I didn’t dare hope that they would ever make a DoW3, after the collapse of Relic, but ZOMG it’s happening. I’ve been dying to see what DoW would be like with the updated Relic engine (like the one they used for Company of Heroes 2) and they’re saying they’ll bring back basebuilding? Lovelovelovelovelove.
As many of you know, I have a special place in my heart for space simulators. Recently, much of that love has gone to “Elite: Dangerous”, a space flight sim of amazing proportions. As such, I thought it would be neat to celebrate my 35th birthday by traveling to a star, in-game, that would just now be receiving the light from our sun that had been cast on the day that I was born. Thus, here is the (probably realistic) view of Sol, as seen from Zeta Herculis, a star some 34.9ly from Earth. I will almost certainly never get to experience this view in reality, but in so many ways it is still just as humbling that I am able to view it in a virtual space.
That teeny, tiny blue dot at the center? Not the white one, but that super tiny blue one. That’s not just us, that’s Earth, plus the Sun and 7 other planets. All of that, in a dot you can blot out with a needle head from a system that’s practically next door, and we think we’re so cool. Pffft.
If you’re a Kerbal Space Program player, and let’s be honest here: all the awesome people of this world are, you know just how incredibly difficult it is to land on the damn Mun. After having spent two full days learning about pro- and retro-grade manoeuvring, relative velocities and other stuff that a non-physicist should never have need of, I finally did it!
Granted, I was using the MechJeb control module the first time (the built-in lander legs and small monopropellant engines made it significantly easier to keep things intact during the landing attempt) but it was a fully manual attempt and I was just attempting to save myself the trouble of dealing with bits and bobs flying off of my module as I inevitably scraped my way across the Mun surface. I did go back the second time and do it again, this time with good ol’ Jebediah behind the stick. In both cases, I was able to safely return to Kerbin. I have to admit that I feel like I achieved something real here. What a brilliant teaching tool KSP is!
There’s my Mun lander, Dragon I, happily resting before the return trip to Kerbin.
I had not heard of this game before it went on sale during the mid-week Humble Bundle sale, but after seeing this commercial, I’m buying it on principle alone. “But don’t take my word for it, because I was good but baby, you were boat-er.”
“You can name your ships. I named mine Tortilla Ship.”
Thunder Wolves is one of those games that is totally just mindless fun. Fly your fancy military helicopter around firing unlimited amounts of rockets and gatling ammo at small moving objects on the terrain below you. The graphics are meh and the voice acting is pretty awful but I can get past all of that. I can even handle the fact that they’re going for a super retro late-80’s/early-90’s feel, but some of the “You’re kicking ass” combo messages they plaster across the screen are just downright unacceptable.
I am going to be hella sick if you say that again.
Toll the Great Bell once
Pull the lever forward to engage the piston and pump
Toll the Great Bell twice
With push of button fire the engine and spark turbine into life
Toll the Great Bell thrice
Sing praise to the God of all Machines
“Hi, I’m Sol and apparently in the next hundred years I’m going to consume most of the inner system!”
..but I’m fairly certain that the Sun would be several orders of magnitude dimmer than that from Titan. Sol looks nowhere near that big from Earth and if I’m doing the math correctly (Titan being nearly 10 AU from the Sun, light being reduced by a quarter for every time you double the distance as dictated by the inverse square law) the Sun should appear to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5/16 or .03125 as bright from a space station built in and around the “planet-cracked” Titan than it would be if you were standing on Earth.
(Also, this game makes the mistake of using “solar system” as a generic term in a few places, when they meant to say “star system”. It’s a pet peeve of mine, but it’s common enough that I suppose eventually I’ll just have to learn to live with it.)
I was going to take a break from Mass Effect 3, simply because I sense I’m nearing the end and I don’t want an adventure that I feel like I started years ago to come to a close. Then I realized that if I don’t finish it soon, some asshole is going to ruin the ending for me, so back in I go! Wish me luck!