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About googoogjoob

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  • Birthday 01/20/1992

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    Deus Ex, Anachronox, Machinarium, Geneforge, Thief, Mark of the Ninja, Hard West, Bus Driver
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  1. "The plot is basically melancholy but in a weirdly understated way for videogames. The frog's only ways of acting are by jumping and shooting so it's unable to help its friends until their emotional problems get bad enough for this hyperspecific skillset to become relevant again." -Stephen Gillmurphy, writing on the game Kero Blaster
  2. On other forums- that is, forums not populated entirely by Spiderweb aficionados- Exile 3/Avernum 3 are inevitably going to be held in the highest regard of any Spiderweb RPGs, pretty much exclusively because they've always been the most popular. They had big shareware demos that got spread very widely, and there are many people whose only exposure to any Spiderweb games has been those demos. Among dedicated Spiderweb fans, I think they're still pretty well-regarded, but they're not necessarily so dominantly regarded as the best Spiderweb games.
  3. The power was out for about nine days due to the derecho, so I have read a lot in the past two weeks, specifically: Vanished Kingdoms, by Norman Davies (reread): maybe sort of uneven, but I really appreciate the histories of eg the Burgundys or the Crown of Aragon or the possessions of the House of Savoy, which get glossed over hard in most history writing as they cannot be slotted into modern national histories cleanly. The collected fiction of Lu Xun: really good. I actually maybe prefer the stories from his first book (variously translated as "A Call to Arms" or "Outcry"), which a
  4. The main reason Avernum 3: Ruined World's intro is like it is, is because it's grandfathered in from Avernum 3, where it was grandfathered in from Exile 3: Ruined World. In the Exile games, it's actually a step up, in terms of presentation and glamour, from Exile 1 and 2, which just have walls of text for intros. It might make sense to change the intro to 3 to match the others in presentation and tone now that they feature lush fantasy art in addition to the portentous prose, but the target audience for the remakes is both old fans and new players, and probably as many people would be upset by
  5. I don't think we'll ever get quantified lore information about anything in Geneforge (or in any Spiderweb game). The answer to any question like "how far is it in kilometers between these two cities?" or "how many people live on this island?"- or "how many creations can a master Shaper control at once?" or "how many Shaper schools are there?"- is always going to be "as many as are necessary for the story to keep humming along." Avadon is the only Spiderweb series thus far that's had a deliberate effort behind it to do any concerted worldbuilding on topics before they come up; mostly, Jeff's st
  6. It would've been neat to see Khyryk in 5, as he's one of the most interesting characters in the series. Maybe in the remake... I don't think there's any reason to assume him dead as of 5. You last see him in 4 in the Grayghosts, on the opposite end of the continent from the events of 5; given his distaste for both major sides of the war, and his reluctance to commit himself to joining anyone, I think it's at least equally plausible that he might've set up for himself somewhere in the wilds, using his Shaping and magic abilities to hide out. He's powerful enough that I imagine he co
  7. If you have Greta with you on Gull Island, Khyryk is the one who teaches her better spells, improving her attacks (although having Greta with you means you're rebel-aligned, and will probably end up killing him). Then, too- although this is only really evident in hindsight from 5- much of the non-Drakon rebellion must've been drifting towards Trakovitism by the time of 4, as an alternative to the Drakons' domination. So I can buy Greta as having some lingering fondness for Khyryk, even if they've happened to end up (ostensibly) on opposite sides of the war.
  8. Short answer: no. Longer answer: I'm not 100% certain, but IIRC how GF3 works is that if you help the rebels on either Harmony or Dhonal's, you can get into the center building in Stonespire and help them on Gull; whereas you don't need to have helped the Shapers before to be able to get to Khyryk and help them on Gull. And then, in either case, which side you help on Gull locks you into that side's endgame on Spears. So you can have helped the rebels prior to Gull, and pull back and spare and side with Khyryk, which will put you on track for the Shaper endgame; but then you must k
  9. There's actually a Penguin edition of the collected fiction of Lu Xun, which is somewhere near the top of the list of books I intend to read. Lao She and Ding Ling were interesting to read about, but Lu was the one who really stood out to me, reading The Gate of Heavenly Peace, as consistently, strongly, even brutally incisive, and the one whose work I'm most interested in. I also need to find a good straight narrative history of the Chinese Revolution(s), which is tricky given a) the extreme complexity of the period, b) the overwhelming focus of English literature on the Communist
  10. I have recently read: The Lord Darcy stories, by Randall Garrett, and the two followup novels by Michael Kurland; fun but slight. The Peshawar Lancers by S M Stirling; the same. Dee Goong An, translated by Robert van Gulik; basically the same. Caribbean, by James Michener; solid as usual with Michener, but maybe felt like he had less of a sympathy for the region (itself heterogeneous and complex) than in some of his other novels. Richard I: The Crusader King, by Thomas Asbridge; slight, as it's a pocket biography for a series of pocket biographies, but solid. The
  11. The QW Kickstarter ended with 2151 backers, and an average pledge of $46. Thus far, Geneforge has 1412 backers with an average pledge of $42. QW saw a few bumps in support as it neared its end, and I expect Geneforge will too; that said I'm a little surprised that it's been sort of underperforming compared to QW. Geneforge is pretty well-known among CRPG initiates, and pretty well-liked, and the basic hook of the game (stranded on an island filled with ruins and lost knowledge, shape monsters) is, I think, more attractive than the hook of QW (serve as viceroy of your mother's empire, manage va
  12. It actually still hasn't even hit $50k yet. I'm pretty confident it'll hit both stretch goals, but so far it's (surprisingly) slightly underperformed compared to the Queen's Wish Kickstarter. I strongly suspect the remake will only feature the original game's nine basic creations, plus the new one. It'd take more work to integrate the three later-series creations into the game- balancing them, distributing several canisters raising the player's level in each creation's skill through the game world and balancing out that, retconning their existence into earlier in the series. Not a
  13. It'd require a tremendous amount of kludging. Getting Avernum and Geneforge, for example, into the same setting would basically require establishing that they take place on separate continents without any mutual knowledge of each other (barring the isolated Sholai contacts in Geneforge 1 and 5, maybe), and that each society had developed in very different directions not just culturally and politically, but also in terms of science and technology (which is to say, since these are fantasy stories, in terms of magical development). The civilization of Geneforge obviously has Shaping, and more bro
  14. I think maybe the most telling thing is that, as far as I know, every Spiderweb release (at least back to the original Avernum, not sure about the Exiles and can't check right now; so that's for at least 20 years) has had all its graphical assets in freely-accessible form, in various formats, and to my knowledge nobody has ever pilfered them, or at least not in any way resulting in a public scandal or lawsuit. I don't think most of the assets would be very useful to a thief, anyway, unless they happened to be making a 2d isometric fantasy game at coincidentally the same view angle height as a
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