Steam summer sales are here!

Hold onto your wallets: the Steam summer sales are here with more stupidly good deals! Every day they have huge numbers of ridiculous deals, with 75% off (and often more) being common.

I, for example, picked up the entire GTA collection for £4.99 last year – an incredible price considering GTA 4 on its own is about 20 quid. 
Publisher packs, including every one of a certain publisher’s games at a crazy discount, are available, as well as several bundles (indie bundles, franchise bundles, etc).
Drop by the store at http://store.steampowered.com each day to check out the deals – this is like Christmas for gamers…

TIGSource

TIGSource

TIGSource, or The Independent Gaming Source, is a site dedicated to indie games and all aspects of their development. The site is reasonably good, but it’s the forums ast http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php that really excel – they are quite simply the best gamedev and game discussion forums out there. You can ask any question and get excellent responses, there is a wealth of information (including tutorials) on every aspect of gamedev from physics engines to character writing. There are some art threads featuring the incredible work of some of the best game developers out there, and one particularly entertaining “Beautiful fails” thread here.

IN SPAAACE: FTL: Faster Than Light

Oh dear. That doesn't look good...

I’m a fan of roguelikes in general, a good modern example of the classic dungeon crawler being Dungeons of Dredmor. FTL is a roguelike, IN SPAAAACE! It has the twist of your controlling a spaceship rather than a heroic person, and is extremely good.

The objective of FTL: Faster Than Light is to make your way through various sectors of space, and ultimately destroy the Rebel Mothership. You do this using your Faster Than Light drive, which allows you to make “jumps” from area to area. Each sector contains lots of areas, positioned on a map. At each jump you are presented with a dialogue, followed by a variety of situations:

  • A shop, where you can buy weapons, crew members, drones, fuel, missiles, etc
  • A fight with another ship (more later)
  • A difficult moral decision, which may result in the deaths of crewmates, access to a shop, a quest, another fight.

As you journey, you are chased by the Rebel Fleet, who sweep across the sector. It’s really not a good idea to be caught by them…

Anyway, moving on. One of the most important factors of FTL is the ship schematic. At each area, and during fights, you are presented with a view of your ship, showing all rooms, systems and crew members. You can manage your activated systems at the bottom of the screen, and fire weapons.

Systems include shields, engines, your FTL drive, weapons systems, oxygen supply, etc. As they are hit by enemy weapons, they become damaged or destroyed, and you must dispatch a crew member to go and repair them. Crew members also have health, and can be killed by weapons, fires or invading enemies… later on you can even acquire a crew teleporter and invade enemy ships with your army of praying mantises ‘wot you picked up from slave ships or by rescuing them from exploding space stations.

The best thing about playing FTL is that you feel like the commander of the U.S. Enterprise or other ship from Star Trek – battles frequently involve systems going down, frantic micro-management of your crew in order to fix the shields, kill the evil praying-mantises, put out the fires in the engine room, etc. It’s thrilling and the encounters enhance this Trek-like trip by giving you moral dilemmas, just as Spock, Kirk and others so frequently do in the series and films.

The game is well-balanced, difficult, entertaining and well-designed. I have few quibbles with it, apart from a few little things (such as the way weapons stop charging when enemies cloak)

9.5/10

FTL: Faster Than Light is developed by Subset Games (two guys and a hugely successful Kickstarter) and available on Steam for PC and Mac here.

Hehehehe

I, Noogai03, have added myself as admin of this site! Expect a lot more posts…

Humble Indie Bundle 7

BUYBUYBUY

Yay, another bundle! This one has a bunch of pretty good games, most of which I’ve never heard of and never played. It includes the excellent Legend of Grimrock and the superb Dungeon Defenders as well as Kyle Pulver’s Snapshot, Closure, The Binding of Isaac and some others.

Also, some other games (Edmund McMillen’s Basement Collection, the wonderful Cave Story+ and another one of Pulver’s games – Offspring Fling!) have just been added.

The Bundle is open for about six more days – BUYBIYBUYBUTBIYSBBJUHBIGBUVBHYBUUBN!!!
http://www.humblebundle.com

“Software development is a never ending battle between programmers’ abilities to make idiot-proof software and the Universe’s ability to make idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.”

-Some guy, words may be slightly inaccurate

Nerdyness: 2013 resolutions

I’m definitely a nerd: fanatical about Star Wars, very into video games, find xkcd funny. However:
A) I haven’t watched any Star Trek
B) I haven’t seen Star Wars: Episode 1 or 3
C) I haven’t read The Lord of the Rings yet

I must do these before I become a fake nerd. However, the fact that I had a dream about switching web browser makes me pretty safe for now… Anyway, some new year resolutions I want to keep!

Others:
Generally reading more
WORK ON MY GAME DAMMIT
Try to minimise swearing – a bad habit

Anyway, happy new year and good luck in any resolutions of your own!

Updates

It’s really hard to get into gamedev: I keep getting distracted. I’ll post here once I FINALLY get a good way into a game… if I do

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

An extremely good PC game review site – I particularly like its writing style.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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