Monthly Archives: October 2009

Gaming Update

Wrath of the Lich King got so great! I did the Wrathgate event, which was wonderful. It was one of the best chains in the game. I then headed into Icecrown. I dinged 80 off of a level 12 quest that I turned in to Thrall! Lately I’ve been playing a lot of BGs, doing some arena, and running ToC. I’m almost done getting all my honor gear! I also joined the ChEeSeaNaTers!

 
On my iPhone I’m still playing Mafia Wars. It’s not really a game in which one can spend a lot of time. Activities in the game use points that regenerate in real time. It’s fun, and I enjoy checking it throughout the day even though there’s no real point.
I’ve also been playing Sol Free Solitaire. I had a game of the same name on the Palm. I wonder if it’s made by the same company. It has Baker’s Game (normal and easy), Klondike (draw three and one), Demon, and Spiderette. I’ve never played Demon or Spiderette, and they’re very interesting! I’m not very good at them yet. Sol Free Solitaire keeps track of lots of gameplay stats as well.
A Quest Of Knights Onrush is another very fun iPhone game. It’s a brawler (similar to Castle Crashers) and is based on Knights Onrush, an iPhone defend-the-castle-from-waves-of-attackers game. Sorry, I don’t know the name of that genre, but it seems to be a popular type of Flash game. Anyways, while I already compared it to Castle Crashers, it’s a little different because there isn’t an ending to reach. The point of the game is just to see how far you can get as enemies get stronger. It’s really fun! I should add that all of these iPhone games are free.
I’m still working on inFamous. Getting through the story is difficult because I’m drawn to all the side missions! I wanted to beat it before Uncharted 2 released, but I didn’t make it. I’m looking forward to that, but haven’t played it yet.
Someone on SelectButton wanted to do an SB Game Club of one of the games in the Donkey Kong Country series. I starte the first one, but it seems people weren’t really interested. Some people wanted to do Donkey Kong ’94, which I also had, but nothing became of that.
Lastly, I’ve played Harvest Moon DS a little bit. It’s fun, but I’ve effectively stopped playing.

UCI Zombie Invasion 2009



UCI Zombie Invasion 2009, originally uploaded by theuser.

Today a horde of zomies attacked UCI! There were about 15 people in the
group, with 5 or so in zombie make-up. They came up the stairs at the
front of the school and lumbered to the Langson Library. They walked
in, crowded around the elevator, and began to bang on the doors. When
it opened, they yelled, "brains!" and began to push into the elevator.
Two girls ran out, laughing but obviously a bit startled. I heard them
mumbling "what the hell are they doing" and similar things, but then
they said "let’s stay and watch." The zombies waited for another
elevator to come for a couple minutes before one yelled "stairs!" Then
they all began yelling "stairs… stairs?" It was obvious they didn’t
know where the stairs were. One yelled "stairs!" and pointed, and then
they lumbered towards the stairwell. I had to leave to go to class at
that point, but I heard startled yells coming from the stairwell as I
left.
The organizers want to make this a yearly tradition. I hope they do!

Indiana Jones and the Statutory Rape

Open Thread: George Lucas on Marion Ravenwood | The Hathor Legacy
According to a post by Jennifer Kesler on The Hathor Legacy, a transcript of Lucas, Spielberg, and Kasdan discussing the plot of Indiana Jones when designing the movie has been found. It reveals how they thought it would be “amusing” and “interesting” for Indy to have a sexual relationship with a fifteen year old girl. I have no idea if the transcript is legitimate, and I haven’t seen the movie. If it’s true, it’s interesting.

Ronk’s views on the Super Mario Bros. Series

These two posts are by Ronk from the thread “smw is fine but dear god super mario 64” on SelectButton. The subforum they were posted in, Forum Axe: The Duel, auto-prunes old threads and requires authentication, so I won’t bother linking to the thread. The link will be dead in a week anyways.
if smb3 is having awesome sex with a fit model, and smw is like having a 3 way with your best friends
then sm64 is like dreaming about the first time you made love on a floating ship, sailing aimlessly through the stars.
edit – smb is the first time you had sex, in the backseat your parent’s car on prom night. us smb 2 is like sex with the cute weird girl in the photo lab dark room and jsmb 2 is like the first time you had sex with a safety word.

– Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:02 pm
– Last edited by Ronk on Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
– Opening post of the thread
sunshine is like having awkward sex with a girl from your high school political science class.
galaxy is like having sex with your ex girlfriend on the hood of your old car, stopping every few minutes to ask if it’s ok and if everything is alright.

– Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:40 pm

Why I Hate Computers

(Last updated at on 10/5/09 at 10:51 PM. Jump to latest update.)
I just noticed that the “computing” category on WebPageless is just computer errors. This probably isn’t that interesting to anyone else, but I found that keeping track of PC errors and how I go about fixing them is helpful to me. Maybe someone Googling will find it useful too, or even better, maybe someone I know will be able to help me.
In a previous post I detailed how my computer was unable to play World of Warcraft. It would freeze while logging in after picking a character. Sadly, I never updated how I fixed it, and the problem is happening again.
More specifically, the problem never went away. Yeah, World of Warcraft would work, but when ever I rebooted, WoW would have the same problem. I could fix it by using System Restore to restore to a previous restore point. Not most recent restore point would not necessarily fix the problem. I would just keep restoring older and older restore points until the game worked. Unfortunately, none of the restore points I have fixed the problem after this last time.

 
Of course, this doesn’t really address the problem at all. What’s causing it? I don’t know. I do know, however, that a while ago I saw newer video drivers in Windows Update, but applying the update would cause this exact problem. How did I fix that? I used System Restore and never applied Windows Updates again. The strange thing is, despite disabling Automatic Windows Updates, I still see Windows Updates restore points in System Restore. Apparently, Windows Update is still running. I think what’s happening is that those video drivers, for what ever reason, are breaking World of Warcraft, and somehow they’re being applied every so often. Rebooting my computer allows them to finish installation. At least, this is my current theory.
Where do I stand now? I don’t really know. To be complete, let me talk about my computer here:

  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit, Service Pack 1, completely legal and verified
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 @ 2.5 GHz
  • MSI P45 Neo-F mainboard
  • 4.00 GB of RAM
  • nVidia GeForce 8800 GT, drivers version 180.48 (7.15.0011.8048)
  • Rosewill 802.11b/g PCI

I bolded the most likely problem. After using the automatic scanning tool on nVidia’s site, they say my latest driver should be GeForce/ION Release 191, Version 191.07, from October 5, 2009. Hey, that’s today! I wonder if nVidia has got things together enough to make one that works now. I found an interesting article on engadget from March, 2008 saying that nearly 30% of Vista crashes were caused by nVidia in 2007, which makes it the most common cause. That is a rather old article as far as software is concerned, but assuming it’s accurate, does show that there have been problems with Vista and nVidia.
Update at 10/5/09, 2:48 PM
I played Team Fortress 2 for about 5 minutes, and there were no problems. I just made a restore point, so now I’ll update my nVidia drivers and see what happens.
Update at 10/5/09, 3:11 PM
I updated the nVidia drivers to 191.07. We’ll see how this goes!
Update at 10/5/09, 3:24 PM
World of Warcraft is working again! It looks like nVidia got some working drivers up finally!
Update at 10/5/09, 9:07 PM
After I found that World of Warcraft was working, I played for about an hour and then set a restore point in case anything went wrong in the future. A few hours later I rebooted, and now WoW has the same problem. I restored to that point that I had just made (that should have been working), and that didn’t fix it. I tried reinstalling the 191.07 drivers because it worked right after I installed those last time. Didn’t help. Now I’m going to restore the restore point I made this afternoon right before updating the drivers for the first time.
Update at 10/5/09, 10:51 PM
I restored that restore point, and WoW still crashed. I then installed the 191.07 drivers, and WoW still crashed. Now I’m going to try doing all the updates in Windows Update.
Last Update
Those updates fixed it! I’m still not rebooting after getting it working, because who knows how that’ll leave my computer. I’m glad Windows Update is finally fixing problems rather than causing problems.

Jet Grind Radio

Jet Grind Radio is a cel-shaded Dreamcast game in which I found myself rollerblading around the city, doing tricks and collecting spraypaint so I could tag specially marked locations. The game really seems to be about speed. Because I’m rollerblading, I can’t just stop whenever I want. The levels are designed so I can tag while blading past things. In this way I sort of just flow through the level; however, the police disrupt this flow. They chase me around, forcing me to put enough distance between myself and them so that I can tag without them stopping me. It reminds me a bit of Mirror’s Edge. It features an assortment of electronic music. It reminds me, at least in style, of The World Ends With You, although so far the music has been more mellow. It seems fun so far and is worth trying.
(I forgot to post this a while ago!)

Attack of the Games I’ve Been Playing

Again I’ve mostly been playing World of Warcraft. My priest is now now level 77. I did my fourth raid – Karazhan. What a fantastic dungeon! It’s as if our party just showed up at a fancy ghost party. Each room was different and interesting, and the dialog was nice. Being on stage as part of Romeo and Juliet was awesome, and playing chess in WoW was a lot of fun. I also did For the Horde, got 25,000 honorable kills, and obtained my Brewmaster title. For Brewfest, I managed to get both pets, the goggles, a Brew of the Month membership, and the keg. The keg is fabulous! I’ll never have to buy in-game alcohol again!

 
I also started a druid to play with my friend, Pat. I named him Calamik in honor of William’s druid, Calabrand and his warrior, Amik. So far, I’m enjoying it. I’m not sure on professions yet. I picked up herbalism because it should be awesome with flight form. I was thinking about getting leatherworking, which would force me to purchase leather. I could also grab skinning instead of leatherworking and just have two gathering professions. Engineering is also an option, using Devee’s mining, but I think I’d rather have engineering on Devee so he could get the PVP advantages. Lastly, there’s alchemy. Alchemy would go well with my herbalism of course. I’m pretty torn between herbalism and leatherworking. I’m also not sure on what build to use yet – either moonkin or feral.
I’ve unlocked all songs from Samba de Amigo’s arcade mode and played all the ones I’ve unlocked. There are still two songs I can unlock from challenge mode, but I got stuck in challenge mode. I’ve been playing Jet Grind Radio as well, which is a lot of fun. It’s pretty hard though.
Mafia Wars has taken over my iPhone. I think it works really well as a phone game because it’s something I check often but spend little time actually playing. It’s basically a time management game with a ladder system. It reminds me of Battle Faeries a bit.
Harvest Moon DS has been fun so far. It still feels like class Harvest Moon, which is great! I don’t have any animals yet, but I have a good amount of plants in the ground!
Other than that, I played Monkey Island SE a little on my iPhone, inFamous on PS3 a bit, and some random Dr. Mario for DSiWare.

Tim Schafer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Tim Schafer was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight. I watched for two reasons. Sure, I was interested in Schafer, but I wasn’t expecting anything I hadn’t heard previously. However, I was also curious about how Jimmy Fallon was going to handle having someone from the gaming industry on his show. Fallon has claimed that he wants to treat big video game releases similar to big movie releases. He had four guests on his show – Drew Barrymore (plugging her movie, Whip It), two people from The Universal Records Database (for storing world records), and Tim Schafer.
For those who don’t know him, Tim Schafer is the designer of the upcoming Brutal Legend. I’m looking forward to it a lot. It seems like Tenacious D: The Game in a lot of ways. Schafer worked Monkey Island 1 and 2, Maniac Mansion, and Psychonauts among other games, and Brutal Legend is developed by Double Fine, developer of Psychonauts.

 
Fallon wanted to know how Schafer got the idea for Brutal Legend. Schafer explained that when he was younger and listening to music, he’d look at the album covers. Unlike today where people listen to mp3s and go about their day without looking at the music at all, people used to actually pay attention to the art on the record jacket. Metal albums often had intricate details such as runes on the first album Tim Schafer owned, “Diary of a Madman” by Ozzy Osbourne. He wanted to explore the world of metal that he saw when he stared at the albums.
In Brutal Legend, a roadie is sent back in time to a past during which mankind was enslaved by demons. This is the world of metal the Schafer imagined. He went on to talk about how the main character uses a battle axe as well as a guitar. There was no mention of the term “axe” being used to mean “guitar,” but I suspect that played a role as well. The guitar is amplified by the magic, and the main character uses it to summon lightning, pyrotechnics, etc. When asked how he got Jack Black for the role of the main character, Schafer replied that at first he just wanted to make a game that Jack Black would like. To Schafer, Jack Black was the type of person at whom he was aiming the game. There was also mention of Jack Black and Tenacious D loving the serious aspects of music while still appreciating the over-the-topness of it, which is exactly like Brutal Legend. When they were casting the main character, Schafer wanted someone who would sound sort of like Jack Black. Then he found out that Black was a fan of his previous game, Psychonauts, they invited him to play the role. He also said that Ozzy Osbourne is in the game as well.
The interview with Tim Schafer was pretty interesting, and I’m glad I watched tonight. I’m also glad that Jimmy Fallon does seem to be treating games similarly to movies. Yes, movies get more of the spotlight than games, but this is still a nice start. I’m definitely not going to watch Fallon’s show regularly because I’m just not interested in the movie industry, but I’ll check out his show in the future if there’s a guest who’s from the video game industry.