I played the visual novel game Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. I admit I didn’t even look up the details before when I got all three parts dead cheap as a bundle. I’ve a very faint memory of reading the book/s but that’s all. It looked like a decent point-and-click adventure available for and the idea was to play it via Steam Link in the living room with the kids around. Hint: Don’t do that.

The story is an emotional roller-coaster not shy of splattering blood all over the scene. There are dramatic moments where decisions have to be made [in time] but also peaceful chapters and fun moments. Some have to be spotted and can be missed. The story builds up slowly based on character development and decisions made. Or so it feels. All strings come together in the end and some scenes may change in detail but the overall outcome is probably the same. I’d have to read up on this or do another play-through to be sure though.

It’s not a difficult game. There are no riddles (minigames) to be solved. The only minigame included is some sort of timing game (“quick action”) where one has to click at the right moment. That was mostly annoying but mercifully simply reset the scene when it really mattered so one could try again.

Depiction of a town in 12th century England

The character style may be an issue for some. Animations are not very smooth and there seems to be no lip sync. Sometimes the animations don’t fire at all. The audio however is very good and makes up for this. Music and scenery are awesome. A lot of research went into this, unlike most games, and the depiction of 12th century England looks adequate [to me]. Since this is a hobby of mine I’m really thrown off if this does not match up in games [or movies]. I also catched the vibe of architectural love for cathedrals that I can relate to. While it’s timberframed buildings for me I can certainly understand the fascination. I visited Guédelon some years ago after all 😉

So if you like stories for your do yourself a favour and get this game. It’s worth every penny.

As Cities: Skylines comes up to the five year mark, it's on a big sale by Liam DaweLiam Dawe
Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order are celebrating Cities: Skylines, as it's coming up for the five year mark since it took the city-building world by storm. What a storm it was too, not much can really come close to just how fun Cities: Skylines actually is. Frankly, it's become the definitive ...

Cities Skylines is a very special game. I sunk way too many hours into this and still enjoy it on occasion.

There’s a nifty plugin that allows to overlay a png image with transparency so one could hobble together a map with imported heights data from e.g. NASA and overlay it with streets, rivers and train tracks from e.g. Google Maps.

This results in recreation of real cities within the engine bringing the hardware to it’s limits.

There are also hundreds of downloadable assets in the workshop.

Wondrous Creatures Of Valheim EP1 by IrongateIrongate from YouTube
Follow George the Greydwarf as he leaves his family to explore the world of Valheim. Subscribe, Like, Comment and join the Discord for a chance to get BETA A...

Follow George the Greydwarf as he leaves his family to explore the world of Valheim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTHqJ1LWs70

A mockumentary short by the -nutters- developers of at Iron Gate Studio.

The Master of Orion reboot has all the classic flaws of recent 4X games by Hypolite PetovanHypolite Petovan
I bought Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars (2016) in a recent deal that included the 3 original games in the franchise started in 1993. After pulling an all-nighter on it, it feels like an old game: unreadable fights, tedious planet management with a stupid autobuild feature. I’m a huge fan of 4...

Great article by @hypolite on the flaws of recent 4X games, like Master of Orion:

https://blog.mrpetovan.com/review/video-game/the-master-of-orion-reboot-has-all-the-classic-flaws-of-recent-4x-games/

I also enjoyed the first installments of this franchise and found the more recent ones falling short. Kudos for WG Labs of Wargaming World Limited to provide Linux versions tho. According to Steam I sunk at least 67h into Conquer The Stars anyway 😀

One of the things about I love most is it’s flexibility. This may astonish some but I am gaming on my Linux system for approximately 15 years by now. Situation for improved a lot lately but it was always possible to keep myself distracted 😉

So one of the games I just love to play is XCOM (UFO series). I don’t think I skipped any part and Terror From The Deep will always have a special place in my heart. Anyway, when XCOM was relaunched and eventually ported to Linux by Feral Interactive in 2014 I thought I couldn’t have been happier. Firaxis Games topped this in 2016 with XCOM2 and Feral Interactive once more got the job for the port.

Sadly with all the expansion sets it takes quite a toll on the required hardware. Huge fan of all sliders on maximum and see how it goes and while my box can mostly keep up I notice that I run out of RAM towards the end of the game fast and my machine starts swapping. I’ve 16GB RAM and this game eats it away like children their candy.

I’ve got additional 4GB of swap installed on slow spinning rust disks (legacy) so I notice the moment it starts swapping like hitting a wall. After another frustrated restart of the game I paused for a moment. I don’t know why this games needs so much RAM and frankly I don’t even care. Maybe I’m spoiled nowadays since stuff tends to “just work”.

So I decided to throw more power at it but RAM is expensive and I usually have enough of it for my daily work (or other games). I did get a decent SSD (Solid State Disk) recently tho so it’s to my rescue:

swapoff -a
fallocate -l 16G /games/swapfile
mkswap /games/swapfile
swapon /games/swapfile

…and that’s it. I stopped my previous slow swap partition(s), created a new swapfile of 16GB size on my SSD, formatted it as swap partition and activated it. Now I tabbed back into my game and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Let it swap. The SSD can keep up with it. Not minding a few more seconds during loading screens 😀 I’m considerung to add the activation sequence to my “gaming mode” script.