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Archive for September, 2006

Why I have been off… Globulation 2-review

Posted by Gasten on September 25, 2006

Colony under heavy attackSome days ago, Thursday or Friday I think, I got this… lust to play a strategy-game like Warcraft or Age of Empires. Since I don’t own one (I’m a cheap bastard), and since I newly moved to Ubuntu Linux and discovered the world of Free Software, I decided to find a free RTS (Since my X-server (read: the thing that communicates with my graphic-card) is “broken”, or incompatible, I had to find one in 2D, too). I found Globulation 2. A totally underrated game.

It is a small and fast-paced RTS without any micromanagement (IE, you tell the game that you want ten workers on the construction-site, rather than telling a worker to get their asses over to the site). I’ve been playing with it nonstop all weekend. There is a custom-game mode, a great tutorial, campaign-mode (thou, I haven’t found any actual campaigns), and LAN/Online gaming-mode. You can also create your own maps, and those who are good at C++ can do their own bots/AIs.

The game is pretty normal, except the nonexistent micromanagement. You gather resources, build a colony, upgrades, destroy other civilisations, builds “empires”, and stuff like that. But there is still something … I can’t express … that makes the game great.

There ain’t many types of units: Workers, warriors, and explorers. Those can be upgraded to walk faster, hit harder, work more effectively, and even swim by construct buildings like School, Pool, Racetrack, Barracks and so on. Ah, a note about the units: They are all globules. They look a bit like clay. they are built by five “clay-balls”, connected with four clay… sticks. One ball is the “body”, two are the arms and two are the feets. when they are walking, they are constantly changing which pair are which…. Nah, I can’t explain. See for yourself: www.globulation2.org.

I will definitely play for a time now. At least till I beat the Nico-….something-AI on One On One. If I get my firewall to let the game through, we could play sometimes. This game got 4 out of 5. Right now, it is a little little bit too alpha. It’ll get better with time.

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Posted in Computers, Games, Reviews | 2 Comments »

I made a misstake!

Posted by Gasten on September 18, 2006

Becuase of a spellingmisstake in the old URL (hunted instead of haunted), I’m moving here. I hope you all like it here.

Please, everyone who have (not) bookmarked my page, update it to this new address.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
Gasten

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What is a Game?

Posted by Gasten on September 18, 2006

Ok, that question might be a little too big to answer with one post. I hope I’ll even figure it out. Now, I’m gonna write a little post about how I define a game.

It’s pretty usual that people who use to talk about game, writes games, and reads game theory have some sort of definition of what a game is. Outspoken, or not, it is there. I have one too, but it’s a little …. softer than they usually are. Definitions are often very complex, and can take several paragraphs to explain. I can’t agree with that. It’s just silly. I good definition is a short definition, and I can live with letting some “game-like” things be called games, as I have to do in my definition.

My definition is short and simple, just as most of my games. My definition is:

A game is a game if the player(s) are doing an activity with at least one factor which they can’t control.

That weren’t hard, right? I could add “[…] an activity of which’s rules are understanded by everyone and with […]”, but no. That would put games like Fluxx (which is one of my favourite games) at risk of not being accepted as a game. And I would like to stay open for new types of games without any preset rules (like the named Fluxx, and Nomic).

So, what were I worried about? What activities are this letting in the game sphere? Patience (you know, the one old ladies play? Solitaire? Please don’t super-flame the comments for this!!). But I have to think it’s Ok. There isn’t something else you can do if you want to be simple.

Just a note to everyone who think’s I’m plain stupid because of that definition: with “factors which they can’t control” I don’t necessarily mean dice, cards or any other randomness-mechanism. I understand that there is many, many, many games without any randomness (I am, in fact, a big fan of those) I mean anything. Other players, tricky rules, tricky gameboards, and so on. I do think Chess is a game.

Posted in Games | 2 Comments »

A new graph paper-game.

Posted by Gasten on September 16, 2006

In this post, I’m gonna present one of my most recent creations. Well, it ain’t done yet because I spotted a flaw in when I were playtesting it, and now I’m gonna show it to you and ask for some feedback.

This is a boardgame that should be played by 2-4 people on a graph paper (you know, the one you use in mathematics: with all the squares on?). It start with every player chooses a symbol to represent herself on the paper. It could, for example, be an X and an O if there is two players. Now everyone draws their symbol in square somewhere on the paper. Then the game begins.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Games | 3 Comments »

Hello world!

Posted by Gasten on September 14, 2006

Okey. Now I’m here. With a blog. Here. Heere. ….. Breath with me: Heeeeeeeere.

No, seriously.
My name is Martin Ahnelöv. I go under the nickname Gasten in pretty much every community I get involved in and for those who doesnt know: gasten means “the poltergeist” in Swedish (yes, I’m a Sweed). Thereby the name of this blog.

What am I supposed to do? Well, Since I’m very interessted in games, and preferebly how they are designed, I’m going to rant about just that: Independent Game Design.

So, what is Independent Game Design? Well, it is games. Du’h. Ok, games that wouldn’t make it in commercially. We are talking really small games here.

My first experience with indie-games (as I prefer to call them) were the indie-rpgs from the Forge. The game which hooked me first were the rpg InSpectres where you play as ghosthunters similar to those in the Ghostbusters-movies. I played it at GothCon (Swedens biggest convention), and I were astonished: we met this guy who should GM it for us, and he just sat down, tought us the rules, helped us create characters, created the adventure (!), and run it. IN LESS THAN AN HOUR!

Well, that’s the type of games I’m gonna write. Quick to learn and set up, fast to run, and with no or small preparation time. I like that.

Ok, there is probably more to me liking indie games than that, but I don’t wanna shout about that right now. (I can sumarize it as: I’ve always liked games. preferebly small (both small as in size and as in number of people interested in it) and free games. My first role playing game I bought weren’t D&D, White Wolf or any Swedish equivalence. It were a small (indie) game called Skymningshem: Andra imperiet. And that’s me in a nutshell. When others play Warcraft III, I play Wesnoth (cant’t remember the link), when they play WoW, I play Nethack, and when they play Counter Strike, I play Tremulous (and sometimes Quake).

But what have I done this far? I have written one murder investigation-RPG which isn’t 100% finished yet (and not even playtested), I’m just too lazy to write that last page. I’ve done almost all of the mechanics in a boardgame (it got some “mayor” flaws (see later post)). I’m thinking about a RPG where the players takes turns to be the GM. And I’m also coding a roguelike-like game in python. Well, a lot to do. And on top of that comes school. I’ll try to not turn this into a whiner-blog.

Thanks for me,
Gasten

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