Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

It's not something I've ever been particularly interested in really. I'm going to edit the new episode of MOG instead.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time, What is Time?

That's a lyric from somewhere, is it Blind Guardian? I forget. Anyway today time for me is something I don't seem to have enough of. Well at least yesterday's post was longer than usual, that will make up for a short one today right? Right?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Limitations & Compromise

After seeing some of the reactions to the Hardcore mode in Fallout: New Vegas it started my wondering about some of the compromises that have been made in game design. Some of which have been reused so often that they're becoming clich├ęs and used because they're expected. The issue of eating and sleeping in role playing games is one I expect has been discussed a lot in meeting rooms. However I can't think of a single game I've played where food and bed was not simply a means of restoring health and not required for anything else. There probably is an example of someone who has tried it out there but it's not one I've ever heard about. The fact that the majority of RPGs end up with the same system means the a lot of the reason for the decision has to be because of user expectation. Even in Fallout: New Vegas you need to select a special option for it to be different and that option explicitly states it is not recommended. Personally I'm really enjoying Hardcore mode, to me it adds to the level of immersion and makes the game more enjoyable. It's for the same reason I don't use the 'fast travel' option either. There will be many reasons why people don't like it. Some will say it's too hard, others will say it's tedious micro-management and some will have imagined from the start that it was taking place and you just weren't controlling it. So does the fact that I enjoy the Hardcore mode make me a control freak? (probably a little!) Looking at the statistics on Steam (so that's PC only, not Xbox or PS3) it shows that only 1.5% of players have completed Fallout: New Vegas in Hardcore mode. You do have to consider the game has only been out for two weeks and many (including me) won't have had time to complete it yet, but that is still going to be a very small niche. So does that mean designers shouldn't do it? I hope not!

Despite the rapid advances in graphics and the more and more realistic looking environments we're getting it feels to me that the industry has let the innovations in game play lag behind. Looking at the list of games I currently have installed over half are sequels which are essentially the same as the original but with improved graphics. None of the big names appear to be trying anything new anymore. That is not entirely a bad thing, more of great games is good, but we need something new as well. I think that is probably one of the reasons I enjoy Eve Online which is a massive world where the players have control of almost everything. Now of course even that has it's limits but CCP do seem to be doing a good job of regularly trying new things and adding more options.

I too am guilty of letting technical limitations get in the way of game design. The reason my Bob character has telekinetic power rather than arms and legs is so I didn't have to animate them. It's impossible to avoid really. Of course the most important factor in the end is always going to be fun, but what people find fun is always going to be subjective. If a game becomes to close to real life would it still be fun? Probably not you may as well go and do it for real in that case. Even The Sims reduced life down to eight basic needs but surely there is still some room for some more common sense even within fantastical environments. Even in New Vegas' Hardcore mode there are still plenty of things which are simplified. You may now have to eat and sleep regularly but you don't have to go to the toilet for example and would you want to? It's all about balance and unfortunately also profit. To try something new and have it fail is enough to destroy a company in the current climate.

So what is the answer? I don't know to be honest. I started writing this without a solid conclusion in mind thinking it would form as I wrote it. That didn't happen and I almost decided to not even post it. Personally I think I need to start looking outside the mainstream some more. For the industry as a whole I'm less sure. I feel like it's time for the next big jump to a new level. Motion control is not it and neither is 3D, both of those will have their uses but they're not wide ranging enough. It's going to need someone cleverer than me to figure that out. I'm just one of a small minority of gamers looking for a deeper connection with their games rather than just fighting for positions on multiplayer leaderboards in the latest Call of Duty or Medal of Honour.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Advance

It doesn't happen very often but sometimes I write posts in advance. Today I've actually got two half written longer posts on the go but neither are ready yet and I keep getting distracted by work commitments. No time left to finish them this evening but hopefully they'll be time tomorrow.

In other news I see that Caprica finally got the cancelleation notice from the Syfy channel which is a shame. Not only that they've postponed the final five episodes until next year. With all the sweeps, breaks and reruns I wonder how any TV series in the US ever gets a chance.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tron and Daft Punk

Daft Punk and TRON: Legacy pretty much a perfect match. It's still a while to go before this is out but I'm looking forward to it more and more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Temporal Void

It's hard to decide what to say about this book. Following directly on from The Dreaming Void this book is more of the same. So anything I said about the first book applies to this one as well. Also as this is the middle part of a trilogy I can't really draw any conclusions yet either. The multiple story threads are getting a lot more complicated and intertwined now but there's no sign of how it's all going to end. Inigo's dreams of the Waterwalker continue to be a particular highlight despite the fact they're not strictly science fiction. What started out seemingly a little aside has become the very heart of the story. All the fun, exciting or moving moments seem to be in the dreams, whereas everything outside feels like it's still plot building. Maybe it's because they are so different from the other story lines that they stand out like that. They are definitely the sections I find hardest to put down. One thing that does make sense now are the titles. I'd thought they were a little strange at the beginning but that's no longer the case. So the final part The Evolutionary Void is up next and I'm expecting I'll get though it quite quickly.

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Impressions: Fallout New Vegas

It's been quite a busy weekend with work problems among other things but I did still find a little time to play some Fallout: New Vegas. I've been really enjoying it so far. There have been one or two minor issues but nothing totally game breaking. Overall the game feels very similar to Fallout 3. It's the same graphics engine powering it and many of the basic assets have been recycled. However there is enough new to it make feel like a new chapter. Looking at a basic level it's really just a giant mod for Fallout 3, but considering how much I enjoyed Fallout 3 that's not a bad thing. The term doesn't seem to be used as much these days but if it was still the late nineties this would probably have been called a Total Conversion rather than a separate game as it's built on the base of another project rather than from scratch. (click the screenshots for larger versions)


The play style is much the same as Fallout 3 with just a few minor tweaks. The first choice I had to deal with was whether I should play in the new Hardcore mode or not. This mode takes the roleplaying realism to another level requiring you to actually eat, drink and sleep in order to stay alive, something which is usually completely overlooked in computer games. I considered saving it for my eventual second play though but in the end decided not to wait and to dive right in to the new mode. There are also new weapon mods and crafting options as well as some new companion controls but they're the only major changes I have noticed.


Despite using a lot of similar assets Obsidian have managed to make the Mojave Wasteland look very different from the Capital Wasteland of Washington DC. There are a lot more critters in the Mojave compared to Washington. While exploring DC you'd come a across a few Radscorpians, Bloatflys or Molerats but the majority of dangers were Raiders and Slavers. In the Mojave there's a lot more dangerous wildlife if you wander off the main roads. This makes the exploration feel a lot more dangerous than in Fallout 3. The biggest problem with the graphics for me is there seems to be an awful lot of pop-ins. That's where an item or a texture has a lower detail level when it's in the distance and then switches to a higher detail when you get closer to it. It the same in most games which have to render large open area, you can nearly always see it if you know where to look. However this is one of the most pronounced examples I remember seeing. I don't think it was anywhere near as bad in Fallout 3. It's possible I've got a graphics setting set differently, but I've not fully investigated that yet.


One thing that's a bit crazy is that even though I've played for some hours and am now level 10, I've still not actually been to The Strip and done any gambling yet.

I've had a few crashing issues but Fallout 3 was the same when it was first released. So long as you remember to quicksave regularly it's fine. Luckily the biggest issue seems to have been with the Steam Cloud syncing the wrong save games but that was patched by the time the UK release took place so I didn't have to deal with that one. Obsidian have done a fine job with this game. It's not perfect but it's their strongest release yet and it has all the charm of the Fallout franchise and fits in nicely. Over the next year as we get patches and DLC it will only get better.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Again?

Yet again one of the servers I monitor failed leading me to have to spend my evening fixing it. That's one of the perils of running your own small business I guess but it's not the most fun way to end your weekend. There is still lots to do, it's going to be a busy week I think.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No Time Again

I'm about to go out and probably won't be back until late so there's no time for a full post today. Still there should be plenty of time tomorrow if I remember to get up early for the Grand Prix.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Little of Nothing

I thought about doing a 'First Impressions' post for Fallout: New Vegas today but I've not really left myself enough time and I think I'd like to play it a bit more first. I considered having a little rant about my new useless ISP, but that only really affects me so in the end I decided not to bother. Everything else I've done over the last two days has been work related so that doesn't leave me with a lot else to talk about. I shall therefore leave it there for today and go and play Fallout instead, then post about it either Saturday or Sunday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Collector's Edition

Two things happened today which I wasn't expecting. First my copy of the Fallout: New Vegas collector's edition arrived a day early and without me having to chase the parcel around the city! Second I found that not only is it a collector's edition with various extras it is actually a numbered limited edition. Mine being 1578 of 3400 as you can see in the picture. I've not played the game yet as it uses the Steamworks backend for authentication, so I can't play until it is unlocked on Steam which doesn't happen in the UK until 1AM tonight. As usual for something like this I took a few un-boxing photos which you may have seen on my Twitter feed earlier but if not have a look here: http://picasaweb.google.com/geniedataservices/20101021

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tired

It's late and I still can't think of a good topic for today so you'll have to have a non-post for now and I shall try to come up with something better for tomorrow. 2 days till New Vegas!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

World of Fallout

I really enjoy the Fallout universe. An alternate universe with a fifties vision of the future which then had nuclear bombs dropped on it by the Chinese. The post-apocalyptic retro-future is a brilliant setting and one which I've spent many hours in. I didn't play the original Fallout game as soon as it was released. Back in 1997 the Internet was still quite new and I was just about to head off to university. You still needed to read magazines for your news then and I wasn't paying attention. It wasn't until a few years later that I discovered Fallout, by which point Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics were already released as well.

I don't remember the exact details, but I suspect it was when Bethesda Softworks picked up the license to the Fallout series and began work on Fallout 3 that I first became aware of the franchise, so that would have been around 2006-ish. As I was already a fan of Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series I thought I should see what Fallout was all about and immediately fell in love. Of course the graphics were a little dated at that point but the story and game play were excellent and sucked me right in to the world. Fallout 2 was basically more of the same but unfortunately the version I had at the time always crashed at a certain point so to this day I've still never completed that one.

The majority of my Fallout hours have been spent in Fallout 3 and the capital wasteland of Washington DC. The game has a huge playable area and an enormous amount of things to do. Also it's nicer looking as it's the most recent incarnation of the series (until Friday). I've been playing it again this week as the anticipation for Fallout: New Vegas builds. It's a little annoying the US get to play today but here in the UK we have to wait until Friday. I'm sure there's a bizarre marketing reason why games are always released on Fridays here but I don't know what it is.

What's interesting about Fallout: New Vegas is it has not actually been developed by Bethesda (although I think they're still the publishers). The development was licensed to Obsidian to work on while Bethesda plan for Fallout 4. What's interesting about that which non-fans probably don't know is that Obsidian were formed out of the remnants of Black Isle studios who made Fallout 1 & 2 and a lot of the key people are still there. So the franchise has actually gone home in a way. Obsidian seem to be making a name for themselves creating sequels to existing games. They've done Neverwinter Nights 2 & Knights of the Old Republic 2 and are now working on Fallout: New Vegas and Dungeon Siege 3. There is a small problem here though. Both KOTOR2 and NWN2 were not a well received as the originals and their one original IP Alpha Protocol did not sell in particularly large numbers. Even though I enjoyed those games myself you could still see they were not as polished. Basically they seemed a little rushed with a lower budget. So the worry is that this will be the same with Fallout: New Vegas. I've not read a lot of reviews or anything yet as I've been wanting to avoid spoilers so I don't know if the game is an improvement on Fallout 3 or not. I'll find out on Friday, I do have hope though.

The other part of the Fallout story is of course the legal battle over the MMO version Fallout Online. I've not been paying as much attention to this although it's still early days. The last news I remember seeing was that it was mostly settled and Interplay were working on it again, I think that's right. However I was thinking about it earlier and I wonder if it would work as well as an MMO. Part of the feel of Fallout is the loneliness and isolation. It's a nuclear wasteland with an extremely low human population. If you fill it up with thousands of noobs shooting at Radscorpians I don't think it will feel the same unless they make the map particularly huge so people can spread out. If you can't go for two minutes without running into another player it won't feel like a desolate wasteland anymore.

Still Friday and Fallout: New Vegas cannot come soon enough.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My God, it's full of stars!

Unfortunately 2010 doesn't look anywhere near as good in HD as 2001. It's obviously not had the same level of restoration and it's really showing it's age. Part of that stems form it being made in the eighties. There are just so many things from that era that identify it. I suppose the same could be said for the sixties vision of the future in the first one but to me that felt a lot more natural. Maybe it's simply because I lived through the eighties but not the sixties. Still there is a lot of good to be seen in 2010 it just doesn't compare well to 2001. The two films are in such different styles it's hard to keep them in mind as part of the same story. Also they were completely wrong about the level of technology we'd have by now! :D Despite all that I did still enjoy the film. I think I've only ever seen it once before and that will have been over ten years ago but it was the obvious next pick after seeing 2001 the other day. I wonder why, in this age of reboots & remakes, that the books 2061 & 3001 have not been considered for filming? Probably because they would still get compared to 2001 I guess.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Logo

As you can see from Bob's History it's been seven years since I did any real game development under the name Slayer Software and it's been ten years since anything was released. The tests are mostly over and I'm now planning to start on my first real HTML5 Canvas project. I'm going to begin with a brand new episode of Bob's Adventures. If you look at the history page you'll see that episodes 1 & 2 were among the first games I ever released so it seemed like a fitting place for the fresh start. The game play I have planned will be similar to episode 2 but on a much larger scale. While I was thinking about that I realized that Slayer Software could really do with an updated logo or at least a high res re-draw of one of the old ones. At which point I opened Photoshop and started experimenting. There were only two concepts I wanted to keep from the past. The first is that it use a single 'S' for both Slayer & Software and the second is that it primarily be red. I've got seven variants at the moment and I'm undecided. So I thought I would post them for opinions. I could tell you which I am learning towards but I don't want to influence opinions. Let me know which you like.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Daisy, Daisy...

2001 in HD, it's a thing of beauty. The shots, the models, the effects, the sets and the designs, they all look amazing especially for a film made in the sixties. Some of the shots involving variable gravity are simply brilliant and must have required some crazy spinning sets. It's been a long long time since I last remember watching the the film, of course the end still makes no sense. I guess one day I should read the book and see if that helps shed any light on it at all. Really though the film is all about the visual experience not the story so it's still immensely enjoyable.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Canvas Progress

After I posted last night I continued work on my HTML5 Canvas engine. If you'd have told me as little as a year ago that I'd be writing a game engine in Javascript I'd have just laughed and said 'surely it's not powerful enough!'. Well I've changed my mind now. There are still some things about Javascript that I don't like but then no programming language is perfect. You do need above average hardware for the games to run smoothly but that will only get better over time. My Canvas engine now has the capability to display static and animated sprites and seems to be working quite well so far. A lot of the core concepts are transferring well from the Java engine I once started writing for Hit 2. There are a couple of bugs but it's early days. For example it doesn't always load correctly first time. An exception is occurring, it looks like it's trying to start drawing before the canvas is ready. A refresh of the page seems to fix that though. Have a look at the test for yourself here: http://www.slayweb.com/canvas/demo1/. Like last time remember you'll need an up-to-date copy of FireFox, Chrome or Safari to view it. If you do have a look please drop me a comment and let me know what your average FPS is.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding the Joy

My quest to rekindle the joy of programming by doing something completely non-work related continues. I found a little time this evening to do some more on my HTML5 Canvas project. There's not a lot to show for it yet but I do have the beginnings of a generic renderer framework. Most of the problems I've been having are related to my lack of recent javascript experience, the capabilities are all there I just have to remember how to use them. I should have a sprite and animation system going fairly soon I think at which point I'll have to start thinking about what sort of game I should create first. I'll keep it simple to start with. I think one of the reasons I never finished Hit 2 was that I tried to do too much all at once. Time to put my thinking cap on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Caprica

Admittedly it's only been back for two episodes so far and it is showing some signs of improvement but I'm still not sure where I stand on Caprica. The show looks absolutely great with fantastic visual effects, good direction & acting and it's all taking place in an interesting world. Yet despite all that there are times when I find myself not paying attention. I don't know if it's the stories themselves or certain characters but something is still not quite right with this show. I'm willing to give it some more time to find it's place mainly because BSG was so good and also because the previous work of Ronald Moore and Jane Espenson has been so great. There is the worry though that if it doesn't find it's feet soon that too much of the audience will have been lost and we won't get another season. You can't get it right every time I guess.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Twilight

And no this has nothing to do with Stephenie Meyer! I presume that Joss Whedon chose that name for the big bad in the Buffy season eight comics on purpose for the joke / irony / Google search optimization.

It's been a long wait but my copy of the volume seven TPB finally arrived this morning, compiling issues 31-35 and a Willow one-shot. Last time we were with the Scoobies things were not looking good with big battles taking place in Tibet and Slayers dying everywhere. Here we pick up after the battle is mostly over apart from some giant genie things. Those are taken care of pretty quickly as Buffy seems to have developed some extra superpowers. The remainder of the issues are about the identity of Twilight and the nature of the universe.

As with the majority of the series these issues are drawn by Georges Jeanty & Karl Moline and their work remains excellent. It's never going to be possible to get a 100% likeness to the original actors given the timescale these guys have to work at. However they do manage to consistently capture the essence of the characters so I never have a problem telling people apart. Some of that credit has to go to the writer too for making sure the character has the right voice. In this case it's Brad Meltzer writing the main issues, while Joss himself handled the Willow one-shot.

Brad Meltzer is not someone I've heard about before. This is his first run on the Buffy season eight comics. A quick Google search tells me he's a bestselling author and has written other comics before. I guess he's a fan if he took the job in the first place and he seems to know the characters and back story well.

Finally there's 'the sex issue'. I generally try to avoid spoilers but it's tricky when the single issues come out so long before the trade paperback compilations. However I remember people talking about this on forums with all sorts of opinions. It seems pretty tame to me to be honest. Buffy and Angel have one of the ultimate forbidden loves and in the seven years of the TV series it only happened once. They deserve a little happiness now and then. Of course this is Whedon we're talking about so it does mean that someone is going to die horribly before the end. I wonder if some of the problems people had were due to the circumstances rather than the content. But really when you give an issue the title 'Them F#©%ing (Plus the True History of the Universe)' it is a bit like you're asking for controversy on purpose, when if you actually read the book it's not that bad.

I'm still enjoying the series and am looking forward to the next one, it's just a shame that won't be until next year!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dreaming Void

The first in Peter F. Hamilton's new trilogy The Dreaming Void is a great return to the Commonwealth Universe. Set 1500 years after his previous two books I expected it would feel like a whole new universe after that amount of time has passed. However that's not a the case here, you quickly get a sense of the history and how things have naturally changed and progressed after the Starflyer war. Also thanks to rejuvenation technology there are a few characters still alive from that time as well.

The style is much the same as Hamilton's previous major works. You begin with a bunch of different characters living their lives in various locations throughout the universe. Then slowly over time their stories begin to intersect and overlap becoming a grand and complicated tale. In this book there are five main story lines along with a few smaller ones and various sub plots. The weirdest one would have to be the dreams from the Void. On it's own that storyline probably wouldn't even be called science fiction. More likely it would be considered fantasy/medieval albeit with a psychic twist. The other odd one would be the adventures of a young interior decorator. I found her story unexpectedly interesting but it took me a while figure out where she fit into the big picture. Looking back I probably should have guessed more easily.

While I will usually read something everyday, it's typically only for a fairly short amount of time. I generally just read a little before bed. However some books do have the power to suck me in and make me choose reading over games or TV. Hamilton's stories are a good example of that. I know I read The Naked God and Judas Unchained extremely quickly considering their length because I simply had to know how they ended. The same was true for The Dreaming Void. I'm glad I waited for all three parts of the story to be out before I started. To have started in 2007 and then having to wait until last month for the final part would have been quite annoying I expect. Of course there would have been The Temporal Void in 2008 to keep you going a little but it's still a bit stretched out. Now I can read all three in one go as a single story.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kindle Love

This evening I finished reading my first full book on Kindle. I'll write about the book itself tomorrow when I've got a little more time. So today I thought I'd briefly talk about the Kindle itself now I've been using it for a while. It's pretty awesome in all sorts of ways. The e-ink screen is great and really does look quite similar to paper. The refresh rate is a little slow for some tasks involving menus and settings but when you're just reading with it it's perfectly fine. Size and weight are both about the same as a standard mass market paperback yet it can hold thousands of books in it's memory and the battery life is good too. Ordering books is extremely simple and can be done from the Amazon website or directly from the Kindle itself. Either way your chosen book is delivered in seconds. On top of that there are a lot of old books now in the public domain available for free. Things like Dracula, Frankenstein or Sherlock Holmes, which I probably would never have gotten around to reading otherwise but now I have a nice copy. I can't say enough good things about it really. Sure it only really does one job, unlike say an iPad, but it does that job extremely well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Completed: GTA Chinatown Wars

I don't play on my DS anywhere near as much as I do my PC so I've been playing Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on and off for quite a long time. However this afternoon I finally finished the game. Way back in 1997 I enjoyed the original GTA and played it quite a lot, but as the series moved forward into 3D environments it lost some of its appeal to me. I could never quite get on with it and so I've played very little of GTA3 and 4. When GTA: Chinatown was released with the old style top-down game play I was immediately interested. I didn't have a DS at the time, but when I finally did get one the game was at the top of my list. The game is not the hardest or most complicated ever but it is a lot of fun. After 13 years of practice Rockstar Games know how to make a GTA game. There's loads to do other than the main plot, there are side missions, random encounters & drug dealing do get on with or of course running over pedestrians which is always a big part of GTA games! If you're younger than me and started play GTA with GTA3 on Xbox you probably won't enjoy this as much but if you're after a bit of fun a nostalgia you should give it a try. Now I'm going to need a new long term DS game to play, currently I'm thinking one of the Zelda games.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fringe

Beware season 3 spoilers.
I've enjoyed Fringe from the start but so far this season I've been enjoying it even more. With the addition of full episodes and stories in the alternate universe it has made everything more complicated and more interesting, especially with each copy of Olivia being in the opposite universe. I'm looking forward to see where they're going with this now.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good News Everybody

It has been an odd day after a very late night fixing servers but all seem to be back to normal now. Still I'm busy and there is some fallout to deal with but it's no longer 'emergency level' busy, much less stressful. So that's good news number one.

Item number two it actually an extension of something I already knew. On Tuesday night in Paris Annihilator started their new European Tour which will be passing through Sheffield in November! That part I already knew and I already have my ticket. The good news I found out today is that "Phoenix Rising" appears to be on the set list. I never thought I'd hear that one live but there it is on You Tube.

Item number three is not really related to today, I'm just padding for length now but 'Only 15 days until Fallout: New Vegas, Woo!'.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Server woes

Work issues keeping me busy again, no time for a proper post tonight.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What have I done today?

Nothing I can think of that would make for an interesting blog post anyway. Moments of Gaming got more views so far than last month did which is cool. Although I think that is mostly because the theme this month gave me a reason to post about it in a place I wouldn't normally, the BioWare forums. It seems really odd to me that my videos only seem to get a lots of views when there is some Eve Online footage included. That's nowhere near the most popular game represented. I'll have to make sure to get some more Eve footage this month as a test.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moments of Gaming (September 2010)

It's not really surprising considering the amount of footage I recorded but this month's Moments of Gaming has become my longest video so far. The length is of course mostly affected by the music tracks I pick but I knew I'd have a lot to fit in this time so I aimed for 10 minutes rather than 6 as I've done in the past. Once the two tracks were joined and the credits and title cards were added it's come in at just under 11 minutes. I'm glad You Tube recently upped their time limit for videos from 10 minutes to 15! Notably missing this month is any footage from Civilization 5 but as I mentioned I filled my recording drive and that was before Civ 5 had been released. Though even before that I was thinking about keeping to a strict BioWare theme anyway. There will be plenty of time for more Civilization in the future. So this month there are four games (and additional DLC) all from BioWare including Mass Effect 1 & 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Jade Empire. View the video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxl_Q3lWnlk

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Iron Angel

Alan Campbell's second novel Iron Angel is absolutely brilliant. Continuing the story where Scar Night left off in this book the entire world is revealed to us as well as various parts of hell. Taking place in many locations the story becomes an epic of waring gods much larger in scope than the first book. All the good things from the first book are still to be found here, all the imaginative places and descriptions, while at the same time the bad has been improved. That makes this an even better story. Again this book ends with a cliffhanger but it felt like a much more natural place compared to Scar Night. Like the end of one story and the beginning of the next rather than suddenly stopping in the middle. I hope he can keep such a level of excellence for the next one, God of Clocks.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Zom Com

Zombie comedies that is. That was my thought while watching Zombieland this evening, there should be films like this. Sure there's a lot of horror comedy out there but not a lot involving zombies in particular. There is something about zombies that make them particularly amusing. Other than Shaun Of The Dead I can't think of any other major examples without going to B level films where it's the tongue-in-cheek cheesiness that makes them funny. In short more zombie comedies are required, also see Zombieland if you have not done so already.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Servers

When do servers go wrong? It's never Tuesday afternoon, noooo, it's always Friday evening! Grrrrr.