Archive for the ‘computer games’ Category

“How About a Game of Thermonuclear War?” – DEFCON Steam Special

December 28, 2011

Steam Games has a mammoth two-week Christmas holiday sale with daily specials up to 75% off, and other sales ending January 1st 2012. Yes, you’ve missed the one day sales for 50% off strategy game of the year Shogun 2, and 33% off RPG game of the year Skyrim, but there is also a summer sale too.

The classic DEFCON is normally U$9.99, but is U$2.49 until January 1st [1pm EST Jan 2nd]. A Steam account is free, there are no monthly charges, and you can buy extra copies of DEFCON at the 75% off price and store them in your account inventory until you recruit other players or give them as birthday gifts later in the year.

DEFCON screenshot from Introversion Software

Remember the 1983 movie “WarGames,” in which a young hacker breaks into the central NORAD computer and is asked “How about a game of thermonuclear war?” DEFCON: Everyone Dies reproduces the look of the movie’s NORAD control room; NORAD’s comment was “their central command room looked better than ours.”

This is a fun and quick strategy game against the computer or up to 6 players allowed online, net or LAN, Mac and PC, and very accessible to non-hardcore gamers. Players of the Risk and Diplomacy board games would likely enjoy all the opportunities to betray your ephemeral alliances with other players. You can choose game variations and make many changes to the game conditions to enhance replay value.

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classic game Portal free through Sept 20th

September 17, 2011

Here’s a free Portal game offer from game publisher Valve for physics teachers – and everyone else, too!  Portal was published in October 2007, and went on to become one of the most popular and innovative computer games in history.  Its sequel, Portal 2, came out in April 2011.

Gamespot, a respected game review magazine, says “Valve is giving away original puzzler through Tuesday, hopes educators will use it to help teach physics, critical thinking to students.”   Portal free offer info at Gamespot

And Valve may possibly gain a few thousand or hundreds of thousands of new accounts to add to Steam’s more than four million existing users.  🙂

You awaken in a room at Aperture Science Lab as the game starts, and are equipped with the “Portal device” which can grab objects, and creates portals on most surfaces – an oval blue portal exit, and an orange portal entrance.  Using gravity and your wits, you are given a series of puzzles to solve; once you’ve solved all 18, which are a tutorial course in using the portal device, the game shifts into a more challenging time-pressured set of levels.

In gamer nomenclature, it’s a “first-person shooter” game.  But the distinctive difference is that you aren’t using a traditional gun.  The Portal device is a grappler, teleporter, and eventually can be used as a deflecting shield.  Read the Wikipedia article about Portal for a detailed summary of the way gravity, mass, and redirected momentum can be used by Chell, the player-character, to survive. Happily and refreshingly, Chell’s physical appearance is not the stereotypical video game’s big-chested woman, and she is expected to solve her own dilemma. (more…)

Aldo Spadoni interview – Larry Niven console video game in development!

May 3, 2008

Aldo Spadoni Discusses LARRY NIVEN’S FREE FALL
at the monthly Larry Niven chat. Lead interviewer was David Sooby.

Aldo Spadoni – Stars in His Eyes (photoart credit – Aldo Spadoni)

An interview with Aldo Spadoni, futurist aerospace engineer, astronomical painter, and – Niven video game codesigner!

Question: For the really uninitiated, what IS the Free Fall project?
A [Aldo Spadoni]: Free Fall is planned to be Larry [Niven]’s first major
entry into the modern world of videogames

Q: Just what are you doing for the Free Fall project?
A: I’m essentially the chief engineer. I’m designing the spacecraft and
much of the technology. Even dolphin spacesuits!

Q: When Larry mentioned it, he wasn’t sure this project would be carried thru to completion. Do you think it will be?
A: The key to selling this project is Alchemic Productions, operated by
Brian Gomez and Rick Ernst. They are working hard to sell the project
using their considerable experience and connections.

Q: So, Alchemic is the designer and they’re looking for a publisher?
A: Larry, myself, Brian, Rick are designing the game together, but Rick
& Brian have the real game industry expertise. (more…)


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