Video game spotlight thread



  • There's a little known point and click puzzle adventure game from Microsoft Studios called Adera.

    The first episode (out of 5) is free, so if you have some free time there's no reason not to try it. I kinda enjoyed it, but I don't think I'd pay the 20€ for the full thing. There's a storyline and all, but the puzzles all seemed a little too easy. If they halved the price, it might be a decent deal.

    And yeah... there's also an ad that takes up 1/3rd of the screen :facepalm:.



  • @raceprouk said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @lb_ said in Video game spotlight thread:

    it can change your desktop background temporarily

    Games shouldn't be fucking with stuff like that. End of.

    I liked what Pony Island did.

    In one of the segments, you're asked to think about something disgusting and write it down. The game goes on for a bit, and then a fake Steam message pop-up from one of your friends shows up, questioning you on why on Earth did you think it was appropriate to send them such messages.

    It's just realistic enough to catch you by surprise, and just lenient enough not to be a real hassle.



  • I just finished this.

    Paper Sorcerer

    Paper Sorcerer Extended Gameplay Video – 08:41
    — Ultra Runaway

    A classic RPG, plays a bit like Wizardry 8. First person exploration, turn-based party vs party combat, secrets, a bit goofy story. Your own character is a warrior/mage type (can specialize later), and he/she is always in the party. The other 3 spots are filled from a roster of 6 characters, which you fill in gradually from total of 10-12 characters.

    Since you are an antagonist, your enemies are typical good guys (knights, guards and such) and your party members are all monsters. Their classes, however, pretty closely mirror typical D&D roles (skeleton = knight, minotaur = barbarian, etc.).

    Level progression is brisk and fun. There's a lot of equipment, which is randomized without a fixed seed, so hello save scumming. 99% of the enemies don't respawn, so once you clear an area, it's safe to return. There is one area where you can go and grind, if you feel underpowered, so it's all cool.

    The game was made entirely by one guy and it shows. Graphics looks artsy but it's clear they are mostly trying to hide atrocious lack of details. UI is inconsistent and feels unfinished (no automap, no tooltips, no enemy info...). There are an awful lot of bugs. Luckily no save game corruption, but pretty much everything else, including a huge puzzle sidequest that is broken and must be finished by editing the save file.

    If you can get over that (I did), the game is a lot of fun. Core gameplay loop (exploration, party development and combat) is top notch. I don't often finish games, but I did this one.

    A few tips. My MVP-s were Abomination (best mix of spells, tank that can heal a bit and assassinate strong enemies) and Minotaur (best damage dealer, mass and targeted). In the third spot I rotated Vampire (strong attacks and healing, no mass damage), Witch (healing, focused curses but again no mass damage), Cultist (mediocre healer, mediocre hitter) and Ghost (mass status effects, mostly). I was not entirely pleased with any of these last 4. I wish I had Troll or Imp instead.

    I tried to combine characters that take different combinations of items (eg. only Skeleton and Abomination can wear heavy armor). It worked out well for the first playthrough.

    At level 20, I was given a choice to push my main character towards a mage or warrior. I went mage, and it was glorious. Great mass damage spells, from liability he became the strongest character.

    Skill buying priorities: defense, energy, agility, arcane resistance, divine resistance. In that order. Save money and spend it when you feel underpowered.

    In catacombs you can take a Puppet instead of one of your normal thralls. It's a special characters that you combine from body parts you find around. I tried him, hated it, reloaded, and took a normal character.

    Before you take your 6th character, save and keep the save file. If you don't like your choice, you can go back and take someone else. I wish I did that.

    Play on hard. I tried normal and found it too easy.



  • @maciejasjmj Pretending to be someone else is off-limits for a human; it's certainly off-limits for a video game.

    Nope.

    Gimmicks always are ass. Always.



  • @maciejasjmj said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @raceprouk said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @lb_ said in Video game spotlight thread:

    it can change your desktop background temporarily

    Games shouldn't be fucking with stuff like that. End of.

    I liked what Pony Island did.

    In one of the segments, you're asked to think about something disgusting and write it down. The game goes on for a bit, and then a fake Steam message pop-up from one of your friends shows up, questioning you on why on Earth did you think it was appropriate to send them such messages.

    It's just realistic enough to catch you by surprise, and just lenient enough not to be a real hassle.

    I remember a game that at one point fakes crashing to desktop and then animates your desktop falling over forwards and shattering and then the game continues. I have no idea what game it was, but I remember watching someone play it.



  • @ben_lubar said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @maciejasjmj said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @raceprouk said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @lb_ said in Video game spotlight thread:

    it can change your desktop background temporarily

    Games shouldn't be fucking with stuff like that. End of.

    I liked what Pony Island did.

    In one of the segments, you're asked to think about something disgusting and write it down. The game goes on for a bit, and then a fake Steam message pop-up from one of your friends shows up, questioning you on why on Earth did you think it was appropriate to send them such messages.

    It's just realistic enough to catch you by surprise, and just lenient enough not to be a real hassle.

    I remember a game that at one point fakes crashing to desktop and then animates your desktop falling over forwards and shattering and then the game continues. I have no idea what game it was, but I remember watching someone play it.

    Also, I know of at least one game we recently read fan fiction about where the game fakes a crash and then starts manipulating its own window when you start it back up.



  • @anonymous234 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    I made a list of all the games I own (well, "own" in the Steam sense of "perpetual lease"), filtered only the good ones that I haven't played, then filtered only the really good ones that are not multiplayer-only, then added the year of release and sorted.

    That's the use case for which I started my steam client project (currently stalled due to me not knowing how to get some data I need, which is why I am playing video games in my spare time instead of coding).

    From this list, I recommend:

    • Abe's Oddysee, very nice "cinematic" puzzle platformer (prince of persia styled movement)
    • Thief 3, the last good one
    • Legend of Grimrock, excellent step-based RPG with action-y combat


  • @blakeyrat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Gimmicks always are ass. Always.

    You're going to hate this.

    Here's a gameplay video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY7NUHn6GQg I like the bit that starts at 5:40.



  • @zecc Related.

    Kingsway: Quick Look – 23:44
    — Giant Bomb

    This game looks INFURIATING.



  • Mute Crimson+

    Mute Crimson Gameplay [60FPS] – 11:27
    — tr1ppa

    Difficult indie platformer.

    I usually don't like games like this (I like my platformers a bit more easy and exploration based), but for some reason, this one took hold. Good controls, nice graphics, satisfying kills, and difficulty that is just on the edge between uncomfortable and infuriating. Broken engrish jokes are also kind of amusing.

    I went all the way to the last stage, last boss, last stage of the last boss, and that's where I said "screw it" and uninstalled.

    Here's a guy beating him.

    Mute Crimson+ Full Playthrough all Bosses + Ending w/ Commentary – [20:40..27:14] 27:14
    — Quizzle

    Fuck that shit.



  • @cartman82 There was a time when game developers embraced the windows-and-icon UI paradigm. Probably the most popular game in that example would be Civilization or SimCity, and it worked very well in those games. (Like a particular chart? Just keep its window open!)

    One of my favorite Rogue-likes was Mission: Thunderbolt on Macintosh, and it entirely used the OS' controls for its interface (with a custom theme applied to make it look slightly more sci-fi-y.)

    0_1505139884023__resize.jpg



  • @blakeyrat

    I am ok with a complex UI, but I'd rather not have an entire windowing system inside a game.

    I still remember trying to position all those floating windows in Morrowind.



  • @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    I am ok with a complex UI, but I'd rather not have an entire windowing system inside a game.

    None of the examples I gave did that, that was my entire point.

    They used the windowing system provided by the OS they ran in.

    FWIW, the Windows port of Mission: Thunderbolt used that dumb concept where you make a big window then put your application's windows inside of it.

    0_1505140651500_1433901882539.jpg

    That's because Macintosh put all windows from the same application in the same "layer". In Windows, you could get windows lost all over the place if you alt-tabbed out of sequence.

    The root cause being: Macintosh was actually really well-designed and nothing else was. Ever.

    @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    I still remember trying to position all those floating windows in Morrowind.

    Yeah around Morrowind time is when things started going downhill. Probably-not-coincidentally, that's also around the time when the console market was gaining strength at a ridiculous rate compared to the PC market. And game consoles don't have windowing OSes.



  • @blakeyrat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    None of the examples I gave did that, that was my entire point.
    They used the windowing system provided by the OS they ran in.

    Eh. I'd still prefer it to look more stylized and less like work. But that could be just a habit.

    That's because Macintosh put all windows from the same application in the same "layer". In Windows, you could get windows lost all over the place if you alt-tabbed out of sequence.

    Wait, you lost me. How does a Mac "layer" differs from Windows app putting all windows inside one big window?



  • @cartman82 With MDI all the windows are constrained by that one big window, which also can't be transparent. So the only way on Windows you can have your menu bar at the top, a tool palette on each side, and a status bar at the bottom, and also have all your windows Z-index together, is to blot out the whole screen with a maximized MDI parent window.

    Or, create tool windows, which weren't available in 16-bit Windows but follow Blakey's paradigm.



  • @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Wait, you lost me. How does a Mac "layer" differs from Windows app putting all windows inside one big window?

    A few ways:

    1. They're in front of your desktop/other applications' windows, so if you click behind a foreground window, you're not just clicking on the background of some stupid blank window, you're clicking on something useful. So you can make arrangements like this:

    0_1505167185588_c69a7989-9270-43c6-b6cb-7fe8e2392400-image.png

    Where obnoxiously bright green is the desktop, blue is one application, and maroon another application. This arrangement lets us easily work between Blue and Maroon (for example using drag&drop easily) while still having access to the desktop.

    If this were a retarded Windows MDI app, it'd have to look like this:

    0_1505167439354_183e1213-5381-4650-bc59-d31883449764-image.png

    Oops, now we only have a tiny sliver of Maroon available to work with (drag-and-drop is virtually impossible!) and only tiny slivers of desktop handy. That idiot blank background window covers EVERYTHING for no reason at all.

    1. The windows positions aren't constrained by the dimensions of the stupid blank window


  • @blakeyrat I see. So this is just like when an app has multiple independent windows. Except they are tied together.

    Actually, this is kind of like things still are on Mac.

    Gotcha.



  • @twelvebaud said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Or, create tool windows, which weren't available in 16-bit Windows but follow Blakey's paradigm.

    It's funny because Gimp is a prime example of an application that uses tools windows, and every one who learns of single window mode switches it on.[citation needed]

    I'm a big fan of floatable, dockable, auto-hideable tool panels.

    I wish more games would implement them. :half_troll:



  • @zecc said in Video game spotlight thread:

    It's funny because Gimp is a prime example of an application that uses tools windows, and every one who learns of single window mode switches it on.

    Exactly because GIMP doesn't keep its windows in the same layer, neither the Macintosh way (by just... uh doing it?) or the Windows way (by shoving a huge MDI window behind it). This makes it virtually impossible to work in GIMP at the same time you're working in any other application because your windows' z-order will get fucked to bejeesus and back. (Note: I haven't used GIMP in years, it's possible, not likely but possible, they've fixed stuff.)

    Compared to its bullshit default operation, of course you'd turn on single window mode. Then at least it'd operate in shitty Windows MDI mode, which is still shitty, but way better than what the GIMP team came up with.



  • @blakeyrat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    (Note: I haven't used GIMP in years, it's possible, not likely but possible, they've fixed stuff.)

    Just tried it, it seems they have.

    When you focus the main window, all the little tool windows go to top as well.

    When you click any of the tool windows, though, all the tool windows go to top, but main window doesn't.

    I don't know if this is intentional or desired. I prefer the system where each window is separate and tool windows are embedded.



  • @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Just tried it, it seems they have.

    Too late. They have like 8 years of "wow this is one shitty app" reputation to get over.



  • @blakeyrat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    (Note: I haven't used GIMP in years, it's possible, not likely but possible, they've fixed stuff.)

    I've tried and, much to my surprise, they seem to have fixed it.

    Tool windows still steal the main window's keyboard shortcuts, which is extremely aggravating.
    As a matter of fact, they steal it even in single window mode. Keyboard shortcuts seem to set on the main window, not on the whole application, and tool windows don't forward keyboard events they don't understand. :anger:

    I've tried a while ago and forgot to post here. Hence the :hanzo:

    @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    When you click any of the tool windows, though, all the tool windows go to top, but main window doesn't.

    :facepalm:



  • Opus Magnum

    This is a recent release by Zachtronics, similiar to their previous title spacechem. I found out about it last week, and it quickly got me hooked. You need to place moving arms, inputs, outputs, and mechanisms called glyphs on a hexagonal grid, and program the arms using sequences of instructions so that they take the inputs and produce the outputs.

    0_1509310730247_Opus Magnum - Stabilized Water (2017-10-29-21-57-20).gif

    0_1509310202722_Opus Magnum - Stabilized Water (2017-10-29-21-47-59).gif



  • @pleegwat And as I was looking at that puzzle again I thought of another solution that's even faster.

    0_1509312683559_Opus Magnum - Stabilized Water (2017-10-29-22-30-22).gif


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @pleegwat Jesus. Your 'more efficient solution' reminds me of https://thedailywtf.com/articles/Caught.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @blakeyrat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    That's because Macintosh put all windows from the same application in the same "layer". In Windows, you could get windows lost all over the place if you alt-tabbed out of sequence.

    So in other words, Mac uses what is essentially MDI full-screen forced, with a transparent background (which, IIRC lets things like clicks fall through to applications you see behind it and also brings them into focus).



  • @pleegwat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    similiar to their previous title spacechem.

    Looks pretty much like their free flash game The Codex of Alchemical Engineering on a hex grid and after a face lift. Which is not a bad thing at all.



  • @zecc said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Looks pretty much like their free flash game The Codex of Alchemical Engineering on a hex grid and after a face lift. Which is not a bad thing at all.

    Well well, look what I found: http://www.zachtronics.com/the-magnum-opus-challenge/

    The Magnum Opus Challenge is an expansion for The Codex of Alchemical Engineering

    It's also the predecessor of the game above I suppose.



  • RuneScape is amazing. I thought I didn't like MMOs after trying WoW, but this one is much more light-hearted and you can pretty much play through all the quests as a single-player adventure game if you're not the MMO type.



  • @anonymous234 FYI, ESO is the same way. It also has a great sense of humor, being funny without just endless silliness.



  • @anonymous234 same with Guild Wars 2! Try it out, it's free!



  • Kingdom: Classic

    Kingdom: Classic Gameplay Reveal Trailer [In 4K] – 01:55
    — Raw Fury

    0_1511078233461_29feebb9-4b36-4314-af7c-62852d2e4bc7-image.png

    I got this in a recent bundle as a side-dish, and it turned into a surprise treat for me.

    At first glance, it looks like a side-scrolling platformer, but it's actually kind of a minimalist strategy.

    You start in the center of a huge side-scrolling map, and there are portals on both ends, spewing out monsters each night. You must hire villagers, organize economy, build up defense towers, expand territory and eventually send raiding parties back against the portals.

    However, all you can do is ride your horse left and right, pick up coins and give coins. That's it, there are like 3 keys in the game. You can't give any direct orders, or fiddle with any stats, or participate in combat or anything like that.

    I appreciate how much depth the game has based on this simple concept.

    The most serious flaw is that you can't take back any order that you give. If you accidentally order a wrong tree to be chopped, you can't cancel. You can just watch mutely as one worker after another marches off into their doom. The game is intended to be played sort of like a roguelike, I get that, but this is still annoying.

    For the end, a few tips and tricks to get you started. Spoilered, because some might consider discovering these things part of the joy of playing minimalist games.

    Tips and tricks

    Since all you do is take and spend coins, it appears coins are the most important resource in the game. They are not. It's the people.

    There are 4-5 refugee camps spread around the map. In order to succeed, you must spend most your time running around those camps and recruiting people. There is NEVER too many people in your army.

    If you chop the trees around a refugee camp, the camp disappears! So you must be careful not to do that too much, otherwise you end up in a no-win scenario.

    Your most important unit is archers. They will bring you tons of money and form the bulk of your army. Other units should be recruited sparingly.

    You spread your territory by building walls (little dirt mounds in the ground). This is very useful, but don't overdo with expansion until you are ready.

    Archer towers (built on rocks) are much less useful. They permanently trap your archers, so if you expand out, they are left behind. Also, be careful not to place them too far outside your territory, flying demons can yank archers out and take them away.

    Peasants are money machines, but build farms close to home, behind defenses.

    Eventually, you will able to build catapults and send them to each end of the kingdom. Do it, this is crucial for defense.

    The two shrines that you find will buff your archers and fortifications. In order to build castle, you must rebuild a little church-like thing you'll find in the forest.

    You can herd deer towards your archers for some early-game cash.

    Once you tear down portals, there will be retaliation waves, so be ready. The last retaliation wave will come from BOTH sides, even the one you already cleared out. So beef up those defenses (this is what got me the last time I played).



  • ECHO

    ECHO - LAUNCH TRAILER – 02:31
    — Ultra Ultra

    It's a stealth game where you have to traverse your environment to proceed, but the way you traverse your environment influences the way your enemies traverse the environment. If you hop over a railing, they can learn to hop over railings too. If you stop hopping over railings, they'll forget how to do that. It has one of the best introductory sequences I ever seen in a game, though it does take some time to get to the meat of things.



  • @lb_ said in Video game spotlight thread:

    It's a stealth game where you have to traverse your environment to proceed, but the way you traverse your environment influences the way your enemies traverse the environment. If you hop over a railing, they can learn to hop over railings too. If you stop hopping over railings, they'll forget how to do that. It has one of the best introductory sequences I ever seen in a game, though it does take some time to get to the meat of things.

    Man, I wish games like this are available in movie form, so I can watch them instead of play.



  • @cartman82 Find a stream? Maybe one with a streamer who knows how to shut up if commentary is a problem?



  • @cartman82 I swear to God I made a video of that game, but I can't find it on my YouTubes, and now I'm not even sure if it was that game or another with identical art style/premise. Oh well.

    EDIT: Oh I'm probably thinking of this game:

    Life is Hard (Stream) – 12:09
    — blakeyrat

    Which, yes, has an almost-identical art style and premise.



  • @coderpatsy said in Video game spotlight thread:

    @cartman82 Find a stream? Maybe one with a streamer who knows how to shut up if commentary is a problem?

    See, but I don't want to watch someone play the game for 60 fucking hours. I have shit to do. I want just the 1-2 hours of story bits.



  • @cartman82 Not that there's anything about Metroid Other M I actually want to praise, but its "theater mode" is a pretty good solution to that problem.

    A lot of games have a place in the menus where you can playback story bits, but it doesn't include scene transitions and usually requires you to click each chapter in turn instead of just playing them automatically like a movie.



  • @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    I don't want to watch someone play the game for 60 fucking hours

    How about 4 hours?

    ECHO Walkthrough Gameplay & Ending FULL Game (PC) – 4:02:46
    — Lacry

    Note: I didn't actually watch any of that video beyond to confirm that it has no commentary.



  • @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Kingdom: Classic

    Won.

    0_1511122241717_195e73b0-64dc-46ac-a08c-a49e9f2a9d71-image.png

    The trick was...

    (spoilers) never-ending archer recruitment + avoiding defense towers.


  • @blakeyrat said in Video game spotlight thread:

    EDIT: Oh I'm probably thinking of this game:
    Life is Hard (Stream) – 12:09

    Wow! That's the worst game on-boarding experience I've seen in a long time.

    Also, unlike Kingdom, that game looks like shit and has a fiddly mouse interface.



  • @cartman82 said in Video game spotlight thread:

    Man, I wish games like this are available in movie form, so I can watch them instead of play.

    Have you watched Freeman's Mind?


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