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Topics - alivingspirit [ switch to compact view ]

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Mini-Reviews by Members / My experience with board games.
« on: April 06, 2012, 02:17 PM »

I got my first taste at Euro flavoured board games after getting some for free from Mouser during last years freebie give-away and I promised him then that I would give my short reviews on those board games. Now, a year later, due to the enjoyment I had playing those games, I feel compelled to give mini reviews not only on the ones that I got from DC, but on the assortment of other board games I have accumulated since then. I won't describe every game, just the ones that I feel there is something to say. I don't want to describe the rules of the games, since there are thousands of reviews you can find for that information. I am just going to give my impression of the games after playing them.

I rate as follows:
Creativity: the level of unique elements in the games
Strategy: inverse to the amount of luck ( I ask, how likely is it to win based on what is drawn )
Interactivity: The amount of time I spend talking vs. taking actions
Play value: The amount of games you will get out of this game.

Cutthroat Caverns
Probably the most interesting game I got from the DC give-away and the third best game I own, Cutthroat Caverns is a fast paced, light, and non-competitive card game. Buying the expansions is essential, especially the second and third expansions, since the initial game lacks a lot of essential elements that makes cuthroat fun to play. I would like to stress that the game is non-competitive. It is not fun playing cutthroat with people who are trying too hard to win. This game is in a very small category of games where you are both competing and cooperating at the same time, so people who are trying to win exclusively tend to screw over all the other players and make the game not fun for them. The game has lots of initial play value when no one has seen any of the encounters. Later, you can pick the encounters you want to play with to keep it interesting.

Creativity: 9
Strategy: 3
Interactivity: 9
Play value: About 20 games

Memoir 44:
This game has lots of strategy but is fundamentally flawed. A lot of it has to do with the ways you move your units. If you are a WWII history buff, you might enjoy trying to recreate some of the battles, but the mechanics of the game makes the whole experience very unrealistic. Why can't I combine these units together to make a stronger unit, or break them into two smaller ones to outflank my opponent? It is only 2 player so don't even think about buying this for a party.

Creativity: 5
Strategy: 9
Interactivity: Slightly more interactive than chess.
Play value: Don't bother.

Battlestar Galactica - The Board Game:
This game is the best game I own. Knowledge of the show is not required and can even be hindrance to some players who want the game to follow the same plot trajectory as the show. The game is only ideal for enthusiastic and involved players, since it is rules heavy and requires attentiveness to be played properly. A single player who has not been properly initiated before the game starts can ruin the game for everyone. The game's main draw is its traitor mechanic. It is very fun to be a Cylon secretly sabotaging the other players and it is very fun to be human trying to figure out who you can trust. Every game is different, and every one of those games there is a story to tell about it afterwards. BSG is best played with 4 or 5 players.

Creativity: 7
Strategy: 10
Interactivity: 10
Play Value: I have probably played about 40 games so far and counting.

This game I bought fairly recently, so I cannot account for it's play value. It is a game of very complex strategy and depth but the core of the game is simple. Most people will need a game to learn how to play. It is the second best game I own right now, and the most frequent that ends up on the table.

Creativity: 9
Strategy: 10
Interactivity: 3
Play Value: Unknown, Played about 6 games.

The Resistance
It only takes about 15 minutes to play a game of Resistance so that factor alone might make it a worthy purchase. The reason why my group does not play it is because every time we have played, the spys have won. Maybe there are some alternate rules which make this game balanced; I have not found any.
Creativity: 1
Strategy: 5
Interactivity: 10
Play Value: about 5 right now, subject to change.

I hate this game. It may have a lot of strategy to it, but for what purpose? Putting down building cards is boring. If there were more interesting building cards that more substantially altered the rules of the game, it would be a lot more fun. As it is now, the only fun part about this game is trying to steal other peoples gold. And you don't get to do that often enough.

Creativity: 4
Strategy: 8
Interactivity: 5
Play Value (-17) games my friends forced me to play.

Carcassone - Big Box + River 2 expansion
As the title says, this game comes in a really big box. There are lots of different ways to play to suit your tastes. It can also be played competitively with two people but not more than two. I claim there is a lot more strategy to this game than others give credit, otherwise I cannot explain why I am so bad at it. There is a lot of randomness, and it plays in a style a lot of people would describe as "dominoes with a twist." I think it is light fun, and a great default game to fall back on when you don't want to play anything else. It is a game that is agreeable to everybody, but no one is going to love it.

Creativity: 7
Strategy: 5
Interactivity: 2
Play Value: 40 games

I stumbled upon a glitch on the site. I cannot seem to upload a new picture to be my avatar. I can browse to a new picture but when I hit save profile it doesn't swap for the new one. I can switch to a predefined avatar but when I switch back to upload I get the same old avatar again. What am I doing wrong?

Developer's Corner / C# Books (Recomendations)
« on: April 29, 2010, 02:28 PM »
Hi Everybody. I was just wondering if anybody read any good books on C# lately. I am taking a C# course next semester and I'm looking for a book that's comprehensive but I'm also interested in application-specific books if they are really good.

Developer's Corner / Mask/Forge Hard-Drive Properties?
« on: September 01, 2009, 08:22 PM »
A friend just recently asked me if there was a way he could forge the properties of his hard-drive so that it would look like it had nothing on it. I told him it wasn't possible but now I'm thinking I could be wrong.

Living Room / The Retro Avatar Fad
« on: June 07, 2009, 05:01 PM »
User name Happymonster over at Retro Remakes made the most brilliant avatar making app I have ever seen. The results are sometimes so funny, they had me bolting over in laughter.  
Link: http://retroremakes....php/topic,657.0.html
Direct Download: http://www.retroidea.../

DC Website Help and Extras / Unmark topics?
« on: May 05, 2009, 12:57 PM »
How do you unbookmark / unignore topics?

I'm looking for a simple algorithm that will give me every possible order of an array regardless of size.
For instance: An array of three elements [ 1, 2, 3 ] will give me [ 1, 2, 3 ], [ 1, 3, 2 ], [ 2, 1, 3 ], [ 2, 3, 1 ], [ 3, 1, 2 ] and [ 3, 2, 1 ]. It seems like there should be a pretty simple mathematical solution for this but I can't seem to figure it out or find it anywhere. :(

Developer's Corner / Where do I find py2exe documentation/tutorials?
« on: December 31, 2008, 01:10 PM »
This is something that has already caused me many hours of distress. The main website does not tell you how to do anything beyond the basics. It is surprising that there aren't more tools in this area. I for one, am frustrated.

Developer's Corner / DC loads fast. What is the secret.
« on: November 20, 2008, 08:18 AM »
As a religious reader of DC forums I can't help but notice how fast the pages load compared to other websites. On my computer it sometimes loads faster than the Google homepage so I use it regularly when I want to check my internet connection. What is the secret to this speed? Why don't other websites know about it? Or am I just imagining things?

I have heard allot of conflicting reports about the legal status of open-source software. If you create something that infringes a copyright but distribute it as open source can you be sued and how badly? I know I'm wrong about this but I want some clarification. It seems to me that since you are not making money off of it theres not much the company can sue you for. Where does Donationware fit in to all this?

Developer's Corner / Lets talk about GUIs.
« on: October 20, 2008, 11:22 AM »
Forget languages for a second, lets talk about GUI packages. It was the thing that always excited me the most about software development. There is something very satisfying about making and using a smooth and simple GUI and I have to marvel at the developers ingenuity. I have tried quite a few times to start learning GUI's of different types ( Tkinter, swing, QT, Wx ), but my progress has always been stunted by the lack of learning tools in this area. If you want to learn a language there are countless books to teach you the basics but when learning GUI packages the support always falls short on interesting material. Usually the packages come with a few basic examples and tutorials but its never really enough to get me off the ground. I guess its because for more advanced stuff they expect you to buy a builder, but a poor guy like me who wants and expects to be able to design it manually gets left to dust.
Please tell me about your experiences. Maybe you can share something to help me get out of this annoying mess.

Post New Requests Here / REQUEST: Ignore rapid key press.
« on: September 15, 2008, 07:10 PM »
My laptop has a short that causes allot of keys to be simulated whenever something bumps it or whenever I want to move it somewhere. Every time it has happened it reeks havoc with my computer, shutting it down, closing out programs, loading up programs ext... I was wondering if there was a way to get the computer to recognize when this happened and ignore the input. I'm offering 5 credits to anyone who writes something that works for me. I know thats not much but its what I got.   

Living Room / Where do you get your news from?
« on: September 11, 2008, 07:25 PM »
I am looking for a good daily news source. Any suggestions?

Python / An exhaustive amount of python resources.
« on: September 08, 2008, 09:55 PM »
The only list of python resources you will ever need.

General Software Discussion / Bypass internet filtering?
« on: September 08, 2008, 09:36 PM »
I am not the type to go on naughty things on the internet, so I thought I would not have a problem with my schools filter system. However, the filtering at this school is set to "academic only" meaning anything that is not needed for research, info, ext... is blocked. examples: You Tube, Facebook, Proxies, game sites ext...

The filtering is twofold. Not only are the sites filtered, but every site that you do go on can be checked through log-in.

Is there a way to get around it?

General Software Discussion / Forum 2.0 Suggestion
« on: September 07, 2008, 09:01 PM »
The forum is, in my mind, an almost perfect form of communication.
It has the convenience of an email and it has the potential to reach everyone in the world.
I think it is time for someone  (DC ;)) to pave the way for the next generation of internet communication.
Something that combines the ease of email and the power of bookmarking.
A super-communicator not bound by the old ways.
Feel free to add things to the list.

Features I'm hoping Forum 2.0 will have.
  • All of the amazing features of DC forums: Unread/ Read, Emoticons, Code Highlight, ext...
  • The ability for the user to tag posts and threads.
  • The ability for me to mark a thread as always read.
  • Every post on one page.
  • The ability to cycle through posts as easily as photos on picasa.
  • Posts are collapsable like gmail.
  • Automatic collaps/ summary on posts that you've read.
  • Real time preview!
  • Customizable themes
  • Powerful and easy filtering
  • Chat
  • Embed flash

I am not a web developer, so I have no idea what a project like this entails, maybe we are really far away from this.
What do you think?

General Software Discussion / Easy remote access to my home pc?
« on: September 03, 2008, 02:19 PM »
I am in college in NY and my parents live in Chicago. My Mother has a problem with her computer that I cant explain to her over the phone, so somehow I need gain remote access to my computer. The real problem is my mother is severely computer illiterate so I need to do it with the fewest possible steps on her part. What is the best way to accomplish this?

Living Room / What do you do during your free time?
« on: August 14, 2008, 09:46 PM »
After programming for the past two months, I'm really starting to get into the whole mindset of programming.
However, ( now don't take me too seriously ) I wonder how this is going to effect me.  :D
Am I going to slowly turn into an antisocial slob who remains unmarried, plays lots of MMOs, and has more virtual friends than real friends?

Or is that all really a mistaken stereotype?
If it is, what do coders really do in their free time?
If not, why is this so?   

     One of the features I like the most in new browsers is the open link in new tab in the backround on middle click. I would also like to be able to do that for programs on my desktop.
     It would be even better not to have to deal with title screens and loading dialogs that have no minimize key.
     Similarly, in internet browsers like Firefox, the closed tabs have loading signs that tell you when loading is complete. It would be just perfect to not have to keep opening up the windows to see if their done processing whatever their doing and just see it on the taskbar.
     I don't know how easy any of these things are to implement. I assume the last 2 are quite difficult. Tell me what you think. 

Coding Snacks / My first program.
« on: July 01, 2008, 04:33 PM »
Hi everyone. So basically, I just started learning to program this Sunday in c++ (sorry Tinjaw that Python was not my 1st choice, but it is on my list to learn eventually).  :D So after messing around for a few days I came up with my first program. Its a game where you try and guess the number that the computer comes up with at random. I actually find it a little bit addicting. I'll keep adding to it as my skills progress. Ill post more updates if you guys like it. This might not belong in the coding snacks section and if not I'm sorry. I guess I'm just exited that I finally got around to learning this stuff.
OK, The program is attached. or get it here:
Here is the source code:
#include <iostream>
#include <ctime>
#include <cstdlib>

using namespace std;

int num();
int game ();
int x;
int y;
int a;
int answer;
int tries;
int gp = 0;
int gw = 0;

int main() {

    tries = 6;
    a = 1;
    answer = num();
    cout<<"Games played: "<< gp << "       Games Won: "<< gw <<"\n\n";
    cout<<"Guess a number 1 through 100: ";


int game() {
        do {
        cin>> y;
        if ( y > 100  ||  y < 1 ) {
            cout<<"Sorry that is not a valid entry\n";
            cout<<"Guess another number: "; }

        else if ( y < answer ) {
            cout<<"That number is too LOW. Try again.\n";
            if ( tries != 0 ) {
            cout<<"You have " << tries <<" tries left.\n"; }
            else {
            cout<<"You are out of tries.\n"; } }

        else if ( y > answer ) {
            cout<<"That number is too HIGH. Try again.\n";
            if ( tries != 0 ) {
            cout<<"You have " << tries <<" tries left.\n"; }
            else {
            cout<<"You are out of tries.\n"; } }

        else {
            cout<<"You got it!";

            main(); }

        if (tries == 0) {
            cout<<"\nGame Over! Play again.\n\n\n";
while (1); }

int num() {
   return x = (rand() % 99) + 1 ; }

As you can see it is still a work in progress. There is one major glitch that I don't know how to correct yet and that is if you type in anything other than a number it flips out. I will fix it as soon as I learn how. For now have fun.
I appreciate any comments on how to improve or add to the game. I hope to be able to code more usefull programs in the future.

General Software Discussion / Skip Detector
« on: June 22, 2008, 12:38 PM »
Is there a program that will check a CD for song skips or errors in data files? (This may be the last time I ever burn a CD again.)  :mad:

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