Category Archives: Haven Editorials

This is the archives for Haven Editorials where we have written about either reviews, editorials, or discussed various topics of certain genre’s The articles are listed in chronological order, and if you’re looking for a particular article please use the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

PHYSICS! Why Unreal and Unity sucks

Physics!

Physical properties given to objects in the world the player and NPC’s intact with. Such as gravity, a force of nature that causes things to fall towards the ground. Our the ever present rag doll, the one where a corpse mysteriously turn into a boneless sea sponge. Which flop around the place when touched by any object with a hit box. Be, it bullets, people, explosions or a flying pebble. Non the less, the biggest offender is the one where I have to intact with boxes of any kind, especially in a first person game. The stock physics of a any 3D engine does bad things to stack-able objects.

Half-Life practically made movable 3d boxes a main stay in modern games. Especially the second installment of the series, which introduced the gravity gun. A weapon that picks up small things which I can fling in the face of danger. Such as saw blades and exploding barrels.

Anyhow, Half-Life 2 is built around the idea of a uniform physics engine, which calculate how anything not nailed down interact. Once I start flinging exploding canisters around, the Source engine calculates how nearby objects react to impact. The good thing though is that stacking objects is a fairly decent affair, I seldom have to deal with. Unlike a game such as Prey (The new one).

Where various upgrades allow me to move and throw almost any inanimate object I can get my grubby hands on. A real can of worms. Especially when throwing a heavy create hurts enemies hard, with a solid TWACK! That’s until I accidentally touch anything solid and instantly drops the thing I’m holding. God forbid I have to move a create out of a hallway. Putting a box upon a box, then jump on to said boxes to reach a ledge sounds easy right? Think again, I can’t count the frustration involved when two or more movable objects interact. It usually ends up with the things getting seizure. Not to mention how hard it is to aim a suitcase at an enemy. However the worst offender I’ve played recently is Hello Neighbor.

A game that’s in theory awesome as all heck. Where towers of crates can be stacked to reach new heights. Until i realize that cardboard boxes have virtually no structural integrity and is way to light. At lest they won’t spasm out like trashcans. It’s simply very hard to leave place one box onto another, without making a wobbly nightmare tower. I’ve also been knocked out by the physics engine, when it decided to rebound a box into my face. There is also a terrible sequence at a spooky mall, where five things go into the cart. I solved this by jumping onto the shopping cart and then dropping the items into it.

The Deus Ex series did the sensible thing at gave most objects a solid mass with some actual weight behind them. Essentially any box i place on a surface will stay that way. Even if I touch a corner.

Essentially I really loath the basic physics engine in both the Unreal engine and in Unity. Seriously do more hard coding instead of relying on a numerical value provided by the software. Especially when said game is built around such physics

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Fishy Game Fishing

There is something fishy about fishing fish in games. I have done it, you have done it. We as gamer’s have all been exposed to it at some point. I’ve tried a lot of games in my time and these pesky reward riddled mini games shows up all over the map. That being said, let’s take a closer look at some of these and see how various developers handled it and if the price was worth it.

Stardew Valley has a fairly decent and robust one. Which is also annoying as all hell. A town fellow hands you his old bamboo rod and leave the rest up to you. Equip some bait, apply force and throw the line into water. Wait for a bite and start reeling in, by tapping the button just fast enough to keep that fish inside the slider. Every now and then extra treasure appears as well. Yes it is definitely worth it.

Final Fantasy 15 and the boy band road trip also features one. Because why not flesh out Noctis skill set with something useful. Equip a rod, put on an alluring lure and make sure the fishing line has durability left. It’s one of those where the lure will be lost when the line snaps. Once the proper preparations has been completed, all I have to do is to aim at some fish silhouettes and let it go. Press the key a couple of times until one of the little buggers bite. Getting it to shore is then all about moving my rod in the same direction as the fish, whilst reeling in and reap the rewards of a new recipe.

The one in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time is my favorite one and no other game on this list comes close to that. Even if it resembles the one in Final Fantasy. Some desperate dude has a shop in the middle of Hyrule with Link as his only customer. I just have to pay the price, run around the place and pick a spot. Make some movement with the rod to attract a fish. Reel it in and move the stick a little to the left, to the right and backwards. Combined with a very dramatic camera made for quite an experience. Then turn in the biggest runt for a piece of heart. Or just find that hidden lure and go for that unique and very hard to get fish, which randomly appears. Only to get some extra dialogue for the trouble. Hylian Loach I believe its called.

Breath of fire 2 did it in a very annoying way, I dare say. I throw the line in and press a while hoping one of the fish is close enough to see  it and then bite. The problem is that I suffer from a limited amount of times I can press the key. Especially tricky with a treasure chest, since it will sink, resulting in a precise button timing challenge.

Pokemon has always been very simple in the approach. I place myself next to the water, hit a and wait for an exclamation mark before I click again. At lest you’ll never get a worm waterlogged boot on the hook.

World of Warcraft does it much the same way, but I have to actually click on the lure when things bite. Such as highly aggressive wagon wheels.

Meanwhile Black Desert made it into a directional key input challenge when I reacted to the prompt. Or I could just ignore it completely and let the game do the job for me, when I logged out. Yes almost every skill in the game can be set to afk farming.

All I’m saying is that some games does it well, whilst other botch up the mechanics and make the mini game boring.
That’s just several existing examples I can recall. Since I don’t play fishing simulators.

Haven Editorial: Running Red Alert on Windows 10

I love Command and Conquer, but EA shafted that franchise rather hard. Yet the games can be bought in a neat package at Origin. Electronic arts game platform. However making the older game run is a chore. 

Windows 10 64 bit is not the intended architecture at all. Even more problematic to record any gameplay what so ever. But I did find a workaround. One that can not be done with the origin version.

But first let’s look at the annoying issues.
Tiberean dawn can for the most part run, with the dangers of crashing. Compatibility mode is not very helpful here. Same rings true for Red Alert. Technically there exist an open Ra, which has a new engine and most of the missions. But I never got that bugger to work more than once.

There also exist a fan patch that even works with Dune 2. With custom resolution, but it crashed, then refused to start.

Relatert bilde

Alt tab out of the games is a no go. The screen goes black with the sound still playing. I sincerely though the idea of using Origin was to make the games playable on modern systems.

Red Alert 2 has issues with a black screen that I fixed with a custom fan patch. It’s still very unstable and likes to tab out on its own and then refuse to enter the game again.

Multiplayer is no problem at all with Yuri’s Revenge, since CnC net fixes all of that. A quite good fan fix. Does not with well with the story mode though.

Command and Conquer renegade was an almost flawless experience. But as we all know almost is seldom good enough. It decided to crash after a while and the game could have been a bit better in the first place.

I have yet to fiddle around with Tiberian Sun, which is a fantastic game, but a bit poorly programmed and almost as neglected as an orphan.

The easiest way is to install Virtual Box, get Windows XP, then set it up to run virtually with Windows. In window mode, then record the window. For this to work I had to install the disc version of the games. Because the Origin version refuse to let me play then without the software itself installed.

This solution allows software like Obs (open broadcasting software) to record and stream Command and Conquer games without too many problems. It took me a lot of time to find the solution, but it works wonders. Or you could emulate the PSX version of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert, which runs at 15 fps, but has superior audio quality on the music.

Njål Sand