Stronghold Kingdoms

I picked up this game sometime last week while a bit bored and in the mood for an RTS. Stronghold Kingdoms is a “Free2Play MMORTS”, and having played other games that claim that genre before (see: SAGA), I was a bit dubious as to whether it would be worth playing. I am happy to say however that I have been having fun with this game, and am still playing it each day a week later. Although this game still totes a beta tag in it’s name, it has been out and playable for a while now, having largely flown under the radar that I am aware of. In the past month however, it was put up on Steam under the new F2P tag, so there has been a decent influx of players to the game, and the game website states that there is over 500,000 players now, so there must … Continue reading

Secret of the Magic Crystals

There has been a couple of times in the past where I have found a brilliantly cheap game (that is obviously the best game ever) on Steam, and gifted it to Dante to play. Today he returned the favour and gifted me Secret of the Magic Crystals to play. I had never seen or heard of this game before, and going off the title I figured it was something to do with magic crystals and secrets. So I quickly downloaded and installed it while I was waiting for my Mass Effect 3 copy to install, and had a quick play. The game starts out with a nice story to set things up. A meteor has crashed into the planet, and the crystals were lost. What crystals? Well the ones in the meteor of course! Silly you, not knowing that. So your granddaddy finds 2 of these crystals somehow, and quickly realises that they … Continue reading

Divinity II: Ego Draconis

I’m just going to preface this post by saying that I have only played 30 minutes of this game. On the other hand, I have played 30 minutes of this game. This is another game I have had sitting in my Steam library for a while, which I think I bought in the Christmas sales. I hadn’t looked into the game at all when I bought it, just saw the preview with dragons, and figured it would be worth a shot, especially at the price I got it. Sadly I was wrong to think that. Right when the game opens up for the first time you get a suspicion that something is not quite right. For me at least – the main menu feels unpolished, mouse sensitivity is all out of whack, and nothing is aligned. As with all new games, I first went to change out to windowed mode (as … Continue reading

Saints Row: The Third

I’ve had this game sitting in my Steam library for a while now but never got around to playing it, so this review is a bit late to the party. I had seen reviews of the game in different places, everyone going on about how it is so silly and stupid and just insane, which to be honest just put me off it. GTA was always fun for a bit of a run around, killing random people for the hell of it, but that gets boring quickly. With the reviews that I had read in the past about the Saints Row series, I figured the whole game wa just that. Random running around, no real story driving anything, and people with dildo baseball bats wearing chicken costumes. I an happy to say that I was wrong. I installed Saints Row: The Third last week on a whim, for something to … Continue reading

Winter’s End

A couple of weeks before Christmas I entered myself in a small game development contest on a small website. The theme was to be around Snowmen, and we had approximately 2 weeks to complete it. I only spent a few hours each day working on it, and it turned out rather choppy and slapped together – not to mention unfinished – but I entered it as it was, and am currently waiting on the results to be posted. So in the mean time, I thought I’d make a post about it, as during the second week of development I tried to record a large part of my dev process. You can see this recording in the following video (no audio): The game is based around a theme of “Snowmen”, so my idea involved the player being a snowman, off to save the world from the world-saving antics of some real … Continue reading

Code Hackery #2: Characters on a Texture

Alright so I said every week, but I really meant week-ish. To be honest, I’ve had some trouble actually finding some nice code to put for this post, so I’m going to more explain something I recently did with the Wurm client. I cannot post the actual code for NDA reasons, but I’ll give some examples. This week is a bit of easy code I whipped up for the Wurm client when I was working on replacing the old, notoriously slow text rendering code. I originally had the FontTexture object drawing all of the ASCII characters to a texture, and believed that would be enough (and in terms of performance, it would’ve been), but this also meant that any other characters that were previously supported – cyrillic, greek, etc – would either crash everything, or just show nothing.   In Wurm there are plenty of different people playing, plenty of … Continue reading

Code Hackery #1: Map Resize Dialog

In an effort to pump out more posts and make this website less of a dead-zone, I’m going to try and create a weekly post with a bit of code I have managed to hack together that works perfectly against all odds.   First up is this Map Resize Dialog I created for the WPlanner rewrite I completed a couple of weeks ago. For those that had used the old WPlanner build, the resize dialog was a bit empty. All it had were 4 spinners for each cardinal direction, and a label stating the new size. When I was rewriting it for the new version, I decided to bite the bullet and design it the way I wanted it originally (but couldn’t be f’d at the time to do) since I had Eclipse’s nifty new Swing GUI builder to use. The idea was pretty simple: each spinner (north, south, east … Continue reading

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Part 2)

So I’ve played a total of 24 hours of Skyrim since it’s release now and I figured I had better give my impressions of it. Instead of the usual reviews you will find all over the internet explaining how the UI sucks and its a shoddy console port, I am going to tell one of the better stories I have from playing Skyrim. If you want to know about the functionality and how bad it sucks, you can go read that somewhere else. A bit of background on my character build first. I’ve gone the route of thief archer. I sneak everywhere, and take long shots at peoples heads with my elven bow. Half of the time they are too stupid to figure out where the arrow came from, so I can normally clear out an area by just doing this, and I prefer it to rushing in head first … Continue reading

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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