LJ knows everything - Livre d'Or

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LJ knows everything
Saturday, 08 April 2006 at 06:15 pm

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I was surfing around on LJ today and I found something I've been looking for unsuccessfully for ages: an networked version of Settlers of Catan! (Yes, there is a Microsoft version, but it requires a subscription and generally has cooties.) Sea3D is written by one Jason Fugate, who describes himself as a game fanatic... uber-geek and is really properly thought out as well as being Open Source and free both as-in-speech and as-in-beer. Unlike a lot of OS by-geeks for-geeks software, it's incredibly easy to use. Setting up a networked game isn't at all a black art, and it handles a ladder tournament and all the systems to support the social side smoothly and comprehensively. And it has various options for custom rules and yay.

The only down side is that the interface is mildly awkward. You have to download a program, which is unfortunately Windows only. It's very Windows GUI in the way it's set up, which is fine; the activation barrier is very low if you're prepared to download and install it. But what's not so fine is that the board is 3-dimensional in a completely unnecessary way. I think the 3D part is partly because the Fugate is showing off his ability to handle 3D graphics, and partly to get round copyright issues. The fact is that the graphics don't work properly on my old computer (this is a known bug, apparently), so I have to rotate the board so that it appears horizontal (ie perpendicular to the plane of the screen!) in order to click on it. Which is a mild pain.

But I'm not in the least complaining, because yay networked Settlers! In the past I have also played Newman Settlers, which plays in Java embedded in the browser. That does have the advantage that it doesn't require a download, but it's basic rules only, and it's a pain to find opponents and it generally isn't nearly as complete as Sea3D.

I am in gamer heaven.

Whereaboooots: Catan
Moooood: lazylazy
Tuuuuune: Gilbert & Sullivan: Yeomen of the Guard
Discussion: 3 contributions | Contribute something

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Date:April 8th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
4 minutes after journal entry
Hmm. I should see if I can get it to work under Wine in Linux.

I've seen an implementation of Carcassonne on a PC that also looked unnecessarily 3D. It played quite well, though.

Lucy and Gen came round to the Pembury for the first time last week, and we managed to fit in a game of Settlers. I won, unusually, but I suppose I was lucky to get three victory points out of five development cards.
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livredor: likeness
Date:April 9th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 06:18 pm (livredor's time)
The guy does mention that he's writing a cross-platform version, but it's one of those when he has free time projects. The thing about 3D, well, I could sort of see the point of having actual little trees in the wood hexes and actual little sheep in the field hexes and so on. But it's a completely flat board, you can just rotate it into or out of the screen. Which seems entirely gratuitous!

brenna26 has just been to the real Carcassonne and has photos to prove that it looks just like the graphics in the game! I find this very cool. Three VPs out of five cards isn't that exceptional; I would hope more than half the development cards I draw would either be VPs or allow me to get a VP by building using the resources from that card. That said, I do veer between liking them and conserving resources to build directly instead.
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synergetic: default
Date:April 10th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
I'm just wondering if you've played gnocatan, a Linux version, which I found to work fairly well?
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