30. November 2009 16:52
It's ime to post the first Soulcraft artworks. My colleagues will continue posting art in future
Pictures 1 & 2: Character designs by Lewis Roden, an angel and a demon.
Pictures 3 & 4: Character designs by Kevin Kotthaus, the female human character and an enemy.
Picture 5: Environment design by Tina Heitmann.
27. November 2009 11:34
I don't know how you feel about this, but i think most of the games coming out today have so much more atmosphere when you can enjoy them in their original language. This is usually why I try to play every game in english or watch movies and series as they were meant to be enjoyed - and not butchered by semi-professional voice actors.
In the case of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, this really grinded my gears. I bought the german version and activated it over Steam as usual. Fun fact about that is, that the keys for Steam games all have a "country-code", so that the game knows in which language it is allowed to download - and only that one. At least the guys at Infinity Ward thought it would be a good idea to block the Germans from downloading any other language (Makes perfect sense, right? We Germans aren't multi-cultural at all, of course.. Thats why there was a World War in the first place.. So that we don't have to speak all those other weird languages...).
So there I was, wanting to install the CoDMW2 Multiplayer in original English and Steam wouldn't let me. So what to do in this sticky situation?
The trick is to install a version that doesn't need Steam activation (these don't have language limitations) and, after that, copy over all the files into your steamapps directory for Modern Warfare 2. Then, you backup your old localization files that contain localized_german_... and replace these with the localized_english_... ones. To do that, just rename those new files to localized_german_... and you're all set for a Multiplayer experience without the voices of "Erkan und Stefan" (for the terrorist announcers) to mess up your mind.
The wierd thing is that it only works by renaming the files to "german" and keeping your Steam Settings for the game set to "German".. If you just could select "English"
in the Steam Settings, this would be so much easier, but changing languages in Steam doesnt't do a thing for this game. I personally think, this is a real let-down for all the guys living in Germany that appreciate a game in the original language.
I hope this helps you guys and I catch you online in my favorite game at the time!
19. November 2009 19:41
Ravensword: The Fallen King is a new RPG for the iPhone created by Crescent Moon Games. It is available in the AppStore for $6.99. Though the graphics look decent for an iPhone, the controls appear rather slow in the trailer/movies on youtube. Check it out and tell us what you think.
You may wonder, "i remember that title, but something changed" ^^
Yes i posted some days ago about the unreal engine being free for non-commercial use, and now Crytek seems to think, "we must do this, too".
So now you can register for an educational license of the CryEngine 3 and the very new Sandbox-Editor version on mycryengine.com/
This makes the third part in the rush of making great game engine free for pulic: Unity, Unreal and now CryEngine.
9. November 2009 19:43
exDream has started the development of SOULCRAFT, a RPG for iPhone, other platforms optional.
The setting is Earth,Heaven and Hell and we have a lot of cool unique ideas. Well, don't worry, SOULCRAFT won't become a religious game.
In the preproduction we are creating a lot of concept arts, testvideos, characters and props to define the final look of the game while our programmers do all the fancy coding stuff to breath life into the art.
The project will be the first big game cooperation between MobileBits GmbH (Appstore Publishing) and exDream GmbH (Games Development). SOULCRAFT will become our iPhone flagship game. We will keep you informed. Stay tuned.
7. November 2009 15:31
The iphone is a pretty controversial device. Some love it, some hate it, others couldn't care less and if you want to write software for it, you have to go with Apples AppStore, and they can be pretty picky before letting you submit.
It seems they aren't picky enough since a new case of Apps stealing your phone number arised. Apparently the developer Storm 8 released a number of games, which exectute malicious code to collect the number from your phone.
The respective games are
It is probably too late to prevent them from stealing your number, but it wouldn't hurt to get rid of them, just in case theres more to it.
A preceding story was caused by the swiss developer Mogo earlier this year. They stole phone numbers of their free customers and called them to update to the paid version.
Is it possible that all the restrictions established by Apple still aren't enough?
6. November 2009 15:15
I will add to this post later .. but I want to just start with this excellent overview article :)
5. November 2009 21:56
Today i saw a very nice news entry on google reader!
The Unreal Engine is now free for non-commercial use, with no restrictions. Everything is included in the so called UDK or Unreal Development Kit, especially all the tools to easily create your game.
The UDK provides many cool stuff and here you can find a long list of features: http://udk.com/features.html
This new step of Epic is a very big present for the community and especially small hobby development teams which now can use these powerful tools like the real big developers.
I'll give it a longer try at the weekend but what i've seen this evening was amazing.
More information and the download can be found here: http://udk.com/index.html
I am a bit short on time therefore I will just write a few bullet points on this topic.
First, there is not a single way to measure success - in fact there are several KPIs who qualify as success for an App:
- Sales and Revenue
- User Reviews
- Marketing Channel
- User Behaviour / Analytics
- Competition Monitoring
For each of these KPIs there are several tools who can do the Job:
1. Sales and Revenue
- You could use iTunes Connect from Apple but we all know this sucks
- I am currently using AppViz which works fine and even includes User Reviews and Integration with http://www.applyzer.com/ for Competition Information
- Just discovered http://www.tapmetrics.com which also does the Sales & Revenue-Tracking pretty well and includes User Analytics Data as well .. thinking about testing it out
2. User Reviews
- Just check out your App on the AppStore
- or use AppViz (see above)
3. Marketing Channel
- If you want to know where you get your users from (performance of marketing channels) try out http://www.apprupt.com/ - havent checked it out but seems to be the best choice out there.
4. User Behaviour / Analytics
5. Competition Monitoring
- Want to check out your competition? Dont want to look into the Top 100 everyday manually? The best service I found so far is http://www.applyzer.com/ however it is not free.
Hope this first list helps .. if you have any more tipps please just comment - thanks!
Here are my main reasons why I switched this blog from dasBlog to BlogEngine.NET recently:
- Too many problems with dasBlog over the years (I have been using it for 5 years now)
- Often simple features like commenting just stop working or causing problems on different browsers
- Checking for spam is way too hard (see below, I wrote a helper app)
- Customizing dasBlog is hard
- Development of dasBlog is almost frozen (not much updates anymore)
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved dasBlog (else I would not have been using it for 5 years), but after porting dasBlog to our new website at exDream I encountered some really annoying problems. After I copied over the content files I just got strange security errors. After I fixed those all blog posts were gone. Then after coping all files once again and restarting the app, the next error appeared: Cannot add duplicate item and so on. After one or two hours I got everything working, but while searching for solutions to my problems I encountered BlogEngine.NET. Many people seem to have switched in the last 2 years, I heared of it before but I did not see any reason to switch. Now however after checking out the simple tools, the great extensibility and the much easier to use theming, I was hooked.
Switching was not painless, but overall it was a pretty quick process. Just have to figure out how to convert WordPress (another blog) to BlogML and then import those posts into the same BlogEngine blog. The main difficulty was to export dasBlog entries to BlogML and get it back into BlogEngine.NET.
I used the following tool to export from dasBlog to the BlogML format: http://www.paulvanbrenk.com/blog/2006/12/27/BlogMLSupportForDasBlogBeta.aspx
After fiddeling around the the command line tool I got the exporter working. While it was annoying that it threw so many exceptions, it later helped me to figure out some settings I had to make both in the tool and on the dasBlog site.
You can alternatively also use the UI merill build for the DasBlog to BlogML Converter:
Next you gotta import BlogML back into BlogEngine.NET, but I had many spam comments and trackbacks in my old blog, which I wanted to get rid of. So I wrote a little application that parses the whole export.xml file (was around 11MB for me) and removes everything that stinks. This is the whole console application (it uses Log and StringHelper from my utilities and XLinq, not much else, it should be easily extendible to block more spam): BlogImportSpamRemover.cs (6.42 kb)
This resulted in reducing my 11MB of blog data to 2.5MB (wow) with the following spam removal statistics:
Info: Saved exportCleaned.xml! Parsed 283 posts with 477 comments and 30196 trackbacks. Found and removed 51 spam comments and 30112 spam trackbacks!
Finally importing the blog entries also caused some trouble. First the Import BlogML application inside BlogEngine.NET must be started from IE (FireFox saves the file, and then launching it won't work), then I had to try different settings until everything validated and finally the importer always aborted with "Invalid username or password", which made no sense. Luckily I quickly found the solution, just add post.DateModified to the \api\BlogImporter.asmx:
After that all blog posts were imported and are live here now :) I later found out that using ASP.NET 4.0 causes some additional problems. First you have to use "requestValidationMode="2.0"" for the web.config system.web/httpRuntime key, else posting blog entries will just fail with a dangerous request error page. Then some extensions like the Poll will just stop working and keep telling you strange things like "Please choose an answer" even if you select a valid answer. I checked with Firebug and saw that the Ajax calls all failed. So I switched back to the ASP.NET 2.0 DefaultAppPool and things started working again.
One last issue I had after a very long day of fixing css was the fact that all my other web applications stopped working (under the root where BlogEngine is now located). I tried to remove httpModules in the other web applications and reinstalled some apps, but nothing helped. BlogEngine is really messing around by disabling sessions, rewriting all kinds of urls, demanding strange files, etc. Only after I found this extremly useful blog entry (after finding less useful posts like this one for ScrewTurn (wiki) or this one for YAF (Yet Another Forum), which both did not work) I was easily able to fix all the problems by just forcing the root web app not to inherits it stupid incompatible web.config settings to all the children web applications: http://www.jaylee.org/post/2008/03/Prevent-ASPNET-webconfig-inheritance-and-inheritInChildApplications-attribute.aspx
Well, in the end everything worked out great and now the whole website is working better than ever and much easier to customize than before. Maybe I will talk about the dynamic features of the other pages (Games and Gallery) sometime soon, which is kinda cool (they all are just generated on the fly from some directories).