Moving forward

It has been a long time coming, but ZombieSkittles is no more. Instead, the project will be moving forward with a new name.

Welcome to MoreZombies.

ZombieSkittles has existed for a number of years, and it has been fun. When I started though, I had no idea whether the project would still be going, or that it’d branch out into streaming. After this time the name no longer felt like a fit.

MoreZombies feels more comfortable, and a better match for something spread over multiple pieces of media. Also, it doesn’t reference any branded confectionary. That’s a positive.

Logos and this website will transition in the new year, but you can check out MoreZombies right now at the following locations:

Pokemon GO decides having a 3 hour event is a good idea (It’s not)

So Niantic today announced the Pokemon GO Community Day, a monthly event during which players can earn double experience along with other rewards, and catch limited Pokemon, with the opening entry being a Pikachu that knows the “event exclusive” move Surf.

communityday

It sounds great. I don’t play as often as I’d like, but a day where I can go out for an hour (or more if I’m not working) sounds nice. It’s an incentive to bring myself to play the game which can be a big time sink.

The problem is the event only actual goes for 3 hours. This may not sound bad, but for anyone with a job, or any other obligation that might go through that time, it’s either something that has to be missed or you have to change your schedule or life to accompany it.

As an example, the MMO Guild Wars 2 tried similar events in the past. They had been telling a story in the game over the course of many months, all culminating in a final big event called Lost Shores that took place on November 18th 2012 (Holy shit I’ve been playing this game for well over 5 years now). It was a one time event and if you weren’t there, you didn’t get the rewards or ever get to experience it again outside of YouTube videos and retellings.
I had worked the previous night until 4am, and got home by 6am. The event was going to occur around 8am and as a massive fan of the game, I was ready. I was there when it began, and the event went for a long time. Tired, I ended up passing out at my desk part way through the event from exhaustion, never getting to finish it.
Many other people never had the chance to even get as far as I did, having to work, sleep or otherwise be unable to get on and play the game.

9956f2-Blow-Off-Some-SteamWhat I did get to play was fucking cool though.

I’m not saying limited-time events are bad, but they shouldn’t be so constrained that a large amount of players can’t participate unless they schedule their life around a video game. The developers of Guild Wars 2 learned you shouldn’t, and opted for the classic “This event lasts X days/weeks” model, because it works. Knowing I have a few days (or better, weeks), makes me feel at ease, I know I’ll find some free time at some point during that time period to play.
When you’re told “You have to be playing between 10am and 1pm to get it,” there’s the stress of having to schedule that specific time. If you’re asleep during that time, you’ll have to force yourself up and break your sleep pattern to play. If you’re at work and can’t access the game hosting the event, too bad and fuck you for having responsibilities. Should you cancel your plans that have been set in stone for the better half of a month because they overlap with the chance to catch a Pikachu that knows Surf?

f8d52c36-a260-463c-8896-66e54310b531

Pokemon GO Community Day sounds amazing, but couldn’t it be for a full 24 hours? A day? Timed events are great and I know there will be a big “attendance” for the Community Day, but I’ve sadly already seen people talking about finally dropping the game because they can’t possibly complete their collection (AKA The core focus of the fucking game).

At the risk of sounding salty, this really does have an air of “fuck you for having responsibilities” to it. I will be able to participate myself, but of course it involves some minor schedule changes. I have a life, but I really do want that surfing Pikachu.

Dejobaan needs to kick it.

Edit (June 1st, 2018): Happy two year anniversary since the last time we saw an update for this game! Dejobaan have just started auditioning for a brand new game that isn’t in anyway related to their unfinished projects. Isn’t that great?

Dejobaan Games are known for their interesting and experimental games. They’re the studio responsible for games including Drunken Robot Pornography and Elegy For A Dead World; a first person bullet hell shooter and a game where players narrate their adventures as they explore worlds, respectively. However, I don’t want to talk about those games, though there’s a strong chance I’ll mention them again further in this piece. I want to talk about a much older game of Dejobaan’s.

This is 1… 2… 3… Kick It! Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby, or as we’re going to refer to it from this point forward, Ugly Baby. It was released on Steam in 2011, a time before Steam Early Access existed, being added to that program later. Dejobaan sold it in this form with the promise that while it wasn’t feature complete “now”, it will be updated. Note: I won’t be linking to the Store Page because no-one should buy this game, at least at this point.

looldejobaanThey’re fulfilling this promise at least; don’t have to run anything by you if there’s nothing!

Ugly Baby combines the free-fall mechanic of AaAaAA!!! A Reckless Disregard For Gravity with level generation influenced by song choice, similar to the way AudioSurf worked. The player chooses a song –either one of the included songs, or one from their own personal library– and then free-falls through the level, scoring points by avoiding obstacles generated by the chosen song. It’s a great idea with tonnes of possibilities based entirely around what sort of music is used.

Why are you talking about a six year old game?

Well, because while Ugly Baby was first available for purchase all the way back in 2011, we are still waiting for a final release. The last update to the game was back in 2013, and since then there’s been barely any news. It’s really disappointing when this happens, as many Early Access games and developers have bit the bullet and folded in on themselves. That is not the case though, as Dejobaan Games are still going strong.
Since 2013, the company has been largely silent about the game.

Around 18 months ago I tweeted about my disappointment in the lack of updates, as at that point it had been nearly three years since anything had happened to Ugly Baby. I received a reply from Dejobaan dev Ichiro saying “We’ve always been working on it. My HUGE mistake was not sharing it.” then linking to a gameplay video of what I assume to have been the game in it’s 2016 state.

The game is apparently still in development, and I understand it can take a while. I’m not a game developer, merely a dabbler. I have no idea how complicated the game engine is.
But since 2013’s update, Dejobaan Games have announced and released three games. Unlike Dejobaan’s Ugly Baby, none of those games are stuck in Early Access; they have all had full releases. I feel cheesy writing this, but it’s worth asking; did Ichiro learn from his “HUGE mistake”?

It’s worth noting that since he tweeted me back in July of 2016, I have not seen any further updates on the game, and it doesn’t look like anyone on Steam has either.

A small snippet of the user-reviews on Ugly Baby’s store page.

The reviews are all negative, echoing my sentiment, but many of the posters seem to believe the developers just “disappeared” and the game abandoned. This is the same on Metacritic, which currently shows a User Score of 2.6 out of 10.

I’m really hoping Dejobaan pull themselves together and finish Ugly Baby soon, or at least start being more transparent about a the product we all paid for and are still waiting for over six years later (It was worth repeating). Otherwise given the current schedule as we’ve seen it, I’ll see you in 2019. At least we’ll have all the other games they make in the meantime to pass the time, right?

I still love Dejobaan and they have made so many amazing games over the years. It’s disappointing to see them be so neglectful. Please Dejobaan, I love you why must you hurt me so.

Solution: Steam won’t download my game!

So let’s say you’ve decide you want to try one of the free games on Steam, or just download a game you already own. However, when you hit Play Game on Steam, nothing seems to happen. For some reason the download window won’t appear. You’re stuck.

You can actually force Steam to download any of these games really easily. All you need is Steam (of course) and Microsoft Edge (Or another compatible browser, unfortunately Chrome does not work for this).

Step One: Let’s say Dota 2 won’t download

I’ve gone to the store page for Dota 2, and it won’t download. It’s annoying, but easy fixed. First, look at the address bar of Dota 2’s store page. If you don’t have an address bar, you can enable it in Steam’s Settings->Interface then click on “Display Steam URL address bar when available”.

image

You will see a series of numbers at the end of the address. That is the game’s AppID. You will need this.

Step Two: Let’s make Dota 2 download.

All you need for this final step is to open up a browser, and type the following into the address bar, where the XXX is replaced with the AppID of whatever game you’re after:

steam://install/XXX

So for Dota 2, the address would look like:

steam://install/570

When you type the address in, and confirm it, the browser will ask if you want to switch programs. Confirm, and it will take you to Steam with a Download/Installation window for your game! If it does not work, be sure to try another browser. Microsoft Edge will work, but Google Chrome seems to have difficulty.

Enjoy!

As a fun little side thing, if you use the AppID of 92, you’ll get a neat little Half-Life 2 shooter called “Codename: Gordon” for free.

Completed- Fallout: New Vegas

Today on ZombieSkittlesTV we did something I haven’t been able to do for almost seven years; finish the story in Fallout: New Vegas. We didn’t get everything aimed for in the run like all the snow globes, and a President or two may have died, but I have never been able to get through the entire story until today. This was a win with the NCR, so I still have to play at least three more times to get all endings.

For now, above is a highlight video of the end slides, providing us with an epilogue of all the major decisions made throughout the game.

Blizzard dropping the Battle.net brand.

Blizzard have announced they are going to stop referring to any of their services by the Battle.net name, unifying everything under the Blizzard name instead to match their other products like Blizzard Streaming.

AHC770UXWJ7Z1376505580138

The decision to throw away a legacy as well known in gaming as Battle.net isn’t something you do on a whim, but as unexpected as it was the logic behind it all is clear. It won’t really affect anyone, but it’s just sad to see it going.

Grandma Shirley makes me so happy.

Grandma Shirley is a beautiful soul of a YouTuber. She’s around 80, and just has the loveliest voice and demeanour. She’s also celebrating her one year anniversary on the platform!

This also serves as personal confirmation that she is indeed real. I always assumed Shirley was real, but there was always that niggling doubt that comes with no hard evidence of her existence. Having this confirms what we know; Shirley is one of the best people on YouTube and she deserves as much attention as she can get.

Pokemon Go for Apple Watch, and some possible issues I have.

Niantic has announced the development of the Pokemon Go app for Apple Watch, which will alert you of nearby Pokemon and count steps towards hatching eggs among other game-related things.

sfsdkcygcda3vvgct7lo

This is cool and I hope there’s a release for Android Wear users too. I don’t own one, but I like the game and want to see it succeed, and these apps make it more accessible.
However, it begs the question whether Apple caused the initial delay of the Pokemon Go Plus. The wearable was slated for initial release at the end of July, but was delayed until “September 2016”.
Niantic are also cited as saying that the creation of the Pokemon Go Plus was instead of a smartwatch app, to reach more customers who can’t otherwise afford a smartwatch. To see them go backwards on this isn’t a bad thing as we are adding features and improving accessibility, but I’m worried this could lead to the cancellation of the specialized wristband.

I hope this is just unfounded paranoia, but the timeline for these things worries me. Tell me I’m wrong to be worried.

Edit 13/09/16: I am glad to see my concerns were unfounded, with the Pokemon Go Plus release date confirmed, and more retailers offering pre-orders.

Old Friends: Firefall–Not quite the end, but we’re pretty much there.

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Old Friends

Well, I got to take a plunge back into Firefall yesterday during one of the brief periods the servers were up. It was a nostalgic return to a game I really liked, and it felt good returning to one of the very first games I made a video series for. Unfortunately, it was also a play session that really showcased that the game was on it’s last legs.

The first apparent issue was that the servers are constantly up and down, leading to uncertainty about the company’s ability to keep paying for them. It seems like it could be the beginning of the end. We’ve had barely any communication on the matter and it does look bleak.

However, you are still able to play.

Upon starting the game and logging in, I was greeted with a collection of rewards for revamps to battleframes (classes) and the like. It was nice getting several million experience for my last hurrah in Firefall, levelling my character to 44.
Exploring the world felt very much like it used to when I played years ago, with Chosen appearing about the place, bandits and other random encounters that made going from A to B so much more of an adventure. I did a few quests around the place, taking out some big aliens and the like, and that was fun though the rewards feel underwhelming. That might just come down to the fact I know the items I’m getting will have no future purpose because I fully expect there to be no game very soon.

227700_screenshots_2014-08-24_00005My only goal would be to try to look as beautiful as this miracle of nature.

Firefall has some amazing things going for it that made it unique. Along with it’s unique handcrafted world and lore, Firefall had an extensive resource gathering and crafting system, with quality of resources and components affecting the qualities of the finished item. Resource gathering was an adventure in itself too. You were required to set out in the world and use trial and error to locate the best place to mine for a specific resource. From there, you call a thumper –which can vary in size– that falls from the sky to your location. It will then slowly collect resources from below ground. However, the noise from the thumping will attract enemies who will attempt to destroy it, and it turns into a wave defence mini-game of sorts.
Now, I have learned the crafting system was removed from the game for some reason, and thumping resources are practically gone. From what I saw there might be a chance of finding a Crystite (The currency of the game) deposit in the ground, but nothing else. This removes any incentive to thump, from what I can see.

These particular features were a major selling point to me, and to see them gone just makes me feel ill. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that has shut down and will become completely inaccessible. I loved the ideas it tried to implement and though it went through hardships with development issues and other such stuff, I always hoped it would pull through and establish itself as a solid title in the MMO-verse.

ParadiseCove_concept

Firefall had a lot to offer, and it all blends together to form a game like no other that I can think of. It really disappoints me to see all that potential go to waste. At least I got to have one last run through Sertao. It was a pleasure serving for the Accord, and I can look to the horizon with a small glimmer of hope in my eye.