Guestbook begone!

Even after filtering out URLs, that thing was just a spam magnet, and I’m not gonna waste my time cleaning it up every couple of days. Bye bye, my first PHP app!

On another note, I tried the compatibility of the 360, and found out that Halo 1 still rocks!

Posted in Uncategorized

XBox 360 in da house

Yeah, hum… I’m not calling it the XBox 2 anymore, and I even bought one a couple weeks after release. 🙂

– XBox Live Arcade positively rocks. I tried to approach it as a dumb user, and found that the menus are not simple, but they are consistent, so once you get the hang of them, anyone should be comfortable. The ability to download game demos, trailers and such is great, now all it needs is more more more content. The likes of Zuma, Geometry Wars and Bejeweled should provide tons of fun to anyone with a knack for classic gaming. On the other hand, the coin-op remakes (Gauntlet, Joust) were very unpolished and just not worth any price.

– Project Gotham Racing 3 is very good. Fast, fun and with many options. Not in the same league as Gran Turismo 3/4, but certainly "good enough" to satisfy your racing appetites.

– Quake 4 rocks just as much as on the PC. Framerate is not exactly silk smooth, but certainly better than your average "gaming" PC (which should cost 3-4x as much as the 360). Including Quake 2 is a very nice touch, although the controls are much better in Quake 4 (Q2 seems a straight port without much finetuning).

– Perfect Dark Zero is… hm… ok. It’s well done, but I found it terribly confusing (which, for a FPS game, is weird). The funniest part is, with the excellent atmosphere imbued in the game, anywhere from the intro movie to the menus and game itself, I found myself missing some more backstory (who am I, what is my purpose, etc). And I’m not one to pay attention to storylines in games, so the fact that I miss it is surprising. The first mission looks like a bad copy of Halo, the second mission begins stealth-style without enough guidance, and at that point I put it down.

– Kameo is very well done, looks good and… well, if you like that sort of game, it should be very fun. I found it too much a collection of predefined puzzles with a "gotcha" to solve them.

– Condemned is dark, creepy, and… I never liked Silent Hill, so this game bored me to tears. Others are loving it.

– Call of Duty 2 looked great, I haven’t sat down to play it yet.

Also got my first crash, while loading Quake 4’s 4th mission. Heh.

On another topic, are developers playing less games than ever? You can bet I have played less games this year. In fact, I play less games since I started playing MMORPGs about 3 years ago. But the biggest impact wasn’t the amount of games I played, it’s the amount of games I actually finished (or got near the end, I was never a 100% kind of dude). In 2005, the number is one. In 2004, it was two. In 2003, I think it was one again.

Another thing I realized is that, since developing Praetorians, I haven’t touched another RTS. I barely touched our very own Imperial Glory. Similarly, I stopped being a basketball and NBA addict after working on Microsoft NBA Inside Drive. Interesting, huh?

Posted in Uncategorized


It’s great, useful and… I have always had some dark thoughts about it, which Penny-Arcade has pretty much summed up in their unique style:

"What you’ve proposed is a kind of quantum encyclopedia, where genuine data both exists and doesn’t exist depending on the precise moment I rely upon your discordant fucking mob for my information."

With the heated debates going on about its updated procedures, policies, goals and fundraising, it’s hard to see it growing in significance beyond what it currently offers.

Posted in Uncategorized

A little AI goes a long way…

Version 0.2 of the little C# game can be downloaded here. It has a little bit of AI, enough to make the game, if not truly challenging, at least much more interesting.

I have also included a Release version which shouldn’t require Visual Studio 2005 installed, and links to the necessary runtimes. I get reports that it still fails to run in some machines – I have no idea why. Can someone help with this?

Posted in Uncategorized

C# and const-correctness

Every now and then, I experiment with C# and the .NET Framework. For the most part, it’s an amazingly useful environment to develop on; you can crank up tools and interfaces in no time, and Visual Studio provides lots of helpers to improve productivity and general comfort. However, not all is rosy. Being a const-correctness fan, I dismayed when I found out about this.

To quote from one of the comments:

> Mort just wants to get his job done.
Yeah, and I have to clean up after mort.

Const-correctness is a fantastic way to develop more robust code, period. Seeing a system like .NET, which should be aimed at developing large-scale software, be weakened to appease the laziness of a bunch of hack-and-forget programmers is sad.

You can download a small mini-game done with C# and Managed DirectX here.

Posted in Uncategorized

New DirectX

The December DirectX 9 SDK has been released. It apparently includes some DX10 tech previews requiring unreleased hardware and the latest beta of Windows Vista.

Ah, the joys of another version of the D3DX DLL…

Edit: Oh yes another buggy installer from your favourite Software giant! A few seconds into the installation, it halted with an error because it couldn’t find some "April 2005 SDK files". Then it started to rollback the installer, and then decided to continue installing anyway.

Posted in Uncategorized