15 things you might not know about Subnautica

Did you know …

… you get a transparent ceiling if you put a multiroom on top of an alien containment?

and did you know you can put lockers on reactors?

Thermal generators run on islands. Not perfectly but well … free energy.

Did you know there’s a menu where you can manage your beacons? You can turn them each on and off as you please to declutter your interface

Also good to know : you shouldn’t underestimate the grav trap. Makes fishing a lot easier. and escaping, too.

Resources don’t diasppear if you drop them – but manufactured products do. So be careful what you drop and what you don’t.

Did it come to your mind that tiger plants can defend your base? Plant them elevated so they don’t shoot you. Or wear a reinforced dive suit.

You can plant a lot of plants. But did you know you can plant gel sacks and even blood vines?

Helpful for scanning those leviathans: you can stasis rifle and freeze them, too

you should know but I didn’t in the first place: hit plants with your knife to get seeds.

Did you know hatches can be built on top of hallways to free up wall space?

You can troll your fish pals with floaters. Has even practical use for taking care of annyoing predators making tumble around uncontrolled for your amusement.

… the same applies to acid mushrooms. You can reload directly from your crab suits storage by pressing the “f” key.

… you can also breed crashfish in an alien containment and use them to defend against hostile lifeforms.

Did you know Rabbit rays multiply like … rabbits inside alien containment. hearless people stuff them into the bioreactor to gain lots of energy.

Just for fun: you can use the fire extinguisher as a propellant under water.

And finally: you can put any picture in the folder of the PDA screenshots of subnautica, and so have your own pics ingame!

And here’s an extra hint: stalkers drop a tooth on biting a seamoth

War Thunder rank 4 German lineup

Hey folks what’s up. I love the War Thunder ground forces because it’s less arcady than its competitors. Here’s a possible german battlerank 4.0 lineup and how to use it. We’ll especially focus on a captured english tank and a romanian ground attack plane. And here it is:

first in line is the Churchill Mark IV heavy tank. It allows you to soak up damage for your team which is quite nice because there are no german heavy tanks at 4.0. It also has a nice name. Churchill. Nice. Sounds like a happy tank. Happy is always good – but I think the germans have more fitting names for their war machinery.

 

  • vehicle number two is the StuG III or Sturmgeschütz Ausführung III G. It’s quite manouverable and has a very good gun for its tier.
  • next up is the Panzer IV G or Panzerkampfwagen vier, Ausführung G. Medium tank, good gun.
  • number four is the famous flak bus or properly called the 8,8cm Flak 37 Selbstfahrlafette auf 18 Tonnen Zugwagen!!! Can one hit almost everything if used correctly.
  • We’ll give some air support with the HS-129B-2 or in German the Henschel HS 129 Erdkampfflugzeug.
  • And lastly the Flakpanzer Wirbelwind. It’s for shooting the opposing air zerg and random medium tanks.

Most of the time it’s the best option to start with the Churchill heavy tank. Most important: go into customisation and put “DU DOCH NICHT!” on the gun barrel. Then start your match & roll out. But keep in mind your tank is slow like a slug on horse tranquilizers and it’ll take some time to reach the frontline. However once arrived you can use its thick armor to cruise down central street like a boss and shoot everything.

 

Since solid shot has been buffed there’s an actual effect now once you hit your target. Shoot T-34s through the mg port or the turret ring. shoot m10s everywhere the moment you spot them. Shoot the M4A1 right throug the frontal armor. Shoot the M24 everywhere.

 

Go into a village and run rampant. If angled correctly you are able to bounce a lot of shells. The Churchill has lots of side armor so take advantage of that. Make sure to hide your upper front plate because it’s just a 90 degree slab of metal. So is your turret face try to angle it too. Angling your tank should work well most of the time unless you’re getting shot at from all sides. Try to avoid that – don’t stay out in the open for too long. And stick with your team. A lone heavy is a dead heavy. Also get used to get f*cked over by RNG sometimes. Happens to everyone, though. And don’t get flanked. From the side even the M4A3E2s measley cannon will make short work of your tank – especially if they know where to aim.

 

Shooting tanks is fun but capping points wins games. Make sure to hold those points or even capture them – since german teams on this BR are always low on heavy tanks you’re presence in defensive positions will always be appreciated. As I said: your Chuchill is able to withstand a lot of damage. If for example your engine department is hit there’s a good chance you will not lose any crew because of the sheer size of the tank. You’re stationary now but still inside or near the capture area. Be careful with enemy artillery though. That’s where the size of the tank and the engine placement becomes kind of a disadvantage to say the least.

 

In the case you’re formidable Churchill got blown up cowardly by artillery and no enemy aircraft are up – THEN it’s the best time to jump right into your HS-129 to get some revenge. Don’t go for the 37 cannon – it’s hard to use and low on ammo. Equip the 30mm cannon along with ammunition against armored targets.The 30 mil is easier to use compared to the 37 and has lots of ammo. On top of that it’s still capable to take out almost any medium tank along with some heavies if you shoot them from the sides. Crack heavies by diving on them from above or shoot the backside of the turret in some cases.

 

Be advised that the 129 turns like a dead pig. It is said some greedy pilots even fell out of the sky while turning too tight to get back on target. Never happened to me, of course. Just heard of it from my best friend’s brother in law. Anyways: this prohibits dogfighting as wall as you already might have noticed. Always scream for help and run away like a little girl the moment you see the wing tip of an enemy fighter. And don’t forget to say thanks for getting saved.

The Churchill and the 129 should carry you well most of the time. But there are situations where you need other types of hardware.

 

Jump into the Panzer 4G, wrap an eight ball on its back and use it to quickly get around the map to capture points. Don’t get shot or you will die. But if you shoot first everything should be fine. Your gun is great. Use your speed to flank enemy positions to help your teammates. Then capture more strategic points.

If there are too many fighters in the air and therefore you can’t ground pound with your henschel the wirbelwind comes into play. But only if they manage to stay in the air and don’t crash on their first pass.

 

Just do Wirbelwind things: hide somewhere and don’t shoot too soon! Make sure enemy planes will consider your position as a secured zone by letting them pass 2 or three times. Once they feel save make their lifes miserable and clear the skies with your Flakvierling 38. Afterwards your HS-129 comes into play for some relaxing ground sweeps. The Wirbelwind also is the bane of open top tank destroyers like the M10. Load armor piercing ammo and blow them up everywhere you find them.

In case you need a fast low profile vehicle go and take out your stug. Be sneaky and always hide. Then blow up unsuspecting victims. Don’t do it like this and get spotted first because your front armor has some vulnerable 90 degree angles on it. So don’t count on it and rather stay hidden.

 

And lastly there’s the Flakbus. It’s quite nice for open maps where you can shoot people from a distance. Go into a nice position which will take time because you’re really really slow. Then don’t forget to hide your ammo rack. Next up: shoot everything you see. Don’t fire at T-34 slopes. Shoot the turret instead. Profit. If you spot anti air run away or you will be dead within seconds. Nein nein nein.

Empyrion capital vessel design hints

Here are nine more hints for you for inspiration. Now go and create something! 🙂

1. Use thin blocks to build platforms. This will help with a more streamlined look for your ship.

2. Use ramps to improvise sloped hangar doors.

3. Link those ramps with exit lights so they will only activate once the doors are being operated. Saves energy and looks cool. Check out my signal logic tutorial if you don’t know how to use switches and circuits.

4. In some constructions a vertical installation of the warp drive may save space. Consider placing it like this

5. Glass blocks shield radiation. Very practical and looks cool.

6. Use angled blocks to save space and to cram more stuff into small rooms.

7. Put cosmetic decorations on the stuff you build. For example the front of this vessel looked dull, so I placed a sensor like decoration there. Looks way more interesting than just a slope.

8. Be sure to check the proportions of your vessel. The golden cut or the fibonacci sequence helps a lot. Google it up and I’m sure it will help you a lot with finding the right proportions for your next project.

9. Build upgradable. These arrays on the front can be replaced with front firing guns at a later point in the game. Always nice to have these options already integrated in the core design.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to visit me on youtube or facebook. You should find the links on the sidebar. Cheers! 🙂

Subnautica released!

Check out why it’s great here:

I’ve been following this game for a long while now and finally: here it is. And it’s glorious. At the moment I’m 10 hours into the final version of the game and I’ll try to spoil as little as possible. Subnautica’s unique atmosphere is based on the elements of exploration and wonder – so do yourself a favor and don’t watch any let’s plays, trailers or other stuff before you play the game. Truth be told you shouldn’t even watch my video if you intend to play the game. So here’s a quick rundown of some of the game’s important characteristics. Maybe this helps with a decision whether you should buy or not:

      1. The developers stood by their word: no weapons. You’re to find a way to coexist and to avoid threats. No one man army murder everything survival. I personally love the devs for this daring take on the genre. And despite constant nagging on the forums they didn’t integrate a single rifle or torpedo. The result turns out to be one of the most tense and well-rounded games I’ve ever played. You crash land on a foreign ocean planet amidst hordes of weird animals and underwater flora – all for you to discover, scan and assess how much of a threat they might be or not. Or get outright eaten, poisoned or shot. But not if you know your way around the local ecosystem. Instead of a slowly filling xp bar your progress is real. You slowly gather more and more knowledge of your surroundings and with every minute passing your safety increases. But only towards a certain point. A rattlesnake will always remain a rattlesnake – even if you know how to handle it.
      2. Emotional rollercoaster. The game’s mood constantly oscilliatews between “oh look at this pretty coral reef, let’s swim with the happy fish” and “you will die alone in this nameless cave”.
      3. No procedurally generated world. The developers didn’t go the way of “endless exploration” which in most cases is no exploration at all because there’s nothing to find except randomly generated stuff. Subnautica’s world is hand crafted. And they did a remarkably good job. Every underwater trench and cave has been placed thoughtfully and exploration feels rewarding, because there’s actual interesting stuff to find. In 2018 where most sandboxes are randomly generated it’s refreshing to play a game with a playfield modeled towards well paced progression and fun gameplay. Instead of sheer size and artificial progression by just adding more hitpoints to enemies and improving your weapon’s damage numbers by the same amount.
      4. An ending. Subnautica has an ending. It’s complete. It’s not just episode 1 of “we don’t know if we ever finish but there might be 3 or 4”. It’s a survival game where you can actually survive. Or not. I don’t know how it ends, yet. But there is an ending.
      5. No loot boxes, no game as a service, no shit. Buy the game, play the game, finish the game. Replay it on hardcore mode or play another good game. There are plenty of worthwhile games out there. No need to play one and the same game every day because it takes 50 hours to grind out a new hero or plane. This is oldschool and I – again- love the devs for going down this road instead of an online shop first and a game second like our friends from EA enjoy to do.
      6. It’s a single player game. Yes, it’s sad, I would like to play cooperative, too. But: unknown worlds is a small team and they did the right thing. They realised they needed to focus on one aspect of the game and they chose to do a story based single player game and they did it well. They saved the game from rotting in early access hell trying to be a the jack of all trades. If you followed the early access hype over the last four years you know what I’m talking about. I just heard DayZ might enter Beta in 2018 …
      7. It’s pretty. I mean look at it. That’s just a beautful art style.

So, if you like survival games in any way, go get it. It’s in my opinion the first game of the genre which achieves to be well-rounded in any way without real flaws. Also it’s just around 20 bucks. Twenty. That’s not even near some of the triple A fails we had to witness over the last years. Subnautica is – in my opinion – one of the best games of 2018.

 

 

Awesome but forgotten MECH SHOOTER

Terra Nova – Strike Force Centauri is arguably one of the best mech shooters ever made. Yet it had no commercial success. Let’s have a look.

I’m old. And so is the developer of this game. Every time someone mentions Looking Glass Studios I cry some manly tears because it’s one really awesome Studio shut down by too much ambition. They’ve made legendary games like Thief: the Dark Project, System Shock 1 and 2  and Flight Unlimited just to name a few. Games far ahead of their time with complex mechanics and next to no hand holding of the player. The Studio is widely considered to be as influential as iD software during those days back in the 90s when 3D slowly took over and needed some pioneers to establish the technology in the gaming world.

GRAPHICS

1996 marked a major leap in graphics with games like Terra Nova and Quake appearing on the scene. Just a year earlier mechwarrior 2 released. Untextured poylgons dominated the game. Terra Nova featured a detailed landscape with smooth hills covered with trees and bushes. The water wasn’t just a blue plane but did some simple reflections. And what the game got 100% right were the weapons effects. Lasers felt like a constant stream of heat and destruction, defeated enemies blew up into tiny pieces littering the ground and grenade explosions really looked and felt like you didn’t want to be close to one. Terra Nova looks k very pixelated today. 1996 mainstream hardware just wasn’t fast enough. So the game was limited in terms of resolution because of all the texturing and effects going on. Also the engine did basic pyhsics simulations like procedural animations which bumped up system requirements even more. There even were rain effects – you didn’t see that every day in 90s gaming. Menus and the back then widely used full motion videos were rendered in a higher resolution than the game itself. In the end lots of reviewers liked the appearance itself but critized the expensive hardware needed to make the game run flawlessly.

GAMEPLAY

Where the game still shines even nowadays is the gameplay. Here we’ll also find the cause why it never became a  commercial success. Your PBA – that’s how the exoarmor you wear in Terra Nova is called – can be micro-controlled to death. You can rotate the torso, look up, down, left and right, strafe and use jump jets. There’s a portable drone for reconaissance purpopses you can control manually or via navigation markers.  The three multi function displays can be controlled seperately. For example there’s a 360 degree view option for close quarter combat. Or you can stream visor cameras of your squad mates which comes in handy when they are behind a hill or structure.

Combat is fast, fluid and responsive. And challenging. You need to use cover wisely and display some precise shooting otherwise you’re going down quite fast. Luckily your sqadmates aren’t completely useless like in many modern games where they fire indiscriminately magically hitting opponents but doing no damage to them. Here they move and shoot more or less intelligent. Position them in the right spot and they will easily bag half of the mission’s kills.

Weapon variety goes from the precise laser over the shotgun style mutli pulsar all the way to grenade launcher, railgun and a massive M-B cannon. Every weapon has its own purpose and can change the outcome of a battle. Which brings me to customisation: the game gives you a standard config for your and your squadmates PBA but each one of them is fully customizable. I can remember playing all the missions in a standard or even scout suit back in 1996 because I didn’t like the sluggish heavy PBA. There’s no right or wrong way to play the game if you utilize the proper tactics based on your squad’s loadout. The extensive maps give you lots of opportunity to try out different approaches to each mission.

All the possibilites and variety made the game very hard to learn and to control. You need some practice or three hands to reliably control the suit while being shot at from all directions. While these mechanics attract guys like me, they repel most other consumers. So the game was overshadowed by the straight forward action shooter Quake which also looked better …. Nintendo released one of the first playable 3D platformers – namely Super Mario 64. and in late 1996 the simple but highly addictive diablo 2 appeared on the scene. Just to name a few. So people rather picked these up instead of the unwieldy terra nova.

STRUCTURE AND STORY

Terra Nova is a straight forward game: choose mission, win mission, game continues. I found it a nice change to all the open world games we’re bombarded with at the moment. No points of interest, no achievements, no collectables, no loot, no cramped mini map. The story was inspired by star ship troopers and a book absolutely worth reading, namely “Forever War” by Joe Haldeman. The plot goes as follows and I’ll spoil only what’s obvious after the intro sequence the first five missions:

You’re deployed as a squad leader of strike force centauri. An elite strike force assembled to fight piracy in the centauri system which split from the earth hegemony a long while ago. The Centauris hate the Hegemony für driving them out of the system. Diplomatic relations are just slowly relaxing a little bit and trade is established. But of course nothing is as it seems and so a tale of conspiracy, treason and tons of heroism is told – all supported by cheesy stereotypical military bad-ass posturing.

Between the 37 missions the story is told via these videos, mails you get in your virtual inbox and the centauri news feed. It’s kind of a standard 80s action movie story, nothing special here. The game’s director, Dan Schmid, later said he regrets the decision to integrate full motion video cutscenes and they should rather have used the money for an online multiplayer mode. He called the cutscenes a “giant distraction” for the team and himself. The scenes quite likely didn’t improve sales, too, but increased production lenght of the already overdue game even further.

I loved Terra Nova and it still plays well today. If you can get over the now horribly pixelated 3D environment you’ll find a jewel of a game. I still felt immersed into the world while recording the footage for this video. It’s one of the best simulations of exo-armor ever done in opinion. You can grab on GOG.com if you like to give it a try!

Empyrion Alpha 7 – the game has come a long way

Here’s a new capital ship I’ve built with the Alpha version 7 of the game which just came out:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1182077850

If you don’t know the game yet, here’s a 3 minute overview of the new alpha 7 features:

Or just read here:
Terrain has been optimised and can now be up to 500m high. Also possibility to create handmade terrain via heightmaps and splatmaps has been added. If you take a look at the map, you’ll notice the much better looking 3D planets there.

With the heightmaps integrated there was the need to switch from voxel based mining to placing 3D object into the ground. The new ore scanner has a range of 40m and helps you find ore underground. You just have to keep it in your inventory. It also functions withing a vessel. The asteroids in the orbits of planets still use the existing mining mechanic.

You can now select parts of a construction and copy, paste or delete them. Textures are replacable and – thank god – the texture and painting tools have been given different brush sizes. Painting whole ships is 20 times faster now. This improves quality of life a lot especially when building large capital ships. Also the symmetry plane now works with paint and textures which cuts the time needed to apply them in half. Speaking of textures: 45 new ones have been added. To rotate a texture just apply it again. Also new: If you want to build a vessel with odd width like 5 or 15 blocks, just set the symmetry plane to half blocks.

Hidden in this announcement one finds the short distance warp drive for small vessels. Ist range is limited but you’ll be able to jump from planet to planet. To cross half of a system with one jump you still need a capital vessel.

A lot changed under the hood. There’s a new building material called “Xeno steel”. It’s lighter than combat steel while still having a lot of hitpoints. Grass now renders further away and looks better overall. And -. Following the trend – a battle royal scenario is selectable. Your objective is to reach the star gate and escape the planet. Make sure the others don’t.

A lot of work also went into improving graphics and remodelling old assets. If you want to check out the game you’ll find on steam.