I think it is time for a redesign or a revolution in all things VK.
Don’t gasp too loudly. I’m going to post. Radical! As it hasn’t been done on here for quite a while. But hopefully the posting will increase a little more.
Last week Z and I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II. I’m sure this will not be the first nor the last review of this movie. But you can read it anyway.
We waited in line for seven hours. I couldn’t help but spend some of the time watching people. Teenagers and young adults were the primary people in line. Why would anyone in their right mind, stand in line for seven hours, talking about a made up world. It was an odd experience. We were surrounded by people who, as far as I knew, had nothing else in common but that we knew who Harry Potter was, who he was fighting, and why. Cloaked wizards wandered around, people brandished wands saying things like “accio ticket” and “Expelliarmus.” And whole discussions were had on Arabella Figg, and horcruxes. How could a whole generation be be-spelled by such a thing? This was the question I was asking myself. And then, I watched the last movie.
And I knew. The Harry Potter phenomena (the books and the movies) are not about Nimbus 2000s and Fizzing Whizzbees. They are not about dragons and hippogriffs. They are not even about Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. Although all of these things are a part of it. Harry Potter is about honor and shame. Friendship and family. Integrity and power. Hope and giving up. Cowardice and courage. In short you might say they are about good and evil.
This last movie fulfilled the spirit of the books, and the series. Those characteristics I mentioned, were there in that movie, and of course in the book it was based off of, completing the true nature of the series. For me, the scene that summed it all up was when Voldermort revels in the death of Harry and asks those in Hogwarts to surrender. Draco switches sides and then later as the fighting breaks up runs away with his parents. But Neville! (The same boy who loses his Remembrall in the first book, provides Harry with gillyweed in the fourth, and is discovered to have almost been Voldermort’s downfall if things had been different in the sixth book.) Neville stands up to Voldermort with the most courage that any Gryffindor could show, and honor beyond doubt, and in the moment without hope, he voices that hope and through his courage makes that very hope possible. That is what Harry Potter is about. Is it any wonder that the series has captured millions? I think not. And so, I rediscovered, why exactly, I had waited for seven hours to watch a movie.
Do not worry I am still working on KQ the Betrayer. Recently I have been doing a lot of mapwork which is quite a time intensive process. It makes me think that if I were to ever work on a new game I would seriously look into procedural level generation.
I read a lot of comments about the release of the Silver Lining Ep 1 and one that stuck out to me went along these lines: The narrator tells you that you really do not want to explore the basement, when you are clicking on it for expressly that purpose. i.e. The narrator shouldn’t tell you what you want to do.
I am definitely guilty of thinking along those lines for KtB. I thought it would help a little in creating a sense of urgency to your task at hand. But mostly it comes into the laziness of the developer who didn’t put that area in. So I decided maybe I should add some extra detail not that its necessary, but it hopefully will make the game world feel more complete and “alive”. But it takes time to do. Perhaps I will go back and add more detail, and side quests once the main story is finally finished.
A little while ago I put together a small graphical python tool to help in the creation of monsters for The Betrayer. (It was also for a University project). It isn’t much but it displays all the information for a monster in an easier to read(and to edit) format then the game’s data files. Eventually I will need to go back through KtB from the beginning and create monsters for the whole game. Which is not something I am looking forward to. This tool will make that process a lot easier. It currently hides in the trunk/data/editor folder on svn. It is released under the GPLv2 and with some small modification will work for KQLives’ monsters as well.
Items are currently hard coded in the source of the game so adding or removing items will cause a lot of havoc. Hopefully all items will eventually be moved to Lua scripts. Of course then I would have to write an item editor as well. A Free/Open Source developer’s work is never done.
Phoenix Online Studios has finally released their first Episode of the The Silver Lining. Which used to be called King’s Quest IX the Silver Lining, until they were forced to change the name. Episode 1 is the first of 5 episodes which are supposedly going to be released from now till next year. From what I hear Episoed 1 is more like an overhyped tech demo with 10 minutes of gameplay. Not mention having a highly annoying narrator. I have not downloaded it because you need to have an account in order to get it. Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad, but guess what the member’s area is called? The Phoenix Online Fan Club. Once again the arrogance of this group shows through. Word on the street says they are looking at making a commercial project after this. And what better way to harvest email addresses to spam later. In the past they have posted several articles how to make a game before they released anything more than a buggy demo. When they were looking for beta testers, they created a fake demo with intentionally added bugs. It’s not like their demo was bug free to begin with. It seems after 8 years of development I think I can wait some more before I have any desire to try it out.
I tried the demo for Supreme Commander 2 this week. And man what a let down. It’s like Square and GPG turned an original novel into a mass market paperback romance. The first mistake: you have to have Steam to download the demo. I can see why GPG is worried about piracy. But its the demo for crying out loud. And then guess whats next you are forced to watch nearly a whole minute of company logo animations. You better be able to skip it in the real
Their technology tree is the only thing that differentiates it from a futuristic Command and Conquer clone. You cant even queue up units if you don’t have the resources available. You can set a factory to repeat but sometimes you just want 20 light tanks then 5 AA, 45 Heavy tanks. I guess that is too complicated for the average mass gamer. (Which are who they are obviously shooting for. Definitely not fans of SupCom 1. And fans of Total Annihilation well… there’s a reason TA still has an active community.) Engineers can not help others to build structures and only 3 engineers can assist a factory at a time.
There are no tiers either. You have to research technology in order to get unit upgrades as well as the severely weakened experimental units. I really get bored of researching the same techs every single game. Like in WC3 and AOE. They change it up a little bit by having a lot of a choices and having to research the proper prerequisites. Apparently the majority of the gameplay for multiplayer is planning which techs to research first.
The strategic map view is pretty much pointless. Partly because the maps are tiny. The unit textures for the demo at least are super bright and washed out like your playing with model airplanes. I mean bright blue and bright yellow have never went together. The poly count is higher however. And the water doesn’t look half as good as in SupCom1.
And the story consisted of annoying talking heads bickering. I will still google the cut scenes however.
If you have never played Total Annihilation, Spring or Supreme Commander then maybe this could be a fun game, but for those who have played a real RTS look again. All in all it looks a lot more like a prequel or even a no brand name rip off than a sequel.
Walkthrough for Ferrying level of Hex-a-hop puzzle game
Walkthrough for Bouncing Required level of Hex-a-hop puzzle game
Walkthrough for Transport Hub level of Hex-a-hop puzzle game