Friday, 22 August 2014

Infant Hiatus, Game Update, Ugly World Events

I'm going to try to start posting again. I've actually had a lot to say over the last couple of weeks but extremely little time to say it in. And infant plus a toddler means that you don't do a lot of things.

So here's an update on everything.

Final Fantasy Dimensions
Having no time to do anything means that I mostly only play games while I am on transit, and that means that I am playing iOS games. But thankfully for me, I discovered that in 2010 Square released Final Fantasy Dimensions, which is basically a SNES era Final Fantasy game.

When I say it is "basically" a SNES era Final Fantasy game I mean when you play this you will feel exactly like you are playing IV, V or VI. The graphics are the same, the look and feel of the game is the same, the plotline is just what you would expect - with a couple of unique twists. It uses a Job system and has a unique feature of giving you two different parties, each with access to its own special jobs.

The game is free to download but only includes a short prologue which is presumably there just so that fans of SNES Final Fantasy games can see that this is the real deal before buying. You can then buy four chapters one at a time or buy them all for $16.99. Now $16.99 is a price that got a lot of people in the mobile world angry. They are used to getting games for free and then sinking far more than $16.99 into them one microtransaction at a time. But if I'd known what I was getting, I would have dropped $59.99 on this game in a heartbeat. That's about what FFVI cost and I didn't have money in those days.

Not that this game is as loveable as FFVI, but I don't know if any game is. It's up there, though. I played for 51 hours and then, as I tend to do, decided to start again to try a different party configuration. I expect to play it a few more times after that. This is the real deal, and $16.99 was a bargain.

Particle Clicker - Cookie Clicker - Sandcastle Builder
Browser games are another thing you can play with no time, both because they do a lot of the playing themselves and because they can easily be managed with one hand while a baby is in the other. I didn't have my Cookie Clicker or Sandcastle Builder saves so I started those fresh. I also started the new Particle Clicker.

Particle Clicker is not great, but it's fun for a day. Basically it's more like a proto-type of a game than a game and you run out of things to do really quickly, descending into a phase of the game where it will take literally days to buy a tiny incremental increase. Cookie Clicker was surprisingly fun to play, and with the seasons I got a couple of days out of it before it mostly also went to a steady state.

Sandcastle Builder is something else entirely. I know it will be literally months before I get back to where I was and there will be a lot of work between now and then. What I'm having a lot of fun doing, though, is flagrantly cheating botting. I'm not just adding numbers with code, but I'm writing functions that play the game for me as if I was at the screen. As the game gets more complicated this will get harder and harder to do well.

I'm also back to coding my own browser game like others I have never finished. Will this time be different? Probably not, Steve.

Terrible Things in the World
In America a woman was arrested for negligence after allowing her nine-year-old to play in the park while she went to work. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tweeted an image that couldn't have been better calculated to cause suicide contagion. Militarized police are terrorizing a town in Missouri, having murders one of its citizens last week. Perhaps more incredibly, someone on the internet told me that if I was right about the irresponsibility of American gun owners then there would be a lot more gun violence in America - apparently not realizing that there already is a lot more gun violence in America.

The Mind is Luminous
Did you know the mind is luminous? Also, phenomena are empty. Give that some thought.

Next week will hopefully be an interesting week, with status updates on a 90s era Final Fantasy game, Sandcastle Builder bot code, and commentary on the rotten world we live in.

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