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Update: Fallout, Ultimate DOOM, and dividing by a monomial

On 06/05/2014 at 07:54 PM by Michael117

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 photo corgi1_zpsdde556a1.jpg

Look, it's a corgi pup! Lead my procession, young pup!

I'm a generous ruler, it's only been two weeks since the last update and you're getting another hot pup. You may receive yet another during the month of June since it's a pretty busy time with things to discuss, like E3 for instance. I usually like to stay off the grid for longer than this, and therefore be in higher demand, but desperate times call for hot pups. Don't bother thinking about that, it makes sense. A monarch knows.

Now that all of the ceremonial pup-&-circumstance is finished, it's time to begin the statecraft. That's your favorite part, right? Well, it's not my favorite part. We all know the pups are the only good part of this. I have half a mind to shorten all of you by a head, but the pups soothe my soul enough to prevent me from embracing tyranny. I'm glad nobody can hear me whisper, otherwise this might be a scandal.

A book I bought

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman - I bought it because the story revolves around a couple who run a lighthouse. I love lighthouses so that's all I needed. Also, it's suppose to be depressing, evocative, and make me cry. The majority of the books I've been reading the past couple years have been similar, I probably like this kind of stimuli.

Games I've finished

Quantum Conundrum - Disappointing ending, but really fun puzzles and a cool little game for anybody like me who loved Portal and wanted to see what Kim Swift did after she left Valve. It's basically Portal again, and it's pretty good. It feels built to engage people who have played Portal and were fairly sharp at it, but the feeling of Quantum Conundrum is faster and perhaps more difficult.

You have to learn how to use springboards to shoot boxes and pieces of furniture around the level, and then learn to ride on top of them in order to get yourself across as well. It's fun and satisfying but if you've played a bunch of Portal you'll immediately feel how QC is more of a "fly by the seat of your pants" type of feeling, as opposed to the more slow and smooth solutions in a Portal game. If you're like me you'll experiment a bit and eventually reach the end of an area in a furious sequence of events that leave you saying, "What did I just do? Did they want me to do that? Oh well, I'm at the end of the level so something must have gone right!" The rules are consistent and the physics-manipulation mechanics are easy to understand, and the logic in the solutions are simple, but the solutions require the player to be fast and loose within that simplicity.

In a way they're the kind of puzzles that probably would have been playtested and then removed from a big budget Portal game, which isn't a knock on them or an endorsement of them, just a feeling. If you'd like a more frisky Portal game Quantum Conundrum has your back, it's pretty good like that.

Games I'm playing right now

Ultimate DOOM - I'm playing this on Xbox 360... via the backwards compatibility and emulation of the original collector's edition copy of DOOM 3 for the original Xbox ...which contains console ports of Ultimate DOOM and DOOM 2. There's so many ports of DOOM that rabbit holes like this are hardly even the weirdest way to play it.

This port has all 4 episodes of DOOM and right now I'm in the middle of The Shores of Hell. It's super good. All this week I've been coming home from school to play it, and I like to put on headphones and listen to Death while I do. It's been a pretty metal week as a result.

Fallout New Vegas - I'm playing this for the first time finally. I grabbed the Ultimate edition for 360 with all the DLC and I'm 40 hours in so far. I'm obsessed with Fallout 3, and I think New Vegas might just be better in almost every way so far. Overall there's a lot of small tweaks that make it more satisfying on all fronts both mechanically and systemically. I also love the setting more because it's basically taking a lot of things I loved about Red Dead Redemption and mashing it together with Fallout 3. Fallout games are really good, like super good, and New Vegas is no exception. Great subject matter, music, artwork, systems, and role-playing. Really weird, dark, funny, gross, sexy, and scary. It's Fallout.

School and soup

I'm taking an intermediate algebra class right now during the summer term so I can refresh my basic skills before I do the standard college algebra in the fall. It feels good to be back in school again and working towards a thing. I planned on only taking a small break from school to rethink what I wanted to pursue, but that ended up turning into a 3 year hiatus away from college. It was the worst and I ended up working myself into an awful rut and hated every beautiful day. Now I can turn the page on that and start getting learned again. I was always happiest when I was in school, and that spark shot right back into me on the first day of class. On the first day I could hardly get myself to bed and ended up only grabbing 3 hours of rest before I needed to get ready for school.

Summer term is accelerated so we do twice the work, but it's been going fine so far and I still have an "A". The class is nice. Our instructor was an Army vet of 20 years doing over the horizon radar. I sit next to a nice guy named Tim. I've managed not to make any Home Improvement jokes so far. Today we did a quick refresher on how to divide a polynomial by a monomial, or something like that. I tend to know what to do with algebra when I see it, but I've always had a hard time remembering the vocabulary.

I signed up for a few classes in the fall, all of which I'm really excited for. Intro to Programming, College Algebra, and Astronomy. I really wanted to fit Archery into the schedule but the instructor isn't doing that one in the fall. I think I might be able to do it in the spring, next year.

I've been making a lot of vegetable soups lately and trying to learn my way around fresh produce. Some of the potions have been really great and others have been pretty bad. I ruined one of them by overcooking lentils and split green peas, so the whole soup ended up real mushy. I'm going to isolate the part where things went awry, the lentils and peas, and learn to cook those on their own properly now instead of just winging it and tossing them in. I made a soup yesterday with vegetable stock, kale, red chard, red cabbage, leeks, a head of broccoli, some celery, lemon slices, and a zucchini. It turned out pretty nice but the lemon is a little strong so that probably wasn't a great idea.

What to look forward to in my next update

More pups. Duh!




06/05/2014 at 08:55 PM

Yay pups! I like them almost as much as pandas and they make better house pets.

I have Portal, Portal 2 and Quantum Conundrum and haven't played any of them. I should probably fix that.


06/05/2014 at 09:30 PM

You should definitely fix that, and probably play them in that order. Portal is fantastic and short, Portal 2 is fantastic and long. Portal 2 is the best sequel you could possibly make to an already great game. It's a knockout package on all fronts, amazing single player, and equally amazing and unique (and seperate) co-op campaign with different characters.


06/05/2014 at 09:23 PM

I think I got Quantom Conundrum when they gave it out as a free PSN+ game. Might have to check it out since I've finished both POrtal one and Portal 2. And dammit if that pup isn't the cutest.


06/05/2014 at 09:34 PM

Smile Isn't that pup just the best? You should certainly check out QC, it's a pretty solid riff on the things you probably enjoyed from the Portal games. It's just a little faster and looser than you're accustomed to doing things in Portal, I'd say.

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

06/05/2014 at 10:42 PM

Glad school is going well for you so far, Mike! I took archery twice in college (we had to take 4 P.E. classes). It was a lot of fun and pretty difficult. The way we were graded was pretty tough, but you could take P.E. classes pass/fail, so everyone did in that class. I ended up earning a B my second time through, but even then I couldn't imagine doing well enough to earn an A. 


06/05/2014 at 11:18 PM

Thanks! I had the option to take archery this summer, the instructor had to cancel his autumn class but is still doing the summer one and the spring one I believe, but I decided to just wait till spring. Archery sounds difficult and if the summer class is accelerated in any way like all our other summer classes are, it would probably be bonkers.


06/05/2014 at 10:51 PM

Someone else who likes Death! "Micheal rooooooooooocks!" ~ My metal voice


06/05/2014 at 11:39 PM


06/06/2014 at 01:11 AM

Yea, I'm lovin' that track posted above. I have to check them out.


06/06/2014 at 10:14 AM

What an awesome Death song.

Everyone tells me Fallout: New Vegas is better, though I will of course play Fallout 3 before going to conclusions. As far as I know, 3 does the atmosphere better while Vegas does the gameplay better.


06/06/2014 at 01:27 PM

People fall on all sides of the fence. Mike Wall who used to write a bunch for Pixlbit, do video content, and podcasts always said that Fallout 3 was the better game overall. They're both amazing so if you play both you're the real winner. The atmosphere in both games is fantastic. I like the old music, color scheme, and layout of Fallout 3. That game comes across as quite a bit darker, it captures the feel of a dark destroyed city with no lights, little intact infrastructure left, and mutants crawling everywhere. Fallout 3 takes place in a city so it's more dense and claustrophobic in many places, it's a city-game. New Vegas is the opposite and focuses on open ranges. New Vegas is different and captures a different side of the apocalypse. In New Vegas the color scheme reflects the red desert and captures the wild west vibe I love. New Vegas is definitely weirder and more quirky, Fallout 3 was a little more straightforward and didn't have as much of the humor.


06/06/2014 at 12:26 PM

congratulations on re-entering college, Your Grace.

Also, I love the Fallout games.  I should replay Fallout 3.  

I got Quantum Conundrum in a bundle with Tomb Raider via PSN awhile back.  I've yet to check'er out....though now that I know it's pretty much Portal, I'm gonna.


06/06/2014 at 01:33 PM

Thank you! You're now the general of my armies, go forth and kill Jedis with all haste. We can't be rid of them soon enough! Just don't let the pups know, they like Jedi, but they'll come around.

I've had the vanilla version of Fallout 3 since it came out and I've played it multiple times, but I've never done any of the dlc still. I think I'm going to buy the GOTY edition of Fallout 3 so I can finally get around to all of that stuff. And maybe play through the whole game again if I really get sucked into that rabbit hole once more.

Blake Turner Staff Writer

06/06/2014 at 01:55 PM

Fuck yeah! DEATH IS AWESOME! Man, I haven't listened to symbolic in a while.

 Also, get brutal doom for pc. It makes doom 10x better, which is amazing.


06/06/2014 at 02:13 PM

Hell yea, symbolic is really good. I've seen a little bit from the brutal doom mod and it looks like it's amazing, I still haven't played it so I really need to.

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