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Summer camp 2017 game

For summer camp this year, I made another puzzle game. This time, the game doesn’t require any extra papers with clues like my old games, instead all clues are given on the players phones.

Players are randomly divided into teams of 3-4 people, then they will get clues on their phones for each room,and they have to use the clues on their phones to find their team and to solve each room before moving to the next one.

The first team to escape is the winner! Though all teams will have the escaping time displayed on the main screen as they manage to solve the rooms.

Screenshot of the main screen of the Mass Escape game

Screenshot of the main screen of the game

During the game at the camp there were unfortunately a few bugs that occurred:

  • In one of the rooms, if the buttons were “stuck”, it would be impossible to finish the room. This bug should now be fixed.
  • One player either left or gave up, and as a result the team with that player could not move on. Unfortunately this is not as easy to fix, since kicking players out of the game after the teams are assigned could cause the rooms to be unplayable…

In any case, if anyone wants to try the game, I have now fixed that one bug, and I also replaced one of the rooms that seemed to have been too hard with a slightly easier version of the same room!

The game should be playable as long as there are 6 players or more connected. Actually it also works with exactly 3 players connected in case anyone wants to try playing without so many people or don’t want multiple teams. (If there are four or more people playing they can just look at the screens of the other three players.)

To play the game:

  1. Set up one PC (or Mac) and open up http://game.nccc.se/game.php in a browser. Anything besides Internet Explorer should work, though I’ve only tested on Chrome and Firefox.
  2. If you can connect the PC to a TV or projector then it will be easier for many players to see, but otherwise just having it on a PC or laptop screen should be fine.
  3. When it is loaded, it should show a game ID.
  4. The game timer defaults to 60 minutes, but you can change the time by entering a new time by typing it in. Must be in the format MIN:SEC.
  5. The players should connect to http://game.nccc.se/ on their phones.
    OBS: On Android phones, they have to use the Chrome browser! The “regular” web browser is too old to work. Also if the phone is too old it might not work, sorry about that.
  6. Once players have input the correct game ID and a player name and clicked join, they should show up on the main screen.
  7. When all players have connected, press “Start game” to start.

Best of luck, I hope the game isn’t too frustrating to figure out!

Do note that if some of the people have played the game before, they will have a big advantage, so they should probably not join the game, instead they can give tips if they see that many teams get stuck in the same room.

 

Posted by on 2017-08-12 in Uncategorized

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Virtual Reality

I originally pre-ordered an Oculus Rift after the consumer version was finally announced, but after reading about all the “controversies” around the launch of the Rift and the Oculus company after it was bought up by Facebook, I eventually ended up cancelling it and buying the HTC Vive instead.

List of controversies from memory:

These and the fact that HTC Vive already have motion controllers and also better room-scale support (if you walk around in the room, you are also walking around in the game), eventually convinced me to buy it instead. It even arrived quicker than the estimated delivery date for my Oculus Rift pre-order (was stated to arrive in July).

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive was developed by Valve in cooperation with HTC, and Steam already had VR support for quite a while, with a decent list of VR games by now. However, most of the games are made by indie developers and it is quite apparent that many of them lack the polish of games from larger companies. It has some similarities to the games found on app stores in the early days of smartphones, a bunch of mediocre games and also some gems, but even among those many are under development (“early access” as Steam calls it). Many of the games are also very arcade-like, without any story or campaign modes, but instead having wave-based level progression, which can be fun too, but is not really my favorite type of games.

I already have 73 games in my VR library (some of them are free demos, but I did buy quite a few during Steam’s summer sale), so I’m not going to go through all of them, but here’s a short list of the games I liked slightly more than others:


A Chair in a Room
A Chair in a Room – Greenwater: One of the more complete VR games, this is a short horror adventure game in the style of old “point and click” adventure games. With jumpscares. I haven’t actually played this game till completion yet since one of my friends finished it when I was demoing VR to some of my friends, and I haven’t really felt like playing it after reaching the first jumpscare parts of the game…

MIND Path to Thalamus
MIND Path to Thalamus: I got this game from a Humble Bundle a while ago, and was happy to see that it got VR support added. It’s also an adventure game, but mostly exploration based, with some slightly physics based puzzles.

The Solus Project
Another game in the similar vein is The Solus Project, which is also a mostly exploration-based adventure game, but with some survival elements (you have to eat food, drink water and sleep at regular intervals in order to not die).

The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed
The final similar VR game is The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed, this one however got enough money through its Kickstarter to feature full voice acting, and while it’s a lot shorter than the previous two, it feels quite a bit more polished. Hopefully they will be able to finish all the episodes of the game.

Portal Stories: VR
Portal Stories: VR
: A fan-made game in the Portal universe, it is a pretty short game consisting of 10 puzzle stages using a “blinking” device rather than the portal gun. The puzzles are pretty good and it is also voice acted with some dialogue that fits pretty well with the humor in the Portal games. Would’ve loved to see more stages for this game.

These five games are the most “story-rich” VR games of the ones I’ve tried so far, which is why they stand out the most to me.

Other noticable games are:

  • Vanishing Realms, a decent but unfinished action RPG
  • Fantastic Contraption, a game where you have to build machines in 3D in order to transport a “balloon” to the target area
  • Final Approach, a flight control game very much like the old mobile game (iOS), but in 3D
  • Ruckus Ridge VR Party, a somewhat unpolished party game where one person uses the Vive while three others uses normal controllers, and they have to “fight” each other in order to get a high score. It’s one of the few party games available for VR, so it’s worth a mention even if it has some playability issues.

In other news, since last post:

  • I’ve been trying to eat vegetarian food as much as possible because of environmental reasons. (In short: Producing meat causes more pollution than cars and other transportation, according to a report by United Nations.) Though I still eat meat sometimes…
  • I’m still biking to work too. I found out I have actually lost about 5kg over the past year, I assume it’s most likely because of this and the previous point.
  • I experimented with making an “augmented reality” / “escape room” type of game using a web page mixed with real world clues. It worked all right, but took so much work that I had to take a break from it after planning two of those.
  • Bought a Pebble Time, mainly because I thought it’d be fun to switch between different geeky watch faces:

  • Went to Easter and Summer Camp, also had a church BBQ

    Church BBQ

    Church BBQ

  • Painted the fence of my balcony, looks quite nice now! Though the “floor” looks very shabby in comparison now. Should probably paint that too later…

    Painted the balcony "wall" and some of the outdoors furniture.

    Painted the balcony “wall” and some of the outdoors furniture.

  • Been watching a lot of TV shows and anime. Stranger Things was pretty awesome, Game of Thrones season 6 was being very Game of Throney, Netflix has started licensing a little bit more anime shows in Norway too, plus the ones I watch on Crunchyroll. Jojo Part 4 is amazing, Ace Attorney is somewhat mediocre but still enjoyable as a fan of the game series, and Food Wars/Shokugeki no Soma is fun to watch, even though I try to eat vegetarian food nowadays.
  • Some of the non-VR games I was most excited to play lately: Zero Time Dilemma was probably my most anticipated game this year, pretty much “binge” played it through a weekend. A great end on an awesome game trilogy. Shovel Knight really was a pretty good old-school style platforming game. Kirby: Planet Robobot was a fun new entry in the Kirby series.

Currently I’m in my week long home vacation now after summer camp, and decided to just stay home most of the time, doing some chores and binge watching TV and games until I have finished some of the stuff I have been wanting to do but not had time to finish.

 

Posted by on 2016-07-21 in Games

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Almost a year of my life

Apparently there’s been an even longer time since my last update now, than when I posted last time. Been almost a year… Time passes way too fast.

Since my last post, I:

  • Went to Easter Camp
  • Visited Finland with the church youth group (I seem to recall us having a city exploration game, unfortunately it was raining rather badly…)
  • Went to Jenny and Martin’s wedding
  • Went to Tromsø on a work conference, visited some friends while I was there
  • Went to Summer Camp
  • Hung out with friends and visitors during summer vacation
  • Went to William and Marita’s wedding
  • Went to Enoch and Monica’s wedding the weekend after that
  • Went on a cabin trip with the church youth group (apparently there’s a difference between cabins and cottages. The correct term for what the Norwegians traditionally call “hytte” would be cabin or log cabin, because it’s usually built mainly with wood and is also usually located in the woods.)

    Tradional Norwegian cabin

    Old-style Norwegian cabin found at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo.

  • Went to Copenhagen on another work conference, visited the Tivoli amusement park and The National Museum of Denmark.
  • Started playing Dungeons & Dragons with some friends. So far we have found that we might be somewhat lacking in imagination, and generally only know how to rush dungeons and try to beat up everyone. Also we have the worst luck with dice rolls.
  • Went to the “Films From the South Festival” (watched mostly anime and Asian movies)
  • Went to Boda Borg in Sweden, it was quite fun!

    Boda Borg introduction

    Boda Borg introduction, the place is not as scary as this photo might suggest.

  • Went to Hong Kong and Malaysia with my family. And went to my cousin’s wedding in Hong Kong.
    Malaysia, being one of the tropical countries, was quite hot and I’m glad that the tour guide that took us around sightseeing had a car with great air conditioning.
  • Tried out curling. Found out I suck at it as with most competitive sports and games.

Apparently I went to a total of five weddings throughout 2015. I was invited to Wenny’s wedding too, but in the end I decided not to go since I was already going to two other weddings in that same month. Sorry Wenny. If I count the two weddings I went to in Final Fantasy XIV, the count would go up to seven weddings, but I guess those two probably don’t count.

I’ve mostly lost track of the video games I play. I feel like I don’t get around to play as much as I really want, because a lot of evenings after work and Saturdays I end up surfing the net/Reddit and doing some chores and reading webcomics and random stuff and I might really only play games a few hours or so. Still I have played through at least a few games. In no particular order:

  • Undertale (it won the “Best Game Ever” poll on GameFAQs for 2015 in a hilarious tale of Undertale fans rallying each other to vote for the game on a web site they don’t usually visit, while grumpy fans for other games were complaining that Undertale fans were ruining the poll)
  • Batman Arkham Origins and also the companion game Arkham Origins: Blackgate
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (got it quite a while ago, but didn’t get around to beat it before lately)
  • Teslagrad (Norwegian metroidvania style indie game)
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect (it was, uh, OK)
  • Her Story (fascinating game where you have to find out the truth by watching old videos)
  • Portal Stories: Mel (fan-made mod to the original Portal games with voice acting, quite amazing)
  • Deadlight (2.5D almost metroidvania-style platform game with zombies)
  • Amphora (a mix between a puzzle game and picture storybook, also made by a Norwegian indie company)
  • almost finished The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, just trying to find all the secrets now
  • played both Lara Croft top down shooter games with my brothers (Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris)
  • The Swapper (another metroidvania style game, in space, kinda horrorish, amazing atmosphere and story)
  • The Novelist (an indie game about despair and depression. Nah I hear it’s possible to get a perfectly happy ending, though I didn’t want to play through it again to try for it)
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive (the final chapter in the Corpse Party horror game series, was cool to see the characters again, but felt somewhat underwhelming compared to the first two games)

Currently I’m supposed to be planning an activity for the youth group next Saturday, so I should get back to it. Might very well post about it here after it’s done!

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Posted by on 2016-02-05 in Uncategorized

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