Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rise of The Tomb Raider - PC Game Review

Rise of The Tomb Raider is a nice blend of action, puzzles and open world action.

I wouldn't have gotten it myself (I've tried a couple in the series and didn't care for them), but it came with the Humble Monthly games.

So far I mostly like it (11 hours played), but some of the puzzles, as well as the need to remember spots where you don't yet have a piece of equipment and has to got back later, is quite annoying.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Stone Sky - Book Review

The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin, is the third book in the Broken Earth series, where the Earth was destroyed by a cataclysm tens of thousands of years ago.

In this one, mostly everything in the series is "explained" (it is a bit vague, but reasonable). Including what messed up the surface, the Stone Eaters, the Orogenes, and that it was magic based tech that did it.

Overall, a very satisfying end.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

GearVR Review

Got a GearVR (2016, free as a bundle gift, with the S8). It is interesting. The movement tracking is pretty good.

Setting up felt harder than necessary. I had to look up a couple of things online as their instructions were very unclear. After the first time, it is pretty easy to use.

I'm using the Samsung screen protector. It works fine with the GearVR, but distort the image somewhat, specially in the corners.

One thing that I think really hurts the platform is the fact that it comes without a controller, just the little touchpad in the side. This means that this is all most games can count in. Which really seems to limit things a lot, interface-wise (I mean, even my Intellivision console in 83 had a controller with plenty of buttons...). One click and swiping is all you get, in addition to looking around.

I tried a couple of the games, and they looked good (Sunken and Rush so far). Not super exciting, though. They do feel much more immersive than they would in a monitor.

The VR "tourist" things is kind of fun, though. On these you just look around as a video or 360 photo of a location plays. It feels much more like being there than looking at the computer, but it is also somewhat inconvenient (looking around, up and down is much harder than using a mouse).

Some of the interfaces are really, really bad. One of the samsung VR video apps actually lines up all the videos instead of making a grid, so you are required to rotate over 180 degrees to view them all. Most apps are smarter and just use a grid and pagination controls.

Overall, it is still a bit of a gimmick, like 3D was, although a lot better. If you like to play with new stuff it might be worth getting, otherwise I'd say just wait for the next generation.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Cross-platform templates missing in Visual Studio 2017

I recently had a problem where cross-platform templates were missing in Visual Studio 2017. Everything that should have been installed with Xamarin was not.

This was solved simply by noticing that Bonjour had trouble installing. From the error log I imagined it was just it, and since I didn't plan to use the iOS part it wouldn't make a difference.

This was pretty easy to fix - I just started the Bonjour service, and set it to automatic. Then I un-installed Xamarin in the Visual Studio Installer, and installed it again. This time all templates are in place.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Obelisk Gate - Book Review

The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin, is a fantasy book where the world was messed by a series of catastrophic events - earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. It is the sequel to The Fifth Season .

Events pick up where they stopped. The biggest news here is that Nassun, Essun's daughter, has her own part in this book. And it sure is exciting!

Overall, very good and strongly recommended to people who liked the first one (and which probably didn't need my recommendation). Funny enough, the Kindle app pointed me to a version of the third book that wasn't available for purchase. I searched the store and found the version that was.