Posts tagged with "computer game" - Faerye Net 2006-09-25T15:22:16+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Yet Another Stupid (Nethack) Death (*sob*) 2006-09-25T15:22:16+00:00 2008-06-08T13:05:32+00:00 <p><em>This title (minus the crying) is the traditional title for posts on the nethack newsgroup where a person relates how their Nethack character died in a particularly stupid, funny, or frustrating way.</em></p> <p>The problem with <a href=";type=0&#38;sectionid=0" target="links">Nethack</a> is that one gets very invested in a successful character; after such a character dies, one often cannot play the game for weeks or months. I feel certain that such a Nethackless time is ahead of me. I am in Nethack mourning.</p> <p>Tinuviel, like most of my Nethack characters in the years since I won the game with a Valkyrie, was a Chaotic Elven Wizard. On about level 3 (the game goes about 50 levels deep, not counting side-branches) I found a wand of wishing with three charges. That was the first inkling I had that this character was going far further than the Gnomish King&#8217;s Wine Cellar.</p> <p>Wish-equipped with silver dragon scale mail, a helm of brilliance, boots of speed and gloves of dexterity, wielding the blessed +2 Magicbane, I continued through the dungeon, and in Sokoban, found another wand of wishing. This character&#8217;s luck was insane. Through careful management and the taming of 75% of all dragons encountered, Tinuviel traversed the entire Dungeons of Doom, wrested the Bell of Opening from the Dark One, the Candelabrum of Invocation from Vlad the Impaler, the Book of the Dead from the Wizard of Yendor. Yea, she did descend unto the very depths of Gehennom and seize the Amulet of Yendor from the High Priestess of Moloch. (Needless to say, I have been playing a <span class="caps">LOT</span> of Nethack in the last week or so.)</p> <p>She returned laboriously to the surface and fought her way through the Elemental Planes, losing her remaining pets, Piwacket <span class="caps">III</span>, Pete II, and Tazendra IV. With only one amulet of lifesaving left, she fought her way through angels, priests and devils to the first high altar on the Astral Plane. Neutral-aligned, not the Chaotic altar she needed to win the game. Stripped of her mana, killed and reborn for the fourth time, she fought her way to the doorway of the second temple. There stood Famine, and she slew him (once) with the last charge in her wand of death. Stepping forward, she decided to get a carrot out of her bag of holding to cure her blindness. &#8220;Y &#8211; an uncursed carrot.&#8221; </p><p><b>E</b>at, I typed. &#8220;Eat what?&#8221; is the traditional response. I typed &#8220;Y&#8221;, without thinking. When one is standing on a corpse, the response is &#8220;There is a [whatever] corpse here. Eat it?&#8221; I had just answered &#8216;<b>y</b>es&#8217; to eating the corpse of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.</p> <p>&#8220;This is instantly fatal. Would you like a list of your possessions?&#8221;</p> <p>I stared, feeling suddenly queasy. How appallingly stupid, on the very threshold of victory. I started to copy paste my inventory, to save a record of my near-miss for posterity. In doing so (using the window menu for the Nethack window) I accidentally closed the window&#8230;and apparently it hadn&#8217;t saved my score yet. Tinuviel is gone, and not even her score, her ignoble fate, her record of amazing achievements, survives her. It is as if she never existed.</p> <p><strong>sniffle</strong> Maybe I&#8217;ll start playing World of Warcraft again for a while.</p> <p><b>Update:</b> It gets worse. <span class="caps">I HAD</span> another amulet of life saving stuck in a bag of holding. <strong>sniffle</strong></p> 'Unreal' Musings 2004-03-25T15:26:53+00:00 2009-12-14T21:41:15+00:00 <p><em>Warning: Rambling post. First part of post (up to horizontal line) also kind of detailed regarding a computer game you may not care about. Under horizontal line, more general.</em></p><p>I&#8217;ve been playing a fair amount of <a href="" target="links">Unreal Tournament 2004</a> of late. For those of you who do not know, this is one of those violent videogames which are to blame for juvenile delinquency. I like it.</p> <p>There are, of course, different ways of playing any first person shooter (<span class="caps">FPS</span>). The most simple is the old-fashioned &#8220;Deathmatch&#8221;, wherein players and computer-simulated players grab ludicrously powerful weapons and try to kill as many of the other players as possible before time elapses or someone reaches the goal number of kills. Then there is Capture the Flag (<span class="caps">CTF</span>), where there are two teams, two bases, and one must attempt to capture the other team&#8217;s flag by stealing it and transporting it to your own flag (without someone killing you and picking their flag up). In Unreal Tournament 2004, there is a new game mode called Onslaught, a team-based game where there are various strategic points you must capture before destroying the enemy base, and a panoply of fine vehicles as well as weapons.</p> <p>I&#8217;m not very good at Onslaught. Oh, I&#8217;m not usually at the bottom of the rankings, but I seldom reach the upper levels either. I really enjoy it &#8211; there&#8217;s nothing like being able to run someone over who&#8217;s trying to kill you with rockets, after all &#8211; but I&#8217;m just not that good at it. It&#8217;s occasionally frustrating, and I realized last night why it&#8217;s so frustrating &#8211; I <em>am</em> quite good at Deathmatch, and reasonably good at <span class="caps">CTF</span>. When I played deathmatch regularly, it was fairly rare for me to slip out of the top three or four on a server, and sometimes I completely dominated. Of course I had my bad days &#8211; but there was usually a rhythm that I could easily fall back into. I don&#8217;t think I have a rhythm for Onslaught. Maybe it&#8217;s the large expanses of territory &#8211; I spend a fair amount of time trying to get where I&#8217;m needed, and then die promptly once I get there &#8211; but I just don&#8217;t have a rhythm for it. Whereas Matthew is good at Onslaught, and I think I can usually beat him at Deathmatch.</p> <hr /> <p>Something different in our brains, I guess. Which brings me to my second point. I realized the other day that none of my female college friends or female friends of today play FPSes. N-O-N-E. Now of course, as a girl who loves FPSes, I hate to hear guys say that it&#8217;s a &#8220;male game&#8221; or &#8220;girls don&#8217;t get it&#8221;. But as a girl, I&#8217;m curious why my female friends, who don&#8217;t usually seem particularly bound by gender stereotypes, and many of whom at school were engineers and so forth &#8211; otherwise prime candidates for <span class="caps">FPS</span> playing &#8211; find it unappealing. Perhaps they just never try. I once taught a dear, sweet, Quaker, slightly Luddite friend of mine to play Quake <span class="caps">III</span>. She was horrible at it, but she loved it. Maybe it&#8217;s just a matter of picking up the mouse&#8230;thoughts?</p> Nethack 2003-10-07T17:01:45+00:00 2008-09-25T11:09:13+00:00 <p>The other day a link from <a href="" target="links">Penny Arcade</a> led me foolishly <a href="" target="links">hither</a>. I say foolishly, not for the reason some of you may suspect, as you recoil in fear from the prospect of Whisker Bob the cellar-dweller posing in a Speedo and draping himself artisticly over a vintage pinball machine &#8211; but rather because it was foolish to expect such a contest, promising a valuable prize rather than just bragging rights, would really have that indefinable something we call <em>authenticity</em>. One has only to click on the &#8220;top 10&#8221; to notice that, instructions not withstanding, nary a one of the female contestants has any trace of gaming paraphenalia in her pin-up &#8211; in fact, in many cases, you&#8217;d be hard-pressed to find paraphenalia of any sort. As an aside, I will say that this is really rather awful. Assuming such a contest to have some amusement value, is it really that unlikely that there are sexy gamer girls about, so we must allow random cheesecake entries to fill the ranks? And gaming references can be very cheesecakey &#8212; see the burgeoning subculture of <a href="" target="links">cosplay</a> or slap one of <a href="" target="links">these</a> across your tracts of <span class="caps">LAN</span>.</p> <p>But I digress. The point here is that these <span class="caps">NPC</span> chicklets (<a href="" target="links">Ling Xiaoyu</a> and I do humbly entreat them to <a href="" target="links">bring it</a>.) had a list of favorite games next to their pictures. Three apiece. I was staggered. Three! I mean, I don&#8217;t even play that many games by web standards, but mostly there are about half a dozen I like equally well &#8212; how would I ever pick <span class="caps">THREE</span>? And then, even as I pondered the complexity of the question of &#8220;favorite game&#8221; and how no <span class="caps">ONE</span> video or computer game could ever really hold such absolute sway, I remembered <a href="" target="links">nethack</a>.</p> <p>Nethack is my favorite computer game. It&#8217;s portable &#8212; I can play it anywhere I can utilize ssh. It&#8217;s got <span class="caps">GREAT</span> graphics. Look at this jabberwock: <font color="#990099"><b>J</b></font>. See how the dangerous curves of the beast are only sketched, leaving the rest to the imagination?</p> <p>In all seriousness, nethack&#8217;s strength is its simplicity. New versions come out all the time. They&#8217;re free. They&#8217;re made for the love of the game. The game is endless in its variety &#8212; the jokes, the versatility, the way you can tame almost anything, polymorph into anything, eat anything (if you&#8217;re polymorphed properly). You can ride your pets. You can tame a dragon, or become a dragon and lay an egg, then protect it for an instant pet who wuvs you. You can swim (or fail to), if you don&#8217;t mind your potions diluting and your scrolls and spellbooks fading. If you throw a boomerang, or even the mighty hammer of Thor, at an orc or a troll, he <span class="caps">MIGHT</span> <span class="caps">JUST</span> <span class="caps">CATCH</span> IT! You can <span class="caps">CAN</span> corpses for later consumption. You can steal from shops, and get the Kops called on you. You can pray to your god, or tick her off. You can rub a magic lamp and make a wish.</p> <p>Why is nethack so multifarious, so deep and ever-changing? Because it&#8217;s simple. To add a new weapon, a new class, a new monster, a new level, all you need do is write some code. No graphics, no rendering. Its limits are the limits of imagination. That&#8217;s what a game should be.</p>