I recently stumbled upon Dollhouse, a new TV series, and after the second episode, I became an addict.
What it does is simple but effective: it takes our present day world and adds a new element to it: a scientific breakthrough which allows the programming of human beings. Personalities can be archived, modified and uploaded into another body, a doll. Dolls are empty, flesh and blood pendrives walking around in the Dollhouse waiting to get a personality and a job to finish. When they are done with the given task, they are wiped yet again and keep enjoying the bliss of ignorance until the next mission.

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Braid – Well played sir!

I’ve been hearing about Braid for a long time now. An “innovative” game from a real “indy” developer, “original concept”, “exceptional” visual design, “excellent” soundtrack, “touching” story.
Yesterday I downloaded the demo to see if it is really as good as the interwebs says.

Lo and behold, it is!

It’s been a while I’ve had this much fun with a game. I was giggling like a schoolgirl every time I faced with a new game mechanic or clever puzzle. It makes you use your brain, yet it’s not extremely difficult hardcore stuff.
The visuals are good to look at and work well with the game mechanics. The graphics are also in harmony with the – indeed excellent – soundtrack.The story is too “artsy” for me, so I stopped reading it, but I only care about the puzzles anyway.
My only real complaint is the lack of control customization. It failed to recognize my gamepad, so I had to use GlovePIE to convert joy input to keyboard strokes.
But other than this, I don’t have a problem with the game. You feel the love this game received from the developers. You can tell they put their heart (and brain) into it. This what makes it a more valuable game than all the badass shooters of the past 5 years combined.
At $15, its a bargain.

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PHP, hacking, gulping

I’m sure you all know the feeling when it slowly dawns on you that sh.t has happened. There is that sinking sensation just before you start sweating.

But when the slow motion horror wears off then the brain spins up. It desperately tries to understand what and why has happened, what events led to this murky moment. Maybe I’m mistaken and everything is all right, I just misinterpreted the facts, drew the wrong conclusion. Or maybe it’s not real, its just a bad dream and I can wake up, yes that must be it…
wake up… do you hear me?! WAKE UP!

But it’s not a dream. The ice cold grasp of despair remains and there is no way around but face our reality however dark it might be.

Erghmm… okay, DramaQueenMode [OFF]

What happened was that I was hacking the video embedding plugin for the blog engine. I needed it to embed Quicktime movies not just Youtube and alike. I’m not a PHP cowboy but it was a simple enough modification, some copy&paste. I had it under control, it was working on the test page.
But then something went sideways and the tutorial page where I inserted the movie got deleted along with the movie test page…
I’ve been working on it in the last couple of days so I was shocked when I saw it missing from the post list… Thank god I tested the page in IE as well so the rendered html result was cached. It took me some time to rebuild the page source from the raw text, but it’s online again.
And I backed up the whole database as well while I was at it.

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Games for Windows – The non-supported countries

GFWL does not support certain countries, like Poland or Hungary. Those countries do not get patches for GFWL titles, they can’t get achievements or buy DLCs, and there is no customer support (at least not one which answers emails).
Are they trying to keep The Pirate Bay alive on purpose?

I mean, its okay not to bother with localization and stuff. Just let the UK version sell here.

Here is the thread about the issue.

It all started when I wanted to buy a DLC for Fallout 3, and pressing the LIVE button in the menu did nothing. I tried patching but there is no compatible v1.1 update.

Oh and the really crappy thing is that the savegames are not compatible with other versions, so buying the game again in a proper version is not really a solution. I mean, its a great game, but somewhat I’m not really fond of the idea of replaying the past 96 hours…
Update: The international support assured me that the savegames should work with any locales. It’s just that the GFWL enabled builds store them elsewhere.

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Wheelman – Not bought

The Wheelman has just gone on sale here in Hungary, and after seeing a few footage from the game I was inclined to buy it. But before doing that I decided to check Metacritic to make sure it is worth the money.

The most positive review pointed out that “The PC-Version’s controls are unintuitive“. I got a bad feeling, which was confirmed by a quick search: the controls can not be customized. It is 2009 for’s sake! There is simply no excuse to leave out configurable controls in a PC release. Especially when using the Unreal engine where all the code work for this feature is in place and working.

I mean do I have to adapt to the game? Really? If I prefer a control scheme other than WSAD then I’m not supported by the developers. Now the term “control nazis” pops into mind…

Anyway, the bottom line is that this time I did my homework and didn’t end up buying a crap game.

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