Life right now is kind of weird. I don’t have a lot of time to spend in front of the gaming system because the Fall happens to be when a lot of social events happen in my area, and this year because we’re in the midst of refinishing our kitchen. When I do have time, I really don’t have a burning desire to play much of anything. I default to Star Citizen when I can, but every once in awhile I might pick up a new, lower-priced game that catches my eye.

Launch Window

I really don’t know what prompted it, but yesterday I had strange thought in my head that I decided I’d submit to the Twitterati.

I was really impressed that this Tweet has 13 responses directly linked to it, which I think is the most engagement I’ve received in a Tweet in years. Thank you to those who sounded off!

It seems that an overwhelming number of respondents say that they use the launcher to fire up a game, and not a desktop shortcut. Some of the more popular reasons are that using the launcher ensures that the game is kept up to date and that not keeping icons around ensures a clean desktop.

If this were a sign of a larger situation, then I can understand people’s discontent with the current proliferation of storefronts and launchers. Even though many storefront launchers will fire up the storefront app when a desktop icon is double-clicked, going direct to a launcher to start a game means not just having all of these launchers running concurrently, but also just remembering which library holds a particular game of interest.

Surviving the Aftermath

Courtesy of a RT from @playerVShobbies, I learned that Paradox had released a new city builder to early access, called Surviving the Aftermath.

It’s actually not so much a “city builder” as it is a “survival builder” in the vein of Banished or RimWorld. When you start a new game you choose some parameters which dictate the difficulty, and you begin with a handful of colonists and have to take care of their needs, from housing to healthcare to resource collecting.

Because this game takes place after a nuclear war of some kind, it’s styled after the popular “Mad Max slash The Walking Dead” aesthetic. Everything is scavenged from surrounding wood, concrete, metal, and plastic piles until you can make buildings to harvest what’s left of the natural resources. There’s nuclear waste that can make people sick, and disasters like fallout and electrical storms that can kill colonists and wreck your growing settlement. Every now and then you’ll get survivors arriving who you can accept as new residents, or turn away if you don’t have the capacity. One interesting feature is the “specialist” system which has you sending out skilled colonists to a world map to scout for larger caches of resources, which you need for researching your tech tree and to obtain materials that you might not be able to craft in the early game.

Being in early access, however, means that there’s a bit of work to be done, although so far the game seems to be pretty stable and feature-full. You can start the game with tutorials turned on, but I found that the tutorials are triggered by actions and events in the game and if you complete those out of sync, you might get some messages before you’re ready or you might not get them at all. In the first game I played, everyone died because I never learned how to harvest the plastic debris that I needed to build the structures that would have kept my people safe.

Second time around, though, things are going much better. I’ve built all of the buildings that are initially offered, and have secured some research points from the world map so I have learned to build advanced housing. My greatest fear right now is running out of resources. I’ve already depleted massive piles of metal and plastic, and the wood and concrete around my settlement are getting thin. I have a woodcutter so I can obtain planks, but soon I’ll have to rely on my specialist to bring in materials. Hopefully, I can unlock trading, and find some other settlements to trade with.

Surviving the Aftermath is currently in early access for $19.99 and is available on the Epic storefront.

2 Comments

  • Pete S.

    October 21, 2019 - 8:49 AM

    FYI to consoleers: it’s in the Xbox One “Preview Program” as well.

    • Scopique

      October 21, 2019 - 1:54 PM

      What is in the preview program?

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