Welcome to LL Retro Gaming

And so the Blog changes yet again, this time it has become the Official home to my LL Retro Gaming Twitch and YouTube Channels.

The Twitch channel will be the main place to find me as I will hopefully start streaming there come September, the main purpose of the channel is retro gaming, hence the name.

I will be playing games from the MSX, C64, Amiga and possibly arcade titles as well, there is no set schedule yet but I will post a something once I have a better idea of when things are going to happen.

The YouTube channel will have archived shows and possibly recorded game play from other titles if I decide to do a Lets Play series for the channel as well.

That’s all for now and I hope to keep this updated as much as possible.

LieutLaww

To Test or not To Test

That is the question.

So when they first announced that SWTOR was going into beta and sign ups were available I jumped at the chance to sign up, later on though as I read more and more about the game my mind was changed. Did I really want to be in the beta and spoil the game for me?

Having already decided I was going to be a Jedi Knight I did not really want to test and spoil the story that you would play through.

Fast forward to a few days ago and i see an email saying I was in the beta, again I thought no I want to keep the game pure but then thinking on it why not jump into the beta i didnt have to create a Jedi Knight character i could try something else possibly something on the side of the Sith.

So now i am waiting for another email saying when and how i can download and get a very brief look at the game before its released, which is now the 20th of December for everyone or possibly the 15th for the people who have preordered and submitted their early access keys.

Minecraft 1.8 Pre-Release

So a pre-release of Minecraft 1.8 had been leaked, and then officially sanctioned by Notch, its rather buggy and obv needs work but they have announced that the final version of 1.8 will be released on Monday.

A number of mod builders and Texture artists have already released versions that will run with 1.8 pre these include Mixcraft HD and Too Many Items, other mods etc are currently being updated and we will see them either once they have finished debugging them or when the 1.8 final is released.

Features of 1.8

The 1.8 Pre-Release is available for testing right now! We’ve done some extensive testing, and discovered the following features:

- Biomes are MUCH larger and uniform than before

-Swamp biome was added to the list of existing biomes – look for vines on trees!

- Vines
Can be collected with shears, in the manner of leaf blocks. Vines will grow on any surface they are placed on

- Beef and Chicken added

- Strongholds – spawn once per world

- Ruins (basically strongholds on the ground)

- Giant mushrooms (Do not generate yet)

- Silverfish

- Creative mode
Allows flying, insta-break, unlimited items from an item palette, no damage, and more

- Abandoned mine shafts

- Endermen
Normally passive, these night-spawning mobs will teleport to (and attack) you if you look directly at them. When defeated, they can drop Ender Pearls, which presently do nothing

- Bow charging
Variable damage with charge, can also land critical hits. Additionally, attacks can crit if you hit a player or mob when descending from a jump

- Sprinting
Run faster, knock mobs back that are hit during a sprint – appears to deplete the hunger bar faster

- New high-quality Main Menu

- Chest animation (lids open, close)

- Player list on SMP; Server listings

- Setting gamemode on SMP “/gamemode username 0/1″, 1 being Creative and 0 being Survival

- Hunger
Depletes slowly over time, can be filled by eating food. At 9 more more bars, you will regenerate health slowly.

- Eating animation

- Arrows stick to mobs

- Xp bar (Gain xp from killing mobs and other players)

- New lighting engine (Colored lights, smoother lighting)

- Clouds are now at the ceiling of the world

- Cave spiders

- Zombies drop rotten flesh, which can be consumed

- Watermelons (as well as watermelon and pumpkin seeds)

- Glass panes
These can be crafted at a crafting table by making a 3×2 grid of Glass Blocks – makes 16 panes. These panes can be placed in lines, corners and crosses, and they will adjoin with the nearest adjacent block.

- Iron Bars
Created by making a 3×2 grid of iron ingots at a crafting table. Can be placed in the same manner as glass panes

- Brick, Stone Brick stairs

- Smooth stone brick
Can be crafted by placing Stone in a 2×2 grid, makes 4 Stone Bricks

- F6 & F7 Adjust the time of day when pressed/held

I doubt i will be able to update much more on the release of 1.8 as i am off on holiday tom, but will have the laptop with me so will try if i have some spare time.

A change of direction

So I have decided to take the blog in a different direction, I havent used the blog in a while so have decided to change things up a bit and start fresh. I have laid to rest Pod Blog as I don’t play as much EVE as I used to so don’t really thing its worth keeping the blog EVE specific any more. I have updated the blog with a new theme and may tweak it about as I see the need, I shall keep all my old posts here just incase they happen to be linked elsewhere.

I will probably have quite a few Minecraft posts as that’s my current obsession ;) but I won’t be limiting it to just Minecraft.

That is all for now, was just a quick little update on whats happening here.

WazneB

iterative development and what’s happening in 2011

A new Devblog from CCP Zulu, details below.

Hey all, I’m CCP Zulu (formerly CCP Zulupark) and as of about a month ago I’ve assumed the role of EVE’s Senior Producer. CCP t0rfifrans has moved on to become EVE’s Creative Director. This means you’ll be hearing a lot more from me in the future.

After reading the many discussions following the publishing of the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) 5 meeting minutes, I wanted to write this dev blog to clarify some things that have been floating around, rumors and half-facts that seem to have taken on a life of their own.

First off, Incarna

(9 teams, approximately 70 developers)

Development of Incarna is something that CCP has committed to for multiple reasons, but the most prominent one is fairly simple.

To achieve our goal of EVE being a complete sci-fi experience we must have full body avatars. When we talk to people who like the concept of science fiction games but aren’t attracted to EVE, it becomes obvious that there is a need gap that can best be filled by having a character to associate with rather than a spaceship, and I would venture there are many existing players who want this option as well.

As of August 17th, there will be about nine teams working on Incarna. Of those, seven are on loan from other projects – to which they will return once Incarna is launched – and the remainder are EVE development teams. The EVE teams can work on both Incarna and in-space features, but they are assigned to Incarna for now. Actually one of the teams is spending one and a half releases on Incarna, the other about three releases. So the resource cost from EVE is very contained while the size and impact of the feature will be massive.

Dust 514/EVE link

(1 team, approximately 7 developers)

We‘re also committed to producing and launching an MMOFPS hybrid. What we‘re doing is unheard of in the gaming industry, namely linking together a console FPS (MMOFPS) with a classic PC MMORPG. Let that sink in for a minute. CCP is the first company in the world to do something like this. First. Ever. The „resource cost” on the EVE side for that is a team continuing on development of the Planetary Interaction feature (the primary link between the two) for the next three releases, delivering immediate, meaningful value into EVE Online and making game development history while they‘re at it.

In-space features

(3 teams, approximately 22 developers)

Currently, the plan is to have three teams working on EVE (the space parts): a feature team, the mission design team and an art/effects team. The feature team has chosen to work on a PVE related iteration. In short, they‘ll be expanding and iterating on PVE in EVE, bringing together players for immersive and engaging group content. The art/effects team will be finishing up on left-over work all the way back from Apocrypha and on some level even Trinity, where we have not fully taken advantage of new features of Trinity 2.0. This will mean prettier effects that perform better, especially in fleet fights.

EVE Gate

(1 team, approximately 10 developers)

We have one team (at this point) assigned to EVE Gate development and iteration, and that won‘t change for the foreseeable future. Note that this team is a dedicated Web development team. I had planned on using them to fix fleet lag but was talked out of it.

The others!

(4 teams, approximately 15 developers)

I‘ve now accounted for 14 teams, but we release plan for 18 teams. So what are the rest doing? Well, we have a team dedicated to testing automation. Currently they are focusing on “fleet fight in a can,” which is a borderline sentient AI-testing automation feature that allows us to instantly simulate interesting aspects of massive fleet fights, getting tighter feedback loops to the expert team that is working on improvements on that front (we are talking MIT Ph.D. here). There is a team dedicated to making tools and reporting mechanism for the customer service department. The core infrastructure team (patch delivery mechanisms, among other duties) is in there, and then there‘s a another team dedicated to performance monitoring and improvements.

On top of that we have some (space) cowboys running around injecting code into Tranquility live to debug fleet battles and fix exploits (these are the same people that do code reviews and architectural integrity checks for the EVE codebase). This is where the MIT Ph.D. come into play. This doesn‘t fall under the classification of a development team but contains computer scientists, QA people, operational staff and others. They are hard-at-work (often well-outside normal working hours) profiling and diagnosing all sorts of lag-related issues or trying to catch fringe cases that are impossible to reproduce on our test servers. This team will be greatly assisted by the “fleet fight in a can” sentient AI.

And that‘s that.

We have an aggressive hiring plan, as evident by our job listings. When those positions are filled we will be able to fully staff two additional EVE feature teams. Finding the right people with the right skills so that they can further enhance something which we have been working on for a decade already isn‘t easy, but we have increased the priority on global recruiting. If you or someone you know is interested in working for CCP, now is the time to submit those CVs.

So what about prioritization? Where‘s the iteration on feature “x”?

We have seen a number of players talking about us moving from new feature development into iteration in the year 2012, but until then we‘ll be pumping new features into the system. This is not an accurate description of how a 200-person development team works. In the 2011 winter expansion we‘ll certainly focus more than ever before on iterating and polishing up all the features that EVE has expanded to in the then eight years. What those specific systems are, I don‘t know as we haven‘t started the planning phase for that yet.

That does not mean that we won‘t make any improvements until then!  We haven‘t started planning the Spring 2011 or Winter 2011 expansions yet (not to that level of granularity) but we do realize the urgency of revisiting certain key game features. Rest assured, the CSM will play a large role in identifying those.

Please, also keep in mind that our developers are constantly fixing bugs – small ones, big ones, important ones and obvious ones. But also bugs you‘ve never experienced, never seen and never heard of. The EVE code base is as big as the universe itself and we‘re constantly engaged in cleanup and backend work that the players will never notice unless something goes horribly wrong.

CSM you say?

Like many of you, I have read the meeting minutes from the CSM 5 meetings in Reykjavik last month. To be completely up-front about it, I have to say I‘m quite taken aback by the difference in the meeting minutes compared to my firsthand experience from attending the meetings.

For my part, I felt the discussions were very constructive and I had great dialogue with the council members.

Maybe I‘m completely delusional and it didn‘t go that way at all, but there‘s definitely something broken in the feedback loop we have with the CSM and I will be working closely with them to enhance our collaboration. When two parties have such vastly different perceptions of the same event, something is wrong and needs to be fixed. We have some suggestions in mind and we will be exploring them in the fall. I‘m confident that with the CSM‘s help we can take this to the next level.

Cheers,

Arnar Hrafn Gylfason

CCP Zulu

Senior Producer of EVE Online

Official Blog for the Twitch and YouTube channels

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