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GOG summer sale

Forums: Latest Threads - Wed, 06/18/2014 - 10:50
GOG summer sale has started. Get some before there gone. Magrunner is free for 24 hrs. Get the complete Ultima collection for $7.14.
Categories: Forums

Tormentum - Dark Point 'n Click game [Greenlight] [Indiegogo] - Please, Support us!

Forums: Latest Threads - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:41

We are OhNoo Studio from Poland, we created a campaign on IndieGoGo and Greenlight for our first game - Tormentum.

Indiegogo - CLICK!
Greenlight CLICK!

More screens: Tormentum website

Tormentum is a surreal adventure game, featuring moral choices.

The action of the game is set in a dark world, veering between dreams and nightmare. The main protagonist, that the player takes control over, doesn't remember his name nor the place where he came from. Visiting new lands, he slowly starts to uncover the truth about himself.

The dreamlike atmosphere featured in the game was inspired by the works of a Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski, and a recently deceased Swiss painter, H.R.Giger, among others.

Unfortunately, bigger problems seem to arise. The flying ship lands in a big castle and the main hero is soon imprisoned in it. This is how this surreal story from the border of dream and reality begins...

Traversing different areas the hero learns the dark world in which he was imprisoned. Visiting new lands, he slowly starts to uncover the truth about himself.

Please, Support us!

Categories: Forums

New Alien: Isolation trailer released

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 13:21
I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Looks like it's slow paced and scary, which is always my thing.

Categories: Forums

GTA V Announced for PC and PS4

Forums: Latest Threads - Tue, 06/10/2014 - 00:20
I am surprised. I really thought Rockstar was going to shaft the PC community again (i.e, no Red Redemption).

GTA IV is a strange beast for me. I hate the vulgarity, the acidic satire, and the glorification of the violent underworld, but the game is a remarkable achievement in how it simulates an entire city. That alone keeps me playing.
Categories: Forums

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Forums: Latest Threads - Mon, 06/09/2014 - 21:50
I find it hard to get excited about this for two reasons: 1) Call of Duty: Ghosts was a terrible game (on the PC anyway) that couldn't even get me to buy it when it was F2P and on sale for half off, and 2) CoD is now getting too far into the Star Wars realm of science fiction. I liked the "near future" take of Black Ops 2 - just enough future tech to keep things interesting (albeit, the subsequent map packs were ludicrous - a skateboard park, Treyarch?!? :nuts: )- but once a game includes hoverbikes I lose interest quickly. :rolleyes:

Anyhoo, here is the gameplay:

Apparently, realistic faces are now required in every game. Yeah, that is going to get me to upgrade my video card....

I hope this is a return to the quality seen in Modern Warfare 3 (for all the hate, I thought that was a fantastic game), but not holding my breath on this one, either.

PS: Want to make a bet that Battlefield 5 is going to be science fiction, too? :whist:
Categories: Forums

Rainbow Six Siege from E3

Forums: Latest Threads - Mon, 06/09/2014 - 21:05
Ironic seeing how our own Kawaiku and I have been discussing how games are becoming too serious and gritty. Apparently, the big studios have worn out war, so now they are switching to crime. Of course, I suspect it is the 2.6 million monthly players of CSGO that is also prompting this response. Whatever the cause, apparently hostage-taking is the "hot, new thang" in gaming.... :rolleyes:

This MP is far too co-op for my liking. I hope we can play with bots because I just hate online games that take close co-operation with strangers. Also, I wonder if this title is still going smear the Tea Party with its plot about right wing, liberty-loving extremists? :rolleyes:

Not holding my breath on this one even if Ubisoft has been on quite the roll lately.

EDIT: I will say that the most important thing about this vid is being missed: this is the first title that I have seen that can compete (beat?) DICE's destructive environments! Very impressive! Battlefield might have to watch their backs. Oh wait...they already are:

Categories: Forums

Balance and Playability

Latest Blogs - Sat, 06/07/2014 - 07:09
HAYSEED: 'That's the fifth black card you've drawn in a row.'

SUNDANCE: Yeah, lucky...'

HAYSEED: 'I think there's more to it than luck.'

SUNDANCE: 'What are you sayin'? Are you saying that I'm cheating?' '

HAYSEED: I'm sayin' nobody draws five black cards out of a Russian pile without drawing a single red card.'

BUTCH: 'Soviet.'

HAYSEED: 'OK, Soviet then. It can't be done. Take that last FFE off the board or I'm gonna fill ya full of holes.'

BUTCH: 'C'mon, Sundance, it ain't worth it.'

SUNDANCE: 'I wasn't cheating.'

HAYSEED: ' the famous Sundance Kid outta Laramie?'

BUTCH: 'Look mister, just apologize and you can go back home to your carrot farm.''

HAYSEED: 'If I'da known he was the Kid, I wouldn'a said anything.'

SUNDANCE: 'I wasn't cheating.'

BUTCH: OK, Kid, just let turnip-boy here go home to his mare. There ain't gotta be no killin.'

SUNDANCE: 'Butch, tell him I wasn't cheating.'

BUTCH: 'Look, sodbuster, the Kid don't cheat at draw piles. Oh, sure, he may knock over a few concealment stacks or forget which StuG is outta smoke, but who doesn't?'

SUNDANCE: 'Thanks, Butch.'

BUTCH: "Don't mention it. Now, be a good dirt farmer and apologize so we don't have to spend four good dollars on a casket.'

HAYSEED: 'Sorry, Kid. I hope ya didn't take me wrong. I know you wouldn't cheat.' BLAM!

SUNDANCE: He didn't say it with enough conviction. I even gave that son-of-a-bitch the balance.'

BUTCH: 'I know, Kid, I know. I heard the face to face is a lot better down in Bolivia."

As we go into ASLOK weekend (or, in my case NotASLOK), I become curious about play balance. Here in SoBo, we play according to a loose Gentlemen's Agreement. It is always kept in mind that we do not play for wagers--not large ones anyway. Even among the wider expanses of the Centennial State, comradeship is the norm and I have only once had a firearm drawn against me.

However, in a tournament setting the stakes can often be as high as a $30 module that you won't even have to pay shipping for. The idea of a $10 trophy to set prominently in one's man cave is a unholy, beckoning lure that turns an otherwise affable fellow into a HIP-swapping swine of the lowest order. Cheating? Yes, but there is sharking as well. Some dude lays up and gives you the old, "I've always wanted to play Grinding Mill as the Russians."

Scenario balance is generally considered a function of playtesting. A well-playtested scenario should be relatively balanced. While ASL is not generally played for money, fame or sexual favors, people generally like to believe that they have a chance of winning a scenario they are about to play. Hence, the term "unbalanced dog" is a term which all scenario designers run in fear from lest they fall prey to the pumpkin headed horseman.

Using data from ROAR, the Remote On-line Automated Record, I compiled a list of scenarios to see what the data say about ASL scenarios. Now, as TEDMS will certainly point out, ROAR is not perfect. It does not take into consideration the levels of the players, in many cases the balance used and of course randomness which is inherent in the game. However, once a critical mass of playings is reached, there are no reasons to think these random effects would not balance out. ROAR is self-reporting and (while I'm not accusing anyone of doing this) it is susceptible to manipulation by third party marketers that wish to show their scenario packs as balanced and getting a lot of play. However, especially in the case of large numbers of playings, we can assume that the data here are a pretty dependable source of inference about the balance of a scenario.

This involves analysis of 4141 scenarios, although only 3477 have a recorded playing.

First, I develop a percentage of playings where the attacker wins the scenario. Not surprisingly, but noted with some comfort, the mean (average) probability of wins by the attacker is 49.8%--very near the 50% we would expect if we chose the winner at random.

The percentage of wins by attacker is then plotted with number of playings. The hypothesis is, of course, that more balanced scenarios are more likely to receive regular play. Thus, the more playings recorded by a scenario, the more likely it is to be balanced. However, we need to be very careful about this inference because statistics and probability always suggests that the more often you observe something, the less likely you are to observe a mean which deviates from the expected pattern. Nevertheless, here is the plot:

On the right hand (vertical) axis is scenario balance. This is calculated by taking the absolute value of the difference between the percentage of wins by the attacker and .5 (the expected random result.) The formula for this is:

B = |(a/p) - .5|
Where B is the balance, a is the number of attacker wins and p is the number of playings.

While in general, there is sufficient evidence to support the hypothesis (that is, the data suggest that scenarios with greater balance are more likely to get more play), there are a number of curious deviations.
The n, or total population of playings, is 71567. The standard deviation from the expectation of scenario balance (50%) is 95.1, meaning that we can be confident to almost 1 chance in 1000 that the overall balance of scenarios is nearly 50%.

This, of course, leads to a wealth of new questions. Which are the most balanced scenarios? That I can answer! The top ten scenarios by statistical confidence measures are not much of a surprise to the grognards:

A pretty wide variety of publishers--an far fewer than I would have thought for "official" publications.

On the other hand, here are the most unbalanced scenarios with more than 50 playings:

Note that nearly all are official TAHGC/MMP scenarios. And all of them are pretty well known. Since many people consider balance to be crucial to scenario selection and (at least among reporters) everyone has access to ROAR, why are these scenarios getting played?

Clearly, these are some good scenarios with a great deal of prima facae attraction.

According to ROAR, the most played, least balanced scenario in the archive is ASL14 Silence that Gun from Paratrooper. While tipping 30% pro-German, StG has 320 recorded playings. What is the attraction?

First, a synopsis: A half a company of American paratroopers complete the “Longest Day” by attempting to seize the board 3 village and/or a hidden AT gun. The Germans defend with the usual collections of Sad Sacks and Hiwis which, for some inexplicable reason, were stationed in Normandy to clear the good troops for the Eastern Front. The board is the classic 2-3-4 arrangement, meaning that this is, largely, playable with SL components.

What makes it a favorite? Well, it’s D-Day and Paratroopers. It’s one of the first scenarios and has components practically everyone has. In all, this seems like a classic scenario waiting to happen. It’s a scene straight out of a John Wayne movie.

What makes this scenario unbalanced? Well, first off, it is a half-company attacking a company. While there is a HUGE qualitative difference, the Americans enjoy a firepower advantage but only a marginal morale advantage. Leadership is equal. Germans enjoy a rather large advantage in SW—the HMG and the MMG. The VC do not force the Germans to spread out and, it seems, the best strategy is to have the fortified building and HIP gun covering each other or to move the HIP gun completely out of the way and never, ever use it. With six squads and six turns, it’s simply impossible for the Americans to find it in time except by sheer luck or by a really bad strategy on the German’s part.

Destroying the HIP gun seems to me to be a hopeless task for the Americans. It involves deploying and doing lots of searches—which will still take time. There are 450 hexes in the German setup area. Probably around 100 have concealment terrain. Six American squads, six turns. Do the math.

So, the Americans have to “solely occupy” the fortified building in the board 3 village. Logic dictates that this will be building N1. It’s tallest. It’s biggest. It’s stone. This kind of takes the guesswork out of it, but can anyone really justify any other building? Perhaps M5, if you were adventurous. While it is wood, it has a first level. It is more difficult to approach—but the Amis have lots of smoke. You could cover it from N1. Still, it has less than half the locations of N1, making things a lot easier on the Americans.

Therefore, it looks like this one devolves into an “Americans assault 3N1 building” scenario. It is do-able. Perhaps not all that fun.

The balance fix is to remove the second level from N1. That doesn’t seem like much, but an examination of the board shows precisely why it is extremely important. N1 suddenly doesn’t cover the approach from the east, allowing paratroopers to deal with a few covering squads and then run up next to the building.

One “fix” is to not allow the gun to set up HIP. That’s a pretty big balance and changes the scenario substantially. It provides the Americans a real alternative to assaulting 3N1. Perhaps more importantly, it makes the Germans set up differently, making them bring the gun into the safety of the N1 MG nest cover.

Funny, but I don’t ever remember having played this one. My view of “Silence that Gun” is that it is a pretty simple scenario and one that is good for teaching first timers (give them the Germans.) It’s kind of a classic, but it’s hard to imagine how many plays it would have if it were more balanced. And it’s not really that far off. I would be interested to hear what others have to say about this one.
Categories: Blogs

Bring the HEAT...

Latest Blogs - Sat, 06/07/2014 - 06:46
ME: Thinking, thinking...

TEDMS: Time's up.

ME: I'll fire APCR. A "7", I haven't got it. Firing AP. A "9," miss.

Earlier I talked about various to kill effects of Soviet APCR rounds. These range from the moderately effective 45mm APCR round to the why-bother 76L round. Range is a key factor on whether APCR is worth firing. APCR is most effective at close range. Which means that good tankers save APCR when you need to kill a monster at close range.

However, good tankers also know that APCR can increase your hit chances. Because depletion numbers are low numbers and therefore, you are more likely to not have it (and, therefore, no shot takes effect), you get a second shot--a "do-over" or a "mulligan." As a result, the probability of getting a hit usually increases.

But there is a lot of math behind this. A lot of math. As demonstrated above, it is possible to attempt special ammo and have your non-shot be a hit and then miss on the do-over. For this reason, it is a bad move to use the APCR to-hit strategy when you have a low depletion and a high to hit unless you need the TK bonus.

These figures are, approximately, the modification to your to-hit probability based on your depletion number if you first try APCR. The horizontal axis is your FINAL to hit number. As you probably guessed, this strategy generally works best if your depletion number is high and your to hit number is somewhere in the middle. The easier a target is to hit, the less it makes sense to attempt an APCR shot--if you are simply seeking to increase your hit probability.

Why do the lines drop to the negative? Because of the likelihood that you will deplete your ammo but hit with the first shot and miss with the second. Keep in mind also that you are effectively doubling your chances of malfunctioning your weapon. APCR may also increase the risk of creating smoke where you don't want it.

A good tanker also assesses the risk of depletion when firing APCR, because you don't want to use a shell to increase your likelihood of hitting a softer target if you have a monster to deal with. Even depletion numbers as high as a 7 make it extremely likely you will only get one shot. The WORST case scenario for you is firing and missing with your last APCR round.

So here are your probabilities for each depletion number for each shot taken:

In fact, these numbers are good for HEAT as well (although I think some of the Soviet heavy guns have higher depletion numbers and if you throw low ammo into the mix it changes everything.)

All of this boils down to a rule of thumb: If you face something that you need the APCR for later, you probably don't want to fire it simply to increase the likelihood of hitting. If you are firing it to increase you chances of hitting, don't fire it if your final to hit number is greater than your depletion number, because the benefits drop off very quickly.

I find this tactic kind of gamey and unwholesome and it is a bit silly for the rules to provide an advantage simply as a mechanism for determining rarer ammunition availability. As an alternative, I might suggest treating APCR, HEAT and even SMOKE more like panzerfausts. When the player announces the shot, he makes a dr based on his depletion number:

Rolling less than or equal to the availability number means that gun has the special ammo and is in a position to fire it for that shot. To preserve balance, I would also suggest the following modifiers:
+x for each previous shot with that type of ammo by that gun.
+1 for low ammo
-1 for attempting (and failing) to fire special ammo with the previous shot
-1 for target's best AF > or = the gun's TK number
+2 for a deliberate immobilization shot

Gunners rarely unloaded their AP shells to replace them with HEAT or APCR. Standard practice was to fire the round in the gun and then load the desired ammunition for the follow up shot. So the alternate system provides a degree of realism by increasing the likelihood of a second shot being special ammo.
Categories: Blogs

LOADER! Um...surprise me.

Latest Blogs - Sat, 06/07/2014 - 05:13
Armor Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR) ammo is made from a nickle alloy. In fact, the hunger for nickle drove many campaigns, many in the most inhospitable conditions (e.g. Narvik, Petsamo). Nickle was so valuable, in fact that the US stopped using nickle to make nickles and used them instead to make shells. You can still find some 1943-1945 nickles out there in circulation with an "S" stamped on them for the steel they were made from.

APCR can really seem like a difference maker when taking on tanks you really have no business taking on. But is it? Here I am going to examine the real to-kill effects when using APCR for common Soviet gun types against different levels of armor protection.

Because dice probabilities are not linear, we would assume that APCR has different effectiveness against different targets. APCR is limited in its quantity, so knowing when to use it can be a crucial decision. First, we look at the effectiveness of APCR and AP ammo at medium range:

To-Kill Probabilities at Ranges 7-12

From this graph you can see that the to-kill chances tend to be much better for 45mm APCR than 45mm AP. This is not so true for 76L ammo, which game designers again hamstring and shortchange proletarian production models. However, we can see the difference is particularly crucial for 45L's looking to crack those 6AF PzKwIII's and T-34/85's taking on Tigers.

These differences look meek when compared to close up shots:

To-Kill Probabilities at Ranges 0 or 1

Here we see huge gaps in performance of nickle ammo compared with their regular counterparts. Particularly, we can see the value in the T34/85's APCR when confronting Tigers and Panthers head on. But the very large across the board differences between the solid lines and dotted lines make it clear that firing at close range gives your gun a much greater punch.

Later, I will look at the differences in penetration of the most common Soviet guns at each range and on the effects of special ammo on a to-hit roll. In the meantime, keep in mind this crucial lesson: APCR is most useful for dangerous situations when you suddenly find yourself face to face with a monster and is somewhat less useful at range, where, in any case, you may have more maneuverability to get in a side shot which makes APCR less crucial. While you are using the nickle mined by Fascist dogs in Siberia, remember to use it wisely to kill their co-conspirators.

Also remember that Soviet workers turned out 5 times as many T34/85's as Panthers and more than 25 times as many as Tigers
Categories: Blogs

Panzer General Online

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 06/06/2014 - 10:19
The old warhorse game Panzer General is now available as an online game. Does have a Ubisoft account tie-in. Maybe if I get some time.......
Categories: Forums

To End all Wars

Forums: Latest Threads - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 10:58
Not to many WWI simultaneous turn-based strategy games around. Here's one that I might be interested in. In development, so we wait. And we will see what Matrix will price it at.
Categories: Forums

Sabaton: War of the Weeping Land

Forums: Latest Threads - Sat, 05/31/2014 - 05:28
"Sabaton: War of the Weeping Lands is an awesome take on a popular game called Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena! Stema, Urbz and , Carnifair The three nations,are in a state of war and consternation has spread throughout the three weeping lands.

There is a lot of bloodshed and territories seized by someone else.
The Heroes or the Monsters, Whom do you support?
Will the nations reunite?

Guys, you've got to get over to-"
Categories: Forums

Top 10 Best Assault Rifles

Forums: Latest Threads - Fri, 05/30/2014 - 06:16
Hi guys,

According to the website, the top 10 Best Assault Rifles are:

4.M16 Rifle
5.Heckler & Koch G36
8.Steyr AUG

What is your chart? Have you used any of above listed in gaming?
Categories: Forums
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