Brutal Legend

Steampowered Sunday #8

This week I decided to mix things up a bit.  Instead of me picking the title I let my readers pick.  I learned a few things about this, firstly google docs apparently is not a great option since one of my more “inquisitive” friends decided to see if he could skew the results by voting multiple times.  Sure enough you could, but it was pretty easy to see his results and weed them out.  Additionally it seems like giving you guys ten titles to pick from was a bit too many.  For most of the week there was a four way tie, with two results each for Brutal Legend, FTL, Assassins Creed II, and Alan Wake.  On Saturday there was a deciding vote cast for Brutal Legend so that is precisely what I played this morning.  I am thinking this week we will have a runoff between the other three titles.

Let’s Rock!

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-02-16-96 First off a little background about this title.  I grew up at exactly the right time, during the height of the hair metal era.  While I did not actually have cable television until college, I jealously watched Headbangers Ball anytime I was over at a friends house.  I had my faded jean jacket with a Metallica back patch, walkman in the inside pocket and headphones permanently cranked full volume.  That’s right… I was a Metal kid… and while Metal turned into Alternative turned into Industrial…  I still have a penchant for it.  So much like Blood Dragon was going to be a nostalgic ride, I knew this game would as well.  Thing is… I didn’t buy this title on purpose.  I ended up getting it as part of a humble indie bundle.

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-00-51-74 From the moment I saw this game I was intrigued, but one thing scared me away from it.  Everything is voiced by Jack Black.  Over the years I have come to have a love/hate relationship with him in anything.  Essentially he seems to be capable of playing two characters… the loveable dumbass, and the egotistical schmuck.  I have had more than my fair share of the later, and seeing him involved with a project is cringe worthy these days.  So I didn’t know which version of him we would get.  I love the music of Tenacious D, but over the years the stage act has shifted from the loveable dumbass character to more and more of the egotistical ass.  So my fear going into this game is that we would get that character.

Loveable Dumbass Rules

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-04-42-38 While the character is not necessarily a loveable dumbass, we get the Jack Black treatment of such… which makes the game enjoyable.  You play as Eddie Riggs, which is essentially a Jedi Master Roadie.  He is set up as the best roadie in the business, can fix anything or build anything…  but is a man out of time.  The game starts with him working for a emo numetal type band, that clearly does not appreciate his aesthetic.  Through a chain of events, he steps in to prevent the death of one of the band members and ends up falling to his own demise.  Where his blood summons the elder fire god Ormagöden through a sigil in the form of his belt buckle.

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-06-36-59 Chaos ensues, and the fire beast destroys the crappy band to the cheers of the crowd, as your character is transported to another realm.  Everything about this game is completely over the top.  You find yourself awake on a sacrificial altar with a group of skeletal monk things praying before you.  Your character mistakenly thinks that it is you they are worshiping, but instead they mean to sacrifice you to Ormagöden.  Sitting there on the ground just happens to be some fabled weapon, and the games tutorial directs you to pick it up and use it.  The game controls itself feel a lot like Darkstalkers.  I had intended to play the game with an XBox 360 controller, but for whatever reason it got confused.  Where it had only some of the keys active through the controller and the majority not.

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-08-12-26 Thankfully however the game does control very well with WASD and uses the standard E to interact with things.  I am always glad to see when some thought is put into the PC controls rather than having a half assed port like Force Unleashed… that you can’t even really use your mouse to interact with things.  The game is a bit of a smorgasboard of things.  Firstly the game is very much a 3D beatemup with your left mouse button being your axe attacks, and your right mouse button being your guitar chord based attacks.  This gameplay style feels really fluid and like I said earlier just like a Darkstalkers game.  The only thing that is frustratingly missing is jump.  I am not sure why but this is a big deal to me.  I am one of those people that jumps around aimlessly while playing games.  So instead of the standard space to jump, we get a space too defend mechanic and no jump ability that I have seen so far… or at least none that you are introduced to during the tutorial.

Burn Rubber Baby

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-19-49-06 In order to make your big escape from the temple of Ormagöden Eddie uses his Jedi Masster Roadie abilities to create a really slick deuce coupe out of spare parts laying around the temple.  So this introduces a yet another playstyle into the game.  Controlling a vehicle feels like most GTA style games where you W accelerates S brakes and we have a decent mechanic for turning on a dime by hitting space to apply the handbrake.  You get to test all of these out in a really odd vehicular battle sequence against a very spikey worm creature thing.  Did I mention this game is completely over the top?  Everything and everyone is pretty much coated in skulls and spikey bits… as god intended them to be.  In the same way Blood Dragon was a love song for 80s action movies… this game is a love letter to the Heavy Metal era.

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-26-40-27 After the big car battle you have to make your escape over a crumbling bridge by avoiding holes in the road and boosting over gaps by hitting Shift to apply the nitro.  Overall this is a pretty simple minigame, and nothing really cringe inducing.  Overall the game I pretty damned forgiving when it comes to the minigames I have encountered.  While normally I hate when a game breaks out of its normal control scheme and forces you into something different for an “event”, but so far this game feels pretty natural about it.  Primarily I have problems with the games that do so, but make it so QTE or twitchy that if you screw up once you are dead.  The obstacles you have to avoid on the bridge you can pretty much see for the entirety of the screen giving you plenty of time to react and avoid them.  It messages the fact that when you see a big guy fixing to stomp the bridge… you need to avoid that area because it is about to fall.

Real Metal vs Glam Metal

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-30-26-82 You go to Blade Henge and meet Lars the leader of the fledgeling resistance, his sister Lita… and you find out the girl that helped you escape from the temple is Ophelia.  The games central conflict revolves around “Real” metal struggling against the “Glam” metal sellouts.  So while the protagonists are dark and brooding and full of spikey bits, the evildoers are wearing pink and zebra print… with teased out hair and a very obvious sellout attitude.  You can tell exactly where Double Fine stands on the age old Poison vs Metallica metal debate.  Considering I tended to shy away from the glam rock, and favor the more hardcore stuff… I definitely feel them here.  It is all the more enjoyable for me to beat up the pretty boy rockers in the game because of it.

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 10-01-06-44 As roadie extraordinaire your job is to help them build an army, using your mystical roadie powers.  The game employs another mini-game to accomplish this.  At various times you can play a power chord that will have some effect.  The one you end up doing the most often will summon the Deuce to your location.  There is another one that will allow you to pick up new abilities at these shrines of sorts scattered throughout the world.  I am guessing that over time this has a Legend of Zelda type trope allowing you to access new areas.  As I wandered around the country side I noticed that most of the shrines were chained up, and when I tried to access them there was some flair dialog about needing to find a way to free them.

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-43-30-80 The first mission to help build an army is to gather up a bunch of brutes that have been trapped in the mine and forced to bang their heads against the wall to break rock.  The result is they have turned into this muscle bound troglodytes.  As you roam around the level you can play a power chord to rally them to your side.  Upon hearing the music they swear allegiance to the heavy metal and will do your bidding.  This introduces yet another game play style…  I told you it was a smorgasbord.  Much of the game seems to rely on small group based squad tactics.  You can deliver some simple commands like stay and defend, follow and attack your target.  The system lacks any real fine control, so essentially you point your mindless mob towards a target and then go do something else.

The Kill Master

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 10-12-20-31 At this point I have only made it about an hour and a half into the game, but I am enjoying it so far.  I was pleased to see a cameo from Lemmy Kilmister as the “Kill Master”, a mystical healer type character.  I have a feeling that the majority of the gameplay is going to revolve around doing missions to free followers and then using those followers to band together in an army against the evil Doviculus voiced by Tim Curry, and the Glam Metal sellout General Lionwhyte voiced by Rob Halford.  While at face value this seems like pretty standard fare, what makes the game worth playing is the fantastic dialog that only a Double Fine game can deliver.  While the game sounds pretty Frankenstein in its stitching of a bunch of different genres together.  However for some reason it works really well.

I’ve heard that there is a grand switcheroo that comes towards the end of the game, but I have yet to make it there.  Where essentially they throw in yet another genre, making you do battle with your army RTS style.  If it is as well carried out as the other bits and pieces I think I will be okay with this, but I can see how confused it might feel.  I know I was pissed as hell when I got to the “force you to split everyone up into small groups” army battle phase of Dragon Age Origins.  But that mostly was because I am notorious for playing that type of game with only my chosen group of four characters, and pretty much ignoring everyone else in my party.  In this case I hope I will just be given units and I won’t have had to do much to power them up outside of the normal game play flow.

Overall Enjoyable

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-54-33-48 While I don’t generally give these games a rating system, I have to say I greatly enjoyed this one.  I can see myself cracking it open again and finishing the game.  That is about as high of praise as I can really give.  I played an hour and a half and I want to play some more.  The movies and cut scenes feel like they are part of the game, and not something tacked on for filler.  The story crafting is superb and I am definitely a fan of the subject material.  Nothing feels cooler than running around kicking stuffs ass while Def Leppard blares in the background.  I have loved the games of Tim Schafer since Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle… and this definitely feels like a worthy member of that family, if not a slightly oddly designed one.  It was not exactly what I was expecting, but the sum of the pieces add up to a really fun game.

Next Steampowered Sunday

BrutalLegend 2014-03-09 09-07-07-49 There are many times when it feels like the readers of this blog are all somehow already connected to me, either through being friends on twitter or somehow having played in one of the many guilds I have been at the helm of.  This week however surprised me in that the winner of the Bioshock give away was someone completely unknown to me.  I delivered the copy this morning through steam, and having learned a few things from last weeks I have made some tweaks to the lineup for this coming weeks contest.  First up I will be using Survey Monkey, to try and cut down on the skewing of the poll by well meaning friends.  Next up we will be having a sudden death round among the three titles that came close to winning this time:  FTL, Assassins Creed II, and Alan Wake.  Finally I happen to have a spare copy of Brutal Legend, so we will be giving that away during the voting.  As always you can vote without entering for the copy of the game.  To make the link easier to see… I am introducing a “Big Damned Button” below.  I made it the most obnoxious 80s induced color palette I could think of just to make it stand out even more.

Savior of the Heavens

War of Guilds


A few days ago on a whim I decided to reinstall Guild Wars 2 and patch it up, which is not an insignificant process at this point.  Last night before getting into anything else I decided to give it a spin.  I have done this a number of times since launch, with essentially the same results.  After a few minutes of running around I decided that I still don’t like the game.  I figured this post is relevant with all of my recent Elder Scrolls fanboyism…  that yes it is perfectly okay for you not to like a game.  Guild Wars 2 is one of those titles that I want to like, because so many people have so many great moments with the game.  However for whatever reason I just cannot see the magic in it that others can.

Guild Wars 2 stands alone as the only alpha program I have ever resigned from.  I just did not like what the game was, and how it deviated from all of things I had read into their manifesto about the game.  When it came close to release I got into beta and had a marginal amount of fun, and with it launching in a relative dead spot I decided to take the plunge and try it.  On the initial play through I managed to make it through to about level 40 before running out of care to continue pushing forward.  This is round and about the place most of us dropped out of it.  Largely it was the chaos that is GW2 group combat that soured the milk for me.

All of that said… I want to see the magic that others see in this game.  So every few months I patch it up and give it another try.  I have always prided myself in being able to see the good in something despite its flaws, and as a result it drives me absolutely insane that I cannot grasp why people love this game.  I don’t want the game to change to fit my desires, so after a bit of playtime every few months we agree to disagree and I end up uninstalling it again.  Other than the chaotic game play, there is just something about the game that feels largely pointless… and I can’t quite put my finger on it.  I love faffing about as much as the next person, and I do so happily in many other games…  but there is just something about this games style of faffing that seems hollow.

I am not going to rage against this game and bash it for being bad… because it very obviously is NOT bad if so many people seem to be enjoying themselves.  It is just not a game for me.  I don’t pretend to believe that I could have built it better, nor would I even know where to start to make it feel more like a game I would want to play.  So I guess in writing this… I want to show that it is perfectly okay to not like the game that everyone else likes.  In doing so you can not like it, but also not seek to spoil the fun of those who really do enjoy it.  There are a long list of games that I just don’t “grok” for one reason or another, but it is okay.  They exist, and people like them… and it is just fine for me not to.

Savior of the Heavens

Diablo III 2014-03-06 22-18-57-78 Last night I finished my play through of Diablo 3 this time on Hard mode.  I am not sure why, but for whatever reason I prefer to level my characters linearly.  I know I can jump around a bit after beating the game ages ago on my Monk, but it seems pleasing to see the story play out in front of me as I trudge through it.  Last night I played with a handful of friends, and managed to get a few nice legendary drops.  Traditionally I have stuck with dual wield, because in general I prefer that in most games.  However last night I managed to get an early 50s version of the Zweihander and it good enough to get me to abandon my dual wielding ways…  at least temporarily.

Diablo III 2014-03-06 22-41-41-28 I am pretty sure at some point I flipped a slider and the game decided I needed “more spikey bits”, as I now am this bladed lord of death.  The appearance is growing on me, and when you see it in small form on screen I look a bit like I imagined the Shrike looking from the Hyperion series.  Upon defeating Diablo I promptly restarted the game, this time bumping the difficulty up to expert.  As a result I have had to tweak my build a bit to add in a bit more survival.  It is not quite as faceroll as it was during my run through Hard.  Mostly I am noticing that my healbot spec Templar is starting to struggle to keep up, or at least allowing me to drop quite a bit before topping me back off.  Wondering if this will change as I upgrade his gear a bit.  I have been trying to keep it upgraded, mostly with my handmedowns.

Diablo III 2014-03-06 22-07-22-52

At the close of the night I managed to ding 56, so hopefully tonight I should be able to finish off my push to get this character to 60.  At this point, I can’t really see playing up another character until the crusader.  I am sure the Witchdoctor, Demon Hunter and Wizard are cool in their own way… but each of them is very much a ranged/finger wiggler class.  They are just not the type of character I enjoy playing.  I realize you can tweak them a bit to make them play in different ways, but at the core they will still be more glass cannonish than I care to play.  I enjoy tanks and tanky dps…  and I feel like the Barbarian, Monk and Crusader fit that bill just fine.  If I continue to struggle a bit I might switch to a sword/board build on my Barbarian as I have done in the past.  For the time being it is working, but I am having to finally start using my heal pots on elites and champions.

Steampowered Sunday Bioshock Contest

Just a quick reminder that I am running a contest of sorts to let you guys pick what I will be playing this Sunday for my Steampowered Sunday feature.  The idea behind Steampowered Sunday is to get me to install and play a game from my steam backlog.  Then I will write about the game play experience.  Sometimes it is extremely glowing, other times not so much.  This week I decided to mix things up a bit and post a google form that allows you guys to vote on which title I will be playing the following week.  I have had a handful of votes to date, but I am really hoping for more.  As of this morning it looks like if nothing changes I will be playing Alan Wake.  Tomorrow when I blog I will be tabulating the results and declaring a winning game.

Additionally to make this more interesting, I have decided to use this as a way to get rid of some of the duplicates I have in steam and have gotten through the various indie bundles.  This week I will be giving away a copy of the original Bioshock for Steam.  So when you vote, make sure you let me know if you want to be entered in the running for the copy of Bioshock.  If so make sure you include your steam id in the form.  Saturday morning when I blog I will be picking a winner for this as well and sending off the free game.  So get out there and vote… and decide my Steampowered Sunday Fate.

Vote Here!

Risk of Rain

Steampowered Sunday #7

Risk of Rain 2014-03-02 09-18-14-54 I feel like I am getting on on this bandwagon about three months too late.  Risk of Rain is an interesting indie metroidvania shooter, with randomly generated worlds and randomly placed objectives.  I remember seeing this and thinking, man that looks cool.  So I picked it up over the Christmas break, but never ended up playing it.  When I started this whole Steampowered Sunday section this was also the very first game I think that a friend of mine gifted me to do a write up on. It was at that point that I knew sooner or later I would have to devote a Sunday morning to it.  It was with a certain bit of trepidation that I finally sat down to play it.  I had watched a few streamers playing this… and saw the frustration of them dying horribly over and over.

Your Death Was Extremely Painful

Risk of Rain 2014-03-02 09-24-45-79 I honestly cannot remember a game that has been quite so successful at making me feel like a complete and total failure.  I just finished playing roughly thirty minutes of the game and I feel like I want to throw the controller across the room.  I of course won’t because I don’t want to break my favorite controller.  The deck is stacked against you from the start it feels like, and the longer you take to find the teleporter, the worse the enemies get.  However the longer you hold out, the better your chances are because you level up and can unlock various abilities throughout the level.  The best I managed was getting to level 8 before finally getting swarmed to death by so many adds on screen at one time.

Risk of Rain 2014-03-02 09-41-17-18 The problem I had with this level is I seriously could not find the damned teleporter.  I wandered all over the place, picking up all sorts of nifty things, but never finding the actual objective.  This is the real frustration of the game for me, is the dual missions…  find the teleporter fast, and level up and find interesting weapons.  When you finally do trigger the teleporter, you have to stay alive for 90 seconds while this insanely huge colossus attacks you, along with tons of other baddies that have spawned in.  I have made it to the colossus phase half a dozen times at this point but the closest I have managed to make it is 30 seconds to go.

Risk of Rain 2014-03-02 09-20-26-56 I think in part my issue is that it is set up with “modern” controller settings.  I am just not used to using my trigger buttons for anything.  I am far better controlling games with the face pad, so I have considered remapping the controls greatly to put all of my cooldowns on the face buttons.  This is a side effect of growing up in the Atari/Nintendo/Super Nintendo era and pretty much disappearing from consoles in any serious way until Playstation/Playstation 2.  I am just used to having everything controlled with the thumb buttons, and even while playing super nintendo games I tended to remap the controllers to put the buttons I almost NEVER pressed on the shoulder buttons.

Risk of Rain 2014-03-02 09-37-18-04 The game itself is pretty gorgeous, and for not having many pixels to work with, the sprites evoke a sense of character to them.  It honestly reminds me of the same kind of graphical treatment that the old school PC lemmings games used to have.  Super intricate world made up of super tiny sprites.  The music adds a certain character of foreboding to the alien landscape.  Running around this world just feels eerie and I can’t really explain why.  The purplish color palette fits the first level, but I am not sure if this changes the further you go in the game.  The game is extremely well crafted for the limited resources it has on screen at a given time.

Risk of Rain 2014-03-02 09-29-06-21 What the game reminds me of honestly is a bullet hell shooter, but if a bullet hell shooter started out extremely sparse and continued to get progressively worse over time.  In most bullet hell games there is a point of equilibrium where “it can get no worse”.  Once you reach that point you can adjust to it, and move forward.  Risk of Rain always gets worse, there is no point at which you can really take a breather from the gameplay and prepare for the next assault.  Each of the mobs on screen has a pattern, but some of them are purposefully non-complimentary.  So far the things that always seem to kill me are the little flying jellyfish things.  At the very least they whittle down my health to a point where one of the other mobs, like a lemurian can finish me off.

As maddening as I found the game, and while I could only take thirty minutes in one sitting… I have to say I enjoyed myself.  I kinda want to boot the game up again and give it another try until I can defeat the first level.  The game is extremely enjoyable and the concepts are simple enough to pick up in a few minutes.  Survival is the major problem.  I think if I could find the leech seed again, and then locate the teleporter early on I would be able to make it through the 90 second phase.  If I got better at using the trigger buttons, namely to dodge I would have had a much better chance of success as well.  Sooner or later I will have to adapt to “modern” controller layouts, because this new fangled trigger button thing apparently is not going away.

Now For Something New

For some time now, I have gathered up not only a backlog of games to play… but also thanks to the various humble bundle packs, a number of duplicates.  As a result I have decided to start hosting a contest.  The idea is that you the reader votes for the next game to be featured on Steampowered Sunday.  I picked 10 possible titles from my steam backlog, and you the reader will pick which one you want me to play next sunday.  During Saturday’s blog post I will declare a winner and choose a random submitter to win the game that is up for grabs that week.  This week I will be giving away a copy of the original Bioshock.  For this giveaway you must have a steam account to be eligible.  I will be tabulating the results using a Google Form.  If you are not interested in the game, but want to vote anyways… there is an option for that as well.

Click Here To Vote

Trove Feature Suggestions

Contest Complete

 

Over the holiday weekend I schemed up a contest as a way of getting rid of my spare Trove Closed Alpha key.  The basic idea was for folks to post in the youtube comments a feature they would like to see added to the game.  While I was not absolutely flooded with responses, I did get quite a few of them.  Of them quite a number of them were really insightful.  As I said during the contest I would be collecting all of the results and compiling them in a single post.  Since the contest ended late last night, here goes nothing.  I am leaving the content of the comments completely unedited.

Trove Feature Suggestions

 

XHeavenZX22

I would like to see pvp/duels

Zyckou

My thoughts will focus towards the combat system, even if I wanted a lot of things.  I think that Trion should make the combat system more dynamic.  Now, battles are way too soft and boring to be enjoyed.  If, as the developers said, they focus on exploration, the combat system is the core of the game and they should make it great and complete.  Imo they should AT LEAST:  – add the base of MMORPG battle:  physical and magical damage (and reduction), status effects (poison, stun, immobilize, knockback, etc…);  – add a dodge mechanism, this way you greatly improve the dynamism, and you can also for example allow bosses to have greater skills that you have to dodge;  – we should known the monster level we encountered, it seems pretty obvious but it not the case today.  – add different classes.  I think I’m not the only one to hope for this one, I think everybody want to play in various ways, for example to play a ranged character.  They should allow to customize the way we play our class, maybe with a classic tree builder system.  I also think that the M2 skill should be bind to the equipped weapon, and the other skills linked to your class, but these changes are not as important as the above ones.  Hope to test this soon to give you a more in-depth throught of the game.

Miz Ick

I think it would be cool if you could link cornerstones with friends, and they would become neighbours or something. Also, cornerstone options where you can adjust who can and cannot build/manipulate terrain in your cornerstone. I would like to see easy party systems to keep track of the friends you’re playing with. 
It would be really cool if they made content that needed a group to complete, AND had class/party dynamics similar to the trinity (traditional mmo) combat. What I’m trying to say is unique classes that work well together with other classes. 
I could spend all night thinking up fun stuff, lol . Good luck all! 
edit: I would love to see a pvp realm, where when you step out of "friendly territory" you go into pvp mode.. mua hahahahaahaa

Guitarstroke

I think player created instances would be cool. Kind of like being a DM, you could create a world for others to play and share

Vellauno

I would love for the cornerstones (private piece of land you bring with you from world to world) could be turned into massive vehicles like boats, ships, flying castles and/or moving fortresses.

Game By Night

Awesome video and thanks for the offer, Bel! There are two things I would like to see. First, is some kind of whimsical story with charming voice over ala LittleBigPlanet and Stephen Fry. The game’s art style just oozes charm and begs for good narration. Second is some equivent of Minecraft’s redstone. Building is great but could you imagine an MMO with player-built trollies and rollercoasters?!

Aymeric Bruzzo

Hello, Nice video :D; I’d like to see some building block ( that we can craft maybe?) that can float in the air and move back and forth, and maybe some that breath fire, for maze/ obstacle race etc :D

Lorenzokwant Kwant

I like having a key like all the another people who want a key to but my ideas are adding new weapons like a bow and a axe and  my another ideas is for blocks doors and signs so people can create a home where nobody can walk in because it have a door what only the owner of it can open and a sign is for tips or warnings (example) like you walk to a dungeon and there is a sign says danger across fearless

Jack Buxley

I’d love to see the game adapt more toward the play style of traditional ‘grinders’ and ‘builders’, to compliment the adventure aspect already implemented.
These changes wouldn’t need to be supremely vast, but small additions in all branches add tones to the longevity of the game. There could be simple additions such as rare minerals which spawn underground (and don’t alter those who don’t want to mine) to a crafting system for furniture and other miscellaneous items.
Looking forward to seeing more!

Bridget TruLove

I’d like to see unicorns. Or maybe just ponies. No wait, bro-nies!  Unicorn bro-nies.
Seriously, though, thanks for vid, Bel!  (And mail me that code ASAP. ;p
~GeekSprinkles

Nick Hoff

Dang, after reading through all the comments here, all the good ideas are gone! XD
I’d love to see customizable pets in the future. I think it would be really cool if you would have to sort of rescue them from dungeons and then they would be your partner. I live this sort of aspect most from Kotor, even though they are frok different genres.
I would like the key because I want to be a part of this game in early development but I can’t buy it as my financial situation sits, and I don’t have the time to sit around the subreddit all day hoping for a key.
Thanks, and good luck to all! :D

TheMagicRobot

Mounts, minions, guilds, custom capes, and crafting recipes out the wazoo!

Daniel Brown

This game looks awesome, and I’d love a key for the alpha!
My suggestion would be leaderboards/rating/voting on the structures and buildings. There could be different categories of awards; Aesthetically, decorative etc. leaderboards would work the same, you’d get a global and a local category here. The people with the number 1 position could get special rewards in their account to redeem?

Magneticsyndrome

Hey man, awesome idea with the random number generator!
I have to say, I’d love to see a lot of features.  One I was really hoping for is falling blocks, like if you destroy the bast of a tree, it falls down, I feel that really changes the perspective of the game.
I’d also love to see some flying type of item/class, like jet boots or a jet back, with some kind of a short burst of flight. 
I also want to see some really big world bosses, ones you’d need a few people to take down! That really appeals to me, I’d absolutely love something like that. 
Thanks for the added chance for this man, I really appreciate it! I’ve been having horrible luck with all the current contest, and I’ve been so close. Hope I’m lucky! haha

Kwongger

I really want to see some Town/City/Faction features. (MC I know, but I think that the devs could put a twist on it ;)   
I’d also LOVE to see a party/group system (with Private Text/Voice chat of course).  I think It would add to the community part of the game 😀
I REALLY want to WIN!     GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

TheTrueLasec

Awesome vid man! i already love the game but i guess i would like to see a rework on how the ingame avatar looks? his face looks so long. Another thing is mass quests, like a main story line different to each server or world, and then multiple quests creating a side story line like in various RPG’s! I really want this game too cuz i wanna make some vids on this too, it looks sick!

Josh Geoff

I think that having pets that follow you around would be cool.  I would also like being able to customize your weapons (such as color, name, designs). since i have not played the game i can’t know what is in it. but i would have many more things to say then too. I have liked and subscribed, so i’m all good, see ya’!

Grayson Soldahl

I would love to see programmable minions! That way you can build kingdoms like in adventure time. By programmable minions I mean npcs that you can create and determine a function for them such as crafting, building, security, etc. It would add a whole new way to play the game!

Michael McGlade

I’d very much like to see this game done right and one of the biggest gripes I seem to always have about online multiplayer games is the poor implementation of the chat and community features in game.
I’d very much like to see guilds/clans be a keystone of this game. Getting together to do massive dungeon raids, large scale boss fights, or even attack opposing guilds. It would help drive a real, true sense of community as players strike bonds with allies and clash swords with foes.
As far as the chat interface goes, I think World of Warcraft did it best. Have three separate tabs on the chat box; Chat, Loot, and Combat with the ability to create additional tabs and modify existing ones. Without this, servers would be filled with players talking over one another while messages pertaining to obtained items or money and critical strikes against monsters flood the chat logs even further.

Paul Zelano

crafting would be a great idea.  A talent tree of some sort would also bring it closer to the MMO side of things.  Its hard to really say what I would want, I mean its already a cross between two types of game genres (MMO and Building game) right now and that seems to be pretty good from my point of view.

Drumroll Please

2013-12-04 06_27_07-RANDOM.ORG - True Random Number ServiceFor the sake of fairness I created a Google doc that you can see here, and dumped everyone’s names into the list.  All in total we had 20 contestants.  I then went to Random.org a free random number generator and put the range in as 1 to 20.  I hit the generate button and the results ended up picking 10.  You can check out the screenprint of the results right justified in this paragraph block.  If you refer to the list that means that our winner is Bridget TruLove aka GeekSprinkles.

I want to thank everyone who commented greatly for their results.  I will be cross posting this over on the Trove Reddit so hopefully the Trion folk will benefit from your work.  Additionally it would be really amazing to do something like this again in the future.  So maybe just maybe they can throw me a few more keys over the months of alpha to do other contests.  I have a few ideas that might be interesting.  Basically I want the end result of any contests to benefit the community as a whole.  Additionally let me know what you think.  Was this a useful idea, or do you think I should have changed the prompt slightly?  I will be contacting Bridget TruLove to pass out her key, I doubt in any circumstance she will not accept it, but if she for whatever reason does not… I will be doing another roll off against the list I posted.

The Contest

Hello Self Conscious

I have officially finished my novel, and I say that in jest because really the hard part has yet to begin.  The whole NaNoWriMo process was extremely draining.  I almost viewed the past year of daily posts on aggronaut as training for the marathon that was Nano.  The thing I was not at all prepared for however was just how draining coming home each night and writing a chapter of original material was.  My blog is pretty much me just reacting or regurgitating “found material”.  Nano on the other hand was me giving birth to characters, plots, settings and for all intents and purposes a big unique world of my own making.

Now that it is over it is time for me to return to the normal daily blog posts… and quite frankly I find myself a little self-conscious.  For the last 29 posts I have simply dumped what I wrote the night before in private out onto the screen for you guys to read (or more than likely not read).  Now I find myself sitting here having to come up with things to write that are relevant and timely.  It is not that I find myself with writers block, because there are a month worth of topics backed up inside of me.  I just find myself a little nervous about the entire process.  I have to get back in the pattern of just dumping my innermost thoughts out onto a page for you all to pick over.

The Contest

 

During the month of my absence from morning posts a thing happened.  Well actually if we are most truthful about it a lot of things happened.  In this case two particular things happened.  Firstly Trion announced the existence of Trove their new game that melds Minecraft, Cubeworld and MMOs.  Secondly I somehow managed to get into the first wave of alpha invites.  Thirdly when I realized that I was one of only a handful of people in the game, and that the alpha process had absolutely no NDA… I thought I should probably do something to show off the game.  As a result I did a thing that I had thought about for some time… I recorded my very first lets play video.

  1. Test Video
  2. Episode 1
  3. Episode 2
  4. Episode 3

So far I have recorded four videos in total, the first of which only being a super short test video in which I was trying to figure out the kinks of using youtube.  I am completely new to this whole experience but so far the videos have been well received.  An interesting thing happened however over the extended holiday weekend.  I ended up getting a second alpha key.  So I thought about what I should do with it, should I offer it up to my friends over twitter or g+?  Then I came up with a constructive idea…  hold a contest.   The idea is to get people to provide feedback on features they would like to see in the game, so that I can compile this list in blog post form to present to the Trion folk.

The Rules

Since the video series is a youtube thing, I will be hosting the contest there.  The basics are this… go to the Episode 3 link.  Do the standard subscribe/like/comment youtube bs.  In your comment describe a feature you would like to see built into Trove.  The sky is the limit as far as features go since this is a melding of the traditional building game and an MMO.  I will only be accepting comments that actually provide a suggestion in them, and will be ignoring all “begging for the key” and otherwise trolling posts.

I will be accepting comments through 12/3/2013 and Wednesday morning I will be pulling together a list of all of the comments and the posters name.  I will be dumping this in a google doc and then using a random number generator to pick the winner.  Everyone’s comments will be featured on my blog and I will cross post that on the trove reddit as well.  Wednesday evening I will announce the winner over the various social platforms that I use.  May the random number generator be in your favor!  I just thought this would be a fun way to give away a key and hopefully provide some useful suggestions back to Trion in the process.