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SciFiThief

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About SciFiThief

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  1. Might be slightly OT (not a first-person game but it is single-player) but I've been getting a lot of mileage out of "Qbik," which is a 2D pixel-art puzzler currently on sale for 90% off ($0.49 US). Has a level editor, small hard drive footprint and can run on just about any computer made within the past 10+ years. Despite the kid-friendly pixel art, the levels get pretty tough early on so bring your thinking cap with you. Here's the link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/618470/Qbik/ The sale ends within the next 24 hours.
  2. The concept of "climate change" has become politicized because monied interests either can not adapt to reality or are unwilling to adapt to reality. The society that best adapts itself to reality will, ultimately, be the society that prospers the most. However, lest anyone think that the above statements are overtly "progressive," let us remember that there are significant vulnerabilities in the most progressive proposals to combat climate change. Renewable energy is ultimately powered by an 'outside motor' (sunshine, wind, etc.) and storage of that energy is a significant vulnerability within the strategy to switch over to a chiefly renewable energy power supply. Research & implementation of nuclear energy, as detestable as it may seem, must continue until the science of energy storage is more fully understood. A reduction of, but not the elimination of, meat consumption would also be very positive for the environment. Humans are omnivores, not herbivores; A strictly vegetarian diet has surprisingly limited benefits for human physiology. The majority of physiological benefits of a vegetarian diet occurs only within the first few weeks because of the absence of harmful foods in a diet and not the increase of beneficial foods. There is only so much available land to grow food; It would be impossible for the Earth to have enough usable land to have everyone convert to a strictly vegetarian diet. Simply because the most progressive ideas do not have solid scientific backing does not mean that conservative agendas, by default, have merit. The conservative tactic of "The Earth is very complex and we don't know the full truth"-style of arguments against climate change strategy is false. Simply because we, society, do not know the "full truth" about any topic does not mean that we can not apply what we do know in order to better shape our surroundings. I do not know the "full truth" of how a telephone works but I know enough to place the handset onto the receiver to allow the telephone to receive telephone calls. I know enough that if the telephone is unplugged from the wall then the telephone will never receive any telephone calls. Merely because some parts of the telephone can not be explained does not invalidate those parts of the telephone that have solid evidential explanations. The conservative tactic of "If we adopt X environmental measure, we shall be at a fiscal disadvantage and be somehow penalized" is another falsehood. The adoption and application of reality-based rules is always the best practice for any organization. Suppose I always bought a cup of coffee in the morning before heading off to work for $2 dollars. Over the course of a typical year, that expenditure would result in around $500 dollars per year for one cup of coffee. How much do I need that cup of coffee? If I discontinue that practice, I not only save $500 dollars but I also reduce landfill by 300 paper cups. My health might be marginally better because of the lack of caffeine and other liquids that I add to the coffee. Those resources now have a better chance of being diverted to areas that better need them. There would be short-term financial pain for the store that no longer has my business but the business would adapt accordingly; They might raise the price of coffee or divert some of their store to merchandise that produces a greater benefit (celery sticks, perhaps?). Overall, every society needs to adopt best practices as thoroughly and as quickly as they can if they want their society to prosper in the long term.
  3. [NOTE - Just figured out what the whole MultiQuote thing was about - Sorry for the 2 posts that could've been one post] PROJECT: Eden was great for me but, as I wrote, the combat felt as though some executive ran through the hallways, screaming and demanding that it be included to placate the action kiddies. Back when I thought that, someday, eventually, I would have enough skills to create my own computer games (pause to allow for poorly suppressed giggle-snort), I wrote a HUGE design document for my own version of PROJECT: Eden that was essentially P:E without the IP or the combat and with more non-combat RPG elements. And, since I'm posting, I may as well add a few more games: * Portal 1 / Narbacular Drop: Not Portal 2 (which I thought was overly long, had too many "large levels for the sake of being large" and introduced too many elements), but Portal 1's chief gameplay mechanic was simply awesome. How often had you wanted, while playing other FPS games, to simply create a door wherever so you could bypass some difficult section or get the drop on enemies? Portal 1 was the perfect length for it's gameplay mechanic; It never wore out it's welcome and ended just before it did. * Prey (original release): Somewhere in Prey is a better version of Portal 1 but strapped to a conventional FPS shooter. I'd love to see a Portal clone with gravity flipping, size manipulation (OK, Prey used a mapping trick for the size thing but people can do size portals for real) and walking on walls. Portal 2 had adhesion gel, admittedly, before they took it out. * Morrowind: I'm not going to go snobbish on which of the modern Elder Scrolls are best but, for me, Morrowind was just amazing in scope and depth for it's time. Yes, the dialog system sucked and some of the simplifications in the successive games are convenient but Morrowind simply felt as though you were in a forbidding land. You had to earn your fast travel and there was little hand-holding on the quests. OK. I will stop now. Promise.
  4. I've played Civ 1 - 5. I agree that Civ 3 is good but on the supply/demand graph of graphics / modded gameplay, Civ 4 is the most accessible for me. I keep trying to "get into" Civ 5 and I just can't. I don't want to get snobbish but the general trend of Civ games is to keep getting dumber over time (or, more accurately, they release the "dumb" base game and then, based upon all of the "Civ is getting dumber" outrage that follows, they patch the game back up to something partially resembling the previous game). Why someone can't just make Alpha Centauri with updated graphics is beyond me.
  5. So... Where was I? Oh yeah... * Project EDEN: OK, I never liked the combat but, boy, did it scratch the itch of "urban exploration" for it's time. If only they had released the level editor for that game... Oh well. * Midi-Maze: Back when there were computer clubs and you had to bring your own computer to the club in order to play multiplayer! Oh, those were magical times. * Tron v2.0: As far as I'm concerned, that game is the only sequel to the movie "Tron." That game IS Tron. Yes, I know that people love the arcade Tron (and I played that, too), but Tron v2.0 is just... Tron. It is Tron the way that Tron was meant to be Tron. If only they had released a halfway decent SDK for that game... *sigh* Project Hellgate: OK... Hear me out on this one. It is a pain to install on modern systems (and even more of a pain to uninstall) but the game took two great things (first-person perspective & action-RPGs) and made them even greater together. The lack of saves once you started a level was not cool, admittedly. * Doom 1/2 & Duke Nukem 3D: Eh... They were good for their time. I can't knock them. However, neither one has aged well for me. Duke Nukem 3D had a lot of environmental interactivity for it's time and that was very innovative for the era (the occasional eye candy didn't hurt much, either). * Ultima Series through 7: Wow. Elder Scrolls before Elder Scrolls was Elder Scrolls. I am so sad to see this series fade into obscurity (caveat: Ultima Online but that's not really Ultima). Back during the tile-based Ultimas, my Dad & I would map out the entire world on regular-sized graph paper looking for every secret 'whatever.' He'd then take the graph paper to work to shrink it down on the copier and we'd wallpaper an entire wall with all of the maps of the world and the towns. ** Bonus Mention: The Worlds of Ultima series (both of them, Savage Empire & Mars): So filled with awesome. It's too bad that the series never did well because I really enjoyed playing those games. Those games were nice. There are just so many good games... Yeah, I can't list them all. Oh! One more! * Scorched Earth! How can I not mention Scorched Earth! And while I'm at, "Legend of the Red Dragon"... "Trade Wars"... OK. I have to stop now.
  6. I've played so many good games that to pick just one would be impossible. It always depends upon the mood that I'm in. Here's a partial list of some of those games (in no particular order): * Modded Civilization 4: I can't tell you how many times I used to look up at the in-game clock and think, "I've been playing for THAT long?!!!" * Spaceward Ho! IV for Windows: This is another one of those "Just one more turn" games for me. * Thief 1 / 2 / Dark Mod: Let's just address the 800-lb gorilla in the room. Dark Mod is an absolute blessing on the gaming community. Thief 1 / 2 were genre breakers in the best senses of the word. How many collective hours did I spend waiting for a guard to finally move or to learn their route so that I could continue to ghost a level? * Half-Life 1: First FPS game that merged both a decent story and familiar visuals. Played innumerable fan levels during it's heyday. * Quake 1: First polygon "room-over-room" FPS. I can remember using a cheat code to freeze the enemies and simply marvel at the fact that I had just walked under the bridge that I had just walked over without the game using any sophisticated programming tricks. * Total Annihilation Kingdoms: Yes, I wrote that. An RTS for the rest of us that had a darn good story and it was an unofficial predecessor to the tower defense genre. I remember people being hugely butthurt by it when it was released but I don't care. Great game and (shameless self-promotion) I remember being one of the few people to ever try to release single-player missions for that game (was an absolute pain to create, if I remember correctly). * Ultima Underworld I / System Shock I / System Shock II: I remember going to a gaming store with my friends. I bought System Shock 2 while one of my friends picked up Kingpin and thinking to myself that maybe my friend had made the better quality purchase. In hindsight, I couldn't have been more wrong. Spent way too much time salting the fries. Anywa... More to follow.
  7. SciFiThief

    Steam sale

    UPDATE 2018-06-28: Got them all but refunded interLogic. See below. Also got Rune Classic because... Nostalgia and now I don't have to go searching through a bajillion boxes for the discs. And they've updated the game so that it runs on a modern computer. I don't know if I'll get anything more... I have a few more days to contemplate, though. Here's what I'm looking at right now (all prices are in U.S. currency): * Interlogic: 0.99. Nice simple puzzle game. Level editor included in case you want to use your creative side. UPDATE 2018-06-28: Refunded. A bit too simplistic for my tastes and the production values were more than a bit amateurish. * Age of Decadence: 4.99. Been following this game for what feels like half of my life long before it was ever released. Supposedly a 'hard-core' RPG in the vein of Fallout 1/2. Finally at a "What the hey? If it sucks I didn't waste a ton of money on it" price. * Aliens v. Predator (2010): 2.39. Low-cost game that scratches the FPS itch. The price is the complete package, not that I'll ever use the mult-player option but it's always nice to have the full game and avoid the DLC scam. * Diluvion (Fleet edition) : 3.74. A bit of a gamble even at this price but it's a nice price and it supposedly has a "FTL meets Jules Verne" vibe to it. UPDATE 2018-06-28: Also got the "Derringer" sub DLC because... Heck, I might as well be a completist when it comes to the gameplay. * Fight the Dragon: 1.99. Voxel art meets Action-RPG. The big appeal (at least to me) is the low price and level editor (along with all of the fan content). * Dawn of Discovery Gold: 3.74. Scratches the empire/world-building itch at a low price. * Imperium Galactica II: 2.49. Solid 4x sci-fi game at a low price. * Defense Grid 2: 3.74. Mindless tower defense that's supposedly good at it's genre. Level editor & tons of free content adds replayability & value. * Homeworld Remastered: 8.74. I allow myself one "splurge" per large sale (Summer/Winter) if I so choose. This one is it. Liked it when it was first released. Only knock on this is that it doesn't have Cataclysm (supposedly, the source code for Cataclysm is lost). I don't need the soundtrack but to each their own. Anyway, there are others that are on the bubble but those are the ones that I'm looking at for now. Feel free to critique.
  8. Alright, I'll make a stab at this. Don't throw anything at me: t413f (Also: T413f, T413F) The Dark Modern The Dark Mod: 2020 (or whatever future year is appropriate... 2099?) The Dark Cyber-Mod Again, reserve your arrows for the guards. I'm glad that the project is moving forward.
  9. Sorry for the long delay. I'll blame it on the holidays. Anyway, I tried finding the game design document itself and couldn't which was discouraging. However, I did find a lot of ancillary documents which jogged my memory and was probably even better than finding it. Rather than copy-paste (a lot of it was stream-of-conscious writing and constant revisionism), I decided to just summarize everything in paste2.org document since it'd probably be TL;DR here. http://paste2.org/HOhvg02D However, for those who don't want to follow the link: * The crux of the game was energy management: Think of being a thief just like in "Thief" but you got to manage how much you could be invisible, how quiet you were, how far you could jump, etc. but you had to do all of that on an energy "budget." You could use wall sockets and car batteries to give you power boosts but, for the most part, you had to use what you started out with. * It was much more "ghost-like" than Thief. In essense, you weren't a killing machine, either from afar or in combat. * Instead of "easy medium, hard," it was "spy, assassin, thug" or something like that. I wanted there to be different objectives on the level rather than loot differences or # of guards. * I wanted money to be more important in the game so devices bought in one level carried over to the next. * Structure was just like Thief: Intro, choose your level type, choose your optional gear, play level. * The story & big reveal was that you weren't a human (as you or everyone else thought) but an advanced humanoid robot of unknown origin. Everyone lives in a large, domed city and the outside is supposedly hostile towards civilized life. The antagonists are proto-Pagans, eco-activists who think that the city bureacracy is lying to them about the true nature of the outside world. To hide their activities, they form a terrorist front that becomes a little too successful and that you are hired by them (without you knowing about it) to dismantle the front so that they can get away scot-free. At the end of the story, an unknown (and technologically-advanced) organization intervenes (think the equivalent of "The Keepers"), traps the eco-activists outside of the dome and the few witnesses to this event spurs the creation of both the equivalent of the Mechanists & the Hammerites (although somewhat different in motivation). * And, before I get lambasted for it, I predicted "climbing gloves" before Thief 3 did (but for different reasons) and used that instead of rope arrows. Anyway, there you have it. If that spurs some creativity or you guys want things fleshed out further, let me know. Thanks for entertaining my ideas and I hope that you found them useful.
  10. I once created a game design document that was essentially a cyberpunk version of "Thief 1/2". I don't have the document on my current computer (if I had to take a guess, I wrote it around 2002-3) but, if you're interested, I'll give you the highlights here as a brainstorming guide. My game-making skills are not good (hence, the game design document and not an actual game) but, if this effort to create a cyberpunk Thief gains traction (regardless if my prior ideas are used), I'll be more than willing to learn how to use DarkRadiant.
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