Friday, December 31, 2004

Supernova and Project Exeem

I was asleep when the announcement was made, but you can download an MP3 of the announcement and interview Here.

Basically Supernova's project is a new P2P program like Kazaa, but for distributing torrent files, thus eliminating the need to find a torrent site that lists the file you want. All the downloads through this new program (called Exeem) will have ratings and comments available from people that already have the file, so this does look like to be the next generation of P2P programs.
The beta will start in a few weeks and details will be posted on SuperNova and the soon to be opened Exeem Website.

The only thing that bothers me is that this is being developed by a company that doesn't want to reveal its identity yet. Eventually they will have to, but I find the secrecy a little suspicious.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Artificial Intelligence (The Film)

Just finished watching AI again on TV and I still think the film is a masterpiece, but at the time the critics where a little harsh and a lot of people moaned about the aliens at the end (the later versions of Mecha at the end), and this pissed me off emencly because I couldn't see why they where being so harsh.

Well three years have passed and after sifting through a few IMDB User Reviews it seems like I have finally realised what people didn't like about it.

It goes something like this:
Blue Fairy, make me a REAL boy!

Basically people though that this one aspect of the film just ran a little bit long in the tooth.
For gods sake we get it already!

Personally I didn't see it when I watched it at the cinema or just now when I watched it again on TV, but I see their point now. Maybe Steven Spielberg went too far with his usual hart-string pulling, but I still think its a masterpiece.

New Year Text Message

I have setup my recipients group and wrote the message. It only needs sending at the right time. Just before midnight, but enough time before midnight so that it actually gets through before the network gets jammed. This one message is going to cost me £1.50, but I haven't ever managed to get a Happy New Year message through yet, so this will be an achievement if it works.

The Future Of P2P

MPAA (the movie association of America) has been asking websites to stop distributing Torrent files. So that's why loads of Torrent sites have been shutting down their operations recently, but LokiTorrent is standing it ground and not stopping distribution of torrent files liked to films copyrighted by MPAA members.

Now currently these websites aren't directly illegal because they don't host any of the illegal copyrighted material or even touch them. And neither does the trackers that connects people with the material, but if this goes to caught and a judge rules that because the torrent file's only purpose is to illegally distribute a specific copyright infringing file, then it is just as illegal as distributing the material itself. Then all the sites will be shut down or forced to stop distributing films, but if the judge says that the torrent sites aren't illegal, because they don't touch any of the illegal content, and it is the users that post this stuff that are breaking the law and not the websites, then all the sites will be saved.

Either-way Loki is asking for support in the form of money, and anyway the development of Supernova's new secret project continues, so we will see.
Incidentally Supernova has an announcement at 9AM (GMT) on Supernova Radio, but their server seems to be down. No idea what it is, but I expect it might be related to their super secret project or the MPAA.

New Years Eve Tomorrow!

And I have no plans!!

Firstly I am determined to get a group text through this year, but wither I stay in tomorrow or go-out I don't know. If I go-out I will be driving, but last year I regretted staying in, so I might have to do pull something out of the hat here. It will be wicked, but very last minuet.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

(Compleated) Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude

This is the ninth game in the Leisure Suit Larry series and not having played any of the others myself. I was finally getting round to playing with Larry, one of the oldest and longest running franchises in gaming.

As it turns out you play Larry's nephew, who is also named Larry. I can see why they would have done this, because the original Larry character in glorious 3D would have come across as a dirty old man. So sacrificing him as the main character for his younger nephew was probably a good idea. The original Larry is still very much in the game because he walks you through the basic controls, a few mini games and if you ever want to talk to him he is only a phone call away or you can even see him (heaven forbid) going through singles ads in a sleazy bar, in Crappy Streets.

Larry comes across as a disgusting little man with a repugnant personality. A few reviewers have criticised the game for having too many Flat Jokes, but to be honest I found this to only reinforce the character of Larry, being someone who tries to get what he wants, but for some reason, always says the wrong thing. If anybody has ever used a crappy chat-up line on you, most likely it was Larry (or his uncle) that thought of it first.
"Excuse me I am new in town, could you give me directions to your, apartment!"
"Your eyes are as blue as the ocean, then baby, I am lost at sea"

And it just goes on and on.

The gameplay revolves around Larry trying to get pieces of clothing or personal possessions from girls, so he can get onto a dating show called Swingles. Where three girls will have to compete against each other, to win a date with Larry! Which is an ironic prospect, as most of the time girls would do anything to get away from him.

The game's format is third-person-running-round-talking-to-people, but you will never be lost for something to do. Unlike a lot of the third-person-survival-horror games. And although you are guided through the game, so you always know where to go or who to talk to, you are NEVER babysat through the experience. The game lets you know where to go and what to do, but you have to do it all with Larry. One of the more interesting gameplay aspects is that you play more with Larry than as Larry. You choose who he talks to, you play the mini games, you control his movements, but it is his personality and dialogue that guides the story, unlike something like Half Life where you become Gordan Freeman for the duration of the game.

The game is packed full of compulsory mini games. For example you talk to people by playing a little sperm game (plays like Gradius [sic]). Where you have to swim through smiley faces to get Larry to say nice things. Otherwise Larry will make an idiot of himself (nothing new I can assure).
There are two halves of the game, the exploring and the mini games, so there are loads of these and they can become repetitive, but the story context always finds a way of making it interesting again, and that's certainly what kept me playing. I must have done that Sperm game almost thirty times and I always enjoyed it.

I completed the game in one sitting, purl because I was having fun. So I can tell you it took me eleven hours (10 hours 49 minuets) to complete it. Some of the FMV sequences have quiet audio (so you will have to turn up your speakers to hear), there are a lot of load screens (all short loads) and you do have to keep playing the same mini games over and over again, but I enjoyed myself and there are a few moments of play where I found myself laughing my head off (yes even from the teddy bear with a strap-on to the nude streak through the gaybar).

There is a lot of stereotyping throughout the game, but rarely is it derogatory. The game uses stereotypes like country girls, foreign students, preppies, cheerleaders and geeks. The game even enforces gay stereotypes to a degree, but none of this is done in a hateful or pathetic way. If a character degrades anything, then it is only themselves. Especially in Larry's case.

Even though I have completed it, there is still an opportunity for replay because I didn't get round to sleeping with all the girls in the game. Yes there are still girls on campus that haven't experienced the full horror of Larry's charm.

As a sequel to a much loved franchise I am sure may purists will be seeing red, but I really enjoyed myself and Larry's world is alive with memorable characters, like that girl in the school-band who has more than a passing interest in the school's mascot. I must have smiled through the entire game, even pausing once or twice for a full blown laugh.
The game isn't perfect, it isn't even a game I would probably revisit, but it is fun.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Possible Good/Bad Idea

I have seen about 150 films this year. And I have a list of them all. So I could in theory review them all in a contenders list of my Film Of The Year unaward (as no award will be given).

On one hand that would be an impressive list, but on the other it would just be me bragging, and only act as more nob polishing.

Completed (Lord Of The Rings, The Battle for MiddleEarth)

By design this is an exceptional strategy game. It's just a shame EA didn't manage to pull it off in the implementation.

Yes this a short review, but the game isn't worth writing anything substantial for. There are simply much better games out there.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Random Fact

You should never leave your drink unattended.
You never know if somebody has messed with your drink while you have been away.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas Everyone

Happy Christmas everybody. I hope everybody enjoys themselves, I know sometimes its difficult, but Christmas is supposed to be a group activity and its never nice to be the grumpy one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Completed (Tribes Vengeance)

Tribes Vengeance is set in the distant future after the whole Earthsiege thing where a computer mind named Prometheus almost let a race of machines called Cybrids to victory over his human creators, but the humans escaped into deep space and that's where Tribes takes-over.

The story is about an imperial force, a lost princess and two groups of Tribes. I don't want to say anything more because that would spoil the plot, but the story starts out a lot better than it ends. The story does a good job considering, because it flicks from past to present between chapters, and that's not an easy thing to pull off in a good story. The end is a little abrupt and none-continuing by not giving you a perspective on how things will continue after the story end. And it doesn't even tell you the state of the galaxy before the story began so there is room for improvement there. That set aside, its not a bad game, not a great game, but the weapon selection is very nice, characters are done ok (with excellent voice acting), but I wish the game had just been taken the story that little bit further.

Something I thought early in the game is that this singleplayer story segment, would have worked wonders in UT2004.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Star Wars Galaxies Free Trials

Yet another free trial and I certainly won't be bothering with this again, but for anybody that hasn't been burned by this yet, now is your chance.

None FilePlanet Subscribers Can Do A 10 Day Trail Of Galaxies.


Subcribers Of FilePlanet (the ones who pay for premium content) Can Do A 10 Day Trial Of Jump To Lightspeed, the expansion pack for galaxies.

I might give Lightspeed a go, but don't hold your breath.

NOTE: To play Jump To Lightspeed you need Galaxies Installed. So wither that means you need to sign-up to both trials, or have an existing Galaxies account, I do not know.

Free IGN Guides Until 2005

IGN has decided to try and entice a few new subscribers by Offering Some Of Their Most Popular Premium Guides For Free.

I get access to all their stuff already, and as afar as the guides go, the only thing special are the screenshots, but the guides are always well produced.

Here is a handy list for you of the ones they have up for grabs:The Metroid Prime 2 guide is available in PDF so if you are getting the game for Christmas or early next year it might be worth downloading now and saving it for later because all this content will become subscriber only at the start of 2005.

Build A Better Demo (RollerCoaster Tycoon 3)

I noticed a coupple of days ago that the Demo Of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Has A Version 1.2 Out. When I Last Looked At The Demo it was the release version, so purely out of interest I downloaded, installed and had another go.

The updated demo presents a different play experience because everything works like you would expect it to. And it is now possible to build rides that people can actually ride on!
I also noticed that the day and night cycles happen gradually as opposed to reducing the sun to a lightbulb and that passengers for coasters have a new waiting animation instead of just getting to the train and start waving their arms as if they where riding it. Plus they don't scream with every train acceleration, so its all good, but I think its just too little to late to change my mind about not buying it.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Price Of Your Poo

Ever wondered how much your employeer is paying you when you go for a poo when you should be working?

Well Poo-Price can do the math.

A Free DVD

Night of the Living Dead!

Game Of The Years Rolling Out

Two weeks of 2004 are still to go, but IGN, GameSpot and GameSpy have already started posting their game of the year awards (I will be doing that more towards new years day).

One thing I have always thought about GOTY awards is that when a multiplatform game wins a GOTY on only one console, then it speaks ill of the console because the game should be the same on all the consoles, but for some reason, the other consoles all have other games as GOTYs.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Completed (The Chronicles of Riddick Escape From Butcher Bay)

An excellent game.
Its actually the first game this year that I have actually enjoyed throughly. By that i mean there wasn't any sections that where too long, boring or even where I justed wanted them to end and nothing that made me feel like leaving the game for something else (yes I am talking about you Half Life 2).

I am now playing through with the directors commentary where you get little floating icons to click on that play audio files recorded by the developers, and they mention Half Life quite a lot. To the point where I wonder if TCOR would have made a better Half Life 2 than Half Life 2. I mean its got all the vent crawling, wall mounted health stations, confined spaces, not so many puzzles but Half Life was great because of its evolving plot and slow paced exploration, which was ignored with its sequel, but TCOR does an excellent job on all these things.

There where two points in the game with mutated humans and aliens. And I was concerned the game was heading quickly down hill at both points, but they are fairly short and because of that I realise now they add a bit more variety to the game, and so the game actually benefits, unlike other games that have tried it and failed miserably (yes I am talking about you Return To Castle Wolfenstein and Thief The Dark Project)

On of the first 'o my god' comments was the one about how dark the game is. This immediately reminded me of DOOM3. And as the developers talk they go on about the different uses of long lighting (ye loads of dark games use this to solve the problem) because there is still light, but you are consciously aware that there is only one light source and the environment is dark. I think Thief does this trick best, but it makes me wonder why the ignored it in DOOM3. Dist particles in the ventilation shafts was a great idea because even though there isn't a light source you can still navigate through the vents.

The game isn't my game of the year, because it is missing something extra that will make it 'not just another FPS', but if you want to play something good this Christmas after being burned by DOOM3, Half Life 2, or just want to get away from the relatives TCOR is good choice. I only hope more developers introduce commentary modes.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Chronicles of Riddick Escape From Butcher Bay

I have started playing through this on the PC and I have to say I am very impressed. Graphically I would rate it with Doom3 and the story is exceptional. Although the sequence where Riddick gets his night vision was a little odd. I always assumed he got his eyes altered by some black market surgeon, but from the looks of the sequence it appears to be Devine intervention.

Still I am enjoying it and since i am now finished with uni until Jan I have time to kill.
Ok I have two reports to write, but they are only small.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Random Fact

My new keyboard isn't black, but instead a VERY, VERY VERY DARK blue.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

P2P Is Impossible To Regulate

Ed Felten Has Written A P2P Program In 15 Lines Of Code!

He wrote it to prove the point that this stuff can't be regulated. Now the code is written in Python and I can't read it, but it just shows how simple a P2P program can be. Hell every program could be a stealth P2P program looking at this since the code is so small.

Actually it would be nice to have this in .Net so I could have a go.

StarCraft Analysed

I have a multiplayer match with the guys Friday and one of the games on the list is StarCraft. It has been years since I last played it so I thought it would be a good idea to get some practise in and get some tactics developed.

StarCraft essentially suffers from the same problems of all strategy games. And the key to victory in StarCraft and most strategy games goes like this:
-Spend the first load of resources you have on workers to get more resources.
-Build multiple barracks to start mass producing basic units.
-Once you have enough units send them over quickly to kill your opponent.

The basic unit on most strategy games is always half good because if some of the advanced units where too good then people would moan about the game being unbalanced. So mass production of some of the basic units is usually more worth while than going down a lengthy research tree.

And of course, if you have more units of a similar type than your opponent then you will win, so obviously spending the first few moments of a game getting a good resource gathering operation in is vital for victory.

New Keyboard

Very Nice, still getting used to it though.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

PSP Battery Life The Initial Observations

From the looks of Spong and Anoop's initial tests it looks as if the PSP's battery life is under five hours.

This basically means that you will have to charge the bettery before you take it anywhere. Otherwise you are in danger of running out of battery life just when you need it most. That's unless you keep it turned off most of the time and only use it when you are either riding the bus or doing some-other not so long, but still equally inactive waiting inactivity, and need something to take your mind of the horribleness of it all.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

News Sites Repeating STEAM Update

This is really starting to piss me off. Everytime STEAM is updated, even in the slightest possible way, all the news sites report it. And the journalism there has been reduced to copying and pasting with zero interpretation. Its like being in an echo chamber.

Just because something is news don't mean you have to do an update on it. And a lot of news sites are ignoring that.

DOS Emulator

A couple of days ago I got a copy of Microsoft Virtual PC that allows you to setup a virtual computer under XP or 2000, in an emulated environment using any operating system you like (kind of cool).

Naturally I wanted to try and run Day Of The Tentacle and X-Wing. The only two games I bought and was never able to run (either sound or memory problems).

Neither of these worked under the Virtual PC. Running Windows 98, because that's the oldest OS I had lying around, but in the proses of finding a solution I found DOSBox, a DOS emulator for windows (and other platforms).

DOSBox won't run X-wing because the framerate is too low, but Day Of The Tentacle works fine, and for a game I bought five years ago its not too shabby.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Google Suggest

Google Suggest is just Google, but it tells you how many search results you will get for what you type, as you type, and suggests alternative words.

XMP For UT2004

It was originally an expansion pack for Unreal2, because everybody was complaing that Unreal2 didn't have muliplayer. And This is the first public release of XMP for UT2004.

It's the same game, just that you can play it under UT2004 now. The beta does need some work as the AI doesn't seem to know how to play, but I am sure multiplayer would work fine (I have only played one SP match so far).

Friday, December 10, 2004

Traier Time (War Of The Wrolds)

I have been waiting for This One.

As a teaser it's not great, but it starts with what I think is the opening text from the book, and I can't argue with that because it suggests they haven't raped the licence.

USB Bluetooth Adaptor

I got it, played with it and the most I can do is transfer audio and pictures to and from my phone. It's great, but I am a little disappointed that I can't use any of the Sony Ericsson software they have available on their website, because for some reason every time I try to start one, it just swears at me, but being able to transfer files is cool.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Random Thought

Will historians look back on television and say, yes that was a very sad wast of time.

FilePlanet Exclusive Punisher Demo

Short, and that is all I can say because there isn't enough gameplay for me to form an opinion.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Red Dwarf Auction For Charity

And it's not the usual Skutter head either.
So go have a Gander if you think you can afford it.

Portable UK Release (DC and PSP)

DS = £149.99
PSP = £179.99 (£20 more than the DS)

And both released on the 25th of March 2005.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Hollywood Sucks (The Doom Film)

And I quote:
The monsters have nothing to do with hell, the plot is not taking place on Mars and "space marines" are not well "space marines" as their outfits are more like SWAT team members.
And you can read the rest of this horribleness Here.

One Word Googlewhack

In trying to find the correct spelling for the post below I found This.

The Project (Far Cry)

Machinima, Benchmarking, tech demo and corporate dealings combined.

The Project by Crytech and sponsored by ATI will only run properly on an ATI card, but it's the start of what looks like a really cool machinima.
Worth a download. I just hope they make more.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

An Eventful Day

Group Project
I have a group project to participate in for Innovation And Technology where we are given a case study of a ceramics company and we have to do a presentation giving ideas on innovations that will save the company (five team members equals five slides).

Yesterday when I went in for our first team meeting, half the guys hadn't read the case study and when I suggested that they read it, they said the needed to go away and ponder its complexity (the case study is very vague to give us more freedom).

So they wanted me to go in again today and I refused because we didn't get anything done yesterday. I suppose you could say I was letting the group down by not going in, but apart from us still not having a full group if I had of attended, and the fact that we could have sorted this all out yesterday, but didn't. I needed someway of highlighting the culture of slackness inside the group. Hence my mini protest. I just hope they decided on an overall strategy because I had already told them everything I could think of. My ideas range from a new innovative product, to offering a quality assurance mark to other companies (the company has a big R&D department) they liked that one, but another group is doing it so we would have to present it very differently.

I watched The Life of David Gale today and it is certainly an underrated film. Plenty of character development and its one of the few films about an unjust legal system that I have liked. The only other one I can think of right now is To Kill a Mockingbird

Most films in this genre are boring, but The Life Of David Gale has a lot of character development and a few things going on at the same time that are related to the plot, so it held my interest all the way through.

Christmas Present For Mum
I still have no idea what to get my Mum for Christmas. She has asked me from time to time if I have any good films on VHS (she doesn't have a DVD player yet), so I could buy her either a DVD player or maybe some good films on VHS. I mean she still hasn't seen Monsters Inc or even knows what it is when I mention it to her, so selecting a few films for her wouldn't be difficult. Currently I am toying with Monsters Inc, Phone Booth, Gattaca and The Life of David Gale which I seen today, but I don't know. Guessing someones film tastes can be dangerous.

My Dad for-instance just likes to see stuff on screen, doesn't seem to mind about plot or character development at all. I mean he liked Troy (I hated it).

I got asked out to dinner by a friend and that was with the rest of his Law class.
We as a Computer Science class have done things as a group before, but never have we ever even discussed going to an Italian restraint and actually inviting some lecturers along. Great fun though.
Hope to be seeing a lot more of my friend.

Car Ran Out Of Fuel
On the way home from my date my car ran out of fuel. The fuel gauge doesn't work, so there is now way of knowing if the tank is full or empty! Dad came and bailed me out with a can of fuel, so all is well.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

World AIDS Day

I kind of missed this one in that I couldn't find anywhere that was selling the red ribbons.

So to try and makeup for it, I make this post and spread the word of safe sex.
  • HIV can be contracted through breast milk, vaginal juices, cum, pre-cum and blood.

  • There is evidence to suggest that you can become infected through oral sex, but this is through cuts and saws inside the mouth. Most people have these from time to time and don't know about them.

  • Anal sex is the most dangerous of all sexual activities for contracting HIV, but HIV can be transfered both ways, even through traditional forms of sex.

  • Just because someone has had a HIV test recently don't mean that they aren't infected. It just means that they haven't contracted HIV before three months previously (this is why HIV is so perversive).

  • HIV attacks the immune system and once the immune system is sufficiently weakened the individual is said to have AIDS and that is what eventually kills the individual (not having an immune system).

  • AIDS is increasing at a Sacy Rate.
Condoms work, use them.

Half Life 2 Deathmatch

It's fun, but I am not having fun playing it.
Something has to be wrong with me because for the past few days nothing has been fun or enjoyable.

Random Fact

It is a Bad Idea to heat a lava lamp on a stove.