25 May 2012

Buying a new laptop!

Till now I had two PCs on my desk, one desktop and one laptop. The laptop died, so now I need a new one. I hate buying anything, but let me give you my buying logic. In general laptops are more expensive less useful devices with harder and more expensive maintenance and in many cases have impossible to find spare parts and shorter lifespan than their desktop counterparts. The only reason to buy one is the potential of taking it with you when you go somewhere, but you rarely do because they aren't mobile. You can buy a netbook, but they are completely useless. There is a hard stop to laptop size dictated by the keyboard, the number field is important to me and the smallest size laptop on the market with that type of keyboard is 15.6 inch. This narrows down our selection to only that type of laptop. My computer support/repair service background has left me with some preconceptions about the brands.

Fujitsu Siemens have never wowed me with great build quality, plus the spare parts cost an arm and a leg in Bulgaria and it is always a month of waiting till you get the part.

Toshiba are constantly plagued by hard drive problems, and it isn't just Toshiba HDD but any brand of HDD in a Toshiba laptop. I must clarify that this is a personal observation from my practise and not some sort of objective statistical and/or tested and proven claim.

Acer I just hate, I don't know why!

HP in my experience have the tendency for the chipset to detach from the PCB, event if they have some of the cheapest models on the market I still wish to use my new laptop for at least two years and that type of malfunction is hard to fix so most people opt for a new one as probably would I.

DELL, nothing bad to say about DELL!

IBM! I have cases of people using IBM laptops for 5-7 years. Unfortunately I have a bit of confusion about the whole Lenovo thing, Lenovo laptops aren't as popular as some of the other brands so I have no observation about them, maybe they inherited the quality of IBM or maybe they didn't since they opted to make cheap laptops.

Cheap this and cheap that, but I do want a cheap one so...

I am pretty sure I will go for Lenovo or DELL! The laptop I just burned was an old MSI gaming type that served me well for several years, but it was a top of the line model when I bought it, this time we are going for the cheapest we can get!

24 May 2012

Game Development Funding!

We are moving full steam ahead towards the completion of "Project Konflikt"(we still don't have a title)! So I looked around for possible funding options.

Sales Revenue.
Free stuff is more popular in general.

AD Revenue.
Nobody in his right mind would click on an ad while playing a game! I have no idea what type of a game developer (generally smart person) would consider this option. I have been trying to raise revenue with ads on different types of content and it just doesn't work. As it has been said, the content you are creating needs to be in sync with the viewer and the ads in order to have your thing serve as a stepping stone in the market chain. Otherwise the interest in your content doesn't translate into sales for the person advertising! If you write about computers you should have computer ads, if you have a game about plumbing and you have plumbing ads the kid that clicks on the pipes wouldn't be interested in buying anything. Consider BATTLEFIELD 3, what can they sell P90 "Pause this ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAME to purchase your personal defense weapon now. Click Here (I'm pretty sure this link violates google's code of conduct)!", BS! ADS in games can't work!

Donations Revenue.
The tip jar mentality, you can't live on that. Donations work only for very awesome stuff and only after nagging people to GIVE MONEY! The term e-begging I personally find repulsive, but I would implement it only if people demand the option, and you need something really awesome for that to happen!

Crowd Funding.
Kickstarter can go to hell, the project guidelines are needlessly restrictive and only US residents can participate. The alternative indiegogo looks much better, but it seems to be less popular. How did kickstarter become popular, they are openly assholes.

So the project conflict funding scheme will be all of the above. The game will be a web based spaceship battle card game that may or may not have ads and a donation section, we will sell special in game stuff. There are also going to be a space battle paraphernalia store and I am thinking about a native android client in two versions, one free and one donate version.

We found a graphics artist and we should have some visuals soon-ish! So yeah, I'm not sitting on my hands. My laptop died yesterday, so now I need to finish the game and make profit for a new one. Project Konflikt will be coming just as soon by any other name.

22 May 2012

Crazy Day!

OK. So yesterday evening I was finishing the six Windows XP systems, I had two to go. And the last two turned out to be defective, cheap piece of China made PSU ( Power Supply Unit )! So I repackaged them to be brought back to the re-seller in the morning. Good news, I get to go to bed at 00:30! But I couldn't fall asleep until 01:30 because I watched some nondescript thing on TV. At 03:00 in the night my Predator Dream (nightmare) was abruptly cut short by an earthquake, and there were aftershocks till 05:00! So I got a hour and a half of sleep last night! I took the systems and me and my mom got in the car to go to job, as she was getting out of the car the passenger door slumped down. FFS, so I lifted it up and managed to close it and slowly drove to the mechanic. After the car door was fixed I went to my business partner's job to take the warranty papers for the two defective systems. Then on to the store, left the systems there and went to job myself at 10:00, one hour late! Everything was uneventful until lunch when the good people at the fast food place messed up my order. So I had to go back to the restaurant and be mean to a very cute girl that works there, but it is a matter of principle! And then a hail storm hit, and a ton of rain. And the office got flooded, so we started to mop up and dry and plug holes and make nice. The entire job day was a nightmare, my feet were wet the whole time, I thought I was going to get trench foot. On the way home I picked up the defects from the store and Ghost 4 Linux is currently restoring the second one, I just hope it finishes before I fall in a coma from sleep deprivation. And while waiting I caught a news report of crows attacking people in the center of Sofia. What the hell is wrong with today? I feel like it's all a bad dream. I'm going to bed before I fall asleep with my nose on the enter key.

20 May 2012

Slow down!

Honestly, I have no indication of people following the blog regularly. The youtube channel hasn't gained any relevant amount of subscriptions, and the sites google google site website analytics show no views. And I'm on the balcony at home doing nothing about it (writing this blog but otherwise nothing)! But look at how nice the weather is...  What can be done? More fresh relevant content. But to have relevant content you need to track news letters and project blogs, you need to download and install new things to play around with. And I have some serious time constraints (boohoo). So what have I been doing? Job is currently focusing on a wireless network in a small village close to Sofia, it is based on Ubiquiti's NanoStation Access Points. The devices are already positioned and my task is to prep it for deployment. We have a small Intel Atom based Linux CentOS Router to do the heavy lifting, and it is awesome. The backbone connection to the village is also a wireless link, so the Router needs to be there to filter unwanted packets. I have a local security task but it's a small task. Work is harder this Sunday, 6 computers to setup Windows on. Fortunately they are identical so no issues with throwing an image around. What else. Working on "Project Konflikt", coding every evening. I should probably ask for community support for the artwork, if somebody wants to make a pretty space ship and see it in the game contact me. So this is what I wanted to write today to have it on the record that the blog and the youtube channel and the website are not dead and I haven't lost interest, I'm just slowing them down to free up some time for other stuff.

10 May 2012

Great Free Game Available on everything!

I have had some "awesome deprivation" last week, but this week! The great god Cthulhu has blessed Linux with a big bucket'o awesome. It's UFO: Alien Invasion by the people at the UFO: Alien Invasion Team! You can download the game and the source code from the official website, it is also on Desura so don't waste time reading, go play.

Still here? OK. So the game is 3 parts "defend earth from aliens tycoon" and 2 parts "turn based tactical strategy"! The tycoon part presents you with the planet earth, where you can build bases, ufo  scrap yards, radars, defense turrets. The goal is to defend all the nations from the threat of aliens. The bases you build need to have command centers and alien containment places and living quarters and power generators. Once you have the separate buildings you need employees to do research and to produce weapons and aircrafts. 

Of course you need soldiers to defend the base from alien attacks against you. Your main task is to respond to ufo incidents by dispatching drop ships with soldiers. For your soldiers to be efficient you need to equip them with the gear needed to face the alien threat. So you capture alien technology, research it in the lab, and then produce new weapons in the workshop. Whenever you face your enemy you can either resolve it automatically, or personally lead the troops. This brings you to a turn based tactical battle where you give orders to your team in turn based combat, if you have done your homework prior to the engagement you will have the weapons and equipment needed to win.

You can also build interceptors to attempt to shoot down alien craft before they land, but I haven't managed to consistently do that so good luck. 

There are some bugs in the game, but it is stable-ish! Give it a try, it is worth it.

06 May 2012

OMG! Nothing to write about!

BIG FAT DISCLAIMER: Don't waste your time reading this, it just isn't going to be any good! Go out, play around in the sun, enjoy life!

I have been researching some security stuff for work! I have had one hard day at job. So blog about that, why not!

First, nothing to write. Too tired to read, so just sleeping in front of the TV watching the end of civilization. The Investigation Discovery channel is showing all sorts of stupid ghost shows, if you believe in ghosts don't read my blog and go away. I even twitted to them to call them retarded. Discovery science has also brought the level down a lot, it used to be about physics and space and stuff, now they give prizes. I haven't seen a movie in years so I tried HBO, HBO is HBSO (you figure it out)!

Second, security research. "Penetration Testing", they call it. And I'm not talking about the good 80's German movies where everybody has mustaches, and I'm not talking about the face and/or the men. When you have a new company you can't turn down work so whatever comes you just do, and it is fun but I am so new to it that it comes as a task (hard work). I would love to write more about that but Google says that hacking tutorials are "a big no no", so yeah! Thanks Google, for making the Internet dull. I will just say that Backtrack-Linux is awesome and it makes hacking "child's play"!

What is it, third? Does it matter (no)? So we had cables to install for a security surveillance system @job, through underground pipes. But there was no room in the pipes so, Thursday was the least fun day in existence!

So yeah, this post explains what I mean when I say that this is my personal blog! Plus it may actually help you realize that not only your life is a sad meaningless existence, your welcome!

02 May 2012

Game Development Gaming Influence

I just played through Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 and realized something, my ideas are not that original! I have been working on a game concept for a while, a story heavy first person shooter. I envision it like a role playing Killzone(the first Killzone(the best one)) and metal gear mishmash. And you realize that if you mix the two you will get something entirely different from both of them, something unique spun from the two. So yeah, not very original. Then there is the whole Konflikt project that is in the works, my input in the write up is influenced by Metal Gear ACID 2, and the co-writers always draw comparisons from Magic: The Gathering. OK, so we have two potential projects that are influenced by major names in the industry. Not very original at all!

So lets make an original game, lets make something that isn't based on anything else. But I can't imagine such a game, can I remember a game like this. Quake 1, but that was sort of based on DOOM. What was DOOM based on? I am too young to know the answer. How about Sims, an economic simulator, so no first there either. There is definitely a first for everything, if you care you can research to see what game started what genre. That would be irrelevant, we only care about the last five to ten years.

What innovative games did we have in the last five to ten years. I don't know. What good innovative experiments did we have in the last five to ten years... none, one? Do you know the answer? This is a hard exercise, so lets make it easier. What original movies did we have in the last 20 years? We didn't. The Matrix and Fight Club, as good as they are they aren't as original as you think. If you are in your forties, nothing seems new, does it.

Your taste for games is subjective, as is for everybody else. There are titles we like and genres we prefer, there are platforms we are comfortable with. Everybody likes playing different things, but true (by my definition) gamers have tried a lot of different things, enjoyed some more than others, and have thought of how something can be expanded on or made better. So as game developers think about what the best game would be, they think of the context of some game and build from there. It is a flow of differentiation that gives us variations of sub genres where basic game principles are repeated with variation giving the gamers a plethora of choices. Thus, I submit to you that wild never before seen things aren't as important, as the shared common understanding of what we like.

Don't worry that you are making the next Star Craft, just make a better Star Craft!

All brands and tittles are property of their respective owners, I am in no way affiliated with any of them and I actually don't really care about them since most don't release native Linux DRM free versions of their tittles!

01 May 2012

Game Development Project Konflikt p1

So I have been doing everything I can to be all over the Internet, trying to be interesting and talking about all sorts of things. I have a google-plus and facebook and a twitter and of course this blog, I'm leaving the YouTube channel out of this since it is part of a totally separate thing. If you are sane you would ask "Why would you want to be on the Internet, it's stupid?". Several obvious answers:
-it's not stupid
-everybody is on the Internet
-it's google

The first two are self explanatory, the third is sort of hard to explain. A group of artists wanted to make a manga comic, during the process of making it they posted parts of the artwork on the deviantART website, among other web venues, the idea is to spread the word about their project. I am doing the same thing, trying to spread the word about the game I'm developing, it's marketing hence google. So a question you may or may not have at this point is "Why the non game posts?" , the answer is as simple as it is concerning. Exposure, a single theme on the blog would narrow down the audience, thus making it inefficient to the purpose it was created for. Am I dishonestly trying to promote my game project? No. The blog is awesome and I'm very happy whit what it is, it will be forked into several blogs to separate the types of content I create (personal, technology, corporate), but there is no point at this point. So this is my personal blog, personal thoughts and stuff.

About the game. This isn't my first game, but it will be the first to be released to the public. "Konflikt" is just a working tittle. The game will be an HTML(I'm not kidding) browser game, I say HTML because it will require only html. This is a hard goal to accomplish since there are limitations to that type of technology, the decision to develop the game this way is to be nondiscriminatory against technology, this way the game will be playable in browsers like Links or the browser of the first PSP. Once this goal is complete I will build upon it to make a version that has images, then a JavaScript AJAX version and then an HTML5 Canvas version. The canvas version can then be wrapped in web-kit and be released as a native client for various platforms. The core of the game will be either PHP or python (it will be PHP(probably)). As far as development goes, we are still working on the write up of all the features and concepts and we don't have a graphics designer yet. The game will have a tutorial campaign, several singleplayer campaigns and the main selling point will be multiplayer.

Funding is non existent at this point, we may try some sort of crowd funding but we need a public alpha version before we can ask people to pay for anything. I will be posting some more information when we finish with the initial write up.

Gamecasting: Guild Wars 2


Guild Wars 2 Beta Footage.
Click the annotation for the profession you wish to see.
Every Guild Wars 2 profession skills and weapons showcase with commentary.

This is from my brother's youtube channel. He is sort of sick right now so his nose is clogged with snot, so he sounds weird (enjoy)!