Games for Windows Live is an abomination

Having bought a couple of games that utilize GFWL I must say that I don’t like the system very much. It seems a bit too invasive on your PC, and also prevents easy backup of save games. And most important… it did not provide me with any benefits.

The two games I own that integrate GFWL, Red Faction: Guerrilla and GTA IV have been played through, then forgotten. And every time I wanted to install them again I was reminded of GFWL and decided not to play them anyway.

Yesterday I decided anyway to give Red Faction: Guerrilla a try again. I started out with an open mind, and thought: “Well… perhaps everything works a lot better now … at least a year has passed.” This is my experience:
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Nexuiz

Nexuiz is an open source game and therefore completely free. It’s been under constant development since 2001 and has also recently been forked into a new project Xonotic due to some controversy on Nexuiz being licenced and ported as a console game.

Nexuiz is one of my favorite free games so I decided to make sort of a review of it here. The review is supposed to be part one in a list of free games that are actually worth playing.

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Life is too short for old hardware

During some cleanup I found a bunch of old pc’s at my parents house. One of them was in the original casing from my first pc back from 1995. A nice Baby-AT case. It looks cute compared to todays bulky ATX cases.

I also found some old games: Phantasmagoria, Civilization 2, MDK 2, Populous 3 and Die by the Sword.

Unlike very old games for DOS, I haven’t been revisiting any of these games lately. DOS games are easy to run in DOSBOX and usually work great, but the games above are from that strange area during the late 90ies where everything related to computers skyrocketed. These games have great accelerated graphics using some of the first 3D graphics cards available. They have loads of data on CD-rom. They have great sound. But all this comes at a price: Hardware support.
DOSBOX, compatability mode etc. just doesn’t help if the game needs a Voodoo 2 card to run.

The plan was set. I was going to build these old PC’s into one big bad king of late 90’es games. Including windows 98 and everything!
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Playable game

Yesterday was sunday and I had no plans what so ever. Finally some time to do some coding 🙂

The little java game is actually playable now. Its possible to complete levels, and the game now has four tutorial levels.

I’ve compiled a runnable JAR file for download here. If you have the JAVA 1.6 runtime installed you just need to double click it to run it.

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More 2D Java gaming

Seven hours of further work on the game and its starting to look like a game. Some proper graphics have been added and I’ve started to code the game logic. I want pixel perfect collision detection, but since hardware assisted features like these have gone to hell during the last 15 years I have to code it myself. On the picture theres an extra window open for debugging purposes. This window shows what the collision detection algorithm sees. I was worried that this was going to be slow so I optimized it quite a bit. I still ended up with a system that does 65536 comparisons every frame…. but since cpu power has gone WAY up during the last 15 years this didn’t even bother the system at all. In fact I can hardly even measure if the collision detection is on or off.

Creating a Java 2D Game just for fun

To refresh my Java skills I started making a little game. I’ve always liked the good old Thrust and back in 1994 I wrote a similar game for the Amiga. Back then it took me 3 weeks of hardcore assembler coding. The Amiga had hardware support for two layers of graphics and 8 sprites(Smaller graphics objects). This included hardware collision detection between all those elements. This made it fairly easy to write a game with a ship (one layer) and stuff that it shouldn’t hit (The second layer consisting of a tile based world.) and a bunch of missiles(Sprites) that the player could shoot with.

The result was a nice little game where the player controls the rotating spaceship through a maze of rocks, shooting stuff, and carefully maneuvering towards the exit. It had multiple levels, sound, and high score table.

Now 15 years later I wanted to recreate the game on the PC… of course bigger and better.

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Left 4 Dead Screen Shots

I looked through my Left 4 Dead game folder today. I was looking for screenshots with my friends in them. Actually there weren’t too many this time… I guess this game is just too hectic to leave you time to do anything else but shoot, shoot, shoot!

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Anarchy Online

During the years 2005-2007 played a lot of Anarchy Online. One day I looked through my screenshot folder. It was like looking at old photos remembering the good old days 😀
Here is a selection of the best pictures through the time.