Mar 28, 2020
Some of you might remember previous coverage of Solarus, the Free Software Zelda-like ARPG engine that comes with its own complete game creation suite and a pretty impressive palette of Zelda fan games already available under its wing. As of last December, version 1.6 has been released, and while the changes under the hood are too many to number (check the full announcement and changelog here), it is worth highlighting the package now includes a more varied amount of libre tilesets, meaning developers now have available a wider choice of default non-proprietary graphics to use on their own creations. While the community is still very much focused around Zelda fan-games and their respective copyrighted graphics, this is an important first step to attract more developers and spark future libre game projects.
|The Ocean's Heart tileset, now part of the Solarus package.|
One such project is Ocean's Heart, the brainchild of Solarus community member Max Mraz. The game follows a gameplay structure similar to classic Zelda games transported to a Viking age-inspired setting. It features an entirely original story and a beautiful pixelated tileset, which Max was kind enough to license under a Creative Commons license for integration with the Solarus suite. Upon completion it will become the first true libre Solarus-made ARPG in code and assets, which makes for very exciting news.
Stay tuned for further developments on this, and be sure to check the Solarus website for news on their upcoming game projects, along with complete instructions and tutorials on how to create your own game using the development tools.
Code License: GPLv3
Assets License: Mixed (most sprite packages copyrighted by Nintendo, original Solarus assets under CC-BY-SA)
This post was retrieved from freegamer.blogspot.com.
FlowScape DRMFREE Free Download
FlowScape DRMFREE PC Game 2019 Overview
Ever wanted to effortlessly paint beautiful landscapes where there are no mistakes and only happy accidents? FlowScape offers that with its built-in selection of trees, houses, forts, mountains, flowers, wild critters and so much more, all at your immediate disposal. It's easy, just click and paint, and the results are breathtaking.
FlowScape boasts hundreds of unique 3D models, an intuitive interface, an ever-growing community and free content updates. The toolbar has advanced paint options such as align to landscape, size, flow of the brush, random leaning, grow speed, and layers to determine where things get painted. Drop objects such as rocks, logs, twigs and leaves in real-time physics into your scene.
You can use a combination of twenty-four 4k textures for your landscape and then choose from twenty-four different skies. In the camera settings there are plenty of sliders to allow you lots of control over your final image.
Ten different sound ambiances from birds, insects, water and weather can be added to your scene to immerse you into your special world.
You can save screenshots up to 8k, create panoramas or make videos using your favorite capture app. If you play D&D we have a top-down view with optional square and hexagonal grids, and 2K-8K image export for battle maps.
If the included models don't offer the versatility you need, you can import your own using the obj. format exported from your favorite modelling program or get many free ones from online.
We cant wait to see what amazing stories you will create!
Technical Specifications of This Release.
- Game Version : Initial Release
- Interface Language: English
- Audio Language : English
- Uploader / Re packer Group: Drmfree
- Game File Name : FlowScape_DRMFREE.zip
- Game Download Size : 5.4 GB
- MD5SUM : c22170d0cbd5add10cb2d387c3701362
System Requirements of FlowScape DRMFREE
* OS: Windows 7
* Processor: 1.8 GHz
* Memory: 4 GB RAM
* Graphics: 1 GB VRAM
* DirectX: Version 11
* Storage: 4 GB available space
* OS: Windows 10
* Processor: 2 GHz
* Memory: 8 GB RAM
* Graphics: 4 GB VRAM
* DirectX: Version 11
* Storage: 4 GB available space
FlowScape DRMFREE Free Download
Mar 23, 2020
Work continues on the Aeronef. The decks got their base coat and wash, and I managed to paint the highlights on five of them.
I also took one to completion, it got its funnel, turrets, windows and colors done up. Like I said before, I'm not looking to go overboard with these. Just a serviceable, table-top paint job.
Mar 20, 2020
Programming Elixir ≥ 1.6This book is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. Dave Thomas is an excellent writer who is able to explain difficult programming language concepts with an ease and fluidity that is a joy to read. His writing speaks in a way that feels entirely natural, and he gives the distinct impression of a father explaining how things work to his kids. That's a compliment; I don't mean that he lectures in a patronizing way. I mean that it's comfortable and completely understandable in the same way that your dad showing how to change the tires on a car or how to throw a baseball would be. He's good at it, and his writing flows off the page and into my head almost effortlessly.
At the same time that this book is easy to understand, the explanations are concise because Thomas has a lot to cover while keeping his promise of not making the book as long as his Programming Ruby book. He jumps right in with chapters on pattern matching and immutability, two of the main features of Elixir that will be used constantly when programming in it. Then he runs through the basics of the base types and operators in Elixir, as well as anonymous and named functions.
Next, lists and recursion are introduced together since they are inseparable in a functional language, followed by the rest of the compound data types: maps, keyword lists, sets, structs, strings, and binaries. Thomas really brought out the mystique of using lists and recursion here:
At this point, part of your brain is telling you to go read today's XKCD—this list stuff can't be useful. Ignore that small voice, just for a second. We're about to do something magical.He goes on to show how easily values can be pulled out of lists using pattern matching, and things progress from there. The main way to process these compound data types with the Enum and Stream modules is covered at this point in the book, and other control flow structures were put off until after the more important declarative programming methods were covered. While if, cond, and case structures are still used in Elixir, they're just not as important as pattern matching and multi-headed functions.
With most of the syntax and basic features of Elixir out of the way, we're ready to tackle a non-trivial example project, so Thomas takes us through building a little application that accesses GitHub and builds a table of code repository issues for a given URL. It's a nice project to show off most of what we've learned so far before heading into the more advanced Elixir features. The more advanced features being concurrent programming with multiple processes, OTA, tasks, and agents. This was the stuff that was missing from Learn Functional Programming with Elixir, and it was covered well here. Normally, processes are a heavy-handed solution to the concurrent programming problem, but Thomas explains why Elixir is different:
[T]he cool thing about Elixir is that you write your code using lots and lots of processes, and each process has its own heap. The data in your application is divvied up between these processes, so each individual heap is much, much smaller than would have been the case if all the data had been in a single heap. As a result, garbage collection runs faster. If a process terminates before its heap becomes full, all its data is discarded—no garbage collection is required.There's an incredible amount of power in the concurrent programming features of Elixir built on the solid foundation of the Erlang VM, and Thomas does a great job of explaining how each of them work and why you would choose to use OTA or agents or tasks in different situations.
The last few chapters of the book go into metaprogramming with macros, behaviors, protocols, and writing your own sigils. The one thing I thought suffered a little in this part was the examples. Throughout the book most of the examples were short and sweet, simply to show the syntax and how working code would be written with the newly introduced features, but with metaprogramming it's hard to understand exactly why you would want to use it if the examples are too simple and useless. To get a good understanding of when and why you would use metaprogramming requires a motivated example that shows how some tedious, verbose, ugly code can be transformed into a succinct, dynamic, beautiful piece of code that writes code. That type of example was missing from the metaprogramming section.
Setting aside that one complaint, this book was an excellent overview of Elixir from the basics of the language to the advanced concurrent programming features that make it such a compelling language for modern multi-core processors. If you need to learn Elixir well enough to start writing solid concurrent applications, or even are just curious about an entirely different and powerful way to program, Programming Elixir ≥ 1.6 is definitely worth checking out.
Metaprogramming ElixirWhereas Programming Elixir ≥ 1.6 was a general tour of Elixir, this book focused on one specific feature of Elixir: metaprogramming. Luckily, this is the feature that was least well described in Programming Elixir ≥ 1.6, so having an entire book on it proves quite helpful. Metaprogramming Elixir is also a relatively short book, clocking in at just over 100 pages of real material, and it was a quick read.
What made the read even quicker was the fact that most of the coding examples were repeated within and between chapters, resulting in a few core examples that were extended multiple times with different metaprogramming features. This method worked great for instruction, since later examples were immediately familiar, even though it tended to pad the page count of the book. If not for the repetition, this book could have been 70 pages or less.
That's not to say it's a bad thing that the book is so short and contains a fair amount of repetition. I found the explanations to be extremely clear and easy to read. The code examples were well thought out and served their purpose in showing how to use all of the metaprogramming features, as good examples should do. Everything fit together nicely, and the chapters had a smooth flow, developing from basic macros into an advanced DSL example.
This development is split into six chapters, starting with an introduction to Elixir macros and the abstract syntax tree (AST). Similar to Lisps, Elixir code is represented as an AST that is accessible at compile time, and it can be easily changed and added to while compiling. With this power comes the tendency to over-engineer, and McCord offers up some clear warnings about overusing it:
It's easy to get caught in our own web of code generation, and many have been bitten by reckless complexity. When taken too far, macros can make programs difficult to debug and reason about. There should always be a clear advantage when we attack problems with metaprogramming. In many cases, standard function definitions are a superior choice if code generation is not required.These warnings are sprinkled throughout the book for the various metaprogramming features. Each feature gives the programmer more power to change code at will, but at the risk of making the code an opaque, untestable maintenance nightmare. The judicious use of metaprogramming can neatly solve otherwise tedious problems, but it should only be used when necessary.
Chapter 2 gets into how nearly all of Elixir can be changed and extended with metaprogramming. The core of the language is quite small, and most of the language that's used is implemented with macros already, even the basic if expression. The example in this chapter shows how easy it is to create a unit test library using macros, and McCord takes the opportunity to discuss some metaprogramming best practices:
This [example] also highlights an effective approach to macros, where the goal is to generate as little code as possible within the caller's context. By proxying to an outside function, we keep the code generation as straightforward as possible. As you'll see later, this approach is pivotal to writing maintainable macros.It also makes it much easier to test the macros, since most of the code will be contained in functions that you can call from tests and see what's going on, instead of trying to posit what all of the generated code looks like.
Chapter 3 shows how to use macros to generate code from data, both through reading from a file and from a web API. Not only is this ability slick as hell, it's highly performant because the code is generated only once at compile time and then during runtime it's all internal function calls—no latency-ridden I/O. The benefits of this approach cannot be emphasized enough:
Let sink in for a moment what we just accomplished in 20 lines of code. We hit a remote JSON API over the Internet and embedded the data directly into a module as functions. The API call only happens a single time when the module is compiled. At runtime, we have the GitHub data cached directly within function definitions. While just a fun example, it really shows how Elixir lends itself to extension.The next few chapters round out the book, with chapter 4 focusing on how to test macros, followed by an extended example of writing a DSL to generate HTML code directly from Elixir syntax instead of parsing a template language, and finishing with a short chapter on some final tips, tricks, and warnings on metaprogramming in Elixir.
Metaprogramming Elixir was at the same time complete and accessible. It was short and sweet, and an excellent companion to Programming Elixir ≥ 1.6. It filled in the only real gap in the latter book, and helps give a real appreciation for one of Elixir's best features. Along with pattern matching, immutable functions, and rock-solid concurrent programming, metaprogramming makes Elixir a fascination language for a whole host of modern day back-end programming. These two books will help you get up to speed with this powerful language, and let you have some fun with that new-found power.
Mar 19, 2020
|You know you're in some shit if someone points.|
This one is going to be a short one since we're going to be primarily focused on the use of HQs. One thing's for damn sure: I feel that we have some fantastic melee HQ options for the price.
Here are some my favorites so far:
- Archon, Labyrinthine Cunning, Writ of the Living Muse = 72 base
- Archon, Hatred Eternal, Djin Blade = 76 base
- Archon, Famed Savagery, Djin Blade = 76 base
- Succubus, Blood Dancer, Adrenalight, Triptych Whip = 54 base
- Succubus, Hyper-swift Reflexes, Adrenalight, Blood Glaive = 54 base
- Succubus, Precision Blows, Adrenalight, Triptych Whip = 54 base
- Haeomculus, Diabolical Soothsayer, Vexator Mask = 75 base
Let's start with the Archons. You've all probably seen me take the Archon with Cunning and Writ of the Living Muse in my lists. That's because it's one of the most powerful Warlords in the game for the points IMO. Cunning is absolutely fantastic at regenerating CPs whenever a CP is spent for both you and your opponents. For DE, I find that some of our Strategems are a little costly, especially that Agents of Vect counterspell that costs 3 just by itself. With Cunning, you can do some really crazy recycling that can help you sustain the longer gameplan:
- You don't want a 2-cost Strategem to go off so you throw out Agents of Vect.
- Before you even put AoV down, you roll 2 dice for his Strategem for Cunning.
- Next, you AoV and since you just spent 3 CP, you roll 3 more dice to see if you get any back from Cunning.
- Agents of Vect then takes effect, hopefuly blocking his Strategem.
- In this example right here, you're probably going to get back a CP from just playing the game regularly.
When you play Black Heart, you almost have to bring Writ of the Living Muse. It's one of the best buff batteries in the entire game and enhances the damage potential of every single Black Heart unit within 6". Everything within this distance gets re-roll 1s to Hit and Wound that that is a huge damage amplifier, especially on things like Dark Lances and Disintegrators when you absolutely need to hit with your more expensive damaging weapons. Living Muse simply gives you consistent damage and that's exactly what you need to turn your very good shooting up a notch to exceptional.
As for melee Archons, I see two main options here: Both of which have the Djin Blade of course which is just an upscaled Huskblade. Hatred Eternal gives you more consistent results via re-roll all wounds in melee but the Famed Savagery Archon from Flayed Skull gives you great burst damage. With Famed Savagery, you have 8 S5 AP-3 D3 attacks that hits on 2s with re-roll 1s. Personally, if I was to pick one of the two, I would go for more consistent damage with the Hatred Eternal Warlord trait. There are bonus points in the fact that Hatred Eternal is a generic WL trait and thus doesn't lock you to any particular Obssession. As for arming the Archons further, always seek out the Blaster first since you have a fantastic BS2+ and Blasters are amazing with their S8 AP-4 D6 damage from 18" (24" for Obsidian Rose).
|I whip my hair back and forth.|
The Succubus went from one of the most overcosted units in the entire game to arguably the most cost-efficient melee blender in the game. I'll start off by listing the Blood Dancer variant that comes with 9 attacks hitting on 2s, re-rolling 1s, and each Hit roll of a 6 turns into 3 Hits instead of 1. On the regular, she can throw out something like 14 attacks with an Agonizer (Poison 4+ AP-2 1D) and that's just obscene. Against single wound models, she is almost guaranteed to wipe out entire squads by herself. She just reminds me of the Blenderlord that I ran for Vampire Counts back in the days of Fantasy. To make things even more exciting, once you hit Turn 3+, you can activate these multiple hits on a 5+ instead of 6 because of the PFP chart. The only downside here is that she's a Succubus and she just explodes if anyone swings back at her because she only has a 4++/6+++ with T3 and 5 wounds. Regardless, LO_OK at her points cost! For 54 points, she's an absolute steal. I can't help but hear this garbage ass song whenever she enters combat.
Other variants of the Succubus are also really strong; such as the Blood Glaive Succubus with 5 attacks with Adrenalight dealing S6 AP-3 D3 damage attacks. I've seen this particular variant built two ways really; with either the Red Grief specific WL trait of 3++ or with Stimm Addict with Grave Lotus and Adrenalight. This gives her 5 attacks at S7 which is now a serious threat to virtually all targets including light vehicles. Again, 54 points of awesome.
Another variant I want to introduce you to someone who might be our best duelist. She has 9 attacks with the Whip just like the Blender because she's from Cult of Strife (for +1 attack), however instead of Blood Dancer, she has the Precision Blows WL trait. When you're hitting with 8-9 attacks every turn, you're going to be looking for 6s that can just do straight mortal wounds in addition to the regular wounds inflicted with an Agonizer. That's very good. For all these Succubus, I highly recommend taking a Blast Pistol on the Blood Glaive Succy to take advantage of her superior BS2+. Funny enough, the Precision Blows Succubus can still do mortal wounds to Vehicles and Titans.
|Never trust someone with 5-6, 7? arms.|
Lastly, we have the Haemonculus that you will probably see most frequently if you're planning to take Coven units and Alliance of Agony for 1 CP. This is because Diabolical Soothsayer essentially pays for itself immediately and you can get 2 more CP if you roll well (D3 in total). Sure, you also get that once a game re-roll for your Warlord, but no one really cares about that because you also gain access to the Vexator Mask. This thing is actually pretty hilarious. You can basically take this Haemonculus and just charge into something to tie it up because they cannot use Overwatch on you. You can then charge your Wyches into them for free without any fear of OW fire. To make things even more enjoyable, the mask also gives an enemy unit with 6" of the Haemonculus ASL essentially, making them strike last after all other units have gone int the Fight phase. That's just funny considering the amount of melee boss HQs we have in the Codex.
What are some of your favorite HQs to bring? I know I've been extra boring with the Black Heart Archon, but hey, it's been working so why not!
One concept I've always been interested in is a game which merges, as much as possible, the ease of play of a video game and the creative power of a tabletop RPG. Not just a virtual tabletop, but something that actually played like a video game, but allowed someone to create and run their own adventures. There have been some attempts throughout the years - Neverwinter Nights, for instance, was a good shot at it, and Sword Coast Legends was a recent...not-quite-as-good shot at it. But nothing's quite gotten there for me - either there was too high of a barrier to entry for the GM for my tastes, or things were easier for the GM but fairly limited in power.
Obviously, that's quite a balancing act. But, fortunately, it hasn't stopped game companies from trying...and that brings me to today's subject, Divinity: Original Sin 2.
The first Divinity: Original Sin is quite a nice game, full of tabletop flavor and with an impressive amount of freedom for a video game - there are constraints, as one would expect since nobody can program for everything, but it definitely feels like you have more approaches to situations than in many other video game RPGs. I've found this particularly interesting in combat, where there seem to be all sorts of interesting tactical options that I can try to take advantage of and usually end up accidentally shocking and stunning my own guy, because I suck at tactical gameplay. The system's pretty brilliant, I'm less so.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is building on that and adding new tactical options, and expanding the rest of the game besides...but it's also doing one more thing that has me very excited. It's adding a GM mode.
Like the mode in Sword Coast Legends, it appears this one is focused more on the concept of live GMing, rather than building a plot that can be played without a GM like Neverwinter Nights allowed. Not sure if that will be an option too or not. Regardless, the live GMing mode looks very promising in the previews I've seen so far. A few highlights:
- It will be both providing a lot of prebuilt areas and allowing them to be built via some kind of modding package. This was a major early weakness of Sword Coast Legends, which only provided some prebuilts at first (I believe they did eventually add a toolset) - those only work for so long, so it's tough to build a full adventure. The combination of prebuilts and more extensive construction tools should allow a good mix of having what you need to grab at a moment's notice and being able to build something more detailed when needed.
- It looks like it will, like Sword Coast Legends, allow some on-the-fly setup. Not sure on the extent yet, but this is one of the things that game got very right, so I'm pleased to see other companies exploring that idea. If you're used to GMing, you know for a fact that nothing ever goes exactly how you'd plotted it out. Having the ability to add characters, quests, areas, and the like during a session is pretty essential.
- There's a GM override function, so if players want to do some tactic the game doesn't natively allow for, you can improvise and apply effects as you wish. That's just plain cool. One of the weaknesses of video games compared to tabletop gaming has always been that there's constraint over the options players have, to it's great to see that they've planned for ways around that.
- The system itself is turn-based, which...I just always find works better for the tabletop atmosphere. A little more time to think, and more allowance for players to come up with unique tactics that way, too.
- There's a "vignettes" feature that sounds excellent - a way of using images and text (they've compared it to PowerPoint) to convey parts of the story, and allow players to make choices. These sound like a great idea. Sometimes you really don't need to have a full, populated area for part of the story, but you still want to have a little more "pop" to it...this system should allow GMs to present stories in more freeform ways when needed. It looks very pen-and-paper, too.
- This hasn't been confirmed to my knowledge, but Divinity: Original Sin had co-op for two players on a single console - I know the sequel is planning on expanding co-op in general to up to four, but haven't heard if they are going to have two or four players on the same console, or if that can interact with GM mode in any way. It'd be great if we could have the ability to run an adventure for a full party of players on only two computers, one for the GM and the other for the players, but that's probably wishful thinking. Still, it's a good dream.
I'm less enthused by the character creation engine...specifically, for appearance. There's just not that many options at this point for those of us who really get into appearance creation, and I honestly don't know why games based on tabletop roleplaying don't ever go whole hog with character appearance creation the way things like Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires or Dragon's Dogma do, to say nothing of various WWE 2k wrestling games or the like. If any game type should let you truly put the character in your mind on to the screen, it's one with a strong tabletop gaming concept like this, but it never really happens. Here's hoping that they take another look at this at some point, but it seems pretty locked in now. Ah, well. If this GM mode works out, I'll be happy with that...and encourage them to take another look at appearance creation for Divinity: Original Sin 3.