Review: Being Gigantic - As Long As You Need

Being Gigantic As Long as You Need is an emotional ride through a beautiful 10 track album of soulful down-tempo hip-hop. I have a hard time finding too many bad things to say about this album considering how solid it is from start to finish. Each track goes on for just the right amount of time and they have no trouble keeping themselves interesting.
As Long As You Need is a very well crafted album, with every song on the album sounding perfectly in place but just different enough for each song to stand out on its own. The style throughout this album is very consistent and remains remain fairly uniform. The energy goes up and down and up and down with songs closely paired like "Maybe Someday" and the  song the album is named from "As Long As You Need"; but it's less like a roller coaster and like a nostalgic car ride. It's gentle and introspective bringing a lot of feelings forward. Being Gigantic exercises great use of vocal samples in this album giving it just the right amount of flair and extra emotion to tie the pieces together. The fact that the album is name your price on Being Gigantic's Bandcamp and that there's a humorously ethereal remix of Lil B at the end is just the icing on the cake.


As Long As You Need is beautifully done and fits the genre well.




Click Here for Being Gigantic's Bandcamp

Review: Savant - Invasion

Savant released a new album a couple of days ago on the 26'th and I'm not particularly sure what to say about it. It was fun... for a little bit.

The album starts out with a song called Orphan which despite having a long buildup caused me to become very optimistic about the rest of the album. Orphan is a song that promises greater things and an album with hopefully a few summer jams on it, but as I continued to listen I was let down by Savant. Each song on this album has an average time of about 5 minutes each, so with the already long track listing of 18 songs listening to this album becomes a very slow crawl.

Being long isn't neccesarily a bad thing though! 18 songs at 5 mintues each is a lot of bang for your buck, and I havent even mentioned that on Bandcamp it's name your price! With that considered its not really a bad thing that it's so long, but the songs on this album fail to stand out from each other and end up all running together like a messy watercolor panting that isn't turning out exactly how you expected.

Savant does a lot of things with the music to keep a lot going on in the songs but there's so much happening all the time that it almost becomes commonplace. I found that after a while of listening I kept checking the time to see how much longer was left in each song.

Some of my favored songs off this album are Orphan, Problematimaticalulatorture, and Massacre.

From the "le epic" style album art to the too familiar melodies, this album is disappointing. It has its redeeming qualities such as the option to name your price and a lot of content. It will likely please fans of this genre and style of music.



Above Average



Click Here for Savant's Bandcamp

OpenTTD: Your Modern Game Sucks


Draw the trains up into a circle, land the planes for maintenance, clean the boats of their barnacles, and stop using buses they just steal your money it's time to hear tale of OpenTTD.

Based on the original Transport Tycoon released by independent game developer Chris Sawyer in 1994 for MS-DOS, and the expanded Transport Tycoon Deluxe released in 1995.  Open Transport Tycoon started it's development in 2003 as a planned reverse engineering of the original to C, so as to open the game to newer operating systems.  Since OpenTTDs first release in 2004 the game has never had it's development halted and has seen many expansions over what was in the original Transport Tycoon games and it continues to be developed to this day.

The game is geared towards running a transport company, the closest you get to owning a industry is that a player can fund the construction of a new one and from there can only make money by delivering goods for said new industry.  Add to that the fact the game is about more than just trains, you can build bus or truck lines, start an airline, or move large amounts of goods over the water with massive cargo ships.


Planes, trains, ships and automobiles, these alone open grand possibilities.  Then you added procedurally generated maps and supply chains that range from the simple to the very complex.

Probably my favorite thing about OpenTTD is, thanks to the very long time of support and development, the sheer amount of mods available, called GRFs.  Things from small and massive vehicle packs, new AIs to run NPC companies, small commodity changes and even total overhauls of the game worlds economy.  Do you want to play a game with trains from Japan and trucks from Britain or how about planes from Europe paired with boats from the US.  How about using those real US trains to deliver bubbles to make soda in a toy box world.

There is still an active community that play long multiplayer games of this.  The face of the game changes when you enter multiplayer, transforming this from a game of slow development to a grand game of one ups man ship.  Players compete for the best possible lines, or even co-operate to complete the the more in-depth and expansive supply/production chains.  Creating challenges to see who creates the greatest wonders to spend the absurd amount of money a transport company can make.  

  • Grand aerial canals built to connect between several man made mountains just to connect a lake with the ocean, without disrupting the 4 towns and multiple rail lines between.

  • Turning a small island town that started at 200 into a grand hub of 4 transport companies, by expanding the islands surface by over 800% and it's population into thousands.


This is largely because a multiplayer server continues to run even if you leave.  So you may not be on to manage your company but your company will continue to make money.  Play for awhile, go to sleep and wake up to millions in the bank but trains that are breaking down every minute.  So you spend a fraction of your new wealth to replace them all with brand new trains of the new era you have awoken to.  This should usually leave you with enough money to add a few lines, maybe a few dozen.

The game isn't without it's faults.  Without mods a town can be forced to grow just by having four bus stops being served by dozens of buses.  Planes create money hand over fist for little effort and minimal infrastructure.  Replacing many vehicles over dozens of lines can become a hassle to replace together, though there are built in tools to assist in this.  Supply chains that aren't profitable without vehicles of certain speeds or a massive investment mean that inexperienced players can't be hurt by going for something that looked worth it.


There are of course more modern transport games.  Many of these newer games improve on some of the basic elements of the genre, but so many don't have the scope that OpenTTD offers.  The larger maps, large breadth of vehicle choices of OpenTTD creates a huge variety that the newer games lack.  Add to that a very nice, and moddable, procedural map generation means each game you play will always have it's little quirks that make each of them unique.


A few mods of note (to me, the author)

Commodity and economy changes

FIRS: A large overhaul of the economy that adds a large number of industries and adds many business that won't open before certain dates.  You'll have to wait for steel mills and instead go with iron works that take wood instead of ore and are less efficient.  My only complaint with FIRS is that many of the end tier products are extremely generalized, and the only flavor they have is that they are called manufacturing, engineering, or farming.

ECS: While it does not cover as wide a range of dates that FIRS has it makes up for it flavoring even greater complexity in the production chains.  I personally prefer ECS because the chains are more complex and every production chain is unique and tie in together in an intricate web.


FISH: Greatly expands the sparse selection of ships so that it easier to run a shipping company.  No longer will you be running out of usable boats in a late game.

eGVRTS: Adds many more truck  and articulated vehicles that are bigger than normal vehicles, with my personal favorite being horse drawn carriages in the pre1900s.  Along with trams to offer a new kind of vehicle to work with and build the infrastructure for.

Minor tweaks/changes

Renewed City Growth: Makes it so that towns need goods to expand along with being serviced.  Removes the ability for someone to turn a sleepy town of 1000 into a multiple city swallowing monstrosity in 50 years.

If you've got any other GRFs you like/have an opinion on say so down below in the comments.


In this age we can still look back at these great games that people still go back to, and even support.  I hope to keep writing more articles like this that take a look at the games that were too small and have fallen into the nooks and crannies of the internet, new, old, free and a few that will have a small price tag.


The PGI shuffle

This is a compilation of information with intention to entertain, amuse, and act as a resource for Piranha Games. I know I have fun wading through long threads, but most people won't. So here's the abbreviation.

Piranha Games Inc is most well known for their work on Mechwarrior Online, the official reboot of the Mechwarrior franchise, introduced along with Mechwarrior: Tactics by Blue Lizard Games, both games published by Infinite Games Publishing. Recently they've opened a crowdfunding campaign for Transverse, which hasn't gotten past 1% of the requested $500,000 despite it being 10/30 days in. It looks like a fairly decent idea, and for an established game studio many might think it should be more successful by now? Well, look a little deeper and you find the reasons why this has turned out to be the funniest mess since Quinnspirracy.


The first lesson in community goodwill is to generally take criticism well. While this may not be common on the websites of obscenely large AAA developers such who both don't want and don't need community goodwill (they instead rely on marketing and casual gamers who just don't care), PGI does not fit this bill. Not only did they rely on on the community to fund them through founders packs, but they also were already moving into an existing core community with a long history and a relatively mature attitude compared to most. This hasn't stopped them from turning their forums into an echo chamber, deleting criticism and banning players on whims. You don't even have to post to get banned, they invade people's privacy by looking up their personal information and matching their names to their facebook accounts and others to ban them for criticism elsewhere (clarification, credit card info specifically may or may not being accessed for this purpose). This, coupled with poor game design decisions, delays, and continual extortion of money through a pay to win free to play model, ultimately destroyed all the good will and optimism the community once held for the game.

A good place to look at to get a slice of the problems with PGI's public facing side are the subreddits r/mwo and r/Outreachhpg. Luckily for us, Nikolai Lubkiewicz, the infamous community manager at PGI, has provided us with a summary of the situation:

I do not think that particular subreddit (r/mwo) can be defined as a base for our fans or customers any longer...

Rather, since the change of management, and the resulting diaspora of our active Reddit fans towards r/OutreachHPG and other Subreddits. r/mwo has essentially become an echo-chamber for those who have been banned from our services for repeated abusive behavior.

Sounds reasonable, until you realize how active each subreddit actually is. r/mwo has twice the number of subscribers, and similar online users at any given time. Last i checked, "intentionally fracture the community" wasn't in the job description for any community manager positions I've seen. The issues between r/mwo and r/outreachHPG started in January 2014, when people noticed certain moderators deleting criticism. This caused a split and subsequent "rivalry" between the subreddits. More on that here, but in short r/mwo became the only place you could levy criticisms without being banned thanks to it's lax moderation, and people liked that.


As if this slow motion trainwreck couldn't get any worse, PGI thought it was a good idea to try to crowdfund a new game. This, of course gave MWO players the impression that the reason for constant delays and half assing on promised MWO content was this new project. Where had their founding money gone, after all. In attempt to prevent r/transverse from becoming a second r/mwo, with bad things like open discussion, they snatched it up quickly and began enforcing their own draconian forum policies. Unfortunately for them, thats not how reddit works, and after they had moderated their subreddit until there was only positive posts left, a goon reported the situation to the reddit admins. All the moderators of that subreddit, whom were all PGI employees, were swiftly shadowbanned for violating the rules of reddit, losing control of r/transverse and r/outreachhpg. r/transverse has since been taken over by a member of the community, though r/transversethegame is a much more entertaining read at this point.

Shortly after noticing his shadowban, Nikolai made a thread on the MWO forums addressing the situation, asking people to go to complain to reddit to try to get them unbanned.

You may have heard the amusing news that we have been shadow-banned from Reddit. We’re looking to get the situation fixed as soon as possible.

The issue in question stems from the fact that we had created a sub-reddit for r/Transverse in order to pre-empt any possible recreation of the events which occurred leading to the creation of r/OutreachHPG following the take-over of r/mwo. We also have some indications as to which group of players may be responsible. The shadow-ban did not stop at r/Transverse related staff. All PGI Staff have been banned and will be unable to address any concerns raised by players on OutreachHPG as a result.
Here is where you can express your concerns to the Reddit Staff regarding their decision to shadow-ban our staff, whether you agree or disagree with that decision, and your concerns regarding the individuals they are offering the Reddit to. Feel free to include your concern regarding Reddit’s decision to remove PGI staff who have had nothing to do with the r/Transverse project or it’s sub-reddit, individuals like PGI_Fox, PGI_Karl, and so forth.

I could cut the irony in the air with a knife, and it hasn't been lost on the MWO community, right in the wake of Nikolai's post on the importance of following rules. The ensuing thread is nothing short of amazing, with gems such as these which were taken only from the first page:

You broke rules; you got removed.
It’s what you do to people here; why should you be different on 3rd party sites?
Will this make you think about how you operate here and have treated people recently?

You dont deserve to have your accounts back at reddit. You have violated the CoC here as well as other admins by previously not allowing discussion of Transverse.
Deal with the embarrasment

You break the rules.
Someone reports you for breaking the rules.
You are banned for breaking the rules.
You ask for an exception and blame the person who reported you for breaking the rules.
You don’t really understand how this forums thing works do you? I mean, really?

It's surprising it wasn't all deleted, and might be in the future but for the time being there's 60 pages of people with founders badges, people who have invested heavily into the game, doing nothing but discussing their extreme displeasure with the entire PGI situation. This took place over the course of a day before the thread was locked, if it had been left open it would likely have ballooned even further. There are some really great posts in there, if you want a laugh give it a read through. This outpouring of negativity is proof that Nikolai's assessment of r/mwo was nothing short of a heinous miscalculation, and has successfully pissed everyone off. Honestly they'd be better off without a community manager at this point.


Transverse's crowdfunding campaign is likely done for, but it has it's own web of nonsense to address. Most of the following will be taken from the relevant article by The Mittani, who even got involved themselves.

First of all, the obvious. Their transverse campaign is a direct attempt to ride on the backs of the success of Star Citizen, Elite dangerous, and the dozen other successfully crowdfunded space simulators now in the pipe. Not only are the ships shown all clones of star citizen ships, but the entire campaign is cheap except where it aims to copy other games, and even other sci-fi in general. Furthermore, what does a developer like PGI even think they can contribute to the space genre when there are now dozens of games with tons of unique ideas in development. It gets funnier when you read their stretch goals and realize that even if they made it to their $500k goal, they'd be missing out on all sorts of basic features like "shooting" and "modifying your ship". Revolutionary.

The Mittani also pointed out the next big games journalism scandal in the making, but we can let that lie and instead refer you to this hilarious image of Mittani sending his regards to Nikolai shortly before they were all shadowbanned from reddit. Grr goons.

Some might tell you that "more competition for star citizen is better" and it is. But this isn't competition, it's a steaming pile. It would be one thing if PGI was capable, maybe they just screwed up the first few times, but that simply isn't the case, they harbor an immense amount of animosity towards their community, too much to have learned anything from the experience... and there's their history to contend with.


Lets take a look back at part of the storied history of PGI. Duke Nukem forever's multiplayer and ports, and a truckload of bargain bin trash games they made under the name Jarhead Games. In other words, they have never had their hands on a good game. Who thought it was a good idea to let these people develop the next Mechwarrior?

Lets dig deeper into that previous link. These are people who have started 4 companies, Piranha, Jarhead, Giomobi, and Rabbit Hole Interactive (the irony of this is killing me). The latter two started while he was supposed to be working on MWO? To top it off, Rabbit Hole Interactive has taken credit for games they didn't make, and are subsequently being sued by the original owners! Not to mention all listed employees for Rabbit Hole games are also in PGI. And the lead mapper at PGI has had enough spare time to start her own restaurant. Nice.

As someone with the choice to have paid for a MWO founders pack, if you'd known about this history, would you have still backed it? It's too late now of course, they already have countless founder's money and very few of them are still happy about it. When MWO was released i was cautiously optimistic, having not done background research but at the same time having no interest in giving them any money till they at least passed the standards of MW:LL, which still hasn't happened. What almost got me to throw some money down was simply community pressure. Many friends were throwing tons of their hard earned money at MWO, and of course NGNG kept everyone hopefully optimistic to a fault... how can you blame paid contractors though... Keep your optimism in check, huh.

But don't worry, by now I'm sure rights holders are done with PGI. Never again will a beloved IP fall victim to their nefarious ways.... Wait, they claim to have the wing commander license? Oh my fucking god.

(Whether or not they actually have the license is in dispute, despite their insistence, it's scary they'd even lie and claim to have it, though)


Well, it certainly smells like one now. You might have noticed that Mechwarrior Tactics hasn't been brought up yet. Well, here goes. To give a brief history on MWT, IGP began selling founders packs, similar to MWO founders packs, in 2013, promising open beta within a year. These sales and promises continued into 2014, where in August Blue Lizard Games, the developer contracted by IGP to develop MWT, stated that their contract had expired in December 2013, and had nothing to do with the game since. The MWT website was shut down soon after, and it for all purposes vanished into the nether. This is a textbook scam by IGP, who have since taken the money and bailed on everyone. Good job guys, and good job 7G Entertainment for such a textbook con job going without fanfare so far.

Then, there's the relationship between IGP/PGI. Consistently, PGI has shifted blame onto IGP for poor community interaction, delays, funding issues, everything. Despite this, when PGI and IGP supposedly "split", PGI buying the exclusive rights from IGP, PGI recruited none other than Niko Snow from IGP, previously a paid moderator and community manager for IGP, who ran the MWO website. Yeah, this doesnt look fishy at all, are you sure you're not at fault here PGI? And of course, PGI is doing as terrible as ever without "IGP to hold them down". It's entirely plausable that this was planned from the start, with PGI making a "poor decision" by "buying the rights from igp" for whatever money they had left, with IGP making out like a bandit from both MWT and MWO. We'll never get proof of something like this, if it's happening, without a miracle. PGI is IGP reversed.

9/20/2014: As brought to light in a reddit thread linking here, most of IGP's team listed shows they have moved on already in their linked in profiles, suggesting that IGP is shutting down despite the injection of money they should have received from PGI securing MWO.


There's even more to this situation than all that, excluded from the main body of the article due to it's quickly climbing length, this stuff had to be elaborated on somewhere.

First is how IGP pressured MW:LL to end development despite being most of the inspiration for MWO. The leverage they used was the employment of Criminal and Kamikaze, founders of the mod who had since obtained jobs at Crytek. It's also rumored (and just rumored, take that how you will) that Megamek and Mektek were targeted, Mektek having now closed shop and moved onto HeavyGear. Despite it's halted development, MW:LL is still a very fun, balanced, game, more-so than MWO at the very least! you won't find a game to play off primetime anymore, but if you head to the MW:LL website you can find details on how to get in a game.

Also of note is Chronojam's timeline compilation website. In it, we see a plethora of mind numbingly stupid shit, many of which has been deleted from the official MWO forums, and therefore is the only place you can find it. One thing I found funny was a moderator blaming "ex-MWO" players for putting up a fake ad which was using copyrighted content. But it just turned out to be IGP fucking up. Gee, i wonder why your community rightfully hates your guts guys. And "Activating jumpjets(?) bestows "Commander" status randomly". Enjoy the rest!

Putting this down here because it's somewhat questionable. We don't know if the transverse website staff are incompetent enough to have scripted this wrong or if they are actually maliciously manipulating the campaign, but it's funny nonetheless:

Finally, we have the pathetic attempts of PGI to drown out the events described in this article with trivial bullshit. Why, just 3 days after the 62 page hate thread, they open up their customer appreciation program! Really nice PR there, russ. By the way, I've mainly focused on Niko so far, but there's a few other people involved in the shady side of PGI including Russ Bullock and Bryon Eckman, just not on such a public scale as Niko. Just looking over their MWO forum posts and twitter feeds should be enough to get your fill of bullshit.



Perhaps, the lesson is that even if you're a fan of a beloved IP such as Mechwarrior, not to suspend judgement simply because you're glad it's being rebooted. Piranha games knows exactly what they've done, and have intentionally exploited a die hard fanbase they never deserved to have in the first place. It's still important to keep in mind that PGI is a studio filled with many talented individuals who have no say in the decisions that have brought us here, and we should wish the best to them. Despite this, it's in everyone's best interest for PGI as a studio to crash and burn, the people in charge do not deserve a 5th chance. Just stop buying into their bull and don't give them your money, if you want transverse throw that wallet over to Star Citizen, at least they're having a laugh about it.


If all that wasn't long enough for you, dig through some of those links. If I missed anything, don't hesitate to comment or send a reply with more information, or a correction if we got anything wrong. The deeper they dig their hole the longer this gets.