Archive for category Talk

Dinner Date the game, is not really a game

Dinner Date?

I began to write this a while back but forgot to finish and publish it. So here goes. Dinner Date by Stout Games assumes you are the stereo typical gamer, male, single, young and desperate for a date with a mysterious oriental girl who (spoiler alert) lets face it, is not going to turn up, ever!

Now times have changed, that stereotype I thought had phazed out. Everyone I know who plays games does not fit that description. Infact I cannot think of anyone who reminds me of the role you play in Dinner Date. Furthermore you play this role from a first person perspective, which should make you even more immersed into this character. But still I could not connect with the character, yet something kept me thinking about this ‘game’ experience for weeks, there is something special in Dinner Date, but don’t expect it to be fun.

I hate the voice, everyone raved about the audio in Dinner Date but I found the voice annoying, heck I even found the gameplay annoying, and disappointing! At the end I was left feeling empty, Steam had sold me a game which left me feeling empty, thanks Steam. But for over a week I kept thinking about Dinner Date, it was stuck in my head.

The experience is what you are paying for. I’m starting to believe feeling empty and crappy at the end is the entire point of this ‘game’, after all, your single, drunk and alone in a shitty flat, your job sucks and your date is not going to arrive. If that doesn’t make you feel like crap then I don’t know what will, and the fact that this game makes you feel like that makes it a success, and worth the few pound just to try out this potential new genre, ‘Make you feel like crap ‘game’ experience’ genre.

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The Death of Piracy…and online cheating?

Following Kotaku’s recent interview with an ex-pirate who chose Steam over BitTorrent, I figured it high time that the death of piracy should be upon us. In a world moving more and more into the cloud, services like Steam are providing a place to buy, collect and socialise as a gamer. With a friends list requiring a scroll even on a 1920×1200 display, a sale nearly every week and a constantly patched and updated game Steam offers a complete gaming solution. Why buy anywhere else? Where to buy is not the problem. Choosing to buy at all is the biggest issue on the PC as some simply choose to download for free via torrent, especially with games often appearing on torrent sites days before Steam/retail stores.

Piracy statistics from torrentfreak.com

Looking at the piracy statistics for 2010 (above) at first glance piracy seems to be up over 2009 for this years Call of Duty (see stats below). 4.27 million illegal copies of Black Ops were downloaded this year vs 4.1 million copies of Modern Warfare 2 last year. So in 2010 there were 170 thousand more illegal downloads of Call of Duty over 2009 through the first two months of release. However, if we look at sales a massive 5.6 million copies were sold in 2010 within 24 hours of release (across all platforms) vs 4.7 million in 2009. I’m no accountant (ed. lol?) but that’s almost a 20% increase in legitimate paying customer demand over last year, yet pirated figures show only a 4% increase. So is this a sign of a slow down in piracy? I think it is. Piracy as a whole does appear to be getting bigger, but so too is the industry and at a faster rate. The number of gamers willing to pay, at least if not only for Call of Duty are increasing.

2009 piracy statistics from torrentfreak.com

The question is why would piracy slow down as we all become more digitally download aware? If digital downloads are slowly taking more and more of the market especially on PC, why are people choosing to pay for digital downloads over torrenting them for free like they have been for the last near decade. Steam is why!

Retail purchasing on PC died along time ago for me, first the high street and then even online ordering became a chore. Leaving the house to purchase a physical disc, having an optical drive hooked up to your computer, getting the disk out of the box to install it, manually finding the latest patch…very 1990’s. Steam offers one central ‘app’ for the gaming community, you know what your friends are buying, what and when they are playing, what they have played for precisely how long, what they have achieved and now even what they want to play if they had the money a.k.a Steam wishlist.

Gifting on Steam is a joy. I often buy gifts for relatives and friends, with a few clicks Christmas and birthdays are sorted without having to leave my seat, delivered direct to their email/Steam account. And don’t even get me started on Steam sales, games for a few pounds, why even waste time torrenting and searching for key gens and nocd.exe’s? Steam have perfected the process so well, I would rather pay for a game on Steam than to get it for free not on Steam, that’s capitalism at its finest.

Another reason for piracy decline and the eventual death of piracy is the big brother account integration of these services like Steam as well as Xbox Live and PlayStation network. If you are caught using pirated games or even cheating, the risk is you lose your entire account, either a ban or complete account deletion. All those achievements, digital downloads and the ability to play with all your friends, gone in an instant! All to save a few pounds by pirating? It’s just no longer worth it.

This year has seen a huge clamp down by the powers that be, with the most extreme example when Blizzard banned over 5,000 Starcraft 2 players for cheating. Back in 2009 Valve even gave everyone a gift for not cheating, a free hat which I wore with pride, obviously the cheaters didn’t get anything. With more recent and a touch more serious tone Sony is attempting to sue the hackers who opened up the PS3 for all manor of piracy, which this year has been a constant battle by Sony releasing countless patches to stay one step ahead of the pirates. Will I patch my PS3 to play Gran Turismo 5? Of course I will, I did straight away even though GT5 sucked! Do I want to lose any of my online accounts to save a few pounds and spend hours illegally obtaining pirated software? The answer is no, my time and my avatar is worth more than that and most importantly I want to support the games industry, and so should you.

I’m not anti-pirate although I may sound it. Piracy has changed the world often for the better and I highly recommend a favourite book of mine The Pirates Dilemma which covers this subject in far more depth. When there is a solution out there that is better than piracy, I’m all for it. After all that’s usually why we pirate in the first place, a rubbish system. Now if only the movie industry would take their fingers out of there ass…

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WordPress for Android – bye bye wpToGo

WordPress for Android official 1.0 release

An update for wpToGo on Android Market is showing a friendly reminder that the product is being discontinued. The author Roundhill Labs are now working on the open source newly released WordPress app which can be found by searching ‘WordPress’ on the Android market or visiting android.wordpress.org.

Infact I’m typing this post from the new WordPress app from my G1 and it works great, the interface is refreshed making it feel brighter and faster. This app is perfect for updating your blog or blogs on the go, with multiple account and username functions. Setup is even easier now too, just type in your URL, username and password and you are ready to post. The revised comment system works very well, with a long press bringing up an adjustment menu to give you the ability to approve or trash a comment instantly. So uninstall wpToGo and get the new WordPress app now, free on Android Market.

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The Guild Season 3 Finale Review – complete with face to face twitter break-up

Check your twitter, your dumped!

Check your twitter, I just broke up with you!

Season 3 of The Guild is over, and went out with an entertaining and side-splitting finale. Without providing any spoilers (apart from the picture above? :Ed) I think a new wave of face to face twitter break-ups will be upon us. Also an appearance from the more racy Codex (as seen in the music video below) really made this episode miles ahead of previous season finales (season 1 finale was a bit, budget). I guess all that looting of Microsoft’s gold finally paid off as this web series has become a full quality series up there with the best of traditional televised comedy shows (providing you are a gamer of course).

Being an Xbox Live gold member has had its privileges for Season 3 viewers of The Guild entitling us to full HD via the Xbox dashboard, but I think the audience could have been much bigger if they didn’t sign a Microsoft exclusive agreement. YouTube should have jumped on this deal first as Bing/MSN/Xbox video is not the best way of reaching the type of viewers of a web series. Either way its the content that won us all over and The Guild gets my vote for the Open Web Awards Best Online Video Web Series. Cast your vote now whilst enjoying The Guild’s hit music video below.

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Introduction better late than never

writers

This should have been posted first I guess. We are up and running and myself and 2 other writers have joined the site but as you can see there is little activity in the group. We should have our profiles up soon so you can find out a bit more about us. I am still working on my NSMB review and other than that I plan to try Left 4 Dead 2 and carry on with spec ops on Modern Warfare 2.

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WordPress 2.8.6 and wptogo

Ok so I am posting this from my android device using wptogo, after succesfully updating wordpress from 2.6 to 2.8.6. My host daily.co.uk seem to be really sluggish since the update, strange? Anyway just as the upgrade tutorial says, I am posting about my completed upgrade and taking a moment to sit back in my creaky chair.

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Hello world

123…testing…123

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