS4 has no install. wtf. no install. after playing so many games on ps4 and getting used to a 10-15min install process, NMS has no install. that was the first signal that there was no MEAT in NMS. SURE the game is procedural so you’d expect the game to be lean, but ZERO install? red flag. a 1GB patch did install, so i’m gaming on v1.03 of NMS. there was no manual in the game case. fuckthat for 60$ plus tax i want a unless manual! hello games is making hand over fist moneyhats i guess. i mean 10 people studio, sounds like they stayed independant, didn’t take dev money from SONY, so like let’s say hello games is getting like 20$ per copy sold for NMS. i bet they sold at least 500k copies, which is like 10 million bucks. or a million a person for 3+ years work on the low side. what does that matter? if you charge full price for  game you need to give the player full price trimmings. this is what will come out in the press and with fans over and over, is NMS worth the full $60 price. after 3 hours last night i’d say for most players NMS is overpriced.

IMG_2966it’s a survival/exploration game. that should be said by the developer over and fucking over. that is what the game is. there are other games that do the same thing but don’t hide behind the whole “infinite universe” shit. from 3 hours of play i’m already seeing how in this “infinite” sandbox the similarities between locations (planets/moons) will be rather HIGH. that is disappointing if not expected. their procedural content generation technique is NOT designed new types of basic animal locomotion for example, no it is just using basic models like two-legged creature, four-legged creature, ooooh and yep you guessed it six-legged creature.  and these creatures, what the fuck do they do, NOTHING. shit they don’t eat, shit, attach each other, mate, etc. they just are there, 3-4 at at time as background. ya sometimes they are hostile to you and you have to beat them back which feels like SHIT. the FPS combat on planets feels like shit and then you are shooting some little crab thing and it feels like stupid shit. you’ll never see TRULY fantastics creatures, like that monster from The Thing, Falor from The Neverending Story, Alien(s) from the Alien series, etc. the devs didn’t have the resources to create really fantastical types of creatures, nor the time / processing power to properly animate them and breath life into them with interesting AI. OF COURSE I’VE ONLY PLAYED 3 HOURS SO WTF DO I KNOW BUT THIS IS MY BOLD PREDICKTION. the creatures in the game will be super fucking boring and hollow.

IMG_2967survival from the very start! little to no tutorial showing what you should try to do. this is a strength because you a freaked out about how to even survive right out the gate. i have not died yet, but many people have immediately and talked about that experience online. that is excellent.

no one told me that killing plants/animals was “bad” with some shitty little tutorial messages. you find out that when you kill shit causing omnipresent sentinels to come and investigate with little scanner bots, if you keep killing shit while sentinels scanner bots are watching you, the bots start attacking thus a cycle of escalation like getting stars in grand theft auto begins. okay that is fine and works to add more consequence to your actions. you can’t just fucking kill everything you see without getting fucked by the the robot guys. okay fine. you find that out yourself while playing. perfect.

far as i could tell right away are tasked with repairing your ship, which requires collecting elements(iron, plutonium etc). you can mine shit with laser gun omnitool thing. that is fine. you can send out a scan pulse to find the shit you can mine. okay that is fine. the graphics of the planet you start on feel okay, they feel kinda low budget/procedural in nature.

SOUND, very meh. the music is okay but nothing in the ambient sounds of the planet i was on made it seem very alien.

the weather was clear and cold i think. you have to manage a resource which is your spacesuits power to shield you from either extreme cold or extreme heat. if the environment shield goes to zero, you start taking damage i imagine. i never let it go all the way down to find out though. charging your heat/cold shield takes the yellow elements.

TAKING DAMAGE. yes you take damage from being attacked and also just walking around over time, and you fix that game by consuming RED resources, which are elements like Carbon which you get by mining planets or killing animals. BUT you can also use a element like plutonium to heal yourself i think because it is red. i think, can’t really remember but there seems to be some leeway in what you can use to “heal” your character guy.

IMG_2968i think there is a combat shield or something, but i’m not sure really. something that sops up the first couple hits before they start doing real damage, but i’m not sure because there wasn’t a tutorial to explain and the game comes with no fucking manual.

you can’t just press one button on the controller to heal, you have to open a menu, click on which thing to repair(heal), which opens another menu and choose which element/item you are going to use. this is difficult to do when you are running away from something or being attacked as you still stop dead in your tracks to process this action. THAT IS FINE it adds tension and causes you to make sure your shit is fixed up nice before you try to explore something that might be dangerous.

IMG_2965you can name stuff you discover. other players will someday share the joy when they visit worlds you’ve pissed all over with words.