In Sickness and In Health

Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. My game library got a small boost with the Steam sale, so I should have a chance to catch up on some overdue titles. First impressions so far:

  • BioShock 1 is visually and philosophically intriguing, but I feel kind let down by the shootiness of it. I sort of want to abandon the zombie (okay, okay, splicer)-hunting playground and check out the rest of the city and talk to people. I love the setting, but I'm pretty bored of shooting things. I'm also annoyed that I must "harvest or rescue" the first girl.
  • Gemini Rue is similarly an atmospheric success. Love the mood and world. Unfortunately, I'm remembering why I dislike point and click adventure games: arbitrariness and too slow to get things done.
  • Cook Serve Delicious seems solid so far. Albeit stress-inducing :)
  • Dungeon of the Endless is gorgeous, with interesting mechanics to boot. I'm half enjoying it and half asking "how did they do that" with every spectacle. Very pretty, and satisfyingly challenging.

Back in my own dev world, I decided to continue tackling diseases and poisons, as well as some bugs.

I managed to get cholera, poisoning, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis to now deliver a smoother decline in immune system strength. Instead of sudden drops and gradual recoveries, it now gradually whittles away a player's health. The more severe ones (poison) kill via drained immune system now, instead of a roll of the dice fatal timer. I'd argue that the poison may be slightly more dangerous now, but a lot less of a surprise. (And hopefully, less confusing.)

Cholera is a bit lighter on the immune hit, but will seriously dehydrate a player. It can roughly kill in the same time period as before, but only if the player fails to rehydrate or already had a weak immune system.

I started making the same changes to Blue Rot, but I discovered a bug midway through. It appears that I became overloaded, and somehow stripping down all my items caused a NaN bug in the stat bars. This caused a cascading failure in the game code, making all kinds of crazy bugs happen. So tomorrow, first order of business is hardening that system so we don't get NaN bugs anymore.

I found and fixed a bug in the UI when manually changing the game window size. The item screens were not fully changing when this happened, unless the player maximized or clicked a different UI choice on the options screen.

I took some advice from players and added clarification text in a few places. I think I already mentioned the sleeping bag hint last week, but I also added a note about ruins having less loot near the DMC today. And there's now a flavor text encounter that appears when first setting foot in the Sprawl.

Tomorrow, I think I've still got enough disease work in addition to the NaN bug to keep me busy. But I'll probably also swoop through the forums for any other bugs that seem like I can fix them. However, it's getting late here, and my new pretties in Steam have just downloaded. So I'll see you all tomorrow!


Rovlad's picture

If you ask me, Bioshock doesn't even begin to hold a candle to its predecessor, System Shock 2.
Play that one when you have the time and if you haven't already. It's better than BS in every possible way, aside from graphics.

Kyrer's picture

I liked Bioshock (despite it feeling quite consoley) though agree that system shock 2 was way better; possibly one of my favourite games. It looks quite dated now, though I believe there are some mods out there to improve how it looks; I've never tried any, however.

linibot's picture

Yay for poison changes! Also, that UI resizing bug was something I had stumbled upon a few times and was almost resolved to live with. Really glad to see it fixed. :) Enjoy the pretties!

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Rovlad's picture

Yep, there are plenty of mesh and texture replacement mods for SS2 out there. It still won't look pretty, mind you, simply because Dark Engine can only be described as "ancient" at this point, but at least somewhat tolerable.

Kaaven's picture

Still, one of the best games out there. SS 2 was the game that really introduced me to the "environmental horror" concept. Definitively a must play (I too did enjoy it a lot more than the Bio Shock)!

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dcfedor's picture

I guess I'll have to give SS2 another shot. I tried it about a year ago for the first time, and I'm a little ashamed to admit I lost interest in it quickly. It's possible I lack the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia to ignore the graphics, or maybe so many games have copied its finer points that the original didn't seem innovative by comparison.

I shall have to try again, though. There is no shortage of praise for that game among people who's opinions I respect :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

ThanMan's picture

+1 for Dungeon of the Endless. Also Endless Legend.