Game-related ramblings.

Month: July 2021

Scratching That Itch: Apollo Visualizer Tool

This is the seventy-seventh entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our next random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is Apollo Visualizer Tool, by Kichex. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

Tool for music visualizations without writing code

The fact that code is not required is good news, since my coding knowledge doesn’t extend much past putting a for loop inside of another for loop. The bad news is that the Apollo Visualizer Tool is a package for Unity 3D, which I do not own, and therefore I cannot try it myself. According to the itch.io page, it lets users read the intensity of 6 frequency ranges and have these modify engine objects by changing their size, color, rotation, and other properties. How well does it work? I do not know, although there are several example videos embedded on the page. If you want to build a music visualizer or even create a game in which the visual art responds to the music, this could be a useful tool to have, and Kichex points out that it can serve as a starting point for your own creation, perhaps even by peeking into and modifying its existing code. If that sounds like something you want, and you are already using Unity, it’s worth checking out. If you missed it in the bundle, it’s sold for a minimum price of $12.

Since I can’t try it out and offer any more info, I’ll leave it at that. Which means we have 77 down, and only 1664 to go!

Scratching That Itch: The Adventures Of Elena Temple: Definitive Edition

This is the seventy-sixth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

It is happening again. The virtual dice have rolled once more, randomly selecting something from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. This time it’s The Adventures of Elena Temple: Definitive Edition, by GrimTalin. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

Play the classic platformer you never knew existed!

I can confirm that I did not know it existed.

Backlog Roulette: Wild Metal Country

As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Reader, brace yourself for a chilling glimpse into my psyche. Like many people, I have a huge backlog of games, acquired from various digital sales, bundles, and the like. Unlike most people, I’ve organized mine in a giant spreadsheet, tracking where I got the games from (Steam, GOG, Humble, etc.) and including other useful notes, like whether I’ve played the game already, or whether a game comes with a bundled soundtrack or other extras. This helps me organize all my games — well, not all of them, the gigantic itch.io bundle is a whole other can of worms — but even so, I often forget what some games are. A little while back, inspired by my Scratching That Itch series, I decided to pick one of the unplayed games from my backlog at random and try it out.

The virtual dice picked a game called Wild Metal Country. Not only did I have no memory of what this game is or when I acquired it, I saw that I’d listed the source as a “Digital Installer”. This means I didn’t get it from any of the major digital storefronts, but rather had downloaded an installer from an unknown location at some point and stored it on a backup drive. The mystery deepened. It was time to discover just what the hell Wild Metal Country is.

Scratching That Itch: VULTURES

This is the seventy-fifth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Once more, a selection has been made — randomly — from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. This time it’s VULTURES, by Batts. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

Simple sci-fi bounty hunter ttrpg!

That “ttrpg” stands for tabletop role-playing game, and as usual for such things, I can’t play it myself, lacking a group to play with. So I’ve just read through the book and offered my thoughts here.

Scratching That Itch: Fate Tectonics

This is the seventy-fourth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Here comes another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. It’s Fate Tectonics by Golden Gear Games, and its tagline in the bundle reads:

Build up a world piece-by-piece while balancing the tempers of the Fates

Tempting fate is hard enough, now we have to tempt a whole bunch of them?

History Lessons: The Legend Of Zelda

Other History Lessons posts can be found here. As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Playing The Magic of Scheherazade made me want to return to one of its primary inspirations: The Legend of Zelda. A hugely influential classic, The Legend of Zelda was omnipresent in my childhood. First released in 1986 in Japan as a launch title for the Famicom Disk System, a version without the additional Disk System features released in North America in 1987, not long after the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) itself (a rebranded Famicom) appeared on the market. Its iconic golden cartridge was everywhere, enough so that I never actually owned one myself; I would visit friends’ houses to play, or they would bring their cartridges to my house and we’d play on my NES. At school, we all exchanged stories of secrets we’d discovered in the game. I’d already seen and played much of The Legend of Zelda by the time I got my own copy, a re-release with a standard grey cartridge, and tried playing it more methodically. But by that point the collective interest had moved on to newer games, and while I got pretty far, I never finished the game. I’ve always meant to return at some point, and this seemed like the right time.

Scratching That Itch: B.O.O.M. – You Win [Early Access]

This is the seventy-third entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

This time, our random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is B.O.O.M. – You Win [Early Access], by Kickin’ Rad Games. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

The Explosive Game of Hot Potato

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just your explosive potato?

Scratching That Itch: Animated Low Poly Cartoon Fantasy Character Pack

This is the seventy-second entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

It’s time for another random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. This time, we’ve got Animated Low Poly Cartoon Fantasy Character Pack, by Overaction Game Studio. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

A set with 10 Animated Low-Poly Medieval Character Pack for Fantasy Games

As this suggests, Animated Low Poly Cartoon Fantasy Character Pack is an asset pack, containing 3D models and animations that others can use when making their own games. The pack is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0, which means it’s all public domain and free for anyone to use however they wish.

Returning To Portal 2

As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

I’ve played Portal many times, but I only ever played Portal 2 once, back in 2011 when it was released, shortly before starting this blog. My decision to return to it now was not actually prompted by the game’s recent 10th anniversary — or perhaps it was, but indirectly. A friend mentioned they’d replayed it (they did not say if the anniversary prompted them to do so) and sung its praises, telling me that they hadn’t thought anything could be better than the original game, but Portal 2 managed to do it. This surprised me, because my own memory of Portal 2 was that it was good but couldn’t quite live up to the high bar set by its predecessor. But maybe I was wrong? After all, I’d never gone back to Portal 2 like I had with the first game. Maybe, playing it again now, I’d find myself admitting that it surpasses the first Portal. I decided to find out.

I mostly want to write about the narrative structure of the two games, so in a break from tradition this post will be full of spoilers for both games. Read on at your own risk!

Scratching That Itch: A Plague Journal At The Ides Of March, 2020 And Other Pandemic Poetry

This is the seventy-first entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Our next random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is A Plague Journal At the Ides of March, 2020 and Other Pandemic Poetry, by Quinn K. Its tagline in the bundle reads:

A 60-page quarantzine about life and love in times of COVID19

“Quarantzine” is a references to zines, which are like indie magazines made in small numbers, usually with a photocopier. Zines often feature collages of images, both original and clipped from other sources, leading to a distinctive visual style that can be seen, for example, in Layabouts and Degens, the thirty-fourth entry in this series. In this case, however, the zine contains poetry.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén