enjoying salad since 1978.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Company of Heroes

The RTS Company of Heroes has an unusual economic model where, instead of spending time building resource collectors and upgrading them, you focus on capturing territory and fortifying them against the enemy overrunning them.

Because of this focus on territory-as-resource-generator, the action builds quickly into a frenetic back-and-forth with front lines constantly shifting. If you can manage to make a foothold in a territory, you can occupy random buildings and turn them into forward operating bases that can heal your wounded troops and build reinforcements. If your enemy can't get you to abandon those occupied buildings through superior force, he can roll in some tanks or bazookas and turn them into rubble. Buildings are finite so that's usually a last resort.

Each side is naturally different from the other (unlike games such as SupCom) and you can further specialize based on how you perceive your opponent will play the map or how you prefer to attack. Since often you won't know how this plays out until you all reach the top of your tech trees, you will have to learn how to use those differences to your advantage.

There's a lot to say about this game but I would suggest you just give it a spin and see if it's for you. If you want to play, send me an email. I like to play either against people or with people against CPUs.

Supreme Commander

Nelson writes: "What sets SupCom apart from other RTS games is the economic model."

Sadly, it's the exact economic model of it's predecessor, Total Annihilation. I always liked the throughput model of TA but it's been 10 years and I would have liked to see something new. What I like most about SupCom are the experimental units; they're the only thing that separate the three identical sides and is the main difference from TA. It seems most game designers don't understand more than a shallow sense of balance and SupCom is another example of that. I guess they are hoping the modders will do their job for them.

Here's my snarky take on it: It's a really nice platform but it's too bad they only released a demo game with it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

You and Your Research

Richard Hamming's talk 'You and Your Research' is something I've been re-reading every year or so for the past few years. He talks about a variety of topics including: choosing to do first-class research, how to manage your bosses, and how to keep being successful once you have done something important. The overarching topics are discipline and hard work.

I look forward to reading it again next year. I always pull something new out of it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

would rather have better socks.

I bought some new socks today. They came in a resealable bag. Why?

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I've been curious about tumblelogs for a while now; they scratch an itch I have: super quick input of links with commentary. del.icio.us isn't quite for me as it's too focused on network effects and you can't change the look-and-feel. So I'm giving tumblr.com a try over here. If I like it, I'll write a cronjob that posts my tumbles nightly to this blog as a single post.

Let me know what you think.