Sun Nov 10 2002 12:19 Game Roundup:
- HackNet is a Lightly Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. It's a roguelike that features an amazing three (count 'em, three) monsters. You telnet in to the server to play, giving it the feel of one of those old BBS door games.
LBreakout2 is the free software generalization of Breakout; it has many the generalizations people put into free software versions of preexisting games: client-server architecture, definable levels, etc. It probably has XML definitions for its bonuses and tile types. Like Rocks'n'Diamonds (which has yet to be mentioned in a Game Roundup; I should remedy that) it has several sesquillion contributed levels (though not as many as Rocks'n'Diamonds' whopping 90.6 sesquillion). Many of the contributed levels are simply examples of the genre of Breakout board art, where the tiles form a low-resolution color bitmap of something, but some of them make good action puzzles. Action puzzles!
LBreakout2 has several features for people like me who care more about experiencing the different levels than about getting the last lousy brick on the board; at a certain point you can warp to the next board without finishing it, and if you run out of lives you can purchase another one with points from your score (finally, a game where points are good for something!).
- Rocks'n'Diamonds. Hey, it's your lucky day! Another clone, and another mine game. It clones an old Amiga game called Emerald Mine, in which you run around a mine collecting the conveniently pre-polished gemstones and avoiding or thwarting the baddies and natural disasters inhabiting the mines. But there's another game called Boulder Dash which is very similar, and it'd be a shame to write a whole nother game engine to clone Boulder Dash, so Rock'n'Diamonds also clones Boulder Dash. There's also an old DOS game called Supaplex, which has the same gameplay but completely different objects, so Rocks'n'Diamonds is a general running-around-pushing-and-collecting things engine with several sets of objects including Supaplex objects. And really, when you think about it, isn't Sokoban a degenerate case of that sort of game, with all pushing and no collecting? So it also clones Sokoban.
The aforementioned 90.6 sesquillion levels are available for Rocks'n'Diamonds (Update: thousands of new levels just released! Rocks'n'Diamonds now features 90.603 sesquillion levels!), many of the levels contributed from people living in Scandanavian countries where there's nothing to do but hold war crimes tribunals and write Rocks'n'Diamonds levels. I wish there were some site with reviews of R'n'D level sets, because (again) the boards are divided between dull representational boards and good puzzle-oriented boards (and bad puzzle-oriented boards); perhaps I'll start keeping notes and putting up my reccomendations. There are, or should be, levels which combine objects from different games in interesting ways.
Oh, one more thing about Rocks'n'Diamonds. When you die, your body decays into yellow gemstones. Why? And what does that say about all the other gemstones?
Sun Nov 10 2002 13:08:
Note to people coming here via Freshmeat looking for a NewsBruiser demo site: NewsBruiser is very slow on this machine, but it's not NewsBruiser's fault; all CGIs and SSIs are very slow on this machine. It ain't neccessarily slow.
Sun Nov 10 2002 13:13:
Google Cache says someone has actually written a (non-musical) play called Kiss Me Kant. It has the archaic wit that I enjoy.
DUC DU DRYROT
Then I take it you don't enjoy the company of women.
Quite the contrary. But must every company be incorporated?
Sun Nov 10 2002 15:06:
Celestia is a software package for which I've been waiting years. It's an astronomy program that actually lets you move around space rather than keeping you stranded on Earth looking at the stars. It's got a star catalog and you can hop from one star to another in seconds. My only complaints: an "accellerate but stay in current orbit" mode would be great, the browsable list of objects is currently available only on Windows, and Celestia sometimes causes X to freeze for a while (Graphics card incompatibility? Just computationally intensive?). The Celestia page is updated with new celestial bodies as humans discover or launch them. All in all, a great piece of software.
Sun Nov 10 2002 17:27:
Andy Holloway, I think your problem is caused by a bug in the Default theme's entry template. Update themes/Default/configuration from CVS, or try changing "<p class="entry">...</p>" in the entry template to
"<span class="entry"><p>... </p></span>". That should fix the problem.
Also, NewsBruiser won't accept an entry if the title is the notebook password (I had the same problem you did when I added title support).
Update: The clickolinko oracle speaks: "now hacking nycb is simply a process of figuring out what title is missing." Unfortunately, as of yet there exists no effective enumeration of NYCB titles.
Sun Nov 10 2002 20:15:
So far this year I've gotten 40 megabytes of spam and 46 megabytes of email viruses. But I've only gotten about 325 email viruses, and I've gotten about 5000 pieces of spam. This makes me think that spam and email viruses represent the two reproductive strategies. Spam is the sturgeon strategy where you send out thousands of tiny, defenseless eggs and hope that one or two of them come to fruition; whereas email viruses are the human strategy, where you create fewer, larger offspring, imbuing each of them with the skills they'll need to survive and reproduce.
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