Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Building a Rover...

After several attempts at making it to another planet, KASA simply gave up, tossed another probe in to the suns orbit and called it a day. Jeb and Bob themselves decided they needed to take a break from atmospheric flight because for some reason suddenly nothing was working at all (seriously, since the asteroid update, all my aircraft are twitchy crashy disasters!). They headed over to the launch hangar and decided to revisit the old Rover program.

Which made their bosses twitch. Six rovers were still in various pieces all over Minmus and Mun, hell there's even the wreckage of one about 400m away from the main KASA facilities, though no one can recall how it ended up there.

Not to be deterred, Jeb and Bob set to work. For reference sake, here is a photo of the last rover to be designed... the design of which there are lots of broken ones on both moons...

Jeb and Bob have had more than afew chuckles over this design. The landing gear... why? (I hadn't noticed the 'brake' button yet top center heehee) Even worse, when retracted the landing gear were flush with the wheels, the slightest uneven terrain and bam! Another thing... the height of the thing made it a toppler waiting to happen.

Alot of improvements have taken place over in the research facilities, the following was their first attempt.

The mk4. Very simple, big wheels, low flat approach. Unmanned was a demand of management given these astronaughts success rate when experimenting. Max speed? about 10m. The mk4 didn't actually have that solar panel when it was tested, that was added after becoming stranded on the landing platform after moving about 5 feet.

The mk5. More solar panels! Of course didn't help if it consumed battery faster than it could be stored... no storage after all. A max size battery is added to the 'top' and 'bottom' of the processing lab. Feeling that its too slow, Jeb decided it needed an engine...

The mk6 was unremarkable and not photoed here. This is the mk7. Engines! The mk6 ran in to a engine placement problem, the thrust got tangled up in the legs and the rover went no where. The mk7 adjusted the engines position down just enough for the thruster to clear. Max speed? Unknown. These wheels tread shreds at 30m/s.

The mk8 is Bob's fault according to Jeb. Bob wanted to use the 60m/s rated wheels... shown in the above photo. Problem is the legs had to be extended significantly and well it just looks... what Jeb thought of it isnt repeatable. Aside from Jeb's opinion of its looks, the legs were wobbly. Struts could probably improve it, its unknown whether mk9 will return to the 30 or the 60 series wheels, Bob and Jeb took to a intense slap fight over the design differences.

The final design was settled upon by management.  Engine moved to the rear of the lab, fuel tanks positioned on the legs. All research equipment added throughout the rover and lots and lots more solar panels. Jeb gave it two thumbs up, Bob said it'll be a good first attempt till it fails and gets the 60m/s wheels reinstalled. Both took off to the control tower to fight over the probe controls but unfortunately Bill was already there and settled in.

Since there is alot more of Munis that hasn't been explored, this first model will go there!

First attempt ended poorly. Second attempt Jeb joined in the controls trying to balance engine output, ended poorly. Bob had winglets added.

Progress made, needs abit more rcs thruster to keep her pointed up.

This mission will definitely take some additional thought. Tried everything they can think of, Jeb and the gang are stumped as to how to get it in to orbit. They can get it out of the atmosphere but the thinner the air the harder and more quickly it loses control.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Kerbal and stuff...

-stares at kerbal space program-

I swear to god I'm going to figure out how to reach another planet today. Thanks to the asteroid redirect expansion I've got landing on mun down to a science.

Oh and I'm playing pocket planes again, seriously addictive little game heh.

Oh and my hardcore crusader in diablo 3 that took the place of my dead hardcore demon hunter, well the crusader just hit 70 and is soooo overpowered its damn silly.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

State of Decay

19.99usd + 6.99usd for Breakdown DLC
Also on xBox360

There can never be enough good zombie games. And of course there are plenty of crappy ones too, but thankfully State of Decay isn't one of them. SoD is a zombie survival simulator focused on rebuilding community after the apocalypse. I have 19 hours invested in to this game currently and with the exception of a few bugs and one annoyingly lacking feature, this game is worth every damn penny!

My Experience Thus Far
The game started me out near a pier with someone nearby being chomped on by three zombies. I quickly jumped in and helped finish them off then we made for the ranger post up the path looking for refuge. Once we arrived there we found four or so fellow survivors and I volunteered to scout out some supplies. I climbed the ranger post's water tower and holding down right mouse I was able to point my curser at everything and anything of interest. Each time I did this a wheel turned and then the point was identified as tents, cook outs, bathrooms, etc. They also are labeled thus on my map now. Very nice!

I climbed back down, smacked around two zombies and with my friend in tow we grabbed some medical stuff from a nearby campsite. Heading back... well the outpost didn't fair so well, two folks inside looks like went zombie from injuries and ate the others. We finished both off and then through radio we made contact with a group living out of a church back in town. Now three of us (one person in outpost survived), we crossed a river since the bridge was down, found a car and beat feet to the church. The church is a nice spot, makeshift guard tower and room for three upgrades inside the churches walls. I had the lady on cb radio chase me down crafting resource material sites and over the next hour or so chased them down collecting enough resources to build a garden, a medical tent and additional sleeping quarters. The medical tent keeps folks healthy and increases recovery. The additional sleeping quarters were necessary, when I arrived here the church had three beds and 8 folks including us three. I've found survivors here and there, brought them back to the church so.. yeah, more bedding was needed. Lastely the garden provides food making us mostly self sufficient!

Random events occur in this game. One of the survivors, a sheriff had a black and white mindset regarding folks getting sick. The church preacher took ill, sheriff shot him. Freaked out the camp. Didn't last long though, sheriff took ill a day or two later and I shot him. Other things occur, other survivors have started setting up camp in nearby houses and whatnot. Their not interested in moving in with us but are willing to trade. Initially this was annoying because I wanted their strength of numbers in my camp but as fate would have it they don't defend themselves very well and don't last very long. Their demise is always signaled by a help request over the radio, someone somewhere wants my help clearing a site of loot. I go out there, defend them and then give them a ride back to their hideout. They give me half the resources looted and half the time we arrive at their hideout to find it overrun by zombies with everyone dead inside. Naturally I help clear the zombies, I help loot everyones rucksacks and then I take any survivors back to my base. Nifty.

The local government is running out of a town hall, they offered refuge to all my fellow church campers with the rule that all modern laws are enforced including no vigilanty gun toating. IE, surrender the weapons. My character literally said 'fuck that!' and instead I just occasionally do mission work for them. The military has made itself known as well but their definitely looking out for themselves. They've ignored radio pleas for help from various survivors and even kicked out / shot squatters that they find in houses on their patrols. Inside the camp random events also occur. Folks get depressed or become agitated and you take them out and have a heart to heart while smashing zombies because thats always good for the soul.

Doing just about anything in this game improves / ruins reputations with groups of people. Reputation is an actual currency in this game, going to any groups supply locker shows everything available and a reputation point cost to buy. You can replenish reputation by doing things for them and also by giving them stuff you find. Reputation is also used when establishing outposts (quick access spots that have a supply locker in them linked to your base), Clearing up buildings of resources (someone literally runs from your base to the building your in and loots it, this often results in necessary rescues of that person on the road, defending them while their looting the building and usually escorting them back), and moving your entire base of operations.

I initially didn't care for the forced to swap between survivors mechanic of this game until two things became clear. One, it adds realism. Your character gets tired, needs to sleep. Your character takes enough damage, needs some down time to heal. Ignoring these two factors gradually reduces your stamina bar (used for hitting stuff and running) and your health bar (obvious). Now whats interesting is that every survivor in your camp can be played once they like you well enough and new comers usually have something they'd like your help with to get them on the friendly side. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses but there is a full skill system here that simply improves with practice. Lead/rescue people increases leadership, kills stuff for combat, run around for stamina, and so on. Very very nice.

As for my people? I scrapped up enough resources and increased the head count of my group high enough to move out of the church. I'm not sure if it was just time or additional folk moving in in the area but bigger and meaner zombies were starting to show up and in larger horde numbers. Hordes are groups of 10 or more zombies randomly patrolling the streets. The church was seeing near constant activity from attacks, time to go. I have moved my group across the map to an industrial district, found a really nice huge warehouse surrounded by bobwire and fencing. I repaired the various existing storage mechanic shop and sleeping area. Then added more sleeping, a guard tower, a medical tent, a farm, a kitchen and a work out area. I'm now working on upgrades to everything while searching for survivors to swell my ranks. This warehouse is large, needs more head county to keep it safe.

There is a storyline to this game but I've been largely ignoring it thus far in favor of the exploring and community building aspects which I really like and find unique in this type of genre.

Bugs wise? I got stuck in a window frame once and zombies bug out too ocasionally. Npc pathfinding is in the toilet, I just watched a survivor run down the street and climb a fence back and forth over and over twelve times because it was along the route they wanted to take.

Missing feature? A manual save button. The game saves periodically, period. No way of controlling this aside from noting it usually saves right after you do a mission or right before someone dies (... grrr ...).

What I'd like to see? Co-Op would be amazing!

So yea, I'm totally addicted here and enjoying every damn minute of this game :) Will no doubt follow up with my of my experiences in SoD!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Dark Souls 1 : Prepare to die Edition

With part 2 right around the corner for the pc I decided to fire up part 1 again and see if I can make it more than past the first boss of the first tutorial dungeon. The name is justified. Just as before I died over a dozen times before throwing my controller. I came back 10 minutes later and hit up youtube hoping for some magic strategy to get me past that asshat.

Died five more times, quit game and uninstalled it again. The controls feel slow, the character feels slow, the boss is unforgiving of even the slightest misstep on my part. I've never played a game before where the tutorial boss can take you from full health to none in three swings if you step the slightest bit out of line. Add to it the unforgiving mechanics of the game, can't jump (or i can't figure out how), dodging is slow and combersome, freakin vases might as well be towering pillars that can't be touched.

God I want to play this game, I want to enjoy it and play it but damn dman dmnadmncamnwaa!!

Two deep breaths, two deep breaths....

I won't be buying part 2. No way in hell.

Elder Scrolls Online

-stares at game-
-game stares back-

Ok so I've been playing skyrim for the last few days since I figured out how to reset achievements on steam. Makes the whole game worth playing again heh. But as I've played a fresh character on higher difficulty all I've been seeing is elder scrolls online advertisements everywhere.

Initial reviews seem positive, player reviews, well the only complaints I've noticed seem to be latency, class balancing and a bit of overcrowding. None of which are no-plays for me so... downloading game client now.

-stares at it-

Now Playing : Boom Beach

I've actually been knee deep in this title for about a week now, wanted to get a good feel for it before posting. Well that and I've simply been to busy enjoying it to bother posting, heh!

Free, 71mb download, Universal

All right. This here is a title from the same folks who made Clash of Clans, and it plays really similar. Resource collecting, attacking npcs, attacking players, base defense, the basics of what made CoC work remain unchanged. What makes this worth playing then? All of everything else that HAS been changed.

You can guide/control your assault forces for starters with the use of flairs. Enemies can only attack you from one direction, the beach which allows for actual thought when building your defense. When you attack you have ground forces and a offshore ship that fires everything from artillery to flares and medical kits and more. Interestingly Supercell opted for not letting you buy additional construction slots so at any one time the most you will be able to do is build/upgrade one building, upgrade one unit and load up your assault ships with ground pounders. This forces you to decide each time you finish one project. Do you want to work on defense next or resource building?

The biggest change for me would have to be the map. In CoC you had a trail of npc combat that once completed was finished and done. In BB there are small villages all over the map for starters. These villages when in your control generate coin, stone, wood or iron depending on their type. Now as for the coin generators when they are taken from you its a random chance whether it'll be a npc or another player. Either case, you attack, you win, you take it back. Lumber/Stone/Iron villages are different however. When you unlock one on your map you are assigned another player randomly. Each time one of you takes it from the other, the village level ups. When it level ups new weapon defenses appear and existing ones upgrade. Eventually your bound to hit a point where you just can't take it back and this isn't a problem. Leave it alone for afew days and you'll have the option to have a new opponent assigned to you. This also works for any coin village with a player occupying it. Wait and replace if their just to hard. Upgrading your radar increases the explorable range of your map but be warned, the higher your radar level the higher the level of npcs and players who appear on your map. Lastly, chests randomly appear on the map that reward iap gems.

Regarding pvp, successfully defending your base or even killing a good portion of the players assault forces when you fail to defend have a chance of rewading iap gems for your efforts. Assaulting npcs and players always have a chance of resources, crystals, trophies and iap gems. Trophies are your world ranking currency. Their earned by winning and lost by failing to defend from the enemy.

Crystals. Crystals are a separate currency in the game that are used to build idols. Idols add buffs to your base, soldiers and so on. There are four types of idols, each with its own crystal color and within each type of idol there are three qualities of each color.

When attacking player bases, this isn't like CoC where attacking resource buildings gave you resources. Your one and only goal is to kill their headquarters. Do so, and you get your just reward.

There... is a shield system in place like CoC of some sort but its not visable and no one really is sure how long it lasts between attacks from players. All we do know is that the more active you are against fellow players, the more often you will be attacked by them in return.

The same CoC achievement / reward system is in place here. Hit the goals, get iap gems.

There is no social aspect to this game currently. No msg system, no clan chat, nothing. Which in my opinion they need to add asap.

The npc enemy has afew 'headquarter' outposts. Killing these is challenging and the rewards are plentiful. Additionally once knocked out occasionally limited time events appear there. These events involve attacking, winning, the enemy upgrading and you attacking again. A sort of see how far you can win sort of thing. Each time you re-attack them the difficulty increases and so do the rewards.

Graphically the game is full 3d, trees swaying and waves breaking on the shore in particular will catch your attention.

Sound? Its a modern war game, sounds are on par with what you'd expect.

Great controls!

Random tips :
. Knock down trees to expand your building area.
. You only lose troops during an attack if they die during the attack.
. Your offshore ship has an energy currency of its own, killing enemy buildings replenishes it. So does upgrading the ship itself back at your base.
. Villages you control will periodically offer resources as tribute.
. Iap currency is strictly used for starting construction and speeding it up. There are no iap buildings so there is no need to horde your iap gems.
. Beating a player causes them to vanish from your map.
. Upgrade your vault. It protects a fixed amount of your resources from player attack and additionally protects a percentage of whats not covered by the vault's fixed amount.
. Do not build your base defenses flush against one another. If you do a player can attack between the two and damage both. Of course... if you see npcs/players making this mistake... :)
. Watch the tree line when laying out your defense. Most of the trees can be navigated through by attacking players with flares. Note : use the trees when your attacking players to circumvent their defenses heh.
. Watch the replays from other players attacking you whether you defend successfully or not. Good way of identifying weaknesses in your defense.
. Always build idols when they are available. The buff they give is random. Once complete, decide if you want to keep it or reclaim it in to better crystals or get rid of one of your currently placed ones.
. If you try to stay online too long to avoid being attacked the game will eventually make you attackable.

So, I'm really really enjoying this game, two thumbs up. Full gamecenter support present.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

TV Recap : Arrow

Holy crap all hell just broke loose in this series! Spoilers after the break!

Out Now : Warhammer 40k: Storm of Vengenance

Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengenance
4.99usd, 69mb download, universal

Top down strategy title. Five lanes. Five squares on each side.Left side is you, right side them. You use the squares on your side to place resource generators and unit generators. As units generate you place them on a lane. Placed units walk to the right side shooting whats at the end of their path. They also shoot enemy units on other paths so long as the enemy units are infront of them. Knock out three enemy squares to win.

Winning grants experience, level ups grant talent points to spend on active buildings and passive 'spells'. Unit producing buildings can be put in passive mode during a fight, when in this mode they generate a second currency which is the currency used by your passive 'spells'. Active building talents let you assign abilities to the soldiers that they spawn. For example, you can learn and set a unit producer to spit out soldiers with a one time grenade ability that they can literally use/toss anywhere on the map. The more abilities you tell a unit producer to add to its units however, the more it costs to produce and the longer it takes. The currency to spawn a new unit isn't used before the construction of the unit starts, it is consumed when you actually place the unit on the map so just because a building has finished its job, dosen't mean you can make use of what it produced. There are several squares bottom left corner that you can place units in until you need or have the resources to use them.

Thats it in a nutshell to be honest. The story can be played from either side. There are currently several iap dlc's available, all are new units. This game is heavily story driven, multiple stages to work at the same time as a sort of grind to get better abilities and level ups.

Gamecenter, yes. Leaderboards, yes. IAP, yep in 2 to 4 dollar packages for powerful units.


Out Now : FTL

FTL : Faster Than Light
9.99usd, 173mb download, iPad 2 or newer only.

I'm on a space game kick so I naturally grabbed this one. Loads quick on the air, woo tutorial. I remember playing this game once a long while back on the pc. Got killed right quick, tutorial engaged. Tutorial does its job, explains various components of the main top down ship view screen. Aww crap, engine broke. Tutorial explains how to fix it. Shows up to select mutiple crew and repair things, nice. The controls work REALLY well so far. Oh no, a fire at one of the airlocks! Vented oxygen to that room, good to go. Jumping consumes fuel, naturally. Galaxy man is shiney. Enemy ship, spool up the guns!

Combat is entertaining, tapping weapons, choosing target rooms on enemy ships. I knocked out their shields and then knocked out life support. The enemy died in the shield generator room from lack of oxygen while trying to repair the shields. Neat! Got some fuel, some ammo (lasers use no ammo but missile launches do) and a new weapon type. Ahh you gain scrap which is used to upgrade the various ship systems. Tutorial explains how to power up and down and upgrade equipment and then thats the end of the tutorial. Space is my oyster... or more likely space will be the bully in my playground beating me up alot.

Unsure if you'll like this game? Its a strategy game where you spend your time between resource management and attack and lots of humor. Star Command would be the closest competition to ftl, though star command is definitely more streamlined. Star Command is also story driven, there is story to ftl but ftl is more about seeing how far you can go in to the game before getting exploded or running out of fuel.

Good game so far. Achievements, check. Leaderboards, no. Gamecenter, yes. Zero iap.


Comics : Magneto

New series with Magneto at the front of the action. Issue 1 and 2 are out, spoilers follow the break.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kerbal Space Program

Well the new equipment from the asteroid redirect mission did some amazing things for Jeb. While not yet having the absolute best of the equipment (some is still in testing, ie i need more research points to unlock!) what was immediately available reinvented stage one and two launch sequences for him. Gone are the five stack 6 fuel container tall engine system. Now? Five single pieces of pure awesome.

These new engines are so efficient that after working with KSA (kerbal space association) for over a month now, today was the first time a Kerbal made it to Mun, landed, did all his research and actually managed to make it back to Kerbin. Without wrecking. Without a rescue craft sent to pick him up. Without running out of fuel, had half a fuel tank on the lander infact when he returned. -sniffles- A proud moment!

Crazy thing? There's a good 400 plus in research in each biome of each moon... Oh hey there's been afew issues with todays .23.5 update. I resolved the 'closed research facility' by f9 quick loading from a previous quick save. I also had to individually go through the research trees and accept all the new equipment that was scattered through talents I'd already purchased. I still don't have asteroids in my save though. Dev's say they are on top of it so fingers crossed.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kerbal Space Program 23.5 is live!


The asteroid redirect mission is live along with a host of performance improvements and tweaks. Abunch of realistic nasa inspired equipment comes with todays update.

note : no one's existing career mode safe files are working, research facility says its closed, no asteroids in the tracking center, many cant access various craft in the hangar save files and afew have reported their space stations / lunar landars out and about actually exploding. Time for a new start in career mode, heh.

Kerbal Space Program

After making a successful round trip to the Mun, Jebediah decided he would spend some time figuring out how to get to that moon and back without having to space walk and burn his suits thrusters while pushing against the pod nine times inorder to adjust the trajectory of his pod enough to return to Kerbin because the damn vessel Mun mk 6 ran out of gas early. NASA requires constant progress so Jeb tagged Bob Kerbin "Your it!" and ran off.

Now, Bob has been spooked about going to other orbital bodies since he and a friend got stuck on Munis three times and Mun once when their damn Rover flipped every time they got one. Bob headed over to the aircraft hangar.


Simple cockpit, two horizontal wings and six continous burn rockets. Good for about a 5 second engine burn and then the 'aircraft' goes in to glide mode and managed to remain in the air for about 5 minutes before landing on the steel girder attached to the belly of the cockpit as makeshift landing gear. Hey, NASA was nervous about Bob after the multiple Rover flip incident across two moons and limited his creative budget significantly.


The budget increase not being as much as he felt he deserved, Bob instead decided to simply improve how the mk1 performed. Thus the vertial stabilizer as well as actual stabilizers on the horizontal wings. He used this model to buz the headquarters building four times and refused to come down until they gave him a respectable budget increase.


And to his suprise, they gave him a budget equivalent to a probe launch on munis last month. Happily Bob started from scratch, completely ditching rocket engine technology. Three liquid jet fuel tanks, ram air scoop on top, basic jet engine on the back side. Main wings carried over from previous models as well as the vertical stabilizer but this model due to its weight increase received adjustable winglets on the front and solid winglets on the rear. The rear ones simply add more stability, the fronts how ever work in conjunction with the main horizontals forcing the jet to gain altitude. Solid design, capable of insane flight lengths, max height just over 10km before air runs out.


NASA, now aware of Bob's skills with atmospheric aircraft sent him several understudies and working together they came up with the mk4. Single fuel tank, ditched the rear horizontal sabilizers, doubled up on the vertical stabs. Proudly, this bird flies faster than the mk3 though seems to encounter control issues at top speed and during excessive acceleration. None the less, safest model to date, landed her on a small abandoned landing strip on an island just off NASA's shoreline.


The mk5 marks NASA's successful convincing of Bob that his next step is orbital. The mk5 runs with the mk4's atmospheric engine design but adds two traditional rocket engines to the mix as well as three circular air inlets. The jet engine carries the bird up to around 11km at which the rocket engines kick in. Unfortunately NASA hasn't acquired the best of the best of hardware, most is still in testing so the rocket engines, jet engine and air inlets aren't at their top models just yet. This bird got to about 45km before she ran out of rocket fuel.

NASA considers this a resounding success with one side note. Bob... well there was an incident during re-entry. Everything went fine, reentered, jet engine re-engaged... but sadly when they had launched this mission they didn't take in to account the time of day. Poor BoB flew in total darkness for about forty minutes before realizing the engines would not carry him in to morning and day light. Dropping down to less than 100 feet from the surface he flew until water gave way to land. Landing gear out, landing gear lights on he killed the engines and glided to a touch down. Everything went fine until he enthusiastically put on full brakes.

Want to know what happens when you full break on a jet moving at 200m/s across the surface?

Fortunately Bob was successfully retrieved and NASA still considers the jet a success... but won't let Bob fly at night ever again.