Wednesday, January 6, 1999

Jan 06 1999

Wednesday already. Amazing.

I went out to CompUSA last night and bought both Half-Life and a Creative Labs DVD-ROM drive (plus two DVDs, Blade Runner and Contact). As expected for a Creative Labs product, the DVD drive installed flawlessly; my only complaint is very faint noise. I’ll be calling them tonight. DVD is very nice; I can play movies on my computer (full-screen or in a resizable window), or hook it up to a regular TV. Plus, most DVDs come with interesting tidbits like trivia, behind-the-scene stuff, the trailer, etc.

Half-Life, though. Excellent game. It’s a first-person shooter that actually spends some time building up tension and plot (you have to play the game for 15–20 minutes before you hit the first baddie, and I’m not complaining). The gameplay from there is fairly standard, and thus far quite linear (more so than, say, DOOM). The AI for the baddies is thus far not particularly amazing; one breaks open a door, then stands there until you come into its line-of-sight. I also would have liked more NPC aliens; the alien equivalent of goats that have wandered through the portal, but aren’t trying to eat you. Ah well. Still, very involving game, and I highly recommend it, even to those non-shooter fans out there (I’m not a big shooter fan, myself).

One of my parents’ Christmas presents from Amazon.com finally arrived — and mis-shipped. They were supposed to be getting the Danger: UXB box set, but instead got the George of the Jungle box set. Slight error there. Another phone call to make. Arg. I will say, though, that that’s the first time I’ve seen a mix-up like that from Amazon.

I’ve been doing more work on my IRC bot Stevens, and in particular adding a Civil War simulation module. You can ask it to repeat a battle of the Civil War, specify your own strategies and supplies, and see how it works. Kinda interesting, and I hope to make it more interesting as time goes on.

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