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  1. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    I'm going to have to give these a go, I guess. I'm not even the biggest burger fan, but interested to see what it's like. Actually intrigued rather than interested now...
  2. MarkN

    Gaming tropes that need to go away

    Tooltips on loading screens that state the bleeding obvious. I've put 46 hours into My Time At Portia so far, and it keeps on telling me that the sparkly things on the ground are wood and stones that can be collected. What the actual fuck does it think I've been doing all this time? Walking around them?
  3. MarkN

    The Game Development Thread

    I think this is a thread you should be allowed to hit up as often as you like. It reminds the rest of us to keep doing stuff. KEEP DOING STUFF! (I'll try to get back in a few days with what I've been up to).
  4. MarkN

    Best implementation of the worst features

    I have fond memories of the swimming sections in the original Tomb Raider. In particular one level (the name escapes me) which was set in a deep flooded chamber. You had to dive down to the bottom to solve the puzzles, but it was far enough down that by the time you got there you had very little time to do anything before heading back to the surface. It sounds awful, but it actually really nailed the feeling of having to hold your breath for longer than you'd like (and did it in an environment where you always knew where your next breath was coming from).
  5. MarkN

    Good Cover Versions

    Just trawled through the thread and can't see this (not even from me), so here's perhaps my favourite. "Imagine" made nice and bleak by A Perfect Circle. I'm not the biggest fan of the original, so this works so much better for me:
  6. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    Yeah - Cauldron are my favourites of all the sausages I've tried. Admittedly there are lots more I haven't tried since the recent expansion of so many vegan ranges. The Sainsbury's chorizo-style shroom dogs I mentioned above would be next best (so far) but they're a more specialist proposition (they work better cold in a sandwich the next day than the Cauldron ones though - those tend to end up a bit grey and tasteless if not eaten right away).
  7. MarkN

    My Time At Portia

    The most money I've made so far was turning up for the fishing competition (I screwed up the first day - turns out you don't just turn up and start fishing - you need to approach the empty chair to activate the event. I spent the whole day fishing thinking I was participating, but wasn't. Had loads of fish to sell though.) But activating the event on the second day meant I caught better things that were worth just as much in a few hours (the competition only lasts 3 hours, but has a wider range of fish than the fishing spot normally would). I think I made well over 5 grand for those 2 days, which is pretty good so far. Just make sure you've made yourself a rod already and have plenty of caterpillars on you (I ran out with half an hour to spare on the 2nd day). I've not tried spending any other time fishing since, but potentially it seemed like a good way to earn quick cash.
  8. MarkN

    My Time At Portia

    It does, but it's a bit of a dog's breakfast. I'm using the pad to play, but drop back to keyboard for some things (there may be simple button presses for them, but the game doesn't tell you). So I use the number keys to select what I'm wielding, and to get to the inventory etc. (Using left and right on the D-Pad to select what you want to build at the Assembly Station just smacks of absolute desperation - "what haven't we used yet?") That said, I'm loving it still. I'm getting back to where I was in the demo - got most of the crafting machines needed for the bridge done, will get my axe upgrade tomorrow, and then I can push forward. I've done a few extra commissions on the side too, so am in a much better position than I was.
  9. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    So, last day of Veganuary today, and I'm gonna end up mainly stuffing chips through my face for my tea as a nice easy treat. It's been a great thing to do (lots learned - recipes, techniques, but also just mixing stuff up a bit). Don't get me wrong - I'm going to have a big old cheesy pizza tomorrow to celebrate, but I'm definitely heading much more vegan from now on. I've got some store cupboard stuff to shift that's just vegetarian, but after that I'm going to switch to being mostly vegan. (I'd already cut out most dairy from my own cooking, but this will require me to cut it out for ready meals and sandwiches and so on, and also be vigilant about labelling too.) The thing that surprised me is that I didn't miss having cheese on tap that much. I had the odd hankering for it (in particular a bit of Shropshire Blue for about 20 minutes last week sometime). Normally I'd have two or three blocks of cheese on the go in the fridge, and these made easy lunches, but also I'd pick at them and use them for snacks. Not having that as an option is the best thing that to come out of this. I've made much nicer lunches since then (smoky roasted Mediterranean veg with homemade hummus was a stand-out), and I've not had the option of pinching a cheeky slice of cheese for a quick snack. The thing I missed most though was pizza - and that's the one I've not managed to solve yet (I'm trying). So my plan going forward is to be mostly vegan, but allow myself to have a couple of pizzas a week if I want (or for special occasions). Instead of having cheese as a store cupboard staple, I'm only going to buy it if I have a definite recipe in mind, and only buy enough for that (and maybe a touch spare for a treat...). I reckon I can cut down my cheese consumption to about a quarter of what it was without missing it particularly.
  10. MarkN

    My Time At Portia

    Alright! Happy now?: I did mean to hold off for a while, but I'd played 4 hours of the demo, and wanted to carry on, and guessed the save wouldn't carry over, and knew I could do things better anyway...
  11. MarkN


    I was up late last night, and was just about to have one last cheeky game of Spelunky, when a wave of blue updates ran down my library (I think it was about 1.30am). This included an update for Spelunky, which I'm pretty sure hasn't been updated in years. I should've checked to see if my game had been updated, because as a one-man team that would be news to me.
  12. Perhaps it's one of those things that only feel this way to some people? I know it certainly does to me. I've spent 10 years as a game designer - I know full well that you're controlling a camera, but you're still just moving a cursor over a target and then pressing a mouse button (heck I've coded a rudimentary FPS - I know exactly what it's doing). Your brain is doing a very similar job moving a cursor over a static background to hit an icon as it is to pan the camera around to settle upon the head of an enemy. Working in video games I spent my entire time clicking things with a mouse in the game engine, or in Photoshop, or in 3DS Max. Maybe the fact that many game engine editors control like an FPS help reinforce the connection? However - something that just occurred to me is this. I said above that I know that you're controlling the camera (and technically that's true), but I use invert mouse - which is more like controlling the character's head - when I push his head forward he looks down, when I pull it back he looks up. When I'm playing a game I don't think I'm controlling the camera. Maybe that difference is why I also correlate playing an FPS with using Windows? Dunno. Haven't got an answer. I do know that I prefer playing an FPS with a gamepad because it feels less like using Windows though. Different strokes…
  13. This is why I prefer playing FPS games with a joypad to a mouse. You lose accuracy, but it feels more like a game and less like you're using a strange version of Windows where your icons move when you try to click on them.
  14. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    Cheers for the info. I saw the Dirty Fries and would have probably had a crack at them if it had been a bit more generous. Just a few more chips would have made all the difference. The only M&S thing I've tried so far is the Sticky Teriyaki Tofu. I really enjoyed it. They'd managed to get some flavour into the tofu, and the rest of it (mushies, edamame beans, rice) was very nice. Some other things I've tried throughout the month from various places: Sainsbury's chorizo-style shroomdogs - these are very tasty. Lots of flavour from smoked paprika and garlic. The texture's not too bad - denser than many veggie sausages, with the odd lump (not sure what those were). I had them in sandwiches, but I'd probably buy them again more to cook with, rather than to eat as is (would work well in paella or casseroles I'd imagine). White Rabbit sun-dried tomato pizza - disappointing. These are meant to cost a fiver, but were reduced to £4. Then I got one on use-by-date for £3. It's a basic pizza but with a very thin sprinkle of fake mozzarella. It didn't do it for me - even at a much-reduced price. The fake cheese was so sparse that for me it almost wasn't worth it being there. Fry's Sausage Rolls - I have to say I think these taste more like sausage rolls than most of the actual sausage rolls I've ever eaten. Very good (mainly - I've had a few now, but one was quite dry despite having plenty of use-by date left). Sainsbury's Avocado, Tomato and Spinach sandwich - I'd always dodged this, because it looked quite dull, but I gave it a punt when I saw it reduced when I needed a quick lunch. It's actually really nice. It turns out the tomato element is a tomato and basil sauce, and that makes the thing properly tasty. I'm nicking this idea - I'd not really thought of putting what is essentially the kind of home-made tomato pizza topping I make regularly in a sandwich before - but it'll work super-well with loads of things. Tesco Wicked Moroccan Salad Bowl - very good indeed - absolutely bursting with flavour. I feared it might be too sweet for me, but it had a decent kick of heat to counter that (I didn't use all the dressing mind). My only complaint is that I could have done with another forkful or two. I've had a couple of Wicked things I wasn't massively keen on, but the good ones have been properly great. I'd happily buy all the rest of the list above bar the pizza again, but this is by far my favourite of the things I bought to scoff. Will definitely give that a go, cheers. I've got all the ingredients, and I've just ordered a milling blade for my new Nutribullet mixer.
  15. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    Not sure you'd call it a big hitter, but I really liked the look of Falcon Age when it popped in Eurogamer's "50 games to look out for this year" list:

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