Friday, July 18, 2014

ArcheAge - CBT started!

I'm waiting with great anticipation of a good game when ArcheAge's Closed Beta starts within the hour. After hearing so much about it, I've decided to purchase a Silver Founder's pack.

Progress from the CBT would be wiped, but it does give a great chance to try out the game's many features without worrying that the game progress will be made permanent. I understand there has been much discussions about the Labour Points and how slow it is in regenerating. Thus the CBT will be good to try out things that gamers might not want to do in the actual launch servers.

Glyph - ArcheAge CBT
Not sure which race will I chose as a starting character but the Harani seems interesting with the boost for logging / gathering speed.

Ok, time to go try out the game! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Dark Room by Double Speak

A Dark Room is a text based browser game that is surprisingly fun. The game is developed by Double Speak, with a minimalist design that reveals more as the game progress. A Dark Room starts with a player in a dark room (no surprise) and the sole option to stoke a fire. With fire burning hot, the game introduces a builder and another game ‘area’ outside the room, where player can gather woods. The area is initially named ‘Silent Forest’ which will become a Lonely Hut, and eventually A Raucous Village.

Builder will subsequently introduce more options, e.g. a cart for more efficient transport of woods, and huts to build a simple village. With more gatherers, other options start to appear, e.g. building a lodge (for hunters to gather more fur and meat), a workshop where crude weapons and torches can be built.

Without spoiling the game, here’s a couple of quick tips:

Build up the Village
In my first try, I did not max out the number of huts. However, the hut houses the important resources of villages (indicated via a number and each hut can house 4 population) that generates more woods and eventually workers to manufacture things.

There is a maximum of 20 huts (huts get progressively more expensive to build in terms of woods) and that gives the player a cap of 80 population. When the maximum number of huts are built, the game will display a ‘no more room for huts’ message.

After the Huts, do build the traps to maximum. Baited traps work better of course, and doesn’t cost much (1 meat for each bait).

Resources management
Resource management is a key component for ‘A Dark Room’ where each villager assigned to produce some resources, will also consume the primary resources e.g. fur to leather, meat to baits. With a maximum of 80 villagers it is much easier to increase production for the needed resources. Try adjusting the number of villagers assign until the game sort of balances out, e.g. 2 hunter will generate 1 fur and 1 meat every 10 second, while a tanner takes 5 furs for a leather. So 10 hunters will support a tanner (5 furs to give 1 leather) and a charcutier (5 meats and wood for a cured meat).

A Dusty Path

Once the player buys the Compass from the Trading Post (or cheaper from the Nomad, which is a random event), another game segment will appear – A Dusty Path. This new area allows the player to explore beyond the village, fight enemies and eventually reach an important game objective (sorry – not spoiling the game for you). The location of this ‘objective’ is roughly along the direction pointed by the Compass when you first bought it.

While tempting to immediately explore the Dusty Path, try not to do so until you have a couple of important items e.g. the basic bonespear (weapon), waterskin and rucksack. I will suggest taking along 4-5 torches, and about 10 cured meat as well. Each step on the Dusty Path will consume 1 water unit and 0.5 cured meat. These can be replenish at various points e.g. encounters and caves.


The initial objectives are to find mines e.g. an iron mine (and later coal, and sulphur). There are only 1 of each mine and the location is random. Dying while fighting (or due to thirst / starvation) means everything that is carried will be lost – not a good idea. Thus take exploratory steps to find rest points for water / cured meat replenishments before you venture far into the map.

Finding the mines unlock more resources, and more objects to build e.g. better armour, better water container (e.g. water tank) that allows you to explore and survive longer trips.

Once you find (or build) different weapon types, they can be used (subject to cool down) simultaneously in the fights. Only 1 weapon of each type is needed, i.e. no point bringing along 3 bone spears for example.

All these explorations is for the sole purpose of finding the ‘objective’ as earlier mentioned. Once you find it, gather more resources e.g. Alien Alloy, and then the player can embark on a final trip… that requires nimble fingers i.e. quite different from the main bulk of A Dark Room’s wait for resources type gameplay.

A last tip – random events occur (e.g. the Nomad) and some of these events offer a chance to impart important Perks (e.g. Scout) that will be useful for playing A Dark Room.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Diablo III - Auction House Is No More (18th March 2014)

Auction house is no more (finally!) for Diablo III. There were many comments on why the  auction house system spoils the game of Diablo III, and yes it is now goodbye to this AH. Quite frankly I have never thought the Real Money Trade of Auction House will work for players. Even the use of gold for Auction House (with no proper gold sink mechanism in the game) is ridiculous when sellers demanded sky high prices.

I guess many players are trying to log in to Diablo III tonight, fearing that their items in the 'Completed Tab' would be lost. So this is one of the rare occasions in recent days to see this pop up when I tried to access Diablo III. Not too bad - at least I know there are still interested players for the game.

Battlenet Busy
Blizzard understands the anxiety, and naturally the players will have more time to claim the items (up till 24th June actually). The message of claiming the items in the Completed Tab by 24th June is also displayed at the bottom in red when players click the Auction House icon.

Diablo III Auction House 18 March
I wouldn't miss the auction house, and I appreciate the new loot system (what Blizzard term as Loot 2.0) such that players get more loot. After the recent patch, this is the 1st time in my many hours of playing Diablo III to get a Set Item. I've also 'looted' a number of other Legendary items, and I must say that sort of encourage me to play again.

Blackthorne Duncraig Cross

Oh well, let's see if the new expansion of Reaper of Souls will be interesting enough to re-capture all the hype of Diablo III. Crusader class - yeah! Additional Act - yeah! :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fish Island SEA by NHN Part 2

Here's Part 2 of Fish Island. In Part 1, the game play and general view were covered, and let's move on to the other game play elements, namely gold / 'dollar' and equipment.

Earning gold coins in Fish Island is important, because the essentials like fish line and baits must be bought with gold coins and 'dollars'. While the Fish Island game started off by giving players the basic bait and basic fishing line, these cannot be used for the higher level fishes, i.e. the fishes players caught will need better baits. The fishes are also harder to catch, i.e. higher chance of losing 'hearts' and thus the better fishing lines will be needed.

Fish Island Rod & Float
Other than the baits & lines, the other essential equipment are the rods & floats. Rods and floats might be obtained thru random 'box' & 'bags' that can be caught while fishing. Of course, players can also buy them in the shop. That again requires gold coins and 'dollars'. 

One way to earn coins is thru aquariums. Once the players transfer the fishes caught (in the keepnet) to the aquariums, the fishes will starts to earn coins for the players. Another way to earn coins (and sometimes 'dollars') is by visiting your fellow players under the Friends tab. Each visit will earn a player 500 coins (or sometimes 1 'dollar') each day. Players can easily add other players under the recommended list, or search for your real friends via their names / player codes.

Fish Island Friends List
Of course, friends can also give other friends gifts (limited number each day). These gifts include 'coupons' that can be used in Lucky Draws, i.e. gacha like games, and random drops could be obtained this way. Without coupons, the coins would be used instead. See the importance of coins?

Fish Island Lucky Draw
After a while, fishing can be boring. So NHN included tournaments and events into Fish Island, where rewards will be given for X number / largest / quantity of particular fish caught. The tournament cost a nominal sum to enter, and the events are free. The events are announced when players first start the game.

Other features that made the game interesting include the 'Premium Fishing Spots', e.g. Australia, Vietname, where rarer fishes can be caught. Entrance into these premium spots cost something, and there are time limits for the entry. Thus before the players go to such spots, it is better to plan ahead in order to maximise the returns, e.g. get better fishing lines and better baits.

Fish Island Vietnam
That sot of cover a large part of the game. there are of course many other features, including the Fishypedia, Achievements, Rankings etc. Feel free to explore them!

One last note - do you know that by tapping the game character twice at the fishing scene (i.e. before you hit the bottom right button), the character will turn around and do a simple dance? Heh try it!

Overall Fish Island is an interesting game, and the features (including events and such) extended the game play significantly. The only drawback is the slow leveling and that means a lot of grinding is needed for Fish Island. 

See also:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fish Island SEA by NHN Part 1

Fish Island is now available (from 18 July) in both the iOS app store as well as Google Play Store! This was one of the more popular Korean games, and now it it is brought to South East Asia by NHN Singapore.

Fish Island is a mix of RPG and 'whack a mole' concept, where the character progress in level (to open up new fishing area) by 'whacking' i.e. fishing fishes. Players can choose either a male or female character, and there will be accessories (e.g clothings with bonus stats) to decorate the characters.  

Fish Island start screen
There are many locations (Sparkling Shore, Ragged Rock Island) to fish from, but each location has a level restriction, i.e. the characters need to be of certain minimal level to unlock the place. Of course, each new location will have many new exciting fishes to whack that pose increasing challenges for the players.

Fish Island locations map
Gameplay is easy. Press the round button at the bottom right of the screen and a 'waving' bar will appear. Hit the button a second time to cast the line. If the player time it correctly, the bar will end up in the green area, that confers a bonus chance to grab bigger fishes.

To get the fishes, press the button again when the fish icon floats above one of the lighted / white circles. It is considered a hit if the fish is about 70% or more within the lighted / white circles. The fishes have hit points (similar to enemies in a RPG game) and every time there is a correct hit, the fishes' hitpoints will drop. The amount of hitpoints drop is dependent on the gear of the characters. Better gears confer a better attack stats, and higher chance of a critical hit, where more damages are done. Once the fishes hitpoints drop to zero, i.e. the green bar at the top of the screen depletes, the fishes will be caught.

The challenges increase with higher level fishes, who can move faster, or pause at certain point, or do a quick U-turn. U-turn by the fishes can be detected with an exclamation mark, i.e. once a "!" appears above the fish, it will move by a further circle before it u-turn.

Fishes are classified by a few stats. Stars denote how 'rare' are the fishes, and the alphabet (i.e. A, B, C) indicates the size of the fishes. Big fishes can have "S" or "SS" which are better than the ABC. Bigger fishes give better rewards, i.e. more gold generated when player put the fishes in their aquariums. More about Gold and Aquariums later in Part 2.

Fish Island - Smallscale Blackfish
Each successful fishing attempt will confer experience points to the characters, and the rarer fishes will give more experience. Once the characters level up in Fish Island, the characters can move on to other spots. ! interesting feature of Fish Island is that it highlights the 'best' fisherman for each particular fish, i.e. the player who managed to grab the biggest fish for each fish type. The player's name will be displayed along with the fishes. If the player is the best fishermen for the 'king' of each area, other players will be constantly reminded about it when players switch between locations to fish (pic - see the player name below the black Killer Whale)!

More about Fish Island in Part 2 (coming up)!

See also:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Weekend before Hell - Diablo III release

The waiting is finally coming to an end. The fans of Diablo have waited for a good 12 years for this latest Diablo release, and yes we will all get the game on 15th May 2012. I must say I can't wait to try out the classes and the features of the new game (more info can be found on their site), e.g. the artisans with a 'levelling' option. Five classes to try and I'm not so sure which suites my style; guess I'll know in a few days.

Diablo III Pre-order cards

Despite the huge anticipation for the Diablo III, I must say I am somewhat disappointed with how AsiaSoft handles the entire pre-order / redemption. Seems like I need to spend many hours waiting at Funan (place for box set collection) before I can get the game. There isn't interesting freebies either, just a poster (from the lucky draw) and maybe something more (as rare loot). I can only hope that AsiaSoft has planned out the entire logistical flow, such that there is less chaos that day.

Well, if Hell is breaking loose after a long 12 years wait, chaos is to be expected when Diablo III is released. :)

See related: 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Singapore Poly's 2nd Media & Communications Conference 2012

The week of 13th Feb was the Social Media Week, and coincidentally Singapore Polytechnic also had their 2nd Media & Comms Conference during that week. The lecturer told me the timing was coincidental, and so I take her word for it. Their theme for the conference is 'Click to connect', quite apt for the current social media space.

A large group attended the event, with speakers from Starcom Mediavest (Lee Yew Leong), Blackberry (Gerald Ang), Nokia (Shalabh Pandey), & SPH (Geoff Tan). Among the attendees there were company reps, for example Brandtology. Well it was obvious cos' he identified his company before he asked a question. There were also journalists, since the event was reported by various media, including CIO Asia (see their report here). Yup I took various notes during the event itself (diligent right?)

Here's 2 photo shots of the speakers.

I must say that the event is pretty well organised. However the various speakers seemed to focus their comments on the students while their presentation slides were industry oriented, thus there was some disconnect while I was trying to digest the materials.There were a host of information, sand some interesting videos, e.g. the Beurs van Berlage building in Amsterdam was used in a Samsung advert for their 3D TV. Great advertising!

Oh, the event was held at SP Auditorium. I was early, and was somewhat intimidated by the large group of organisers (dressed in white T-shirts) who scrutinised everyone who walked past the place. Hmm. During the break I've had a chance to speak to the lecturers, and that was when I heard about SP's Centre for Social Media. Interesting initiative to give the students some industry exposure by partnering companies for various projects.

I enjoyed the Media & Communications Conference. Thanks SP (and the SP DMC students organisers) for the invite, and yes do drop me an invitation next year k? :) Oh, wonder if there is any way to get a copy of the slides that were presented at this conference? Hmm.