Blog upkeep

Banished: Stop dying you cowards!

I love Banished, but I’m not very good at it.  Much like Zapp Brannigan in Season 1 Episode 12 “When Aliens Attack”, I fail miserably and then blame the little people.

Why won't they just be smart?

If you enjoy city builders like Cities: Skylines you would probably enjoy this game as well. Where as Cities has a modern feel (including things like solar power) Banished is more Oregon Trail: after arrival. In fact, when pitching this game to friends I say: If you’re ever wanted to see what happens when everyone is done dying of dysentery and failing at fording rivers, this is the game for you.

Unfortunately it’s really hard, you start the game on one of three difficulties (I usually choose easy), which affects what your people have to start with, like how many herds or seeds.  You can further customize the game in the options menu to include different climates and disasters.  I never include disaster, because I’m terrible at this game.

Controlling population is the most difficult bit, because having too many or too few people affects everything else: food supply, housing, work flow, how many tools or coats you need, how much fire wood or coal for the winter.  Too many births at once and you have a bunch of useless children who do no work, too few and your people stop having kids and population drops too much to sustain you.  I’ve had settlements both starve because of too many people and starve because of too few people.  I’ve had settlements where I’ve built too many houses which causes people to stay single (why won’t they visit their neighbors? Winter is long and cold).

It's because I'm bad at the game.

My cities never look like this.

City planning is also a concern. Unlike in Children of the Nile (previously covered here) roads are not free, and you do need them.  They help speed up your people which is important when your city becomes giant, like the one on the left.

However, by not “free” I’m referring to time.  You don’t purchase anything with coins or gold or what have you.  Everything you choose to build or harvest takes time (and wood or stone or iron).  If you start things too late in the season (like trying to plant crops in late summer) or too early (a stone house in the winter) things can go…poorly.

However, there is help. The steam workshop for this game is thriving.  You can find things like new buildings or new house designs or mods that make the game a little easier.  I currently play with a rock respawner, an intensified fishing dock mod, and “Banished: Plus”.  Banished: Plus is a bunch of mods rolled into one that make the game much easier.  I recommend playing the game a couple times without mods, to pinpoint which things you find most difficult.

Pro-Tips:

  • Hunters and Gathers are crucial, build these first and stick them in a forest area you’re not going to chop down, make it close but not too close.  Too far and the people won’t get home in time to eat before starving too death.
  • Build farm land in the late winter, so it’s ready in the spring.
  • Build things slowly (I fail at this and my cities suffer)
  • Good planning is crucial, things have to be close but not too close
  • Wait until your other food sources are stable before creating an orchard, it takes a couple years before harvest starts.
  • Tools, create tools when low, it sucks up resources but I’ve had whole cities become ghost towns from the production drop.
  • Either build a church or a tavern to help with happiness.  Booze or God is the key to a happy fulfilled population.
  • Ideally you want a city that looks like this:
I have no idea how to do this.

But I have no idea how to do this.

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Children of the Nile, Bow Down Before The Pharaoh!

Dance

Enjoying a festival in my honor, while I look on, like a benevolent god-king

November 2004, that’s when Children of the Nile was published. I can’t believe it took me so long to find this game. It’s seriously addicting. If you enjoy building cities, and constructing giant monuments to your might (!) this is the game for you.  I for one, seriously love city building games and this is one of the most fun I’ve ever played.  Roads and decoration are free in this game so you can make your city pretty and well planned without having to devote resources.  The interfaces are clear and easy to use, once you get used to them.  The tutorials are really in depth and the controls and concepts are easy to pick up.

Additionally I have some tips to make your empire grow vast and powerful:

TIPS:

Working for the glory of Pharaoh

Enhancing my prestige, growing my crops.

That’s not to say that it’s easy to be a mighty and powerful God-King, there’s always someone whining about not having enough something…usually worship. Egypt had waaaaaaaay too many Gods. Or there’s a malaria outbreak, or bubonic plague. Those issues can be easily handled by using your first graduate to become a priest. This is crucial, actually, because only priests can educate other elite/nobles and make them into other graduates who can become overseers and scribes, and priests…etc.  The instinct is to make your first graduate a scribe, so those shifty nobles stop dodging their taxes.  Don’t. That way lies madness, and seriously sick, unhappy people.  Let the nobles get away with murder for a while and get your people some healthcare and education.  Keep in mind that you can build shrines and then switch which god is being worshiped without having to recarve (unlike a temple or cult temple) the statue.  That way, you can only build two or three shrines and switch to Osiris or Hathor or whatever your people want for that particular season or need. 

Also servants, they’re just as important, all your elite classes will hire them to shop, and luxury goods sellers will use them to gather materials.  Servants helped make  life smoother in a time before automobiles and quick transport.

Lastily, don’t worry about making sure there are no complaints ever, it’s a tall feat that’s difficult to achieve, just make sure that any one household doesn’t have too many complaints.

 

It’s a cheap game on steam right now, under ten bucks, and I’m sure at some point it’ll be in a bundle.  Give it a shot, it’s a fun game.

Known Issue:
Even though Children of the Nile is super old, it still crashes for some people, if you’re having problems with it crashing, set your shadows to off and your fog lower in the options menu.  Kinda a pain in the butt, but if you’ve picked it up for a couple bucks, it’s no big deal.  If after you’ve done this it’s still crashing for you, leave me a comment and I’ll give you another solution or two.

 

Whining Jerks

Never happy, I tell you what, like it’s hard to be a government paid priest

 

More servants solved this priest’s issues.  Servants and priests, they make the world go round (also: fat bottomed girls).

Traitor Boot Camp!

Let’s Get Traitorous.

So, after I had posted a review of a Garry’s mod game type called “Trouble in Terrorist Town” our lovely editor in chief requested a followup, being the guy I am I agreed. What I would like to do is share some of my experiences as a traitor in the hopes making more successful traitorous scum out there.

Lesson 1:

If at all possible, use a microphone while playing, you can talk your way out of a situation much faster and easier than you can type it out. The downside to this is if you tend to talk a lot and some rounds go completely silent it will be very obvious who the traitor so this is something you will have to learn the right amount of. The other advantage you can work out of talking to your fellow terrorists is that it is a lot easier to relate to someone who you have a conversation with. The best thing you can do is convince someone that you found a weapon they want or a cool part of some map that you want to show them and then promptly embed a knife 4 inches into their back.

Lesson 2:

Signs of a good traitor.

Signs of a good traitor.

Get inside their heads. Always volunteer information, if you find a body you didn’t kill, report it. If there is a manhunt going on, assist. The more they think you are committed to the cause the bigger the shock and hesitation when you start unloading onto them with a shotgun. There was one night in particular where a man put his head at the end of my shotgun in the beginning of a round.  He was asking me to just kill him now because he didn’t want to play the mind games anymore. Fun fact about that round, I was innocent.

Lesson 3:

If you can’t shoot, pick your moments. A point blank shotgun blast to the face or upper chest will completely remove an innocent from the picture bringing you one step closer to your goal. If you can get to a rifle and a high place, go there and wait. Players almost always group up in one area but then get nervous and start going off by themselves. That is your time to strike, wait for them to grab a corner where they think they’re safe and take the shot.

The 4th and Final Lesson:

Learn what the traitor items do. These change from server to server depending on what mods are running and what they have tossed into the game. One of the biggest signs of a traitor is someone stopping in place while they peruse the shop to check out the items. If you can, waste a traitor round just finding a quiet spot and perusing them.  Then, in future rounds you can actually keep walking forward while you open the traitor shop quickly and grab what you need. The item just goes into your inventory so unless you immediately pull it out no one will know you just bought some gear.

Hopefully these lessons will assist in taking down those innocent terrorists out there and their sly detectives. Just remember, make it quiet, make it quick, get out of there, and ditch the weapon…before anyone can find you cackling over a dead body.

Editor’s Note: I love this picture.

Be safe Traitors, be safe.

Blog keeping post: Podcasts on the blog

Hey guys, this is a blogkeeping/blog upkeep post. YAY.

 

Okay, so here’s the deal with getting the podcasts up on the site.  Right now we’re using soundcloud to get the podcasts uploaded onto the site.  This site, this one right here… yea.

 

BUT! It has space limitations and we keep bumping up against that when uploading and posting the new ones.  This is why the casts older than a week are un-viewable.  We’ve experimented with uploading them onto youtube, which doesn’t have the space limitations.  That’s nice, but we can’t get up on Itunes and other podcast sharing sites with youtube casts.

We’re currently looking at hosting them directly on the site, but for now you’ll have to bare with us while we find the best option.

As always, if you want to listen or watch older casts, they are saved at the CAG twitch page.

Video Link for CAG twitch page

For even older videos, Check out James’ twitch page:

Link for James’ Twitch page