About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

16 August 2014

City Press' African Women Feature

In a first for me, I went out and bought three different newspapers last Sunday. It was interesting to note the diverse range of coverage of news stories and opinion - but I didn't get through all of it on Sunday! 

City Press had a feature on African Women - a profile of 60-odd notable African women in diverse fields; as part of Women's Day commemorations. As a South African publication, there was the expected high proportion of South Africans on the list - but what was notable for me, was who was left out. There was, for example, not a single opposition party member from South Africa featured, neither were notable leaders of African countries like Joyce Banda or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. 

It does seem a bit one sided in selection. I am not saying that those that were profiled were not warranted to be included in the profiles - just that the selection seems a bit odd.

11 August 2014

FTL: Faster than Light

About 14/15 years ago, E, discovered this abandonware DOS based game that involved piloting a cargo ship between various ports of the world. It was part Transport Tycoon (build up a shipping empire) mixed with some slow manoeuvring as the "auto pilot" for docking didn't work every now and then.

I discovered FTL: Faster than Light, via a Kickstarter newsletter. The concept is deceptively simple. You are a pilot of a ship carrying sensitive information, across the galaxy pursued by rebels. Your mission is to hand over the sensitive information, and then defeat the "mothership". Along the way, there are pirates, rebel scouts, aliens who don't like you, lost civilians, storekeepers, mercenaries, abandoned planets etc. which you must help, fight, or flee. The right outcome will provide with opportunities to upgrade your ship; and the wrong outcomes could end the game.

The game is simple to play; and incredibly difficult to beat. Even on the easy mode, I have raked up over 15 hours to beat the boss just once. There are some tricks - but the game's random generator can be brutal. About 5 games before I finally won - I did get the boss to 1 health bar - but then a strike from the boss, caused a fire in my weapons room (when I still had about 40% health), and my weapons just couldn't recharge fast enough to finish the boss off. There are no save points to recover from - it's either finish it, or restart.

It is addictive, and an absolutely impressive strategy game. Like the shipping game from years past, the graphics aren't amazing. It is the gameplay and the strategy that makes it worth coming back to; over and over again.