Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gaming usability fail - Borderlands.

- Inconsistent actions available on down/up arrows in menus. Some are clickable, while others are not (i think it's the quest detail screen, as opposed to some stuff in the menus)

- Holding the action button down to swap out your current gun for one on the floor - I don't think I have ever actually wanted to do this, compared to the huge number of times that I did this by accident because holding it is also what you do to pick up ammo/money in the vicinity...

- Useless and utterly pointless "Press start" menu (when are they going to get rid of this? All it does is slow me down before playing your game. why?! WHY!? Rockband 2 has this also. It serves no purpose but to remind me what game I am playing - which you can ALSO tell from the following screen anyway (claptrap = borderlands, rock band 2 menu is pretty distinctive....) The only exception to this was the starting thing for inFamous, which was really cool when you hit start and the city blows up

Gaming usability win - Torchlight

Automatic money pickup when going near it. Best feature in a Diablo-like game, ever.

Automatic inventory/equipped item statistics comparison (unlike borderlands, which relies on clunky button presses to achieve what Torchlight does with a very natural mouseover)

Torchlight also has some really good ideas for diablolikes, like sending your pet to sell stuff (awesome)! And what is more satisfying than leveling up? Obviously, leveling up more (ie the Fame levels)

So yeah they are quite different games...but they are both "lets collect a lot of things and level up and level up and clickingheaps = shooting really they are also similar in a lot of ways. Except torchlight has (so far) better usability.

Come on Borderlands, you can patch this stuff for Mad Moxxie or whatever DLC #2 is.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I find that being alone in the office is infinitely more productive than being one of two people in the office...

Also, don't you love it when something you thought was going to take three days gets 80% done in like 2 hours?

What's everyone doing for new years? Anyone having an awesome party? Should we do paperclip new year @ old house? Go to the beach? Find some fireworks?

Between all this work and all the christmas eating and rock band 2 (oh you addictive little !@%*) there has not been much time for anything else let alone thinking about new years!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Email from Playstation Support as part of my epic quest to get Rockband 1 songs exported to Rock Band 2 here in New Zealand:

Dear Henry,

Thank you for your recent email.

Regarding your
query about PlayStation Network Cards in New Zealand, these should be available
at selected stores. Unfortunately, we cannot list every store that stock the

In relation to using them on a European PlayStation Store, the
cards themselves are restricted to the country that they were purchased in. This
means that a PSN card that you purchase in New Zealand, would only be compatible
with the New Zealand PlayStation Store.


Support Centre
REF: KW02596604

Couldn' at least they gave me a helpful answer for the other question I asked.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yay! totally owned the Moss 2007 sharepoint exam with 92% :)

was way easier than i thought it would be, didnt really go into any sort of detail at all...

but im not complaining :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So I should be studying RIGHT NOW but I'm taking a very short break (before I start, naturally) to share my impressions on the latest Apple Tablet video.

I don't think it will work. Why?

1) The "Segway" effect will come into play - that is, no matter how cool/useful a gadget it is, you look like a tard using it. iPhones dont have this problem because they aren't quite big enough for you to look stupid using them. The prototype in the video is big enough to make you look like you are playing with a big piece of plastic.

2) Shaking the tablet to shuffle is a really bad idea. Why would you even implement it? I can't imagine how useful it would be and don't see the benefit outweighing the annoyances (such as it triggering on bumpy bus rides). I imagine it will require developer/coder support to be implemented? Which means it will either end up as web slices on IE8 have (something which nobody ever uses), or blinking marquees back during the days of Netscape (inserted not because it would be useful or functional, but because they can).

3) You can't use it one handed while holding it because it's too big.

So really, my main point is that you can't just blow up an iphone and call it a tablet pc without seriously rethinking what works and what doesn't at the new size. It seems like you don't really get much more out of it, but lose a whole lot in translation.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Played at the Kings Arms last night - I'm pretty sure it was the best and tightest we'd sounded live, but was a little bit of a tough crowd (really awkward when nobody clapped after our first!)

but who cares it was fun :P

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Finally! I can cross off seeing Dream Theater live off my list of things to do before I die...

Awesome bits are:

  • mike portnoy (come on lol such a show off!!! TOO GOOD TO BELIEVE)
  • jordan rudess vs john petrucci, keytar vs guitar showdown!
  • amazing lighting crew (they must have the most rhythmically gifted lighting techs ever)

please come back earlier than 20 years this time.......