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So many games to play, why gaming companies can’t spread their releases out over the 6 month winter period is beyond me. Multiple Shooter games going up against Call of duty just seems a touch stupid business practice, no matter what they will lose out if they launch a couple months either side. This is something battlefield is finding out right now on the consoles.

So I’ve gotten battlefield 3, MW 3, Skryim and LOTOR:War of the north recently and I find most if not all my play time dominated by Skyrim, sure the other games are all decent (both the FPS multiplayer games are fun in their own way and Lord of the Rings is a good hack em up) but I find myself just utterly blown away by Skyrims attention to detail and just wide ranging things to do.

So I’ve been playing through allot of my backlog of games recently, and one thing has struck me…

When did a 10 hours(ish) play time become acceptable as a full game? I mean a full on game that has been in production for 5 years, delivering a mediocre storyline that has been done before and a 7-10 hour run time be acceptable? The latest game that has just tipped the balance (or broke the camels back) recently was Rage, awesome visuals, awesome art and the engine is top notch, seriously this game looks -spit- “Next Generation” (sorry I hate this term), it has better texture resolution and visuals than even the mighty vaunted Battlefield 3 as far as I am concerned but it’s totally let down by a loose story and a real short game overall. You know what? I’m pissed off, that I paid allot of cash for something that has lasted 10 hours or so, for example I could have spent double the amount of time it took to play the game in a cinema watching moves for half the price..

After reading allot of blogs recently about how the future of tech is so bright especially mobile phone/smart phone tech.

I quote tobold

I’ve been reading too many technology articles lately. The death of Steve Jobs has “inspired” a lot of people to write about the bright future of personalized computing, of smart phones, tablet computers, and dreams about what we’ll get when we combine mobile computing with GPS localization and social networks. We can even throw in some medical devices, like a heart rate monitor.

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This year I will hit my mid thirties and as one of the first generation of proper gamers I find myself looking fondly back on my past days as a gamer with rose tinted glasses.

As an ardent gamer still in my mid thirties (playing still around 10+ hours of games a week), I find my interest waning in games in general.  I find that allot of the new games just look like repackaged old games, repackaged and maybe even with a new layer of paint on the top they still are just another guise for an older game.  I now tend to wonder when the excitement of not only playing new games but making them wore off, maybe I am just finally growing up but the new games of this generation of consoles just do not hold my attention any more.  I can now count on one hand the games I have finished and only a few more than I have actually really enjoyed enough to play them for double digit hours. Read More »

So, an on going saga of my involvement with Vodafones awful customer service and just downright awful treatment. Last week was mostly spent on holiday (yey surfing – had a nice time thanks) so I decided to add data plan to my current plan as I was going to spending a fair amount of time away from wifi.  So I phone up and arrange it and get 500mb/month for £5/month extra on my bill, fair enough right?  Well the Indian guy on hte other side said I would receive a text confirming it within 3 hours and to reboot the phone.

Guess what?  A week later 4 phone calls later I still don’t have a data access on my phone but they are charging me anyway.   Just another nail in the coffin for vodafone.

So I’ve started a new job, I bought myself a new HTC phone,well ok it was off ebay and was a very reasonable £140. The reason for buying a new phone was that I was originally ‘conned’ by vodafone in the first place into buying their blackberry storm 2 (9520 if you’re really interested), when I was upgrading my phone with their representatives I was told that it had built in GPS and on-the-phone satnav. Suffice to say this was the reason I went with this phone at the time as it was a feature I wanted, but alas when I got the phone, not only did it not have a functioning GPS (I had to manually upgrade it to get it to work), it had no satnav software to speak of.

So as one would, I phoned the support line from vodafones website only to be told that their sat nav software was not only not compatible with the phone I was sold but even if it was I would have to pay an extra £5 a month to use it. As you can well expect I was kinda miffed about being tied into a 12 month contract with a phone that was barely serviceable for my needs.

Now I come back to my first point of buying a second hand phone from ebay (excellent phone by the way), and now I use it for mainly what I wanted out of my first phone which was sat nav and mobile searching. So I now get my on-line bill today to see that I am being charged £2 per mb roaming data usage because my plan didn’t include it in the first place. Now I don’t mind being charged for some thing but 10% of my total bill per mb used on-line is bordering on daylight robbery.

So if you are thinking of switching to vodafone, a) don’t trust their sales douchebags b) do your own research on the phone beforehand and don’t get talked into buying something that does not fit your needs and c) research the costs of things not listed on your price plan.

So, been really busy recently on other things but had chance to update quickly on my weapon that I’ve been fumbling about with for months.

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That’s right, go to http://www.wolfire.com/humble and pay what ever you want for a decent 5 indie games (including games like World of Goo worth $80 or £60) and pay what ever you think they are worth to you.  Not only that but what ever you pay, goes to childsplay charity.  Get on over there and at least give to charity and receive 5 top quality independent games for free.  And you can even gift the games to other people if you own one or two (like I did).

http://www.wolfire.com/humble

Most people wont know this, and I picked it up from a forum I frequent but it’s the best peice of advice I’ve picked up in the last few weeks regarding baking normal maps in Maya and using them in UDK.  I used to bake the normal maps from high to low polygon then take the normal map into photo shop and reverse the green channel then it would look correct in UDK.  But after seeing this small piece of advice it saved countless man hours over the coming hours.

Maya normal map fix

simple ...

This saves the whole photo shop step, by baking the normal map correctly for UDK (and also displaying it correctly), just click left handed co-ord system and it will save time and effort by the boatload if you, like me spend allot of time using maya for normal baking and modelling.

So I’ve started on a weapon, now let me state this is my first weapon ever that I have actually carried on modelling to a high standard (well my high standard). Read More »

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