Realm of the Mad God Unavailable

Realm of the Mad God (RotMG in shorthand) has been getting a bit more play lately, having been featured as a Steam download recently. So much so that it appears to be out of commission with a google error!

Trying to sign in currently yields a “Datastore writes are temporarily unavailable” error with a reference to the nonexistant webpage for more information. From the notice it looks like it might be some Google database the developers were using that’s gone offline.

So it’s as good a time as any to give a quick look at the game for anyone who hasn’t given it a go yet!

Remember Gauntlet? Running your pixelated character around a series of dungeons, picking up items, and killing endless hordes of monsters? If you can imagine that 8-bit romp in an outdoor setting and massively multiplayer you’ve got the jist.

RotMG is little more clever than that even. Partying isn’t the usual find people, ask them to join you, split after an endeavor, repeat. Instead it’s handled by walking near other people and getting grouped with them automatically by the game.

The games developers have recently added in guilds and a way to force groups in a more traditional way. But for quick games players can still wander around and get grouped up as they go after the same critter with player dropped bonuses going to anyone in the general vicinity.

I’d put up a few pictures for you all to get an idea, but that’ll have to wait until they’ve ironed out whatever issue is going on.

Edit: RotMG is back up, here’s a couple of pictures.

Puzzle Agent 2 is Out!

Nelson Tethers is back for another installment of puzzle solving and chasing small red gnome’s around Minnesota. Just picked up a copy of the game, and half-way in it’s still interesting. While you’re not going to get any Mensa puzzles in there or Hollywood cut-scenes, it’s cute, fun, and probably a great game to play with kids (or remind you of games you played when you were a kid).

The series features pencil-on-paper animation and offers up some decent voice over work. No emotionless anime-dub voices here.

I quite enjoyed the first Puzzle Agent, and I’ll post up a full write-up once we’ve finished the game.

Puzzle Agent 2 Website

Agent Tethers from Puzzle Agent 2
Agent Tethers Scared by .. Something

Blizzard Goes and Pulls the Rug out from my Testing

So I’m doing a lot of subjective testing with WoW and a few different setups, trying to get a feel for how it performs before moving onto another game or two. All just play through stuff, far too much of the game to actually be fun, really.

And what does Blizzard do halfway through my framerate runs to figure out what influences the gameplay? Change the general settings.

So. Now I’ve gotta go pull a few rigs out and go through all the World of Warcraft game testing again.

Although one thing seems to have had a fairly big affect. Turning off the tickless kernel option and switching to the CFQ scheduler from deadline seems to have cleaned up some I/O inconsistency issues. Now it gets a bit catchy in odd spots (like when you’re taking off on a flight path) but the overall performance is fairly consistent and doesn’t hang up on any particular points when fighting or actually playing.

So far it’s been a pretty good experience with the current release of WINE.