Tuesday, 15 January 2013

subscribers and dan abnett

Wow! I didn't realise I had subscribers!

subscribers from thoggy.blogspot.com
I think Feedburner is being a little optimistic

If you're viewing this blog because you're one of my subscribers, thank you (a thank you video is planned).

If you're not a subscriber and you have some subscription software, please feel free to consider doing so!  Head over here to sort it out.

Why don't they make sausages with four flat sides rather than tubes? It'd make them a lot easier to cook..

Sorry, I'm not very focused today!

I've been trying out a rather interesting game called FTL: Faster Than Light.  I bought it on Steam for £6.99 because I like space stuff and I like strategy games, it had quite an interesting spin which makes it more of an adventure.  You basically have a ship to race across the galaxy, attempting to escape the rebel fleet following you.  On the way you encounter ships to blow up, merchants to trade with, alien races to meet, deserted space stations, all kinds of weird and wonderful things can be found.  It has a good combat system which is complex enough to be interesting but not too complicated, and a bit of system management (but again not too complex).

FTL: Faster Than Light
In case it isn't clear - I just pounced on a rebel transport and they smacked me good.
It's all good.

Until the below happens...

FTL: Faster Than Light
Game Over. This happens more often than you'd like.

I still need to get the hang of the game, I tend to push all of my money (scrap in FTL) into ship upgrades but whether I should be doing that or saving up for something like a teleporter or maybe a cloak I'm not sure.  The game is a lot of fun though, and the key thing is that you never know what you're going to warp jump into - every system is random so it could be a planet doing some scientific research, or a seriously tooled up alien cruiser that isn't actually looking for you, but if you don't play your cards right will happily dismantle your ship while the captain uses your bones as toothpicks.  All the time a rebel fleet is busy chasing you so you constantly being pushed to drive forward, to reach the final rebel flagship.

One of the best things, strangely, is that it's short enough.  As an example, I love Birth of the Federation. I love Space Empires 3.  I loved the original X-Com: Enemy Unknown.

But the problem with all these games is that (unless you're extremely bad at them) they last a long time.

You can spend days, if not weeks, conquering a galaxy and achieving ultimate victory.  Which can be fun, or can get boring - when you're twelve days into a game and you're again tweaking the exact outputs desired from Gamma Hydra III, a small planet in the middle of nowhere that to be frank will never have any impact on your overall empire, you can think to yourself "I'm supposed to be enjoying this.  I'll go watch the Big Bang Theory instead.".  Whilst in FTL, you're going to be dead in less than an hour.  I'm sorry - the game will be over in less than an hour.  There's about a 98% chance that it will end with your ship being in pieces scattered across the cosmos, but you never know, you might just get lucky and win.  And even if you don't win, you'll have enjoyed the ride.  It reminds me of "choose your adventure" books you used to be able to get, the most popular ones written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson, founders of the Fighting Fantasy series, you almost always died when playing them but it was fun trying.

Anyway - check it out.  It's cheap and won all kinds of various gaming awards.  It's definitely better than a lot of "commercial" games.

Totally changing the subject...

Anyone who is a fan of Warhammer 40K fiction will be aware of Dan Abnett.  Whilst not saying that there are several very good Warhammer 40K authors (Graham McNeil, Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Sandy Mitchell immediately spring to mind, with honourable mentions given to Gav Thorpe and James Swallow) Dan is certainly one of the best (if not the best) author writing for Black Library.  I do recommend for anyone who reads any of Dan Abnett's work to check out a group of videos of him here, very very interesting.

Best of all I managed to pick up two of Dan's books from Oxfam today at lunch, so I've got a bit more time enjoying his works before I have to return to rereading "Know No Fear"

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