Blog 452: Return to the Dale

Baldur’s Gate was the first Infinity Engine game I played so long ago: before I knew anything of this magic they call “Dungeons & Dragons”, before I knew anything about games and engines and how they worked, before I was a rampant modder…

(Though some time after I had taken R. A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale Trilogy from the library, completely oblivious to its significance as a small boy. When I finally got Baldur’s Gate, and found Drizzt, I was all “trololo?”).

It’s only fitting that, almost a decade after playing the first of the Infinity Engine games, I play the last.

Icewind Dale 2.

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Blog 451: Power-ups Y4

Power-ups. Auto-use items that bestow some effect on the player.

What do they add? Excitement? Alternative play-style options? Nothing at all?

Up until very recently, Project Y4 had precisely two power-ups: ammunition and health. Now there are a few more…

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Blog 450: Duke Nukem: Forever

I don’t have any nostalgia for the golden age of first-person shooters. I’ve never played Duke Nukem 3D, never played DooM.

My fascination with the Duke came from Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, a beautiful but heinously underrated 2D side-scrolling platformer-shooter-puzzler in a lavish 3D environment (i.e. how modern Sonic should have been all along).

This should let me appreciate DN:F as the game that it is, rather than having some bizarre and impossible expectations that could never be lived up to.

As usual, I will be comparing this game to Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament, so get your shot glasses ready.

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LoneWiki: Version

LoneWikiLoneWiki has gone up a whole minor version number, because I’ve added a big chunk of functionality — categories!

Categories are simply LoneWiki’s way of interpreting a folder heirarchy. This provides organisational advantages both inside the wiki and for browsing the raw files in Windows Explorer.

Pages and categories cannot be duplicated (e.g. two pages of the same name cannot be held in two different categories), as the wiki iteself operates transparently to folder structure — a link to “Page” will find “Page” regardless of what category contains it, or will create it in the wiki root from whence it can be categorised.

Of course, if you don’t like categories, you can disable printing of category footers and go on like nothing’s changed.

There are also a number of under-the-bonnet fixes and tweaks to make LoneWiki much more robust.

Download the new version here.

Blog 449: Alpha Protocol

a.ka. (Mostly) How Mass Effect 2 Should Have Been

It’s blatantly obvious from the outset that this game was heavily influenced by Mass Effect 2. The conversational style, the camerawork… But it is so much stronger in almost every way.

Especially after the terrible flop of The Club, Alpha Protocol veritably glowed. Mouselook worked and I could aim.

Spoilers are avoided — suffice to say, it’s a conspriacy thriller. A very fine one.

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