Saturday Morning Gaming: The Turn-Based vs. Real Time Debate and Missionforce Cyberstorm


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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9 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    One of my friends had *TWO* computers in his house. So he was able to do 1-on-1 lan parties whenever he wanted.

    He was the guy who, in any given tabletop game, was the guy who was going to win. Seriously, he was the one to beat. For the most part, I was content with this, because I got better playing against him and, because I got better, he got better playing against me. Iron sharpening iron and all that.

    I figured out a way to beat him, though. I knew that he was going to go with a particular army that was his style and I pretty much always lost against him when I went head to head against that particular army with a similar one. He was just that good.

    So I made an army of weenie mechs with self-destruct mechanisms. I sent in the first one and it died when shot against his unfired weapons that were still defending. I sent in the second one and it died. When I sent in the third one, all his guns had fired and I got in the middle of his formation and *KABOOM*.

    As I was moving my fourth little weenie herc, he conceeded the game.

    And that was the only Missionforce: Cyberstorm game I won against him.

    But I still remember that fight fondly.

    Seriously, it’s a great game.Report

  2. DensityDuck says:

    It’s an interesting bit of 90s history, actually, in that there was a whole Starsiege property that Sierra and Dynamix built to compete with Mechwarrior. There were FPS, mech-sim, and strategy games, tabletop RPGs, even a metal-miniature hobby-gaming line. And it’s…gone, now, because gaming stopped being “computer versions of pen-and-paper properties” and developed its own IP that was more suited to computer gaming. Mechwarrior and Battletech only hung on because of the installed user base.Report

  3. Pinky says:

    One of the creators of Diablo I did a 20th anniversary “postmortem” that’s available on YouTube. It’s pretty interesting. The game was originally turn-based.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

      I’ve never seen this… cool. Thank you.

      (And my search tells me that Stoneshard is a turn-based Diablo II… huh. I’m on board.)Report

      • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

        I love his story about converting the program to real time. Serendipity is so rare in programming, because everything’s done for a reason, as efficiently as the programmer knows how. I remember hearing a story about some very simple battlefield game, you know the kind where the enemies run right at you, firing. The programmer turned off the “run at the enemy” code, and made the troops prioritize cover, then ran it to see what happened. All of a sudden, the enemy ambushed him. He’d never written that specifically, but the change in code made it viable.Report

  4. Reformed Republican says:

    I am not the proud owner of an Occulus Rift S. I played some No Man’s Sky, which was pretty cool, but I need to learn how to fly my ship with VR controls. Exploring other planets is awesome, though. I also got a copy of Obduction, which is a VR game from the creators of Myst. I got a little bit of time in that, and it is intriguing so far. I look forward to more time with both.Report

    • Skyrim in VR is *AMAZING*. Holy crap, it’s off the charts amazing. I very much dislike the whole “okay, now I’m fighting a spider the size of a VW Microbus” thing that happens occasionally (turns a fun adventure game into a horror game) but I did stuff like wander past a lake at night and there were fireflies flying over it and I got chills at how beautiful it was.

      Throwing spells is a lot of fun too. You see your hand floating and you can pull the trigger and shoot lightning out of it. Or throw fireballs. As someone who preferred sword and shield in the console version, I went spellsword in the VR one.

      Steam has a game called “The Lab”. It’s free! It has a collection of VR experiences more than games, really, but there are a couple of games in there that are absolutely awesome. And, hey, it’s free. (Did I mention it’s free?)

      If you have someone else to play with, you need to get Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. One person wears the VR helmet and disarms the bomb, the other person reads the bomb manual to them. (Absolutely an amazing party game and I recommend it wholeheartedly for that… I don’t know if I recommend it as a Friday Night Date Night game.)Report

      • Reformed Republican in reply to Jaybird says:

        Thanks for the recommendations.

        Skyrim sounds like it might be fun, though I was not really able to get into the game before. I would really love to explore Morrowind in VR (with updated graphics). I may look into it when I move on from No Man’s Sky or if I finish Obduction. If I get too many unplayed games on my plate, I might end up playing nothing, because I cannot decide.

        I heard about Keep Talking . . ., and it also sounds fun. I am not sure if my wife would be into it or not, though.Report

        • What makes Skyrim so amazing is the going around the world. I didn’t finish the game… but, my goodness!, the world! It was beautiful. Maribou did a thing where she got in a river that was flowing down a mountain and she said it was like a roller coaster and she had a lot of fun just wandering around doing stuff like “falling in rivers”.

          As for Keep Talking, I think it’d be awesome for a game night party where you and the wife are one of many couples who disarm the bomb. If it’s just the two of you, I think it’d be more like putting up wallpaper: A test of the relationship rather than a game.Report