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Are Commercial Games Finally Going To Make It To Linux?

EllF Re:Commercial games already made it to Linux (242 comments)

Loki declared Chapter 11 in 2001 and shut down operations in early 2002. Tux Games was a reseller; Loki was handling the porting of Windows titles to Linux. The latter did not merge into the former in any real way, and TG never continued the coding work done by Loki.

about 2 years ago

PR Firm Unwisely Tangles With Penny Arcade

EllF Re:Too Long Did Not Read (419 comments)

Are you really on Slashdot, a site targeted at "Nerds", complaining about having to read? Perhaps Reddit would be more your style.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

EllF Take the job (735 comments)

They would show you zero iotas of loyalty if it was in their best interest. Walk away, take the better job, and don't look back. It's just business. Don't make the mistake of confusing it for something different.

more than 2 years ago

Teach Your Router New Tricks With DD-WRT

EllF Why is this on the front page? (257 comments)

Why is this a front-page Slashdot article? It's ancient tech, closed source, and there's no mention of the vastly superior alternatives out there.

more than 2 years ago

Reaction To Diablo 3's Always-Online Requirement

EllF Re:It seems good (591 comments)

Phew. Guess I'm not either -- late 20s "core" gamer, having played previous games in the series, with disposable income. Can't play it when I am traveling for work? Whatever, Blizzard. I'll just get Torchlight 2.

more than 3 years ago

A Plea For Game Devs To Aim Higher

EllF Reading Suggestion (179 comments)

If you're really interested in where the edges of the industry are being expanded, I suggest checking out the guys at, especially their weekly podcast. It's the best roundup (on a regular basis, even!) of the industry, with a slant towards this type of non-generic gaming. They also come at it like many of us probably do: slightly older gamers ("alpha gamers") who have been playing since the late 80s/early 90s, and who are as much interested in as they are concerned by the commercial evolution of video games. No affiliation, just a fan of what they do.

more than 3 years ago

Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre

EllF Re:wtf is roguelike? (201 comments)

I think that familiarity with roguelikes -- at least in terms of general context -- are an assumed part of the Slashdot culture. I hear you on the lack of explanation around obscure references to things that only a select group of folks know, but for those of us who have been around for a while, *hack doesn't really fall into that bucket. That said, the point of the article is that the genre supposedly defies easy explanation; offering a definition would be somewhat contrary to that point.

more than 3 years ago

Employer Demands Facebook Login From Job Applicants

EllF Re:Not always an option to not use facebook (434 comments)

I don't care for it, but so many people I know use it I have no option.

You do have an option, no matter how many people whom you know use it. Your argument is for the convenience of Facebook, not the necessity of it; you could just as easily use the phone, email, post, or even a personal webpage to stay in touch with your remote friends and family. Perhaps you wouldn't be able to reach out to however many dozens or hundreds of "friends" you may have in your network online, but there's a secondary argument there, hinging on the definition of friend.

more than 3 years ago

DRM-Free Games Site Gone

EllF Re:It's a stunt. (326 comments)

Actually, AC, they did NOT state that they would be bringing it back. That's inferred. Quoting from the site, "We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await." That's pretty plain and up-front, despite your polemic against the editors.

more than 3 years ago

DRM-Free Games Site Gone

EllF It's a stunt. (326 comments)

There is a good amount of information suggesting that this may in fact be a marketing stunt; have a read of Kotaku's write-up: Personally, if this is in fact a marketing stunt, I will -never- purchase from GOG again. Lying to your customers doesn't make them want to spend their money on your products.

more than 3 years ago

Xfire Purchased, Team Leaving

EllF Re:What is up with this site lately? (161 comments)

Where should we long time Slashdotters go then?

Pay Rusty a visit at Then you'll really pine for the old days.

more than 4 years ago

Valve Delays Portal 2, Squashes Duke Nukem Rumors

EllF Re:Noooooooooo (135 comments)

X3 is great, but the best modern space sim I've played is an indie title (albeit, a very serious one by a dude who's been making space sims for over 10 years): Evochron Legends.

more than 4 years ago

XBMC Discontinues Xbox Support

EllF Re:XBMC was the best thing for the Xbox (213 comments)

You actually didn't need to physically mod the XBox -- a copy of Splinter cell, a third-party memory card, and some software from the net were all you needed to "soft-mod" it. Same effect as a hardware mod, no need to open the case.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook's Zuckerberg Says Forget Privacy

EllF Actually, I have no expectations for Facebook. (415 comments)

Well, that's it for me. I just cancelled Facebook; I think there's a deeply frightening assumption being made by Zuckerberg, and the candy of Facebook is not worth the marketing nonsense that it will likely bring, or the endorsement of the generally poor behavior of the CEO. At least from where I'm sitting, the only option anyone has to disagree is to deactivate their account, citing privacy concerns.

more than 4 years ago

How To Teach a 12-Year-Old To Program?

EllF C#/XNA? (799 comments)

At 12, I think you want to impart a good foundation, not expertise in a specific language. I learned BASIC on a C64 back when I was 5-8, and followed it by learning C and C++ in my early teens. I think BASIC remains a reasonably decent starting point, in that you'll be teaching the rudiments of loops and program flow without the complexities of pointers, but depending upon the learner you may want to dive into C immediately after walking through the basics of BASIC. C# would arguably be the logical replacement for C++ in a new programmer, these days. If he's like most kids, you could even teach both C# and XNA, and work with him on learning to write code via a small video game project; if he has a Windows PC or an XBox, he can even show it off to his friends.

more than 4 years ago

The Secret Lives of Amazon's Elves

EllF Re:I'm in a good place with Amazon..... (202 comments)

Not everybody wants the same things out of life, and I've never thought it in good taste to explicitly or implicitly insult anybody's honest work, regardless of what it is or who they are.

Seriously, this.

more than 4 years ago

Music While Programming?

EllF Re:Your boss is... (1019 comments)

Perhaps you should stop being a jerk to the people who go out and do things you can't do, like build relationships to clients, convince them to spend their money to buy the product you make, and ultimately to funnel money into your paycheck?

more than 4 years ago

The Art of Downloadable Game Development

EllF Downloadable Games != "Games for the Impatient" (32 comments)

Quoting from the article, "You have to make a game of a certain size and certain type. It's got to be simple but also rewarding within the first 60 seconds." What's with this idea? I've written about the problem of conceptualizing "casual gaming" as being different from "hardcore" gaming before; I think that the medium of downloadable games lends itself well to properly executed game design, because you can't lean on graphics or massive worlds, but even so there's no reason to say that a small game has to pander to impatience.

more than 5 years ago

Braid, Games As Art, and Interpretation

EllF Is Braid Important? (37 comments)

The underlying question here is, I think, whether Braid was Important. Games are rarely seen that way - most of them are debated on the basis of whether or not they are "fun", but not on whether or not they somehow embody something larger and more fundamental than just being entertainment.

One possible approach (quoting from The Hip Gamer) is to distinguish between the game's implementation (the "system") and it's ambition (the "game world"). I find that game systems are usually best evaluated formally, where one can look to a review to comment on things such as depth, elegance, and replayability; game worlds are more subjective, where one reads reviews for more information on a world's theme, concepts, and morality when considering them.

What Braid does well is the latter; the world is clearly well thought out and considered, and the non-gameplay pieces (the story books between levels, the artwork, the music, etc.) all advance that world's realization. The game system is solid if not astounding: it's a platformer with a time-control element, with some clever puzzles. Does that make Braid "Important"? Perhaps -- there are a dearth of so-called casual games that meet those criteria. However, in the larger scope of gaming, I don't know that I'd put Braid on the same level as, say, the original Half Life, or Space Invaders, or Planescape: Torment. Gaming itself is unlikely to be altered by Braid's existence, even if playing through it is enjoyable.

more than 5 years ago


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