Gaming

Scratching the itch

I thought about titling this post “Eve and Vendetta in the THUNDERDOME”, but sanity prevailed. You win this round, sanity.I played through the trial run of Eve Online. It worked without much complaint in wine. Let’s look at the things I think are cool about Eve Online, and the problems and realizations that came from the trial.Okay, the star map. I could spend hours just playing with the gorram star map.
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Vendetta redux, Eve Online, and the MMO bug

So, I’ve been playing Vendetta Online for a while now, and the shiny factor is starting to fade. My neophilia guarantees that I will like any sufficiently shiny thing for at least a couple weeks. However, the game underneath the shiny is lacking, and it may be lacking in too many ways for me to justify playing it.The biggest problem, by a long shot, is the player base. 60 players seems to be the absolute upper bound at any given time, at least while I’ve been playing.
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Vendetta Online

I’ve recently discovered a game called Vendetta Online. This may be the MMORPG I have been waiting for: real-time skill-based combat, space flight, trading and mining, space flight, an interesting back story, space flight, and extensive moddability through custom skins, binds, and plugins. Oh, and it’s a space flight game.I love space shooters. Put me in a cockpit and give me 3 dimensions of unfettered movement, and I may as well be in Valhalla.
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The Decentralized Metaverse

Several years ago I mused on the decentralization of Second Life, Linden Labs’ virtual world. Shortly after that post, I dropped out of the metaverse entirely for more than a year.While I was off not paying attention, it seems that almost all of my predictions have come true. An open-source server for running a simulator and/or grid, OpenSim, has been created. OpenSim appears to have solved many of the problems, and implemented many of the predictions, of my post from 2006.
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d20tools 0.3 is here

I’ve released a new version of d20tools. In addition to using a new, simpler file saving/loading scheme and better keyboard handling, the new feature is also a lot more stable. Other highlights include a more sensible entity/group management system, and the ability for any creature to be a henchman.Get it here.I’m lifting my moratorium on D&D 4e, as well. This means that d20tools will eventually support 4e creatures. However, this is a huge undertaking, and I have to decide how best to handle it.
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My new project - netjatafl

I’ve been pretty busy the last month working on netjatafl. Netjatafl will eventually be a networked client for playing various board and/or card games. It was originally created for hnefatafl and other tafl games. However, I have designed it to be extensible; I’m working on adding mancala games, and it looks like my design makes it pretty easy to add a new game. (I’ve added most of the logic for mancala to the client and server in just a couple hours of work).
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Self-indulgent musings on total knowledge strategy games

Total knowledge games are games in which all players involved have equal knowledge of the current state of the game, and the only factor that influences the game’s future state is the actions of the players. Chess, Go, and tafl are three such games that I play periodically.Recently, I pondered a fairly simple question: which of these games is the most complex? All of them are complex enough that new players have room to become stronger over time.
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Nintendo and the Homebrew Arms Race

When I purchase a piece of hardware, it is mine to do with as I wish. This is a long-held understanding. If I buy a piece of clothing, I can have it altered. If I buy a car, I can change the tires. If I buy a television, I can kill myself trying to screw with its insides.It might void the warranty, it might put my life at risk or potentially damage the thing I’ve purchased, but it is my right as a consumer.
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Decentralizing Second Life

So, I’ve been thinking about Second Life, and it occured to me that it’s being done entirely the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy SL, and have no qualms with the experience itself. It’s the underlying scheme it’s built on that bothers me: one company controlling all the servers, one company responsible for keeping everything running smoothly. It seems to me that all technologies built on that model eventually fail on the Internet, while distributed technologies (Web, email, usenet) thrive.
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