Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bad Heads

I'm playing NWN "2" now (I bought the "gold" editition and the "Storm of Whatever" expansion), and its okay, I guess.

I can see why it wasn't too popular, right off the bat, its got a huge selection of really really really really really fugly-looking heads that you are required to "customize" your character with during the painfully slow and pointlessly tedious and complicated Dungeons&Dragouts process of character creation.

Its like they started out with an ugly head and then squashed its features around in photoshop or something to make all the other heads.

And the "high resolution textures and lighting" makes their skin look all diseased and full of pockmarks and liverspots and slick and shiny patches of roleplay-inspiring mutton-grease or something.

Seriously, I haven't seen a collection of heads this bad since Morrowind first came out.

'Member that?

Haha those heads were so bad I remember laughing out loud when I first saw 'em.

And the women are just as bad as the male characters.

Anyways, it don't matter how good the rest of a game is if it starts out by confronting the player with a huge and unrelenting Array of Bad Heads, most people will never get past the Bad Head Syndrome, that's like a Rule of Game Design or something, you don't want to play a game where every character in the game reminds you of somebody you hate from work or your next door neighbor or whatever.

And its not like you need a ton of good heads, all you need is one decent-enough head to get past the Bad Head Syndrome, like that head with horns from the original NWN, or the bald one with the eye-patch, those were good enough, or even something over-generalized and simple, with two dots for eyes and a hole for the mouth, something without the huge nostrils and the crazy caterpillar eyebrows and bulging eyeballs and all the other Martin Short-looking details, that would be good enough for government work and get you a pass on the rest of it, that's the beauty of the UO-Style One Vague and Featureless Head Fits All Character Creation system ahaha.

So whatever, I finally broke down and picked this Swarthy Italian looking head, 'cause it didn't bother me too much, once I made him bald and turned his skin black so I couldn't see anything except for the whites of his eyes, and I started playing the game as a wizard instead of a fighter, which everybody knows is what you are supposed to play in a NWN game, but wizards are pretty powerful in this one and you don't have to run around so much like a little kid clicking on shit to make sure your dude stays within melee range of every damn thing in the game, you can just put the game on easy mode (so the fireballs won't kill your own team) and bomb the hell out of huge groups at once.

Plus, at least in the Original Campaign, you can pretty much rest after every fight and get all your spells back and do it again.

Plus, you can switch between all the different spells you got to keep yourself from getting bored, 'cause that's what Wizards do, y'know, keep a few fireballs in reserve and throw a Tasha's Infectious Laughter into the mix or something, just to keep yer shit fresh and see what the hell kinda spell effects they put in the game fer everything besides Web, Grease, Evard's Tentacles, Magic Missile and Fireball ahaha.

So I played about halfway through the Original Campaign, and got bored, even though it doesn't totally suck or anything.

I mean, its pretty fun if you get a jones for some old-timey Dungeons and Dragons Baldur's Gate-ish fireball throwing-around-a-map junk.

Especially if you extract stuff from the 2da zips and edit 'em so there's no casting-and-skill penalties for wearing full plate and remove that crap that makes a Air Elemental Guy level slower and you use all the cheat codes to give yourself all the cool feats and equipment and 18s in every stat.

And then I skipped the second expansion (which is supposed to be really great according to Roleplayers, which means its really annoying and hard) and tried the newest one, the Storm of Znake People, which is kinda like the game I wanted to make for the web a while back, where you run a trading empire or something, 'cept its kinda ponderous and I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be doing.

What's funny is that I actually like the story-line in this one a lot, 'cause it doesn't remind me of the ten million Icewind Dale games I've played.

I mean, the dialogue and stuff is actually written really well, compared to the same old tired-ass rowdy scottish dwarves and lame roleplaying bonny-lass fair maiden dribble.

And its mixed with a little bit of Mount&Blade, 'cause you do all the overland battles like that, 'cept all that does is show off how brutally crappy the combat in NWN is compared to like, two lines of thirty dudes on horses thundering along and slamming into each other with a huge crash of lances and stuff ahaha.

But it is making me get a jones to build a decent D&D-ish city-and-fort-and-army-building beat-back-the-supernatural-wilderness trading-colonization-empire type of game again.

Which reminds me of all the cool junk Colbey and Squash Monster all them were talking about a while back.

I'm just about at that point where I know it'd be funner to make something than play something.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Strange Meat

Liam Neeson is your daddy.

And if it isn't Little Alex as the Bad Guy on the Radio playing crazy early synth versions of patriotic march tunes that match up perfectly with the crap in the mall scene from a Clockwork Orange.

And the next time I see Ex-B I gotta show him this Republic of Dave thing 'cause Ex-b's IS President Dave of the Republic of Dave (which would make me Bob, Second in Command of the Army of Dave, totally, down to the thing where I'd become the evil dictator of the Empire of Dave if I ever got elected and everything ahaha awhellyah).

I can see how, if you just played through the game and followed the main storyline, you'd be done with the thing in like, two hours.

But the best fun is just wandering all over hell, exploring one weird little post-apocalyptic scene after another with a Church of Bob Ward-Cleaver-looking guy in ghetto-ass raider-rags and horned-rimmed glasses listening to the Andrew Sisters and Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye on the radio while poking through trash bins full of radioactive zombie corpses for cans of pork-n-beans in the ruins of a pyschological experiment from the 50s with a sniper rifle and nine bullets, I think the main storyline actually takes the game down a notch (although the Big Explosions Killer Robots Hollywood Ending is pretty hilariously awesome) from the One Weird Episode After Another free-form style of things.

"There you are, Gary!"


Dude, seriously, the kewlie Dharma Project Stuff from Lost is pretty much straight-up-the-middle run-of-the-mill Fallout Junk, minus Zombies and Comedy and Explanation and Powered Armor and Post Apocalyptic Scenery ahaha.

Anyways, if you know what I'm talkin' 'bout so far and you haven't tried it and you could try it then mebbe you oughta try it heh.

My brother let his kids play it on my machine a couple weeks ago and it made me laugh to see how much they loved it (especially 'cause they really do look like little Gerber Baby Norman Rockwell Kids with Buzzcuts from the 50s, we were eating barbecue and they just wanted to get dinner over with so they could go back and play the game s'more so they were acting all nice and taking our dishes away for us and everything) but later on they had nightmares about zombies ahaha.

The funniest thing with that is that they had never played a WASD game before (and so, being kids, they picked it up in seconds), and the littlest one, the Brain, (he's seven) was on the keyboard, and he was getting chased by Vicious Dogs across the landscape, and I was telling him to turn around and shoot but he was too scared, so he just kept running without looking behind him with all this mad dog biting noise shit on his ass as he runs and then finally he manages to jump a fence that the dogs couldn't jump and he escaped and then the room exploded into cheers.

But after that he made his older brother (Pinkie) take the helm to do all the outdoor scenes and he just took over when they were in town.

Pinkie (who's nine) just puts his head down and charges into enemy fire swinging the Police Baton like a dude having a seizure AHAHA its ain't pretty but it got the job done and it made us all laugh.

Yah, mebbe I shouldn't have let 'em play the game, 'cause they're like, too little, and everybody should be Amish, or whatever, but screw that, I told their mother that the game was about clubbing cans of tomato sauce and babies open with a tire iron and she was fine with it.

And I gotta get 'em trained on WASD so they can team up with me and their dad in games y'know they got all these kickass coop games we could play.

The gore didn't actually bother 'em at all, it was the face of the friendly Ghoul Bartender they musta noticed (in passing) while they were playing, something I didn't even think about, that gave 'em zombie nightmares.

'Cause that was actually the only zombie we even came near, y'know?

Zombie nightmares are pretty awesome though y'know I mean I'd have to say that you prolly got a little ripped of in life if the package didn't come complete with the occasional kickass zombie nightmare every now and again y'know so I don't feel too bad about being responsible for that.

Oh yah, and then, for the Grand Finale of the night, we set off the nuke in Megaton and watched it explode from a hotel balcony miles away, which is not to be missed, so that was fun.

Tell me I'm not the awesomest Uncle to have ever ahaha.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I got big huge skull-crushing gorilla-mitts for hands.

I ain't real good with measurements, y'know, but I'd estimate that my middle finger is like, at least nine inches long.

Yah, my knuckles are the size of marshmallows, man.


Yah, imagine that mouse you are holding was the size of a strawberry or a chicken nugget, that's what its like to be me, I gotta pick it up like its a robin's egg and be all delicate with it to keep from hitting all the buttons at once and mashing it.

Yah, see, I need me a mouse about the size of a truck tire.

That's why I went with the Microsoft Sidewinder one, I saw reviews where all these gorilla-mitt folks were like "thank Zek its big 'nuff for a guy of my enormous natural size!"

Heh heh heh.

I also got the microsoft sidewinder keyboard just 'cause its black and it glows red (OOH! PURTY LITEZ!) and I wanna see how crappy it is and if it can do anything cool with windows.

And I like the fact that Microsoft (or whoever designed the damned thing) has absolutely no clue about gaming and that I can't hold down more than a couple keys at once, on accident, y'know, since my fingers are so huuuuuuge HO HO HO HAR HAR HAR *cough*

(Actually I don't care about not being able to reload while I crouch and move forward or whatever, I been playing FPSs on ghetto-ass keyboards for so long it'd prolly paralyze me with confusion if I could do that haha).

See those two Big Huge Knobs on that thing?

Now see, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout, man, I need me some Big Huge Knobs like that, 'cause of my tremendous meat-hooks, they shoulda put a whole big honkin' row of gigantic-ass knobs like that at the top of the thing, awhellyah, that woulda been awesome ahaha.

Dem logitech G-whatevers
looked all cool and everything, too, wit dem fancy liddle display screenies, and dat mite be fine fer youse if youse gots cute liddle "chipmunk" hands or sumpthin like dat, but dats too liddle fer us Big Guys to use, dats like sumpthin dat goes inna tiny liddle dollhouse fer baby girlz and stuff.

And I like the whole Saitek 80s Plastic Toy Cyborg thingie but there are gonna be times when you don't want people to know at-a-single-glance that you are some kinda big huge scifi nerd from the 80s.

The Moment of Truth

I been thinking about the first computer I ever ordered all the parts for and put together myself.

The parts came separately packaged in this huge-ass box that you could've easily fit four or five humans in comfortably.

And so I unpacked everything and I wired everything up on the kitchen table.

And there was that first time you turn it on, after wiring it all up, where this horrible feeling of dread comes over you, this feeling that something terrible is gonna happen, that your mad scientist powers aren't quite up to snuff or you missed something or you didn't do something right and now you are gonna fry a bunch of these new super expensive components that you can barely afford to start with and you definitely can't afford to replace and it would take days to replace 'em even if you could afford to do it and all that.

That's the Moment of Truth, y'know.

The moment where all the bullshit spinning around in your head is finally put to the test.

There's no way to be awake enough to be sure you did everything right, no matter how many cigarettes you smoke and no matter how much coffee you drink.

Anyways, the first time I turned on the first computer I ever put together myself, there was a moment where nothing happened.

Followed by a little hissing noise.

Followed by a moment where the case filled up entirely with a thick gray curling soup of impenetrable smoke.

And then finally all the fans whirring along in the machine and the massive ceiling fan above the kitchen table instantly distributed the smoke throughout the room so that the entire dining area became a thick gray fog that nobody could see through.

Somebody was with me in the room, I don't remember who, but I didn't even get to go through this horrible process alone and maintain my dignity ahaha.

So then I turned the damned thing off, luckily my finger had never left the switch, or I prolly would have had a hard time finding it in all the smoke heh.

And then I waited 'till all the smoke cleared.

And then I poked around in the case until I discovered that the source of all my problems was that the wiring that came from the front connectors on the case (the hard-drive and power lights and stuff, they didn't have USB in those days but I think there was prolly audio jacks and junk) were pinched and shorted by the frame and structure of the case, and this HUGE amount of smoke had come from a tiny little bit of fried wire insulation.

It wasn't something I did, it was the guy that put the case together that did it, but I hadn't noticed it, and that's all that really matters, in the end.

And so I fixed all that (I actually soldered new wires on the crap, I had been an electronics bench technician while I was in college to be a computer guy and robot programmer), and everything was good, none of my "good stuff" got torched or anything.

But I'll never forget that deal with the suspense and hitting the button and the smoke pouring out and everything, I mean, it couldn't have been more cartoony and horrible, not even in a dream, with the ceiling fan strumming the fog and making it spin and the fans in the case spewing forth turbine jet streams of smoke, the whole deal, that was total mad scientist shit at its best, the special effects were perfect.

So, whatever, y'know, I worked on my karma a bit, and I learned a lot (the hard way, obviously), and now that kinda stuff hardly ever happens to me anymore.

But I figger its good to share the disaster I was greeted with when I first showed up to the nascar hillbilly of computers scene originally, y'know, like a dumb country boy with pockets full of hopes and dreams and not a whole lot else 'cause I had already been tricked out of all my money by fast-talking city folks peddling all sorts of magical ointments and devices along the way.

You won't get far if you can't take a few punches, right out of the gate, but you learn a little bit from every punch.

And in the end, you'll have a whole lot of stupid stories that you can laugh about with your buddies, if nothing else.

Nascar Hillbilly Cyborg

Welp I ordered my new computer.

Some of it is currently on its way to Des Moines, Iowa.

And other parts of it are still sleeping in a warehouse in New Jersey, with no idea that they're going to be selected out of the pile to become the property of me.

Its awesome how you can track things nowadays, I mean, it'd drive me crazy, 'cause I hate waiting, but it would be kinda cool to see my stuff suddenly taking a wrong turn so that it ended up travelling all over world in the wrong directions, carried to exotic islands in the swamp on rafts and dragged by Yaks to strange places in the mountains, before showing up at my door covered in postal scribblings in ancient languages and cave paintings of extinct animals.

The parts that are on their way to Des Moines are probably in a truck right now, flying along on a snowy highway in a blizzard, while the truck driver and some skanky-looking hitchhiker he picked up at Denny's are all hopped up on amphetamines, listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Johnny Cash or something, up front.

Perhaps there is no skanky-looking hitchhiker, perhaps its all in the truck driver's imagination, and he's talking to thin air, or perhaps the skanky-looking hitchhiker needs to be swapped out with a pet chimp, or a pancake waitress from IHOP, or perhaps the truck driver isn't listening to Johnny Cash, perhaps he's listening to whatever kinda Talk Radio they got between California and Des Moines, some preacher cooking with oil and brimstone, or some fake-voice joker playing fart sound effects, or some old fashioned thing on National Public Radio.

And maybe he's just blabbering with folks on the CB, although you ain't really allowed to have "rousing discussions on the CB," y'know, there's laws, you gotta keep it clean and stuff, 'cause of all the bitter Rules Lawyers and Spelling Nazis with scanners from Radio Shack who'll report you to the FCC or whover is in charge of that junk ahaha.

If there wasn't rules like that, then CB's would be way the hell more fun fer everybody, y'know, bunch of colorful truck drivers from all over the goddam place out on the open road yapping about female bodyparts and what a Denny's Breakfast does to your digestive system and how dumb-n-ugly the locals in every town were would be way the hell more fun to listen to than anything they got on the goddam radio nowadays ahaha.

Plus it'd be full of super-useful travel information, between bouts of swearing and laughing and wheezing and coughing and stuff.

Ah well.

What the hell was I talking about originally?

Ah yah.

The heaviest thing I bought was a new humongous-ass Uninterruptible Power Supply which is basically a bunch of car batteries welded together, if you ain't a computer guy.

That's one of the things that's still sleeping away in New Jersey.

I'm kinda worried about how pissed off that piece of equipment is gonna make everybody who has to move it along the way.

I mean, most of the guys at truckyards and stuff have forklifts, but like, my poor United Parcel Service guy, he's gonna blow a main cable trying to move that thing between his truck and my house heh.

Now that I had to think about typing it all out, its kinda funny that an Uninterruptible Power Supply is one of the worst things that a United Parcel Service guy might have to deliver ahaha.

Meh, won't be so funny when it shows up at my door all stabbed and shot-with-arrows and smashed to shit and covered in blood 'cause of how much it pissed everybody off along the way AHAHA.

Well, whatever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ultimate Version Service Pack 4

So I was all like "I'm upgrading to Windows Vista 64-bit awhellyah!!!" and Ex-bouncer was all like "hahaha good luck with that!" so then I was all like "dude I'm gonna buy six thousand dollars worth of equipment and void all the warranties on everything by overclocking the hell out of it all while running water cooling and everything so I oughta be able to get it to boot up in under thirty minutes!"

Which reminds me of every damn time we didn't want to upgrade to a new windows OS going all the way back to Windows 95 and Windows 98, or the especially hard times that followed the introduction of Windows 2000 when nobody wanted to go there from Windows 98SE.

'Cause before Windows 95 we had Windows for Workgroups 4.11 and we didn't hesitate to jump off that piece of shit ahaha I mean the only thing you could play in Windows back in those days was Railroad Tycoon and Myst and stuff AHAHA.

"OMFG a little piece of the picture is animated in a strange and grainy way!"

But we need drivers for all the fancy new stuff, and hardware companies seem to have a hard enough time making one set of drivers that work, y'know, so there it is, Windows Vista 64-bit it is ahaha.

It is pretty horrible that the more powerful our technology gets, the more frakked up our software gets, I mean, I've read up on Windows Vista a bit and the stuff I seen so far makes NO SENSE AT ALL.

Lemme get this straight... the thing takes forever to boot and runs like crap in order to "speed things up?"

Who exactly is this OS trying to please y'know I don't see anybody else sitting here wtf is it chewing on my hard drive for when I didn't tell it to do anything, its like, trying to predict what I'm gonna do so it can help me do it faster but its taking forever for it to predict anything and its predictions are always wrong or something ahaha.

Meh, whatever, I'm sure Windows 2010 or Windows 11 will fix everything.


So I'm looking at sound cards and the cool new one is the Creative Labs Xi-fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro card.

I hate Creative Labs just like everybody else 'cause I'm one of those old guys that blames their crappy sound drivers for any problem that is completely mysterious.

That's why I need one.

Anyways I'm prolly gonna get this thing so I was reading about it and it turns out that "Fatal1ty" is some kinda modern "gamer sports action hero" guy 'cept he looks more like one of the Lollypop Guild midgets from the Wizard of Oz y'know where they make their tough little faces and bunch up their fists and kick at the dirt with their tiny little legs all frustrated and stuff awwwww so cuuute ahaha.

Check it:

And the card comes with a free cheap-o looking Creative Labs Fatal1ty Is Drooly Awersomes pair of Earmuffs.

So now all I need is a Fatal1ty t-shirt and a Fatal1ty Roadie jacket and some Fatal1ty Tattoos and a Fatal1ty Pen and Pencil Set with the Fatal1ty 64-bit Pencil Sharpener on the back and some gaudy turquoise jewelery to make my Fatal1ty Lover Fashion Ensemble complete ahaha.

Which reminds me, the new board for EVGA has a overclocker celebrity endorsement, this Shamino dude (who seems nice enough to answer questions and stuff for folks), but the thing that's weird about that one is that the new EVGA board is gonna be another one of these NF200 thingies like the Asus P6T6 WS Revolution with the chipset that gives you the non-existant boost of three true x16 pathways while it slows everything else on your board down to WORKSTATION CLASS battlecruiser speed heh.

I wonder if he wanted to have that on there, and then found out it sucked and wanted it off of there, or if EVGA gave him some cash and then told him he had to have that on there ahaha.

'Cause by my rather primitive caveman-like understanding and totally half-assed calculations, the new "overclocker celebrity endorsed overclocker board" doesn't stand a chance of benchmark testing as good as the old EVGA board no matter how awesome that poor guy is AHAHA I mean its a little creepy if you put yourself in his shoes he's prolly staying up all night trying to make that thing run better than it should so it doesn't drag his name through the mud AHAHA.

On the other hand, the original EVGA board tests way the hell down there at the bottom of the pile so at least he's got that going for him.

And there's dudes that got the Asus P6T6 WS Revolution doing more than 5ghz on liquid nitrogen or whatever, so you could always do something like that, I mean, the board might be crappy, but it can totally take a beating.

Although that's also sorta like shooting a 98 pound weakling with a gamma ray to turn him into the Incredible Hulk and shit ahaha.