Gaming fleeting thoughts

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:42 pm UTC

RE: Dark Souls.

Well, I've got Bed of Chaos, Sif, Seath, and Nito today. That's something I guess.

Also, I've noted that that hollowing thing they talked about in the early game where undead gradually go insane may be an actual thing. I've started running around in my birthday suit, with only a helmet and a sword.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby poxic » Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:05 pm UTC

Isn't that a standard RPG thing?
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:36 pm UTC

Most RPGs has it go the other way. In for example Fallout, you start out in your Vault 13 jumpsuit, and end the game with a brotherhood of steel power armor.

In Dark Souls, I started with full armor, and ended buck naked save for a helmet, a sword and some jewelry.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:33 am UTC

Armor is a crutch. Useful, but eventually you should no longer need it.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Jesse » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:51 pm UTC

I'm getting really tempted to start playing DS1 again, considering I never completed it. Other plan is to wait for DS3 and get that for the Xbox rather than deal with their interesting PC ports.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby raudorn » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:10 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:I'm getting really tempted to start playing DS1 again, considering I never completed it. Other plan is to wait for DS3 and get that for the Xbox rather than deal with their interesting PC ports.


Are we talking Dungeon Siege here? I fondly remember the first one for being very atmospheric. I never got more than an hour into the second and only played the demo for the third one. That one was much more like modern RPGs in terms of gameplay, but I didn't buy it because it got some scalding reviews.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Jesse » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

Dork Soulds, unfortunately

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby You, sir, name? » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:13 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:I'm getting really tempted to start playing DS1 again, considering I never completed it. Other plan is to wait for DS3 and get that for the Xbox rather than deal with their interesting PC ports.


I think DS1 is alright on PC with a controller and DSFix. Occasionally there's some FPS dropping, but for the most part it's manageable.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Sizik » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

Dark Souls note to self: Press B AFTER you start climbing down the ladder, not before.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:07 pm UTC

Blighttown sucks.

After getting poisoned to death in the swamp before finding a bonfire down there (the mosquitoes are very annoying), I got killed on my way back to collect my souls when, while engaging a minor enemy, the camera decided to park itself behind a wall on the floor above, so I didn't see one of the big guys with a club coming until after he'd knocked me off the platform into the abyss below...

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:33 am UTC

Blighttown, and to some extent The Depths, succeed in creating a mechanically uncomfortable atmosphere.

Sen's Bar & Grill is really tense, and Spoopy Doghouse is quite... spooky. But Blighttown is genuinely uncomfortable, with its awkward footing and claustrophobic camera traps.

You, sir, name? wrote:I've started running around in my birthday suit, with only a helmet and a sword.

You must have missed the Harry Potter cosplay. It's basically as light as going naked, and it looks pretty rad.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:39 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:Blighttown, and to some extent The Depths, succeed in creating a mechanically uncomfortable atmosphere.

Sen's Bar & Grill is really tense, and Spoopy Doghouse is quite... spooky. But Blighttown is genuinely uncomfortable, with its awkward footing and claustrophobic camera traps.


The camera getting stuck behind things (and inability to walk up a 4-inch step) is something I'd class as poor interface rather than "fair" difficulty. YMMV

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:17 am UTC

Sen's is also feels more like a gauntlet run. It's not very big but very intense.

Blighttown felt a bit like a chore due to its sheer size. You have both the scaffolds between The Depths to the bottom of Blighttown, then the entire swamp area, and then another large scaffolds area to get to the exit of the map.

By the time you're through you're like "Yeah, yeah, I get it! Everything is poison and it's easy to fall off scaffolds."
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:27 am UTC

Blightown still ain't got nuthin' on the Valley of Defilement.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:40 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:The camera getting stuck behind things (and inability to walk up a 4-inch step) is something I'd class as poor interface rather than "fair" difficulty. YMMV

Sure, the game is still glitchy and all that.

I'm thinking more of, for instance, the spot where the floor (deliberately) collapses, and you find yourself in somewhat of a maze of scaffolding, where it's difficult to get a proper overview of what's going on, and the camera gets clamped by (not necessarily stuck behind) a lot of walls and ceilings.

There's also the spot where you find yourself in the well of the tower, and you're unsure how to drop down, or if you should be dropping down, or maybe there's another way around.

Yeah, it's pretty frustrating, but to me, Dark Souls is frustrating in the same way a horror film is scary.

One thing I really appreciate about Blighttown, however, is just how immense and intricate it is. It's an area that really shows off how they were willing to build content that a player could pass right by and never even notice.

The "backdoor" entrance with the big elevator that you might never use if you came from The Depths. Entire zones that are completely hidden away (Pirate Frog Tree / Ash Lake).

I mean, that's true of the whole first half, of course. But Blighttown is the place that stands out to me for really pushing the dilemma between my desire to explore, and the risk of milling about in such a harsh environment.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:14 pm UTC

I volunteer at a board game store that runs an afterschool program - kids come in, play games, think critically about them, think about different mods they'd like to add or cool stuff to do, present those ideas, and a few weeks later they play a modded version of the game. It's pretty awesome, I wish I had something like this as a child.

Anyway, yesterday we were playing the mod for Kingdoms (which turned out really great), and we noticed with have three kids named Oscar at one table. So we decided to have those three in the same group, plus another kid (we asked for a volunteer). The kids quickly decided he would be the Imposcar, which was really clever. He was immediately ganged up on, but did admirably (got to second place overall).
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Yablo » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:11 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The key is "any repeat". If you choose a particular Pokemon (ie: Moltres repeating), people can intuitively understand that. It is very unlikely for Moltres to come out of a Pokeball twice in twenty throws or so. However, if your brain is looking for "any pokemon may repeat", this is an exponentially more likely situation. Almost certainly will some pokemon repeat, and by 20 throws, I'd expect some triple-repeat or quadruple repeat.

I noticed something very similar regarding Roulette wheels. My brother and I were in Las Vegas on vacation, and we'd been walking the casino floor for what seemed like days straight. We decided to find a quiet place to sit for a while, and it happened to be in sight of the Roulette tables. The tables have boards which show the last 12 or so numbers to come up, and I noticed that on every single board I saw, at least one number was repeated.

I started watching the boards and predicting numbers, and I found that if I were to bet $1 on each of the five most recent numbers, I would lose everything roughly four or five times, but then I'd get one. With a win on a specific number being worth 35:1, this meant I was winning $35 for every $25 or $30 I bet. I watched the wheels for about an hour before I got the nerve to try it out, and when I did, I sat at the table with the lowest chip values, but I tripled my money in about 2 1/2 hours.

I tested my theory at a later trip to Reno, and it worked on the tables there. I tried it at two different Indian casinos in Washington, and it worked. I tried it on a casino video game, and it didn't work as well, but it did work. I just need to get the nerve to bet big for a while, but if it didn't work for whatever reason, my wife would not be happy.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:27 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:The key is "any repeat". If you choose a particular Pokemon (ie: Moltres repeating), people can intuitively understand that. It is very unlikely for Moltres to come out of a Pokeball twice in twenty throws or so. However, if your brain is looking for "any pokemon may repeat", this is an exponentially more likely situation. Almost certainly will some pokemon repeat, and by 20 throws, I'd expect some triple-repeat or quadruple repeat.

I noticed something very similar regarding Roulette wheels. My brother and I were in Las Vegas on vacation, and we'd been walking the casino floor for what seemed like days straight. We decided to find a quiet place to sit for a while, and it happened to be in sight of the Roulette tables. The tables have boards which show the last 12 or so numbers to come up, and I noticed that on every single board I saw, at least one number was repeated.

I started watching the boards and predicting numbers, and I found that if I were to bet $1 on each of the five most recent numbers, I would lose everything roughly four or five times, but then I'd get one. With a win on a specific number being worth 35:1, this meant I was winning $35 for every $25 or $30 I bet. I watched the wheels for about an hour before I got the nerve to try it out, and when I did, I sat at the table with the lowest chip values, but I tripled my money in about 2 1/2 hours.

I tested my theory at a later trip to Reno, and it worked on the tables there. I tried it at two different Indian casinos in Washington, and it worked. I tried it on a casino video game, and it didn't work as well, but it did work. I just need to get the nerve to bet big for a while, but if it didn't work for whatever reason, my wife would not be happy.


Two possible explanations come to mind - one is that the casinos don't mind having a bias on the cheap tables since they make the money on the high stakes tables (and someone thinking they've figured out a system is going to keep playing longer than someone who's just losing money playing randomly). The other is that it's a very big sample space out there, and your self-selected anecdote becomes a lot less surprising when considered against that context - if you'd tried it and not had it pay off, you probably wouldn't have mentioned it...

It would surprise me if a major casino's high-stakes tables had an exploitable pattern of that nature.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Yablo » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:45 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:It would surprise me if a major casino's high-stakes tables had an exploitable pattern of that nature.

It would surprise me as well. I tend to intentionally forget that high-stakes rooms exist, so I've never watched those tables, but some of the tables I have watched were in major casinos. Something deep inside my analytical side keeps telling me it shouldn't work, but then I test it hypothetically, and it does. To date, I've only had the nerve to try small bets, but I've always walked away with more than I had when I sat down.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:42 am UTC

Yablo wrote:I started watching the boards and predicting numbers, and I found that if I were to bet $1 on each of the five most recent numbers, I would lose everything roughly four or five times, but then I'd get one.

That's an interesting system. It reminds me of what David Choe talks about in this Howard Stern interview (25 minutes in, if you don't catch the timestamp).

It's a simple system that relies on that same idea of "just keep going and it'll pay out eventually":

1. Bet an initial sum X on black, or red, or whatever thing you want that is roughly 50/50.
2a. If you win, take the winnings and store them away and go back to step 1.
2b. If you lose, double down.

Assuming that a) you won't have an infinite losing streak on a 50/50 bet, and b) you double down every time you lose, then you come out ahead every time.

There's probably some flaw, like table limits or some-such. But it worked for the crazy painter. :P
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:19 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:The key is "any repeat". If you choose a particular Pokemon (ie: Moltres repeating), people can intuitively understand that. It is very unlikely for Moltres to come out of a Pokeball twice in twenty throws or so. However, if your brain is looking for "any pokemon may repeat", this is an exponentially more likely situation. Almost certainly will some pokemon repeat, and by 20 throws, I'd expect some triple-repeat or quadruple repeat.

I noticed something very similar regarding Roulette wheels. My brother and I were in Las Vegas on vacation, and we'd been walking the casino floor for what seemed like days straight. We decided to find a quiet place to sit for a while, and it happened to be in sight of the Roulette tables. The tables have boards which show the last 12 or so numbers to come up, and I noticed that on every single board I saw, at least one number was repeated.

I started watching the boards and predicting numbers, and I found that if I were to bet $1 on each of the five most recent numbers, I would lose everything roughly four or five times, but then I'd get one. With a win on a specific number being worth 35:1, this meant I was winning $35 for every $25 or $30 I bet. I watched the wheels for about an hour before I got the nerve to try it out, and when I did, I sat at the table with the lowest chip values, but I tripled my money in about 2 1/2 hours.

I tested my theory at a later trip to Reno, and it worked on the tables there. I tried it at two different Indian casinos in Washington, and it worked. I tried it on a casino video game, and it didn't work as well, but it did work. I just need to get the nerve to bet big for a while, but if it didn't work for whatever reason, my wife would not be happy.


This is the nature of randomness. Repetition happens pretty often. This doesn't mean the repetition is predictable, though, that's something of a fluke. I would not bet "wife-unhappy" amounts of money that something this simple works, and has not been discovered by anyone else.

It's pretty common for humans to underestimate the amount of repetition in a random number string.

Now, there is a *slight* chance that this effect is being exploited by a non-random weighting of results, but that seems improbable. It seems way, way too obvious in practice. I'd want to log a *very* long string of numbers and look to see if it's actually deviating more than expected from average repetition.

eviloatmeal wrote:
Yablo wrote:I started watching the boards and predicting numbers, and I found that if I were to bet $1 on each of the five most recent numbers, I would lose everything roughly four or five times, but then I'd get one.

That's an interesting system. It reminds me of what David Choe talks about in this Howard Stern interview (25 minutes in, if you don't catch the timestamp).

It's a simple system that relies on that same idea of "just keep going and it'll pay out eventually":

1. Bet an initial sum X on black, or red, or whatever thing you want that is roughly 50/50.
2a. If you win, take the winnings and store them away and go back to step 1.
2b. If you lose, double down.

Assuming that a) you won't have an infinite losing streak on a 50/50 bet, and b) you double down every time you lose, then you come out ahead every time.

There's probably some flaw, like table limits or some-such. But it worked for the crazy painter. :P


Well, it's not quite 50/50 because of the green squares.

Doubling down infinitely requires infinite money. Not likely. Anyway, the odds still balance, it's just a reversed lottery scenario. High chance of moderate gain, low chance of high loss. The actual odds haven't gotten better, and over large sample sizes, you'll still lose. But you can have good short runs.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:32 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, it's not quite 50/50 because of the green squares.

Ergo the word "roughly".

Tyndmyr wrote:The actual odds haven't gotten better, and over large sample sizes, you'll still lose. But you can have good short runs.

Yes, it's true you would need several thousand dollars to keep up with 10+ streaks.

Come to think of it, it's a game we used to play in EVE, years and years ago. There was a host running a scheme whereby one player would wager an amount of money, and the next would wager a larger amount of money, and subsequent players would have to wager the sum of previous bets, highest bidder take all. It's a fun game to play when you happen to be the biggest whale awake.

I'm glad I have so little interest in gambling, though. Especially in real-life. And also that I'm bad at counting probabilities, or I would be tempted to play poker.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby ConMan » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:39 pm UTC

There is definitely a certain amount of non-randomness to the roulette wheel, given that a group in the 70s made computers that fit in their shoes with which they scored a profit of 40 cents in the dollar.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:47 pm UTC

ConMan wrote:There is definitely a certain amount of non-randomness to the roulette wheel, given that a group in the 70s made computers that fit in their shoes with which they scored a profit of 40 cents in the dollar.


As I recall, they exploited the fact that bets can still be placed after the ball has been released to observe the ball's initial trajectory and place bets based on that.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:15 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:Come to think of it, it's a game we used to play in EVE, years and years ago. There was a host running a scheme whereby one player would wager an amount of money, and the next would wager a larger amount of money, and subsequent players would have to wager the sum of previous bets, highest bidder take all. It's a fun game to play when you happen to be the biggest whale awake.

I'm glad I have so little interest in gambling, though. Especially in real-life. And also that I'm bad at counting probabilities, or I would be tempted to play poker.


I did quite well playing poker in Eve, if memory serves. I play a bit in real life too. The element of skill appeals to me, even if luck still plays a large part.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby eviloatmeal » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:21 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I did quite well playing poker in Eve, if memory serves. I play a bit in real life too. The element of skill appeals to me, even if luck still plays a large part.

Does it, though?

Between the game of deciphering your opponent's behavior, the battle you're fighting with the wagering, and calculating probabilities, there's really not that much left to luck, is there?

But what do I know. I don't play poker because I have absolutely no skill in people reading, manipulation, counting, etc..
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:55 pm UTC

In the end if someone calls your bluff and you have a low pair, then you're screwed. Luck plays into it, even if it's a big psychological game.

I started playing Rogue Legacy this weekend. It's a lot of fun but really hard, for me at least. For those who don't know - it's a roguelike platformer where each time you die you play one of your heirs. There's a bunch of different classes and each character has a combination of traits they can have (dwarfism, irritable bowel syndrome, color blind, etc.), some of which suck a lot. Whatever money you collect during a run, you can use to upgrade your characters and their equipment, but whenever you enter the castle you have to give up all of your money, so you have to make sure to have a successful enough run to collect enough money for the bigger upgrades later on.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:24 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:In the end if someone calls your bluff and you have a low pair, then you're screwed. Luck plays into it, even if it's a big psychological game.

I started playing Rogue Legacy this weekend. It's a lot of fun but really hard, for me at least. For those who don't know - it's a roguelike platformer where each time you die you play one of your heirs. There's a bunch of different classes and each character has a combination of traits they can have (dwarfism, irritable bowel syndrome, color blind, etc.), some of which suck a lot. Whatever money you collect during a run, you can use to upgrade your characters and their equipment, but whenever you enter the castle you have to give up all of your money, so you have to make sure to have a successful enough run to collect enough money for the bigger upgrades later on.


One of the available upgrades lets you keep a percentage of your cash when you start another run, and unlocking that gives you a bit of a boost. You still need to get most of your upgrade money from a single run, but at least a run where you don't earn enough to upgrade then reduces the target for the next run...

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:01 pm UTC

Yeah I know, and I got it when I could. But at the first level it's only 10%. I'll... hopefully get better at it.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:00 pm UTC

I finished Life is Strange, I thought it was great. Some really amazing voice acting. I was surprised to see that Chloe is voiced by Ashly Burch (Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'?). I don't think I liked any of the cliffhangers, they all made me want to stop for one reason or another. It always managed to pull itself together though.

I went from that to Stardew Valley. I can't stop. It's a stupid Harvest Moon clone. I'm in my first winter and I'm hitting a power boom. I have over a hundred crops going at once without issue. Since it's winter I can only grow one seed and it's low quality. I'm going to try doubling that number in spring and that will get me enough money to afford these expensive last set of upgrades, so I just need to keep playing, right?

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Zohar » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:16 pm UTC

In the meantime I've been advancing quite a bit in Rogue Legacy. I beat the first boss, I have relatively successful runs (often with 4-5K gold reward). I'm just not sure I'm good enough to beat the bosses. I dunno, I can keep playing and upgrading all of my health and mana for quite a while (there's like 75 levels for each of those), but that will take a loooong time. Maybe I should switch to a different game and use this one as a filler when I want to play something short that I can easily quit. It's still fun though.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:03 am UTC

Mid spring, doubled my crops, took a night picture of the main part of my farm, posting.
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:17 pm UTC

Koa wrote:I finished Life is Strange, I thought it was great. Some really amazing voice acting. I was surprised to see that Chloe is voiced by Ashly Burch (Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'?). I don't think I liked any of the cliffhangers, they all made me want to stop for one reason or another. It always managed to pull itself together though.


I think the cliffhangers worked a lot better during the original release when you had to stop playing for a couple of months because the next episode wasn't out yet than when you marathon through.

Worst bits for me were the "and none of your other choices had any lasting effect" of the ending, and the bottles in episode 2 - I missed the hidden campfire, and because Max's hints about it kept coming while I was over near the ghost doe, I focused my search on that area rather than the rest of the yard...

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Koa
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Koa » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:48 pm UTC

I would have had the same response either way. Maybe I was half expecting it to jump the shark. I thought the story was a little shaky, and the glue that held it together was that the story had three layers. There's the main timeline tree, Max herself time traveling (growing as a person outside of time), and then the player's involvement. In the first layer, the ending has a dull stinging pain for you. I was more interested in the other two, and was waiting for it to do something big there.

Worst part for me was Kate Marsh. Why isn't there a "push" option?

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Deva
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Deva » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:59 pm UTC

Released a Diablo 2 patch. Helps newer operating systems run it. (Last Diablo 2 patch: October 27, 2011. Came out on June 29-30, 2000.)

Appreciates support like that.
Changes its form depending on the observer.

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Dthen
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Dthen » Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:22 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image


Space is pretty.
Dthen wrote:I AM NOT A CAT.

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headprogrammingczar
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:06 pm UTC

Heading to the core?
<quintopia> You're not crazy. you're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Weeks> You're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Cheese> I love you

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Dthen
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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Dthen » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:12 pm UTC

Yeah, about 10k LY away from Sagittarius A* at the moment.
Dthen wrote:I AM NOT A CAT.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby Thesh » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:38 am UTC

Pretty. What game is that?
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: Gaming fleeting thoughts

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:38 am UTC

80 Days (official website) is a good, fun piece of interactive fiction.

The basic premise is straightforward - you are Passepartout, newly hired as valet to one Phileas Fogg, a respected member of London's Reform Club, who has just placed a wager for £20,000 with his fellows that he can circumnavigate the globe and return to the Club within 80 Days. You start with £4,000 and whatever of an assortment of items you choose to pack into your suitcase(s) before departure.

From that point, Fogg's itinerary and well-being are in your hands. Money is spent on fares for various modes of transport, bribes to either expedite departure or allow more luggage to be carried, overnight accommodation, and purchasing whatever items you wish to pick up in the local markets of the cities you visit. Money can be gained by doing oddjobs while staying overnight, by selling items in the local markets (in my last game, I picked up one item for a hundred or so pounds that eventually sold for over seven thousand), or by drawing on the local banks - depending on the amount, this means staying up to a week in one place while the funds are cleared. This leads into the other great resource in the game - time. Every journey takes time; waiting for the next scheduled departure takes time (though a combination of bribery and possession of the right items can advance the schedule by days); various actions in cities advance the clock (2 hours to visit the bank; 4 hours to explore and see whether you can uncover any new routes; overnight to stay in a hotel) and there's a clock that runs while idle in a city, planning on the world map, or managing your luggage (more than once, I've missed a train because I had too much baggage for it to carry and took too long deciding what to sell and rearranging the rest to fit in the allotted number of cases). The clock also runs while traveling, when options to read the headlines, converse with other people, or attend to Fogg's well-being are available once per day. Crossing the date line gains you a day, but otherwise time spent is forever lost. The 80 day limit is fairly generous - I've yet to get under 50, but people have got the Steam achievement for going under 40 - and exceeding it, while it means Fogg is probably ruined financially, doesn't end your trip - you can complete your journey.

The third major resource is Fogg's well-being. He is not a hardy soul, and most forms of transport wear him down gradually. He recovers somewhat in hotels, or with your direct care, either overnight in hotels, or while en route - in either case, tending your master precludes your using that opportunity to gain information that may be of use, or have a minor adventure that may produce minor benefits, or minor complications. Having the right items and equipment in your luggage can reduce the strain of travel, potentially even making it restorative rather than draining.

Items in your luggage can be loosely divided into a number of categories. There are two or three part sets of items that, together, provide some significant benefit - the railwayman set means that trains can often be persuaded to leave days early free of charge, while the cold climate set dramatically reduces the health cost of traveling in northern climes. There are conversation pieces - a box of cigars; a bottle of whisky; a Gideon's Bible - items with mostly small monetary value, but which can persuade fellow-travelers to be more forthcoming. There are trade items, which can be sold for a significant profit in the right markets (such items' descriptions tell you where they are valuable). There are Timetables, which, so long as you possess them, inform you of a number of routes between cities in one region of the world. And there are various key items, which offer special options in the right circumstances - such as the military papers you can acquire, enabling you to bypass certain blockades, and gain certain favours which aid your journey.

The other major element of the game is the events - at least once per day, something happens, pausing the clock and presenting you with a mini Choose Your Own Adventure style game - you are presented with a chunk of narrative, and allowed to choose between a number of possible immediate continuations, which generally expand into another chunk of narrative, followed by another set of cues, allowing you to guide the resolution of the incident, whether it be exploring the World's Fair in Paris, being held up by Jesse James, encountering a famous novelist, solving a mysterious murder at sea, or any of thousands of other incidents. Events occur when you explore a city, when you spend the night, each day while traveling, and probably some other times too, and contain most of the texture of the game's world. That late-19th century world has some similarities to the real world of that age, but also many differences - the setting has a definite steampunk element, with military automata, various experimental airships and other craft, and various hidden things - there's an achievement for traveling with Captain Nemo; another for journeying to the center of the Earth. I have discovered a mysterious teleporter, which whisked myself and my employer to a distant location in moments, though with at best a minor saving in time since reaching it was a significant detour in the first place.

The game's world also changes slightly from play to play - on my first journey, the Trans-American Railroad was still under construction; on my latest trip, it ran the whole way. By and large, it's possible to retrace one's steps, but the contents of markets appear to vary (I've not actually confirmed this) and the chaos butterfly is alive and well - fail to learn about a particular route, just miss a connection, or have the wrong item to unlock an event path, and you can find yourself nudged onto a different track, meaning there's a ton of replayability. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a rogue-lite - it's too easy, and I suspect it's a lot more scripted than it appears - but it has something of that feel to it.


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