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The Polynomial: A Story of Variables and Constants

The Polynomial is a fucking hard game to describe. I suppose the easiest way to describe is that it’s what we thought the future of games would be in the 80s. The gameplay is simple enough, fly through space collecting power ups while shooting pissed off Pac-Men, but the artstyle is distinctively retro-futuristic. Remember when you watched Tron? Yeah, that sort of look. The beauty in the game lies in the fractal based level generation system, where it uses what I guess are polynomial calculations to randomly generate a level. If awesome level generation isn’t your thing (dirty hippy), then there are about 30 pre-generated arenas for you to choose. If, on the other hand, you want even more control over the level, there’s a fairly in-depth editor  for you to use. It’s fucking hard to understand, not even the developer can predict the outcome of the editor, but it’s also piss easy to use. Just right click on the variable you want change, and drag your mouse. And then hope it doesn’t break the game (some changes just wipe a level).

I guess I should of said this earlier, but it’s also a music game. Boring people can just use the built-in soundtrack, but it’s worth the time to set up your own. It’s a bit of a pain to use your music, as you can’t just drag your music to a folder, you have to make a playlist and export it to a playlist folder. Once you set it up, you can mix and match playlists (a person less lazy then I could, say, set up a ‘rock’ playlist and a ‘jazz’ playlist, etc. I just throw everything into the one playlist), change song ordering and start new songs, and there’s also hotkeys in-game for changing songs, so it’s not all bad. There’s also 4 different settings for how the game reacts to the music, ‘None’ for boring people, 2 different ‘light shows’ for average people and ‘wave’ for wonderfully awesome people like me, which makes the whole level move with the beat/melody. There’s all sorts of options for how the level moves, how much, how fast, etc and it’s a great feeling to find exactly the right settings you want. All songs work good, but some just seem to ‘click’ with the game, which provides a very Zen experience. Haven’t played Gimmie Shelter in The Polynomial? Then you don’t know shit about Zen. The Polynomial is a great game, well worth the price of the Indie Pulse Deal, and I’m sure it’ll be worth $10 once the deal is over.

Screenshot gallery:

8/10

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I have no new weapons, so here are pictures of people who do!

Well, Polycount is here. OH GOD VALVE YOU DUN GOOF’D THIS ONE! With the Mann Co. store open for business, you can be 100% sure that dumb people will spend the price of a game on the new Polycount sets. As you may have guessed from my masterfully cryptic title, Valve’s random drop system has bestowed its wisdom upon me, giving me Backburners instead of the Holy Mackerel I so desperately want. I have learned to live with Valve’s hatred of me, and the hundreds of dollars I have given to them through Steam.

However, even though some people may preach that the Mannconomy update is the end of TF2, and that Valve will shut down forever and Gabe will go homeless and Robin will rape puppies to make money, TF2 is exactly the same. The only difference is that some people have money. That’s right, the grand opening of the Mann Co. store is no reason to stop playing TF2, the game is still as addictive and awesome as before.

Hell, the update got me playing MUCH more (about 8.5 hours since Mannconomy , up from 0.0 the previous 2 weeks). It even made me a better player, at Soldier, anyway. Normally I hang around the middle of the scoreboard, whereas now I’m usually in the top 3 players, with scores from 40-50 in a normal length map. So no matter what you may think, Polycount is not the end. No, it’s just the beginning, my friends…

People are jerks, even you

With the release of The Social Network in the US (open here damnit!), I’ve been thinking about how often I use Facebook. Or to be more precise, how I do not. You see, I have a fairly small circle of friends because I subscribe to Yahtzee’s philosophy that a ‘Regular person = asshole.’  If I say, go see a movie, I would go see it with them. If one of them wasn’t there, I would tell them about the movie. Privately, not post it on Facebook(“lIkE iNcEpTiOn WaS sO kEwL”).  You see, I’m a big fan of the dying notion of privacy, where a man can do shit without other people knowing. Take, for example, petty crimes. Very small crimes like punching someone because they insulted you/your girlfriend or an underage having a sip of their parents wine at a party. “But Parson,” you say, “Such a smart and brilliant man as yourself would never put a picture of yourself punching another man on the internet!” That’s true, I say, but it’s not myself I have to worry about, it’s other people. Due to modern humans having a compulsive need to put everything they do online, someone would post it online.  For the whole fucking world to see (including Australia’s wonderful police force). Myself putting shit online? That’s a problem I don’t have. In my humble opinion, I don’t think some girl in my class at school need to know that I ‘had the bestest time everest’  (a real quote from my Facebook news feed) at god-knows-where. And frankly, I don’t give two shits about what said girl does. I’ll admit that the photo album feature may be useful, but fuck it, that’s what Flickr is for. Hell, even Photobucket has a photo album these days. Twitter has it’s uses, while I never use mine, it’s handy for companies to handle announcements and speak directly to their customer, like what Notch is doing. If I didn’t need Facebook to talk to 2-3 people about work, then I would get rid of it. Maybe I will anyway. Also Mark Zuckerberg is a grade A douche, but that’s for another time and place. 

I don’t need your Civil War.

So, I’ve started to write a story, ya know, for shits ‘n giggles. While brainstorming plot ideas, I was thinking a lot about what would drive a person to do the acts I describe in the book. What acts? Well, the story is about a terrorist cell that operates during a second American Civil War (for maximum awesome, listen to this while reading this post). The story involves a few morally grey areas that I won’t talk about now, but were very interesting to think about. I mean, what motivates someone to commit acts of violence, hate and even school yard jackassary.

Psychology has been, and still is, something I’m very interested in. The human mind is a strange place, as is evident by some of the dreams I’m starting to recall as part of my training to lucid dream. I’ve dreamed of everything from a new Kevin Butler speech as the latest PAX, to being caught up in an worldwide underground black market that sells teenage transsexuals. I wish I was kidding on that last one…

Keeping in mind that I’m not a professional… ANYTHING, I feel that the majority of violence stems from 2 areas: fear of the unknown/different and fighting for a ‘righteous’ cause. That last one is of particular note, especially as it’s the main reason for the characters in my story (although most of them also have personal secondary factors). Trying to make your cause seem just is hard, so most people just say ‘Fuck it’ and try to do it, even if it pisses most people off. Religion is a big part of that. In an interview for The God Delusion (brillant book, that), Richard Dawkins explains that (paraphrasing here, I don’t have the book on me) “Most of the [extremist priests/parsons] I spoke too seemed like genuinely good people, but their minds were spoiled by their religious teachings into a hate filled pot.”

That’s not to say there’s other reasons for hate, of course not, and I’ll include some of them in my story, even some very odd ones (one of my characters thinks that humanity is too vain, and another one thinks that the only war to bring out goodness in humans is for him to do the worst ala. rescue operations on 9/11). And of course, we all have hate in us. Me, you, your family and friends. We all have our own reasons for the hate, but the best of us can look past that. Unfortunately, I am not the best of us. But I know someone out there is. And in the end when it comes to hate, I think, maybe, we all mad.

What I sent to the future!

It’s 11:20PM, September 09, 2010. And Duke Nukem Forever is finally coming out. So, did it suck? Oh, oh the fuck cares, you guys are gonna be playing fucking Call of Duty 1241412 while the King remains a distant memory…

So how are you guys handling post-apocalyptia? I’m assuming that either:
A) You guys are chilling on the Citadel with Commander Shepard.
OR
B) Living in a hell hole after a nuclear war in 2077.
And because I have no imagination (dem damn vidiyas), and the Citadel is BORING, I’m going with B. You are all fucked.
While I remember, I came across this on an internet site:”In 50,000 years, we’ll all be dead, and the only remains of us existing would be a few optimistic lines in an obsolete hunk of junk drifting down to a probably changed or abadoned planet, oblivious to the forgotten minds that had this idea.”Please, don’t forget me. Though I probably dun goof’d in life.
life in 2010 is pretty sweet, we have SILICON based processors, mine runs 2 cores at 2.6GHz. You can laugh, I’ll wait for you. I have a big ass haptic controller, I’m using Google Chrome 6 and I just watched Goldeneye. I own all 4 main Fallout games with the 5th on pre-order, there are only 9 Alien/Predator movies and we watch movies on screens.
“On account of the new planned KEO launching date (2010 /2011) and of the projected KEO manufacturing calendar, the closing date for collecting messages is scheduled for the end of 2009.”
Whatever jackass is reading this over at KEO, I’m gonna kill ya.
If this is till in the Future, thank you.

The_Parson

Blogs are for sissies: Why Minecraft is for Manly Men like Me!

There have been no posts from me in the last few days. No, not because of my usual ‘blogging is boring’ thing, although that did have something to do with it. No, I have been playing the MANLIEST, BESTEREST, MOST EXTEREST GAME IN EXISTERENCE! I’m playing…

LOOK AT THAT LOGO! IT’S SO BIG AND SHINY! Yes, Minecraft IS as awesome as the guys at the TF2 blog say it is. While the free version is a turd and a half, the full version has Survival mode, AKA. THE GREATEST SANDBOX GAME EVER MADE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER! Why is it so good? Because you can do ANYTHING! And not in the shitty Scribblenauts way of doing anything. I mean you can make mountains, cities, railways, castles and weird little fortresses like I make (as you can see in this highly outdated shot).

I just cannot understate the awesomeness of this game. It’s an interesting look into solitude. I know no other person will set foot in my little valley, but it doesn’t stop me from creating railway systems, GIANT FORTRESSES and even escape routes in case I have to run from imaginary bandits. It’s the ultimate in escapism, you could lose yourself for hours in here, dreaming up scenarios then planning for them. Hell, I’ve long abandoned my mine, ‘cept for supplies like steel, in order to build up my valley. Do yourself a favor and pick up one of the most original, accessible and lovable games ever made. If you don’t like it, you have no soul! Hitler had no soul, you’re not Hitler…are you?

Your freight train is the scene of the HURRRM.

So, I saw INCEPTION today. It. Was. Awesome. With Christopher Nolen directing, Leonardo Di Caprio starring (with lovely Ellen Page :3) and Hans Zimmer composing, how could it be anything other then amazing? If you haven’t seen it, run out RIGHT now. It’s this decade’s Blade Runner, it’s smart, thrilling and mind-bogglingly crazy. Nolen spent 10 years working on this, so make it worth his while. Go see it. You’ll regret it if you don’t! INCEPTION gets 10 HURRRRMS out of 10!

Good ol’ Toy Story, my whole childhood. Luckily, I saw Toy Story 3 at the Sydney IMAX theater. And it’s fucking awesome. Sad, funny and NOSTALIGA-GASMS ALL ROUND, all at the same time. Pixar’s best movie? Nope, that was UP, but this is a close second. Special props go out to Mr. Potato Head, for his great performance as food, and Woody for being a bro. Toy Story 3 gets 9 nostalgia-gasms out of 10!

Just Cause 2 is a fucking great time, ‘splosions, shitty voice acting and a massive open world make Just Cause 2 a very enjoyable, if repetitive action experience. While most of the missions you do for the 3 factions are the same, the 8 Agency missions take you to all corners of the ficional south east Asian country of Panau, while doing some awesome stuff, such as jumping between 3 massive skyscrapers while fighting ridiculously powerful enemies. Just Cause 2 gets 8 GOT ME WITH HIS WIRE THINGS out of 10!

And finally, the review I like to think all of you have been waiting for, Predators! It’s…alright. No where near as good as the original flick, but much better then of pile of shit known has Predator 2. Adrian Brodyquest redeems much of the movies flaws though (such as the terrible CGI Predator dogs and sky diving sequence), and it looks like Rodriguez has a sequel in mind, so hopefully that means another chance to get it right. The Predators still look Predatory and Brodyquest’s nose is still fucking huge. Predators gets 8 GET TO DA CHOPPAS out of 10!