Bored of computers now…

An 80% chance means it’ll happen four out of five times. Yet the faggit randomisers in Monster Rancher 4 thinks it’s funny to make me miss twice in a row with an attack which has an 80% chance of hitting. Then it thinks it’s funny to make my opponent hit me with an attack that has a 30% chance of hitting. Then it thinks it’s REALLY funny if it makes me miss again with an 85% chance. Then it thinks it’s absolutely friggin’ hilarious if it makes my opponent hit with a 15% chance. Then, it pisses itself laughing as it chooses to randomise my monster getting injured.

Gay cheating faggit bots! Angry smile

UPDATE!!

Right, I’m not playing this game for a while now, or indeed any game that involves hit percentages. Tried another match with my uninjured monster. We had a 40% hit chance, both me and the bot. I attacked four times, missed every time. Bot attacked three times, hit me every single time. I quit the competition after that. I mean, seriously, what the fuck?

This is the reason why I don’t play the Lottery, why I hate MMORPGs (one of the reasons, anyway), and why I can’t stand just about anything luck-based, cuz things like this CONSTANTLY happen, and it annoys me more than students playing loud music at 5 in the morning.

So about that Slide Card for the PS2…

I eventually, after much careful research, decided on a site to get one from, along with the required SwapMagic DVDs. About £20 for the card and the DVDs, including postage, which I think was alright. Smile Was quite nervous, because I don’t trust a pirate as far as I can throw them. And it’s quite difficult to throw a website. Smile with tongue out

It went well, though – they sent it out pretty quickly, and I recieved it in less than their estimated delivery time. Open-mouthed smile It arrived undamaged and the discs work just fine. The site is http://www.discoazul.co.uk – trust me, it was a freakin’ nightmare to find someone who I was confident with. I tried almost every site I could find, but there was always a 50/50 split on it – some people said the site was great, while others said that they took payment, never delivered and never answered their e-mails or calls. And to be honest, I REALLY don’t need that now – I don’t intend on going too far into my overdraft because of some stupid scam site… or for any reason, actually. Smile with tongue out

Now, as for the SwapMagic DVDs themselves, well, they’re incredible. Open-mouthed smile I’ve used a CD loader before, but that was on a Dreamcast, something with fairly lame copy protection. Smile with tongue out Sony usually pay more attention to DRM than their consoles or games, so it’s quite an achievement that something can bypass this so easily. Open-mouthed smile

This isn’t just a "insert DVD, eject tray, insert copied/region locked game, close tray, load", no. You’ve got to take the front panel off your PS2’s DVD drive, which makes it look a bit ugly, but it’s no huge deal. After that, you insert one of the SwapMagic DVDs (there’re two, and I don’t think there’s a difference – maybe it’s just in case one doesn’t work?) and the PS2 reads that as normal, because the DVDs actually have the copy protection code burned onto them. Don’t ask me – I don’t understand how copy protection works. Smile with tongue out After the app loads, you have to stick the special "Slide Card" into the DVD drive, slide it to the right so the tray "unlocks", pull out the tray, load in the new disc, close the tray, and slide the card back so the tray locks back into place. A bit of a faff, and it could eventually end up wrecking your DVD drive, but it damn works. Open-mouthed smile

Finally been able to play Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, which is REALLY good, but I don’t like its Japanese Difficulty Cliff (all of a sudden, when there was just me and the Wu Kingdom left, the enemy officers suddenly had DOUBLE health and much higher attack and defence than normal), and it can get kinda boring – but Dynasty Warriors is ALWAYS better when played with someone else. That’s probably the other thing that was missing. Smile with tongue out Also, the bad voice acting is still there. And you can spam commands to clog up the battlefield alert things that pop up on the screen. It’s quite funny. Open-mouthed smile

Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Guan Yu: "Forward!"
Officer: "Retreat is an acceptable strategy…"
Guan Yu: "Enemy defeated!"
Officer: "I should retreat for now…"
Guan Yu: "Enemy defeated!"
Zhuge Liang: "This retreat is a part of my strategy."
Guan Yu: "Enemy defeated!"
Guan Yu has defeated 50 enemies!
Guan Yu has defeated 100 enemies!
Officer: "Impressive!"
Guan Yu has defeated 150 enemies!

And so on. Open-mouthed smile

Also, the word "Base" means nothing to me anymore. because almost EVERY time one of your allies changes his objective to either "attack base" or "defend base", they say the word "base". And when you have six officers on the field and you ask them all to attack, well, there’s a major case of semantic satiation. Smile with tongue out "Let us attack that base!" "Hey! Let’s go take us a base!" "I’m going to attack that base!" "We have one mission, and one mission alone – the enemy base!" FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU…!

Other than making that word lose its meaning, it’s a really good game. Just wish I could play it two player. Smile with tongue out

I was also happy to play Parappa The Rapper 2 WITHOUT the gigantic audio/video lag you get on the emulator. Smile with tongue out I can make my freestyling sound SO much better on the PS2, because when I press a button, the sound plays straight away, without a third of a second gap. Smile with tongue out Still irritated at the seemingly random results it gives you, though. Once, I improvised a line and it nudged me towards Cool mode. The next time I tried the song, I improvised the same line in the same way, and it gave me half the points I got the first time. Confused smile Got a fairly solid way of getting into Cool on the third and fourth line of Stage 6, though. Double up the first note, match the rest, and double up the last note. Gets you a Cool nudge most of the time. Open-mouthed smile Stage 6’s Cool music is so damn good. Wink

Then there was Monster Rancher 4, which I recently found out was never released in Europe. None of the Monster Rancher games have been released over here, actually, which is kinda weird. I wanted to try this on the PS2 because the PCSX2 emulator doesn’t support disc switching, and hence nullifies half of the game, because you’re supposed to get new monsters from DVDs. Otherwise you’ll be playing most of the game with a Garu, which is alright, because the Garu is cool (he haz a FALCON KYICK AND a SHORYUKEN!! Open-mouthed smile), but it can get boring. Smile with tongue out UNFORTUNATELY, though… um… it doesn’t work on my PS2 either. It ejects the disc and asks for a different one as normal, then it gets some data off that disc and asks for the Monster Rancher 4 disc again. But when you put that back in, it says that it’s not the Monster Rancher 4 disc and asks you to insert it. Sad smile It checks the copy protection code on the disc AGAIN when you reinsert it, and as it’s not there on my disc… well… Confused smile

So, the only way Monster Rancher 4 will ever work properly on a PS2 is if you have the original disc and quite possibly an NTSC PS2 console. And that’s doubly gay, because buying an NTSC console for ONE GAME is ridiculous, and an original copy of Monster Rancher 4 is quite rare. Smile with tongue out If you’re lucky enough ingame, however, you CAN find Saucer Stones during adventures, which contain a monster you can store in the in-game book… but there are 328 types of monster. Well, okay, 34 – the other 294 are just colour swaps and slight model modifications. Smile with tongue out

Even if you don’t generate monsters from a disc, it’s still a pretty good game. You can’t play it for long periods of time though, because it can get extremely boring (it’s quite repetitive at points). There’s also an INFURIATING Japanese Difficulty Cliff when you’re allowed to play in S Rank tournaments. A Rank isn’t easy, but I managed to get through that without too much trouble. Then I poked my nose into an S Rank tourney… and your opponents’ stats DOUBLE. Seriously, there’s a stat web that displays your stats and the enemies’ stats on the same graph before a battle, and at A Rank, my web was slightly bigger. At S Rank, my web was COMPLETELY ENVELOPED by the enemies’ web. Tried to fight, but my hit percentages were about 10-20%, so I just pressed Start, quit the tourney, and stopped playing. Smile with tongue out The same thing will probably happen on the PS2, but this time, I have a BLUE DINEYSAH. Wink

There’s a cool, light-hearted comedy feel to most of the game, too, especially when you watch your monsters train. I told my dinosaur (I call him Raptah, cuz I’m original (KICK PUNCH STYLE IS UNFORGETTABLE!) like that. Smile with tongue out) to meditate to raise his Intelligence, and he ends up sitting on the ground waving his arms around his head as if he’s trying to conjure up some magic something or other. Open-mouthed smile Asking him to Balance (raises Life) is quite funny, too. I’ve personally never seen a dinosaur balance on one leg (I’M HALF CASTE) before. I’ve gotta put him on the trampoline at some point. Open-mouthed smile

I’m gonna get some more games to try out sooner or later, too. I’ll tell ya about them when I play them, but for now, here’s a pro tip. Don’t search for ExVeemon on Google Images. Smile with tongue out It just made me wanna stab some furfags for fucking around with one of the coolest Digimon of the lot. Why did I search for it? Well, I was watching Digimon Season 2 again, and ExVeemon is cool. Smile with tongue out Ah, those were the good old days… when TV wasn’t shite. Open-mouthed smile

Oh, and another tip: If you have a girlfriend, take Chop Chop Master Onion’s advice and hold hands and kick kick and hug hug hai. Wink

Anyone got Warblade?

Has anyone even HEARD of it? Smile with tongue out Well, it’s technically a Galaga clone, although I think the word "clone" is a bit too harsh for this, because playing a game clone is usually like playing a fermented pineapple. Smile with tongue out Warblade takes the basic gameplay of Galaga and expands upon it quite a lot. Open-mouthed smile The guy that’s developed Warblade also developed Deluxe Galaga on the Amiga, which I only played briefly. It was good, but it was a little bit hard to understand the emulator and I ended up forgetting about it. Plus, this was when ULSG v13 development was in full swing. Smile with tongue out

Warblade just goes to show how much modern technology can improve something… well, unless the developer completely sucks, of course. Smile with tongue out This guy knows what he’s doing, though. Wink 100 levels of awesome enemy formations and action-packed gameplay that gets more intense as you progress. It even has a large amount of secrets to find and features to unlock – I never really realised how much hidden stuff there was until I decided to buy a few hints from the in-game shop. I REALLY like what the developer’s written on his home page, as well: "The game is made with gameplay as the most important factor." Finally, a game developer who has a brain! Open-mouthed smile Usually it’s "graphics graphics graphics". Smile with tongue out

There’s not really much else to say about it apart from "you should try it". Open-mouthed smile Oh, yeah, and if you DO decide to try it, try this sound pack I made. Wink Just extract it into "Warbladedatasamplesvoices", rename the extracted folder to "3", then click "next voice pack" in the options menu until you hear "GET READY, THIS IS A WEE BIT TOUGHER!!" Open-mouthed smile If you’ve played it before and already have a third sound pack installed, well… you should know what to do. It’s common sense, really. Smile with tongue out

Yeah, that’s me. Not my ACTUAL voice, no. Smile with tongue out I made a sound pack like that for Bejeweled 2 quite a while ago, and it dramatically improved its entertainment value. Open-mouthed smile Now, if I can replace the voiceovers in a game, I’ll do it with my OLD CHUM voice. Open-mouthed smile

Warblade isn’t QUITE as good as Stargunner, and it doesn’t even come close to Jets ‘n’ Guns, but they’re slightly "heavier" shooters, especially the latter. Warblade’s more causal, but it also has a hint of "hardcoreness" about it. I mean… I’ve got a saved game that I’ve been playing for more than 3 hours – I’m on level 500 and I’m about to crack a BILLION points. Open-mouthed smile

So yeah – try it out! It’s pretty awesome. Open-mouthed smile (‘specially with my sound pack. Wink)

Holy crap… they couldn’t have been any less original, even if they tried.

Got the latest DAZ Studio newsletter, and it’s same old, same old. Blowing their trumpet about the new Bryce 7 and saying you’re missing out if you don’t get it, even though it’s impossible to use because it displays all the models as WIREFRAMES in the viewport so you can’t see WTF is going on, it uses Poser’s camera control system which is the worst thing in existence, it doesn’t support the SubDragon or indeed ANY model with subdivision, and its link system with DAZ Studio is pathetic and doesn’t even work half the time. Of course, that’s my experience with Bryce 6, but DAZ 3D barely change anything between versions. The difference between DAZ Studio 2 and 3 is almost non-existent. DAZ Studio 2 actually renders FASTER, but UberEnvironment 2 doesn’t work with DS2, so I use DS3. Smile with tongue out

Then they’re bragging about how their characters are available for the Torque engine. Wow, an awful game engine paired with an awful developer of 3D software. Birds of a feather, eh? Wink I laughed at that, then I skimmed through the latest releases for a second before deleting it. "…clothes, clothes, cages, a cow, a kaiju, add-ons, clothes, clothes, rocks, more clothes, blah blah blah, boring, delete."

"Hey… wait a second, what was that again?" *goes to deleted items* "A KAIJU?! Holy crap, this is the first time that they’ve released something INTERESTING for a long time!"

That’s pretty much how it happened. Open-mouthed smile Yep, it’s a Mothra-fockin’ kaiju. Heh, I like what I did there. Wink For those who don’t know, a kaiju is basically a huge-ass Japanese monster that destroys everything for some (or no Smile with tongue out) reason. Godzilla’s a kaiju – everyone knows him, right? Wink Yep, it’s not just dragons I like – kaiju are another interest of mine, provided that they’re awesome enough. Smile with tongue out Werewolves, phoenixes, gryphons and minotaurs are on that list, too. Wink

I’m concerned about the originality of people nowadays, though. It makes me want to *headdesk*. Smile with tongue out Firstly, guess what this kaiju’s name is. Go on, guess!

Okay, have you had a guess? Right, here we go. His name is… "Kaiju"! HOLY FUCK!! Sarcastic smile Seriously, come ON, there’s this thing called "imagination". Want me to give him a name? Alright, how about "Tyranna"? Or "Tyrannus"? Not very original, sure, but it’s still better than calling it what it IS. Smile with tongue out It’s way better than "Kaiju", and it took me 5 seconds. Smile with tongue out

But then, they pull off a quick follow-up jab of unoriginality for a 2 combo! Smile with tongue out Here’s one of the promotional renders for Kaiju:


(DAZ 3D, just in case you track to see where your bandwidth is going and arrive at this site, I want to let the artist know… I can pull off better looking renders in my sleep. It’s called "UberEnvironment 2". Or, as I like to call it, "the only reason you should ever use DS3". Smile with tongue out)

Okay, now… this is a picture of Godzilla.


(It’s the best pose I could find without him dancing with something that looks like King Kong. Smile with tongue out)

Look familiar? Oh yeah, I posted something that looks suspiciously alike about 10-15 seconds ago! Kaiju’s body mass is too similar. The spines on his back are too similar. His claws are too similar. His skin texture is too similar. Please, if you’re gonna make a monster, then by all means take inspiration from others, but don’t just CONSTANTLY look at Godzilla while you’re modelling… Smile with tongue out
Granted, it looks as if there are a few morphs and stuff for Kaiju that let you change the spines and stuff to different things, but… I dunno. No matter how you configure him, I’ll always look at him and say "Hey, that looks a bit like Godzilla." Smile with tongue out

Aha, but just when you think the chain is over, ka BLAM with the heavy punch for a 3 combo! Wink The item description.
"From the depths of the sea, a monstrous beast has risen to threaten the cities of your Runtime!"
From the depths of the sea… that sounds suspiciously like where another famous kaiju comes from… hmm… could it be… Godzilla? Smile with tongue out Come ON! It’s so obvious, you might as well just say "From the city of Tokyo, a monstrous beast that looks suspiciously similar to Godzilla has risen to threaten the cities of your Runtime by battling with a giant moth and a three-headed space dragon whilst causing massive amounts of collateral damage with his atomic breath attack!" Smile with tongue out

Professional artists have absolutely zero imagination. Smile with tongue out But for now, I’m ignoring its unimaginative name and obvious Godzilla similarities – I want to get this model simply because it looks pretty cool. Open-mouthed smile It seems as if it’s only just been released, though, so it’s not on any of my USUAL websites. Sad smile No, I’m not paying for it; it’s a 3D model, doesn’t really do anything, and I’ll probably only end up making one or two renders with it. Smile with tongue out It’ll probably take a little while to appear on another site, but if it doesn’t… meh. No big deal. Smile with tongue out

I’ll post a render if I do manage to get ahold of him. Smile But for now, you’d better get a taco ready, because GODZILLA’S

Arg, he beat yeh. Smile with tongue out

Hey, this looks fairly interesting.

Okay, so I went on the Internet this week, and this was on it:

Haha, not really. This space has an unofficial "no porno" policy. Smile with tongue out

But I DID find THIS. It’s got a completely retarded name, "XLink Kai", but it’s a piece of software that kinda fools various games consoles into THINKING you’re connecting to other players over a LAN, but in actual fact, you’re connecting to them over the Internet. Hamachi and GameRanger do the same kinda thing, only they’re for PC games that aren’t coded properly, or if you can’t use the official servers… for various reasons. Smile with tongue out

I noticed, though, that this actually supports the PSP for some unfathomable reason. I can’t even begin to figure out how it works, but it supports a bunch of games that I’ve wanted to play multiplayer on the PSP – Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, Warriors Orochi (it’s Musou Orochi on that list, but I’m guessing that’s the same thing), MGS: Peace Walker and perhaps MGS: Portable Ops when I decide to try it. And maybe Monster Hunter Freedom 2, because I’m 98% sure the bots can’t handle more than one target at a time, therefore eliminating the early Japanese Difficulty Cliff. Smile with tongue out

Big problem though. No-one else plays a PSP anymore. Smile with tongue out I was gonna see if I could get Ped on Skype to try it out and play Warriors Orochi, because, quote: "I prefer the older Dynasty Warriors games". I thought he was a bit retarded, but I played Warriors Orochi, which plays almost exactly like DW5. I realised he wasn’t retarded at all – classic DW is better. The maps aren’t all split up and gay, and you get A KO COUNT IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT. Open-mouthed smile But… classic DW is lame because if one player dies, both players lose and have to start ALL OVER AGAIN. Sad smile
Anyway… even if he did want to try it, he probably doesn’t have a PSP anymore. And even if he does still have it, it’s one of those crap ones which aren’t softmodded. Smile with tongue out And I bet he wouldn’t mod it. Too much work. Wink

Anyway, I probably won’t be using… um… "XLink Kai". Stupid name… Smile with tongue out I just thought it’d be nice to share just in case anyone else has ever wanted to play PSP games over the Interwebz. Open-mouthed smile Oh yeah, it supports a bunch of PS2, Xbox and Xbox 360 games, and a few PS3 and GameCube games, too. Smile

Who invented luck? Because I want to punch them.

Okay, so there’s a PS2 emulator, PCSX2, which I love so much it’s almost unreal. It can actually PLAY PS2 games. Surprised smile But you already knew that, right? Smile with tongue out

Unfortunately, enter ME, Mr. MongMaster, who is both the master of mong, AND the king of bad luck. Smile with tongue out I once found a PS2 game in America – Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires. It was the first Empires game I’d ever heard of. Smile with tongue out I liked the idea of it, it was basically like a game of Risk… only not entirely luck-based. Plus, I thought it’d be really cool two-player, because you can play the full Empire mode with two players, and it had the potential to be a long-running game that unfolds depending on the player’s actions. So, I bought it.

UNFORTUNATELY, a few days later, I looked at the case again, and suddenly realised. "Oh… shit! This is an AMERICAN PS2 game, it won’t freakin’ work on a PAL console!" And, sure enough, when I got home and put it in my PS2… Red Screen of Death. Angry smile

But now, the PS2 emulator, PCSX2, exists, and I can play it on that, right? Uh… no.

See, there’s this thing called a "Compatibility List". And if you’ll look at it, you’ll notice that EVERY SINGLE DYNASTY WARRIORS GAME EVER is marked as "Playable"… EXCEPT Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires… which gets a rating of "Ingame". Yep, it’s accurate – I can get through the title screens, the menus… even the engine-rendered cutscene plays properly. I choose my actions for the turn and invade a region, get into the game, and FLARRRAGHHHYAIASGdalsifraefaefgalesfjkhdsfghasdb27oesifair213fbghlreifgvrlaefblah. Graphics, big mess, sound slowdown, massive CPU usage and CRASH. It’s unbelievable how EVERY DW game works on that emu, APART from the one that Mr. MongMaster bought in America. And it’s also the one I most want to play. Sad smile Even the NEWER, more ADVANCED Dynasty Warriors 6 works properly! Confused smile

Also, I’ve also noticed a couple other things on that page of the compatibility list. Firstly… Drakengard and Drakengard 2. I own Drakengard 1 (it was… "unlikable", to put it nicely Smile with tongue out), but I never got Drakengard 2. Funny how the version I have is "Ingame", while the one that I DON’T own is "Playable." Also, it says that Drakan: The Ancients’ Gates works fine. That’s the "U" version, though, and I’m pretty sure I have the "E" version. That’s not on the list, but guess what? It crashes as you enter the first town.

Oh yeah, and by the way, there are a bunch of games throughout the list I’ve wanted to try out. Guess what? They’re ALL marked as "Nothing", "Intro" or "Ingame". Un-frickin’-believable. D’ya understand why I hate luck-based stuff now? Cuz I HAVE no luck. Smile with tongue out (And the games are generally crap, anyway. Smile with tongue out)

So, to flip the bird at Lady Luck, I’ve thought of either getting a PS2 Modchip, or a SlideCard and the SwapMagic DVD’s. Edging heavily towards the SlideCard, because I don’t know how to solder, I won’t solder because knowing my luck I’ll screw something up, and I don’t even have the tools for soldering anyway. Smile with tongue out So, before I go ahead and get the SlideCard and get Lady Bitch to kiss my ass, I was gonna ask if anyone else had one of these things? Do they work, or do they cause a cataclysmic explosion? Smile with tongue out The main thing’s first, though – I’ve somehow gotta get my PS2 up here. Smile with tongue out

Yeah, I’m looking for games because I’m bored. Smile with tongue out No-one’ll ever play Borderlands again because everyone’s playing Starcraft and (even though they don’t know it) they take Blizzard Entertainment as their god. There’s nothing on the 360 that I wanna play. MGS: Peace Walker’s finally found its "Japanese Difficulty Cliff" and gone psycho – most of the endgame boss missions are impossible unless you’re in the same place at the same time with a friend with a PSP that has the same game as you do (seriously, I emptied about 20 RPGs into Peace Walker Type II and it caused 5% damage). Smile with tongue out I overcame Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce’s Japanese Difficulty Cliff and completed it because I’m so awesome at DW. Smile with tongue out

My DS emulator has no more uncompleted games, apart from Poké-Way-Too-Tedious-Brain-Numbingly-Boring-And-Repetitive Soul-I-Don’t-Know-WTF-To-Do-Or-Where-To-Go-Next-Silver, and Digimon World DS which hit its Japanese Difficulty Cliff and unleashed a monster that can one-hit-KO my entire team of Level 50s with one attack. In fact, ALL of my emulators have no games I want to play on them. Smile with tongue out

Stargunner disappointed me by showing me a bug which cost me 800,000 points. Reflexive are probably gonna be gone forever quite soon, so I can’t download anything from them. RakeInGrass don’t seem to realise that they’ve only ever made one good game, Jets ‘n’ Guns (seriously, the quality gap between that and the rest of their games is gigantic) and they don’t seem to realise that people have been begging for a sequel and even brainstorming ideas for it in the forums for quite a long time.

I’ve also been in a CBA mood with Dragon Storm. And ULSG. And Dragon Tail. Pretty much everything. Well… apart from going to Sainsbury’s and buying Caramel and IRN-BRU. Wink I also started a scene in DAZ Studio but stopped halfway for some reason – it was probably too difficult to decide on a render angle or an environment. But I’ll find something to do soon. Smile And I’ll pick up Dragon Storm as soon as this irritating CBA phase passes. Open-mouthed smile

Surprise…!

I’ve got some gameplay footage for you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IILTR_23Yc

… what? Yeah, there’s whitespace here because there’re spoilers below. Go watch the video first! Open-mouthed smile

…Okay, so maybe I tricked you a little bit and posted some game footage of Cyvern. But I did really well in that run…! Smile with tongue out And this IS a spoiler! It spoils the surprise that I lied to you. Wink I just thought you’d wanna take a look at the game that caused the chainsplosion of ideas in my brayn. Open-mouthed smile It’s a good game! Just a little bit impossible… Smile with tongue out

(By the way, I had it on Normal. It goes up to "Ultra Difficult". Wink)

But, I want to stab FRAPS for one of the games before this – I was at the second boss, only a few shots away from destroying it and breaking the 1,000,000 point barrier… when FRAPS suddenly slowed down for NO REASON, and quite frankly, in a danmaku shooter, that spells certain death. I anticipated a bullet flying straight into my path, so I decided to panic-bomb, but the command didn’t go through due to 20FPS. The bullet unfortunately WAS in my path, so collision, dead, second place, GAH. Angry smile

I managed to do it, though, after learning that I’m better with Ferious instead of Schwarz. I freaked out when I somehow got the powered-up first boss (usually it’s yellow, not green), and then I almost peed myself with joy when I heard the Japanese woman yell "EXTEND!!", and promptly ate my words about Ferious having a shitty weapon. Open-mouthed smile I completely suck at that second boss, though. Its homing missiles freak me out, and those fast bullets play havoc with my brain. Wink I can’t read bullet patterns that fast. Smile with tongue out

I reckon that some people really need to learn what a wyvern is, though, especially people who make a game involving them. Cyvern has three characters, and only one of them is actually a proper wyvern. Schwarz has four legs, making him more of a Western, or pretty much any other type of dragon with four legs. Smile with tongue out Altair has two small arms, which, if anything, edges him towards being a raptor. Then there’s Ferious, who has two legs and two wings. And that’s correct.
See… the Japanese seem to be a bit useless at understanding simple things, such as the fact that wyverns have two legs, two wings and no arms… you’re supposed to cook fish before eating it… the definition of the word "ambitious"… the concept of a difficulty curve… Wink

Anyhoo… moving on from sharing my dragon knowledge. I swear, I know more about dragons than real history. Although I guess that’s kinda understandable. Dragons == interesting, interesting != history.
Hey… wait a sec, hold that thought. If we expand that to one of those X = Y = Z therefore X = Z thingies I learned in Computing Science & Maths… therefore, dragons != history! Haha! So take that, scientists – my theory stands and is completely logical. Smile with tongue out Dragons may exist because history is so boring that dragons couldn’t possibly be history. Wink

Anyway… no, there’s no footage of Dragon Storm yet; I’ve only done about 20% of the shop screen so far, and I’ve still gotta make the testing range. Smile with tongue out I’ve gotta be 9001% satisfied about what Mods I want to appear during the course of the game. So far I have 11 types of Weapon Mod, and 4 types of Dragon Mod. I’m struggling to think of any more, but I’ve gotta be sure I’m all out of ideas first, and I’ve gotta be sure I’ll be happy with the Mods I’ve chosen for the rest of the game’s development. If I decide to think of a brand new Mod halfway through development, I’ll have to do a RETARDED amount of work just to get it implemented. Better now than later. Wink

I’ll get back to it tomorrow. But for now, have a listen to an old song of mine I decided to remix. Open-mouthed smile Trust me, it’s miles better than the old one. You can take my word for it. Open-mouthed smile

Getting there… slowly but surely…

Alright, so I managed to make the basic workings of the Market box…

Looks a bit empty, but you gotta start somewhere... :P

(Sorry about the retarded pics – Firefox is coming up with "open/save file" for me. I’ll try not to use Windows Live Writer again – but it’s so much faster. Smile with tongue out)

You can select a weapon from a list that is generated when you click either the Left or Right weapon slot, and it brings up its… shit. Stats! I forgot to leave a space for the weapon’s stats… >.< Okay, let’s go do that. I’ll update this later on. Smile with tongue out

*later on…*

Yeah, forget exams. Forget renting a flat and sorting out everything to go with it. Forget Student Finance. This is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done in my life. Smile with tongue out

There is SO MUCH to think about, that I can’t even fit it into my brain. I’ve discovered more limitations with MMF in the past couple days than I’ve ever discovered in the ~8 years of using Clickteam’s products. It’s nice, because it actually shows I’m improving, and shows that I’m more familiar with traditional coding… but it still makes me want to *headdesk*… or maybe even *facewall*. Smile with tongue out

Nevertheless, I’m making progress:

Starting to come together. :D

The background colour, and the colour of your dragon change depending on what you’ve done in Customisation. Appearance works, too. You can select the Left or Right weapon slot, and if there’s nothing in there when you click, it’ll bring up the weapon list, which you can browse. You can even buy a weapon to put in the slot. If there IS something in the weapon slot you clicked, instead of bringing up the weapon list, it’ll bring up the installed weapon and its stats, after any Mods.

My original plan for the Mods was gonna be to make a set amount of them, say, 100, which had preset effects, like +100 Damage, +2 Fire Rate, etc. However, since Diablo II is my all-time favourite game, I thought I’d see if I couldn’t make a system that randomly generated Mods, similar to the way items are randomised in Diablo II. I managed to figure out some sort of system which is WAY out of Diablo II’s league, but I think it’s sufficient. Smile

The Mods are generated with a… wait for it… “MongCode”. Open-mouthed smile It’s a 10-character code that stores the mod’s type, rarity, effect and power. The game decodes all the MongCodes and creates each Mod at the start of the frame. There’re 30 slots for Mods, and they can be moved around the list and re-arranged freely. It’s the first ever inventory system I’ve made, but it works pretty well.

If you’ve got the right type of Mod, you can place it into any of the Dragon Mod slots. They’ll immediately take effect when you place them there. You can’t install Weapon Mods yet, but that’s my next step. Smile

I’ve almost had four brain haemorrhages making this screen. Now, let’s see if we can’t make it five… 😛 I’ll finish this entry later on… if I can. Wink

*later on some more…*

Jesus effing Christ. This just keeps getting more difficult as I go along… when I finish something, a few bugs appear. When I stomp one of them, two more appear. Should’ve called it Hydra Storm. Smile with tongue out

I managed to get them all for now, and I’ve done some basic INI saving, too:

Mods work properly!! :D

You can rearrange Mods in the Mod Inventory, and when you restart the game, they’ll be back as you left them. Open-mouthed smile Oh, and you can stick Mods into weapons, as well! Only the Damage + ones into the Left weapon, but it’s a start. Smile with tongue out

When this is finished, saving to an INI file and bug-free, I am going to be so happy. Open-mouthed smile

*some time later*

Well, I can sure say one thing. And I encourage you to imagine that I’m saying it in the GTA2 announcer’s voice, with a random audience applauding.

“EFFICIENCY BONUS!!” Open-mouthed smile

Yeah, this code is S-rated for efficiency. Open-mouthed smile I finished the final few tweaks with the damage mod, so I thought I’d add the Fire Rate mod next. It took two minutes. Open-mouthed smile

No, I'm not kidding when I said "two minutes". :P 

There’s also a little help bubble that appears when you hover over any of the weapon stat bars, telling you exactly what the weapon’s stats are. Open-mouthed smile

Things are starting to get a little easier now, but I’ve still got the Right weapon mod slots to do, and all of the missile, shield and utility items and mod slots. I’ve also gotta make EVERYTHING save to an INI file, and reload properly. I should also make a testing range similar to Jets ‘n’ Guns, but I’m gonna add a few things to make it better. Nothing insanely special, but I’m sure they’ll be useful. You’ll see. Open-mouthed smile

I think I’ll post this one now. Smile

And, the Most Overrated Game Of The Year Award goes to…

Starcraft II.

Now, I’ve never played the original, this game is holding up Diablo III, and I’m not interested in RTS games, because they’re more boring than the empty J2O bottle on my desk. I had a lot against this game before I even tried it. But since the others got it, and since it got a 96 on MetaCritic, putting it HIGHER than the ORIGINAL Command & Conquer (that is REALLY saying something)… I thought I’d have a look to see what all the fuss was about.

I got it downloaded and started the campaign. It wasn’t particularly engaging, nor was it very challenging, nor was it very exciting. The units weren’t really imaginative or original, and I couldn’t tell which building was which, because they all looked the same. The cutscene quality was impossible, though. It was as if they did that thing, y’know… the worst thing you can do in a game? What is it again… oh yeah, put more effort into EVERYTHING apart from the gameplay. It’s NOT A MOVIE… and it’s NOT A FUCKING SCREENSAVER… it’s a GAME! You don’t WATCH a game, you’re supposed to PLAY a game! PLEASE try to understand!

And that was that. Any game that does that automatically gets an F. They REALLY get me riled up, ESPECIALLY when they get such a high rating.

I thought it’d improve in Multiplayer… but it didn’t. I wouldn’t play a game I wasn’t really enjoying against people who are significantly better, so playing against other players is totally pointless… because in an online match, EVERYONE is better than I am. Playing against bots gets on my nerves, because it’s impossible to gather, build and train units as fast as they can. And the gameplay isn’t very exciting either. And some buttons that make life a little easier, such as "find idle military units", don’t exist. And units can be assigned to more than one control group at a time, which is just completely stupid. Oh, and the difficulty curve is similar to Bioshock 2, only it spikes to the moon at Medium rather than Hard.

Better than the original C&C? LOLOLOL. Yeah, right. The original C&C was FUN and had more development time put into gameplay, rather than cutscenes and graphics. The reason that people say that Starcraft II is good is simply because it’s been in development a long time, it’s a sequel to an old, famous RTS, and it’s shinier than a lighthouse. However, SANE people will notice that it’s actually pretty rubbish, because it’s boring and has almost no gameplay.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Now, Blizzard. Finish the shit you’re doing with the World of Warcrap expansion which completely contradicts the Warcraft RTSs, and properly start Diablo III already. Y’know, the sequel you announced? The sequel to my all-time favourite game? The sequel that I pre-ordered ALMOST IMMEDIATELY? Smile with tongue out And for the love of God, play Diablo II for at least a couple hours a week so you actually know what you’re aiming for… cut down on the shiny cutscenes. Just make crazy-intense awesome gameplay with massive amounts of enemies on randomly generated maps, give us huge amounts of randomly generated loot and let us play as overpowered characters. Just do it. Smile with tongue out

UPDATE!!

Just uninstalled Starcraft II, and I’m quite shocked. When I installed it, it took FIFTEEN MINUTES to install. And I didn’t use the CD – I used an ISO, which is basically an image of a CD stored on your computer, so it should technically be FASTER than installing from a CD. Now, I’ve uninstalled it, and it took a split second. I know that removing data is faster than copying it… but FIFTEEN MINUTES to INSTALL? It’s only ~12GB, that should finish in around five minutes when copying from one location on the hard drive to another!

That tells me two things. Blizzard, A: Completely suck at making installers do what they’re supposed to do, and/or B: Actually program their installers to run slowly so you can see the shininess of them and so you can read the text they put there so their pointless hard work doesn’t go to waste. I genuinely don’t give a crap about what happened in Starcraft I, because 100% of Blizzard’s storylines suck cock. If I wanted to know, I could just find out by watching an intro/optional cutscene in-game that details what happened previously. But no, you decided to put that crap in the installer. Listen, installers INSTALL things – that’s their sole purpose. Similarly, games have GAMEplay, not GRAPHICS…play. Smile with tongue out

I only liked Blizzard for one reason – Diablo. The Warcraft RTSs were pretty rubbish, but Blizzard basically destroyed Warcraft with World of Warcraft. I bet most
of the people who play the MMO know nothing about Warcraft’s past.
Starcraft II had exactly the same system as ALL the Warcraft RTSs, but turned out even worse because Blizzard can’t balance shit anymore, and RTSs have never been super-exciting. Hell, even C&C was slow, but at least it was balanced and fun. I also bet that most people who play Starcraft now are people who also play World of Warcraft. Because, y’know, if you really like something, quite a lot of people will like anything else the same company makes?

Want another example? How about Halo? The original was great, that’s why I bought Halo 2. That was average, but I was intrigued as to how it would end, and I was confident it would get better, so I got Halo 3. That was diabolical, made no frickin’ sense, and had a pathetic ending. Played a little multiplayer, got bored. I’ll never buy another game made by Bungie. I tried Halo ODST, but it took me three minutes to determine it was just a crappy little spinoff game made for 50p so they could get extra funds for their next game. But how many people bought all of those games just because of the original? How many people convinced themselves that the sequels were the best shooters ever made, even though they were all terribly average? And how many people are gonna buy Halo Retch because of this?

I rest my case. I’m REALLY starting to dislike Blizzard, because they’re turning into one of the shit games companies that value graphics over gameplay. I’m not confident that they can make a proper sequel to Diablo II anymore.

We’ll see, huh? Or, maybe we won’t, because they usually take 9001 years just to finish a game. "Making sure it’s up to our extremely high quality standards", I bet they say. Yeah, right – I bet they screw around and create graphics half the time (most of which don’t appear in the game properly, just in the gigantic concept art section Smile with tongue out), and make the installer shiny the other half. Oh, and if they have time, they’ll add a bit of gameplay. Smile with tongue out

FAAACK!!

Don’t worry. I’m just yelling at the impossibility of what I’ve accomplished. Smile with tongue out

Lemme try and explain. And by that I mean: "Let me try and write down what just happened for reference." Smile with tongue out The shop screen is possibly my biggest menu-based nightmare, because if I don’t do it efficiently, it’s, A: gonna be near- impossible to update, B: near-impossible to understand, and C: gonna take forever. And even if I DO do it efficiently, there’s a massive chance for huge amounts of bugs.

So… I properly started it about 3 hours ago. That is, importing all the graphics, arranging them, and creating some events. The import was fine, and it looks great. Unfortunately… then came the events.

I didn’t know where to start, so I thought I’d get one of my biggest fears out of the way – the item browser. When you click on a weapon/utility slot, it should reset the item list, and bring up a new list filled with all the unlocked items of the type you chose. I got the menu item borders to appear no sweat, and I even made them slide down for effect. And then came… the text.

Making strings follow certain objects when meeting certain conditions has always been one of my biggest failings. And the reason? Strings are UNABLE to hold alterable values. Variables. "Hidden numbers". And they’re critical. When the list is created, every item border is assigned an ID which is stored in an alterable value, and that’s how the strings know which item border they "belong" to. Well… that’s how they WOULD know… if they could store alterable values themselves. But the string can’t store AV’s… so there’s no way of knowing which border it belongs to.

It’s pretty head-spinning. Smile with tongue out It would have been a piece of cake in C#… but this isn’t C#. Smile with tongue out I thought about how I’d do it… but not much was coming to mind. I tried a special object, the "Value Add" extension, which gives all objects unlimited alterable values… and that worked to a certain extent… but whenever the list size was above 2, it screwed up almost completely. The strings would all bunch together in the last item box… which is sort of wrong. Smile with tongue out

Then… just as I was about to give up… I noticed something in an expression for that Value Add extension. "Fixed value". I didn’t know what it was talking about… until I had a look at what data I could get from a string. A "Fixed value"!

"HOLY FUCK, FIXED VALUES?!" I said. "EVERY OBJECT HAS A FIXED VALUE?! Why have I never noticed this before?! This changes everything!"

I immediately knew what I had to do. I caused the fixed value for each newly created string to be stored in alterable values in each new item border object. Yes, a bit of a mouthful, but I can’t really explain it any better. Smile with tongue out That automatically created a link between the item border and its strings that I could use. Created a condition, "If ANY item border’s ‘PairedWithItemNameString’ is equal to the fixed value of ANY object ‘Item Name List Item String’, then change it’s position to be inside said item border." Worked perfectly. Open-mouthed smile

So… all in a day’s work. Smile with tongue out Now… tomorrow, I’ve gotta make it so you can SCROLL through this list. Confused smile