Archive for November, 2012

Some links

30 Nov

Hi guys!

I’ve been absent, but so you all know that I’m still alive, I’d like to share some links I’ve found around the interwebz!

First off, something awesome: A link to a Gallifreyan translator! For those that don’t know, Gallifreyan is the language of Gallifrey, Doctor Who’s home world… Yep, this is a geek as you can get… Gallifreyan looks pretty cool… Here’s my name:

Diogo de Andrade Gallifrey

Awesome, isn’t it?! Smile

I know the language is basic alphabet substitution, arranged with some mathematical logic inside a circle, but it just looks gorgeous!

Link number 2, a game: Skrillexquest. It is endorsed by the dubstep artist Skrillex (which I quite enjoy, I admit), and it features his music mashed up with a 3d Zelda concept, in a corrupted 8-bit world… I actually like the aesthetics more than the music (although I like Skrillex, I don’t think the music fits that world). It’s a quite short game, and you can play it on the browser, so go for it!

Finally, me and Rincewind are probably going to take part in the Indie Speed Run 48-hour competition. While similar to the Ludum Dare competitions, it has some differences that are interesting (you can use previous code, you can choose the 48-hours you’re going to work on the game which prevents scheduling issues), but best of all, it’s going to be judged by the likes of Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island), Markus Persson (Minecraft) and Ben Croshaw (Zero Punctuation), amongst others I don’t know that well… So I’m excited about that, and I’m trying to clear 48 hours of my life for this…

Catch you guys later!


The near future is ever-changing…

07 Nov

I’ve said last blog post that I’d write in the near future… more than two weeks ago…

Well, “near-future” is always a subjective measure, eheheh…

Anyway, been busy busy busy, work has not relented as I’d expected, and the new hires haven’t started yet, so when I get home I’m beat and without any energy to do anything but relax on the couch playing WoW, or watching TV…

Oh, and playing “X-Com: Enemy Unknown”, which is awesome!


For those like me that worshiped the original “UFO: Enemy Unknown”, this is indeed text-book on how a remake/reboot should be done!

First of all, there’s been a lot of naysayers on the web, saying this new XCom isn’t as good as the original one, and while I agree with some of it, I think most of it is due to fear of change… The original XCom was indeed an amazing game… But this one is also an amazing game, fun and accessible… The original one was a game for hardcore players (it was very hard and unforgiving), this one is more accessible… But does that make it worse?! Although I find the recent trend of dumbing down games to appeal to a larger audience, I think the streamlining process that XCom underwent really brought the best of it out…and if you want a challenge, playing on hard in classic iron man mode should provide you that… and if that’s not enough, multiplayer will probably keep you busy and challenged!

For those that don’t know, this game is the remake/reboot of an old 1994 classic strategy game, in which you control “X-Com”, a semi-secret organization that’s dedicated to defend the Earth from an alien menace. For that, you receive funding from several countries and have to keep them happy (i.e. deal with extraterrestrial threats on their territory). You’ll have to research new tech, build facilities, etc, to prepare yourself to the center-piece of the game: the turn-based combat system, in which you select a team (from your soldier pool) of up to 6 elements and have to deal with the aliens. Those team members can level up and gain new abilities, and you have a certain degree of customization available in terms of abilities.

The soldier leveling up is part of what makes XCom a good and challenging game… It takes 15 to 20 missions to have a top-tier soldier, so losing it in a bad move hurts a lot… specially if you play it like I do and name all your soldiers so that you attribute a human dimension to them… Of course, you can just load and erase your mistakes (except in iron man, see below), but it still feels like cheating, which adds a certain tension to the game.

This one has all the improvements on the original we would expect (better graphics, simpler/streamlined UI), and lost very little (in my opinion).

I’ve finished my first campaign a couple of days ago, in normal difficulty… and now I want to play the game in ironman classic mode, which doesn’t allow for save games… which adds a tension that’s very cool in this type of environment! Now, every time I lose a soldier, it stays lost… I’ll have to deal with the fact that my super-sniper can be lost in any mission, which will bring out the tactics aspect of the game high…

For example, when I was in a hurry to finish a mission (which happens specially at 1am when you know you have to go to sleep, but can’t stop playing because “one more turn!”), I would just move my soldiers forward, detect the enemies, and then reload a save game and move planning for those “hidden” aliens… Yep, that’s cheating! Smile

Anyway, in ironman classic, you can’t do that, which will make you think every play you do before you do it!

Of course, there’s no perfect game… this one is very buggy on the PC (with abundant camera issues and more), the multiplayer could have been much better (both in terms of options and matchmaking), the game is too unforgiving of mistakes made early in the game (very hard to recover from some losses mid-game) and other small gripes…

But all of these are swept aside by how much fun I’ve been having with it so far… The game is really good, and if you’re a fan of tactical/strategy games, it will hook you from start to finish, even if you rant at some of its shortcomings!

So, for me it is a definite buy! Smile