FWIW, I write short reviews because 9 times out of 10 someone else has written a longer, better, more detailed one than I ever would. Here’s that review for this game: Cleopatra: Riddle of the Tomb (@ adventuregamers.com). (Note: they changed the title for some reason.)
My review: Decent graphics, slightly annoying UI (the click-and-drag to spin things part is basically awful and unintuitive given the cursor), ok voice acting, ok music. The puzzles are entirely too easy, and the game is too short. I paid $19 for this game, which is too much. This is a $6 game, at best.
We’ve been playing more non-computer games and it’s awesome. Included: Settlers of Catan (pictured above), Catan card game, and Munchkin. I’ve had some other games recommended to me lately but haven’t had a chance to really look into them at all. If you know of some kickass boardgames we should try (2-6 players, with 3-4 being the priority), leave a comment.
Interesting article from BusinessWeek about the “return” (not sure where it went) of Flash and the growing popularity of Web games: Flash is Back.
Well, hot damn. A few us of were just talking about Second Life this weekend, and here they are open sourcing the client code. This has high coolness potential, and I think I’ll poke around Second Life again for fun when I get a chance. More information about their open sourcing of the code is here. Check it out…they even have a developer documentation wiki.
Last night I decided that it was time (for no real reason) to start fresh with a brand new Firefox profile. The profile I had been using was old and crufty, dating from at least the DeerPark Alpha days. Of course, a new profile means no bookmarks, so I have a choice: I can either use my old bookmark file, or I can start fresh.
My bookmark file, I discovered, is 1.5mb.
I’ve decided to start fresh. Instead of piling all those bookmarks back into my browser file, I’m going to hand select the few I use all the time and stash all the other used-only-occassionally-or-just-the-one-time bookmarks over in my Jots online bookmarking account.
Usually I have Jots post my daily bookmarks to my weblog, but since I’m going to be adding several hundred to it over the next few days, I’ve disabled that particular feature for the time being. If you would like to see what I’ve got stashed over there, you can go check out my whole Jots bookmark collection. You can even subscribe to its RSS feed if you like.
I’m going to buy a game tomorrow afternoon. Technically I’m going to go buy an extension to a game. A game that’s been around for years and years which I have played many, many times before. In fact, if I can find them all (there will be three as of tomorrow), I’ll probably by all of the expansions to this game. The game is The Sims2, and the expansion that’s coming out tomorrow is Sims2: Open for Business.
I’ll be getting this game for two basic reasons: 1) Sims2 is fun to play in fits and starts, although on the whole it’s sort of frustrating and a little boring — maybe this expansion (and the others) will make it a little less frustrating and boring; 2) As far as I can tell, all new games suck.
Raph Koster, who is apparently some sort of MMORPG guru or something, wrote a little ranty blog post today called What are the lessons of MMORPGs today? If you’ve played any of those sorts of games you will laugh. Bitterly. And when you stop laughing bitterly, you might look grumpy for a little while when you think back to how much damned time you wasted playing the blasted things, trying to find the “fun” that you lost when you figured out the game mechanics. (Once you figure out the core mechanics it’s all just rote time-filling, which is a lot like, oh, work.)
Anyhow. As I said to someone yesterday, “if they’d just create a site full of strange little web-based Tycoon style games, I’d happily subscribe”. There are caveats, of course — each game would have to have different base mechanics and influencing variables so solving one didn’t solve them all — but otherwise I pretty much stand by that. I like puzzles. I like games that provide me a sense of accomplishment commensurate to the amount of effort (be it time, brain power, or ideally a combination of both) I put in. I really like games that I can pop in and play for 30-60 mins, by myself, with a sense of having accomplished something.
For what it’s worth, one of my favourite games of all time is, to this day, Ragnarok. I’d just about kill for a Rogue-like game for the Nintendo DS. Sigh.
This desire to play D&D again isn’t a really recent thing. I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a few months now, which is one of the reasons I cleaned out the storage space last weekend (my D&D books + dice were in a box in there, buried behind a bunch of other stuff).
Last night I decided to see if I could figure out how to draw maps with Illustrator, since, really, drawing maps on graph paper with a pencil is so…20th century. Several hours of fiddling later, and here are the results (no scale, no legend…I’m still fiddling):
Or see the big version.
For what it’s worth, this is (theoretically) a map of Perrowaithe, a largish island continent (probably a third of the size of Australia) that is home to seven kingdoms, the great port city of Hav’non, a pantheon of 42 gods, and roughly 12,000 years of civilised history. Among other things. I first dreamed up Perrowaithe probably 15 years ago, and, well…I’ve got about 300 pages of handwritten notes and maps about it in a filebox here. Yes, I’ve been a nerd for a really long time.
I say “theoretically” because I actually have other ideas for this particular map now that I’ve drawn it, but we’ll see.
What a silly fun way to spend a chunk of the weekend. :)
More specifically, I want to DM a campaign. I want to create the world, the pantheon, the maps. I want to craft the realms, the political intrigue, the new rules of play, new classes, new languages, skill modfications, feats. I want to create modules on top of all of this, dozens of them, with the maps and monsters and tricks and traps and treasure. I want to run the game on a set schedule — once per week, six to eight hours of play, with pizza and beer.
I miss pencil and paper roleplaying a lot. From those games came my strongest friendships and some of the most indelible memories of my gaming life. Computer games don’t even come close. But running a regular game with people my age (mid-30s) is a scheduling nightmare. It’s just not possible, particularly given that my friends are scattered across a half-dozen timezones.