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Tycho / on Mon, Feb 3 2003 at 11:03 am

That big-ass Battlefield 1942 1.3 patch I mentioned is out.  Grabbing it now - I was up late playing it last night, and I’m really looking forward to the additions.

(CW)TB

Tycho / on Mon, Feb 3 2003 at 9:10 am

Seattle Comic Con

I see that Mary Sunshine is awake.

I was flipping through one of the free weeklies they have where I live, and I noticed a big ad for the Seattle Comic Con.  Not being aware that there was a Seattle Comic Con to begin with, this came as something of a shock.  It is apparently the “first annual,” so that explains that.  The cost of a table is about a tenth what it is at the San Diego one, so we thought we might as well go.  We’re trying to have two posters, as well as the Div, Fruit Fucker, and CTS shirts we just invented.  Who knows if all that stuff will come together, I guess we’ll find out, but we’ll be there in any event if you want to come say hello.  It is February 9th, I believe.  I don’t mean it’s Februarty 9th today, I mean that’s when the thing is.

(CW)TB

Gabe / on Mon, Feb 3 2003 at 8:39 am

for Tycho

You forgot to talk about the Seattle Comic Con and how we will be there and stuff.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Mon, Feb 3 2003 at 8:37 am

Das New Worlden

Absentmindledly sifting through gaming news a month or so ago, I saw a list of Germany’s top ten games of 2002.  This list in particular showed a game at number one that I had never heard of - Anno 1503.  This list wasn’t just strategy games or just German games or just games with Anno in the title, this was the complete list - so why had I never heard of this game Germans crave above all others?

Apparently Electronic Arts saw fit to give the game a US release, because they’re releasing it in the US.  In fact, it should be here March 4th, as man reckons time.  A demo for it popped up and then popped back down again because, well, I don’t know why, and I don’t particularly care either because I have it. 

I am of the opinion that it is marvelous.  There is just a lot to the simulation.  For example:  Where most games are satisfied to let you click somewhere and build a town hall, The New World sports a much more rigorous scheme. 

To Build A Town Hall:

  • First, pause in the stillness before creation.

  • Then, gently alter the fundamental properties of the universe so as to siphon worldstuff via the anomalous geysers of existence.

  • Fashion planets and seed them with potential life in the form of seemingly random proteins.

  • Bake on 450.

  • Sculpt an idyllic no-place that your sentient children will despoil.

I have been playing it for six days, and I only just took a break yesterday.  All I’m saying is that there is a lot to it.

(CW)TB

Tycho / on Mon, Feb 3 2003 at 7:35 am

All I’m saying is that it is time for a new Sonic game, and I don’t mean new to the GameCube.  Rumors said the new one might not be a remake, and wouldn’t that have been nice!

I read an article on Eurogamer that was not correct I believe, factually speaking.  I’m not doing this to be contentious, it’s just that the thing they got wrong is the thing I think is most interesting about the game. 

We’re seeing more ways to set yourself apart as a commander these days in real-time strategy.  You have always been able to construct strike groups out of the units of your choice, but what I’m talking about in this case is ways to personalize your forces and your abilities.  Impossible Creatures lets you build entire units to a custom spec and field them.  Age of Mythology lets you choose which Gods your society reveres most, revealing or closing off different technologies in mid-game.  Warcraft 3 has the leveling/RPG thing as relates to hero units.  Generals has a couple different ways of differentiating players from its three armies, the most basic way being genuinely interesting modifications to units.  There is a massive Chinese tank, for example, that is already dangerous because it is bristling with huge guns of varying types.  There is (as I understand it) a “Propaganda” upgrade for the vehicle that places loudspeakers on the back, blaring hateful rhetoric that emboldens nearby soldiers.  My experience with the game pointed out several such additions to units which really gave me the sense of altering a total “battlefield ecology,” which is something I discussed before during my Red Alert 2 period.  Generals is by the much same team as I understand it, not Westwood proper (RIP), so that would make sense.  This isn’t the part the Eurogamer article got wrong, that’s coming up in the next paragraph.     

I was wowed by the game at E3, as any person in command of their faculties must necessarily have been.  It was then that I learned that each of the three sides had a general you could choose, and these “Generals” could determine your aptitudes and a portion of your tech tree.  I thought that was mighty fine, but apparently they themselves did not, because the most recent version of the game I have played does not have a feature like that.  The way it works now can best be described by comparing it to Warcraft 3.  In Warcraft 3, you create an altar, and then you create a hero, and then your hero goes out and kills stuff and levels up.  That Hero can die and then will need to be resurrected, but he will retain his prior experience.  Also, his brade may seek vengeance.  In Generals, there are really two separate tiers where experience in accrued.  The first is individual unit experience - they acquire expertise in the course of normal skirmishes.  I’ve even seen experienced troops exit destroyed vehicles with their veteran status intact.  Though you personally have no representation on the field, the player also accrues experience through combat, conceptualized as “Stars,” which can be used to activate advanced units and abilities.  I think this system has more opportunities for dynamic combat flow.  The article I mentioned referred to their old way of doing things, and I just wanted to set it straight.  I bear Europe no ill will.  The only thing I did not like about Generals was the fact that it ran like shit.  And I mean shit.  Yes, it was the beta, but I always say “It’s the Beta” to qualify why I say something runs like shit.  I bear no hope whatsoever for performance improvements in the retail product.   

My birthday is this Thursday, February sixth, and I do ask that you set aside some time that day to reflect not only on all the cool stuff I do, but also the cool way in which I do the stuff I was just talking about.

(CW)TB out.

no lock, no chain




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