Category Archives: Games

C64 Easter Egg in Saints Row 4

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I noticed a Commodore 64 screen last night in the game Saints Row 4. The keyboard is definitely not a C64 one, neither is it a C128 but I’ll forgive that oversight.

There are various retro parts of the game, like a 2D side scrolling beat-em-up to rescue one of the characters but this was in a fairly mundane mission where you have to shoot lights, that’s all I’ll say. Watch out for it!

To the Mun and back: Kerbal Space Program

There’s a great interview with Squad, makers of Kerbal Space Program on Polygon.

I had no idea the company was and still is a marketing company but it’s great to hear more about their plans to work with NASA.

Now, if only docking two ships was easier I could rescue the crew of that space ship in orbit.

How well does Steam In-Home Streaming work?

Steam In-Home Streaming allows you to stream a game from one machine on a network to another. The idea being that your powerful desktop machine will run the game and stream the picture and perform input/output through a weak computer attached to a living room TV.

One of the problems it faces is wifi latency. Most homes won’t have ethernet cables built into the walls. I only know two people who are so prepared so the rest of us will have to use wifi. I’ve used power plug networking in the past but the resulting broadcast of radio signals makes me fearful for the sanity of any long wave radio fan or CB radio junkie in the locality.

The video above demonstrates a lot of latency and stuttering when Metro Last Light was played over a wifi network. However, ethernet worked fine with only slight lag. Here’s a thread on the Streaming Group forum looking for feedback and this thread that should be a good read.

Initially I was more excited about streaming than family sharing but the latter works just fine, and even works when the (slave) computer is offline (so the master computer can be used to play games too). I even went and bought a HDMI cable just so I can hook the laptop up to the tv. Much simpler than fiddling with streaming but then I might not be the target audience am I?

Bring ‘em back alive!

This was to be an oh so glorious rescue. I built the rover described here, with some modifications of my own: Larger fuel tank, extra rockets. I tested it on Kerbin. It was able to land without parachutes from 4,000m. Everything was perfect for the rescue of two would-be-rescuers from a previous mission and the Kerbonaut they were going to rescue.

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I landed successfully only 3km or so away from their location on the Mun. It was a hair raising landing as it was inside a crater, after the sun had set. Pitch black. I knew it was highland area but when I checked the internal cockpit altimeter and saw the needle sneak past 100m I luckily did not panic but set the rover down. After a quick repair of the wheels and a longer wait until sunrise I headed for my destination.

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My destination is deep within a crater and this rover was too top heavy to trust at speed. Much easier to get everyone else to me!

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I even drove the other rover that had miraculously survived a crash to the rescue craft and had the two Kerbonauts strapped to external chairs. Everything was perfect.

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Getting into orbit was easy. Getting back to Kerbin had it’s fair share of excitement. The Mun caught us again and I ended up outside the orbit of Minmus but then it was back to Kerbin. That’s when disaster struck.

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To speed my orbital decay I switched to a landing side and warped time while the rescue craft was around 40,000m. It seemed to work fine but when I switched back all my Kerbonauts were swinging wildly about. I had to get them to leave their seats and board them again to sort things out. Unfortunately as soon as I warped again they went flying off again.

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I tried several times using a quick save but no luck. I gave up eventually. Sorry guys, so close but you’re lost in space, possibly to the Kraken.

Still, there’s a lad stuck on Duna and one on Eve too. To be continued …

Edit: I gave it one more go from the save file. I didn’t try to get the Kerbonauts into their seats again but I left my ship drift toward low orbit before firing my rockets retrograde to lose height. I lost sight of the ship, it shot off into the distance but I was able to hop inside and monitor progress from there.
Eventually we landed and yes, all my rescued Kerbonauts were safe and secure. Upside down in their seats to be sure but they live to fly another day!

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Good job Sondous and Wehrley!

The Snow is cold on Duna

The Desert on Duna

Dondorf Kerman is the first Kerbal on Duna and he was busy. Unfortunately he totally misjudged how thick the atmosphere was and broke three landing gear struts and two of his engines! Luckily he was able to repair the landing gear but he wouldn’t be going home.

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Meanwhile Huddun Kerman was determined to save his friend Dondorf but was having teething problems with his rescue vehicle. Getting into Kerbin orbit was proving harder than he thought.

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With no rescue in sight, brave Dondorf decided to fly to the north pole of Duna and explore the snowy hills. On the way he carried out several science experiments and was then annoyed after a perfect landing that Duna has no distinct biomes for scientific research. Still, he’d have fun tobogganing down the snowy slopes.

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Little did Dondorf know but his final in-flight science experiments were enough for Kerbal Space Centre to unlock the final pieces of equipment. Surely, rescue missions could now be launched to the Mun, Eve and Duna where brave but hopelessly naive Kerbals had stranded themselves. First, celebrations. Everyone got a little tipsy and someone fired Jebediah into the ground with an upside down rocket. Ooops.

Go get Kerbal Space Program, it’s on Steam too!

I hated Gravity until I saw this

The movie Gravity came out in Ireland about a month after it opened in the US so I desperately avoided any references to it until I saw it in 3D a few weeks ago. Some bits of it were really good, the 3D effect of things blowing up were spectacular but Hollywood really took liberties with some aspects of orbiting the earth.

That bit where Kowalsky races to rescue Stone and tells her to shine her torch seemed so far fetched. The violence she suffered when she was ripped off the shuttle sent her spinning off at great velocity. How could anyone spot a tiny torch glowing in the deep reaches and distance of space?

Then it hit me, Kowalsky was a Kerbal. He had a navball and a map. Must be it.

It’s fun on Minmus

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Minmus is a tiny moon orbiting Kerbin in the game Kerbal Space Program. There’s a closer moon, Mun, that I’ve visited in the past but this was my first time getting to Minmus. This moon is so small it has a tiny gravity. A Kerbonaut can jump 10 metres with a single bound! ‘Course, sometimes that leap can land him in trouble..

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On a previous attempt to land I noticed my solar panels weren’t working. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the sun was blocked by the Mun, how was that possible?

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Damn, a lunar eclipse, what are the chances? (and if this was Reddit someone would probably tell me!)

Oh yes. If you’re playing KSP and you’re in a Steam chat, please disable your engines before pressing shift-tab. The sudden take off from the surface when you hit shift can be upsetting.