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1  General Category / Introduce yourself / Re: Hello there everyone on: December 29, 2011, 08:42:15 AM
Welcome to parpg. Smiley
2  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: WWIII "Backstory" Requires Major Editing/Overhaul. on: December 20, 2011, 08:57:37 PM
Sure, I idle around on the channel pretty often so I'll probably see you there some time. Although a lot of the time I'm there but I'll be busy with other things so I'm sort of back and forth.

Looking forward to writing about the destruction of the world with you. Smiley
3  General Category / General Discussion / Re: where is the repo ? on: December 20, 2011, 08:52:10 PM
The wiki is pretty confusing. Grin

The latest source files are hosted on Assembla: https://parpg.assembla.com/spaces/parpg-core/documents
4  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: WWIII "Backstory" Requires Major Editing/Overhaul. on: December 20, 2011, 03:02:08 AM
Hey rowan!

I was probably more harsh than I needed to be in regards to the WWIII back-story anyway, it seems that it was still a work in progress and that it was, at least in some parts, written by someone who wasn't a native English speaker. Even so, the writing wasn't actually "bad" it just needed (And still needs) major editing. I think it was Hemingway that said "The first draft of anything is always shit" or something along those lines (Not that I've really read Hemingway, I just remember and like that quote).

I might (attempt to) expand on the WWIII back-story.
5  Development / Writing and Quests / WWIII "Backstory" Requires Major Editing/Overhaul. on: December 19, 2011, 04:37:10 AM
Hello,

I guess this probably sounds a bit pompous coming from someone who isn't even a week new to the project yet, but I've been reading what material there is available on the forum and the wiki to get something better than the basic idea behind this game development project - and I can't read any more. The setting, theme, story - great. The way it's all organized and written? Excruciatingly bad. Sorry.

I must sound like a major jerk writing that up. But when was the last time you read what was written down? It must have sounded brilliant during discussion on the forums and IRC when you were brainstorming and coming up with the ideas. But the actual execution of the ideas is pretty abysmal.

Here, I'll quote the wiki of the WWIII backstory and what starts off as a journal entry and quickly deteriorates into self-spontaneous brainstorming. http://wiki.parpg.net/WWIII_background

Quote
WWIII background

This is a document written to describe a *possible* Backstory for the WWIII setting of PARPG. It should be considered "thematic inspiration", although if people want to grab details from it that might be fine as well. For more information (course-grained) see Alternative_WWIII_background [Alternative Doesn't Exist]

Journal Entry, "March" 2009. Somewhere outside Trondheim, Norway.

Well, this is trite. I have been sitting in this snow cave for 3 days now, and the storm is not letting up.
Even if it does, I am not sure how far I can walk on this foot. And the food stores, are as they say, are running a bit dry ... Ironic isn't it? When the economy fails to meet the demands of people...
So here is the story of the state of the world, future man. I hope you brought a night light, because it's a little scary here.

Never underestimate the capacity of a human being to seek revenge and bicker over personal animosities. To throw good lives after bad, to right perceived injustice with ever increasing injustice in turn and surmounting aggression.

I guess what might be called "World War Three" started around 1988. 3 years before, when Ronald Regean met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, there was hope that a change for the better would happen, but we soon were disappointed.

World War III was followed shortly by World Wars Four and Five, although the historians will probably debate whether it was one war or three, or just the final spasm of "The Cold War". For the sake of simplicity, we will say that these other events were part of the conflicts which led to WWIII. Are there any historians around to debate this conflict anyway? Stating that it was a "cold war" doesn't make much sense either. Perhaps if there would have been no world war III we could say that it was a “cold war” without that much real conflict, but this was no longer the case after the conventional war started and increased in power. Future historians would ponder their heads about the irony to state that it was a “cold war”. When nukes rain on civilizations we can not talk about a “cold” war anymore.

But first things first. The world was in pretty good shape twenty years ago. Reagan was president, and the Jelly-stained-head dude, Gorbachev, seemed to be willing to to finally admit that the Soviet system was inferior. But I guess he moved too fast. It was a bad attempt to worsen the condition of the soviet people. Why try to increase taxes on vodka? That makes no sense. Gorbachev moved too fast, alienating several powerful people, especially within the military. When he got ahead too much, he got removed from power in a powerful coup d'état led by Vladimir Nolatov and several other supporters.

Reagan challenged Gorbachev in his speech on 12 June 1987, to tear down the Berlin Wall, and Nolatov realized that if the Berlin Wall would fall the western soviet areas would want to split away from Soviet Russia. A unified Germany would cause a lot of problems for russians domain of influence. When Poland’s Solidarity movement increased in power, Nolatov decided to act. His hard liners helped pave the way by ensuring that Gorbachev would ultimately fail in his reforms. In a well prepared act of intensifying nationalism and resolidify the Warsaw pact, tanks rolled to the west and crossed some borders. Gorbachev did not have much options left, because at the same time propaganda rolled to depict that it was europe mounting an attack on the Warsaw pact.

From this point on things deteriorated quickly, and Gorbachev was forced to resign when the military took over. Instead of political and economics reforms to save a stagnant economy, the USSR turns to outright aggression and conquest, and the NATO was forced to send their troops and fight back this first invasion.

Code:
The russian army did at first not attempt to invade Europe, so they pulled back again, but Gorbachev was removed from power, and Nolatov was put in charge as “interim” president.

Nolatov was aided by Nikolay Ogarkov, who was put back into job again after Konstantin Chernenko fired him – and Chernenko himself was put in prison on charges of “conspiracy”. Nikolay Ogarkov quickly continued where he had left, and led intelligence systems.

Nolatov however was surprised by Reagan's reaction:
Instead of turning back, Reagan himself increased the pressure on Soviet Russia. The NATO ally Turkey, a part of the NATO since 1952, was instrumental in this mounting pressure, for Reagan sent war ships and submarines to the Mediterranean Sea and eventually right into the Black Sea.

Nolatov increased military spending by 200%, well known that this would sooner or later cause a collapse, just as reformist movement in eastern europe could have caused a collapse in soviet russia.
Soon naval battles erupted, for the russian fleet was not accepting NATO ships in the Black Sea. The russians increased their pressure, and Nolatov eventually declared that the Black Sea situation was reason enough to launch a full scale conventional war. Russian goes on to invade finland, rumania and continuing to move to the west. The NATO countered by sending troops to the east, and the conventional war soon got out of control.

Meanwhile, or happening almost at the same time, the election in the USA was won by Bush. Reagan looked weaker compared to Bush, as he tried to find an agreement with Gorbachev, who himself was no longer in power. Bush promised to not back down on the russian threat, and Reagan looked weary in his rhetorics. Bush quickly increased military spending and declared war on the Russians.

At the same time, Europe was divided – there was a large group of diplomats thinking that diplomacy could still result in agreements forcing the russians to withdraw, but hardliners in the USA refused to accept such an outcome, increasing the pressure on European countries.

[From here on it becomes spontaneous and is no longer anything resembling a post-WWIII journal]The russians eventually take control back of the Black Sea area, and push forward to the west with their navy, while their army pushes to the southwest, eventually taking control of large parts of Greece.

In the USA the general public is extremely divided. Many people think that things will only get worse, and Bush quickly proves that things would worsen down significantly by threatening the Russians with nukes if they would not pull back.
Martia Law is declared in the US as eastern germany troops invade western germany. The right wings take full control in the USA. "Liberal" Senators and Congressmen are put under house arrest.

NATO troops begin to fly air missions, bombing several russian villages and areas within the Warsaw pact zone. Initially the Warsaw pact has the upper hand in the conflict on the land, as they successfully expand to the west. As the warsaw pact army begins to push into italian borders, and pushing the conflict into the mediterranean sea, the USA gives a last ultimatum. If Russia will not pull back, nukes will be used. Nolatov refuses to retreat, and Nikolay Ogarkov used his diplomatic skills to persuade China to enter the warsaw pact as an ally in case nukes would be used.
Few weeks pass, and the conflict gets worse and worse, destroying large areas in eastern europe, central europe and western russia. Eventually the USA strikes first, using strategic battlefield nukes.

Northern Korea attacks Southern Korea, aided by china and quickly ruining Seoul and other areas in South Korea. China uses the conflict in europe to its own advantage.

As the first battlefield nukes are used, a full scale nuclear war breaks out, with submarines playing a vital roll in the second wave of nuke attack. With Soviets nearing French/German border, the French government begins a systematic destruction of Russian population centers, and the USSR retaliates in kind vs. France/England.

The War gradually progresses tit for tat as US/USSR have wrecked Europe and start wrecking each other.
Both the US and USSR begin plans to "move" centers of government and population to less devastated regions of the word (US -> Canada/Central america); (USSR -> asia)

China invades India, which could be called world war IV as China begins to use nukes as well, with the USA aiding India and India retaliating.

The Atomic war continues to spread to rest of world, as "long war" plans have allowed US/USSR to continue weapon production even after major nuclear strikes occur. Eventually even this capability is destroyed - along with 98% of the worlds industrial base and about 55% of the world population.

Spelling and minor grammar issues aside, many parts of this overall back-story don't even make sense. I'd like to submit a revised addition here that I believe could still use plenty of improvement, but is marginally better then the original. Towards the end I've done very minor editing of some words to make it read in the past-tense so that it's slightly more like reading a journal, but I think a large part of this needs complete re-writing and heavy editing.

There have been a lot of applications by writers here and there is a lot of guest activity viewing this part of the forum so I'll assume a few of you are still actively working on this project and will be able to help out with and improve this. It's not that it's down-right terrible, in fact, some of it is written quite nicely and sets the stage for more to come. But as is written on the wiki "It should be considered 'thematic inspiration'". So lets expand on and improve this part of the story. Smiley

Here is what I've done so far (Attached):

Quote
World War III: Journal Entries (Background):

Journal Entry, "March" 2009. Somewhere outside Trondheim, Norway.

Well, this is trite. I have been sitting in this snow cave for 3 days now, and the storm is not letting up.

Even if it does, I am not sure how far I can walk on this foot. And the food stores, are as they say, running a bit dry ... Ironic isn't it? When the economy fails to meet the demands of people...
[Why is this ironic?]

So here is the story of the state of the world, future man. I hope you brought a night light, because it's a little scary [Dark?] here.

Never underestimate the capacity of a human being to seek revenge and bicker over personal animosities. To throw good lives after bad, to right perceived injustice with ever increasing injustice and surmounting aggression in retaliation.

I guess what might be called "World War Three" started around 1988. Three years before, when Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, there was hope that a change for the better would happen, but we soon were disappointed.

World War III was followed shortly by World Wars Four and Five, although the historians will probably debate whether it was one war or three, or just the final spasm of "The Cold War". For the sake of simplicity, we will say that these other events were part of the conflicts which led to WWIII. Are there any historians around to debate this conflict anyway? Stating that it was a "cold war" doesn't make much sense either. Perhaps if there had not been a world war III we could say that it was a “cold war” without that much real conflict, but this was no longer the case after the conventional war started and increased in aggression. Future historians would debate whether it was accurate to label it as “cold war”. When nukes rain on civilizations we can not talk about a “cold” war anymore.

But first things first. The world was in pretty good shape twenty years ago. Reagan was president, and the Jelly-stained-head dude, Gorbachev, seemed to be willing to finally admit that the Soviet system was inferior. But I guess he moved too fast. It was a bad attempt to worsen the condition of the soviet people. Why try to increase taxes on vodka? That makes no sense. Gorbachev moved too fast [Repetition. Consider Revising.], alienating several powerful people, especially within the military. When he got ahead too much[Ahead of what? Himself? His ambitions for...?], he was removed from power in a powerful coup d'état led by Vladimir Nolatov and several other supporters.

Reagan challenged Gorbachev in his speech on 12 June 1987, to tear down the Berlin Wall, and Nolatov realized that if the Berlin Wall were to fall, the western soviet areas would want to split away from Soviet Russia. A unified Germany would cause a lot of problems for Russia’s domain of influence. When Poland’s Solidarity movement increased in power, Nolatov decided to act. His hard liners helped pave the way[For what?] by ensuring that Gorbachev would ultimately fail in his reforms. In a well prepared act of intensifying nationalism and to re-solidify the Warsaw pact, tanks rolled to the west and crossed some[Who’s? Allied? Was it an act of aggression? Needs elaboration] borders. Gorbachev did not have many options left, because at the time a strong propaganda campaign depicted that Europe was mounting an attack on the Warsaw pact.

From this point on things deteriorated quickly, and Gorbachev was forced to resign when the military took over. Instead of political and economic reforms to save a stagnant economy, the USSR turns to outright aggression and conquest, and NATO was forced to send their troops and fight back this first invasion.

((The Russian army did at first not attempt to invade Europe, so they pulled back again. Gorbachev was removed from power, and Nolatov was put in charge as “interim” president.))

Nolatov was aided by Nikolay Ogarkov, who was put back on the job (again) after Konstantin Chernenko fired him – Chernenko himself was later put in prison on charges of “conspiracy”. Nikolay Ogarkov quickly continued where he had left, and led intelligence systems.[Erratic, difficult to understand paragraph]

Nolatov, however, was surprised by Reagan's reaction:

Instead of backing down, Reagan himself increased the pressure on Soviet Russia. NATO ally Turkey, a part of the alliance since 1952, was instrumental in this mounting pressure, for Reagan sent war ships and submarines to the Mediterranean Sea and eventually right into the Black Sea.
[What does Reagan sending war ships through the Mediterranean and Black Sea have to do with Turkey being an instrumental ally?]

Nolatov increased military spending by 200%, knowing well that this would sooner or later cause a collapse, just as reformist movement in Eastern Europe could have caused a collapse in Soviet Russia.

It was only a matter of time before naval battles erupted, for the Russian fleet was not accepting NATO ships in the Black Sea. The Russians increased their pressure, and Nolatov eventually declared that the Black Sea situation was reason enough to launch a full scale conventional war. Russia went on to invade Finland, Romania, and continued to push west. NATO countered by sending troops to the east, and the conventional war soon got out of control.

Meanwhile, or happening almost at the same time, the election in the USA was won by Bush. Reagan looked weak in comparison to Bush, as he tried to find an agreement with Gorbachev, who himself was no longer in power. Bush promised not to back down on the Russian threat, and Reagan looked weary in his rhetoric. Bush quickly increased military spending and formally declared war with Russia.

Europe was divided – there was a large group of diplomats of the opinion that diplomacy could still result in agreements forcing [“Diplomacy” and “Forcing” don’t go well together]  the Russians to withdraw, but hardline politicians in the US refused to accept such an outcome, increasing the pressure on European countries.

Russia eventually took back control of the Black Sea area, and pushed forward to the West with their navy, while their army pushed to the South West, eventually taking control of large parts of Greece.

The US the general public were extremely divided on the issue. Many people thought that the war would only get worse, and Bush soon brought their greatest fears to light by threatening the Russians with nukes if they would not pull back.
[“Extremely divided” does not go well here. I think it would be better to start the paragraph with “Most people thought the war would only get worse” since that is the only side of the people portrayed here anyway.]

Martial Law was declared in the US as Eastern German troops invaded Western Germany. The right wings took full control in the US. "Liberal" Senators and Congressmen were put under house arrest.

NATO troops began to fly air missions, bombing several Russian villages and areas within the Warsaw pact zone. Initially the Warsaw pact had the upper hand in the conflict on the land, as they successfully expanded West. As the Warsaw pact army began to push into Italian borders, and further push the conflict into the Mediterranean, the US gave its last ultimatum. If Russia would not pull back, nukes would be used. Nolatov refused to retreat, and Nikolay Ogarkov used his diplomatic skills to persuade China to enter the Warsaw pact as an ally in case nukes would be used.

Few weeks pass, and the conflict gets worse and worse, destroying large areas in Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Western Russia. Eventually the US struck first, using strategic battlefield nukes.

Northern Korea attacked South Korea, aided by China and quickly destroyed Seoul and other areas in South Korea. China used the conflict in Europe to its own advantage. [How?]

As the first battlefield nukes were used, a full scale nuclear war broke out, with submarines playing a vital role in the second wave of nuclear warfare. With Soviets nearing French/German border, the French government began a systematic destruction of Russian population centers, and the USSR retaliated in kind against France and England.

The War gradually progressed tit for tat as US/USSR had wrecked Europe and started wrecking each other.

Both the US and USSR began plans to "move" centers of government and population to less devastated regions of the word (US -> Canada/Central America); (USSR -> Asia)
China invaded India, which could be called world war IV as China began to use nukes as well, with the USA aiding India and India retaliating.

The Atomic war continued to spread to rest of world, as "long war" plans allowed the US/USSR to continue weapon production even after major nuclear strikes occurred. Eventually even this capability was destroyed - along with 98% of the worlds industrial base and about 55% of the world population.

It will be easier to just download the attachment and work from there. I've attached the slightly revised text in Abiword (.abi) form.

Cheers,

Rick.



6  Development / Mechanics / Re: General Brainstorming: In-game Camera, Menus, Map, etc. on: December 16, 2011, 01:45:10 PM
Yeah, I know. Just throwing suggestions out there since there isn't much else I can do at the moment. I'm still reading through the forums and the wiki. Just felt like giving my impressions on the game so far and ways I think it could be improved.

I don't mind if the camera scheme stays (pretty much) the way it is. It's a lot like Fallout 2 at the moment, which I'm pretty sure is inspiration for this game. I just think a fixed camera has a more modern feel and goes well with an isometric game.

But like Beliar said - he is the only active programmer here at the moment so I know better than to ask for X amount of features - but it's still fun to talk about them. Smiley

Edit: Typos
7  Development / Mechanics / Re: General Brainstorming: In-game Camera, Menus, Map, etc. on: December 16, 2011, 12:39:58 PM
Yeah, we are aware that the game is far from finished. There currently is only 1 kinda active programmer - me.

For the camera pressing <Space> will recenter the camera on the player.

Pressing <I> should bring up the inventory, though closing that ways doesn't work atm i think.
I just tried it. Those are both really handy, thanks. Pressing <I> to open and close the inventory worked fine for me. Wink
8  Development / Mechanics / General Brainstorming: In-game Camera, Menus, Map, etc. on: December 16, 2011, 08:15:15 AM
Having played the latest version of parpg I've gotten a pretty good idea of where things are going - and I can see there is still plenty of room for improvement. Grin

The current in-game camera is (IMO) pretty annoying and detracts from the game. When moving around the map you are limited to the area of the map that you can see, you can explore further around the map but your character will go off-screen and the camera wont follow them - you have to use the mouse to pan along the map if you want to see the rest of it.

Examples:
That's me (Player Character [PC]) on the map:


Now I've clicked to go to a different area of the map:


Notice how the only thing on the map that has changed is where the PC is on the map. Sure, it makes sense that the buildings and things don't move. But it would be good if the camera was fixed relative to the PC so that as I move, so does the camera allowing me to see more of the map as I move. Instead, this happens:


Where am I? I'm back where I was in the last screenshot. Somewhere far off to the right. I was about to move up a little bit but when I went to click an arrow appeared and moved the camera in the general direction of the mouse (Top left). This time the camera moved, but my character didn't.

I think this is a major gameplay problem concerning player movement. It would be a more enjoyable game if the camera moved relative to the character. I hope those screenshots have helped me convey why. Also, sorry for being so critical. Undecided

If you have no intention of changing the camera, or you want to keep it as an option for the game, I think having a shortcut to centre you (The player) back onto your player character would be handy. Otherwise it's a bit annoying when this happens:


In the above image, the camera has scrolled really far away from the map altogether - which coincidentally is where the PC is located. This happened to me when I was first giving this game ago, the camera scrolled really far off while I was taking a look at the item/carrying menu. It took me a bit to figure out what had happened. I thought the game had stuffed up and all the graphics had disappeared. After figuring out the camera had simply panned finding my character wasn't too much effort, but it would have been easier if I could press something like "Ctrl F" and find myself centred on my character once again.

So yeah. A fixed camera would be a really, really nice addition. Please? Tongue

The Menu:

The menu at the moment is pretty basic, but I like the basic idea behind it:


I've seen the mockups on the blog: http://blog.parpg.net/2011/02/notebook-inventory-character-creationview-mockups/

How is the implementation of this coming along?

It's still too early for me to make many solid opinions on this part of the game because I haven't really had any need to use the menus much beyond holding a package for the as-yet to exist Pekko - who according to the wiki is actually dead.
(No wonder I never found him!).

I think it would be nice if there was a shortcut key for bringing up this menu instead of having to click the bag button. Maybe just press "Tab" or something, but keep the option to click as well.

It would be cool if I could equip things like armour, clothing, weapons, etc by dragging and dropping them on the avatar in the items screen. Cheesy

Game map/world:

How long will it take to make it bigger and add things like a desolate waste land, woods to explore (Full of mutated pine-trees?), rivers to cross, caves to explore, mutants to kill, animals to hunt?
9  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Do I have the latest version of the game? on: December 15, 2011, 04:29:52 PM
Hello, Beliar! Thanks for the reply. It took me quite some time to get this game running and I journalled my troubled efforts on IRC most the day. Shevy told me you'd be able to help me, and now you're the first to reply to my thread. Cheers. At least now I'm pretty well up-to-date with this project. Smiley
10  General Category / General Discussion / Do I have the latest version of the game? on: December 15, 2011, 03:46:26 PM
Hello,

I spent most of today (Now yesterday) trying to get parpg working. I downloaded the SVN and spent time trying to get that working before realizing the game had been moved to Assembla. That's what I get for trying to go "Step by step" only to realize the first five steps or so were outdated. Greeeat Wiki, haha. Grin

So I've downloaded the files from Assembla along with other necessary software like Python 2.7 and FIFE Engine, etc. I started playing the game today so I could get a general feel for the direction you're heading - the wiki and forums give a pretty good idea, but playing the game really helped cement my view of what is being aimed for with parpg.

I'm not 100% sure I'm playing the latest version of the game. I was only able to explore two maps while playing:

 - The first "snow area" village.
 - The Farm

I couldn't enter any buildings and I couldn't find the allusive Pekko no matter how hard I looked, which lead me to suspect I'm either a) Missing some files/updates or b) The mission for finding Pekko is incomplete, hence why I couldn't find him. A few NPC's told me he likes to go exploring in the woods and scavenging for parts near the stream - but I couldn't find the stream or the woods.

When I run the game "Tech Demo 2" is written in the window border. Do I have the latest version and this is just all there is for now, or am I missing some files? Additional maps, etc?

Cheers,

Rick.
11  General Category / General Discussion / Re: What will be a blog post on: December 15, 2011, 06:14:33 AM
I did some minor editing to correct spelling and grammar:

Quote
Radio silence

We've reached the cache in the evening. It's the most remote place we're keeping our stuff in. Small, desolated shack on the mountain stock, close to a big lake. Believe it or not, we have a generator stashed there, hopefully in working condition. But... Does the radio we've been carrying all the way from the bunker work at all?

1... 2... 3... Hello, is anybody out there? 1... 2... 3... Hello? Does anybody read me?

I know you've all been waiting too long for this batch of news. Harsh winter is hitting our little place in the middle of nowhere, covered with waist-deep snow. The winter that seems to be like a white odyssey. After two loud years, we seem to have a couple of quiet ones. Things are happening, just the snow slows us more than we'd expect, days suddenly got shorter, last of our dogs were eaten long ago, and we're pulling the sled on our own. Snowshoes and hunger. We're not out of our rations though, so we’ll keep on moving with slow, steady speed, hoping for a community of cheerful people, their full plates and warm shelters behind every hill we've been approaching.

During this period when our batteries were dead, and we were lost in the wild cold lands, quite a lot things happened. First of all - we have quite a lively fork, PPARPG, lead by Arikel, most widely known due to formerly being involved in The Mana World. You'll find the project at IRC: #pparpg on freenode, and the code is here: https://github.com/arikel/PPARPG . In a nutshell, PPARPG is 3D game set more or less in mood and world of PARPG, and the game is based on Panda 3D engine. We're happily sharing all possible resources and hoping for success.

What's even more surprising, is MrWillis, Rowan the Preacher and Q_x are working together on a sideproject: traditional game, that seems to be a cross-breed between paragraph and board game. You can browse the mailinglist here: http://groups.google.com/group/parpg-sideproject

Also good news: after over a year of being lost, Shevy found his way back to our snowy and cold place. He has been given some rusty nails and an old hammer to keep our formal stuff in one piece. After neglecting our docs for a while - we call it a major overhaul!

Beliar codes quite a lot, repairing and adding new features to our code, like tweaking NPCs behavior, or working on a scripting system. Finally, he has also made and successfully tested a build system, also releasing some files that are packed and ready to check them out: http://sourceforge.net/projects/parpg/files/snapshots/

These are not small things, I think. Every single one of those deserved a separate blog post, separate cheerful "yaay!", quite a bit of excitement on its own. The bitter truth is every single village we've approached so far was abandoned, scavenged and empty, everything that we thought was smoke coming out of a friendly home was a delusion our hungry brains tricked us with, just to keep us going. And man, this winter - will it ever end?

The beginning sentence of the last paragraph "These are not small things, I think." doesn't sound quite right to me, but it adds the touch of a foreign writer which I think makes it more fluent in its own way, so I decided to keep it.

Also, hello. Smiley

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