Ciro Santilli used to play video games when he was young. But after he reached 18 he got bored of them.
The problem is that no matter how you look at, the how to become famous in the real world game is just always more interesting and fulfilling.
Therefore adult Ciro enjoys only the following types of video game content in video form, so that other people waste their lives playing the games while you only see the highlights:
- speedrunning, including:
- tool-assisted speedrun, Ciro's favorite by far
- real-time attack speedrun
- meta breaking glitches, including in speedrunning and on PvP-games.
- Magic: The Gathering
- Video game reviews
The aspect Ciro enjoys about non-PvP games is atmosphere. Not as conveyed by useless story telling, but as conveyed by music and graphics, and the context deep idea. Legend of Zelda and Metroid come to mind.
And too many games commit the sins of dependency of dexterity, no save states, how do I skip this boring part, or jump straight to the beautiful one?
Another important point is; the perfect video game is an infinitely hard one.
It also doesn't help if you are already typing on a computer all day long on your job. Hands get tired. Eyes have an infinite capacity to consume useless YouTube videos however. Medically proved.
As a result, Ciro just watches videos about video games. Notably games he played when he was a teenager and already understand the rules for.
And things got even worse as after Ciro Santilli's Open Source Enlightenment, and he started to feel bad about playing any game that is not open source.
Ciro once commented that the best game is an infinitely hard one, where you can progress infinitely. To which his great friend J. replied:
Fine, so the perfect game for you is mathematics. Stage one: prove the Riemann hypothesis!Or more broadly, one may argue that the perfect video game is life itself, or difficult life goals like making money, becoming famous or changing the world.
Thinking about it, "infinitely hard" is perhaps not a very precise term, as it could be interpreted as impossible. And if you have mathematical proof that something is impossible, it would be "pointless" to try, trying would be equivalent to pure meditation.
Maybe a better way to put it would be in terms of a difficulty curve. Real life also involves a lot of waiting, either for some experiment to finish running, of for you mental energy to restore a bit.
But so be it, you get the idea.
But this is basically what Ciro feels on every video game. It happens too often on PVE games that things are is either:
- too slow and easy (Ciro would rather skip those with saves made by other)
- or too fast hard, Ciro would rather tool-assisted speedrun those parts
Not to mention the incredible breach of suspension of disbelief of most PvE games where enemies are unbelievably stupid. E.g., why doesn't Bowser just build one fucking wall 15 tiles high to prevent Mario from coming through to his castle? And then put a gate and a hundred guards in front of it? TODO there was a YouTube video of this, I think it was Toad pointing it out to Mario that it is quite weird that Bowser is so stupid, it almost feels like he wants to be beaten.
TODO there was one which was relly good, can't find it anymore. One day.
This is true. The level of competition in university entry exams in Asia in insane in the early 21st century compared to the West.
This is actually both good and bad. Good because it selects some very good exam passers. And bad because it selects some very good exam passers.
30 year old Ciro Santilli preferred video game genre is survival games
This is a list of video games that are good to watch other people playing, even if you don't play yourself. And often they are better to watch than to play as you don't have to waste your time as much!
A meta breaking glitch of a video game is a glitch that when discovered significantly breaks the meta.
In non-video game-game, it does sometimes happen that a meta is broken as well, but these events tend to be rarer and less dramatic than meta-breaking due to computer program glitches.
In PvP games, those glitches are generally forbidden by existing rules, and quickly patched after discovered.
In speedrunning however, they are either incorporated in the existing strategy, or may lead to the creation of a new run category for particularly significant glitches.
A non-tool-assisted speedrun.
Ciro Santilli views humans as biological robots, and therefore RTA videos can be thought of as probabilistic TAS with human achievable reflex constraints.
This aspect is especially highlighted in "speed run record evolution videos", which can be quite fun, e.g. www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmS9e7kzgS4 Ocarina of Time - World Record History and Progression (Any% Speedrun, 1990s-2017) by retro (2017)
From a similar point of view, Ciro also sometimes watches/learns a bit about competitive PvP games from a "could a computer play this better than a human" point of view.
Ciro also likes to watch commented manual speedruns of games as a way of experiencing the game at a high level without spending too much time on it, often from Games Done Quick. Their format is good because it generally showcases one player focusing more on the gameplay, and three couch commentators to give context, that's a good setup.
It is a
To some extent, the ultimate achievement of a TAS is to achieve arbitrary code execution (ACE) on a game, although this has been becoming rarer and rarer in newer consoles. The Nintendo 64 is the current interesting ACE discovery frontier as of 2020.
Post ACE, you then get into more subtle categories which tend to be more geometric clipping through wall glitches, but those can still be fun.
The most beautiful TAS content ever made are:
- Super Mario 64
- Super Mario 64 A press challenge
- 1-key any percent run:
- 2016 emulator run: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkOkJvLKxUY
- AGDQ 2018 commented TASBOT console verification: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvWOLT9G6tM
- Why we need one key: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/249969/in-mario-64-speedruns-why-are-the-keys-necessary/351595#351595
- related: Super Mario 64 reverse engineering project
- Super Mario World for the SNES arbitrary code execution
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPcV9uIY5i4 with in-game programmed Pong and Snake, 2014
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxFh1CJOrTU Seth Bling does the credit warp manually in about 3 minutes, 2015. Later reduced to less than 1 minute: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf9i7MjViCE
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=voL3e0iqugo ACE was initially not forbidden in 11 exit rules, so Seth made an in-game manual ACE that programs an in-game accessible "exit stage now" functionality!!! This was later forbidden of course, but it was fun while it lasted.
- then he injected a Flappy Bird clone manually!!! www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB6eY73sLV0, 2016
- Ocarina of Time
- 2020 ACE via use after free including a non-TAS credit warp faster than the 2016 wrong glitch: www.polygon.com/2020/1/24/21080568/zelda-ocarina-of-time-arwing-spawn-video-speedrun-credits-ace-cheat-code ACE later reproduced in Majora's Mask, which has a similar game engine.
- 2016 Zelda Ocarina of Time wrong warp glitch:
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCO0jU66g3g 2016 video
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gso4MuNSuV8 EZScape explains the glitch, 2016
- Zelda Majora's Mask debug menu
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wdchm5Uwp4&t=2086s first video
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCubcEgnD6A overview
It is also amusing to see console verification of emulations, e.g.: Video 4. "Super Mario 64 '120 Stars' in 1:20:41.52 Console Verified by Soul Umbreon (2012)".
Ciro Santilli's TODO there:
- robotics simulation with control theory focus, and in particular with a model of uncertainty of measurements and commands. For example, imagine making a robot that plays golf, with the terrain fully known. And it is harder as you cannot control the arm with 100% precision.
Why would anyone ever waste time playing a closed source game, when this will inevitably lead to endless hours of decompilation down the line when you want to:
- fully understand how the game works, notably to help with TASsing
- improve the game's flaws as devs drop support (or lose source code and have to late reverse-engineer their own fucking game?) :-)
Those who devote their time to the useless development of open source video games, before we even have decent open source development tooling, will, without a doubt, have their place in Heaven.
- tower defense
- www.edopedia.com/demo/pixeldefense possible source github.com/jesseakt/PixelDefense 2020-03 desperately lacks a fast forward button and enemy health bars
- 2D platformer
- teeworlds: does not run on Ubuntu 21.10,
X Error of failed request: BadValue
- teeworlds: does not run on Ubuntu 21.10,
- 3D platformer
- 2D platformer
- OpenClonk: Terraria-like 2D mining crafting game. Pretty well done. Not sure if you can have a super huge open world. The fact that the music stops completely so often is a bit saddening.
- Pingus: Lemmings clone. Very good!
- github.com/The-Powder-Toy/The-Powder-Toy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling-sand_game in C++. No Ubuntu 19.10 package it seems, but was easy to compile from source.
- Worms clone
- pokemon clone:
- Tuxemon. Worked on Ubuntu 21.10. 20ea4181e1c0db04934ee69951ea1836a3b1f642
- Diablo II clones:v1.12 download Worked well on Ubuntu 21.10.
- github.com/flareteam/flare-game game engine
- flarerpg.org/mods/flare-empyrean/ game made with the engine
- The Mana World: www.themanaworld.org/ Started somewhat as a loose The Secret of Mana clone, but they've added online play capabilities, effectively making it a MMORPG.Their user acquisition as of 2021 is really bad. Download is a wiki page, there are two client versions, etc. The .deb did not work out o box on Ubuntu 21.10 due to unmet dependencies:
sudo apt install ./manaplus_amd64.deb
manaplus : Depends: libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.13-4) but it is not installable Depends: libsdl-gfx1.2-4 (>= 2.0.22) but it is not installable Depends: manaplus-data (= 126.96.36.199-2) but 188.8.131.52-6 is to be installed
Server status: Online: 9 playersSad.
- Diablo II clones:
- Factorio clones:
- github.com/tobspr/shapez.io Also browser based.
YouTube review channels:
This is a really good project. So fun to play around with. Low level IO part only like drawing to screen and handling keyboard inputs.
Ciro Santilli has:
- a few answers on Stack Overflow: stackoverflow.com/search?tab=votes&q=user%3a895245%20%5bsdl%5d
- a small cheatsheet on: github.com/cirosantilli/cpp-cheat/tree/09cb7c9fc1ee4a8bee421f12d0596b81cfd836bd/sdl
This is a good project. Limited scope to 2D card-like games, but very good within that scope.
Ciro Santilli used it for the 2D version of his Ciro's 2D reinforcement learning games.
One of the main children cartoons Ciro Santilli liked to watch. Part of the Pokemon Mania of the 90s of course.
Ciro could not understand why Nintendo won't make a proper 3D MMORPG Pokemon with actually 3D Pokemon roaming the land, which is obviously what everyone wants. There are even fan games getting there!
until this explaiend it beautifully Video 5. "The Downfall Of Mainline Pokemon Games by GONZ media (2020)":
- pokemon-mmo-3d.com Interesting concept here, where when you deploy a Pokemon, you start controlling the Pokemon rather than the main character
- Pokemon became an industrialized yearly game spitting machine, and therefore any new feature is just extra risk
- Pokemon was kept mostly as a handheld exclusive to sell handlhelds, with a few early exceptions such as Pokemon Snap
This game was mind blowing to Ciro Santilli and all kids. It felt so real. The perfect contrast between peaceful town work and saving the world. OMG.
Commented and labelled disassembly: gist.github.com/1wErt3r/4048722
Decompilation project: github.com/MitchellSternke/SuperMarioBros-C. That project does not produce the ROM however, it reimplements an emulator + game in a single binary.
OMG, the second half of the game where the world becomes quite open and all backstories are revealed, is one of the best gaming moments ever.
This is the one that hit Ciro Santilli the hardest, coming in at the point in which he started to discern between games and the real world a little better. His parents bought it for him during a trip to Disney World in Florida in 1996 (?), since electronics were much cheaper in the USA.
So as Ciro became older, and turned into a software engineer, he started to become more and more morbidly curious about "N64 internals": tool-assisted speedrun, how the devkit looks like, how games were developed for it, hardware leaks, etc.
Luckily Ciro's mind is not interested enough by that useless shit for Ciro to seriously study it himself. But that's what YouTube is for, right? Why do useless stuff when other more useless people can do it for you?
The console has only 4 MB of RAM memory. It is quite incredible what can be done with 8 MB, from the point of view of a 2020 worls where 16 GB laptops are the norm.
Ah, Ciro Santilli loved this one... games young Ciro Santilli played.
And as a result, adult Ciro really enjoys tool-assisted speedruns of the game.
It is interesting how the Etyptian level, Shifting Sand Land, clearly has Indian classical music, with sitar, tanpura and tabla:
No-A press 120 stars tool-assisted speedrun attempts by Pannenkoek:
OMG, both of those just fucking work on Ubuntu 20.04 with README instructions, it is unbelievable, those people don't have lives. And it builds the ROM byte by byte equal from source!
There are a few different versions:
- github.com/n64decomp/sm64 for emulator (i.e. or real hardware), tested at 9214dddabcce4723d9b6cda2ebccbac209f6447d
- github.com/sm64-port/sm64-port Ubuntu native, tested at 6b47859f757a40096fedd6237f2bc3573d0bc2a4Full screen with F10.
- github.com/sm64pc/sm64ex: fork of sm64-port, untested by Ciro Santilli, but more new amazing usability features, notably:
Also reported to work on ARM: www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/ityg6w/pinephone_playing_super_mario_64_30fps/They also ported to browser with Emscripten: github.com/sm64pc/sm64ex/wiki/Compiling-for-the-web
--skip-intro: skips the annoying pipe intro and the need to wait for Lakitu to bring Peaches message!
- in-game menu:
- hide HUD!
- no level selection yet, but a matter of time?
Tested with the USA ROM at sha1sum 9bef1128717f958171a4afac3ed78ee2bb4e86ce (you need a ROM to extract assets, which the project automates), which is also documented in the project itself: github.com/sm64-port/sm64-port/blob/6b47859f757a40096fedd6237f2bc3573d0bc2a4/sm64.us.sha1. Disclaimer: Ciro Santilli owns a copy of Super Mario 64.
From this project it was also noticed that certain ROM releases were not compiled with optimizations enabled, presumably because as a release title the compiler had optimization bugs! www.resetera.com/threads/so-apparently-the-ntsc-build-of-mario-64-didnt-use-any-compiler-optimizations.166277/ But now they do have a working compiler, and by turning that switch FPS increases in certain levels!!!
It is good to know that this game will "never die".
Some quick stupid patches:
- jump really high:
diff --git a/src/game/mario.c b/src/game/mario.c index 5b103fa..83c9f40 100644 --- a/src/game/mario.c +++ b/src/game/mario.c @@ -826,7 +826,7 @@ static u32 set_mario_action_airborne(struct MarioState *m, u32 action, u32 actio case ACT_JUMP: case ACT_HOLD_JUMP: m->marioObj->header.gfx.unk38.animID = -1; - set_mario_y_vel_based_on_fspeed(m, 42.0f, 0.25f); + set_mario_y_vel_based_on_fspeed(m, 200.0f, 0.25f); m->forwardVel *= 0.8f; break;
Interesting entry points:
TODO: enable the level select debug feature! tcrf.net/Super_Mario_64_(Nintendo_64)/Debug_Content#Classic_Debug_Display They actually shipped quite a few debug features into the retail game, and they have been reversed too. I tried this but it didn't work (or I don't know how to enable the level select menu):
diff --git a/src/game/main.c b/src/game/main.c index 9e53e50..b7443a8 100644 --- a/src/game/main.c +++ b/src/game/main.c @@ -65,7 +65,7 @@ s8 sAudioEnabled = 1; u32 sNumVblanks = 0; s8 gResetTimer = 0; s8 D_8032C648 = 0; -s8 gDebugLevelSelect = 0; +s8 gDebugLevelSelect = 1; s8 D_8032C650 = 0; s8 gShowProfiler = FALSE;
enhancements/folder contains a few sample patches.
Some tutorials of hacking it:
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkb7Naczoww SM64 Decomp Tutorial 1: Setting Up and First Code Changes by Bitlytic (2021)
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuIpqX4neWg Rovert Decomp Tech Demo by Rovert (2019) Metal cap makes Mario huge.
- www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aG1Iyjo20w Is it Possible to Beat Super Mario 64 as Tiny Mario? (Mini Mario Challenge) coverts the obvious make Mario huge/tiny hack. Huge mario verion: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR_gol6zlIo. There was a pre-decompilation ROM hack doing that trivial change already: Tiny Huge Mario 64. Sample tool-assisted speedrun: www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7BjzZ_Nkk0
Ciro Santilli really liked the battle mode on this.
It is a shame, but this game just doesn't feel good. The controls are just not as snappy as Mario Kart 64, the levels are too wide which limits player interaction, and the weapons feel clumsy weak and unexciting. These are all aspects that the closed source smashkarts.io gets pretty well.
Quite good, Ciro Santilli played this a lot in 2021/2022, his user ID: ofo5fNy7wRNC1Cw94YVB4KMOW5f2.
The physics not as good as the original Mario Kart 64, and it is notably missing jump gliding, and generally not as sharp! But it is really not bad.
Some of the weapons were too useless that you are just better firing them straight away at wall immediately to get something better, they could have a little better balancing there. I'm talking about you gatling that takes 10 seconds to finish firing, and does not kill enemies immediately. You are better off just firing that gun immediately when you get it to be able to get another gun ASAP. They seem to have done some balancing there however.
It had no chat option, but in a way it was cool to be forced to communicate non-verbally with people whose usernames you got familiar with. Funny you can love people like that, without ever talking to them. The best way of doing so being tea-bagging by going back and forth on a player after winning.
Performance was sometimes a problem. When Ciro tried it again on December 2022, it was unplayable due to the impossibly large lag. Tiings were much better again in 2023 however it seems.
This game (1 or 2, can't remember) made an impression on Ciro Santilli for some reason.
Only many many years after playing it, after Ciro started getting more interested, did he learn that it was actually an adaptation of the Chinese mega-classic Water Margin.
Yet another case of Chinese thing better known in the West as Japanese.
The game puts great emphasis on the concept of the 108 Stars of Destiny, which never left Ciro's mind: making 108 allies, the main collectible of the game, allows you to make a more powerful alliance, and unlock better endings.
A discrete 2D game on a rectangular grid: towardsdatascience.com/reinforcement-learning-implement-grid-world-from-scratch-c5963765ebff
This is analogous to many traditional board games such as Chess, the concept is very natural and maps well into computer.
The downsides of gridworld games are:
- it is hard to model speed in discrete worlds. When you 10x faster, when do you collide with something else that is also crossing your path?
- they tend to not use vector representations of objects. So to have an object be 10x longer than another one, the naive implementation has to add 10 smaller objects. This becomes untenable as the number of objects increases.
Although Ciro Santilli is a big fan of plaintext files and of Vim, not so for games. Games must be easy to understand since they are just a toy.
Tilesets to the rescue!
There is great beauty here. Great beauty.
There's a beauty in the portability of browser games.
The fact that the browser is not the main gaming platform as of 2020 shows how crappy web tech is. There is no fundamental reason why it shouldn't be so.
Who needs a hackable general purpose computer, when you can buy a completely locked down computer that only runs useless programs for which you have to pay thousands of dollars to develop for, cannot run a large percentage of major titles from competitor hardware due to business deals (see also) and will inevitably reach planned obsolescence in 4 years?
Some that Ciro Santilli likes:
He's good. Sometimes a bit repetitive, but generally pretty good.
Only the "original" videos matter. After those it became crap.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6DtVHqyYts Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (PC) (2014) is perhaps his best video.
Reviews mostly old RPG and strategy games. And hentai games when it is possible to hide the porn from YouTube. He also sponsors Hentai and uploads it on his website: www.ssethtzeentach.com/nsfw
Ciro Santilli really likes his sense of humor, always going into "politically incorrect" areas, and often making fun of both dictatorships and the USA. He actually knows a bit about politics. Due to the nature of his humour, many of his earlier videos have been taken down from YouTube apparently, www.ssethtzeentach.com/videos mentions:
Ever since going full time, I'm usually very clean and stay out of trouble, but in the past a fair number of my videos were taken down.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw8v5__Ytf4 Heroes of Might and Magic III (2018) is one of the best reviews. Sseth likes to find and make fun of game breaking imbalances, something that Ciro likes due to his Ciro Santilli's self perceived creative personality.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOJdDvf-tUs The Sseth Streaming Experience (2019), being a live stream, likely shows more realistically how Seth actually talks in real life.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG9g2byXR2c Might and Magic VI (Re)Review is another good video (2021)
Sseth has a certain vaporwave aesthetic, which Ciro also enjoys.
knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/ssethtzeentach gives his profile image from: www.aljazeera.com/features/2012/7/30/the-two-most-loyal-soldiers-in-the-dr-congo
youtu.be/se6Y2o3OqJQ?t=2 shows what could actually be outside of his real window.
Ciro Santilli's favorites are:first-person shooters as they can be fun to empty your brain.
gobattle.io/#! 2D top down dungeon crawler/brawler, controls feel good.
A recreational computer simulation!
Conveyor belt 2D top down mining like Factorio, but with more emphasis on tower defense/real-time strategy, PvP looks a lot like StarCraft or Age of Empires.
As of pre alpha 135, the most annoying thing is that you can't easily start a campaign scenario from fresh, if you lose you have to start from wave 1 but with everything already half built as you left it. This gives you a huge advantage...
It is also annoying that you have to manually rebuild everything that was destroyed afer each attack, unless you have some unit that you can only unlock later on...
mindustry-unofficial.fandom.com/wiki/Future_Content#New_Google_Play_Listing suggests freemium features being considered, but they are mostly minor or plaform specific. There seems to be no server list by default however, making the Steam multiplayer freemium valuable.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5ThSECaAwA suggests code drop is used.
It is a bit annoying that you have to unlock the tech tree little by little in campaign, but it does serve as a reasonable introduction to the general order of development. Games with progression state are boring, except when there is permadeath. But custom play scenarios have everything unlocked immediately, much better.
It is very cool that you can copy chunks of buildings as macros, and save them for later.
The game runs very well it feels like.
The logic blocks are particularly interesting, and allow you to program a block yourself.
The brutality of this game, the fact that you can get killed at any point, and all players accept that, is awesome.
A young Ciro Santilli really liked this game, the way it makes you feel.
Appears to be the best classic open source roguelike of the 2020's.
This website is really cool! crawl.akrasiac.org:8080/#lobby You can spectate players live and chat! Also has statistics.
Devs of this game are smart, they have one good in-tree tileset, unlike some other text-based games that didn't have an in-tree option...
Build on Ubuntu 21.10:
sudo apt install build-essential libncursesw5-dev bison flex liblua5.1-0-dev \ libsqlite3-dev libz-dev pkg-config python3-yaml binutils-gold python-is-python3 \ libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev libsdl2-dev libfreetype6-dev libpng-dev \ fonts-dejavu-core advancecomp pngcrush git clone --depth 1 --branch 0.28.0 https://github.com/crawl/crawl cd crawl/crawl-ref/source echo 0.28-a > util/release_ver make -j`nproc` TILES=y ./crawl
This launches the UI version already for you.
Ciro Santilli really likes this genre.
One of Ciro Santilli's favorites.
Seems to simulate the world in an extremely elaborate way.
Ciro can't help but to think that with a little content work, this game engine could also produce a Factorio-like (conveyor belts mentioned in passing at: discourse.cataclysmdda.org/t/vehicle-unloading/10783), or a The Sims-like, or an Stardew-valley-like. E.g. even stuff like house building is already included: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnCYGSlZ1gE
They're also adding more and more allyied NPC management in "faction camps" it seems: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/edg5y0/a_beginners_guide_to_faction_bases/ thus approaching the game further to Dwarf Fortress or RimWorld.
Ciro Santilli played this for 1 day and a half non-stop with save scumming in 2022, then he deleted his saves and uninstalled the game, and started Googling to see how end games can look like, as usual.
The problem is that it is a bit hard to find edited gameplay with highlights only, the type of people who play those games are just regular nerds right. But there is a lot of gameplay videos, just not edited ones.
Then two days later Ciro re-downloaded it and played more, just no so nonstop, the urge was too strong. Two days later, he deleted the save again after clearing out a middle sized town, and reaching a large town.
Then Ciro learned about debug menu, which is the best way to experience all buildings/weapons/abilities easily without grinding more than necessary. TODO any simple easy way to become invincible there? discourse.cataclysmdda.org/t/prompt-for-certain-debug-commands/19209/5
We do not accept feature requests for the debug menu.Lol. Found a "Debug invincibility" and "Debug invisibility" under mutations.
But a few days later he played a bit more for a day non-stop after having learnt some more techniques from YouTube, and then deleted again.
Ciro noticed that the part of this game that he likes the most is the early game. Raiding low populated areas like farms is joy. Once you get a car and stabilize, things become a bit less fun, and it is then just a matter of getting more and more powerful with a lot of routine work, which takes time. Sleeping in tents is quite tempting as well, there's a campfire overmap tile that is great. You can actually take down tents Ciro later learnt... that's awesome.
A major joy of this type of game is the ability to loot shops and homes without any moral implications since the former owners are all dead/zombified.
Another major joy is the incredible value you attach to items you discover, because they are truly life changing.
For example, Ciro was first obsessed with his duffel bag, which could carry huge volumes, and made fixing it a top priority once it got ripped!
Then he was obsessed about the 4x4 car he found, which looks like this:where:
fffffF fttsfF fttsfF fffffF
What a great design! Enough room for a lot of loot, and also the reinforced frame to kill zombies without destroying the car, all while not being overly heavy which spends a lot of fuel, not being too wide which makes maneuvering in cities with broken cars on the road hard! Also the trunks were large enough for large water tanks, which solves your clean water supply forever.
F: reinforced frame
Humvees are also good, but they are wider, have a lot of useless seats, and consume diesel, a lot of diesel, runs out very quickly. But they are even tougher than the 4x4, and have a turret that can fire at zombies.
It should be noted however that larger towns are generally just too much to use a car to clear, you will just waste too much fuel/car damage/real world time. The only way is to go at night it seems.
And then guns. The power of a guns is something to behold. Encounters that would easily be your death become one shot escapes. But of course, ammo is very limited, so you want to use each precious shot wisely! FEMA camps are a good place to get some easy powerful rifles and reasonable amount of ammo. Just drive in front of the entrance, and make the armed guards follow you out, then run them over. Try not to attract the zombie inside though, they are useless civilians without weapons, and just take up your time.
This game is also very good to learn some English if you are not a native, as you have to learn what all those bit and bobs you never needed to say before are.
The default tileset when running
cataclysm-tilesis a huge improvement over the text version, but still, could be a bit higher res. Overmap tilesets were only added in 2021 it seems: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/pxtqsn/new_overmap_tileset_available/. Edit: 0.F appears to come with the proper Ultima tileset by defualt via
cataclysm-dda-dataUbuntu 22.04 package. Fantastic!
There are other built-in tiles under settings, but all of them are way too resolution for a casual gamer.
github.com/I-am-Erk/CDDA-Tilesets has a good tileset pack. To install on Ubuntu 21.10, drop the release under:and then select
UltCafrom Settings > Tiles in the main menu. It does make things much more immediately understandable. Edit: after some initial plays, Ciro had a second look at the default
-tilesgraphics, and they are not so bad. But still, the higher resolution is better. Edit: looks like they are going to merge it in-tree, which is great! github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/commits/master/gfx/UltimateCataclysm
No default sounds, but has a soundpacks mechanism. Sad for now default, but cool for the configurability:
Installation is similar to tilesets, but you put it under
- github.com/damalsk/damalsksoundpack/releases. It makes a large noise every time you walk, which is very annoying. Ambient sounds and music are OK though. It should really give a comfy music when in the shelter though.
gfx/. Restart required to select the soundpack option, and another restart required for the selected option to be used, clunky.
This is the type of thing that prevents wider adoption of this game, it is just too hard to figure out things.
The other major requirement for casual players would be mouse clicking stuff with dropdown menus that show what you can do there (e.g.
G), and better menus, everything should be also doable with a mouse in addition to the keyboard shortcuts.
Besides the zombies, it also has some high tech stuff like bionics and aliens mixed in. And mods add other stuff, e.g. cddawiki.chezzo.com/cdda_wiki/index.php?title=Magiclysm which is quite cool. The design document/lore spoilers explain that this is the actual cause of te cataclysm: cataclysmdda.org/lore-background.html
The cool thing about this type of game is that enemies are really powerful, which is so much more realistic. Even a single zombie has to be given lots of respect, especially since healing is a slow process like real life, and killing one feels like an achievement.
Some other cool points:
- www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/3m92cc/are_worlds_truly_infinite/ the map is truly infinite. Everything is persistent. They must freeze things in some state of course when the player is not around, and hydrate it (using React.js-like terminology!) when you come back, but they all look very plausibly continuous to how things where. They call the fully simulated world the "reality bubble": cddawiki.chezzo.com/cdda_wiki/index.php?title=Reality_bubble That pages says though that not everything hydrates. Shame there are no oceans yet: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/huvnon/when_are_we_getting_oceans/But there are lakes, and lake islands: cddawiki.chezzo.com/cdda_wiki/index.php?title=Lake but they are quite rare on the mapgen, outside of fixed scenario starts.There could definitely be some more biome variety in the game though, e.g. hills, mountains, deserts, tropical forests, and so on. As it stands in 2021, the game is basically a USA midwest simulator. This is confirmed in the official design document: cataclysmdda.org/lore-background.html.This also make the survival scenarios a bit ridiculous. Middle of nowhere means you walk a little bit out of the woods and you reach a huge shopping mall!
Tips for beginners:
- a Reddit list: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/hsxpco/things_you_wish_you_knew_when_you_started_playing/
- go to town at night, zombies are even blinder than you, it is possible to sneak by massive hoards, fighting one enemy at a time, even when they are well packed together. The only possible reason to go out during the day is to smash zombies with a car without crashing.
- favoriting items makes you not drop them by default with
,. This is fundamental so you can drop loot while keeping survival stuff on you.
- indestructible and faster than you early game enemies, encounter means certain death: Survivor zombie, Giant cockroach, Giant wasp. Walking on trails is also potentially deadly, which is very annoying... sometimes you only see dealy enemies like wolves when you are on top of them on trails. Not sure what to do about that.
- pick up all items from any surrounding tile:
/, then on left
Ifor inventory, on right
Afor area. You can also examine items with
eif not everything fits, and sort by category with
s. That's the most important menu in the game!
- duffel bags are the best thing ever made, carry huge volumes, and you can craft them too!
- smash (
S) zombie corpses after you kill them, or else they will re-raise after a few hours. They will be wounded and easy to kill however.
- just like in real life, cars are the ultimate killing machine. For some reason though, it does not smash zombie corpses. They can also carry infinite crap, after clearing up a town, you can just pick up EVERYTHING without thinking too much, just hit
,. To bulk move things into/off a car, just hold Enter until the inventory is full. So sort huge piles by category: Shift + V then S:.Just like in real life, bicycles are pretty good if you can't find a working car, as they don't consume fuel, just stamina. You can even go around hordes if you are crazy enough, and try to look for working cars in towns, but going on the countryside would be wiser. Just make sure you always have enough stamina to cycle out to safety if your electric motor isn't working, which is often the case!
Electric cars can also be recharged from the sun, which means they will never run out. They are generally not very strong, so not suitable for ramming, and the battery runs out relatively soon. But great to stop out of town.
- to get fuel from other cars, you need a rubber hose that can be easily obtained by smashing a refrigerator.
- you can just siphon directly from one vehicle to another if you stop them close by, no need to go through containers every time!
- you will learn where are good places to find cars:
- mine entrance parking lots
- car refueling/repair stations
- head encumbrance does not seem to do anything besides limit how many hats you can wear, so do ware that motorcycle helmet: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/a5nq6c/head_encumbrance/
- headlamps are a must
- on the overmap
m, you can fast travel with
Shift + Wtwice. Not perfect path finding, but saves a lot of useless clicking!
- on the EVAC shelter computer, contact us is not useless at all! It shows the nearest refugee center, and can show a lot of map because it shows the full road path there
- climb buildings to see further out. You can start by climbing the EVAC shelter via gutter with
>! But to go down pipes you have to examine it, not
<, it's weird. Edit: actually, you can "climb down" any ledge, so that's why. But you can still get hurt, so don't do it unless it is really necessary. You will want to carry the telescope, or a binoculars with you at all times most likely, as it is just a huge asset. You just can't climb back up without the water pipe. Radio tower and silos are other good buildings to climb, and radio towers often contain telescopes which allow you to see very very far, climbing those is a top priority when scouting a new region. Don't jump down, even of 1 floor, as it hurts you. A bit exaggerated, but so be it.
- you can grind fabrication easily to level 1 even without a book: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/6r2477/best_way_to_grind_fabrication/ This is fundamental to make the all important brazier. And you'll learn that dumping things in the brazier unecessarily burns them out, the uninsuitive "Construct" > "Firewood Source" is a must.
- place brazier immediately outside of the EVAC shelter window, this way you avoid smoke problems, but can still cook from the inside.
- shopping carts are the very best mechanism to carry a lot of loot in town besides a car. And there's a foldable version that can fit into cars, but you have to craft it... www.youtube.com/watch?v=kccBl7cksPY. Most important item ever.
- there's a built-in debug menu that allows you to cheat whatever you want: spawn items, change your stats (e.g. 10000 strenght and smash through walls? no problem), learn skills, reveal map, and teleport. You have to bind a key to it before using it from
,is a good bind candidate. Now that's real fun, being God.
- auto-smash mode is a must
- you likely should look into spears: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/7m99jb/why_melee_with_anything_besides_spears/. Reach attacks from spears are OP, as you can hit a zombie, run, wait for it to come in range, hit from afar, run, and so on. Then after killing a zombie, you wait until your stamina recovered with
|. This allows to safely kill anything as fast as you without taking hits. Wooden spear is a good first one, and it is not flimsy and lasts a while, like 30-50 zombies maybe. A pitch fork is another good option if you can find one.
How a typical early day looks like for a newbie: go to down, fight 5 zombies, get some stuff from houses, and run back home because your limbs are too weak and could break. Get home 10AM, and read the hole day and night. Repeat.
A fun play style is: get a car, clear out a small town with a library, bring food and books back to the base, fill the 4 60L tanks with water and bring them on the car as well, and then just read for several days until the food runs out. Repeat. It is not super serious if you don't have a car though, as even "shallow water" pools found in every forest can fill one of them. Exploitative mechanic BTW.
Top feature requests for Ciro Santilli:
- www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/2mni5z/can_i_store_items_in_a_backpack_and_drop_the/. As of 0.E-3-1, drop happens automatically on Take off, but then you have to pick up items that go overweight/volume one by one.
- find items in my inventory by quality, or at least all item qualities in a single sortable table, otherwise it is too hard to know which item can do what
- fill all empty containers with something, e.g. water from a large pool into 25 plastic bottles
- view wound details without having to select bandage or antiseptic.
@"EFFECTS" has a summary, but it is too tiny, that stats window should be fullscreen for sure
- realism requests. Ciro is a big fan of realism in CDDA, the more the better, and if you don't like something, just use the debug menu!
- shitting/peeing system
- when you wash clothes (currently important because zombie worn clothes that you pickup are generally filthy and reduce morale), make the clothes wet and require drying. There are even already some rotation clothes handers in houses, but just putting on a bench would be enough. And of course, higher temperatures mean faster drying, next to a fire would be ideal. Wearing wet clothes would of course make you cold and demoralized.
TODO how to create a custom non random map/scenario? Possible from JSON: discourse.cataclysmdda.org/t/guide-to-adding-new-content-to-cdda-for-first-time-modders/17781/13/ ?
Their dominating Q&A communication channels are terrible, as of 2021 everything you google leads to: www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/ which suffers from online forums that lock threads after some time are evil (edit: this changed since). They've since made a discourse thankfully however: discourse.cataclysmdda.org/
Source code overview:
- it is funny how the
lang/directory with translations is by far the largest of the repo ta 100MB, way larger than
gfx, it's comical
One of the things it simulates is some level of builing stuff:
- you can build a wooden house: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnCYGSlZ1gE including floor, roof, windows. There are also concrete walls. Of course, building is useless, what you really want is a super mega truck that doubles as a home.
- you can dig water channels from rivers/lakes with a digging tool to bring water to your doorstep. TODO can you dig down deeper than "pit", minecraft style?OK, you can build a "Dig downstair" and it works. With a pickaxe you can carve stone sideways. With infinite cheated strength you can just mash the rock walls. The have salts and coal sometimes, funny. Upper floor does not collapse. TODO can't dig the second one "You cannot build here".
- TODO can you generate power e.g. in solar cells or not, and wire it into home appliances? www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/4zm7tf/solar_panels_useless/ from 2016 says no.The solution would be simple... just mark the edge incoming wire from the reality bubble as a magic source that has a given voltage/max amperage/total power or total wattage available. Would be good enough. Sure, some estimates might be hard, e.g. how much sun is there in a far away location of the map, etc. but just having some average of those values would be good enough. E.g. average temperature of an off bubble tile would also be useful to calculate food rotting time.
A related obvious application would be refrigerators. www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6B0KBJHvZs from 2021 mentions again that you can't have power without vehicles. TODO do the refrigerators in a powered 01 lab protect food?The fork github.com/cataclysmbnteam/Cataclysm-BN is actually trying to add an electric grid...
- cddawiki.chezzo.com/cdda_wiki/index.php?title=Power says yes "farmhouse kitchen running off of outside solar, cabled in"
- www.reddit.com/r/cataclysmdda/comments/9j9e16/wired_homes_and_electrical_systemgrid/ from 2018 says no due to fundamental reality bubble limitations, the only way is with power coming from stuff mounted on vehicles...
sudo apt build-dep cataclysm-dda-curses cataclysm-dda-data cataclysm-dda-data git clone https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA cd Cataclysm-DDA git checkout cdda-experimental-2022-01-27-0622 mkdir build cd build cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DTILES=ON -DSOUND=ON -DLOCALIZE=OFF .. make -j`nproc`
:part_index_’ may be used uninitialized [-Werror=maybe-uninitialized] 55 | return part_index_;
-Werrorcheck, they don't test GCC new enough regularly.
This would be a dream, but it is also impossible: how can you reconcile automated tasks that are simulated quickly like batch crafting 20 muffings in 30 in-game minutes, with someone who is at the same time fighting a hoard of zombies and taking one action every 2 in-game seconds? Alas.
Tested as of Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead 0.E-3-1, seems possible built-in:
- Disable autosave on settings
- Quisave (Esc + 9)
- To restore the save, just close the game window directly before clicking Yes or No on the "Watch the last moments of your life" dialog.
A less risky save scum can be achieved with rsync:and after you die:
rsync -av ~/.local/share/cataclysm-dda/save/ ~/.local/share/cataclysm-dda/save.bak/
rsync -av ~/.local/share/cataclysm-dda/save.bak/ ~/.local/share/cataclysm-dda/save/
Now that's sweet:
Made by a single dude. As SsethTzeentach puts it, this is the greatest autism project ever made.
github.com/minetest/minetest Written in C++, which is, a plus.
Good Minecraft clone. On Ubuntu 21.10 did:which installed 5.4.1, and it worked, except it had no sound, to an error:
sudo snap install minetest
ERROR[Main]: Audio: Global Initialization: Failed to open device
This game is quite detailed: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4Jmqp8a_bU
Upside: it is easier to simulate zombies than it is to simulate intelligent humans and make them look convincing.
- if zombies are so dumb, why didn't humans deal with them already? Just build some fucking walls and sleep in isolated rooms in case someone has a heart attack during their sleep! So not as convincing.
- zombies vioalte the law of conservation of energy. What do they eat when humans run out, since they are so dumb? Previously mentioned at: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20240895
- AI game
- Break the meta
- CC BY-SA
- Ciro Santilli's cheapness
- Games young Ciro Santilli played
- Good video game to watch
- "Hello, World!" program
- Let students learn by teaching
- Meta breaking glitch
- Desired social impact
- Physics engine
- The missing link between basic and advanced
- Universal basic income
- Verilator interactive example