Thursday, November 29, 2012

GameLog 264 - 270

Lots of other things getting in the way of GameLog reports. Some games are bound to be missed :/.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (44h) - GREAT game. stalled 10 or so missions into hardcore impossible though.

Towns (43h) - Feels like a lightweight Dwarf Fortress. That's a good thing for movingon wit hthe game, but a bad thing in that it doesn't have much depth. Added a challenge to reach the bottom (and survive) as fast as possible. Got down there in just over a month with gold equipment for 1/2 of my villagers, but couldn't sustain any time down there. I've certainly enjoyed it more than others on the forums, but in the end it left me pining for a better interface on DF.

Fallen Enchantress  (15h) - Lots of changes even from the last beta that I played only a month before release, and the changes have transformed the game a lot. Monster AI seems a lot better now with a little less aggression and predictability. Enemy AI play quite solidly and is a refreshing challlenge over Warlock. Cranking it up to insane was, well, insane as they had about 20x production and resources. That said, I like a game that gives an impossible task as long as there's ways to scale as high as possible against it.

Beat it pretty well on challenging as my starting campaign, but there were 2 occasions where the AI was in a very good position and I had to re-read the situation and change strategies accordingly. I'd say it was refreshingly challenging and is probably going to be my comfort play level, if not one or 2 notches higher.

Current game is with a custom race and cranked a one notch below insane and am currently leading the scoreboard. Once again it felt refreshingly challenging and there always sems to be something bigger and badder around the corner to keep you wanting more out of your civ. This is similar to warlock, but has the end-game to match.

GuildWars 2 (10h) - Veeyar Bones, 65 Mesmer - Has a knack for putting me to sleep when playing it. Not sure why, but it's done it a couple of times. I think it's the level of mental intensity required.  Few more dungeons and play sessions at LANs.

Terraria (5h) - Cam's go-to game again, along with Mad God

Notoriously databased (5h) - Another playthrough once I put in the end-game. I won it, but I think the bounties and win state have tightened it up a lot and brought back some intentional interaction. Fortifications are still broken, but apart from that it's in a pretty good place at the moment.

Football Manager 2013 (4h) - picked it up at a great price, but other games and steam sales have kept it on the backburner. the challenge modes look very interesting, especially since the involver your own team.

Realm of the Mad God (3h) - More time with Cam.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Notoriously Databased v0.40

After a couple more discussions, I'm happy enough to include a notoriety limit as an end game scenario. The implementation was relatively straightforward to include a notoriety limit and a check to see if any player has been over the limit in successive turns. Also decided to limit the submission of turns once there has been a winner as it's not that hard to reset the "completed" game if there is a consensus to play further. This also adds to the finality of the game as all that is left is to read the story produced.

Now that it's a game in its own right, the next step will be to break out the game creation into its own form, and then lock off the admin tab completely. There shouldn't be any need for people to get into the admin tab once the game gets going.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Notoriously Databased v0.32

Another playthrough of NotoriouslyDB with Grieg and Sandy revealed yet another handful of bugs, but all were relegated to the bin by the time the night was out. I've even come up with an endgame of sorts that should fit in well with the style of game that it is.

End Game

I've tried to come up with a couple of viable endgame scenarios, but most either bred a deflated finish when one person pulled ahead in the power curve, or could be colluded a little too easily for my liking. The current endgame looks at sustained notoriety.

Each game will have a notoriety limit placed on it. Once somone passes this limit, they are eligible to win the next turn if they are not wiped and remain above the limit. Hopefully this should give people time to react against the current leader when they first break the win limit, but will become harder and harder to keep them (and eventually others) from winning.

From the playthrough tonight I'd expect a limit of 30-50 to be adequate as by then it feels like you have mastery over the village and can ramp up in power fairly easily. Lower limits will be more for advanced players as it will require more management to cram both the middle -> late phase transition and maneuvering for the end game into the same timeframe.

If it survives a couple more thought experiments, it should be relatively easy to implement and even automate.


Another feature that made it into this revision was bounties. After a discussion with Andrew regarding the relative merits of the current system ("So, is it fun?"), it seemed that the game has become more than the testbed for high level play that I thought it would be. If the game were to be played in its own right, there needed to be another avenue to use treasure, especially when you know you are about to be wiped. I enjoyed having wipes "educate" people regarding the fleeting value of money compared to the real currency of space, but with bounties in place it feels like there is more of a multiplayer component, even if it's a "Hey! what was that for!" yelled out from the other side of the room.

Bounties are quite simple. Place a treasure amount against another player and that increases their notoriety by that amount next turn. The bounty is public, so that other can see not only who has the bounty, but who placed it too. I've been contemplating having a way to hide who placed it, but that will most likely be rolled into the Raid disguise update in the future. At least the variables are in place on the batabase to support it when the time comes.



 - Added bounties.
 - Fixed attacks on other players
 - Fixed defense with both elites and minions
 - Fixed multiple player attacks on other players
 - Added notoriety list to CharacterSubmission to see other player's notoriety. (This will be to make the game more, well, gamey, and give better feedback for the endgame)

There is still an issue with fortifications. I'm leaning toward an increasing scale of costs as 5 treasure seems fine at the start, but too little at the end.

Factor Friends website

As part of the final year 12 project for this year, they helped build a website to promote Factor Friends. Although we ran out of time to complete it all under the student's efforts, they put together a pretty good framework for the next phase in development. I've also been inspired to write my own version of Factor Friends to compete with their major project and place it up on the site too (when finished)

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Since I already had a beard, I decided to do NoMovember this year (try to go the whole month without a beard).

All the photos used above were taken last night during the shave down at Ben's. See anything odd?