An entire column dedicated to making the case that online activation is a Bad Idea as a form of DRM. I had to give my boilerplate “Steam is not the same as simple activation”, because if I didn’t do that it would instantly hijack the conversation and we’d be arguing over Steam the whole time. I mentioned that their system of auto-patching is pretty nice. Far better than Googling around, looking for a patch, trying to figure out if I have it, or need another one before this one, or if I need a special one for my region, and then shuffling off to FilePlanet and downloading 50MB worth of ads while waiting in line for my 5MB patch.
Of course, as soon as I wrote that the auto-patch system came back to bite me, and an update to Garry’s mod broke the software. Since I had no idea there WAS an update, I wasted a lot of time trying to fix what I thought was a problem on my end. And because of the way the system works, there is no way to return to the previous version. My software is dead, and I just have to wait for someone else to fix it. Grr.
You can turn off auto-patching on a per-game basis, although it’s on for all games by default. Some games need auto-patching. You need to keep Team Fortress 2 up to date, or you can’t play online. But single player games don’t have that problem. I probably need to go through all my games and set policies for each to keep this from happening.
Man, I hope Garry gets it fixed soon.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
There's a wonderful way to balance difficulty in RPGs, and designers try to prevent it. For some reason.
I Was Wrong About Borderlands 3
I really thought one thing, but then something else. There's a bunch more to it, but you'll have to read the article.
The Best of 2019
I called 2019 "The Year of corporate Dystopia". Here is a list of the games I thought were interesting or worth talking about that year.
Steam Summer Blues
This mess of dross, confusion, and terrible UI design is the storefront the big publishers couldn't beat? Amazing.