Recent posts by TheDarkFlame on Kongregate

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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

Actually, that does beg the question: Bluji, et al, am I still considered a regular, considering I haven’t been here forever, and have contributed to maybe two games in the space of hell knows how long, both of which I did a ton of scene-setting for and then disappeared from?

Actually there was that Mirror’s Edge RP that never went anywhere as well, I made a post or two for that. Maybe that helps in my favour, I don’t know.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

Nobody, yet. But there is that stupid back-and-forth “But he called me names! On the INTERNET! How dare he!” tone you guys are starting to pick up…

I mean, there are worse things than being called names on the internet. You could have your arm ripped off by a bear. A bear that ate your parents. An event which started your twisted descent into madness and your crusade against crime.

Also, because I’m curious: This isn’t a game thread. There’s no character for you to not be posting as. So what’s with the square brackets?

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

Oi

Both of you, cool it down please? There’s no need to get so irate over what is essentially nothing.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

No, they’re hackers, they’re above and beyond that. They’ve trained their entire lives to screw with machinery, some have made a living off it, others have taken to the side of the law to stop it. And not everyone needs to be a hacker, there’s plenty of other positions that you could utilise. And stop trying to pick holes in a basic outline of a scenario, damnit, that’s what ruins the fun of these things. When people take it too seriously and try to win the game instead of seeing how the story goes, it just collapses in on itself as people try to get more and more powerful with no actual character motivation or reason.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

I mean every damn thing. Slam-keyboard hacking, computers wirelessly taking control of things that aren’t even computer driven like vehicles, I mean people being able to do damn near anything with a computer, whether it’s actually feasable or not. And pseudo-tech rambling is a plus. Because I don’t care for realism, I care for ideas and creativity, and I want to see what people can do, whether they want to build a criminal empire, get revenge for their murdered parents, overthrow a corrupt politician, rescue the city, make some money, topple the hackers systems permanently, download the new Green Day Album, or hell, even just surviving. So think that insane computer-magic in the world of GTA or Max Payne or whatever particular spin on that takes your fancy.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

So, after a long haitus, I’m in the mood to write, and I have an idea for a (slightly silly, but workable) game. A freeform RP that is entirely character- and scenario-driven, so no need for anyone to actually be at the helm, and even better, it was inspired by a typo in this Escapist article1, (strange where ideas come from) so I don’t have the highest hopes that this will work, but let’s see. I’ll plant the seeds of the plot and set up the city, and then we’ll just have to see what happens.

It’s set in La Lux, a slightly-too-modern-world city with a Hollywood understanding of computers, and a similar view of proper legal procedure. There’s the opportunity for conflict, undercover agents, corrupt officials, dodgy deals and unlikely alliances when the tables are turned. That depends on what you do with the world. Or it could turn into a massive mess of confusion, bickering and stupidity, in which case meh. But you’ll be living in and creating your own vibrant world, with characters of varying morality on both sides of the law risking life and limb to achieve their goals, and more importantly, to survive in the harsh world of crime and punishment. But don’t take it too seriously, you’ll see why soon enough.

So, what’s so special about La Lux? Just another city of lights and sounds, right? Well, yes, but La Lux has a vast amount of crime. And a special department has been created to cut this crime rate down, by whatever means necessary. They have powerful, dangerous, high-tech equipment. Why? Because the criminals have powerful, dangerous, high-tech equipment too. They can invisibly and instantly steal money, property, even new identities. They can cause havoc with the city’s infrastructure, and bend it to their own means. They are Hackers. They are Pirates. And in this world of cyber-cops hunting cyber-criminals, even lowly torrent fans are in danger of being taken in, locked up… or worse. This is the world of Grand Theft Audio.

So, bad idea, or really bad idea?

1 http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/117217-Rockstar-Gives-Away-Midnight-Club-2-on-Steam

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

What in the hell is all this arguing about? It’s like every time I’m in this thread there’s this one dude trying to have a shouting match with the rest of the forum.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

Originally posted by Minnakht:

You’re here to satisfy the community. If you couldn’t do it in the usual way of making satisfying games or being a satisfying player in our games, then you could at least redeem yourself this way.

Yeah. Newsflash: Games are supposed to be fun. For example, I used to help run a Warhammer gaming club (You think this is sad? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, kid), and for those of you who haven’t seen the rulebook for 40K, it’s huge, but fairly simple. And all was well and good, as we enjoyed our laughably unbalanced armies and the chaotic occurrences that rolling the dice sometimes gave us. The “well let’s see if this works” approach is a lot more fun than the “If I calculate the probabilities of rolling to wound a T6 AV2 character with seventeen Str4 lasguns at BS4, compare that with my chances of wounding with…” method of playing. And we always had one guy who got hung up over the rules in a massive way and refused to play, going “No, it clearly says ‘on’ not ‘to’! So that guy there is safe, you can’t hit him, plus he’s got this rule which states…”, and that was unbearable because he’d always look for a way to try and get out of a situation by reading the rulebook differently.

Rules are there to define a game, sure, but they also restrict a game. The mechanics of the game allow the scenarios of a game to work, and can be quite useful in sorting out a fair and balanced outcome, but they also limit what the scenarios of a game actually are. You focus too much on the rules, and you don’t actually have a game at all, you’ve got an arduous series of hoops for your “players” to jump through, and people don’t like that. They want to have a laugh.

That’s why I like freeform RP games, what happens is entirely up to you, with the original poster being able to pull rank and do whatever if things are deemed to be too far off the rails or otherwise unacceptable. But it’s effectively a collaborative creative writing exercise, rather than a competition, so you’re all trying to create something interesting and discussing behind the scenes to work out how best to implement an idea. My point is, you don’t need to take everything so seriously.

Of course, I’m having caramel Freddos for breakfast, so I don’t know why you’d listen to me.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Tabula Rasa [Ather City 3] Sign-ups Thread

Originally posted by Captain_Catface:

Maybe the presence of ‘normals’ was to imply that the lot of you weren’t intended to try to munchkin on all of your characters.

Hey, some of us like to create characters who might be powerful, but are more than just distilled power. Using intense power can be balanced out by, well, keeping your character balanced somehow. And I think I accidentally kicked off what caused the first game to become a huge mash of sci-fi/dystopia/magic by creating what I thought was an interesting character with a complex series of would-be emotions, but everyone else saw as an absurdly-powerful death machine.

Back to my point, The Hulk is a great character because he can be incredibly destructive, but he has no control over when this happens, and otherwise he’s a meek, cynical genius who is afraid of what he might do. You’ve got internal conflict there, you can play with interesting ideas like free will and humanity’s bestial nature, plus you have that threat of someone powerless being given the capability to destroy everything they hate and fear, but having to sacrifice their mind to do so, and the human consequences of letting loose that rage.

Or, you know, you could just stomp everything into the ground and force the universe to scream your name.

Back to the thread, I have a couple of ideas, but I’m trying to think of what I want to do and how it’ll work. I was thinking of running a bard-like mage who casts his spells with music, but I’m not sure which school would fit that best. I mean music is a fairly emotional thing, it could work very well as something like that, sapping someone’s anger or boosting their morale, but I’m not sure. That’s what “Augmentative” sounds like it should be, a purely buff/debuff school of magic but… I don’t know, perhaps I should see what else I can think of, but I’m rambling again aren’t I.

Having to be a productive member of society seems to have broken the part of my mind that had any creative energy.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

Yeah, I can see that. Still infuriating, since I don’t think I can rewrite it anew. I’ve still got the concepts and ideas in my head, but it’d be like recooking half a lasagna in the microwave.

But hey, I’m back, and I’ll see what I can do.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

Haha, my retarded perfectionism strikes again! I tried to edit X17’s character bio to fit the scenario more (I had him written as a West-European creation amid the Second World War, but Aether City was in America somewhere so I don’t know how that would have worked). But what happened? The post deleted itself, of course, and I was left with a snippet of the post, the cackling of a mad scientist. That can only be the site mocking me.

Also, I had so many ideas for AC (who set the explosion and why, Dr Albert’s purpose and history, the corruption of the original shining city, a proper rampage as the villainous Matthew) and AC2 (Mental debates between Matthew and Dominic in his head, an actual explanation of his possession which I have kinda half forgotten, my Argent character becoming stupidly powerful, and other stuff since I never really got into the plot with that guy), but nevermind. I should have never stopped writing, in retrospect.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

In terms of the ladder, I’m somewhere beside it, poking it every now and again. I used to be stupidly active way back when but then things happened and now I’m nearly never online.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman, two horses, the Pope, the President, the Queen, a dragon, a unicorn, a gang of bank robbers, a SWAT team, God, and the entire population of France walk into a bar.

The barman says “What the hell is this, some kind of joke?”

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

Don’t worry, I’m pretty much the definition of inactive. I mean, I can write and write and write, go on forever creating settings, characters, scenarios, etc… But I also tend to get bogged down with other things and just disappear suddenly.

If any names I recognise would like to send me a PM, let me know how things are around here, who’s still around, what stupid drama I’ve missed, etc, I’d be grateful.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

So er, hey guys. What’s new?

…Er wow, this page of this thread is kinda utterly terrible. What gives?

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

[Hey, in my vision of Britain, the sprawling cities and road networks have deteriorated or even disappeared due to neglect, the remnants of civilisation living in sparse, ramshackle towns with little or no interaction with the wider world. The Monarchy and Parliament have been removed long ago, and the country relies on more local, informal forms of leadership. London, once the central hub of the UK, has (or had) no trace of its rich heritage or famous landmarks, having become a fortress-city with a violent, anarchistic population as there are too few guards to treat their behaviour as anything more than normal, unimportant chaos.

We’re not basing this thing on reality, by any means.]

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

[How long are you guys going to take to get to England?]

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

Argent – Whitehall Manor

As the three of us wandered towards the grand iron gate, I wondered where I would go from here. I’d left my ancestral home fifteen years beforehand, and from then on every day had a purpose, whether I was working on London, or trying to get to the next city, or just trying to survive the night. Now, I was back home again, and I could relax, but I couldn’t bear the tedium. In the past week I had introduced my friends to my family, and then what? Walked around like the security guard of a museum while my father rambled on about the house and its vast history, trapping the newcomers beneath a waterfall of inane factoids.

At last, I had something to do. But this wouldn’t take long. Perhaps five minutes at the most.

There were easily a hundred men pushing against the gates, and no doubt more were joining the crowd with every second. The gates would withstand anything short of a direct run by an armoured tank at full speed, and the only tank in the south of England was in our vault, being in no state to charge anything.

I closed my eyes for a brief moment, allowing myself to prepare, and then opened my mind. I could feel the fear emanating from Gladdys on my left, and Lukas on my right was emotional as a statue. I studied the crowd, feeling the aura, the power of their brains working, their thoughts and emotions rippling back and forth. This was something new to me, something dangerous and unknown.

On an individual scale, the mind is a complicated thing on its own, a vortex of ideas, feelings and emotions, but en masse the individual mind gives way to a group consciousness, every person a drop in the lake as it flows and ripples, pulling everyone together. A leader can take advantage of this, and whip the lake into a whirlpool of energy, ready to be directed towards a specific goal, but the energy there is only usable if you push it where you want it to go. A pent-up crowd without a leader will eventually dissapate, as everyone gets bored and goes home.

But this was no crowd, outside the gate. This was something else, a chaotic mess of energy writhing around like a swarm of bees, a terrible cacophony of noise, the rage of the mob an infinite furnace to fuel the tempest of thoughts. A hundred minds, all full of rage. All aimed at us.

That’s enough! Stop this nonsense, and go home! There’s no need for all this!” I bellowed as loud as I could to reach the farthest point of the chaos, my voice an unignorable command. But there was no loose thread to pull, no hand I could play to get them on my side. And I couldn’t work on the people individually, the mob itself was too strong, and all-encompassing.

“Richard… Something isn’t right, why aren’t they listening?” Gladdys spoke up in a quiet voice. I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t do it, but Lukas was already on the ball.

“He’s one of the enemy, his words mean nothing. His voice means nothing.”
“Yes, they’re driven by rage, and there’s too many of them for me to stop.” Stating the obvious wasn’t helping, but I didn’t know how to deal with them. The first attempt had given me a violent headache. Another strike might force my brain out of my ears.
“Surely you can do something?” Gladdys wasn’t any help against such numbers either, and she knew it.
“Well, what do you suggest we do? How do I stop a mob?” I started to panic slightly, being out of control was a feeling I was very uncomfortable with.
“They’re mostly unarmed. I can easily take down many of them. That might turn them.” There was no humour in my bodyguards voice.
“We can’t just kill them, Lukas. They live in our villiage, and even if they didn’t, that would be barbaric.”

Lukas stepped forward and drew his sword from the sheath behind his back, the sliding steel ringing like a bell as he drew the five-foot blade and speared it into the soft ground. For a brief moment, all fell silent. The scarred, muscular mercenary stood tall, his matted mane falling down to his shoulders, his eyes burning in rage. He crossed his arms and addressed the crowd.

“Who is in charge here? Which of you is leading this parade?” He roared at the mob, who suddenly panicked over who to blame. Nobody wanted to challenge the warrior in front of them, even from the other side of a solid iron gate. After a few moments of bickering, the crowd vomited a man weilding a rake.

“But, no, you bas-” He muttered to the people behind him, but had no choice as he was pushed on, and let through a small gap in the gate.
“Come here. Now.” Lukas pushed on with the fear offensive, and had the entire crowd’s attention, drowning the crowd’s anger in a torrent of fear. But I had to let him finish the show, or the anger would erupt again.

The man was a farmer, and had never fought in his life, but he clung to his rake like a magic talisman as he steped forward. In the blink of an eye it was snatched from him, snapped in half and tossed aside. Lukas took him by the throat and hauled him a foot off the ground so they could speak face-to-face.

“I have fought my way through life, every day a constant battle for survival. Swords, knives, guns, fists, Whatever I’ve had, every day I’ve had to kill something to survive. Warriors. Assassins. Enraged animals. I have even killed bears with these hands, so I’m pretty sure I could get rid of you.

“You, who have lived in this town, safe and secure in the knowledge that there is nobody brave enough to attack a town guarded by a dragon. You, who want these people dead, just because they are mutants, mutants who have for decades put up with this unrest, and refused to just have you all eaten. You, who will happily storm the home of a friend of mine, a man I greatly admire, and have devoted my life to protecting. So why shouldn’t I kill you? Give me one reason.” The roar succumbed to a growl, which by the end of the final sentence was barely a hoarse whisper. His eyes still burned into those of the farmer, an unblinking stare of infernal rage.

The farmer dropped to the floor, clutching his throat, trying to remember how to breathe after what seemed like an eternity. He had no answer. He had friends, family, people who relied on him. He ran a farm that fed many people, and owned a pub that many people visited. But would all that make his life worthwhile to this demon of a man?

“This man survives, today, and for one reason!” The roar sent a shiver down the spines of the people congregating outside the gate, they could taste the rage in his voice. “This man survives because your Lord wants him to survive! I would have no qualms in killing every last person who has attacked this manor today, but he wants nobody to be harmed. You are his people, and whether he knows you or not, he doesn’t want you dead. So go home, every last one of you, and remember this day for the rest of your lives.” The last words dropped into place like a hammer on an anvil, and the crowd dissolved in an instant. Nobody wanted to take the brunt of that rage.

***

Six hours later, we were sat in the man’s pub, and Lukas was leading the enthusiastic singing. And like all drinking songs, not a single person was singing the exact same words or tune. All animosity had gone, thanks to the wonders of alcohol.

I still sat in silence, nursing another cup of coffee and trying not to draw any attention. This was hard when my right-hand man kept starting rousing calls of “Long live King Richard”, but I tried nonetheless.

“So, Argent, when are we leaving?” I didn’t bother asking how he knew my thoughts.
“As soon as we can. Maybe a week’s time. I need to make sure this doesn’t happen again, start talking to the people, sort things out properly.”
“A week? That long?”
“Well, I need some time to rest.” I smiled for the first time in the evening, still reeling from the display of rage from my normally pleasant bodyguard.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

[I’ve had more goddamn computer problems on my end. Hooray. I’ve had to duct-tape a power cable together, and it’s by no means perfect, but it will have to do. Have I been killed yet, or can I carry on?]

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

[Okay, this post is going to be a bit vague and might already cover ground that I’ve mentioned already but no matter, I haven’t posted in a while so it might be helpful to remind people of a few things, especially if I intend to crash someone else’s party. Also it’s stupid-o-clock in the morning here so it might be a convoluted mess but that’s what happens when I have to borrow other people’s computers.]

Argent – Whitehall Manor, South England.

London had been brilliant. I’d turned a decrepit, dystopian dump of a city into a gleaming, whirring, mechanised gem of civilisation. The city’s politicians worked for the people rather than in spite of them, and the people coexisted in peace. Okay, admittedly not quite in peace, because you can’t change the inherent humanity of people, but they’d stopped killing each other. Okay, they’d stopped killing each other over petty things like money, or inane arguments. Mostly. And even better, mutants had become part of the people there. People like me and Gladdys, whose changes were not cosmetic, could live without fear of being turned in. Those who were more obviously mutated could finally live in the city, rather than under it, in the endless tunnels and sewers that they had depressingly called home before I arrived.

As well as that, the haphazard inner-workings of the great factory-city ran like a well-oiled machine, working hard to reverse-engineer the long-lost tech of past generations. There’d even been a few successes amongst the hundreds of failures. I was quite pleased with the few post-production pieces I’d managed to salvage before retreating. But all that effort was nothing now. I’d spent most of my life working on that city, every day of my life devoted to fixing what was broken and improving what I’d fixed. And they said you couldn’t polish a turd. Still, it amounted to nothing in the end, just so much time wasted.

No… Not nothing. I’d honed my skills over the years, like weightlifting for the mind. When I’d entered the city, my mind was weak. I could grasp the thoughts of others with my voice, and carefully drag them along, but cracking the strong-willed mind of one of the city guards had drained me so thoroughly that I slept for two days. Now, after so many years of arduous training, I could command anyone to do anything, and control the masses with barely a whisper. And I’d discovered other aspects to my skill, that didn’t rely on the Voice…

In normal interaction, simple eye contact can convey a number of things, but my vibrant green eyes could pierce the soul and burn straight into the mind, issuing commands and planting thoughts. Simple things, a smile, a glare, allowed me to control my targets with ease, meddling with their emotions. The surface-thoughts that tear across the mind in a constant miasma of energy could be spun like cotton to weave a tapestry of my own design. My skill wasn’t quite telepathy, but it was something close, a form of mind-control that was rooted in the most basic levels of communication.

And I was starting to become aware of something else, as well. My… I suppose you’d call it a presence, or an aura, or something like that, and the closer someone was, the stronger it became. Being close enough to touch tended to disarm people of their natural barriers, and open their mind, a posh hotel with expensive drinks and excuisite cuisine, and I was there on an all-expenses-paid trip.

Of course, such skills were of little use in a family-owned manor full of loyal servants who wouldn’t dream of disobedience. I sat in the grand hall, a room several hundred metres long which comprised the core of this wing of the house, one wall of which was completely covered in swords, axes, spears, and an assorsement of other weapons. There were a couple of scythes crossed in the centre, and even a pitchfork somewhere. People could be bloody stupid, and some of them had travelled for weeks just to have a go at being a dragonslayer.

I sipped a cup of coffee and watched Lukas and my father worshipping the collection. My father was a manic collector, even though he’d never weilded a blade in his life, but he was an expert on the differences between a variety of different styles and eras. Lukas stood wide-eyed as he looked around this section of the room, fascinated by the beauty around him, listening to the old man’s lecture like the disciple of a fabled prophet.

Weapons had never interested me. My voice was all I needed.

“Argent, there are people at the gates, fighting to get into the grounds.” Gladdys’ soft voice called from the other end of the hall. There had been occasional uprisings in the surrounding town, but typically they were put off because we had a great black dragon as a guard dog. He had left late in the night, reasons unknown, and hadn’t returned. We didn’t need him this time.

“Thank you, Gladdys. I’ll deal with them momentarily.”

At these words, my father looked up from his collection. He had to look up to speak to me, being a rather short man, but he still had an odd way of looking down on those above him, you felt you should attend to him on one knee. His quiet, deep voice and short, stocky shape put you in mind of a dwarf, albeit an eloquent, upper-class dwarf who shaved regularly.

“Richard, I hope you aren’t being foolish. That unruly group outside can wait until Amadeus returns.”
“No, Father, I shall be fine. They will not be able to harm me.”
“But what if there are more like your servant here, who can ignore you?”
“He is no servant, Father.” I hoped this would distract him from his question. It wasn’t one I wanted an answer to.
“Servant, bodyguard, mercenary, much the same thing, but with more specialised skills. I once had a butler who was rather adept with a blade, and kept a sword hidden inside his cane.” My father wasn’t used to having friends.

I ignored his rambling, and left to deal with the mob, with Lukas and Gladdys in tow. I probably wouldn’t need them, but I brought them anyway. On my right, the tall, muscular swordsman covered in scars with torn dark brown clothes and a wild mane of ginger hair, and on my left the petite, elegant lady with flowing brown hair, wearing a delicate red dress. I wasn’t sure who was more dangerous.

[That’s all for now, but I actually have plenty of time on this borrowed laptop, and plan to spend all of tomorrow reading the entire thread. Message me if you have an idea to get me actually in the plot, or whatever.]

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

Spam games are in general pretty terrible.

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The General Thread (A.K.A. Funky Town)

This year there are some very, very good games out. For example, Portal 2 and Infamous 2 (PS3 exclusive, I think) came out recently and have so far got brilliant reviews. Meanwhile coming up you’ve got Arkham City, the new Batman game, which looks to be even better than the first, you’ve also got Saints Row: The Third which looks about a billion times more insane than its predecessor, and there’s also Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine which could be disappointing but looks very hopeful for fans of the 40K universe.

This is an expensive years for video game fans, it seems…

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

[Need ideas on how to get back into the thread. I was planning on using London as a base of operations, but obviously I can’t do that now. So, er, is there anyone nearby, or will I have to magic up some absurd solution? I’d rather not rely on excruciating levels of coincidence to get the job done.]

 
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Topic: Forum Games / Master Thread

Can we not be dicks? For once? Please?

 
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Topic: Forum Games / The World After (Ather City 2) [The End]

Argent – London(ish)

In the second time in two days, a dragon roared over the grand steel city of London. It lay beneath us, a silver brooch in the dirt far below, as we tore through the air.

I loved the feeling of the wind tearing past my face, blasting my hair behind me as we soared. It brought me back to being eight years old again, riding through the clouds and laughing until I couldn’t breathe. Lukas, meanwhile, was on the verge of vomiting. We slowed down to a stop, hovering a mile above the ground, the dragon’s great wings beating in a slow, controlled rhythm.

“Amadeus! I’m going to head down and assure you a safe landing! Lukas, just hold on tight. Give me ten minutes, and then touch down in the square by the cafe!” I grabbed a backpack from the dragon’s massive harness and strapped it on.
“What the hell are you doing, Argent!?”
“I’ll see you on the ground!”

I fell, plummeting towards the ground, but I knew what I was doing. To much of the world, flight was the dream of madmen who believed in ancient technology that could make ships of steel soar like swallows. To me, it had been a childhood pastime. The backpack tore open and a great canopy of dark cloth unfurled, the parachute turning certain death into just another game.

I touched down just outside the cafe. The street was full of fascinated people, amazed at the appearance of a man from the sky. It only took a moment before they realised who I was, and they retreated as quickly as they’d appeared, wanting to be anywhere but near me. I’d been important in the city, and while I’d worked hard to remain vaguely unknown, there were enough rumours to send people running. I’d ensured that much.

“Gladdys! Fetch the servants, grab some luggage, we’re leaving in ten minutes.”
“What the hell is going on?” She marched out of the building, followed by people carrying hastily-packed boxes.
“London isn’t safe anymore. All hell is due to break loose. We’re heading back to the family manor.”
“But what about everything here? And the rest of the people in the city?”
“There won’t be anything here soon. And the people will have to find their own way out, I can’t stick the whole city on one dragon. Regardless, we need to leave. Now. Do not question me.”

It would be such a shame. So much work wasted. The business was running smoothly, the government were actually solving problems, and there would be nothing to show for it soon enough. And then there was the actually important work, beneath the city… But it couldn’t be helped. The world would have to do without, for now.

The few remnants of the crowd fled as they noticed the dragon decending on them. We didn’t have time for discussion and introductions, twelve people were piled onto a saddle built for five, and then we were off, leaving the city to its demise.