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« Sunday Football Thread | Main | Vince Vaughn Conservativism Watch »
December 09, 2012

So what's your 2012 Game of the year?

Afternoon Morons and Ettes! Man do I have some Content for you today. The rest of the post has nothing to do with the title, but I like lists. So whats your 2012 GOTY?

Also ~Open Thread~

Howdy, folks, Anachronda here! I was a bit annoyed that there wasn't a gaming thread last weekend, since I was chomping at the bit to gush about all the new features of Kerbal Space Program 0.18 and decided maybe I should do something about it. So I did this here little write-up and pointed Zakn at it.

For those who don't know, Kerbal Space Program lets you put rockets together in a fashion similar to Val-u-Build® plastic building bricks, then launch said rockets in an attempt to fly your intrepid Kerbonauts to other bodies in their solar system. Recent updates have brought us extravehicular activity and new worlds to explore.

KSP is most emphatically not a space simulator. It is a game. It uses simple physics to model the celestial bodies and the rockets traveling between them. This doesn't mean it's easy to go places. You still have to deal with concepts such escape velocity, transfer orbits, and plenty of other things that are essentially a synonym for "nasty math if you think about them too closely". Playing it develops kind of a layman's sense of orbital mechanics.

KSP is under development at an alpha-level status, which means that there is a long way to go before it is ready for prime time. But even at its alpha level, it is a lot of fun and highly educational.

An older version of KSP is available for free over at http://kerbalspaceprogram.com/ if you want to check it out. To gain access to recent features, you need to pony up a modicum of dough, which earns you the right to access updates until the game is released. Had this game been available, even in its alpha state, when I was a teenager, I never would have developed into the productive member of society that y'all ridicule today; I would still be in my mother's basement launching virtual rockets and annoying blog readers with snarky comments and pointless ramblings. Oh, wait...

The most exciting features in the most recent update, 0.18, are the maneuver planning tool and support for docking. With these, even an uncoordinated idiot such as myself can successfully perform the orbital rendezvous necessary to build a space station.

Clicking on the orbit of your ship gives you the opportunity to add a maneuver. This brings up a widget that has six handles, one for each of the important directions (prograde, retrograde, normal, antinormal, uh strange, and um charmed (I'm not entirely certain about those last two); or, as I prefer to think of them, fast, slow, up, down, in, and out).

You can plan your burn by dragging on the handles. Here I've set up an orbital plane change for the good ship Escargot Eschaton. The tool gives me a dotted line drawing of the final orbit:

and adds some information to the navball, the KSP primary instrument:

-A blue marker that indicates in which direction I should point the ship for the burn.
-A countdown to the burn.
-An estimated duration for the burn.
-A graph that indicates how much velocity must be added during the burn to reach the planned orbit.

As I make the burn, the the delta-v graph and estimated burn duration are updated:

But the maneuver planning really comes into its own when you select another ship or celestial body as a target. This decorates the orbital map with information describing the relationship between the two orbits. You get markers for the locations where the planes cross (important for planning a plane change maneuver), an indication of the angle between the orbits, and markers that show the relative position of each body when their orbital planes intersect.

These tools allow even an imbecile like me to plan orbital maneuvers resulting in a rendezvous, something I had utterly failed to do with earlier releases of the game. Don't believe me? Here's my nascent space station, currently consisting of two docked ships with a cube of docking connectors between them:

The docking connectors have a magnetic attraction for each other; when activated, a docking connector will attract and mate with a sufficiently close connector. Which means that you don't have to be perfect to get a good dock, just pretty dang close.

Docked ships can transfer resources. It is now possible to refuel ships in space. This means that you can build ungodly large interplanetary ships without having to worry about lofting all the fuel in one launch; you can dock additional tanks to the ship in space and refuel empty tanks.

I've only scratched surface of the update here; there are plenty of other new toys. Larger fuel tanks. New engine types. Girder bits and pieces that folks have discovered allow you build engine clusters under the large fuel tanks. Probe controllers and ion engines (all of which require electricity, so don't forget the solar panels and/or radiothermal generators!). A couple of new, distant planets to explore. And plenty more.

0.18 is a pretty major patch that opens up a number of avenues that were unavailable in earlier versions of the game. I'm having great fun with the new features and look forward to using them to explore more of the Kerbin solar system.

I would be remiss If I didn't discuss Eve's latest expansion: Retribution. So far, I'm thinking it's pretty full of win. Mostly because of this:

Yep. We have a rather large bounty on the Alliance I'm in. Apparently a few corps that used to be in Gents are quite bitter, and placed the isk on our head. Personally I'm a huuuge fan if this means more people come and roam our home space. It usually ends poorly.

Lake, one of our FC's and Executors summed up his (and I bet pretty much everyone else's feeling well here.

I really wanted to post something about Worm holes this week, not only because I recieved this fantastic write up a Moron sent me, but also because there was a massive fight involving something like a 100bil in losses. 1 Billion isk is roughly equivalent to 30 bucks. I will save that write up for next week.

As always, feel free to write up something you'd like to see posted on the Weekly thread and send it to me aoshqgaming at gmail dot com

(sorry I left your write up off buzz, but as you can see...it's quite large already. Perhaps next week)

The Dude is up next

I'm going to get to the mundane so it's out of the way first:

In good news, Altus will be reprinting the first three Etrian Odyssey DS games to drum up interest in the upcoming fourth game for the 3DS. Hear that sound? That is the sound of resellers scattering about as they can't charge insane prices anymore for this awesome first person dungeon crawler. If I had to pick which one to play though, three would be the one as the refinement progression makes the others hard to play again. And with the reprint, you don't have to pay $80 for it anymore.

I'm going to go out of the way and say I'll be shocked if this kickstarter for a new entry in the Elite series doesn't make it's goal. My memories are fuzzy playing the games but I remember liking it a lot

For all the hubbub from Crytek that the upcoming Crysis would tax your system like the first game, I'm actually quite disappointed in the requirements:

Minimum system requirements for PC
Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
DirectX 11 graphics card with 1Gb Video RAM
Dual core CPU
2GB Memory (3GB on Vista)
Nvidia/Intel example setup: Nvidia GTS 450, Intel Core2 Duo 2.4 Ghz (E6600)
AMD example setup: AMD Radeon HD5770, AMD Athlon64 X2 2.7 Ghz (5200+)

Recommended system requirements for PC
Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM
Quad core CPU
4GB Memory
Nvidia/Intel example setup: Nvidia GTX 560, Intel Core i3-530
AMD example setup: AMD Radeon HD5870, AMD Phenom II X2 565

Hi-performance system requirements for PC
Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 •
Latest DirectX 11 graphics card •
Latest quad core CPU
8GB Memory
Nvidia/Intel example setup: NVidia GTX 680, Intel Core i7-2600k
AMD example setup: AMD Radeon HD7970, AMD Bulldozer FX4150

Jordan Mechner released his Karateka remake and I'm sad to say that it frankly sucks. I kinda like the new art style but it doesn't have the charm that the original game had.

But on the flipside, Baldur's Gate on the iPad is quite nice. Now I wouldn't pay the premium to play the "Enhanced" version on the PC (just buy the original version through GOG or the package that contains all the Infinity Engine games) but for on the go, the transition is really damn good. Currently $10 on the iOS store with $6 in IAP for two new classes

In cool news, the LA Game Space reached it's target in funding though Kickstarter. Place sounds like it's going to be really cool

Looks more and more like that the oft rumored Xbox TV set top box may be a reality as they are currently looking for a TV producer on Linkedin. Should be interesting if they can do what many have failed to do.

Hate to admit it but these Street Fighter themed Hello Kitty products are actually kinda cool and my niece is already asking for them.

The first 3DS entry into the Fire Emblem series finally got a solid release date on the US version of this month's Nintendo Direct webcast. Dropping into stores on February 4th.

Don't know if anyone remembers Stubbs the Zombie (and shame on you if you didn't play it) which was a launch period game for the 360 but the show must go on as ex-members of Wideload Games is bringing a spiritual successor under the title of Ray's The Dead

In AWESOME news, Creative Assembly (the Total War series) have picked up the Warhammer license (the fantasy half) in a multi-game deal

On the 14th, the annual Christmas charity marathon from The Speedgamers starts. This year it will be Mario themed to raise money for the Make A Wish foundation. They always raise good money when they do these charity marathons and I really hope they can set a new bar

And in the charity realm, Child's Play is always raising money doing good work for kids in hospitals

In crossover news, Austin Wintory's soundtrack to the Journey videogame is up for a Grammy. Going up against the likes of John Williams, Howard Shore, Hans Zimmer and Trent Reznor is quite the bedpost notch

In the train wreck of development news that continues to come from Irrational, the upcoming Bioshock Infinite has been delayed again to March 26. And considering it's showing on the VGA, that is way way too early for it's release. This might sell but with everyone abandoning ship and the leaks coming out, this game is going to be a huge bomb.

And speaking of the VGA (which was the worst one to date), there were some bombshell teasers with the main ones being Kojima finally showing off the upcoming new Metal Gear Solid game Ground Zeroes under the name of The Phantom Pain from Moby Dick Studios (Viacom keeps pulling the trailer off youtube but go here and it starts at the 10:40 mark. Can also watch a new trailer for the upcoming South Park RPG which looks really good at the 4:52 mark) and a CG trailer for Dark Souls II.....so hyped

That's about it in news this week. Peace

digg this
posted by Gang of Gaming Morons! at 01:40 PM

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