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.
Revisiting a Dead Engine
I wanted to take the file format of a late 90s shooter and read it in modern-day Unity. This is the result.
Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.
What was the problem with the Playstation 3 hardware and why did Sony build it that way?
Crash Dot Com
Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
Batman: Arkham Origins
A breakdown of how this game faltered when the franchise was given to a different studio.