So somehow I managed to actually miss the entire scandal as it broke. I only found out anything about it when I got into work on Tuesday (Monday was a public holiday here), and I’m still catching up on it.
To be honest, is anyone actually that surprised?
There’s all sorts of things about minimising your online presence, etc. as a counter-measure.
Basically, the idea is to generate a low signal-to-noise ratio; i.e. flood the system with useless and meaningless information so that any real data which may exist becomes unusable. Just like most people’s Facebook and Twitter. Or this blog.
There’s been speculation since the first game came out that Mass Effect would get the big screen treatment.
I actually am not really a fan of the idea. Movies, by their very nature, need to strip out any non-essential elements; even if you were planning a multi-movice franchise, à la Marvel’s Avengers, you still have to create a complete arc for each of the entries.
Given the fragmented nature of RPG stories, and the fact that much of it is ultimately self-contained side stories, I don’t think the movie treatment would necessarily be the best option for game franchises.
A TV series, on the other hand, would be perfectly suited to Mass Effect’s story-telling style.
I’m a big fan of Mass Effect, although requiring Origin to play ME3 on PC is a whole world of suck, so I recently got the PS3 box set.
The decryption mini game is nigh impossible in this version. (I was used to the PC ‘frogger’ style game, so was unaware of this version on XBox 360 and PS3 until now.)
There seems to be some timing glitch with the game (several people have reported the problem, though there seems to be an equal number who do not) which means that the first button in the quick time event is not even appearing until the timer has almost completely run out. I’ve only ever even seen the third button appear once (through sheer chance I managed to get the first two buttons on a particular run).
Now, I’m not as sprightly as a thirteen-year-old kid, but my reaction time is still pretty good, and it’s not like I’m a ME n00b.
It is frustrating beyond belief and turning an otherwise potentially pleasant gaming experience into an endless loading screen.
I wonder if it is in fact a clock issue, since there seemed to be a similar glitch in the HD re-issue of God Of War where you have to push the crate down to the cliff face before the spikes shoot up. There seemed to be just that fraction of a second less available to complete the task than in the original version, which meant that even if you did manage to time everything else perfectly, there was still a chance that you wouldn’t make it.
Update 27/05/2013: I’m beginning to think it is a sync issue, since during conversation the animation begins before the audio. Likewise, I think the timer is starting before the inputs are initialized for certain classes of QTE. (It only seems to apply to decryption QTEs on containers and terminals, too. Story-related QTEs function as expected.)
I’ve recently come across a situation where I needed to delete a whole bunch of files from git (i.e. they no longer existed on the system, but removing them individually would have taken waaaay too long).
git add -u
will add all untracked changes – including removed files. Handy if you need to perform lots at once.
I’ve started using MSBuild for a project at work. One thing I needed to do was inject a bunch of values into configuration files based on the environment. My batch file accepts two command line parameters, the project to build – there’s three options in the case of this project – and the server to which it is being deployed: development (dev), user-acceptance testing (uat) or production (prd).
I needed to pass different values for configuration files based on which environment was being built, since it has hard-coded URLs in certain configuration files.
XSLT to the rescue, right?
Unfortunately, the method for passing parameters to the XSLT files is rather cumbersome. The XSLTransformation task has a Parameters attribute, which accepts the parameters for the transformation.
Let’s say you have an XSL transformation which copies the configuration file and injects the values into the content of the nodes matched by the XPath query.
<!-- ignoring the header part... --><xsl:paramname="param1"/><xsl:paramname="param2"/><!-- Match and copy everything --><xsl:templatematch="@*|node()"><xsl:copy><xsl:apply-templatesmatch="@*|node()"/></xsl:copy></xsl:template><!-- matches <xpath> <to> <match1>text here is replaced with value of param1</match1> </to> </xpath>--><xsl:templatematch="xpath/to/match1/text()"><xsl:value-ofselect="$param1"/></xsl:template><!-- matches <xpath> <to> <match2>text here is replaced with value of param2</match2> </to> </xpath>--><xsl:templatematch="xpath/to/match2/text()"><xsl:value-ofselect="$param2"/></xsl:template>
So to pass the two parameters to the XSLT, we have the following in our project build file.
This will take all the input files specified by the InputFiles item group, and output them to the folder specified by the OutputFolder property, recursively with the directories, filenames and extensions of the original files.
Now, the problem here is with the Parameters attribute. We have to pass in the escaped XML, using < and >, which is cumbersome and makes the build script much less readable. While this might be OK for one or two parameters, things get messy when you’re dealing with 15-20 (which I am).