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Joined 01/23/2012

I created Cheerful Ghost.


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jdodson gives this game a "Meh" on the Ghost Scale
It’s not amazing, it’s not bad. This game is ok but you may want to choose another title.
South Park Phone Destroyer was announced at 2017’s E3 and based on the good reviews of South Park Stick of Truth my interest was peaked. Even though I was really interested in playing it Phone Destroyer somehow the game launched and I didn’t hear anything about it. That changed when I recently saw it in the App Store and since it’s a free to play game I installed it.

Cowboys VS Indians

I’m going to start things out by noting that South Park gleefully revels in offense. At this point South Park has made fun of just about everything so saying that South Park might offend people isn’t really news. Some give South Park a pass because they spread out the satire and mockery to everyone but that doesn’t get it off the hook for sometimes being a bit mean spirited. That said, when South Park is at its peak it’s witty satire is biting and contains a socially relevant message.

Phone Destroyer picks up right after the events in The Stick of Truth where the kids are done playing Elves and Orcs and want to play Cowboys and Indians. Whereas it was common for kids to play Cowboys and Indians in the 80’s, 90’s and earlier it seems like this form of play has lost fashion. Parly because other forms of pop culture are more popular such as Superheroes and Star Wars but also because of cultural appropriation and many Native Americans taking issue with it. Satire at its best has a larger message to inform the audience and in the case of Phone Destroyer it seems that Cowboys and Indians is merely a backdrop. If it’s some kind of political or social satire I didn’t get far enough in the game to see it so it just seems to be… offensive because it can be?

Get To The Gameplay Partner!

The core gameplay of Phone Destroyer kept my attention longer than something like Animal Crossing Pocket Camp but that’s not high praise. The game does feature ace voice acting and innovative story beats such as other characters calling you in game requiring you to turn your phone to actually take the call.

Like many free to play games you can buy in game currency in gold coins and cash. These can be used to buy in game card packs and give you access to materials to upgrade cards or buy new cards themselves. Advancement is through a PVP leveling system and a Candy Crush like set of game levels. You get free cards packs every couple hours so the free to play aspect of the game isn’t too punishing. In fact the game isn’t all that bad itself it just suffers because it’s core gameplay, like many free to play games, is repetitive and boring. Like, why do I care about PVP again? Come to find out I don’t and the most interesting part of the game, it’s character interaction and paper thin story beats don’t come enough to keep me interested. When I realized that I had unlocked all the base level cards and I needed to be PVP 5 to continue and i’ve mostly stopped playing because of it.


Phone Destroyer is a fine free to play game and if you love South Park you should check out. I didn’t love it but it contained enough fun elements to keep me playing for a few hours.

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Far Cry 5 is the upcoming Ubisoft shooter that is set in Rural Montana as you set out to take down a religious cult. The game premise has been controversial but the games most interesting element might be the inclusion of it's map editor, Far Cry Arcade. Map editors have been included in the Far Cry series for sometime but with Far Cry 5 it will be integrated into the main game.

"Far Cry Arcade is a chance for players to crack open the game and use its assets to build their own customized adventures and experiences. Far Cry Arcade's goal is to make these custom maps as accessible as the campaign, and one way to accomplish that is to integrate them directly into Hope County – and your character's progression.

Walk up to an arcade machine in a bar, for example, and you can jump straight into Far Cry Arcade, check out the latest user-created levels (which will be curated by the developers), and start playing. You'll visit these worlds as the same custom deputy you play in the campaign, and any experience points, perks, or money you earn while playing will cross over into the campaign when you're done

.Your creations won't be limited to the buildings, vehicles, and weaponry you'd find in Hope County, either; Far Cry Arcade will include assets from Far Cry 4 (including yetis) and Far Cry Primal, as well as Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed Unity, and Watch Dogs. And as post-launch content for Far Cry 5 is released, those assets will be added to Far Cry Arcade as well, letting you get creative with Vietnamese jungles, Martian arachnids, and zombies.

Looks like the Far Cry Arcade should give players a lot more stuff to play after they are done with the main game and hopefully will allow certain mod makers a great time to show off what they can do. Are you getting Far Cry 5, if so let me know in the comments and what you think of Far Cry Arcade?


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Travis and I have been busy during our spare time coding up new features on Cheerful Ghost and today are launching a new way to look at comments, posts and profile pages. Once upon a time Cheerful Ghost had a Membership system and it was a pretty good way for people that love the site to contribute to it but I always felt like it wasn't the best it could be. Because of that we're rebuilding the Membership system from scratch and it's starting today.

Comments, Posts and Profiles oh My!

If you click open a comment stream or look at a post you will see a new thing we call badges. Badges are a cosmetic thing bestowed on certain users for things like post authorship, membership, site support and admin or mod status. These badges are shown on posts, comments and profile pages and can help give certain discussions some context. It's also a nice thank you to people that financially support the site or work closely with it.

If you have questions about what the user titles or roles mean, we have a handy page to explain it better linked below. If that doesn't work well for you drop your comments on this post.

Old Membership Is Dead, Long Live Memberships!

Since all former Cheerful Ghost site Members old memberships have lapsed they are now rolled over to supporters. We're still working on the new Membership system and process to become a Member again but the cosmetic enhancements were in place so we decided to roll those out now for comment. The new site Membership system should launch in the next bit the only real blocker here is me having enough time to come up with an interesting video about it. Right now we're thinking about using Paetron for site Memberships and we need to spend a bit more time to make that launch just right.

The Future

I don't want to talk too far in the future about what's coming but I do want to say that these changes are all in service of a larger goal that will become more clear later. When I think about what's the most fun about Cheerful Ghost for me trying to make that baked in to the DNA of this site sounds really interesting and hopefully these site updates get us there.


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It’s a pretty special time when a new Nintendo games comes out and Brad Smith has something with his latest entry to the NES lineup with Lizard. After reading about the game, playing the demo and quite enjoying my time with it I decided to reach out to him and ask him a few questions about the game and his process of creating it.

Choose your lizard carefully. You can find six different ones scattered across the land, each with its own special ability.

You'll need these abilities as you make your difficult journey through many dangerous places. Carefully hop your way to the top of an active volcano. Surf down a surging river. Swim an underwater lake. Ascend a snowy mountaintop. What kind of strange creatures will you meet? Can you unravel the mysteries of Lizard?

jdodson: Why create a new Nintendo game?

Brad Smith: I got interested in NES development first through a music program called Famitracker. I've always had an interest in video game music, but I found this program (more than 10 years ago now) that allowed me to write music for the NES, and I thought this was great. A few years later I used it to make an NES cover of the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon, and from public response to that I found my way to some chiptune communities. The more I worked with it, the more I had questions about the NES hardware, and finally I bought one and a PowerPak flash cart so that I could write my own programs for it and answer those questions.

The more time I spent with this machine, the more interesting it became. It's got a great balance of being just powerful enough to be versatile, but it's still very limited and something you have to constantly design your work around. Some aspects of the machine seem very simple, especially compared to modern computers, but in a lot of ways the simple premise will turn out to have very complicated consequences. There are also a lot of dark corners of the NES hardware that are very intriguing, things that are subtly broken, or didn't turn out to be useful in the way their design intended. It's an extremely fascinating machine, and all of its quirks really put their mark on every game that came out for it.

I very much feel like the machine becomes a partner in design for an NES game, in a way that stops being true when you have more computing power to play with. I liked having to deal with its limitations, and the end product is a game that really belongs to this console. The other aspect of it being so limited, is that its games are just small enough in scope that I can handle one on my own.

People often ask about nostalgia, and there is some of that too, but I never actually had an NES when I was a kid. A few of my friends did, but I grew up with an Atari ST and Sega Master System, and then a long string of others. While I have fond memories of those other systems the NES is the one that stimulates a creative urge in me.

jdodson: Now that Lizard has launched, how do you look at how the project has gone from the initial concept to Kickstarter to launch?

Brad Smith:Well, I am satisfied with the finished game. It very much is the game I set out to make, and while the specific details of what the game is were gradually decided as the project went along, it definitely fits within my initial plan for what it was supposed to be. It's a game I wanted to see, and I'm glad to have made it.

On the other hand, I am disappointed in how much time it has taken me. I have spent too many months, and too much money working on it. It's too early to see how well it will sell, but it seems unlikely that I will break even on it. It was more important to me that I finish the game I wanted to make, than to ensure it was profitable. I'm more disappointed in just the time itself, it's been years of my life of doing this one thing instead of many other pursuits I'd like to try. For that reason I'm extremely happy to be finished with it, finally.

When I ran the Kickstarter, I had been working on Lizard for about a year, and I was confident that I could finish that version of the game as it was going in another half a year or so. When the Kickstarter finished, it had raised a little more than I had asked for, and at the same time I had an opportunity to cut down my cost of living, so I decided to stretch it out. The demo version I had for the Kickstarter felt too small to me, and I decided then that I should double the size of the game, both the literal physical size of the ROM data, and the breadth of the game's world. I drastically underestimated how much extra work this would take to accomplish. I don't regret it, because it resulted in a much better game, but it cost me so much time.

jdodson: What are your top 5 NES games?

Brad Smith:In no particular order here are five current favourites:

StarTropics - The strange grid based action scheme of this game is really amazing to me. I've never played anything quite like that. It has some interesting puzzles, and a very charming theme as well.

Battletoads - I love how much variety this game has, every level is something new. Great tunes. It's notorious for its difficulty, but I think it's for the most part very fair difficulty, which is hard to pull off. When I die in Battletoads, I can usually blame myself for it.

Super Mario Bros. 3 - Another one that has incredible variety. The levels are small, but each one has something unique to it. Not like Battletoads where ever other level is almost a completely different game, but just a new novel situation created out of the existing blocks and enemies.

Mr. Gimmick - This is a fabulous platformer made late in the life of the NES. Gorgeous art and music, very well put together, and has a very solid gameplay mechanic of throwing a star that you can also climb on.

Sweet Home - A fantastic survival horror RPG only released in Japan. Has a very interesting story that is slowly revealed as you play. You have five characters and any of them can die before the end. It has standard JRPG random battles but the main difference is that healing is very limited; grinding won't help you, more battles will wear you down!

jdodson: What’s been the hardest part of launching Lizard?

Brad Smith:The launch part is a lot easier than everything that came before. Self publishing in itch.io is not hard at all. Steam is more tedious but still pretty straightforward, and mostly self directed. Marketing is harder, and that's an ongoing challenge. I'd like to see Lizard make it to some other consoles, but all of them require significant financial investment, so I have to wait and see how Lizard sells in its current form before I can take the risk elsewhere.

If I take the question to mean everything before the launch as well, the hardest part of making lizard is the design. I don't mean the high level ideas, like "what lizard powers should I have?" but the small details I have to work through day to day. Should I make this platform 4 or 5 tiles wide? Which of those is more fun? Should I make this crab jump higher, or faster? After making 200 other rooms, how do I make room 201 interesting? Is it better for this frog to be here, or 3 pixels to the left? Will this frustrate players? How much frustration is too much? Which combination of enemies or items fits the NES colour restrictions for this room? These are often subtle, but usually tricky and subjective questions, and there is an endless supply of them every day.

The big time sink here is that most of these questions have to be answered by building different versions of the game and trying them out. I test and test and test a hundred versions of every room. I shorten a platform and then try jumping off of it 20 different ways to try to get an idea of whether it's better or worse than it was before. All this testing takes more time than any other part of game development. A lot of the design difficulty is trying to find useful changes that don't have a large global impact, or just weighing how much work various ideas require. Changing how an enemy behaves will affect every instance of that enemy in the game. If there's 100 frogs, that's 100 things to test and re-evaluate if I ever make a change to how those frogs work.

After testing and design, programming is also difficult. Writing a program is like making a machine with a hundred thousand moving parts. When it takes 100 lines of code to make a dog jump, there's a lot of room for mistakes, and even if you write exactly the code you intended, there's a lot of room for unintended consequences. Think about kicking a koopa turtle shell in Super Mario Bros. What happens if it hits a block? What happens if it hits a goomba? What about falling off the bottom of the screen? What if it hits a springboard? A flagpole? A fish? A vine? A mushroom? Mario's foot? Mario's head? A block that's been bumped from underneath? When you have systems of things that can interact with each other there's A LOT of combinations to think about. This is not easy to manage. Complexity grows exponentially, and problems in programming can be extremely unpredictable.

jdodson: Creating a platformer requires lots of attention to how the gameplay feels. How did you approach getting it right for Lizard and when did things seem right to you? Were you taking inspiration from other platformers in terms of getting the game to feel at home with them?

The way a character moves in a game has a lot of components. There are a lot of decisions to make here: whether to include slopes, whether blocks are completely rigid or have "soft" edges that push you out, how fast to accelerate, how fast to slow down, how fast and how high you jump, how much control you have in the air, whether you lose momentum for pushing against a wall, whether you can release the jump button early to jump lower, is there water, is there ice, yada yada yada. Some questions are at least fairly binary, so you only have to try a version with it on or off, but a lot of these factors are quantitative... when it's a matter of how much you have to try a lot of different versions to answer that for yourself.

For Lizard, I made some rooms to test, and put together the character controller with the elements I thought I'd want. I experimented jumping over obstacles with different shapes and sizes, and tried a lot of different settings. I eventually narrowed toward something that felt good to me, and I went with that. Basically from that point on the character physics were set, because the design of nearly everything else in the game is dependent on them.

At the very end of production, when I began beta testing I was unsatisfied with how many people were reacting to it, and I decided to test an alteration to the character physics at that point. I won't go into all the details on this, as I'm planning to write an article about it, but I wasn't expecting to use this alteration. I just wanted to satisfy my curiosity. When I tested it, though, I was surprised by it. I had found a very low impact change that I think significantly improved the feel of the game for a lot of players. After a couple of complete playthroughs and some review of its design consequences, I decided to keep it. I didn't think I could mess with the physics without having to redesign the whole game, but it turned out I could, at least a little.

jdodson: How did you get into game development?

Brad Smith:I found a book on beginner BASIC programming in the school library when I was a kid. There was a whole series of these by Usborne, colourfully illustrated, and they got me started. Computer magazines used to have code listings in them too that you could type in and run. I learned a lot from reading and experimenting with others' code this way. I really liked video games, and I wanted to make my own, so I did. I made lots of very small video games growing up, and slowly learned more and more about how to do it.

When I was a teenager we got the internet, and suddenly I had access to some amazing information that I could never find at the public library. There was a set of documents called the PC Game Programmer's Encyclopedia that were shared on various FTP sites back then that I learned a tremendous amount from. At that point I was very interested in JRPGs, after having played Final Fantasy IV and some other Squaresoft games. I was determined to make one of my own. I also found an RPG engine community called VERGE, and hung out on IRC and forums with other people where were trying to make RPGs with that engine, even though I was trying to make my own from scratch.

Eventually I went to university. I got a bachelor's degree in music, and also in computer science. Between what I'd learned on my own in years prior, and everything I gained at school, I thought I was ready to apply for a programming job at game companies. I was hired by Obsidian Entertainment as a junior programmer. I moved to California, and worked for them for a few years, mostly on an Aliens RPG that would be cancelled, but I still learned a lot.

After a few years there, my dad died unexpectedly and I wanted to move back home to Canada to be nearer to my family. I left Obsidian, but I had a few friends who were trying to start a game company of their own, and they were willing to let me work remotely from home. For a few years I did that, until the company eventually fell apart (long story I won't go into). We had many dead end projects, but released one game at least (Yar's Revenge, 2011). After this I became a contract programmer for a game engine company for a few years. When that contract came to an end, I decided I'd had enough of making games for other people and wanted to make a game for myself. That's when Lizard began.

jdodson: Now that Lizard is released and the NES carts are on the way have you thought about what project might be next?

Brad Smith:I actually have enough game ideas to last the rest of my life, I think. I keep a lot of notes about these.

I want to make another NES game, but one very different from Lizard. I don't forsee myself ever wanting to make a Lizard 2, but it's not an impossibility either. I don't have too much to share on this future project yet.

The other thing I want to do is make a BASIC programming environment for the NES. Something that's free and open source, and good for learning. I've already begun work on this, and I'm hoping to be able to sustain myself through Patreon or proceeds from Lizard, but it remains to be seen whether this will be feasible.

I have a few other projects I'd like to continue as well, such as the NES music emulator NSFPlay, which I've been promising to update once Lizard was done.

jdodson: If you didn’t have an idea I have a free game suggestion you can use for your next project if you want. A Super Nintendo game about a family of Super Nintendos where one Christmas they all decide to take a trip to Paris. That night one of the Super Nintendo kids gets dumped on and sort of yells at everyone and is sent upstairs early. That night a power outage resets the Super Nintendo parents alarm clocks and they are late for the airport. In a scramble every Super Nintendo makes it to the airport minus the one Super Nintendo kid who is left behind. Anyways, i’m thinking in the game other Super Nintendos might want to rob him and the kid can build traps and stuff to mess them up but not quite kill them. Anyways, one working title for the game could be SUPER DOMICILE UNATTENDED!

Brad Smith: Heh, well I'll say this about game ideas: the overall concept and idea for Lizard took maybe minutes or days, depending on what you consider the "full" idea. Building that idea took 4 years. There's a 1000:1 work to idea ratio here. Game ideas are really fun to come up with, but also not very hard to come by.

jdodson: Thanks for taking the time to do this, anything you want to say before we wrap things up?

Brad Smith: Nothing more comes to mind, but thanks for the interview.


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The new year is here meaning that Hearthstone will be rotating the amount of sets in standard. As part rotation a new expansion has been announced called The Witchwood. The above trailer seems like The Blair Witch Project meets... Hearthstone? It's a fun expansion reveal and the ending is well worth sticking around for.

The Witchwood is a traditional Hearthstone expansion but it seems the pre-order nets you 20 extra packs than it did before. Seems to be an adjustment on Blizzards part as it seems the general community consensus is the game is really expensive to play. Still is, but they seem to be tossing in more value, which is nice.

The Witchwood is also shipping with a new single player game mode similar to Dungeon Run of the last expansion called Monster Hunt. In this mode you play as one of 4 unique heroes where you take on 8 bosses to complete the Monster Hunt. This seems to be a cool extension of the Dungeon Run mode added in Kobolds and Catacombs which was my most played aspect of the last Hearthstone expansion.

I have a special fondness for Hearthstone but the thought of getting back on the daily grind makes me get all queasy. It's a great game and possibly the best free to play game ever made but you either have to sink a ton of time into it daily to get enough gold to open packs or spend more than $150 a year to open enough packs to remain competitive. Both prospects, right now, seem unfortunate to me but i'm really happy the game is continuing on and people seem to love it which is awesome because it's a game that should continue to be improved.


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In the 90’s Nintendo sold us everything from Mario underwear, trading cards and cereal. I was down to get all of it, or at least as much as Mom and Dad would buy me. One seemingly unattainable aspect of the 90’s Mario craze was Nintendo’s Cereal System that had a split box of Zelda and Mario cereal. The only time I ever had any was at my cousins house and it was pure magic to open the box, eat Zelda cereal and after breakfast play Nintendo all day. Fast forward to the dystopian hellscape of now and Nintendo doesn’t sell us trading cards or underwear anymore but the cereal thing is back in the form of Kellogg’s Super Mario Cereal.

At this time Super Mario Cereal is a bit hard to find in stores but they seem to be getting it back in stock and if you can’t find it the old fashioned way you can get it online. I luckily found some at a local grocery store for about $3 a box and picked up two. A few weeks later a work friend gave me some as a present(thanks Joe) so i’ve had enough Super Mario Cereal to make a grown Italian plumber stomp on some poor Goombas.

According to Kellogg’s Super Mario Cereal is 8.4oz which means super mario cereal is in a small box. It’s about the height as a normal-ish cereal box but it’s thin and it’s not as large as a normal box of Cheerios, think about the size of a box of Grape Nuts.

How’s Mario Cereal taste? Well… about what you’d expect if you’ve ever had Lucky Charms, Marshmallow Mateys, Flintstones Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles or Marshmallow Fruit Loops. Wait… Marshmallow Fruit Loops… *clicks some shit in Google* OH GOD THAT SOUNDS HORRIBLE WHO WOULD DO THAT TO A KID? *sigh* Since I don’t eat this kind of cereal nor subject my kid to stuff like it trying Super Mario Cereal was like a blast back to the sugar rush of my youth. The cereal isn’t really great outside of one bowl but that one bowl is pretty incredible if you like cereal that is way too sweet. Come to find out I do and eating a whole box was a fun ride down marshmallow lane.

Speaking of way too sweet if you read the ingredients one cup of Super Mario Cereal being 32 grams for each cup contains 10 grams of sugar. That’s right kids ⅓ of Super Mario Cereal is sugar. ⅓. But it’s cool because it has 3 grams if fiber so you know that 10% really buffers out the sugar part.

But who buys this stuff as health food? Super Mario Cereal is supposed to be a glucose spike with an amazing sugar crash just like Saturday morning intended. Oh and while your at it you can also swipe your box by your Switch in the Mario Odyssey game for 3 gold coins. Not sure that’s the worlds greatest in game reward but isn’t ⅓ content being sugar it’s own reward? I think so.

Super Mario Cereal nutrition information - https://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/products/super-mario-cereal.html#nutrition-modal
Game Explain scans Super Mario Cereal - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9tNcTpOOJc

Bonus Cheerful Ghost + KIDS Review!

Timogorgon: As luck would have it, the same day I finally found a box of the Mario cereal Jon sent me an email saying he was going to do a review of it and wanted to know if I’d like to contribute to the post. I decided to rope in my children too, since kids are probably the target demo anyways.

I thought I knew what I was getting into since it looked like a lucky charms knock-off, but I was not prepared for the cereal itself being berry flavored. That was kind of an odd choice. It’s like someone took the marshmallows from Lucky Charms and then dumped them into a bowl of Fruit Loops. However, the berry flavor must be a coating on the cereal because after about a minute in the milk the “berry” flavor was basically gone.

To say this cereal is sweet is kind of an understatement. For the record I do normally like sugary cereals, but this one was a bit much even for me. The box is pretty small, which depending on your point of view might be considered merciful. All four of us each had a bowl and the box was nearly empty afterwards. I’m glad I found a box and got to try it, but I have no plans to purchase another one.

But what do kids think of this? Let’s turn to our panel of judges:

Mia (age 9): I think it tastes really good and that it should be one of the top five cereals. (I asked her what the other “top five” cereals are and she informed me that they are: Fruit Loops, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Raisin Bran.) I like the fun marshmallows a lot.

Briley (age 8): Super duper good! I want this all the time. It tastes sugary good, really sweet. My favorite part is the marshmallows. sunglasses

Micah (age 5): Two thumbs up! (I asked him if he wanted to say anything more, to which he answered “Nope!”)

Timogorgon: In closing, let me say that the resulting sugar rush for all three kids was pretty epic.

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When Valve started the hype train for Steam Machines in 2015 I was excited. I love consoles but I don't love having to re-purchase games for each device I own so the thought that you could by a game one and run it anywhere really interested me. Plus I love Valve and Steam so getting a dedicated Steam Machine for playing games in my living room seemed like a great idea. Since i'm not usually the first to adopt brand new tech I decided to wait for the reviews to come and had a thought to picking up a second or third generation machine because, by then, the kinks would all be worked out. Thing is... Steam Machines seem to be a first generation only thing because frankly, they seem dead.

Are Steam Machines Dead?

Officially Steam Machines don't seem dead as they are still listed on Steam itself but PC Gamer did an interview with three Valve partners that released Steam Machines and they have basically discontinued them due to lack of interest.

“Nobody was buying it with SteamOS,” Digital Storm marketing manager Rajeev Kuruppu tells me over the phone. The manufacturer had already been building the Eclipse—which is still available with Windows—when Valve pitched SteamOS, and added a Steam Machine build mid-project. That version has since been axed, and Digital Storm no longer has an active relationship with Valve.

“I think over time as the demand from customers wasn’t there we basically had no reason to speak with Valve,” says Kuruppu. Digital Storm is still open to working with Valve, so long as its customers want what Valve is putting out. Right now, they don’t."

Valve Released The Steam Link And It's Incredible

I wonder if part of the reason why the uptake of Steam Machines wasn't high was because alongside Steam Machines Valve released the Steam Link. The Steam Link is a $50 steaming device that let's you transmit your PC Steam games to your living room in 1080p and it seems that users decided to go that route instead. And it's not a bad choice either because i'm using it right now and with all the updates Valve has brought to it.... it's incredible.

When I attended Steam Developer Days I got a free Steam Link and Steam Controller with the ticket. After my son was born I really didn't have much time for PC gaming so the Link sat in the closet and recently I dusted it off and hooked it up. After 10 updates I started streaming games from my ASUS ROG laptop. The streaming was great but, occasionally, the game would lose a frame or two. It wasn't a huge deal but it was noticeable and I remember reading reviews that suggested you use it over wired ethernet. The Steam Link and my ASUS ROG are both connected to wireless and my router supports 5G Wireless 802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO) so I figured all would be fine but there were noticeable hiccups. I have a PC gaming desktop that is connected to wired ethernet and I decided to give that a go and the Link streaming was perfect. So it seems that if one of the machines is connected to wired internet that can help considerably and moreso if both are.

I've tested a few games on the Steam Link but the game i've played the most is Death Road To Canada, which is perfect for the living room. Fallout 4 ran well and I didn't notice any kind of performance issues with it either. I don't imagine i'll be playing a ton of shooters that way for but platformers, adventure games and rogue likes playing Steam games in the living room is a great way to experience them.


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Gabe Newell gave a presentation at the Valve offices about their upcoming game Artifact - The Dota Card Game. The big news isn't that Artifact is coming but that it seems Valve is focusing more on shipping games.

"Artifact is the first of several games that are going to be coming from us. So that's sort of good news. Hooray! Valve's going to start shipping games again."

It seems Valve has been focused on hardware in Steam VR, the Steam Controller and Steam itself which has taken focus away from making games which seems to now be coming back.

"The positive thing about the Vive is, in addition to making sure that nobody created an iOS closed platform for it, was also that it gave us the opportunity to develop our in-house expertise in hardware design. Five years ago, we didn't have electrical engineers and people who know how to do robots. Now there's pretty much no project in the hardware space that we wouldn't be comfortable taking on. We can design chips if we need to, we can do industrial design, and so on. So that added to that."

"We've always been a little bit jealous of companies like Nintendo," Newell said. "When Miyamoto is sitting down and thinking about the next version of Zelda or Mario, he's thinking what is the controller going to look like, what sort of graphics and other capabilities. He can introduce new capabilities like motion input because he controls both of those things. And he can make the hardware look as good as possible because he's designing the software at the same time that's really going to take advantage of it. So that is something we've been jealous of, and that's something that you'll see us taking advantage of subsequently."

Seems like Valve is setup to drop a few games and i'm really interested to see what they come up with. Not too interested in VR games but if they are great, who knows?


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Mikey Neumann of the Movies With Mikey fame runs the incredi-dorbs YouTube channel Film Joy. Film Joy also includes the saucy Ben Paddon show Ports Center and in his latest episode he covers Street Fighter II and it's ports to the Amiga. It's a good look at Street Fighter, it's beginnings, influence and movement to it's most beloved incarnation in Street Fighter II.

"In this episode, Ben looks at three very different attempts to bring Street Fighter II to his home computer of choice, the Amiga."

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Starting today Blizzard is celebrating 20 years of StarCraft with a bunch of free in-game loot.

  • Log in to StarCraft: Remastered after March 6 to receive a commemorative 20th Anniversary UI Skin for StarCraft: Remastered.

  • Log in to StarCraft II after March 6 to receive a special UI Skin for each race. Additionally, log in between March 6 and April 3 to receive a Portrait and Decal.

  • Log in to Diablo III after March 6 to receive Dominion’s Revenge, a fearsome Battlecruiser-themed Pet.

  • Log in to Heroes of the Storm between March 27 and April 7 to receive a 20th Anniversary Portrait for Protoss, Terran and Zerg.

  • Play a StarCraft-inspired Tavern Brawl between March 21 and 25 to receive three Kobolds & Catacombs packs!

  • Between March 31 and April 6, /salute one of the following StarCraft-themed companion pets – Zergling, Grunty, Mini Thor, Baneling, or Zeradar – to receive the “Salute to StarCraft” Feat of Strength.

  • Log in to Overwatch between March 6 and April 3 to receive the Sarah Kerrigan Ghost skin for Widowmaker.

Blizzard is also launching a new StarCraft video retrospective StarCraft is Life: A Celebration featuring some of StarCraft’s biggest fans as they look back on their favorite memories from the past 20 years. If that's not enough for your StarCraft appetite on March 30 & 31st there will be a special 20th anniversary streaming event live on https://www.twitch.tv/starcraft.


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On February 16th Super Mario Brothers Speedrunner Kosmic got the new world record ANY% in 4:56.462 besting Darbian, the previous record holder. The run is incredible and if you were wondering the tricks he used to do it you need to watch the video linked above. It goes over every part of the run and also explains how Speedrunners have broken it down to a very particular science. The current theory is that at some point humans might not be able to optimize the run further but it's possible someone might find something new that breaks that assumption wide open.

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LGR has a great video out that showcases Snood, a crazy popular Puzzle Bobble / Bust-A-Move clone that dropped in the 90's and was very popular even in to the 2000's era. It was created at the height of the shareware craze and was brought from it's early Mac version to PC, GBA, DS and most recently iOS. I remember many people at University that played Snood but it wasn't something I wanted to really play. I'd played Puzzle Bobble and other games like it before and I think what initially turned me off to it wasn't really the game itself. It was introduced to me by someone I didn't personally like at University and I think that initial introduction to the game soured me on the idea of playing it. Since Snood is freely available on iOS i've decided that it's finally time to give it a try.

Did you Snood?

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After Analogue's Super Nt released a couple weeks back I posted about it along with a review by Metal Jesus. I really enjoy Jesus's reviews but if you are looking for an in depth tear down of the system I recommend Digital Foundry reviews and DF Retro. DF Retro took a look at the Super Nt and from the testing it looks like the system is one of the best ways to play Super Nintendo games on modern TV's.

"This week, DF Retro tackles Analogue's Super Nt - an FPGA based console designed to play Super NES games via HDMI. Analogue boasts perfect accuracy but is that really the case? We put the system to the test using challenging games known to cause problems with most software emulators. How does it stack up? The answers and more in this week's episode of DF Retro."


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Into the Breach is finally here and i'm curious what people that picked it up think of it? The Steam reviews seem to be singing it's praises and my hope is that Into the Breach becomes just as important to my Indie library as FTL. You can get Into the Breach on Steam or GOG but right now on GOG if you purchase Into the Breach you get FTL Advanced Edition for free!

Ben Prunty wrote the music for FTL and also Into The Breach and you can listen or buy the soundtrack right now on Bandcamp.



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Chrono Trigger unceremoniously launched on Steam today and it seems the initial reviews of it... aren't great. Clipping out a few for your reading pleasure

"All you need to know is that this is a straight port of the mobile version, and includes a horrible font and disgusting sprite filtering."

"This is a port from mobile,
It only disappoints.
But Steam will refund
All my 15 silver points.

It's mostly all bad reviews but a few are positive.

"Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPG's ever made. I had it on SNES, then lost it. I am very glad it is finally on Steam. "

Chrono Trigger is one of the most beloved games of the 16 bit era and it seems like Square is releasing it's mobile ports directly on Steam which doesn't sit well with people because the interface isn't very well optimized for PC. Also it seems that the graphics this version don't upscale well compared to the amazing upscaling of the 16 bit graphics in any emulator. I view these kinds of releases the way I think of the Star Wars Special Editions. I don't care what they do to a modern version of the game as long as we can go back and play the original and in the case of Chrono Trigger we all can. In fact, I recommend the DS version or original SNES cart!


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