Off Topic

Japan

Right now my thoughts are with the people of japan, a proud nation that has been hit very hard by earthquakes and tsunamis and also is doing everything possible to prevent a second (or even worse) Chernobyl over at Fukushima I.

Ususally I’m not affected by disasters and human suffering (though it may sound harsh, but both are part of life) but with what happened (and what’s still happening) in Japan it’s totally different. It’s hard to see these people suffering from the disaster and being under the constant fear of a nuclear disaster that could happen any minute now.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been driving a japanese car for ten years now without it having any issues at all, maybe it’s because I’m using a lot of electronics from japan every day, maybe it’s because I really like watching japanese movies (I actually hate the crap that’s made in hollywood) or maybe it’s because some of my most memorable gaming moments happened in japanese games (Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Demon’s Souls, and many more) and maybe it’s because japan is such a proud country with people that stick together even under the worst conditions possible, something most western countries wouldn’t do.

But no matter what, my thoughts are with the japanese people right now and I hope that japan will be able to rise up from this catastrophe again!

New screenshot gallery : WipeOut HD fury (PlayStation 3)

Right now I’m taking a break from coding and when I get the time I prefer to spend it in front of my shiny PlayStation 3. One of the first games I got for it (I even got me a credit card to be able to buy it on the PSN) was WipeOut HD, a futuristic hover racer. It’s looking gorgeous and I’ve been having a blast playing it. Recently the addon called “Fury” was released, and for just 10€ you get a lot of new content (8 new tracks, 13 new ships, a new campaing, new game modes, new music, and more) and I decided to take some shots with the ingame photo-functionality. You can see them here.

And if someone is interested, below is my PSN-ID. Maybe you’ve seen me online, right now I’m playing Killzone 2, WipeOut HD and Demon’s Souls online and some other games that are mainly offline.

Pascal Gamer Magazine Issue #1

Jason McMillen (aka “Will”) from Pascal Game Developement has put a lot of effort into getting together the first issue of the “Pascal Gamer Magazine”, an online published free magazine showcasing the state of the pascal game development scene (which actually includes me as I’m using Delphi for development). The first issue is filled with a lot of interesting stuff, and when Jason approached me for an interview and a feature about “Projekt W” I couldn’t resist. So you’ll also find an extensive interview with me (about “Projekt W”, my development in general, physics, etc.), features about “Projekt W” and a lot of interesting articles written by other talented coders out there, including reviews of several games made with pascal.

You can grab your free copy over at the offical page of the Pascal Gamer Magazine (PDF, ~25 MBytes).

Guild Wars (and a little break)

I already mentioned this a long time ago. I’m an avid Guild Wars player, and right now I’m taking a little programming break and spent most of my online time playing GW. If you’re interested in seeing some screenshots, I’ve created a gallery showcasing some of my Guild Wars moments over here.

Note that I haven’t lost interested in coding, it’s just that I need to take a break from it sometimes (it’s not the first break). So “Phase 2” of Projekt “W” isn’t on ice, and I’ll continue work on it soon. I’m also keeping track of Newton 2.00 and will provide you with an updated header as soon as it gets released to the public.

(OT) What I’m up to…

As you can guess by the lack of recent updates since releasing the updated NewtonPlayGround, I’m not working on some game/project at the moment.

Mainly that’s due to the release of chapter 3 of Guild Wars (aka “Nightfall”), and since I’ve been a Guild Wars player from the first day on when Prophecies was released I couldn’t resist the third chapter (since chapter 2, “Factions” already was awesome).
So I bought myself the collector’s edition back on October 27th, and been playing the game since for about 100 hours (I finished it with my Necro from factions and also almost finished it with a Dervish). Besides the fact that the collector’s edition is including some great stuff (an awesome art-book, soundtrack CD, making-of DVD, two skill-pins, and much more) the game itself is also great, with really great looking environments and loads of gameplay. Even after finishing there is so much to do that I’ll be busy with it for some more weeks, like doing PvP or exploring the whole map and doing competitive missions.

That’s it for now, I just thought that some of you would be interested in what caused the lack of updates and here you have it. But don’t worry, PjW isn’t dead and I plan on continuing work on it next month or so.

(OT) New System

Ordered sunday evening, the new parts for my dualcore-system arrived tuesday morning and everything went smooth. Assembling went easy as suspected and the system did it’s first boot and Windows XP installed without any problems.

But what I’m most happy with is the noiselevel of my new PC. My old parts already were rather silent, but this time it’s so quiet that you almost can’t hear it, no matter if it’s just plain working or under full load when e.g. gaming modern games.

And in case someone is interested in this, here is a list of the hardware I’ve put into my system :

Motherboard : ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe
For years I’ve been using MSI boards, but some of the new AM2-Boards from MSI had serious problems in their first revisions (and sadly I built one of those into a system I’ve build for someone else) and had to be RMA’d. So this time I went for an ASUS board, and the M2N-SLI is a great board. Great layout, passive cooling, plenty of slots and connectors and the box was packed with accessoires. The BIOS gives you a lot of options to play with and it has plenty of connectors for onboard fans and also is one of the few AM2-boards that still has 3 normal PCI-Slots, which (as you cann see on the shot above) I really needed.

Graphicscard : Leadtek 7900GS TDH
Graphicscards nowadays usually are very similar, there are mostly no real differences between the vendors like it used to be some years ago. But I have built some systems with recent 7900 cards and they all had an extremly noisy reference cooler (noisy isn’t the right word, it’s almost horribly loud) and since I wanted a silent system I went for a card with special cooling and the cooling solution on this Leadtek 7900GS is totally silent. Although all other coolers in the PC are already rather silent you won’t hear this one at all, at first I even stuck my finger into the cooler to make sure that it’s running. And the great thing is that the cooler won’t get louder under load! And as one is used from Leadtek, the package included a lot of additional stuff. There were 2 full games (Serious Sam 2, Spellforce 2, which aren’t that old), some software (drivers, DVD player, etc.) and the usual amount of cables and adaptors. Great buy for just 177€.

CPU : AMD Athlon X2 4200+
Although Intel is leading in terms of speed right now with their Core DUI, I went for an AMD Dualcore. The reason is simple : Intel is still expensive, especially if you want a good board. And since I’m no hardcore gamer, and because for modern games the GPU is more important, I went for this CPU for ~180€.

Memory : G.SKILL DDR800 CL5 1024 MB
Nothing special here. DDR2 sadly has become rather expensive over the last weeks, so I only bought 1 GByte of memory (will upgrade next month or so). The module has a nice heatspreader, but what’s more important is that the board has no problems with it. If you look closer at the AM2-platform, you’ll notice that most boards are very picky about memory.

CPU-Cooling : Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro
I already used this one for two different systems I’ve built for friends, and it’s a very silent CPU-cooler, so I went for this one too. And with 16€ it’s also very cheap.

HDD : Maxtor Diamond MAX 10, 16 MByte cache, 300 GBytes
I’ve been using maxtor drives for years and up ’till no not one single drive failed on me, so I deciced to stay with maxtor. It’s fast, has plenty of space and is silent even under full access. And it was only a mere 85€.

So much for my new PC. I’ve been putting it under stress for two days now and not one single problem or crash, so I can say that it’s stable. Performance is also what I suspected, and it’s a huge difference to my two year old system (Athlon XP2600+, GF6800).

Humppasirkus

As you may have guessed I have taken a break from programming after releasing NPG 1.51. The last days I mainly spent with promoting it, and especially the posting of it as an Image-of-the-day over at gamedev.net has gotten me much feedback and almost 3000 downloads in a very short amount of time. Mostly the feedback has been positive (and constructive) and it seems to have only problems on very few machines (2 people informed me about frequent crashes), so I’d call it a successfull launch.

As for “what comes after NPG” : I don’t have any definitive plans. There are two different ideas in my head (both games) which I may implement at some point, but right now they’re in pre-planing and I only tested some of those ideas within the NewtonPlayGround. They both focus around vehicles, and for one idea I already made a working prototype last year (click here for a top-secret screenshot), but NGD’s vehicle container wasn’t well suited for that kind of game back then. I’ll keep you updated on th is here on my blog.

And now to something totally different : In terms of music I usually prefer the more unknown underground styles of Metal (mostly Black Metal and even some dark noise), but one band I somehow can’t resist is Eläkeläiset. So I bought their new album called “Humppasirkus“, and as usual they cover more known songs (from e.g. Children of Bodom, Nightwish, but also some pop artist) and make funny finish humppa-versions out of them with silly (mainly focused on drinking) finish lyrics. This is so genius, that you’d have to listen to them by yourself, words can’t describe it.