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About googoogjoob

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  • Birthday 01/20/1992

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  • Favorite Games
    Deus Ex, Anachronox, Machinarium, Geneforge, HoMM 3, Bus Driver

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  1. I got a new PC semi-recently and I just recently went to replay N:R, and have had some, uh. Difficulties, which are hard to describe very well, but bear with me. My monitor is 16:10, native resolution 1680x1050. When I launch the game, it does not ask whether or not to change resolution (as the Geneforge games properly do on this PC), even if I delete the settings file. Instead, the game changes my screen resolution to 1280x720, with the game taking up the entire width of the screen, but squished drastically and very noticeably, with large letterbox bars taking up the rest of the screen above and below it. I can't take a screenshot of this, because it only screenshots the 1280x720 area of the screen, which is undistorted back to normal proportions afterwards, but here is a mockup of what I'm getting: (click) This topic suggests that maybe this is intentional? But obviously the aspect ratio is wrong, and the game looks awful. For reference, I am using 64-bit Windows 10, with a GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. I'm using version 1.0.1b (as seen in screenshot) downloaded from the Humble site. No compatibility settings (disable DPI scaling, disable fullscreen optimizations, compatibility modes, etc) change this behavior.
  2. Grand Poll 2017: Results Part 2

    This is maybe unfair, but I gave the Avernum 2 remake a lower score partially because of how hydras were replaced by the dull, omnipresent hellhounds. Pray god the Avernum 3 remake doesn't replace the slimes with chitrachs, or the alien beasts with hellhounds.
  3. Grand Poll 2017: Results Part 2

    I'm kinda shocked that Avernum 5 scored so low... I mean, I can understand not liking it as much as Avernum 3 or Geneforge 2, but... below Geneforge 3? Really? Same with the Avadons. Personally, I really liked Avernum 5 (and the Avadons, to a lesser extent) for simply trying new things: showing us more of the world below Avernum, getting into Imperial politics, and providing two diametrically opposed endings, in the case of 5. If it didn't totally succeed in all these things (a lot of the "new" areas felt rather like the old ones, Manfred and Dorikas aren't fleshed out quite enough, etc), at least it tried. Maybe it's just that some people haven't played Geneforge 3 in a while and/or have their view colored by nostalgia.
  4. Five-Dimensional Political Compass

    You are a: Communist Pro-Government Interventionist Bleeding-Heart Libertine Collectivism score: 83% Authoritarianism score: 17% Internationalism score: 33% Tribalism score: -100% Liberalism score: 100% Got a couple issues with a few of the questions tho, eg "Our nation should never intervene in civil wars or rebellions, let them take care of their own problems" which seems to be correlated with "internationalism" as in "should my country be in the UN"; I said yes to the former because the USA has a terrible track record of intervening in other countries' conflicts, but I said that we should be in the UN. I don't think these are somehow contradictory: interventionism and internationalism are not the same thing. I don't know where the hell the authoritarianism score comes from... because I said maybe governments have the right to dictate what people can and cannot do? But that's a potential definition of government? If a government can't make laws, it can't do anything. (Also for the record, whatever the test says, I'm an anarcho-syndicalist.)
  5. What have you been reading recently?

    Since my last post, I have read: All three Imperial Radch novels (very good) The Decameron (very filthy) A Specter is Haunting Texas (baffling) Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the New Yorker (also good) Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War (good, but turned out to be much more about Chinese-Western relations and competing visions for the future of China than about the actual war, which was okay, but I kinda wanted more on the background and course of the rebellion)
  6. Talk me into Avadon and Geneforge, please!

    I would recommend skipping Geneforge 3 and playing 4-5. GF3 and Avernum 4 are kind of the nadir of the Spiderweb oeuvre (doing six games in five years, then pumping out two in one year, is not good news for the quality of those last two games). Starting with Geneforge 4, though, Jeff put a lot more effort into the writing of the games, and they're a lot more satisfying in terms of dramaturgy as a result: not that the prior Spiderweb games are poorly written by any means, but the games starting with GF4 have much more in the way of stuff like character development, foreshadowing, thematic patterning, etc. The characters in Geneforges 1-3 are generally prototypical representations of certain perspectives on Shaping, while in 4-5 they tend to be more complex and rounded. So, if emotional disconnect with the stories is a problem for you, you should definitely try em out. (Likewise, the characters in Avernums 1-4 are mostly entertaining but inconsequential eccentrics (X) or eager straight-faced questgivers (King Micah) or both (Erika), whereas in 5-6 there's a much greater attempt to develop them (mostly), and 6 in particular tries (with mixed success) to provide satisfying character arc conclusions for established characters (esp Solberg, X).) Avadon is very different from either Avernum or Geneforge, and, though it's written by the same man and is mechanically quite similar, plays out more like a modern Bioware RPG (eg, KOTOR, Dragon Age). I think it's totally possible to love Avernum or Geneforge and dislike Avadon, or vice versa: it's a really different kind of game- more being told what to do, less exploration, more emphasis on plotting your course through the interpersonal politics of the game world. If you didn't really feel connected to Avadon, then that's kind of it.
  7. Upcoming Titles

    We can hope. I'm not concerned that the game itself will be bad, of course. I don't think Spiderweb is actually capable of putting out a bad game at this point, given the level of experience Jeff has, and I don't think Spiderweb ever HAS put out a bad game. My concern is that cutting costs and using premade assets might harm the game's prospects. In that blog post Jeff talks about the "discoverability" problem devs have on storefronts like Steam, and it strikes me as ironic that he then talks about using Unity Asset Store stuff, which can only make his game less distinctive and memorable, because for any given asset you get from the Unity store, at least a dozen other games on Steam are gonna be using it. I dunno, it just gives me a creeping bad feeling... I have a friend who released a Unity game on Steam, with 100% original assets, backed by a decent-sized publisher (which had published other games that were hits on Steam), with sexy professional commissioned banner art... and it flopped, likely because it really still didn't stand out very much from the crowd.
  8. Upcoming Titles

    long, long sigh
  9. Name Cameos in Jeff's Games

    If Frederick Barbarossa was so superhuman how come he was too dumb to take off his armor before fording a minor river in Anatolia? Checkmate, Hohenstaufens
  10. What have you been reading recently?

    Hot update: recently read: Three Moments of an Explosion by China Mieville: a very uneven collection of short stories. Too many of them lack endings and close on a striking but meaningless image. But when it's good, it's very good. This Census-Taker also by China Mieville: I am not entirely sure I understood this book. It's very short (a novella) and in uncharacteristically sparse prose for Mieville, but very slippery in terms of meaning (the narrator was a child at the time of the events recounted in the book, making him potentially unreliable) and context (the worldbuilding is only ever hinted at very barely). But it was very well-written and tense and unease-inducing, so I liked it. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard: a history of Rome (obviously) from its founding to AD 212, the point Beard identifies as the end of the first phase of the Roman Empire. Good, readable, easy to understand. Unusual for this kind of book in that it's really a social history; she's more interested in discussing the everyday lives and ideas of the ancient Romans than in recounting every war and battle in detail, or moralizing about decadent politicians and emperors. I like this, I like the aspect of history that illuminates the continuity of human experience over time and across the world. Now reading: The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien To read: Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo (a dead-serious narrative history) (from the "Discussion Questions" section of the webpage: "What surprised you most about the story of the molasses flood?") A Specter is Haunting Texas by Fritz Leiber (which I originally wanted to read based exclusively on one of its covers) Still gotta read the Decameron... Important recent work by Ann Leckie
  11. How did I end up in Avernum?

    Shrug. This is a debate about the relative importance of an addition to the game, rather than anything factual, and is inherently subjective, so "agree to disagree" etc etc. I wonder if, to people entirely new to the series, the Kyass stuff sticks out as obviously as it does to those more familiar with it. Most of the text in the re-remake is grandfathered in from the older versions, and most of the additions are relatively seamless, but I felt that the Kyass area and writing were pretty different, tonally and thematically, emphasizing its enclaved-off-ness. Maybe noticing this made it stand out in my experience of the game more strongly? I don't know.
  12. How did I end up in Avernum?

    I, uh. I meant that you can actually kill Grah-Hoth without having Demonslayer, can't you? It's not a good idea, but it's doable. Reforging Demonslayer is a sidequest, killing Grah-Hoth is a main quest.
  13. How did I end up in Avernum?

    What I mean is more like... generally, the games assume that the protagonists have done all the optional sidequests. Every Avernum after 1 assumes that the protagonists reforged Demonslayer and used it to slay Grah-Hoth. Every Avernum after 3 assumes that the protagonists purged the Tower of Magi and dealt with Linda. Whether or not a specific player on a specific playthrough does these things, they're canon insofar as the subsequent games assume them. So, although you don't have to interact with Kyass to win the game (I think? been a while since I played the new remake), "optionality" doesn't really have any bearing on the relevance of events or their importance to canon. Basically, I consider the Kyass stuff an important change in terms of narrative and thematic heft, rather than simply in gameplay terms.
  14. How did I end up in Avernum?

    A character in one of the later games mentions having been posted to the Za-Khazi Run IIRC, though this doesn't necessarily mean that all the plot elements of that scenario (many of which are optional) are canon.
  15. What have you been reading recently?

    I had a friend recommend me Locke Lamora, and I was gonna check it out, but then I discovered that it's the first book in a projected seven-book series, with the four thus-far-unpublished books already titled. And at the current rate, it'll be over a decade before the series is finished. And then there's already a planned sequel series, which also will be seven novels long. So, I didn't read it. I'm sure it's good, but I don't really want to get tangled into the marketing nightmare that is modern fantasy publishing.