Games...

Mar. 23rd, 2014 03:43 pm
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is where my love is at this year, mostly, but I'm really unenthusiastic about the way the games industry seems to be so keen on developing virtual reality goggles. DO NOT WANT. Keep making games I can play on a screen, please. A screen that isn't directly in front of my eyes, that is. I like that bit of extra distance, I don't *want* to be *in* the game.
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I won't be able to play Pavilion, as it will be a Playstation exclusive. This makes me very, very sad.

NaissanceE, on the other hand, I will buy as soon as I'm done with a couple of the games I'm currently playing:

(Tsutomu Nihei must be either very flattered, or very pissed off...)

2014 is shaping up to be a big gaming year for me. I made use of the New Year sale on Steam, and some bundle or other, so now I have heaps of stuff to play... most notably, Papo & Yo, which scratches that same "dream architecture" itch...
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Discovered this game beta a couple of days ago and found it so thoroughly enchanting that I've since played it three or four times (it's only about 10 minutes long). It's a totally unique concept, and the artwork is utterly beautiful. If you need something that'll put a smile on your face, go download this:

Gorogoa

Short impression of the gameplay: Video
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http://www.againstthewallgame.com/

It looks like another one of those things that make me want to learn game design...

But I'm gonna be good and only play it tonight, after I've accomplished all the Important Shit of the Day.
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There's a free alpha version of Proteus, if you're curious about it:

http://games.softpedia.com/get/Freeware-Games/Proteus.shtml

I haven't played the alpha - I preordered the 'proper' version of the game, and received the beta (for now). But if you just want to get a sense of the game, and/or can't/don't want to spend any money right now, I'd imagine the alpha would do nicely. I've seen some footage of it and it looks quite good. You even get some trees you don't get in the beta!
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/55101268@N07/sets/72157629989533617/

I gotta stop taking pics while I stroll around the island... my flickr account is almost full.
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... my inner four-year-old, I find. My top three right now are Proteus, Botanicula, and Windosill. They're all games I'd love to play with my little nephew - if he didn't live 800 km from here, and if his parents allowed that kind of thing, which I'm pretty sure they don't, and which is probably good, because the computer is too hypnotic, really, to introduce a very young child to it. Anyway, these three games are pretty much all about a childlike sense of wonder. Proteus is a garden or park that is just big enough to get a little bit lost in. Botanicula is a terrarium full of strange little critters. Windosill is a toybox full of strange but wonderful toys.
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Proteus

Proteus is an island/rambling-in-the-wilderness simulation.

Or perhaps a musical instrument in the shape of a virtual island.

You arrive at the island.

(It's a different one every time, though the elements remain the same.)

You walk around.

The weather changes.

The sun sinks. The moon and stars come up.

You follow a frog. Or an owl.

You listen to singing mushroom critters.

The seasons change.

Everything has a tune. Walking creates a symphony.

Nothing else happens.

You can take photographs.
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1.) Life: been doing a fair bit of RL stuff, so not as much internetting.

2.) I did play some games, though, as mentioned before. They're all more or less casual, so not too time-consuming (Botanicula took something like two evenings). Currently playing Sword & Sworcery, which is still staggeringly beautiful. And somewhat creepy. I'm playing it in small portions, so as to savour it as much as possible. I'm slightly less than one fifth of the way through.

3.) Food blogging:
Read more... )

Don't worry, I won't keep up the foodblogging forever. For one thing, I won't always be able to cook as much as I do at the moment. For another, my "repertoire" of dishes isn't actually all that big, and I won't bore you with three dozen different pics of spaghetti with tomato sauce. So, once I'm beginning to repeat myself, I'll stop.
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- Played Samorost 2 (half of which I already played a few years ago): still as lovely as I remembered.

- Replayed Windosill (which I played completely, a few years ago): still one of the most unique, dream-like game experiences ever.

(Both of these are very short.)

- Played most of Botanicula, until I got to a point where I really need a mouse, which I don't have at the moment. Except for a couple of moments of mild frustration, it's up there with Windosill as one of the most joy-inducing games I've ever played. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Could do without the couple of dexterity-based minigames, but that's a minor quibble (and they're not that bad, really - two of them I managed even without a mouse, and only minor practice, and the third, I'm sure, I'll manage once I have a mouse again). Wish it was longer. It's longer than Windosill or Samorost 2, but still shorter than most full-length games.

- Started Machinarium and am around two thirds through, I think. Beautiful artwork; slightly frustrating puzzles (some of the time, anyway). I'm resorting to a walkthrough more often than I'd like, and it makes me feel as if I've gone stupid: I distinctly remember being able to solve these kinds of puzzles without help! (Well, the brain does start to shrink once you're past 30, doesn't it? ;-))

- Started Sword & Sworcery just now. Not sure yet what I think of the "ironic" dialogue, but the art and atmosphere are stunning. I've heard that this is a game that drags, for many people. At the moment I can't really imagine getting tired of the scenery, though, so as long as it stays this pretty, I imagine I'll be happy even if progress is slow. I'm taking it extra slow at the moment, in fact - often just stopping to take in the scenery, zooming out as far as I can to see all of it.

***

Read some more of the Farscape comics. Still enjoying them. The art in some of the D'Argo arcs is actually good (though sometimes marred by bad colouring.)
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... Blueberry Garden, Sword & Sworcery, Botanicula, Machinarium, Samorost 2 and Windosill. (The last three links lead to playable online demos. Here's a pay what you want bundle of Botanicula, Machinarium, Samorost 2, Windosill & an animated movie.)

I just may die of an overdose of beauty if I play all these in the next few days.
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do some knytting tonight.
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Although this one's just a teaser for the humungous level I've been working on since 2009:



I'm kind of afraid to watch this one... apparently he got trapped due to my bad game design... :D

What can I say, it was my first level, and I'm not a very experienced gamer, so I'm bound to make more mistakes in designing levels than your average beginner.

Anyway, feel free to check this out for the scenery. I did a few things with the tilesets there that I'm still quite proud of.
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Two years ago, actually. He's a bit puzzled by the lack of anything happening (it's a virtual walk in the park, nothing's *supposed* to happen! ;-)) and he misses the two secrets I hid in it. Anyway... you can still get a pretty decent idea of the level from watching the Let's Play:

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Someone chose a screenshot from my level Remembering the City for the Jay Is Games NightSky giveaway contest! The "task" for the contest was to post one's favourite screen from a Nifflas game. Technically, my level isn't a Nifflas game, of course, but that's all the more reason I'm flattered someone thought it worth posting there. ;-)

It's #11:
http://jayisgames.com/archives/2011/01/nightsky_giveaway.php

The level itself,, should you be interested, can be found here:
http://knyttlevels.com/levels/Hmpf%20MacSlow%20-%20Remembering%20the%20City%20v1.2.knytt.bin

You need to have Knytt Stories to play it, of course. As Knytt Stories is free, fun and beautiful, you should probably have Knytt Stories anyway. ;-)
http://nifflas.ni2.se/?page=Knytt+Stories
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is that I always get tempted away from social things by books or comics (mostly books and comics, that is. Occasionally TV or games.)

I really think, sometimes, that I need therapy to learn to cope with *people*. It can't be normal that even *pleasant* social interaction is so draining for me that I shy away from it, can it?

I've been job hunting and doing housework and reading, mostly. Yes, I stopped the LJ catch-up almost immediately after I'd started. There was a rather large number of interesting job ads recently, but that's no excuse, really.

Gah.

Have some recs:

[livejournal.com profile] beccatoria made another awesome Farscape vid! Actually, I'm sure she's made at least a dozen good vids recently, because she went a bit crazy last month and tried (possibly even managed?) to make one vid(let) per day. So head over there and enjoy!

Did you realise you can read shitloads of classics of the fantastic genres for free on gutenberg.org? I've decided it's time to check out some of that old stuff, and have read Peter Pan and am currently reading The Napoleon of Notting Hill (I read The Man Who Was Thursday years ago, though maybe a reread is in order...) Peter Pan was much odder, and darker, than I expected. TNoNH is about as odd as I expected, because after TMWWT I expect major weirdness from Chesterton. Got any recs of other old stuff I should check out? Maybe A Voyage to Arcturus? That's definitely available there. Or I could try to get back into News from Nowhere, I started that two years ago and then was interrupted by uni stuff...

I've also reread two webcomics I'd more or less stopped checking regularly because they were (and still are) in the habit of going on really long hiatuses. They're both really really good, though. Dicebox is social science fiction with beautiful art and very three-dimensional characters and relationships. Hero is fantasy with religous/mythological overtones, possibly set after some apocalyptic(?) conflict between some analogues between the forces of heaven and hell. Or something. Beautiful digital watercolour manga art, and a surprising sense of humour. (For even more webcomics, check out the links in my sidebar here.)

I've spent a bit of time playing flash games, too:

I really enjoyed Little Rocket, despite the fact that it took me ridiculously long to learn how to control the rocket. But when I finally had the hang of it, I played the entire game through twice.

Endeavor is a nice, big-pixeled exploration platformer.

Looming plays like an extremely minimalist, retro version of Myst.

Seasons is another beautiful web toy/experience by the maker of Windosill.

The Dreamerz (don't ask me about the stupid "z"!) is a charming little point-and-click adventure that feels like you're reading a slightly surreal picture book.

And Transform is another example of patented Eyemaze madness. In other words, it's awesome.

****

I just rediscovered a very fitting old tag so I'm using it...

Minecraft

Nov. 19th, 2010 11:21 am
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This game is calling me... So far, I resist.
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it just occurred to me that simply announcing that I had finished my latest KS level without posting a link to it was a bit stupid. So, you can download it here:

http://www.allabouthmpf.com/kslevels.htm

It's the last one, Remembering the City. If you've never played KS before, you also need to download the software linked at the top of the page, and you should probably play the very short tutorial that comes with it. That will teach you everything you need to play RtC. (In fact, you don't even need every skill that the tutorial teaches you to play RtC, because RtC is really easy - but you do need to know how to jump and double-jump.)
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News from the Real World:

- I have an internship, with a museum, starting in April (well, on the last day of March, actually). Unpaid, naturally, so I need a job in addition to that. Also, I'll probably need another internship later on, to provide experience in another important area or two.

- I have a... mini-mini-job, teaching "mini English" (no, seriously. It means I'm teaching an afterschool English class for primary-school-age kids.) So far, it's been a bit of a nightmare. Also, it doesn't even remotely pay my bills; it's not even enough for the rent. So I still need another job.

News from Hereabouts (i.e., the World of Fandom, Creativity, and the Internet):

- I have, in a feverish four or so days, built a small Knytt Stories level that has been pronounced "gorgeous" by two out of three beta testers. I am inordinately proud of it and think it is one of the most beautiful things I have created in my life. Will post a link when it's really done; it's still in the final stages of beta testing and fine tuning.

It's about the ghost, or the memory, of a city. It's kind of post-apocalyptic, in the gentlest possible way. Thematically it's inspired somewhat by Ursula LeGuin's Always Coming Home, and the odd, contemplative manga Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Trip/Quiet Country Cafe) - more by the latter than the former, really, I think. Visually, it's kind of the illicit love child of two famous KS levels, Chezzy's Night SE and Quincent Cartographer's A Walk at Night, which can both be found here.

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