Jason Cross

Terraria: Sir Digsalot and the dungeon guardian

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Okay, it’s time to do some serious upgrading. Time to stock up on healing potions, grab a bed, and head back to the underground jungle. Time to explore the surface at night for fallen stars. Time to max out the health, get some mana going, and get some more great items. Because soon, it’s time to head to the Dungeon.

After the jump: it’s just a harmless old man, right? Continue reading →

Terraria: Sir Digsalot the herbalist

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It’s time to experiment with potions! I have a fair number of herbs and flowers saved up from my travels. What’s more, I have some seeds. The list of potential potions in the wikiis enormous. If Sir Digsalot is going to have enough herbs to continue to make potions, he’ll need to work on his green thumb. So after turning clay blocks into pots and building a little ramshackle greenhouse, I’ve got a little herb garden going. I even put a glass roof on the house, just for kicks.

After the jump: welcome to the jungle Continue reading →

Terraria: Sir Digsalot explores the sky

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First order of business in New Quarteria is to build a new base, and transfer all my loot from the old world. I think this time I’ll go for more of a tower design. It takes a few trips back and forth between New Quarteria and the old world, but I finally get my tower built. I’ve got a lot more storage room this time around. As the NPCs start to repopulate my world, I’ll do a little exploring. Sure, I could start digging a new tunnel downward. I could explore the surface. But no, Sir Digsalot has his sights set skyward.

After the jump: There’s plenty of air up there Continue reading →

Terraria: Sir Digsalot’s worm problem

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Plenty of health potions? Check. Nine sticks of dynamite? Check. Dapper top hat? Check. It’s time to bust some more shadow orbs. Sir Digsalot has his spawn point saved over by the corruption, and has fallen down one of the big crevices until he sees the shadow orb. I destoyed one a few days ago, so this will be the second. After the third, another boss will spawn: the Eater of Worlds. While I’m here, I’ll also collect some rotten chunks from the Eater of Souls flying monsters that float around (they’re easy to kill) and see about grabbing some vile mushrooms, which only grow in the corruption.

After the jump: Man, that’s a big worm! Continue reading →

Terraria: Sir Digsalot and the Eye of Cthulhu

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So I fire up Terraria to take Sir Digsalot and his fancy new phaseblade out boss-hunting, and what’s this? 1.0.5… a new version? The changelog is just crazy. 8 new enemies. Over 50 new items. Potions that give buffs. The guide now has a little spot you can drop an item into, and it will show you all the things you can craft with it. NPC shopkeepers have different inventories at different times. It goes on and on. Some of the new features won’t be seen unless I start a new world, because they’re set during world creation. This really isn’t a big a deal – Terraria is a game where you’re meant to start new worlds, and visit other people’s words, with your continuing character (hence the importance of the piggy bank). Sir Digsalot is kind of committed to this world right now, so we’ll be sticking with Quarteria for a while longer.

Minecraft and Terraria are perfect examples of the new attitude of many game developers. Sure, the games go on sale at some point, but they’re not really “done”. The developers view their game as a service more than a product, and just keep adding and fixing and tweaking, mixing their vision with the player’s requests and ideas. One day, you fire up the game and it’s twice as compelling as the last time you played.

After the jump, it’s finally time to kill that great big eye Continue reading →

Terraria: Sir Digsalot and the meteor crash

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A new day is dawning and Sir Digsalot is feelin’ pretty good about all the cool stuff he just found. It’s time to find some corruption to deal with! That means a bit of prep work. I have my grappling hook, but I’ll also need to make a bunch of lesser health potions and convert them to standard health potions. Last but not least: the portable spawn. That means a door and a bed. Any time you venture far from home, it’s a good idea to take a bed, door, and maybe a workbench (though you can always make one later). You can make a little room as a far-from-home spawn to save you a lot of time if you die. Then you use the hammer to pick it back up again when you’re done.

I run to the right all day, past vast deserts and a jungle and steep mountains, then make myself a little safehouse to wile away the night. I can always open the door and kill some stuff with arrows, then shut the door for safety. If I die, no biggie…

After the break, dealing with corruption Continue reading →

Terraria: Sir Digsalot doesn’t actually fight a boss

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Sir Digsalot has a full set if iron armor, a silver bow, and 145 flaming arrows. It’s time to venture out at night and kill as many Demon Eyes as possible. Kill Eyes, get lenses, use 10 lenses to make the thing that summons the big eye boss. Of course, I’ll fend off lots of zombies along the way, and being out at night all that time will mean a few more fallen stars, too. I’m merrily running around the surface, waiting for the sun to set, when it happens.

After the break: Things don’t exactly go as planned… Continue reading →

Terraria: the adventures of Sir Digsalot

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Behold Sir Digsalot and his spawn point in the kingdom of Quarteria! From these humble beginnings, I shall dig, and build, and dig some more, and kill, and continue digging until I has achieved dominion over this procedurally-generated medium-sized world! Blonde of hair, Green of Eye, and Plain of Clothes, Sir Digsalot’s story begins as all good stories do:

With an axe.

After the jump, we get our build on. Continue reading →

Weekly iCross: Are you ready for some baseball?

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I don’t really like baseball. Sure, I can go to a Giants game and have a good time, but I never watch baseball on TV, don’t know who the players are, and don’t how well this team or that team is doing this season. After college, I sort of fell out with professional sports in general. For some reason, I find myself occasionally drawn to sports games, though. Imagine my surprise when I bought Baseball Superstars 2011 for a buck (on steep discount — it’s usually $4.99) and found myself enjoying it so much. It’s just the kind of baseball game for people like me who understand the basics of the game, but don’t really care much about it.

After the jump, a super-Korean take on baseball games Continue reading →

Weekly iCross: chairman of the board

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I’m kind of a board game fan. That photo above is my happy little cabinet of games, and I love it, even though I wish it was about five times bigger. When you live in a dinky overpriced San Francisco one-bedroom with your girlfriend and don’t have room for a proper game table, your options are limited. Fortunately, the iPhone and iPad are fantastic devices for scratching that board game itch. The App Store is chock full of stuff every board gamer should know about, with more piling up all the time.

After the jump: Reiner Knizia has too many apps Continue reading →

Weekly iCross: better off dead

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Back on April 21st I saw a little $0.99 game emerge on the App Store called Bunny the Zombie Slayer. Upon first inspection, it seemed like a trifecta of “cynical iPhone cash-in game” syndrome: a cute name (a riff on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), obvious similarities to other major hits (Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies), and a timed release with a major holiday theme (Easter). The klaxons went off. There was no way I was going to give these guys my dollar. These…Hothead Games…guys? Wait, the same Hothead that made the enjoyable-despite-its-flaws Deathspank and Penny Aracade games? The ones with that neat looking Horde? Ron Gilbert* Hothead? Shit. Here’s my dollar.

After the jump: Do not give these guys your dollar. Continue reading →

Weekly iCross: The Fish Dies in the End

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I was going to try to come up with some sort of clever title for this week’s post, but how can I possibly top the name of the game itself? “The Fish Dies in the End” Rarely does a game put forth such brutal honesty right there on the title screen. The game’s developer, who goes by “bandidoquest” on the forums, recently posted that the game was finally finished and available. It was his first game, and he was looking for feedback. I am, if nothing else, chock full of feedback.

After the jump: If it’s feedback you want, then feedback you shall have! Continue reading →

Weekly iCross: Forget-Me-Not is the 80s arcade game that never was

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Retro is big these days. Retro remakes are everywhere, from Bionic Commando to my personal favorite, Pac-Man CE DX. Most of the time, retro games are simply retro style and improve or enhance the game with the use of modern hardware. Forget-Me-Not isn’t like that. It’s a game that looks and feels right out of 1980. And the title, I think, has double meaning.

After the jump: all that’s missing is the quarter slot Continue reading →