Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The first full day

Friday, February 16th, 2007

After getting those problems generally sorted out, the first day has gone very well.  We’ve played a lot of Determinance, with several demo guys, some of which have bought the game straight away.  It’s so amazing to have someone buy your game based simply on loving the demo – it’s the ultimate respect.

When we get out of soft launch next week there will be a lot more marketing, and the demo users should increase by at least ten-fold.  Crazy times ahead, looking forward to it.

Teething

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

There’s a reason we do this thing called a “soft launch”.  It’s so we catch things like the following:

1. If the updater server software isn’t running then a large proportion of people will crash before they even get in the game

2. Our erstwhile publishers had a dodgily uploaded full version

3. People who actually bought the game couldn’t register it because the web client that verifies their game does something different

These things are currently… under control.  (2) and (3) are fixed, but (1) is causing us problems as there isn’t enough ram in the machine, and we can’t get more until next week.  We’ve stemmed the crashing, but the news still isn’t coming down.

Arg!

Updatery

Monday, February 12th, 2007

We had a couple of complications this weekend, which hopefully are now ok.  We’re still optimistic for DT being on sale this week.

In other news…. er, there isn’t much other news.  I’m still enjoying the calm before the storm that will be release.

Supreme Commander Demo

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Supreme Commander is almost exactly the same as Total Annihilation, with a few minor changes.

On the plus side there’s:

  • The zooming thing, which works very well
  • Loads of cool bigger units – in fact, in general the difference of scale between units is very cool
  • Minimap on the second monitor, very good if you have a second monitor

On the minus side:

  • The new graphics engine is ok if you have a very fast PC, but looks pretty much worse than TA otherwise
  • You HAVE to run it at a very high resolution to get a big enough playfield due to the ridiculously over-sized HUD (modders are reportedly sorting this out)

To be perfectly honest, the zooming feature/scale is responsible for how bad the game looks the majority of the time. They had to come up with a solution which looked acceptable very zoomed-in and was playable zoomed out. The only solution turned out to be a huge compromise, making it almost impossible to be emersed. As my esteemed colleague says, every zoom level is a trade-off between looks and the ability to do anything useful. They needed to have the max zoom level be much further out, abandon their desires for up-close visual carnage, and create a zoom level which was both acceptable-looking and functional.

But having said all that, it’s still TA.  And nothing else has been TA. The importance of territory and the sheer coolness of having battles so incredibly large remains, and that makes SupCom dissapointing, but still important and just about essential.

The Wii

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Finally, I got hold of a Wii.

I love it.  I had more original thought about the state of videogaming on the day I got it than I have for a year.  The Wii is a fantastic machine and I cannot wait for it’s classic games to be released over the next two years.

But everyone loves the Wii, so I’ll post the negative comment I have on it as you’ve already heard what’s great about it a hundred times.

Wii Sports does not have a very good idea of what the WiiMote is doing.  Both Tennis and Baseball only really care about you moving it, and Golf shows that it doesn’t have a great idea of what the ‘mote is doing.  Having developed a bit for the Wiimote myself, I know that future titles will have a much better idea of what the user is actually doing with the ‘mote, but I am slightly dissapointed with how little Wii Sports actually does with the remote.

Having said all that, Sports is fantastic for non-gamers and drunken sessions, and is still a perfectly valid Game Of The Year.  Here’s waiting for the first “proper” tennis implementation.

Montag Nacht Leben…Live!…Monday Night…Leben

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Diese woche auf dem Montag Nacht Live, haben wir herr Dan aus “Gibbage”, der einen notable indiedeveloper ist.

I’m sorry, on the day after the Superbowl, the faux German side of my personality takes over.  Happens every year.

Anyway, we’ve got an MNL from Dan of Gibbage fame and it’s going to be totally great.  Here it comes…

QA Passed!

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Determinance has passed the GarageGames QA process, so you can expect to buy Determinance as early as next week.

YES.

Rantings

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

While waiting for GarageGames to QA Determinance I’ve been taking a mini-holiday, doing very little apart from drinking beer, ******* **** ** **-**********, watching Diagnosis Murder, and, um, playing Bridge. Here are a couple of subjects I wanted to briefly bring up though.

42 all-time classics

This DS game has got some deserved praise from Eurogamer, but I have a couple of problems. The first is a general one – I don’t like the presentation much, information boxes moving around the screen too fast in a NOT RELAXING manner. Forty of the forty-two games are done well. The other two games are Chess and Bridge. Now, I haven’t played the Chess game and I imagine they just bought a chess AI and it plays ok. I can’t comment. But the Bridge implementation is horrible – you can’t see who’s bid what, Dummy is placed in a ludicrous position on the screen, you don’t have the option to play for your (AI) partner when you’re Dummy, and the AI is absolutely terrible. Oh, and it doesn’t use proper Bridge scoring.
Including Chess is understandable – apart from anything else being able to play chess with someone else without a Chess set is worthwhile. But the Bridge AI is so terrible that the only possible use would be with four human players. And I do not think it’s more likely you’d have 4 DSes than you would a pack of cards.

Come on Omar Sharif – bring your excellent Bridge implementation, and your leering face, to the DS.

Eastside Hockey Manager cancelled due to piracy

I go for long periods of time forgetting that piracy actually fucks PC games very very badly. ESHM 2 sold too poorly to get another sequel because all of it’s fans pirated it instead of buying it. I can’t imagine ever pirating a game I love. Frankly, the fans are getting what they deserve, but the devs certainly are not.

Console manufacturers deny console price-drops until ten minutes before price is dropped

Some people get annoyed at the companies for lying to them, but honestly there is no alternative. It sucks for the guys who buy the console in the month before the price-drop, but I think it just has to happen.

Cut-scene sub-titles – worst videogame crime ever?

Sub-titles in cut scenes literally RUIN them for me. I just don’t understand why anyone would leave out the option to turn them off, and in fact not have them turned off by default. Obviously this is good for deaf people, but I just do not understand how people under-estimate the atmosphere-killing nature of reading sub-titles quicker than the line is spoken.

Moday Night Live: Malakian Takes Over

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

This week we’ve got top Determinance-tester bloke Alex “Malakian” Hayes at the controls of the Monday Night Live machine.  He’ll probably be popping up in some other form in the near future so stay tuned, and enjoy what he has to say.

Determinance

Monday, January 29th, 2007

In case anyone’s wondering what’s happening with that Determinance thing, it’s in final QA testing at our distributors.  You should be able to buy it very very soon.