Pee Ess For

12.29.2014

Way back in 2001 I wanted a PlayStation 2 for Christmas. I wanted it because the new wrestling game that came out was not being published available for the plain old PlayStation that I had. This was the year I bought my house, so I didn't have the disposable income for a PS2, or the game.

Enter sweet, lovable Gina who got me both the PS2 and the game that I wanted. She had sworn after getting Jacob his last gaming console that she would never buy another one, and then lo and behold I talked/guilted her into it.

In the years since I've played many a PS2 game, and when the next generation of gaming consoles came out I opted to go the route of the XBox 360 instead of PlayStation 3. It didn't make much of a difference as most games were finallly being released for both platforms. Last year when the XBox One and PlayStation 4 were released I didn't pay a lot of attention as my game playing had come down to 90% Grand Theft Auto and 10% Wrestling.

The Xbox One/PS4 version of Grand Theft Auto came out a month ago and Jacob was telling me how much better the graphics were and that they added some extra online content. He decided the PS4 version had a little better graphics. I admit, it made me want to upgrade, but that was a lot of money for what I basically play 1 game on.

This Christmas was a gift card-centric Christmas thanks to Gina deciding to make it easier. I liked the idea, so I loaded up with some gift cards and regular cards to hide the gift cards in. Jacob & Megan when the traditional route with real presents, wrapped and in boxes. What's wrong with these kids? When I opened my present from Jacob I knew what was wrong. My box was too big. And it had another box inside of it. A PS4 box. An unopened PS4 box with a PS4 in it.

The little shit got bought me a PS4 for Christmas.

All kinds of things went through my head at roughly the same time.

After that I quickly thought about the PS2 Gina got me years before. I skipped the PS3 and now Jacob got me the PS4. It seems that when the PS6 comes out sometime after 2028 it'll be their turn to get it for me.

Now I have to schedule time to get sucked into playing the prettier version of GTA.


video games

Unity Asteroids Pt 2

10.08.2014

After about 2 weeks I'm at the point I'm ready to call my little Unity Asteroid Shooter done, or at least 90% done. It's got laser particle effects, explosions, sound effects, and some begin/end screens. For a 7+ hour tutorial I played with for a month, there's a lot that it does along with a lot that's missing.

The one thing I skipped that's in the tutorial is keeping up with high scores. The tutorial uses the UserPrefs object, which stores values in the registry. Simple enough to use and implement, but I'd much rather use a plain text file for now than messing around with registry entries. Registry entries are a pain to track and debug. In addition, I haven't messed with any file functions in C#, and this boils down to some C# functionality versus Unity coding so it's a good excuse to learn.

I would like to better tweak the GUI of this game. I've got a couple of ideas to play around with, and it's more fun to tweak a working game than to experiment with something from scratch. If it starts out working and I break it, I can always back track. Phase 1 will be to change out the space ship model and associated effects. I think I've got a BSG Viper sitting in a directory somewhere...

I haven't posted the actual game to play, mainly because there are some licenses involved since I paid for the tutorial and associated assets. Plus I've never built a Unity project for "public" use and would feel really bad if I corrupted a computer with a memory leak or some such. When I leave the number of asteroids at the default set in the tutorial my monitors turn off after a minute or so and I'm forced to reboot. So I'm just looking out for you, the general internet public.

Plus, it's a fairly boring game unless you've spent a month getting it to work.


game dev video games

Amazon Black Friday

11.23.2012

In years past I've gotten the latest WWE videogame on the day it's released. It's one of the few games I get my money's worth out of, because I tend to play it until the next version in released. For the past 2 years I've noticed that the WWE game (and the latest Need For Speed for the year) which is released in late October/Early November, will usually get a good Black Friday discount. This year, instead of spending full price on new release day, opted for the Black Friday route. I've been slacking off on my wrestling watching/enjoyment/game playing, so I didn't feel like I was missing much by waiting.

One of my bonuses for waiting turned out to be a list at Dealnews that had the Amazon Black Friday lightning deals which showed WWE '13 would be on sale for $25 (regularly $59.99) between 11:10AM and 1:10PM. If you're not familiar with how an Amazon Lightning Deal works, they set aside a finite number of items at a special sale price for a limited time, at which point it's first come-first served.

Friday morning was hear and I had the deals page loaded. I had it loaded 3 hours in advance, actually. I watched the timer tick down until the sale started. Suddenly it was taking my browser far to long to switch from the "countdown" to "buy". I reloaded the page and the "buy" button showed up which I promptly clicked. I selected the XBox360 version and the "buy" button turned into a swirling "checking deal" icon. The deal status showed 6% claimed. 61%. Still swirling. The swirling stopped. 100% claimed. You are #2 on the waitlist. This was 1 minute and 12 seconds after the deal started.

Waitlist? WTF?

So I'm on the waitlist. If someone either cancels their order or doesn't complete their order in the next 15 minutes, I've got a chance. I have no idea how I'll know I have a chance.

In another browser window I finish another online order, and a couple of minutes later come back to my Amazon window. In the spot that had "100$ claimed" under the videogame, it now says "Add To Your Cart in the next 1 minute 20 seconds". So I did. I hit every button I could until it showed up in my cart. Once it was there, I hit "checkout".

I'm still checking my Orders Page to make sure I actually ordered it and everything went through. Lightning Deals are harder on my blood pressure than eBay.

Hardest $25 I ever spent, all to save $35.


Amazon video games

Battlefield 3 - Level 8

11.17.2011

I mentioned last week that I was loading up Battlefield 3 on the PC. After going the the fun that's been documented on the web that's known as BF3 installation, I finally got around to playing the game. I spent 10 minutes on the single player/intro, and then I wanted to go fight some real people! For someone who doesn't like fighting real people, this is the game series that brings it out in me. I think it's because player vs player is the only way to unlock weapons and progress through the ranks.

I've slacked off on my World of Warcraft playing - after completing 1000 daily quests in my last post I think that's a good thing. In BF3, I haven't gone hardcore looking for people to fight. Quite the opposite. I've been hanging out on servers practicing on the vehicles and tweaking my setup.

The amazing thing of it all is that for pretty much hanging out by myself practicing, I've managed to reach level 8. Granted, that's playing for 6 and a half hours, but I'm amazed that the game will let you level up like that. Actually, I'm happy, since leveling up was always hard for me in BF2142 as I'm a lousy shot (but enjoy these games).

Speaking of BF2142, I had some stats listed in an old post which, unfortunately, now have some out of date links. At the time, I was comparing BF2 and BF2142 and how I was doing after a comparable time with each. After roughly an hour of playing each game, I had:

Battlefield 2: 28 Kills 41 Deaths
Battlefield 2142: 7 Kills 46 Deaths

Here's my K/D from BF3 after 6½ hours:

Yes, you can now append to the above list:

Battlefield 3: 6 Kills 50 Deaths

In 6 times the playing time, I've died more and killed less. But here is where the difference in the games shows up. In both BF 2 & 2142, I was stuck at the first level at this point (granted, I was an hour into the game). Although with BF3 my stats suck, I'm leveling right along since I'm playing on mostly abandoned servers.

Back in my old 2142 days with the SFC clan, I would practice on servers waiting for enough people to start a match, generally ¼ of whatever the max number of people the server would handle. Generally, a minimum of 4. While waiting, I would fly around, drive around, etc. The BF3 servers don't have that restriction, and a lot of people allow for a minimum of 1 person to start a match. In fact, for BF 3 you can't run around and practice (as in BF2142) until you have the minimum number of people required for a match to start. I've logged into some servers and sat there with the message "Waiting for 7 more players to join" and there's not a thing you can do but sit and wait. Or go find a server that doesn't have that restriction.

I haven't just been playing with myself sitting on empty servers. Not all of those 50 deaths were me crashing into stuff. At least 30 were. Twice I've been "practicing" when someone else would log into the server I was alone on, and we would end up having a little skirmish. Both guys were nice, and I was up front in telling them whatever stupid thing I was practicing at the time.

I logged into a 64-player map that had roughly 50 people logged in yesterday. I died 3 times in 2 minutes. There was way too much going on. Once I found Titan maps on BF2142 I had found the proper game mode for me -instead of straight out shooting I would fly transports and repair equipment the majority of the time. Now I've got to find my sweet spot of player number and map mechanics for BF3.


video games

1000 Quests, time to move along!

11.14.2011

I've been wanting to straighten out my schedule and make sure I get the things I get to the things I want to get done. I've been putting various things off for at least the past month to where I feel like I'm just kind of spinning my wheels. Ever since my last cold that kept me at home for most of a week, I just haven't gotten back on track.

I'm still piddling around with Warcraft, playing for roughly an hour per day. Maybe that should be "at least" an hour per day? It's still a mindless diversion that I don't really have to think about, as it's not a reflex oriented game. Having maxed out my level, I've found I enjoy some repetitive quests that will eventually (roughly 2 months from now) let me acquire a nice set of PvP gear. I don't PvP, but the stats on the gear are good enough for my random solo questing and running around.

Since sticking to my main character on WoW, I've racked up 52,356 seconds of play time (why repeat what the image above says?). 36 days. With over 3 days since maxing out my level 3 weeks ago. I guess those 72+ hours in 3 weeks does factor out to more than an hour a day...

But that's why it's time for me to get organized and make a list of what I want to get done and when I can realistically get to it. The holidays are coming up (yes, it's just around the corner) and the last thing I want to do is waste away my Christmas vacation. 2 weeks of not going to work to look forward to. I can't just sit around playing the new wrestling game that comes out next week (I should be well finished with the story mode by the time vacation rolls around!).

I'm not putting down my list of things to do right now. I've still got to figure that out. Not something to do spur of the moment-wise when pushing out a blog.


video games

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