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Wow, 3 days. I think that's a record for me.

Over the last 3 days I've managed to get a little work done as well as blow my savings ($90.) I bought Dirge of Cerberus, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Game Tycoon 1.5, and Team America.


Dirge of Cerberus


I actually can say that I have no complaints about this game. It was really cool and a LOT longer than I was expecting it to be. It took me about 12 hours to beat (that's with spending about an hour on an extra part towards the end of the game because I kept screwing up and leaving the area.)

The weapon system was really cool. You had base weapon types (handgun, machine, and rifle.) Then you had your barrels (short, normal, long, and a few extras.) Finally, you had 3 types of attachments that added stuff (scopes, materias, and boosters.)

Another cool thing about the weapon system was upgrading. As you play through the game you collect Gil and then you can spend it to level up your bases, barrels, and attachments.

The materia system was kind of weak. IMHO there was no advantage over using the different types (you got fire, blizzard, and thunder.) Plus it didn't level up perse. You could equip materia boosters and level it up that way.

The FMV cutscenes were just amazing.

I lied, I do have one complaint. What happened to console games having cheat codes? Back in the 90's almost every single game included cheat codes of some sort. Now it seems like barely any console games have codes, or atleast the ones I'm playing don't.

Final note being if you play the game all the way through, make sure you watch after the credits roll.


Half-Life 2: Episode 1


This was kind of disappointing just for the fact that it is quite short (I beat it in a little under 4 hours.) But then again, it was only $20. (Edit actually I think I got it for $10.)

Although it was a little short, it was WAY harder than Half-Life 2 was. Alex is with you pretty much throughout the entire game (bar a few minutes here and there) and in dark areas you have to keep the area lit up or she can't see anything (so she can't shoot and won't move.) She does warn you though (i.e. "If there is a zombie nearby she'll say something like "Something's coming...") Don't take this the wrong way though, the challenge was really fun.

Another thing that made it more of a challenge is that not everything was immediately noticeable. There were a couple moments where I was like "WTF? What am I supposed to do now?" and I can't really remember anything like that in Half-Life 2.

It also seemed that they changed Alex's character a little bit. Not only does she chat a LOT more, but she also has a lot more "you're my hero" type lines.

Also, since it's the first of the series of episodes, they leave a lot of questions unanswered.

Final note: You get the modified gravity gun early in the game, but it's only for a little while.


Game Tycoon 1.5


Not many people have heard of this game. It's a business sim game about owning a game company. It has a very noticeable indie feel too it from the start. I'll start off with the bad and then talk about the good.

A few of the problems come from the fact that the game isn't natively english, so sometimes things are messed up. For example, in the tutorial the guy tells you to print off your engine's design document and put it in your "filing cabinet." So, I look all over my office and couldn't find my filing cabinet. After a while I figured out that he meant my inventory.

It has no in-game menu, so when you press escape it goes to the main menu. Then you can press escape again to go back to your game, but there is no indication of this (I was just like "oh fuck" and clicked to start a new game.)

Another thing is, after the first game, whenever you press new game it starts a new instance of the game and then closes the old one.

A lot of things don't match up. For example, when you create your game you get to choose a genre which include the usual genres, including "third person adventure/action." When I went to get a publishing deal I chose one that said "action" and that didn't work, so I tried one that said adventure and that didn't work, so I ended up going one that was marked as all genres. Now, not so much of a problem until I realised that you get a hefty fine if you don't use the publishing deals that you pick (upwards from $50k.)

Then there is the fact that you can't even choose one of the genres (there is a button that you can't click.)

The PDA notifies you of different things and it can be quite annoying (especially during development time when you speed up time. When a notification comes, time slows back down.) It also has a bug, because there were a few times when it popped up and had no text on it.

They screwed up the ',' and '.' in money. Dutch or German or whatever games always do this and I'm not quite sure. values like '19.95' are written as '19,95' and values like '1,000' are written as '1.000'.

The GUI was pretty good, but the textboxes were messed up. When you enter text it's not registered until you press enter, so when doing stuff like entering the name of the game and then clicking next it'll say something like "Please enter a name..."

The dialog system is kind of botched since if you click on an option more than once your character will say it once and then the person you're talking to will say whatever it is they say once for each time that you clicked the option.

The tutorial doesn't work very well at all. The guy that guides you along repeats things every few seconds until you do them (which can be helpful but is VERY VERY annoying.) Then there is the fact that he is right where stuff like publishing deal information is displayed. Also, the last time I attempted the tutorial he couldn't keep up and I had the game made while he was still at the first step -_- (he didn't realize that I had already done it so he just kept repeating it over and over.) Then there is the problem with the aforementioned matching problem (the filing cabinet thing I mentioned) and stuff like you can't hear him over the background music sometimes.

There are no settings. None at all. Meaning you can't turn off background music or turn up the voices. You also can't change the resolution and such.

The last complaint I have about it is that it shows you stuff that isn't available yet. The game starts out in 1984 (1982 if you play through the tutorial) and stuff like copy protection on discs (actually tapes) isn't available until 1995, but it's still there (you just get a notification on your PDA about it not being available.)

Now for the good[smile]. The game follows a timeline so as the game progresses new technology becomes available. Stuff like copy protection, shirts, posters, 3D graphics, etc.

The graphics were pretty damn good. It has a nice cartoony effect and it all meshes really well. I'm not quite sure if the graphics change (buildings and such) as the game progresses and time changes, since I fail miserably at it and can't get past the tutorial[sad].

The spoken audio is pretty good (not the best, sometimes it sounds kind of robotic.) The character's mouth stays pretty in-sync with the audio. The only problem I had with the spoken audio was the magazine stand's vendor, who they made sound like a retarded kid (seriously.) The background music is pretty good as well.

The game is pretty challenging (especially when you come across some of the hidden dialog boxes that weren't translated to English lol.)

Although they overly simplify everything it is actually pretty accurate about the process.

It was only $7.99.

You can buy a magazine and see reviews about your games as well as other companies that are competing against you.

In the later years you can host lan-parties to promote your company.

After you actually start making money you can buy stuff for yourself (stuff for your house, a kick-ass sports car, etc.) I never got to buy anything because the most I was making was $5k/month but then I went into the hole trying to do another game. After you've been in the negatives for 90 days you lose.

Final note: You should pick this game up just for the fact that it's pretty unique and has to do with game development. I'd really like to see one of you developers take a shot at a game like this since I think you could do just as good if not better. I'd do it myself but I have a tendacy to make sims/RTSs overly simple since they're pretty much the only genre that I suck ass at[sad].


Team America: World Police


Fucking awesome.


Dark Messiah: Might and Magic Demo


This demo was just incredible. They've taken the Source engine and modified it and I'm just amazed. I spent a good two or three hours playing the last 4 minutes of the demo. You can do stuff like kick people off of cliffs, impale them on spikes, release traps to take them out, shoot them in the leg (which makes them slow down and limp), take any item that they drop (swords, shields, etc.), light your arrows on fire using a lamp and such, climb up ledges and chains, and the best of all chop people up (once you fill your adrenaline bar you can decapitate people or chop their arms off, etc. It's pretty awesome.)

I did have a problem with it locking up and I had to reset my computer, but it's a demo so that is expected I guess and it only happened twice (during loading.)

The fall to death distance seems to be quite small. I dropped about 6 feet and instantly died[sad].

The sheer amount of ways to kill people in this game is amazing. And then there is stabbing/shooting them lol.

Final note: If you have Steam download this demo. Now.


Game Development Stuff


Well, I had started working on the new version of DragonForge Technology, but I realised that I haven't been checking my list of things to fix in this version so I have to go back and modify some things.

I also realized that I'm using ID3DXFont which I really don't want to do, but I've been to lazy lately to implement the required features into my bitmap font system (stuff like text alignment.)

I implemented my config system (the CSS-esque system that I was going to use for my GUI's skin system.) I also implemented some helper functions for parsing in-file special functions (rgb(r, g, b) and argb(a, r, g, b) for example.)

The good news is that the new version of the GUI that I started works off of any IDirect3DDevice9 pointer. It still requires other parts of the library (font, config file reader, and my string class), but that is all behind the scene, so it won't affect you in any way (my string class is used internally for parsing and string manipulation, but std::string is the only string class that you'll actually see.) So, if I can not screw up horribly and hack everything together, I can release this version for other people to use.


Other news


I didn't make it to the employment group since my ride couldn't get a ride (his vehicles are out of commission at the moment.)

I'm thinking of writing an article that makes a simple snake clone, but it would include things like state management, including a debug console, time-based movement, etc. My problem is that I don't want to go over things like setting up Direct3D, setting up an orthographic projection matrix, etc. So, I'm thinking of either doing a two-parter with part one covering the framework and part two covering the actual game or just doing part two. Any suggestions?

I've been working out lately, but not as much as I could just for the fact that I don't have a spot. I can lift about 200 (15-20 reps) on normal, but since I work out when everybody is in bed and I'm by myself, I stick with 100 (15-20 reps) since I really don't want to die. Plus, even if they heard me screaming, my mom would be too weak to lift the shit off of me and my dad would be too slow.

I think this is long enough now, so I'm off to work on something.
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Quote:
They screwed up the ',' and '.' in money. Dutch or German or whatever games always do this and I'm not quite sure. values like '19.95' are written as '19,95' and values like '1,000' are written as '1.000'.
That's how they write numbers in europe. Where us backwards americans use '.', they use ','. And vice versa.

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Original post by Deyja
Quote:
They screwed up the ',' and '.' in money. Dutch or German or whatever games always do this and I'm not quite sure. values like '19.95' are written as '19,95' and values like '1,000' are written as '1.000'.
That's how they write numbers in europe. Where us backwards americans use '.', they use ','. And vice versa.


Sorry, I misworded that. What I was wondering is why, even though they translate the game to english, they don't translate stuff like that. I found it especially odd since they took the time translate the currency sign to the dollar sign.

Evidentally I need to reread my entries as I'm spell-checking and grammar-checking since I seem to misword things alot.

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