iain-simpson.org

Listing posts published under ‘Gaming’
Friday, 24 October 2008

I was excited. There was a lot of hype, and the teaser videos looked promising.

Far Cry 2, judging by the short length of time I managed to play it, has been good. SecuROM is not. SecuROM is a piece of flaky arse droppings, and is preventing me from playing the game that I paid for.

OH NOES - IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE USING A COPY OF THE DVD - USE THE REAL ONE PLEASE. The thing is, I was using the real disc. I should have twigged when it took a system restart to get my machine to recognise the DVD in my drive during installation. I should have known that there's no point paying for games these days, because the rights holders hold the consumer in such contempt that they don't care whether you manage to play the game once you've paid for it. Good luck finding a store that will take back an opened PC game, by the way.

I should have pirated Far Cry 2. At least then I would be playing it now, rather than venting my frustration here.

I can't even get into the UbiSoft portal to submit a support request, and the only telephone support they have is at 30p/minute; there's no way that I'm going to pay that for the privilege of struggling through a standard script, with some telephone jockey in another country. No thanks.

Perhaps I'll buy the game on Steam, and send the DVD to UbiSoft's UK offices in a ziplock bag, along with a fresh turd. That might go some way towards expressing my displeasure.

Truth be told though, all I want to do is play the game that I paid for. I don't want to buy it twice. Is that unreasonable of me? I suspect that another system restart will allow the DVD to be recognised again, but why should I reboot every time I want to launch a game?

AHA! There's a tiny disclaimer in almost illegible text on the back of the packaging:

"NOTICE: This game contains technology intended to prevent copying that may conflict with some DVD-RW and virtual drives."

Well that's OK then. At least they're honest about it. So which drives does it conflict with? Which drives are safe? Do you want me to buy a new DVD drive? What kind should I buy? How will I know that your game will work with it?

I can honestly say that I've lost my enthusiasm for the game - it's not worth the effort.

 
Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Apparently, Battlefield 2142 will be bundled with software that tracks your online activities, to deliver targetted in-game advertising.

Fuck That™

When you open the box, a big slip of paper falls out first, preceeding any discs or manuals. The slip of paper says, essentially, that 2142 includes monitoring software which runs while your computer is online, and records "anonymous" information like your IP address, surfing habits (probably via cookie scans), and other "computing habits" in order to report this information back to ad companies and ad servers, which generates in-game ads.

It's a pity, because it looked pretty sweet from the screenshots that I've seen. Never mind though, NWN2 looks rather pretty. I might have to upgrade my system again to play it though...

Update:

According to The Register, "BF 2142 delivers ads by region. The advertising system uses a player's IP address to determine the region of the player, assisting to serve the appropriate ads by region and language. For instance, a player in Paris might be presented with ads in French. The information collected will not be repurposed for other uses."

 
Thursday, 16 June 2005

It's been a while since I last posted, but it doesn't feel like it.. The weeks have been flying by recently, perhaps i'm getting old.. :/

The main consumer of my time outside work recently has been GTA: San Andreas, which was released for the PC (Windows - bah) on the 10th. Having preordered my copy from Play last month, I received my copy on the 9th. The basic gameplay is similar to GTA3, and Vice City. You run around, pick up guns, steal cars, run people over, crash, burn, and basically cause havoc. Rockstar have added much more detail than in the previous incarnations of the game. The game world is HUGE compared to Vice City, and those annoying area transition screens are gone. You can also choose how your character will look - if you eat lots of junk food you get fat, if you go to the gym and do lots of weights you build up muscles. You can choose your clothes and haircut too. If anyone enjoyed GTA3 or Vice City, and hasn't bought San Andreas yet, i'd recommend that you waste no more time.

Things have been going well at work, and despite having to force myself out of bad in the mornings, MS Word being the most horrific piece of software conceived, and a certain e-Commerce site being the bane of my existence, I'm enjoying the variety in the projects i'm working on. So far I've played with managed DirectX (C#/MS SQL Server), converted Word documents to PDF using wvWare and LaTeX (C), debugged and repaired chunks of LiteCommerce (PHP/MySQL), started work on a tool to help with a large web localisation project (Java/MySQL), and started work on a Content Management System that will run several sites that we will be building soon (PHP/MySQL/Smarty). An aspect that I especially like is that within the bounds of practicality, I get to choose what I use to implement stuff. It's also quite satisfying to be paid for doing something that I enjoy.

Following on from idea of getting old, Cat and I are looking to rent a flat together. If anyone knows of flats going in the West End (Glasgow) around August/September time, let me know.

I'm off to play some more San Andreas before bed. Mmm GTA.

 
Monday, 16 May 2005

Prompted by a post by Iain about his new machine, I finally got round to buying a new graphics card to go along with mine. After roughly 5 mins looking at Overclockers.co.uk (which Iain pointed me to when I asked him about his card), I had my Switch card out, and was reducing my bank balance. On Friday afternoon, my shiny new MSI Geforce NX6800GT (256M, AGP) arrived.

Having never owned a high end card before, I've still not quite come to terms with the situation. I can run new games at 1280x1024 with all the eye candy turned on! I may even get round to reinstalling Doom 3, which may run slightly better than 5 fps at 800x600 with the lowest settings.

The obligatory run of 3D Mark 2005 gives a very respectable score of 4783, which although nice, doesn't really mean anything in the real world. Needless to say though, Far Cry, Half Life 2, etc. run significantly more smoothly. Undoubtedly I'll be installing quite a few older games, just so that I can crank up the settings and resolution. A productive use of my time, I reckon...

 
Tuesday, 15 March 2005

My new toys finally arrived on Friday afternoon, after almost 2 weeks of Dabs waiting for stock. It was worth the wait though.

I left work on Friday, resisting the urge to join the folks that were heading to the pub, and headed home to open the presents that I'd bought myself. I was pleased to see, on opening the box, that everything was there - I might have had a fit if I'd had to send something back because it was wrong (unless it was better than I'd ordered, obviously...). I gutted my machine, in preparation for its new innards. The old components will go in the machine under my desk when I can be bothered. Some fiddling, and a very secure heatsink later, I applied power. Obviously, it worked first time, and Linux even booted without complaint. The only problem that I encountered - which wasn't my fault - was that the lead for the HD light on my case is wired backwards. This was fixed fairly easily, albeit with a bit of fiddling.

Naturally, one of the first things that I did was to run a benchmarking tool. I chose 3DMark2003, mainly because the most CPU intensive thing that I do regualrly is playing games. I wasn't expecting great things, since I still have a fairly crap video card. There were no real surprises as far as 3D performance went - not a great deal faster than before. What did amuse me was that on the CPU test - where 3DMark renders the same scenes in software mode - I was getting frame rates equivalent and occasionally better than the hardware accelerated tests. It seems likely that the software rendered scenes have less detail than the hardware ones, but it's amusing anyway. Out of curiosity, I asked Sam to run the same tests on his machine. Unsurprisingly, his results kicked my arse as far as hardware mode went (his card was top of the range when he bought it), but any kicking went the opposite way in software mode. Yey! This isn't conclusive proof though, as it's possible that he was running in a higher display mode than me. I don't feel like verifying it though :)

I've been fighting with other peoples' code at work. We bought in e-Commerce software for a site that one of our clients is launching, and it's lacking in some fairly important areas. Being a pessimist, I reckon that it's deliberate, to persuade you to pay them for custom development. Sod that. It took me the best part of Friday, and much of Monday, but I managed to find the appropriate place to insert the 8-10 lines of code required to allow adding of extra information fields to product categories. The system already supported adding of fields to individual products, and its feature to allow you to add them to categories did nothing more than iterate through each product, and add an extra field to it. This meant that any new products in a category didn't get the extra fields. Useless. The simplicity of the change (when you can actually find the right bit of code through all the decoy methods) makes me believe even more that they're at it. No matter - it's done now. I spent this afternoon trying to track down an email problem on the site - only to fix it, and have the previously working part stop working. Arg.

Still, this stupid site will be out of the way soon, and I can concentrate on finishing my plasma screen app.

Next on my evil masterplan: buy a new video card. This one should do...

Bwhahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!