Sunday, August 15, 2010

Version 2.0 demo video

A quick preview of what I've been (and will be) working on:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Major update in the works

Hey there,
As you all know, I'm fond of adding surprises to my releases.  This time however, what I'm working on is too big to happen quickly, so I'm giving you all something to get excited about in advance.
The next release of D2:TGP will be version 2.0!  I have very high aspirations this time around.  Nearly the entire user interface will be changed.  Aside from some minor balance changes, I don't expect to change anything about the combat mechanics themselves, so you can breathe easy.  But, after all this time experimenting and testing, I am ready to create the interface of my dreams.
New features will include:

  • Full incremental zoom in and out of the battlefield (think Supreme Commander)
  • Dynamic unit grouping and linked AI/formation actions
  • Whole screen will be devoted to the map view, with minimalistic and dynamic GUI elements
  • "Adaptive Interface", which is what I am calling it when menus appear contextually and only as needed, predicting the user's needs
  • Full waypoint system for all ground units and improvements to flyer control
  • Staging Areas where units can be sent to fulfill pre-determined orders
  • Optional objectives (will be done eventually but won't stop a release on their own):
    • Game recording/replay
    • New research system/items
    • Improved network library for stability/performance
Some of these items are already completed, but they all depend on each other now so I can't release them separately.  As you can guess though, this is not a small update in any way, so this will take months to complete, rather than the usual few weeks you have to wait between releases.  At any rate, I think it will be worth it.  I'll keep visiting the forums now and then so feel free to speak your mind there.

And hey, feel free to donate a buck or two.
-- Drackbolt

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Favorite PC games of all time

(this post will also be found at my new blog, IntelligentReviewer)
First, you'll notice Dune 2 isn't on this list, so here's some background.

As much as I loved Dune 2 (and I did, believe me), it had a lot of flaws that frustrated me.  After playing it for a few weeks I wrote a letter to Westwood studios, detailing all the improvements I thought could go into the game.  Much to my astonishment, a week later I received a letter in response from Joe Bostic himself!  I think I was 13 at the time so you can imagine how I felt; I actually framed his letter.  He was very kind and said that many of my suggestions were already scheduled to be incorporated into the next game, which would be released in about six months.  I was ecstatic to hear all of this, but then devastated later when I learned the next game would not be Dune 3.  So, in my mind, Dune 2 will always be the "one that got away", that could have been perfect but just never was.  And thus, my need to create D2TGP was born.  I still consider it the best $40 I ever spent, but I'll never play the original game again.

I've always loved games with a great atmosphere and intelligent writing.  The more immersive the better, and if it also has a great interface and gameplay, I'll never forget my experience with it.  The great thing for you is, many of these games can be found freely on the web as abandonware.  I urge you not to underestimate any of these greats.  To this day, I could pick up and play any one of them.

Counting down to number 1 (that being the best)...

10. Starcraft
9. Rainbow Six
8. Shogun: Total War
7. Conquest: Frontier Wars
6. Total Annihilation
5. Viet Cong
4. Dawn of War
3. Ghost Recon
2. Unreal Tournament (with my custom voice packs and skins)
1. Serious Sam: Second Encounter

Single Player:
20. Commandos 2
19. Darwinia
18. Master of Orion
17. Warcraft 3
16. Majesty
15. Tron 2.0
14. Final Liberation
13. Planescape: Torment
12. Mechcommander
11. Axis & Allies (1998 and 2006)
10. The Secret of Monkey Island (1990)
9. Bionic Commando: Rearmed
8. Dark Omen
7. Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate
6. Master of Magic
5. Space Hulk (1993)
4. Outwars
3. Homeworld
2. X-com
1. Fallout 2

Honorable mention:
Postal (1997), for intensely satisfying my anger issues.  The sequel was too malevolent for me to be interested but the first game felt very direct and focused on anger at stupid people, of which I had a lot.