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JudoGeek Blog - Games of the moment... Lance Wicks
Lance Wicks
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JudoGeek Blog

Games of the moment... 

Just a quick one about a couple of games I have been playing and why.

The reality is I don't play much in the way of games. Too busy by far. But occasionally I want to relax and play a game. I have a bunch of consoles and steam and yet the two games I am playing the most recently are pc based and to be frank... weird.

1. SailX
This is a sailing simulator, as in sail boats. It's web based, though as I am a Linux user I am using the stand alone client for Linux. You can play in 2d or 3d (I alternate between the two).

It is basically exactly what it sounds like, you sail a boat. It's not expansive, you only sail races around a course.

It is multi-player; no NPCs here. You sail against real people and the winner is the best sailor as all the boats are the same.

It is statistics. I think I discovered the game when I was researching ranking systems for the http://rwjl.net/ research project as it uses the ELO system for ranking.


2. Dwarf Fortress
This is a dwarf simulator, I guess. It can probably only be described as a cross between minecraft, the sims, simcity and archlinux.

This is a game that you really struggle to even get started with unless you have the dwarffortress wiki open.

The learning curve is immense, the graphics ASCII. The complexity huge, the frustration even larger.

I blame my brother entirely for getting me into Dwarffortress. He prompted me to try it a couple of times. And then a little while back I had my 4/5/6th try and it stuck. I got it and enjoy not doing well when I get a chance to embark.

3. Ingress
This was previously Android only, but now is iOs also. Niantic labs' augmented reality game can be addictive. Especially with the ARG elements to this go be somewhere in the realworld game.

It's really interesting and I like geo based anything. (I geocache and trying Munzie).

Give it a go, join the resistance and let me know.


Summary
Not sure why I was prompted to write this, possibly just that it was a dreary day and I didn't fancy actually playing anything. Possibly because the blog has not been updated for months and I want to correct that. Possibly because I am curious if I am not the only one who is enjoying quirky indie gaming more than firing up the console.

I'm not a fast twitch FPS guy, so major AAA releases on old and next-gen consoles don't appeal that much. And I also get tired of the power on, start game, wait for updates, wait, start playing, realise you are out of freetime, turn it off cycle. Sometimes, I just want to get on, play, turn off.

Also, these quirky games are far more intricate it seems in areas. The SailX community is pretty serious about the rules for example; yet will happily help a noob. They have simple one design boats, but that opens up tactical play so much. Not freemium style powerups or such like.

Dwarffortress is obsessive both in the way it is developed and in the way people react to it. The level of simulation is creepy high, yet graphics are awful. But intentionally so. The fun is in the details not in pretty graphics (I confess however I play trhe Ironhand version which adds a little graphically).

Everything matters, nothing is just filler. No cut scenes. If your characters express emotions they matter. As in, you probably need to keep tabs on how they are feeling, who they are hanging out with, any budding relationships etc.

When you build, you need to plan for the future as well as short term. You need to keep thinking and keep enjoying the little touches that make the game so rewarding.

I'm a total noob, but everytime I manage not not mess something up and see how I should have done it I get a little charge that wants me to play more. I'm kinda addicted and wanting more.

Ingress is the one that is slipping a bit for me now. I'm level 6 slowly creeping to level 7. The recent virus infection(s) are frustrating as I don't live in a city with lots of portals. So the fast decay rates piss me off. I know it was needed and to be frank I'm getting more points for it. But the sudden change was jarring and annoying.

It also seems to be suffering a bit from there being nothing new to discover now I've got to a reasonable level. Maybe level 7 will reveal more?

The ARG elements are really good, but I'm not being drawn in quite so much as I'd hoped. Maybe my busy lifestyle is partly to blame.

Recruiting...
So, I am a geek. I work with geeks.

So, it's been interesting recruiting others to play. Ingress was the first one to catch. Dwarffortress so far has only been me catching it from my Brother and my colleague has just started playing.

If you play any of these games, or better yet have a game you reckon might appeal to me, please comment below or drop me an email.

Lance
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