In vanilla Destiny, one character in particular embodied the Frankenstein's monster-style story Bungie had patched together after tearing up the plot during development: the Stranger.The Stranger, an exo character who teleported in and out of the world like a robotic Doctor Who, was a character who led the player during the campaign, uttering nonsensical riddle-like phrases throughout. At one point, the player desperate for some exposition, the Stranger says: "I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain." The phrase became something of a joke, an inadvertent embodiment of Destiny's development troubles and the resultant mess that was its campaign.Now, nearly four years later, it may finally be time to explain.With the recent launch of Destiny 2 expansion Warmind, the series' secret hunters have found - and solved - an elaborate ARG that ended up with a group of players finding a real-life replica of an in-game spear called the Valkyrie hidden in upstate New … [Read more...] about Four years later, Destiny players reckon they’ve finally worked out who the Exo Stranger really is
Alternative work space
Running a dungeon in World of Warcraft feels like what the movie Groundhog Day would be like if Bill Murray never escaped the endless loop of February 2. It's the same experience over and over again—only instead of a weatherman I'm a druid, banging my head against the keyboard wondering why I'm fighting this same boss for the hundredth time.I genuinely love WoW's dungeons, but they do get repetitive. Mastering the specific strategies that each dungeon demands is like a choreographed dance with timings and positioning that take tons of practice. But if World of Warcraft's dungeons are a choreography, the Island Expeditions coming in the new expansion, Battle for Azeroth, are like a night at an improv show. Except the other performers are trying to kill me. It's an injection of adventure that makes World of Warcraft feel exciting and unpredictable again.Island Expeditions have been available in an unfinished state on Battle for Azeroth's closed alpha for awhile now. This week, I … [Read more...] about WoW’s new Island Expeditions are a refreshing alternative to dungeon grinding bullshit
Fifty years ago this week, Stanley Kubrick's epic "2001: A Space Odyssey" opened, first in Washington, D.C., and then New York. The influential film, which won an Oscar for its pioneering special effects, has been called Kubrick's "crowning, confounding achievement" and a "quantum leap" in technological achievement by film critic James Verniere, who notes that Steven Spielberg called "2001" the Big Bang of his filmmaking generation.Timed to the anniversary, author Michael Benson's latest work, "Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arther C. Clarke and the Making of a Masterpiece" (Simon & Schuster), debuted Tuesday, and within Benson's devotional telling is a wealth of intriguing facts and anecdotes.Here are 19 things you probably don't know about "2001," according to Benson and other sources.1. "2001" was originally going to show a precursor to the internet.Kubrick's intrepid band of futurists, Benson writes, "had seemingly already visualized important aspects of (a) new technology's … [Read more...] about 19 things you probably don’t know about ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
No, not plant seeds. As most fans of the genre are aware, a fair portion of a given roguelike run is determined based on values returned by a pseudorandom number generator, commonly referred to as the RNG. Before it can do its job, an RNG must be “seeded,” or given a value that starts the entire chain of values to be returned beyond that point. Certainly when a roguelike starts up all it has to do is seed the RNG with the current time (the most common practice) and then not worry about it after that--the RNG helps create maps, chooses what populates that map, determines the outcome of actions, and so much more. But it turns out there are many other seed-related considerations and applications when developing games with procedural content. Important to all this is the understanding that the seed used to initialize the RNG doesn’t have to be random. If manually set to the same number each time, the resulting chain of numbers it spits out will also be the same! For … [Read more...] about Working with Seeds
Normally when I publish a new article, the focus is on explaining the results of some new feature/mechanic/design. Today’s post is a little different because it’s about an important feature that has not yet been implemented, nor have I come to a decision on how best to handle it. I’m using this post as a way to lay out all the facts and considerations before making a decision, while at the same time giving anyone else who’d like to provide input an opportunity to do so. So what precipitated this post? For some players the Cogmind UI is too dense given the size of their screen. I prefer playing in a small 720p window myself, but when making a game for wider consumption it should be as accessible as possible for as many different types of players as possible, and some players find that their setup results in objects/words that are too small to parse/read clearly--they “just want bigger fonts.” Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. Cogmind … [Read more...] about An Alternative UI?