This is an attempt at a new style of storytelling/gaming/roleplaying. This is, at its base, a Twine game-story but I want to build it based on user input. It starts with the first passage. I will add choices and passages based on user input. Please say so in the comments. Tell me which passage and what option would you like. Don’t feel bad but whenever the comments will get too numerous, they will be pruned.

Thank you for participating in my experiment. This is it. This is The End.

4 Comments, Written on March 4th, 2015 , Art, Gaming, Programming, Role-Playing, Stories

I’ve had a talk with our Lead Visionary in the company about what I can and can’t write on the game. Although we have extended our testing circle, the game is not finished and we are still hard at work on it. As per these conditions, I’m allowed to say, in general, what I’m doing but I can’t go into specifics like features or style or assets or anything that a competitor can use against us.

Yesterday I finished a huge dialog revamp that took me almost three weeks (because I was seek for about two weeks of them) but it’s finished, it works, I removed the old material and checked that nothing breaks. So, phew. I hate it when things drag on forever.

Today, after making sure two bugs are not reproducible, I took on a new task… which was to take the dialog I just finished and convert it to a phone version. And it’s not an itsy bitsy thing. When previous dialogs were converted, they were one, two, maybe three objects that need to be converted. This dialog? Eight objects! This is not a day long affair.

Leave A Comment, Written on May 4th, 2015 , Gaming, Life, Work

Or “Why Wolfenstein – The New Order is better than Bulletstorm in making players do things a bit differently (Except, maybe, driving a dinosaur into combat)”.

What’s the deal with that headline?

One of the tag lines for the 2011 Bulletstorm was “Kill with Skill”. It was a core mechanic of the game. It’s something that garnered a lot of praise for the game. And it was one of the things that annoyed me the most about it.

No, I meant, what the hell does it mean?

Oh. In Bulletstorm, you get points for killing fashionably. When you shoot a guy in the face, that’s a couple of points. If you pull him towards you, kick him back, blast him in half with the shotgun and then shoot the pieces with the rocket launcher. That’s a heck of a lot of points. And these points are your currency in the game.

Ok… What’s the problem with that? It sounds cool.

It sounds cool. And that’s about where it ends. In Bulletstorm, ammo and health drops are scarce. You get most of your boosts from some sort of recharge station you find all around and they only accept those points. Otherwise, you can’t get ammo. And that’s annoying.

So, what’s the big problem? Just kill the stuff the way the game says.

It gets tedious. Extremely tedious, extremely fast. You know how when everything is special, nothing is? Well, when every kill needs to be fancy, then no kill is. And some times I don’t want to pull, push, shred and blast someone, I just want a clean bullet in the head.

Ok. I can grok that. So how does Wolfenstein do it better?

The New Order has a perk system. It works by rewarding you for your preferred playstyle. And you can play however you like and get bonuses for that. And you can mix and match and get all the bonuses or not. So, let’s say you like to go stealthy? No problem, perform X amount of thrown knives kills to get an extra knife slot. You like to go guns blazing? Sure, get Y kills in 10 seconds with a hand held turret for more battery on all laser weapons. You like making things ‘splode? Get enemies to drop grenades and die from it for extra grenade slots. And so on. You can do these things for minor “Perks” but you don’t really have to. They don’t hamper the game if you don’t. So they become interesting tidbits you can seek out for pleasure or for a little extra edge, but you don’t feel bad or, especially, crippled if you don’t.

I can see where you’re going with this.

Yes. I did one complete playthrough and unlocked about two thirds of the perks. Then I did another with a bonus mode so no perks but I could have gotten up to about three quarters. Just for the fun of it. Killing commanders with grenades is just plain hilarious. Getting enemies to drop their grenades and kill themselves is too much work. So I did what ever I wanted and nothing more. And it was great to get a speed boost for stealthy movement or an armor bonus every dual wield kill but it was nothing world changing. Much better than Bulletstorm’s “Do it like that, or else…”

I’m just a disembodied voice in your head. You can make me say whatever you want.

Yay. So, I win!

By the way, what’s the deal with the dinosaur?

Bulletstorm lacks on mechanics and gameplay but the story is great, the acting matches, the music is awesome and at one point you get a remote controlled dinosaur. So it might be worth your trouble, anyway.

4 Comments, Written on May 3rd, 2015 , Gaming, Practice, Thinking Out Loud

Cineveo – Virtual Reality Cinema is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a Rift DK2 application that plops you down in the middle of a cinema (There are several to choose from) and allows you to view your movies as if you were sitting at the movies. A popcorn bucket is not included but it says you can control everything hands free, you can link up with others for multiplayer viewing and you can drop in a view from a webcam to still keep in touch with the outside world. This just seems so cool I want to buy a Rift for myself. Available now for 10$.

Mighty No. 9 is an action platformer from the guy who thought up Mega-Man. And, with respect, I don’t see why there’s so much hype around it. It looks nice enough but I see no reason to get excited about this over any other platformer. In fact, I’m much more excited about Trine 3. Coming in 15th of September.

Exanima is a kind of dungeon crawling action RPG but with a heavy stress on attention to detail across the board. It’s pretty, looks compelling as hell and as far as the combat simulation goes, it looks like Dark Souls if Dark Souls was Diablo and I’m looking forward to it. Now in Early Access.

Break_In looks like the last piece in an iteration process that started with the Castle Doctrine, proceeded through King of Thieves and now has reached this, the first person shooter version of the “Build defenses around your home and then go and break someone else’s defenses” game. It’s not really my thing but I’m intrigued by the concept and hope it goes well for them. Now in Early Access.

GemCraft – Chasing Shadows is GemCraft but with a new dress. The original GemCraft is still one of the best implementations of the tower defense genre out there. This new iteration looks like a new coat of paint, some new levels and a new mechanic or two. I’m not a huge tower defense fan but if you are, you probably shouldn’t skip this one. 9$ until May 7th.

Leave A Comment, Written on May 1st, 2015 , Gaming, Less Interesting News

Quick recap: Thursday before last, I started feeling like shit. Could barely work or function. The only things I could successfully do for a long time were sleep and play games. No, I’m not excusing, the only things, besides Maayan that consistently make me feel better are ice cream and playing games.

So I didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do much, missed Amit’s birthday party, and spent mine sprawled on the sofa watching television. Which was fun but not very productive.

This persisted another with the doctor not really knowing what’s wrong with me.

This almost meant I had to miss Memorial Day but I rested a lot and finally drove to the kibbutz in the afternoon. After the next day’s ceremony, I drove back home. In the evening, we went to friends for a BBQ dinner. And there was much rejoicing.

This weekend, I started to feel better, washed the dog and put some things in order. But now I’m not sure I’m actually getting better now. I think I just have to struggle through it and it’ll be OK.

Leave A Comment, Written on April 26th, 2015 , Life

Magicka – Wizard Wars is the PvP arena version of the wonderful Magicka. Last time I checked, I still didn’t like the simplification of the spell system but I do appreciate some of the design choices they made. It’s still nice that it’s finally official, now that Magicka 2 is almost here. Anyway, if you like Magicka and you like PvP action, you’ll probably enjoy this. It’s free to play. The costs are the different robes you can play.

Kalimba is a cute puzzle platformer reminiscent of ibb & obb where you have two characters that need to cooperate in strange ways to get through a level. I like ibb & obb and will probably play Kalimba with Maayan too so this is in our future. Available April 22nd.

Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power is the third installment of the wonderful puzzle platformer and while the game has always looked amazing, this time they’re going complete 3D with it and I’m very excited to play it with Maayan. Early Access on April 21st.

Leave A Comment, Written on April 24th, 2015 , Gaming, Less Interesting News

משתמשי אנדרואיד, שימו לב!

אם אתם משתמשים בתוכנה המכילה פרסומות, שימו לב שלפרסומות של גוגל יש באחת הפינות סימן X או i בתוך עיגול. אם תלחצו עליו, יפתח תפריט משוב לפרסומות. תלחצו על הכפתור שאומר “Report this ad” או “Don’t show this ad” או משהו דומה. ואז תבחרו בתגובה המתאימה לכם. אני בדרך כלל בוחר ב-Irrelevant עבור דברים שהם לגיטימיים פשוט לא תופסים לגביי (פרסומות לבנקים עסקיים או ביטוח דירה) וב-Inappropriate עבור מזימות ודברים דומים (“המחשב שלך איטי!”, הימורים או כל מיני דברים בערבית).

בתקווה, אם תעשו את זה מספיק אז תקבלו פרסומות שיותר רלוונטיות אליכם ואולי יעזרו לכם. ואם מספיק אנשים יעשו את זה מספיק פעמים אז פרסומות מסוימות יפסיקו להופיע לכולם.

קחו לתשומת לבכם ותחשבו על לתרום כמה שניות מזמנכם.

2 Comments, Written on April 19th, 2015 , Life

אמר, וקבע תור לרופאה.

Leave A Comment, Written on April 14th, 2015 , Life

את פסח השנה עשינו במושב קטן ונחמד בצפון, איפה שאח של מעין וחברה שלו (גם מעין) גרים. פתחנו שולחנות בחצר, הבאנו מגוון מטעמים, הכרנו את המשפחה של מעין ועשינו סדר קצרצר, עם נגיעות פמיניסטיות ובערך 16 כוסות יין.

בבוקר למחרת יצאנו לטיול קטן למטה אל הירדן והסתובבנו קצת לפני שחזרנו הביתה.

1 Comment, Written on April 8th, 2015 , Life

Mayan Death Robots looks like a modern reimagining of Gorillas. Personally, I loved Gorillas and played it a ton. This one is more intricate and more “colourful” – in more senses than one. Coming in the Summer.

Rainbow Six Siege is Ubisoft’s turn in the battle of the franchises and from what I’ve seen of it and Battlefield Hardline, I tend to favour this with an actual tactical element and interesting game modes. This looks like a lot of fun for a band of communicative friends in multiplayer. Coming in the Fall.

Nevermind is a horror puzzle adventure and as thus, doesn’t seem very new. The cool thing about is that it interfaces with brain sensing devices and can respond to your stress and fear. Currently in Early Access.

Crystal Rift looks like another grid based dungeon crawler a-la Legend of Grimrock and Eye of the Beholder. It looks good, so does the UI and since I like those sorts of games, I’ll keep an eye out for it. This could be good. Early Access on the 20th.

Elite: Dangerous has finally come to Steam. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a hyper-realistic combat/trading space sim. And it’s gorgeous. But it’s difficult to get into. But at least it’s a straight up price model. Available now for 60$.

Sky Force Anniversary is a PC port of the likable mobile top-down scrolling shooter. As it has become quite popular on mobile devices, it’ll probably be successful on PC as well. Even though this will solve the problem I had with the mobile version, not quite sure it’s enough to get me to play it. Available Q2 2015.

1 Comment, Written on April 3rd, 2015 , Life

That is, a solar station in space that converts the energy to microwave or laser and beams it to Earth. There are ways to mitigate the danger but let me remind you…

“Microwave Receiver Dish is very efficient, clean and reliable. Launch a satellite to collect solar power, then beam it down to Earth. Unfortunately, the effects of a mis-targeted beam are, as yet, unknown.”

SimCity 2000 Manual (pg. 35)

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