“The Survival Horde Crafting Game”

I’ve recently found myself addicted to 7 Days to Die; a post-apocalyptic crafting game where learning to stay alive is a must.  While I enjoyed many zombie defense games in the past, most of them lack challenging diversity.  With 7DtD, there is a rather realistic sense survival with hunger and hydration meters, along side your health and stamina.  So if zombies don’t kill you on the first night, you’re likely to starve come tomorrow.  Despite the many ways to collect food and farm, you will need to find specific items before being able to cook or smelt.  This requires you to travel and explore vacated buildings for tools and books.  Without them zombie hordes will likely break into whatever room you thought was safe.


Starting Out

The most basic tool you can make from any environment, is a stone axe.  Once acquired, it speeds up several other processes helping you get better items later.
Next I would recommend building a crossbow.  As most zombies will die with a single bolt to the head.
Now EXPLORE!  After you have a good collection of wood and stones, you will need to find a short iron pipe and a book to make a forge.

The day began with the an overcast drive to UPS and ended with my head spinning, but for all the right reasons.  I would describe the process of setting up the Oculus Rift DK2 as intuitive, but still cumbersome–to be expected with a development kit. Following the short delay, I was leaping around Windlands, having seen many youtube videos of the experience.  I was concerned that my previewing experience would somehow diminish the effect, thankfully that didn’t turn out to the be case.  Despite forgoing calibration, Windlands was a great experience, the sensation of being high up was exhilarating and terrifying.  I found myself instinctively reaching out with my foot when I approached an edge, a reaction in which I found great humor, reveling in the reality this “great height” I feared was at worst a 2 ft fall from my desk chair.  The combination lead to a sensation I would have to describe as Rift Drunk: Nimbly navigating with the grappling hooks in Windlands is super fun causing moments of elation and then there’s those moments your body is convinced it’s high and in a dangerous situation strikes terror.  These independently are great, I can even appreciate the fear, similar to enjoying a thriller film, but it’s an emotional exhausting experience swaying from one to the other so frequently.  I remain undeterred! The drunk feeling subsided quickly once I proceeded to  briefly walk around my apartment.  I look forward to my experiences for Day 2!

On the eve of what was scheduled in my mind as the highlight games of my spring such as Gears of War: Judgement and the surprise standout, Tomb Raider; I stumbled, aided by some very well placed ads by EA. I found SimCity a joy to play and have already spent many hours managing cities plagued with crime; which I helped create by forgoing educating my populace.

The depth of simulation in SimCity is the seductive blend of creativity and challenge.  After spending a brief but critical time in the tutorial, which was very well designed, but a bit restrictive don’t expect that first tutorial city to be with you long.  The game will lead you by the hand through it’s very intuitive zoning system as well as the basics of placing civil buildings.

After the tutorial, the game presents you with the options of creating your own city with a modest 50k to begin a city with a region of your choosing, or playing in creative mode with a cool million simoleons. However, this mode still has the obligation of the city’s needs and remaining in the black to continue playing.  I crave a challenge so the smaller sum appealed to me, but when my wife and others played they tended to play creative where money isn’t as much of an issue,at least at the beginning. Playing SimCity quickly reveals a beautiful city-scape bustling with activity. The presentation makes you feel for the citizens of your city.  Spending some time on turtle speed just flying through the city I found enjoyable as well as gives you insight into providing for your some times fragile populace.

SimCity as an experience I would certainly recommend and  it doesn’t require a extensive background as a gamer either, which is always a plus if you’re searching for a game you can enjoy with your spouse and they’re not a “hardcore” gamer.


Recently, I have been spending time playing Battlefield 4. Mostly conquest, which to those unfamiliar with the franchise is  a 64 player pandemonium with a wide variety of military weaponry at each players’ disposal. Including many vehicles and equipment options, one of which being a remote flying drone that one player found amusing to crush me with repeatedly.

What I’ve been wanting to try recently has been squad-based combinations, which has it’s own set of challenges, getting people to cooperate being the most important and challenging. I recently found myself trying to play squad leader to what sounded like a 4-6 year old shooting his squad mate while inquiring, “Why won’t he die?” Experiences like these are common, finding yourself part of a severely dysfunctional squad. However, on the rare occasion you’ll find yourself in a squad comprised of, what I like to call the dream team:

  • Assault equipped with defibrillator and health pack
  • Recon with a SOFLAM and proximity sensor
  •  Engineer with a laser guided missile launcher and C4
  •  Support with Ammo box and mortar.

This dream team has a key set of gadgets that synergize to great effect. Firstly, the Recon role can spot and mark targets with the SOFLAM, which acts as a target designation for the engineer’s missile launcher, which points-wise helps both Recon and Engineer. The Assault role can rake in points by healing the whole squad. The Support can similarly acquire points with supplying ammo. Also the support combined with Recon’s spotting/suppression can use the mortar to great effect. With this tactic in mind, Recon and Support can keep their distance spotting and applying pressure with mortar and ranged fire while Assault and Engineer can close the distance and utilize the spotting/suppression from Recon and Support. Further maximizing the squads gadgets, the Engineer can lead combat and if he goes down, hopefully Assault can clean up quickly and simply defibrillate the downed engineer; toss him a health pack, and good to go.

Realizing the futility of hoping for this by chance; I figured writing an article describing my plans and hopefully I can entice some of those Gamers out there into hopefully some epic cooperation. Please feel free to comment so we can coordinate whose interested.