Title: 1343

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2004

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Calling all programmer geeks who use LiveJournal

December 21, 2004
2:27 PM

So, here’s the deal. For the past few weeks I’d been trying to switch my rant system over from the current one to WordPress. I have to say, I really, really like WordPress, but the problem with it is that it’s running on the same server as the comic, and it CHEWS through the processor. I put a test setup of it live yesterday, and within 20 seconds, the server was all but unusable. (Ukyo says the new setup should be ready sometime this week if all goes well)

So today I got it into my damn fool head that if I were to set up a closed livejournal community, I could place that in the rantspace and have LiveJournal bear the brunt of the computing power. It’s also nice because I could, in theory, set it up such that people can comment on rants, things like that. I mean, ideally, it would end up looking exactly the same, but it would be much, MUCH easier for me to post rants, meaning I would post them more OFTEN.

The trouble is, I have NO freaking clue how to use LiveJournal’s custom template system. Essentially, the graphical data for these rant “bubbles” would need to be included in the template, and the way they do templates mystifies me. I had it all figured out in WordPress, but LiveJournal has to go and make it all complicated. Alternately, if someone can give me another option that would give me the same functionality, I’d be all for that, too. Maybe a WordPress installation on a seperate server, or something. I dunno. Anyhow, this is the official call for help. Send me an e-mail and hook me up. Thanks guys.

A note about Star Wars : Galaxies

December 21, 2004
8:22 PM

So, lately I’ve been in kind of a “Try every MMORPG out there” kind of mood. There are a few I had not tried, and a few that I tried during beta and wasn’t impressed with. (After trying WoW, I had to admit that judging a game based on beta is a bad idea) So, while at Wal-Mart yesterday, I saw a Star Wars Insider magazine with a 14-day free trial of SW:G included. It was only 5 bucks, so hell… why not give it a shot, right? I mean, perhaps I didn’t give it enough of a chance during beta. I should really see where the game has gone.

I am TEN minutes into this freaking game, and I’m about to break something. I know there are a few people that work with SW:G who read the comic, but I’m sorry. I can’t help but gripe. The command interface could not have been more counter-intuitive if RETARDED MONKEYS were to piece it together. I’m talking about monkeys who would have trouble with the basics of flinging poo. They could probably throw something together that resembled a control scheme. For nearly 10 minutes, I had issues just trying to get a freaking mouse cursor to show up (the game says you can hit alt to change modes… no such luck with me. I hit alt, nothin.) I finally found the options menu by randomly hitting a key on the keyboard (the main menu doesn’t pop up when you hit ESC. Shocker.) and found that I could switch basic controls to FPS style, which made movement ever so slightly easier. Here’s an ideal situation when you’re talking about control schemes, okay? Players NEED a cursor. Players do NOT always need to be looking around. So, perhaps, instead of making it so you right click to shift between cursor mode and mouse-look mode, you make it so they HOLD the button when they want to look, and let go when they want to go back to using a CURSOR. Makes sense to me. To get something even slightly approximating decent controls, I had to set the dead zone to nil. Basically, I CAN configure it to do what I want, through lots of experimentation and whatnot. I shouldn’t have to be fighting the game this much.

I’m gonna keep going with this, because I’ve got 13 more days. I really should give it it’s due. But So far, I’m very much less than impressed. That saddens me, because to me, the idea of a MMO game where you can PURCHASE YOUR OWN SPACESHIP is very appealing… it’s just frustrating to see such a neat idea get undermined by its control scheme. I hate to keep bringing it back to WoW, but developers, quit trying to go crazy figuring out how to develop a UI, and just look at what Blizzard did. Copy that. It WORKS. It’s easy to use. I don’t have to WRESTLE with it. I’d like to see if the game is at least subtantial enough, though. I don’t want to condemn the whole thing because of issues with the UI. For all I know, it could have all sorts of interesting stuff in it.

Also, don’t worry about the whole livejournal thing. I think I’d be better off either finding a seperate server to run WordPress on, or waiting for Ukyo to get our new servers up and try the current install again at that point. LiveJournal’s template customization is ALMOST as retarded as SW:G’s UI.