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  1. MarkN

    Your old arcade and game shop hangouts

    I grew up in Paignton - moved away in the mid-80s when I was 13. The main arcade - Leisure 2000 - was an absolute belter around that time (I only realised many years later, how good it was tbh). I used to pretty much live in there. I've always said If I had the Holodeck from Star Trek I'd use it to recreate Leisure 2000, and probably never come out. It was in two halves - mostly fruit machines on one side and then a properly dark video game area on the other. The video game side was amazing - pretty much all the classics, and entire rows of the popular machines like Defender and Pac Land. A nice row of Pintables too. The noise was fantastic. It used to get all the new machines before anywhere else locally - Marble Madness, Gauntlet, Dragon's Lair - all those kind of things. But it also had less common stuff, like 10-Yard Fight and Mad Planets - games I love but rarely saw in other sea-side arcades. I only found out many years later how rare "I Robot" machines were... There were also a couple of other arcades in town too. The one over the road form L2000 wasn't a patch on it, but had a couple of games that L2000 didn't - Time Pilot (a fave of mine), and a Joust machine where if you flicked the 10p up as you inserted it gave you 2 credits for the price of one (I've no idea who found that out). There was also an arcade on the pier, which had a really bizarre Star Force cabinet where every thing you shot only scored 1 point (Game over - 57 points!). I went back to Paignton maybe a dozen or so years ago. Leisure 2000 was mainly fruit machines and those coin-pusher things, and most of the video game side was a bingo area. You really should never go back...
  2. MarkN

    The Game Development Thread

    I'm not going to post every time I make a new blog entry (promise), but this one has a video of the result of me quickly fudging some physics into the game, which definitely shows real potential for my goal of allowing the player to be a Road Bastard: http://www.bearcatgames.com/Blog/?p=180
  3. MarkN

    Steam Secret Santa 2018

    Nice idea! I'll match this, and chuck in 25 Steam keys* for Picrastination (my Picross game). @JPR - I'll need recipients names too, please. *PC only still, sadly.
  4. MarkN

    Christmas Fixin's 2019

    Make sure you have some veggie stuffing balls. As a veggie myself it's one of the things I miss most, because it just doesn't occur to me to eat it most of the time - it's so linked to stuffing a piece of meat. It genuinely is one of the things I look forward to at Christmas , because chances are I haven't eaten it for a whole year. I'd be all over them, basically. Roasted chestnuts would be good. I always try to do a few batches towards crimbo time. Maybe try for a sprout show-stopper. There's got to be something cool you can do with them that would get folk's attention. I'd google pickling them or making a chutney from them perhaps - there's still time for that kind of thing (no idea if these things exist - just throwing out ideas). Some kind of sprout coleslaw could work too, I guess.
  5. MarkN

    The Game Development Thread

    Yeah - Unity does make it super-easy to get stuff off the ground. I used to be all about the control (when I first learned C++ I wrote my own 3D engine (following a book), but also wrote my own 3D model format so I knew exactly what was going on). I've managed to change my head though, and I'm happier to accept working with things that I have very little knowledge of as long as they get the job done). Your comment led me to add a paragraph to today's blog - about how the start of a project is so much easier than the end. http://www.bearcatgames.com/Blog/?p=165
  6. MarkN

    Astro Bot - PSVR - Game of the year 2018.

    It's an astonishing thing. I was playing the underwater level the other day, and I had the little chap swim over my head, and whilst I was looking up at him, he looked down, and then realising I was there, he did that stupidly enthusiastic wave he does - right in my face. You can see exactly how it works, but when it does it this well it is properly amazing. So very good. Everyone should play this. EVERYONE!
  7. MarkN

    The Game Development Thread

    I've got a week off, and so decided to activate my old blog, whilst I tinker with an old prototype for my next project. It's entirely made of Unity cube placeholders so looks rubbish just now, but I'm hoping to turn that around quite quickly. The working title is Road Bastard (also placeholder, although I am warming to it). http://www.bearcatgames.com/Blog/?p=155
  8. MarkN

    Bad books by good writers

    Going by reputation only because I've not actually read Dracula (or any of his other books), but Bram Stoker's The Lair Of The White Worm is a bit of a shocker. Incredibly racist to start with, but it's filled with characters doing things that make no sense whatsoever, amongst many other issues. I'm not usually one for things that are "so bad it's good", but I'd say it's worth a read forewarned with this info, if you fancy a bit of a laugh.
  9. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    That feeling hasn't gone away for me yet. It's the closest thing to magic I've ever seen. I played through the underwater level on world 2 last night and the only time the silly grin left my face was when I was genuinely laughing out loud. The combination of amazing technology and bucket-loads of charm is incredibly powerful. With Rez and Wipeout and Polybius I was expecting pretty much what I got - they're properly great, but I was ready for it. Astro Bot damn-near blew my mind.
  10. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    I've not had much time with my VR kit since getting it, so my progress in Astro Bot has been slow. Last night I played the Fungus level of the first world, and I think it has to be one of my favourite game levels ever. Not for the gameplay particularly, just for how brilliantly the cave environment worked in VR (that and the music was delightful). I was actually quite pleased to have missed a couple of bots, because it gives me an excuse to go back in there again. Also, a quick tip - a pack of drinking straws is a great purchase for VR - makes having a beer or two while you're playing so much easier.
  11. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    I was completely unaware of the demo disks, so that's fantastic. Some stuff I'd really like to try in there (I loved Thumper on PC but am awful at it, so a quick taster may well be enough). Will investigate the Kitchen demo too. Many thanks.
  12. MarkN

    PlayStation VR

    After borrowing a mate's kit a couple of weeks ago, my own just turned up. Any recommendations for worthwhile free demos would be appreciated (the Astro Bot one accelerated the decision to buy from "soon" to "as soon as possible", so no need to mention that (and I got the full thing bundled with the kit)). Also is the VR Pinball FX worth getting? I love pinball, and this sounds like a great fit, but I've already thrown so much cash at these guys (and there's so many other things I'm tempted by, with not enough cash for them all). But VR pinball sounds like it should be ace...
  13. MarkN

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    I noticed Morrison's have now added a vegan range today - I only spotted the ready-meals in my local store - they looked OK - if a little predictable for the most part (3 bean chilli must have taken literally seconds to come up with). Will probably give one or two a crack at some point though when I'm feeling too lazy to cook. https://www.veganfoodandliving.com/morrisons-supermarket-launches-vegan-ready-meal-range/
  14. MarkN

    Nice games to potter around in

    I've not played it yet, but a mate of mine worked on Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. I like a good potter myself, and this looks ideal for it (it seems to have reviewed well by people who got what it was trying to do):
  15. MarkN

    The 2019 Xmas Sandwich Thread

    The Tesco roasted veggie sandwich is almost completely unremarkable. I thought I'd hate it for being too sweet because it features both maple roasted vegetables and cranberry sauce, but that wasn't the issue at all. The veg may have been roasted, but not until they have any colour on them, so they're largely anonymous, and I got no maple syrup at all. There's some stuffing in there but it's pretty bland. Then there's a bit of spinach, some mayo, and a dab of cranberry sauce that, rather than spoiling it by being too sweet, turned out to be the highlight because it actually tasted of something. It wasn't actually unpleasant is about the best review I can give it. If you need calories, this has some. Beyond that it offers nothing of any note. Look elsewhere, if you want something tasty.

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