It was immediately clear to me that something was missing in my new career as a professional streamer. And, no – I know what you’re thinking – it wasn’t a dedicated following full of enchanted viewers. Chasing viewers is for people who don’t already have them, and I have a well-deserved zero, thank you very much.
It wasn’t skill.
No, what I was missing was something to take the edge off the jarring starts and stops that wrapped each stream – and I knew just what to do.
The first step was to figure out how on Earth to use After Effects. Whether I succeeded at that remains hotly debated, but I did manage to cobble together an intro video.
Realizing only then that future streams would feel unacceptably lopsided, I panicked and threw together a quick closing video as well.
There are twenty-one levels in total, each represented by a different tile on the level select screen, and you can play them in whichever order you like.
In each level, you start by clicking the middle tile. From there, just form a path from neighbour to neighbour until the two numbers at the top match up. Once they do, you’ve won!
The hex tiles each have a value, represented in hexadecimal. The goal is in binary. All you need to do is form a path such that the hex values add up to the binary goal. You can do that by adding and converting between bases in your head, or, you know, just click around until it unlocks.
Once you’ve defeated a level, how well you did will be reflected in that level’s tile on the level select screen. Greyif you have yet to complete the level; green if you scored par or under; blue if you scored under 2 par; orange for less than 3 par; or red if your path was longer than 3 par.
Only your highest score for each level will be saved, and if you ever want to review that path, long press the hexagon for that level in the level select.
Clicking on the most recently selected hexagon will unselect it.
Press and hold (long press) the middle tile to reset your current level.
Press and hold (long press) a level to load your highest scoring path.
Press the back button on your phone, or escape or backspace on a keyboard to return to the level select menu.
I haven’t played Klei’s Don’t Starve Together in quite a while, but there was an update recently which got me thinking about my DST crafting tool. With all the new additions, my data’s bound to be out of date. And even if I update it, that doesn’t really solve the problem, only delay it until the next update.
With my Conan Exiles data tool, I pulled the data directly from the game files – which I could access thanks to their modding support efforts.
Don’t Starve Together supports modding. I’ve even made mods for it. Could I do something similar there? Could I retrieve the data directly from the game files?
If I could, that’d sure help solve the issue.
Turns out I could.
Don’t Starve Together stores its data in Lua, XML, and Tex files, packaged into zip archives. So it’s not overly difficult to read the data from those files. It’s slightly more difficult to extract it in a usable format – many of the definitions reference (and arithmetically modify) other definitions.
But now I have a script for that.
So next time there’s an update, I should just be able to run that script to refresh my data. Here’s hoping.
I’ve been playing a lot of Conan Exiles lately and it’s pretty neat. But I’ve come torealize one of the best parts of a video game is making supplementary tools to aid in its play. Herein chronicles my Conan journey in that regard:
What started as a co-op session quickly descended into madness. In co-op you’re tethered to the hosting player, which can get strange. So we spun the world off into a locally hosted private server. Which proceeded to migrate from location to physical location.
The Conan world progresses as long as the server is running. Nobody has to be in it. Things happen. Possibly terrible things. As a self-described coward, that seemed somewhat less than ideal.
I didn’t want to leave it running at all times, but had no way to stop it (or more importantly) start it, once it was out of my direct control. So I wrote a c# server controller, which is also its own webserver, and exposes a page to control the server. So any of us can turn it on or off, etc. Everything worked fine until a new version of one of the mods was released. Now it updates those (and the game) as well.
Everything was going fairly well until I hit level 60, when all of a sudden raising the level cap started to look rather alluring. But there are so many level cap mods. I couldn’t decide which to use. So instead I exacerbated the problem by making my own. It’s called MoreLevelsPls. Now we have until level 250, scaling at approximately the same rate as prior to 60.
y ≈ ⌊86.4023x3 - 129.8326x2 + 61.0945x - 27.7356⌉
Once you make level 60, new opportunities open up. You can make a slew of armours and weapons previously unavailable. Unfortunately, the information available on them, in game, is rather lacking. And they can be costly (in resources) to make.
Soon we were scouring the internet for information on armour and weapons – but nothing really worked the way we wanted. So I made a quick Conan data tool based on the game’s items list. It doesn’t include DLC, but what it has you can filter and, more importantly, sort.
If you find the walking cane, pick it up. It’ll let you explore a more quickly, especially on roads.
If you find Chester‘s eyebone, he’ll follow you around. Sometimes he’ll distract enemies, which can be good or bad, depending on the situation. He can get in your way, so often I’ll leave him at camp by dropping the eyebone.
A fully grown birchnut tree will give you 3 logs and 2 seeds during the Fall. You can replant the seeds, which are edible once cooked. You can tell a fully grown one by the two branches supporting its floof of leaves.
With a shovel you can dig up plants and replant them elsewhere. Berries and grass will require fertilization to grow, sapplings will not. You can get manure from around a beefalo herd, or by feeding berries to pigs. Rot works too.
Plant grass on the savanna ground type to ensure it’s not overcome by disease.
If you find the pig king, you can give him meat or trinkets in exchange for gold. Not monster meat though, this guy’s health conscious. Tumbleweeds are a good place to find trinkets, and less terrifying than digging up graves.
Instead of a camp fire the first night, I like to make a torch and spend it in the safe glow of a raging forest fire. This is a good source of ashes, and more importantly charcoal. Some will be on the ground, but once the fire is good and truly out take your axe to those charred husks and harvest all the charcoal you need.
Picking flowers helps you regain your sanity. Also, hats.
Every so often you’ll be attacked by hounds. This is actually pretty easy to survive, at least so far as I’ve gotten. The trick is just don’t fight them. Find a herd of beefalo (preferred), or a grouping of spider nests and keep leading them through until they accidentally harm a beefalo, then collect their meat and any teeth they may have dropped. Pigs work too. If it’s night time, carry a torch.
Once you can handle the hounds, surviving the forgiving fall isn’t all that difficult. But like those elves from the hobbit always say: winter is coming.
Winter is cold, and you should start preparing in the fall. Grow your beard to stay in theme, make some ear muffs (two bunnies and a twig) or a toque (winter hat), but most importantly, make a thermal stone – or even two. Heat these by the fire at night and carry them with you during the day.
Food is scarce in the winter, and things don’t really grow. In the fall I like to plant a bunch of birchnut trees near camp, and then cut them all down right before winter. The wood is useful for those long, cold nights, and the seeds go in the fridge for meatballs, if necessary, or potential replanting.
Bunnies and spiders are still available in the Winter (but bunnies disappear in the Spring), so an infrastructure to easily collect those is helpful. This will make cooking bacon & eggs a breeze. I like to set up my camp near a bunch of bunny holes. You can place traps basically right over them. This has an added benefit that usually beefalo and bunnies both frequent the savanna land type.
Speaking of beefalo, you can shave them while they sleep. This is useful, sure, but also hilarious. Don’t be surprised if you feel bad afterward, they look so sad waking up sans fur.
Spiders drop three things that are useful – silk (web), glands, and monster meat – but are super easy and fun to catch, without endangering yourself. Just throw some traps down around one side of a nest, walk onto the webbed ground to draw them out, and run away such that they chase you into the traps. Then repeat. Be careful not to set your traps too close together, or one spider might set off a few of them. And be aware that in the evening spiders react differently – they wander around all willy-nilly and won’t chase you quite as easily. So just set some traps and retire to a safe distance. Maybe do some fishing.
In the evening frogs slink back into their ponds, so this is the perfect time to catch some fish. Head to one of the little ponds, and equip a fishing rod. Keep your cursor over the pond and click when prompted by “hook” and “reel in”.
I like to make a few drying racks to make fish jerky. It lasts a long time, and is good for regaining sanity and health.
In the winter, the ponds freeze over so you won’t be able to fish.
Once the spider nests are three-tiered, you can destroy them to collect the eggs. Just lure the spiders out as you normally would, until they refuse to play your game, then start knocking. when you attack the nest more spiders will emerge, but you can trap them as well. Repeat until you’re rich in both silk and spider eggs.
Why spider eggs, you ask? Turns out you can plant them like a tree! I like to move them close to, but not too close to, my camp.
Once you have sufficient silk, things get easier. I like to make a bird cage and a bird trap (baited with seeds). Keeping a pet bird has a few benefits. It makes you feel powerful, and provides an easy source of eggs. You can trade it cooked monster meat or bunny morsels for eggs, seemingly without limit. Once I had a nocturnal bird, but mostly you’ll have to do this during the day or in the evening.
Throw two eggs, a monster meat, and a morsel in a crock pot and you’ll end up with eggs & bacon.
A meat and three of any combination of carrots, berries, or cooked birchnuts will get you meatballs. Not as good as eggs & bacon, but they’ll do in a pinch.
Now that you have an endless supply of silk, you can make a beekeeper mask and a bug net. Catch some bees and make a bee mine of you want, but I like to destroy some beehives. Sure this is cruel, but it also provides the requisite materials to make bee boxes, which you can harvest for honey.
Bees aren’t active in the winter, but don’t let that fool you – they’ll still attack if you try to destroy a hive. In the Spring, all bees are deadly, so don’t put them too close to your camp.
Bees are cool and all, but my favourite part about the bug net is starting a flower garden. Bees like flowers, but so do butterflies. You’ve probably seen them fluttering around a flower now and then.
If you catch a butterfly, you can plant it in the ground to make a flower. Soon that flower will have its own butterfly, which you can catch to plant another flower. In this way your flower garden can explode wildly out of control, which is just the way I like it.
Winter’s here. You have your toque, your sustainable sources of bacon & eggs. A heat stone. A whole wack of wood, and maybe some turf you’ve dug up to keep the fires going. You’re all set. Nothing bad can happen now, it’s time to hole up!
The good news is you’re prepared. You’ve been making gunpowder right? (nitre, rotten egg, charcoal.) You’ll need 9 of them. And ideally an ice staff.
I like to make a small camp a ways away from my main camp. A fire pit, maybe a stone pillar or two. As soon as I hear the huffing/moaning noise that signifies the coming of the deerclops I head there. Light the fire, make sure I have a few torches, and relax.
If all goes well, the deerclops shows up and destroys my decoy camp while I watch, with ever decreasing sanity, torch in hand.
If your camp is far enough away, maybe you can just head back – I don’t know. In my heart I tell myself the deerclops is too dangerous to live. Really, I just want to kill it. Imagine all I could construct with that giant, glistening eye of his.
Step one: freeze him with that freeze ray. Speaking of freeze ways, graveyards are a good place to dig up gems.
Step: two, drop a pile of 9 gunpowder next to him and light it up.
Did it explode? Good! He’s probably only got 200 health left, that’s nothing to a guy or gal like you. Don that log armour and get in there. Don’t forget to run away.
For the true cowards (like me) maybe lead him toward something else that will weaken him further. He’ll probably kill them all, so target someone who’s given you guff.
Let’s be honest, you probably died. That’s okay, there’s no shame in that. Welcome to the exciting wold of ghosts – it’s where I spend most of my time. Sure it’s boring, but I guess you can haunt things. Sometimes haunting flowers will turn them into evil flowers, or haunting hounds will turn them into more specialized hounds. If you see a tumbleweed, maybe it will unwrap itself – who know?
Eventually you’ll get bored of ghosting around. It’s not as fun as horror movies would have you believe. The map doesn’t even update when you go exploring. But, hey, maybe you’ve seen a touchstone around? If you do, haunt it and you’ll come back to life. Each touchstone only works once per player, but don’t worry, there are other ways to come back to life.
If you have a red gem (graves, fire hounds) you can make a lifegiving amulet. Haunting one of those will bring you back to life as well, so I like to leave some lying around camp.
Telltale hearts have to be given to you by another player, but when you’re revived your maximum health will be decreased. A booster shot will fix that.
Well guys, that’s what I’ve learned about Don’t starve together so far. I hope it saves you some trial and error.
As always, feel free to use the tool I made to aid in your survival endeavours, it looks like this.
Long days ago I spoke with a dentist of game demos, and of a festival dedicated to those. We talked of Ticktacktoe, a classic game of boxes and shapes — a boring, beatable game, but an easy one to program. It’d be easy to program, right? We could probably make one with flash in less than thirty minutes, couldn’t we? At least one way to find out!