This week is some passive-aggressive advice (that’s more aggressive than passive, to be honest) for the folks at Microsoft. They’re claiming to be interested in making the PC a great place to game. I wish it was true, and so I gave them some suggestions as to how they might accomplish that.
Games For Windows LIVE is a gift that just keeps on giving. The same day I wrote the column, my daughter Esther installed my disk copy of Fallout 3. She’d never played itShe’s 15 now, so she was much too young when the game was new., but she fell in love with Fallout 4 during the E3 show and so she wanted to give the original a go.
It kept crashing and losing her autosaves, so she went looking for a patch. But the patch broke her install. It gave a classic Microsoft-style gibberish error message to the effect of, “Can’t find ordinal 12345 in xlive.dll.” This is, of course, related to GFWL. She needed to install it. And then she’d need to create her own Microsfot account, or maybe I’d have to give her the password to mine. There’s also a user-made patch that disables GFWL, but you still have to install GFWL first to get the game to run.
Her eyes glazed over. This way way more effort and hassle than she was willing to put into this. Worse, I was worried that overcoming these annoyances GFWL would have some new way to devour time and enthusiasm. That’s been it’s M.O. since the beginning, and so I suspected it would fail stupidly during account creation, or malfunction when managing save games and destroy hours of progress. Or maybe it would keep making her log in, then force an update, reboot the computer, and clear the login so she had to type it all in again. I’ve gone through all of those in the past, and I’ve only played four games that used it. I doubt I’ve seen everything it has to offer.
So she got Fallout New Vegas for $5 in the Steam sale and played that instead. Maybe that’s for the best.
 She’s 15 now, so she was much too young when the game was new.
Good Robot Dev Blog
An ongoing series where I work on making a 2D action game from scratch.
Why Google sucks, and what made me switch to crowdfunding for this site.
What did web browsers look like 20 years ago, and what kind of crazy features did they have?
The Gradient of Plot Holes
Most stories have plot holes. The failure isn't that they exist, it's when you notice them while immersed in the story.
The story of me. If you're looking for a picture of what it was like growing up in the seventies, then this is for you.