Sunday, 30 November 2008

losing your way

There's an article here about the decline of the Girl Scouts. It's really rather pitiful, as they seem eager to discard any values or traditions they might have had and embrace anything in order to achieve the goal of Raising Money. (What else can one think, when all they offer to replace camping and horses is vague buzzwords about leadership journeys?)

I was a Scout for a while. Like all the girls of my acquaintance - we were all in for our early years, and all dropped it as puberty beckoned. Don't know about anybody else, but we certainly never used tents, for all that the article tries to suggest that's a modern deviation. Our camping trips involved staying in little prebuilt huts and the like.

I can think of many ways to reinvent the GSA while keeping some manner of adventurous-service value alive, but one thing that comes quickly to my mind is how the merit badges obviously resemble a gaming achievement system. You carry out quests, you get a badge for it, you display it to show what you've done. Maybe what they need is some sort of Scouting MMORPG...

Thursday, 27 November 2008

WoW Hack, updating

Computer still tests virus-free, but we did find some Very Suspicious DLLs lurking in system32 which a little reading of clearly indicated that they were related to password theft in some form (apparently looking for either wow or final fantasy). Said files have been deleted and removed from startup and have not yet regenerated after a few reboots. Is the system clean now? Dunno. Probably going to get linuxGeek to grep the drive looking for more clues. Argh.

No idea where I got hit from, either. I am constantly installing game demos, but very few shareware companies really want to destroy their reputations by packing viruses. I don't use IE. There was a Flash vulnerability that I may have been subject to, though. Have updated to latest Flash now, hopefully that helps.

Apparently my characters weren't actually deleted, or else they've already been restored, it's just that the account management tool which claims to show all your characters doesn't actually. I don't much feel like playing, though!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

WoW Hacked

I don't know how they got in, my computer tests virus-free from a variety of scanners. They got my WoW password but not my email password, making the problem very noticeable, and trading password-changes back and forth with me a couple of times (that is, they changed the password, I changed it again, they then clicked 'reset lost password' since they didn't have my new ones). I had no high-level characters or rares, but they deleted all my characters (why? just for spite?) and created some new obvious gold-spammers.

I'm aware there's a process for recovering lost characters and I'll get into that sometime when I'm not falling-down ill with the flu.

I bloody well hate MMOGs

My WoW account has been hacked.


I don't even *like* WoW.

SciFi Wire Whines about Games

Original article here

My take on them:

1. Breast physics? I haven't actually played that many games with them. Half Elf Chick in Neverwinter Nights had a jiggly torso mostly concealed behind her armor, and people got at the code and made everyone jiggle madly in mods, which was terribly amusing. If all official characters had been wobbly jello like that, maybe I would have complained, but as it was, it was funny. I think Ivy's problems start well before the jiggling, really.

2. World War 2. I agree that it's overdone, I also pretty much never PLAY games set in WW2. (I can't think of any, but there may have been one somewhere.) So the repetitiveness of that setting helps me screen out unimaginative games? Enh, I'm not really into war. Husband thought Brothers in Arms was really cool, though.

3. Object Permanence. I agree that this annoys me. Particularly when I started up my very first dance in Princess Debut and my partner's legs immediately clipped into my dress and vanished. Kinky! Sure, it's not always preventable, but given how early in the game this was and how preset all the animations are for this particular title, couldn't someone have designed the dress to work differently?

4. Battle Scripts - Not really applicable to the kind of games I play, I guess? Although if we can add the annoying voices from that skating game...

5. I *never* play FPS. I can't cope with first-person, it makes me ill. I played a little bit of Portal actually because the environments were so confined that I could slowly learn them, but I suspect I would never have made it through to the real ending.

6. Don't have a Wii, not familiar with what's available on it. I can guarantee that there are some naughtier Wii games in Japan...

7. Random Battles - I'd rather see it coming and have the option of engaging or avoiding. See: Mario RPG.

8. Save points are usually a console or port problem. I don't tend to play those. Instead, I have a DS, where I can close the lid at any point!

9. Well, there *are* lower-priced games... you're just not looking for them, my dear.

10. Expensive Downloadable Content - Gotta have value for money. One outfit is not worth buying, a level pack may be. An expansion adding content that was promised in the first game annoys me and I won't pay for it.


Having finally gotten my copy of the game, the little "Yahoo!" heard when doing a dance move correctly is easily ignored and does not spoil the dancing like the obnoxious skating sounds did.

Monday, 24 November 2008

your campaign is bad and you should feel bad

So, apparently Risk (the boardgame) has acquired a bad reputation. People associate it with hardcore anorak geeks wearing horn-rimmed glasses and speaking incomprehensible gibberish. People associate it with Rimmer. Those of us who don't play but have seen others do so associate it with being really boring as a spectator sport. Obviously, it's far more interesting to those actually playing.

However, Hasbro apparently thinks it needs to spice up this impression to try and get some more sales in the economic downturn. Their decision? Attempt to convince you how MANLY it is to play Risk. You're not a geek! You're a MAN! MAN MAN MAN! It is about manning up and proving your dominance over other men! Make men kneel before you and - wait, that sounds gay, doesn't it? Of course, if only men are playing....

Lame, Hasbro. Really, really lame.

handle with caution

... No, it's really not a good idea to mix a LARP and a play party without carefully screening the participants.

... No, if you don't know what I just said, you really don't want to.

... No, I wasn't there. But hey, rumor mill!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

going about this all wrong, part 2

Dear PETA: I suspect your Unauthorised Bloodthirsty Cooking Mama will only amuse people (of a certain mindset), not convince them to go veg.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

you're going about this all wrong

I wonder if the overwhelming number of stupid articles about why there are few women in gaming/compsci contributes to why there are so few women in gaming/compsci?

Certainly being constantly hassled about the issue makes me feel more insecure. Being constantly told that I'll be alone, laughed at, looked down on, and assumed to be there to play Barbies sure doesn't make me want to apply for a mainstream programming job. Heck, I have trouble even admitting that I sort-of make a living as a programmer... the uneasiness makes me feel like I'm not a 'real' programmer, that I'm just cheating. :)

Tales of Bingwood

Haven't had a chance to look at it yet, but cool-looking pixely point-and-click adventure?

more economic fallout

Parent company shuts down WizKidGames (HeroClix, among other things.)

I own a reasonable handful of HeroClix, partly through osmosis... Much like with Magic back in the day, if you go to a certain kind of gaming convention, you will meet hardcore collectors of these games who have TONS of the 'commons' that they don't really want and will gladly give them to you for cheap or even free. Especially if it tempts you into buying some rares.

I was never hugely into it, partly because I *suck* at wargaming and don't find it fun. So while I found the concept of the clicky figures really cool, it was hard to get past my hatred of losing.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Stargate Colony

Well, the mixed bits of setting are a bit funky at times. :)

Just finished the main campaign, haven't done the bonus levels yet.

Friday, 7 November 2008

First Colony

It is really annoyingly unfair that SOMETIMES they spring a totally new goal on you at the last minute, just when you were about to succeed. And since your strategy wasn't aimed at that goal, it may not be even vaguely possible to achieve in the remaining time...

Also, I seem to have trouble with events occurring at the same time. You can see the Success box vaguely in the background, buried under the Fail box, since both were counted at the same moment.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


I don't think it's quite my kind of game - keeping track of the bigger picture to work out the puzzle of each level isn't really my sort of fun. (Although it's a MUCH better game than CastleQuest, which I owned for the NES and wished I didn't.)

On the other hand, the voiceovers really are hilarious. :)

settlers, casual style

I quite like this one. It's not as good, in my opinion, as the first Westward. It lacks the writing talent and the sense of humor - it's much more straightforward. But it does appeal to that micromanaging, making-things-grow desire in me, and manages not to make me feel either very bored or very threatened.

Make units, make buildings, juggle resources, profit!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

edible powerups

Gaming-related treats at Snack Or Die

There are also some cute cupcakes, some of which are video game themed, over here.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


I can't concentrate on anything today, the election news will go on until the morning, I just keep playing more rounds of Bookworm Adventures.

Yes, I'm still annoyed that I had to start over from the beginning and that I have to click through all these dialogs that I've read before. I'm still annoyed over having been overcharged. But... it's still kinda fun. And I'm making an effort to up my game towards five-letter words as standard this time around.

edited to add:

deadly rooms of death RPG

I have downloaded the demo but not run it yet, however I was amused by the voiceover of this video.

Monday, 3 November 2008

you disappoint me, mister bond

I am surprised by getting search engine hits for people looking for a walkthrough for a game that won't be released until next year.

(Well, I suppose it's possible that they're all searchers who have the beta legitimately, but I'd assume they'd then be able to ask the company running the beta about a walkthrough...)

it's not all fun and games

Heard that Wild Tangent is dumping all their internal development staff.

Sign of the economic times? Or had they already lost their best developers (since when researching the 'Fate 2' mess, I believe I saw that the person who actually wrote Fate had already left....) and were lacking direction?

you say potato

When I pasted this quote from a review

Slug-like monsters are patrolling the streets, acting as cops for the fascist government. A massive alien jellyfish perched atop the upper floors of the regime's skyscraper headquarters grows ever larger and serves as sustenance for giant ticks being trained for civil service work. The immortal, animal-headed gods of the ancient Egyptians have just arrived in a pyramid spaceship currently floating ominously above the Seine. Had enough? Even stranger, nobody seems to care about these surreal developments. Instead of panicking in the streets, people have apparently just accepted the pyramid from space and scary monsters roaming about.

the person I was talking to immediately said: I want that game. :)

oh, and by the way

While I have not played the game, from review references, I still think the "Ladykiller" perk is creepy.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Ghost Master

Another title coming soon at Good Old Games which I remember reading reviews of when it first came out. Sounded like fun, although not really my sort of thing.

Still no release date listed for Sacred though. But it's nice to see a variety of quality titles still coming out.

fun with gender

A recent event in my Tiny Adventures:

Queira Thanyu noticed a typical prince calling for help from the top of a very tall tower. Seeing no other route to the top, she started climbing up the cobblestone exterior. It was pretty easy going at first, but all that climbing got tiring after a while . . .

Queira Thanyu made a Constitution check with a difficulty of 19 . . . and rolled 20

Queira Thanyu toughed it out and reached the top of the tower. She found the prince there, but he had very dainty feet and hands, and was incapable of climbing back down on his own. Queira Thanyu sighed, hefted the prince over her shoulder, and climbed all the way back down. Good thing there was a big reward for rescuing him!

So - was this written prince/princess and flagged to change against the player's gender, or was someone being subversive? :) I suspect probably the former, but on the other hand, there's no particular reason that they'd need to flip it... it's not like there's Romance going on there for the authors to be squeamish about.

Even in the sort of anime where bishonen princes in towers might sometimes be typical, it's rare that girls get to carry them around. Although I remember a pleased fangirl enjoying a similar encounter in one of the endings of Cute Knight...

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Deep Quest

How to make even a free (game giveaway) game too boring to play: Loop the same ten seconds of music constantly without variation. Especially in a game that requires an awful lot of staring at the screen impatiently waiting for something to happen.

I'm not really a huge fan of strategy games, although I did like Westward, which put more emphasis on building your 'economy' and interrelating the bits of it, less on combat. Also, its characters had personality, and it was entertaining watching them run around.

Deep Quest's 3d is ugly, at least on my machine. The units are identical and soulless. I can't easily tell one thing from another onscreen, and often units that have been set the same task overlap perfectly, causing one to 'disappear'. The game seems to have a focus on combat, but at least in the first few tutorial levels, that means having to build a lot of fighters who are standing around doing nothing at all and looking as bored as you feel.

Feedback also could be a lot better... it's not as clear as it should be whether or not a building is actually carrying out a task, nor is it made sufficiently clear when you click on an action whether or not you can carry it out. It's easy to miss the small quiet display which is nowhere near where you clicked that points out that actually, you need more crystals/lava/housing.

It's close to fun, but for me, it misses the mark.

Emerald City Confidential

Upcoming adventure game - Oz Noir. Cool.

I have to admit that I own one of their earlier adventure games and never actually got around to playing it, silly as that sounds. I haven't gotten around to playing that fully animated one I bought off Good Old Games, either. I love adventures but I'm so BUSY lately that getting myself in a mindset to THINK seems to be harder than it should be.