vili's recent activity

  1. Comment on Return to Monkey Island | Launch trailer in ~games

    vili
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    I'm glad you are enjoying it! I'd be curious to hear your thoughts when you have finished the game. I had no problem with Stan's voice, but LeChuck felt a little off. Then again, also Elaine felt...

    I'm glad you are enjoying it! I'd be curious to hear your thoughts when you have finished the game.

    I had no problem with Stan's voice, but LeChuck felt a little off. Then again, also Elaine felt off, even if it was the same voice actor as in previous games, so maybe it's just that I was off. My original instinct was actually to turn off the voice acting and read the dialogue, which is usually my preference. But for some reason, maybe because of the art style for the dialogue bubbles, it felt uncomfortable, so I played with the voices on.

    I too liked the new contextual UI, but I was still disappointed that it basically works as a replacement for the kind of humour you used to get with trying everything on everything and getting funny responses. This made the game feel more restricting to me, although in reality it was probably still better UI design in the end. And because of voice acting, you no longer can write funny responses to everything. I'm not a big fan of voice acting.

    I don't know why I'm mentioning so many negatives -- I did enjoy the game!

    I played The Cave when it came out. After my first playthrough, I wasn't quite sure if I liked it. But on my second, I absolutely fell in love with the game. I'm not sure if it was because of a different pair of characters, because the themes somehow needed a repeated playthrough for me, or if I was just in a different place for the second game. But it was an interesting change to notice in myself.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Return to Monkey Island | Launch trailer in ~games

    vili
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    Absolutely. They were all doing their best within the constraints that they had at the time. It's also good to keep in mind that debating about Monkey Island's graphics is as old as Monkey Island...

    Absolutely. They were all doing their best within the constraints that they had at the time.

    It's also good to keep in mind that debating about Monkey Island's graphics is as old as Monkey Island itself. When the VGA version of the first game came out (I think some time after the initial release?), I remember having heated arguments with my friends whether the EGA or the VGA version was better. I was very much in the EGA camp. It just felt crispier, moodier, more beautiful and atmospheric.

    I guess that's also why I preferred the first one's art style over that of the second game, which I thought was a bit blurry. A better game perhaps, but a blurry one.

    And when the third one came out, I of course hated its art style with a burning passion. But today, its screenshots fill me only with fond memories.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Magnus Carlsen withdraws from Sinquefield Cup in ~games.tabletop

    vili
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    Carlsen has now said something, repeating that he can't really talk about the situation, but also putting forward what seems like a suggestion that Niemann's coach Maxim Dlugy is involved.

    Carlsen has now said something, repeating that he can't really talk about the situation, but also putting forward what seems like a suggestion that Niemann's coach Maxim Dlugy is involved.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Return to Monkey Island | Launch trailer in ~games

    vili
    Link Parent
    Me definitely neither, since games these days are rarely finished until about a year after their release. But with my favourite designers I'm willing to make an exception, in case it helps them...

    I've never been a day-one gamer

    Me definitely neither, since games these days are rarely finished until about a year after their release. But with my favourite designers I'm willing to make an exception, in case it helps them create more games in the future. I actually even pre-ordered this, which I never do. And naturally, I got a totally useless horse armour for my inventory!

    By the way, having now finished the game, I can report that I encountered no technical issues whatsoever. So, this one at least seems to have been released ready and properly tested.

    Really not digging the art style in that trailer though, yikes.

    It's interesting how many people have had a negative reaction to the art style. Ron Gilbert actually stopped updating us about the game after it was announced as he was so disappointed in how hostile some people got about the art in the reveal trailer.

    It's a matter of taste of course. Me, I personally liked the graphics. They worked very well for the game. Clean and modern, but also familiar and fitting for the series. Certainly better than the Telltale game's art style, and the less we talk about the visual presentation of Escape from Monkey Island, the better. ;)

    4 votes
  5. Comment on What are some of your favorite tabletop RPG systems and settings, and what do you love about them? in ~games.tabletop

    vili
    Link Parent
    If you are looking for players and the session times would work for a European, keep me in mind as well! "It's the most fun I've had in ages" got me curious. :)

    If you are looking for players and the session times would work for a European, keep me in mind as well! "It's the most fun I've had in ages" got me curious. :)

    1 vote
  6. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    You have a beautiful taste in music. If you end up liking Sign O The Times and wonder where to go next, let me know which tracks most appealed to you, and I can suggest a next step for you, if you...

    You have a beautiful taste in music.

    If you end up liking Sign O The Times and wonder where to go next, let me know which tracks most appealed to you, and I can suggest a next step for you, if you want.

    If you don't like Sign O The Times (or even if you do), give an album called The Vault: Old Friends for Sale a try. It's actually one of those "contractual obligation" albums that were thrown together more for legal reasons than artistic ones, so it contains songs that Prince wasn't originally planning to release, but based on your taste in music, it might be a good "in" for you. I personally love it a lot.

    Also, two mandatory links based on the artists that you mentioned:

    The Love We Make is a song Prince wrote as a response to the death of Jonathan Melvoin, who among other things played keyboards for The Smashing Pumpkins. It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs that Prince ever wrote.

    And here's Prince covering Radiohead's Creep.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on What are some of your favorite tabletop RPG systems and settings, and what do you love about them? in ~games.tabletop

    vili
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    Yeah, it's difficult to find players, especially for longer campaigns! Our group is just playing online these days. A Discord session is never the same as being around the same table, but as we...

    Yeah, it's difficult to find players, especially for longer campaigns! Our group is just playing online these days. A Discord session is never the same as being around the same table, but as we live thousands of kilometres apart from one another, it's the only way to do it.

    If retrofuturism and Alien are your thing, definitely check out Gradient Descent. It's an adventure for the horror scifi game Mothership, but I actually ran it in the 2300AD universe last year. It took quite a lot of work to convert it, but the end result worked pretty well. This was one of the "what does it mean to be a human?" themed adventures for us. And it's probably even better if you just run it as it's written. The book is amazingly well put together and a joy to use.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What are some of your favorite tabletop RPG systems and settings, and what do you love about them? in ~games.tabletop

    vili
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    My all-time favourite setting is 2300AD. It is a "hard scifi" setting -- think authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Michael Crichton, or films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade...

    My all-time favourite setting is 2300AD. It is a "hard scifi" setting -- think authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Michael Crichton, or films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Contact, rather than space fantasies like Star Wars or Star Trek. There is no "force" or magic or "mass effect" or even artificial gravity. Space stations need to spin, getting a rocket off a planet is still risky and costly, and things are in general based on real physics and fairly realistic geopolitical models.

    In other words, 2300AD is a vision of what human society might look like a couple of hundred years from now. Humanity has developed the technology for interstellar travel and colonised a couple of dozen star systems. Travel times are long, spaceships are rare and expensive, and it takes you weeks or even months to get from one star system to another, so these colonies have to be largely self-sufficient and are quite isolated from one another. Most of human population lives on Earth. In many ways, this is analogous to how and why colonisation happened on Earth in the 1700s and 1800s.

    As it was originally published in the mid-1980s, this is also in many ways the 80s vision of the future. While newer editions have updated the world somewhat and brought in elements that we now think of as the future, the world of 2300AD is still very much grounded on ideas derived from 70s and early 80s science fiction. In our game group, we also largely stick to the original 80s tech vision: in our games, personal computers are similar to Commodore 64s, big tech companies run huge mainframe computers, and the internet is similar to the BBSs of the 1980s.

    But wait a minute, why hasn't tech evolved more, I hear you ask. Well, some tech advancements simply never happened, and humanity also underwent a nuclear war in the early 2000s, which was just as traumatic and catastrophic as you might think. In fact, if you've ever played Twilight 2000, it's the same event. The two exist in the same universe.

    While the war didn't ultimately destroy humanity or even most nation states, it did set things back quite a bit. It was only in the 2080s that things started to normalise again, with France emerging as the new global power and the country spearheading the new era of human exploration of space. Fast forward to 2300, and France still leads the world, with Manchuria, re-unified Germany and a newly emerging America the other major geopolitical players both on Earth and the colonies.

    2300AD uses a real star map, or at least what we knew of the 100 light year bubble around Sol in the early 80s. Planets in those solar systems are, of course, made up. As human spaceships can only travel a maximum of 7.7 light years in one go before needing to stop near a gravity well, this limits where ships can travel and creates a really interesting galactic map.

    In its exploration of the nearby galactic space, humanity has also met with a handful of alien races, each more different from humans than the other. Aliens in 2300AD are truly alien, and something that a regular person only hears of, never sees or interacts with. Except if you happen to live in the furthest French colonies. A war has just broken between humanity and a strange, until now unknown alien species that doesn't seem to want to communicate with us. Why they attacked, who they are, and what's going to happen is uncertain.

    Many build their campaigns around that war, but our group has never really bothered with the conflict that much as anything else than a backdrop. Instead, we have explored more typical hard scifi questions like what type of societies would evolve in this type of a world, their socio-political realities, where technology could take us (in both good and bad), what type of planets can really exist and how do they affect the flora and fauna that lives there, what it really is to be human, and so on. As there is almost 40 years worth of materials created for 2300AD, there is a lot to explore in this incredibly rich universe.

    If this gets you interested, the good news is that there is a beautiful new edition from Mongoose Publishing that came out just last year. They are also in the process of updating many source books.

    The bad news is that the current 2300AD runs on top of Traveller, so in theory you also need that core rulebook. And personally, I am not a huge fan of the Traveller rule system. But then again, in the games that I run, rules are only guidelines anyway, and the act of collaborative storytelling between me and my players is the reason we play.

    The ugly news is that because of its long history, and Mongoose's fairly poor quality control, there are also more issues with the new 2300AD books than there frankly should be: contradictory information, references to things that a veteran player knows but that aren't mentioned anywhere in the current books, and lots and lots of little mistakes. But if the idea of the world interests you, don't let those stop you. The new books are still pretty great and they give you a good enough introduction on top of which you can build your version of 2300AD.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    I would say that this depends on what sort of music you like. We currently know of around 1500 Prince songs, although we also know there to be more. And while Prince always sounded like Prince,...

    Any recommendations for an "in"?

    I would say that this depends on what sort of music you like. We currently know of around 1500 Prince songs, although we also know there to be more. And while Prince always sounded like Prince, you are right that he did cover quite a lot of ground. Funk is at the heart of his sound and the guitar his primary instrument, but he wrote everything from pop, rock, blues, soul, hip hop, folk and Latin bossa nova to ambient new age, orchestral, jazz fusion and others, including whatever this is.

    If you want to tell me what you are grooving to these days, I'd be happy to try to find you a more specific "in". :-)

    Or if you just want an album, the 1987 album Sign "☮︎" the Times is generally considered a good starting point and is also typically named as his greatest album by the music press.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    Technically, Prince changed his name in 1993. But that was not the first time we had to deal with the unpronounceable symbol. His 1992 album was also called O(+>, so I think it was around 30 years...

    Technically, Prince changed his name in 1993. But that was not the first time we had to deal with the unpronounceable symbol. His 1992 album was also called O(+>, so I think it was around 30 years ago that we had to figure out how to spell the damn thing.

    It's actually a bit of a head scratcher:

    • Prince released an album called O(+>
    • The very first line of lyrics on that album declares: "My name is Prince and I am funky."
    • But the very last lyrics on the album go: "When I reach my destination that's when I'll know my name will be Victor. Amen."
    • The following year, Prince changed his name to O(+>
    • After which he still released an album as Prince, but indicating on the cover that Prince had died

    It was a great time to be a Prince fan. Never a boring moment! Also, I really love this era of Prince's music. O(+> is actually my default answer whenever someone asks what my favourite Prince album is. It is quite a journey, both musically and lyrically, of an artist questioning his identity.

    He was also incredibly prolific around that time. In the time period between 1994 and 1999, he put out 16 CDs of music (10 regular albums and two triple albums). As well as a couple of compilations, plus writing, producing and performing full albums for a couple of other artists.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    Basically, it was Prince's name for most of the 1990s. When referring to the purple yoda, you either typed O(+>, or you wrote TAFKAP, which stood for The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. The press...

    Basically, it was Prince's name for most of the 1990s. When referring to the purple yoda, you either typed O(+>, or you wrote TAFKAP, which stood for The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. The press called him The Artist for short, but we fans weren't quite that pretentious. ;-)

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Return to Monkey Island | Launch trailer in ~games

    vili
    Link Parent
    After about three hours of playing, I can say it's worth getting excited about. That's enough for one evening, but I'm very curious to see whether it's going where I think it's going!

    After about three hours of playing, I can say it's worth getting excited about. That's enough for one evening, but I'm very curious to see whether it's going where I think it's going!

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Return to Monkey Island | Launch trailer in ~games

    vili
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    Any other wannabe-pirates returning to Mêlée Island tonight? I just downloaded my copy and I'm about to press Play. It's been over 30 years since the mysterious ending of LeChuck's Revenge. Quite...

    Any other wannabe-pirates returning to Mêlée Island tonight? I just downloaded my copy and I'm about to press Play. It's been over 30 years since the mysterious ending of LeChuck's Revenge. Quite excited!

    5 votes
  14. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    I wouldn't, because even a phoenix has pride. <3

    I wouldn't, because even a phoenix has pride. <3

    1 vote
  15. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    Haha! Well, he was pretty angry at the time and about the size of Kirby, so that'll be double points for you! Minus the points I already gave to georgebcrawford and vord -- I'm not a charity, you...

    Haha! Well, he was pretty angry at the time and about the size of Kirby, so that'll be double points for you!

    Minus the points I already gave to georgebcrawford and vord -- I'm not a charity, you know...

    3 votes
  16. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    Not really! I think if anything, it would rather be the pope. :-) But I'll still give you 1999 points because that's just how I roll!

    Not really! I think if anything, it would rather be the pope. :-)

    But I'll still give you 1999 points because that's just how I roll!

  17. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
    Link Parent
    Not quite, but I shall give you 3121 points because one could say that there is a height connection. Sorry about the teasing. :-)

    It looks like a baby

    Not quite, but I shall give you 3121 points because one could say that there is a height connection.

    Sorry about the teasing. :-)

    1 vote
  18. Comment on :-) is 40 years old now in ~comp

    vili
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    Meanwhile, O(+> will be 30 years old next month, I think. I shall give 7779311 useless internet points to anyone who figures out what it means. You of course can't play if you already knew it. And...

    Meanwhile, O(+> will be 30 years old next month, I think. I shall give 7779311 useless internet points to anyone who figures out what it means. You of course can't play if you already knew it. And no googling or ducking or other types of searching!

    Anyway, that particular emoticon really defined my internet use in the 1990s and gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I see it. Which, sadly, is not very often any more.

    Are there emoticons that have been important in your life?

    Edit: Please don't waste too much time puzzling over those symbols. It's probably a royally obscure reference if you didn't follow the artists of the era.

    6 votes