Archive for May, 2012

So many times do I hear that PC gaming is dead from people that have not stepped anywhere near a PC for anything other than social sites, catch up TV or quick gander at Youtube for years.  This seems to be a commen misconception amongst people I know, they believe that the console is king and refuse to budge on it, refuse to take note that (in my opinion) the console has almost had its day and that the current format of console gaming will have to change to survive, and to change it will have to become more like a PC.

We now live in a world with Iphones every year from Apple, a new tablet out every few, probably around 80 new Andriod phones come out a year (guessing here just so I have a number) and thats not including Win7 or android tablets, so in reality if the next generation of console were to come out, stay as is for 10 years then there would be 800 new phones out  (based on the paltry figure of 80 new handsets a year, JUST from Andriod and that figure staying at 80 for 10 years!)  It is ubsured to think that mobile gaming would not be miles ahead of consoles by that time and people, now used to buying every year or when their contract runs out (24-48 months) will not put up with this.

So it is with great pleasure that I can see gaming companies starting to come back around to the idea of the PC. Take Origin for example, it is EA’s attempt to engage in a market used to the Steam store and set up, also in recent days EA has resolved its issues with Steam to put Crysis 2 back on Steam as an Ultimate edition with an offer on its purchase to. I can only gather that it is an advertising ploy to try and make Origin more popular but it is still good news.

Namco announced today (Source Gamespy.com http://bit.ly/JTj8Gt) that Dark Souls will be coming to Steam, which now puts it on Games for Windows and the Steam client. This is a good game to sight as a turning point as Namco were pressured into creating a PC version in the first place by a petition of gamers that simply had to have it on PC. Same can be said for Alan Wake, a game that finally “came back home” for the PC after 10 years.

Also in the news, EA launched what can only be described as “tester” games for Linux, reported on OMGUbuntu it was a collection of browser games which I think was designed to test the market for gaming in the Linux environment. Very exciting stuff for Linux users and another nod in the direction of the PC. However I think we can all agree that the one of the biggest bumps to PC gaming in recent history has to be Notch and his wonderful Minecraft game, doing incredibly well on the PC even before it was out of Alpha, it has made a man with a dream a household name virtually over night, with an Xbox port reportedly recouping the costs of development in only an hour! It is a great feeling to know that PC gaming and PC gamers made that happen.

I have not even touched on the ever popular World of Warcraft or the new and hugely successful Diablo 3,  the RTS giant that is Starcraft 2 or for that matter Bioware’s Command and Conquer Generals 2, which will hopefully relaunch the franchise back into the glorious days of RTS warfare. Also worth it’s own blog post is the modding community such as ModDB for their outstanding work in bringing old games back to life and enhancing new games to their fullest potential, yet another string in the bow of the PC gamer.

And I am back yet again (4th time) to update another important bit I forgot to mention, The Humble bundle.  An amazing project that brings together a bunch of indie games, smacks them together as a bundle and then sells them on-line for PC, Mac, Linux and Andriod users to purchase for what they think is a fair price!  This has helped raise awerness of Indie games, games companies, Steam, charities and of course PC gaming.  If you’ve never been on there you should defiantly check it out. You even get the option (Via sliders) to disperse your money between charity, developers and/or the Humble Bundle business, a great and cheap, or expensive (your call) way to help charity, small developers and PC gaming.

With the advent of change in the expectations of gamers and consumers in general, and in this volatile world of ever changing global problems there is one standard that still seems to be standing tall,  and in my eyes standing taller by the day, the Humble PC, used world wide for thousands of mundane operations but bring  joy to those who really know how to use one.

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Yes that’s right it’s my old friend Linux. I tend to like to use Ubuntu for my day-to-day processes on my PC as it gives me something to tinker with, gives me a far nicer experience than Win7, which I dual boot and it is beautifully customizable, add this together with an awesome community that are always there to help and you have something of a dream Operating system AND its all free!

Catch? Yea there is always a catch and last night for the first time I found one in Ubuntu. Now I have not had Ubuntu installed since the hard drive burn out of 2011, both hard drives decided to give up the ghost and I lost everything, so I thought I would smack it back on again and see what was what with the new incarnation – Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, nice shiny and new. For the love of god I spent the best part of 6 hours writing in code after code in the terminal!

I enlisted the help of not one, not two but THREE people in the know from Ubuntu’s IRC chat channel #Ubuntu, which incidentally can be found here http://www.ubuntu.com/ then Support tab, also read articles from http://omgubuntu.co.uk and several other sites and followed every instruction to the T, unfortunately not one method could come up with a solution to why my wireless card makes Ubuntu freeze up and crash!

Well after 3 full reinstalls of Ubuntu 12.04, one complete install of 11.04 and one of 10.04, wasting the time of a bunch of very kind people in the community and a shed load more tinkering we finally decided………………………………………………

it could not be done :(. So for any budding Linux have a goers, please please please check your wireless card or USB will work with you favoured Linux OS before you go out and buy a new one!.

To cheer myself up I’ll end the post with this ———>

So was just about to go to bed and saw an article about the new Hitman Absolution game Trailer.

It is violent and did have an age rating on the IGN site so you have been warned before you watch it kiddies 🙂

Now here is the article http://uk.ign.com/articles/2012/05/30/opinion-what-the-hell-is-with-that-hitman-trailer from IGN, written by Keza MacDonald is in charge of IGN’s games team in the UK. You can follow her onIGN and Twitter. Just to give full credit and impartiality to this whole thing.

The person that drew my attention to it in the first place was Twitter user Charlie Brooker who wrote, “Is that what people think gamers find cool? Breaking the noses of women in suspenders in slow motion?” http://go.ign.com/L3Uo23“.

Now Keza MacDonald says it is disgusting, degrading to women, far to violent and way over the top. Now my personal view is that if you don’t like gore don’t go see a film like Saw 4 and then moan afterwards that you thought it was disgusting and in bad taste, same here. You’re taking a game which is centred around a man with no real moral compass, born to kill and subjected to terrible injustices throughout his life, a man who is trained to kill professionally and there is a stink about it being too violent?

Now I understand that some may argue it is not really becoming of Agent 47 to use such drastic “open air” actions as the previous games have centred on stealth, also people will note the violence towards the women and sight that as wrong. To answer both of those I give you the case that they were out in the open, a number of them were killed in a stealthy way plus man or woman attacks you, you’re well within legal rights to use reasonable force to stop the attacker, I think he used reasonable force against a frikin’ RPG attack by a group of female assassins don’t you?

Also sighted by Keza MacDonald was the sexualization of the women used in the trailer, however I think she and others have to remember that sex has been selling everything from perfume and cosmetics, to toothpaste and chocolate for years and years now, it’s nothing new, plus would there be this much of an uproar if it were a group of topless men sent to kill Agent 47?

So guys and girls what do you think. I think it’s a bit of who har over nothing but what do you think.

ImageI turn on the PC and yet again I find the depressing words of yet another on Facebook explaining how their life is by far the worst because their child kept them up all night! or Their arm/toe/elbow etc hurts the most or…. (You get the idea) Ow really get over yourself!

Before I go any further I can see the irony here of moaning out loud and from the roof tops about this, I know, it’s there for all to see but this is a one time event a day only extravaganza of irony filled venting.

Now before I start to get into this I must stress that this is not all on FB nor is it OK to say that having a moan is not good for you, it is good for you but it’s every day, spread in front of you like a city of plague victims all moaning about how they are the most needy, who has the healing hands? Well it ain’t Mark Zuckerberg!  I get that things happen, I get that life for most at the moment is not great and I get that venting is a good way of releasing that pressure but that’s what friends are for, real life in the flesh, sat next to you friends are for.  Even if the person you feel you need to talk to is not by your side, then there is a perfectly usable chat function and failing that I am sure all that are reading this, from the kiddies not even in double digits to the oldest who are entering their third have a mobile phone!

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I have come to the conclusion that FB is no longer a place I want to visit based on the fact that I use Twitter and have perfectly lovely conversations with people on there, now if they do feel the need to contact me about something personal it is via the message system which is away from the main “News Feed”.  I have deduced that the limit of 140 characters per Tweet or message comes together to force people into concentrating on what they have said or about to say a lot more than on other social sites.  Neat and tidy 140 character messages to the world about going ons, offers, meetings, funnies or even problems are far easier to digest than a sea of hate, anguish and displeasure.

I have put up a post explaining that I will no longer be apart of FB as of Friday and I think I will give G+ a go as a few friends that I game with are on that, however I’ve just been on and can’t find the post button so obviously have much to learn lol.

So two days left for people to get my number, find me on Twitter or simply not bother I guess. We shall see.

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Anno2070

Posted: 30/05/2012 in Gaming
Tags: , , ,

So I have this game I play called Anno2070, a building simulator if you will, much like Simcity but with a decent chunk of diversity and also if you choose it, navel warfare.

The basic story is that we (humans) have continued to burn oil, continued to pillage the world for natural resources and continued to ignore all that said we needed to change, this resulting ignorance and arrogance has now culminated in the world being flooded. Low laying land is now underwater, great cities of the past are now submerged and once inhospitable parts of the world are the new gardens of Eden.

Living on these vast island complexes are 3 factions,

The Eden initiative or Eco’s as I call them are a vast organisation of believers in renewable energy and harmony with nature, or at least what’s left of it and,

 

 

 

The Tycoons, if chosen you will play as a member of the Global Trust inc, a corporation of what seems to be the last of the worlds business leaders who’s ideals and beliefs have not changed one bit, they still refuse to embrace change to renewable energy and the like.

 

 

20120530-145303.jpgAlso there are the Techs, a scientific community that provides the best in technology to both factions as well as the ability of underwater exploration. This faction comes along later in the game and adds a separate set of population goals for their own citizens that require different resources than the Eco’s or the Tycoons.

 

Each faction as certain requirements which increases as the level of person or employee does. So the game steadily increases the amount of items that your island needs as you city progresses and you fulfil certain tasks and see to to the needs of your people. You will soon notice that an island can only support certain types of crop and you will have to expand to another island and set up trading routes or if you’re lucky enough to have a spare

Buying of seeds, upgrades and the like are done through licences, you obtain licenses by doing jobs for other people of your own or different factions, these jobs are basic collection, deposit or destroy that type “Quests” that reward you with licenses, money and/or suppliesseeding slot on your island then you can buy the seed required for your crops.

Both the Tycoons and Eco’s need basically the same things in life but go about in a slightly different ways, for example the Eco’s want Sushi for their second dose of food source, where as the Tycoons requires burgers! These differences really help to distinguish the two factions and later the Tech faction very well.

As for the gameplay, well there are several different ways to play, from your basic campaign, to a continuous play through and also special events that take place over a month or so period with a backing story, usually of chaos that you have to sort out. The game has multiplayer and works great. The look and feel of the game is very nice indeed, however you’ll have to put in a combination of a few hours making mistakes and googling how tos before you know all of the game mechanics as the tutorial may as well not be there at all.

Worth a mention on its own is the beautiful music scores, classical in essence and produced with a real quality feel, apparently something the previous Anno games were know for also. Beautiful music to go with a beautiful game.

All in all I have spent close to 60 hours on this game and I feel like like I could easily spend another 60 playing through the game that is never the same twice.

Highly recommended if you like this sort of thing 🙂

Before you know it you’ll have a bustling, thriving community 🙂

So I am looking through my messages, mails, pictures and general nonsense from the years of Facebook use and I notice a person in the pictures, in mentions, in almost all of my pissed up early twenties and that is a friend I thought I would not lose contact with.

Now this friend is a girl, but never a girlfriend! I slipped into the friends zone years and years ago and to be frank we were always going to be better that way. We used to go out, run around, get drunk, play games, snuggle up when tired and generally live out of each others pockets for a number of years. This is fine and dandy and for many years it was until this god awful thing called Facebook came alone with the might of the new Internet behind it!

This is where things started to go wrong!

From the moment that Facebook took over the roost from the likes of Bebo and MySpace was the day that everyone I knew as friends started to drift a little further apart. Now there was little or no need to pop over to someone’s house to chat the days away, no need to meet in person to tell another of your worries or dislikes of them. No, not anymore, now you could be writing away to a friend who would read your reply, misconstrue the whole comment and start defending his or her honour as if being attacked by a tactile, “real life” person.

The day I wrote those words was the day she read those words, was the day the awesomely stupid argument happened and I fearlessly took grasp of the situation and blocked her! That was two years ago and the day before yesterday I decided to write to her, to end the futile and ridiculous argument of years ago, I wrote that I didn’t even remember what the argument was about or why we were not talking, how I missed her and how it seemed silly to keep this up and how I was far to old for this shit. To which she replied, “I am just writing you the same mail!”

Been down to see her and we are getting back on track, nice to see her again and I’m sure I won’t be making the same mistake twice.

Just funny how things can get out of hand, how things can become so diluted over the Internet and how it should never truly stop us from actually seeing the ones we care about, for the Internet is a tool and if you’re not careful it changes you into a tool too.

Hello world!

Posted: 29/05/2012 in Uncategorized


I’ll keep the default header as it seems fitting as my first ever post on my first ever blog.

So as you may or may not know I am sat here, in a room no bigger than 8 foot by 10 in a mates house that I now live.  Sat here thinking of things to write and the fact that  I will have to stop myself from ranting on too much about too much, so today I think I will just touch on my life the last month and my thoughts so far.  Work it out from there and bore or entertain you from now on lol.

So it’s 29/05/12  and I  find myself in a mates house, in a room that I would struggle to swing a cat around in because I literally have no where else to go.  I cannot grumble too much however as I could be out on the street and I’ve already done that in my earlier years for around 8 months and that was a tough time, however lets not get into that just now.  So my day consists, at the moment, of getting up late (Helps with the food costs if you can sleep through some of the day) and then job hunting, following up on jobs and then applying for some more, which kinda brings me on to the point of this first post which is the DREADED JOB CENTRE!!!

So I have an somewhat problematic case of job hunting in that I have been battling my ex to see my son for coming on a year and a half now and to get a job in that time would have meant I was liable for all the costs of the solicitors and court, whereas if I was not to work I would have the state pay for that and I could continue to just plod along.  Now I understand that it is morally wrong to do this and I am sure some of you will have something to say about it in the comments and I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, would you give up everything and live like crud if it meant it was the best for your child?

Anyway I digress again (I seem to be good at that). The job centre, my Bi-weekly ritual of heading down to their offices a little over a mile away and walking through the doors of what can only be described as a Dementors holiday camp.  If you’re unaware of what a Dementor is, it is a fictional creature from the Harry Potter books that act as guardians of the fantasy worlds prison, Azkaban.  An extract from one of the Harry Potter books sums them up perfectly;

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself…soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.“—Remus Lupin to Harry Potter[src]

I struggle every other week to crack a smile at these creatures of the DWP, their sole purpose to HELP you along your way to find you a job but seemingly gleeful at the chance to wipe any hope I have off my face with a single glance.  Now I cannot say this for all the inhabitants of the Job Centre building for there are some who still strive for greatness, that still smile when you approach, still welcome you and still believe that every person should be treated as an equal, and that is finally where I have found myself with my new officer.

She is a person that is actually now helping me through to finding a job, talks to me as  a normal human being and acknowledges that I am trying, I have a hole in my CV that says “2 years house husband” and she has given me advice on  how to manipulate that into my benefit.  Because in part to this, some good friends and family members and my dogged determination not to be put down I have now started to get further in the interview chain, I have an interview with Comet next week, had an interview with Phones 4 U last week and have a woman coming over my house in little over an hour to talk of a team leader role for sales.

So I leave this first post of mine with an upbeat tone, a feeling of finally getting some place,  a hope that workers in such positions as the DWP sign on officers can realise that not all of us are lazy, lay abouts with not an inkling to work, many of us just want to be  working, putting back into society, even if we have taken the piss a little in the not to distant past.