Thursday, July 2, 2015

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

If you're a fan of the old Ultima games, or just someone who like real RPGs, then I suggest you check out Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues by Portalarium, Inc., which, according to its website, "is a new type of third person fantasy RPG that combines a single player narrative with a sandbox MMO."

The game features player housing, a classless character system, and a truly player driven economy.   After its successful Kickstarter campaign, Shroud of the Avatar has continued its crowdfunding efforts during Early Access through its website raising over $6.5 million dollars.  You can also get into the game through Steam.

I've been playing this game for a while and I have to say the best part about this game is the community and the relationship the community has with the developers.  Player driver events are always taking place throughout New Britannia all the time, and the developers, including Lord British himself, are well known to participate.  This also means that they pay attention to what the community wants and they work together with the community to improve the system that are being put into place during the Pre-Alpha phase that Shroud of the Avatar is currently in. 

With a new release on the last Thursday of every month, the game is consistently getting new content and polish on a reliable schedule with zero downtime on the servers.  There is so much more to say about this game, and I do plan on doing so in future posts, but as for right now, I suggest you go check it out.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tales of Maj'Eyal 1.0.0 released!

Tales of Maj'Eyal has finally been released as a full version.  Of course, it has been out for a long time now, consistently winning Roguelike of the Year.  And there is a good reason for that.  It is truly an amazing game.    It includes a rich world, diverse characters options, and a myriad of different dungeons (randomly generated) to check out.  Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, the game source and 100% free.  Although, if you enjoy it, I highly recommend that you donate.

In addition to all that, the game also has the ability to use addons created by the community, and since not only the game, but the engine itself is open source, people can create their own completely new roguelikes based on the same technology.  The possibilities are limitless.  You owe it to yourself to at least give this game a try.  I am usually online in the game's in-game global chat as 'Musaab'.  Feel free to message me if you have any questions.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

EVE Online

With it's 18th expansion, Retribution, coming out on December 4th, EVE Online is one of the longer running MMOs out there.  You fly spaceships, and interact with all sorts of thugs.  Most will try to scam you, which is perfectly acceptable behavior in EVE.  No crying to the GMs here.  Whatever happens, happens.

Satisfaction in destruction.
I got into it because I was looking for an MMO with the complexity of Dwarf Fortress and everyone pointed me to EVE.  It is an extremely complex game, where players create corporations and alliances with the intention to battle it out in hopes of gaining territory, wealth, and resources.  Pretty epic things of all kinds occur.

Out to get some action.
I like it because it is raw, and unfiltered.  You can't trust anyone really, not even people in your corporation.  It's all pretty much anything goes.  This isn't really an MMO for children, because their short attention spans will not be able to handle it.  Plus, the first time they wander into a station and get taken for the whatever money they have left by some scammer will be the last time they log in after a nice ragequit.

Watching TV in my Captain's Quarters.
If you like your MMOs to have a bit of a harder edge, I suggest you go to EVE Online and get a free trial.  It's not for everyone, but if it's for you, it's REALLY for you.

Fly safe.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Python courses now available at Codecademy

Codecademy is an interactive website that teaches people how to code for free.  Courses include Javascript, HTML/CSS, JQuery, and now, Python.

The lessons are easy to follow, and reward you with points and badges, kind of like the achievement systems of video game platforms such as Apple's Game Center.

Unit 1: Python Syntax at Codecademy
Following the simple, guiding instructions, you enter the code in the interpreter, click "Run", and your code is checked immediately.  As you progress, the topics get deeper, and your skills and knowledge increase.

This it too easy...  :)
If you haven't learned any programming yet, or have been thinking about checking out Python, this is the perfect way to get into it.  In my professional life, unfortunately for me, I am a .NET programmer.  But if anyone asks me what my favorite programming language is, I always respond with Python.

And I'm convinced that once you give it a shot, you will, too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

One of my favorite games of all time was Baldur's Gate.  After that, I got seriously into Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, and all the sequels for these games.  As far as non-first person rpg's go, I believe this isometric view is the best.

Well, now this game is being remade for modern systems and is being called Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.  It will be coming out for Windows, Mac, and on the iPad during "Summer 2012".  I read that as September, but we'll see.  They also plan to remake the sequel with an enhanced edition set to be released in 2013.

This is great news for all those old fans who miss these types of games, and also perfect for the younger generation who want something more than an FPS murderfest.  Beware, however, you actually have to read text.  Although, if I am not mistaken, they are going to have voiceovers for pretty much everything.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Success: Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter

Excellent news!  The Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter campaign was a success.  The project has surpassed the goal of $500,000 funding!  That means we are going to get an HD version of the original game with complete voice-overs, extra content, etc., AND it means that there will be future Larry games from the actual guy who created Larry, Al Lowe.  It's not to late to pledge, so click on the image above and make sure you secure yourself a copy of this game, and help make this game even better.

The new goal, with 6 days to go, is $600,000.  This will enable the developers too add more NEW content to the game, which is what a lot of people are begging for.  Congrats and thanks to Al Lowe, Replay Games, and all the fans for making this happen!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter

When I was in elementary school, we used to pass games around on 3.5" floppies.  Yeah, we were pirates.  We bought games, too, but some games were just too hard to purchase, and just easier to pirate.  This is how I came across Leisure Suit Larry.

I was probably around 10 years old.  I had been PC gaming for a few years, and my friend, Charlie, said he has this hilarious, yet dirty game, called Leisure Suit Larry.  He provided the crack to get past the copy protection, which back then was a series of questions that could only be answered with access to the User's Manual.  Or was it questions that only an older person could answer.  I can't remember.

I told another friend of mine about that game, and we went into his parents basement, where their computer was, and we fired it up.

Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards
We walked into Lefty's Bar and were immediately shocked.  As we progressed we had to keep looking over our shoulder to make sure his little sister and mother were not coming downstairs, lest they saw why we kept laughing.  It was from that day on, that I became a life-long fan of Al Lowe and his Leisure Suit Larry series.

Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail!
I played every single one up until Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail (which was LSL7 although, there is no LSL4).  I bought all the collections (Can't Miss, Ultimate Pleasure Pack, etc).  Then Sierra went BOOM, and Larry was thrown to the wolves.  Other companies tried to make their own Larry games and I won't even mention them, other than to say how awful they were.  

So us Larry fans like to pretend they never happened, and that Larry died after Love for Sail.  But what's that you say?  Al Lowe is back at helm of Leisure Suit Larry?  He's got a kickstarter to resurrect the series and bring us an up-to-date version of the original to play on current generation PCs?  And if that works out, he will continue onto the others, and perhaps even make a new sequel?!?

Count me in.  I am a backer.  Won't you be a backer, too?  Make Leisure Suit Larry Come Again.  Please?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Linux and Nvidia Optimus

Ever since I got my Asus N53SN, I have been unable to boot linux for any length of time due to the lack of functioning Optimus support.  Optimus being Nvidia's dual video card switching technology which allows you to use the lower-end Intel graphics card when the higher-end Nvidia card is not needed with the goal of saving valuable battery life on a notebook computer.

Because of this, I have been booting Windows 7, and when required, using a virtual machine to work in Linux.  I even purchased a Asus X101H netbook, which I use to serve my linux needs by booting Ubuntu 12.04.

But with recent updates to Bumblebee, a program written to handle Optimus in linux, this functionality is no longer out of reach to linux users, and we are no longer forced to choose between Windows or 5 second battery life.

First, I installed Linux Mint on my Asus N53SN.  Linux Mint is absolutely gorgeous with the new Cinnamon interface (which replaces Gnome Shell, Unity, etc..)

Mint and Cinnamon
After that, I went ahead and did the following in the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia
sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee $USER 
After that, all you gotta do is reboot or re-login and you're done.  A very great and heartfelt thanks to the Bumblebee team!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DoomRL released!

This is one huge release for DoomRL, this time including a graphics pack and a full screen mode.  I am really having a lot of fun with this release.  So if you'be been waiting to give this one a try, or even been avoiding it, now is the time to give this one a go.

Doom the Roguelike

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tales of Maj'Eyal beta 38 released!

Tales of Maj'Eyal, the Roguelike of the Year, just released it's latest beta entitled "A new beginning".

Release highlights:
  • A whole new UI!
  • Shortened some long zones
  • New aritifacts/npcs/lore
  • A slew of bugfixes & improvements to many parts of the game
  • Addons cofiguration screen
  • Reworked ammo