Here’s a quick tip - if you run a technical site and have decided to use MySQL’s full-text indexing feature to make searches faster, you will want to change something out of the box. I’m upgrading the Ogre forum over xmas to phpBB3, and I’d found that the default ‘native’ search index took over 18 hours to build, simply because the forum is so large (and has in fact been ‘pruned’ back to the last 3-4 years now), plus my test server here is a more modest spec.
So, Eurogamer has posted the results of their reader survey on the best games of 2008. I don’t really ‘do’ lists, since I consider the process of attempting to place a definitive order on an array of essentially different experiences as futile as putting sparkly costumes on mice and expecting a rendition of Strictly Come Dancing to naturally ensue. Nevertheless, the list did serve to remind me that we’ve been quite spoiled for games in 2008 again.
Psychonauts was, in my opinion, one of the most creative and best written games of the last 10 years. The sheer diversity of the environments, the fantastically quirky (and rather dark at times) sense of humour, the pure audacity of creating a game so off the wall that people tend to look at you strangely when you try to explain it: “It’s about a set of slightly maladjusted psychic kids who enter twisted worlds inside the minds of people with mental problems.
They seriously do. Next week, while predictably there’s a 3-pack of slightly toe-curling but at least somewhat unusual Christmas numbers (and with no Slade, thankfully), they’ve also lined up 3 more Foo Fighters tracks: This is a Call (from debut album ‘Foo Fighters’, 1995) Times Like These (from ‘One by One’, 2002) DOA (from ‘In Your Honor’, 2003) I’ve been crying out for DOA for ages, so this is great news.
I experienced my first Uwe Boll film last night, and I have to say, despite the guy behaving like a complete tool on the Internet, if In The Name of the King is anything to go by, critics are a bit too hard on him. One thing he does seem to deliver is entertainment, although perhaps not of the kind he intended. Now, time for a disclaimer here - I love trashy fantasy films.
This week’s Rock Band DLC has gone a little bit country, which induces me to grimace at horrible, horrible memories of when Shania Twain and Billy Ray Cyrus were on the radio every other day - thank goodness that particular fad has passed before I was forced to go all Van Gogh on myself. But still, music is personal after all, and if you want to listen to hokey tunes with madatory banjo solos, that’s your business.
This is what happens when you let Star Trek fans set product codenames. WARP10 Sure, technically it stands for the ‘Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform 10’. But you just know which way around the genesis of that title would have gone, when geeks are involved. In any case, it sounds pretty interesting - basically it’s a Dx10 class software rasteriser which will come built-in to Windows 7. It’s bound to be be nigh-on unusable for a while - after all, people with cheap graphics cards are also likely to have gone a bit cheap on the CPU too, and even the best multicore CPU can’t software rasterise as well as an entry-level GPU right now - but as an eventual fallback target it could be useful.
Hmm, I really haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately, I seem to be playing catch-up with something or other whenever I’m at the keyboard (due in part, of course, to the fact that I’m at the keyboard less than I used to be). However, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share my opinion of Guitar Hero : World Tour now I’ve had a chance to play it 4-player at a friend’s place.
This is so funny: It’s good to know that if you’re a Rock Band nut who has already bought the Ion kit but still have too much money to realistically stuff in your pocket at one time, there’s something highly entertaining you can do with it.
It’s been clear for some time that the US is becoming more and more paranoid about border security. My first trip to the US was in late 1993, when we hopped over to New York on a special deal (less than 2 weeks notice), and I remember it being much like any other international destination, or if anything easier. In particular if you held a British passport, you were pretty much waved through at the border with very little fuss.