written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 19 June, 2011
Because of real life stuff and a spotty internet connection, gaming was on the back burner this week.
Terraria is a 2D crafting, fighting, and exploration game. You gather resources to build tools and weapons in order to gather better resources from more dangerous places to make better tools and weapons and so on. The combat isn't much fun. And until you get somewhat geared up, the exploration can be pretty slow going. But it's got enough environments and stuff to find and make that it's a decent time killer.
Here's my tower house, complete with a crafting station and chests to store materials and loot. When you meet certain conditions, friendly NPCs will move in and sell you stuff.
My current project is building a mushroom garden beneath my tower. I've planted some seeds in mud and put down a thin layer of water, but nothing's happened yet. I'll probably hit up the wiki.
Here is some exploration. I've dug an underwater tunnel (with occasional air holes) and am now fighting some evil plants and flying insects. There are treasure chests throughout the world, their contents varying by location. I'm trying to put together a set of jungle armor, at present. My current armor is better, but there's only so much to do in this game, so I've been reduced to collecting.
When's that darn Steam summer sale coming, anyway?
I tried a few more casual games on GameTap. Mostly they were terrible. But in some cases, they did the job. Settlement: Colossus is a hidden object game. That means the main play mechanic is looking at a picture and finding stuff in it. Colossus just dresses it up in the tiniest bit of city building / management. I could go gather mud down by the river to make pots. But at the rate I'm using food, I'd have to go farming just to get the potter to work next turn. It was just enough to think about with just enough bonus puzzles thrown in to get me to finish it.
Everybody's had their forums hacked. Most outlets are saying Duke Nukem Forever is lame. PC Gamer likes it, but that's probably because it's easier to play with a mouse and because the load times aren't so awful on an overpowered PC.
An interesting point was made on a recent podcast (Rebel FM, I think) that we're finally seeing a few big budget games that are best on PC, but that it probably has nothing to do with the strength of the platform. With the Wii U announced and multiple rumors about publishers having Xbox 3 dev kits, it's more likely that the industry is trying to ease the transition to the next generation. It's in everyone's best interest to have strong launch games. And spreading out the investment of upgrading your development tools keeps it off shareholders' radar. If PC users get a nicer version (which publishers can use for amazing looking "actual screenshots" in advertising), so much the better.