Category Archives: Uncategorised

4 of The Best 2017: Opus Magnum

I haven’t finished Opus Magnum. When I play most games I finish them quickly if I like them; with Opus Magnum I love it too much to move on. Opus Magnum is a puzzle game. You build machines that combine, transport and transmute elements to solve problems. In most puzzle games, I finish a puzzle and move on to the next, so I can see the challenge and start thinking. Opus Magnum’s changed that. Every machine that does its job can be made more efficient. It can work more quickly using less space and fewer parts. It took about ten minutes to solve the game’s first simple puzzle, Stabilized Water, but since I completed it I’ve returned three times with ideas about how it can be modified and made more elegant. Opus Magnum’s made me play differently, and that’s remarkable.

Continue reading

Sorry About The Emptiness + Spam

Hey. I’ve been out of the country recently, and while I was gone there was a) no posts and b) thousands and thousands of spam comments. Sorry about that! I didn’t write anything to be queued up for release, as I should have done, and also my spam protection expired and I didn’t notice. It should be fixed now.

See you soon!

Stellaris’ Victory Conditions on RPS

An article I wrote appeared on the website Rock, Paper, Shotgun about Stellaris. It discusses the very bad victory conditions in the game, and you should read it here. I’m proud of it, and it’s been considerably improved in the editing. I have a few more thoughts about what might replace victory conditions as they exist, which I left out of the article since it detracted from the central point. Over the next little while, I’ll likely edit them into a more complete post and add them here, so look forward to that.

Lovecraftian: In the Mouth of Madness

I love Lovecraft. His prose, concepts, plots and horror creep me out more than any other writer’s. ‘The Whisperer in the Dark,’ ‘The Call of Cthulhu,’ ‘The Festival’ and ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth’ are all among my favourite short stories. Lovecraft’s writing is mystifying and alien, he excels at describing the weird and the set-ups to his plots are always exciting, even when the conclusion is anticlimactic. In spite of my fondness for Lovecraft, though, I’ve never watched films his work has inspired. This series will look at direct and indirect adaptions of Lovecraft, one by one, reviewing them on their own terms and comparing them to Lovecraft’s stories. Today: In the Mouth of Madness.

Continue reading

Roundup of University Times Pieces

I’m a postgraduate history student. Due to an overload of work on that front, I’ve been inactive here lately. I have written a few things in the past months for my university paper, though, and I’ve rounded them up here with a short description.

Students are Organised and Angry in the UK. What Can we Learn? – An opinion piece looking across from Ireland toward the UK to see how their student movement has gained momentum in recent months in opposing further cuts and fee increases  and arguing the focus of that movement (direct action, large demonstrations, strikes) should be emulated by the Irish movement.

Film Review: Kill Your Friends – A review of a recent comedy-drama about the record industry which has similar themes and formal elements to American Psycho, even if it doesn’t quite live up to that film in practice.

Film Review: The Good Dinosaur – A review of the newest Pixar film, which provided a surprising reversal of the usual Disney dynamic of a human child and their animal pet. It also features a few exceptionally funny scenes with guest appearances.

Spare Hour: The Douglas Hyde Gallery – My entry into a series of articles about how a student/visitor to Trinity College, Dublin could spend a spare hour on campus, this time dealing with the contemporary art gallery on campus. The exhibitions I discuss in the article have since changed.