This & that…

Well, nothing major going on right now and other articles are still in the works, so I might as well write about some various updates.

Tech Talk: Taking it too far?

The T43 upgrade project is basically finished and unless I get a different mainboard, there’s no way to increase the performance of the system.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve it. I like to keep things in a good condition. As you all know, computer and especially laptop keyboard keys tend to get worn out over the years. The mat finish makes way for glossy spots on the most used keys, which makes the whole thing look much worse than it is. It looks dirty, even if it’s not.

Of course I could get a new replacement keyboard, but these things are expensive, so there’s a different method for Thinkpad keyboards. It might work on other models as well, but I’m not sure about that.

You can put a coat of clear varnish on the keys, which will basically restore the new look of the keyboard and according to people who’ve had these restored keyboards for a while, it’s more durable than the original plastic.

I didn’t do the procedure for my keyboard myself, since the materials are more expensive than a new keyboard, so it’s only worth it if you have a bunch of keyboards to work with.

Anyways, here are before and after pictures. Look at the space key for example.

Before
Before
After
After

It basically looks like a new laptop now. Of course this doesn’t improve performance or usability, but it still feels better to work with the new keyboard.

Now Playing

11764-clash-of-clans_10

A friend of mine has urged me to try “Clash of Clans”, a free-to-play (actually borderline pay to win in my opinion) strategy game on Android. It’s kind of fun for a while, but as usual progress gets really slow after a while, making you either want to quit or spend cash on boosting your progress ingame.

World of Warcraft

I’ve been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately. The Dungeon Challenge project is waiting for the completion of Uldaman and our first attempt at Dire Maul.

Horde-logo

But right now I’m also leveling several characters through the quest zones to finally see all the new Cataclysm content on both factions. I haven’t played a lot of Horde in 10 years of WoW, so it’s like a new expansion for me right now. Which is perfect, because the current WoD endgame is boring and Legion is still far away.

So far I’ve finished the 1-10 zones on my Horde and Alliance characters and almost three 10-20 zones on the Horde side. I’m not sure how to structure future progress, because I want to use the opportunity to level a bunch of classes I never had at a high level, but I also don’t want to level a bunch characters through all the same expansion zones.

WoWScrnShot_032016_084017

Another thing I’m working on (when I need a break from leveling) is finally getting some gold in WoW. In 10 years of playing I was never rich. I could usually afford what I needed, but even the old gold-cap of ~214k gold was so far out of reach. Now it’s at 1 million gold, and even though there’s a high inflation, especially since WoD, I usually can’t afford anything “nice”, which is a shame because I like collecting old items that aren’t obtainable anymore, and they’re usually just too expensive for me. Even pre-TBC I was unable to afford my epic mount. I think I had about 600g when the expansion hit and finally borrowed the rest from a fellow guildmate shortly after launch.

So, I’m trying to increase my income, but because I don’t have a lot of time, I’m trying to find the best way for me that is not boring and doesn’t take ages.

I’m also thinking about buying game time tokens with that gold, so WoW essentially becomes free to play for me. Unfortunately, gametime tokens are pretty expensive in Europe, around 90.000 gold, so even with one million gold, I could barely afford a years worth of game time. And with the prices rising, I’m not sure the time required to get 90k gold is worth less than the 13€ for a month. US servers have a much lower price, less than 40k gold. But I’m glad I don’t live in Korea or Taiwan, where the tokens cost about 175k gold. Can you imagine getting almost 200.000 gold each month just to pay for your game time and only the game time after that is actual gameplay. Crazy! It also seems that the gold cap of 1 million is becoming a little bit low…

So, that’s about it for now. I hope I can finish my next article for tomorrow, so I’ll see you then…maybe!

Playing games, making stuff and other things

At least that’s what it feels like. I’m super busy, but I’m not really making any progress at all because I’m working on too many things concurrently. Oh well, time for another miscellaneous updates post about what I’m playing, programming and planning to do in the near future.

Now Playing

Why is it sometimes so difficult to find something to play? I don’t have a small selection of games and even the titles I’ve never played before, but are collecting dust in my shelves is unfortunately somewhat impressive. I’ve also severely increased the quality of my gaming selection by getting rid of hundreds of crappy games or titles I’m not interested in anymore. So I can literally choose from countless quality titles from all genres and platforms. But here I am, wondering what I should play for the last couple of days.

Playing now: Blackwell Legacy is part one in a five part series
Blackwell Legacy is part one in a five part series

I’ve started playing a bit of Blackwell Legacy and it’s not bad. But I’ll continue playing this together with a friend, so that’s not an option right now.

Continue reading “Playing games, making stuff and other things”

Roguelike Unity Tutorial and Pixel addendum

Work on the fifth Unity 3D tutorial has finally begun. It’s a roguelike game. I’m still in the early stages of the development, but today I want to write a little bit about the modifications I’m planning to do to the default tutorial.

2droguelike_projectheader

This is what the regular game is supposed to look like when it’s finished. This is not a full screenshot. For some reason they’ve chosen a really weird aspect ratio of 1:1 with the game area being roughly 320×320 pixels. Maybe the reason behind that will unveil itself later in the tutorial.

That’s the first thing I’ll be changing: Aspect ratio and resolution. I’ll probably have to modify a number of scripts to work with the new resolution and level size, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Luckily my half-done tileset is using the same tile size as this tutorial, so I won’t have to work around that. I’ll also change the setting and hopefully the lackluster interface as well.

Because my tileset is slightly more complex I will have to extend the randomization script quite a bit to generate levels that use the tileset correctly. It’s nothing big, but still, I will have to change a lot in the tutorial.

I’m really excited for this one, because it’s the first time I’ll deviate heavily from the default path. Something I should have done earlier, but this time I can mess around with the art, which is a huge plus. With tutorials like the Stealth game, I couldn’t even begin to meddle with the 3D models, textures and animation rigging.

Continue reading “Roguelike Unity Tutorial and Pixel addendum”

Update and Indiana Jones for the Game Gear

If you just want to read about the Indiana Jones game for the Game Gear, scroll down to “Now Playing” to skip my update-rambling.

Great Idea! Let’s start a blog……and then get sick for a week! -_-

I’ve been pretty much out of commision for the last week and a half and I’ve just started getting everything back on track.

Since I just started blogging regularly again, I didn’t have any posts prepared for situations like this. Gotta get on that.

Anyway, I’ve got a bunch of content coming up, like the conclusion of the article series about pixel graphics or the start of the new Unity tutorial (already have started working on a tileset). I’ve also been working on a bunch of side projects, such as upgrading my T43 Thinkpad to a completely maxed out configuration. Hopefully that’ll be interesting for some people.

Now Playing Indiana Jones and the last Crusade

I’d like to revive the “Now Playing” category from my previous blog, may it rest in peace, to let you guys know what I’m up to gaming-wise and share my thoughts.

Sega Game Gear (1991)

ggbox

This posting will have significant spoilers to this 25 year old game, so consider yourself warned.

Continue reading “Update and Indiana Jones for the Game Gear”

Internet switch and new post coming

So, today I upgraded my internet from 16MBit to 100MBit, which is really nice so far.

Unfortunately that meant, I had to put most of my time today into reconfiguring a lot of stuff, since I needed new hardware and whatnot.

But a new article is in the works and it’s coming tomorrow. Hint: It’s about pixels, yay!

So see you then 🙂

Current Status

Just a small update at the start of the month about what’s going on over here. As usual, there’s way too much to do and precious little time.

Gaming

Bloodborne_logo

Bloodborne is basically “finished”, all content is clear and I just have to fight the last boss…just like in Dark Souls 2, I just hope this time it doesn’t take me a whole year to pick up the controller again and finish the fight. Great game, with some drawbacks, but still clearly my favorite title of 2015. I didn’t play the expansion yet, I’ll wait for the price to drop.

Continue reading “Current Status”

Happy new year! With some updates…

Hey everyone.

 

This year I’ll (again) try to be more regular with my updates and also work/progress on learning Unity and talking about Game Design/Development as well as ranting about WoW (since I surely will resub again to repeat the inevitable cycle).

 

Unity:

I haven’t progressed much due to real-life obligations, but there’s just a few tutorials left in the 4.x version, after which I’ll be switching to Unity 5. Then I’ll finally start working on the 5.x tutorial, with the goal of doing the asset work mostly myself and also expanding on the tutorial project.

 

 

Gaming:

Last year I’ve played through most of Bloodborne (excellent game) but there wasn’t much else. I finished “Stasis”, a Kickstarter funded isometric horror adventure, which was fun, albeit a bit short.

For this year there isn’t much planned. Even though I’ve gotten rid of hundreds of games in my collection, there’s still far too many left. For 2016 I’m looking forward fo Dark Souls III and ~maybe~ Deus Ex, although I’m not sure which platform I can play it on since I don’t like playing first person games with a controller and it’ll only be available with Steam DRM on the PC -_-

We’ll see

 

 

WoW:

There’s still a lot I’d like to talk about and there are a number of rough drafts for future posts. I finally finished clearing up my WoW Archive and gotten ever so slightly hyped for Legion, which has put me in the mood of at least playing the test account again and see the Cata zones up to Lvl20, especially on the Horde side, since I’ve been neglecting those since they came out.

The 1-10 Zones/Classes are already done, with some very notable differences in player engagement, gear, gold, story and required playtime. I think the enjoyment a new player can have, heavily relies on the right choice of faction, race and class as some combinations can be quite fun, while others tend to be less interesting. Of course with a higher character level, the gameplay will become more interesting and the questing only gets better the more current the content is. But for a completely new player, the very early content can last for hours and days and with the huge amount of more modern alternatives, new players are likely to “give up” if the first hours aren’t engaging enough.

 

Anyway, before I get more into it, I’ll save this topic for a later date. See you soon!

Various updates and progress

Hey everybody!

It might not seem like it, but I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of months. As you can see the blog looks different, that’s because I’ve moved to a new provider and can (finally) use more current WP versions. Yay! So I moved the whole blog and gave it a little makeover. There will be more changes in the upcoming days and weeks.

In gamedev news, I’ve continued working on the Unity tutorials. Unfortunately at a very slow pace, I just managed to finish the current chapter. But I want to push through the last Unity 4 tutorial this month so I can switch to Unity 5 and start working on the mini-roguelike game in September.

Gaming is a little bit slow, but right now I’m playing (and loving) Bloodborne on the PS4. I’ve also played through “Papers Please” for the second time.

World of Warcraft has unfortunately fallen from grace. After a really REALLY (!) great start, it completely fell apart in the endgame. I’m not an active raider, I don’t love PvP and I don’t care about trivial content or achievements so the endgame has VERY little to offer, which is a damn shame, since the final endgame in MoP was just awesome.

Now Blizzard is already announcing the next expansion, so it looks like they’ll be releasing them faster. Don’t know if I love that. But in theory I’ve got a lot more topics to talk about, so we’ll see about that.

But I’d rather talk about more general game design topics, but I guess my gripe with WoW is still applicable to other genres and areas.

Anyways, see you soon, from today, there will be regular content updates again.

Break

Just a few days break for an important project that came up at my “real” job 😉

 

I’ll probably continue posting on monday.

Just a quick test for all the “newcomers”

I’m going to resurrect this blog within the next couple of days but before that, I’d like to make a quick test posting to check for spambots.

 

You see, previously I’ve allowed for anyone to post and I had to delete hundreds of spam postings.

So I installed some captchas, removed the ability to post on older topics and added mandatory user accounts. Within the last couple of months dozens of “users” registered here, most of them likely spambots. This posting will just test how many of them reply.

 

I suppose if I get spamposts again, I’ll just get rid of all the restrictive measures and go back to allowing guests to post here while manually approving (or deleting) those postings. So you won’t see any spam while not being restricted by captchas or account creation.

 

The next posting will probably the “What’s left of it…” one which got eaten by a grue 😉