luckykaa: (Default)
I've been looking at text adventure scripting systems recently. It appears that most games are written using Inform, or TADS. Inform is interesting. It uses a natural language approach. So a program looks something like this:
The Warehouse is a room. A box is a closed openable container inside The Warehouse. instead of opening the box, say "It's taped shut"
Which is great. Another plus is the IDE. It has a tile for developing, and another tile for Documentation of running the game; and also provides some tools to tell you everything that's defined in the game. The tutorial goes through things at a steady pace, and has some helpful examples; with IDE integration; so the examples can be copied to the main page with just a click. The natural language system understands a lot of concepts. For example I can say "if going into the ballroom for the third time...", "a bottle is a type of container. A bottle is usually opaque" It doesn't always work as expected. For example, if I write:
inside the warehouse is a box and a cat.
things work fine.If, on the other hand, I say:
inside the warehouse is a container called the box and an animal called a cat.
we get a container called "the box and an animal called a cat." The other problem is that the documentation is limited. There is a tutorial, and a "cookbook", but no reference manual. I want to know if the verb "cut" exists, and what it does by default. I'd also like a list of the basic properties and rules. This doesn't seem to exist. TADS is a much more programmer oriented language. Looks a little more like this:
hallway: Room 'Hallway' "This hall is pretty bare, but there are exits to west and south. " south = startRoom west = study ;
So perfectly readable. Might be worth switching.

Downside I see is that the IDE isn't as good for learners. I don't have the screen real-estate for a separate help window. I could always use my tablet as a help screen. Doesn't allow copy-pasting though.  Also wondering if it has the ease and flexibility. Might give it a go but I feel I should at least get to the end of the inform tutorials.
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Left quite late. [livejournal.com profile] flickums is apparently still under the delusion that I'm some sort of neat freak and wanted time to clean up. Then her train was cancelled. Then the train was loitering outside Sheffield forever. Ended up diverting to the station to pick her up, where I found the station at exactly the same time as flickums found me.

Saturday involved books. Part 1 was a trip to Sheffield Space Centre. I picked up yet another RPG book for a game that I'll never get round to running. It does involve skyships and swashbuckling though, and flickums hard sold me into buying it. Flick picked up the War Of The Worlds rulebook she was musing over for the past month or so. Then there was a book swap. This meant ditching some of my surplus books and acquiring a similar number of other books. There was a very large pile of books left afterwards. Also there was cake.

Finished the evening by going to see Captain America: Civil War. Started off as aprt of Team Cap. Felt that Tony was actually being the more measured, reasonable one this time. Disappointed by the lack of Peggy Carters.

Sunday we played Lego Indy then went to the pub for Sunday lunch.Then it was time for another Bad Movie Night. Flickums keeps vetoing my suggestions on the grounds that they're terrible. I still can't understand her logic. So, we saw The A-Team and Team America (thus combining into the ultimate jingoistic film, "The A-Team America"). The A-Team is a ridiculous film. Diverges from the original in that people actually get shot!

Monday was Bank Holiday, and involved playing board games. Finally unboxed Concept. Had a go at Wizard Of Oz Munchkin. Sadly there were three of us. It's a 4 player game. It ends too quickly with 3 players and never ends with 5 or more. Followed up with "Hey! That's my fish", which is a nice simple strategy game; then a game of Eight Minute Empire: Legends, which was enjoyable although not really the sort of game I really go for.

Finished up with Roast beef and Bride of Chaotica - one of the best Voyager episodes, or at least something that should appeal to a fan of classic Black and White sci-fi serials. Kate Mulgrew really seemed to be loving this one.

As ever, the weekend came to an end. Why must that always happen!?
luckykaa: (Video games)
Video game RPG was never a genre that hugely appealled to me. I do like a decent storyline in a game, but I tend to prefer things to require a little less investment. But [livejournal.com profile] flickums gave me a copy of Dragon Age Origins and forthed about it do damn much I thought I ought to give it a go.

Took me a while to create a character. So many choices! How do you choose! Then, even worse I had to pick a name!

I've actually got really into it. Flickums got upset with me for being a brutal pragmatist at times. What can I say? There's a world to save. A few extra deaths of NPCs is a fairly minor issue in the scheme of things. I apparently completely failed to pick up several potential party members by skippping Lothering (and killed another).

Not being familiar with the genre, there was quite a bit of a learning curve. I simply had no idea how anything works, and there's quite a few conventions that are apparently common to RPGs. How important are various skills? How much effort should I put into balance? I seem to  have cocked up in a few places in learning. I largely skipped past the whole Lothering thing (I have a save from earlier so I might go back to that but I've gone way too far). My main problem is frequently gettng my ass handed to me. Also load time stinks! Why must it take so long!

So signing off. I sdeem to be trapped in a sloth demon, and need to get out.
luckykaa: (Video games)
Everyone's been talking about Fallout. Thought I'd have a look to see what the fuss was about.

Feels very 90's. Probably because it's a 90's game. Apparently there are another 3 games in the series. But Gog.com has the first in the series for pocket money prices, so that's another game to add to the shelf.

Most of the game is pretty self explanatory although the icons would have been better if they had tooltips on them. It's not hugely obvious.

It's a pretty cool back story. Somwehat satirical. The FMV isn't full motion, but probably would have been had I been playing this in 1998.  So far I've found Vault 15 and established that there's bugger all in there except some loot. I guess the loot is sort of handy. Probably need to get back to Shady Sands. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the brief. Although this is why I tend not to go for RPGs. I lack the attention span to pay attentionb to the cutscenes. Give me a mission!

Wish these rats would stop biting me. They're really quite upsetting.
luckykaa: (Video games)
I seem to have a text adventure called "Softporn adventure" (I think it was free with Leisure Suit Larry, and I was curious). Never have played it.

I do sometimes have a hankering for text adventures. They're obsolete now, of course. Point and click adventures offer the same type of lateral thinking, but are much more accessible and text only games feel kinda cheap. I remember Seabase Delta on the C64. One of the Mastertronic 199 games that made up so much of my collection. It had some fun little pun-clues - things like "Making Mirrors by I Ron Foil" telling you to iron a sheet of foil to make a mirror.

With those memories in mind I dug out some of the old Magnetic Scrolls games and a Z-machine interpreter.

My gog these games are hard!

Maybe I should attack the huge pile of Point-and-click games that I have as a result of my addiction gog.com. They're a  bit easier.
luckykaa: (Video games)
I recently finished Tomb Raider. I guess this is probably the longest time taken to complete that game, since I bought it when it was still fairly new. Then got bored with it, then bought it again on GoG.com. And yes, this post contains spoilers because I reckon the statute of limitations runs out on that after 19 years.

I still think it's pmne of the greatest games ever. Sure there are issues. Tomb Raider wasn't the first 3D platformer, but the concept was a pretty new idea. For the time, the graphics were pretty impressive - especially the range of animation given to Lara; the story was pretty solid - also unusual for an action based game; and having a female lead in an industry aimed mostly at boys was an inspired decision.

These days though, graphics are better, a storyline is expected, and there are plenty of female characters. The game still stands up well.

Lara herself actually has a personality. She's not just a bimbo with big boobs. The game is full of surprises and clever ideas. It starts off fairly simply, running around ancient tombs, shooting at animals (I always felt bad about this). But then, unexpectedly, Lara enounters a sodding T-Rex! To this day, that's the biggest "Holy crap" moment I've had in a game. But that's just colour.

Later on the fantasy elements are actually relevant to the puzzles. The Midas hand is used to turn lead blocks into gold needed to operate the level exit. Damocles is a room full of swords. The puzzles remain fun and chalenging without being overly frustrating. There's a particularly fun one with a mirror Lara near the end of the game.

Tomb Raider 2 has a lot of improvements, and in most respects is a better game. The graphics glitched less. We had real world locations and funky vehicles to ride on. And I feel a lot better about shooting at people rather than animals. At least I can convince myself they have a choice in the matter. But it doesn't have the originality or much of the cleverness of the original.
luckykaa: (Video games)
I should really finish the game I was working on before I was unlucky enough to get a job.

Finishing is always a problem. There's a lot of tedious things to do that really don't interest me. I need some extra rules, and an end game screen, a start screen, a game over screen, 8 more levels, possibly a score mechanism, and better graphics.

The game itself is a simple sliding tile game. Essentially a clone of "Split personalities" on the C64, except I don't want to copy too much of it. The original game had bonus tiles where you could throw corresponding blocks together to get extra points, and bombs, which you have to get rid of or they'll end the level. I might take the bomb idea but do it differently (destroy neighbouring tiles). Still wondering if there are other special items I could add.

Really I want to start the next project. My starship management game. Not that I've really got much of an idea except the elevator pitch (Championship Manager for Star Trek fans), and the name generation (essentially this boils down to how to generate a non-repeating sequence of integers). I have no idea about basic plot, exactly how hands on the captain should be during battle, how serious to make it (I like the idea of reckless redshirt sacrifice). Still, that can come later.

First though I really ought to finish a game.
luckykaa: (Video games)
I rediscovered Good Old Games a while ago. I had a hankering for original Tomb Raider having been playing TR2 a lot. Also felt I should have a go at Myst.

Turns out that they also offer Beneath a Steel Sky for free.

Have to say I was a little disappointed with Beneath a Steel Sky. It's a point and click very much in the same vein as Lucasarts games, but it has some serious gameplay flaws that arent in the lucasarts games.

Firstly, the nature of puzzles; There desn't seem to be a good reason to want to do things. I need to get past a guard to get inti a chapel. Why? Because he's in the way. No actual reason to go into the church. In fact, the only gameplay result of going in there is that it triggers the next plot occurance. A lot of problems can only be solved by talking to the right person and asking the right question. No indication of why we need to do this. Finally, if you miss a key part of dialogue, there's no way of going back to it. Really annoying if it's been a few days since last played. In Monkey Island, there's always a dialogue tree entry along the lines of "tell me again about XXX".

Tomb Raider 1 and 2 are both fun though. Get a bit bored with the sliding block puzzles because it takes so long, but generally there's a decent balance of puzzle solving, and action. Looks extremely dated after almost 20 years, of course, but the animation is good.

Myst still looks gorgeous after all this time. Probably impossible without a pen and paper to write things down. Strange that I can only carry one piece of paper at  a time though. It's a little tricky working out where I am in some locations. I do love the puzzles. Bit slow though. It takes a long time to get through a certain maze, and I seem to need to do that twice.

Was playing the Total Eclipse remake a while ago. Gets frustrating though. It doesn't have a proper save mechanic. Only save points. I *could* play the Amiga version that lets me save whenever I want, but that has a rather antiquated control mechanism that makes things frustrating.

Wondering what else I should discover or rediscover.
luckykaa: (Games)
Nanofictionary is a story telling game. It's not all that highly regarded but I rather like it.

My copy of Nanofictonary is damaged. I think a few of the cards got wet. This is slightly upsetting but not  huge disaster. They are just the scoring cards so it's still playable. I had a look to see if I can find a replacement. Apparently there is but it's been changed, and the rules have been simplified. I feel a little too much.

The basic principle is you pick up cards with characters, settings problems and resolutions , and use them to make a story.

The main differences:

Nano 1 you had to actually play cards in front of you. Nano 2, you just use the cards in your hand.
Nano 1 has a single draw pile. Nano 2 has a draw pile for each card type.
Nano 1 only allowed one of each type of card unless you had a "complication" (which allowed an extra). Nano 2 only demands you have at least one of each.
Nano 1 had action cards that allowed you to steal cards, draw from discards, or add a complication. These are removed in Nano 2 and you can draw from discards or add complications when you choose.
Nano 1 had an unlimited number of cards you could play
Nano 1 allows you to discard as many cards as you like. Nano 2 requires you to discard your whole hand.
Nano 2 simplifies the voting and scoring. It's simply 3-2-1 point rather than points for first prize, grand prize the number of cards you use, and the order of completion.
There are a few other minor differences but these are the main ones.

So, Nano 2 is a lot simpler, which is good. It's also a lot less random. This is a problem. It's a little too easy to tell the story you want to tell rather than the one you're forced to tell. You're also rather limited in the story you can tell. You can only use as many cards as you have. My main complaint is that there's less game. I like the game as much as the story.

I think next time I play I'll go for Nano 1.5. Keep the scoring mechanism of 2.0. Only have a single draw pile. Am undecided on the action cards. The problem is I don't like the replacement. I think taking from discard discard or adding a complication should have a cost.

Where's the middle ground here?
luckykaa: (Video games)
A game I've been intrigued by recently is PSI-5 trading company. I have these retro-gaming whims.

The basic premise is that you're captain of the trading ship. You need to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, while avoiding or destroying raiders. You have 5 crew operating scanners, weapons, navigation, engineering and repairs, and the game involved telling them what to do. It's also really hard, but that's one of those retro gaming things. The game involves micromanaging 5 different stations and keeping track of who's saying what during intense situations.

Essentially it's like Artemis Bridge Simulator except you don't need friends.

The captaining simulation is a very underdeveloped game concept. Real Time Strategy is a lot of fun, but everything in that area seems to be battlefield. I just have a hankering for a game that involves sending disposable redshirts on suicide away missions, investigating anomalies, and fighting invading Glorkons. No idea how the game itself would work, but I think there's potential in there. Something semi-scripted with a set of missions, where your level of success determines how good your next ship is. I wanna be Captain Kirk! Or maybe Picard.
luckykaa: (Video games)
Seems there's big news in the EVE Online universe - someone forgot to pay their rent, resulting in quite an epic battle. We're seeing some impressive screenshots as a result.

This has actually made the news (even outside of the tech sites) because in this sort of game these conflicts are quite rare. Usually either one side is completely outmatched and will either be destroyed or will realise they're outmatched and bug out quickly. If they're evenly matched, the engagements don't usually happen in the first place. Battles are expensive in terms of in game money (this has a real world dollar cost as well, but that's less of a factor). Even if you win the engagement, your own losses are going to be considerable.

Generally speaking the winning move in war is not to play. Good advice in reality, but a serious problem for game design. Combat is fun! This is the only reason people are building warships that fire shells the size of railway locomotives at each other after all. It's not just EVE Online. I always found it disappointing that this was a losing strategy in Civilization as well, and outside of the downtime system, But it's not an easy situation to solve. It's possible to make combat the sole purpose of the game, which is fun, but it's still nice to have some sort of continuity, especially in a multiplayer game.

Violence needs to be incentivised more than "it's fun". Somehow this doesn't seem to fit the players' mental narrative - another oddity in game design is that players don't always work in their own best interests.

Ultimately what we need is a prize. This is what we have in this situation and why we have the battle we see here. The prize is the control of the entire sector. It's a useful lesson in game design.
luckykaa: (Video games)
These are the voyages of the Starship Artemis Excalibur Maelstrom Mad Dog it's 50 minute mission to wipe out new life and new civilisations.

[livejournal.com profile] talismancer's birthday party and he hired a hotel function room for us to set up a huge multi-ship game of Starship Artemis.

The heroic crew of the Excalibur joined the Artemis and a bunch of other ships, protecting our fleet from the evil Kralien invaders! Our heroic crew, many of whom had never driven a space ship before leapt into action, and destroyed the invaders. First advance party dispatched, we went on our way to investigate an anomalous anomaly. It turned out to be a black hole. And our somewhat incompetent driver (i.e. me) got a bit too close. Ooops. Fortunately we were resurrected. So was everything else.

The heroic crew of the Maelstrom entered the next fray! As the genius engineer, I actually had very little to do. They didn't suffer nearly enough damage! They needed a lunatic at the helm! [livejournal.com profile] penguin_worship arrived and took comms.

So for my next tour of duty I acquired the SS Mad Dog! A fine missile boat. No beam weapons but more than enough torpedo tubes. Our comms officer took the weapons station and we dived right in there. it was a tough game. We lost 3 stations near the start leaving just one to try to supply the entire war effort. We leapt into the fray, buzzing those damn Alien Kraliens, firing volleys of missiles at them, until, alas, our energy reserves ran dry, and so did our torpedo tubes. We pulled away and dropped mines, but it was all for nought as we were overwhelmed and outnumbered.

The universe couldn't handle so much awesome as all our ships though, (the server choked on 5 ships), so we were forced to go down to 4. Mad Dog was upgraded to a slower heavier battleship because weapons crews wanted beam weapons. Not nearly as much fun to fly, and nowhere near as capable of harrying the alien scum! But then my mad weapons officer went out the airlock to get a train.

Good fun. Will need to get others to play this.
luckykaa: (TV)
Bought 2 DVDs. The €2 used DVD zone. Needs to be good enough to actually think I might want to watch it and to take up space in luggage. Not so good that I'll be disappointed not to have it on Blu-ray. Went for Chronicle and The Fast annd The Furious. Chronicle is pretty good if you like Faux documentary type things. The Fast and The Furious is pretty stupid. That goes into the very small dumb action movie pile, on top of Underworld. Am wondering if Star Trek (J.J Abrams version) also belongs there. Still not sure how I feel about that movie.

Started reading Temeraire book 7. This is an actual paper paperback made of paper! Temeraire seems to be a bit of an angsty teen these days. He's close to saying "That's so unfair!" and flying off in a sulk.

Papers Please is the best Tedious Bureaucracy based game I've played (Although Anchor has promise if you're a LARPER)

New season of Legend of Korra, Also Sleepy Hollow, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D are demanding my attention. Atlantis, plus the finale of IT crowd still to watch.

Podcast grabber has been listening to More or Less and The Now Show!

Saw Cabin in the Woods. Impressed how we get a slasher movie, it gets deconstructed, subverted, twisted and turned into a film that still hits all the right notes for a slasher movie! Saw Wreck-it Ralph last week. Disney Studios can do good films rather than the shameless cash-ins they seem to go for.

So much media to consume. It's tough job but somebody's gotta do it!
luckykaa: (Games)
Dear livegerbil.

Today autumn arrived. It announced itself with a downpour. As luck would have it I was wearing particularly absorbent clothes, so I was soaked to the skin. Turns out that isn't just a figure of speech. Funny think about cycling in a torrential downpour, the rain seems to be blowing in your face whichever way you turn. Decided to take a break halfway home and get a burger. The food was hot and McDonalds was warm and dry.

I also had joined a boardgames meetup group. Six nominal attendees plus a load of people on the parallel group on facebook. There were threat of Monopoly, but luckily there were far too many of us so the rest of us played card against humanity - the Evil twin of Apples to Apples. Having successfully lost all faith in humanity we decided to play a game of Mafia (a.k.a. werewolf, traitor, spy, assassin, alien mutant, whatever). This was fun but 7 people is really an absolute minimum number of players. Did try to grab a bunch of others but they'd just started to play cash and guns.

It was fun, and I now hate almost everyone and mistrust the rest.
luckykaa: (Games)
Been pondering RPGs a lot recently.

I feel a need to play one.

I feel I should try running one at some point. I'm a little inexperienced at this having run a total of 2 sessions. Am really not experienced enough to know what's involved in making a good game. It does somewhat depend on players. My habit of living in a different country from everyone I might play with complicates this a little as well, of course. Still, I may return.

So, people...  would you like to play a game?

And if so what? What do people like? What settings and systems do people like?

My other thought was more cerebral. Dice mechanics. I was going to analyse them, but then I found someone had already done so. Particularly liked the ideal DoS distribution.  One thing that matters to me is that it should be possible, however unlikely, for the lowest skill to beat the highest skill through sheer dumb luck. A weakling, flailing around manages to hit the barbarian right where it hurts.

For Anchor I played with a system that should have fit the ideal distribution reasonably well. Roll multiple six sided dice. The higher your skill, the more dice. Highest die is the one that matters. Didn't work. Too many wins. Might work with multiple D20s but that reduces its accessibility. Not everyone has dozens of polyhedral dice.

I'm sure there is a better system.
luckykaa: (Games)
So went to London for gaming with the geek chic crowd.

No convenient trains from Preston park

Got muddled over the ticket choice at Brighton and got the wrong ticket. 

Victoria line wasn't running.

No information on anything except the next train on circle/district line. No idea if circle line was running or not.

Took forever finding the venue.

Set up a settlers game.  Realised I'd forgotten the cards. 

After that things stopped annoying me and had a nice game of Dominion, Carcassonne and Apples to Apples (speedy rules - first n-2 cards count where n = number of players). 

Still need events that attracts more of the ladies.  Also odd that there were one or two that came, chatted a bit to each other and left. 
luckykaa: (Default)
Glad I'm back at work!  That Christmas break was just hectic!

23rd - car was being fixed.  Saw Sherlock Holmes.  Radio stopped working.  Got stuck in traffic.  Had dinner with parents. 

24th - Tried adding blue streaks to hair.  Didn't work. 

Annual Christmas Eve meetup with old school friends.  Had been moved to the afternoon because that's more convenient for those with kids.  Those with kids didn't turn up and a couple of those without couldn't make it so that left three of us.  Met up with those who couldn't make the afternoon in the evening.  Met up with [livejournal.com profile] eglantinedreams and friends after spotting a last minute invitation on facebook.

25th - Christmas, and all the insanity involved there.  Also received code for radio:) 

26th - Boxing day.  The more relaxed version of Christmas without the expectations and with lower stress. 

27th - School friends arranged pub lunch.  Some of them actually made it this time!  Ate Venison.

28th - Tried to play new Zelda game.  Discovered that new Zelda games needs the new Wii Motion Plus remote.  Most annoyed by that one.  I'd have asked for the version that came with it had I known. 

Board gaming at [livejournal.com profile] aperrott and [livejournal.com profile] ingaborg's.  Lots of fun there.  Met extended family people, played Civ and Clans and Metro.  Helped dispose of additional food. 

29th/30th - Finally! Time to myself.  Spent the time playing video games!  Made Eggs Benedict.  Also made mushroom Stroganoff. 

31st - Decided to retry adding colour to hair.  eglantinedreams had offered but thought I'd give it another go since what's the worst that can happen?  Red this time which doesn't need pre-lightening.  Worked a lot better.  invited to parents place again.  What the hell.  Free food:)  and I love my mum's cooking.  Played Mario cart with nephew.  I think it's a bit hard for him actually.  Went to Bearhaus to celebrate New Year.  Met people not seen for some time.  Was told by [livejournal.com profile] the_ladylark I need to book for Discworld ASAP if I want the chance to go.  Hair was much admired:)  Walked back to parents place to sleep shortly after midnight.

1st Jan - Woke up far too soon after going to bed.  Provided much needed Kindle tech support to my mum (specifically the free books available from Gutenberg)

Drove back.  Received text from friends who suggested we do stuff.  Went for pub lunch.  Played a new game - CowPoker.  Fun but required balancing a lot of numbers which was way too much for us after a late night.  Went to eglantinedreams' place for more gaming.  Very nice Chinese takeaway which did excellent fake-meat. 

Played Munchkin Booty.  Was told I am deliciously well spoken:) and was encouraged to go for a different British accent for being British.  Went for Bristolian.  Couldn't manage a Dutch accent.

Also played Therapy.  Was psychoanalysed several times and people seem to think I'm pretty positive and hopeful, which is odd because while I am, I also see myself as a whiner who complains about everything.  There was a question, asked of [livejournal.com profile] flannelcat - who does he think is the best actor.  Pointed looks from eglantinedreams on that one to make sure he put down the right answer!  He did and therefore escaped with his life.

2nd Jan - Last minute invitation to [livejournal.com profile] omylouse's birthday bash.  Went to pub.  Ate Venison.  Again.  This time in pie form.

So that was Christmas.  Am now back and fought through the rain (and avoided the Dartford crossing since the bridge is closed, and half the tunnel is sent in the opposite direction.
luckykaa: (Default)

Saw this on an online rpg forum when someone asked for suggestions for games to play when camping.  This was basically off the submitter's head.  Reposted here with his permission in all its unformatted glory because I think this has serious promise.

Everyone sits around a campfire at night. No light except from the fire. The oldest player starts the game off. The story should always start like this "I'm going to tell you a story, something that happened in these very woods... there were x people there that night (where x is the number of people around the campfire) they were..." The story teller then points to each other player in turn and they say who their character is. Once everyone has gone around the circle the Storyteller continues the story. As the story goes the other players can, at any time give a thumbs up or thumbs down. If enough people give a thumbs down at one time the Storyteller position passes to the next person.

Oooh, another good idea. Instead of a character sheet everyone should have a paper cut out of a person. If their character dies, runs away, or otherwise leaves the story they should toss it in the fire.

There could be a bag/tin that things get drawn out of. Let's say it is a bag of black and white stones. At times the Storyteller will point at different players/characters and say "what do you do" (or whatever) and pass the bag to them. They say what they try and do and then draw a stone out. If it's black then the Storyteller comes up with something negative or scary that happens and if it is white it should be positive. Also, the storyteller should have a flashlight that they use to shine a spotlight on people. The stones should be tossed into the fire and the lead storyteller tells the ending when there are no longer any stones left to draw or when the fire has burned down. They could easily be crumpled pieces of coloured construction paper if you can't find enough stones.

You could also hand out cards at the beginning to each of the players with keywords on them. Things like "resourcefulness" or "strong", then during the course of playing the game the a player might say "I use my resourcefulness to escape" and then they toss the card into the fire.

The storyteller should regularly incorporate elements of their surroundings into the story. "There were shadows jumping from branch to branch, but only in a certain kind of tree... they looked like that tree over there" shines light. If there it is a bit breezy you could say something like "and as the campers settled in for the night a gentle breeze whispered into their ears 'go away'. Of course, the campers didn't notice the whispers at first, it seemed like just an ordinary breeze..."

Some elements that really work for me are that it makes the story the key mechanic, and uses the environment as a part of the system.  So, thoughts?  Ideas? 
luckykaa: (Default)
Been way too negative.  I need a positive update

Spent last night at [livejournal.com profile] flannelcat and [livejournal.com profile] penguin_worship's eating birthday cake, fixing cupboard doors and telling stories that went in a very silly way.  "Once Upon a Time" is an awesome game once you get the hang of how interrupt cards actually work. 

It's a fun little game that works really well for groups that like telling stories.  The stories tend to be a little less coherent than the ones from Nano-fictionary since the cards you get are random and there's very little opportunity to exchange and replace, but it's delightfully chaotic at times!
luckykaa: (Video games)
I've been writing a game for Android.  This is mainly so I can put Android Development on my CV, so I'll have to put it on Android Market at some point...

I think it's almost done.  The remaining issues:
It's a bit slooooow.  60ms per frame gives less than 20fps, and I want at least 30!  I can probably do some clever stuff where I just clear sections of screen that have been drawn. 
The actual game logic is plenty fast (2ms per tick) although I do seem to slow down to a 20th of the speed when debugging.
I have no idea how to do the control system. 
There's a glitch in my AI.  The plane is firing before it turns.  I have no idea why.  I have a fix explicitly for that but it doesn't work.  This sort of thing is really hard to debug since it relies on things being just so. 

Now, the control system is a headache.  This is based off an Amiga game where you pushed the stick left to rotate anti-clockwise and right to rotate clockwise.  Android of course has no stick.  It has an optical trackball, but people have huge problems understanding the control system.

So I have to work how to deal with that one.  I could add a tutorial screen.  I could add controls on the touch screen.  I could change the control method.  I think I need playtesters. 

On the whole though I'm reasonably happy with it.  Really would like to finish it off so I can stick it on the android market and start project #2.

What's project #2?  A sound board.  Because I should be able to do that in a couple of days. 

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