Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I hate being trendy

There has been something bugging me for awhile now but I’ve been too lazy to actually research it. I now find myself faced with the choice of going off and doing said research or risk humiliation when my dearly held opinions turn out to be based on unfounded information and conjecture.

. . .

If you had any doubt that I would take the later of those two choices, there is a whole slew of links along the right of the page that will take you other sites and I invite you to pick one because I want nobody reading my stuff who has even the slightest notion that even the smallest iota of a well thought out point would appear in any of the rapidly firing words that I am typing in what can only be described as a mish mash of run on sentence after run on sentence pouring forth with no end in sight especially in this one which appears to being doing so well that I have decided it is a sort of challenge to see just how long I could go. Yeah as soon as I thought about what I was doing it ended itself, lucky escape for us all.

Starbucks LogoBefore I go on about this thing that is bugging me I want to say right up front that I think the whole notion of hating big evil corporations simply because they are big evil corporations is way too trendy. There was somebody going off on Starbucks today for what in the end, after you removed all the adjectives, seemed to come down to just that reason. I prefer to hate them because in Australia when you ask for a Venti Vanilla Coffee Frappuccino you get a cup that in America would be called a Grande. For those of you who don’t speak Starbuck-ese, a Venti is a large and a Grande is a medium.

Starbucks Scuba TankLike all Americans I prefer my beverages in as large a size as possible. I would go so far as to say if they come up with some giant refrigerated (a Frappuccino is cold drink along the lines of an iced coffee slurpee) tank that I could strap onto my back and drink through hose, I’d be all over that.

So now that we got that out of the way and it is clear I’m an evil capitalistic bastard lets get on with picking on Microsoft. As so many people do pick on Microsoft, I felt it was important to let you know I wasn’t doing it to be trendy.

We would like to put the Microsoft “Games for Windows” logo on the Fury box.Games for Windows logoWhy?

I don’t honestly know. I can’t think of a single person who would look at a PC game and see the Windows XP/Vista listing on the system requirements but still not buy the game because it didn’t have the “Games for Windows” logo on it. Microsoft has such a solid reputation especially with this whole “DirectX 10 only graphic feature” thing they are getting game companies to promote that turn out work not only just fine under DirectX 9, but in most cases run better under DirectX 9.

Just assume we want said logo for no other reason than that is what I’m telling you.

In order to qualify for the distinction of being a game worthy of such high branding we have to follow a set of standards. Its one of these which is bugging the hell out of me and really the point of this whole post which it is nice of me to finally get around to don’t you think?. Microsoft appears to think it’s a good idea to mandate that any files you save out from your game, for example screenshots and log files, have to be saved in a certain directory.

The first part of the reason is sound, if the user doesn’t have Admin permissions to the machine you can’t save them to the game’s own directory within the Programs folder.

I get that.

But the next part is where they lose me. I’ll preface this torrent with the fact that I’m basing it all on Windows XP and haven’t a clue what Windows Vista may or may not do differently.

Microsoft says that you must save them under the following path
C:\Documents and Settings\Joseph\Local Settings\Application Data\MyGames\Fury\...

The “Joseph” directory being what ever your user name happens to be. Besides being over half a dozen directories deep before you get to the Fury directory, two of those directories along the way are hidden! Local Settings and Application Data are hidden directories by default! I’m looking at the Joseph directory under Documents and Settings and I only see Desktop, Favorites, My Documents and Start Menu. I don’t see a Local Settings directory. I don’t see anyway to unhide directories. How does Microsoft expect Timmy’s Dad to figure out how to get at his screenshots?
"Sorry little Timmy. I know you took that cool screenshot of you pwn’n newbs and you want to parse your combat log, but I can’t seem to find where it saved them. The manual says there should be a Local Settings directory here but I don’t see it."
I would prefer something like a My Games directory under the My Documents folder. Though I never did understand why things like My Music, My Pictures, etc. where all under the My Documents folder and not in the same directory as the My Documents folder. But what do I know?

FrappuccinoLittle Timmy by now has gone back to World of Warcraft, whose makers don’t seem to care about the “Games for Windows” logo and save their screenshots where ever the hell they feel like it. They also probably sit around drinking Starbucks Frappuccinos all day in Venti sized Venti cups. Bastards, all of them!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Patch Rules

Patching Rules
1. Never patch on a Friday.
A. The next two days are the weekend and there is no one in the office to fix all the things the patch broke in the game.

B. Lots of people don't have school/work on the weekend which means there are going to be even more customers upset with your company when they can't play because your patch broke the game.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hellgate London Ads

Last year I decided to not buy Battlefield 2142 because of the Adware type stuff EA were putting in the game. It has been recently announced that Hellgate London has the same Adware. If you had it on a list of possible Christmas presents, please remove it. Thanks.

I am okay with the in game advertising to an extent. Business is business and capitalism makes the world go around. I also understand that they are keeping their data gathering autonomous, not trying to find my identity. But that information they are gathering is valuable as is my time viewing their ads. If they want me to allow such practices they are going to need to do two more things:

1. Pay me for it. I am not going to pay full retail for a game, possibly a subscription AND allow them to just have that information and subject me to advertising. They are making money off that information and those ads so some of that needs to be passed on to me. They can't have their cake and eat it too... well not my cake anyway. Hmmm how about, they can't sell their cake to me and eat it too.

2. Change their EULA agreement in such a way that states they do not have the right to change the agreement at a later time. Currently their EULA reads in such a way that gives them a lot of wiggle room to change it and the data they collect at any time in the future. That just won't do. The cake's ingredients should not change after the transaction is made. I'm okay with vanilla or lemon cake, but I don't want them switching it to chocolate at some later time.

Here is hoping they don't do this to Crysis. Can't really think of a cake analogy for this last bit... How about if I said the wish I made when I blew out the candles on my cake was that they don't do this to Crysis! I should have quit while I was ahead.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Post All My Own Ideas

I noticed Kotaku has split up to have an Australian Version. My link over on the left used to just be but it would translate to for me when I used it. I’ve edited it to be which is the direct link to the U.S. version.

What’s the deal though? Why? It would appear at a cursory glance that the U.S. version of the site appears to be exactly the same except with more stories. The U.S. version appears to have all the Australian specific articles as well. It’s just the Australian version that has less stuff. What is up with that?!

Okay, that isn’t really why I gathered you all here this evening. Back in April I did a 10 question interview with Australian Gamer. I also managed to get myself into a bit of controversy when my fictional story in a ‘relationship’ thread was nominated for the April Post of the Month. I found myself going up against another post that was really nothing but a number of parody pictures of that guy from the move ‘300’ yelling “This is Sparta!!!” I found out that he didn’t actually make any of those pictures, he just collected them from across the internet and posted them. I said something about that in the thread.

Here is my original blog post about it. Go and read that PotM thread and ask yourself who is being an ass. You might even be tempted to say nobody. But I certainly don’t see any of my posts as being overly rude.

Okay jumping forward to the present day. The October Post of the Month thread. About halfway down you’ll see this post from El Taco:
Because it's a shirt+faceplate, I'm expect Joseph4th to come in here, make one post, get angry at me for winning then never posting again.

What an ass.
Why did he do it? Why did he say my name and summon me so? He's young and doesn't know any better. Now the first version of my response was a bit over the top and probably a wee bit too cruel. I toned it down quite a bit during the editing stage. I also was originally planning on changing the faceplate in the picture as well as the t-shirt. I was going to turn it into a Del Taco faceplate but since they don't have Del Taco in Australia it would have been a lot of Photoshop work with little humor value in return.

Anyway here is the link to the October PotM thread so you can read it all for yourself. Share and enjoy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The White Stuff

Somebody awhile ago hooked me up with a song called “Code Monkey” by Jonathan Coulton. By hooked up I mean they had it, I listened to it, and that was about it.

Today I was watching the latest Zero Punctuation episode which reviews The Orange Box from Valve – you know the one with Half-life Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2. If you haven’t seen this or other Zero Punctuation reviews I highly suggest you stop reading my prattling and go on and watch something truly funny.

Anyway, at the end of the latest review Yahtzee Croshaw, the English nut job on the loose somewhere in Australia who is the creator of Zero Punctuation, mentions there is a song at the end of Portal by Jonathan Coulton. I hadn’t made the connection of the Code Money song with Jonathan until I looked him up on iTunes. Yahtzee (really now, are we expected to believe that’s the name his mother gave him?) describes Jonathan’s music as upbeat folk rock about robots. In addition to the music, Jonathan also has his own podcast called “Thing a Week”. I am guessing the name was a way to force him to put a new one out each week, good idea.

Now that I’ve gotten all that written down I suppose I should mention that besides the Code Monkey song I haven’t listened to anything else Jonathan has done. None of his songs, none of his podcasts, I haven’t even read his blog.

I just wrote this to remind myself to check them all out later. I was going to just put these links into an email and send it to myself. But I plan on doing another post about Fury’s launch with various press reviews and such once it’s finished rolling out in all the stores. I didn’t want to have two Fury focused posts in a row, disregarding the tangent in the last one about Pancakes and the Sausage versus Bacon jihad. I thought this post would make for a nice bit of filler between the two. It’s the white stuff in the middle of an Oreo if you will. I'm not sure what it is, but it sure makes the cookie taste good. Joseph likes Oreos.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fury Unleashed & Pancakes!

Fury BoxI was going to put up a counter on here for Fury's release but its all still kind of nebulous. What it comes down to is that Fury will be out sometime between 12:00 Noon PDT October 16th and Friday depending on if you bought it online versus when various stores stock their shelves.

Now 12:00 Noon PDT is 5:00 AM October 17th here in Australia. Some of us are meeting at Pancake Manor for breakfast at 4:00 AM because... well... pancakes man! PANCAKES!

Pancake Manor is actually a converted church. It was originally St Luke's, a Romanesque Church built in 1904 and designed by J.S. Murdoch. It was lovingly refurbished in 1979 into the Pancake Manor (I think the sign out front actually says Pancake Cafe).

I have to wonder what somebody who went to that church over 100 years ago would think if was sitting there, saying the Lord's Prayer or some such, and suddenly had a vision of the future. Can you imagine him telling people that he had been given a vision by the Lord and the Lord's message was, "Would you like sausage or bacon with that?" Oh you can just imagine the war and strife that would follow from that!

Actually it would probably be more of exactly what we already have today. The general divide between the sausage or bacon factions. Then more trouble with the sub-factions arguing about crispy bacon versus chewy, some big war with the sausage patty versus link split. All that trouble with everybody forgetting about the main point of it all which is the PANCAKES!

So anyway, Fury is finally hitting the shelves. When you aren't stuffing your face full of pancakes I highly recommend picking up a copy. I fully expect to see the Sausage versus Bacon clans represented in full force in the game.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Going to Sydney

SupanovaI'll be in Syndey this weekend for Supanova. I haven't really had the time to look into who is going to be there until now. Comic wise we have Stan Lee by video conference... Marv Wolfman, unfortunately I don't have anything of his here in Australia for him to sign. Whilce Portacio, don't think I have anything of his here either. Something seems to be up with ComicBase because it isn't showing me all of the issues for people I'm working for. Going to have to go over and post on their tech forum.

Bruce Spence is going to be there, he was as the last Brisbane Supanova. I really wish I had something cool from Road Warrior (Max Max 2) for him to sign.

There is a Fury billboard up in Sydney that I want to try and get to see.Fury Billboard in SydneyIt is on William St. near the corner of Boomerang. Click on the pic for a much larger version.

Speaking of Fury, I've also been doing a few questions a week over at Game Arena. Here are the links to part 1 and part 2. Part 3 should be going up anytime now. We also announced some major changes to some of the game systems last week which you can read about here.

I would love to go back and edit this to spice it up, add that JBHIV humor, but Snipers aren't going to set their own selves on fire! Don't call Homeland Security, thats just my way of saying I'm going to play Team Fortress 2.