Monthly Archives: December 2015

Monthly Humble monthly: december edition

Recently (november 2015), humble bundle decided to have a subscription based bundle: instead of buying a game bundle, you opt in for a flat fee (12 USD) and you got a surprise package.

I like this concept as it forces to discover and try new games while limiting the budget impact to almost nothing. Games are redeemed on steam, which is for me currently the most efficient distribution platform (with lots of efforts on linux gaming as a nice bonus). I was quite reluctant at beginning as I already own a whole bunch of cheap-ish games from steam sales or humble bundle packages (and they tend to have the same game included in many packages), but the cheap price got me.

After 2 bundles, I can say that I’m overly satisfied with this. Here is a quick review of what I got and how I felt.

November:

  • Legend of Grimrock 2: old fashioned RPG, was on my wish list. Tried it, didn’t really play, seems that it requires some good hard core attention to detail
  • Towerfall Ascension
  • Besiege: was on my wishlist, it’s kerbal space programs on catapults: built your siege weapon and conquer the town (or die winning a Darwin award). Not tried yet, but clearly a nice one.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: a weird japanese mix between storyline, manga and fps. Played the tutorial, was not really convinced.
  • Lethal League: not tried
  • SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition. Not tried yet.
  • Saints Row IV: already had it from a previous bundle, never really played it. Seems a funny FPS, not really politically correct.

December:

  • Banished. Hard-core city building game. Reminds me of settlers for the game mechanics: you act on your population by asking to build dedicated buildings and specializing your settlers. There is no colonization/war part, only economical survival. So far, seems pretty tough and fun, really for hard core gamer. Kinda like Eve online is spreadsheets in space, that one is very likely sheets in settlement.
  • Rust: MMO survival game, seems awesome, was on my wishlist, not tried yet. Games seems to be plagued by gankers and fairly hard, will see…
  • Chroma Squad: not tried yet
  • Neon deluxe edition: not tried yet
  • Company of Heroes 2 + add-on: not tried yet, seems to be a commando-like game, very strategic. Will probably give it a try over x-mas vacations.
  • PayDay 2: the games seems to have a lots of potential for fun team playing. The offline/single player mode involves playing with stupid bots and is not fun at all. Either I missed something(but I tried hard) or the game is just made only for multi. As I’m unlikely to find 3 friends to play with me, probably not going to use this one much.

Overall, for very little investment (24$), I got a bunch of games I personally wanted and some recent blockbusters titles. The ratio quality/price is awesome and if they manage to keep this track, this is an awesome deal,  much higher quality in my opinion than the average humble bundle.

This however points the fact that with a job and a family, getting 5+ games a month is just too much of me to try playing it. If someone wants to sneak at my profile, I can be found on steam as Darkbruce.

 

Windows or Android

I got yesterday a nice old-ish tablet that was not working any more. Namely, a Nexus 7 first generation which was flat-lined (and previously made snow on the screen, which is never a good sign in our all-digital era). After some random thoughts and lots of internet searching/buttons fumbling/battery disconnecting/cables checking, it finally decided to recharge and work. I thought I was out of the murky waters. How naive of me!

The next steps includes upgrading various incremental versions of android : 4.0 -> 4.1 -> 4.2  -> 4.3 -> 4.4 -> 5.0 -> 5.1. I might not remember all of them, obviously. The funny part is that each reboot had to “optimize” my apps (meaning some of them disappearing / changing completely).

This led me to think that there are various similarities between modern phones with android and older computer with windows:

  • each first tuesday of the month, your heart is beating from fear of losing your device by side effect of a system update
  • You have to update steps by steps
  • It’s randomly crashing (due to poor quality third party software, often due to overly complex APIs)
  • It’s awfully energy hungry
  • Each major update confuses the user with an “improved interface” and “shinier” graphics

What Android did nicer:

  • we don’t have a shared library mess (or at least, it’s not directly visible)
  • no driver mess and decent app isolation, meaning most of the time, kernel survives the userland mess

What windows did better:

  • backward compatibility : I can still run some 20 years old applications (some of them at least)
  • longevity : Windows 95 lasted a good 10 years, so did XP