Friday, July 27, 2007

Klick! Poof!

Last week I was reading some news in cyberspace while waiting to go to a job interview. My computer, which has been commonly known to the Astromen! community as the Milennium Falcon due to its overworked nature, proceeded to make a series of clicking and spinning noises similar to the title of this post. The tired laptop then slowly shut down and upon trying to reboot I discovered that the hard drive no longer exists, which was later confirmed by my friendly neighborhood computer freaky. I lost some recent image work and other miscellanous data, so remember kids to make back-ups often, particularly if you are prone to existential crises.

For an economical amount of Eurobucks(tm) I have purchased my very first new and fancy desktop robot overlord. My girlie-friend contributed with an enormous flat screen monitor and a case with windows, neon lights, and vents that look like Airbus 380 jet engines. The thing looks like some sort of spaceship and I am concerned that a scene like the attached photo is going to develop in my apartment when it transforms and starts battling the toaster oven.

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+, 1024MB DDR2 RAM, 250GB Hard drive, NVidia 8600GT 256MB Graphics card
Running Ubuntu 7.04 exclusively as the operating system.

P.S. - I am back online, will be returning electronic mail again, and looking forward to any opportunities for Astromen! sponsered gaming events.


Pete said...

That's a whole lot of computer. What game did you have in mind?

Don Jason said...

The current favorite at my house is BATTLE FOR WESTNOTH. This game looks so simple and lame but the variables to it are mind boggling.

It seems the only real options for native linux commercial gaming are Neverwinter Nights and quake 4. I would be willing to add a small Windows hard drive to operate as an x-box but I would need the offer of a really snazzy game and some consistent Astromen! player base to go through the trouble.

If you have any suggestions or want to try the Shield Lands in Linux just let me know.

Pete said...

Battle for Wesnoth is a well-balanced game with a many nuances and a game mechanic that forces highly strategic thinking. It does get mighty hard; I am ashamed, but I found myself save-spamming my way through a few of the scenarios.

Unfortuanately, the multiplayer options aren't extensive. The only option is a free-for-all battle, which could get boring if one player becomes too well entrenched.

Some cross-platform shooters are Alien Arena and Tremulous.

I am amicable to playing a couple pick-up games of the Shield Lands.
But I am very wary of creating anything new.
If we all contribute equally to content creation, we could grow a truly stupendous board. I would suggest re-using the MPOP, death/food/rest systems, and starting a new board based on the Barony of Talmir, Plains of Dolspartus, Ruins of Faws, and Windgate area. This was the idea we kicked around back in 2002; which the game mechanics of the Shield Lands were actually designed for.

Don Jason said...

I have looked at Alien Arena and like the style of it but have not played it yet. Ego shooters are good for pickup games at least. Never heard of Tremulous.

I will go through the rather extensive installation process of NWN this week. I am open to the idea of creating boards and content but I found the toolset rather tedious and incredibly time consuming when I tried it out. It may just be a question of familiarizing with the program.

That MPOP system you created was working very well at the end, you could maybe even call it finished. I like the idea of taking the monster populations and making a brand new battlefield learning from the Shield Lands experience.

I still have all of that Realm of Ages handbook stuff shelved since 2004, it is pretty polished but needs some tweaking and play testing of the new ideas to really finish it up. Alex originally contributed a lot of brainstorming to the framework as a game world and expressed mild interest earlier this year in reviving it and trying to do something with the content (possibly porting apects to his sci-fi mega project.)

NWN has some problems as a computer game but even if it just ends up being you and me it would be fun to play D&D again.

Pete said...

Hmmm... How about Alien Arena & Wesnoth on Sunday...

Don Jason said...

I cannot seem to get NWN installed on my system. I also just discovered that "Special Notes: Aurora Toolkit for game modding is only available on windows."
Which kind of defeats the purpose of getting it installed in the first place.

Filthy human! You shall bow before the power of Zim in the Alien Arena!

Pete said...

Yeah. I think people have had some success getting the Aurora Toolset to work with WINE but repeating a successful install of it seems to be luck.

I've successfully installed the game in Ubuntu. It took two or three tries. The game does run much better. It can also be run through a special version of WINE called NWINE (or NW-WINE); I haven't tried it.

If we were to play NWN again, I'd use my Windows partition to build, and my Kubuntu partition to play. And I'd recommend that others do the same.

I'll sniff around for some other free, cross-platform games for us to play.

Pete said...

Oh, and we'll need Teamspeak.

Don Jason said...

By what method did you get the game to install? I tried the platinum edition method from the bioware forums to no avail due to false path names in the shell scripts. I tried the method on Ubuntu forums but that script barely gets started due to unidentifiable permission issues in 7.04 (the script was written for Breezy I think.)

I have no Windows partition.

I just downloaded Defcon from introversion software (a company previously posted about here by Mr. Alex regarding Darwinia) and an RTS called Glest, but have yet to try either of them out.

Pete said...

I got the game to install in Ubuntu 6.10. I haven't tried it yet on my current distro, Kubuntu 7.04. (OpenSUSE 10.2 was in the middle there for a few months, but I'm much happier using a Debian based distribution.) I could try to hack it, by printing out the SH script and "proofreading" it. I have platinum and **buntu 7.04, as well, so what works for me will work for you. I'll spend an afternoon working it out, but I can't this weekend. I will also look into a WINE variant called NWWINE. From skimming the post it seems they've fixed the OpenGL glitches that prevented the toolset from running properly. Here's a link to a forum thread on it.

I'm still sorting out our other game options. I was looking at BZFLAG this morning before work. All the webpages I ran across said it was a short on graphics, long on gameplay sort of thing.

Also, Soldat is supposed to work 100% with WINE and a little tinkering. I love Soldat and play it a lot. It's wonderfully mindless. Haven't tried it on my new Kubuntu install, though.

Pete said...


Pete said...

Okay, I'll be on instant messenger as my hotmail account first thing tomorrow morning. Leave a message here as to when you want to play.