Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Nethack 3.6.1 thoughts

I think this release was slightly underwhelming. They fixed couple of things and it took two years. On the other hand it's understandable when you look at the mess which is Nethack's source code. It's not easy to maintain I would guess. Even so I was expecting more gameplay changes, new stuff etc. but it looks like they "freeze" this version branch and the next one will have more changes so people who want to continue play 3.6.x can do that. There are people who believe some specific version to be the only real Nethack.

The way player character's name is highlighted when your HP is not full is a nice feature, it's something you'll notice right away. Other thing I noticed is that $ keyboard command doesn't work when picking up items, but I did comment out "Finnish keyboard" section in defaults.nh, maybe I should try to comment it again to see if it works. In Finnish keyboard $ is typed as AltGr + 4 and some other keyboard commands are also different. Also, the .exe was acting strange way when I started it the first time, it hanged for like five minutes and then Windows 10 smartscreen catched it, but I ran it anyway. It may be just the smartscreen, it's warning about everything.

Even I'm whining I actually like Nethack. It's really the only roguelike game I'm playing even I'm not a good Nethack player. I know what happens in the game later, I've seen gameplay videos and tried in wizard mode, but I probably like the beginning before Quest more than anything else. It's the way things start to go, sometimes you get very lucky and sometimes you get hardships. The first time I tried this version I managed to blow up my pet with a gas spore, and then turned into a werewolf. I also learned something new: when you kick a pile of gold it scatters around. I had to try that to pick up only gold, because $ key doesn't work.

One of the reasons why roguelikes are nice games is that you don't have to win. At least it's what I think about the genre. Those people who want to win will push it through by learning strategies you need to win this game, but I think when you don't learn them it can be just as fun.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

GIMP 2.10.0 review

The first impression is positive (using Win10 version). It's faster than before and seems to use only small amount of cpu resources which is really great feature for a paint program. In comparison when you run something like that awful Windows 3D Paint it's way much demanding for the processor. Gimp is quite large software with 8000+ files so it's surprising how snappy and fast it feels.

It's designed mainly for image manipulation, but I think it's missing an opportunity to be more than that. I would not use it for serious art design only for the reason it has a context menu in right mouse button. And you can't configure it to anything else. For painting it would make much more sense to have a secondary color, eraser or something like that in the right button.

It also could have a "tiled" grid to show tile areas (when drawing tile graphics) with regular grid you could configure to pixel size. It does have a small preview for image, but that preview could be configured to show a small area in repeated mode to preview tile seams. Those are perfectly possible features to have, but I just know they will never do it. Another obvious but missing feature is any kind of shapes including a line (which is hidden in form of shift+pen).

Strangely Gimp does have a new brush engine which is quite nice so it's weird that they support painting that way. Also, another strange thing is that you can't put color editing on tabs, but there is a palette for selecting colors. When you need a new color you have to edit it on a pop-up window each color at a time. All this makes the software feel like it doesn't know what to do. Is it only a image editor or is it also a paint program?