Lstolarz’s Weblog

November 4, 2008

Sword of the Stars

Filed under: Uncategorized — lstolarz @ 3:08 pm

Due to my Mac-ishness, I fell out of PC gaming for the last 4 years or so. Actually, make that 6 years – my last Windows computer was so terrible, I hardly ever turned it on. I used Macs in the computer lab in college.

Anyway, the point is that I have access to a PC now, and I’ve rediscovered my love of “real-time strategy”, or as I like to call it, “being the Overlord”. My all time favourite game has been Master of Orion. I sank entire summers into playing that game when I was in high school. I sank a summer into MoO2 in college, but I thought the planetary controls were too in-depth. Sadly, MoO3 was a total bust, and there ended my obsession with MoO.

But! Sword of the Stars came out with a new expansion recently, (Murder of Crows) which caused it to pop up on my radar. Despite SotS being a fairly old game, I enjoy the play quite a bit. The ship construction is streamlined over even the most basic in Master of Orion. I absolutely LOVE the tech trees! The racial interactions are so much more in-depth and interactive than any RTS I’ve played, but that is likely caused by my PC gaming hiatus.

In fact, the only SotS item I haven’t liked is the map interface. I find it very difficult to orient myself in the 3D map, even though it is realistic. I liked that all of the star systems were labeled with names in MoO, and if I could find a way to turn on names for all star systems after a certain level of zoom, I would.

I like the idea of playing the Liir (because I lean toward the socially advanced/tech advantaged races versus the hack’n’slash warrior races) but my current game is Tarrka, and I’m doing pretty well. It has a nice balance between warlike race and advanced tech.


May 1, 2008

Mother’s Day

Filed under: Social Ills — Tags: , , — lstolarz @ 1:53 pm

Mother’s Day is coming up, which means that every other ad is for “Get Mom a new phone!” or “Get Mom some jewelery!” or, to be frank, “Assuage your guilt for the way you don’t treat your mom right with expensive gifts! (buy buy buy buy on credit buy)” I listen to the radio when I’m bored with CD’s, and this was probably not the best week to get bored. My requirements for radio are pretty strict: I despise morning show blather, so I’m already down to two stations in the Austin area: NPR or BobFM. So, do I want to listen to Morning Edition and the horrible things in the world (but limited advertising), or do I want to listen to a mix chosen by a computer(and the same advertising everywhere else)?

Saturday I helped a friend install an XM radio in his car. After playing with it a bit, I decided that it’s a pretty cool device/service, but I wouldn’t want to pay for it.

I should burn more CD’s tonight.

April 24, 2008

Gygax’ Eternal Legacy

Filed under: gaming — Tags: , , — lstolarz @ 6:06 pm

Alvan Monje posted on Gamasutra what is the most well-written analysis of where modern video games come from. Dungeons & Dragons: The Pen and Paper Video Game. I especially love the description of how video games are limited; you can only have so much exposition or go into buildings that have been created and designed. In a non-digital world, it can be improvised, and there isn’t a limit on the world that players can explore, build, and so forth.

March 7, 2008

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lstolarz @ 8:10 pm

This is where it starts: my non-personal blog. Hmm. I suppose I should come up with some content, eh?

To lead off, the WordPress interface gives the impression that it’s more powerful than the LiveJournal interface. I’m not sure if this is true yet. I haven’t played with WordPress enough to say it’s as easy to use; I’ve been with LJ for 6+ years. It does seem to be flatter as far as finding the places to change the theme and widgets.

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