Vegard Skjefstad

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The Rise of Springwood

Whether you like it or not, I’m continuing my narrative let’s play Cities: Skylines series.

On the 21st of May, your favorite Finnish game developer Colossal Order will continue their effort to suck the wallets of every single Cities: Skylines player dry. Yet another DLC will be released, Cities: Skylines – Campus. In this DLC, university life abounds with new area types for any sort of student – Trade School, Liberal Arts, and University. As always, there will be new buildings to plop down in your city, new policies, and, of course, new Chriper hats!

Last year, we learned of Springwood, a thriving city just North of the valley. Before Campus is released, Springwood needs to grow. You can’t just build a campus in any city. Let’s consult the mayor’s journal to see how things are progressing in Springwood.

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“The Three-Body Problem” by Liu Cixin

When was the last time you read a Chinese science-fiction novel? Probably never. I just did. Here’s my The Three-Body Problem Review.

It’s 1967, and China is in the early stages of the Cultural Revolution. Physics professor Ye Zhetai is publicly killed after he refuses to denounce the theory of relativity. His daughter, Ye Wenjie, witnesses his gruesome death.

Shortly after, she’s sent to a work camp. There, she’s falsely charged with sedition for promoting the works of environmentalist Rachel Carson. Ye is told she can avoid punishment by working at a defense research facility involved in government radio wave research.

More than 40 years later, Ye’s work becomes linked to a string of scientist suicides, and a complex online role-playing game involving the classic three-body problem.

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The Rebirth of the Personal Website

The personal website didn’t really die. It just went into hibernation while people tried out social media sites that eventually screwed them over.

When the World Wide Web first saw the light of day, it was basically just a collection of information that people couldn’t interact with. This gradually changed as colleges, universities, and ISPs began to allow students and customers to have personal web pages on their servers. Some nerds, like myself, took it a step further, and started self-hosted personal websites, not relying on our place of study or ISP. After a while, users running personal webpages added ways for their readers to interact with them. Many of you probably remember the lovely guestbook.

With the launch of YouTube and Facebook came the creation of the Web 2.0, and a torrent of user-generated content. Instead of hosting content they had made themselves, Web 2.0 companies mainly focused on hosting content generated by their users. They also made it so easy for people to upload content that everyone and their granny could create something and put it online. The internet was no longer a place for nerds only, and the web became social.

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May One-Liners

It’s the first of May, which marks both Labor Day, and the addition of a couple of new funny one-liners to the collection. To be honest, the ones added this month isn’t very funny, but rather more thought provoking. Enjoy!

  • “Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we’ll find it.” — Sam Levenson
  • “Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.” — Mark Twain
  • “The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” — Charles de Gaulle
  • “Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Middle age is when a guy keeps turning off lights for economical rather than romantic reasons.” — Lillian Gordy Carter
  • “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” — Henry Kissinger
  • “Committees do harm merely by existing.” — Freeman Dyson
  • “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” — Thomas Sowell
  • “The chief cause of problems is solutions.” — Eric Sevareid
  • “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.” — Bertrand Russell
  • “If you obey all the rules, you will miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn
  • If you’re the smartest person in the room, go look for a room with smarter people in it.
  • “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.” — Dalai Lama
  • “The future is always scary to those who cling to the past.” — Tim O’Reilly
  • “Humor is the only divine quality to be found in humanity.” — Schopenhauer
  • “One is never so dangerous as when he’s utterly convinced he is right.” — John Perry Barlow
  • “Your mind is credulous enough to believe any narrative you feed it. Choose wisely.” — Stephen Sadowski

Tropico 6

Is Tropico 6 the same thing all over again, or does the sixth installment in the series actually bring something new to the table?

I’m a big fan of the Tropico series. I never played the first two games, but have close to 150 hours of gameplay combined in the third, fourth, and fifth installment of the series. Both Tropico 3 and Tropico 4 were strong games, but the disappointing Tropico 5 fell flat on its belly. There were many reasons for its failure to live up to the Tropico standard. In my review, I pointed to the dreaded count-down timer, and that Tropico 5 didn’t feel casual anymore as two of the main reasons. Also, when you’re trying to create something from the same basic recipe for the fifth time, making it in a way that feels fresh and interesting is hard.

I purchased the most recent Tropico iteration, Tropico 6, just a few days after its release. That is something which is very, very unusual for me. The most recent purchases you’ll find in my Steam library are several years old games that finally dipped below the $10 mark during a sale. The reason I went ahead and purchased Tropico 6 so early was quill18‘s release stream on YouTube. The stream was sponsored, so in this case, the publisher got value for their clever use of the marketing budget.

So how does Tropico 6, the sixth game in one of the longest running city builder slash banana republic simulator series fare?

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