Sep 9, 2012


"They're going to the lawyers?"

"They already have.  The project is in indefinite hiatus."

"But why?  We've coded most of it ourselves."

"True, but not all of it."

"That which we didn't write ourselves all came from the OSO License."

"Apparently Open Source Open License has a hole in it."

"A hole?"

"Yes.  A huge glaring mistake that has halted the project."

"This license has been in use since before my grandfather's time.  It's never had a case brought against it that favored the original author when concerning just the code of an article."

"It will now."


"Term four."

"Patent License?  The perpetual, royalty-free, no-charge, irrevocable clause?"

"It's also world wide."

"Yep, and it also provides that we don't have to release our code for using OSO code."

"But it's world wide."

"So?  There was a case brought 130 some years ago that stated Mars was included under the clause.  That covers other planets."

"This isn't about the launch software."

"The ships and stations, though oddly stated as a world upon themselves, were stated as covered by the clause a few decades later."

"The asteroid miners are UAVs.  They are too mobile to be a station and lack the size or human occupant requirements of being a ship."

Aug 20, 2012

Dear Steam,

Trying to report a bug to you is extremely difficult.  Trying to figure out the password recovery for steam forums is also really difficult. There is no password recovery link provided on the incorrect password screen, just a "if you continue to fail, we will ignore you" message.  There isn't a password recovery link from the forums pages.

It is intuitive to expect the main login page's password recovery link to lead to a password recovery system, not to be told where to go to for password recovery.  For this reason, each step's number one item should read "From the steam client's login dialog, select 'I [don't] know my account name.' option and click Next."  Yes the page list this as an important item. No one reads those.  It is sad but true.  I missed it for five minutes.

All of this to find out that this main steam login page doesn't log me into steam forums.  Which means that I still haven't found the password recovery for the forum's software.

This leads me to the support system.  Including support, is this really three different login systems?  Another system that I don't know my username and password to. The snarky remark on the support page about "Why bother?" from the shadow avatar really strikes home.  This is a pain in the ass to talk to you guys.

After signing up for an account on the suggest system for steam, after 15 minutes the message still hasn't been sent.  At this point I believe you guys are being dicks to 10 minute mail addresses.  You've already pissed off a customer at the point they are using 10 minute mail.  Continuing to ignore them is not a good solution.

Finally getting logged into a previous account--because the other account is being ignored--results in the redirection click to forget what I was previously asking for.  It's dickish to use a system to filter a person though several links, ask for them to log in, then push them to the front of that link tree system again.

Once inside the support system, there isn't a bugs or feedback category.

Original bug: When I view my own profile via the steam client, seeing my games list I am greeted with buttons along the right side to install these games.  All of the games that are already on my harddrive that steam doesn't know about yet (due to a previous install) read "Not enough space."  Most of these games are below 13gb to install, several in the sub 100mb range.  I have 1505gb of space left.  Games that are not installed read "Not installed 0.0 B" with a clickable link. After clicking on it and seeing it not go anywhere, I return to the all games screen again to see it now says "Not installed 304.1 MB" with the link clickable once more.  Clicking a second time starts it to installing. Also, all of the links that previously read not enough space now read as not installed.

This looks like a difficult bug to reproduce.  Trying to do anything with the page appears to allow the code to fix itself.  I didn't interact with the page for at least a week, and it remained visually broken.

Thank you for providing a quick install component.  Using the library screen to install items is frustratingly slow with way too many button presses.

Signed with an imaginary digital pen,
A disgruntled programmer

After submitting this to Steam's support system, I was presently surprised to find out that it kept my formatting instead of getting rid of all the enters that I placed to try and separate paragraphs. I've seen lots of systems remove all \n's.

Aug 17, 2012

C# Reference Issues with Mismatched Framworks

In C#, while adding a dll to another dll, the code would recognize the new object knows the methods within the incoming dll. After building the project, what the new dll can do is forgotten and the code breaks as though I haven't added the dll yet. The dll still appears in my reference list, but the namespace doesn't appear in the object browser anymore.

After messing with it, I figured out that the new project was working with a newer framework then my current project (which is legacy and has to stay older). VS was dropping the namespace since the frameworks weren't compatible, but was throwing a different error then I would expect to be shown.

I was able to get a new build of the incoming dll built in the old framework, and that worked as expected in the first place. I'm disappointed with MS for not throwing an error that a referenced dll uses a new framework and nothing from that project will be uses able.

Googling this problem didn't show me any solutions, but I also couldn't think of a proper search for this problem. Hopefully this text can be found by someone with better Google Fu then I had today.

Apr 27, 2012

Prototype 2 - Review

Prototype 2 is a great game. I enjoyed the story. I feel that the way powers and abilities are handled works well for causing a rounder character without making the player feel blocked. In this article, major spoilers are visible by mousing over the black boxes like this. (note that mobile devices shows all spoilers. sry)

The first annoyance that I had with the game involved the claws power when using the pounce ability. The camera would decide to go action style and throw the viewpoint behind the enemy. This was often disorienting at best and increased the difficulty of the game by preventing intelligent dodge mechanics from being used at worse.

Whenever Assassin's Creed did this, it was to align the animation so that Ezio's attack looks fluid and normal. I assume this is the same reason Prototype 2 does this. Ezio gains immunity to damage during this sequence, where Heller does not.

Soon enough, I learned that holding the joystick to the side while smashing dodge was the only consistent solution to avoiding damage when the game did this.

My second annoyance comes from the final boss in the game. I feel that suspension of disbelieve that Heller has any chance of killing Mercer is lost when during an attack combo I am dealt damage and moved back into the arena without any chance to dodge or get out of the attack.

This happens to me as I'm using an attack to deal damage to Mercer and I'm still floating away. I then follow this with a claws attack. Yet the player crossing the invisible wall has Mercer dealing a free hit on the player via long whip. This significant damage on a stick without chance for dodge tells me that Mercer could kill Heller whenever he pleases. (Yes, even after the third round when Mercer starts getting his ass kicked.)

Blackwatch, the military power of the game, holds my third annoyance. If the player attempts to go too far north of the red zone, the player is instantly killed by Blackwatch weapons. If Blackwatch had these dot die focus damage weapons, why didn't they use them sooner?

I can accept in such a scenario that a player starts taking damage from a perceivable force while walking into a zone the devs don't want the player in yet, and stopping the player at some point in this damage zone with an invisible wall, gradually increasing that damage. Alas, in this case flat killing the player doesn't make sense to the power of the player vs the abilities of the enemy.

After all of this, the game is still a great game and a great buy. Onto my final annoyance which comes from either the publisher or the developer. There is content that existed in the original game that is not accessible to players who purchase the game used within the second game. This includes all of the events and challenges that had medal rewards from Prototype 1. The inclusion of an online leader board and/or extra dlc content unlocked by completing these radnet events is cool, but denying the base single player content to players who either borrow the game, or purchase it used makes this game will not buy for me.