Aside 54: Out of My League


The main problem with my game development right now is that I’m just not clever enough to do the things that I’m trying to do. Bot obstacle avoidance is a very complex problem and, while parts of my approach are fine, the whole thing starts to wobble as I layer on more and more features.

Maybe it’ll all be fine in reality; my scratchpad level is, after all, festooned with obstacles deliberately placed to stress and confuse the system. Maybe once I build real patrol routes on real levels things will be much smoother.

I am beginning to wonder if I’m punching too far above my weight, though — and what will happen when I finally get knocked out.

Blog 627: Shadow of Boredor

First impressions are tough things to get right, and Shadow of Mordor really drops the ball. A vomit-inducingly narrow field of view? Awful laggy, acceleration-ridden camera movement? Insane information overload and everything is a pre-rendered cutscene? (No wonder it’s 50GB big, they’re all bloody videos.)

You’ve just tumbled off a cliff, son. Care to attempt a recovery?

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Blog 626: Forged Alliance

I was reminded of Supreme Commander by Divinity: Dragon Commander‘s similar emphasis on giant robots and embracing of strategic zoom, and then I realised that I had never actually blogged about SupCom before.

Since I recently bought A Flock of Seagulls‘ self-titled debut album, and I got their greatest hits years ago for crimbo along with¬†SupCom expandalone Forged Alliance, now seemed as good a time as any to skip the main game and go straight to the aliens.

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Aside 53: Internets


I was going to play Wolfenstein: The New Order during January, but it requires a 10GB patch. Coincidentally, that is my entire month’s internet allowance. I discovered this after having used the internet at all this month.

So I decided to try Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor instead, which only (“only”) required a 3.9GB patch. This exhausted half my limit and put me down to emergency rations, sure, but I can cope… Except then I tried it and it was unplayable due to a cripplingly narrow field of view, so I’m down to emergency usage with nothing new to play…

(I’ll find a FoV hack sooner or later, there were other reasons that I bounced right off it too.)

Hence I needed to take a break with something completely and utterly offline, which is luckily a good chunk of my collection. Pretty much everything newer than about 5 years old is Steam-infested and so unplayable without enforced updates, so it’s a good thing I’ve got plenty of older games with patch executables neatly stacked away on an external hard drive…

Blog 625: Brrrrrrr

For reasons that have long since been forgotten, Let It Go is something of a running joke in our team at work. Somewhere along the way, I let slip that I hadn’t actually seen Frozen — since I wasn’t interested in going to the cinema at the time, and it hasn’t been on terrestrial TV yet. (Disney sing-along animations aren’t high on my list of preferred films, it’s true. Give me a Disney sword-and-planet swashbuckler or medieval fantasy any day.)

Somehow this joke turned into the team giving me the DVD… as a joke. Obviously I can’t let a joke slide without losing face (to quote Kilbirnie, “I base my existence on how much face I have”), so I had to watch it… and do a review blog.

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Blog 624: Dragon Commander

Ah yes, now we’re bringing out the big guns. I fell in love with Divinity II a couple years ago now; all the wit and charm of the earlier Divinity titles packed into a properly sumptuous 3D hack ‘n’ slash RPG adventure.

It was, then, with some disappointment that I realised Dragon Commander was to be too demanding for poor old Daedalus. That old “minimum 4GB RAM” chestnut again.

Now, though… My body is ready.

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