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.

TF2 – ‘Lost connection to server’ Solved

Even though I have exams coming up, I still manage to squeeze in the odd round or ten of Team Fortress 2. I blame Valve for releasing the medic achievements recently.

(7 to go! One of them is ‘Family Practice’, so I need some more Steam friends to deploy an ubercharge on, hint hint. Also, for all the spies out there: FYI I am a medic – please call for me sometime eh?)

Anyway, I had been playing for a while, but had developed a problem connecting to servers. The problem was that most of the time I would get into the game, take a few steps, then it would freeze. A second later I would get the red “Connection to server lost. Disconnect in 29…28… seconds”. Sometimes I would only get to “retrieving server info” or “sending client data”, and sometimes I could play for as long as 30 or more seconds before I got ghostbusted (yes, netrek jargon). I’m sure I even got a kill after being disconnected.

Trying to rejoin would give me a “This Steam ID is in use on the server”, while my friends saw many “BertieB(1) has connected”. And I saw a lot of “Disconnected from server. Reason:” … connection to server lost… this steam ID is already in use…

This is not unique problem. Fortunately the fix is fairly straightforward.

You need to open some ports on your router:

TCP 27030 – 27039
UDP 1200
UDP 27000 – 27015

For people with a BeBox (a Speedtouh 780 WL I think, so it should work for similar Speedtouches, like those with BT internet) you can simply log into the router (at http://192.168.1.254), go to Toolbox -> Game & Application Sharing -> Assign a game or application to a local network device -> Half-life 2. Easy!

This may not solve the problem for everyone, but it did for me and others. Good luck!

Update: Thanks to Jeroen, who pointed out the typo that has been there for about 3 years.

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?

Continue reading “Crysis Review”

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.

Continue reading “Long awaited return post!”

NOT a Crysis Post!!

OK, I have decided that the standard has been slipping lately in this blog, so I am making a return to bring it back to it’s former glory!

Now the title is a little misleading. This isn’t about Crysis, it is about the CryENGINE2, or more specifically, the editor which allows you to utilise this engine. It just so happens the demos that are available are all for Crysis maps (the only game to be written with the engine…yet). But I have to say the editor looks like it could be a whole new game in itself!

Continue reading “NOT a Crysis Post!!”

Spore Part I

Finally, Will Wright and his cadre of demoscene hackers has created something that I’ve wanted since I first started playing games. Spore lets you take a species from molecule to intergalactic civilization an a free-form manner. The game is both evolutionary and revolutionary (and I use the latter term cautiously) in a number of ways. Continue reading “Spore Part I”

Battlefield 2142 Booster Packs (Un)Official!

There has been rumours for a while now of new maps and game modes, ever since the EA Test server was spotted running some interesting looking things. It now appears that the two recently announced (but not really, these are the official statements, which were accidentally posted, the official word will likely come in the next few days) booster packs are behind the new content. Continue reading “Battlefield 2142 Booster Packs (Un)Official!”

New Crysis Gameplay Video

Well some more Crysis news. A new video and interview has emerged from the wonderful people over at Gamespot. While the interview doesn’t reveal much new, the video is awesome. This video alone is enough to make me buy the game to be honest. It shows off the lush environments, the attention to detail, the destructable environment and most importantly the nanosuit and the weapon customizations. The video only contains one small camp and only 4 or 5 baddies, imagine this on a much bigger scale and you will see why Crysis is going to be awesome.

New Video

Here is also another few seconds of footage from the Microsoft Press Conference Games for Windows Video at the CES 2007 (Props to Incrysis.com for the video sources).

Catch you later dudes!