No Man’s Cup of Tea

With No Man’s Sky releasing this last week we enter the marmite period of game launch (some hate it, some love it). Once again many people stumble with the “It’s not the game I ( was looking for/ expected it to be/ was lead to believe i would get)” then appear the demands on game makers to amend/change/fix those elements that someone doesn’t like.

nomansskyIt’s strange as asking for change can vary depending on the complexicities involved. For example returning a meal as it was served cold is within the realms of acceptable demands since you expect a certain level of quality. However shouting that you didn’t like the ending/cast/ art direction of a film isn’t going to achieve anything since it’s pretty much set in stone, maybe the director’s cut maybe extended or have alternative ends, but generally you achieve nothing.

It’s peculiar how games tend to face a very different treatment. That’s not saying devs shouldn’t fix faults or address issues, but demanding more of developers, post release seems unfair, especially when the production time on games can be equal or greater than many large film productions.

Clearing up confusion

It’s clear to see that many people who thought the game was going to be something different, were they misinformed or not paying attention?
This couldn’t have been clearer in the following tweet that was posted during launch week:

There are many questions:

  • Did players make an assumption?
  • Is the single player game a dying breed these days?
  • Was there an element of lost in translation?

I have not been following the games development, as in I knew NOTHING about the game until this week. My perception is that the game launch maybe buggy a little, just like any other title. The gameplay I had watched as been fun and those playing it haven’t complained about much besides those common issues.

I haven’t bought the game myself, but I’m sorely tempted to use my Humble discount to pick up the game for the 10% off and 10% to a charity of my choice but I have so many titles in my Steam backlog it’s becoming harder to justify new titles.

Blaugust cometh

Blaugust the time for blogging, for a fresh start and in y experience for discovering wonderful bloggers you haven’t encountered before.
If you have not heard of the event before you should visit Belghast who created the event and read up on this years shenanigans.


The challenge this year isn’t against the looming 31 day deadline, it’s about agreeing and keeping to a schedule. Of course some folks are hoping to blog each day, while others, like myself, are aiming a little lower. This is in an effort to get myself back into the rhythm of emptying my mind online, I’ve opted to post 3 times a week. I hope this will give me a guide on if it’s a schedule I could continue going forward or if it’s too much.


Sadly in the last month one of my clan members passed away after a drawn out fight with illness. It’s at times like these that our friendships, discovered in the virtual realms of the internet, prove to be stronger than those in meatspace.

This could not be more evident for me as a work colleague passed away earlier this year and despite having conversed and interacted with them on many occasions, I wasn’t remotely impacted as much as I was by the loss of a clan mate.

I touched on virtual friendships this in a post I made 2 years ago the last time I took part in Blaugust : Are friends electric?. Much of that post still hold true.

Healthy Troll

Since I learnt to drive last year I’ve not been doing a massive ammount of walking that could be considered anywhere close to a healthy amount, so recently I started doing more activities in an attempt to balance things out a little. I’ve been trying to find a routine that is both practical but that also caters for my health requirements.

During the waking hours one of my calves is permanently housed in a compression stocking due to collapsed veins, a gift from a post op DVT that just keeps on giving. As a starting point this limits the type of exercise I am able to endure as it needs to be low impact and not hindered by my leg. Currently I exercise in the evenings as by 6pm my leg is already as swollen as it’s likely to become that day, so removing the stocking to get a shower isn’t as difficult as it would be in the morning for example.

This didn’t begin life as a massive health push, but I’m hoping that I can build up the usefulness/stamina of my injured leg so it’s less of a burden and allowing me to undertake more varied activities.

Gaming hard in May

Well May is starting quite strong on the gaming front, I’ve kicked off a Diablo III character restart for the sixth season. I like the seasons in that they give me a reason to fire the game up once more, last time I had to roll a new sessional character but this one I got to restart an existing one.
I’m not a massively focused player nor do I tend to play the game with a group but I’m keen to see how the next run progresses, and attempt to complete more tasks this time around.

This week FlyinPinkMunki and I patched Elder Scrolls Online, we stumped up and bought a plus membership and then rolled two new characters. We had been discussing this for sometime and what with the Dark Brotherhood content incoming we couldn’t think of a better time to be returning. I’ve finally got around to creating an Imperial character and will let you know how we get on.

Last but not least is Overwatch which officially goes live later this month but is in open beta between the  5 and 9 with those who have preordered getting a 2 day head start. I have tried to vary the characters I play but have found that Pharah, Zarya and of course Mei are the ones I’ve favouring at the moment. I can’t wait for this game to go live as there are so many people that I follow who are playing it, if you want to add me I can be found on BT welshtroll#2579.

Finally we are still kicking around in The Division as a select few of us head towards level 20 (Yes we can blast through content but it is nice to have a regular gaming evening with some old timer clan mates). The game doesn’t do a great deal to hide the mechanics so a weekly group actually works better for me as continually play would just frustrate me.

Old coder eyes

This week there were two occasions when I had chance to glance at some code shortly before it was due to be rolled out to live. In both cases I looked over the code, not in any official capacity as both had been through testing and peer reviewed before I even set eyes on them.

However I found underlying problems in logic that would result in either unhandled exceptions or the wrong information being transmitted. Neither is a good outcome and I pushed both of these back to be refactored by the developer.

At no point do I consider superior to any of my co-workers but it struck me as weird that I was able to spot such things after only a cursory look at the code. Maybe it’s due my history in mainframe coding, where running your code was a right pain in the arse, so beforehand you walked through the logic to ensure it worked as it needed to.

Bruce-almighty-jim-carrey-typing-computer (1)

In my COBOL years when I was new to everything in the workplace and I was learning the ropes I had a co-worker named Tim, to whom I owe much of my early programming skillsets. I wasn’t that he told me how to solve issues, but rather how to get myself in the correct frame of mind to analyse my work, processing the code like the the machine would.

Maybe in today’s development environment it’s too easy to just compile and run the code and check the output rather than walking through the lines.
If the output is correct then this code goes to testing, again the same tests are performed just by a non-developer. The same tests are going to pass again and this code will be lined up to go live, where the end user will subject the code to more variations and non-test condition situations than could have catered for.

I know this is of course one area that test driven development looks to improve matters, I truly look forward to the day I get to see some TDD that is implemented correctly rather than half baked attempts that just cater for the happy path testing.

Maybe I’m fast approaching the “I’m getting too old for this shit” destination of my working life. Somedays it really feels that way, however other days, like today, I wonder if I need to step up and teach those less knowledgeable developers those lessons that I was given that turned me into the Pain the Arse I am today.

Crossing the Streamers

Since our gaming marathon I’ve found myself watching a lot more streamers recently and it’s left me pondering if it something that I’ll ever want to get into more seriously.
I both like and dislike the idea of interactions in equal measure maybe that’s why I enjoy the Forge snip-it style, however since forge has stepped away from the live streaming component the fact you were streaming by default.

At this juncture I’m happy to carry on watching others Stream, while I save clips via Forge and maybe on occasion firing up OBS to broadcast some gameplay. Nothing too serious yet.


Everyone and their Mum appears to be playing either The Division or Stardew Valley, during the evenings my friends list on steam is littered with players of each. I bought Stardew Valley for FlyinPinkMunki a few weeks back and a few of our close friends are playing the title. There seems to be many layers to the game with the basics soon evolving into more complex pathways that you have to learn and manage.

I may look to pickup The Division in April once the hype has died down and I have some more time on my hands (maybe). That’s if the service and MOT on my car don’t cost more than I expect.

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