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Anticipation

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Psychonauts

I’ve mentioned it before, but Psychonauts is a really really good game, and absolutely everyone in the universe should get it. (And Yahtzee agrees.)

Oh, and it’s now on sale via Steam’s Midweek Madness for US$2. So anyone who doesn’t get it is crazy. (Or already has it, or didn’t see it in time.)

And I promise I’ll make a real post sometime soon. It’ll probably end up being another Games post though; I’m a bit out of ideas for Programming topics at the moment.

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… and now it’s 07/08/09 10:11:12, in case you happen to prefer your dates around the other way.

Ok, I’ll stop this now. (But just so that these posts aren’t a total loss, here are some significant events on this day in history…)

I promise I’ll get around to posting something real sometime soon. Ish.

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I don’t have anything particularly exciting to say — I just felt like posting that it is now the vaguely-numerically-significant time of 2009-08-07 06:05:04. Woo! 😉

Not that anyone will notice for a long while later… :)

Site Update

As the more observant of you have probably already noticed, the site has just had a fairly major update, to both theme and the backend software.

One unfortunate side-effect of the change is that the generated wavatars will now be different (it uses a slightly different algorithm than it did before), but I don’t have too many commenters yet so you probably haven’t grown too attached to them… :)

I’m still not entirely convinced about the layout of some of the things in the sidebars (eg. which should be on the left and which on the right), so I might still do some tweaks in the future. But for now I’m reasonably happy with it. Feedback is welcomed.

Sam & Max

I’ve been meaning to post something about the Sam & Max games for quite a while now, but never seemed to quite get around to it. But I’ve recently been reminded of it, as I just received word of some great deals available briefly. So let’s get the advertising spiel out of the way first:


In celebration of Telltale Games’ fifth anniversary, Sam & Max seasons 1 & 2 (and incidentally also the new Strong Bad season) are available at 50% discount from Steam — but only until May 18th (US time) — which suggests that I probably ought to have posted this earlier, since that’s later today :)

Another offer comes from Telltale themselves: if you use the coupon code EPK-9VX-3ZN-WRH at their store then you can get any individual episodes for US$5 instead of the regular US$9ish. (Note that this doesn’t apply to the full-season packs though, sadly — though it does work on more than just Sam & Max.) This one lasts until June 17th (US time).


Ok, now that that‘s out of the way, let’s move on to a discussion of the games themselves.
Continue reading Sam & Max

Steam Weekend Deal: Orange Box

I’m not going to make a habit of announcing these, but this one is just too big to pass up a comment on.

As you may or may not know, for a while now Steam have been running weekend deals, wherein each weekend they will offer a game (or sometimes a game bundle) at an extreme discount (usually over 50% off). Obviously, if you’re even remotely interested in the game being offered, these deals are hard to pass up.

This weekend, it’s the Orange Box. At 66% off. Or US$10.

The only conceivable reason I can think of for someone to not immediately buy that (assuming of course that you didn’t miss the sale) is if you’ve already got it. Portal alone is definitely worth it, let alone all that Half-Life goodness.

(Why are you still here?)

StringFormatConverter

Today’s topic is fairly basic, but hey, it gives me a chance to moan about something weird in the framework, so it’s not all bad :)

Windows Presentation Foundation. WPF. Essentially it’s a long-overdue reboot of the child window model coupled with a powerful data binding engine (though not without its own quirks). And I love it.

The data binding model, though, does tend to result in the proliferation of little helper classes. In this case, I’m referring to value converters, those classes built solely to take a property value, convert it for display purposes (usually to a string), and optionally back the other way again.
Continue reading StringFormatConverter

Vista Networking

I use Vista at work (with UAC enabled; as a programmer I believe that for all the hassle UAC introduces it’s still a step in the right direction — a position that only gets reinforced when I hang around software installation forums and listen to all the sob stories from “developers” who bemoan that their software mysteriously doesn’t work on Vista any more), as I might have mentioned before.

One thing about it that does seriously aggravate me though is the dumbed-down (and fundamentally broken) Network and Sharing Center. Everything works wonderfully if you have exactly one network adaptor which acts as your gateway to the Internet — which admittedly probably covers at least 60% of the public (with most of the remainder being covered by people with one wired and one wireless connection [eg. laptops], each of which could be the gateway to the Internet, but only one at a time).

Stray from this model, though, and you’re in for a world of pain. As it happens, my work PC has an extra network card (used to connect to embedded devices on a dedicated subnet, both to avoid cluttering the main network and to more easily talk to devices with fixed IPs), and it also has VMware installed, which creates two or three extra adaptors of its own.
Continue reading Vista Networking

Prince of Persia

One of the games that I played over the holiday period was Prince of Persia (PC, Amazon) (the 2008 one, not the 1990ish classic).

Let me get the obvious stuff out of the way first: yes, it was dumb to re-use the name; yes, it’s a “reset” of the franchise (and an attempt to start a new trilogy) — which means that yes, it has new characters.

I didn’t actually pre-order it, but I bought it sufficiently close to the NZ release date that the pre-order packs were still available (one of the benefits of staggered release dates, I guess — since the game had already been out in the US for quite a while at that point, I had a fair idea of what to expect going into it). The pre-order pack was fairly weak, though. There was a mini-comic (admittedly a very nice one, though no doubt someone has scanned and uploaded it by now), a bonus content DVD (which contained a bunch of useless fluff and about six minutes worth of video — the rest of which you had to go download off the website like everyone else), and a code card to unlock some character skins for the old Sands of Time characters (which have definitely been broadcast far and wide). What’s more, the code cards were misprinted — they have a nine-digit code, but the game only accepts eight digits. (Fortunately, the first eight digits work.)

The skins are a mildly interesting touch; they’re basically just a wardrobe change (they don’t affect the facial model), but they do have a certain amusement value. Having said that, given the choice between the standard characters and the SoT-garbed characters, my preference was definitely for the standard ones.

But anyway, enough about the fluff and on to the gameplay itself.
Continue reading Prince of Persia

Time Machine

Oh, that’s right, I have a blog! 😀

Anyway, I came across this the other day, and (while short) it seems like a fun idea.


YouTube - Link to Time Machine

I’m not sure how they managed the embedded links, though. Maybe it’s something specific to YouTube’s player.

[Source: The Escapist]