(1) Fri Jun 24 2005 06:57 PST Deglazing: Clip 'n' Save:
Brendan doesn't know how to deglaze a pan so he is stymied by my mother's chicken recipe. You deglaze by pouring a cool, flavorful liquid into a hot pan and then quickly scraping off the pan all the burnt bits that stuck to it while you were cooking. The burnt bits and the flavorful liquid will form the basis of a sauce. To deglaze, you usually use one of the three Bs: broth, booze, or lemon juice that somehow starts with a B.
(1) Fri Jun 24 2005 23:07 PST Game Roundup You Can't Get Out of Your Head:
Lots of Roguelikes and pseudo-RPGs in this Roundup, mainly the luck of
the draw. There were a lot of Pac-man type games, but there were so
many Pac-man type games, more and more of the URLs from my Game
Roundup file turning out to be Pac-man type games, that I decided to
round them all up in a special "Pac-man Type Game Fever" roundup,
- The mini-game Ambassador
of Pain really cleared up a lot of my misconceptions about
diplomatic service. For instance, who knew that international
relations were so much like a snake game, except without the snake?
And how else would I have found out that the major topic of discussion
at summit meetings was pain?
There is not a whole lot to this game, but you can define the
levels with ASCII art, and it has a level in which you must make your
way up the TCP/IP protocol stack. So that's two points in its favor.
- Jump n Bump has nothing
to do with arcade classic Bump 'n' Jump, except that both involve
bumps and jumping. You'd think that would be a lot of commonality, but
while in Bump 'n' Jump you were a car and you needed to jump over
obstacles and bump your opponents, in Jump 'n' Bump you are a bunny
and you need to jump onto your opponents (bumping them is also
an option). Multiplayer only. Lots of fun, very polished; a basic carnage game.
Hunt is a little Python game of the Final Fantasy genre, written
by the guy who ported all of Kenta Cho's games to Linux. Not very
difficult, but kind of fun. And c'mon, this guy ported Kenta Cho to
Linux. Give him a break and play his game.
- crossfire is a
Roguelike I've known about for years but never really tried out,
possibly to avoid a namespace collision with the old IBM game called
Crossfire, covered in an earlier Game Roundup. It's multi-player and semi-real-time, giving it sort of a
Gauntlet feel, which is really nice. What's not so nice is the weird
feel of the tile system. Not sure what's going on there. Also the
interface is kind of awkward: you can tell it's been programmed for
extensibility but not actually extended that much. However it does
have lots of user-contributed maps in its map set; it's like Rocks 'n'
Diamonds, only not overwhelming to the point of aggravation. I
shouldn't have overlooked this game for as long as I did.
- Silmar is an updated
Java version of a DOS Roguelike that I remember uploading to Da
Warren. So this guy's been working on the same game idea for over ten
years. You don't see that kind of dedication too often. So how is it?
Well, I took the old version out of mothballs to do a comparison, and
I must say the new version is much nicer. The only feature of the old
version I miss is the enormous number of character classes: the old
version was the only Roguelike I've ever seen that lets you play a
Nowadays Silmar is an interesting Roguelike, pretty tough, with an
IF-like fixation on light management and lots of interesting
non-character-class related features like a spell that bookmarks your
location on a particular level (so you can get back there later). It's
also got abandoned mine shafts that you can't resist poking around
in. You'd think there'd be treasure in there, or a bonus level, but
half the time they're just empty and the other half they contain a
ferocious dragon who comes out and slaughters you. So it's got a real
sort of Lassie "don't poke around abandoned mine shafts" vibe.
- RPGD is a
BBS-style game, but I couldn't get signed up with it so I never got to
the point where I figured out if it was like the door games I like
(Wizard's Arena) or the door games I don't like (Legend of the Red
Dragon). I guess I suspected it would be like the latter and I didn't
care enough to sign up for an account. I like the ANSI graphics
though; that brings back the memories.
- Widelands was covered in an earlier Game Roundup (the one linked above) and I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. Now it's been improved, made more usable, and I see that it's an
RTS game after my heart, kind of like SimCity. The focus is on
building roads and structures to gain new types of materials, but
there's still no real indication of what you're going to do with those
materials so it's like playing FreeCiv without any knowledge of what
the tech tree is for. I'll check back in another few months.
I'm also not sure what is it with these games and frame rates. They
seem awfully proud of their frame rates, so much so that it has to
be displayed on the screen at all times. It makes no sense to me.
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