September 23, 2016


Episode 439: Audio Problems

from Casual Gamer Chick

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This week’s episode has some bad audio thanks to a quick replacement mic being used to record the episode, causing a hiss. This is probably the reason the show is short-ish, coming in well under an hour.

This week’s episode includes the following news:

  • Miyazaki gives clear answers on the future of Dark Souls, Armored Core
  • Sony exec criticizes Hello Games’ marketing for No Man’s Sky
  • Blizzard is moving away from the ‘Battle.net’ name
  • Pokémon chief says Nintendo’s NX is both handheld and console

All this and Listener Feedback. This week’s Question of the Week: “What is or was your favorite handheld console game (not mobile)?”

This week’s episode has some bad audio thanks to a quick replacement mic being used to record the episode, causing a hiss. This is probably the reason the show is short-ish, coming in well under an hour. This week’s episode includes the following news: Miyazaki gives clear answers on the future of Dark Souls, Armored Core Sony exec criticizes Hello Games’ marketing for No Man’s Sky Blizzard is moving away from the ‘Battle.net’ name Pokémon chief says Nintendo’s NX is both handheld and console All this and Listener Feedback. This week’s Question of the Week: “What is or was your favorite handheld console game (not mobile)?”




Queen's Quest 2: Stories of Forgotten Past

from Casual Game Guides

Game Spotlight: Queen's Quest 2: Stories of Forgotten Past Collector's Edition- In this latest installment of Queen’s Quest we are a shapeshifting alchemist who has been summoned by the King to help solve the murder of his dear friend & restore balance to the kingdom. Brimming with challenging puzzles and hidden object areas this game will keep you on your toes! What begins as a seemingly simple task turns into a quest of a lifetime! Trust no one and remember things are rarely what they seem to be. Join us and let the adventure begin!



» Queen's Quest 2: Stories of Forgotten Past Walkthrough & Forum

» Queen's Quest 2: Stories of Forgotten Past Free Trial & Related Games




Friday KittenBlogging

from A Shareware Life

Some more pictures of the new kittens.

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Random is still adjusting to the new arrivals.

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September 22, 2016


Spaceplan

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Javascript/HTML5 — Spaceplan Stranded in space with your autosystems glitching out, it's up to you sort out what's going on and to pull it all together in Jake Holland's zany sci-fi themed incremental game Spaceplan. Tagged as: browser, free, game, html5, incremental, jhollands, rating-o




iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

from A Shareware Life

Apple recently released new versions of their operating systems, iOS and OS X (now called macOS).

iOS 10 was released over a week ago.  At this time, there are no known problems with our iPad apps running in iOS 10 (this is unlike iOS 9, which caused a nightmare, and like all previous iOS releases, which did not cause problems).   All of our iPad apps including Pretty Good Solitaire run fine on iOS 10.

MacOS Sierra (10.12) was released this week.  At this time there are no known problems in any of our Mac apps except for Pretty Good MahJongg. Pretty Good Solitaire and all our other Mac apps except Pretty Good MahJongg appear to be running fine is Sierra. Again, most Mac OS updates have not caused problems, but some have.

The exception is Pretty Good MahJongg, which is crashing in Sierra.  We are working to find out what the problem is and issue an update.   In the meantime, if Pretty Good MahJongg for the Mac is an application that you use, we recommend not updating to Sierra until we can fix the problem.

As a side note, not once in over 20 years of updates has any update to Windows ever caused a crash in one of our games.  Microsoft takes backwards compatibility with software very seriously.  Apple simply doesn't care at all, in fact they regularly and gleefully cause old apps to stop working.  This makes it much harder for Apple developers.

 

 



September 21, 2016


Myths of the World: Island of Forgotten Evil Walkthrough

from Casual Game Guides

Our Myths of the World Island of Forgotten Evil Walkthrough is filled with step by step instructions & mini game and hidden object area solutions to guide you through this epic adventure. A family heirloom has been passed down to you in hopes that you will be the lucky one to uncover the history of this mysterious artifact. Your uncle has left you cryptic clues to help you pick up where he left off. Beware, what begins as a mythical mystery may soon be your dubious demise, as there are ghostly entities that are hoping to foil your efforts! Join us on the adventure of a lifetime!

 



» Myths of the World: Island of Forgotten Evil Walkthrough & Forum

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Shadowhand developer vlog #6

from Grey Alien Games

We would love to give you a flavour of the music and ambiances that we are currently implementing in our unique RPG card game, Shadowhand.

This time Helen talks about the music that we’ve been adding to the game to lend atmosphere to the story and battles. Check some of them out for yourself in Developer Vlog #6 and let us know what you think!




New Kittens

from A Shareware Life

Last month our 17 year old cat Ace passed away.  We have now acquired two new kittens.

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They are female dilute calico kittens, adopted from a great local cat rescue organization, the Forever Home Feline Ranch.  They are 4 months old, and came completely vet checked, with all their vaccinations and they were even spayed.  They are extremely active and friendly.

 

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We have named them Bandit and Caramel.  Bandit has a black marking on the back of her head that looks like a bandanna, but she has earned the Bandit name from her behavior.   Caramel is just the sweetest and friendliest lap kitten ever.  

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Our two older cats, Pumpkin and Random, are still getting used to the new arrivals.  Random in particular has to get used to not being the youngest cat anymore, a position he has held for 9 years, since he was a new kitten.

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More pictures to come!

 



September 20, 2016


Shadowplay: Darkness Incarnate

from Casual Game Guides

Feature Game: Shadowplay: Darkness Incarnate Journey brings us into a new psychologically thrilling hidden objects terror adventure. Get to know Sarah Summers whose sister has been accused of murder and has been admitted into the Iron Gate Asylum. Can you help her clear her sister’s name and rescue her from this nightmarish situation? Infiltrate the gates and you will never be the same. Looking for a new game with a creative and dark twist, then look no further than Shadowplay: Darkness Incarnate.



» Shadowplay: Darkness Incarnate Walkthrough & Forum

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Heart's Medicine: Time to Heal

from Casual Game Guides

Game Spotlight: Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal Collector’s Edition is from the makers of the beloved Delicious Emily series. Jump in on the life of Allison Heart, a medical intern. Experience her thrills and spills while trying to help her complete her tasks and manage hospital chaos. Get to know her friends and foes and help her move forward in this charming and funny time management game.



» Heart's Medicine: Time to Heal Walkthrough & Forum

» Heart's Medicine: Time to Heal Free Trial & Related Games



September 16, 2016


Episode 438: League of Denzer

from Casual Gamer Chick

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As Jonah and T.J. chide Scott for going into an F-bomb rage over the iPhone’s price, the holiday season looms, and T.J. talks about his renewed relationship with League of Legends.

This week’s news items include:

  • All Battlefield 4 expansions are free until next week
  • Sony confirms layoffs at London, San Diego Studios
  • Valve tackles dodgy devs cheating Steam review scores
  • League of Legends surpasses 100 million monthly players

All this and one Listener Feedbnack we didn’t get around to listening to, so wait til next week.

As Jonah and T.J. chide Scott for going into an F-bomb rage over the iPhone’s price, the holiday season looms, and T.J. talks about his renewed relationship with League of Legends. This week’s news items include: All Battlefield 4 expansions are free until next week Sony confirms layoffs at London, San Diego Studios Valve tackles dodgy devs cheating Steam review scores League of Legends surpasses 100 million monthly players All this and one Listener Feedbnack we didn’t get around to listening to, so wait til next week.



September 12, 2016


Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger

from Casual Game Guides

Game Spotlight: Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger. Sam, the would be savior of Aurelia is a thirteen year old boy who must protect and save Princess Aurora in order to save the kingdom! She has been poisoned and Sam along with your help is the only one who can go undetected to uncover the plot as to who is behind this heinous act! Help him navigate the world as he quickly learns he is unable to trust anyone in order to accomplish his task and must rely only upon himself and his technology, the flying robot and his mind scope to get to the crux of the plot. Jump in and enjoy the adventure before it’s too late!



» Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger Walkthrough & Forum

» Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger Free Trial & Related Games




Delicious: Emily's Message in a Bottle

from Casual Game Guides

Feature Spotlight: Delicious: Emily's Message in a Bottle Collector's Edition. In this latest and greatest Delicious Emily adventure we meet an adorable 3 year old Emily. Move through the challenges and bonus games as we flash back and forth between the past and the present.  We join Emily as she enjoys heartfelt adventures and memories with her grandfather and incorporates his wisdom into her latest present day adventures. The clock is ticking as we try to complete the tasks at hand and develop skills that will keep our business thriving. Help Emily create her dishes, keep her restaurant in order and satisfy her waiting customers in this fun and challenging edition of the Delicious Emily series, Delicious: Emily's Message in a Bottle Collector's Edition.



» Delicious: Emily's Message in a Bottle Walkthrough & Forum

» Delicious: Emily's Message in a Bottle Free Trial & Related Games




Pound the Puss

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Pound the Puss (Disclaimer: This game is rated-r for sexual-references and language, so be cautious and "Pound the Puss at your own risk") Today is the great day! Today is YOUR great day! Do you know why? Of course you do! Because today... Tagged as: adventure, flash, game, pixelart, pointandclick, rating-r




Open Source Taxes

from GBGames

Flash game developers may remember Flixel, the open source game dev library created by Adam “Atomic” Saltsman.

HaxeFlixel is the Haxe-based port that eventually became its own full-featured, mature library that allows for deployment across not only Flash but many other platforms.

The five-year-old project is an open source project using the MIT License. That license, unlike the GPL, does not require code changes to be released to the public.

While the MIT License is appealing to developers who want to leverage freely available code for their own projects, there is nothing to encourage contributions to the source code of a project that is under that license.

The terms of the GPL requires any modifications to be released, so it solves the problem of people taking advantage of the code but not contributing back. But if a project’s developers don’t want to make that requirement, would prefer to have the MIT License applied instead, and still have people contribute to the project, whether in monetary terms or source code, what can be done?

How We Paid Our Open Source Taxes documents how the HaxeFlixel project was able to “collect its open source taxes with smiles on all sides.”

In this case, the core contributors realized that the project founder lives in an area where the cost of living is much, much less than it would be in, say, San Francisco. Just $6,000 would be enough.

So rather than having a vague fundraiser and hoping to make a bunch of money to meter out as needed, they were able to make a hyper-focused plea with their IndieGoGo campaign to get enough money to gain a full-time developer rather than require the project to continue to be supported by an all-volunteer base of contributors.

It’s kind of like when you talk to people about how much money they wish they had in life. Some people talk about “a million dollars” as if it is a lot of money that they’ll never see in reality, and other people realize that they can get penthouse apartments complete with maid service in some exotic countries for less than the cost of a New York apartment, such as what Tim Ferriss described in The 4-Hour Workweek.

The trick is learning what’s really possible.

HaxeFlixel’s story gives some insight into not only how an open source project operates but also teaches the lesson that if you know exactly what you need, it’s a lot easier to ask for it.



September 09, 2016


Episode 437: Star Trek and Call of Duty

from Casual Gamer Chick

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Jonah Falcon talks about meeting stars and playing games at the Star Trek Convention in New York, while TJ Denzer talks about attending the Call of Duty XP convention in Los Angeles. All the while, Scott anxiously awaits the 8th episode of Minecraft Story Mode.

This week’s news includes:

  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus announced with water resistance, dual cameras, and no headphone jack
  • Nintendo steals Apple show with game announcements
  • Sony unveils new PlayStation 4 Pro
  • Xbox Live Clubs and LFG arrive for Xbox One preview members

All this and Listener Feedback, too.

Jonah Falcon talks about meeting stars and playing games at the Star Trek Convention in New York, while TJ Denzer talks about attending the Call of Duty XP convention in Los Angeles. All the while, Scott anxiously awaits the 8th episode of Minecraft Story Mode. This week’s news includes: iPhone 7 and 7 Plus announced with water resistance, dual cameras, and no headphone jack Nintendo steals Apple show with game announcements Sony unveils new PlayStation 4 Pro Xbox Live Clubs and LFG arrive for Xbox One preview members All this and Listener Feedback, too.




Escape from the planet of the Dravids

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Flash — Escape from the planet of the Dravids Escape from the Planet of the Dravids is a charming and well thought out point-and click-adventure brought to you by the talented developers at Kitfox studios. It has an awfully long name to keep typing out though so I'll just... Tagged as: adventure, flash, game, pointandclick




Nah, I Think I’ll Still Call Games Art

from GBGames

No, Video Games Aren’t Art. We’re BETTER by Spiderweb Software’s Jeff Vogel is an alpha strike against…I guess people who talk about games as an art form?

While I don’t disagree with many of his points, I don’t think it ever really lands home the argument that games are somehow “SuperArt,” beyond mere art and evolved into something that is somehow more.

I love literature and theatre. I love great movies. Yet, I can’t remember any work of art, no matter how good, that consumed and drained me as much as the Cyberdemon in DOOM.

You could make the same argument about sex, which is also not something that someone would argue is art in the first place.

Arguing that games are financially doing well, incredibly culturally relevant, and published in great numbers is somehow arguing that games are doing great and don’t need to be forced to grow up and become art…as if someone is making this argument?

Artistic accomplishment? Creativity? Look up any Best Games list from 2014 or 2015. Video games are breaking new barriers in craftsmanship and artistic expression every year and turning profits while they do it.

I’ll bite. From PC Gamer’s 2014 list:

Game of the Year 2014: Alien Isolation, so basically Metal Gear Solid with horror? EGM’s quote according to the Wikipedia article: “”succeeds as a genuine effort to capture the spirit of the film franchise in playable form.” So a SuperArt form that is oddly derivative of the art it is supposedly beyond.

Best Singleplayer: Dragon Age: Inquisition, a sequel. It may be an awesome sequel, and perhaps they did some innovative work there, but it’s a sequel.

And 2015’s version of these awards went to Metal Gear Solid V and The Witcher 3. More sequels.

Sometimes I go to movies to see sequels, as well, but when gaming’s top offerings for the last decade boil down to space marines (to the point that Ubisoft publishes a game called “Space Marine”), World War II first-person shooters, and sequels to successful franchises, sports or otherwise, it’s hard to argue about how creative the game industry is. Even Minecraft, which don’t get me wrong, is incredible and not only offers a lot of ways to BE creative, but also involved quite a bit of creativity to implement, was originally based off of Infiniminer, and steals (and gives back) from Dwarf Fortress, among other games.

But then, Microsoft always liked to claim innovation with the caveat “for the first time on Windows…”

Listen, I don’t think anyone looks at certain popular films or novels as high art. Some of them are just candy, and candy sells well. So I don’t look to best of lists for innovation. I look to them for popularity. What’s everyone playing? Quite frankly, most everyone is playing sequels to games they already liked, overlooking some of the truly innovative work that is out there. That’s popularity for you.

No, I don’t think poorly of the game industry. I think what we do is amazing, and I have also argued against people like Roger Ebert who thought games can’t be art.

But when film was new, people thought it was a poorer form of theatre. Theatre was ART. Film? It was never going to live up to theatre’s ability to be art.

Then film came into its own. I’m sure people argued that film’s capabilities were so beyond theatre’s that art no longer was an appropriate term to describe it. Speculation on the future of film in its infancy leads to such flights of fancy.

Games are interactive. They pull you into an experience in an active way, which can be considered superior to the passive way a movie or book does it. Games can be elegantly well-designed. Games can do more than film, writing, sculpture, painting, or any number of art forms…in certain kinds of experiences.

But not all. It’s why people still buy books and watch films and go to museums. The fact that more people play games and more money is spent on games changes nothing.

When I write a game, I try to make you feel like you have power. Then I try to make you feel the awesome, terrifying responsibility of having power. When I force you to make a tough decision, for a brief moment, I can reprogram your brain and take your thoughts somewhere they’ve never been before. This is amazing.

It IS amazing.

It’s also not unlike art, which can take you out of your comfort zone and make you rethink your outlook on life. People cry at performance art. People have changed their careers and lives based on books they’ve read. And games have also changed people’s lives in meaningful ways beyond sweating and dopamine hits.

We haven’t begun to come to terms with the power we’ve unleashed with these toys, these addiction machines.

Oh, ok. We’re beyond art, but we’re nothing more than a drug?

It’s one thing to argue that games don’t need to worry about denigrating themselves by calling themselves art and being associated with the lower mediums.

It’s another to make that argument and then kick the legs out from that same argument by making it sound like the people behind games are nothing more than drug pushers looking to exploit those looking for their next high. “Video games are popular to the point of global invasion. Find me a human, and I will find a game that can addict them.” So, games are just an opium for the masses?

I hate it when a good game is described as “addicting.” Call it compelling. Call it irresistible. Call it riveting, spellbinding, or anything else your thesaurus can throw at it.

But don’t compare games to mere drugs. While some games might aim that low, many more don’t.

And as awesome as our medium is, art is art. We’re not “beyond art.” We’re just a different form of art. An awesome form of art, to be sure, but I’m still going to call it art.



September 05, 2016


What's inside The Box?

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS, Android, Flash — What's inside The Box? There are some questions that mankind always ponders. One of these questions, one that probably won't show up in a philosophy class, is "what is in that box?". To figure out what is inside Bart Bonte's boxes, you'll have to... Tagged as: android, flash, game, ios, physics, puzzle




The Internal Struggle on Doing Game Development Right

from GBGames

There are a lot of conflicting thoughts in my head about how I want to approach my efforts at creating games. Some of these conflicts are from seemingly contradictory pieces of advice I’ve received over the years, and some are just related to fear, uncertainty, and doubt due to inexperience.

On the one hand, I want to be prolific.

I want to quickly get a minimum viable product out there in the hands of customers, get their feedback, and similarly very quickly make an informed decision to either tweak the existing game or abandon it for a completely different project. If I can do this quickly enough, I have more chances to earn enough money to make these efforts sustainable.

On the other hand, I don’t want to put out junk. I don’t want to release half-finished ideas, non-workable games, or projects that aren’t anywhere near ready. I want the projects to have a chance, and in order to be proud of what I put out, I need to finish my games.

But on the third hand, I don’t want to work on my project forever, constantly tweaking, adding, and removing inconsequential features. You might call it “feature creep,” but I don’t think that name really describes the issue I’m worried about. It’s more like being so afraid of pulling the trigger that you distract yourself into thinking there’s more development work to do to avoid thinking about the hard work of actually releasing the game to the public.

There’s always unimplemented features and more balancing work that could be done in a game, right? As a developer, I KNOW how to do that kind of stuff. It’s easy to stay in the comfort zone of being the technician.

And when you work by yourself, it’s easy to forget to take off your Developer’s hat, put on your Producer’s hat, and think about deadlines and what work is optional versus what work is core to what your game needs. You need to ship.

On the fourth hand, I will become a better game developer if I work on more games more often. There’s that story from Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland about the ceramics teacher who split his class into two groups. One group was graded on the quality of a single pot on the last day of class, and the other group was graded on the quantity of pots produced by the last day of class.

It turned out that the group that produced the higher quality pots was the group graded on quantity, mainly because the experience of creating each pot also gave them insights into how to make the next pot better. Meanwhile the quality group spent more time merely thinking about how to make a quality piece of pottery, and when it came time to actually put in the work, they were not necessarily up to the task.

So, if I focus on making more games more often, I’ll make better and better games.

Of course, on the fifth hand, I don’t want to make throwaway entertainment that people pay little or no money for and pay little or no attention to. I want my games to have meat on their bones. I want my games to be the kinds of games I’d play.

On the sixth hand, I am not my customers, and I need to make sure I create games with a target audience in mind. I should find out what THEY want to play.

On the seventh hand, I’m creating these games, and the message these games put out reflects what I want to see in the world. I own my art, and they’re not “just games.”

On the eighth hand, I’m not working on games in a vacuum. There are other games being made by other developers, and I should make sure to spend some time playing those games.

I should research other implementations, see what other developers have tried, learn what works and what doesn’t, all without spending the effort myself.

I should listen to podcasts, watch presentations online, and read blogs more regularly.

I can leverage the experience of other people.

On the ninth hand, I’m a part-time indie game developer. There’s only so many hours in a day that I dedicate to being a game developer, and if I spend it playing other people’s games and watching other people talk about how they do their work, I won’t have time to do my own work and put out my own games. I barely participate in online forums anymore, and I finally understand all of those people who complained about the lack of time to participate in forums. Where does anyone in my position find the time?

There’s a difference between doing and learning how to do, and there is always more to learn.

There’s also always more to do, and doing is the hard part.

On the tenth hand, I hate that I’m ill-informed about what’s going on in the world of games and their development. I was blown away to learn that multiple people were making virtual reality games for the most recent Ludum Dare 48-hour game development competition, as it sounds like the kind of thing that still requires a huge upfront investment. Clearly I’m out of the loop.

On the eleventh hand, I’m an indie game developer, which means I define my own rules of engagement.

It’s not a race, despite the realities of opportunity costs and trends, and despite the realities of impending life events that change everything.

Success isn’t defined by money but by accomplishing goals, despite the fact that earning a significant income from this effort would be a great side-effect of those goals being accomplished, one that could help me set and achieve bigger and better goals. Money isn’t a goal, but it can be a measure of progress. But it also doesn’t have to be.

When you’re starting out, you look to people who already know what they are doing to provide some guidance. And they are often more than willing and able to share what they think works.

But in the end, it’s easy to get stressed out about meeting someone else’s expectations if you don’t take care to set your own expectations.

I’ve had people tell me what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. I’ve had people question decisions I made and ask why I didn’t make a better decision on a choice I didn’t know I had.

There is no wrong or right way to go about this process, though.

Some people swear by putting out prototypes daily. Others like to work in secret for months or years at a time.

Some people like to explore one game mechanic fully, and others like to experiment with lots of different concepts.

Some people like to put out fully formed games to be consumed, and others like to release early development builds for people to nibble on.

Some people throw spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks, and other people like to plan out an entire evening with a multiple course gourmet meal.

If I use the same criteria for the spaghetti-thrower’s efforts that EA uses for their heavily-invested and marketed blockbusters, it’s going to look like a lot of failures and flops are being thrown at a wall. That’s not the way to make a blockbuster hit!

But the spaghetti-thrower has different goals entirely. They’re not trying to put out blockbuster hits. They might not even be trying to make something commercially. They’re trying to gauge interest in prototypes, seeing if there is a significant amount of interest in something before putting a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into a more substantial work.

Following EA’s playbook is probably not going to help them achieve their goal. They’ll probably stress out way too much to be useful if they somehow get it in their head that EA has the truth about How Games Are Made(tm) and that they are not following it.

While other people might have great advice for their own expectations of how things work, it’s a lot less stressful (although still pretty stressful) if you politely ignore them and create your own expectations. You have enough to worry about without second-guessing if you didn’t make games similar enough to how some celebrity game developer did.

It’s fine to seek out and get advice, and it can all be really great advice, but don’t forget to make your own path.



September 04, 2016


Episode 436: Wednesday From Now On

from Casual Gamer Chick

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This week has a new recording date, Wednesday, so the crew can have more timely discussions about newly released games and more of the week’s news. Thanks to the Star Trek Convention, the podcast is still delayed a little.

This week’s news includes:

  • People buy PS4 Slim consoles before it’s announced
  • Rumor: Nintendo NX could be region-free
  • Devs can now publish Windows apps straight to Xbox One
  • Fallout 4 PS4 Mods not broken, but Sony hasn’t pushed it live yet

All this and Listener Feedback. We also have a new Question of the Week: “What is your favorite fan convention?”

This week has a new recording date, Wednesday, so the crew can have more timely discussions about newly released games and more of the week’s news. Thanks to the Star Trek Convention, the podcast is still delayed a little. This week’s news includes: People buy PS4 Slim consoles before it’s announced Rumor: Nintendo NX could be region-free Devs can now publish Windows apps straight to Xbox One Fallout 4 PS4 Mods not broken, but Sony hasn’t pushed it live yet All this and Listener Feedback. We also have a new Question of the Week: “What is your favorite fan convention?”



September 03, 2016


Shadowhand Dev Diary #8: Dressing for Success

from Grey Alien Games

Our RPG card game Shadowhand is set in the late 18th century, around 1770. Our heroine, Lady Cornelia Darkmoor, spends much of her time in disguise as the eponymous highway woman, Shadowhand.

Outfit items work along similar lines to “armour” in many RPG games, and so changing your garb has a significant effect on gameplay.

Riding in style

The riding habit Shadowhand is wearing is inspired by this one, held at the V&A museum in London. Made from woven wool, with a silk lining and a heavy metal braid, the style is definitely Rococo.

Shadowhand’s riding jacket boasts 1 defence, with an additional defense bonus if worn with the riding boots, as she is here. It also gives you big pockets – you get an additional gear slot for bombs and potions, boosting the number available from three to four.

She also has a riding whip that she won in a duel with an angry aristocrat seeking vengeance for an earlier robbery. It’s a nasty weapon with a chance to cause bleeding, and does even more damage if you equip it as part of the riding set, with the riding jackets and boots. Tally ho!

Be your own superheroine

Some of us spent a lot of time pretending to be superheroes when we were kids – some of us maybe never stopped. If so then this outfit ticks many of the right boxes.

Every superhero/ine needs a great cape. This cloak has the ability to withstand animal attacks and comes highly recommended by the local hound master. In addition to dog bites, if also repels rats and leeches. Yes this game does involve getting attacked with rats and leaches – these are practically household items: it is 1770.

Meanwhile Shadowhand does have a run it with a mean executioner:

If she gets his mask it increases both her stealth, and her chance of going first in duels.

Finally, the brutal glove. These are pretty lethal, with a chance to cause bleeding and to stun. Wearing a pair makes them recharge between strikes even faster.

Classic highway robber

Some people like to go for something classic and understated. Shadowhand can certainly don appropriate work attire for night-time heists if that’s your preference.

Her black coat boosts defense specifically against “land” weapons. We’ll be delving into the weapon classes in more detail in a vlog soon, so watch out for that.

The lovely feathered tricorn is great for deflecting thrown items. There will be plenty of these coming at you – in addition to the aforementioned rats and leeches you should be ready for bombardment with flaming grog bombs, throwing knives, snuff, wig powder and a range of other bombs. So this hat could be viewed as the essential hard safety hat for dangerous highway work.

Shadowhand’s sea service pistol is standard Royal Navy issue, and teams perfectly with the ornate gilt smallsword for roadside intimidation. Ornate smallswords were often worn by men in the 17th and 18th centuries as a status symbol, and were the forerunners of duelling swords. Her gun is a “sea” weapon and her brown gun belt is well suited to swashbucklers, giving a damage boost to “sea” class guns.

As well as being a stylish accessory, Shadowhand’s freebooter kerchief not only shields her face but also adds to her ‘luck’ stat, which can be found in her character sheet. Luck helps you to find more gear (bombs and potions) in loot.

Tailored to you

There are over 13 million unique combinations of clothing that you can pick for Shadowhand, so there’s bound to be something there to suit your playing style and strategy.

You can mouse over your own load out and your enemy’s pre-duel, and you may choose to alter your outfit to ensure you are optimised for the very different enemies you will encounter.

What’s your favourite outfit in the post above, and why?



September 02, 2016


anachroma

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Unity — anachroma A dashing spaceship captain bounds through his derelict vessel, retrieving the chromatic components needed to get all his systems back online in this free online platformer filled with special abilities to discover. Tagged as: browser, free, game, metroidvania, platform, puzzle, rating-y, unity, zillix



September 01, 2016


Robot Heist

from Jay Is Games

Platform: Javascript/HTML5 — Robot Heist There's all the ingredients for a good robot heist. You have switches, lasers, guard robots, valuable loot, two endings, and robots. Val (alias: Vertibot), a robot who can only push things vertically, has plans for the ultimate heist. A heist... Tagged as: browser, free, game, html5, puzzle, puzzlescript, sokoban




Optika

from Jay Is Games

Platform: iOS — Optika I remember at school when we learnt physics. I really like optics because it was nice, and because our teachers gave us lasers, mirrors and lenses, and we did cool experiments, and blew up balloons, and burned a table, and... Tagged as: demo, game, ios, light, mac, physics, puzzle, steam, windows



August 27, 2016


Shadowhand Dev Diary #7: Jewels and trinkets

from Grey Alien Games

Our RPG card game Shadowhand is set in the late 18th century. Then as now, jewellery was often symbolic, although tastes have changed in the last 250 years.

A lock of hair


Jewellery including woven hair from a loved one was very popular in the 18th century. In some cases these were memorial jewels with hair from someone who had died, but hair was not used exclusively in this way. Hair from a couple might be woven together, or sometimes a gift of hair jewellery was given with the giver’s initials included in the design, and a token of their hair inside.

Due to it’s unique properties, human hair can last hundreds or even thousands of years, which goes some way to explaining it’s use in jewellery as a lasting, sentimental material. In Shadowhand, this Heirloom Brooch is part of a deck of passive abilities, from which the player selects a mini-deck to suit their own playing strategy. It adds two zero cards to the draw pile, which gives a greater chance of getting a perfect score.

Secret compartment
Rings with a secret compartment are also known as “poison rings”. Rings in Shadowhand each give the player an extra “undo,” which they can use either to put right a mistake, or to get a sneaky look at the next card in the stock pile.

A sign of affection
Lady Cornelia receives the gift of an affection ring from her dear companion Mariah, as Mariah attempts to flee from a scandal and leaves Lady Cornelia behind. Mariah’s ring is set with garnets, which are symbolic of a quick return and separated love: In Greek mythology, Hades tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds (the same colour as garnets) before she left him so that she would be compelled to return to him in the underworld for part of the year.

Eye see you
One of the most curious jewels of the Georgian era was the eye miniature. Admittedly this one is just a little ahead of it’s time since they became popular from the 1780s when the future George IV was known to own one. This part-portrait miniature was a secret gift for a lover, and was a private piece of jewellery.

In Shadowhand, the Eye Miniature power up confers a type of X-ray vision, which allows a player to plan ahead by seeing which card will be drawn next from the stock pile.




Episode 435: Happy Birthday Paul

from Casual Gamer Chick

No Gravatar

This episode was delayed a few days thanks to some acting work for Jonah Falcon. The podcast moving forward will be recorded on Wednesdays, partly because videogame releases are on Tuesdays. The guys also discuss the disaster No Man’s Sky has been.

This week’s news includes:

  • EA strongly hints that Mass Effect games will get remastered
  • No Man’s Sky’s PC patch is out now
  • NPD: 3DS, Xbox One, And GTA V lead brutal July slump

All this and Listener Feedback, too.

This episode was delayed a few days thanks to some acting work for Jonah Falcon. The podcast moving forward will be recorded on Wednesdays, partly because videogame releases are on Tuesdays. The guys also discuss the disaster No Man’s Sky has been. This week’s news includes: EA strongly hints that Mass Effect games will get remastered No Man’s Sky’s PC patch is out now NPD: 3DS, Xbox One, And GTA V lead brutal July slump All this and Listener Feedback, too.