review

ACEE report

Now that I had time to recharge the batteries it’s time to tell you what happened.

I arrived at 9:30 in the company of my friend cebola by Bus, luck would have it that my car broke down. After getting a little lost inside the DEI building we finally found our way into the rooms where ACEE was taking place.

It was 30 minutes till the event was supposed to start so to pass the time we offered to help. Of course we never expected to be put in charge of monitoring some of the expositions room during the morning since the two ladies that were soposed to volunteered couldn’t come :(.

While taking care of the expo rooms we made sure we got a chance to check all the games exposed, some that caught my eyes were:

  • Crazy Wings by David Gil the game was a simple plane shooter but it was a lot of fun, I really liked this one.
  • Fog Town by Paulo Faria, I couldn’t believe it! A complete FPS (as far as I could tell) truly impressive stuff, the enemies were super hard to beat but according to cebola the author didn’t seem to have any problems with them, guess I need to practice.
  • Star Force by David Gil, once again a very impressive piece of work, I can’t even imagine how to write something like this.
  • Pacman Arena by Nuno Subtil, who doesn’t like this old classic, but what really caught my eye was the fact it was open source so I could see how it ticked (and I will too), great help for those that are still learning.
  • Tranceball by Paulo Faria, this one stood out for its use of lighting effects, unfortunately I didn’t play it much since it was still an early beta and had some annoying bugs like exiting every time you lost and complaining we didn’t have a sound board.
  • Caverna by Pedro Amaro, I kept trying to get on the high scores but I simply wasn’t good enough one day when we will meet again I shall beat it with a stick. or better yet rank nº1.

One of the things I also noticed was the number of Java Games being displayed, a very interesting tendency considering the emergent mobile gaming and that fact that all the current Portuguese gaming companies make games for mobiles. Who knows maybe, that’s how Portugal will be put on the gaming map, through mobile games :).

Anyway, that was the end of the morning so me and cebola walked over to McDonald’s and got our self’s some delicious junk food (Gentlemen at McDonald’s, I expect to see the check in the mail ;)).

On to the second round we arrived a bit late to the first presentation, something I immediately regretted since we missed most of the Lost Ages presentation, it is a MMORPG by Guilherme Santos, Hugo Mardolcar and Rui Casais, and that is all I really know (to embarrassed to ask, yes I know it’s silly).

But from what I’ve seen the game looked very promising and I seriously expect it to go places, although they might have some problems with their choice of the Torque Engine with is not the most suited to MMOG as it was mentioned by some people in the audience, I really hope they can overcome any problem they encounter.

Then Alaney Dória, talked about the IGDA and the plans for the Lisbon Chapter. He also gave us his views on the current state of Game Programming in Portugal.

The idea to unite the community is a good one and I hope they succeed but I’m not so sure, just having one chapter for the whole country would be optimal.

In the end he gave out some T-Shirts and books to some of the participants, namely to only IGDA card carrying members in the room Diogo Andrade, the developers of Lost Ages, Paulo Faria for their impressive FPS and finally to Nestor for coming all the way from Spain to be with us with out even knowing the language (we all talked to him in English).

After that David Gil gave us a presentation about his work and how he got there, then he showed some 3D techniques used in his games but very superficially. It was a shame that he didn’t get into more detail but we were already running late and probably he didn’t want to freak out possible newbies with to much details.

Finally, the last speaker of the day Dr. Licí­nio Roque took the stage and talked of the replay value of single player games and possible solutions in MMORPG and how to make MMORPG truly massive. I have some thoughts on the subject myself but I’ll reserve them for another time.

Once that was over he gathered and took a group photo of the ones that were still hanging around, said our goodbyes and went home.

The event was nice but it still has a lot to improve. My suggestions for next year is that it be held during the weekend (so that us working guys don’t have to miss a days work) and be a two day event, 1º day game exhibit, 2º day presentations and coding workshops (can you see me drool). Then Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! We want to fill those rooms with people and I know we can :)

Also those girls have to show up, I would’ve really liked a chance to have socialized with the guys a bit more, the guys from Portugal 1111 were there and I didn’t even know…

So until next year I’m off, got games to make (doing my part for the next ACEE ;)).

Note: For a more in depth review of the ACEE you can check Alaney Dória review or the Oficial ACEE report once they become available.

I HATE Windows, I HATE Linux

But I LOVE BeOS, and for one simple and (kind of funny) reason, the fact that I never used BeOS for more then an hour, that’s right you read it right. Am I insane you ask?

No, and I’ll explain why, the more I use a system the more things I find that gets me pissed, be it bugs, design flaws or just things you like done differently.

And that’s my reality, I’ve used windows (XP currently) for 5 years, and Linux for a couple of days, with windows I found things of all kinds to hate him, with Linux I just dislike the way it’s done (but I do like the concept, so Linux groupies calm down, ok ;)) but I never used BeOS (well more then 1 hour), I never seen it’s ugly side, only the wonderful qualities so like if it was a girl I’m still in love.

Maybe one day windows will be better, maybe one day I’ve come to see that Linux way is better, maybe one day I’ll actually use BeOS and find it’s not that good, who know?

Till then I’ll be using windows and bitching about it, life is cruel don’t you think…

PS: The spellchecker is K.O. so good luck trying to understand me.

Picking Operating Systems

Introduction

Today picking an OS for an IBM compatible PC is becoming more and more difficulty it the increasing number of choices, whit this in mind I decided to try the most recent OS Win ME, Win2k Pro and Mandrake Linux 8.0 the computer I used was an PII 350Mhz overclocked to 392Mhz, 128 Mb Ram, 6.3 Gb Hard Drive, Riva TnT2 m64, Sound Blaster awe64, internal modem Conexent Soft56k and an HP-9150i CD-RW a modest computer but it is all I got I tried one by one and looked at stability, compatibility and easiness to use.

Windows ME

Win ME is the last Win9x based OS actually it was only made because Microsoft assent able to make win2k compatible enough to release an home version which made people mistake WinME it Win2k, it as the latest GUI improvements making it most pleasant and easy to work wit, and it runs relatively fast on my computer most win9x applications work fine but there’s a catch it doesn’t have a real DOS, so you can only run games and applications on the windows DOS promote and they will work fine unless they need to have direct assess to the hardware (like sound board’s for sound in games) in this case or they will crash or just work but it no sound for instant also if you think this is the most stable win9x ever made then I’m sorry to disappoint you but it doesn’t like some win98 drivers since making windows even more unstable like in my case my modem drivers made windows reboot when I was online or simply crash but if your hardware is recent you should be ok, even it this problems it’s still the best windows for gaming and multimedia.

Windows 2000 Professional

Having a confusing name this OS was original named Windows NT 5.0 so you can see it as nothing to do with the Win9x legacy since it was originally made to replace WinNT and Win98 Microsoft took the best features of booth and made a bran new OS very easy to use and extremely stable but since it as primarily based in WinNT the compatibility is not the beast DOS is only emulated (its true Win2k as no DOS) and the limits of Win ME also apply and even some windows applications don’t work mostly games in the hardware department it’s not the beast but its not the worst ether you will find drivers unless if you have old ore strange board, for those using Win9x this OS will look familiarly at first but as you go deeper you will encounter configuration options that Win9x user can only dream also this is a multi user oriented system so if you have a big family using one PC this feature will come in handy and if you want a network this OS is what you need but don’t think this is a Win9x it requires a good machine to run fast my PC runs at medium speed so you see its heavy.

Mandrake Linux 8.0

My favorite distribution of Linux or Gnu/Linux who cares I must say Linux is becoming easier to use this version is extremely easy to install and use and since that it brings all the applications you need it makes it the only installation you need to do for a while the stability is high as usual and it runs ok in my PC since it doesn’t ask for to much power in the gaming department thing are still green but in office applications there is plenty of good choices like Star Office, WordPerfect and Koffice also now it the new 2.4 kernel usb support is guarantied but still the hardware support is not at 100% so expect some component of your computer not to work if it as less than a year.

Conclusion

As a final word ill like to say their all great OS but for different things so if you are a game fanatic Win ME is the one for you but if you work more than you play but still can’t be it out you windows games than win2k Pro is a great choice Linux is a great alternative for schools, companies and even people at home that just use they pc as a type writer will review this when windows XP comes out till then goodbye.