25 November 2006

Star Trek: Of Gods And Men

Forget those old men at Paramount who think that Star Trek fans are fools who will accept any rubbish from them. This is what I'm looking forward to. It's of such quality that it can put the first six movies to shame. And it's certainly more true to Trek what they had been serving us in the last few years.

Click on the banner to go to the official website.
Click on this link to view the full trailer.

Even if you are not a fan, I recommend you take a look a look at the trailer. This fan movie continues the story in the mirror universe of Trek, where the Federation is an evil Empire.

See:
"Mirror, Mirror" - the original story by "The Original Series"
"In A Mirror, Darkly" - a tribute to the original by the series "Enterprise"

-3 sessions, 13 days

13 November 2006

DotA noob

Purple, deny the creeps!
What's deny?
Oh, what a noob! Don't you know what deny is?
Nope.

From then on, they kept picking on my play and calling me a noob, even when I played pretty fine!

Here it is, the mysterious deny - for my DotA playing friends.

-2H3U

12 November 2006

Are games evil?

If you wish to read an unbiased "article". You should stop now.

Firstly, some fun facts:
1. Gaming is a larger industry than movies.
2. Despite the steady growth of games, the rate of violent crimes remained the same.
3. The Sims was the best selling game of all times.
4. WOW captured 50% of the MMORPG market.
5. Professional gamers earn more in a month than you do in a year.
a
Some double standards:
1. There's more sex in movies where in games it often just... blank out.
2. There's more violence in movies.
3. There's more blood.
4. There's more swearing.
5. Young kids DO watch movies.

Computer games have long being regarded as a kid's pastime and give perfect ammunition for politicians hoping to score points. "Protect our kids!", they say. Meanwhile, Oscars were dished out for more and more "realistic" movies.

Ah? So it's the addiction? If I don't have games, I have books. If I don't have books, I have the TV. If I don't have TV, I can daydream. Addiction can come in any forms. If you bulldoze all the LAN shops in the country, there would still be comic shops. If you take them away, there will be the movie theatres. The shopping centres. The arcade. Even hanging out at fast-food restaurants. Can you take them all away?

Kids simply want to have fun and it can take any form. At least they are not sniffing drugs.

-2H2U

Guidance?

"Joran (not my real name), Junhan listens to you. You must tell him to concentrate on his studies and not play so many games"
I started laughing.
"Remember ah! Must tell him!", my aunt charged me.

The scions of my father's father are not a studious lot. The male grandchildren share a passion for games. Me, ranking 3rd in the line of succession, loves it. At least I have my craving for reading material to split my time. My little cousins literally wallow in computer games.

I was discussing DotA with them when my aunt came over. "Remember ah! Must talk to him!". I started laughing again. Yes it's rude in a way but not if you know what I know. It was I who passed them their first Gameboy emulator. Irked them by beating them at Little Fighter 2. Passed them GunBound while getting their modem up. If Aunt knows, I would have an earful...

When I got home, my mother asked me, "Did wu(3) sheng(3) ask you to talk to Junhan? Must tell him to study hard". Ok, ok... It's a multi-pronged attack. I'll pick a time of my choosing. But how could I? Grandparents and elder cousins are meant to spoil the young ones...

wu(3) sheng(3) - [Chinese form of addressing]
1. wu(3) - five or fifth.
2. sheng(3) - Wife of father's brother - who is relatively younger than your father.
combined: Wife of my father's brother - who ranks fifth in seniority.


-2H2U

27 October 2006

DotA Allstars Endless Story

DotA Allstars Endless Story

For those who doesn't know what DotA is all about

24 October 2006

Winning and losing

I don't like losing but I can take it. I'll just plot for another day.
What annoyed me today was the incessant gloating. During the game, fine... standard taunting. After the game, fine. Acceptable to say, "Yes! I have beaten you!" Say it twice, thrice and a fourth time and it starts to get annoying.

I tried to be a good teacher, haven’t I? I beaten him twice and I didn't gloat about it. I won him because of superior crew and I pointed it out to him.

The night followed with some unhappy rounds of DotA.

If I win hands down, I cheat. If I lose, I get taunted to no end. I rather be a cheat and a bully then. Better yet, I’ll be a puppet. Call me if there’s a game. I won’t do the calling anymore.

-3H4U

22 October 2006

Gaming Saturday

[DotA]
I'm sick of playing on the Bnet, where players just drop when they are losing. No bb. No gg. Just drop and poof! Leave us in the lurch. Kind of like dropping the line when you dialed a wrong number. That's kind of the drawback of playing with a young crowd.

[Pirates]
Out of stock! =(

[Company of Heroes]
Hmm, nice. Today I brought the fight to the AI, normal strength. I kind of prefer being a tank commander now than microing my squads. Tanks are invincible and I like to back them up with a platoon. With mobility comes control and you don't have to play with troops like snipers and mortar teams. Just overrun their positions!

-3H2U

16 October 2006

A quick update

Sorry, between a busy schedule and Jumbo fighting for access of my laptop, it's hard to get an update in.

[Ankle]
Almost there... Muscles still abit weak but I can run now.

[DotA]
Got two new coruptees. Zach and Norman.

[Job]
Swamped...

[Pirates]
10 games so far, with La Resolucion becoming my favourite. I can't wait for my payday.

[RT]
Ouch...

-1H1U

07 October 2006

Dolphin Olympics Craziness

Dolphin Olympics Craziness.

wow...
I only scored a million points and I don't get past the moon...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEmo2nIcwkM

There's a video for 25 million points but this guy is "nicer"

-5H2U

03 October 2006

Turning tables, new construction and a 3 way fight

[for the events on 01 Oct]

After my near defeat at the hands of Admiral Zach(see last post), I tweaked my fleet to include La Resolucion. This time, Granada, hero of the previous night was sank while La Resolucion saved the day. This marks the first time I sank Admiral Gaga's ships rather than the other way round. It was also my sixth game.

Gaga was to meet his friend at Raffles City and we accidentally bought another 5 packs to complement our current 12 packs(Zach has 12 packs). Nothing impressive but I got a duplicated rare ship and a French captain. That unlocks a lot =)

I left Gaga and met Zach at Bedok. We settled at the void deck. Zach cried foul as I unveiled my fleet of Granada, La Resolucion and HMS Alexander. La Resolucion saved the day again!

We had a quick second game and Gaga joined us after 8pm. We ended at 10+ and went for supper.

-5H1U

01 October 2006

First Times

[backdated to 01 Oct, for the events on 30 Sep]

I taught Jialiang DotA in the morning.
We shopped for laptops in the afternoon.
I brought Zach to buy Pirates CCG.
I taught him to play Pirates.

-6H1U

23 September 2006

Departures and divisions

Yesterday was Debugger and NDrew's last day. Debugger is a nice, helpful guy who just like to disturb me. NDrew is nice too but he won't stop stealing my snacks. Once again, we lost 2 experienced colleagues that will be hard to replace.

I showed my little ships to my colleagues. The range of reactions was interesting.
"You're just like my son" -my shi mei who doesn't have kids and is one year older than me
"You're just like my brother. He's two years older than me and he's younger than you!"
"That's very interesting"
"So cute!"
"My son(me) wants to give this to me" -she's kind of my mentor
"You play this?"

I went off after work and met the others for Chloe's sending off dinner. When I arrived, they were finishing their soup. The place is run by a Hainanese group who cooks with a Russian influence. As usual, we traded news and gossips. I learnt that Biscuit is getting more unpleasant which suited me fine. For desserts, we picked off 3 on whim and they turned out to be their flaming specialty The ice cream cake was set on fire with burning brandy and the taste of it was strong and fragrant. The second was stir-fried cherries in orange liquor served with vanilla. The last was crepes in orange juice and brandy(I think so..). Who wants to go?

I shared a cab ride with Ding Dang and had a long chat with him. He had long been a pacifist and a peacemaker and it was until recently that I realised how in odds our thinking were. Can we really adopt a give and take attitude? What about guys like Biscuit, who take and take?

Finally, I brought out my fishing fleet against Gaga's fully assembled armada. The 30-points game was over quickly but it gave hint to what was to come. I chose speed while Gaga went for power. I went for assets while he worshipped talent. With our respective mistakes in mind, we tweaked the game parameters and had a 40-points game. I used my speed to good effect and so did Gaga with his firepower. When I got 2 ships in close proximity, I rammed his chase ship left and right and that gave my treasure ship a breathing chance. His tiny ship-destroyer La Furia, later crawled in and things got pretty hot. In another sector of the sea, my Fire Dijiin was unmolested throughout the game. She built a fort and carted off some treasure. While the rest of the world was fighting or sinking beneath the waters, she sailed into the home island unchallenged and pushed the gold tally to a win.

-7H3U

21 September 2006

New member to my fleet


By the way, a friend of mine suffered a fall and couldn't meet me for dinner. Speedy recovery...

-4H2U

19 September 2006

Ships ahoy!


Mwhaha.
Me and gaga bought a respectable amount of Pirates packs today. He got 3 rare ships and I got 2. Mine's more powerful though but I guess his can be annoying.

-5H2U

18 September 2006

The day when we had no cash in our pockets

As arranged, I went to Gaga's house for swim and games. I took a cab and Voila! Where's my wallet? Happily dozing at home, no doubt. This paved the way for an interesting day.
I called Gaga down to pay for my cab fair. After which, we have $9-10. "What? You don't have any cash at home?", I was incredulous. "My clients lor", he replied sourly.

We had lunch at a coffeshop and depleted most of his cash. As we had planned to watch a movie, I did a funds transfer so that we could pay for the tickets. Once done, we allocated an hour to play the Constructible Strategy Game I brought with me. After the game, we were so pleased with it that we checked out the official website. We were so engrossed that we ran into time trouble and had to take a cab. We would pay via Visa and for the tickets as well. Wait a minute, how much cash did you have before I transferred the money? Nothing? Oh great.
After the movie, we used his last $10 in his bank account to top up his EZ-link card. We then used it to purchase our dinner at McDonalds.
As I do not have my EZ-link card with me, we walked up to Leisure Craft and back to Raffles City on foot. There we found that they sell 3 series of the Pirates card that will become our new vice. We promised ourselves to be back after payday and journeyed home. Him on his EZ-link card. Me on $1.80 in coins.

-4H1U

14 September 2006

May history never forget the name Enterprise

-Yesterday's Enterprise, TNG

After learning that they planned to release a re-mastered version of The Original Series, I was holding my breath. Luckily, my fears were unfounded.
Whoopie! I'm glad I'm a fan =)
http://trekweb.com/articles/2006/09/11/Watch-Full-Trailer-for-Remastered-Star.shtml

-3H1U

10 September 2006

Painball fun!

[startrek.sg 1]
edit: added costs
edit (2010): corrected previous edit; added pictures source / credit

4 teams of 4 each.

Round 1: Balloon shoot
================
Team 4's Joran went for the right flank. Encountered 2 enemy soldiers. Enemy 1 fired first, shot went high. Joran took aim, enemy 1 ducked. Enemy 2 fired, shot went high. Joran took aim, felt a shot ricochet off his skull. *First blood!* Joran sulked his way back to base, high five-d Wai Kit who ran out, skidded. Joran tapped the base and ran out. Enemy 3 appeared, it's Darkman! Joran flanked his right side but was spotted. Darkman stumbled while turning to his right. Joran strafed to his right, the shot meant for him missed. Wai Kit fired at Darkman. Darkman turned to his front. Joran popped up on his right flank again. Darkman stumbled again. Wai Kit fired. Joran fired. Darkman fired. No one got shot. Buzzer went off. Velvic shot out their balloon at their home base. Victory for Team Joran!

Round 2: Capture the flag
==================
Joran and Wai Kit went left. Jose and Velvic went right. Joran encountered enemy 1 and 2 in the hedge maze, took pot shots at each other through the flowers. "Capture the flag", scolded the co-ordinator. Joran saw a flag, went under the wooden tower, grabbed and ran. "Go, go!", shouted enemy 2, who thought that I was enemy 1. Joran ran to the fortress and waved the flag. He took aim from the high vantage and awaited a test of sharp shooting.
Result: Team 3 won as there were 3 flags in the maze. Darn it!
Long story short: Everyone had fun while Joran had no kills to mark on his weapon.

Round 3: Elimination
===============
Rule: No resurrection; you die when you run out of rounds; you die if you run out of gas.
Joran and Velvic went left, Joran trailing. Enemy 1 and 2 (again...) appeared, fired at Velvic. Joran took cover and dashed to join Velvic. Piak! Shot on the collarbone. Life's not fair -.-

1st: Team 2
2nd: Team 3
3rd: Team 4 (us)
4th: Team 1

Q. So how painful is painball?
A. Well, my skull is fine, no bruises. I have a smart red bruise the size of a 5 cents coin on my collarbone. It didn't feel very painful for both shots. The distance was 3-4m for the first and 5m for the second.

costs: $50
rounds: 250
costs: $40
rounds:40

pictures from: http://startrek.com.sg/news2006/06-09-10.html

-2H1U

Going off to...

[startrek.sg 1]
Paintball!
Updates in the evening.

By the way, our wireless router has been upgraded. Lag should drop significantly as the transmit rate is 54mbps. That won't mean much as the bottleneck is still at the cable modem but at least my connection won't go up and down whenever it likes.

-2H0U

07 September 2006

The complexities of Alpha Centauri

This old game proved to be fun, much more than Galactic Civilisation 2.

[Mindworms]
Indigenous lifeforms that lives in the xenofungus. They don't play by the normal rules of strong weapons vs. strong armour. They feed on your fear before boring holes into your body. Whoever has the stronger mind wins.
I had scoffed at them as inferior when I played this game years back. Mindworms cannot be upgraded with advanced weaponary and abilities. Advances in Psi defences also protect you against them so there is little to be feared. What I found was that if you mass cultivate them and swarm the enemy, it is unstoppable. They strike past walls like they weren't there. They move fast. They heal fast. Technological benefits to your Psi abilities assist your worms as well. They are a true terror.

[AI]
Impressive for a game so old. When I was discovering the joy of breeding demonic boils of mindworms, my opponent took to a Scorched Earth policy and began destroying farms. Later, he retaliated by launching Fusion Planet Busters at my largest cities. Two of them became craters as my space defence was inadequate.

[Physics]
Mountains trap moisture on the windward side and dry the lee side. Terrain can be raised or lowered. Sea levels can be manipulated to drown cities or strand sea colonies on dry land. Forests bloom and xenofungus spreads. Erosion forces constantly shape the coasts. All this gives it a living planet feel. Unfortunately, I was too busy managing my worms to notice these.

[Learning Curve]
Steep. As with all Civilisation games. AI opponents tend to push you around. Refusing to help Miriam take out Santiago will earn you her wrath. Further refusing to help Santiago will land you at war with both factions. "No fair!", I had cried.

[Balance]
As mentioned, no matter what government, environmental, economical or political stance you choose, someone will be unhappy with you. The game will never be boring.

[Conclusion]
I think I'll buy the original version next time I stop by Heartland Mall.

-2H0U

30 August 2006

DotA 6.36


Had a nice game today. I had 10 kills and I thought I could commit the ultimate insult by running into Morgaga's base and steal something. Ah well... 10 Kills to 1 Death.

DotA had a new map version 6.36. For days, players have been whining about the late release of map 6.36 with AI bots coded inside. They whine, they demand, they curse. If only I could post, I would scold them upside down.

-5H2U

29 August 2006

Tired of my $69.90 game

Ok, I finally got tired of Galactic Civilisation 2.
Maybe I'll reinstall Alpha Centauri.

This is the unofficial sequel to Civilisation 2, by his new company Fraxis. The planet is overgrown with a red alien fungus which hides hostile mindworms. You can choose to clear them away or unlock their secrets. I also like how every political, economical or social choice you make will definitely make someone unhappy. It was a perfectly balanced game in my opinion. If only Sid would come out with Alpha Centauri 2...

-2H1U

02 August 2006

Level up...

[DotA]
Via Spigel has progressed beyond a noobie...

-1H0U

26 July 2006

Light will triumph over Darkness

[DotA: The beginning]
It was a simple practice session that snowballed into a massive match up. Our mutant, Hulk got the itchy fingers and decided to humble us mortals.

The match-up. Me, Joran, the sneaky player in training picked Kardel Sharpeye - the dwarven sniper that can kill people from afar. Woo, the retired pro, picked Aggron Stonebreaker - the Ogre Mage. Let's just say his character set things on fire. Via Spiel, our newbie in training picked Ryai - the Crystal Maiden, who specialise in freezing attacks.

Hulk chose my favourite hero killer - the dreaded Demon witch, whose stun and hex attacks are perfect setups for a team kill. On top of that, the Demon witch has a finger of death which does what its name suggests. An early game powerhouse. Fant chose Lucifer - the Doom bringer. His character is strong in melee attacks and comes with a good finishing move.

[1/6]
We led for the first 15 minutes, gaining levels more rapidly then they did. My longer ranged attacks forced Fant to return to base for healing many times.
Somehow, Hulk got a kill and things went downhill. Our characters were killed in turn and our shopping plans dashed.

[2/6]
Things got badder. I formed Snaga and Yasha - an attack enhancer and together we took down a tower on the left lane. And got killed by the evil Duo.

[3/6]
We probably all died like 7 times each. Strangely, they seemed to be killing our characters in sequence. Frustrated at what appeared to be a losing game, we banded together and charged along the middle lane. After several tries, we broke in, killing Hulk. We got killed afterwards. I started saving up.

[4/6]
Hulk and Fant went out in revenge, killing our characters whenever we tried to take the middle lane. We took the left path while they were busy defending the middle lane. We reached the final tower on the left path and were killed when they ambushed us front and back. I saved up enough for Monkey king bar - an item that can disrupt enemy spells.

[5/6]
We alternate between the left and right lanes. Occasionally we got killed but we made progress. Eventually, we tied down a pattern. Woo would supply the muscle; Via Spiel would freeze them when they charge; and I, who would be hiding in a corner would fire shots that stun them. We began to turn the tables.

[6/6]
We broke into their base in 2 places. Victory!

[Last words, uttered by Joran]
1. Morgaga is reaching home...
2. Via Spiel, these are runes...
3. Via Spiel, run!
4. Hulk is here...
5. They respawned... Woo, out!

-3H0U

23 July 2006

Star Trek XI will feature young Kirk and Spock

They lied.
"No... what you heard on Viacom are rumours", they said.

This will be the first Trek movie I'll boycott =(

More reading:
TrekWeb.com

-3H2U

12 July 2006

DotA with a new character: Anti-Mage

"No Lion!" , thus decreed our student in training. So I trained a new character for our match yesterday (11 July 2006) .

The day came and we met at Bugis for dinner. We threw up some challenges. If Cheryl could kill my character twice in a single game, I would buy her a complete set of Warcraft III.

Long story short. I won the game vs the combined forces of Morgaga and Cheryl. Cheryl won herself her copy of Warcraft III.

Tally:
[Forces of good]
Cheryl, kills 2
Morgaga, kills 0

[Forces of evil]
Joran, kills ??, somewhere above 36

-2H1U

09 July 2006

Morgaga vs Joran

Morgaga the Ghost (Won)
Kills: 1

Joran the Chaser (Lost)
Kills: 4

No fair...

-2H2U

06 July 2006

End of Utopia

[An online game I was playing]

1. a. often Utopia An ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects.
b. A work of fiction describing a utopia.
2. An impractical, idealistic scheme for social and political reform.

Utopia is the online text based game I play. After nurturing my kingdom for more than 2 months, I'm calling a break to it.

We were attacked by a stronger kingdom and we retaliated of course.
After a few days, our monarch asked us to stop physical attacks and proceed with undercover ops, so not to escalate our kingdom relationship, which would give them the door to declaring open war. We complied.

Few days later, he asked us to stop everything as he was the focus of their attacks. "Stop everything. Our response, nothing".
I was still being attacked and wanted to retaliate but he repeated his order, "Nothing!". I tried for another clarification but he gave no reply.

I can't swallow that. Bullies ought to be shown that we can bite as well, but I can't go against his dictates. Hence, I set my estates into Vacation mode - A silent protest.

A quote I read from the papers, "People behave as badly as you allow them to. People have to take a stand and tell them so."

-3H2U

03 June 2006

DotA game and yesterday

I've installed WarCraft 3 - The Frozen Throne.
Roadster, AhFant, up to a game?

I set a record of taking 4 taxi rides yesterday.
Boy, this is expensive...

-2H0U

29 May 2006

DotA, the newest addiction

It's all Bryan's fault...

If not for him, we wouldn't be watching X-men 3 on Friday. We wouldn't have walked into a LAN shop and like a pair of mountain tortoises, asked if they had DotA.

Make no mistake, Bryan was nowhere near us, but it was his fault...

Before we knew it, we lost two and a half hours of our lives, in a deceptively simple looking game.

DotA is a Warcraft 3 map that allows you to control ONE single hero. You join any one of the two factions - Night Elves or The Scourge. Both camps automatically spawn minions that rush along the 3 red lines on the map you see, towards their mutual annihilation. Since both sides produce at the same rate, the fight is an endless tug of war unless YOU - the player, makes a difference.

The Forces of Light have 38 heroes while the Forces of Darkness have 39 heroes to choose from, each having a unique set of 4 powers. Combined with a selection of 6 out of 128 items, it makes for a mind boggling set of possibilities.

Links:
DotA-Allstars, the official site
DotA Database, source of the map. I can't read the language though...

-2H3U

Dota...

Dota...

-4H1U

Last minute

Stupid Kelly. Disappeared for 5 whole years and the first thing he asked was to help his cousin do Java.
"When he wants it?"
"She needs to hand it in tomorrow"
"Tomorrow??!!! I want a finger of yours as payment", I replied grumpily.
I downloaded the code given by the lecturer inside and guess what? It's empty!
"I want two fingers!!"
"Ha ha, I need my fingers to play games"
So he's going to buy me dinner on Saturday. I'm not going let him pay of course but I have my right to grumble and demand fingers :p

Gaga called me out for a game of Pirates. We chose a chess table and set up our game. To counter his fondness for La Furie and large ships, I chose HMS Alexander for her speed and La Resolucion for her power. I filled out HMS Alexander with a captain, a musketeer and an oarsman. For La Resolucion, I gave her a captain. Gaga chose 2 large ships and a small one. Seeing that he has several crewmen, I knew that he must have picked his special crew that allows him to have 4 more point values.
The "local seas" was in the shape of macaroni. Our home bases were at the far ends. 3 wild islands were scattered in between. The island furthest away from us held the most gold. Due to the tight constraints of space, forts were not allowed to be played.
The horn goes off. HMS Alexander sped for the nearest island while La Resolucion sailed gracefully towards the richest one. My plan was a gold grab. It was fortunate that Admiral Gaga picked slow ships. I ended my turn.
To no surprise, Gaga revealed a crew that gave him 4pts. He then revealed a helmsman that gave his flagship greater speed. This won't be a cake walk after all.
HMS Alexander made landfall first but so did Admiral Gaga. He stole the gold under my nose with an explorer, which allowed him to cart off all the treasure. I signalled HMS Alexander to set course for the island furthest away while my flagship went for the island with the largest yield.
Contact! My English captain sailed up to a small enemy ship and revealed the musketeer and himself. Cannons were fired and the opponent was left derelict. While distracted, she was rammed on the port side by an enemy battleship. She was boarded but the attackers were repelled quickly. In the fight, her oarsman was lost. HMS Alexander then fled for land and docked. Meanwhile, my flagship also made landfall.
Pursuit was hot on both my ships. As La Resolucion delivered her booty safely onto the home island, the remaining two enemy battleships bored into HMS Alexander's position. She hopped into safety at the next island but alas, her captain was lost. The two battleships tried to blockade the island but she broke out while Admiral Gaga was on the wrong side of the island. She fled for the home island and was safely escorted into port by myself.
Admiral Gaga called for a return to port and the tattered remains of the combined English and Spanish fleet gave chase. HMS Alexander went ahead in a daring attempt to sneak a broadside attack. Without her captain, her crew were too slow and she was sunk by the enemy flagship. La Resolucion caught up and gave a valiant battle but in the end, the two ships turned on her and all hands were lost.
The gold was tallied and victory went to Spain and England.

Ref:
La Resolucion (SS-009, Spanish, Spanish Main, 12pts, Uncommon)
HMS Alexander (040, English, Crimson Coast, 8pts, Common)


-2H0U

27 May 2006

Fiasco: Stardock vs StarForce

Read something disgusting...

[Excerpt from CGW, June issue, page 89]
...Stardock's attitude towards its customers and the availability of updates provides a bizarre side note to the game's release. Galactic Civilizations II, like its predecessor, ships without copy protection. If you want to install it on your home machine and laptop, go ahead. If you want to take that laptop on the road and leave the CD at home, feel free. The game comes with a serial number, but it's totally optional and only used to register the game for updates. So far, so good. And the game's sales success suggested it wasn't being hurt by ease of piracy.
That directly contradicts the business model of companies like StarForce, which operate on the premise that copy protection helps sales by reducing piracy. Still, that doesn't explain why a moderator on the official StarForce forums responded to a thread about the protection-free sales success of Galactic Civilizations II with a link to a website that made the game available illegally. It seemed spiteful and petty, effectively illustrating the polarized attitudes in the digital-rights debate. Fortunately, the forum link disappeared after a query from Stardock and a similar e-mail to the offending download site resulted in the game's removal within hours...
/Bruce Geryk
[/excerpt]
p.s. The article was corrected for grammar mistakes but I left it in American English, as noted by the 'z' in words like Civilizations.

Perhaps this was an unilateral action by her moderator but StarForce showed herself as a pretty nasty company. When some technical sites claimed that her copy protection software was the cause of system slowdowns and crashes, StarForce threatened them, forcing them to back down. The gaming community knew better and got wary of buying games that utilised StarForce.
On a joyous note, Ubisoft announced that it will no longer use StarForce.

Links:
Ubisoft officially dumps StarForce, by Gamespot
Boycott StarForce, by glop.org

Friends, please check if you have StarForce installed and remove it. That means you too, Morgaga. It came to you via "Freedom Force: The 3rd Reich"
Link:
Games that use StarForce, by Similarities.org

Meaning I'm infected too...

-1H1U

21 May 2006

12 May 2006

MarioKart DS Ti kum

Nitendo DS is the new Nitendo handheld. They have MarioKart as well and this is their ti kum.
I have Mario, Princess and Bowser. Now waiting for Luigi...


-3H3U

29 April 2006

captivating story & toys galore

[startrek.sg 1]
Accidentally sat through 3 hours of a hongkong serial today...
Betrayals and ties of blood; A much better theme than rivaries and revenge, don't you think?

Had a busy day once I tore myself away from the tv. Went out with some guys to toy shops around the city and had teochew porridge as lunch =)

-3H1U

24 April 2006

Moving up

I finally performed the role I'm supposed to be paid for and for 2 hours, I wasn't an overpaid programmer ;)
Still... I'm pretty daunted at what I have to do.

Mario Kart Arcade GP
gave me a special rank of Nocturnal Racer today. No prize for guessing what that means.

-3H1U

23 April 2006

For the love of gaming

Joran is a hopeless addict, that much is known. I can blame it on genes; Cousins on both sides drown in computer games and only a single scholar among them - a cute young lady troubled by pimples and suitors ;) The boys share a dream to earn money in the gaming industry (not to be confused for gambling). I can't find enough heart to blow up their dreams so I share my creative juices with them.

From the moment I coded my first game in 1990 with the venerable BASIC language, I have desired to write games for free. I would put it under freeware and let it circulate the world via Bulletin Board Systems. People would wonder at the secret identity of the writer who goes by Midgard.
In the 90s, Midgard was my gaming persona while Joran was my nick in the BBS world.

Years later, I have restored the Magic Candle; sent Irenicus to hell; saved Earth in Operation Moongate but am no closer to making my first public release game. My programming skills are not up to scratch and I simply enjoy playing them more then making them. If I ever do one by solo effort, I would still launch it for free.
This posting was provoked by reading a letter in this month’s issue of CGW.

-2H0U

MarioKart Arcade GP

I finally found it guys. FAQ here.

An hour of searching and only this 1 link. Google have its faults too...








-2H0U

got to stop...

Gunmaster 2

Got to stop playing this...

-1H1U

22 April 2006

*gasp*

Gunmaster 2













-3H2U

16 April 2006

"Captain! We are all going to die!"

[startrek.sg 1]
[what your crewman would shout before your watery death in the game SeaWolf]
edit-2013: Added interview photo

I popped by the local StarTrek fan club, thinking that I'll be watching a recording of an interview of trek fans. I didn't know that today is the day which they were going to do it.

I'm so dead. Please don't buy any papers for the next few days.

-2H1U

related:
http://joranatplay.blogspot.com/2006/05/tnp-big-walk-2006.html
http://startrek.com.sg/news2006/06-04-15.html
http://startrek.com.sg/news2006/06-04-18.html



~

12 April 2006

Sportsmanship

As many know, I play Earth: 2025 (click on the link for a Wikipedia write-up) on a daily basis. It is simply a management game where you forge alliances and attack each other. Or you can be totally pacifist and play the market. Only a week ago, I made a large paper profit, if you could recall.
However, when stakes are high and the end of the competition is in sight, the server tends to go down for hours at a time. It is my pet theory that some players are in the habit of launching DOS (Denial of Service) attacks on the game servers. Such an attack cost me 150 million in lost sales yesterday.
Another notch in a day gone bad.

-1H4U

02 April 2006

All Good Things

Title of the last episode in Star Trek: The Next Generation

I woke up at 8am (1 Apr), to my annoyance. I have racked up a huge sleep debt and my muscles were aching. Read the papers and started my games.

In my game of Earth, I had a paper gain of 30~50 million as the price of oil went up to $97 / barrel. I think I'll hold on to it for a while as I'm currently having too much cash on hand.
In Guild Wars, I formed a party with some strangers and they got killed off except me. I was the one who resurrected them all and gained a level in the process *happy*.
In Gunbound, I had a string of luck as my team was undefeated in a series of very close games. I even had the chance to play Ice - a cute mammoth.
I wanted to play more, but I had to stop.

I was to meet my secondary school classmates at Moon River, a cafe beside Capitol. When I arrived at 8.06pm, I was surprised to see only Jamie there. After Shanheng and Doreen arrived, we decided to change the location to Chijmes. We messaged the others and made our way there. Joanne called me and was worried that she cannot gain entrance as her current state of dress was "very casual". I told her it doesn't matter.
At Doreen's recommendation, we picked Bobby's, which was famous for its ribs. At about 9pm, Qingqing and Shihan arrived. Most of us ordered the Ribeye steak. Price at $26.50, I thought it tasted better than the other ribeye steaks I had. My complaint was that their degree of cooking was inconsistent. We talked, Joanne arrived (dressed better than any of us in her casual state) and Clayton informed us via a text message that he would skip dinner and join us for drinks.
We drove to Wine Network, hidden in an unlit area that sells furniture and drinks. Clayton completed his flying lessons by telling us in a message that he will meet us another day (He was the instigator of this gathering). The white we wanted was not available so we settled for another. They cheese platter was ordered despite my dissuasion.
When it came, they didn't like it and guess who cleared most of it? The white we had was Saxonburg Chardonnay 2004 and I think I became a convert that night. I hated white previously as they were sour and bitter to my taste. This was sweet(fruity) and not dry. We ended it at 1am with promises to meet the following week.

-1 Apr

29 March 2006

Wow

I met with a lady today and was amazed at how much she has changed.
Check her out here Tomb Raider: Legend


-eof

28 March 2006

Tributes


Here's a feature article on Baldur's Gate: Shadows Of Amm,
one of my favourite CRPGs
You've Stolen My Soul!








This is my favourite space RPG.
Star Control 2











And lastly..
Myth: The Fallen Lords










-eof

11 March 2006

Reviews

Trans-America (4/5 stars)
My day at work as at 10 Mar (0/5 stars)
My stiffed neck colleague from dunno what company (-1/5 stars)
My lunch (5/5 stars)
My first try at House of the Dead 4 (1/5 stars)
How I cleared my work today (4/5 stars)
-- I'm humble :p
Atmosphere at the new Crystal Jade Korean resturant at centerpoint (3.5/5 stars)
Bday gal's dress (4/5 stars)

-eof

01 March 2006

Games and sweat

As my brother was slow in supplying me the password to GuildWars, I indulged in an old vice - "Battle Of Middle Earth" with the new play balance patch 1.03
Once again, I'm trampling orcs and Uruk-Hais under the hoofs of my cavalry.
Once I climbed to rank #200 within the community, it also cost me something of value too. Oh well..
This new patch will remove alot of cheats and exploits as well as the lamest playing style of all. Yippee!

I'm getting some exercise.. Not enough still. Looking for more jogging partners ;)

27 February 2006

A new darkness is approaching

My brother bought Guild Wars.
I foresee dark times approaching..

Ki ka boom

Kelvin and I were playing a game called Earth and helping an ally whom we do not know in person. We more or less pounded his foe into a weak state. Then I got invaded. Were my defenses so weak? Surprise! Our ally has sold his defenses, leaving a shell of a pact with me. Felt betrayed..

18 February 2006

No games for the wicked

This morning, I went out with XKA to have a morning run. Nice =)

I got back at about 2pm and tried to logon to Earth - failed.
When I woke up from my nap, I tried to play MapleStory, but someone stole a kill from me. I dropped his fame and quickly logged off.
Finally, I tried to play Rome: Total War. I had previously un-installed it due to instability. Now my OS thinks that it's installed. I cleaned/repaired the registry to no effect. Windows sucks =
Watching a Taiwan program on ch 8 now. They were eating off seafood at shallow waters among some islands. The aboriginal claimed that after having their innards eaten (by them), you can cut it into two and the sea cucumber can regenerate into 2 seperate beings in a matter of days. Weird huh?

16 January 2006

1, 2 & 3

1.
Wanted to clear my half day off-in-lieu and go back ex office one. There's 3 pple who were about to leave. Oh well.
p.s. The one across the street unfriendly one..
2.
[quote="Computer Gaming Word, January 2006]
This is the portion where they post "The good, the bad and the ugly"
Blizzard is openly using spyware called The Warden to catch in-game cheaters. While most World of WarCraft mavens knew The Warden was making the rounds, one player discovered exactly what's watched, which includes e-mails, website visits and downloads. Web denizens already have a workaround: Sony's rookit DRM (aka the lame copy protection on music CDs)
[/quote]
This is not Blizzard's first attempt at invasion of privacy. Gamers should remember that they were logging IP address and PC information on their StarCraft Battlenet servers many years back. When confronted, they claimed that they were tracing stability, piracy issues and would stop immediately.
Golden boy of the PC gaming world that Blizzard may be, it seems to me that it is becoming the next Evil Empire. We in this country of 3 seasons may not value our privacy but those gamers in the west obviously do. Already, there's too much of our data being sold around, probably at a price that less than a piece of paper. It may be nice to change my mobile's number and screw up all their little databases..
Nah..
3.
kapo-ed a link from Kelvin's blog on Microsoft's bo-chap attitude in this article.