As I’ve blogged before, I’ve spent a fair amount of my spare time recently getting to know OS X development, and one thing I’ve wanted to do is get an automated SDK build going for before the next release goes out. Annoyances with the organisation of framework versions, and issues with driving PackageManager from the command line have all frustrated those efforts, but nevertheless I’ve made progress. Today, however, despite having a mostly working installer I decided to change tack completely and drop PackageManager in favour of a disk image (dmg) instead:
I’d had a bit of a trying week, fairly fragmented and with the irritation of running the nvidia instrumented drivers that, in combination with the use of PerfHUD 5, brought me more blue screens and hard system locks than I’ve experienced in a fair while. Great tool though, in between the reboots & inevitable disk consistency checks. So, I was feeling like a bit of R&R for a couple of hours, and for a laugh I tried Dungeon Runners.
I’ve always had a nervous apprehension about Bioshock, simply because I’ve adored pretty much everything this particular team produced, which is to say Irrational (yeah, I know they’re “2K Boston” now, but that’s a crap name, sorry), who were the legendary Looking Glass before that. These guys are in a pretty elite club when it comes to my rather cynical view of the modern game industry - one of the few teams that I can say I’m pretty confident won’t stoop to producing lazy ‘War Shooter 12’ or ‘Licensed Property Tie In 8’.
Or rather, my wife’s GPU. Updates resulting from good/bad old Patch Tuesday kicked in yesterday, and for some reason my wife’s machine never recovered. It did the usual “I’m going to reboot your machine now” thing, (with that incredibly irritating habit of popping into the foreground and making the ‘Restart Now’ button the default, so that if you’re typing and hit space just as it pops up you don’t get to avoid it; plus it continues to pop up forever until you do it so you’re bound to get caught out eventually - ugh), but after rebooting the GPU was so dead as to not even display a boot screen.
I used to be a big consumer of that revitalising nectar Red Bull, particularly when I was pulling long hours at work and then long evenings & weekends on Ogre. At least one a day, often 2 and 3 was not that unusual - although after setting myself a record one evening (5 in 3 hours), I learned the meaning of the word ‘moderation’ (is the world supposed to oscillate in time with the pulse in my head?
Much as I love using OSX now, I still miss my Windows development tools. Even though I’ve gotten used to using XCode and related tools now, they still have multiple limitations that really annoy me when I’m trying to get things done. I mentioned a little while back that I’ve wrestled with Framework versioning and debug / release configurations. I’m not much closer to solving those in any way I feel is elegant, or even adequate.
Well, yesterday was an absolutely glorious day here in Guernsey, I don’t think we saw a cloud all day and there was just the lightest of sea breezes. We’d already booked to watch some outdoor theatre up at the castle so we made a day of it, echewing the car and taking a stroll down to our picturesque seafront town, grabbing a spot of lunch at a terrace restaurant and generally kicking back.
If you don’t have a special place in your heart for Track & Field, or its arguably better sequel Hyper Sports, I have only one question for you; just where the hell were you in 1983 / 1984 anyway? Clearly not down at your local arcade where these machines were hot favourites, as indicated by the number of kids looking exhausted, sporting blisters the size of (old size) 10p pieces on the palms of their hands even whilst they stacked up more of said coinage on the panel of the machine to reserve their next turn.
So, I’ve finally joined the 21st century and got rid of my last trusty CRT monitor. I hung on to it far longer than I intended to really, but initially I avoided LCDs because of their poor response rates and ghosting. Then, I avoided them because they were too expensive. Then, I avoided them because I like to test in lots of fullscreen resolutions and wasn’t that happy with the way that looked on many LCDs, and didn’t like being locked to a single ‘best’ resolution.
This is something of a hobby horse of mine, but I am constantly saddened by the almost complete lack of any regional cultural style in video games these days. It struck me again today as I (once again) perused the upcoming games lineup for various machines, looking for a cast-iron reason to plant my flag somewhere (no, I still didn’t find one). There was a time when it was very easy to discern the country in which a game had been developed, because each country brought its own unique style to the table and wasn’t afraid to display it.