News, potpourri style

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (524 Words)

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of a week so far. I heard that Pacific Storm has hit the shelves in North America and Ankh - Heart of Osiris has gone gold, adding to the list of real, tangible commercial products out there using OGRE. That’s definitely a good thing.

On the negative side the professional insurance quotes came back in a form that can only be described as ‘stratospheric’. Even though I had clarified the relatively modest size of the likely contracts involved, the fact that historically 70% of my work has come from the US has clearly given the markets that these brokers use cold feet. I’m guessing individual circumstances don’t factor greatly into the equation and that a bias towards dealing with the US immediately slaps a few thousand quid on the bill. I’m still mulling over this, but I may just have to limit my contract work to the UK and Europe except for select US companies that I trust, even though that does feel like a missed opportunity. But perhaps the message is one I should heed - in general, dealing with the US is just too risky? Perhaps this just guides me to focus the contracting side on more local clients, and concentrate on the product development side for the global market. This is pretty much what I was aiming for anyway, the contracting was more of a financial stop-gap whilst I developed the product(s) I had in mind, but these quotes focus the mind still further.

I’ve been picking through more code checking for thread safety issues with the background loading, and the number of instances of problems that I’m hitting is reducing, so that’s good. I’ve also been working on a few more bugfixes, doing stable-to-devel branch merges, and various other random enhancements. Feels a bit fragmented lately, probably because I have so much going on.

I’ve also found a couple of evenings to play Knights of the Old Republic some more. I get more and more impressed by this game the more I play it. What stands out to me most is the characterisation; the companions you travel with really do feel like real people, with as many flaws and predjudices as they have strengths. Depending on what characters you take with you at a particular time, you get different little banter sessions between them, and little character-enhancing discussions. I can’t stress just how much this fleshes out the game - I’ve always preferred a character-driven RPG to a straight ‘leveller’, and this really takes the cake. I heard that a lot of people never made it off Taris (the first planet) in this game, and if you’re one of these people, I urge you to go back to the game and give it another go. Taris is a bit slow, but things really develop as the game goes on. I salute Bioware, this is probably the best RPG I’ve played, and I’ve played a lot over the years (with some haitus recently due to lack of time). Oh, it’s absolutely huge too, if you’re like me it will last you months 😀