Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hail The Hamster!

It's been about a year since I last logged into The Fantastically adequate Hamster Republic Home Page.

This is more than the home of Jame's Page's OHRRPGCE, it is also, I suspect, a clever reference to Boo the Space Hamster.

OHRRPGCE is an old school CRPG engine. Remember Final Fantasy 2? It could be easily reproduced using the OHRRPGCE (Short for Official Hamster Republic Role Playing Game Creation Engine). The system is VERY flexible, though. I'm using it to build a Star Trek Game that will likely never be finished but has allowed me to explore the system. A good stable core system supported by Hamster Speak, a powerful yet ridiculously simple scripting language.

I was surprised to find an updated released as recently as January. No longer a DOS system the system is now Windows Based, and is capable of supporting better sound, better graphics, and larger files. The only downside I can see is that the system can no longer build self executable games. An OHRRPGCE game file can only be played with a full install of the engine.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alcohol Anonymous

The Event with Skunkeen last Saturday was a success, but a less than stellar one.

The module, Alcohol Anonymous, was a very clever one. The build was amateurish and entirely Dependant on DM participation, but the plot and NPCs were amusing and the whole game had a very survival-horror feel, which is... to say the least... right up my alley.

This event was intended for aspiring DMs. As PCs died (and oh how horribly they died) they were given DM passwords and we taught them tricks of the trade as the adventure progressed. After the adventure the survivors also logged on as DMs and we began a question and answer session on how to use the DM client.

Now as a rule I run Open events. No passwords or anything. I'm always happy to field new players, or shall I say, I USED TO BE happy to field new players.

One of our invited players was running X-Fire during the game, and while we were playing an X-Fire Griefer calling himself RagdollKnight piggybacked in.

I've been running events on Neverwinter Connections for about a year, and in all those games... say 20 or more... I've yet to run into a griefer.

So this guy starts wreaking all the havok that a DM can Wreak, and a DM can wreak a lott of havok. He basically ruined the question and answer session.

I wasn't running a dedicated server, so it forced a server reboot and password change to boot him off. Very frustrating.

What is is with Griefers? I simply do not understand the mindset that ruining other peoples experience is somehow intrinsically fun. It seems even more pitiful than it is aggravating. Is your life so empty? Are you so small and useless in RL that you can only assert yourself by being a bully in cyberspace? I shall ask my wife about it. She's a doctoral candidate working on her degree in Psychology.

Anyway... Many thanks to Skunkeen for the event. We'll do it again... but next time it will be a password protected application only event on a dedicated server.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nerd Porn

YES! Someone gets it!

"If you're an intelligent woman that wants to break into the adult film industry..."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Horror Update: Sweeney Todd

That's right... I said SWEENEY TODD. Truer to horror than the endless stream of prequels and sequels that Hollywood has been shoving down our throats for the past 5 years, Sweeney Todd is an elegant and terrifying return to what horror is supposed to be.

It's been so long since I've seen a truly GOOD horror movie that I had actually convinced myself that maybe Hostel 2 wasn't just a contrived, formulaic excuse to see some 2 seconds of inverted boobs. I was distressingly undisturbed by the image of a chick cutting off some jerks (ridiculously unrealistic latex) penis. I mean c'mon. What guy hasn't already lived through the same thing at least a half dozen times?

The feeling of relief I got when I watched Sweeney Todd is hard to describe. It feels like the end of a 5 year crap.

I saw Sweeny Todd in the 80's when it was on Broadway, so I was VERY skeptical when I saw it was being adapted to film.

I was wrong.

Tim Burton adhered elegantly to the original script, intent, and vision of what Sweeney Todd was meant to be. It was not a "re-imagining" or whatever the heck the Hollywood buzzword is these days for taking a classic and turning it into pop feces. They only changed a handful of lines, and only when it was appropriate to the change of medium. The changeover from stage to screen was done with astounding grace and skill.

The choice of stars, which had bile churning in my stomach as soon as I heard it, turned out to be extraordinary.

Let me explain... I LIKE Johnny Depp, but I still see 21 Jump Street any time he opens his mouth. The guy STILL looks like a kid, and the Benjamin Barker character is supposed to have just gotten out of prison after 14 years. Boyish good looks are just not gonna cut it. As for Helena Bonham Carter, she's hot. Every movie she's ever done has tried to ugly her up, and it never works. Mrs Lovette is NOT supposed to be hot! When I saw the stage version all those years ago the part of Mrs. Lovette was played (brilliantly) by ANGELA LANSBURY.

There's no way a pair of Hollywood Hotties were going to pull off Sweeney Todd.

Wrong again. I could go on for hours, and may yet when I have some more time... but the short version is...

What a fantastic freakin' movie!!! I mean nothing will ever touch the Broadway experience that, as a child, made me decide that I was going to dedicate my life to stage acting (yeah... well that's a different story). The stage version was much funnier. Stage happens from a distance which makes the whole serial killer thing a little less gruesome, but film is up-close and personal so it couldn't help but be a very different experience. Still... standing on it's own it's tons of stage blood n' latex fleshy fun!

Ummm... Don't bring a date, though, unless she's turned on by the sound of skulls being crushed on cobblestones.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Witcher Burned at the Stake by Yahtzee

Well, I've decided not to buy "The Witcher", even if it is my beloved Aurora Engine. I won't get into all the people that have warned me off it. Yahtzee put it best...

My Brain Hurts!

I understand User Defined Events!

Last night, while working on my Neverwinter Nights campaign, I finally figured out how the bloody User Defined Events work, and they are AWESOME! It's very simple really, you call a user defined by number, and this triggers a script stored in the area, module, or object that the event is stored on. I used it to script a battlefield sequence in my next Broken Heart session. I can't wait to test it out.

Special NWN Event

I have some excitement scheduled for tomorrow. I'm going to be teaming up with the legendary Skunkeen and co-DMing a Neverwinter Nights event geared towards teaching noobies how to DM! If you're interested in learning more about Skunkeen you can see his NWC profile page.

He was also interviewed once for the NWN Podcast. You can hear his interview here. He was on episode 44.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Freeware Version of MechCommander 2

Mech Commander 2 is one of the greatest Battletech Games ever made. Battletech was never meant to be a first person shooter. It was meant to be a strategy game. Mech Commander 2 captured the flavor of the original battletech game in a way that has yet to be matched.

Microsoft released the source code for the game more than a year ago, and Wolfman-X has created a freeware version of the game, MC2X, that can be downloaded here...

Unfortunately the Driftwood campaign he designed and bundled into it is HARD. If you are an MC2 veteran than by all means, grab it, but if you are an MC2 noob you might want to hop onto Ebay and get the original game first. There's also a stand alone campaign available on Wolfman's site by StarFox called Rebirth of the White Company. I haven't looked into it, but it looks like a much better starting campaign for noobs than Driftwood.

MC2X Does not support one of MC2's most outstanding features: multi-player. While this sucks, what sucks even more is that MC2 multi-player is pretty much dead anyway.

Like all my favorite games, MC2 and wolfmans MC2X both have mission editors.