Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2647 Posts

"We all know the students at MIT love a good hack, but what’s better than playing a game while doing it? Last night, a team took over the side of MIT’s Green Building and turned it into a giant, playable, multi-color Tetris game."

Cool people take the time to do this kind of awesomery. I wonder how long this takes? I imagine you have a few planning meetings before you start it.



I write this to you Saturday night 4/21 and the Diablo 3 free weekend stress test beta is not available because they are rebooting servers. Error 301 abounds. That said, I did get on today with a few other Cheerful Ghost users. My thoughts on the game thus far in no particular order:

Right away I want to say the game and its user interface are extremely polished. Everything I thought to do in regard to chatting with other users in game or asking them to join my game was intuitive. After I started a chat with a person, simply hitting enter continued it. Click on a persons name sent them a private message independently. When something happened for the first time in game, it let me know what was happening and I could learn more information if I wanted. The game is polished to a detail few games are and it really shows.

My first character was a female Barbarian as I don't typically play tank and I figured for the Beta I would go with the classes I won't play when the game launches May 15th. The barb character was so much fun to play. Blizzard nailed the play style of the Barbarian such that you really feel like the biggest badass on the screen. Hitting a enemy often tosses it off the screen only to have it scurry back for you do pummel into oblivion. The Barbarian also had a special attack akin to warstomp in Warcraft III that stunned all enemies around you. I kept wanting to leap into the fray and pummel everything and the game let me do it.

One other element I really enjoyed was the destructible environments. As I neared the end playing in my second session I would smash up everything I could just for fun. Watching a tombstone fly apart is so satisfying. The only other game I have enjoyed causing so much environment destruction was Red Faction Guerrilla.

Pro-tip: If you see an old table in a dungeon with things atop it step right up... Hold shift and left click. Awwww yeah, watch it fly apart.

Pro-tip 2: When you go deeper in the dungeon you will notice elaborate candle holders and statues. Hold shift and left click. They don't make em like they used too apparently.

The class I was the most impressed with was the Witch Doctor the class I plan to play at launch. The zombie dogs and spiders were awesome to watch. The spiders used to explode after you toss them but now they swarm up and attack enemies and die out quickly. Dogs + Spiders and a pretty hefty mob count lend for a really awesome time.

I am excited to get the game and was happy they opened the beta up this weekend. Clearly they needed to allow a stress test because when I first entered the beta the lag was pretty terrible. All day today it was all but impossible to get on for hours at a time. A friend was playing on his MacBook and it crashed on him a few times. Hopefully Blizzard can work out these kinks before launch.

I don't consider the above to be a huge deal as its a stress test. I did have a few sort of quibbles about the game thus far though:

Compared to Diablo 2 the game is more accessible. I don't mean this as a slight as much as a description. No more configurable skill tree means the classes are a smidge more on rails. Whereas I don't mind that too much, its not what old D2 players or frankly I was expecting. Since I only experienced a limited start to the game my hope is the skill tree and runes really showcase some fantastic combinations later on. I wonder if this simplicity will impact replay-ability? The final game will tell in this regard.

The game kind of feels like Warcraft 3 or World of Warcraft. I thought Starcraft 2 felt a little Warcrafty as well. Its not horrible modern Blizzard games feel Warcrafty but it is something I notice. Starcraft 2 had the Ghost Tosh that was basically a Troll Shaman. He even had a similar voodoo man voice. Voodoo in space? I guess. Diablo 3 now has a Witch Doctor as well. I only say this because all modern Blizzard games seems to be tonally similar to each other now. Again, I go back and forth if this is a bad thing because the games themselves are so good. Just a note really.

The art style, whereas very beautiful didn't totally win me over the first time I was presented with it. After existing in the world for a while I found it to be eerie and beautiful. Often times the colors were a bit too dark and I found I really liked it when the game presented a more vibrant color set. For instance the Cathedral around the meteor impact crater. I mused with the people in my party that the impact was Auriel being thrown out of heaven or some such. Be cool to see how the story actually turns out. Maybe the meteor was Superman as a baby and Diablo 3 now joins the ranks of so many cross-over video games?

I like that everyone gets their own instanced drops. Often times with co-op you stop fighting to collect the loot because if you don't you often times don't get anything. Making it so everyone gets their own stuff allows you to collect after the battle. A nice touch. Its also simple to drop what you collect for other people in your group if you get something you don't need.

All in all I am very excited to play the final game. Having the game present more of a challenge and deeper character options will be welcomed. I thank Blizzard for giving everyone a chance to join the beta before launch, it was a cool thing to do.

Oh look, the servers are back. Cool.



Blizzard just announced a free beta weekend tomorrow for everyone.

"From Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT you'll be able to log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion."

Prayers answered.

** UPDATE ** Ill be playing the D3 Beta tomorrow(4/21) @ 10am playing the free beta with a few other users. Hit me up in the comments if you are interested in joining us!



"A video of the Staff of Efflorescence, a part of the Skyrim mod Plant Trees. The staff allows you to "paint" flowers anywhere in Skyrim, immediately having a calming effect on the population. Enemies will cease attempting to destroy you in order to smell the flowers."

Too bad you can't paint flowers on people.


So a few minutes passed and keeping with that tradition, its time for some new Diablo 3 news! Above is the new Diablo 3 feature video for the Monk. I will admit, the Monk is a class I wasn't too interested in at all. I typically don't prefer hand to hand combat in games, but after watching the video I might give him a spin. He almost seems akin to the ol' Diablo 2 Paladin.

The second socketable new bits is that the Diablo 3 Beta servers will go dark May 1st. So get all your early level play in now because come May 1st, you will be without for 14 days until the official launch May 15th.

Lastish, it seems Blizzard hastily patched something they did not intend and may have possibly leaked that we will be getting a Diablo 3 starter edition. 1up reports that a few leaked screen shots show a starter edition similar in nature to what WoW has now. Interesting. I have no problems giving people more chances to play D3, demos are always a good thing.

Now how can a brother get a BETA INVITE? Seriously.



I love board games. One game ive wanted to add to my collection has been Descent Journeys into the Dark. I really enjoy awesome table-top fantasy games. I am a huge fan of board game designer Kevin Wilson's Doom: The Board Game and heard Descent was worth checking out.

As I did some research on the game the consensus seemed to be that it was good but suffered from a few problems. Notably it was hard and the rules were too complicated. I can understand that as The Doom Board Game has very complicated rules as well its just such a great game I can get around that. That said, I took what people were saying to heart and didn't get Descent because of what people mentioned.

A few months ago Fantasy Flight Games dropped the news that they are releasing a second edition to Descent! Excitedly I read the post eager to see what they had made better.

"This updated version of the classic board game of dungeon-delving adventure features a host of enhancements, including new heroes and monsters, accessible rules, a class-based hero system, campaign play, and much more. In addition to its nearly 40 detailed plastic figures, 48 map tiles, nine custom dice, and much more, Second Edition offers a comprehensive Quest Guide with 37 original maps."

Loved what I heard. If you want to read the entire announcement check it out:


A few things I love hearing:

1. They have an into campaign called "First Blood" where you are given a simple goal to complete. These kinds of entry starters are great because starting off with a complete zone and rules can be pretty overwhelming.

2. They are breaking the quests up into different types. They can be played standalone or as part of a campaign. They are also shipping a "plot tree" that will branch players to different campaigns depending on what you did in the earlier quest.

3. The overlord player can pick a class and customize the deck.

I haven't seen any word on the release date for second edition, but when I know ill post more about it. More than likely ill pick it up at some point and let you know how that goes.

The source code for Prince of Persia was released today from the original Apple 2 port:


Awesome to see this sort of thing happen regularly. A few companies I respect have released source for some awesome games like Sim City, Doom 3, Quake 3 & Duke Nukem 3D.

Seeing this kind of thing is awesome because it allows these classic games to live on well beyond they are fiscally viable to keep running on modern systems. I believe culture should be preserved and source released of old games helps that.

Heres hoping that old games like Warcraft Orcs and Humans, Unreal Tournament and Mario Brothers see a source release at some point.



Doom 3:

Quake 3:

Duke Nukem 3D:

Occasionally games come along that change the way you think about what games can do. A month or so back I heard that Sword & Sworcery was a rad iOS game that took the experience beyond the typical mobile game faire to have a great story and interesting game mechanics. I picked it up hoping for great and I wasn't disappointed.

The game brings you into its unique universe from the start and I was immediately hooked. I watched the entire intro and "more information" game sections before I even started playing. It was that unique.

The game is stylistically similar to the old Out of this World game released on PC and Super Nintendo. It forgoes speech in favor of text and that works very well for the game. It also has a very simple control and fight mechanic. If you want to fight you put your phone up and down and when you want to move around the world you have to put the phone on its side. Simple.

My only downside to this game is that it joins many other awesome adventure games in its "mystery meat" puzzle hardness factor. Old games like Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle were awesome, but often you had to do very non obvious things to progress. I am at such a part now and am considering using a walkthrough to get past it. I guess it bears noting that I haven't really played a game in years that required me to think about going to a walkthrough.

The game has an interesting mechanic where you can read the minds of anyone you come in contact with. You can go to a screen where you can read through all their thoughts and this adds a real depth to the world and tone of the game. For instance, there is a dog in the beginning part of the game and you can read his thoughts.

It being occasionally difficult shouldn't stop you from picking it up, its fantastic and if you are looking for a richer mobile game experience, this is it. Oh and its for sale on Steam as well now until April 28th so no reason not to pick it up!

Out of this World: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_World_%28video_game%29

Recent Activity...

The Matrix Resurrections Trailer!

Awesome ideas!

The Matrix Resurrections Trailer!

I hope the movie starts with the end of 3, and the...

Hydro Dams Mining Cryptocurrency

A quick post from one of my coworkers retrofitting a...

The Matrix Resurrections Trailer!

New trailer! This one looks very interesting as it...