May 31, 2009

Braid for Mac

Although I am more of a casual gamer, I have always been a fan of indie game over large studio productions. Mostly because generally they are short, to the point and can take risks to try things professional games do not. I have written here about a few in the past, as well as a few of my own, so I am always happy to find another new title that perks my interest.

Braid is a strange game that focuses on change through time and forgiveness, and accomplishes this in that fact that you can not die, if you are killed, the game will sit and wait for you to rewind. This removes the dangers that other platformer games use to add challenge, so you may be left asking what is left to challenge the player? Instead they game uses a (some what cliche) search for puzzle pieces that come together to form the story. However to get to the pieces you will need to use your time warping powers, think 2D platformer now thrust into a 4D world, even though the lack of a Z plane makes it more of a different kind of 3D then ever seen before. Using the different abilities each world allows you will have to deal with time forgiveness, exclusion, branches and placement. Braid wonderfully pulls off using these separately and in a mix to give the player a rather unique challenge, which if you like solving puzzles that requires thought from different angles you will really enjoy this.

The story of the game itself is unique, you have Tim who is on a quest to save the princess from a horrible monster. This may sound familiar to Super Mario Bros and it is hard to not see that a lot of the game takes concepts from classic platformers. However it goes far deeper then the base story if you only look at the surface. What is reality? If you could warp the time that drives the reality that we see, could you truly say what we are seeing is real? The ending of Braid pulls this off with fighting perfection, which may leave some players rather confused. Combine this with wonderfully music and lush water color artwork and you have an amazing game.

I have always been annoyed with games in how you want to try things, but it would take too long when failures result in restarting, Braid removes this and pretty much can be described as one of the few games that always runs in sandbox mode. Of course some of the puzzles, and especially the hidden stars would be impossible with out this. Still I had fun playing through this a few times, one due to me poking at the game files and breaking it. Braid is available on xbox, PC and Mac, so there are a few ways to get it, but if you have a mac, support mac games and grab the mac copy!

For those who have played the game and want more depth on the story check out this article.

May 14, 2009

Epic Presentation

I was going through my files stored on the school server and found my Epic Game presentation. So I uploaded it to slide share so others can see it. Slide share messed up some text in my images, but other then that it is the same. Check it out...

May 12, 2009

Tech Support

I hate to call tech support, especially for anything electronic as I more then likely already know what is wrong, as well as far more about fixing it then the person answering the phone. The worst being the recent fairpoint (aka failpoint) issues we have had at home, which after returning from school will finally be fixed, by switch to RoadRunner instead. I had spent over a half hour trying to explain that there was an issue with their service on their end which I could prove, yet still had to be walked through their flow chart for fixing problems, only to have the representative on the phone finally say "oh it must be on our end"...

To be fair I have been on both sides of the call, so I try to be nice to phone operators, as it is never their fault and they are tying to help, however when I did phone support for my school their was no flow sheet, we actually knew what to do to fix things, or would google it on the fly. ITS Help Desk FTW! Below are two Dilbert videos I stumbled upon that fit both side perfectly.

Dealing with tech support...

Doing tech support...

Senior Projects

One of the final highlight to my final semester was the Computer Science Departments Senior Project Presentations. I have been working on my SN Project like a madman, and was very proud to present my work thus far to my friends, family, colleagues and professors that came to watch myself and five others fellow CS students show off their work. So on top of my SN Project BETA 4 that is available to try out, you can also check out the slides below. I may upload a version with audio in the future.

Error text.

If the movie does not let you click to go to the next slide, give it a bit more time to load. Otherwise it will only loop the first two slides till it loads enough.

May 9, 2009

Finally bought AwardSpace hosting

With my time at college dwindling fast, I though it was about time that I broke down and bought a domain and hosting. I have been using the schools hosting for almost 4 years and have gotten very use to being able to easily have web project or files online, so with that ability ending I needed to get my own.

I had been using the free hosting on awardspace for a while, which is fantastic for a free service. No adds and access to php and MySQL! But there is limitations on bandwidth and you only get a subdomain, so after I graduate, I will require a bit more then that. Yet, the basic hosting is more then enough for me and only costs 47$ for a year with a free domain. The bandwidth is 1000GiB a month which is around 32GiB a day, way more then I will need right now.

So I am now the proud owner of!