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  2. No matter how much a textbook, TV show, or video game strives to depict the reality of what life was like in ages past, the end result is usually sanitized. The medieval era is a great case in point. Think of this long-ago time today and you imagine noble knights, maidens fair, and fat kings waving around legs of lamb. In truth, the period was more about robbers knifing you in the streets, wenches plying their trade, and lords working you to death on their manors. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is dirty. Filthy, in fact. This expansive RPG from indie developer Warhorse Studios ditches cliches for a brutal portrayal of the Middle Ages that wastes no time proving how difficult life was in the early 15th century. Every romanticized notion of the era is extinguished through storytelling and a setting that captures the unfairness of existing when life expectancy hovered around 30 years--if you were lucky. Aspects of the game can be a little too unforgiving even for this vicious era due to some overly exacting mechanics and a host of oversights that includes a torturous save system, but Kingdom Come: Deliverance is still a rewarding, one-of-a-kind game. Granted, it delves into a part of history you probably know little if anything about. You play as Henry, the naive son of a blacksmith who has the misfortune of living in Skalitz, Bohemia in 1403, when the countryside erupted with violence due to the imprisonment of the rightful King Wenceslaus IV by his power-hungry brother Sigismund. After a pastoral medieval day of hitting on the local barmaid, playing pranks, and helping dad finish a sword for the local lord, your village is attacked by an army without warning. Faced with savage marauders, all Henry can do is watch in terror before fleeing for his life. All of this adds up to a terrifying opening that serves as both a spectacular source of frustration (expect to die many times before successfully escaping Skalitz) and as a warning that Kingdom Come: Deliverance is not a typical fantasy RPG. There's no heroic swordplay here, no wizards casting fireballs, no clerics raising the dead, no orcs or dragons. This is the story of an actual civil war that raged across Bohemia in the first decade of the 15th century. Your part in it is that of a nobody struggling to survive in a land full of noblemen who couldn’t care less if you lived or died, and fellow peasants who would stab you in the back for a crust of bread. Such a cruel atmosphere is actually what makes Kingdom Come: Deliverance so enthralling, supported by an incredible attention to detail. Built in CryEngine 3, the presentation brings the era to life, from the filth of muddy village streets to idyllic sylvan forests where you can hunt wild boar or relax while sunbeams and butterflies sparkle around you. Character faces are diverse, as are their costumes, which appear textbook-authentic whether you are looking at a nobleman in hose and puffy sleeves or a guardsman wearing a steel hat and a leather jerkin. The layering of armor results in some visual clipping and details being filled in abruptly as you approach NPCs, but these little blemishes are easily overlooked when you're immersed in the events occurring around you. Voice acting and scripting is nicely evocative of the age, right down to the constant religious references that underline the importance of Christianity. There are some flaws here, most notably in the load times needed to start dialogue and the sometimes repetitive conversation options, but all of the important dialogue is presented brilliantly. Looking after your clothing and taking semi-regular baths is also vital. Shown up at a lord’s manor house in rags stinking of the stable? Good luck if you have to ask a favor. Conversely, wandering around taverns wearing a shirt adorned with someone else’s blood can make you more fearsome. Almost every action here has a consequence. Other dialogue idiosyncrasies include anachronistic modern swearing along with accents from seemingly every corner of the globe (many actors voicing the main characters hail from the U.K., but you encounter others with American and other inflections). Still, while this language creativity can be a little jarring, it mostly fits. Even the music contributes strongly to the mood, with such strong plucked strings and flutes that you almost expect Ian Anderson and the rest of Jethro Tull to prance out of the woods on occasion. A codex actually tracks everything you discover during Henry’s adventures. These entries eventually turn into something of a medieval encyclopedia. Lengthy sections reveal extensive details about the struggle between Wenceslaus IV and Sigismund, the feudal system, hygiene, liturgy, prostitution, toilets, and much more. So if you want to find out more about the Western Schism in the Roman Catholic Church but don’t want to crack a textbook, this is your game. Game systems further prop up the ambiance provided by the game's look, sound, and historical detail. Characters start work when the sun rises and head to bed when it sets. You must fit into this schedule, which also involves regular food and sleep to stay healthy and hearty. Time skips are possible, although even then you still have to wait a minute or two while the hours slowly tick by. Looking after your clothing and taking semi-regular baths is also vital. Shown up at a lord’s manor house in rags stinking of the stable? Good luck if you have to ask a favor. Conversely, wandering around taverns wearing a shirt adorned with someone else’s blood can make you more fearsome. Almost every action here has a consequence. While an extensive statistic-and-skill system provides you with a tremendous number of ways to customize Henry as he explores 15th-century Bohemia, he's only as good as his collective experiences. So if you want to get better at firing a bow, you need to practice at the archery range or head into the forest and shoot wild game like rabbits. Want to buff your skills with a sword or mace? You need to head to the training yard or into the countryside to look for bandits and enemy soldiers. With that said, you still level up, track four primary stats, and follow 17 skills that impact specific activities. Dozens of selectable perks attached to the individual skill categories afford even greater fine-tuning, in that you can pick all sorts of personality traits that govern everything from how much beer you can drink to how well you can stay on a horse, to improving charisma and speech through the power of literacy. There are no shortage of options when it comes to turning Henry into a wannabe noble and a scholar (or a thug and a thief). Combat and movement controls also run true to the focus on realism. Instead of instantly turning into a warrior when you whip out a sword for the first time, Henry is a klutz at the start. You throw punches or swing a weapon with mouse or analog stick motions to dictate an attack trajectory. Ranged battles are similarly tough, due to a lack of a targeting reticle for your bow. Increasing stats and skills allow your combat abilities to gradually improve over time, but it doesn't seem that you can get anywhere close to the effortless abilities typically displayed in RPGs. Other actions such as riding a horse and picking locks can also be overly finickly. Yet as much as such activities can result in frustration (especially at the start of the game), the rigorous control scheme underlines the central theme that adventuring is not supposed to be easy for a village peasant with no experience of the wider world. Progress is saved automatically after you sleep and at certain moments of play, but you can’t just sleep anywhere and saves aren’t made regularly enough during quests. And since you can get killed so easily here, you always feel at risk of losing time and momentum. As a result, fighting has a steep learning curve. But it is one well worth scaling. Every battle in the game is nerve-wracking. The cold fact that you are not a majestic fantasy warrior means that you can be killed at any time. Taking on more than one opponent is incredibly risky, and engaging with three or more is simply futile. Armor adds a layer of tactical complexity, too. The game features a thorough suite of medieval armor and clothing options ranging from padded shirts to plate, but wearing it weighs you down and can block your vision (put on a full helmet and you see the world through a slit). Battling foes in armor also presents its own challenges. Take on a fully equipped enemy and you need to either target their openings with arrows, or switch to blunt weapons better at bashing metal-covered heads and shoulders than anything with an edge. Despite these complexities, it's disappointing that combat lacks physicality. It’s clumsy enough that you never feel completely in control (although much of this is certainly intentional, to best depict Henry’s rookie status when it comes to waging war), and there are odd hesitations in the animation that remove you from the immediacy of battles. Melee scraps are rough-and-tumble brawls for the most part, where you try to beat the enemy down before you collapse of wounds or exhaustion. That said, you’re generally so grateful just to survive that you don’t care how good your victory looked. Even though Kingdom Come: Deliverance is built similarly to a standard RPG like Skyrim, where you accept quests and follow map icons to their destinations, there are some key differences. The biggest is the way that adventures are built around the living world. So if you’re told to meet a nobleman at dawn, you better do it or he may well take off without you. This has some tremendous benefits. You really feel like you’re inhabiting a real world that continues on without you. Quests also nicely blend mundane medieval duties like hunting rabbits for food and taking on guard patrols with more involving jaunts like investigating a murder, partying with a priest, tripping with witches, and tracking down the bad guys to get some vengeance and earn respect from nobility. Still, this approach makes for a lot of dicey moments. The game feels like a balancing act where everything could spin out of control at any moment if you miss a scheduled appointment to start a quest, or even worse, encounter a bug. Bugs sometimes prevent characters from appearing when they should, making you revisit locations to trigger quests, or revisiting old saves to get things back on track. Key characters and locations are also often not given precise locations. This adds to the sense of being a real person in a medieval landscape and not a gamer following an icon on a compass, but it also forces you to take on impromptu scavenger hunts and wander aimlessly through the extremely dangerous wilderness, where you can easily stumble into an enemy encampment or even an ambush staged by robbers. Being able to save your location anywhere and at any time would have helped a lot of the above problems, but this isn't an option. Progress is saved automatically after you sleep and at certain moments of play, but you can’t just sleep anywhere and saves aren’t made regularly enough during quests. And since you can get killed so easily here, you always feel at risk of losing time and momentum. You can save manually with the use of “Saviour Schnapps,” but this concoction has to be purchased at a high cost (tough to manage early in the game) or brewed. Modders have already stepped in with a fix that adds the ability to save on demand on PC, although the developers need to officially add this feature (or at least a save-on-exit feature in case real life gets in the way and you need to stop playing the game quickly).Basically, the game needs a patch along with a fresh look at saving and a few other design elements to let its better qualities shine. Even with these issues in mind, anyone who can appreciate the down-and-dirty nature of history should play Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It's an impressive and unflinching look at the medieval era that transports you inside the compelling story of a real person caught in the middle of a civil war. As such, this is one of those rare, memorable games that stays with you long after you stop playing. While quirks and bugs can certainly be frustrating, none of these issues interfere much with the unique and captivating nature of the overall experience. View the full article
  3. Today
  4. That Langer at the shop!!!

    My game for some reason has started lagging on me and will only give me 6 fps. As soon as I can figure it out I will keep writing.
  5. For many JRPGs, turn-based combat and sweeping stories can make for an excellent game, but sometimes, it's the small diversions that add to the experience. From game-changing sidequests like in Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, taking a moment to fish in Breath of Fire, engaging in Iron Chef-like cooking contests in Suikoden II, or doing some chocobo racing in Final Fantasy VII, many memorable moments are born out of the things players do when not tackling the main story. This era, and the minigames and sidequests that frequently appeared in its games, were what made Henry William 'Uwil' Winata, lead game designer for Legrand Legacy, want to make their game. "Legrand Legacy is our homage to these classic JRPGs of yesteryear, but with fresh new twists that will appeal to modern players. From hand-drawn, pre-rendered backgrounds, epic lore, a sweeping original soundtrack, and 3D cutscenes, 90's kids will be instantly hit with a sense of nostalgia, which is hard to come by these days." Legrand Legacy is born of love from that early era of JRPGs, one where extra diversions seemed like a constant norm. "You might recognize timed hit combat a la Legend of Dragoon; castle building, tactical war, and mini games from Suikoden; weapons triangles like Fire Emblem; as well as elements similar to Brave Frontier." It was more than blind sticking to tradition that made Winata want to include so many minigames, diversions, and ways for players to tinker or learn more about the game's world. These elements can serve to show part of a game world's culture, hinting at its history and pastimes in a way that fleshes out the story and makes the world feel that much more lively and real. Wishin' I Was Fishin' "They (minigames) give our players a chance to take a break from their long adventure and play something fun." Minigames can often be a welcome diversion from the main game, whether by giving players a break from the main quest after putting many hours into it, or as just something fun, new, and surprising to do. However, just because they don't tie into the core play that forms the crux of the game doesn't mean they can't enrich the game's story, setting, and narrative. "There are mini games, side quests, and puzzles, so there's quite a bit of adventuring to do in Legrand aside from the main story. These activities are intended to provide additional background stories, introduce some side characters, and give the opportunity for you to win rare items and some Danaar (money)!" says Winata. With minigames and sidequests, these diversions also offer the player a chance to explore additional lore and character backgrounds that some other players may not be interested in. Arguably, many RPG players come looking for a deep story from their game, but they may not be as enamored with a given character, plot line, or area as the developer is. By including background information and local story as an optional aspect, this allows players to pick and choose whether they wish to follow up on something. This gave Winata a great deal of freedom to explore the regions of Legrand Legacy, fleshing out beliefs, cultures, and peoples should the player wish to know about them. "These side activities provide more insights into the life of the people in Legrand, the creatures or monsters who dwell in Legrand, as well as all the magical items and faraway lands that you might not come across during your journey." "There are a lot of regions in Legrand, each with its own unique flavor, from the bustling coastal seaport of Dunabad to the lush Gwenelle Forest and enchanting Murias, home of the elusive Aos Sis (a type of elven race), so we want to make sure that you get to explore every corner of this sprawling universe. Every region also has its own soundtrack inspired by the local culture, and we want to make sure you're enjoying that too!" he continues. In order to create minigames that said more about the world and its peoples, Winata tried to consider what sorts of activities would make sense for the folk of a given area. "Fishing is sort of a must. Other mini games, like fencing, shopping, monster busters, and target practice, were inspired by the activities that people in Legrand like to do during their free time. There are also side quests and puzzles to be solved, which shine light on the side characters and reveal just how magical Legrand really is." Given the history of warfare and gladiatorial combat that persists in Legrand Legacy, it makes sense that there are many violent diversions that focus on martial prowess. Just the same, fishing can be the lifeblood of a coastal city, giving players all the more reason to take part in a large part of a city's culture and heritage. These elements help immerse the player in the beliefs, customs, and activities of a people, making it feel more like becoming part of a city rather than visiting a digital representation of a city. This doesn't limit itself to cultures, though, as it can also be used to make players feel a little something more for the animals and monsters they fight. "A good side activity strengthens the lore of the universe, paints a clearer picture to the main story, and allows players to be fully immersed in the experience. For example, there's a fun little quest which invites you to send mother Flurdiaanum (a type of monster) to her babies, and another one where you have to learn the local villagers' language." says Winata. Each sidequest and diversion adds more to the game's world, telling a story through activities. It's more than just learning a place's culture through a block of exposition, but rather gives the player a playable means of learning about them through sidequests and minigames that are entertaining, and can also encourage play through in-game rewards. This use doesn't just limit itself to in-game culture, either. "Fun little fact: we've actually injected some Indonesian phrases into the game, like "ram pok" (robber), "aqeeq" (quartz stone), and "mengkhaddu" (noni fruit)." says Winata. "This is just a nod to our friends and family back home, and they always get excited to find these gems hidden somewhere in the game, but gamers from other countries might find this interesting too." Through clever use of minigames and sidequests, Winata helped bring a part of his own culture into Legrand Legacy, helping players learn some real-world phrases that might draw them into wanting to know more about Indonesian culture as well. These fun diversions, while adding to the gameplay from a pure entertainment perspective, also create that budding curiosity that makes players want to truly immerse themselves in a game's world. Enrichin' By Fishin' A rich world filled with diverse cultures and peoples will make a game's story so much stronger, and minigames and sidequests can be used to help strengthen the player's connection to those elements. By letting the player choose what they want to learn by taking on their choice of activities, it encourages them to follow their own curiosity, wherever it leads them. More than that, though, it teaches players about a world's history through fun and reward, and making them want to take part in a world that slowly feels more like their own through that connection. "Side quests and other activities just make the whole game and universe more complete. After all, an RPG is supposed to carry players through an adventure, so it's important that the journey is as fascinating as the destination." Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds is available for $24.99 on Steam, GOG, GameJolt, and the Humble Store. For more information on the game and developer Semisoft, you can head to the game's site, the developer's site, or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. View the full article
  6. Submerged worlds have seen more than a few digital portrayals, from Subnautica to the aptly titled Submerged. But Above takes a different approach to its flooded landscape, letting you explore it not from the surface or beneath the waves but well...above in your trusty personal plane. In this flight-focused adventure, young Mary starts out in a fishing village archipelago but soon sets out on a journey alongside sky pirates in search of her brother. Above's world is one of ancient evils and leviathans beneath the surface, and odd ruins and structures dotting the sprawling oceans to encounter. From your hangar, you can customize your plane with different wings, landing gear, and other parts, letting you adapt your craft for various scenarios and even engage in combat, particularly with giant sea monsters. With upgrades and practice, you'll be able to pull stylish moves and tricks like loops, for agile avoidance and navigation. And with each skill mastered, you'll be able to explore more of Above's environments to find new characters, missions, and locales, all revolving around this flooded future. Above is still in the midst of development and is expected to release next year. You can learn more on the game's site and follow its progress on Twitter. View the full article
  7. Yesterday
  8. Fe Review: Strike A Chord

    In Fe, your most powerful tool is your voice. You, a small fox-like creature, can use your songlike call to befriend other animals, open up new pathways in the environment, and distract the game's mechanical enemies. But you also have to know when to stay quiet and silently read the signals of the other forest animals around you. Communication, and the connections between living things, are at the heart of Fe's gorgeous woodland world. That world is a delight to explore, and though the act of exploration never builds to something greater, it's a captivating and often melancholic look at our relationship with nature. Fe drops you in the forest all alone, with no clear purpose or direction. You can communicate using a garbled, baby-talk sort of call, and you're given one small bit of instruction as you begin to wander the ethereal forest: "Sing gently with animals." The harder you press the trigger, the louder you'll "sing," and you have to strike the right note to communicate with the different species around you. Each species' unique song has its own use; certain plants respond to birds' calls, while others only open for deer's voices. In addition to being absolutely adorable, a baby salamander's chirp will open up a pink flower you can bounce on to get to high-up areas. Animals you befriend will follow you around, and their songs will give you access to places you couldn't reach alone. You need to work with the other animals--and eventually learn their various "languages"--to traverse the forest. Exploring in Fe is very much a give-and-take. Early on, you can't get anywhere without the help of another animal, but typically, those animals (or the plants they interact with) are leading you to others who need help. In one of the most memorable parts of the game, following a deer through the woods will lead you to a giant deer struggling against its chains. You have to sneak your way past machines patrolling the area, destroy the machines' webs to break the chains and release the deer, and carefully climb the deer to communicate with it. The climb itself is breathtaking, as you're jumping from tree to tree growing along the deer's sky-scraping body, but the stillness afterward, when the deer teaches you its call as thanks, is stunning in its own way. Those moments of peace--by way of the harmonies you've made with other creatures--are shattered quickly and easily by Fe's inorganic enemies, whose harsh industrial lights and abrasive noises pierce the solemn orchestral music of the forest. If they spot you, you have to find somewhere to hide and fast, or you'll be caught in their webs. It's not hard to stay stealthy and save yourself, but you'll end up watching at least once as the friendly animals you had in tow get captured one by one--and it's heartbreaking. Fe is hauntingly beautiful, and as a result, it often doesn't feel like the relatively simple platformer-adventure game it is. Like a lot of similar games, you collect items--in this case, pink crystals--around the world to unlock new abilities. But finding those crystals is more a consequence of following other animals and seeing where the flora and fauna take you, not a primary goal or even a strictly necessary one. Only two unlockable skills, climbing trees and gliding, are required to finish the game, and you'll find enough crystals to get them in the first hour or so as long as you follow the surprisingly linear routes in front of you. The simplicity of Fe's mechanics becomes more apparent sometime after helping the giant deer. There's a distinct pattern: Save some animals, learn their call, and use that call to turn flowers into different kinds of platforms so you can move on to the next section. Very rarely does what you learned before come in handy again later in creative or surprising ways, even after you've learned every song. While this leaves room for you to think about the greater meaning behind what you're doing--rather than the discrete objectives in your path--it's disappointing that the skills you learn from each species never meaningfully combine, especially when the connections you make with each of the living things around you are so important at first blush. But despite being one-note on a gameplay level, Fe's world, with its lush environments and wistful score, compels you to explore. Establishing fleeting connections with the creatures around you is both charming and a little sad, and learning the truth about the enemy machines is even more tragic. By the end, the most important thing you've learned is how to connect with nature, not just by singing with animals but by understanding the world around you. View the full article
  9. Bga Extension

    Not used it yet but adding it to the next series. Not super sure how it all works but know it needs start up money and steady feeding.
  10. Mills County

    Server sponserCountyBoy85 Mills County is a nice American style map with all of the normal map functions. Map NameMills County Server NameCountryBoy Dedi Server Matchmaking ServerInternational Map Passwordmills Map download link https://www.modhoster.com/mods/mills-county-by-blueweb Mods required http://108.61.125.87:18011/mods.html Farm ManagerCountryBoy85 View full server
  11. The Bergson family has been guarding the mystical Mount Morta for generations. When corruption turns the once peaceful mountain into a violent, monster-infested nightmare, they face their biggest challenge yet. What these monsters don't know: they're messing with the wrong family. Children of Morta's core gameplay loop consists of action-filled dungeon dives. See how far you come and then spend the resources you brought back on updates for your characters or your house. Get a little further next time, unlock some new stuff, rinse and repeat. This formula feels familiar by now and is competently done, but that's not what makes this game special, anyhow. You see, there are these short vignettes of family life interspersed into the hacky and slashy parts. Grandma telling stories by the fireplace, the wife feeding the wildlife in the nearby forest (or panicking about a mouse in the kitchen), the kids playing or taking care of an orphaned puppy their father picked up in the dungeon. These short cutscenes don't add anything substantial to the main story, but they infuse the whole game with a sense of serenity and peace that's much-needed in the face of impending doom and constant peril. They give you something worth coming home to. Ultimately, Children of Morta doesn't really depict how families work, but how they should work: as harmonious communities sharing love, warmth, and an overwhelming desire not to take **BadWord** from some world-ending monster apocalypse. And that's something to aspire to. Children of Morta will be out later this year. View the full article
  12. Bga Extension

    Is anyone using the Bga extension it looks like it would add a little more realism into the game instead of just selling silage.
  13. Last week
  14. Inspired by Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service, Mimi's Delivery Dash is all about the life of a witch making timely deliveries. Sail through the city carefully to ensure your packages make it to your clients swiftly and in one piece! Start your job off by locating a client as they wave and shout 'Hey!' for your attention. Once you collect the item, you're on the clock, and you'll have to follow the item on the side of the screen to get an idea of where the recipient is located. If you're feeling pressed for time, use your boost ability, but keep away from walls and angry crows. A collision with one of those will earn you some pain and lost time. Making a speedy delivery earns you a generous tip and, ultimately, it's all about getting your item delivered quickly! Mimi's Delivery Dash is the product of Movie Game Jam 2018 and, if you're a fan of Kiki's Delivery Service, you'll probably get some intense nostalgia kicks! The art style of the game encapsulates the cheerful and charming nature of the movie, and gives insight to the life of a very busy magical delivery service! You can find Mimi's Delivery Dash on itch.io! You can also check out the team's Twitter accounts: Martin Wright, SaKo, and Nathan Scott! View the full article
  15. SpookyCellar takes players down into a maze-like creepy basement, arming them only with a flashlight, their wits, and a self-abusing sense of humor as they dodge the less-than-horrifying horrors that lie within. SpookyCellar aims to gently tease all of the first-person, flashlight wielding horror games out there, putting players in a similar situation while having them face a much sillier cast of monsters that stalk them. That doesn't mean that these floating heads aren't capable of making a player scream, just that they might also crack the player up as they creep through the game's five maze-like levels. If you're a little tired of horror games taking themselves so seriously while at the same time wanting to play something that will make you jump, SpookyCellar just might meet those particular criteria. Or if you just want to play the Madballs of horror games. SpookyCellar is available for free on Itch.io, GameJolt, and IndieDB. For more information on the game and developer Bros Before Giraffes, you can head to the developer's site or follow them on YouTube and Facebook. View the full article
  16. Duckzorly's Youtube Channel

    We continue to harvest on The Valley The Old Farm in this Let's Play in Farming Simulator 17. Join us as we bring in the crops and try and raise money to further advance our farm and equipment.
  17. It's hard not to have your interest piqued by Rust. Few other games strive to make you feel as helpless, vulnerable, and lost as its startling opening and outwardly confusing mechanics do. Rust wants you to think it's about survival, but it never uses the tools at its disposal to realize that. Instead it becomes a playground limited not by your understanding of its inner workings, but instead by how much time you want to spend slogging away at its tedium. Starting stark naked on a beach with nothing more than a rock and torch on your person, Rust doesn't waste time letting you know that you're in danger. Health, hydration, and hunger bars make it immediately clear that your time on its massive island is borrowed. Without food and water (and later shelter, light, and warmth), you can slowly watch your life seep away with every passing minute. Rust attempts to guide new players with an often less-than-helpful tutorial to keep you alive longer than a handful of minutes, but it does nothing to prepare you for the real dangers its world holds. Rust's facade is its survival mechanics, and its menagerie of crafting options and resources for you to gather up keep the illusion alive at first. You can use your otherwise useless rock to chop down trees or hammer away at different types of ore, and eventually you might gather enough to make a hatchet or pickaxe to increase your bountiful gains and speed up the process. This process quickly ramps up into more meaningful items, with the allure of modern weapons and robust armor only at the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It's a nightmare of menus and item wheels that really slow things down to a halt. Rust might be out of Early Access, but it has so many elements that indicate otherwise. You can easily search for a building foundation in one menu, watch its building timer somewhere else on the screen, and then have it pop into your inventory, which is an entirely different menu at this point. Equip it and you have a relatively flat surface in front of you (Rust absolutely doesn't like any gradient variations and refuses to allow you to place items on them), and you're good to go. But what about moving it? You'll need an entirely separate tool for that, as well as another trip into a separate equipment wheel with options to rotate, move or otherwise dismantle one of your creations. The cycle of gathering, crafting, and building up something to be proud of never feels rewarding. Rust doesn't have the tools you need to be creative, nor does it care about practicality when it comes to redesigning a small dwelling you might have crafted for that first chilly night out in the wilderness. Teases meant to entice you to brave Rust's other dangers fall flat fast, giving you few reasons to stick around for the tedious slog of dismantling greater weapons and gear to hopefully have the means to build them down the line. You don't know these items exist because you see them on a list, but rather because they're probably what's being used to endlessly kill you. The island in Rust is inhabited by many other players, capping out at 250 per server. And despite only being alive for a few minutes and having nothing really of worth on your person, they will (often) waste no time in showing you how far down the food chain you really are. In this way, Rust's true enemy shows its face: its other players. That's somewhat fascinating to ponder on for a moment. Rust has been the subject of many a think piece during its long time in Early Access, often centering around discussions of human nature and the tendencies towards violence when other options clearly present themselves. But while that makes for a neat article to read or interesting mechanic to discuss, it detracts from another vital part of the game: what it feels like to play. Playing Rust is a frustrating experience even with a friend or two in tow and feels downright impossible to go at alone. Wandering players will attack you at a moment's notice, with their time spent in the server used to build up an arsenal that no amount of skilled play can overcome. Rust's ceiling has nothing to do with how well you understand its survival mechanics or get to grips with its clunky movement and cumbersome first-person action. It's a game that rewards those who put the most time into it first: giving them the boots to step on the ants that are any other players that might dare join after a server wipe. Design is partly to blame for this, with Rust's server wipes a clear indicator of how little depth its survival elements hold. Some servers might routinely reset after a week of play, while all are forced to this measure within a month. The idea is to re-level the playing field--just a day or two into a fresh server is enough for towering fortresses and high-level weaponry to be crafted by those incredibly dedicated few--so that the process can start again. This wouldn't need to be a feature if Rust had any semblance of balance to it. But because time is the only commodity it rewards, it pushes itself into a corner where this is the only viable solution. Without a skill ceiling of any kind, Rust demands that you dedicate every waking moment you have to it if you're planning to have any sort of fun. Logging off leaves you vulnerable to attack from other players, while your shelters slowly decay should you not top them up with the right resources. And a momentary slip up means certain doom. Death means your corpse and anything you've gathered to that point is ripe for pillaging, leaving you to respawn on that same beach with just a rock, a torch, and questions about what you've actually achieved. Rust's community might sometimes offer glimmers of hope, but it's fleeting. Every so often you can witness players making amicable agreements to trade or stumble upon a shop that needs to be both stocked and protected by players. I once ran into another survivor that handed me a hatchet and bandages to make my early game easier; a simple, memorable moment to dull the pain of the frequent deaths in the hours preceding it. Rust's mixture of trigger-happy players and often toxic in-game chats make the entire experience profusely unwelcoming and unpleasant. Technical issues only add to the unpleasantries. Rust routinely runs into periods of incredible slowdown, tearing the game from an unlocked framerate (its options menus riddled with spelling mistakes couldn't lead me to a lock of any sort) to single digits at the most inopportune times. Animations look stiff and unnatural. Character models look ugly and dull. And both stand in stark contrast to an often-gorgeous backdrop. Rust's island is serene and pleasant to look at, with its saturated blue skies and purple haze sunsets inviting you to take pause. There's beauty to mask the repetitive models used for resources and the inconsistent textures, but not enough to make them truly go unnoticed. Rust is also disappointing because of just how long it took to realize its own inescapable faults. Its lack of survival depth and inclination to only reward time served instead of clever play saps whatever life it might have had to give. Its survival systems show their age, while its community does its best to chase off those who might dare try surviving a new night on the island. Rust might make for an interesting discussion on what it brings out of its players, but it's not one you need to experience firsthand. View the full article
  18. The new Secret of Mana is billed as a remake, but "reconstruction" is probably more accurate. If not for the updated graphics, it could almost be considered a port of the SNES game. Combat, magic, and movement are much the same. The new mini-map—one of the scant few quality-of-life tweaks--is the original SNES bitmap of each stage. It also ports over every mechanical flaw and obtuse element from the 1993 original. It's a strange game to assess, then; it simultaneously shows how far ahead of the curve Secret of Mana was 25 years ago, while also making its problems all the more pronounced under a modern lens. Secret of Mana tells the tale of a spiky-haired boy named Randi who frees a mystical sword stuck in a stone. Instead of his home village giving him the King Arthur treatment, Randi is admonished for accidentally undoing the balance of the magical forces in the world. Monsters, an evil empire, and a world-ending dragon threaten to ruin the world as they know it, unless Randi can find the mystical Mana seeds and use his sword to restore order. It's a fairly rudimentary tale of swords and sorcery, but one that's easy to see through to the end thanks to the cast's charming personalities. Newly written dialogue for the remake smooths out the original translation's rough edges, and introduces a few completely new scenes, where Randi and his cohorts--Primm and Popoi--hang out and talk over dinner every time you book a night at an inn. The remake sees our characters learn to know and love each other in new ways, and it makes a big difference in the long run. The biggest change, of course, is the complete graphical overhaul, putting it on par with I Am Setsuna and some of the better Final Fantasy mobile ports. It maintains the original game's striking color palette, bathing the world in vibrant greens, blues and pinks. Most environments look delightful, but particularly dazzling locales like the Sprite Forest and Ice Country are breathtaking. Character models are a step up from Square Enix's previous remakes as well, though the decision to introduce voice actors yet not let characters' lips move is a jarring one. The fact that the voice acting is played so campy and cheesy--in both English and Japanese--doesn't help. The remixed score is the same two-steps-forward one-step-back situation. For the most part, the expanded instrumentation works well. Some areas, like Matango and its '70s prog-rock theme, introduce surprisingly catchy tunes. The score keeps the original freewheeling approach as the world design, with no limits on what a particular dungeon or area might be accompanied by. But this occasionally leads to one too many strange, dissonant moments, with many of the village themes defined by the heavy use of bagpipes and accordions. Secret of Mana's "anything goes" approach extends to gameplay as well. You can swap control between the three characters at any time, and they are each capable of wielding any of the game's eight weapon types. Each strike during combat initiates a recharge time where the chances of actually landing your next attack or doing decent damage improve as your character regathers their energy. This system forces you to move around the playing field as much as possible to avoid getting hit by enemies while you wait. Magic attacks can hit from anywhere, as long as your enemy is in range, but magic points are limited, and items that refill the meter are expensive. There aren't many console RPGs from the early '90s that forced you to consider so many things at once, but in 2018, it actually feels right at home. There are, however, quite a few aspects that are less welcome by modern standards, and despite a golden opportunity to do so, nothing has been done to address them. The Ring system--the game's quick menu--is serviceable, but the color-coding used to indicate whose options, weapons, and magic you're accessing is too subtle for its own good; it gets worse as your repertoire grows over the course of the game. It's also still extremely easy for your crew to get surrounded by lesser enemies during combat, getting smacked around from all directions with nowhere to go. Yet if you walk into another room where huge, dangerous enemies are lurking, you can often stroll right past them without raising alarm. Sometimes, the NPC A.I. being oblivious is a good thing. When that same obliviousness applies to the CPU controlled characters in your crew during a major battle, and your offensive spell caster is stuck behind a doorway, it's an unforgivable annoyance. The original game's Grid System, where you could adjust how aggressive/passive you wanted your A.I. characters to be, is gone. In its place is a much more simplified system of dictating basic behavior, but there's not an effective way to instruct your allies to favor self preservation. Granted, that's a problem easily solved with the game's local multiplayer, where two friends can jump in at any point and control the other two characters in your crew--another area where Secret of Mana was way ahead of its time--but it's still no excuse for the issues experienced while playing solo. Altogether, the new Secret of Mana exists in a weird nexus of being a forward-thinking RPG that occasionally shows its age, or a very modern RPG with some baffling design decisions and sub-standard A.I.. Other problems the original game didn't have, however, stem from the lack of general information. The Super Nintendo release came with a full-fledged world map and a manual which explained what store items were meant to do, and where certain cities were located in reference to major landmarks. The latter is critical once Flammie, a friendly dragon, comes into play, allowing you to travel anywhere in the world at will. None of that is included here, which could very well create a problem for newcomers since there's no place in-game that explains what anything does. That disconnect extends to weapons and armor, where there's no way to know whether a piece of equipment is better or worse than what a character is already wearing aside from buying it anyway and praying. Altogether, the new Secret of Mana exists in a weird nexus of being a forward-thinking RPG that occasionally shows its age, or a very modern RPG with some baffling design decisions and sub-standard A.I.. Its ambitions, coupled with the outright charm of the world, are certainly more than many RPGs offer, and very few as visually dazzling as this. Secret of Mana remains an adventure worth taking, as long as you're prepared for a bumpy ride. View the full article
  19. Tired of the same old dirt roads and country bumpkin settings for your farm game? Take a vacation from that life and settle into the exotic islands of The Islander. Take control from the very start and design an island for yourself, or let the game generate one for you! You'll have an array of different crops and animals to generate profit from, all while enjoying the tropical atmosphere. An exotic Polynesian island is your canvas and your mouse is your paintbrush in The Islander. Lay out your crops and tend to them as they grow over time. Your hard work will pay off when harvest time rolls around and you'll gain experience and profits! As you gain experience in farming, you'll unlock new crops and animals which can further your cash influx. Should The Islander start to feel like a grind after a while, or if you just don't feel like putting in the hard labor yourself, you can lean back and let the Cocobots harvest crops for you. So, whether you want to plan down to the most minute detail of have the harvesting done for you. The Islander has your farming needs at heart. With the cold of winter upon us, The Islander is a great game to kick back and bask in the virtual sun. You can purchase The Islander on Steam here. View the full article
  20. Last year, I sat down with Suncrash's Tomer Barkan to discuss their early access title Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation, the development scene in Israel, and the challenges of developing an ambitious game in such a small country with a very small team. What is your background? I am a computer science major. I worked seven or eight years in network security. I was a programmer, then a team leader, then a product manager. But games are more exciting. I was at a very big conference in San Francisco and I found that nothing there interests me anymore, so when I came back [home], I quit. And now I'm a producer at my own small company, I guess. You have to know when to cut the stuff that doesn't work and if you don't have enough time to do that, and that's something that can be hard for some indies. So, being a product manager before helped me. Our art guy was doing independent stuff, mostly architecture, like 3D renders of houses that contractors want to sell. Judgments's reception so far has been quite positive, right? Yes, we're happy. Could always be better. We have our problems and we know about them, but our community is very friendly and very helpful and we owe a lot of improvements from our early access launch a year ago to the community and their feedback. In one of the last updates, more than 50% of the changes were from community fdeedback. Why did you enter early access in the first place? Was it about feedback or was there also a funding component? No, it was for feedback. We already had enough money to finish development. In the end, we stayed in early access longer than we had planned and it cost more, so it was good that we were able to sustain it with sales. We didn't want to go to early access without being able to finish the game. I find that practice a bit... unethical? People are paying money for a game they expect to be finished and if you're not sure you can finish it, then don't promise that. Are you worried for launch day, with all the changes of digital distribution? These days, a successful launch seems to be getting a lot harder. I think that will worry me in our next game, but we already have a big wishlist and a huge community for this game - our sales are kind of steady, they're not going down... I am anxious about the release, but mostly about how it will be received. I hope players will be happy with the full version and I hope they don't think it needs more time in early access. I feel we're close. We're going to be updating the game after release to some extent. Early Access might not have the best reputation, but could it be an option for gaining additional visibility when the market situation has become tougher? We really haven't done it the other way, but I would recommend it to other developers if they cannot get enough people to play the game before release. We had two or three closed alphas that people had to sign up for via newsletter, but very few people played and we wouldn't get a lot of feedback. In early access, we got so much feedback, so I would recommend it, even today. For us, it did wonders. Both for the improvement of the game and also for visibility. What were the biggest mistakes you made during early access? What are the game's weaknesses? Sometimes I feel that stuff is too complex and we don't explain it well enough in the game, but that's hard. On the other hand I don't want something like a mobile tutorial where you have to do things step by step. It's hard to find the balance. Overcomplication can be an issue for us in some instances. We've also had some balancing issues which we have been dealing with in previous updates. We have to keep it balanced for the final release with all the new content. The overcomplication stuff might just be a matter of preference, though. There are players who like to micromanage stuff and get down to handling all the details... That's true. From the beginning, our aim was to make it automatic, so you don't have to micromanage. But if you want to do that, you can go down to all the details and tell each survivor exactly what you want them to do - but that is optional. What about the art style? Was that something some players didn't agree with? More or less half the people hate it, half the people love it. We learned a lot for our next game with regards to the art style. We're just two people developing the game - for the most time, that is. We had another part time game developer, a designer who joined us a few months ago, but almost the entire duration it was just me and Yoni, our artist. So we had to find a graphics style that's doable, that's fast enough and that on the other hand looks good, and... some people like it, some don't. We did some things to improve the graphics. The colors were a bit unsaturated. The game gained that apocalyptic feel, but I think it deterred players a little bit. They like more colorful stuff. We tried to find a balance where the atmosphere is still dark and apocalyptic. What was your biggest challenge during development? There was one tough point for us. We submitted the game to a lot of conferences like PAX and Indie Arena and we were rejected, which was very deflating. It was hard, but after a while, after we went to a few conventions ourselves, we came to the realization that our game is not the best for this kind of public thing. It's better for people to sit at home and play it. Still, that time was hard for us because we got like three or four rejections and it was bad for motivation, but we got out of that after the realization that it's okay. You're located in Tel Aviv, Israel. How's the indie scene there? There is a game development scene. Just a few [months] ago, one of our mobile midcore developers called Plarium sold to an Australian company for $500 million. We're very strong in social casinos. I think people mostly work where the hype is, so there's a lot of mobile developers, and indies are a bit smaller. I think we're one of the most advanced ones in terms of releasing on Steam. There are a few more. There's around 15 teams lately working on indie games out of passion. So you actually do some networking there with other devs... It's a very small country, so I wouldn't call it networking. Everyone meets, we help each other. It has advantages that it's so intimate, but also disadvantages. We don't have a lot of experience within the community. So we come to conventions like this... What's your impression of Gamescom? This is actually my third time here and I really love it. Last year we had a booth in the Indie Arena. It was fun working with all the other indies, but probably not effective for marketing. Don't you think it has any effect? On sales? No, definitely not. We had only one bigger Youtuber that came by the booth. Also a lot of smaller Youtubers, and that had some effect, but other than that, nothing. It had other benefits, like working with other indies and playtesting. Now we're out in Early Access and get a lot of feedback but before that, playtesting was important. How big was your playtesting pool before you released to early access? About twenty people that I know, such as friends. And I watched them play, which was very beneficial, because when you sit behind someone and watch them play, you learn a lot. And the closed alpha added maybe another twenty people - a very small pool, because we couldn't find anyone who wanted to do it. Nobody knew about us. Judgment is currently in the final stages of early access and will release soon. You can purchase it on Steam for $19.99. For more information, visit the game's website or follow development progress on Twitter and Facebook. View the full article
  21. MavericksMultifruit

    If you zoom in on your pda map you will see them and be able to teleport to them
  22. Every dog has his day and this dog loves to dig. Mix in a few cliffs, monsters, and treasures and you have a recipe for Dig Dog, a roguelike platformer where you play as a plucky pup with an itch to dig and a nose for bones! In Dig Dog, your ultimate goal is to collect bones - a dog's prized possession - and they don't come easy. In the Bone Hunt mode for Dig Dog, players will find their digging fun interrupted by monsters, spikes, and cliffs. At least with the monsters, you can fling your strong dog-body at them to deal some damage, though, but even so, the developers warn that you will probably die. A lot. Luckily, you have an adorable protagonist to come back to every time. For those who get an aneurism after dying more than 10 times in a row to a jump, take a break with the more relaxed mode - Free Dig. This mode allows you to dig to your heart's content without the threat of a game over to interrupt your digging. If you're in the mood for a digging challenge, try Dig Dog and give a dog a bone! Dig Dog is available on Steam, Xbox One and iOS. For more information, you can check out the developer's website and Twitter! View the full article
  23. The premise of Attack of the Earthlings is the flip of a well-worn trope: Instead of being faced with an impending alien invasion, humans are the intergalactic terror. And (even worse, depending on your own views) the invading terrans are hopelessly incompetent capitalists, who are out to make a quick buck. As the matriarch of a race of insect-like extraterrestrials, your only goal is to wipe out the humans and stop them from plundering your home to fill up their coffers. Structurally, Attack of the Earthlings takes nods from the likes of XCOM and other turn-based tactical games. Instead of starting with a squad, though, you're generally alone. As you consume the bodies of your enemies (an essential part of hiding corpses, of course), you can spit out smaller, weaker creatures. Play revolves around your carapaced corps and guiding the spawnlings through each level. And, as a system for expanding play and tactical options, it works well. As you go, you'll unlock new abilities to torment the colonizers as well as more varied drone types that require careful coordination. In effect, this turns Attack of the Earthlings into a satisfying, single-player team-based stealth game. Most maps revolve around a simple form of this dynamic. You--the misunderstood, scary alien hellbeast--are understandably terrifying to the weak, squishy humans, but they have guns that punch plenty of holes in your otherwise sturdy exoskeleton. You both kill (and can be killed) with little effort, meaning that you'll need to carefully measure your approach to battle. The high lethality leads to a few exciting moments, but more often than not, those moments are defused by the tract of humor that runs throughout. After the first few missions, though, that's not much of a problem; once you regularly have drones to control, it becomes a lot clearer that Attack of the Earthlings is plenty content with letting you be an '80s horror flick villain. This goes double because, again, you are the hulking leader of your species. With your massive claws, the ability to eat whole people, and a legion of spawned followers, it quickly becomes clear that the Earthlings have no chance. You're here for the ride... and to see what kind of gory trail you can leave behind. Where this really fits into that classic screamer vibe is how you'll need to make your approach. You can't fit into vents, nor is it easy for you to hide. Mission pacing varies, then, based on proximal goals. Inch the queen forward, kill a few dudes, create spawn, explore more of the area, and then bring your spawn slowly back to you as you complete objectives and unlock the exit. It can get a little monotonous, but the feeling of domination that you get from leading lots of little critters through the nooks and crannies of an interstellar planetary drill meshes perfectly with the tongue-in-cheek tone of the writing. Attack of the Earthlings takes a different, absurd tack, dropping the severe consequences of mission failure and the emergent narrative for what is essentially a sketch comedy in space. The connective tissue and guiding mission centers on a drill that the humans have brought to your stellar doorstep. Progress starts with infiltrating the drill and climbing upward, moving away from the blue-collar employees that maintain the drill bit and toward the posh execs at the top. Not too far-flung from the tongue-in-cheek brand of humor of Futurama or The IT Crowd, the most common thread in Attack of the Earthlings' writing is the silly, incompetent nature of your would-be invaders. They are threatening, yes--but not fundamentally so. Your first victim, a lowly guard pausing for a pee break mid-patrol, sets the tone well. You are the horrific, unholy monster from the nightmares of these poor folks; at the same time, they are so hopeless and ignorant of the threat you pose that jumping a dude as he's taking a whiz (so that you can spawn more of your demonic children) doesn't ever come off as mean-spirited. They are hapless victims--stooges who get a little bit of humanity before they are playfully yanked offscreen, leaving a bloody mess behind. Individually, the humans aren't concerning; they aren't even really a threat, unless they have weapons. Instead, the fear they instill comes from their ability to cooperate against you--clumsy and silly though they are. Countering that, much of the game has you pulling off simultaneous kills with one or more of your minions (and you) at the same time. This helps even the field--particularly down the line, when you can bring one of three specialized drones into combat. Each specialization is an insectoid riff on the standard trinity of character classes: warrior, mage, and rogue. Goliaths are beefy brawlers, stalkers are sneaky trap-masters, and disruptors help to control foes--opening them up to attack or allowing you to slip by. The drones themselves aren't complex or novel, but playing their strengths off of each other and using their skills to complement your abilities is a joy, especially if you can conduct them in one massive assault. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of these orchestrations to make them consistently engaging. Attack of the Earthlings is short-lived, and the levels don't showcase its strengths as well as they could. Much of that comes from each area's heavily scripted nature; the game has a story to tell, and you can't do much to muddle with the plan. Because of that, the game doesn't feel like an organic stealth adventure. Enemies move in rote patterns, with little in the way of surprises to shake up play. This is especially true when it comes to cross-level play: Where XCOM and its contemporaries bill themselves on persistent consequences for mission choices, Attack of the Earthlings takes a different, absurd tack, dropping the severe consequences of mission failure and the emergent narrative for what is essentially a sketch comedy in space. Despite that, the game is often funny enough to warrant a rather broad recommendation. As long as you aren't thirsty for a deep tactical foray into the great unknown, Attack of the Earthlings is a competent (and occasionally great) jab at the corporate world, and the ludicrous lengths that people will go to in order to make a buck. View the full article
  24. This morning we where treated with a short and sweet Farming Simulator 19 video. The video is all CGI so there is no game play imagery so do not take much out of this for how things will look in game. For example compare the FS17 intro video when you start the game to real game play.Press release:https://www.farming-simulator.com/newsArticle.php?lang=en&country=us&news_id=82 Some things to note is the dog, there are horses which have been confirmed to be part of the game. How still unknown. Some other information related to the updated graphics engine have been taken out of the FS forums."You know what? Let me go into detail:Here is what we did:The Sky is dynamic now. Real coulds (3d objects) that turn grey before it starts to rain, so you can predict the weatherSun and Moon are there and movingWe added volumetric fog (it looks SO good)We added:Depth of FieldColor grading / Tone MappingHigh Dynamic Range RenderingBloomGlobal Illumination (SSAO)Dynamic Eye AdaptationLight ScatteringThat's a huge list for a engine update and the results will blow you away once we can show them."https://forum.giants-software.com/viewtopic.php?f=876&t=123774#p971783
  25. Finding out if you're compatible with someone COULD be done over a quiet conversation at dinner. However, what if, instead, you found out how well you mesh with someone over an evening of clobbering monsters instead with Roguemance, a procedurally-generated RPG about finding love through combat and adventuring? The Heartipelago is in trouble, but monstrous invasions doesn't mean there isn't time to really get to know one another in Roguemance. Before going off to fight, players will seek out a generated partner to join them, each with their own personalities, likes, and motivations. Players will then have to work alongside those wants and desires if they want to keep the relationship going, or find someone who feels the same as them about monster-slaying and loot gathering. Once players have someone to cherish, they can set out to fight monsters in quick, menu-based combat. They'll need to factor in the position of themselves and their partner, as accidentally stabbing your date in the face while fighting a living, magical boulder tends to sour the evening. Through combat and exploration, players will either grow closer to their partner or more distant, so it's up to the player to decide to move on or compromise to find a happy middle ground with your partner. If your idea of love includes a battlefield, Roguemance may make for a delightful partner. Roguemance is available for $6.99 on Steam. For more information on the game and developer Lucas Molina, you can head to the game's site or follow them on IndieDB, YouTube, and Twitter. View the full article
  26. That Langer at the shop!!!

    So Neil was not at the shop when I purchased the cultivator, I asked Liam three different times if he was sure this would go with the Massy 7700 I was getting, it looked a little big. Liam said aye three times, but I was a little unsure still, but I had work to do and so I did not want to wait till the next day when I could talk to Neil. Sure Neil was only the mechanic there but so far he has steered me right and I was willing to take his advice, now I have taken this cultivator up to the island to start my work at the main farm. I get all the way there and get into the cow field and drop the cultivator and my tractor will hardly pull it, so I run it a bit and realize that Liam steered me wrong and I have to go clear back to the shop and waste more time with that fool. I decide to stop by the house and ask Thomas’ advice and he lets me know that Liam is a bit of a langer and only works there since it is his uncles shop, I got the Kuhn DC 401 due to how it was compact and would fit well around the town and on the ferry, I cant go to long or some turns and the ferry are out of the question. Thomas said that there are too many rocks in the ground to go with a single row like that, and that a tiller style will catch and that a disc style will roll over the rocks and can be filed and hammered into shape later. Thomas called up Neil and asked if he could help even if it was his day off, Neil said he has one he had just made up himself he would sell for cheap, he said just to head over to his place not far from the shop and pick it up and I could bring him cash later for it. So even though I am no dwarf nor do I work in a mine the high ho song was in my head as I drove off, sitting there on a few old pallets was my new cultivator Neil even showed me how to stick the pallets in the frame so I could sit it down anytime I wanted. Back to the farm with my set up I go hoping to make up lost ground and with it being a slight rain I hope to not get stuck. I got a good change in the weather a little after noon and made good progress on the cultivation of the main farm, with the cow pasture done and ready to seed in grass I went on to the open area to the east of the farm yard just south of the green houses, Rathlin Island town committee also gave me the whole run of the main farm but not the farm house as that was still property of a family who had items in there of old family heritage. That means that those green houses are mine to use as I would like. Now to find some manure and a water tank for a good price, I will contact the animal shop and see if they have any manure I can buy off of them. On a completley different note I bought a pony with a cart to help bring stuff around the farm, when I used the internet to face time my family my children were super excited that we owned a pony, my oldest kept screaming that she wanted a pony all her life, she is four!!! Planting of grass will come soon, as well have the need to get that wood chipper back and find some wood to chip up for money.
  27. Animal adventures have been a staple across fiction, from the recent Tooth & Tail, or Fables, or Redwall. But rather than war or urban fantasy or a medieval setting, Backbone places its trenchcoat-wearing animals on neon-lit pixel-art streets and within atmospheric detective noir. Inspired by the atmosphere of works like Blade Runner and The Big Sleep, you're a raccoon detective on the streets of a dystopian Vancouver, solving mysteries in a world built from the the remains of a past civilization. In true gumshoe fashion, exploring the dark city, gathering evidence and interrogating witnesses lets you progress through a mature narrative that plans to touch on themes of prejudice and discrimination; you'll also be solving puzzles and even engaging in cautious sneaking around city denizens who can literally sniff you out. (Given the animal-themes lens, smell-based mechanics will play a prominent role.) Backbone is currently in early development, with a first trailer slated to release next month. You can learn more about the game, its progress, and developer Eggnut through their site, Twitter, and Facebook page. View the full article
  28. Aegis Defenders Review

    In combining a tower defense game with a platformer, Aegis Defenders carries an ingenious idea at its core. The problem is, that idea is never fully reallized: the game's surface-layer tower defense is serviceable but unbalanced, while the platformer underneath is unimaginative and frustrating, leaving very little to actually enjoy. Each level is separated into two sections: you'll explore and puzzle-solve your way through a linear side-scrolling section for 10-20 minutes, before stumbling upon a MacGuffin that, for a number of contrived reasons, needs to be defended. You must then place various items around the enclosed area of the level to fight off enemies during a series of waves, each preceded by a preparation phase. Those enemies are varied enough in design and appearance to keep things interesting; importantly, they come in four colors, each corresponding to one of your squad. Your team is comprised of main protagonist Clu, her grandfather Bart, a traveler named Kaiim, and his old flame Zula, and each character's attacks are most powerful against enemies of the same color. Placing one character's item on top of another's can create combination towers that have more powerful effects, and doing so makes the tower defense half of the game more active than the genre's standard. For example, place one of Clu's bombs in the same position as one of Bart's defense blocks, and you'll make a trishot turret that's powerful against both blue and yellow critters. The idea is to create an extra layer of strategy--not only do you have to think about where you place your items, you must also consider which additional items you place in combination with your original. However, the discrepancy between damage dealt to an enemy by the corresponding color hero and an opposite-color hero is barely noticeable: Clu's bow is almost always the most effective weapon, so I ended up using her the majority of the time regardless of what color enemy I was faced with, rendering the color-matching and combination mechanic inconsequential. That said, combining items and seeing more powerful combinations taking down enemies quicker is satisfying--as is dealing damage with your active weapon--even if most waves just end as a scramble to deploy as many towers as possible, regardless of color. Most frustrating is that playing by yourself, rather than using the game's local co-op option, becomes nigh-on impossible around the game's middle third; the number and strength of your opposition increases, and the teammate AI fails to keep pace, meaning you eventually find yourself doing all four fighters' jobs yourself. Bart is capable of repairing broken defenses, for example, but he'll only do so if positioned directly next to one. You can have him follow your active character, but then he won't attempt to fix or fight anything. So, inevitably, you must manually position every character in the exact spot you want at the start of a round before coming back and taking them out of harm's way when necessary. But doing so means you leave your other fighters in the incompetent hands of the AI, meaning they'll each deal far less damage than if you were controlling them. Micromanaging your squad becomes essential to progress, and regardless of whether this was the developer's intention, doing so is a frustrating experience, especially when I always felt disadvantaged by not having a human partner to help. Most frustrating is that playing by yourself, rather than using the game's local co-op option, becomes nigh-on impossible around the game's middle third... Exploration sections forego the tower defense in favor of basic platforming. There are switch-activated doors, warp panels, and yet more technicolor enemies. But the platforming within is trite: we've seen all this before, with more precise controls and more imaginative puzzles. There are a handful of standout puzzles in the late game--one memorable example sees all four characters spread out across the area, needing to cooperate in order to move a critter through some laser beams and utilize its own power to melt a barrier--but most are simplistic cases of merely unlocking a door or blowing up a cracked wall. More interesting mechanics, such as the warp panels and air bubbles you can use to move across gaps, are introduced far too late and rarely used in compelling ways, while even the basic concept of a moving platform doesn't crop up until halfway through. Worse still, while the sensation of jumping is fine, the art style makes it difficult to see exactly where a platform ends, resulting in far too many failed jumps that feel like they weren't your fault. At least in these sections checkpoints are frequent enough that death isn't too much of a hindrance. However, this is not the case in the tower defense areas, where death rarely teaches you anything and always sends you back to the very first wave. Death will be frequent, too: enemies are powerful and plentiful, and many are bigger and possess greater agility than any playable character. The difficulty curve is all over the place, with the campaign remaining relatively easy before a sudden spike during a ridiculously tough third quarter, later tapering off again as it approaches its conclusion. Finishing the game took me around 20 hours, despite the in-game clock--which doesn't appear to track failed attempts--saying I only played for two and a half. During each mission, the game's narrative is told through dialogue scenes--some of which you can choose responses within, though I never felt like my decisions affected anything of note--while cutscenes at each stage's opening serve you exposition pertaining to a disaster that struck humanity thousands of years ago. I struggled to stay invested in that exposition, however, since it remains irrelevant to what's happening in the present-day plot until the story's conclusion, so I simply got bored. You're bombarded with so many gobbledygook names and phrases--The Clarent, The Deathless, Manasa, Hozai, Shem, Sen, Ichor, Vaara, and Aegis itself, to name a few--that I was confused about who was who and what their motivations were from the very outset, and this robs the story of any emotional impact it attempts to have. Why would I care that Shreya has been captured when I'm not really sure who she is and why she matters? It's marred by a plethora of tiny issues: repetitive voice samples, inaccurate hitboxes, inconsistent framerate, poor AI, and overuse of music, among others bugs and glitches. And these all amount to an experience that is not enjoyable. It doesn't help that your camp--a base where you can buy upgrades and talk to other characters between levels--will suddenly be inhabited by never-before-seen characters at seemingly random points in the story. Why is there a strange man hanging out near my home, and why are none of the other characters acknowledging him? One character, named Nick, appears about one-third of the way in and is the subject of an intriguing romance subplot--but that subplot never amounts to anything before Nick disappears as suddenly as he turns up. Some interesting character interactions and story revelations happen towards the end, but by this point I'd long since given up caring about any of the characters involved. Defenders does at least offer a comforting sense of rhythm: you go off and explore, defend a base, come back to camp to acquire upgrades, then go and do it all again. However, even at this surface level, the game has too many small issues to ever really enjoy. It's marred by a plethora of tiny issues: repetitive voice samples, inaccurate hitboxes, inconsistent framerate, poor AI, and overuse of music, among others bugs and glitches. And these all amount to an experience that is not enjoyable. Aegis Defenders is disappointing because it had potential, and I still think that potential exists. There is satisfaction to be found in setting up its towers and combining them in interesting ways to make bigger and better turrets. And its loop of exploring, defending, and upgrading is alluring. But the game never meets your expectations. Whether it's the nonsensical narrative, the frustrating combat, the numerous bugs, or the simplistic platforming, Aegis Defenders stumbles more often than it excels. View the full article
  29. If you have a special someone in your life, today would be a good day to engage in some... activities together. And if you don't, you could try finding someone on the internet - or even do it on your own, but that's not quite as satisfying. After all, breaking into highly secure facilites and stealing data to bring down huge corporations is best enjoyed à deux, right? In other words, it's a good day to play some Hacktag, the co-op two player stealth game which has just snuck out of Early Access. With one player taking over the role of hacker and the other player acting as "stealth agent" in the field, Hacktag's gameplay feels somewhat asynchronous. The stealth agent gets to do all that nifty sneaking around in the field, avoiding guards and directly accessing terminals. The hacker, on the other hand, is manipulating cyberspace, opening doors, setting off phones to distract guards, or brewing some coffee for the stealth agent. Damn you, internet of things! Most importantly, you're doomed to fail if you don't cooperate. If you try to do everything alone, you'll be stopped by a locked door or some nasty antivirus within seconds. Hacktag's challenging levels are built in a way that utilizes both players' talents, and you can bust each other out if one of you gets caught. There is quite an intricate story to uncover, but even the procedurally generated missions you'll be taking on inbetween story missions can feel pretty exciting. They supply you with experience which unlocks new skills, as well as cosmetic items which let you dress up your anthropomorphic animal agents some more. This is elegantly handled and a whole lot of fun - especially when you're able to directly communicate with your co-op partner. You can also try to play this alone, switching between your characters at the press of the button, but that is incredibly stressful and requires some degree of mastery that I clearly do not possess. Besides, it's always more fun to commit crimes together! You can purchase Hacktag from Steam for $19.99. For more information, visit the game's website or follow developer Piece of Cake Studios on Twitter. View the full article
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