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Rakuno checking out the library in Stardew Valley

Some time ago Syp of Biobreak wrote a post with tips for Stardew Valley. I thought I might add some of mine to the mix in the hopes they might help someone else. Or at least help me if I take an extended break from the game and forget all of this. :p

These are things that me and a friend found out while playing the game and discussing it. They should all work with the current version of the game, 1.06, but if a future patch changes things I will update this post.

If you have any tips of yours to add feel free to put it in the comments and I will add to the list with the proper credits. 🙂

...continue reading "My Stardew Valley Tips"

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My little kingdom of Italy!

First off, I apologize for the lack of more interesting screenshots in this post. Just like the start of this playthrough the decision of writing this was pretty much a spur of the moment thing. In other words this was born more of an "Hey, why not write about it?" than anything else.

To be completely honest (and as you may already expect from the title) I am a terrible player of Crusader Kings 2. I barely know enough to get through with dinasty in the west european/feudal countries. In fact, I usually just tried to start playing in Ireland, also nicknamed "Tutorial Island" by the players due to how easy it is to start there. :p It is just that was the only place I usually got anything done to my satisfaction as my attempts to play in other locations or other cultures (like the vikings, muslim or republics) didn't work out so well. So, Ireland was a safe, known place. And I thought if I mastered it enough, if I was start there and expand from it to conquer to other places I might have a chance later on with different scenarios.

Well, that never really happened. But in one of those whims of what to play, I decided to play Crusaders Kings 2 and this time try something different. Instead of starting off as one of the counties that would one day form Ireland, I decided to start as a Duke in Italy in Early Medieval Ages. This was the time of Charlemagne, before Italy was the way we know of it today and it was called Lambard.

My plan was relatively simple:  I was going to start as a Duke, try to get as much control over the adjacent counties until I had an army strong enough where I could just demand to be nominated King of Italy, perhaps even expanding from there to conquer other countries.

I decided to start as a duke in Pisa. This decision was based on no other reason that I liked the name of the place. Plus for some unbeknownst reason I thought it would be a good launch place to attack one of the arabian nations across the ocean if I felt crazy enough. :p

...continue reading "[CK2] How I became the (terrible) King of Italy"

A knight sitting by the bonfire in Dark Souls

Well, since I am addicted to Dark Souls right now and not really playing anything else, I thought I might as well make a post with some of the Dark Souls videos I've been watching.

Side Quest - Dan Sucks At Dark Souls: The Show  by Extra Credits

This is the Let's Play that got me quasi-obsessed with Dark Souls until I actually bought it in the latest Humble Bundle. Despite the name, and being a newbie at the game, Dan is pretty good at it. Or at least he is better than me since I died far more times than he did. :p

The series, as you can guess, has Dan, who is an animator in the game industry, playing the game. Serving as a sort of advisor is James, who is a designer in the game industry, and who already played the game to completion. Both of them discuss the game's design as Dan progresses through the game. If you are an armchair game designer like me there is a lot of interesting game design discussion here. Right now it is incomplete and in an hiatus while they produce more episodes. Still, pretty interesting to watch if you like watching newbies trying to learn a game as they play it AND game design discussion in one show!

If that is not your cup of you tea but you do love discussion about game design then you might enjoy their main show, Extra Credits. That one is all about game design discussion.

Let's Play Dark Souls: From the Dark by ENB

Another Let's Play, this one is more of a walkthrough with some tips and lore discussion. Obviously it is played by a very experienced player. But what I find fascinating it, besides his player skills which made it fascinating to watch (at least for a noobie like me), is the lore discussion. As he goes through the game he talks about what the description of items he finds means, what NPCs are probably talking about, the themes of the game and so on. Describing it sounds boring but the way he talks about this stuff is very, very interesting if you like the game.

I also find it fascinating how our playstyles are so very different. Yes, there is the obvious huge gap in game skill and knowledge about the game between us. But I also think it is due to the different choices and preferences in the way we play our characters. I end up making a knight, which starting out is a class that is pretty slow to move around due to the gear and initial stats but they can block a lot of enemies attacks without losing any HP. While he made a warrior that although isn't the fastest starting class in the game isn't nearly as slow as the knight. He also doesn't use the shield much, and has been gearing and leveling his character to make sure he can move fast, preferring to dodge enemy attacks than block it. While I have been keeping my character pretty much a turtle, slow but steady and very well protected.

Another interesting thing is he hasn't been following the most obvious path through the game. Part of the reason is to make some detours to get some loot, the other is so he can trigger some dialogues that people might not have seem and can lead to interesting discussion about the game's lore.

This is also incomplete as of this writing but I think it is updated about every two days.

Dark Souls Story ► Prepare to Cry by VaatiVidya

This is a series that was recommended by the guys in the Side Quest Let's Play. Basically, it discuss the story and lore of Dark Souls through a focus on its main NPCs that you end up finding through the game. I admit I have watched almost nothing of it because I want to keep myself as spoiler free as possible. I did watch his series about the Demon's Souls Lore though since it is a game I am unlikely to ever play (unless a Playstation 3 and a copy of the game somehow ends up in my hands) and they are pretty interesting. He also makes a pretty good case of the reasons for Dark Souls being the way it is in Dark Souls: Why it's Different.

Critical Close Up: Dark Souls by SuperBunnyHop

This video is a  discussion about Dark Souls design, why it is like that, what makes it tick and its themes. If you like that some intelligent and interesting discussion about games in general give a look at the rest of his channel too!

Dark Sauce by ArinsMind

This one is a parody of Dark Souls, where a guy goes from complete newbie to someone who finished the game. It is pretty funny but be warned it does contain spoilers about the game's story.

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As the title says, Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon has been released.

I must admit this feels kind of surreal after keeping a close eye on news about the game for so long. Not that I ever doubted it would be released eventually, quite the contrary. It is just that after some time a game like this gets a near-mythical quality to it. Kinda like when you are a child and you know one day you will reach adulthood but it still feels very far away. Then suddenly one day you are an adult and needs to go job hunting to pay the bills. The difference is that Frayed Knights release is undisputedly a good thing. While being an (technically speaking, at least) adult is still something I am still debating about.

You can download the demo and/or buy the game here.

My suggestion, give the demo a try at least.

Oh, expect the usual posts about my gaming experiences and thoughts about it at some point. I didn't create a category for this game for nothing! 🙂

People who read this blog are probably reading the title right now and wondering what this Frayed Knights games is and why the trailer being released is a big deal.

To answer the first question, Frayed Knights is an old school, comedy, indie RPG that has been in development in the last few years by one guy called Jay Barnson aka The Rampant Coyote aka the guy behind Rampant Games.

As for what the big deal is, it means that the game is getting very close to be released.

Ok. I guess none of that says much. So... uh... Let me see what I remember about the game's premise both from the Rampant Coyote's blog as well as a from the pilot.

The game happens in ye olde fantasy world. In this world all adventurers worth their salt are part of the Adventurer's Guild. The Adventurer's Guild is a very respected group since they provide a series of services for its associates as well as ensuring that people don't get killed trying to tackle something beyond their capabilities.

Thus enter our party of intrepid heroes... Or heroes to be as the case may be. Or... ok, they are just adventurers. The thing is so far they have not have a very successful carrier, so much they got the nickname of Frayed Knights. At the beginning of the game they are finally getting a chance to prove themselves to earn their membership in the Adventurer's Guild. That would not only mean more and better opportunities towards fame, glory and money for the party as well as a little more respect from their peers. All  they have to do is to not screw it up....

As for the gameplay itself, it follows the same style as games like Eye of  the Beholder and the Wizardry series. The main difference being that you don't make your own characters instead you start with already pre-made 4 characters with their own history and personality. For those who like that kind of old school style this part might be a turn-off but from what I played of the pilot version of the game (released ages ago) it works pretty well. Specially so because a great deal of the humor of the game comes from all the bickering between these four people while they are adventuring together.

You do get to customize them to your own tastes through equipment, feats, skill points, etc. just like you would expect in an old school RPG game. So fret not, there is plenty of ways you can develop your party.

Alright, so that is it about the game. Before I give a link for the trailer and where you can find more info about the game, just a note. This is an indie game. That means you will not find the latest graphics with voice acting by a celebrity on this game. What you will find though is plenty of content and game play that you will most likely not find in a mainstream game. At least not anymore and unlikely any time soon.

Ok, so you can find the trailer here, courtesy of You Tube. You might want to set it to 480p to be able to read the character's dialogue, since that is the main selling point of the game (to me at least! 🙂

You can check news about the game (as well as a lot of well thought articles) on The Tales of the Rampant Coyote.

The game also has an official site, which you can check here. Though according to post at The Tales of the Rampant Coyote it should get an overhaul before the end of the week. So you might want to wait until then.

Lastly, if you are still wondering who is the guy who developed this game and wondering why you should care about this game at all, he gave two interviews about it recently, one at the RPGWatch, and another one for IndieRPGs.com.

That is it for now. Once the game is released you may see me talking about it more. 🙂

P.S.: The more astute of you may have noticed I mentioned a pilot version of the game. There was indeed one, long ago, which the Rampant Coyote did release to the general public. Like the name suggests, it was kinda like a pilot episode for a TV show to see what people's reaction would be to it. I don't think it is available anymore and from his blog posts it seems the game has evolved a lot since  then. It will probably have a demo available once it is released though, if so, I will post here to anyone interested.