Nov 14


Over the past month I’ve played a fair bit of the Augmented Reality game Ingress. I was introduced by someone in work and it reminded me of Other.

It consists of two factions, the Resistance (blue) and the Enlightened (green). I obviously joined the blues instead of the snottery frogs of team green. Users submit Portals, which are statues, landmarks, churches and the like. Once accepted (months?) Each team battles for control of it. Deploying up to 8 resonators of up to level 8 on them. Once you control a portal you can connect it to other portals. If three form a triangle you control a mind field.


There is a factional scoring mechanism based on the time each faction has controlled the largest field. Unless someone introduces you to the game you will probably be playing mostly solo around where you live or work and only later realise the larger game and strategy.

After playing solo for a wee bit I found out a friend had also started it but wasn’t sure what to do. Soon I got two others involved and we started going out taking over areas of Dundee ourselves. A special event took place for the games second birthday. During this period you were able to get bonus action points (AP – the equivalent of experience points).

So we headed out a few times and I reached level 9. BatBaby reached 7 and BorisGrishnikov reached 8 too. A couple of days before it ended, we had reached out to some local players and realised the forthcoming Sunday was a Resistance meet up.

We met up with a group and we managed to make a small farm around us. Whilst doing so we noticed a few more new names appearing in Comms. A quick message and we met them and split resources ending up with a small number of all level 8 farms with multi-hack mods on them.

Over the course of the afternoon around 8 of us stayed together or ventured apart before meeting up again. The result was the entire City Centre of Dundee became blue.

After the afternoon work, Boris, Batbaby and I headed across to St. Andrews and destroyed all the snot which was covering it. A return home wielded this lovely, almost green-free, map.


Effects of the game

Another byproduct of the game is a greater desire to hit the outdoors. My wander to and from work has increased by about half an hour as I detour to hit portals. I now know the names of loads of statues and where almost every church in the city is.

I used my local knowledge to submit over 20 new portals. No idea how many will be approved, but helping others learn about local history and the locations of plaques is definitely a side-effect which will be rewarding.

So if you want to play a game which will get you off your ass, outside and meeting people, give Ingress a try*

* on the Resistance side!

Oct 14

Mutiny Kickstarter

So we at joystuck love a good Kickstarter. Another local indie house Hidden Armada have created one for their pirate battle game Mutiny!


A 16 player game where pirate crews battle it out. I can see this being a game to remind you of all those afternoons spent playing Worms.

There’s a demo online and it’s due to hit Alpha not long after the Kickstarter finishes so the risk of it being vaporware are low to non-existent. Some of the add-ons are pretty cool including art books and glasses engraved by Lefay Engraving.

So take a look and give it your support.

Feb 14

This Week, er Fortnight in Gaming

With the tiredness at end of the Magic PTQ I was a bit mashed from gaming so haven’t played as much in the last two weeks.

Within that time there has been the Born of the Gods pre-release/release.

Other games I have managed have included The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game. This was quite enjoyable. I had liked the DC game and the Penny Arcade one is ok so this theme probably appeals to me most out of the three. Would like to play the second one and then them mixed together now though.

I also played some Hearthstone after a few fowk mentioned it. It seemed ok, I quickly unlocked all the base decks and then played one random online game for the achievement but didn’t get further than that.

I played some Settlers of Catan for the first time in ages and it was fun as per.

I avoided Flappy Bird as it looked shit.

And that’s about it really, not a lot of new gaming to report. Let’s see this week.

Jan 14

This week in Gaming

Well this week was less gamey than I expected mainly due to hitting this blog repeatedly trying to fix the white screen of death.

Wednesday 8th January 2014

It was Cerberus games night and I got through some games of Braggart, No Thanks!, Love Letter and Zombie Fluxx.

Thursday 9th January 2014

Constructed Standard Magic at Highlander. After doing really well with my deck before Christmas I got a run of bad luck, total mana screw and ended up 2-2. Won mirror. Lost mirror against Ferg 2-1 (final game we were both at 1 life top-decking). Lost 2-1 to white wheenie after forgetting about their pro-colour spell and not killing something when he was tapped out. Won final game against Control.

This guy was always late to the party

This guy was always late to the party

Friday 10th January 2014

Constructed Standard Magic at Major Arcana, got absolutely smashed due to mulling to 5 repeatedly and then getting mana screwed. Final game against Colin though was hilarious. He mulled to 5 and I had 2 Thoughtseize in hand. I kindly left him a Rakdos and nothing to hurt me with. Game two went the same, we were next to the finalists and probably put them off with our tears of laughter.

I could show up but it's more fun to hide in Alan's library

I could show up but it’s more fun to hide in Alan’s library

Saturday 11th January 2014

No gaming today, instead we had a Game of Thrones marathon at Alzos. Totally pumped up for next season now, again.

Sunday 12th January 2014

Read Saga volume 1, fantastic wee graphic novel from Alzo. I had missed this when it started, if I knew the writer I would have definitely picked it up.

Monday 13th January 2014

Not much nerdy shenanigans, just some Wallabee and internet Not-Scrabble.

Tuesday 14th January 2014

Finished the week with a bit of X-Com and a bit of Pratchetts Long War

How have you spent this week in gaming and what are you playing next week?

Jan 14

This week in Gaming

It’s a new year so let’s attempt a new series of something which will peter out at some point. Yay! I realised I’d done at least one bit of gaming every day this year so let’s see how long it can carry on.

Wednesday 1st January 2014

I kickstarted the new year with a few games on Netrunner, which I treated myself to when it was way to cheap on amazon. Unfortunately laziness meant missing a section of the manual and it was played wrong. Rectified soon. As it was after Christmas I also played some of X-Com, a gift from Dek as well as some Magic 2014.


Thursday 2nd January 2014

After spotting the issues we did wrong, blasted a few more games of Netrunner. It was quite enjoyable, but I don’t know enough about it to make proper decks or decide which of the squillions of add-ons to buy.

Friday 3rd January 2014

Played a fair bit of Magic: the Gathering. It was Friday I noticed the bug in the online score system, which I reported to Wizards and then later blogged about.

Saturday 4th January 2014

Saturday was a mini-nerd fest due to Graeme returning from university over Christmas. Alzo won his first ever game of Cards Against Humanity. Another two encounters on our Descent campaign were done and we finished off with some Zombie Fluxx. We also got a 4 player game of Monaco going after a different 4 player game failed to work split screen.


Sunday 5th January 2014

Bit of a quiet one, threw in some games of Commander and helped CJ with some cards he needed for a disgusting Pauper Commander deck.

Monday 6th January 2014

Blogged about the Magic scoring issue and noticed the spike in traffic here, yikes! Got a call to meet in pub for Nerdery. Played some silly magic Standard then two giant Commander games. First one I did sillyness with a borrowed Bant deck, second game I was mana screwed with a Simic deck. Stuck on 5 lands with disgusting 6+ drops. Game was won by Colin with Rise of the Dark Realms, followed by a wrath whilst controlling a Blood Artist. Earlier we had all copied a Tutor, Unexpected Results and Blasphemous Act for great hilarity.

Tuesday 7th January 2014

Didn’t do any gaming before this post other than some Wallabee. Managed to grab an item an e-friend needed from a cache though so that was fulfilling. Also got a call at night that @tpupaz was trying to contact me investigating the bug. Woo, internets fame and stuff.

What I intend to play next week:

Probably some Netrunner, might play a game of Deadzone if Mantic send the missing bits to Major Arcana. FNM for nerdy Magicness. Dunno what else I will squeeze in.

Nov 12

X-Com Enemy We Know

Pahn, Gremio, Cleo and Valeria board the Skyranger hurriedly as an emergency situation has begun in Germany. Aliens have been sighted and they are abducting people. After what seems like a long flight, every minute getting more tense they touch down outside a small construction site.  There could be some close quarters fighting, things may get nasty.

Pahn moves into the site behind a crane conveniently parked at the entrance, Cleo then moves up into cover behind a plow to the right of the entrance. Still no sign of the hostiles. Gremio and Valeria move up to the site entrance but decide to hang back at the gates. After a moments waiting 2 Sectoids appear, Pahn Gremio and Valeria all react quickly firing at the approaching hostiles but in their haste all 3 new recruits miss their mark.  Cleo peeks out from behind the plow and spots one covering itself behind a small stack of girders, she lines up the shot with her rifle and shows the others how it’s done and neutralizes the target.  Gremio then takes a good aim on the second target and bags his first kill. Everyone’s adrenaline pumping we can do this! they think to themselves. Pahn moves towards a small office building a spots a second pair, takes aim and gets his shot dead on. Valeria moves up cautiously and leans out and takes down the second of this new group. Further examination of the site reveals no more hostiles. They clean up the area and head back to base.

Continue reading →

Nov 12

1001 Video Games You Must Play Saga Begins

We are all gonna die…

Its true fact of nature that we are all gonna die soon.  Its inescapable and ultimately unavoidable unless scifi becomes sci-fact then we are basically at the mercy of death. Since the moment we are born and even if we lock ourselves in our gaming rooms and never come out we are destined to be dead, dead as a doornail.

Now we have established this known fact I can continue with my mission.  There is this handy book that us gamers and geeks can use to ensure we have played the “must play” games up till about at least the 2010’s before our goose is cooked…

Continue reading →

Aug 12

Dare ProtoPlay 2012

Alan G gives a quick run-down of some of tomorrows smash-hit games.

This weekend saw the latest showcase of Dare to be Digital the student games development competition started at Abertay in Dundee. There was also an indie games developer conference and indie games company showcase.

(It’s also about the 13th since my course-mates and I applied to do Dare in the summer between 3rd and 4th year and were rejected.)


Cloud Monkey Colouring Competition

I had arranged to meet some friends first thing as it gets very very busy later in the day, so at 10am I was queued outside with the rest of the nerds to play some new innovative computer games.

There were 15 teams competing and you are supposed to play each before voting for your favourite. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to play them all before heading off to a barbecue but at least watched someone play each to get a general idea.

So a quick run down on the games.

Games I played

1. Slick. Probably by third favourite game. An interesting platformer where you play a snail racing through levels. Three were included in the game and more actions were added each one. I did find parts frustrating as you had to dump slime before you explode. Unfortunately in some cases you ditched it, going faster which made you jump over one jump, the landing bit and into the next pit. A bit of tweaking to allow you to do such mega jumps would have helped move it up for me.

3. Mr Montgomery’s Debonair Facial Hair. Enjoyable and original. You have to groom customers in a barbers shop and kill bees and sharks which attack them. I really enjoyed this and thought this was second best and later found out the artist is a friends daughter.

9. Pixel Story. This was the first game I played and I really enjoyed it. Later went back to play to completion to confirm it was the game I wanted to vote for. Really innovative 8-bit pixel styled platformer. It later won a bunch of awards and funding to help it be made. Drop your hat, turn switches to move obstacles and teleport to hat. Teleport to hat after jumping on spring to carry momentum over walls etc. Really really fun. My final comment as I finished was How can I give you money for this?

10. Ready Steady Roll. Android tablet game where you race catching debris to make the ball you are rolling on bigger, and faster, whilst avoiding obstacles. This was quite fun.

12. Project Thanatos. The only game which was 16+. Virtual Reality headset in a horror game. I played the monitor/headphone version rather than queue longer. Jumped a couple of times. Another wee bit of graphical polish and it would stand on it’s own against commercial titles.

13. Grav Tech. Fun platformer where you use a gravity gun to make giant blocks heavy or light to move them and move through the level.

Didn’t play

2. Liminal Magibrawl. Using the Kinect to fight. It looked quite fun and saw loads of kids loving it and then voting for it.

4. Castle Crusade. This looked like a graphics-enhanced version of Rampart on the Master System. Some kids were playing it as I stood at Debonair Facial Hair but it didn’t interest me enough to play.

5. Interstate Outlaws. Racing game using Kinect. Stood watching people play and giggled saying Fork in the road when a giant fork appeared. One of the developers was amused and liked it when people spot the visual puns.

6. Colour Captain. I didn’t play this due to it’s reliance on subtle colours (Colour Blind) but the friends I was with loved it and voted for it.

7. Starcrossed. I can’t even remember seeing this. Sorry.

8. What a Day!. A friend played this for a while and seemed to enjoy it. Play a worm leading fish to a hook on the iPad.

10. Badgers vs. Turtles. Don’t remember this – either it wasn’t memorable or it was too crowded to get near.

14. IsoChronous. This had a bit of buzz from the other teams but few demo machines and people hogging it for long periods meant I didn’t get to try it.

15. Marcelo. Don’t remember this either. I suck.


I hadn’t looked for a while at it but managed to play around with Scratch for a few minutes to make a basic game. Made me want a Raspberry Pi even more than I already do.

Dare Indie Fest

Proper Games. Just as I was leaving the area I spotted Proper Games stuffed in the corner. As I mentioned that I hadn’t seen their CEO for a while he turned round and I ended up blethering to him for a while. I bought Yo Deshi on iPhone after demoing it. Signed up for their beta test list and was reminded to play Flock! again after encouraging someone to play it. (Disclosure: I used to go to lunch with the CEO once a week as a colleague was a friend of his)

WallaBee. The guys who make the HoneyBlend app to accompany WallaBee convinced me to become addicted to this whilst demoing it to someone else. I was at the time downloading the app. If you have OCD or are a completest – avoid this game.

BrainDeadApe. Had Highway Hobo on show – a game where you play a hobo wandering down the middle of the road getting drunk and burping at oncoming cars.

TigerFaceGames. Had Equator which was a 2-player co-operative maths game aimed at kids for the iPad. Mo’Adore and I sat playing it for ages. It was quite fun, unfortunately they had made a new build the night before and I discovered a bug which kept crashing the level.

Mo'Adore and AlanG play Equator

Final Thoughts

There was a really good mix of games shown in both halls. Some of the ones in Protoplay were probably better than those produced by existing companies in the Indie Showcase. A really positive sign on the future of indie games development.

Jul 12

Scottish Gaming T-shirts

We’ve recently come across a website with lots of Gaming t-shirts in a Scottish style. Created by Brian Baglow of http://scottishgames.net/ there are some real belters.

Our favourites are the Space Invaders one

Space Invaders awa tae get malied

The Pacman one

Popping pills and washing it doon wi buckie

and of course the references to Dundee

Jute Journalism and Coding Jams

Jun 12

Indie Game: Connectrode

Connectrode is a highly addictive indie puzzle game available from the Apple App Store.

I first discovered the game reading about Shay Pierce’s story on Gamasutra.

Connectrode Title Screen

Connectrode Title Screen

Zynga bought out OMGPOP (the company he was working for) and refused to clarify if their ridiculous contract would result in them owning the game he made in his spare time or stop him releasing any in future.

A new version has just come out to thank all those who purchased the app in support and it includes two brilliant features. The first is a new Push Mode where new chips are pushed from the bottom of the screen rendering your well laid plans obsolete whilst you wait on the correct ones coming out.

The second is the ability to change the chip colour. As someone who is colour blind I found 2 sets clashing and had to repeat something about the animation on the chips to remember but wrecked many games by placing the wrong tile down. This allows me to customise the colours and sort that problem.

Push Mode with customised colours

I seem to be doing ok.

Alan Gs Scores