This week in PC we will be hosting the usual Team Fortress 2 night. In addition to this there will most certainly be some L4D shenanigans so check your buddy lists and get some games going.
Team Fortress 2
- Map Packs (version 6): arena maps, ctf maps, cp maps, pl maps, other maps
- Time: 8pm Central (2am UTC)
- Server: brbuninstalling.com #1 [FastDL|Customs|HLStatsX|Voting]; IP: 126.96.36.199:27015; Password: littlecart
- Spill-Over Server: brbuninstalling.com #2 No Crits; IP: 188.8.131.52:27015; Password: N/A
- Spill-Over-Over Server: 184.108.40.206:27015 - Located in Los Angeles, this will be STOCK-ONLY
And if there's something you've been itching to do or a map that needs some love, please suggest it. Thanks.
Next week we will start up Scrim Days - Weekdays at 4 on server #1. What we are doing is having a set time for some small team competitive playing pick-up style with anyone that shows up. Make sure you are on time if you come so you can be there for team picking. Next FNF, and for every week from now on, we will be hosting 4v4 battles before general play. If you have a team of 4 that is interested in playing send me a PM, or visit our forums.
After Rev. Anthony’s article on The Ship a lot of people decided to come out and join us for our Monday game. Unfortunately I forgot to mention that it can have a steep learning curve. So here is a guide for new ship players that will have you murdering like a pro.
Go through the tutorial
No really, go do it. Now! I’ll wait. You back yet? Ok good. This is one of the few games the tutorial is actually useful. OK they still treat you like an idiot, but there is enough complexity in this game that if you don’t know where to look on your HUD to see if it’s safe to pull a weapon, how to check your map or how to manage your inventory and check the MFK (money for kill) of weapons you will just be fresh meat to everyone else. Some pro-tips: middle click to holster and un-holster last weapon used. P for map, use it often. Right click to get more options when you are looking at things, this is good for bribing guards, changing your meal purchase and even uncovering some secrets. I for inventory, try to only use this when you are in a security zone. Right click to throw any weapon you are holding, you will surprised at how many kills you can get throwing something seemingly useless. Aim for the head, but be careful. You are throwing away a perfectly good weapon!
Take it slow
Unlike most games The Ship has a relatively slow pacing. Most people get caught up in the “90 seconds left to kill quarry” messages and run around like idiots with their weapons hanging out. This is bad for two reasons. Running increases the rate that your sleeping need goes up dramatically, and sleeping is one of the times you are the most vulnerable. Also if you get careless and pull out a weapon with either too many witnesses or in a security zone you will get sent to jail, fined and all those weapons you looked so hard for taken away. My suggestion is don’t expect to get a kill every round. Just make sure you manage your needs, watch your back and find the best earning weapons possible. Then kill when it is convenient. Often the winner of the round isn’t the person with the most kills but the one who put in the extra effort to find high earning weapons (you can find some that are worth $10k+.
Almost every map has some secret areas tucked away. So make sure you explore and examine anything suspicious. Right click things often, some soda machines will have an OK sign like thing that when you click will open a secret passage. There are also buttons that open trap doors and other things hidden around. Also if you see any keep out signs go in immediately. The crew areas often have some of the best weapons tucked away, but beware some are on a timed fine system where you will be fined every X seconds and eventually sent to jail. So run through these areas quickly. Sick bays are a good place to get scalpels, sleeping shots and poison syringes. Don’t take the sleeping pills! They actually put you to sleep and are a sick joke. There is one ship that has a cargo bay that often has good weapons in the trunk of an old car. Another map has a hidden area where you can get good weapons and look out into the billiard room from behind a painting (and shoot your quarry if you are really lucky to catch him there). If you just aren’t finding anything keep an eye out for those that do, and then do whatever they do. It’s good to find out where all the best places to get weapons are and go there first, looking randomly through cupboards and suitcases may get you a weapon, but usually you are just wasting time.
It’s a tarp!
One of the really funny things about The Ship is the traps built into most of the maps. The saunas and freezers often have the best weapons but you can also lock people in them and watch them slowly die. Some good weapons pickups will have steam pipes that you can activate when people are rummaging through them to kill them that way. In the paddle boat level good weapons will spawn on the ground near the paddles, but watch out! Anyone can run up and pull one of the levers at the sides and dump you into the paddles. Also some levels will let you drop life boats on people’s heads. So it is a good idea to discover the traps in the level. You could get lucky and get a really funny kill. Also the traps are often set near a good weapon pickup so if you are careful you will get some of the better weapons. These kills will count for you if they trap your quarry but they will also count against you if they aren’t. So it’s a good idea to resist the temptation. The one thing that doesn’t count either way is knocking people into the piranha water, but it’s really hard to kill someone like that and is pointless and won’t earn you any friends.
Don’t be a dick
Whenever you are on a losing streak or have no quarry it can be incredibly tempting to kill people randomly. This is not a good idea because all servers by default drop 30 min bans on people who kill to many people in a certain time limit that aren’t their quarry. This is automatic and most admins don’t bother to turn it off. You also get fined each time and although it is only $1000 it will add up quick. Don’t worry if you aren’t doing well, most people suck when they first start. I’ve heard many people say they didn’t get one kill the first night they played. But if you follow my advice and get a good weapon a few kills could be all you need to win the round. And also there is only one winner per round, so don’t take it to hard if it isn’t you.
The last point I will make is to change your name from landlubber. Most people like to know who killed them or who they are killing. The options menu is called the engine room so hit escape and go there; it will be the first tab. Also voice com is not included I believe because they thought it would break the mood, so it is a good idea to get into the vent of your choice before going in.
A group of Dtoid people and other PC gaming enthusiasts have gotten together to resurrect this game from obscurity. Rev Anthony was talked into showing up last week and his article gathered a lot of enthusiasm. I've been organizing this game for a bit and wasn't posting a c-blog because I thought, like most gamers, no one was interested in giving this intense psychological game a shot.
Well I was proven wrong, so if you want to come play just connect to the following server tonight at 8 pm EST: 220.127.116.11:27025
If you want to try it but don't want to buy it just yet, post that you want a guest pass below. Hopefully someone will have one and will be feeling generous.
The server is being made available to us by the people over at UMLan.com and is run by Flying Mongoose and Caffeine Powered so say thanks if you want, because we are getting this for free.
When I first created a blog here on destructoid I wrote an article about how I would make a game if I were in charge. I was planning on making it into a series, but then I realized it was a bit pretentious of me to tell actual developers how I would have made their game better. So I quickly scrapped the idea. But now that Dr. Boa and some community members have started up the game making conversation, I thought I’d throw in my ideas for a totally revolutionary awesome original IP.
I want to start by saying that it bugs me sometimes how it seems that developers start with a gameplay mechanic and then write the story around it. I do understand how this was necessary in the past, but I feel that we can create an immersive enough environment to be able to structure it around the narrative and still make the gameplay fun and engaging. That said we are going to make a narrative (and some possible gameplay).
The idea for this game is directly taken from a comic I wanted to write (and still may) based around some of the unintended mythology of destructoid. I will not go into it too deeply because if I do write it I don’t want to spoil it. At it’s heart it is a pulpy noir detective story set in a retro-futuristic world like the one in sky captain and the world of tomorrow. Collette is the femme fatale, Neiro is a maniacally robot building scientist, Hamza is an evil puppet master of grotesque horrors, Chad is I don’t know what yet but I’m sure he’s amazing, and Jim Stirling is some crazy british fop who’s deadly with an umbrella. He could also be the mastermind.
Hell yes giant robots
The protagonist is a detective of course, and to make things interesting he only has a six shooter (outside of a couple scene specific instances). Now you may be thinking that is a horrible idea, but this is supposed to be as cinematic and emotionally engaging as possible. One thing I remember hearing about the allure of bond is that he is just one man with a horribly underpowered pistol and his wits and he is always in danger. That is what you are, you have your wits and your pistol and that is it. This game will be heavy on sleuthing, but I want it to be as organic as possible. I always hated that in many adventure games you had to do specific things in a specific order or it wouldn’t work. I want it to be that you can solve the puzzle in any order. Hell you can even cheat and jump straight from step 1 to 37. The NPCs should react to this too, not in a rewarding way but in a how the fuck did you work that out so fast way, maybe even make future puzzles and events more challenging (for if this is during a replay).
As far as gameplay there will be a varied set of activities. It will be divided into sleuthing activities and action activities with the following action activities a must. There must be one follow that car chase scene with the cabby bothering you while you are sticking your head out to get a shot. There must be a fight in a blimp, on top of a blimp and hanging from a rope ladder beneath the blimp. Notice I said and not or. There must be at least one intense chase scene where you are being chased by a monster (the gun will be useless except to throw at it). There must be a fight in the destructoid robot while moving and one while you are running alongside the robot across rooftops while it is stomping a path through the city. Now remember these will all be done with only a six shooter, so that should ratchet the intensity factor up a couple notches. The idea is to go for quality of the action encounters and not quantity of the people you have to kill.
As an inspiration for how well this could work please watch the following video. I have never played this game and only heard about it from this site. I am aware that this is pretty much the only highlight which is why I haven’t tracked it down, but this to me is the way a narrative based gameplay should be.
Last night had a very successful turn out which caused some technical hiccups because the game servers cap out at 9. After everything got ironed out I had an opportunity to explore the world that is The Hidden, and what I got from it is that the game has a lot of potential but needs a good amount of polish and tweaking.
The Hidden is currently in Beta 4. If you are unfamiliar with it, it pits everyone against one powerful player who is 95% invisible. As I mentioned the game maxes out at 9. You may think that this is far too small, but playing on both full servers we set up I feel like it was actually too much. The problem is that the hidden has kind of an awkward balance and a steep learning curve. As far as I could tell there was no buffs given to the hidden depending on the size of the opposing team (IRIS). Because of this it was often a steamroll, with the hidden getting killed quite fast. Or worse the hidden spent most of the round hiding, wrecking the flow of the game. In fact I don't think I got a single kill when I got to play as the hidden. You can't blame the hidden player for hiding though, confronting a group of soldiers is suicide in this game unless you are very good. So you spend a lot of time waiting for someone to wander off on his own.
Meet the hidden, visibility not guaranteed.
The gameplay is actually pretty neat. As a member of IRIS you are heavily armed but extremely paranoid about your surroundings. All you can really see is a slight shimmer, and there are lots of maps that have steam vents that also create a shimmer and really mess you up (some can even be turned on and off). As the hidden you have to stalk and kill all IRIS members. This is best done by singling them out and attacking them one by one. Unfortunately you can get killed in a couple of shotgun blasts so you really have to hide most of the time. Being able to cling to walls helps this, and there are often special areas in maps made for hiding and stalking. This is another problem I had, I felt like the hidden should be stronger, except for one thing. The hidden gets a one hit kill attack which I think can break the game. No one likes to get killed in one hit, although it does freak you out when it happens to someone next to you.
someone's gonna die
Some of the vision effects included in this game are a very nice touch. If you get hit by one of the hidden's pipe bomb your vision goes black. This is freaky when it happens and you often just spin around in circles shooting wildly. On the other side the IRIS get a gun that is non-lethal but stuns the hidden. When you get shot your vision gets blurry and the camera spins a bit. It really feels like you are dizzy, and you get dizzy from looking at your monitor. Using this often had the hidden yelling "fuck this that gun sucks" in vent, which was good for some laughs.
A thing I really didn't like was that the hidden's visibility was constant. I'd like to see it vary depending on what he was doing. There were a couple times playing as the hidden I tried standing still next to group of passing IRIS. I was killed immediately. On the other hand I saw people killed without actually seeing the hidden. In fact a lot of the times I killed the hidden were completely on accident. I think the game would be better if the hidden was 99.9% invisible standing still, the visibility it currently is moving and 80-90% invisible when attacking. I think this would improve the feel of hunting and being hunted by the hidden.
See the hidden? Me neither.
Overall I thought the game had a lot of promise but needed work. It is currently in beta 4, so its a little buggy too, but not unbearably. We had a couple problems with crashing but otherwise it ran fairly smooth. I'd recommend it for smaller groups and for people who are curious. I didn't quite get the feel of being hunted by a hidden monster, or hunting when I was the hidden. In fact it often felt like the opposite was happening. I am definitely looking forward to the final release. It is a game I want to see improved and done well because of the moments when everything fit together and gave me a very tense and psychological experience.
I got killed behind that boxcar, and over there, oh and next to that barrel!
If you played with us please leave your thoughts below, and be sure to join us for future mod nights. Also there is a highlight reel being worked on. So be on the lookout for that in the future.