Quad Day 2014

Quad Day was a huge success this year! This was due in large part to the great turn out from new members. We really appreciate the interest many of you guys showed in our club. Many stopped by our booth and asked us detailed questions about the club. We loved the positive response from you guys and hope to see you at our meetings and events.

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Not every resident student organization, or RSO for short, goes to Quad Day. Since our club brings together gamers of all types, quad day is always a great opportunity for us to meet new students. We love that many of you have varied interests when it comes to gaming. If you think there is a new game the club would benefit from, please feel free to share them with us at our general meetings. We are always happy to see new faces and try new things.

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Quad Day was also successful due in large part to the effort of our officer team. We made sure we had the necessary tools to provide a smooth and successful event. I also want to commend some of our former members for helping out with the booth and assisting with the key chains. Our success as a club stems from both the officer team and the club members.

Make sure you check us out this Saturday at Lincoln Hall. We really hope to see all of you there!

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– Joshua

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Board Games 101

This weekend at Social Gaming Club we had our 2nd annual alternative Unofficial event – Board Games 101!  We brought a selection of the club’s boardgames to the ISR basement multipurpose room to give people the chance to learn a new game.  At each table we had one expert teaching the rules of the game to everyone else, and the rest of the players are new, so the competition is even.  This has been by far one of our most popular events so we look forward to hosting it again in the future.

Board games that were taught include:

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Mahjong:
 a traditional Chinese game using illustrated tiles, with game play similarities to rummy. (Description from Board game geek)


Carcassonne:
A map building game where players compete to build the biggest castles, roads and farms


Star Wars: Epic Duels: 
Individual battles between famous Star Wars characters set on different board locations. Players choose a major character that has one or two minor characters with it. Each set of characters has its own deck of cards which are used for attack, defense, or special abilities. (Description from Board game geek)


Settlers of Catan
:  players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards) – wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone – to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game. (Description from Board game geek)


Acquire:
Players play as investment bankers investing in businesses to increase their capital, with the winner having the most wealth at the end.


Dominion:
A deck building game where players construct their deck from the same pool of cards as you play the game, trying to create the best strategy to gain victory points at the end.


Masquerade:
A crazy party game of confusion and deception – everyone starts with a character, but identities are constantly changing hands as not everyone is who they seem in the quest to gain the most coins.


Bang
: A perennial club favorite,  this game represents the confusion and drama of old Spaghetti Westerns as Vices, Outlaws and Renegades try to figure out who is who and protect or kill the sheriff.

Here are some photos taken at the event:

Got any ideas for future events or games we should play?  Send us a note through the suggestion box!

Sanctum 2

Hey guys, just letting you know that this blog was created by Gregory, be sure to let us, and him know if you enjoyed his blog so that if/when he does more he can improve. 

 

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Welcome to Elysion-1

I obtained a copy of Sanctum 2 from a Humble Bundle several months ago, but didn’t bother to try playing it till the free weekend on steam last month, which acted as a reminder for me that the game was downloaded and ready to play. And play I did.

In the words of developer Coffee Stain Studios, Sanctum 2 is a “Tower Defense/FPS hybrid game”, with the series being the first of its kind. The game provides a refreshing twist on the traditional tower-defence genre by not only including modern graphics like the Anomaly series, but also combining it with the traditional FPS. The implementation is successful in that it merges the two genres in a way that doesn’t take away from the game’s tower defense elements, emphasizing that Sanctum 2 is very much a tower defence game at its heart. Put simply, past the tutorial levels, it’s nigh impossible to victory.

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Towers! Note the presence of a top-down map for the obsessive strategists.

 

Basics

Sanctum 2 has several game modes, in each of which you play one of several unique characters/classes:

Campaign – A linear succession of maps, with victory the only method of unlocking the next map, and thus far the only mode I have played. This mode has options for increased difficulty, e.g. faster and tougher enemies, in exchange for increased XP gain. Increased XP gain means faster levelling for players, which results in faster access to powerful new abilities, towers, and perks, similar to how levelling works in mainstream FPSs.

Easy Mode – Exactly what you expect. Enemies, also known as Lumes a.k.a. aliens have less health and move slower.

Survival – Like Campaign, enemies come in waves, but instead of just surviving a set amount of waves, one must survive for as long as possible. It’s worth noting this is the only mode in which there is a leaderboard.

Sandbox – Similar to Survival in that there are infinite waves, but players are allowed to adjust values such as enemy base health, resources gained per wave, and toggle the 15-tower limit, which is by default on.

 

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Assault, Close Quarters, Aerial/Support, and Sniper classes respectively.

 

Each player has a primary and secondary weapon of their choice, access to several perks, such as increased movement speed or increased damage when low on health, as well as access to four towers. Players are able to see what other players have equipped during the loadout phase, which helps greatly in making sure the team has a large variety of towers.

System requirements are relatively low, I run Sanctum 2 at 1440×900, getting around 60FPS with a Nvidia 650M, so lag is almost a non-issue. There is occasional network lag, but that can be avoided by not joining games with which you have weak connections to.

Combat is brisk, about what you’d expect when there’s an alien horde coming your way. There is also a decent variety of enemies. There are fast movers, and slow hulks, armored enemies, and occasional “bosses” that can (temporarily) destroy your towers and tower bases. Monsters are not only limited to the ground, so air units must also be contested with as they ignore the defence maze and just fly over it.

 

Experience

I originally stuck to the campaign on vanilla settings, that is, with none of the extra difficulty settings activated. Playing solo, I plowed through the first couple of levels with ease. But once I made my way past the first few introductory levels, it became clear the most efficient way to quickly clear levels would be to play co-op with other players.

Advantages include access to a wider range of towers, and more resources earned per wave, as well as increased firepower. Downsides include having to deal with random strangers of varying competence.

Many of you are probably already quite familiar how unpredictable and unfriendly the average random player you meet on the internet can be. The first examples that come to mind are the Battlefield and Call of Duty series, which are known (at least to me) to have notoriously foul-mouthed players. In many games, it’s not hard to meet the griefers, the trolls, the haters, the flamers, and whatever I may have missed.

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Varun?

 

In my 25+ hours of Sanctum 2 time, most of which has been in multiplayer, I have only been insulted once. Just once, when another player was impatient and wanted the next wave to start before I was ready.

I have never been griefed. Although it helps that there is no friendly fire, the effects of knockback are very real, and I have lost count of how many teammates I have accidentally blown off the map…

In essence, my online experience in Sanctum 2 ranks among the best I have ever had. Players are usually polite and avoid irritating teammates, and often ask for input when tower-building to avoid disturbing maze sections built by others.

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Standing around and planning.

I’ll place slow mines here, ok?”

Mind if I move this?”

Need ten more resources here please”

Can you build an amp tower here, thanks.”

After my first few online games, I was so surprised at the civility of the community I started consciously keeping a lookout for negative remarks in chat, but all I got were more

Oops. Sorry about shooting you =’(“

Instead of…

%&$# &*# @$$&%^*!!!”

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Post-victory screen. Everybody’s happy, I’m happy. Except the Lumes, of course.

The positive experiences may be due to that there is no incentive to intentionally cause the death of others, as cooperation is the key to defeating wave after wave of enemies. One way to earn cooperation is to simply be civil and reasonable.

But since when have griefers and trolls needed a reason to wreak havoc? Any player can enter an open game, and proceed to deconstruct carefully crafted defences, then proceed to disconnect, leaving the victim with nothing. Sanctum 2’s in-game chat function includes an excellent always-on text-to-voice synthesizer, something ripe for abuse, yet the worst I’ve read (or heard) are the horribly misspelled names of tropical fruit pronounced by Siri’s cousin.

 

Bring it, Lumes

Sanctum 2’s online community keeps me coming back to the game, where I can have a blast slicing up enemies without having to argue with jerks. The chat voice synthesizer makes sure nothing in chat is left unheeded amidst frantic battles. Like Left 4 Dead, it’s a great feeling when you and your team achieve victory in the face of an overwhelming enemy. As a co-op game you don’t need to worry about being stabbed in the back every waking moment. The worst thing that could happen in-game is having to start over (which is not at all bad).

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Ooh that’s a big one

Time-wise medium level games take around 40 minutes, and if you have to leave before the end, there are no penalties. Although your team may be left short-handed, players can join in between waves, so your team isn’t necessarily handicapped forever.

Sanctum 2 is the type of game where you can always rely on your teammates to do their part and strategize with you to achieve victory. This is all made possible by an awesome player community full of people willing to explain strategies to new players through a hilarious voice synthesizer, and equally enthusiastic as you are to put the hurt on the Lumes (and not on each other).

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Ready up!

TL;DR?

Sanctum 2 = TD/FPS Hybrid.

Think L4D but Tower Defence

Nice online players.

Fun game.

Play it.

Minecraft UHC!!

Hello guys, Christian here. I would like to bring you a blog post featuring Minecraft Ultra Hardcore (UHC). This is the first Minecraft event that I would like to try, it has been something that I’ve wanted to try for awhile, but never seemed able to get enough people to play, hopefully there are enough people in the club interested in some Minecraft PvP (player vs player) that I can finally try some of these games that I have seen on Youtube.

UHC is a PvP style that leans itself to team play, but could be individual challenge too. The reason I used the word “style” is because it changes the core mechanics of Minecraft, and is not a single PvP map, this mode could be applied to any map! What UHC does is change Minecraft health regeneration off. Meaning when you have full hunger bars, you will no longer regenerate health. the only way to get health back is to eat golden apples (gives back a total of 2 hearths, plus 2 temporary hearts) and to venture into the nether to get health potions.

This game mode tends to take awhile, due to the fact that when you initially start caving, you don’t have armor, and as your caving your more than likely going to take some damage, and are going to want to find gold to make some golden apples. With everyone underground PvP seems like it’s few and far between. It is true that you are more likely to take damage due to the environment, than players, but after a few hours (I’m thinking 2 at most) we will tell everyone to make their way to 0, 0 (coordinates) and duke it out. I’m hoping to find a relatively small map so that we can ensure some PvP happens before the 2 hour mark.

If you have any further questions, or suggestions you can email me at Zerlure@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook, or even comment here! I’m very excited about this, and want everyone to be prepared for this event. 

Blog of Officer elections

Officer elections are coming up, and I hope all members already have an idea on who they feel would benefit the club, and who would help keep this club running. It will be a standard debate and vote where the candidates will have opening statements and will be asked questions about the position, and possibly some curveball questions. It will be fun for everyone involved and you get to help form the future of our club! Come on down to Psych on December 7th to vote for your candidates!