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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
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1961 Posts

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Back in 2013 I wrote about a game in early development called Stardew Valley. It was a one man project that looked like the PC Harvest Moon game we always wanted and we followed it over the years until its launch in 2016. We were so excited about the game that WhiteboySlim, Scrypt and I interviewed the developer of the game, something you should check out below.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/1005/interview-w-eric-barone-creator-of-stardew-valley

Recently Stardew Valley celebrated it's one year anniversary and developer ConcernedApe wrote about that and the games long journey to launch. It's a really interesting read and something I recommend you check out.

"Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the release of Stardew Valley.

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that an entire year has already gone by since launch. Yet, at the same time, it’s been the longest year of my life. It’s felt long because I’ve done so much in the last 12 months:

-Game came out
-Released many patches to fix bugs and tweak gameplay
-Dozens of interviews
-Answered thousands of messages/emails
-Provided personal troubleshooting and technical support
-Made many Business/Merchandise deals
-Developed and released the 1.1 update
-Exhibited at PAX and met many fans
-Met Mr. Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of Harvest Moon
-Flew to the UK to visit Chucklefish and collect an industry award
-Built a decent computer and got a nice big desk (No more HP Pavilion propped on a Wii U box)
-Worked with Chucklefish to make the Console ports and localizations happen
"

http://stardewvalley.net/stardew-valley-1-year-anniversary/

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I am woefully late to the reporting party to let you know that the upcoming Hearthstone expansion Journey to Un'Goro has been announced and will launch in April. The announcement video by Ben Brode is well worth watching even if you're not a Hearthstone super fan. Un'Gogo will feature a couple awesome things including Dinosaurs, the new Elemental type and card quests. Card Quests cost one mana and will always show up in your opening hand and if you complete them will award you a crazy legendary like the Priest legendary Amara that's an 8/8 for 5 that sets your players health to 40! Blizzard will start the trickle of new card reveals on March 15th and continue the pace until the set launches in April. There have been some reports that the run up to the release of Un'Goro will contain special login bonuses but nothing official has been announced yet. So far i've saved up 5,000+ gold for Un'Goro and should be able to collect even more for the pack opening when then set hits in April.

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In the not too distant future the brand new Mystery Science Theater 3000 season will drop on Netflix bringing this classic show back to the fans and an entirely new audience. It will release on Netflix and to Kickstarter backers on April 14th, which is a bit odd as I thought Kickstarter backers would get a few days lead time but at least this way everyone can see it at the same time. Joel also released the new cast photo above featuring the new star of the show Jonah Ray playing Johan Heston, Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester, Patton Oswalt as Son of TV's Frank, Hampton Yount as Crow and Baron Vaugn as Tom Servo. There has been a lot of secrecy around the new episodes so much so that the list of movies they are riffing isn't even known yet. As more information surfaces i'll drop it here but until then we can just relax because April 14th isn't that far away.

https://twitter.com/MST3K/status/834564430406963200

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As I finish up watching all the Awesome Games Done Quick speedruns from 2016 I missed watching live I wanted to share a few more you might find enjoy. The above Borderlands 2 co-op run is great as they beat the game in 1:44:50 which is an impressive feat considering it's a run that takes two people to pull off. It uses some fun weapon switching dupe bug glitches as well as some interesting speed bugs that make progressing through areas incredibly fast and interesting to watch.

The final run you should watch is of the Action 52 NES Classic Cheetahmen and if you know of the game and it's epic terribleness you also know the game is very hard. The runner huey beats the game handily in four minutes making the game much more interesting to watch than it is to play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3XOd3oSsjk

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In a move that shouldn't be too shocking to anyone Blizzard will drop support for Windows XP and Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Windows XP was a staple of Desktop computing for years but has been very unsupported by Microsoft since 2014. If you are on XP or Vista I seriously recommend you upgrade to 7, 8 or 10 as those offer you security updates and a more streamlined experience. With that, I imagine many people own old hardware that a modern OS just won't run on and if that's the case then i'd consider those machines a sort of retro game PC. Lots of older Blizzard games on CD will still work on XP as well as anything released from that era you have kicking around on physical media.

Curious if this change will cause any of you to lose access to any of the mentioned Blizzard games? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

"Starting later this year, we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions.

After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We’ll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game.
"

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753178086

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When the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion launched the new Standard and wild formats became permanent in Hearthstone creating a yearly migration of older cards to the wild set. The details of the upcoming standard rotation hit today and Blizzard repeated which card sets were rotating out and also a bunch of new information that should shake things up even further.

Firstly the Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers cards are rotating to the wild set. This isn't new news but if you've stepped away from Hearthstone for a time you might not know what cards are going to rotate out of standard. On top of that Blizzard is also moving 6 classic cards to a new set they are calling the "Hall of Fame." The Hall of Fame aims to rotate out certain classic cards Blizzard deems to powerful to stay in the standard set because they seem to limit the design space. Whereas I like each card in The Hall of Fame rotating them to wild does make sense. Nearly each of the 6 cards have no equal and it would be really hard to make cards that are better in some way. The cards rotating to the Hall of Fame are Azure Drake, Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, Power Overwhelming, Ice Lance & Conceal. Again, I get why Blizzard is doing this but the top 3 cards rotating to wild is a bit sad to see. That said they are going to refund us the full dust cost of the cards while allowing us to keep them in our wild set collections. Not a bad deal but i'll miss Rag and Sylvanas in standard anyway!

"We wanted to allow players to disenchant Classic cards that are being added to the Hall of Fame set for full dust refunds, but then felt that incentivizing players to dust their cool Wild cards was counter to our goal of making Wild awesome.

So instead, we're just going to give you the dust, and you can keep the cards!

Up to the maximum number of cards you could put in a deck, we will give you the full dust value of any cards you have that are being added to the Hall of Fame set. (Yes, that means if you have at least one Golden Ragnaros, you'll get 3200 dust!) The dust will be automatically awarded upon log-in once the Year of the Mammoth begins.
"

Originally Blizzard planned on releasing a full expansion, an adventure and another full expansion in 2017 but instead they will release three full expansions.

"Looking back, we learned a lot in 2016 with the introduction of the Year of the Kraken. One of the things we’d like to put additional focus on for the Year of the Mammoth is having additional deck-building options and deck variety in Hearthstone. To help give players additional tools and options to accomplish this, we are changing up the way we handle our release cycle. Previously, a Hearthstone Year alternated between Expansions and Adventures.

For the Year of the Mammoth, our release cycle will include a ~130 card expansion at the start of the year, a ~130 card expansion in the middle of the year, and another ~130 card expansion at the end of the year.

Why the change of release cycle?

At their core, Adventures paint colorful and thematic stories about the Hearthstone universe. Imagine being able to learn about the history and lore behind each of our sets inside the game in a similar way! Defining who the Jade Lotus are through a series of battles between the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan families would have been a great way to supplement the overall Gadgetzan story arc. That concept is something we would like to do more of in future sets: Take the storytelling and cool missions of Adventures, and combine them with the card pools of expansions.

Cards will be acquired via packs like other expansions in the past; additionally, each release will include optional single-player missions that will help develop the expansions’ thematic narratives and offer fun challenges.
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Blizzard hasn't let us know when the new expansion drops but when it does it will start off the Year of the Mammoth. Since I love all things Hearthstone i'll let you all know when news of the new expansion hits and I keep with tradition a new pack opening video to celebrate.

http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/20475356

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The Humble Freedom Bundle launched today bringing one of the most insane game bundle values i've seen in quite some time. At the top of the Bundle it comes packed with The Witness, Stardew Valley, Day of the Tentacle Remastered, Subnautica, Nuclear Throne, Super Meat Boy & The Stanley Parable. This bundle also comes with some Audiobook love in the form of Cory Doctorow's "Information Doesn't Want To be Free" and "Walkaway" plus a ton of more indie games you might not have had a chance yet to play. Since I wanted to pick up The Witness and Stardew Valley I pulled the trigger on this immediately and then chipped in a bit more because it's a great cause.

"Take a stand for freedom. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door. – "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, from an engraving on the Statue of Liberty.

We humbly remember that the United States is a nation of immigrants, and we proudly stand with developers, authors, and charities that champion liberty and justice for all.

This special one-week bundle features over $600 in incredible games and books for just $30. 100% of your payments will go to the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Rescue Committee, and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Humble Bundle will proudly match your contributions up to $300,000.
"

https://www.humblebundle.com/freedom

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Here is the final episode of the Cheerful Ghost Roundtable. In our most final hour and a half we talk about what we've been watching and playing and then discuss the games that have stuck with us the last five years since we started the show. We round things off with the things that have changed for us in gaming since the show launched as well as things we totally got wrong.

CapnCurry joins us for the final Roundtable and by popular demand repeats his Gonzo the Norn story to end the show. Of course I can't help but talk about how I think The Phantom Menace is the best prequel and vow to never speak of it again in our upcoming Podcast. I hope.

I want to thank Mark, Travis, John, Tim and Adam(for that one episode) for doing the Roundtable with me. It's been something i've looked fondly at for the last 5 years and even though the show never got a huge following it has always been a joy to be part of. I also want to thank everyone that watched over the years, even if you only tuned in for one episode it means a lot that you've shared your time with us.

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FTL is one of those special Indie games that's a game I keep playing years after it's launch. It's the right blend of immersive gameplay and rogue like mechanics that can make for some really crazy games. Whereas i've only ever beat the game once I can still nearly always get to the final boss fight to get shutdown during on of it's insane forms. Needless to say FTL is incredible and i'm a fan of the creators, Subset Games. Last week news dropped that Subset Games is working on their follow up to FTL called "Into the Breach." Into the Breach is a Kaiju based Pacific Rim like strategy game where you control mechs to protect cities threatened by monsters.

"The remnants of human civilization are threatened by gigantic creatures breeding beneath the earth. You must control powerful mechs from the future to hold off this alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game.

Into the Breach is a single-player game coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux (although not simultaneously). There is no planned release date. Ben Prunty, FTL’s composer, is making an original soundtrack for the game, and award-winning sound designers PowerUp Audio are heading up the rest of the audio. Chris Avellone is lending his writing talents and world building skills to the team as well.
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Subset Games plus the music of Ben Prunty sounds like all the parts to make something really special and Into The Breach is something I can't wait to play.

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It seems that Netflix is continuing it's journey to create as much interesting content as possible with the announcement of a new Castlevania cartoon show. According to a Collider interview with the series creator Adi Shankar the show will be based on Castlevania III and be a hard hitting dark anime. Adi Shankar is the crazy mastermind behind the Power/Rangers YouTube short that was all over the Internet back in 2015 so it's not surprising he is leading this project.

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/02/09/netflix-castlevania-series/
http://collider.com/castlevania-animated-series-adi-shankar/

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I recently saw Kotaku run an article where someone ranked the Zelda's from the very best to the very worst. I haven't played all the Zelda games, but i've played a few and some of the authors placements seemed a bit off to me. For instance, I believe that the original Legend of Zelda does hold up well and whereas it may be hard to understand for some modern gamers that's part of it's mystery. The original Legend of Zelda required you to adventure and explore and it didn't hold your hand. Modern gamers might be turned off by this but 10 year old me somehow found a way to beat the game without the Internet and minus waypoints. The original Legend of Zelda doesn't top my list but it's damn near the top because it's still a fantastic game I play every couple years.

7. Majora's Mask
6. Wind Waker
5. Twilight Princess
4. Ocarina of Time & Ocarina of Time 3D
3. The Legend of Zelda
2. Links Awakening
1. Link to the Past

My list isn't quite as long as some may have as I haven't played all the Zelda's. Notable exceptions on my list are the Adventure of Link, Oracle of Ages & Seasons, Link Between Worlds(I own this I haven't started it yet), The Minish Cap and Skyward Sword. I plan on playing The Adventure of Link when I get an NES Classic so until then, it's still on my list of shame.

For the Zelda games you've played how would you rank them? Love to hear you thoughts in the comments.

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Humble Bundle has run two Star Wars Bundles to date making the third one that just launched a seemingly yearly event. It's a pretty awesome thing if you missed out on it before as many of the best games are back. That said, in the last year many of the older classic titles like X-Wing VS. Tie Fighter, Rebel Assault & Shadows of Empire have been re-released on PC and are all available in this bundle along games included before such as Force Unleashed, Knights of the Old Republic and Battlefront II.

If you only have a buck the ability to unlock Knights of the Old Republic, X-Wing Alliance, X-Wing VS Tie Fighter and Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds is too incredible a deal to pass up.

https://www.humblebundle.com/star-wars-3-bundle

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Being Batman is a seven minute documentary film by Lossless Creative that puts the camera on a real life Batman. The level of dedication of this person is really compelling and the film weaves Batmans words and life together in a really beautiful way. I wouldn't really call this cosplay but a person with an intense focus on Batman such that he has become him.

Interested to have you watch this and then let me know what you think of it in the comments.

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If you are looking for more games to collect for your 3DS the great Metal Jesus is back with a new hidden gems video you need to watch. He covers a bunch of games I didn't know were on the 3DS such as Azure Striker Gunvolt, Pac-man & Galaga Dimensions and Heroes of Ruin.

As we discussed in the last Cheerful Ghost Roundtable my hope is that all the 3DS and Wii U games are made for the new Nintendo Switch because if Nintendo and third party developers can focus on one system it will have an incredible amount of games.

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Double Fine are the Queens and Kings of developer documentaries showing off their game making process. After Psychonauts 2 was successfully funded on Fig they have started development and decided to take a trip to the woods to get inspiration for the game from actual nature. It's a fun doc short but focuses more on the bus ride down than actual time in the woods. I guess that's par for the course for nerds, spend more time talking about video games on a bus than time with actual pinecones and bears. Still it's a fun watch and if you are interested in how the game is turning out, well worth your time.

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