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Month: August 2014


A quick passing through various sites caught my eye and because I’m not content to just keep some thoughts to myself I shall leave you with some tidbits.

Spacecom is a game of space tactical combat. But on a scale of empire management akin to Chess.

It’s got a simple design and when it releases I’ll talk more about it. For the time being you might check it out.

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Admin of a Minecraft Server

For little over a year I ran a private Minecraft server for myself and some friends. It was fun, we had some great times, some quiet nights punctuated by “GAH! Damn Creeper!” and a lot of searching. Operating at around 10 players on and off it went well until the release of Landmark sorta eroded my limited playerbase.

I’m not interested in vetting new people so while I could certainly advertise and raise the playerbase significantly I don’t feel that’s my best option at the moment. Hosting is cheap so I’m taking the opportunity to play with some Mod Packs and see what I can change the experience into.

Of the time spent as an admin I learned one important lesson. Don’t give people Op status. I feel I lost a couple people to rapid burnout when they sudden had access to all the tools and toys. Minecraft is a game of survival, discovery and adventure and by granting my players godlike status I shortened the progression and trivialized the challenge.

Minecraft isn’t a hard game in the first place, where the only measure of status comes from proving your cleverness in design or your dedication to large structures. Some projects thrive on people with Creative Mode because they’re pursuing a specific goal. The players over on the Game of Thrones server, WesterosCraft, are rebuilding a whole world. When they’re done, i’m not sure, but I know you don’t approach an idea like that with merely Survival Mode.

For my little friends/family server I think I did myself and them the greatest disservice by granting such unlimited power. Lesson learned.

I have the server up and I still play while I toy with mod packs and wait to see what new ideas come out of Mojang. Sometimes you might find me there, deep in the dark or tending my farm.

C’est la vie.

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Elite: Dangerous (-ly exciting)

I was into the beta approximately two weeks early from their July 29th release. It had been a while since I was in the cockpit of anything and even longer since I was doing so in space. There are some things you can’t forget easily. How to navigate an asteroid field is not one of them.

That being said I had a blast and I firmly cemented my desire for a joystick that arrived a week later: CH Products Combatstick

It’s more joystick than I’ve ever owned and I like it enough it could easily be the last joystick I ever own. Flying soon turned into an occasion of adjusting keybinds to accommodate quality control layout but I was able to turn my “I don’t know what I’m doing” into “Once more into the Breach!”

I can’t stress how excited I am for Elite: Dangerous, the potential and the quality of design. At present you can slip into full online play, limited group play or solo play with ease. The only difference being how many live humans you encounter in your travels. While EVE was a tactical game of space empires, Elite is showing to be a game of space piloting. I only hit the side of the station 4 or 5 times during my first day of full beta. Since then I’ve had a lot of close scrapes as I perfect my rapid departure technique and lost two ships to unpleasant collisions.

Elite has baked in a fair amount of forgiveness. If you lose your initial ship you have two options: a) The same ship again for a fee including all installed components or b) the newbie/Free ship all over again. For your first few days/hours this “Free Sidewinder” is easier replaced than repaired. I rather pride myself on keeping a ship operating as long as possible but even I gave in to Insurance fraud when repairs were too expensive.

You’ll likely hear more about this as time passes and updates release with more content for digestion. I’m not doing much else these days aside from prepping for the next D&D launch later this week.

If you choose to play look me up under CMDR Johann Vorga, I’ll be cruising the spaceways looking for wanted villains and loose cargo in need of a home.

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