Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Installing Stream on Linux (Ubuntu)

Been brushing up on Linux for a while now,  by that I mean I have been pushing it to the limit of my knowledge and painting my self in to a corner and having to reinstall.

Lucky only had to do this once and it was because I had ignored the warning of the people that had gone before.

But now I am left with a laptop that is running very well on Ubuntu 64bit (until the next time that I choose to ignore the warning signs) and has a good enough graphics card to play some games on.

As I am using Ubuntu, I hit it's GUI software installer and looked for Steam;  was a little surprised when it had the buy option and not just the install button; seeing as Steam is free and all.

Not in the mood to sign up to another software market just to get a free item, I turned to Bash and a CLI install.

Sudo apt-get install steam

And 10 minutes later Steam is installed and downloading it's updates.  Once it's finished it restarts and errors with "Missing libGL.so.1".  Doing a little research and it appears this is a common issue with Steam and 64bit Ubuntu.

The fixes on the forums all seem to agree that doing a symbolic link is the way to go but it did not sit right as even thou I love symbolic link they can very quickly become messy if not managed by the system or the user.

But I did see a single comment with a different method for fixing.  Which was:

Make or open
Sudo gedit /etc/ld.so.conf.d/steam.conf

Add next two lines to file:
/usr/lib32
/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa

Then save and execute:
sudo ldconfig

Once done Steam should then start and you are ready to install any games you own on Linux.

I am surprised by the number of games Steam offers for Linux and if it was not for the one or two still locked to one platform; I would of removed windows fully from my home life.

Hopefully in time this will change and I can say good buy to Windows from my home.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Wiping the slate clean and other surfaces

Ok,  First off this is not a post about cleaning your slate or other surfaces; but is more about how I took an axe to my Eve account.

I have been feeling very blah about gaming for the last few months, some do peak my interest like the newer Alien game and The Evil Within; the latter being directed by Shinji Makami the creator of the Resident Evil series.

So I am looking forward to see how that one pans out.  its rumoured to be released around October this year.

But until then I have been going around in circles looking for something to keep my attention and with a week and bit off from work, my attention inevitable went back to Eve-Online.

My last experience was with the militia in a corp called T.R.I.A.D and if anyone is looking to get in to factional warfare I would suggest you look them up as they are a fun group to fly with.

Unfortunately real life got in the way and I drifted away and played less and less until I let my subscription run out.

When I return to any MMO / game after a long time of not playing I like to start again to bring my self up to speed with all the options and game-play, this could explain why I have never flown a battleship in Eve or got very far into the game.

But the one thing I have always done in Eve is with each new character I have transferred the belongings of the older one over before deleting.

This means that I never really had to put much effort in to anything as over the years I had collected enough ships, items and isk to keep my self comfortable with out any real effort.

I have always seen Eve as all about the challenge and risk of doing something, but with all the stuff I had collected there was nothing out of reach.  So I decided to delete it all without looking.

This was scary, infect I almost changed my mind a few times as the biomass clock was counting down.  

I know I have shot myself in the foot in a number of ways but its actually enjoyable building up from nothing and seeing it all unfold and once I am back up to a good stock pile and can hold my own in a dog fight I think I am going to rejoin the militia and hopefully T.R.I.A.D will have me back.

But until then I am going to do some wormhole driving and see what I can find.  More then likely death by bigger ship.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Eve Online taken down by DDOS

Eve Online has been taken offline this morning due to a DDOS attack which has lasted around 13 hours so far.

The last update by CCP on their twitter account for eve status is that it is back on-line.

I have always had an on and off relationship with Eve, its a game I want to play but I can never get in the right grove.  Tried PVP, mining and mission running but I never been able to find something that clicked.

So with me being off this week from work I decided to give it another go but this time start a fresh; and so I deleted everything; all the baggage I manage to collect from 10 something years of playing on and off and set off into the new world with gay abundance and nothing to my name but a starting ship and a new identity, also I have started using words like gay abundance which I am not sure how long that will last.

It was hard to delete it all as there was a lot of stuff and ships that I had collected over the years but if i am going to find my way in this sandbox then I needed to change something.

So this DDOS is more annoying as I am now all Eve focused and got time on my hands to put a good starting push in to the game and I am left looking at a login screen that can not connect.

A while back I did come across a map of DDOS attacks from the Norse Corporation which shows you DDOS attacks happening on a live map.  its oddly fun to watch.

Friday, 21 March 2014

DirectX 12, more power to the people

In a presentation yesterday at the Game Developers Conference by Microsoft, DirectX 12 was announced across the Windows 8 range (Xbox, Windows 8 phones, and Workstation) to reduce CPU usage by 50% while giving better controls of the video memory and GPU by a means of a thinner API and newer rendering features.

In the past DirectX acted as a go between for game developers to allow for smoother cross hardware development, meaning most of the hardware features could not be accessed and although the DirectX 11 API has seen some great boost in performance its still not as good as it could be.

Working with hardware vendors and game developers; the Microsoft team has spent the last 4 years working on getting the best from the new interface which from reading means cutting down the api and allow the developers to access the hardware direct.

What this should mean for games supporting DirectX 12 is that they should be less fluff getting in the way and games can be designed to fully exploit all the hardware features currently underutilised.

Even non DirectX 12 games / hardware should still receive benefits too with this leaner API but at the moment Microsoft have not confirmed if it will be available for Windows 7, but should be released in 2015 which means it may be time to upgrade once the games start running on this DirectX version next year if Windows 7 is not going to be supported.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Alien: Isolation, Alone in the dark or dead on the floor

Being developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega, using a custom in-house engine.  It follows Amanda Ripley while she is looking in to the disappearance of her mother 15 years early.

The game is marked as a first person survival horror and from everything I have seen; its looking like its shaping up to be a very good game, but with every video I see and article I read; I look back at Aliens: Colonial Marines and I feel a chill of what could still happen with Alien: Isolation and how it could go so very wrong.

My hopes for this game is that they go for the less is more approach, hearing things moving and running around while in an empty building can creep you out and unnerve you a lot more then things just running at you and this is the balance they are going to have to strike and done well can set you up for some truly scary moments.

I remember playing AvP (1999) and being truly on edge listening to the motion sensor and when it goes off, darting from left to right looking for where the thing is; only to find out it was a crane above my head swinging.

Or Silent Hill 2 hearing a noise in the fog coming towards you and getting your self all worked up, to then find out it was nothing and after a while becoming indifferent to the sounds and relaxing to then run smack straight in to something that pulls your head off.

These are the marks of a good horror game, it should lull you in to a false sense of security and then bite your face off when you least expect it, the moments you think you are the safest should be the moments you are the most vulnerable.

Its a hard balance to strike, but once you get it right you end up with a game that people will never forget.



Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Simcity (2013) finally unplugged

Yesterday Maxis of EA took down the Simcity servers to finally roll out the offline mode we have been longing for since the game was released.

Coming out in March of last year and bugged with a myriad of issues relating to the game needing to be on-line all the time,  it spoilt what should of been a great entry to the market, to the point where EA give away other games in its catalogue to apologize for how bad it actually went.

When asked about why it was done this way it was explained that Simcity was designed to be a on line game where Maxis could explore the interactions between players / smaller cites while offloading some of the work for simulating the city to the cloud.

Unfortunately some players debunked the latter and explained how an offline mode was possible.

I did enjoy Simcity once it was working but never really got in to the multi-player side of things, Me and Monsoon built up a region together but mostly we just built up our own regions and set them to private so no one else could join, which sort of felt like going to a party and putting on head phones and ignoring everyone and I just drifted away from playing it.

Now that we have a true offline mode where I can be antisocial in private it will be something I will returning too and pottering about in.

EA have done a quick overview of the new offline mode, which outlines the ins and outs.




Monday, 17 March 2014

Hearthstone: A house of cards or a solid foundations

I have never been one for card games, I am a bad poker player and my attention span can just about manage a round of solitaire.  

Also a card game on PC just strikes me as wrong on some level, so when I saw Hearthstone by Blizzard, a card game played on the PC set in the Warcraft universe, I just hung my head and moved past it.

But Monsoon started playing as it was free and you get a mount in World of Warcraft if you win so many matches, But she does appear to be enjoying it and after a few days of listening to how much so, I finally related and installed it.

My first impressions are positive, as I am still playing the practise rounds to unlock all the decks; I have yet still to play against an actual person but the game plays out in a 1v1 turn based style were each person lays a given number of cards based on resource points which grow by one each round.

I was surprised how easy it was to pick up and play and after doing the starting rounds I had a good feel for the system and was ready to start unlocking the rest of the decks. With the customization of the decks and the ability destroy cards you do not wish and rebuild them in to something else, theirs a depth to the game that will keep me playing for a while.


At the moment the game has around 382 cards but Blizzard are planing to add more with expansion packs at a later date.

The game is fun and does not take its self too seriously and its worth installing and giving it a go even if you have never played a battle card game before.