Open Source

XBLA latest morsels

braid Games XBLA

Since I’ve been taking a rare weekend off, I took the time to download the latest batch of XBLA demos to check out the latest slices of (hopefully) juicy bite-sized gameplay. The results were mixed. Braid I’d actually downloaded the demo for this a while ago, but at that stage I’d been pretty short of time, and on getting frustrated with a particular section I had tossed it aside and gone with the far more immediate Geometry Wars 2 instead.

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RB2 in the UK - hell yes

DLC rock band UK

Looks like I could be getting my wish and Rock band 2 will be out in the UK before the end of the year: Yep, that’s a UK official Microsoft ad saying it, so I think that’s pretty certain (for 360 at least). So it’s November - unsurprisingly the very time that GH:WT comes out - makes sense. Woohoo - looks like we can look forward to having 500 tracks to choose from this side of the pond too, instead of a just the measly 400 (!

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Mixing Open Source & Business - my take

Business ogre

Bruce Byfield wrote an interesting article (discovered via Matt ‘Alfresco’ Asay’s blog, which should be required reading for anyone in this field) about the sometimes unsteady alliance between open source and business that, on the whole, I agreed with - within a given context. I do think, however, that his context was weighted towards the larger players in market that are fusing open source with business opportunities though, and wanted to share some of my experiences and conclusions from the perspective of a more individual player in the business.

Apologies for the length of this article, I had a lot to say 😀

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Cultural white-washing

Ugh. I’ve liked the Prince Of Persia series (although I only mostly only experienced the latest lot as a spectator, my wife played them more), but I have some misgivings about the gameplay trailer for the latest one. My gripes: Firstly, all that jumping & grabbing. It really doesn’t seem very fluid, more of a vertical shuffling game than the graceful acrobatic series of moves I’ve come to expect of PoP.

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Geometry Wars 2

arcade Games geometry wars

Damn, this game is good. The first one was great of course, but suffered from being a bit too limited in scope - it was great for a quick blast but the fact that there was really only one game mode worth playing (the other being a retro take on the same thing) made long sessions unlikely. The sequel resolves this by including 6 different game modes, with competitive and co-operative multiplayer variations thrown into the mix.

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OSP update: well done Microsoft

Some people think I bash Microsoft a lot on this blog, and maybe that’s true, but I don’t think I ever do it unfairly. To prove that I don’t just comment on the bad stuff, here’s a major piece of positive news about the software behemoth: Microsoft appears to have fixed the flaws in the Open Specification Promise (OSP). The major flaw in the OSP when it was originally announced is that the promise not to sue people who developed upon or used Microsoft protocols and formats extended only to those who operated non-commercially.

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Sourceforge Community Choice Awards 2008 - hmm

The main problem with democracy is that you give the vote to a large number of people who don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing. They’ll believe hype, be swayed by style over substance, and vote for what’s fashionable, or blindly along party lines. As Churchill once said, democracy is the worst form of government … except for all the other ones. I think the results of the latest Sourceforge Community Choice Awards underlines this from a somewhat less critical perspective.

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Upgrading a desktop to Ubuntu 8.04

I’ve had an Ubuntu 7.1 (“Feisty Fawn” “Gutsy Gibbon” - doh) desktop install for a while for testing purposes, and as usual they moved to a new version within a few weeks of me getting it set up. I don’t have a lot of free time and I’m still not a convert to desktop Linux, so I wasn’t in a rush to upgrade to the spanking new Ubuntu 8.04 (“Hardy Heron”).

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Ubuntu: Free as in Cola

I happened to be passing through one of our local Fair Trade shops today to pick up some more coffee beans, as is my habit - not only do they have more variety than most regular supermarkets, but their blends are almost universally better quality, thus slaking the taste buds of the discerning Java drinker as well as giving a warm fuzzy feeling that you’re doing something positive for farmers in developing countries, or at least helping them get screwed slightly less than they would otherwise be.

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The blog has suffered a little since I’ve had a very hectic week, with multiple clients to keep happy, a couple of social events and since most of last weekend was taken up with organising Ogre SVN conversion and various chores I seem to have had very little downtime - my only gaming all week was a couple of hours on Crackdown. My energy seemed to finally run out last night when I found myself dragging my half-comatose body to bed by 11pm - completely unheard of in our house.

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