Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hello Quad Core World

About two months ago, I bought a CPU for myself mainly for development, photography and video editing purposes.

Here are the specifications of the CPU I bought:

Motherboard - [LGA775] Asus P5KPL-AM/PS intel g31 + GbLan
Processor - Intel™Core 2 Quad™ Q8200 2.3 ghz 4mb 1333fsb qdr box (lga775) C2Q
Power Supply - [PSU] HEC 500w Raptor Power
RAM - 2 x Kingston™ 2g ddr2 800
Video Card - 1gb Palit™ GF 9500 GT ddr2 Super (128bit) pcie
Hard disk - 640gb Caviar Green (WD6400ACS) 16mb
Casing - [ATX] HiP (Alien ware-inspired) ATX w/o psu
Writer - [ODD] LG™ 22x dvdrw dual layer sata ls lightscribe

Initially, I had this planned probably because of my addictiveness to Sims 3. I'm planning on doing a triple boot in it to install Windows Vista and Mac OS X to go with my current OS, Windows XP. However, since Microsoft is releasing Windows 7 which is currently in release candidate version, I'm planning to wait for it instead of having Windows Vista. Anyway, the video card is a medium-range one so I think I won't be able to upgrade it for a long time however with the Ion-based video cards that nVidia is advertising right now, if I shift into Adobe CS4, I think I'd go for it. But for now, it's a little too pricey.
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How to run ASP.NET on IIS/ Localhost

1. You need to have IIS installed on your PC to be able to run even classic ASP on your computer.

To do this, go to Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components. On the Windows Component Wizard, check the Internet Information Services (IIS) option then click the Next button. You need to insert your Windows XP installer in your CD ROM to install it.

Note: You must at least have Windows XP Professional installed in your PC.

2. Next is to verify if you have successfully installed IIS. On your browser, type http://localhost. It should display the default IIS page of Windows.

3. If upon installation of Microsoft Visual Studio and compiling an ASP.NET source code does not display properly or you get error messages in your browser, go to Start -> Run and key in the following:

.Net 1.1: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\aspnet_regiis.exe -i
.Net 2.0: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

It should allow registration of ASP.NET on IIS.

4. Now, try running your source code in Visual Studio again. Your browser should display the ASP.NET pages properly.

Portions of this article came from these sites:

Hope this helps fellow developers out there.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

NBA Live 10: What to Expect

Mike Wang, a former lead game designer from NBA 2K Sports, is now a cast of what is supposed to be the "redeem team" of the NBA Live franchise. This is a big acquisition on the part of EA to dethrone NBA 2K of its supremacy in basketball video games and finally bring back the glory that NBA Live has been in the late 90s.

With the recent updates from the Inside EA Sports bloggers, we now know that they are finally making a serious effort in coming up with a franchise-changing video game. Although the site never featured a single detail yet from the gameplay point of view, they have been emphasizing that this year they have been building the game from its very core. This is real good that NBA 2K has revived the competitive spirit of EA Sports. And sadly, as the game goes gold, I don't expect any major differences from both games at all now. So far, the NBA Live game is incorporating the details that "should have been there" ever since the game was first developed. More and more gamers are now expecting to see gameplay improved and not only that, as real life avid NBA fans of their respective teams, these gamers want the same look and feel of their favorite teams.

With the way it is turning out to be, NBA Live will be at least at par with NBA 2K. Eventhough the details haven't been released, I am expecting a carbon copy of the same features that NBA 2K has been developing in their own video game to the Live series. This is good in that we have two virtually high quality basketball video games. But if you expect a new feature which will blow you away, save your money and wait for at least two more years for the Live series to become the supposed-to-be the best basketball video game out there.

Think about it. Mike Wang is at his early years in NBA Live and as excited as he is about Live's potential, he knows that this franchise still has a lot of things to go through - rework the fundamentals before proceeding with the intricacies of the game. Secondly, he and the whole development team knows that it will be hard to put all the nooks and crannies of the game in a year. Provided that the game receives positive reviews on their first year together, they will definitely be impressing the gamers someday.

But for now, NBA Live is still a work in progress. And with the hype they are trying to create as usual every year, it is starting to be different from before... on a positive note perhaps.
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Massive Multiplayer Online Game Idea

A lot of ideas here and there may be read across the web regarding online games and some of them thrived and luckily came true in one form or another on various online games nowadays. With online gaming experience probably drawing a lot of attention, perhaps even topping traditional games, there's still a lot of room for improvement.

Thus, I'd like to share to you an idea about taking massive multiplayer game into multiplatforms... and not just multiplatform, it's simultaneous across all platforms. Sure everyone is playing their favorite game via their own console's online feature like PlayStation Network, Wii Shopping Channel and Xbox Live. But how about playing as one where all players across all platforms meet online via PC, mobile, handheld console, home console, laptops, PDA? It's quite a task I should say to create a game like that but with the right implementation on every platform, it's sure to attract the gamers' attention.

Game Exclusivity

Playing on multiple platforms has both pros and cons with the obvious major advantage as accessibility. Want to play at home and play on long hours? Play on your PC or laptop or home console. Want to play on the fly on the way for a short span of time? Bring out that phone or favorite handheld console right out of your bag or pocket and play right there and then.

Of course, as a game designer, you must identify advantages of playing on a certain platform. One example is for the mouse-driven PC, motion-driven Wii and touch-driven DS and iPhone. Since playing the game is a lot easier because of the accuracy of the x and y-coordinates, spells and other techniques which require intricate movements may become a specialty for these devices. For the PS3 and Xbox, an obvious advantage would be the graphics. The game may offer a lot random enemies-generation while not having to sacrifice the game performance. Also, since they are controller-driven, complex combos are easier to implement in them. For other mobile gadgets, a simple easy to access text-based menu will do since the player is expected to play the game for a small amount of time.

Also, I recommend having maps or places in the game exclusively for a certain platform alone like having a battle arena or popularly known as PVP. In this way, if players want to duke it out amongst their co-platform gamers, they know what to expect in them since they have the same platform.

Game Random Map Generation

After months of playing an online game, players get to boredom status after they have finished accomplishing side-quests and earned the highest level of the game. I know this is quite a difficult thing to ask but the idea of random map generation every month would be great for the players and for the game as well. After gathering enough statistics about players, the logic of the game is to create an idea of how a new map should look like through careful analysis of the data coming from the players themselves. Imagine having to invest time in developing logic like this instead of coming up with an idea all by the game designer themselves.

Customization: More than Just Level Ups

When you hear about online games, it’s all about the levels, the HP, the MP, the items and the weapons. What we’d like to see is a lot more side quests. And not just that, we players like to have that uniqueness in our characters. Uniqueness not only on how our character looks like compared to others but also with our entire weaponry, spells, and the other things we do. Why not allow players to create their own spell animation? Furthermore, why not allow them to create their own spells along with its statistical content? I’m pretty sure it’ll be more than interesting to play the game.

I hope somebody from the game development industry would take a look at articles like this and give even the slightest attention to what the players want of these online games.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Video Games on YouTube

Our favorite legacy games have come to life thru these YouTube videos. A friend of mine suggested to watch some of these videos. It's nice that people all over the world still pay tribute to these games particulary Japan whose influence in games are as much as that of their influence on animation these days.

Stupid Tetris

Human Bowling

Stupid Crane Game

Human Pacman

Human Tetris

Live Action Mario Brothers

Mario, Pikachu, Princess Peach, Walker Texas Ranger

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Friday, July 10, 2009

New Prince of Tennis Chapters 8 & 9 Recap

New Prince of Tennis Chapters 8 & 9 Recap

It seems that the All-Japan representatives who fought against America in the previous series Prince of Tennis will still be strong candidates in the U17 Selection Camp. The only quite a bit unexpected scenario was the match-up of Yukimura Seichi versus Sanada Genichirou. Although it was pretty obvious that Yukimura will win for the simple fact that we haven't seen much of him as opposed to Sanada, I still think that Sanada's elimination will be reconsidered with a hint on Chapter 9 regarding the coach's reconsideration. I also though Kamio would lose against his former teammate.

Other match-ups are pretty obvious with team captains winning against their former teammates and players who've shown a lot of potential eversince the manga began like Choutarou.

Overall, chapters 8 & 9 took us to a flashback of Rikkai Dai's journey towards becoming two-time champions before losing to Seigaku. Atobe will be the next feature in Chapter 10. I wonder who he will be battling but I think Kabaji Munehiro will be his opponent.

You can read the full chapters here. Enjoy!
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How to add Twitter to your Blog

Just tried this nice widget for all Twitters out there!

How to install Twitter widget

It's a nice simple app that sits anywhere on your blog so that even if you're just posting blogs, people can get updates on your posts.
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Off-season Moves in the NBA

Just three days after the free agency market has opened, a week or so after the NBA draft, and almost a month after the 2008-09 season has finished, top teams have been busy stacking up their rosters with what they believe to as missing pieces for a championship caliber team. Even lower-tier teams are busy adding role players in their roster to help attract big time free agents in the upcoming 2010 class.

Here are my thoughts of the scenarios as of today:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers acquiring Shaq, re-signing Varejao - This, I should say, is a great improvement on the Center spot. Ilgauskas is injury-prone and could never get to match up well with Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett. This acquisition is a reaction to their playoff series loss against Orlando. Putting a body against Howard and Garnett while providing instant offense will help this team. However, if you look deeper into their roster, they are still lacking the right role players. Varejao’s signing signified that the Cavs failure to get top free agents this year is not all because of Danny Ferry’s fault but hugely on Lebron being a free agent next year. Players wanting a championship ring feared his departure could leave them hanging around. Dan Fegan sure has gotten in the way of Varejao's line of thinking. Also, I believe the tandem of Mo Williams and Delonte West is not as good as advertised. They need a lot of offensive explosion from the backcourt and with the way they were eaten up by the defense of Orlando, they'll just continue to outshine a weak Eastern Conference backcourt while continue to rattle over top-tier Eastern Conference teams.

2. San Antonio Spurs acquiring Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess - Now this is a reaction to the season-ending injury of Manu Ginobli. And while this team has had its way over other Western Conference playoff contenders, they still won't match up well with the Lakers nor the Nuggets and Blazers. This is just an upgrade on their scoring options and while Roger Mason continues to improve, after this season, I think they should start to rebuild this team. I don't think this team has enough tank left in them to push Lakers to its limit and bully upstart playoff contender teams for years to come. The Blazers now have an official playoff experience and will only get better together with the Nuggets. Meanwhile, this is an acknowledgment that they no longer need toughness but instead embrace the fact that they do not have that offense anymore.

3. Orlando Magic acquiring Vince Carter, Brandon Bass, losing Marcin Gortat, Hedo Turkoglu - It’s a wise decision on their part to end hopes of Turkoglu’s reunion with this team. His new contract with the Toronto Raptors suggests that he’s in for the money and not for the opportunity to be in a championship caliber team anymore. Meanwhile, they certainly do hope that Vince Carter has a lot left in his tank to help this team. It may take some time before he can adjust as he isn’t capable of being the second or third option mostly in the teams he’s played for. Losing Gortat left a huge hole on the Center spot. If Howard gets injured, which I hope not but may actually get more chance to this season, who will they go after? Luckily, they brought in Brandon Bass which is a hustle player. Although it still leaves them with Howard in the C spot alone.

4. Boston Celtics acquiring Rasheed Wallace - It's been a very clear theme of this off-season to find cheap and old free-agent players who want to experience or relive the championship run in their NBA career. While it is believed that they won’t sign Leon Powe and is still in the hunt to sign their very own Glenn Davis, Rasheed is a huge pickup since his championship experience will definitely help them. Besides, I read that Rasheed defends well against Dwight Howard. He won’t be getting a starting position but he will take up a lot of playing time as a back-up for Garnett. The only problem for them I think is his eccentricities added to Rajon Rondo’s locker room problems. His triple doubles in their last playoff run didn’t convince Danny Ainge enough to offer him a huge contract. So much so that Ainge wanted to trade him for a chance to get a quality point guard in this year’s draft class.

5. Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Ron Artest losing Trevor Ariza - While we are still awaiting the Laker’s offer to Lamar Odom, losing Ariza and acquiring Artest in return is a double-edge sword for them. Ariza has a lot of upside in his talents and as much as Mitch Kupchak wanted to keep him, his stocks went so high the past playoff run that they decided they wouldn’t gamble taking him on and losing Odom at the same time. Enter Artest. A surprising $18 million contract for 3 years made it clear that he wants to win a championship by also departing with the Rockets with the news of Yao Ming’s foot injury. But beware Lakers fans, Pau Gasol is going to take part of the Euro league this summer. And while we hope he comes back still healthy, it will really make Artest upset if Gasol gets injured. And while he is in his prime, it still is a big gamble on the Lakers part although Yahoo Sports made a nice take away that the Lakers needed him purely because they have to re-learn themselves again to rise up to the occasion again. While many praise Artest’s defense, his shot selection may be one of their biggest headaches on him. Also, I think Kobe Bryant should’ve considered taking a paycut this year instead of earning his usual $23 million. Many superstars often complain and demand a trade if they are not satisfied with their GMs transactions. But they also tend to forget that their salaries are what’s hurting the team’s salary cap by being unable to resign potential supplementary and role players.

6. Dallas Mavericks acquiring Shawn Marion and Marcin Gortat, re-signing Jason Kidd, losing Jerry Stackhouse, Brandon Bass - Finally, Mark Cuban makes his move. A nice getting rid of Stackhouse’s salary and mouth as well and a signal of their admission of failure in their acquiring of Erick Dampier were their greatest off-season moves followed by the acquiring of Shawn Marion. Eventhough he is not a high level player eversince he broke ties with Steve Nash and the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns, he is still a special tweener who could take on multiple positions on court much like Lamar Odom. Marcin Gortat is a pretty nice steal against Houston’s hot pursuit of him. The failure to re-sign Brandon Bass who is a consistent role player and who constantly provides energy on the team will be a big factor that will hurt them when the playoffs come. Re-signing Jason Kidd to a large contract, which I’m also wondering why plenty of teams are still in the hot pursuit eventhough he is quite old to do damage in this league, is a big no-no for this team. This just basically puts them in the map of the Western Conference top four teams expected to at least appear in the playoff semifinals because of four all-star players and one sixth man awardee but that’s just about it for them. The Lakers are just that strong and that versatile to be worn out by teams like the Mavs.
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