Archive for September, 2010

Doodle Balls

Posted: September 22, 2010 in 2 Hearts, Uncategorized

What can I say, I like video games that take the hand drawn approach. So I found a game called Doodle Balls on AddictingGames. Doodle Balls is puzzle game based on knocking red balls out of a pattern comprised of red and white balls using a cannon. There’s a bucket down at the bottom of the screen that the player controls. In order to get a good score, you need to catch the red balls and not the cannon ball that you shot. Every time you have cleared the screen, a new arrangement appears and the red balls are worth more points. There is a time limit for the entire game, so its a pretty fast play. The time limit is 3 minutes and it doesn’t start counting down until you click, so you can read the instructions for as long as you’d like.

The graphics are cute and have a very cartoony feel to them. The background music is good, a fantasy techno track on a loop. It might get annoying in large doses but its pretty good for a the short run of the game.

My complaint about this game is that there is no way to increase the timer that I have been able to find. This is more than just slightly annoying. It makes playing rather frustrating because once you start getting into the swing of things, the game is over and you have to start again.

So the final rating is a 2. It was moderately fun, but the music got annoying and the game goes by far too quickly.

If you want to play it. There you go.

Open Source Gaming?

Posted: September 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, some friends of mine have been discussing the concept of an open source gaming console. I’m starting to do the research into the idea and see if its viable. To begin these are the requirements:

1. It must be open source, wherein anyone can develop for it and develop attachments and software and such

2. It must be a console system, wherein it hooks to a TV or projector and has interchangeable discs or cartridges that contain different games and have controller units attached to it

3. It must be able to connect to the internet to allow for multi-user games, software updates and purchasing of new games

4. It must allow for the user to upgrade the hardware, ie RAM updates or adding additional memory

Those are my main requirements. I’d also be willing to work on a hand-held, but what I really want is the next generation of Wii/Xbox/PS etc. Only…open source. What this would hopefully allow for is a cheap console system that would be easy for developers to develop for and would offer cheap games and various methods of acquiring games for the end user. Neat, huh?


Posted: September 13, 2010 in 4 Hearts, Uncategorized

Bang! is a card game made in Italy based on the American Wild West. Apparently this makes more sense that I think it does. Moving on. The basic concept of Bang! is that you are one of several characters in a wild west town. There are several specific named characters, each with a personalized power. Along with this, each player has a loyalty card which shows which of the 4 roles they are playing. The 4 roles available are sheriff, deputy, outlaw and renegade. The sheriff and deputies want to kill the outlaws and renegades. The outlaws want to kill the sheriff and the renegades want to each be the last person alive. In order to kill the players that you want to kill, you need to use Bang! cards or weapon cards. These cards can be blocked or stolen and other cards can be played to otherwise keep you from being able to act. Its pretty straight forward and hilariously fun. The quote of the game, without doubt, from when I learned to play was right after the renegades and deputies had all been killed and all that was left was 3 outlaws and the sheriff. “The revolution has been declared!”

My one complaint about Bang! is that some of the cards have a symbol on them that means go check the rulebook for how this card works instead of just putting the rules on the cards. This makes sense in a way, since it would take up far too much space since almost all the writing was done in both Italian and English. This works alright if the players know the rules for these cards, but if its the first time for everyone who is playing, things will get confusing fast.

Bang! is very fast paced and interesting. Every time you play will be different because of the character powers and the loyalty cards. The rules get confusing at times, but they can be easily clarified by anyone who has played before. I can’t vouch for the usefulness of the rulebook since the set I was playing with didn’t have one. I enjoyed playing and the learning curve isn’t too terribly steep. Over all, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 hearts (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on how good the rulebook is since I haven’t seen one). 4/5 Hearts

And now for something completely different

Posted: September 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

Sorry for not posting anything on Wednesday. I’ve been really busy with homework and stuff. Plus my card that gets me into the game dev lab that has the game I’m working on a review of broke. So, I come bearing something a little different. I come bearing my first piece of open source, gaming supplement. I’m a big fan of the World of Darkness setting White Wolf games. I’m currently playing in a Mage: The Ascension game that one of my friends is running. For that, I ended up spending a little bit of free time working on making a command-line dice rolling program that can handle World of Darkness mode. In the World of Darkness systems, only 10-sided dice are rolled. All rolls are made against a difficulty. If you can beat this difficulty, it counts as a success. On a roll of 10, the die is said to explode, meaning that it counts as a success and you roll it again. A roll of 1 subtracts from the total successes. For example, lets say I’m rolling 4 dice at a difficulty of 6 and I rolled 10 8 4 1. Well, that 10 gets rolled again. This becomes a 6. So, you’ve got 3 successes and a 1. That’s a total of 2 successes. Pretty simple. So I made a program that can roll dice normally or go into World of Darkness mode and calculate success and reroll 10s. So, here you go!

The code in full is available at diceroller and is a bashscript program. Save it as a program called diceroller with no  extension. Here is the proper usage:

diceroller 10 d 10 –wod    (to roll 10 10-sided dice in World of Darkness mode)

diceroller 1 d 20      (to roll 1 20-sided die in normal mode)

Any numbers can be put in as arguments. The ‘d’ is merely there for my own sanity. Feel free to add anything to this program that you would like or to ask for additions if you’d like me to develop them myself. I’m more than happy to continue developing this program if there are things people would like.