the-inbetween yearly archives for: 2009

Knights of Charlemagne

Right from the start, Reiner Kniza’s “Knights of Charlemagne” is in my good graces. It does something that all apps in the App Store should do: it doesn’t mute my music on start. I have an iPod Touch and an iPod is primarily, above all else, a music player. If it’s on, chances are it’s playing music. Any app that mutes it without my consent makes too many suppositions about its place and role on the device it’s on. “Knights…

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Two iPhone Knizia Games: Poison

There’s a pair of Rainer Knizia games currently available in the App Store. Both are based on already existing physical games, neither of which I’ve ever played, but seeing Knizia’s name attached to anything is enough to pique my interest. Add to that instant availability, portability, a low price, and remove the need for another physical human opponent and the purchase becomes a no-brainer. I bought both games, Poison (iTunes link) and Knights of Charlemagne (iTunes link), and have been…

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Elsewhere and the Korg DS-10

Despite a desire to consolidate my web presence, I have gone off and spread myself even thinner by creating a new Tumblr at nerdmusic.tumblr.com. I had neglected to mention it here. There’s eight pages of it already, including some of these favourites: 16 Bit – Changing Minds; Dr. Mario: The Perfect Drugs; some brief reminiscing on the Gargoyles theme; and Nintendo DS concert, live performance (Electroplankton + KORG DS-10). The last of those is the most notable as I’ve been…

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Conflict-free Competition

As I plunge deeper into the world of (mostly German) boardgames I develop a new perspective on my long entrenchment in the videogame world. Their game designs and themes are a breath of fresh air relative to the constant frustrations and repetitiveness that competitive videogames are providing. The highest rated and most popular of these games (according to BoardgameGeek), Puerto Rico and Agricola, are especially profound because they are highly competitive without ever having direct conflict. Take Agricola for example.…

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1 vs 100 Beta, in brief

The 1 vs 100 Live beta took place in Canada yesterday and I was one of the lucky not-so-few (at one point I saw that 12000 people were playing along) to have a go at it. I’m saving my full opinion for later, but in the meantime the following video summarizes my experience: “Pffffttt” Connection problems, though most had less amusing timing than the above, were frequent. I managed to get a few full games in and I did well…

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Rock Band Ripped

It seems as though some enterprising individuals have managed to rip the music tracks from Rock Band. This might seem unremarkable at first until you remember that most of the in-game songs were based on the masters and were stored as multitracked audio, with isolated guitars, drums, vocals, etc. The files, which are saved as multitrack ogg files, can be easily opened in Audacity and easily manipulated. This is prime mash-up material. This, on its own, isn’t that big of…

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Kickstarter

As Andy Baio has announced, Kickstarter has launched. It’s a cool little venture. Basically, it lets a creator set a funding goal for a potential project and crowd-sources the investment for it by offering rewards to backers that pledge certain amounts. In a way, it’s kind of like PBS pledge drives, mixed with Dropcash, mixed with Threadless. The concept is rock solid, but fuzzy enough to allow for a lot of creative leeway in how Kickstarter is used. It will…

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Complicated Controls for Simple Games

Imagine this scenario. You are playing your favourite multiplayer first person shooter war killing game. It doesn’t matter what the game is as long as it has guns and shooting and explosions and scoring based on these things. You’re in a team deathmatch and time is running out. Your team, the red team, is down by a single kill and there’s only a few seconds left. You are entrenched behind a barrier, short on ammo. That’s when you notice three…

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ExoSquad: Toons From My Youth

Last weekend, after some Batman: The Animated Series episodes and the associated nostalgia (and after the fact appreciation) I started thinking about the other dark and moody cartoon of the day: Gargoyles. I recalled bits and pieces of the show, the characters, some of the plots, and, above all else, the seriously epic (for a cartoon aimed at tweens/early teens) opening music and titles. The related links for that revealed that the entire first season is up on YouTube (it…

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Work and Street Fighter IV

The last two weeks of February had an unusual number of high quality game releases. It was the kind of games barrage that you only see during the holiday months, so to be flooded during what is normally a dry period was odd. Very welcome, but still odd. Unfortunately for me, various work commitments, including a return to the nine to five routine and the one hour commutes have left me with little time for any of it. Well, apart…

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My Trilogy Meter

Dan Meth posted his Trilogy Meter which, basically, rates the movies of various trilogies. His choice of movies tends to favour the more geek-flavoured trilogies, but when I think about it most well known trilogies are of that nature. That might say something about geeks. I don’t know. I took issue with some of his purely subjective opinions, so I created a chart showing you my own purely subjective opinions. It’s probably a decent approximation of my tastes. Considering that…

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Super Mario-esque, in Reverse

Sorry about this, I couldn’t resist. It’s not in our nature to think backwards in time[1]. There are so many different permutations to playing through a Mario stage that it would be highly difficult, without aimless trial and error, for a player to figure how it was properly played through the first time over. It’d be great to see this more fleshed-out, but I imagine that some of the time-paradox logic problems would be a nightmare to properly implement. Or…

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You Probably Won’t Make It

Jesse Venbrux’s latest, “You Probably Won’t Make It,” almost lives up to the title. It would be more appropriate if it was called “You Definitely Won’t Make It.” In this ultra-hard platformer, I managed to reach level 14 of 20 before I called it quits. It doesn’t exactly fit the mold of what Auntie Pixelante calls “masocore”. It’s very hard, yes, but it’s not cheap as it toys with your expectations like others in the “genre”. What I like the…

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