Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I thought I would public my TA Mortar reticle that I use with CustomDesktopLogo

That's right, Tribes Ascend reticles really stink!
Here is the one I am using:
Just save it as a *.png and you are set and use this program with it and you are set!


Friday, December 11, 2015

My thoughts more on first person shooters

Yes - I wrote that some time ago. Obviously, that was when they were still trying to develop the game. This game has had a very rocky start in that they tried to heavily monetize this franchize.
In doing this, they removed much of the balance, diversity of play and skill needed to really play the game as it was meant to be played. One would think that as time marched on that games like this - strategic jet-pack first person shooters would enter the user more and more into an environment where skill, teamwork, communication and strategy were more and more required to play.
Tribes Ascend went to the other way (as well as other titles, it would seem). I can only guess they are trying to pull in players from the younger mindset but in doing so I think they catered to the stupid, the lazy, the trollish and the arrogant.
Here are some traits that ALL first person shooters should have:
1. NORMALIZED WEAPONS
Normalize weapons effects and damage. Always be trading something of limited supply (energy, time, ammo, even health) for something you can release in a burst of fire (damage, area of effect, cone of effect, ect.). In fact a GOOD first person shooter will have diverse weapons that are powerful - in their own way and have soft and hard counters to those strengths.
2. LIMITED HEALTH
Health does not automatically regenerate. This health regeneration tends to insult the skillful actions of a patient, trained player. If all you have to do is run away and come back to knife your opponent in the back - it's not a game I want to play.
3. REQUIRE PREDICTIVE AIMING
Make all ranged weapons need an element of predictive shooting.
Think skeet shooting with a shotgun.
 If you REALLY want to go with hitscan or very very very fast projectiles, then make it so you have to "spin up" or "lock on", thus trading TIME and ATTENTION for an easier or more powerful shot.
4. CONTROL RATE OF FIRE
Rate of fire is the most powerful element of any weapon in the game. Think about it.
If you miss with a slow firing weapon what are you left with? You are left with an opponent who is very aware of your presence who can then retaliate, dodge or run away before you can get off your next round.
If you miss with an automatic weapons, what are you left with? You are left with the ability to fire many many rounds after that with each bullet correcting your aim. After about 1-5 bullets (depending on your skill) the other 15-20 bullets are going to be right on target.
So, if that slow firing weapon does 100 damage and your automatic here does 5 damage per shot, which one does more damage, on average?
You miss with a slow moving weapon (like a spinfusor): 0% damage for the next 2 seconds.
You miss with a fast-firing weapon (like a SMG or autoRifle): 5 shots miss with 20 hitting, well, that's 100 damage!
How do you correct the automatic weapon problem? Make the weapon overheat after a few shots, make each shell wildly inaccurate past 20 meters and if the weapon DOES overheat and you STILL try to fire it - make it blow up in their hands, doing health damage!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Minecraft!

Howdy folks! I know a lot of you that read my blog come here for the Steve Jackson gamer that stole our post apocalyptic thermonuclear collective hearts but as of late I have been branching out to other boardgames and computer games.

As with any download, you have to be cautious of viruses. Personally, I use a website called VirusTotal. All you have to do is drag and drop the *.rar, *.exe *.zip *.jar, ect. on the text field, hit the blue button "Scan it!" and you're off. I have saved myself countless hours of trying to pry trojans, virues, worms and rootkits off my main drive as in the past I have been the victim of "RansomWare". https://www.virustotal.com/

My nephew likes playing this hugely popular game Minecraft and this cute little guy keeps wanting me to install Modifications. I took me a few tries \before I got the hang of it but mods sure are fun! Have you ever wanted to know what items makes what recipes?
Well ...
Where was this mod when I was playing? WOW!
Now, to run the mods, you have to have "Forge" (a mod installer) and maybe this supporting collection of code called "CodeChickenCore-1.8". Both are *.jar files and just are dropped into the Mods folder under the ".minecraft" folder when you enter in %appdata% into the RUN command.
Here is how you do it!
Step 1
Just press [WINDOWS]-R and this pops up.
Type in %appdata%. I know. There should be a
button on the start bar for this folder!
Step 2
In %appdata% there is your illusive Minecraft folder!
Here you can drag and drop packs that change the
look of the game (resource packs), skins,
maps  (under saves) and finally mods.


Step 3
If the "Mod" folder does not exist already
make a new folder and rename it Mods.
Step 4
Drag and drop *.jar files here for
Forge to load up for ya.


Here are some of my favorite Minecraft Tweaks:
Favorite skin Calvin & Hobbes (It's a toss up!)
Favorite Mod InventoryTweaks
Favorite map generator McDungeon
Favorite Resource Pack Silver Mine

Friday, September 25, 2015

As of late, I have been playing some cool games....

Wargame AirLand is a wonderfully interesting series. It is a Real Time Strategy game that does not follow Starcraft 2 in any respect.
Every unit is precious.
You lose that M1 Abrams platoon or that few helicopters you could potentially lose the conflict.
I give this game an off-the-cuff rating of 8/10.
I would give it a 9 or even a 10 for it not having a map and unit editor. Heck, I would be happy with a map/scenario editor!
Another application I picked up on the Steam Store is the Tabletop Simulator. It is pretty rough in it's present form but I see great potential for this game type in the future in that it will revolutionize the way we play once physical turn based games. It will forever blur the line between computer and table top gaming.
In fact I think it will spawn another entire type of computer game: The Virtual Table Top (VTT) or as I say "VeTT". Now all we need to do is shake off these Micro$oft chains of which we are bound. We need Steam to run on Linux - and all the games Steam sells to work with Linux.
I give this one a 7.8./10. I would give it more but there is no way to code in behaviors, rules and logical boundaries into the playing pieces and board.
Now for some person words:
Back in the late 1970s, 1980s and even the early 1990s, it was a magical time for table top game playing. When I was younger, I could play risk in my back yard under the moon and no one else besides my siblings knew we were playing a game of Risk with rules no one ever heard of. One time, we all created 12 "reinforcement cards" with a total of 24 unit reinforcements in all with a maximum of 4 per card. We even allows to gave 4 special cards mixed in that changed the game in some fundamental way, but only for ONE round of turns (everyone had to follow the rules for one of the turns). The point was to make the "reinforcement card" as hilarious and creative as possible. Think paratroop penguins invade South America or Polar Bear Cavalry defend Kamchakta.
Cheers!



Friday, September 18, 2015

Ever hated reinstalling windows? I have found a solution. This is my digital Hard Drive adventure.

I was wondering one day that if I could just copy the Windows installation to another hard drive every day or so, it would make me proof against the evil people that create Cryptolocker. 
All you have to have is another hard drive (or thumb drive) at least 10GB (For Winxp) and 300GB-400GB (for win7), a wonderful program called "Rufus" and another wonderful collection of useful tools called "Hiren's Toolkit". I just used this program called Rufus to place Hiren's.BootCD.15.2.iso onto a USB flash drive. It's that simple.
Here is how you do copy one Windows Installation to another:
1. Insert a USB Flash Drive at least 600MB in size.
2. Run Rufus
3. Select the Hiren's.BootCD.15.2.iso in Rufus.
4.  Let the files copy to your USB Drive.
5. Restart your computer and press the key that takes you to the boot menu.
6. Boot from your USB Flash Drive
7. Open up HBCDMenu and navigate to Programs > Backup > FastCopy
8. Run the program Fast copy.
You should only be seeing this if you booted into
USB Flash Drive only.

9. Choose your Source (the hard drive you have your windows installation on you wish to copy).
10. Choose your destination drive (The drive you hopefully formatted for the purpose).
11. Let them copy by pressing "Execute"!
12. Boot up the hard drive you copied and there you have it. No more having to reinstall windows, drives, devices, settings, ect. ect. ect.

Check this out: You can BOOT from a USB flash drive!
I was running mini-Windows XP from a USB flash drive!
There is application on this little bootable wonder called "Fastcopy" made by H. Shirouzu. Once I booted into my USB flash drive, I found a hard drive with about 320GB on it. I had JUST installed a fresh copy of Windows XP on another 1TB drive with all the drivers, applications, settings, just EVERYTHING you do NOT want to do twice (as in the case of having to reinstall your OS). Now I wanted to just COPY and PASTE this Windows XP installation with all my bells and whistles onto this 320GB drive and have the 320GB drive boot up.
The 320GB drive with this copied Windows XP installation booted up and worked perfectly.
I am going to purchase enough USB flash drives and USB external drives enough to backup my OS every three days or so. This way, I will have three completely disconnected drives with a CLONE of my current installation of Windows on it and it it gets a virus - no problem! Just go back to a previous version, copy over the last installation and I will have won over these sleeze bags that thought they had me.
Why all this zealousness? Well about a week ago, some piece of garbage somehow got cryptolocker* to run on my computer and it encrypted all my files and wanted 2.3 ฿ (about $500) to receive the "key" to unencrypt it. Thank goodness I did not have anything important on it like my family photos or my childrens books I am writing.


Tin Foil Hat Time!

Gee, I wonder why Micro$oft didn't want people to do this? 
It is a total fabrication of Micro$oft that an Operating System MUST be "booted" into and "reinstalled" in order to work.
It should be as easy to copy and paste the installation that works for you and leave it at that. You should have the choice to cut the applications and services that YOU DO NOT USE out of YOUR copy of YOUR operating system. This has a two fold result:
1. It keeps your memory open for what you have your computer for: running applications that is NOT windows.
2. Gives you more power over a piece of hardware that is YOURS, not a corporation's.

* (I didn't capitalize their name to show my contempt of their 'work' - or lack thereof)


and ................................

Friday, September 11, 2015

What about a touch pad on the left mouse button?

I sketched this up as a concept for a mouse that give the user a more precise experience.

What do you guys think? I am going to put this $30 device on my computer mouse next week. I will update if it works really well.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Is it time to jump from Chrome to another Web Browser?

Is it time to jump from Chrome to another Web Browser that does not censor us and our extentions (like adblock)?
It is almost there. Google is not some benevolent corporation that loves us users. They are after our right mandated freedom to do what we wish in blocking material we find offensive and unimportant to us. Advertisers wish to assault our senses with garbage. We have the RIGHT to block that influx of unwanted information that might influence us. I will continue to search for applications and extensions that will block ads. Before I was ambivalent to ads. Now they are my online enemy because of the unrighteous and unjust censoring of tools I used to save me time and energy.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I think I found a precursor to the mighty ORE Mark 2

Maybe this version of the tank is a manned version of a cybertank.
What do you all think?
I am not even sure WHAT to call this. It looks like some military took all their extra weapons they were not using and threw them up onto six individual tank chassis!

Friday, August 28, 2015

"What happens to the OGRE after it leaves the board?"

The question was asked on the forums "What happens to the OGRE after it leaves the board?"
Well, I have an answer:

People throw it a welcome back party, of course!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Howdy folks. I am sorry I have not produced much content in a long stretch. I think I have exhausted just about anything I could say about OGRE/GEV. Unless Steve Jackson comes out with an additional expansion that builds upon the original game, like a good sea surface or air-based variant of OGRE/GEV, I really do not have much more to contribute.
I seriously believe that Steve Jackson will never make a\n RTS Computer game based on the lumbering, building-sized cyber-tank because it would seriously dent into the profits of the board game and I agree with him.
Lately, I have been playing Hearthstone. Previously I played Magic the Gathering. This art-heavy game is of beautiful design but one practically needs a bachelor's degree to effectively play with all of the cards and unlimited combinations of probability mechanics. The game mechanics is so slippery when trying to predict the outcome of any deck and this is made much less predictable when you make the sample size a deck of 60+ cards.
Blizzard intelligently created two constants that were before quite variable in Magic the Gathering.
1. They kept the mana acquisition near linear. Every turn you got one more mana to work with, thus increasing the number and power of cards increasingly until the game is over. Rarely does a Hearthstone game last more than 10 turns. In Magic the Gathering, games could drag on for an hour.
2. The sample size of the deck is reduced to 30 cards. In reference to point #1, a player could typically be near the bottom of their deck after ten turns.

In my opinion, one simple game mechanic that ruined the game was a card that allowed someone to disproportionately destroy more minions that anything else could do. I quit every game when this over-powered mechanic is used. Thank goodness the card is relatively rare.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Current list of the counters I am able to make for OGRE/GEV

Current list of the counters I am able to make for OGRE/GEV:
OGRE/GEV UNITS:
1/1 Powered armor Infantry
2/1 Powered armor Infantry
3/1 Powered armor Infantry
1/1 Powered armor engineer Infantry
2/1 Powered armor engineer Infantry
3/1 Powered armor engineer Infantry
Infantry one shot infantry missile
1/1 Militia
2/1 Militia
3/1 Militia
Light tank
Heavy tank
Missile tank
Mobile howitzer
Light mobile howitzer
Light GEV
GEV
GEVPC
GEV MCP (Mobile command post)
Mobile CP (Tracked command post)
Superheavy tank
Light Howitzer
Howitzer
Drone Howitzer (LAD)
Drone Howitzer (LAD) unpacked
BMP
Grabber
Truck
Hover Truck
Loaded missile crawler
Unloaded missile crawler
Iron Mountain Scenario Support Truck
Iron Mountain Scenario Support Light howitzer
Train 6/7 & 4/2 speed
Train 2/3 & 0/1 speed

NON-CANON OGRE UNITS
Missile GEV (3att/1def/3rng, Mov4/2)
Missile truck (3att/1def/4rng, Mov3 wheeled)
ECM tank (3att/3def/3rng, Mov3)
EMP Tank (2att (only DIS) /1def/6rng, Mov3/2)
Laser tank (2att/1def/30rng (los), Mov1) (fire or move)
Superheavy GEV (3att+3att/4def/2rng, Mov4/1)
Howitzer GEV (2att/1def/6rng, Mov3/2)
Heavy GEV (4att/3def/1rng, Mov3/1)
Desert hopper (2att/1def/2rng, Mov3) (immune to swamps)

Loaded Light missile crawler
Unloaded Light missile crawler
1/1 Marine powered armor Infantry
2/1 Marine powered armor Infantry
3/1 Marine powered armor Infantry
1/1 Augmented unarmored Infantry
2/1 Augmented unarmored Infantry 
3/1 Augmented unarmored Infantry
1/1 Augmented unarmored marine Infantry
2/1 Augmented unarmored marine Infantry 
3/1 Augmented unarmored marine Infantry
1/1 Ranger powered armor infantry
2/1 Ranger powered armor infantry
3/1 Ranger powered armor infantry
6/1 Nuclear mine
3/1 Antipersonnel drone swarm
3/1 Anti-armor drone swarm
0/1 Recon drone swarm
6/3 Nuke drone swarm
6/2 Nuke drone swarm
6/1 Nuke drone swarm
3/2 Attack drone swarm
2/1 Attack drone swarm
1/0 Attack drone swarm


ARCHAIC UNITS:
Archaic Mobile artillery
Archaic Main battle tank
Archaic APC
Archaic Regular Truck
Archaic Field artillery
Archaic Light missile tank
Archaic Fire support vehicle

OGRES:
Mark 1 OGRE
Mark 2 OGRE
Mark 2 Mike-one-echo from the online comic 6-Commando (The author liked it)
BTR-191 "PG" from the online comic 6-Commando
Mark 3 OGRE
Mark 3 Israilli Golem
Mark 3 Israilli David
Mark 3b OGRE
Mark 4 OGRE
Mark 5 OGRE
Mark 6 OGRE
Mark 7 OGRE
Doppelsoldner
Fencer
Fencer B
Vulcan
Black Horse (Ninja)
Mark 2 Coelacanth
Mark 7 Coelacanth
Ogrethulhu
Australian OGRES Mark 1 through Mark 5
Indonesian OGRES Mark 1 through Mark 3 (including Fencers and Dopps)

STRUCTURES
2/60 Laser tower
2/30 Laser turret
Command Post
D1 Hardened command post
D2 Hardened command post
D3 Hardened command post
D4 Hardened command post
D5 Hardened command post
D6 Hardened command post
60 sp Reactor (nuclear)
80sp Fortification
70sp Fortification
60sp Fortification
10sp Production facility
10sp Jamming Station
10 sp Radar Dish
30sp Administration building
20sp Administration building
10sp Administration building
D3 Bridge
D6 Bride
Crater counter
Railroad tracks (best when printed on clear plastic then laminated)\

MECHS:
Fast attack mech
Scout mech
Heavy missile mech
Missile mech
Light missile mech
Heavy mech
Medium mech
Light mech
Rifle mech
Light howitzer mech
Howitzer mech
Laser mech
Railgun mech

NIHON:
Nihon 1/1 Powered Infantry
Nihon 2/1 Powered Infantry
Nihon 3/1 Powered Infantry
Nihon Infantry one shot infantry missile
Nihon Light missile tank
Nihon Light tank
Nihon Heavy tank
Nihon Missile tank
Nihon Mobile howitzer
Nihon Light mobile howitzer
Nihon Light GEV
Nihon Light missile GEV
Nihon GEV
Nihon Assualt GEV
Nihon GEVPC
Nihon Missile GEV
Nihon Command post

MISSILES: 6.35mm x 12.7mm (1/4" x 1/2")
Cruise Missile (Nuke)
6/5 missile (OGRE missile)
3/4 missile (Nihon missile)
2/3 missile

STATUS COUNTERS
Broken road
Under water
Battle group counters (A-Z)

Monday, June 29, 2015

My OGRE/GEV material as of now.

So, I took an assessment of my best OGRE/GEV game material. I have not played this board game in years! I might have to give some of it away to someone who would play it more often than I will. When I was a kid, I used to play this game SOOOO much! It was my starter RTS, if you will.
I do have some older cardboard counters that included Mechs, buildings, ect.
Enjoy the photo spread!










Dice I am thinking of sending to a fellow GEV commander!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

This what I want in an operating system

I thought I would tabulate a few things I think are essential to any operating system.
1. The operating system should give you the power to close ANY process on your system and it show you how these processes are connected.
2. Allow you more power over functions that deal with networking.
3. All installed programs have a text file that gives you full access to all it's processes. This would get rid of bloatware, applications calling out to IPs to dump information on you and your system and pretty much anything you are not made aware of.
4. Has the ability to run ANY and ALL applications you wish.
5. Gives you full performance of your GPU, CPU and memory.
6. Have network traffic transparent and displayed in a way that a non-network technician will understand what is going in and out of that machine. I see some network traffic I know it probably doing something I do not want it to do.
These might be pie in the sky wishes but it's not too much to ask.

Friday, June 12, 2015

My three ideal games (this one is short)

Three games I want to see made:
1. Tribes 2 with updated graphics and 64 player large servers YOU can set up without DRM.
2. A game where you explore the interior of the human body with a microscopic sized submarine like in Fantastic Voyage. The game would have to be detailed and as accurate as possible where they could teach medical students about the body from the inside out.
3. A updated game where I can play a submarine as in the game Sub Culture.
There.
My dream list of games that have not been made yet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why Blizzard is losing so many subscribers.

Blizzard is losing players.
People all think that it's because of this and that that Blizzard lost 2.9 million subscribers. When they have a reason in mind that has been bugging them then it must be that reason that this happened.
I believe it's called confirmation bias. It's a real term in psychology and studies have been done on it.
They are losing probably losing subscribers because the last generation is moving on to families, children, lives, ect. A child will find a stick and rock fascinating ... for a while. Eventually the rock and stick will be supplanted by a rope, a tree and a stream. Then the kid will grow and find new things that catch their attention and put away the old things that don't excite them anymore. Blizzard has not really radically changed World of Warcraft for over 14 YEARS. That is a very good run for a game, however, since all Blizzard does is re-skin, re-purpose areas and instances and re-use quests ideas. Because of this, people are becoming understandably bored even though Blizzard is pouring in millions of dollars expansions.
For 14 years there are really four kinds of quests:
1. The kill quest. Kill ___ of ___ and get ______.
2. Escort ______ from ______ to _______.
3. Find _______ and bring _______ to ______ at _______.
4. You have ____ minutes to do (either 1, 2 or 3 from above).
The next generation then sees this game as their "dad's game" and they go and try to find a game that separates their generation. 
This is why you don't see kids in the 1970s wearing black leather jackets and slicking their hair back. 
You didn't see 1990s kids turning their collar up and saying "bodacious" or "radical". 
You also didn't see kids in the 1980s wearing bell bottoms and flower power shirts with long hair and wearing sandals.
Blizzard, you had a good run but if you want to earn more subscribers, somewhat retire the fantasy genre and maybe make a World of Starcraft or something. It will be different enough and it would be even more expansive. 
Don't become something their dad used to do. 
Be a company that is changing their product to meet the wants of the consumer that is spending $15 a month (that's $180 a year!). That is not counting that each expansion is about $40-$50.
The possibilities CAN be endless with a company with tons of financial resources. Because they have to maintain the status quo, like many HUGE corporations, they don't change too much. This has been the downfall of many a corporation.
The cycle of corporations:
1. A small company with an excellent an innovative product or service dreams of pleasing the consumer. They are humble and honest. This draws in people because they like it when companies listen to them and respect them. They know that this company really wants their money but this company is willing to WORK for it.
2. The company prospers greatly because of the foundation of honesty, innovation and humility. They become a huge company.
3. The company becomes a corporation and then becomes so large that the consumer becomes just another statistic in their business model. They marginalize the consumer's needs, deliver a product that is not innovative and even go as far as to silence the opinions of those that attempt to disrupt the status quo. This is the beginning of the end for this once great, consumer friendly, company.
Blizzard, unless you give innovative services and products, you will dies just like THQ, SEGA, Atari and Paragon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My thoughts on "SWAT"ing.

Reason why not to do it (according to me)
1. It's dangerous.
2. It's cowardly.
3. They could be diverted from where they are actually needed. It uses up valuable police resources that could be used elsewhere.
4. It's expensive for the town to host false house clearings because you got mad in a video game.
It costs an average of $10,000-$12,000 to send a SWAT team to a house to get it secured.
5. It reduces their effectiveness a little because they would have to wonder "is this another SWAT 'prank' "..
6. It shows just how little self esteem you have if you have to get "revenge" on someone because of a stupid video game.
7. Someone is doing 25+ years in prison time for doing this.
8. It's dangerous.
Oh wait did I say that already?
Yeah, I did because you can indirectly KILL someone if someone has a heart attack or is shot by a man thinking his house is being broken into by criminals (which happened).
Maybe I repeated that one because the first and last line on a list is the most remembered.
But maybe that's what you want to have happen if you have that little self esteem.
I don't know.
You are the lowest of the lowest of cowards. If you were a REAL man, you would go to his house and offer to fight him.
But no, you are a pathetic gamer with too much time on your hands and your parents are on the verge of kicking your worthless carcass to the curb. Slowly destroy your own life through diabetes or heart disease if only do not spread your misery through techniques like this. Self destruct your own life, not other's lives.
Yeah.
You know what? The MAIN reason NOT to do it?
Only stupid immoral people need numerous reasons NOT to do something that could kill someone.
You don't do it because it's fundamentally immoral.
It's that simple: Because it's wrong.
Maybe your parents didn't teach you right from wrong and now the internet has to. That is just pathetic and sad.

Rules for the internet:

Rules for the internet:
1. Do not trust anything anyone says verbally or in text unless you have known them for at least a year and have met them in real life.
2. Do not reveal your real name until you meet them in a public place and establish rapport.
3. Do not give out any number sequences that betrays where you live.
4. Do not give our your phone number or any number or email where you can be reached unless these are disposable.
5. Do NOT give out financial information and numbers over the internet. You want to get your Identity stolen? This is how.
6. Always confirm requests for action or information with a phone number you have found separately from their suggestion. Companies will never ask for personal information over the email or phone if you did not contact them first. Don't be that poor fish on the other side of the fishing pole. No matter the "consequence" or "reward" they will pressure you to action in the moment.
7. I you have to talk on a voice app like Mumble, Teamspeak or Ventrillo, use a VPN like Softether. Link: https://www.softether.org/
8. Do not post pictures or video of children or other people without their permission.
9. Do NOT post pictures of young children on YouTube, Tumbler, Pintrest, Facebook or anywhere else you do not want a pedophile to see. They have ways to finding these pictures.
10. Do not have ANYONE take naked pictures of yourself. They WILL eventually be used against you.
11. Do not illegally download any executable files from unfamiliar site. These are virus delivery systems designed to play on your need or want of free programs that cost a lot of money.
12. Do not argue with people on the internet. You will never win.
13. Always cover your cam and mute your mic when they are not in use.
14. Do not tell others any weakness or medical conditions you have have. Internet people will use that information against you.
15. Do NOT give out information that could identify anyone you know to the internet.
16. Keep important information you use seldom on an external hard drive or a thumb drive and then disconnect it from the internet and only access if offline.
I am sure there are more rules out there but these are good ones to follow. I will probably update this list as time goes on.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A first person shooter jet pack game should have certain constants built in...



A first person shooter jet pack game should have certain constants built in:

All energy is absorbed at a 1 damage per energy point. Maintaining the shield costs 1 suit active energy per seconds of operation. Maybe you change this to 15 seconds or even 5 second depending on how much endurance you want the shield pack to have. Maybe having the shield pack last for 20 seconds would make an light suit too powerful and imbalance the game.

This is why I like having fundamental constants:

Every power suit in the game is set at 100 energy

Every humanoid life-form in the game is set at 100 health.

Every humanoid life-form without a power suit has a walk speed set to 2 m/s.

Every humanoid life-form without a power suit has a running speed set to 5 m/s.

All suit jets use 1 energy per 1 second of operation.

Acceleration of the jet pack is set at 10000N*Second of thrust per 100 energy expended. Holding down the jet pack fire button, initiates an acceleration of (Thrust / Mass)m/s². A 200kg light suit would accelerate at 50m/s² burning the entire pack energy supply while a heavier 750kg heavy would accelerate at about 13m/s² after using up the whole 100 energy. An unprotected humanoid could wear a jet pack with no other equipment at have a mass of 120kg and therefore accelerate at about 83m/s² by using up the entire 100 energy. However, the acceleration forces would cause the pilot to pass out and maybe cause lethal collision or falling situations.

It takes a pilot to empty a jet pack of energy in under 5 seconds. The acceleration given by a jet pack is thus divided by five. If a jet pack has a acceleration of 50m/s² per 5 energy, at 4 seconds into the "burn", the player will be at 40m/s² (80% of 50m/s²). In 1 second, the player will be accelerating 10m/s², 1 second later, 20m/s², ect. One cannot just use up all 100 energy in the pack in one second. The rate of usage can be modified by laying off the jet fire button. Stutter firing the jets is more efficient.

Every power suit has a friction value of 1 when walking on solid ground or metal.

Every power suit has a friction value of 0.1 on solid ground when "skiing" when over a velocity/mass of 10m/s/Kg. A power suit, therefore, with a suit mass of 450kg (with pilot) would need to have a velocity of 45m/s before skiing. A lighter suit with a mass of 250kg (with pilot) would only need a velocity of 25m/s before starting to ski. Gravity manipulators and downward slopes can help reduce the initial speed requirement (because gravity is acceleration). The rational behind a need for initial velocity is that trying to create a very low friction on a solid surface would take a LOT of energy (more than the suit has) to constantly modify a large volume beneath it.

Every humanoid life-form is set at 95kg base weight (assuming clothing, suit inner liner, insignificant equipment, ect.).

Every humanoid life-form hit box is set to 2m in height and .5m wide.

Every humanoid life-form has a head sphere on top of a 1.75m x .5m hit box of .25m. Hitting this "head" does double damage to the health from piercing weapons (lasers, bullets, spears, arrows, ect.)

Every humanoid life-form occupies 100 liters of volume without the power suit.

Every humanoid life-form has a density of 0.95kg of mass per 1 liter of volume (allowing the individual to NOT sink while in a medium similar to water or sea water).

Every humanoid life-form outside of their power suit (which compensates for excess gravity and acceleration) in the game has acceleration (G) resistance set to +50m/s² before G-lock and negative acceleration of -30m/s² before G-lock. Therefore, the relation of a player to a gravity field, natural or artificial, can be tactically significant. If you want to get a better idea of this relationship of speed and time, go here: Acceleration Calculator.

Every suit has an acceleration compensator for dealing with positive and negative G's. It can be set to allow G-forces to be applied to the individual inside the suit before energy is used to counteract potentially harmful or even lethal amounts of acceleration. Damage can be applied to the suit normally but the blast is what is absorbed. Maybe have this set to +50m/s² and -30m/s² before energy is used to counteract acceleration forces. For every +25m/s² and -15m/s² in change it uses up 1 suit reserve energy (which regenerates VERY slowly).

For a comparison, TNT has an explosive velocity of almost 7,000m/s. Roughly translated to an 96kg individual unprotected by a power suit, that is about 75m/s² acceleration (for that one second only). The suit would absorb the 50m/s² leaving 20m/s² gravity to deal with. Maybe the player would use energy in accelerating in the direction of the explosion or "going with the flow" to reduce the acceleration effects. Your jets can accelerate your suit

Every suit is set to an energy regeneration of 1 energy per 1 second

Every pack that is set to a specific use (radar, stealth, shield, jammer) are all set to a usage rate of 1 energy drained for 1 second of operation. The effects are modified by this constant. No doubling or having the energy usage rate.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The hipster kit as I understand it.

The hipster kit: 
Anything sepia-tone or anything that makes it look like they grew up in the 1970s. 
Anything that LOOKS like they bought it at a second hand store. 
(This the ultimate in slumming : making it look like you belong to the poor class.) 
Wearing facial hair that would make you look like homeless man 10 years ago. 
Wearing glasses despite your healthy vision. 
Wearing clothing that makes your life appear easy when in fact you have $50,000 in student debt from that liberal arts degree you thought would make you a movie script writer.

Bottom line: If you want to be unique, do something unique - don't appear unique.

A thought on technology.


At first, a big fuss is made about how new technologies will revolutionize civilian life for the better.
The first step when a new technology is discovered is to keep it from the civilian population until it can be fully weaponized. It is then kept in a dark, secret place until used effectively (hopefully) in war.
Then once it is used in war and made innocuous enough, it is released to the civilian population in a gimped, barely functioning form for maximum profit for the corporations that basically own "our" government.
Nanotechnology, just as it could save lives, it could take just as many lives just as easily. Turning someone into grey goo from any distance without warning is the ultimate weapon. You think that a powerful government agency would allow this technology loose into the civilian world until they have complete control over it?
The internet was an accidental release that government could not control and it provided a tremendous counter to government suppression of freedom. We know about "prism" and other subversive, unpatriotic programs designed to usurp authority us that that does not belong to them.
I hope to they do not develop this technology.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A UI change I would to see changed in Space Engineers

The original allows you to only enter a number and not choose a predetermined amount at a time.
Something else I kind of wanted to change as well:
Why not have us use the mouse scroll to change between inventory items like they do in Minecraft? It's very convenient!

Monday, May 18, 2015

My views on this SWATTING trend



SWATTING is when someone uses technology to trick the police that an unknown hostile force is threatening a life at a specific location. As with any situations as this, Police respond with Special Weapons Assault Teams to neutralize the hostile force and preserve the innocent victim as quickly and efficiently as possible.

m As I always say to my niblings, pranks should always follow three rules: Funny, Simple and Harmless.

SWATTING is none of these things.

Ways to combat this potentially life threatening prank practice are two fold:

Tell your Police Department that you are susceptible to SWAT pranks because you live stream.

That way when the Police DO get that call, they can respond with less force than they otherwise would. Chances are very great that they will not bust down your door with guns pointing in your direction or worst yet in the direction of a father who has access to a handgun for home defense.

Have a mic/cam mute button easily accessible.
Also, ALL Twitch Live Streamers should have an app or switch that TURNS OFF any and all audio and video if they suspect they are getting this horrid prank pulled on them. Heck, I am surprised that there is not a key dedicated on the keyboard of every keyboard that mutes audio, video or both!
Without audio and video, the basement dwelling loser neck-bearded low-self-esteemed social reject cannot watch the stream while twiddling his spastic fingers in excitement over the temporary power he received. Imagine his disappointment when that is taken from him! A minor win in the favor of the victim.

So, to recap, communicate with Police and deprive your 'prankster' from witnessing his deed.




I believe that to dissuade other basement dwelling loser neck-bearded low-self-esteemed social rejects from thinking of doing this make up class this to a felony. In fact this felony should have a mandatory 25 years to life for anyone convicted of this dangerous practice because it is attempted murder.


Credits:Thank you to Brennen Harley, wiktionary and CrowbCat for the sources.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Laws for first person shooters

I have compiled laws that every first person shooter should follow:
1. Give us access to all we see. If an area looks like it can be explored, let us explore it, even if it leads nowhere. Allow us to pick up items, break items that should be broken and combine items together to create interesting items that could help us in game. We have the technology to do this and if implemented, could give us power over our environment instead of handicapping us to the "looking but don't touch" policy that pervades in the gaming industry. In CS:GO, I laughed when I tossed a grenade into a flower garden and the flowers did not even move. I see that this is possible since Red Faction allows buildings to crumble, in Far Cry 2 foliage to burn, in Fracture make mountains break anything in Breach , break small things in Crysis 2 and pretty much throw anything in the Force Unleashed. Give us control over our environment. We have the technology and it's really fun to change things around!
2. Do not sacrifice interesting gameplay in exchange for amazing graphics. The ONLY thing amazing graphics give us is a pretty environment for 5 minutes then we acclimate to this, leaving us feeling manipulated. Excessive good graphics serve pretty much one goal: the sell more copies of a game. I think this is the number one reason multiplayer games fail to establish a player base. The company hypes the game by showing us visuals and when we hop into game, we become bored after we wow over the 1080p high detailed graphics where even a piece of paper as legible text on it (that has nothing to do with the story). If you want to see an excellent example of gameplay over graphics, look at Tribes 2 (now TribesNext online for free), Minecraft, Quake 1 (I still play that one!), unreal tournament 1999, Metroid Prime, Decent (on Steam), Subculture, just to name a few!
3. If the game has combat, give us movement in all dimensions. Whether they are grapple hooks, jet packs, rocket boots or wall climbing that give us limited (or full) flight, give us freedom in three dimensions. The WORST thing is to be in a game where you see large expansive rooms, caves and vistas and you cannot explore them. Heaven forbid level designers have to work a bit harder to give us this freedom of movement. Even if it's jumping, give us movement in all dimensions. First person shooters have moved beyond doom 3d. This leads me to the next terrible practice lazy game designers use...
4. Eliminate the use of invisible walls. Invisible walls is a lazy technique to give the illusion that a game company put more effort into a game than they did. If you want to limit the play space of a map, put up force fields, landslides and real walls. Heck, even a wall of corpses is better than running to the end of a road and somehow not being able to move one more step. In the past, technology prevented map designers to place detailed barriers due to the constraints of most user systems. We have more powerful systems now and the ONLY reason to do this is because you want to save money. Stop doing it. It easily shows how lazy you are when you do it.
5. Give us interesting tools, weapons, defenses and movement modes to implement power over our environment. The shotgun, pistol, rifle and automatic have been so overplayed it's a cliche. Use some imagination to create new weapons. For example, instead of a boring AK-47, implement a gun that shoots infrared seeking shards of crystal that can either shatter on impact or can explode later when other enemies get close to the impaled enemy. Another example: Instead of the boring pistol with infinite ammo,  have an energy weapon that can be charged up to deliver a slow moving burst of energy or many smaller blasts that can bounce off of walls. If the gun is used too much, have the user be heat damaged and/or the shots fired become more and more inaccurate. Even give the gun different modes for different enemies where the single shot mode is ineffective against hardened enemies but the charged up blast mode stuns them, allowing you to melee them with your energy blade. See? As a game designer, you have the privilege of implementing your creativity for the benefit of others. Throwing a gamer a shotgun and having him take out ineffective enemies is an insult to the player. Give us variety and ... wow us!
6. Give us balanced gameplay in single player, co-op and single player. Taking out 100 enemies with a pistol in 10 minutes without having my health fall below 95% is not only boring, it makes me feel cheated out of the time I spent playing your overly easy game. If your game is very very very story driven, eliminate combat altogether and make a book out of it.
7. Eliminate quick-time events. Again, lazy game design at it's finest. You are taking the freedom of movement away from the player and turn that player into a spectator in his own game. This is analogous to having characters in the  horrid Star Wars prequels, on couches, talking about things we should have been SHOWN. Let us show our skill in game instead of boiling down a situation to button mashing at the right time. If I want to play whack a mole, I'll go to an arcade. Again, it's lazy.
8. Alpha and Beta testing should be FREE. Games in Alpha should be against the law to be sold. Buying an Alpha game is like plopping down $1000 for your family portrait when he has only completed a few rudimentary sketches as he hands them to you on his way to a flight to another city. Beta testing should be free as the game is NOT DONE. Being a paid beta tester is akin to paying a contractor to pour cement for your driveway and
9. NEVER, EVER, EVER pre-order a game. EVER. 
Would you pay a waiter a tip on a meal you have not received yet?
Would you give $40 to a kid who promised he would come back tomorrow to do your lawn?
Would you give $20,000 to an individual for a car he advertised on Craigslist before you have seen it?
Would you give a company $60 before the beta has come out just because it sounds cool?
Yeah, you get the point.
There is NO REASON AT ALL to give a company ANY money before you receive a product or service.
10. Eliminate day one DLC. In fact, operate from the premise that your game is to be burnt onto millions of discs and you cannot go back and fix them once the product is sold. I can pop my Unreal Tournament 3 DVD in and after installing it, immediately get into exciting gameplay without having to "patch", check to see if my friends have the same version and other bullcrap I should not have to deal with for the $40-$60 I paid. 11. The free-to-play model should only be used by seasoned game designers. Free to play is an excellent way to see if the game aesthetics, gameplay and genre is right for you. However, just like a 10 year old with a credit card, almost all companies, with precious few exceptions, use this as an excuse to ruin game balance by giving players that spend more money a decisive advantage over those that spent less. A side effect of free to play models is that the company needs to make the game accessible to a wide demographic. This means that game skills that once took actual SKILL, has been dumbed down to make it so even n00bs can take out skilled players. One more downside to free to play games is the fact that they focus on good graphics and spend less, if little effort, on balanced and creative gameplay. Look at the debacle of Tribes Ascend. Essentially, the unprofessional amateurs at Hi-Rez bought an excellent
12. Eliminate regenerating health. Again, this touches on the laziness of level designers. Placement of health packs and health boost at strategic locations takes forethought and design skill. Eliminate this need to place health powerups and boosts and you have decreased your need to place them in placed the player would need them. The downside to having regenerating health turns all players into the mutant Wolverine. So, instead of fighting in a fair fight, all the coward has to do is run away from the more experienced player until you can heal up and come back and surprise your target when he least expects it. Remove this implemented bug from all multi-player games. It also removes any need to rely on other teammates to heal you directly or indirectly by them tossing you a health boost/heal. It's just plain lazy map design.
13. Eliminate automatic weapons in flight-centric mulitplayer if that games. It eliminates the need to fly and gives n00bs easy kills. Play Tribes Ascend for five minutes if you do not believe me. Everyone runs about in that game with completely out of place automatic weaponry in a science fiction environment. If you NEED to use automatic weapons, make them less accurate as you fire them, give them significant recoil and have them progressively overheat if used for excessively. A new player can always miss with the first 25% of his clip, but the 75% of the rounds that are left will find their mark without need for careful predictive aiming.
14. Give us the ability to skip cut scenes. Self explanatory.

I know I have been harsh on many points, but I think these points needed to be said.