UX305F – A year later


I have had this laptop for just over a year now, and I am still pretty pleased with it. It is super light and has plenty of power for me to work on my game.

There are a few things I am not so happy with  though. It can’t really take normal day to day use very well. I opened it up one day on the train and saw a few faint marks on the screen. I tried to wipe them away, but no, they are there to stay. They just look like dirty marks that just don’t come off. They only really appear on white backgrounds, but at some point when it has been in my bag or I have put some books on top of it or something, the keyboard has made a mark in the anti-glare layer of the screen. I guess this could happen regardless on any laptop, but the ones I have used in the past have never had this problem. The keyboard is also a bit funky when you hold down some of the arrow keys.

Overall, I am mostly pleased with this purchase but it probably wasn’t worth the £650 I paid for it. Lenovo ThinkPad or Macbook next time!


Dev Diary – FIRE AND LIGHTNING!! (27/08/16)


Winning! My blog supports animated gifs!

So as I mentioned just over a month ago I was prototyping some point and click mechanics style mechanics and have implemented a few of them. As you can see above I have a dustbin being set on fire. Apart from it gratuitously going up like a roman candle, this will be used as a way to distract enemies so you can get past them. The idea is that an enemy will see this, freak out, call in a fire suppression bot and the fire will be put out. Simple eh? Well not quite. Setting dustbins on fire will have an adverse effect of making all the enemies in the level go into a heightened state of alert. So while it can be useful to sneak past, it is going to really mess up the enemy patterns after it is sorted.

The other one is lightning.

I haven’t got the original gif on this machine so I have just embeded the tweet. Lightning can be used to also confuse enemies. It buy and large has the same effect as fire, but without the impact of making them all go into a heightened alert. I am still thinking about whether the game will have Splinter Cell style light mechanics.

I have also implemented cloak, however the refraction shader that is being used currently is super heavy, and when I tried to run it on my HTC One M8 (just out of curiosity), the framerate dropped pretty significantly. I need to have another look at how Deus Ex Go does it and have a chat with guys who know more about shaders than me 😉

The next bit of player stealth logic I have to do is hiding in various places, whether it is in long grass Metal Gear Solid 3 style or it is in dark corners Assassins Creed Chronicles style.

Once that is done I can move onto all the enemy logic. That code is old and nasty and hasn’t aged at all well. It is more like stale bread than mature cheese, so it has unfortunately gone to the chop and will be being completely redone. Which is fine (*grumble* although I have redone it several times *grumble*).

But that’s OK as I have escaped to the countryside for the long weekend.

Thanks for reading!


No Man’s Sky

I picked up No Man’s Sky last weekend and have played about 12-15 hours of it since. My summary; the pay-off is not worth the effort or time you invest into the game. Which is a shame, as I was enjoying it a lot, but I hit a point where I went from enjoying it a lot to it feeling like work. For those who have played it, you know it gets into a very repetitive “minecraft-light” scenario pretty early on and the theme of repetitiveness goes throughout the game.

Today I reached a point where I was like, fine I have had my fill of exploring the galaxy, I will just keep following the Atlas path, I have done it like 4 times, I should be there soon. After I got my 5th Atlas Stone, the end didn’t seem anywhere near in sight. It was just more warping from system to system travelling from shithole to shithole of planets to collect resources to collect Atlas stones. I got bored, so I looked up how many stones you needed. 10. I.e. another 5 rounds of doing the same repetitive tasks I had done ages ago.  So I looked up the ending. All of them. And they are pretty unsatisfying in my opinion. I am not going to spoil it, but you know that theme of repetitiveness, yeah it comes through once again.

Never in my X many years of gaming has a game made me do a u-turn so hard and although I enjoyed the start of No Man’s Sky, I feel like I am done, I am never going to go back and actually anymore feels like a waste of my time. So No Man’s Sky, you are getting traded for I am Setsuna!