Spore Creature Creator

Long time no blog, but bored now. The Spore Creature Creator Demo has been released to the wild. It is a trial which contains 25% of the goodness in the full creature creator which you will be able to purchase for $10. Seems like a bitchingly good way to make money to me, a lot of people will purchase this now and then the full game later in the year when it is finally released. I was a bit skeptical about buying it, it is just the creator after all, but after playing with it for a bit I am quite tempted!

It is great fun just starting randomly playing the spine, getting a weird shape then finding the best places for arms, legs, eyes, mouths and weapons. Then you can colour it in in loads of ways to suit it’s character. Then you can easily share your creation with others as the preview thumbnail png actually contains the info for the creature, so all you need is the png and you can play with the creature at your will!

Here are my creations so far:

None of them are particularly creative, it is just me mucking around at the moment. Searching the Internet you will find thousands of creations, some brilliant, some shit, and some childishly rude (refrained myself so far…). Give it a go and see what you can come up with.

Bf2s Returns!

After what seems like forever being down, the premium Battlefield 2 stats site is back up! I am quite excited, as it now means i can track every bullet fired and make sure I put all my effort into getting a little digital badge to say I have spent a long time playing a game!

See the HoG Leaderboard here, or go to the main bf2s page.

Crysis Sequel Update

It has always been hinted that Crysis is the first in a three part story, and after finsihing it I can say this seems very likely. Plus, Cevat Yerli hinted at this a few days ago in an IRC chat with the Incrysis community (the full chat can be seen here). Now it seems there is another hint of a little bit of news on the whole thing. Steven Bender who is head of the Animation team at Crytek, said at a recent event in Berlin that the second part will not only continue the story of the aliens and Koreans, but also improve on the graphics (somehow…). He specifically mentioned improvements to animations and facial textures. Their goal is to get the game feeling so realistic it’s like you are in a film. He also hinted that Crytek were working on another project, a rumour also fueled when they opened up another Studio a few months ago (source: google it you lazy people).

Well, You can’t fault them, it’s not two weeks out the door and they are already seeing ways to improve the graphics. Here’s hoping we get some more information soon and that we don’t have to wait 3 years for this second part to be released!

Original German Source
Shocking English translation

Crysis Review

After years of waiting and anticipating Crysis has finally arrived! The big question is – was it worth the wait? The short answer is “Hell Yes!”, while the long answer is more complicated…

First off is the system requirements – this game is mean on your PC. It will stretch any system to its limits. I am running on a Q6600, 8800GTX, 4GB system, and there were some noticeable slow downs at first. However, by using the first 20 minute section to tweak my settings, managed to get it running at 30 fps with all the settings on High and AA on 4x. Now I do have Vista and can use Very High legitimately (There is a hack to get it working on XP), however I found the trade-off between increased image quality and frame rate drop really didn’t make it worth it. Also, AA seems to kill any frame rate you had – 4x was the maximum I could put it on without watching a slideshow.

Having got the settings just right – the game ran very smoothly and it looks jolly good! In fact, it is by far the best looking game I think I have ever played. This is in part to the excellent technologies running behind the scenes, but also in part by some excellent art direction and all rounded off with some clever level design to show all this off. But everyone knew this game was going to look good. It was the one thing that was certain before its release. But how does the rest of the game hold up?

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Irritation: Xbox 360 Games on PC

Everyone’s heard a great many things about Kane and Lynch, and it sounds great on paper: by the makers of Hitman; squad-based action shooter; co-op mode; innovative multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite like that.

First of all is the annoying Live! screens:

Kane and Lynch Profile

If I wanted an Xbox experience, I’d play it on the Xbox. Points off for making me feel like I’m not playing a PC game.

Second is the fact that, contrary to expectations, the PC mode doesn’t have a co-op mode. Well it might, if you can hook up two 360 controllers to your PC. If this is possible, you might be able to play co-op mode.

Third is that you need a Live! account to play all the game modes – 2 are for gold members only. I don’t like the Live! integration in this game; it’s cumbersome and unclear.

Fourth is the crashes, reported by a number of people. To date I have had 5 crashes, which is better than some other people, but still pretty bad.

Fifth, though it doesn’t really affect me, is 64 bit compatibility. Apparently the launcher for the game is 16 bit, which means Kenny can’t play the game. If turns out to be a widespread issue, it’s going to look bad for everyone involved (IO, Eidos and Microsoft). The “Games for Windows” certification is meant to ensure the game runs on 32 and 64 bit versions of XP and Vista.

Update: Turns out it wasn’t a widespread issue. See Kenny’s comment below. Of course it still crashes like feck, so my “Games for Windows” comments still counts.

Of course, if the game hadn’t been just a rushed Xbox 360 port (or indeed recompile), these problems may not have happened.

Long awaited return post!

I have been away for a wee while down in the London trying to get some work experience and generally not doing any work at all. I returned a few weeks ago, but have been busy wasting time so haven’t gotten round to posting here. It seems the quality of posting dropped dramatically in my abscence so I am here to restore some order. I thought that I would start by going on a bit of a spiel about all the games coming out before the end of the year and tell you why they look promising. I have an awesome plan for another post, but I need to pace myself. So, get ready for a (not so) quick rundown of (in my opinion) the games to look out for this year.

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Stretch Your Mind: Planarity

Planarity

“Arrange the vertices such that no edges overlap”

Planarity is a game that is simple in concept, but will have your visual processing areas tying themselves in knots. All you have to do is rearrange a bunch of vertices so that none overlap (creating a planar graph). It starts off simple but gets complex very quickly.

Edit: Duh. Forgot to include a link in the original post.

Wasn’t too many levels before I was hopelessly tangled…