Zombie in My Pocket – Let’s Play


Are zombies passe yet? Yes, they are. Some time ago, this game captured my imagination, and apparently I kept a short log of one play-through. I found it, sitting in my drafts, dating waaaaay back to 2008. I chopped up some old photos I took and put a wrap on it. This is me, playing the free-to-print solo game Zombie In My Pocket.

With a few small decks of cards and a notepad, you role-play an intrepid adventurer trying to stop a zombie uprising by locating and burying an idol in a randomly-generated, besieged house. You must do this by midnight. It’s a roguelike in pocket format.

You do this by laying down square tiles, each representing a room in the house. Each turn, 10 minutes in game-time passes, and an event happens by drawing a card. You might find a weapon, you might fight some zombies, or you can take a moment to rest and gain some health back. In all, you have 18 turns to finish the game.

In my experience, it was a pretty well-balanced game, giving you maybe 40%-60% odds of winning each time, with room for tactical choices. A really nicely-designed gem, and free, to boot. Read, and enjoy the purple prose.

Three Hours to Midnight


9:00pm – At the center of the terror lies a house. Continue reading

An Overlong Introduction to Winning “A New Zero”

I made this some months back when A New Zero, the primitive flight sim with a heart of alpha gold, pushed out a new alpha version. The game itself is very playable, and I had some good fun with it with strangers online before the excitement died off and the servers went dormant once again.

A New Zero itself is an experiment in gaming, and is free for all comers. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it, but be warned, you’ll have to play it at least an hour or so to get a good feel for it. Sorry if that’s “hard” or anything.

At any rate, here’s my video strategy guide to A New Zero, hopefully demystifying it a bit for those interested in some seat of the pants flying. (Warning, it’s long-winded, at about 30 minutes):

AI War: Pocket Reference

So, AI War: Fleet Command is quite an intimidating game. You’re in control of a growing number of units (from a few hundred to many thousands), against a pair of unpredictable AI personalities with the power to overwhelm you at a misstep. All progressing in real time. Oh, dear.

The game mitigates this by giving you semi-autonomous units that don’t need babysitting, and an assortment of effective orders to give them. You mostly control the pace of the game through your offensive actions, so you also control how violent the AI becomes in response. It’s designed to get your mental gears moving, but luckily it doesn’t devolve into a click fest.

But it does kind of turn into a “what was that control again,” and “what the hell do I do now” fest. Instead of printing out the manual and hotkey guide (both of which are out of date), or playing the 4-hour tutorial again, or interrupting the game to check the controls, I made a short, economic reference for AI War. It’s 8 tiny pages and fits in a pocket. Continue reading

Raw Notes for Independence War 2 – Tweaks

The following is a raw dump of notes I made while trying to figure out the optimal settings  for the fantastic classic space sim, Independence War 2. Again, this is quite raw and I may come back later to finalize it.

iw2 config hacks (if any)

 Joystick Deadzones
 - in flux.ini:
 - [fcInputDeviceDI]
     - dead_zone_x = 0.175
     - dead_zone_y = 0.175
     - dead_zone_z = 0.175
     - dead_zone_rx = 0.175
     - dead_zone_ry = 0.175
     - dead_zone_rz = 0.175
 - setting them to 0.1 works pretty well.

Set password for multiplayer in flux.ini:
 - [FcServer]
     - password = "1234"
 - [FCClient]
     - password = "1234"
 - passwords must match, even for the host.

Set resolution and set windowed in flux.ini:
 - [fcGraphicsDeviceD3D]
 - windowed mode can be dynamically resized to any resolution!

from the elite mod, edit flux.ini for more difficulty:
 - [icPlayerPilot]
     - max_rem_range changed from 50000 -> 100000
     - (increases the detection range for your ship? remote control range?)
 - [icShip]
     - critical_damage_scale changed from 0.2 -> 0.5
     - criticals_per_impact changed from 0.2 -> 0.5
     - (increases your ship damage... and the chances of ship damage? hard to say.)
 - [icTacticalCamera]
     - field_of_view changed from 1.2 -> 1.75
     - (fov is increased in the tac cam)
 - [iiSim]
     - collision_damage_factor changed from 3.5 -> 4
     - (damage from collisions increased)

Raw Notes for Independence War 2 – Mods

blue_swirls_crThe following is a raw dump of notes I made while trying to figure out the value of the various mods available for the fantastic classic space sim, Independence War 2. Again, this is quite raw and I may come back later to finalize it. (For now if you want to read the unwrapped text, you’ll have to copy it and paste it into another doc.)

= IW 2 Mods =
my reviews and impressions

- http://www.i-war2.com/downloads.htm
- http://www.i-war2.com/assoc_mods.htm
- http://www.i-war2.com/downloads_5.htm
- http://www.i-war2.com/wetwired/
- http://www.torn-stars.com
- http://mods.firstones.com/buda5/iwar2/index.html

= Installing Mods =
     - Generally, simply place in the game root /mods folder. No need to unzip, much of the time. See the mods' readme files for specific requirements.
     - Backup flux.ini if manually editing or if a mod is going to edit it.
     - Mods may mess up savegames, but there's sometimes something in the readme if they do.

= The Short List =
* - tweaking required/optional

The Essential Mods - worth installing even on a first play
     - Multimod - allows multiple mods to be used at once.
     - Free roaming - allows free roaming play after the game is over.
         - in the GOG version, this mod is preinstalled, but will not show on the mods menu. (Check /resource if you don't believe me.)
     - Custom Jafs - give Jafs a bigger cargo ship
         * these settings appear once the mod is selected:
         - [CustomJafs]
             - jafs_cargo_loading_delay = 0-15 (seconds, 0 default)
                 - not sure what base game default is
             - jafs_comments = 0 (none), 1 (cargo comments off), 2 (all on)
                 - game default is 2, mod default is 0
             - jafs_ship = (ship location?) default is a 20 pod Venice freighter
                 - base game has ~8 slots, often necessitating multiple trips

Continue reading

State of the (AI) War: Incoming!

It’s taken me a while to get to where I can actually play a game of AI War: Fleet Command to completion, so I’ve decided to blog the occasion, or at least the start of it.

Here’s a peek at my current game, to perhaps be explicated to a greater degree:

Current war state: we’ve taken one planet, and we’re eyeballing our next victim. Also expanding spy network currently at around 20 of 80 worlds.

Continue reading

The Graphics Whore Collection – a GOGmix

Like any smart modern company, GOG are very good at getting their customers to do their marketing for them. For example, I created this GOGmix, and am putting on my (lame-o) blog.

GOGmix is an on-site tool that allows you to quickly and easily create a list of games, say a few words about them, and publish the list. The hope, obviously, is to entice members to essentially create ad content for the site, in addition to the standard reviews that show along with each game. The member shares his list with others, hopefully getting them to buy more games. Not a bad idea.

And, so, here’s one of mine: The Graphics Whore Collection – the best-looking games GOG has to offer.

Create a Custom Game Launcher for Master of Orion I and II

Every time I get a new game of any complexity, I usually create a menu for it using the freeware standalone launcher PStart. For me, it’s part of the fun of getting a new game, and it also consolidates a bunch of game resources in a single executable more attractively than the Start menu. Here’s my menu for the newly re-released Master of Orion from GOG:

As you can see, the GOG package includes both Master of Orion I and II, manuals, and the open source DOSBox emulator pre-configured to properly run both games. It’s a fairly complex setup that GOG has taken some decent steps to simplify for the average player. Putting all these resources into a single menu makes it (for me), even simpler. For example, I’ve been playing around with the various DOSBox settings to get the game to run the way I like, so it’s useful to me to have access to the dosboxMOO2.conf file you see in the above menu.

So, just quickly, here is how you put together such a menu system, for just about any game, for free.

Continue reading