CenoLAN – The Saga begins!

And so, another trip around the sun, and a birthday LAN for me.

This first day is a fairly quiet affair, with four of us so far.

Up until recently we’ve been playing Hexen 2 – Portal of Praevus.
My housemate, Pendragon, has been uttering sounds of extreme glee as he butchers furniture and other forms of wood products. I have a feeling he’s unleashing years of woodworking fury.
My beardymate Will, well he drowned in the toilet. He did this after I asked if he’d like to jump in the toilet.
Gyix has meanwhile been trying to kill the rest of us.
They’re all doing horrible things with sheep.

More will be posted as more games happen, but soon the pizza of day one will arrive.

*Edit 1*
Well we attempted a few things after pizza and garlic bread.
First was Blood, which launched successfully, however I forgot to turn on the monsters and we turned it in a Bloodbath.
We tried SWP for Shadow Warrior, but due to a combination of a firewall, and me dying, the game kinda died.
Duke 3d using eduke, well two of the four launched successfully.

*Edit 2*
Day 2 arrived, a bunch of my friends turned up like Wolfmother, tOrN, Sorrowborn.
Added to this was Pendragon’s best mate, Kaput.
All in all 8 of us, the perfect number that I’d aimed at.

A few things were tried, like me working to get a Doomsday server launching for shenanigans, which of course failed as the damned thing wouldn’t launch, and for some crazy reason the creator doesn’t want to use Listen servers.
So I abandoned it.

Brutal Doom 64, though, was surprisingly easy through the use of Doomseeker.
We all managed to get in there and die a lot of times.

Food was ordered, Dominos for day 2 as Pizza hut was day 1.
I acquired some chicken orb type things, they were delicious.

We tried out a project we called DTA, I think it was Dawn of Tiberium, but well it didn’t scale nicely, and the T100 really didn’t like it.
Also, it’s probably problematic when I spawn with nuclear silos and an AI helper who wants to take my units for a ride.

An attempt was made for Quake using UQE, problem being that setting up a listen server for 5+ players just wasn’t easy. It’s 4 out of the box, but you want more you need to command line it.

Eventually we jumped back over to Blood, in episode 6, and watched the friendly fire begin, we even managed to get past the aqueduct level with minimal casualties (and by minimal I mean mostly accidents).

As the evening wore on, and the consumption of Dick ended, tOrN and Wolfmother headed off back over to the dark side of the city (it’s a strange country over there, it’s like there are no trees and no civilisation beyond broadband internet).
The Manager (beardymate Will) and I settled down to some green apple vodka.

Day 3, remaining was pretty much Sorrowborn, Pendragon and myself.
It was much more relaxed, some food, some shopping at a surprisingly rare EB sale, and some watching of anime and stuff.

A good end to a good weekend.

10/10, would Doom again.

Many LANs make light work.

About time I got around to posting something new from the aardvark front.

It’s been a pretty busy past month in a crazy way as I elected to join some friends on part of their House of Doge LANsploration Adventure.

To begin with, last month we had eLeague hosted up in Sydney, where a whole group of us Melbournites travelled up, some by plane, others such as myself by car in a convoy.
Didn’t really know what to expect, I just knew there was no way I was going to realistically transport my desktop machine (which could in many ways have been used as a desk itself, or a seat, or even a coffee table if I drank coffee, what I’m saying is it was big.)
So I borrowed a gaming laptop from my good friend tOrN and along I went.
The main thing I did while there was play Paragon against the AI, watching the Nvidia drivers on the Venom constantly crap themselves, and the foliage flicker like crazy. Finding humans is difficult when they need to pay money to get in to early access.
I also jumped in a deathmatch of the new Unreal Tournament, where I ran around trying to kill people with the Impact Hammer. Good times.

After we got home I had a bit of time to myself doing next to nothing.

The start of this month was of course LANslide.
A much shorter journey was involved.
I’m certain I played games that weekend, and I know there was cake, prizes being launched at head-height, and doughnut shenanigans.
There was of course also the Doom closed beta, which Tofuboi and myself decided to take for a spin. I’m apparently not terrible when running at 800+ms latency.
This  was also the weekend where Babymetal’s Metal Resistance was released, and the Telstra unmetered data Sunday occured (I only acquired something like 63gig of Steam and Epic games.)

Last weekend a considerable number of Melbournites made a trip down to Traralgon for ROFL LAN.
This event was very much like the LANs of 10+ years ago, a whole group of stress-free people in a hall playing games, no eSports, 7 Bishies, 30+ parmas and 1 fish and chips, crazy parking, and one person ending up contained within something they shouldn’t.
Seriously this was the type of event that has the soul of the events of old.
These days there’s generally too much focus on the big competitions, big prizes, big sponsors. ROFL didn’t involve any of those.

Of course after I got home from ROFL I took it upon myself to transfer my gaming PC back in to my Air540 case, and my productivity machine slash fileserver in to my behemoth.
After lugging something bigger than many people I know around, I finally took the smart option. I have many injuries from the transition between cases.

This coming weekend I finish my journey on the LANsploration adventure with RespawnLAN.
It’s the time of the Doom open beta, and I have no idea what else I’ll be doing.
There are many games I’d like to play with others, but unless I can bludgeon people in to submission I don’t see them happening.

There are many more events coming up like RF LAN, LAN of the Damned, and so on. I just don’t see myself making the journey west of Melbourne to get to them.

I suppose I’ll end up focusing my attentions on my planned upcoming Beast: the Primordial chronicle, where I’m sure my players will find some way to set the environment and themselves on fire.
The goal of course will be taking it to LARP scale.


Teamwork – In Space Things Will Explode.

So tonight a group of friends got together for a project called Horrible Stream to play a game called Artemis.

This is a star-ship bridge simulator game, we had 10+ people in one room attempting to work together.

Originally we considered running two ships, but the problem was both competing crews were in the same room, so we abandoned that idea.

Under the command of Captain Wolfmother, the S.S. Sandox (LoveULongTime, ‘sWarhead, ‘sThing, ‘sShongalong etc,) attempted to plumb the depths of space and generally not explode.
We did have a successful mission, we also had a failed mission where Weapons told me the Helm to fly in to one of our own mines.

Things changed up a lot, I stuck with Helm the entire time, and we had some incidents with Comms Officer Wolfmother (after things changed) effectively declaring war, and Weapons launching a trio of nuclear warheads at a cluster of 7 newly aggravated warships.

Artemis, gonna be good in future as everyone enjoyed themselves.

Respawn 32, the voyage to Candy Mountain

So in just under 8 hours, the doors to Respawn LAN‘s 32nd main event open.

There’s still a chance to register for fun and games.

For example, there is a candy filled pinata, there are jars of candy I assume for prizes and everything.

We’ve managed to update the media tech side of things this event, and the event stream will be more awesome than ever, with the ability for tweets to the tag #RespawnV32 to turn up at our behest.

425 odd players in one place, we’re on the way towards a petabyte of data in one place and a massive steamcache.

Candy LAN – Can you stomach the gameplay?

So, due to a clerical error, registrations for Respawn LAN’s 32 big event opened up early.

If you don’t know what Respawn is, it’s a regular LAN gaming event held up at Latrobe Bundoora.
In this case it’s held on the 27th and 28th of September, for some it’s Grand Final weekend, but for everyone else it’s a prime opportunity to get together with 424 other fellow gamers.

Each event has a nominated theme, it’s varied from things such as Winter WonderLAN (last time) to 8bit (ages back) with custom trophies and some competitions to match.

This event is of course themed around candy, so I’m fully expecting to see the trophies be unicorns on bridges.

So if you’re not busy on the final weekend of September, are a gamer, feel like being part of an industrial (Zardoz Approved) gigabit network, or just like candy, sign up for CandyLAN here.

If you want to find me, just ask for Beeslol up the front.

All Praise GabeN: The beginning of a journey.

So anyway, last year or so, Valve announced their Steambox powered by SteamOS, and I thought that it’d be pretty sweet if I could be one of those lucky people to be chosen to try out a prototype unit (out of the many thousands who also applied).

Valve did the fun thing of releasing the beta of SteamOS in to the wilds for people to try out, mess with and generally try to break.
Naturally I grabbed it with the goal to test it out in a virtual machine.

With the help of the internet I managed to get it installed in Virtual Box and got to play around with it without hardware acceleration, I found it pretty neat.

I then of course blew away the windows 8.1 test install and then installed a dual-boot of SteamOS on my main gaming rig (Stitch).
The big thing that kept me from spending more time with it was that I didn’t have audio available due to using DVI output and not having a receiver or anything available to handle it.
I acquired a game-pad at this stage.

I was at Respawn LAN back this most recent January, lanning there like I have for the better part of 14 years, they have a tendency to do random draws for door-prizes from their sponsors.
Of course I’ve never won anything at that venue in the entire time I’ve been there, and tend to joke about the name selection code being incredibly biased as the same people tend to keep winning stuff.
So when a G1.Sniper motherboard from Gigabyte was held up to be the next prize I made a comment that I could use it to build a SteamBox.

GabeN heard me, my name was called, much to my surprise.

I’ve now finished the initial construction of the SteamBox codenamed OneWood.

Sadly the journey is far from over as it’s been impossible for me to produce audio output via HDMI, the Recon3d (from Creative) support is absolutely non-existent, and despite managing to get output from a USB DAC I haven’t managed to get that sorted in relation to the TV.

The journey will continue, I will be gaming fully in the loungeroom without so much as a sign of microsoft, sony or nintendo, I will be on the bleeding edge.

Praise GabeN!


Which Steam will reign supreme?

So this is about digital content delivery services.

So we’ve got Steam from Valve.
Back in the beginning it wasn’t very good, but over time you can see they improved by leaps and bounds.
I can log on, I can buy games and now software, I can then install them, and then play them all through the same interface.
Basically you click buy, pay for it, then click install, more or less straight forward and simple.

Steam works.
My massive games collection that I will never even play more than maybe 5% of (seems about right when you shift in to the scale of hundreds of games) may bias me slightly here, but it works.

Games 4 Windows Live, well we might as well just discard that from the equation, now that Microsoft are dropping it.
It’s main purpose, it seems, was DLC management.
That’s all it really did other than mess with your gaming experience when you lost internet.
So it’s gone.

Of course I’m going to have to mention EA’s Origin.
Brought about as they wanted to claim all of the DLC money without giving any to anyone else, it turned in to the one and only source for EA based games.
Even if you had an older account you had to switch over to Origin.
I did spend some time reading though the End User License Agreement some time back, and quite simply I didn’t agree with it.
It’s trying to provide the same service as a superior product (Steam) while at the same time restricting it more or less to one publisher (EA) and it doesn’t have my massive catalogue of games to play.
So, while it’s required for EA games, I shall not be buying them, as I quite simply do not want or need it.

Stardock had their own rival some time back called Impulse, but now that’s owned by Gamestop.
It wasn’t bad, you could install your games, you could download updates, you could even back up specific versions of the games to be able to play.
It was nice and simple, and it worked.
But now that Gamestop have it, content like Demigod shifted over to Steam (I should really figure out where I go in relation to playing my physical copy.)

And now of course, the one I’m really starting to dislike is Uplay.

I first got introduced to Uplay (from Ubisoft) with Might And Magic Heroes VI (Because Heroes of Might and Magic VI was so 90s).
I bought the game through Steam, I created my Uplay account with the game, I could log in with the game, everything was fine.

My second Uplay title is Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (because you need to make game names that long to be gritty and authentic).
I acquired this one with my brand new Gigabyte Geforce 760 OC 4gig as a promotional item.
Or rather I acquired a redemption code.
From there I went to the code redemption page on and redeemed it (along with giving them my name and other such things) which gave me another completely different code.
From there I needed to go to the Uplay webstore, add the game to my cart, redeem the second code to drop the price to zero and buy it.
This attached it to my account.
I then needed to download the Uplay software.

I’m not finished yet, there’s still more to this which no doubt make Origin look unified.

Install the software, which isn’t small in size, and then log in.
Click the download button for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (because I’m going to keep saying the entire name, and maybe even next time put in the trademark symbols just to make it longer) which leads me to something like a 17gig download.
You’d expect that would be all I’d need to do in order to play it after downloading it over two nights while sleeping, but no there’s still more.
So after downloading it, I need to install it, which acted like your typical software installation.
I think that it’s finally over and I click play.

Downloading new update, currently at this moment at 57% for not quite a gigabyte of data.

Suffice to say at this moment I really don’t like Uplay because there are too many stages involved in actually playing games (60%).

So I can quite happily say that I like Steam the best (61%).

Maybe I’ll read a book for awhile (63%), look at some funny cat pictures on the internet (64%) or troll some people for the lulz (65%).

Until next time.