Saturday 1 October 2011

Social Networking, The Internet & You

I stumbled across this old half written post, and thought it was too good not to share. With the likes of diaspora also coming out since I wrote it, things just keep getting worse eh?

This week we've all said a huge "Hello" to Google Plus. Web developers worldwide getting hounded by their manages to quickly add in some +1 buttons to their websites. Will it take off? Will it join the dumpster with myspace? Or will it just linger around and be yet another thing for us to check daily to make sure we haven't missed something.

It would seem every time a new social network comes out, us programmers are being forced to add share buttons all over our sites. Check the bottom of this blog post for example and there will be 10 or so icons to share it on various networks. We just keep adding and adding, with the theory being if we miss one, we miss a whole heap of sharing and traffic opportunity.

There seems to be mixed emotions about where it's going. Tech savvy people are all over it like fingerprints on an ipad. But what percentage of those are because they have to, for work purposes or whatever? Non-tech savvy people just can't be bothered moving all their photos over from facebook to G+, re-friending everyone, learning all the new privacy settings etc etc.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Dirt 3 and the general state of racing games.

So now my intro blog post is out of the way, let's get to the crux of what exactly made me pull my finger out and get this ball rolling. I mean I've had crap to rant about in the past, and we all know I love a good whinge, but Dirt 3 you are the sole reason I am sitting here writing this.

Firstly, some background. Since investing in a Logitech G25 and a wheelstand pro for my PS3 about 6 months ago, I've played GT5, NFS Hot Pursuit 2 and now Dirt 3.

Now GT5 I guess was about what you'd expect, people buy it so they can race in a variety of different cars, against other racers. If you want to drive a 1960's mini, fly at it. A 1980's muscle car, sure have a crack. All a bit of fun, gamers know what they are getting as that's why they bought GT5 in the first place.

As for NFS, again I think gamers know what to expect. You know you're not buying a racing "sim", you expect it to be arcade like, so when you jump in and it's all a bit easy and you can just ram cars off the track, use the walls to help you slow down and corner better etc, it's all a bit expected and what we've come to expect from the NFS series.

Neither of those 2 got huge play time from me, I mean they got their fair share, but nothing spectacular, I didn't finish them, but I got some enjoyment from them.

So those 2 aside, let's move on to Dirt 3. *Sigh*. I understand they've taken the "Colin McRae" bit out of the title, fair enough. But is it still supposed to be a "rally" game? It was a little evident in Dirt 2 when they brought in all the rally cross and land rush stuff, I remember deliberately avoiding any of the races that involved trucks or buggies in Dirt 2. In D3, these land rush and the new drift style races are near impossible to avoid. I'm sorry Codemasters but I bought Dirt 3 to race a rally car.

For those new to rally, it's generally a set of stages where you're the only car on the track, with a designated "pit stop" section where you get 30 mins to make strategic fixes to the damage caused during the recent stages. Even as recent as Dirt 1 these strategic decisions were still part of the game. But Dirt 2 they were gone, in favor of making the game easier and more appealing to casual gamers. In Dirt 3, you are basically forced to choose a different type of event every other race, and even the rally's themselves you have to choose a different style of car, 1960's or something for example.

As discussed earlier, if I wanted a game where I get to race older cars, I would play GT5. If I wanted a game where I race other cars on the same track, I would play NFS. The Colin McRae series is supposed to be "rally", and has just gone to complete shit. I'm about 4 hours into the game, and have had the chance to compete in about 3 "rally" races. This is just unacceptable in my book.

In conclusion, it is pretty simple. The "Dirt" series is no longer a rally game, hence the removal of "Colin McRae" from the title and is now just simply known as Dirt. It now has much more association with Ken Block, who we all know is a horrible rally driver, and I wouldn't be surprised if Dirt 4 gets renamed to Ken Block's Dirt 4.

Disclaimer: Should Ken Block read my blog, this is not intended a personal insult, I'm sure Monster Energy love having you under their wing, and no doubt Suburu love the fact you smash up 2-3 of their cars every week. But seriously, stick to making shoes, you're way better at that.

The blogging life.

Well, for those who don't know I had started writing my own blog app a while back, but those that know me would know I never seem to complete any of my own projects. I just always seem to get about 80% of the way there and then get hung up on the little imperfections of things that could be done better, and because it's my own project with no time constraints, I don't continue to the next part until it's perfect.

But then something else more important comes along, you know, like buying a house, and you're project gets left in this state that you just know it will never get finished.

Anyway, so having given up on that world, and knowing that google bought out blogger many moons ago, I figure it must be half decent so I'll give it a crack. I know wordpress is dogballs, was returning a 404, and joomla/drupal all require you run php/mysql on your own server. Of course a real hardcore blogger would have made his own design and just used the ever awesome CushyCMS but that's for the cool kids.

And so here we are. All blogger'd up. Anyway, just thought I had to get an intro blog post out there as jumping right into a proper topic wouldn't seem right.