Category Archives: Blog

History of the Hyperiad Empire

Not all of the Twelve Great Houses have held their position since the foundation of the Hyperiad Empire. As Families jockey for influence and position, it is not unheard for a Major Family to lose favor or for a Minor Family to ascend the social ladder. Such families are called the Familia Novae.

-Plutarchus Maximinius,

The Rise of House Severan

History of the Hyperiad Empire

There can be no doubt that it was the Hyperion Nova that ended the Astromachy. The destruction of the Hyperion System crippled the Hegemony’s forces, and a greater number of the Titanic Hegemons themselves were killed at the time, the rest being scattered and stranded throughout the galaxy.

-Livia Auguria

First Sparks

This Thursday, we took Power grid: The First Sparks out for a test drive.

First Sparks ins a cave man-esque version of power grid, and given that cave men didn’t have Power or Grids, is almost entirely different.



The core mechanics focus on gathering food, feeding, and growing your tribe of cavemen. There’s all kinds of ways to get food, but mostly it boils down to hunting and gathering the four kinds of food resources: berries, fish, bears, and mammoths. The player with the most cave men at the end of the game wins.

There are a few confusing mechanics when it comes to buying technology ( a straight copy-pasta from Power Grid), and player order, but by far the most confusing part of the game was the fact the a fish seems to have the same caloric value as a bear.

Now I’m not a Bear-ologist, but from my time on the discovery channel would lead me to believe that there’s substantially more meat on a bear than on a trout, but apparently  I was mistaken.

But keep in mind we’re talking about cave men days, so maybe we’re hunting tiny mini-bears or some monstrous, Loch Ness brand of Tuna.



History of the Hyperiad Empire

When the Promethean Emperor was satisfied as to the strength of his empire, his next step was to provide for that strength being wisely directed. He created three hundred Senators; either because that number was adequate, or because there were only three hundred heads of houses who could be created. In any case they were called the “Patres” in virtue of their rank, and their descendants were called “Patrons.”

-Livia Auguria

Apportable CCClippingNode Problem

I had some trouble with the CCClippingNode on the Apportable Compiler earlier this week. I had it working perfectly well in iOS, but when I cross-compiled my application to Android, my CCClippingNode wasn’t working and all I was getting was this lovely little error message:

 [CCClippingNode initWithStencil:]_block_invoke : Stencil buffer is not enabled; enable it by passing GL_DEPTH24_STENCIL8_OES into the depthFormat parrameter when initializing CCGLView. Until then, everything will be drawn without stencil.

The solution to this problem is actually pretty simple. We will need to modify function setupView:  in Platforms/Android/CCGLView.m.

CCGLView is setting the depth and stencil size to 0 when it calls its eglChooseConfig method. In order to get non-zero values, we’ll have to add the data to our CCGLView class manually.

This can be done by adding the following two lines to structure configAttribs[] (at the very beginning of function setupView:)


And Voila! We’ve got our CCClippingNode starting to clip contents on Android too.

Velociraptor Cannibalism

This week’s board game was a recent Kickstarter favorite of mine: Velociraptor Cannibalism. This games has such a good title that I couldn’t even come up with anything more clever for the title of this post.

Velociraptor Canibalism

The main mechanics of this revolve around adding weird and quirky body parts to your velociraptor, each giving your velociraptor some kind of special ability. Most of these abilities are focused on making your velociraptor attacking the other player’s velociraptors, and the game definitely gears itself particularly toward conflict between the players, with the winning player usually being the one who is best able to attack the others around the table.

Usually games that focus on player conflict are a bit slow to get off the ground, with everyone at the table being afraid to draw first blood. I’ve always observed that people hate being the aggressors, and so situation, including board games, that reward this aggression always have a problem.

But eventually we all got into the spirit of tearing apart each other’s velociraptors, and good fun was had by all!

Must I?

I’ve never claimed to be good at video games. In fact, I’ve come to embrace my simple ineptitude with joysticks, thumb pads, and sprites.

So this week I’m not entirely sure what to do with the game I’ve been playing. Must Die is a pretty simple platformer, in theory.


I say in theory because the game seems to be nefariously designed to kill your character in as many unexpected ways as possible.

And I understand this philosophy. I really do. The point is that you win by repeatedly dying to the various obstacles, and with each death you figure out some defining feature of the obstacle in order to, eventually, make your past it; only then you are faced with the next obstacle and the process begins again. It leverages the “learn through character death” aspect of video games to the extreme.

Like the video game version of “Live, Die, Repeat” (Please note that this was an ironic statement. Appreciate my irony! Appreciate it!).

But here’s the things with that type of game: the designers have to be very careful with their use cases.

Here’s an example. One of the first obstacles of the game is a ball that shoots out of a pit, killing the character as he tries to jump over the pit. This means that in order to pass this pit, the player has to trigger the ball before he tries to jump over the pit. But in Must Die, the only way to trigger the ball is get right up to the edge of the pit, which required me slowly creep up to the edge of the pit until I wasn’t entirely sure if I would fall in.



And this made it difficult for me to really get into the flow of the game, which greatly diminishes it’s appeal.

But as I said before, I’m certainly not the best at video games, and maybe this genre is simply not for me as a general rule. But regardless of any of these circumstances, Must Die is simply not for me.

Try it out and see for yourself though!

Salvaging My Work Day!

I’ve alwaysIMG_0659 really liked shorter Mobile Games, that can be picked up and put down whenever it’s convenient and require little to no real focus on my part. These are the types of games that I can surreptitiously open during meetings while my phone is on mute and my bosses are discussing upcoming IDK forms.

This week, I started playing Dwim’s Salvage Company for the iPhone.

This game has everything I need to tune out the meaningless office drivel pouring out of the mouth’s of my inane coworkers.



The game time is short and the mechanics are trivially intriguing. The Player controls a crane as it descends into the oceans and tries to collect the most valuable…. treasure (?) they can. Your crane has a weight limit too, so it’s important that you only pick the most valuable treasures on each run.

I’m not very good. I kept getting couches, which were heavy and not particularly valuable. So just like my office meetings, I ended up accruing a collection of utterly worthless and menial things that I’d need to deal with for the rest of the week


Red and Blue

The Electronic Graffiti Team has added a new feature to spice up TumbleBall.

TumbleBall is a great game, don’t get me wrong; but, the team still felt that it could with a little… tweaking.

So the Team has added two new Balls (*chuckle*)

RedBall@3xRed Balls will slow down your Tumble Ball, making it harder to get to the gate in those last few seconds! But Tumble Balls rely on maneuverability as much as speed, and the Red Balls might make it easier for your Tumble Ball to turn those sharp corners.



Blue Balls (*second chuckle*) will speed up your Tumble Ball, making it easier for you to gather up those points, but also making it harder for the Tumble Ball to navigate the twisting corridors.

TumbleBall Development Launch

This month the Electronic Graffiti has begun work on our latest project, called TumbleBall.

Tumble Ball is a simple game in which the player manipulates gravity to collect points through procedurally generated levels!

There’s certainly going to be a lot of new challenges to this game, and we look forward to solving them!

Stay tuned during the development process!