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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:13pm on 12/05/2010 under ,
I recently decided to use a service that will post my Tweets on this LiveJournal.

However (as alert readers will undoubtedly have noticed), many of my Tweets nowadays are cryptic messages of the following type:
The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Jumped down the well for a good long chat!

These mysterious entries are artifacts of my fascination with a new computer game called Echo Bazaar. Echo Bazaar is a cross between a MUD, a role-playing game, and one of the old Infocom text games. It is free (as in beer; don't know whether it runs on open source software or not), and is played through a browser pointed at the Echo Bazaar site, which is maintained by a small British company called FailbetterGames. It is set in London in an alternate 1880s--a London which has been mysteriously kidnapped and drawn into an underground cavern just down the road from Hell. Literally. It has a bit of a steampunk feel, though there's relatively little weird science involved (although they do have dirigibles). You start out in prison, and your basic task is to break out, survive, and make something of yourself by whatever means you can and wish to--in that order.

I could try to explain the game play, but this game review does a better job of that than I could, so it would just be simpler for you to check out the review.

The site uses Twitter to permit players to enjoy a kind of interaction with other Twitter users who are in the game. Once a day, you can gain ten extra game actions by broadcasting a random Tweet about Fallen London, as the setting of the game is called. Hence the strange messages from my Twitter feed.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you may wish to check out the game, or at least read through the Wiki here.
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 05:32pm on 28/06/2009 under ,
Last night, [livejournal.com profile] esrblog and I spent... far longer than I care to admit, playing a silly game. It comes, from the I Can Haz Cheeseburger site, of all places, and is called "NOM NOM NOM 4 FUD!"

The object of the game, unsurprisingly, is to gobble up kibbles for points. Cheeseburgers give you points, and an extra turn, while balls of yarn just get you bonus points.

You aim a spherical, orange cat around a kitchen floor. She is powered by eating supernoms (yellow kibbles), noms (brown kibbles) and by bouncing off of metal water bowls. Other obstacles abound.

It sounds ridiculous, but it's fun, and a lot more challenging than you might guess from the description. You can find it here.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 03:07pm on 01/02/2009 under ,
Lately, a computer game has been eating my brain. It's not any of the mighty real-time adventure games like World of Warcraft or Everquest. It's not even Battle for Wesnoth. No, the game in question is an open source clone of a silly arcade game from the 1980s. Remember BurgerTime? Well, now there's BurgerSpace.

A few years ago, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] landley, I was experimenting with running BurgerTime under MAME. But the BurgerSpace clone works a lot better (at least until KMail crashes, which is still happening to me on a semi-regular basis). I'm also doing better at it than I ever did at the BurgerTime game--my high score is around 66,000, and I've gotten to level 8!

BurgerSpace preserves the silly graphics, and the silly sound effects, of the original, with only minor variations. It doesn't have the music, but since I always hated the music anyway, that's a plus.

Now I need to go do some law writing for work. After one more game. :-)
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:05pm on 12/10/2008 under ,
Since the weather was so nice, [livejournal.com profile] pmat and [livejournal.com profile] shakati invited us to their house for barbecue (hambergers, actually) and then more Spore!

We started over, with a planet we called Torya, and built a creature we call Torians. When we had finished, we had just promoted the Torians into the tribal stage. They are omnivore with gliding wings, some mighty peculiar spiky appendages, and a second mouth in its belly. And we're having a great time, all four of us collaborating on the decision-making. Imagine, Spore as a group cooperative game!
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:12pm on 06/10/2008 under ,
Yesterday, after a pulled pork sandwich dinner that couldn't be beat, our friends [livejournal.com profile] pmat and [livejournal.com profile] shakati introduced [livejournal.com profile] esrblog and me to the latest game that's been eating our friends' brains: Spore.

After some tinkering with cache size (to improve our chances of seeing our budding critter as the graphics engine chugged along), we duly oohed and aaahed over the impressive galactic view and the start-of-your-home-planet sequence. (We let the game name ours Javin.) Our Spikeworm quickly grew until, in an amazingly short time, it was ready to develop legs and climb out onto dry land.

Unfortunately for us, dry land was a lot tougher. We had decided to make Spikey (and his land-based successor, the Stegojumper) a carnivore, and the game would not allow us to backtrack from that fundamental decision. As time wore on, species that were sufficiently weaker than Steggy (and thus suitable prey) became thin on the ground, forcing us to roam farther and farther afield for food, and for potential allies. Sometimes, Steggy got killed, and when he got killed he lost critical advances. All too soon, Steggy was too primitive to impress the bigger, more sophisticated species, which made killing a new species a real crapshoot.

At that point (after about a couple of hours) our friends kicked us out to get some rest, but that was fine by me, because I'd seen enough to realize that, though it was fun, I'm unlikely to become addicted to Spore. The graphics are indeed as wonderful as everyone describes (particularly as each species is generated on the fly by the graphics engine) and the evolutionary process mostly convincing. (Though it was annoying that the coloration of a species doesn't seem to have any evolutionary consequences in the game. Sigh.) The build area, where you get to add new features to your evolving species as you acquire sufficient DNA points, was well done and easy to use.

No, my problem was moving Steggy around the landscape. Not the navigation--the inset map the game provides for you was simple enough to use. On the other hand, Steggy had no brakes, when I ran him; he would miss targets by the equivalent of many yards, and I found turning him around surprisingly unintuitive. I also screwed up camera angle changes, often ending up with a viewpoint that spun uselessly around and around above Steggy's eye level. Though I imagine I would find the process became easier with time, the combination of wrestling with the movement interface and getting killed a lot made me happy to stop.

Though I would like to try it at least once more, with a herbivore. There was an awful lot of fruit on Javin....
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:30pm on 25/06/2005 under ,
While I was Googling for more information about one of Eric's current obsessions, the Zombies! game, I stumbled across a cute Flash game involving Zombie Pumpkins.

We're going off to see "Batman Begins" now.
Mood:: 'amused' amused

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