Telltale’s Back to the Future

The Back to the Future Game game created by Telltale came out in December 2010. As of yesterday (Feb 7th 2016) I finally got around to finishing the game. That’s over 5 years for those who are doing math.

I’m not entirely sure why I picked it up again. I know I’ve been itching to get through the slew of games I’ve kickstarted over the last few years.

Back to the future was actually a kinda slow game to me. I got frustrated a couple of times by the canned responses when items I figured you could show people just say “I don’t know what to do with that” type response. Some of the cutscenes felt slow and long too.

But overall, I really enjoyed it, especially the last couple chapters and the ending itself. If they ever release another adventure, especially with the newer engines, I’d probably pick it up. It was great fun. I loved the fact that Christopher Lloyd actually did all the voice acting for Doc. Micheal J Fox actually showed up a bit for the final chapter. The recurring characters were actually well thought out and enjoyable (or hated in an enjoyable way).

For various reasons over the years, I haven’t been gaming all that much. I know some of it had to do with my monitor (which was also really old). Some had to do with the two bouts of Bells Paulsy, which caused minor eye damage. I suspect desk layout contributed as well. It might help that I’m back to doing a pure development job again.

Suffice to say, This year I’ve already finished two games, that’s more than the last few years.

I can’t see what ends up being next on the list.

GMing again

How far back does one go when telling a story? I’ve loved savage worlds since I played it at Gottacon 2 years ago. I loved how simple it was. How it made the focus having the adventure instead of doing the math. Since then, I’ve run a handful of games. I loved Daring tales from the Sprawl. It was very easy to run with the experience of DMing I had. Then came along the Science Fiction Companion and the Last Parsec Kickstarter. At this point I was really really excited about running more savage worlds, but I kept putting things off.

Well, the last two pieces of the had to be the anxiety based breakdown I had last year (And shout outs to the people I was about to talk too) and the subsequent doctors visits and medication. The last and final part was reading about the last parsec adventures at http://ilive4crits.blogspot.ca/

After all that, I decided as a way of learning to deal with my anxiety again, I’m going to stop putting things off and start GMing again. No campaigns, at least not yet, just something fun and light weight. To ease back into it, I gathered a group of people for a simple instance of of School Daze since I had not even played anything in a year, and not run anything in an even longer time.

After that success, I decided it was time to get back into something with a little more structure. This was Friday. I’ll admit, due to many factors, I was not nearly as prepared as I had wanted to be, but I knew if i kept using that as an excuse, I’d put it off. We decided to hand wave and bypass a bunch of stuff to just try to keep it smooth and fluid. Now that being said, I don’t think I’d run an interface zero game again any time soon. Its just too much more mechanics to learn when you are not comfortable with the base game. All in all, it was a great first attempt.

Going to attempt to write this up next.

Android and SNES? Oh my!

So a while ago (Dec 2012, so only a couple months :D) I posted a little picture of a setup I got working with my nexus 7.


I promised I would document how I did it for others, and so I’ll  best to explain what / how I got it working but it’s been a long time since I did any sort of technical writing, so bear with me.

So what do you need? This is what I used, this is by no means the only way.

  1. Gamepad (I used one of the snes gamepads I bought from a local game store. There are tons of tutorials online on how to convert an old snes controller to a usb one)
  2. MicroUSB OTG Adapter – As linked
  3. Android Device that has OTG support. I know my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 both support them.
  4. I used USB/BT Joystick Center in the end. Its pretty expensive, has some sort of online DRM (but seems to work offline, just can’t edit joysticks). I’ve heard you can do it with root/this app, but this is what I used for my un-rooted tablet. There is a demo version available that lets you test compatibility before spending the money.
  5. A “game” you want to run. I use SNESDroid for that

All in all I would say it’s not exactly a hard process. Joystick Center is expensive and a very dev-ie UI but it’s quite simple once you figure it out. It is essentially a tool to make drivers for your usb gamepad for your android device. It seems to do a good job at that.

Once you get everything hooked up and Joystick center installed and running, you need to make sure it finds the gamepad. It’s a bit finicky, especially if you have other USB apps installed. Once you have the app running and find the device you see something like:

 

Next you need to select that device. When that is done, you’ll see another row. This row confused me the most. It’s not that important other than the driver button on the left hand side. Once you’ve clicked/tapped the driver button, you’ll come across a screen kind like:

This would be the most important screen. It took me a few trues and a few videos to figure everything out but it’s actually quite simple.

First you’ll want to add your directional support. Since my gamepad has a dpad, I added a “stick” control. This is the second button on the right side of the big + indicator on the left side of the screen (confusing no?). My gamepad also has 8 buttons so I added 8 of those (first button next to +).

Now for each “feature” you will select them once at a time and configure it. It does’t matter at all which order you added/do things in.

First I selected my stick. On your gamepad move the dpad/control stick around. For every light / box that changes (from on to off or whatever) highlight it. I ended up having 16 boxes selected. After selecting move the dpad around again, you should see the stick box move around properly. Make sure to try out all directions.

Next comes the easy buttons. Select a button. Press a button on the gamepad repeatedly. Highlight any boxes that change. Repeat for next button.

By the time you are all done, any time you press an existing button or move the dpad, it should jump to the properly button in app. If that’s all correct, hit back. I would press “Exp” on the main screen to save your configs, but so far mine has never gone away.

Now fire up your game. For me SNES droid has the ability to remap keys. So I go into the settings and map each button press to a key.

So there you have it, now you can play games with your gamepad on your android device.

 

 

From what I read, you can actually use the app to map buttons to actual key presses, so its possible to play regular games, but I never exactly figured out how to do that (not needed for snes).

Terraria

Sometime during the last big steam sale (I think it was the summer sale) my roommate and I both picked up Terraria off of steam. I don’t think either of us played it for months. It was always on the to play list, but I was busy with other games, he was busy with Minecraft. So we just put it off.

Man was that a mistake.

I played it a bit one night waiting for a group to show up for another game. The group ended up canceling so I kept playing. Next thing I had known 3 hours had gone by,  It wasn’t hard to get my roommate interested. It was a simple game with low requirements.

I quickly found and setup a multiplayer server for the two of us.

Fast forward a couple weeks. I get back from family trip/PAX to find my roommate has built a couple really sweet houses.

Got my friend Nigel playing on my server the last few nights. Last night My roommate and I went down to the lava areas to mine for Obsidian, after about an hour, we came back up, to find Nigel had been busy on his own house. I can’t wait to see what we do next. I think the group exploring is the most fun.

I have to say I know I’ve gotten my $10 worth (it was on sale, so actually less) probably a hundred times over so far.

I’ve always been annoyed there is no steam cloud support. You can’t switch between computers to play the same character/world.

Today I remembered that dropbox is a cheap and easy cloud save game support

Lacuna Expanse

With all the new recent games that have come out, across all systems, I keep finding it surprising that I’m playing a browser based (originally) mmo.

I describe the game as a merge of both simcity and any space trading sim. I’ve sucked in at least 2 coworkers, and a few others have tried this game out. I love the public wiki based help system, complete with a public tech tree. Its very cool how every ingame building and ship (and a few others) all make sure to have a wiki link which people can expand.

The game has a completely open jsonrpc based api. Which allows all kinds of fun tools to be created. I’ve seen one set of tools being created to generate nice solar system maps, and we’ve been discussing various other random tools at work.

I think its awesome how you are safe and can continue to do the single player experience of building your planet up, but the instant you send out colony ships and expand you are no longer protected. I now have 2 colonies and having a minor fight with one of my neighbors, and I can’t wait to see what other multi-player options there are.

So go ahead and join lacuna and send me (halkeye) a message hi.

Dragon Quest IX Completion Stats

Finally finished the game (DQIX) tonight @ 10:25pm…

Random notes and stats to remember this by:
beat the final boss in 5 or 6 rounds
my 2 gladiators did 1500 damage (at 50 tension) and nearly 2000 (at 50+double up)
it helped i didn’t use forbearance
so one guy didn’t get slaughtered
3 rounds for tension + 1 for magic mirror + 1 for double up + 1 to attack = 6 rounds

Stats:
Time Spent Playing: 122:29
Time Spent in multiplayer: 13:52
Battle Victories: 2869
Times Alchemy Performed: 103
Accolades EArnt: 120
Quests Completed: 37
Grottoes Completed: 24
Guests Canvassed: 79
Defeated Monster List Completion: 79%
Wardrobe Completion: 25%
Item List Completion: 51%
Alchenomicon Completion: 19%
mini medals: 59

Levels:

Goku – Lv.47

Cassie  – Lv.47

Norbert – Lv 37

Stacey – Lv. 35

Finished Naruto: Rise of a Ninja

I have to say, I’m totally surprised at this game. I was told before hand it was a pretty decent game, and it did keep me entertained for the week I rented it.

Now the game, as the anime, is very repetitive. I didn’t find it too bad, but I ended up not finishing all the optional missions because I got tired of the racing missions.

The timed ones in general were not bad, but when you got 5-10 minute long races with traps that can easily delay you enough so you can’t get to the next checkpoint it gets really annoying. The worst was the last one I did. I got to one gate from the end, then got stuck behind a trap. It took forever to get that far.

I also found the jutsu really awkward to do in battles too. You had to knock the other guy away far enough to wait for the bar to fill up fully. Luckly you could do smaller powered ones quicker. I ended up mostly just doing rapid regular combat combos.

But as I said, the game was overall enjoyable, and I did manage to finish the game.. at least I think I did, I got the credits, but then i was thrown back into town, so I’m not sure.

Either way, I’m glad I rented it, It doesn’t have enough replayability to buy the game, but the one shot rental was kinda cool.

Demos

So far this weekend I got to try two really cool demos, and one really pathetic demo.

TMNT: The Movie game really sucks, you can easily tell its the same engine as hulk, and spiderman and such. Doesn’t even feel like ninja turtles except you can do some combo moves(?). I think at least, I had trouble getting anything other than the super jump to work.

Supreme Commander was pretty cool. The first level took me 1.5 hours on easy to complete, and i was shocked to see there was another level to be played after that. I guess the 1.5 gig download had alot of stuff on it :) Unfortunately, during the last phase of the first level, I had approx 40 guys, plus whatever the computer had fighting, and it was seriously starting to lag my machine, so I doubt i’ll be picking up this game any time soon.

Command & Conquer 3 was by far the most fun, and the full motion video briefings were finally cool, except for the one time your “helper” told you to right click on something, otherwise it felt really cool (I know I already said that, but it did). Plus they got a few big name actors to go along with the ones they had in the previous games. Jennifer Morrison From House, Grace Park from Battle Star Galactica, and Billy Dee Williams from starwars. At least those are the big names I saw in the demo.

I am so pre-ordering C&C when i get a chance this week.

Nostalgic

Sin Episode 1 was so awesome. I’m pretty sure i’m one of the very few people who’s played the original.

I’m surprised that the game works so well in episode format.. Its weird, being only a couple hours long per episode, but its highly action packed, etc..

got so many pictures up in the New Gallery.