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Messages - Jubal

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Bigosaur / Re: My Mom's a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« on: Today at 03:11:59 AM »
Right, got all the new achievements - one thing to note, you don't currently seem to get the achievement for beating a boss if you barrel-roll-scroll it, I don't know if this is intentional!

I'll have a think about undeath - something like immunity to knockdown like the orc-thingies have would be a big and interesting change? Immunity to poison would make sense too, hard to poison a skeleton!

Fireball XL5 Ep 27: The Robot Freighter Mystery

Rating out of 10: 7.1
IMDB Link:

In which Steve basically goes batarmadillo crazy and breaks any reasonable definition of the law for literally no reason, ruining an otherwise pretty good plot.

There are some good things to say about this episode, which is why the ending (on which more later) is quite so painful. It includes one of the few times when some villains genuinely outsmart Steve with a good plan that doesn't rely on Steve being phenomenally stupid himself, for one thing. The basic setup with racketeers and needing to guard cargo vessels is a fine and interesting element of space patrol duties to look at, and the gangsters, if slightly cliched, are pretty good villains; it's nice to see villains who aren't super powerful, aren't trying to destroy the earth, but still have a serious mean swagger to them. The basic racketeering plot is a good one, and the aforementioned outwitting of Steve when he goes in convoy is a very nice twist...

...and then the episode falls apart, absurdly and completely. The only hole in the first part of the episode is the strange lack of effective ways of catching the bad guys' mole in space patrol, a conniving Mexican-coded engineer who appears to have sprung straight out of a Donald J. Trump for President leaflet (itself not a great look). Like, apparently fitting a security camera inside a robotic spaceship seemed like too much work for anyone to bother with. But anyhow, that's a relatively minor point and could be overlooked, compared to the fact that, having caught the mole red handed planting a literal bomb on the spaceship, Steve then goes and gets him and the brothers at gunpoint, and puts them on the robot freighter with a fake bomb to extract a confession. This is, needless to say, not precisely how the law works; confession under duress is invalid in a law court (and lack of legally valid evidence was the only reason they hadn't arrested the villains sooner), not to mention that Steve isn't a police officer and probably can't make gunpoint arrests. Even less pernicketily - it's also COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. He's just caught a guy red handed planting a bomb on a spaceship, so that's a) a lot of criminal counts right there immediately, b) removing the mole would stop the racket anyway and c) it would probably be fairly easy to catch the rest of the ring via a plea-bargain. Steve's actions are, in short utterly batarmadillo nuts and completely pointless, turning what should have been a well worked victory against cunning opponents into a "let's be honest, Steve should be literally arrested for this" moment.

The good features of the first half of the episode do drag this up quite a lot, and I'll let it scrape into the "average" category with a 7.1 thanks to the unusually well played villains and the first half of the episode being high quality, but there's at least a full point of difference between that and where this episode could have got to with a half-decent and functional ending.

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: February 23, 2017, 06:43:32 PM »

Added a few more tracks to my game recently from the Sci-Fi section :)

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: February 22, 2017, 10:45:35 AM »

Supermarionation / Fireball XL5 Episode 23 review: Mystery of the TA2
« on: February 22, 2017, 12:52:29 AM »
Fireball XL5 Ep 23: Mystery of the TA2

Rating out of 10: 8.3
IMDB Link:

Mystery of the TA2 is definitely a well built Fireball episode - it sets up its core mystery well, has some clear phases through the protagonists' journey, and manages to build the world and setting up a little as well in the process.

The basic plot all checks out and works well - the central mystery around the wreckage and tracing it, the empty TA2 getting searched which has a really nice slightly creepy Mary Celeste feel, and then the segments on Arcturus all broadly make sense. The origins of the TA2 help us feel like the space patrol has some history behind it, and the odds and ends of thinking about things like earlier tech in the patrol as well as the specific mystery gives the vital impression of depth. The salvage mission also makes for some nice crew dynamics, with Matic's bumbling nature but longer memory contrasted with Venus' efficiency and desire to find out new things, and with Steve acting oddly like a sensible captain for once. Commander Zero's brief parts in the episode are good too. His bluster about "regulations" comes up regularly in Fireball, but we get another regular reminder at the end that this is nothing more than bluster and frustration (and probably worry for his crews) - he turns out to be as pragmatic and flexible in his underlying approach as ever.

On Arcturus, the "let us, three people, split up and search this whole planet for what's probably one corpse from about 50 years back that may be buried in a hundred feet of ice right now" is a bit odd, but then the "every planet is plot-sized" thing is quite consistent in Fireball (and I can't criticise too much since I've done the same thing myself in creating my adventure game LIFE). The ice trial is nice, it's a fairly original idea that I at least haven't seen played out elsewhere, and the "trial by natural phenomenon" category isn't otherwise used much in Fireball whilst being a good suspense generator. Denton himself fits the part well, with the shots and discussions establishing him effectively, and even giving him some interesting depth of motivation between perceived duty to the Arcturans and desire to return to earth. The scene where he watches Fireball fade into the distance is certainly one of the more poignant of the series, especially for a minor character.

It would be wrong to do this review and not mention the trope issue that seems fairly glaring to a modern analytical perspective, though was probably not much considered at the time - specifically, the infantilisation of a native people (Denton's description of them as "like children" is ambiguous by may imply this) and the "great foreign man turns up and is made king". The vaguely feathery headgear of the Arcturans even has a little reminiscence of something stereotypically "native", though the very medieval style of the castle/palace helps somewhat to break up the trope played straight. This trope is of course somewhat more forgivable when a literal new species is created for the purpose, but it's a bit hard not to feel like it's mirroring rather less pleasant portrayals in older adventure stories. The brief use of the trope might be its saving grace; whilst more exploration of the Denton/Arcturan dynamic (their fear of having "their" king "stolen" is interesting) might have been interesting to elucidate whether Denton's view of them is accurate, it might also have cemented some of the more awkward and clunky elements of the trope in place.

Whilst there are a few reservations from me about this episode, it's definitely a very good piece of work overall, and considerably above Fireball's average - an 8.3 score being the result.

Computer Game Development - The Indie Alley / Re: Quickfire Screenshots
« on: February 22, 2017, 12:24:38 AM »
Koob: I like the vector stylised stuff most I think, especially for your sorts of projects which tend to be quite story driven and atmospheric :)

Here's a spaceship I made recently - I figured I'd post it here because I made it, was rather pleased with it, then realised that ingame you only get to see the damn thing for a quarter of a second (literally, not figuratively).

The Beer Cellar - Forum Games! / Re: Word Association
« on: February 21, 2017, 10:04:03 PM »

Yeah, it definitely seemed to get the fan going.

I think the current font and way the error flashes up is fine - I'd just change the code to a short snippet of equivalent English text.

Supermarionation / Fireball XL5 Episode 17 review: Space Vacation
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:40:17 AM »
Fireball XL5 Ep 17: Space Vacation

Rating out of 10: 8.5
IMDB Link:

I like Space Vacation - it's got a lot of similarities to Planet of Platonia (probably my favourite episode), and whilst it's a slightly weaker episode overall there are a lot of good things to say and a very good score as a result.

Fireball actually is pretty good when it tries to do extraterrestrial politics, something it doesn't do enough; it's a good way of providing character motivations that aren't just cackling-villain in style, and whilst both villains in this piece do get some literal cackling opportunities, the Fireball crew getting caught up in what's fundamentally a "domestic" intrigue around the planets of Olympus and Kembel is great, fitting the "Odyssey" style that tends to mean Fireball is at its best. The Olympus-Kembel dynamic, represented by the two planets' leaders (Jankel on Olympus and Kanerik on Kembel), gives a good impression of depth in the Fireball universe that's too often lacking in other episodes, and having two antagonists who are opposed to one another is a good way of adding extra complexity. The dichotomy between unpleasant Kembel and beautiful Olympus - but the way that isn't reflected in the two leaders, who are as bad as one another, is nice. The shaping of Kanerik as a ruthless and implied-demagogic (given he starts the episode giving some sort of mass radio broadcast) leader seeking to turn his downtrodden folk into conquerors, versus the outwardly opulent but fundamentally xenophobic and avaricious Jankel, means that the secondary characters all get enough motivation and background to drive them believably through the plot. The positioning of Irgon as a younger idealist ruler whilst also wrapping him up in the plots works very well indeed.

The plot development is also well handled, with the leaders' plans and failures drawing the Fireball crew in convincingly, every character actually has an explained motivation; the old rivalry, the assassination attempts, the kidnapping and even Jankel snapping under the strain all fundamentally make sense in context. Even the lightning blast that hits Fireball is actually foreshadowed earlier in the episode, which is excellent. The time-limitation plot device adds suitable pressure onto the ending and means that the later segments of the episode get a good buildup of tension towards the climax.

Are there downsides? Of course, but not many. The biggest plot-wtf moment is the fact that Steve managed to literally walk into the Kembellian leader's base and knock him out with a rock feels a bit bizarre for the lack of guards or any other similar devices. These planets are supposed to have been having frequent wars, and one guy on a hoverbike can walk through the automatic doors and knock out the supreme leader of Kembel? It's not a strong plot point, and nor is Jankel's apparent lack of any resources other than Steve - he's the leader of a planet and has to resort to sending one earth-man in with no mention of declaring war? This could be explained somehow (perhaps Fireball can get onto Kembel where Olympian ships would be shot down), but it isn't. The ending is alright but a little under-explained as to why and how Irgon is able to quietly threaten the argumentative parties with earth's intervention (but OK, that's me being pernickety). Some time could have been freed up to give us a little more on this by cutting out some of the rather lame cracks about Venus (in her usual role as stand-in for all womankind) and her holiday packing, though even in that scene the fact that the crew borrowing Fireball for a holiday is actually directly addressed is unusually good attention to plot detail.

All in all, a very nice episode of Fireball, one which adds quite a bit to the universe and has some very good sustained tertiary-character development. An 8.5, one of the higher scores of the series.

Rome - Total Realism / Re: RTR8 Beta v3.0 Feedback Thread
« on: February 21, 2017, 12:59:31 AM »
Siege Workshop that I linked above is our official place for general RTW modding chat (though I'm sure the RTR team will give good advice here or on their slack-chat etc too) - if you ever want to do something specifically ahistorical definitely give me a shout, I've done the Warhammer and Narnia mods so fantasy bizarreness in the RTW engine is something of a specialism; I'm mostly working on a standalone adventure game of my own nowadays but always happy to chat about RTW stuff. I started out by making a few units, I've never learned to make 3d models but there's a LOT you can do with 2d graphics skills (to take one example, the same model across four of my mods functions as a golem, a heavily armoured medieval bowman, a hi-tech summoner of orbital bombardments, and a chef).

And yes - once you've uploaded images to your imgur account, there should be a "share links" option if you look at the image from your "images" section (as shown below), then you want the "BBCode/forums" one (in green on the image below) of those to paste into your posts here. :)

The Boozer / Re: Cats n
« on: February 21, 2017, 12:40:46 AM »
I'm pretty sure a lot of these are dog names.


Generally the system works well, I built four ships and enjoyed having a play around with it :)

I think some of the below is probably because I'm unfamiliar with the system, and of course so far I can't combat-test anything so I'm not sure if most of my designs are any good, but even so, some thoughts...

  • Help page spellchecks: translate not traslate on the first one, inner doors "establish" rather than "established" the crew pathing, and at the end rollback "will delete" rather than "will deletes" current progress
  • Some error messages have adyacent when you mean adjacent
  • I don't know if you're going to want to keep the same error message style when e.g. placing rooms incorrectly, but if you do, ensure they give an english readout rather than just the codename for the error!
  • It's not clear *why* you can't have multiple rooms of the same type, and it's not clear whether it's OK to require crew to move through a room (as opposed to a corridor) to reach parts of the ship.
  • Not being able to put bulkhead doors within inside corridors seems odd.
  • The game is unusually heavy on system resources for some reason on my laptop - my fan had to shift up several gears while I was playing.
  • There are a few bits of the interface where I still don't know what they do, most obviously the vertical bar with three blobs on the first screen that's near to the help button.

I'll get some screenshots and post what I've made so far if that'd be helpful :)

Rome - Total Realism / Re: RTR8 Beta v3.0 Feedback Thread
« on: February 20, 2017, 12:49:59 PM »
Technically mammalian: it's a pangolin. :)

And yeah, we used to have a "triumphs" system for site citizens to recognise contributions to the site, but it's kind of halted along with other things since we're struggling for enough volunteer staff on Exilian at the moment sadly. :/

Also, as you're new a couple of other areas you might find useful: the Siege Workshop is a good place to ask generic/general modding queries if you have any, and for overall stuff about Exilian outside the RTR project the Welcome Hall and Questions & Suggestions can also be useful places to find :)

Rome - Total Realism / Re: RTR8 Beta v3.0 Feedback Thread
« on: February 20, 2017, 11:58:35 AM »
Don't worry, I started doing RTW modding seriously about your age, it's a good time to do it :)

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