June 23, 2002

I’ve been extremely busy the last couple of days but not coding :p I installed “Civilization III” on my computer a few days ago and since then have been bitten badly by the Civ bug! I don’t know what it is about the game but once I sit down in front of the computer to play it, I just don’t feel like getting up and going off – I just want to keep on playing, just one more turn, till the next invention, till the next wonder is made and so on and before I know it, I find that I’ve spent hours on it! Day before yesterday, I played till 2:30 am in the morning (of yesterday) since I wanted to build the flight to Alpha Centauri :p Of course, that meant that I was walking around like a zombie yesterday but hey, what’s that compared to trying to get to Alpha Centauri? <vbg>

Of course, Civ III is not the only game that I’ve been playing recently. I also got “Warcraft III” a couple of days ago but couldn’t get it to work on my machine since according to the game, my graphics card did not support DirectX! Turns out that the video drivers weren’t right even though I was using the latest drivers – according to Microsoft. Got some drivers off the Net that was meant for a different notebook computer though the chipset was the same and suddenly the game started working! “Warcraft III” look gorgeous and the in-game movies are extremely well-done but I couldn’t enjoy the game properly since even with a 1GHz Pentium III processor, 256 MB RAM and 8MB of video RAM, my machine was basically crawling when running the game :-( I believe that the problem might be at the video end of things – might be the drivers I have (it’s an ATI Rage chipset based card …) or I just might need more video memory. But the upshot is that I can somewhat play the game but even then the whole game will go crazy and the graphics become blocky, whitish things after about an hour of play – and that means I have to save frequently just in case that happens at an awkward moment. Not very enjoyable at all :-( I guess I should build my desktop (I need a motherboard, processor, case, keyboard and monitor – I’ve got the rest cannibalized from my computer from the US :p) but since that’s going to cost about Rs. 20,000 I’m not sure that I’m ready to do that just to play Warcraft :p

One good thing about getting the newer video drivers is that I am now able to play another game that used to complain about my system not supporting DirectX. Not many people probably have heard of this one – it’s called “Dark Orbit”. It’s developed using the WildTangent game SDK, which incidentally, is an amazing game development platform since it allows you to code a game using a variety of programming languages including VBScript or JavaScript! I had tried the demo of “Dark Orbit” a long time ago and liked it so much that I bought the full game either just before I left the US or just after. However, I’ve never been able to play the full game since it has always complained about DirectX on both my notebook and a couple of machines at work using Riva TNT cards. I thought there was a problem with the game itself but it works now after the video driver changes I made for Warcraft! So I’ve also been playing “Dark Orbit”.

So what with Civilization, Warcraft and Dark Orbit, I’m basically not going to find much time this weekend for coding – and it’s a long weekend too! I did have a few things to change in Blog again since several users have pointed out various things that I was aware of but didn’t think was that serious. But if it causes problems for even one user (besides me since I don’t mind work arounds <g>), I think it’s better to fix the problem. But that probably won’t be till Tuesday :p

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Tags: General
Posted by Fahim at 7:06 am   Comments (0)