The PC version of Gears of War stopped working. The reason seems to be that the game’s DRM was set to stop working on January 28th, and players are being forced to set back their PC clocks in order to use the game. Epic is currently working on a fix, but I can’t help but wonder why the DRM was set to expire in the first place.

I really don’t know what kind of people play Gears of War on PC. I mean, the game is about three years old, and there are far better 3rd and 1st person shooters out there. Gears of War is a pretty shitty game when compared to most other PC shooters in the same vein, and while the console release may have been a fun experience, it doesn’t really translate to the PC well. But that’s not the point, I guess. The point is that if people want to play a shitty, three year old game that they purchased, they should be able to, and not have to deal with expiring DRM.

Epic is one of those companies that I never really got into. I have enjoyed some of their games, but I can’t help but not trust a company that is better known for its engine than its games. Also, it should be mentioned that Gears of War PC is published by Microsoft, and is part of the half-aborted fetus known as Games for Windows. With Microsoft at the helm, I suppose I’m not really that surprised. This is really a prime example of a DRM fuck-up, and proof that most companies don’t care if the DRM breaks your game.

I should also note that people who have pirated copies of the game have experienced no issues…none at all. So, why buy a game that is purposefully broken when you can download it for free and not have to deal with having a game that doesn’t work?

Engineer Released

January 15, 2009

engineerss2

Engineer is a tower defense game with a bit of Robotron thrown in. Instead of killing a ton of zombies by hand, you get to build turrets to kill them, and walls to redirect them. Check it out here.

I have recently discovered Mo’Minis Studio, a piece of software designed to bring mobile game creation to the masses. Their website promises that “Mo’Minis Studio allows fast creation of quality mobile games. It is designed to serve advanced as well as non-skilled developers and does not require any programming knowledge.” I am still skeptical as to how painless the entire process is going to be, though.

The main thing that worries me about Mo’Minis is the distribution model. You do not get to compile your own games and distribute them yourself. Instead you submit your games to the Mo’Minis developers, and they test/compile it for you. They also use ties that they have with an Israeli based mobile phone company. Mo’Minis Studio is said to be able to develop games for dozens of cell phone models, and if this is so, then it may just be easier to have someone else optimize and test it for you, so the limited distribution model may prove to work out. I have submitted my first game, and am looking forward to seeing exactly how this process goes.

My game is a lame George W. Bush shoe throwing game. I have ripped on these in the past, but it was a simple concept that I could throw together to test the waters.

bushshoe

A rapid way of developing mobile games really needs to exist, and I am excited to hear back from Mo’Minis. As far as I’m concerned, the software is easy enough to use, and is very polished. We’ll see if Mo’Minis can revolutionize game creation in the mobile world like programs like Game Maker have done for the PC market.

Why is this news?

January 11, 2009

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090110/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_chili

Our country is falling apart and all people care about is the president-elect eating fucking chili. Do people honestly care about this shit?

Stephanie Lane Sutton, my significant other and artist of the tiles for Pattern Behavior, has finally decided to join me on WordPress. Her blog, Fire Underground is offering free sex advice to anyone.

“Send questions regarding sex, relationships, and sexual politics to fires.underground@gmail.com with the subject line “fireunderground advice”

Your question will be answered from a feminist perspective in a blog post at fireunderground.wordpress.com.

Please note that I am not a medical authority, but an activist for sexual rights.”

Link to post

Free mod Download
Download Empires

Empires has consumed my life. I would probably compare it to a land-based version of Allegiance if I had to compare it to an existing game. Empires is a hybrid RTS and FPS, complete with classes, vehicles, a commander, and experience points. Two teams fight to capture flags as each teams commander builds bases and collects resources. I won’t bore you by detailing the many aspects of the game, but an excellent description of the game can be found over at Playthisthing.

Empires totally aces the RTS/FPS hybrid, but my favorite game aspect is how the game’s pace ranges from orderly to complete chaos in mere seconds. Forget about America’s Army, Empires provides the most realistic feeling of being in an actual warzone I have ever played. Most other FPSes do a fine job of providing you with chaos during firefights, but only Empires presents a very rigid command structure, where not following orders is a sure way to get killed repeatedly.

For instance, at the start of a game, I followed my squad leader over to an old set of ruins, as we were ordered by the commander to fortify the area. Most of my squad played as engineers, with the exception of one heavy machine gunner. We immediately began building structures that our commander had placed as soon as we came in range, while our lone machine gunner set up to face any enemies that might try to interrupt our fortifying.

Within a few minutes, my squad of four had constructed a full base, complete with defensive turrets and a spawnpoint. This may not seem that great, but the amazing thing about it was that we did not speak a word to each other while doing this. Knowing what needed to be done, we simply went about building a base as fast as possible. On the other side of the map, where our commander had sent another less organized squad, our forces were being slaughtered, and our base was destroyed. This squad did not follow the order given by the commander, and died as a result. In Empires a small, organized group can do a lot if everyone follows orders and does what they should. Empires takes teamwork to levels almost no other game has gone to before.

Spore Ruined Christmas

January 4, 2009

I received a copy of Spore for Christmas, and was genuinely excited to play the game. I had held off buying it as soon as it came out, and nobody had anything too bad to say about it (Besides a couple of lawsuits over SecureROM). Spore is a good game, and I have been enjoying it, although I’m not sure if the tormenting ordeal to get it to work was worth it.

Installing the game worked as it should, but as soon as I clicked the icon to run Spore, it crashed. I got a screen resolution change, and then an error that really didn’t tell me much. Rather than messing with the settings, I Googled to see if other people were having this same problem.

It turns out, a pretty substantial amount of people have had/are having the same problem. I sifted through pages and pages of Google results of errors similar to mine, and never really found a clear fix. Dozens of people were having problems with the game, and in each help thread I found, they really weren’t getting anywhere. For every suggestion on what to do to fix Spore, there were three more people asking for another possible solution.

I fiddled with Spore until about 4AM, when I finally found the solution. Three re-installs and a lengthy SecureROM removal process later, I got the game to work by installing it in a folder on the desktop. Let me repeat that. I got Spore to work not by installing it in the default Program Files folder, or even a folder directly on my C: drive. I have no idea why this works…it just does. It seems that not many people know about this method, but the few places I’ve seen mention it seem to have a couple of people that this worked for.

Spore is a decent game, as I said, but it is broken. So broken that the default install directory causes the game to crash. Actually, pretty much anything will cause Spore to crash. I have had Spore crash on me more times than I am comfortable with on both the PC and Mac versions. If anything, EA should be sued for distributing a program that barely works, in addition to distributing non-consensual software.

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