Omar: I'll do what I can to help y'all. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple.
Dennis 'Cutty' Wise: The game done changed...
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.
Without a doubt, the highlight of my podcast listening this week was Open Run’s interview with Craig Hodges. He has just released a new book, Long Shot: The Triumphs and Struggles of an NBA Freedom Fighter and Jesse and Stefan talk to him about the era he covers in the book:
Craig Hodges is many things: NBA Champion, 3-point sharpshooter, social justice activist, and now, author. He joins us to talk about his days playing alongside Michael Jordan on the legendary Bulls squads of the ’90s, facing off against the Bad Boys, the ins and outs of the Triangle offense—and the visit to the White House that would change his life forever.
Most interesting quote was about the Bulls and MJ: “..and the cool part, people, youknow, love MJ to death, but we would not have won one championship without Bill Cartwright.”
Conan: Exiles continues to (greatly) surprise and differentiate itself from Ark, but my concern is that it I won’t feel good after a session. Bad juju, or taking pleasure in the wrong things. Hmmm…
And if you are wondering where the “T’ieves” came from, watch this:
And if that has whetted your appetite for some more Snatch, then I suggest you watch the 24 minute Making Of.
Just when I thought I was done spending money. 4 Player Co-op Online and Local, and Battle mode. Cornie and I have played the Beta, for hours. This is The Behemoth’s vintage humor packaged in an RTS game. Um, it’s better than Monopoly. Oops, did I go to far? It is rumored, there are masks. Ok, now I went too far.
This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game.In our fast-paced, turn-based, co-op adventure you’ll quest and explore, find awesome loot, customize your fighters, recruit strange species, and fight in tournaments! A full cast of tragically unique heroes awaits as you plot a course across an apocalyptic wonderland! Dogged at every step by a mysterious and power-hungry narrator (Will Stamper, “BattleBlock Theater”), you’ll need to rally your troops and steel your wits if you hope to survive a hostile world filled with sinister electrobots, deadly vampires and brutally adorable cupcake people! Highlights of the Game: -Single player story mode -2 player co-op story mode (local & online) -Up to 4 players in PvP (online) -Daily Tournaments -Signature Behemoth art style & humor Full details on the latest status of the game, how you can give feedback and report issues can be found at http://www.pitpeople.com
Couldn’t wait for the new week. You can try it for free, and then do the “Shut up and take my money!”
This could be entertaining.
So, what was your Game of the Year 2016, and what is your most highly anticipated game of 2017?
My GoTY for 2016 would have to be Rocket League. It can be consumed in 5 minute sessions, which in turn can be strung together endlessly to fill a whole afternoon. It isn’t for the faint of heart; the game has no skill cap. None. But like any great sport, those truly talented in it can inspire dreams in those less gifted. Yep.
Strangely, I think one of my favorite aspects of the game is the crate purchase/trade system facilitated by Xbox Live Groups. Psyonix have created a brilliant, real-life economy in which the crates are the currency. The simplicity, non-zero-sum (i.e., win-win) nature ensures the developer will have the funding to continue to create and support their game for years to come, and gamers of any and all fiscal backgrounds can play and “dress up” as their time and money permits.
It is no surprise that the game took 10 years to develop. The depth and polish show it.
And that brings me to my most highly anticipated game of 2017, Sea of Thieves. The polish of the environmental elements (waves, sky, light, wind) and the sailing mechanics in the technical Alpha were way beyond that of any other AAA game that I played in 2016. Rare is actively and aggressively building and supporting a community that will share in the development of their game, which at the very least, demonstrates their hopes for a long-term, successful IP. I don’t know when it will be coming out, but it is going to be a compelling, highly entertaining, social experience. (Mostly for my own reference, in anticipation of battles at sea, one of the forum members, Katt, offered the following links: How Pirates Attacked, Common Tactics On How Pirates Took Merchant Ships, and Corbett’s Fighting Instructions 1530-1816).
As a parting thought, I spent about $70 dollars this Christmas on games. Not bad. What it got me, however, was fantastic: Monopoly Family Pack x2, Rainbow Six Siege, and Astroneer. I am really diggin’ this Microsoft trend to follow after Valve’s Steam sales. Next year, I want to wait until Black Friday before I start buying my games (SoT excepted).
Doh! One more thing, and I promise this is the last (for now). My favorite Silver Screen entertainment this year was Fauda followed by Luke Cage. TV is so entertaining these days, I no longer have the time to re-watch shows. Truly, there is no need for buying entertainment any more unless one is very fussy about seeing it uncompressed, in its most beautiful 4KHD format.
This is coming a bit early, because I can’t wait. So, I came across something very fun for Christmas. I have been spending some time in the Sea of Thieves forums since the Technical Alpha and one of the Rare Employees, Emerz, discussed one of the tools they use “to talk about what motivates and satisfies players in game”: What Type of Player Are You? (For those who want to know a little about what went into Alpha participation selection, check here.)
I took The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology and the results came as no surprise to me:
I am a SEKA!
You are 67% Socialiser
You are also:
Some of us have been playing Prominence Poker when we are too tired to play anything else. It has been a lot of fun, actually, and I was thinking how much a game like Sea of Thieves would benefit from some card/dice mini-games, especially if they included betting. Unfortunately, one of the most popular versions of poker, Texas Hold-em, which is the game of choice for PP, is an awful variant of the game, in my opinion. There are far too many cards exposed, and people can see the conclusion long before the betting has ended. Remembering the fun I have had playing cards with Mark, I asked him if he would write up the rules to “Hurt Me”, by far the best form of poker I have ever played. With a few edits, here is his reply:
Match-the-Pot card games like Guts and its variants are akin to poker, but use fewer cards, may be won with low hands, and in other small details diverge from it.
Adapting some of its features to poker is, however, straightforward, and results in a game that appeals by adding weight to observation, bluff, and participation by all players and not just those with the deepest or freest pockets.
This variety of poker seems not to be well known, but when played by a group of Bates College students in the 1980s was called “Hurt Me” (2 to 7 players).
A dealer is chosen by whatever method is agreeable. The dealer announces the ante, and those choosing to join the game place that amount in the middle of the table to form the pot for the first hand. After a customary cut by the player on his right, the dealer deals five cards to each active player. The dealer then asks each player in turn, starting at his left, whether he will stay or fold. Each player who chooses to stay receives two more cards. (Indicating intention to stay with the phrase “Hurt me” gave this poker variety its name.) Once all players, concluding with the dealer, have chosen whether to stay or fold, each of those who have stayed reveals the best five-card hand from among his seven cards. The winner of the hand takes the pot. Each loser – that is, each player who stayed and lost – matches the pot. (For example, if four players stay in a hand, one wins and three lose; each loser matches the current pot, meaning it triples in value for the next hand.) The deal then passes to the next player to the left and the next hand is dealt.
The game ends when only one player chooses to stay in a particular hand, since there is no loser to replenish the pot for another.
The deal, and decision of the ante for the next game, passes to the player to the left of the one who started the previous game.
A further variant is called Bates Motel. It is the same in all respects to Hurt Me, except the procedure for choosing whether to stay or fold. All players hold their five-card hands face down over the table, and when the dealer calls, “One, two, three, drop!”, those who wish to fold drop their cards, and those who are still holding theirs are determined to stay.
In summary, it is a match-the-pot variant in which no cards are exposed. “Betting” is as described above.
I am in the middle of the latest Open Run podcast in which Chris Paul is interviewed. He is one of the smartest players in the NBA and when he mentioned that he uses something called Second Spectrum for his own study, I had to check it out. For those interested in the data analysis of sports and or basketball, Rajiv Maheswaran’ Ted Talk explaining the technology of Second Spectrum is fascinating.