September 30, 2007

BUG: CSI: Hard Evidence installer missing DLL files

If you are getting an error about missing DLL's (like msvcr71.dll or msvcp71.dll) when you try to run "CSI: Hard Evidence," go to where we have the DLL's available for download.

Updated on May 18, 2008 to fix link into the new

September 26, 2007

Serious Games

It's time for me to start brushing back up on my game development skills.

Starting in November, I'm going to be working on games again. Not full-time, and not first-person shooters, but I will be working on some "serious games" here at work.

It's kind of an interesting experiment. I'm still learning the meetings industry, so creating games to teach how to be a better meeting facilitator or how to handle large expo events more cost-effectively will be an interesting challenge.

The fun part is going to be trying to find out what choices people have to make to handle these sorts of situations and extract out the "interesting" part of it. I've done some serious games in the past under contract from Utah State University, but the design was completely done for those before I got them, so all I got to do was the implementation work. For these, I'll be handling all design and most of the coding, so it will be an excellent stepping stone back towards what I feel is "normal."

September 23, 2007

"Resident Evil: Extinction" in 60 Seconds [Spoilers]

Be warned, this post has spoilers if you want to watch the movie...

(Alice wakes up in a shower)

AUDIENCE: We saw this in the first movie.

(Alice turns the corner and walks into the laser hall where half the cast of the first movie died.)

AUDIENCE: Oooh, this is different.

(Through a variety of acrobatics, Alice jumps up into the vent, shimmies down a ventilation shaft, and eventually gets killed by an obscure trap that pops up out of the floor.)

BAD GUY: Meh, toss her corpse.

(Opening credits.)

(Claire Renfield and company from the second movie travel through the desert.)

CLAIRE: Hey, look, a hotel. Go check it out, guys.

(Mike Epps goes and gets bitten by a zombie.)

MIKE: Ouch, that hurt. Okay, it's clear.

(After a night of casual sex, everyone wakes up to alarms being set off by Edgar Allan Poe's worst nightmare...Ravens times two to the power of ∞ - 1.)

EVERYONE: Oh, shit, a Hitchcock homage.

(Birds freak out, kill one-third of the cast. Alice shows up and causes a giant fireball in the sky.)

CLAIRE: What the fuck?
ALICE: Evidently, I'm telekinetic now.
CLAIRE: Hmm...I'm going to go be moody now.

(Meanwhile in a different Umbrella hive.)

RED QUEEN #2: Hey, bad guy, I can detect psychic people now.
BAD GUY: Cool. Let me go borrow these extras from "28 Weeks Later" and send them to go kill Alice.

(Some plot stuff happens.)

CLAIRE: Okay, we have a choice. We can live, or we can go on a roadtrip to Vegas.
EVERYONE: Woohoo! Roadtrip! Take it off!

(Everyone arrives in Vegas. Zombies pop out of a freight container, all wearing the exact same outfit.)

PAUL W.S. ANDERSON: See, we wanted to replicate the experience of playing a video game with limited texture memory here, so...
AUDIENCE: Shh...we want to see Alice kick ass!

(Alice kicks ass.)

BAD GUY: She's kicking too much ass. Hit the PAUSE button.

(Henchman picks up his DUALSHOCK(tm) 2 controller and hits PAUSE. Alice stands still. Another third of the cast dies.)

HENCHMAN: Oh, shit, she's going Psycho Mantis on our ass!

(Alice unpauses herself and kills all of the bad guy's henchmen.)

BAD GUY: Run away!

(Bad guy gets bitten by one of his borrowed extras from "28 Weeks Later" and gets flown off to the Vegas hive.)

ALICE: Okay, now that enough people are dead, let's go get a helicopter to fly everyone else away.

(Alice goes and gets a helicopter for everyone else, then goes down into the Vegas hive.)

ALICE: Funny, it looks like I'm playing "Doom 3" on the Xbox...guess I don't need to worry about vertical aiming.
RED QUEEN #2: Not so fast, Alice.
ALICE: Hey, holobitch, whazzup?
RED QUEEN #2: Dr. Isaac...
RED QUEEN #2: I think you call him "bad guy."
ALICE: Ah, okay. Go on.
RED QUEEN #2: "Bad guy" has turned into a bad extra from Japanese tentacle porn.
ALICE: Great...maybe now we can earn this "R."

(Very anticlimactic battle occurs.)

ALICE: Cool. Now let's show hundreds of clones of me so we can set up for "Resident Evil 4."

(End credits.)

September 22, 2007

Bug: CRC error on CD will cause Explorer to crash in Vista

If you are using Windows Vista and you are working with an older CD that due to the passage of time has CRC errors on some files, expect Explorer to crash a few times while using it. Basically, the thumbnailer seems to crash if it can't read a file because the file is actually unreadable, but is able to handle security issues and corrupt files just fine.

As a workaround, browse your CD in Details View, or XCOPY the CD to your local machine with the /C switch so that you can figure out which file has gone bad.

September 18, 2007

GarageGames Purchased

A majority stake in GarageGames has been purchased by IAC, Inc.

At least for now, there is no news as to if this will affect public availability or pricing of the Torque engines or toolsets.

September 17, 2007

120 Down...

1,880 to go... in the News

GameSanity picked up on over the weekend. The site seems to be holding up so far, which is a good thing since the site also hit the 100-game milestone over the weekend.

I've not forgotten about this blog. I've got a big rant brewing about QA and objectivisim, as well as another fairly hefty rant involving why my current exile may be the best thing possible for my career in QA.

Stay tuned.

September 13, 2007

C# 2.0: ? Operator and Anonymous Methods

Nothing too big with this one. If you are using the ? operator, the return types can't be anonymous methods.

This code will fail to compile with the message "Type of conditional expression cannot be determined because there is no implicit conversion between 'anonymous method' and 'anonymous method'":
results.Sort(GridViewSortDirection == "ASC" ?
delegate(MyClass p1, MyClass p2) { return p1.CompareMe.CompareTo(p2.CompareMe); } :
delegate(MyClass p1, MyClass p2) { return p2.CompareMe.CompareTo(p1.CompareMe); });

To get around it, break it out into a standard "if":
if (GridViewSortDirection == "ASC")
results.Sort(delegate(MyClass p1, MyClass p2) { return p1.CompareMe.CompareTo(p2.CompareMe); });
results.Sort(delegate(MyClass p1, MyClass p2) { return p2.CompareMe.CompareTo(p1.CompareMe); });

September 10, 2007

Still Recovering

I'm slowly returning to the realm of normality.

I went back to work on Thursday, but I just couldn't make it on Friday. I nearly passed out halfway to the train station, so I went home and went back to sleep.

I managed to kick back over the weekend for the most part and did a lot of low-impact "make busy" tasks like adding two dozen games to Almost eighty games listed now, could be higher this week.

I'm at work now, but the torrential downpour here has been insane. Nothing quite like seeing water gushing up out of street vents, massive slabs of street sinking into the ground, and eleven-foot-high wakes being left by vehicles to make you want to go back home and crawl into bed again.

September 6, 2007

Back At Work...

Well, I'm running at about 50%, but I'm back at work.

Fortunately, I'm not having to debug the SQL Query from Hell™ today, but it's still difficult to concentrate.

I nearly didn't make it to work. I missed my connection between my train and my bus this morning, and while I was standing waiting for the next bus, I started to get really light-headed and nearly fainted. After sitting down for ten minutes, I was okay, but I almost passed out again while waiting for people to get off the bus so that I could get on.

Fortunately, the people who were waiting for the bus with me saw that I was in a wee bit of distress and let me on first. I napped for 40 minutes and awoke just in time to get into the office.

I intend to vegitate this weekend if at all possible to try to recover a little more strength.

September 5, 2007

Stints Leaving In Two Hours

I'll be leaving here in two hours to go get the stints in my nose removed from my septoplasty last Thursday.

I'm gradually returning to normal, and hopefully once the stints are gone, I'll be up to 90% fairly quickly.

I'll be making a fairly large post about the entire experience of the last week later this weekend, but just one quick tip. If you are ever going to have major surgery, don't read anything from Ayn Rand prior to surgery. Objectivism and pain don't mix very well on a subconscious level.

September 1, 2007


It hurts to move my face and I'm having problems staying awake for more than three hours at a time or sleep for more than two at a time.

I wasn't expecting them to remove my tonsils and uvula at the same time as they fixed my septum and turbinates.

I'm still in a lot of pain, but I'm still alive. Hopefully I'll be able to start to return to normal soon.