I have been spending some time with Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation during christmas. I am very impressed with the game, and I see it as a return to form for the RTS-genre. In Ashes, there is no micromanagement. Of course, you can still opt to place non-armor units behind their tougher counterparts, but most of the time you will probably end up just having them in a big bunch. Heavier units, like Dreadnoughts, do traverse the map a lot slower than lighter units (which may, or may not, make sense). This means that your units will not arrive at the same time, which can be devastating when assaulting an opponent. But like older RTS games, this is negated by having several meeting points prior to the final goal.
The game map is made of up of several ressource nodes, being power, metal or nuclear stuff. These nodes are connected by lines. If the line is broken, you do not get ressources from beyond that break. This is a great mechanic; do you take the nodes, then move your troops to claim the next, or do you back them up with forces to repel an enemy attempt at taking your node? The tug of war is a great experience and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Many of the maps are very large, meaning that your reinforcement will take some time to arrive – at which point the battle for a node can have shifted several times.
I tend to overthink stuff too much, and I will do that with Ashes of the Singularity as well. First off, science fiction is my favorite genre. However, these modern RTS games always have floating tanks, laser weapons and units tend to look very ‘video game’-like. This goes for Ashes as well. I prefer the C&C (1995) style; modern units with a touch of science fiction. I cannot abstain from thinking about how much energy it would require to hover a tank. This is just personal preference, though, but for me it does retract somewhat from the game.
A bigger problem is bland maps. They are pretty boring, and comes off like big flat symmetrical levels, with the some elevation differences. I really miss the C&C/Red Alert cliffs that blocks ground forces and creates kill zones. When playing Ashes, I never take the environment into account.
The conclusion is that Ashes of the Singularity is an amazing game.
It seems that my project with getting Android to work with Arduino is going to work. In the short video below, I turn on one LED at a time, and that logic level signal can, of course, be used for anything. My current video/pinball-project is pretty far along, using Windows and the U-HID controller. I think I will stay with that setup for my present project – I have everything done here, in regards to inputs and outputs, I designed the pcb and had it produced, soldered it etc. There is no lag, and I can freely choose resolutions, audio and everything….Windows is a great platform for this. I have no huge desire to switch to Android, but being a fan of both operating systems, I would like to give Android a chance to see if it might be more sleek. On the microcontroller side of things, an Arduino is WAY cheaper than an U-HID. An Android unit may not be much cheaper than a Windows unit these days, but I still think Android will contribute to lowering over-all system cost.
I usually do not buy microcontrollers with few inputs/outputs, but I ordered this Arduino Leonardo anyway. It might be usable for less complex mechanical projects or maybe I could use more than one. As an extra plan, I would like to look into using Android with an Arduino instead of Windows, since Android devices usuallyy are cheaper than small Windows all-in-one computers.
Well, just dug these out again. These are boards that I really wanted to love, but they have problems with consistency – not only from board to board, but they also differ a lot depending on what game board you use them with. A general problem is image stability. I have tried older game boards (Frogger) and later games (90’s driving games), and the conclusion is that it’s touch and go. They will accept 15kHz, 24kHz and 31kHz input and output 31kHz on VGA. If you have problems with the image shaking or having jittering, look into the clamp settings. These are crucial. Still, there are no resolutions that can fit any LCD monitor you might want to use. A 5:4 LCD monitor should have a rez of 1280×1024. The GBS has no rez that is a multiple of that…and it should really have that (1280×1024) resolution. Otherwise, you are scaling your game to one new resolution in the GBS, then the monitor scales that again. Both times they will be off-resolutions providing scaling artifacts and add a blurry quality to the image. I hope they make another version that at least have 1280*1024, leaving ‘only’ the problem of off-scaling from the original games resolution to the GBS.
I have retired BaCo, and replaced it with a new and sleeker calculator called GRID. It calculates the bacterial count in a sample from a plated dilution range. A real-time equation is adjusted as you enter the values (plate count, dilutions, volume plated etc.). You also get the count uncertainty presented as both a percentage and as +/- CFU.
Besides my being pretty bored with Stranger Things (1 + 2), I get annoyed when you are that lazy…there are countless DigDug arcades around, with CRTs. LCDs are also seen in other places in the show. If you’re that proud of your 80s style, follow it through.
Well, I finally got around to ordering one of these things. They’re dirt cheap, but their function is still important, otherwise..why use it. This is not a keyboard encoder, it is a joystick encoder which gives it a knock down from the get go. Be advised, there are no outputs at all.
15 days left, then Disco Trek will hit us! Even though I like the original series the best, didn’t like TNG at all, except for the movies, loved DS9 back in the day (but having problems liking it now), found Voyager OK – and never felt too much for ENT….I have decided to go into Discovery with a positive attitude. I am ready for Star Trek to become military science fiction, in the vein of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis.
Sonic Mania finally got released; however, I really don’t care for it that much. It is very, very similar to Christian Whitehead’s (Taxman) former widescreen editions of the classic games. I only reached the Chemical Zone, found that I still hated it, realized that I wasn’t having fun – and refunded the game. Later this month, Cuphead will hit the world – I will be there, hoping the best.
On another note, I have grown very fond of modern Sonic’s homing attack.
Sonic 4 Episode II is better than Mania. And half the price.