No Rockets during the Holidays

It seems that a lot of people take Christmas very, very serious. Look, even the Armadillo Aerospace server went down for celebration:

Warning: Can’t connect to MySQL server on ‘armadillo’ (10061)
in c:\web\k2\system\ext\phplib\php\ on line 77
Fatal error: Call to a member function on a non-object
in c:\web\k2\system\lib\ on line 2328

Or maybe it’s just the new peaceful Windows feature “no rockets during the holidays”? I’m not a real fan of Christmas, but hey, it’s nice to have a few days off to relax and reorder your thoughts.

It’s also the time when new resolutions are fizzling through your brain like New Year’s Eve rockets. Although there is no logical difference between the last day of this year and the first day of the next, on an emotional basis there is. It’s like you get another long period of time, another opportunity to reboot your brain before starting over with fresh energy. Another full year where you can prove yourself, implement features, find out they’re bugs and fix them, but also launch new projects and, what is more important, finish and relase stuff that is still in development (yes, there is some real background here).

Is it a coincidence that during the holidays I get a lot more spam mails than usual? Especially these blog spam bots are very, very busy at the moment – I got about a few hundred spam comments for this blog every day in the last week. I’m curious how many spam mails I’ll get for this entry here – maybe a spam bomb drops in and (because I always want to put things straight) I have to change the title of this entry ;)

Talking about Projects

There has not been published a lot of information about the current project from the project development team so I certainly won’t anticipate them. There is an idea which is probably beyond the scope of realization today and I see its time after the beta/final.

Watching music television

How many computer games have you bought in a shop this year? Ok – great, that’s very close to my answer.
You watched VIVA or MTV in the last months? You’ve seen the endless series of bothering ads for mobile games? So for that reason it is quite obvious that the project should be also playable mobile.

Playing Anno 2006

Years ago we all played some Anno 1602. When I was looking around a few days ago I saw Anno 1503 on the web. But not the outdated version for the personal computer … right – a version for mobile phones. First I couldn’t believe that, but the screen shots are looking good and it’s likely to be playable.

Why would I buy Anno 1503 for my mobile?

  • I know the game principle.
  • I like the game principle.
  • I know that playing it will make fun for more than half an hour.

Although I can think of funnier things than playing it without a mouse it is surely entertaining.

Making trendfuc*ers happy

Another future project I thought of is the “general purpose shooter” (sorry for the naming). It’s a shoot’em up generator for average games – special features only decelerate the development process. (Best example for this is the Mohrhuhn game and relatives). The business concept is not founded in game technology but in fast reaction to events occurring in the world.

  • Osama crashes the twin-towers – On 9/12 there is a game out with Osama as Mohrhuhn.
  • Zidane headbutts some Italian – the next day you can release two games: “Materazzi’s revenge” and “Hit it like Zidane”.

I agree that this concept is definitely not what a company wants to make for years (besides the designers), but it should be sufficient to establish connections to the publishers and other channels of distribution.

Rockstar Vienna closed by Take-Two

I was pretty shocked this morning after reading Niko’s blog and then Jurie’s blog that Take-Two has closed the Rockstar Vienna offices. There is still no official press release by Take-Two, but the website of Rockstar Vienna seems to be unavailable and there is already a news entry on Gamasutra.

So it seems that Austria has lost its biggest game development company which was employing more than 100 game developers. I’m kinda curious about the impact of this on the Austrian game development scene.

How I found my lost graphics card

Once upon a time … a friend of mine gave me his graphics card for development purposes. After a while he needed it, because his card died in a thermal inferno. So I had to give it back – and ordered a new one. Meanwhile I wanted to use my old card, but I wasn’t able to find it anywhere in my room. Then I remembered that another friend of mine wanted to test a mulithead environment with the card. Ok, I thought by my self, I will call him later and ask him to give me my graphics card back.

A few days later … I was just updating my Gentoo (Linux). I looked up the system configuration with lsusb and lspci. I was very surprised to read the following line:

03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Matrox Graphics, Inc. G400/G450 (rev 82).

Ok, now I know where my graphics card is :-)