So, summer’s back and with it are the case fans on my home PC. It’s by and large a quiet machine, mostly puttering softly to itself unless being made to run a game or, peculiarly, YouTube videos (because Adobe still doesn’t know how to make a video player that doesn’t consume 100% CPU time). Continue reading
This may not shatter the earth with tyrannosaurian clomping the way the Humble Bundle does, but my favorite deal of the early summer sale rush simply has to be the Arclight Bundleover at Indie Royale. This fat, happy bundle features nearly every game produced by indie studio Arcen Games since its start in 2009, and then some. Let’s feast on some details: Continue reading
These are my brief impressions on the newbie experience of Star Trek Online, which is free to play.
I’ve never played an MMO before. By and large, I don’t find the descriptions of their systems to be very compelling for the amount of time they demand. They seem to be designed around systems of repetitive “grinding” to prolong the gameplay and maintain return customers. Most damning of all, I have no real life friends that play these, which all but removes the point of playing them. So, warning: I come into this with some bias. Continue reading
Current: ambient-nights.org is undergoing a site revision, and downloads are temporarily available only via the forum, which requires a free registration. Don’t let that stop you, this is good stuff!
Post: When I was a kid, I was fascinated with science shows. I was a huge nerd, in a time where nerdiness was much more of a liability, or so it seemed to me. At any rate, one of my favorite shows was a first-year university course in physics called The Mechanical Universe. Much more than a lecture series loaded with equations, it also had cool animations describing the weirdness of things like the effects of near speed-of-light travel, and wonderful ambient music playing throughout. It was like a trip to the planetarium, every time, and I would always come back with a little more understanding of how nature worked, and a ton more questions to go along with it. Continue reading
I have the mind of a petulant child and the schedule of a grown man, it’s a horribly wonderful thing. Therefore, it’s hard to gaze at the abyss — an abyss of 30,000 idling ships, a hostile monolithic enemy, and a whole galaxy to retake — and not feel my fingers twitch. And ding! my phone reminds me to get the heck back on task.
AI War: Fleet Command is one of my favorite games of the past three years, and it’s as monumentally fascinating as it is difficult to approach. Its systems are fresh and new, and therefore strange and scary, but once you dive in, it’s extremely involving and frankly, there isn’t much like it.
Stirrings in the galactic graveyard that is the Independence War II mod scene! Long-thought-dead mod Torn Stars: Unstable Space, has seen a beta release, as of today!
How dead was/is it? Last noise was of an Unstable Alpha, sometime around 2007. Holy cats. And according to the developer,
“I am utterly exhausted. Even writing this post is tough. The beta is far from perfect. It is a sandbox adventure, devoid of any scripted events or story line. It contains a simulated star cluster, along with all the ships, stations, asteroids, planets, stars, factions and battles that go along with that. Expect bugs, and imperfections aplenty. I am not sure how much support I can give fixing them.”
I wanted that good old UT engine RPG feel so I went to GOG, thinking I’d pick up Deus Ex there, and, well, it’s $10 (their high price point). Aw, hell naw.
So I got off my lazy behind, found my old Deus Ex CD, installed it, and decided to look for mods. I went for Project 2027, since it seems to be an all-new game based on Deus Ex, and it looks like they may have actually finished it.
So far, it definitely has the Deus Ex thing going for it: some expositional play that has you learning the game culture by strolling through an area mostly foreign to you, mysterious AI communing directly with my brains, lengthy conversations with NPCs, clues laying around all over the place, all that great stuff. (I wonder why I have patience for this but didn’t last more than a few hours in Mass Effect. Ah, I know why, I’m old and tired, and Mass Effect is so much work.) Continue reading
The original host site, Starshattermods.com, succumbed to hacking and is down. Hard Light Productions, a fantastic community that grew around Freespace Open, has generously taken up hosting the Starshatter forums here. Starshatter files are hosted in this thread. I still have some of the files, please let me know in the comments if you have any trouble obtaining them.
Starshatter: The Gathering Storm is a moderately complex, moderately realistic, spaceborne military flight sim that takes place in a series of dynamic campaigns. It won’t change your life, but it ain’t bad.
- it’s not too punishing or difficult. It strives for a moderate amount of realism, but offers an optional video-gamey control scheme
- takes place in four dynamically shifting war campaigns, rather than a static set of missions or a bland open world design
- graphics and sounds are good for such a small studio, but won’t blow your entire head off
- receive promotions! Start flying fighter craft, and move upward to capital ships, even become an admiral and direct the course of the war.
- heck, it’s FREE and open source!
- fairly open to modding
- rewards come after overcoming the learning curve, about 4-6 hours, perhaps less if you’ve flown flight sims before
- a bit repetitive, a bit spare, a bit bland. It’s a quasi-military flight sim, there’s not a lot of character here.
- lack of variety in ships
- reportedly difficult and tedious to create your own missions
- no multiplayer campaign
Read on for the review, or skip to the “Getting It” section for info on how to get it!