Archive for February, 2006

Gaming and days off

Posted in Games on 12:34, February 26th, 2006

920780_54550_front.jpgHad 3 days off, the country celebrated the Day of Defenders of the Motherland. I’m not one but I have days off anyway, so I had rather mad parties and alot of gaming. I’ve borrowed a couple of psp games from my colleagues at work. The first one is some Diablo clone – Untold Legends. I’m not big fan of such games. Gameplay is nonstop mindless clickage with usage of found weapons and armor. You’re becoming more powerful with time but you meet more powerful monsters as well. Dunno, this game didn’t take my attention. The other game is Wipeout Pure. This is rather fine looking futuristic racer where you ride slick looking hovers. The gameplay is addicting and requires some time to get hold of controls. It’s not that easy not to touch track’s borders and keep speed high. Also, there are various weapons and boosts along the track wich helps you to slow down the opponents and boost your own speed. Also there’s additional tracks and skins you can download off the official site. Very quality and addicting game, I’m looking forward bying it for myself.

Also, I had nice Doom2 session and played Simplicity. This is still in progress megawad which consists of short but very quality hi-detailed levels with brutal gameplay. Recommended for Doom2 fans.

Evil britt and his friday night

Posted in General News on 12:35, February 18th, 2006

Paul (I hate you) started this evilness which forced me to learn about all this tagging shit and trackback urls and what forth. Sigh, these blog games…. Since it’s saturday morning and I have nothing to do as well as the rest of our small circle of bloggers, I decided to join this madness:

Four Jobs I’ve Had

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

Four TV Shows / Events I Love to Watch

  • uhm i don’t watch tv, sorry

Four Places I’ve Been on Vacation

Four Favourite Dishes

  • macaronis with cheese
  • bbq
  • chicken in any form (except raw)
  • mutton in any form (except raw)

Four Websites I Visit Daily

Four Places I’d Rather Be

Four Bloggers I’m Tagging

Pauk, I hate you! I had to create special category for this bollox even! ARGH!

Sonic overflow

Posted in Music on 0:57, February 18th, 2006

zoetrope.jpgI’m going to go bankrupt soon as I’ve got unexpected music package and it’s rather big! It’s full of the long awaited and awesome titles. The first one is eternally awaited Lustmord’s “Zoetrope” movie. It was shoot back in 2000 but got to the DVD in 2005. This is short experimental movie which is based on Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” story where the man is keeping in the dark cell and being tortured by the “nameless sadistic bureaucrat”. It’s black and white industrial trip spiced with deep Lustmord’s sounds. Highly recommended.

control-thecleansing.jpgSecond CD is Control“The Cleansing”. As expected it turned to be rather quality power electronics. It’s even more volumetric work than the other Control’s CD I have – “Affliction”. I wish Thomas Garrison visits Moscow again in the future. I really liked his live performance here. The noise is complex, industrial and dead.

shpbanner.jpgThird CD is rather interesting power electronics Steel Hook Prostheses with the album “Light Reflected from a Cold Cutting Table”, influenced by medical atrocities and crude surgical procedures. This album was mastered by the abovementioned Thomas Garrison and you can tell it. Good PE album which locks you into the sinister atmosphere of some evil surgery and from where there is no escape. You just see that gleaming cutting table and the fresh blood drops on it.

ND-infinitas.jpgThe next couple of CDs is from the good old Cyclic Law Records. As you can see I’m getting almost all the released of the label avoiding martial ones, I’m not big fan of martial industrial except Der Blutharsch. Anyway, the first CD is the Nordvargr/Drakh“Infinitas in Aeternum”. This album is in true Nordvargr style. Proper dark ambient background with occasional voices and distorted guitars. Sometimes the music goes to the deep space, sometimes to the dark woods as you hear wolf’s howling. Distorted guitars adds black forest atmosphere which just makes my heart jump out of joy. The artwork of the album defines atmosphere greatly. I’m not sure about the inverted colors there though, but that’s just me. Good album where you can hear true Nordvargr blended with Cyclic Law trademark sound.

Kammarheit-FRONT.jpgAnd the second CD is from the proper norwegian act – Kammarheit with the album “The Starwheel”. Well, this cd is a bit different from the others released on Cyclic Law before. There are more details and more variety in sound but still, the bleak atmosphere is still there. The artwork of the CD creates proper mood and forces me to remember autumn forests and the mountains I’ve never seen… Sad and cold album…

loki40_news.jpgAnd the last but not least goes the last (literally, because the project is ended in 2003 unfortunately) album of my favourite dark ambient act Predominance with the double CD – “Dark stars unfolding”. As ever, released on Loki Foundation label, this cd is a collection of the old works from the rare vinyl and MC releases on one cd and live performances on the other. Dark, pulsating ambient with chanting vocals creates ancient cosmic atmosphere. Some tracks are more industrial and military, their titles speak for themselves: Thermonuclear Winter, …After the Holocaustwinds, etc. It’s proper release for the Predominance fans. It’s real pity Gerd Zaunig decided to quit, but maybe it’s better to end in time and have a collection of proper material rather than produce soulles music. At least I can be proud I seen him performing live here in Moscow back in 2001.

Mirrormask movie

Posted in General News, Software on 23:49, February 17th, 2006

mirrormask.jpgWatched this movie the other day. Rather nice fantasy. Well at least they call it fantasy and it lays in the fantasy department in the store. But there’s no tolkienist stuff at all. This movie reminded me of Alice in Wonderland story somehow. Maybe because of the english humor there or weird creatures that Helena meets on her path. It’s like a fairy tale where reality is mixed with a dream. The plot is rather simple, the girl gets into her dream and fights the evil queen to save the white queen. The core of the story is about the dark and light sides of the soul and how human’s nature can change depending on the circumstances. The visual part is good too, 90% of the decorations is pure CG which is done very nice, as well as the creature design. Recommended for the people who still sees weird dreams ;)

Software bit: Messing with PSP I decided to convert some movies to it and see how it works. A bit of google search and I fished out PSP Movie Creator. The program is very simple, takes you 2 clicks before starting to convert the movie straight from the DVD. The quality selection is just a slider, you move it and the program shows how much the movie will take space when compressed.

Endless boasting

Posted in Games on 18:27, February 17th, 2006

psp2.jpg I’ve bought PSP afterall… After the long debates with myself either to buy PSP or iPod, I decided on PSP. There’s not only music but games and video. I listen to music in player walking to work and back home, all the other time player just lies and does nothing. With PSP it’s gonna be different. It has more uses. I won’t tell you how cool it feels in hands and how awesome its screen and graphics is – internet is full of praising words. Before bying it I browsed alot of game review sites and found out that the good games started appearing on the horizon. The first game of choice was Tokobot. I didn’t want to buy some mainstream racing game because I can borrow one at work. I wanted to get some relaxing puzzle game and found this one. It’s not only puzzle, you can call it action as well, because you actually have to fight and destroy things there to win. Also I liked the idea of the little robots running around the hero and how they help him to achieve goals jointing together and performing various acrobatic moves. Very well done gamedesign there I must admit. I’d recomend this game anyone who has PSP. So, I’m looking forward getting other games in the future and there’s alot of really interesting titles soon to be released or available already.

Rewriting Shire History

Posted in Games on 0:27, February 16th, 2006

15123_dt.jpgGot the BFME2 demo. I didn’t play the first game so I have nothing to compare this second part with, but I was impressed by the screens and ingame videos published earlier so I gave this demo a try. Well, I started from the tutorial mission which was easy and straightforward. You learned how to comand your army and how to attack enemies there. Also I hired Boromir (omg) to help me with my war. The gfx is impressive beyond words, but (!) only if you set all the gfx options to high (pixel shader 3 enabled). When all is enabled the game just shines. But it has tendency to slow itself down to some kind of slow motion if there’s alot of things happening at the moment on the map. The gameplay is generic: build town, gather army and defence/attack. One of the big differencies from the AOE games for example is that 1 unit is not a single soldier but entire platoon. So you just click on it selecting entire bunch of warriors. That easies things when gathering an army. Also I liked the way you build your town, how building process is animated. It’s all very impressive and funny to observe. There were some problems with the sound though, it tended to get stuck and repeat endlessly, but I’m sure they’ll fix that in the final version of the game. I didn’t explore much into the game though. Because of the sound and performance problems. I’ll try the final game as it appears here though. Hopefully EA will fix all those engine related things. The game looks promising, there’s alot of features that require extensive testing in actual gameplay.

Revelation Space

Posted in Books on 12:28, February 15th, 2006

Revelation_Space.jpgI’ve finished reading this amazing book yesterday. I was impressed. And these words aren’t enough to express my feelings. This is real hard sci-fi with proper universe and quite realistic predicion of what might happen in future in terms of technology. There are no interstellar flights in a matter of days, ships are moving below the speed of light so it takes several years to reach some star. And I like that and how author embedded that fact into the story seamlessly. I won’t say more to prevent spoiling but if you like proper sci-fi you won’t be dissapointed by this book. And I must tell thanks to Shambler for showing this book to me. So, now I’m obliged to get the rest of the Revelation Space quadrilogy because I’m seriously hooked and wondering what happens next in that story. Yet as Bal said, Reynolds improved his writing style in further books which cannot be bad.

Diesel itch

Posted in Games, Software on 23:38, February 12th, 2006

276.jpgI’ve got Trainz Railroad Simulator out of curiousity. Since I’m mechanical engineer myself all this train stuff was always close to my heart. Well the game is hardcore sim and offers all those details when you drive trains. It isn’t that complex though, there are not much buttons and there’s nice feature to program your commands in time which helps you to operate your train. I liked diesel sound too, it’s pretty real and when you drive for like 15 minutes from station to station it starts getting into your brains destroying all thought ;) The downside of the game is graphics. It’s awfully lowres and blurry. Well I can understand developers here. Graphics isn’t for reall railroad men. The core gameplay, this is what matters here. And it does its job indeed. Once you learn how to operate the diesel, the feeling is nearly orgasmic if you’re in the theme ;)

Software part: This weekend I decided to organize my mp3 collection. Yes, I have some mp3s, even if I don’t like em. I keep ones of the long deleted CDs which is impossible to buy anymore and ripped mp3s from my CDs for my player. And there are alot of them. So, since I’m going to buy iPod this spring I’ve decided to use iTunes to organize all the mess. iTunes does its job good, but there’re some things missing like sorting mp3s by path. This is really needed if you want to make tags for the nameless mp3s. And here goes little and useful program – mp3tag. czg recomended it to me while ago and i’m happy with it. You can edit your tags quickly and painlessly with it.

New music

Posted in Music on 0:43, February 9th, 2006

Visions-lapse.jpgOut of sudden I’ve got 3 new cds. The first one is rather hot Janitor CD titled “Qoumran 4-ever”. This is side project of Lina Baby Doll of Deutsch Nepal and Benny Nilsen of Hazard. The music is rather interesting mix of ambient, relaxed rhythm and industrial soundscapes mixed with nice Lina’s vocals. Very immersive and quality release.

Second CD is from the canadian Cyclic Law label. This is debut CD of the project Visions with the album “Lapse”. This is true CL’s release. Dark ambient which takes you away to the endless and cold depths of space to the dimensions unknown. This CD is good for the cold winter nights, especially when you’re brave enough to gaze to the frozen starry sky through the opened window when there’s -30C outside.

And third CD is like some surprize for me because I forgot I ordered it. It must be like 2 years ago I did that and here it is. This is Dense Vision Shrine with the album “Magic & Mystery” from some obscure UK darkambient label Iris Light. Well it wasn’t dissapointing album either. Very quality dark passages with deep underground atmosphere. There are also 2 videos on the CD which are rather simple and look like slideshow but it fits to the music.

United Colors

Posted in Software on 16:20, February 7th, 2006

color.jpgSo, since I have nothing to write about, and Gom constantly persuades me to update my site, here it is, the update. This time I’ll talk about the program I use quite extensively several last months when I designed sites for myself and friends. This is Color Schemer Studio. I won’t describe it fully because all the info is on its site in the Features section. I’d point some major features. 1. The possibility to grab random colors off picture. This is needed when you what to make site’s color scheme to match palette of certain image. You just load this image and grab as much random colors off it as you wish. 2. The possibility to remember colors you work with. This is useful when you work with some scheme alot and its main colors shift somewhere as you work. But you don’t wanna abandon the color you found, so you just remember it for the later use. 3. The color wheel. This is very useful thing as it helps you to create harmonic color schemes and not only in webdesign but also in game development where I use it as well. For more information refer to the program’s site.