In my previous post about traffic management I said that I wanted to try building a city in a different manner to my usual dense grids, and decided that I might as well try both of my ideas at the same time - a city focused heavily on public transport, and also one with a lot of smaller villages and towns surrounding the central urban area. In game terms, this means I'm going to class residential areas outside the city centre as villages (low density residential only, usually no services) or towns (mostly low density but maybe some high density residential, low density commercial, some smaller services). All my industry and offices will be in the city centre, along with most of my commercial. We'll see how it goes.
I bought Cities: Skylines not long after it came out, having enjoyed 20 hours of Simcity 4 according to Steam - it felt like longer, in a good way. My initial impressions were good, but somehow I didn't manage to really get into it, though I played long enough to get near the final city size milestone (when you attain certain population sizes, you unlock new buildings, features and extra land to build on - in a nice touch, the game comes with a dev-made mod to remove this progression and unlock everything immediately if you so choose). Recently I made some time, being tempted by the recent-ish patch which added European style buildings, and have now got up to 25 hours, enjoying nearly every minute.
I played Splinter Cell: Blacklist for the first time recently - running through some coop missions with a friend - and he, having played it before, advised me to be a bit careful with some of the upgrades you can purchase for your character, since they can make the game far too easy. It's been a while since I played a Splinter Cell (the third in the series might have been the most recent one), and while things have changed a fair bit, the basic gameplay principles were easy to pickup, and we had a lot of fun. But even as a relative newbie, looking through some of the upgrades it was easy to see what he meant.
I wrote about my experiences with Sunset; that I found it thought provoking and moving. Since then, the creators Tale of Tales have announced that they are giving up on creating games (at least commercial ones), after Sunset only sold a bit over 4000 copies as of about a week ago. Their full post is worth reading in my opinion. I'd summarize it as saying that they tried to make 'a game for gamers', along the lines of the more successful Gone Home (which I also thoroughly enjoyed), hired various advisors and PR people, and it all failed to produce sales. So they're unlikely to bother anymore, especially as funding for artistic games dries up in their home country of Belgium.
Lots of people have had opinions about this, and it ties into some interesting discussions about whether governments should subsidize art, whether their games were good, whether they were games at all (that endless debate), and so on. Since I am apparently one of fairly few people who have tried the game, and my opinion of it is so different to many other people, I thought I'd try and respond specifically to some of the criticisms I've seen of the game - not necessarily trying to counter them, but at least explaining why they didn't occur to me, or if they did, why I didn't think they mattered all that much. You could loosely consider some things below as spoilers.
Seeing both the Eastern Europe and Scandinavian DLC on sale, I couldn't resist grabbing it and spending a few hours trundling around hauling cargo. I've played a little bit of Euro Truck Simulator before, and it doesn't take long to get into the swing of things in any case. Taking these screenshots caused a slight pause each time, and since I've been driving with a keyboard and mouse combo (which can make it a bit easy to oversteer at times) there was a certain amount of risk involved every time I took a photo.
I recently completed the adventure game Technobabylon, and thought it was well worth a post. I've enjoyed everything from Wadjet Eye Games, in particular the excellent Blackwell series, with the last game (the Blackwell Epiphany) being an absolute gem that I would probably nominate for best ending to a game & series ever. Based on this, I'd pre-ordered Technobabylon (actually I tried to pre-order it a second time, having forgotten that I'd already done so!) and wasn't disappointed.
When I loaded up Sunset for the first time, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I backed it on Kickstarter some time ago, and promptly forgot about it until I got an email that it had been released. I knew the concept - set in a South American country in 1972, play as the cleaner of a powerful man (Gabriel Ortega) and influence your relationship with him through how you approach your tasks, all in the days and months following a military coup. Having not finished the game yet, I wanted to note down some thoughts from my first play session while they're still fresh in my mind. I don't intend to go into much detail regarding the story or anything here - most of it would be spoilers anyway, given that your experiences, choices, and reactions to the events that happen is what the game is all about.
Considering that one of the first 'proper' games I made featured waves of pink/purple robots, and indeed given the name of the site, it would be remiss of me not to feature Chroma Squad just for the giant mecha you get to control and customize in some missions. Aside from that, it's a wonderfully fun little tactical RPG with a sense of fun and colour.
I've spent a lot of my time playing Alien: Isolation in situations like this. I really like how you duck extra low to fit under desks and tables, just naturally as you move in. I feel safer being so close to the ground. Lockers and cabinets are fine hiding places too, but I never liked the crash and bang as you leap in and out, or the fact there's that moment of lost control as you step out - you're committed the moment you decide to leave. It doesn't make too much difference, but I feel like under a desk I might notice a threat as I'm moving out in time to turn back. And so, that tail has been very prominent in my experience of the alien.
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.