Last year when we posted our Dorflike Round-up, Spacebase DF-9 was still in its infancy, but the game was promising. Fast forward less than a year, and Double Fine is announcing that they’re going to release version 1.0 next month and then abandon ship. Fortunately, they’re planning to release enough source for the modding community to take over from here. Then again, the game seems light years from completion.
I’m not new to roguelikes and I love a lot of the genre. I’m not a Dwarf Fortress player but I could be. My roguelikes? Rogue, played on a PDP-11 – no colors or easy to recognize characters, thank you. Also hack and NetHack and larn. (Even used to play a custom branch of hack that included lemmings.) Fast forward to FTL or pretty much any contemporary roguelike that I can lose badly. I have a special affection for Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space.
Having enjoyed Prison Architect, but not as fully as I wanted to (mechanics/philosophy stuff I won’t go into here), I was thrilled to hear about RimWorld’s more Firefly-esque approach to building and cultivating the colony and kickstarter-pledged immediately at a level that’d get me access to the Alpha.
Playing Dwarf Fortress is an amazingly deep and interesting experience, but it is not without a learning curve. The pairing of the enchanting, emergent stories the game produces with a nearly impenetrable interface has created a market for games that provide a similar experience with a prettier and more approachable interface.
This is no easy task. Gaming history is littered with barely-started projects that have been abandoned by their creators. Lately, however, it seems that an increasing number of these games are getting to playable states and showing varying degrees of progress and promise. Many of them have playable releases and I’ve tried as many of them that I can get my hands on; this is a report of my findings.
Huge X-COM fan here. I liked a lot of the old franchise and really missed the turn-based tactics. For a lot of years. I remember trolling Good Old Games and emulators and other ways to re-experience the game and I’ve always loved the mixture of tactical turn-based (it’s why I started the Fallout franchise too – my love of that cultivated by X-COM), soldier cultivation, resource management, tech trees and light disaster-related political resource allocation that X-COM brings to the table.
As is apropos on this Veteran’s Day, we spend most of this week’s podcast discussing the latest in modern military shooters, starting with our review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I ramble for a bit about what I’d like to see in a modern military shooter game, and why the “vision video” concept for Rainbow Six – Patriots is very much not that, Call of Duty Elite is delayed and borked, Battlefield 3 loses first week traffic numbers to a Call of Duty game, Steam gets hacked, and we talk about how Ubisoft and EA will punish us for being good paying customers through DRM. Please, Share and Enjoy.
After a long absence, we have returned! Work and life may interfere, but nothing will stop us from nattering inanely into your earholes about beer! And games! Always with games.
After reviewing what we’ve been doing while we’ve been away, we dive right into the news with descriptions of the new Portal 2 Puzzle Creator, Battlefield 3 sells 5 million units in the first week and simultaneously destroys my faith in humanity and sets EA up for massive disappointment when Modern Warfare 3 inevitably sells that much in a day, the most unexpected Halloween special DLC pack we’ve ever seen, Blizzard jumps the shark and steps in it, and more, in this week’s hopefully final return of the Levels Of Detail Podcast. Please, Share and Enjoy.
Intro Music: Caravan Palace – Crash
And once again, we return to you belatedly and with sadness in our hearts. Real life stupidly keeps on intruding into our efforts to bring you our particular brand of meaningless babble, and so here we are. This week, we cover such late-breaking news as Ubisoft removing the DRM from From Dust, freeing us to wonder why you would want to buy the game in the first place, EA continues making up for lost time with their dickery, the PC is resurgent while Nintendo continues to watch the bottom fall out of their business models, and we promote two things worthwhile: One, a pre-release beta of Minecraft‘s 1.8 Adventure release (which, due to our timeliness, is already out officially), and a Kickstarter donation page for the NASA astronaut sim MMO game, which is still ongoing and can be found here. Please, go forth and donate to a worthy cause, and remember to Share and Enjoy.
We’re back from vacation this week, and as a consequence, we’re a little…loopy, and not just from our customary alcoholic beverages. Many tangents are had, odd routes followed, and a higher-than-average amount of movie references made, especially for an episode where so much actual news is imparted. Defense of the Ancients 2 will be revealed to the world at Gamescom in Cologne, the Humble Indie Bundle 3 is here, Australia makes serious steps towards an R18+ rating, and everyone decided to be stupid while we were gone, with Blizzard basically sticking a knife into the heart of their fanbase for Diablo 3, Ubisoft returning to always-on DRM for Driver: San Francisco and more, EA getting Dragon Age 2 pulled from Steam with their “me-first-gimmie-gimmie” approach to DLC, and Nintendo almost halves the price of the 3DS in an attempt to get people to buy their newest shiny toy. Please, Share and Enjoy.
We’re still a little tuckered out after last week’s rage-fueled barreling beast of a podcast, so this week, we decided that there wouldn’t be anything important announced. A fearful gaming industry obliged, and so we present to you a much more low-key, some would almost say sedate podcast. We do follow-up on the horrible, awful things that induced such anger last week (but in a much more calm and relaxed manner), Manhunt 2 goes not exactly into the West, but wherever awful exploitation games go, Planetside 2 becomes more interesting as a possible free-to-play game, EA buys Popcap Games, a cool bit of news about the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved re-release, we mock poorly written product announcements, and the crew behind The Escapist’s Extra Credits series decide to do something awesome with the enormous pile of money they suddenly find themselves sitting on. Thank you, and please, Share and Enjoy.
I, personally, choose to believe that we are all capable of being decent human beings at any time, and that corporations which are smart enough to make a serious impact on the world around us are also smart enough to not intentionally sabotage their own efforts, products, or customers. I also realize that people are jerks to each other for little or no reason a lot of the time, and that corporations can and will choose short-term gains over long-term profits and security almost every single time. You can imagine what this does to my temperament, something which is on full display in this week’s podcast, as last week’s relatively bad news free status is drastically reversed.
Some good news does make it under the wire, Crysis is coming to consoles, CCP decides that screwing their Eve Online customers isn’t such a good idea, the Extra Credits drive to help their artist keep making art was a success beyond their wildest expectations, and I have new hope for a good video game movie as details for a Mass Effect film surface with a pretty decent writer and production company attached to the project. On the bad news front, Team Fortress 2 players are determined to show new players on the free-to-play accounts that they’re not welcome around these parts, and EA continues their charge to be more hated than Activision. Please, put the little ones in the other room and then Share and Enjoy.
Well, today’s podcast would have come online earlier today, but due to a bewildering array of extenuating circumstances, it’s going up late. My frustrating day certainly matches the tone of the news we have for this week, what with EA deciding to retake their Asshole Crown and the gamer bitchfest about every decision made by any game company reaching deafening levels of volume. There was some good news as well, Valve is taking one of their games free-to-play, Al Gore backs gaming as a legit medium, and Microsoft released the Kinect SDK beta. So, please, Share and Enjoy; I’m going to get drunk.
With E3 still a week away, and the PSN fiasco finally winding down, what news scraps are there left for poor amateur podcasters like us feed on? How about an announcement for a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game? Minecraft coming to Android and iOS? Kotaku showing some of that ol’ backbone that we used to love? And the announcement of Facebook: Modern Warfare (AKA Call of Duty Elite)? All of this and more on this week’s episode of the Levels Of Detail Podcast! Please, Share and Enjoy.
We return, yet again, from the brink of work! This week, we bring you the not-so-triumphant return of Hellgate: London, Duke Nukem Forever and Playstation Network, news on the forthcoming lack of news at E3 2011, Modern Warfare 3‘s story will be even dumber than you think, a bit of positive news on Minecraft, asshole game developers, and the somewhat embarrassing quality gap between mainstream Hollywood and mainstream gaming. Please, share and enjoy.