Penny Arcade tends to divide a room much like Marmite, but I like both. I was pleased this morning, therefore, to see Torchlight, a game deep within which little gears of my own construction are happily spinning away, featured as the news and comic of the day, and in a very positive fashion. [Penny Arcade tends to divide a room much like Marmite, but I like both. I was pleased this morning, therefore, to see Torchlight, a game deep within which little gears of my own construction are happily spinning away, featured as the news and comic of the day, and in a very positive fashion.
There was a time when patents represented innovation. Thanks to the relaxing of patent rules as championed by the US patent office in a blatant attempt to curry favour with dubious business interests, and make a bit of money at the same time, those days are gone. These days, patents are a tool for those who have no business model other than litigation, either because their primary business model failed, or by design because filing patents and hoping a lawsuit or three will stick (or rather, be settled out of court) is easier than actually building something good.
As I’ve said before Harmonix really like Foo Fighters, and/or the Foos really like Rock Band, because this week we had more tracks from the band (plus some from Nirvana, where of course Grohl cut his teeth as a drummer before emerging from the shadows as a bloody good all-rounder) which is great in my book. Despite this year’s album being a little too easy-listening for my tastes, Foo Fighters remain one of my favourite bands of the last decade or so.
Git is picky when it comes to converting large, moderately complex Subversion repositories and so far the only option I’ve found that works reliably is using the very latest version on Linux. Forget about using 1.6.5 on Windows via msysGit, at least for the git-svn conversion it’s very, very unreliable. Similarly I found Git 1.5 on Linux very flaky for the svn conversion. This doesn’t give me the greatest confidence in Git but in order to properly explore all the angles, I’ve committed to making it work even if it means I have to monkey about a bit.
Aussie gamers don’t half get a raw deal. We bitch here in Europe because of delayed releases (less of a problem these days), and more expensive games & hardware (the typical exchange rate is 1.2 dollars to the pound, which I can’t remember us ever getting close to), but compared to Oz, we’re laughing. Not only do games take ages to appear down there sometimes, they’re often ridiculously priced and mutilated by censorship.
As soon as Macs started running on Intel, they became infinitely more attractive just because suddenly you had the option of using Windows on them too if you needed to. Because let’s face it, as lovely to use as OS X is, and as much as its popularity has grown, the majority of the world still runs Windows. Boot Camp is a great little tool provided by Apple which makes setting up a dual-boot into Windows generally a breeze, barring a few small niggles such as the slightly ropey support for the extended functions of the track pad (two-finger right-clicking and scrolling is very flaky).
Woohoo, Torchlight, the new ARPG by Runic Games and using OGRE for rendering, is launching today! Well, strictly speaking the single player game launches today, with an MMO version planned for 2010. Torchlight has been developed in Seattle by a veteran team composed of the designers and leads of projects like Diablo, Diablo II, Mythos, and Fate, so you knew this was going to be good. Well, Runic were kind enough to send me an advance copy which I played a little yesterday, and boy, is it polished.
As you know I’ve been reviewing DVCSs lately. I’m taking my time doing real use cases on them, and deliberately not doing the sort of feet-first leap into whatever looks best / most popular on the surface because I don’t particularly want to discover unexpected problems down the track. It’s consuming a lot more time than I expected - I’m writing up my findings and may publish the entire results later on if I can find the time to clean them up and format them better, but for the moment I thought I’d share some experiences with the conversion process of a relatively large, long-lived, multi-branch repository (OGRE) from Subversion to Git and Mercurial, because that’s what I’ve been wrestling with in the last few days.
I’m not sure if this is the intro or just a trailer, since the first game had an intro which led directly to the starting point of the first chapter, which worked well, which this one clearly doesn’t (unless they start you in absolute mahem which would not make sense). If this is the intro, then I have to say I preferred the intro from the first game, which was a bit more suspense and atmosphere and less chainsaws & explosions, but I suspect it’s just a marketing trailer and hence appealing to the attention-span-challenged is paramount.
I could hug Harmonix. They have lived up to their original promise to providing a large, ever-expanding and varied collection of tracks on Rock Band with the kind of fervour that I think even fans have been surprised by. Apart from a couple of odd cases (Lego Rock Band and Beatles: Rock Band - the former puzzling, the latter due to brand management insistence that The Beatles should be revered as gods and can’t be seen mixing with peasants) Harmonix have avoided fragmenting the content available as much as possible and the result is a lot of people who have no reason to buy another music game; in fact there’s a positive incentive not to.