Re: iPhone Woes

1

I curse out loud and sort of lean back and forth on the subway while playing Rolando. I'm trying to switch to NYT crosswords which can be done with less flailing and cursing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 2:45 PM
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I bought that game for my iPhone. It was too fustrating for me to control though. I didn't bother to back the game up when I had to exchange my phone. I am kind of glad that I am not addicted to any games now.


Posted by: Lenny caution | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 2:46 PM
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1: now that's a good game.

Also! Remember this game?

Sure you do.

Well, I have good news.

And by "good news" I mean "a cure for the free time you have when you aren't playing Civ".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:00 PM
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3 cont'd: oh, and it has a ton more levels than the web version.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:01 PM
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I've never heard of Rolando. I sense that it may be a lurking disaster in my future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:16 PM
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Civilization on iPhones. Damn. We really do live in The World of Tomorrow.

Is it, like, the really old-timey kind with the wagon-train icon for Settlers?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:20 PM
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Asymmetrical warfare! The plate armor hides their IEDs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:23 PM
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Any sailors here right now? I am translating some Greek and I see that "the sails are driven out to their forestays" (Hec., 112). This means that the sails are full, yes? I enjoy sailboats, but I enjoy drinking on their decks, not so much frigging with the rigging, as it were.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:28 PM
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8 will stand as the single dirtiest Unfogged comment of the day, perhaps the week.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:33 PM
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9 sounds like a challenge.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:35 PM
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8: yes; forestays would be stays (lines) in front of the sail, and the wind would be pushing the sail up against them.

At least, that's how I read it, not really knowing how the greeks rigged their boats.

You see it on modern sailboats when e.g. the jib is out really far, it'll press against the lines that stabilize the... something or other.

Not really a sailor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:37 PM
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11: Thanks! I want the sails to be full!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:43 PM
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10: oudemia is really throwing down, though. I mean yikes, just look at 12.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:51 PM
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I sort of wonder if I should have joined the many waiting for an iPhone up here. But I needed a phone quickly and a smartphone would have cost a lot more over the length of the contract.

It's a bit annoying to have a browser unable to access certain things (like no pdf support) or to have to log in to my e-mail through the browser. Even long comment threads start causing problems because of the page size. On the other hand, a better phone would suck up even more time than this one does now, since it has already crowded out most of my waiting time/bus ride reading habits.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:52 PM
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Stays are part of the standing rigging, lines that run from high up on a mast out and down to the deck, to keep the mast from tipping over. The forestay runs forward from the mast to keep it from falling backward, the backstay runs backward from the mast to keep it from falling forward, and the shrouds stabilize it to the sides. I don't know how the Greeks rigged their vessels either, but I think a wooden sailing ship with a mast pretty much has to have stays. What's the word that's translated as "forestays"?


Posted by: y | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:55 PM
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It's hard to translate from Greek to lateen.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 3:58 PM
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How the Greeks rigged their ships. Lots of good pictures.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:04 PM
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15: λαίφη προτόνοις ἐπερειδομένας -- in which the second word, protonois, is "forestays" (according to Messrs Liddell, Scott, and Jones -- "ropes from the masthead to the forepart of the ship, forestays"). So, from the line above "[the ships] pressing (ἐπερειδομένας) their sails (λαίφη) against the forestays (προτόνοις).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:05 PM
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Aha! Forestays!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:16 PM
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I am confused. The headsail (jib, &c.) is attached to the forestay along the sail's luff. If you are sailing downwind and let the jib sheets fly the sail doesn't come up against the forestay. It remains attached to the forestay and flaps like crazy.

When close hauled a large headsail (+100% Genoa, for example) can bind against the shrouds.

Hmm, all the examples I am thinking of are with a fore-aft rig's head sail. A square sail on the foremast could be filled enough to strike the forestay. But if the wind is that good a triangular headsail would help there too.

Yeah, a square sail on the foremast pushing into the forestay. I think that is it.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:17 PM
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Check out the image I linked to, md. It seems to pretty much confirm what you're saying, except on a single-masted boat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:28 PM
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21: Sifu's image via Teo's link = very helpful! Thanks, Sifulio!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:38 PM
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I had to physically destroy the Civ IV cd to stop myself from becoming unemployable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:42 PM
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Has no one cited DeLong's comment that he realized that he had a choice: he could be a productive member of society, or he could have Civilization on his computer (and I think that was just Civ 2!).

I have had more or less exactly the same experience as LB's. I was completing entire games within a single, extremely unproductive day. I was doing great at King level, but have failed in I think 2 of 3 games at Emperor.

Makes my jones for laptop-based Civ 4 all the stronger (it wouldn't work on my old machine, and I've so far resisted on the new one).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:46 PM
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21. Tweety's linked image of the rig is good. A squaresail billowing out into the forestays. Very dramatic and sure to get the skipper unhappy. The chafing hurts. (LHF)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:49 PM
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25: Yes, the Greek host is trying to sail away from the Chersonese when the ghost of Achilles appears on his tomb to demand a virgin sacrifice!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 4:53 PM
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Does anyone know something about competitive BMX?


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:17 PM
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Someone probably does!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:18 PM
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I've never played any iteration of Civilization.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:25 PM
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Seriously? Wow.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:28 PM
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30 to 28.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:31 PM
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I don't think I have either. In the mid-90s I played a lot of those "solve the mystery!" games -- like Laura Bow and Gabriel Knight. And one about Temujin! CA shot things -- Duke Nukem, Doom, Castle Wolfenstein, ad nauseam. And now shoots things on Enemy Territory.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:32 PM
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I don't even own a Civilization.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:43 PM
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I played a couple different iterations of Civilization. It was okay, but not the best of the genre.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:43 PM
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I've never seen a civilization.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:44 PM
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Moby, it has to do with tanks. If you had a tv you'd know that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:45 PM
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I bough myself a copy of Civ 4 and had to snap the DVD in half in order to kick my addiction. Just throwing it out didn't work, since I went and retrieved it from the garbage to play again. Twice. I had to break the disk to make my third quitting stick.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:49 PM
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Never played any of the Civs; the one that nearly killed me off was online Age of Empires (original and Rise of Rome).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 5:59 PM
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36: Gratitude is the key to civilization.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:10 PM
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I started playing Civ II because it was on a used computer I bought and then I bought III and IV. I was so happy with IV because I hated that you could lose every unit in a stack if you were a attacked outside a city. The one thing I did learn is that building a carrier fleet is way expensive and probably not worth it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:16 PM
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I've never played any of them before -- the last one of this type of game I'd played was Seven Cities Of Gold on the Atari 800 when I was a teenager. The iPhone version sounds like it's more like the earlier versions; settlers are covered wagons, and there are no aircraft carriers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:21 PM
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Settlers are covered wagons in II, I think. If so, the key to quick conquest is wait until you get railroads and then link your railroad with your enemies as you get the same rate of movement on an enemy railroad as your own. (Don't forget to defend your own railroad network, ideally with a mountaintop fort.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:25 PM
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And bang the rocks together, guys.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:32 PM
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I had Bang Rocks on the Apple IIe. It was fine, except that once you got past level 7, you had to switch floppy disks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:38 PM
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I've never played Civilization or any of the Sim games. Bloxorz is more my kind of game.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:46 PM
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The original Civilization did some pretty serious damage to my high-school study habits, which I suppose dates me a bit.

I've never gotten into any of the later ones. I did try Civ III once. It didn't hook me, thank goodness.

Of course, by the time I was in college, there were MUDs. That was bad. I've never tried a graphical MMORPG for reasons of self-preservation.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:57 PM
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Of course, by the time I was in college, there were MUDs

There were MUDs long before that. Good thing you didn't discover them earlier; you might have never learned to read.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:59 PM
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I never played a Civ game.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 6:59 PM
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All my nerd cred, out the window.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 7:00 PM
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MUDs on NeXTs. But that was when I was in grad school.

The other day I referred to people who type in ALL CAPS as BIFFs. I had to explain it. That didn't bother me. It was the wikipedia item that depressed me.

BIFF, later sometimes B1FF, was the most famous pseudonym on, and the prototypical newbie of, Usenet, the precursor to the World Wide Web. Now virtually unknown outside of a hard core of pre-web internet technophiles, BIFF was created as and widely taken up as a satire of a partly amusing, partly annoying, mostly unwelcome intrusion into a then fairly rarefied community.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 7:52 PM
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50: Does the phrase 'chuckle-trouser' mean anything to you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 7:55 PM
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I HAVE CONQUERED ALL, MD 20/400. IT IS BIFF'S INTERNET NOW.


Posted by: OPINIONATED BIFF | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 7:58 PM
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It is a feature of HTML that all white space is treated identically. Any sequence of white-space characters is treated as a single space.

BIFF wept.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:13 PM
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It is always September.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:14 PM
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Re: "Has no one cited DeLong's comment that he realized that he had a choice: he could be a productive member of society, or he could have Civilization on his computer (and I think that was just Civ 2!)."

It is worse than that--I was ruling the country at the time from my perch as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and paying Civilization was *much more fun* than doing my IMF Article IV Consultations...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:18 PM
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Moby, Chuckle-trouser is new to me.

53. It makes it harder to do those warlord .sigs. Even with   and specifying the font (face and size) you can't count on it rendering properly.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:21 PM
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55. HA!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:22 PM
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So Brad, do you have a kibo-style alert in your RSS feeds?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:23 PM
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56: Yes, the warlord wept too, but McQuary cheered. I sometimes wonder if HTML whitespace compression was chosen because of those considerations. Blog comments sections would not have been the same. Whether for better or worse is left for to the reader to decide.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:42 PM
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55: Going to the dentist is more fun than most of my interactions with the Treasury Dept.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:47 PM
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The HTML <pre> tag is the "solution", but I don't find that it is supported in any blog comment section that I know of. Can it even be turned on in any?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 8:49 PM
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i play tetris on my phone (damn the shitty design that does not allow you to load, even via hack, txt files, such as pulpy scifi you download off of the torrents) and i guess i think how life really is the same as in 7th grade when i spend 2 hours a day in class playing tetris and asteroid and nibbles on the ti-85


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:08 PM
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59: I thought whitespace compression was a manifestation of the heavy emphasis on logical (rather than physical) markup in HTML (at least early HTML) -- though I'm not at all an expert.

50-54: Actually, Usenet was quite a bit more damaging to my undergraduate study habits than MUDs were.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:18 PM
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and as i'm already unemployable, i might play some civ again. i played the most recent one once. i totally lost interest when i had some 'Modern Era' transition, and all my cool, authentic, indigenous icons/map pieces turned into sprawly-looking industrial age shit.

those sort of games i actually don't like too much, i tend ot spend less time playing than reading walk-trhough guides, and then play through exactly once (or maybe a few times, like if there are important differences in choice of race/techology or something) and then get bored. they sure eat up a sleepless 36 hours or so though. i find resource management really dull. first person shooter and things like Smash Brothers really are black holes though.

i had been looking at getting that Spore expansion pack. i bought a new, big LCD monitor (it actually pays for itself in electricity cost in under a year) and the galaxy/planet navigation is just the prettiest thing


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:19 PM
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I've never tried a graphical MMORPG for reasons of self-preservation.

Wise choice.

The sharpest memories I have of my twenty-first year on earth are all hallucinations caused by drinking gallons of green tea whilst playing Evercrack. I can still smell the plains of Karana and see the torchlight flickering in the trees of Kelethin!

I had a serious problem, and fortunately the fact that my computer stopped being able to render the graphics well enough to make playing worthwhile broke me of it.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:30 PM
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It would be pretty annoying to have to run together all your tags to avoid extra space all over the place. white-space: pre/pre-wrap does the job on the rare occasions you actually do want that behaviour.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:31 PM
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63.1: My speculation was idle rather than serious.

63.2: Usenet was my top time-waster for a number of years running.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:34 PM
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66: Yeah, it was undoubtedly a good choice; I just find its role in ending the "ASCII art era" interesting. In fact you need something like pre to really get it right and avoid the widespread lossage due to different fonts etc. as often happened back in the day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:43 PM
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67: You'd think all that time spent on Usenet would have at least given me the ability to recognize a joke, but apparently not.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:44 PM
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Or recognize a *poor* joke at least.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:46 PM
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And just to continue talking to myself I should note that the "ASCII art era" was already pretty much dead by that point anyway, or at least in its degenerate Rococo period.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 9:58 PM
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68: But now that ASCII art is dead, how will new generations know where Perth is?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 10:31 PM
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Simple. Go to Bermuda and dig straight down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 10:36 PM
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I suppose that this violates the sanctity of off-blog communication, but heebie & Jammies = married! Perfect weather, charming wedding, delightful reception, and Hawaiian Punch in an octopus costume. Could one ask for more? No, one couldn't.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 11:10 PM
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Yay!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 11:53 PM
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75: Yes, congratulations HB&J.

74: Violated to good purpose.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-17-09 11:58 PM
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The Civ games are great (and are the reason I'm awake right now, actually). But the one I miss is Alpha Centauri/Alien Crossfire, which never got ported to OS X. That was my favorite video game ever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:39 AM
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my husband made me hide the civilization disc from him and only bring it out sometimes, but we eventually had to physically destroy it. now that he has tenure maybe he can get a new copy.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 2:10 AM
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Hmm... I love Civ III, but my games seem to spread out over months or years. I've been playing since December of 2004. My current goal is to get at least one game of each victory type played to completion. So far, I've finished two and have five more in progress, the most recent of which was started in December of 2006. I take it this is not a typical play rate. Admittedly, I am a pretty relentless micro-optimizer, which makes the turns go pretty slowly once the civ builds up to a certain level.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 3:40 AM
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Hawaiian Punch in an octopus costume.

More people should dress as cephalopods for formal occasions. Maybe on of PZ Myers kids will have a cephalopod-themed wedding.

In any case contrats to HBGH and Jammies.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:23 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 9:00 AM
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I have played, at length, RR Tycoon, Civilization (I & III I think), and Space Empires. The 90s were mostly spent with online chess.

I currently drink my morning coffee with an hour of Angband, which I have been playing in some variant since before computers used mice. I run 25+ characters, from easy as solitaire digging for gold to total mindfuck war, depending on my mood.

Being turnbased, text based and without graphics, it's easy on the processor, so I can run some intense maintenance while playing. But since the opencode is well annotated, and having been tweaked for twenty years, the AI makes it easy and pleasurable at easy levels, but hellishly difficult to win. There are 50 levels, and after about ten years with this version, I have never made it past level twenty. But for those who like this kind of thing, and don't cheat, this is not that unusual.

I should study it, or visit the chatboards, because the imaginative pleasures of the open play and text screens are what I think draws players, instead of missions or goals or winning. Those annoying 'I's and terrifying 'D's.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 9:21 AM
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OT Bleg:

What does it mean when my disc drive is making a loud buzzing as I rip CDs? It seems bad, but could my brand new drive really be crapping out on its ~10th disc? It continues to rip at rates upwards of 14x, which doesn't seem like "broken".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:02 AM
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Also: I clicked over to the linked Homeric rigging images, and Iris walked in, looked over my shoulder, and said, "Odysseus' ship!" I am a very lucky dork.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:03 AM
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84: Nevermind. Turns out that disk was a copy with a sticker on it - the buzzing was just a bubble under the sticker hitting some part of the drive at 5400 RPM or whatever.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:05 AM
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Batman: Arkham Asylum (on PS3) is a delightfully faithful Batman-simulator. If they put it on the iPhone I'd be a public menace.


Posted by: Flippant | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:12 AM
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86: It can do that with printed discs as well, if the printing is heavy enough on one portion of the disc. Just so you know.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:16 AM
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BTW, LB, is the knight-tank thing a matter of armies? I've noticed that solo tanks are a lot less undefeatable than I would like. It's probably helpful to think in terms of WWI-type tanks with the funny treads - you can imagine those losing to cavalry, right?

One of the things about Civ on the iPhone is that it's very parsimonious about units - Knights and Riflemen are basically the only units between ancient and modern, which makes for some goofiness. The desktop game includes cavalry, which are kickass units, plus distinguishes between tanks and modern tanks.

Anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:19 AM
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From forum at cook.cz:

Faust:

I've been playing for 14 years and the only way i've ever won is by save-scumming, been trying to play without backing up since July and my 81st @ since then has just died (refusing to run away being my big problem). lol (I really suck) .

Saving and reviving a dead character is definitely cheating. Cheating is ok I guess.

Weapon:

The Short Sword 'Sting' (1d6) (+7,+8)
+2 strength, dexterity, constitution, speed, attack speed. Slays animals, evil creatures, undead, orcs. Provides resistance to fear, light. Cannot be harmed by acid, electricity, fire, cold. Prevents paralysis. Grants the ability to see invisible things.
Radius 1 light.

Monster (middling, lvl 39 is less than halfway):

U] Kavlax the Many-Headed (L.Dark 'd')
=== Num:423 Lev:39 Rar:3 Spd:+10 Hp:1300 Ac:85 Exp:3000
A large dragon with a selection of heads, all shouting and arguing as they look for prey, but each with its own deadly breath weapon. This evil dragon is normally found at depths of 1950 feet (level 39), and moves quickly. He may breathe acid, lightning, fire, frost, confusion, sound, nexus, gravity, or shards; 1 time in 4. He can open doors and bash down doors. He resists acid, lightning, fire, cold, and nexus, and cannot be confused or slept. He takes quite a while to see intruders, which he may notice from 200 feet. He may carry up to 6 good objects. He can bite to attack with damage 2d12, bite to attack with damage 2d12, bite to attack with damage 2d12, and bite to attack with damage 2d12. (Angband 3.1.1)

kavlax killed my last best character, one I had spent months building. Instantly. runrunrun


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:25 AM
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There is Meyers-Briggs type of categorization you could come up with by people's preferences in computer and video games. Abstract/Realistic (or Quasi-Realistic), Build (and/or Accumulate)/Fight, Computer opponent/human opponent, Individual/Group, Strategy/No Strategy. I liked Age of Empires since it combined strategy, group play against humans (against computers only to practice) with both the build and fight, but I tended towards the build side (have never done FSP, despite its appeal) and one of the taunts you'd get from those who would come out to fight (and often kill you) in Stone or Tool Age was that you were a Sim-City or Civ weenie. (I always called it a great game played by assholes--this writer not excluded.) At some point someone will come up with a killer MMORPG for the iPhone and life as we know it will come to an end.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:40 AM
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91 - Your test isn't fine-grained enough unless you can distinguish between Angband and Nethack players (and maybe ADOM and Dwarf Fortress enthusiasts).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:08 AM
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92: Maybe add level of commitment/time willing to put into it, or a into single "game" or something (or session to session "memory" or something). At some point in any classification you will of necessity lump together two things which will horrify the advocates of both. But further axes of distinction are certainly possible and welcome.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:15 AM
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91: What does it mean if I really liked Grim Fandango? And another one in the same genre (that being?), the name of which escapes me, but which featured a somewhat comical goofy pirate hero who had to solve puzzles in order to proceed. There were several in the latter series.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:22 AM
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Ah. The somewhat comical pirate adventure/puzzle-solving series is Monkey Island.

I've found a page of recommendations for lovers of such things; I may have to explore!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:26 AM
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84: I'm glad everything's okay. And 88's right. That said, the part of new Macs that's most vulnerable, in my painful experience, is the drive. So back up VERY regularly. Seriously, if you don't already have an external drive serving as your Time Machine dump site, get one today. The data you save may be your own.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:38 AM
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89: That must be really stripped down. No cavalry would give defense a tremendous advantage for 300 game years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:38 AM
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94,95:The partner plays these

Often graphically beautiful, light narrative, puzzles not very hard, no hand-eye coordination needed, finish in a week of evenings.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:01 PM
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She also loved this Vicious Realtime War Game


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:13 PM
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One of my ambitions in life is to write a big Angband/Nethack-type game. I can't let myself play them, though.

The thing I found about Civilization was not so much how addictive it was but how I wouldn't experience the passage of time when I played it. I would think I'd played for an hour, and suddenly discover I'd just pulled an all-nighter.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:22 PM
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OMG, I just lost the last month of my life to Plants v. Zombies. So debilitating.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:36 PM
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83: Being turnbased, text based and without graphics, it's easy on the processor, so I can run some intense maintenance while playing. But since the opencode is well annotated, and having been tweaked for twenty years, the AI makes it easy and pleasurable at easy levels, but hellishly difficult to win. There are 50 levels, and after about ten years with this version, I have never made it past level twenty. But for those who like this kind of thing, and don't cheat, this is not that unusual.

Bob, old sod, why are you not playing Diablo (original version)? Do you need a CD?

86: the buzzing was just a bubble under the sticker hitting some part of the drive at 5400 RPM or whatever.

14x times 160 = 2000-odd RPM. (In practice CD's never get above about 2500 RPM - the disc would disintegrate. All that stuff about 50x speed is disc caching.) Yeah, watch the stickers. Keep in mind that a drive CAN crap out quite quickly, especially this decade.

77: But the one I miss is Alpha Centauri/Alien Crossfire, which never got ported to OS X.

Oh, that one. Yeah, I played that and won it a few times and then gave up. It was too... scripted. Civ extended. I actually played Civ and Civ II a lot, but I got tired of the Civ games. Panzer General (II), or Xcom or Diablo II were more my bag. Or Sid Meier sub games, back in the day, before Aces of the Deep or Silent Hunter. Or for civ-style action Total War (but that's an in-game battle, which you can skip).

(And it wasn't such a great game game, but it was fun to play because of the scenery, here's the Soul Reaver opening. Raziel is so melodramatic. But fun.)

91: Abstract/Realistic (or Quasi-Realistic), Build (and/or Accumulate)/Fight, Computer opponent/human opponent, Individual/Group, Strategy/No Strategy.

Tetris versus say, Civ?
Civ v. Doom?
Machine v. Human seems a hard distinction to make, as does individual v. group. Definately not evenly distributed.
Civ. v. Doom again?

Build/Fight and Strategy/No Strategy seem to collapse together, as do Individual/Group and Computer v. Human.

Puzzle vs. Open-ended (Infocom/Tetris games vs. Doom/Civ) seems to be a useful distinction.
Accumulate (strategy) v. Raid (tactics)
Removed (most games) v. FPS/Hand to hand (Doom, what have you)
Multiplayer v. Single/Machine opponent seems workable.

max
['Oh, yeah, that's why I don't watch TV.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:36 PM
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98: Huh. I may check those out.

My housemate, also a big fan of Grim Fandango at the time, went on to Baldur's Gate and Myst. He now runs a Mac, however, and never did finish whichever iteration of Myst he'd been on before my last PC died, though he wistfully asked a few times whether I'd been successful in reinstalling it on this one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:38 PM
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That must be really stripped down. No cavalry would give defense a tremendous advantage for 300 game years.

As in Civ IV (I hear) it's all about the unit upgrades - you can get 100% increase in city attack, consecutive attacks, etc. So a veteran knights army can be pretty effective. That said, it really can't do much against a veteran rifleman army in a city (esp. with walls). Personally, I'm all about the race to the tank.

I would think I'd played for an hour, and suddenly discover I'd just pulled an all-nighter.

SOP for me at Thanksgiving was to go to my dad's house and spend the first night staying up til dawn (I didn't have Civ at home, then didn't update as fast as my dad). My dad would give me a lot of shit for this. Didn't stop me from doing the same thing 3 weeks later when I came home for Xmas.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:41 PM
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Need a new version of Mega Lo Mania. And a new version of Sundog!

max
['Because.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:47 PM
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91:

Someone's already come up with a personality breakdown for online games:

http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm


Posted by: salacious | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:52 PM
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Last night I was hanging with this sort of geek type of guy, and he showed me Hearts of Iron , this grand strategy game where you can play a country through WWII and on into the Cold War if you want. Looked fantastic. I love megalomaniac conquer-the-world type games. But I never get them since if I owned them I would never do anything else.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 12:53 PM
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I keep asking myself and asking myself whether I'd love these conquer-the-world games, looking for some hidden hint of that, and I can't find it! There must be something wrong with me.

Maybe if it were written so that I could force people to, I dunno, recycle and do some gardening, it would work.

Pathetic. That's not how you conquer the world.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:07 PM
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I love megalomaniac conquer-the-world type games.

When i was a tween I played a game where you were Godzilla and got to destroy Tokyo. I think it was for the Atari 2600. It wasn't actually very good, but I did love the idea of smashing a city. I could get drawn into an updated version.

Also, I find those Evony ads that feature the cleavagy fantasy babe saying "play now my lord," with her eyes closed and her head leaning back really creepy. It's not just that they represent a porny power fantasy. The problem is that is a porny power fantasy that I am susceptible to. Is there actual fucking in that game, or is just a World of Warcraft thing?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:12 PM
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The paper linked in 106 is interesting, bearing in mind that it's meant to apply to social networking as well as gaming MUDs.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:14 PM
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Also, I find those Evony ads that feature the cleavagy fantasy babe saying "play now my lord," with her eyes closed and her head leaning back really creepy.

Seriously. WTF is up with those ads? Seems like they're everywhere lately.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:18 PM
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Infocom! I loved their games. Do you guys have any suggestions for puzzle games with complex decision trees? It's always hard to find Christmas presents for my dad, and he does like puzzly computer games. He's not so much on the building empires end of computer games. He liked Myst and its variants, although the flaw of the more modern sort of puzzle games, it seems to me, is that the narrative is really unilinear: once you complete a chapter, you've won, done everything you needed to do, and can move on without thinking at all of the previous. I liked those narrative puzzle games where you could really, really fuck up at a beginning stage and not realize it for 40 game-hours.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:26 PM
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108:Maybe if it were written so that I could force people to, I dunno, recycle and do some gardening, it would work.

4X games

Emphasis is placed upon economic and technological development, as well as a range of non-military routes to supremacy.

I am not familiar enough with the Civ series, but the 4x space games, like Space Empires above, do have such options. Explore neigboring systems, colonize planets, accumulate resources, grow populations, research science: recycling, resource conversion, and terraforming with among other possible endpoints, building Ringworld. Meanwhile keeping your people happy and productive in a player-chosen political system.

You may be surrounded by multiple hostiles, and need to research and build defensive systems, and engage in tricky diplomacy including alliances, trade, bribes and maybe using agents to foment revolutions. But SE does have a winning scenario involving X years of peace.

I have played SE many times without attacking anyone.

(I'll also assume there are actual environmental "God-games" out there.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 1:58 PM
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Bob, I honestly hadn't expected a straight answer to that, so thanks. I'm still iffy on the world-building (who am I to do such a thing?), and yet ....


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 2:03 PM
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Seriously. WTF is up with those ads? Seems like they're everywhere lately.

Have I not ranted about that here? Jesus, they suck.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 2:45 PM
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Honestly, Civ draws me in through the exploration - I love filling in the black parts of the map (and identifying ideal city sites - does that go without saying?). By the time that thrill is over, I'm usually invested enough in the game to continue through. But I think I get more pleasure from the first 2-3000 game years (which is like 20-40 turns) as from the remaining 3-4000 (which is like 200 turns).

I usually find ongoing wars an annoying distraction from settling/building and researching, but almost always end up aiming for a military victory - partly because I'm not skilled enough to win the non-military routes very often, partly because the AI will attack you if you're winning via a non-military route, so watcha gonna do?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 2:51 PM
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No love for the pseudo-RPG genre? Relatively recently, I lost more hours to Fallout and Fallout 2 than I care to remember (3 isn't quite doing it for me; too realtime and FPS). The exploration aspect is a big part of it for me, too. These days I sometimes play FPS games like, say, Half-Life, and deliberately turn down the difficulty so I can do less shooting and more wandering around.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 3:25 PM
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102: Machine v. Human seems a hard distinction to make, as does individual v. group. Definately not evenly distributed.

Yes, certainly not even, but I do think they are pretty significant distinctions. I guess was thinking of something like WoW where you have Group Raids contrasted with PvP. Maybe it is just me, but I want to play directly against people (and usually in a team); very rarely do I get that interested in playing the AI (partly it is the intensity and focus of not being able to take a break).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 5:20 PM
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If the Greeks were using a lateen rig, which is plausible, and the ship was before the wind, the mainsail would fill forward of the mast and might look, given some poetic licence, as if it might just about touch the forestay near the leading edge of the sail, as a lateen is somewhere between fore-and-aft and square rig. She wouldn't have a modern headsail; I don't think they existed then. At least, classical images of ships don't have them.

However, apparently our idea of a Roman ship is prejudiced by the dramatic war galleys that come up in the art and literature; the typical cargo ships were much closer to an early modern sailing ship, needing depth, high freeboard, and a fairly wide beam to carry a worthwhile load, which could only be moved by sail rather than oars.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 5:33 PM
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CivIV. I bought it from Direct2Drive, which was a mistake because I couldn't get rid of it permanently. I deleted it from my harddrive, but then it was always there on D2D waiting for me, only a click away.

I went through that one three times, but think I'm free of it now....


Posted by: Sophomore | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 5:58 PM
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Baldur's Gate

Is excellent, BTW. I haven't managed to lay hands on BG II, which wouldn't matter since my PS2 died.

118: very rarely do I get that interested in playing the AI (partly it is the intensity and focus of not being able to take a break).

I can see that; not my bag. Too much messing around. Had a friend a long time ago who hadn't played multiplayer Doom, so I set it up at his house over IPX (I said it was a long time ago), and we did a duel. I killed him like 45 times to three scores him. His roommates were laughing at him. Of course, I did it by hiding in nooks and crannies and waiting for him to go past and popping out and hitting him with the rocket launcher out of nowhere. Later, I found out that this was frowned up and I'm like, 'What? I killed them, didn't I? What was I supposed to be doing?'

The machine-controlled demons don't complain. It was much more fun to alternate turns in a war game with him.

105: Need a new version of Mega Lo Mania.

Mega Lo Mania link, fixed.

111: Seriously. WTF is up with those ads? Seems like they're everywhere lately.

Not knowing what the fuck you were talking about Youtube dispenses some dude ragging on Evony ads. Wow, cleavage. Not.

max
['Why have they not built a pronographic MMORPG?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 5:58 PM
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As for 106, I appear to be either an achiever or an explorer.

max
['Very hard to categorize this stuff.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:01 PM
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In my Asian class I was looking for images to explain the Jewel Net of Indra and I kept running across ads for what appeared to be a pornographic MMORPG going by that name.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:04 PM
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here. I'd look into it, but the kids are around.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:06 PM
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122: Ditto. Explorer, though, pretty much, with forays into Achiever.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:27 PM
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I just discovered that Dungeon Master was plotted by Nancy Holder, who has gone on to a booming career in writing Buffy novels. (The game designer was her husband Wayne, who also did Sundog and Oids.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:31 PM
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124: I'd look into it, but the kids are around.

Prono second life, I'd wager. Boy, that thing (SL) never took off, did it?

125: Explorer, though, pretty much, with forays into Achiever.

I can't feature the socializers - if I wanted to do that I'd post to Usenet comment on blogs sit down somewhere with real actual humans.

max
['I can't feature the sadists really either, because that is not my bag.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:32 PM
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Oh God, Civ I was the cause of my Lost Semester in college. I cut all my classes for nearly two months straight. I quit cold Turkey over Christmas, and aside from a couple short-lived relapses have stayed away since. 10 years since I played it or anything like it, and the thought of playing again still sets off a greatly-attenuated but still real longing.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:49 PM
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Boy, that thing (SL) never took off, did it?

Sure didn't.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 6:56 PM
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129: Sure didn't.

Indeed. They spent umpty-zillion on marketing and they were supposed to take off a la facebook and myspace, and no pookie. Bigger, not exponentially so (as expected).

While people are connecting, socializing, and sharing with each other in Second Life, the virtual world is in its essence very different from social networking sites. It's a rich and immersive three-dimensional experience, enables synchronous communication, and has its own vibrant virtual goods marketplace where users will conduct more than $500 million worth of user-to-user transactions this year.
Translation: decent money, no mind share.

max
[''Rich and immersive' means 'my product has no selling points'.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 7:34 PM
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They're a profitable, expanding internet company with hundreds of employees and a niche -- several niches, really, which boil down to prostitution, corporate prostitution, and real estate prostitution -- that seems poised to grow for at least a while here. They have a non-trivial number of non-employees who make a living off their environment. Mind share? I mean, fuck, who cares. That's so '90s.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 7:40 PM
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115 and others: I came across a very good expose on Evony once. In case everybody hasn't seen it, see http://www.bruceongames.com/2009/07/15/more-about-evony/.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:09 PM
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I came across a very good expose on Evony once.

No worries. There's a variety of commercially available screen-cleaning products out there.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:14 PM
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133: I suppose I deserve that for being too lazy to look-up the code for the accent on e.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:16 PM
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Part of the perception (among certain groups, particularly academics) of second life being in decline is that there had been talk of putting conferences and collaboration and stuff in second life and there's been a little of that, but so little that it's not coming up as a suggestion so much anymore. Instead, people are developing tools for collaboration and such that don't require you to become part of another world - you just have to use words.

Wikipedia has apparently flattened out in terms of edits and user base. Maybe because it's approaching TOTAL OMNISCENCE.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:27 PM
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Maybe because it's approaching TOTAL OMNISCENCE.

Citation needed.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:29 PM
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The post linked in 132 is very interesting.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:35 PM
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The quotation in 130 reminds me of the tapdancing that Prodigy did back in the early '90s (before Sears bought them, or after? Not sure). Anyway, their ads covered the bottom 1/3 of the screen, and I remember some tagline along the lines of "Don't be afraid to look! You can just Zip back!" trying to encourage the bb users to actually click on the ads.

I was never interested, but I assumed others were. It only started to dawn on me that essentially nobody was actually clicking when I started to see claims like 130. And then they went from a monthly fee to the hourly charge.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 8:36 PM
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130, 131, 135: I have an avatar and have been in a few times but never really got up the learning curve. Some folks in a group I was in tried to get us to use it much more extensively, but what we needed was easily satisfied by more conventional means. I was put off a bit by the strident whininess of its advocates (not Linden's fault, of course) after it was clear we would not use it and have not tracked it for the last several years. So I am a bit surprised at how well they seem to be doing per the article.

I do think one way or another something like SL will become a major means of interacting on the 'net* in the next few years, but don't know if Linden's first mover advantage will hold up. I assume Google has something (or several somethings) they've at least toyed with. IBM has a been a fairly significant player, but claims like the one in this article annoy the shit out of me and frankly undermine credibility. "With an initial investment of roughly $80,000, IBM estimates that they saved over $250,000 in travel and venue costs and more than $150,000 in additional productivity gains (since participants were already at their computers and could dive back into work immediately) for a total of $320,000 saved (when compared to the potential expense if the event had been held in the physical world)."

*But I think it will look more like WoW than SL which has the feel of the most boring World's Fair in history.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 9:56 PM
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Going back to the OT, Civ3 is the only computer game I've ever bout (five bucks at a street stand on B'way). I was pretty addicted for a few months then it wore off. Now this damn thread has inspired me to play again, and get the most annoying early part - idiot AI attacking me when I'm in full build, settle mode - it can't gain, nor can I, it's just a fricking lose-lose situation.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 10:54 PM
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it can't gain, nor can I, it's just a fricking lose-lose situation.

There was a MASH episode that made the same point.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-18-09 11:00 PM
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Ah. The somewhat comical pirate adventure/puzzle-solving series is Monkey Island.
I've found a page of recommendations for lovers of such things; I may have to explore!

Far and away the best point-and-click adventure games of recent years are Ben There, Dan That! (which is free) and its sequel Time, Gentlemen, Please! (which isn't, but is very cheap). Graphically they're pretty basic, but the writing is top notch (arguably better than the old LucasArts adventures), with pretty much every object interaction possible given its own, very funny, line. The humour is very British, though, so it may not be to everyone's taste. Still, the first one's free, so you've nothing to lose.


As for 4X space games, you really can't beat Galactic Civilizations II, arguably the greatest strategy game of all time.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 12:11 AM
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Oops. Tags FAIL. Still, the links work properly.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 12:12 AM
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4X space games? MOO, but not MOO II. the first Master of Orion might have been simple, but that made it addictive, the second took it too far into micromanagement (a common flaw in these games). Also Space Empires III - crappy graphics but horribly addictive.

At the moment I'm playing Call to Power II, Activisions non-Sid Meier's followup to the Civilization series, which is not the best of these games but engaging enough to let me waste some time most weekends. Its sourcecode has also been set free and there's a semi-active development community around it these days, which I haven't looked into yet.

I like to play these sort of games Culture style, just doing my own thing on a corner of the playing field developing my civilisation, only attacking when provoked. Much more interesting than just steamrollering your way through the computer opponents.
The other games I've been playing have been the free Steel Panthers redevelopments Steel Panthers: World War II and Steel Panthers: Main Battle Tank, both Windows versions of old DOS games. I actually like setting up the scenarios as much if not more than playing them.



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 1:39 AM
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There's been an interesting progression of Evony ads over time. The last one does seem to have disappeared, at least.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 3:19 AM
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I like to play these sort of games Culture style, just doing my own thing on a corner of the playing field developing my civilisation, only attacking when provoked. Much more interesting than just steamrollering your way through the computer opponents.

Civ IV's very good for this, especially with the Beyond the Sword expansion which makes the endgame much more interesting and a non-violent victory more viable.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 3:19 AM
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Oh, and to respond to the OP, the tanks vs knights thing has always been an issue in Civ games. Any unit has a chance of beating any other unit (well, except for certain units with special abilities). It's just that as the tech gap increases, that chance gets smaller and smaller. It's perfectly possible for a warrior - the earliest military unit in the game - to defeat mechanised infantry. It's just very unlikely.

The problem is exacerbated in Civ Revolution (the version on iPhone) because of the use of armies and the limited unit selection. There are many more combats between highly disparate units than in full Civ, and the army system makes it much easier for weaker units to pick off single strong units. While it's certainly frustrating, it's not like the designers didn't notice the issue, and it does help mix things up a bit and discourage overconfidence.


As for iPhone games with a strategy twist, I'd recommend Galcon and the Geodefense games, although they're much faster paced than Civ. There are some turn based strategy games available (eg UniWar, Vanguard Storm), but I haven't found any other than Civ Rev that really stand out.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 3:37 AM
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I thank the deity that I don't have the remotest interest in computer games. It's on time-sink/addiction that I can bypass.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 4:18 AM
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It's perfectly possible for a warrior - the earliest military unit in the game - to defeat mechanised infantry. It's just very unlikely.

THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK, KAFIR.


Posted by: OPINIONATED TALIB | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 6:56 AM
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Ha, ha, 149 is clever.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 7:08 AM
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117: These days I sometimes play FPS games like, say, Half-Life, and deliberately turn down the difficulty so I can do less shooting and more wandering around.

"I play Grand Theft Auto for the maps."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 7:26 AM
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Civilization enabled I-can't-remember-who to point out that, yes, the US was indeed a Republic, not a Democracy; the Senate never interfered in declarations of war, Corruption levels were uniformly high, and it didn't seem to have discovered Recycling yet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 7:51 AM
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Whatever game-player typology you use, apparently playing Civ matches up well with Unfoggedish meshugas. It does make me Civ-curious.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 8:04 AM
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now that he has tenure maybe he can get a new copy.

Damn, sometimes I really wish I'd gone into academia. OTOH, after spending the morning watching two NCAA women's basketball teams prance around the airport waiting area, I am reminded that even tenure wouldn't necessarily be a guarantee of job security under all circumstances.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 8:42 AM
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I like imaginative flash games, the well done ones are interactive moving sketches. Sonata instead of symphony. Cobacoli and Gimme Friction are both nice like this.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 8:52 AM
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155: You might want to try this game then.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-19-09 9:10 AM
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