AWS Cloudformation template for Counter Strike GO server

I spent an evening writing a cloudformation template for Counter Strike Global Offensive linux server. No, I don’t have a life. Yes, you will thank me next time you play with your friends and the laptop cannot handle more than 5 players. (AWS t2.micro handles 6 players easily, and you can always throw a c4.large at the problem which is still about $0.13/hr and handles, well, just about anything).

The template sets up a single EC2 instance of type t2.micro by default, uses the default VPC, and runs the server with “Arms Race” game in a free-for-all mode. Consult Valve’s documentataion page if you want to run other games or reconfigure the server in any way. The template also sets up a CNAME record pointing to the instance’s public DNS name, so comment the last section out if you don’t have a public hosted zone in your Route53.

Happy shooting!

The Best, Most Elegant iPhone Games of 2013 : The New Yorker

The Year in Elegant iPhone Games

For those of you having Christmas holidays, The New Yorker1 recommends some “elegant” iOS games. I must say I’m not much of a gamer (except for an occasional CS:Source), and I actually never played any games on my iPhone or iPad (except for LetterPress, in which I always lose to Karolina), but still I decided to test some of the games mentioned in the article and, frankly, had my mind blown away. Just like Rothman says: it’s unbelievable how beautifully designed and perfectly engineered these small games are. Stickets is a highly annoying (for the less intelligent among us) and innovative puzzle game (a sort of “twisted” tetris, if you will), Device 6 is a work-of-art adventure game, rymdkapsel is one of the best strategy games I’ve ever played (despite its rudimentary, but aesthetically pleasing2 graphics), and Blek is super smart and has a fun and original game mechanic. So, in other words, each of the games I’ve tested so far is a marvel.

What perhaps is the most beautiful aspect of all these games is that they were developed by small, independent studios, sometimes even by one or two persons. Just like with games sold by Humble Bundle, I realize I enjoy these independent titles much more than big, blockbuster games these days, which means I’m either getting old, or that I’m seeking what Rothman calls “elegance” in gaming, which big titles seldom provide.

Anyways, happy Christmas, and play some games when the family starts getting on your nerves.

  1. Mind you: The snobby New Yorker recommends video games. We live in interesting times. 
  2. Like an Ikea table.