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Comment Finding the right fit (Score 1) 583 583

When I started I poured everything into a shit-ass job and they were MORE than happy to squeeze more and more out of me (because recent grad + .COM bubble burst, insanity, etc). After 6 years I was completely burnt out, extremely cynical, suffering depression and anxiety issues (which I'm still dealing with.)

After I quit that hellhole I went somewhere "normal" and I had a really hard time adjusting to not having to have everything done simultaneously as quickly as possible, I got my nights and weekends back and I didn't know what to do with myself. It was surreal.

That place started to go south (after it was gobbled up by a capital investment group) so I went to my current place which is even better still.

So the lesson I would give to my younger self is that don't be afraid to keep looking around for opportunities, sometimes the grass really is greener.

Comment Re:PC version (Score 4, Insightful) 95 95

Exactly, this is why GTA IV was so heavily pirated I would guess, likely GTA V will be in the same boat (if it isn't already)

If 2K just learned to accept modders they might understand why crap like Garry's Mod ( http://imgur.com/FsKngOB , http://store.steampowered.com/...) and Minecraft are still still leading sales years after they came out.

Then again, when you buy a big franchise game like this you kind of know what dumb lock-in you're going to get so...

Comment PC version (Score 4, Interesting) 95 95

I bought it on launch on the 360 and it was okay but something wasn't right and I kind of let it rot for a while, now with the PC version having HD textures and a relatively steady 60 fps the game is a lot more fun (for me at least)

For some reason the online play on PC is a lot more fun as well, I really can't say why that is, it just is

My only gripe are the hoops for multiplayer modding, because let's face it if you're playing GTA on a PC you might as well be Batman fighting Horses with shotguns with 0 friction and low gravity

Comment Re:The Big 3 Enemies for any Big LAN (Score 1) 48 48

Yes sorry that's exactly it

The networking guys fixed the problem via network configuration a few years back if I remember, the key thing is that hosts monitor the network and learn how to troubleshoot things quick.

Nothing stalls a laddered tournament faster than teams that can't play, especially if it's ranked

Comment Re:The Big 3 Enemies for any Big LAN (Score 1) 48 48

Temperature control is absolutely a huge thing, though sometimes you get locked into a venue

For about 5 years we were using the Mayfield Trade Center and the AC kept overloading and dying, that was utter hell, not just for the people but for the hardware too. Trouble is Edmonton can get up to the 30-40ÂC range in the summer (85-100 F) so you have the power load from the event AND the power load from the AC, it turned out the Mayfield had those systems connected together and it was a big ol' mess.

Comment The Big 3 Enemies for any Big LAN (Score 4, Interesting) 48 48

I attend Fragapalooza on a yearly basis and they manage ~200 folks, I've volunteered a few times myself for setup / teardown and over the years some things have become apparent:

1. Power
Having stable power distribution is your top priority, no matter how much you've solved other problems when power goes down it's going to kill everything. Worse yet if you have rolling power issues that's going to put a real kink in your tournament scheduling. The main thing to consider when it comes to power distribution is what kind of hardware is going to show up, if you are using tournament machines where every build is identical then it shouldn't be a problem, if people are bringing their own machines you're going to have to sort out wildly fluctuating power configurations.

2. LAN
Your LAN setup needs to be flawless, monitored and set up to find and eliminate problems. That one person who shows up with DHCP turned on is going to be a cancer, the faster you can find problems like that and solve them the better. You'll also need people to keep an eye out for hacking, tournament play, it happens

3. WAN
Problem 1: You're hosting a LAN style event with a required WAN connection, you can do everything in your power to ensure that you've got the bandwidth to handle X number of simultaneous players as well as whatever the players who aren't in the tournament are playing, even if you handle this perfectly online-only games are a bitch to run tournaments for because if the servers you are connecting to go down your event is over or will drag on way too long. Even checking for potential maintenance windows to ensure there's not going to be downtime during your tournament hours is something important that's easily overlooked.

Other stuff you're going to need to consider is gate security and floor security, not just for things like theft but also for ... conflagrations between players. When people get mad you need to be able to deal with them quickly otherwise things start to escalate, it's bad for your event, it's bad for your attendees.

Anyway, all this stuff probably seems obvious but it's hard to achieve AND maintain

Submission + - This Battery Has Lasted 175 Years and No One Knows How->

sarahnaomi writes: There sits, in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, a bell that has been ringing, nonstop, for at least 175 years. It's powered by a single battery that was installed in 1840. Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of, but they are afraid that opening the bell would ruin an experiment to see how long it will last.

The bell’s clapper oscillates back and forth constantly and quickly, meaning the Oxford Electric Bell, as it’s called, has rung roughly 10 billion times, according to the university. It's made of what's called a "dry pile," which is one of the first electric batteries. Dry piles were invented by a guy named Giuseppe Zamboni (no relation to the ice resurfacing company) in the early 1800s. They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity.

Link to Original Source

Comment A Tip for crowdfunding a Board Game (Score 1) 155 155

When you are close to the end of your own play testing phase you need to build multiple prototypes.

If you want to get the word out to people about your game, particularly sites that review games and recommend them to potential crowd funding audience is that you must have betas you can send to people.

And don't underestimate the time required to develop, build and create a beta for your game, in-house playtesting can take months of refinement. Review feedback is going to add a new cycle of changes / testing.

It's a big investment both in time and materials even before you reach out for funding, and after all that you may not be able to reach your goal, so be prepared for that up front.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.