_     _             
                        _ __ | |__ | | ___   __ _ 
                       | '_ \| '_ \| |/ _ \ / _` |
                       | |_) | | | | | (_) | (_| |
                       | .__/|_| |_|_|\___/ \__, |
                       |_|    ...2017-02-11 |___/ 


Yesterday we were 3 guys playing on the Factorio server, talking on TeamSpeak, it worked really well, and we ended up gaming for 6 hours straight, even though it was Friday evening after work and I was already beat from the week. I found a Dockerfile describing how to install a TS3 server in Docker, but it didn't do quite what I wanted, so I rewrote it a bit, and made an image that does not mind being restarted. I think I'll stream it again today, after relaxing with some Youtube videos.

Wasting time

Watching the Hydralic Press Channel crush Finnish candy while commenting their shenanigans in thick accent, not quite the strangest part of YT, but almost. An even more niche part must be LGRs cooking channel where he has currently uploaded three videos, two of which consists of adding extra stuff to instant noodles. Well, LGR is great, he could probably comment on the weather for an hour and still make it a great time! He's also into much of the same stuff as I am, so it's no surprise that I like his videos. I've watched a lot of the "Extra Credits" videos, they're really great at analyzing gaming and media consumption into it's basic components and present analysis of them. Though I've not written any game-code, or worked on my games for several years, I still consider myself a game-programmer, which is probably false. I should start a new project.. I'm not sure I'll ever get Wizznic! done, it's done enough, and there are people who play it.. I'd have hoped to find the motivation to go back to it and really give it the content that I believe it deserves.. There are many features that's been finished and polished but never actually used. There's also only a single graphics theme, but that might not be the biggest problem. The problem lies in taking this pretty solid engine and giving it the content it deserves, making a good set of puzzles with great progression. Maybe I should just dedicate a weekend to do that, but it's hard work, and I seem to have an aversion to that.


Some games are harder than others, but there's never a point where tutorials are an acceptable solution to something being difficult to figure out. The worst thing in the world is of course the unskippable tut, but the next worst thing is not the "Here's how you play the game" tut, is the level that LOOKS like you've started the game, but you're being led gently through the motions that a is just a tutorial in disguise. No. Give me all the stuff that the game is about, right from the beginning, throw me into a fairly open world where I can do everything the game will ever let me do, and let me figure out how it works, and I do mean "figure out" how it works. I want to press random buttons to discover how to control it, and try every weird combination of actions to find out what can be done. Be consistent, if I can break glass, glass is ALWAYS breakable, can't break it? Not glass. If I can grab ledges, all ledges can be grabbed, or none at all! Stop talking down to me, if you've made something so difficult that you need a tutorial, redo it in a more intuitive way, do it in such a way that the player gets the room and time for figuring out how it works. An early example of doing it right, would be C&C Red Alert. I remember my 10 year old self in front of this game for the first time.. I looked at the screen, looking for "me" and I had absolutely no idea what the game was about, it was in English, and I couldn't understand the language yet, but I still figured out that New Game was how to start it, and I still figured out, eventually; and I admit that I did shut it down and play a few levels of Doom, before getting back to it to give it another go. Eventually I sat down and figured out the "I" was Tanya in the game I'd started, and I figured out that I needed to select myself on the screen, with the mouse (after trying to walk around with the arrow keys to no avail). I figured out to beat the first mission. Then I found out that "I" was not Tanya at all, but I was rather _controlling_ Tanya, and some of the other units on the screen. I found out to build bases, and how the tech-tree worked, without ever looking at the tech-tree (I didn't ever open the box to discover that I had a manual explaining all of these things) and it was a great part of the game to figure out how it worked and what you're supposed to do. This is how it's done. Many games let you play like that, Factorio is a good example, it's very intuitive, very helpful, and I'm certain I'll be able to launch the rocket without ever searching the answers online. Then again, this is just my 2 cents.