This Is My Day Off

Look, I haven’t been dedicating hours of my life to thinking up Tumblr posts. Having one thought a day is exhausting.

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NecroDoom

I admit to never having actually played through the Doom wad Alien Vendetta. It’s a classic, I know, but still, I have not, until now. I’m approaching the final stretches, and playing it through Xaser’s recent ZDoom mod Necrodoom, in which you stomp around in a gun-laden mech.

It makes me happy. Also, I downloaded way too many Megawads, so I’ll be all sorts of caught up after a while.

Also, he totally made a trailer for it, because he is a pro. The mod is still in progress, and will eventually support multiplayer, which is certain to be a blast.

I’ve started playing through various classic/Cacoward winning wads and megawads using Necrodoom, so I’ll probably post about those as I very irregularly complete them.

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Games you should play instead of reading this: Lone Survivor

By Jasper Byrne, the neo-retro-looking Lone Survivor takes a refreshing approach to a zombie-apocalypse in many ways. Firstly, it focuses on the Apocalypse more than the zombies. Zombies are few, and quite dangerous. Rather than becoming a god of destruction with chainsaw in hand, you play a scared kid who is slowly losing his grip on reality.

"This looks like a light-hearted romp."

The game has a well-done progression similar to point-and-click adventures, with you gathering various minor tools to accomplish tasks and get past obstacles as you roam around trying to do the most important thing in a Zombie Apocalypse: survive. In a nice little twist, staying in the dark is actually safer for you - your flashlight will attract the zombies. You must find ways around them, or to kill them with the limited ammo in your possession, and your small handgun in a well handled combat system - simple enough for non-action gamers to be proficient, but with enough nuance and variation to not be boring.

The player must constantly rest and eat, and resting while hungry doesn’t do much good. You deal with the character trying to remember things from before all this happened, and his slowly unraveling mind. The resource balancing is well done, and is neither too easy nor too unforgiving.

Trust me, this is pretty creepy in action.

The zombies themselves do not look all too human. They are humanoid creatures of flesh which twitch unnaturally, and the standard type emits this sort of strangely disconcerting white-noise sound to let you know they’re near - it wigs me out every time. There are some other varieties, each of which manages to be uniquely creepy. They are not faceless enemies in any fashion other than the literal, and the fact that they literally don’t have faces actually makes them more interesting, which sounds backwards, but just trust me. The zombies are a constant, menacing, and interesting presence in the game world, and never become boring due to the relative scarcity of ammo.

The music is excellent, managing to both sound retro and evoke proper atmosphere and emotion. Jasper Byrne is truly a multi-talented man to make such a solid ambient soundtrack to a solid game. The soundtrack itself can be bought here.

I hear there are multiple endings to the game, though I haven’t reached one yet. Nonetheless, it’s pretty clear that whatever ending you get, it will be depressing, because seriously this kid is losin’ it.

About that, a kid as a narrator can go wrong in so many ways, but is played well here. Mr. Byrne managed to balance the wide-eyed innocence of a child with the horrors he witnesses excellently, and it’s heart-breaking to watch a kid trying to cope with such bizarre and existential traumas, on top of the whole zombie thing.

From the quirk that the character refuses to open the wardrobe in his apartment because the items in side aren’t his, to his varying opinions on the food items you collect, the game world is detailed, and the game play is deep and satisfying. It can be bought off of the Lone Survivor site, or off Steam.

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Dathweetch post and stuff

Tonight, I give a good try at killing my entire Deathwatch group. The funny part is that I delayed this post so they will already be in trouble before they ever have a chance to read it.

Seriously, I’m a kinder GM than they think I am. The surprise Trygon that took out Brother Petrarch was a downgrade from the surprise Hive Tyrant and accompanying army that a previous scenario called for. The last mission actually WAS supposed to be Genestealers and a Brood Lord, and not funky shape-shifting guys which were much easier to kill under the circumstances. I even once gave them the option of not having to take an entire Tau outpost by themselves.

See? I am a benevolent god! Yes, I will use this picture as often as possible.

Tonight, I’m just gonna let some random encounter tables murder them real hard. This’ll be hilarious.

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THE GREATEST EVENT IN RACING

…is not the Indie 500. The Indie 500 is only a mewling, inbred mutant pustule for wusses and ugly people compared to the real race that happened this weekend:

"But what kind of cars do they drive!?!?" you ask, unaware of the silliness of your statement. Rocketships. Rocketships that fly into tiny pieces when you bump into them.

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TEXAS

We went to the beach. It was nice, but I only say that because the nearest nice beach is hundreds of miles further than this one, so I don’t even know.

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Wasting Time Is Cool: Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Episode 2

Recently, the second episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 came out. You may recall that Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Episode I reused bosses, though it gave them a new lease on life with a sort of berserk mode when highly damaged. It showed that Sega could still do what had performed the best, though the physics were a bit a wonky, and Sonic felt somewhat sluggish.

I have a policy of 2 good guys, 2 bad guys, and Knuckles allowed in any one Sonic game. They are within limits still. You start pullin’ Big The Cat on me in Episode 3 and I am OUT.

Episode 2 remedies that, and it feels much livelier and more controlled. Tails makes his return in much the same fashion as he accompanied Sonic in Sonic 2 and 3. In singleplayer, he dutifully follows your motions, and you can now even tell him to pick you up, pull you through the water, or combine into a deadly rolling ball of ridiculous.

By the way, they upped the ante on the bosses. This is the FIRST.

The newer mechanics are used well and the levels flow. It’s Sonic: How it’s supposed to be. Additionally, for the first time I can ever remember, I encountered a Badnik that took more than one hit to take out. He was a biggie, but no mini-boss, just a normal enemy. I guess Sega can change things a bit.

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Finally…

My Deathwatch group is finally getting together again, now that the Devastator and Apothecary have gotten over their chronic mortality.

The God Emperor is pleased, he’s just contractually obligated to not show it.

Now maybe they can finish the most simple task in all of Deathwatch-dom and shoot faces until I tell them all of the faces have been shot.

Or maybe Brother Blackheart will find a an ultimately futile task to spend an hour or so no, like, say, detective work, despite him being dumb as rocks and almost never passing awareness tests of any sort. He’s the heavy weapons guy. Leave the smart people stuff to… anyone else.

The Emperor appreciates you enthusiasm, though.

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THE SUN

THE ANCIENTS WORSHIPED IT AS A GOD

and then the brass section goes all “BBBUUUUUUUURRRRRMMMmmm”

Anyway, my family and Elba (she’s adopted (she’s not really adopted or related)) took a gander at the giant space dragons that eat the sun every few years.

Using two papers with holes in them spaced out and aligned, we were able to project a small image of the eclipse that could be viewed without inviting blindness.

On a side-note, my dad’s hands should be the subject of a Springsteen song.

Our angle to the eclipse made the projection ineffective, so we went for the next best thing: STARING FROM BETWEEN OUR FINGERS

WHAT DO YOUR ELF-EYES SEE!?!?!?

Then we went inside and watched the season finale of Sherlock. Seriously, didn’t it blow your mind like THREE TIMES? Next season is gonna’ be sexy.

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The Book Box Gamers Summer Challenge

Yesterday the Book Box Gamers kicked off our first annual Summer challenge. For those who don’t know, the BBGs make board games based off of pulp-fiction book covers with self-sourced parts that must fit within a book box, as well as a tight time limit at different Conventions. The games are judged and various awards are dispensed. This time, however, we have a couple months, we get the book’s back cover as well, and there is no super-tight box limit.

There was no small amount of contention over who scored “Francis the Talking Mule”.

Seriously, some of these are ridiculous, whether in a helpful way, or… not. I was given “Manhattan Nights”:

It…it took me quite a bit of mental flexing to figure out how to make this game-y, but I have my game plan, and one of the many things it involves includes a pile of hats.

My brother Derek got a fortunately vague cover, “The Other One”:

We basically have free license to ignore the tag lines and writing on the covers, but can take inspiration from them. We get reeeeeal tangential with some of these.

So, yeah, I’m going to make a rockin’ game. It will be awe-inspiringly ridiculous.

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