Like any self-respecting geek, I like gadgets, and I like LEDs. They just add something to every occasion, whether it’s christmas decorations, keys, desktop toys. They’re like chocolate sprinkles - there’s nothing they can’t improve. I have two new LED-bristling gadgets in my household this week, so I’m happy as a pig in.. well, you know. **Powerball Neon Pro ** An implulse purchase this one, I just happened to come across it as I was buying something else.
This is a shame - The Orange Box, a game which gave me much pleasure on the PC mostly thanks to Episode 2 and Portal, has come a bit of a cropper on PS3. It seems that poor framerates in the prettier parts of Episode 2, long load times and lag in Team Fortress 2 have caused it to get much lower review scores than it did on the 360 and PC.
Ok, so my last post wasn’t quite the last rant on GH3 on this site. Go Yahtzee. Clive Winston was my favourite character too, although his omission is one of GH3’s smaller sins. ‘Cliffs of Dover’ as featured at the end is one of my favourite tracks on Hard, but is one of those we’re locked out from in co-op because of the stupid career mode. Grr.
When we were 7 or 8, my best friend got a Philips Videopac G7000, otherwise known across the pond as the Magnavox Odyssey 2, although I didn’t make that mental connection until fairly recently. At the time it was the awesomest thing on the planet, with so many games all in decorative, oddly sequentially numbered boxes. Compared to the only-recently-colour TV games we’d survived on before, supplemented of course with expensive bouts of Space Invaders, Asteroids and Pac Man in the arcades (this was pre-Gorf for goodness sakes!
Ok, one final rant on the stupidity of Neversoft here. Have they never played Guitar Hero co-operatively? Do they have no friends? Because this is the only conclusion I can reach for the absolutely ridiculous exclusion of a Quickplay co-op mode. Sure, the co-op career mode is kinda fun, but they decided that you have to complete the career mode for a given difficulty setting before you’re allowed to play almost half the songs at that difficulty level in co-op, because the game deems that you can only play at the level of the worst player.
One of the few advantages of coming back from holiday was the thought of Guitar Hero 3 waiting for us, which was released while we were away. While the slowly diminishing but still ever-present jetlag has meant that I’m not exactly on top form in the evenings yet, I feel that now we’ve had enough of a play of it to be able to pass judgement, and unfortunately it’s not the judgement I’d hoped for.
Hmm, I’m beginning to think this isn’t possible. I’m adding support for multisample AA on render textures to Ogre right now (as opposed to AA on render windows, which we’ve supported for ages), because I need it for a project I’m working on. It’s a little bit more convoluted than I expected since you actually have to create 2 separate render surfaces in both GL and D3D, and blit between them to trigger the AA ‘resolve’ stage, and given the complications particularly in GL with shareable FBO surfaces and making sure that you match AA modes on the shared depth / stencil / colour buffers all adds to the implementation time.
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for good food. The thought of eating anything from a fast food establishment utterly repulses me, and although I did go through the usual period of bachelorhood that most of us males do, when plastic knives and forks, take-away food and Pot Noodle were de rigeur, I quickly came to the conclusion that I was going to have to learn how to cook. Luckily Marie feels the same way and while we don’t claim to be experts, at least the majority of the meals in our house are prepared with fresh ingredients rather than from packets and we have quite a varied menu.
Visual C++ Express 2008 came out while I was away I see, which inevitably was going to draw calls for a VS9 version of our SDKs (I always buy the Pro version of Visual Studio myself, but I keep an Express version for testing too). I’ve always been pretty relaxed about this particular version though, because unlike many previous versions it holds precious little for the native C++ developer. Sure, you can use Vista native controls, which will undoubtedly be useful for some people, and if you’re a purely Windows-targetting .
The first stop on our Thailand trip was to spend a few days in the capital, Bangkok. When you fly into Thailand you have to pass through it anyway, so it makes sense to stop off there for a while, and particularly at the start of the holiday rather than the end, especially since one of our main aims was to relax. Having done quite a few multi-stop holidays in the past, I’ve learned that doing a city at the end is a mistake if you want to get any lasting benefit from the unwinding you do elsewhere, particularly a city like Bangkok which is one of the more chaotic.