update

Now, what was I saying?


I know, I know. It’s been a while but I’ve been busy and I stopped playing games and I lost your address and I got a new phone and… and, look, I’ve just been busy, ok.

At least this room has a window…

In the last few years I’ve found myself playing less and less Guild Wars 2, not because it’s not fun but because the thought of sitting at a creaky, old PC in a tiny, windowless room is not fun. That’s for a young man and I ain’t a young man anymore.

I did try various other games on the PC, such as Subnautica and No Man’s Sky, as well as a brief return to Elite Dangerous, but no matter how good the game I just can’t seem to enjoy sitting at the PC to play them.

Instead I’ve gravitated more and more to playing on my phone with Minecraft being the ongoing draw. I’ve played a lot of the excellent Rusty Lake titles and dipped into games such as Animal Crossing, Tsuki Adventure, and Stardew Valley.

There something simpler, easier about playing on my phone but by the gods of in-app purchases they can be really annoying and of the three farming/community sim titles I’m enjoying Stardew Valley more because, like Minecraft, the one-off payment means I’m not having to endure adverts, watch videos or deal with pay walls.

So for the foreseeable future I’m hoping to try and post quick updates on moments in the games I’m playing on the move rather that posting long blocks of text or rants about my thoughts. I don’t expect anyone to care about what I think about games so I’m going to focus on “look at that!” snapshots, instead. Hell, if nothing else they will serve as a reminder to me in my speaking dotage of some fun events I was involved with! 😁

HBA in MCPE: Update 1.0.4 is upon us!

Ghost has released the latest update to Minecraft Pocket Edition and it brings in villager trading.

I also sing a song about sailing. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, in SurvivalCraft… I can see my house from here!

Version 1.23 is out (as of writing only on Google Play, Amazon, Windows and Apple app stores will get it in a few days) and I decided to check out the new improved draw distance as that’s one of the features I was most looking forward to in the update*.

I have a 1st gen Nexus 7 and even with the DD set to 196 blocks (2.5x normal) I found it worked fine. In the video below I do talk about some sluggishness but as soon as I stopped recording that went so I’m convinced it was down to the fact the tablet was dumping the screencast to the drive rather than an inability to handle 2.5x. This is great news as I loved the 196 blocks setting! It allowed for a deeper sense of the world around you and increased the sense of immersion into that world and I can only imagine how much better it will render large builds or beautiful vistas. Take a look at the video below if you’ve not had chance to update yet, or are on a slower device and are wondering if upgrading is worth it.

* The other was generated structures but as he’s only put grass traps and gravestones in, I’m not that excited about that feature in this update – let’s see what 1.24 & beyond brings in this area.

Survivalcraft and the small matter of stamina…

Over on the Survivalcraft blog Kaalus had been getting into the nitty gritty of making his game more about surviving and it seems he’s pinning his hopes on, amongst other things, a stamina mechanic that will see you tire as you run, jump & climb and frankly I’m torn on this.

On the plus side it will introduce the need to better manage your surroundings to ensure you don’t run out of breath and get munched by a bear. Things like horses and crafted steps are going to be important and that’s OK. Sort of…

On the negative side this seems like it’s going to be the type of grindy mechanic I’ve come to hate over the past few years. It has the real potential to be nothing more than a brake on my gameplay where I have to stop and start for no other reason than I happen to be out exploring.

Take this example: I want to set up a new emergency shelter and right now all I’d need to do is set off in the morning and head in one direction until nightfall and then build. After the next update I’ll have to stop every few hundred steps and rest for a few seconds and that, above anything else, is going to piss me off. I mean, its not as if I can choose to walk instead of run as this game only has one speed! So simply getting from A to B will now mean I either have to get a horse or accept a stop-start experience.

Then get a horse you may say, but that’s a mechanic I’ve never really liked. I’m happy to have a corral and ride a few horses but I don’t want to be dependant on them and I feel the use of stamina is going to force me to be just that.

And this is the crux of my unhappiness with the game, which, by the way, I have hardly played since 1.21 came out. I feel that there are more mechanics coming into the game that I’m being forced into using rather than being given the option. Horses are pretty & fun to toy with but I don’t want the hassle of riding them full time. Being tired after running a lot is interesting, but not when all I can do is run. Drowning is cool, but I’d rather see it happen when diving rather than just swimming across a lake.

To me, these changes are not really about survival but rather more about padding the game out, which is a damn shame. I’d rather see true survival mechanics such as the need to farm & manage resources, the need to explore to gather certain materials and make certain accouterments, and, ultimately, escape the sodding island. What we are getting are ways of grinding out more time in the game.

For me right now, SC has dropped off my play list. MCPE might well take its place when it next updates but until then I’m heading back to the PC I think.

Meanwhile, in Survivalcraft… HORSES!

As I set up my third shelter directly east of my main house (the nearest, most unexplored area as I’ve gone inland from the shelters both north & south of the house so the most likely place to see the new animals, etc. in the 1.21 update) I ran in to a small pack of horses led by this very pretty white steed that put me in mind of Shadow fax 😀

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By the by, you’ll notice my pictures look different to the usual ones. This is because the texture pack I favour hasn’t yet been updated with the new items (fish and leather for example) so I’m using the default one until an update is released.

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From this...

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...to this!

Meanwhile, in Survivalcraft 1.21… Big water, camels & a bloody piranha!

I had to pull a late one at work so I didn’t get into the latest update until nearly 9pm but once I did I headed out into uncharted areas of Antland in order to allow the new terrain tweaks to generate deep lakes so I could see some of the new animals. I was not disappointed!

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A huge and deep lake.

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A piranha... the bugger took a chunk out of me!

And in the dessert next to the lake… herds of friendly camels!

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Can’t wait till I have some time to explore properly 🙂

Meanwhile, in Survivalcraft: Kaalus has only gone and released the huge 1.21 update!

Apple have turned down Kaalus latest submission of Survivalcraft and although Kaalus is confident it’s a technicality he can overcome quickly, he’s decided to release 1.21 to Android & Windows before the Apple crowd get it which has caused 95% of his fan base to self-combust with naked joy. I’m a little less naked & combustive, but only just 🙂

Read more here: https://kaalus.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/driving-cattle/

p.s. the cattle driving mechanic looks fun!

I’ll have a Jelly Bean, please…

I don’t know what is delaying Samsung from rolling out the Jelly Bean update for its S2 phone over here in Blighty, but considering it has been bollocking about with since at least October last year and started rolling it in Feb this year to parts of the I didn’t even know had phone networks, I’d certainly like to bloody well know!

I’d also like to know why Samsung don’t have a simple page I can find out more about their updates. Why do I have to search and wade through rumours, gossip & possible leaks on Google just to find out when, or even if, they are going to release one? I don’t mind waiting (well, not much) if the company making me wait actually bothers to talks to me about it!

This is my second Samsung phone, the first was a pre-smart phone slider and I hated it with all my frigging heart. I promised I would never, ever, EVER go back to Samsung but the S2 saw me break that promise and whilst I’ve really enjoyed having a powerful & slim Android phone, I can honestly say that I wish I’d have gone for the Nexus 4. It will have to have be a damn good reason for me to ever get another Samsung after this bullshit.