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.
Before 2009, I’d never set foot in Germany before; not for any particular reason, I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. However, thanks to gracious invitations to conferences I’ve now been twice. 😀In May I went to Stuttgart for FMX, and last week I went to Munich for Qt Developer Days. It was an enjoyable conference, as always the best part is just meeting other delegates, the sessions themselves are merely the icing on the cake.
I’ve been pushing quite hard to get this done before I head off to Qt DevDays next week, and luckily it all came together in the last few days: Some of the notable back-of-the-box (if there was a box) items: Upgrade to SpeedTree v5 - supporting all the great new features. See the SpeedTree site for more details on this release. More lighting options - Ambient Occlusion, Ambient Contrast, Specular Lighting, Transmission Lighting, Global Light Scalar, HDR.
It was about 10pm last night and I figured I’d just do half an hour’s practice on the guitar as I often do. I often use headphones to avoid causing undue annoyance to the neighbourhood, and like a lot of music equipment my Pod has a ¼″ headphone socket, despite the fact that most regular headphones use a 1/8″ mini-jack, so I use a converter that came with the headphones (Sony in this case), pictured below.
I like Steam. Sure, you’ve got all the people moaning about not being able to sell on their games afterwards, but I don’t care about that - maybe because I don’t buy that many games compared to some, and I tend to hold on to them regardless more often than not. It’s the nearest thing to XBox Live on the PC and it does a pretty good job of it. Buying games and keeping them up to date is simple, and it’s indie-friendly with far less of the snooty attitide that seems to be increasing in the console online marketplaces now they’re established.