Category Archives: Gaming

Acer Aspire 5560G-7809 Laptop: A Gamble Worth Taking

Typically it hasn’t been recommended to buy an Acer, at least in my circles. From the surveys I’ve seen generally Acer rankings are last of the major computer manufacturers. Astonishingly they rank close to the top of units sold. When I saw this, I deduced that Acer likely made possibly shabby computers sold at basement-prices to a portion of the population that was virgin. So I’m not sure what I was thinking when I bought my Aspire laptop except, “If that’s true, thats a really good price; I have to have it.” I had been using a ten-year-old laptop up to now so this was by best shot to the moon orbit.

I heard about laptops that were “Desktop Replacements”. I was hoping to find something in that area: a powerful-ish core in a mobile unit (with a decent gaming card). I’m not sure the Aspire 5560G-7809 [1][2] would qualify as one officially but performance in Windows and Linux is good (at least as best as I can qualify from a 10-year-old laptop perspective). The basic specs:

Specifications
Processor AMD A6-3420M Quad-core 1.50 GHz
Memory 4GB DDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Hard Drive 320 GB SATA 5400rpm
Optical Disk DVD-RAM/±R/±RW-Writer
Screen 15.6″ 1366 x 768 Glossy LED
Graphic Card Dual-Graphic -/AMD Radeon HD 7670M

All this for $550 dollars from TigerDirect. The closest comparable model was from HP for $750. I was really recommended to change the RAM speed so this was the first thing I did. Along with the laptop I bought a two stick pack of PC106-1333 8GB memory from PNY for $41 dollars only to have it be non-compatible (or I guess it could have been busted [but passed memory test]). After that I got it from crucial because of their Guaranteed-compatible promise and the speedup is noticeable.

I admit that I got the 5560G because of the graphic card to be able to play games, it was extremely appealing to me. The Notebookcheck tests on it seemed to me to be real good for a mobile graphic card. I was able to get into Dungeon and Dragons Online and the playability was good with the auto-detected medium-high graphic settings. Been thinking about SWTOR, hmm.

I’ll probably one day get a Solid state Drive down the road for it, the 5400 hard drive speed is definitely hard to miss at times. The one from crucial sounds pretty appealing, at $170 dollars though ughh, and I’m not sure I can live with 125GB.

The screen is nice and bright and seems to have good color replication though it does have a limited-gamut and viewing angle (a typical 1366 x 768 these days I’m told). It uses an LED which is nice; glossy, not so. Having it be so reflective worried me at first I was real surprised though when I turned it on how it made that shiny virtually indistinguishable.

Keyboard and touchpad feel good. The keyboard is full-size and key pushes offer an easy, uniform resistance. I really like the touchpad. The surface provides a nice bit of friction for feedback and the size fits really well. Wish manufacturers would get away from touchpad tapping on as default however (be nice if even there was a hardware way to turn it off).

The look and balance is nice as well (if you can’t tell the look from the photos). Doesn’t weigh too much and doesn’t feel off-kilter like other laptops I’ve experienced. The hinge is sturdy and pivots nicely.

Pluses and Minuses

  • + Price
  • + Graphic Card
  • - 5400rpm Hard Drive
  • - RAM Speed
  • - USB 2.0
  • ? USB port in front of DVD-writer

Linux

Site note first: I can’t believe I am saying it but I like Windows7. It’s well put together and has good help. Out of the box everything worked pretty well. What can I say though, I like hacking; plus I love open-source.

I’m not sure how I got so lucky buying this but after installing Ubuntu everything just worked. The reason I haven’t been using Arch exclusively anymore was because no matter what I tried I could not get suspend to work. Because I came to have limited time and needed my laptop to be able to suspend, I had to give up Arch. After I install Ubuntu 12.04 I hope to be a able to install Arch again and put Ubuntu’s Unity on top of it.

Final Thoughts

Gnome 3 and hence Ubuntu’s Unity are new and have problems with the Radeon drivers (both the proprietary catalyst driver and the open-source version) and desktop effects are laggy. I had thought to buy a laptop with an Nvidia graphic card because I had good experience with it before but after reading this post Linux users should probably think twice about buying laptops with optimus technology. So the only question I have left is how will this laptop do over time? For now at least, I’m very very happy.

Advanced Urban Terror Setup

Update: 4.2 Release changes added

One of the greatest games I’ve ever played is Urban Terror. Urban Terror takes Quake 3 and transforms it to near perfection (in my opinion). Urban Terror is one of the the most successful open source, free-to-play, games of all time. The amount of time to play it, learn it, master it, is a great pleasure. This guide will show how to optimize and setup Urban Terror for best performance and usability.

Urban Terror is based on the Quake 3 engine that was released by id software in 2005. Since then it has been edited, refined, fixed, and added to under the name of the ioquake engine. The ioquake team has done an awesome job of keeping the engine up to date and running well as well as adding 64bit support, ogg support, in engine VOIP support… The current version of Urban Terror is 4.2 and you should be able to find it in the repositories for your distribution.

Keyboard Layout

Though the default layout of Urban Terror keybindings can be gotten by with, advanced users know that having to take the hands off the default keyboard positions too many times means trouble. In a game were milliseconds count this best be avoided. Keeping grouping of commonly used keys close to your left hand is good practice. This keyboard layout groups commonly used functions but is generic and should work well for any game type. However, since I find myself playing capture the flag most of the time, the automated chat (radio commands) are for CTF (the radio commands are easy enough to change in the configuration below):

Configuration

id software really knows how to make a game engine, the capabilities and options in the engine seem nearly unlimited. I’ve gone through and discovered the most important values to set on Urban Terror.

The configuration files are stored in ~/.q3a/q3ut4/. For automatic configuration inheriting, Urban Terror will look for a file called autoexec.cfg here. Instead of going over all the settings that can be done, I’ll just provide the configuration file which has comments on all the settings.

Testing edits to the configuration can be done within the games’ console. Pressing the tilda key (`) will bring it up. First thing I do is change r_mode to 4 and turn full screen off to be able to reach the configuration in the text editor:

r_mode 4
r_fullscreen 0
vid_restart

Changes in the console will not make changes to autoexec.cfg. Testing settings can be typed directly in the console or make the edit to the configuration and type (to reload it):

exec autoexec.cfg

If there are errors in the configuration file they will be displayed after typing this.

Configuration file below will need a quick go-ever before using but is mostly good. Edits needed will likely be r_custom, cg_selectedPlayerName, mouse sensitivity and maybe a few others. Forgive the syntax highlighting below, github does not correctly recognize id config files, Yeesh.

A Beginners Setup to Quake Wars

If you are just getting into Quake Wars, has a Strogg just thrown a grenade in your area and then quickly pulled out his Lacerator jumping around the corner to finish you off, all before you could say, “What the…”? Welcome to Quake Wars. Quake Wars has been around for a couple years and has some very devote followers. I almost threw out Quake Wars, discarding it as too tough and moved on. I’ve played a good bit of Urban Terror and thought I could mesh skills pretty well in QW but I couldn’t. For one, QW is a completely different game that UT. It is highly team-based and class-independent game. Second, experts there have a highly configured setups that can make your twist-left-hand stretch-forefinger setup into minchmeat. This is a guide that will get your setup somewhat on par with the experts and put you on evener ground.

ETQW is highly configurable. It literally has thousands of settings that can be changed. Thankfully we will only have to change a number of them the get on par with other players. Be of warning though that changing some settings are considered cheats and the built-in cheat system (Punkbuster) may disallow some settings. I have built a configuration that will work on just about all servers. If there are values that are not allowed by Punkbuster, Punkbuster will let you know in the chat window.

Keyboard Layout

The most important thing you can do is to build a keyboard layout where most commonly used keys are close to the fingertips. Here’s the layout I use. Green keys are at the fingertips, blue require a bit of reach, yellow are just out of reach, and red are need be.

A couple notes. Sprint toggle is the always running toggle. Sprinting is useful most of the time but makes scoping opponents and moving impossible. All keys to right are automated responses that I frequently use. 9 and 0 will respawn you in either the original spawn or the foremost spawn.

User Configuration File

Configurations are put in the users autoexec.cfg file. There won’t be one originally so you will have to create it. The autoexec.cfg file in Linux goes in the user configuration folder: ~/.etqwcl/sdnet/<playername>/base. In Vista it goes in in the users Documents\Id Software\ETQW…\sdnet\base. This file gets loaded when the user logs in. To be able to test it though it needs to be in ETQW’s global location <ETQW-config-folder>/base. Create an autoexec.cfg in the user folder and redirect to the global one:

exec global.cfg

You can name it anything you want. Once you have your global config set up you can test it from a running QW by opening console (~) and running exec global.cfg. QW will let you know of any error exist in the configuration file.

Global Configuration File

I could explain all the details of the configuration file but rather I’ll just give it to you. It has all the explanations in it plus links you need to look up an details. A couple notes: A smooth, even frames per second is critical to QW. You’ll want 30fps or 60fps without any hitching. Good graphics and great light don’t mean a thing when you’re looking to make that great hit and find yourself fighting your hardware. The config is for a nvidia 9600 GSO which at 2009 this is a medium level graphic card that handles shaders and lighting poorly, the config will reflect that. I haven’t give away all my secrets ;), but here it is:

// Contributor akau <dirk.r.gently@gmail.com>
// http://www.planetquakewars.net/Guides/Config_Guide?locale=en_US
// http://4newbies.planetwolfenstein.gamespy.com/ETQW/iffy_autoexec.php
// http://wiki.battle.no/index.php/Quake_Wars_Cvar_list - cvar listings

/// Hardware ///

// FPS 30 or 60 decision - "showcom_fps 1" to draw fps
// http://community.enemyterritory.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2042
seta com_unlockFPS 1
seta com_unlock_timingMethod 2

// Texture Quality (-2 to 2)
// Texture and Visual Quality mirror those found in Settings > Advanced
seta image_diffusePicMip "0"
seta image_bumpPicMip "0"
seta image_specularPicMip "-1"
seta image_anisotropy "0"       // (0 off, to 16 by 2^)

// Visual Quality/Performance
// Terrain Quality, Effects Level, Debris/Weather many settings
seta r_megadrawmethod "3"             // Lighting Quality   (3 low, 0 high)
seta com_lastFoliageLevel "0"         // Foliage Quality    (0 low, 2 high)
seta seta com_lastGraphicsLevel "0"   // Shader Effects     (0 low, 2 high)
seta com_lastGraphicsDetailLevel "0"  // Effects Level      (0 low, 2 high)
seta com_gpuSpec "0"                  // Shader Level       (0 low, 3 ultra)
seta r_multiSamples "0"               // Anti-Aliasing      (0,2,4,8,16,32)
seta image_filter "GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST" // bilinear antialiasing (faster)

seta r_swapinterval "0"         // Vsync                    (0 off, 1 on)
seta r_shadows "0"              // Shadows                  (0 off, 1 on)
seta r_softParticles "0"        // Better explosions/smoke  (0 off, 1 on)
seta r_useAlphaToCoverage "0"   // Smooth foliage           (0 off, 1 on)

// Good FPS boosts
// r_megaDrawMethod, r_shadows, r_softParticles, com_gpuSpec above
seta com_machineSpec "1"        // Processor                (0 low, 2 high)
seta g_decals "1"               // Bullet marks             (0 off, 1 on)
seta g_showPlayerShadow "0"     // Player shadows           (0 off, 1 on)
seta r_skipMegaTexture "1"      // Skip mega textures       (1 off,  0 on)
seta r_skipStuff "0"            // grass and foliage        (0 off, 1 on)

// Additional FPS boosts
seta r_skipBump "0"             // Skips rendering bumpmaps on textures
seta r_skipSpecular "1"         //
seta r_shaderQuality "2"        // Shader quality (0 high 2 low)
seta r_detailTexture "0"        // Detail level textures
seta r_detailFade "0"           // Detail level fades

seta r_useThreadedRenderer "2"  // For multiple cpus
seta com_videoRam "768"         // usually ETQW can detect video memory

// Resolution
// r_mode list:
// http://community.enemyterritory.com/forums/showpost.php?p=349547&postcount=4
seta r_mode "10"                // -1 for custom
seta r_aspectRatio "2"          // 0=4:3, 1=16:9, 2=16:10, 3=5:4 TFT, -1 custom
seta r_fullscreen "1"
//seta r_customAspectRatioV "10"
//seta r_customAspectRatioH "16"
//seta r_customHeight "900"
//seta r_customWidth "1440"
//seta cg_fov "90"              // field of view, default depends on aspect
                                // ratio.  Note: wider fov increases view depth
// seta image_lodbias "-1"      // viewable distance        (-1 high, 1 low)
// seta r_visdistmult "1.2"

// Gamma/Brightness
seta r_brightness "1.18"
seta r_gamma "1.05"

// Sound
seta s_driver "oss"             // For linux OSS
seta s_volume_dB "-10"
seta s_volumeMusic_dB "-16"
seta s_force22kH "0"            // lowering audio quality helps FPS a bit

// Network - http://ucguides.savagehelp.com/Quake3/connection.html
//seta cl_maxpackets "100"      // max packets 100 for PunkBuster bandwidth.
//seta cl_packetdup "1"         // If high PL - make 1.
//seta snaps "40"               // Leave this at 40, servers will adjust.
//seta rate 25000               // DSL/Cable best at 25,000 servers will adjust.
//seta cl_timenudge 0           // Leave at 0 for less lag and less trouble.
//seta cg_lagometer "0"         // Displays network lag

// Mouse
seta sensitivity "13.0"         // sensitivity
seta m_smooth "1"               // smooth mouse movements
seta m_pitch "0.022"            // vertical sensitivity scale
seta m_yaw "0.022"              // horizontal sensitivity scale
seta m_helicopterPitch "0.022"  // mouse/joystick no inverted when flying

// VOIP - team, global, fireteam (1 on, 0 off)
seta ui_voipReceiveTeam "1"
seta ui_voipReceiveGlobal "1"
seta ui_voipReceiveFireTeam "1"

/// General Settings ///

seta g_skipIntro "1"                  // Seen intro, doesn't work in Linux
seta com_allowconsole "1"             // For Windows tilda key
seta gui_showTooltips "0"             // Enough of the tooltips
seta g_tooltipTimeScale "0"
seta net_clientPunkbusterEnabled "1"  // Punkbuster is our friend

// Limit rolling and bobbing motions (Warning few servers may not allow this)
seta pm_crouchbob 0
seta pm_bobpitch 0
seta pm_bobup 0
seta pm_runroll 0
seta pm_runpitch 0
seta pm_runbob 0
seta pm_walkbob 0

seta in_toggleSprint "1"              // I find the run toggle useful
seta g_weaponSwitchTimeout "0"        // Quick weapon switch

seta ui_advancedFlightControls "1"    // No auto-correcting of flight controls
seta ui_drivingCameraFreelook  "1"    // Freelook on vehicles with no weapons
seta ui_rememberCameraMode "1"        // Remember vehicle camera mode

/// HUD settings ///
// http://community.enemyterritory.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14167

seta g_rotatecommandmap "0"           // No rotating command map
seta gui_showRespawnText "0"          // Unneeded respawn text (1 on, 0 off)

// Chat colors
seta g_chatDefaultColor 1 1 0 .60       // Global chat color (RGBa color) Y
g_chatTeamColor .8 .8 .8 .7             // Team chat color Gray
g_chatFireTeamColor 1 .6 .6 .7          // Fireteam chat color
seta gui_chatAlpha "0.7"                //
seta g_chatLineTimeout "12"             // Chat timeout (default 5 seconds)

//seta g_chatDefaultColor .6 .8 1 .7      // global chat color (RGBa color) B
//g_chatTeamColor 1 1 .6 .7               // team chat color Purple?
//g_chatTeamColor .94 .96 .50 .7          // team chat color
//g_chatFireTeamColor .72 .44 .44 .7      // fireteam chat color

// Less distracting waypoints, player info, mines, objectives, crosshair,
// vehicles, fraglist, commandmap, fireteam list
seta g_waypointAlphaScale "0.5"
seta g_waypointDistanceMax "3084"
seta g_waypointDistanceMin "16"
seta g_waypointSizeMax "15"
seta g_waypointSizeMin "10"

seta g_playerIconAlphaScale ".5"
seta g_playerIconSize "8"
seta g_playerArrowIconSize "5"
seta g_drawVehicleIcons "0"             // Disable the vehicle icons
seta g_friendlyColor ".8 .8 .8 .5"
seta g_enemyColor ".55 .20 .16 0.5"     // Gray red
seta g_neutralColor "0.45 .45 .45 .5"
//seta g_friendlyColor ".14 .88 .32 .5"
//seta g_enemyColor "1 .2 .21 0.5"        // Brighter-red

seta g_drawMineIcons "0"
seta g_mineTriggerWarning "0"

seta gui_objectiveListAlpha "0.4"
seta gui_objectiveStatusAlpha "0.4"

seta gui_crosshairColor "1 1 1 .70"
seta gui_crosshairSpreadScale "0"
seta gui_crosshairGrenadeAlpha "0.286585"
seta gui_crosshairStatsAlpha "0"
seta gui_crosshairSpreadAlpha "0"
seta gui_crosshairAlpha "0.7"
seta gui_crosshairKey "pin_14"
seta gui_crosshairDef "crosshairs"
//seta gui_crosshairColor "0 1 0 .70"     // Green

seta g_showVehicleCockpits "0"
seta gui_vehicleDirectionAlpha "0.5"
seta gui_vehicleAlpha "0.8"

seta gui_obitAlpha "0"                    // remove leftside kill message
seta gui_commandMapAlpha ".8"
seta gui_fireTeamAlpha "0.8"
seta gui_personalBestsAlpha ".4"           // Disabled because of bug?
seta gui_showRespawnText "0"

/// Player ///
seta ui_name "akau"
seta ui_clanTag ""
seta ui_clanTagPosition "1"

/// Keybindings ///

// Dont' unbind all unless you plan to bind every key. ETQW will just replace
// otherwise.
//unbindall

// Xbox Controller Settings
exec xboxgamepad.cfg

// Actions //

// Movement
bind "e" "_forward" "" "default"
bind "s" "_moveleft" "" "default"
bind "d" "_back" "" "default"
bind "f" "_moveright""" "default"
// Lean - lean with shift key and s and f
bind "s" "_leanleft" "shift" "default"
bind "f" "_leanright" "shift" "default"
// Crouch/Prone/Sprint/Walk
bind "shift" "_movedown" "" "default"
bind "v" "_prone" "" "default"
bind "r" "_sprint" "" "default"
bind "CTRL" "_speed" "" "default"
// Toggle sprint key behavior.
// On: move forward always sprints, Off: hold sprint key to sprint
bind "F4" "toggle in_toggleSprint"

// Weapons - melee, second, primary, grenades, gadgets (packs, cameras,
// explosives, airstrike), designators, tools (construct, revive, hack), deploy
bind "q" "_weapon0" "" "default"
bind "a" "_weapon1" "" "default"
bind "w" "_weapon2" "" "default"
bind "c" "_weapon3" "" "default"
bind "z" "_weapon5" "" "default"
bind "4" "_weapon6" "" "default"
bind "x" "useweapon weapon_tool1" "" "default"
bind "3" "useweapon weapon_tool2" "" "default"

// Reload
bind "t" "_reload" "" "default"

// Use
bind "g" "_activate" "" "default"

// Vehicle
bind "capslock" "_usevehicle" "" "default" // enter vehicle
bind w "_leanleft" "" "vehicle"            // strafe in Desecrator
bind r "_leanright" "" "vehicle"
bind "shift" "_sprint" "" "vehicle"        // use shift as vehicle boost
bind "1" "_weapon0" "" "default"           // decoys with right mouse click
bind "MOUSE2" "_weapon0" "" "vehicle"

// Fireteam Menu
bind "o" "_fireteam" "" "default"

// Type Chat - team, global, fireteam
bind "y" "clientMessageMode 1" "" "default"
bind "u" "clientMessageMode" "" "default"
bind "i" "clientMessageMode 2" "" "default"

// Automated Chat
bind "MOUSE3" "_context" "" "default"
bind "MOUSE3" "_quickchat" "shift" "default"

// VOIP - team, global, fireteam
bind "5" "_teamVoice" "" "default"
bind "6" "_Voice" "" "default"
bind "7" "_fireteamvoice" "" "default"

// Respawn
bind "h" "kill"

// Sane screenshot button
bind printscreen screenshot

// Spawn at default spawn and forward-most spawn
bind "9" "setSpawnpoint base"
bind "0" "setSpawnpoint default"

// Load configuration
bind "F9" "exec akau.cfg"

// GreasedScotsman's insta-class changes and announce
// GDF use CTRL + (1234-qw-asd-5-zx) - (ALT Strogg)
// soldier
bind "1" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Soldier 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Soldier'^7'with an '^d'Assault Rifle'^7'" "CTRL" "default"
bind "2" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Soldier 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Soldier'^7'with a '^d'Rocket Launcher'^7'" "CTRL" "default"
bind "3" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Soldier 2;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Soldier'^7'with a '^d'GPMG'^7'" "CTRL" "default"
bind "4" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Soldier 3;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Soldier'^7'with a '^d'Shotgun'^7'" "CTRL" "default"
// medic
bind "q" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Medic 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Medic'^7'with an '^d'Assault Rifle'^7'" "CTRL" "default"
bind "w" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Medic 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Medic'^7'with a '^d'Shotgun'^7'" "CTRL" "default"
// engineer
bind "a" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Engineer 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Engineer'^7'with an '^d'Assault Rifle'^7" "CTRL" "default"
bind "s" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Engineer 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Engineer'^7'with a '^d'Shotgun'^7" "CTRL" "default"
bind "d" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass Engineer 2;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Engineer'^7'with an '^d'Assault Rifle w/ Gren. Launcher'^7" "CTRL" "default"
// field-ops
bind "5" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass FieldOps 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a '^m'Field Ops'^7'with an '^d'Assault Rifle'^7" "CTRL" "default"
// covert-ops
bind "z" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass CovertOps 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Covert Ops'^7'with a '^d'Scoped Assault Rifle'^7" "CTRL" "default"
bind "x" "clientTeam GDF; clientClass CovertOps 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Covert Ops'^7'with a '^d'Sniper Rifle'^7" "CTRL" "default"
// aggressor
bind "1" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Aggressor 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Aggressor'^7'with a '^d'Lacerator'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "2" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Aggressor 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Aggressor'^7'with an '^d'Obliterator'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "3" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Aggressor 2;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Aggressor'^7'with a '^d'Hyperblaster'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "4" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Aggressor 3;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Aggressor'^7'with a '^d'Nailgun'^7" "ALT" "default"
// technician
bind "q" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Technician 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Technician'^7'with a '^d'Lacerator'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "w" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Technician 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Technician'^7'with a '^d'Nailgun'^7" "ALT" "default"
// constructor
bind "a" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Constructor 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Constructor'^7'with a '^d'Lacerator'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "s" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Constructor 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Constructor'^7'with a '^d'Nailgun'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "d" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Constructor 2;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as a'^m'Constructor'^7'with a '^d'Lacerator w/ Plasma Launcher'^7" "ALT" "default"
// oppressor
bind "5" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Oppressor 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Oppressor'^7'with a '^d'Lacerator'^7." "ALT" "default"
// infiltrator
bind "z" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Infiltrator 0;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Infiltrator'^7'with an'^d'Accurized Lacerator'^7" "ALT" "default"
bind "x" "clientTeam Strogg; clientClass Infiltrator 1;wait;kill;sayTeam '^7'Respawning as an'^m'Infiltrator'^7'with a'^d'Railgun'^7" "ALT" "default"

// Automated responses quick-keyed //
// http://4newbies.planetwolfenstein.gamespy.com/ETQW/vsay.php

// Global Replies / End Games
bind "HOME" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/yes" "" "default"
bind "END" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/no" "" "default"
bind "INS" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/taunts/owned" "" "default"
bind "PGUP" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/taunts/meh" "" "defaults" //broke
bind "DEL" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/cheers/goodgame" "" "default"
bind "PGDN" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/cheers/wellplayed" "" "default"

bind "UPARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/hi" "" "defaults"
//bind "DOWNARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/sorry" "" "defaults"
bind "LEFTARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/global/sorry" "" "defaults"
//bind "RIGHTARROW"

// Team Replies
//bind "KP_NUMLOCK"
bind "KP_SLASH" "clientquickchat quickchat/responses/onit" "" "default"
bind "KP_STAR" "clientquickchat quickchat/responses/sorry" "" "default"
bind "KP_MINUS" "clientquickchat quickchat/responses/thanks" "" "default"
bind "KP_HOME" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/team/medic" "" "default"
bind "KP_UPARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/engineer" "" "default"
bind "KP_PGUP" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/team/covertops" "" "default"
bind "KP_LEFTARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/team/radar" "" "default"
bind "KP_5" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/team/apt" "" "default"
bind "KP_RIGHTARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/team/avt" "" "default"
bind "KP_PLUS" "clientquickchat quickchat/need/medic" "" "default"
bind "KP_END" "clientquickchat quickchat/enemy/indisguise" "" "default"
bind "KP_DOWNARROW" "clientquickchat quickchat/enemy/deployables/aptspotted" "" "default"
bind "KP_PGDN" "clientquickchat quickchat/enemy/deployables/avtspotted" "" "default"
bind "KP_INS" "clientquickchat quickchat/commands/captureforwardspawn" "" "default"
bind "KP_DEL" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/disguise/enemydisguisedasme" "" "default"
// State Class //
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imsoldier" "" "soldier"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/immedic" "" "medic"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imengineer" "" "engineer"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imcovertops" "" "covertops"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imfieldops" "" "fieldops"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imaggressor" "" "aggressor"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imtechnician" "" "technician"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imconstructor" "" "constructor"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/imoppressor" "" "oppressor"
bind "KP_ENTER" "clientquickchat quickchat/self/iminfiltrator" "" "infiltrator"

Wesnoth QC

Wesnoth QCI regularly get to play Wesnoth which is by far my favorite game for this computer. I have to say technically Wesnoth 1.4 is very well done, but the more I play it the more I’m left with that thought Calvin’s dad jibbed once, “Often the anticipation is better than the acutal event.” So far I’ve played a couple campaigns and I’m getting that Calvin “air let out” feeling. As high a caliber a game as Wesnoth is, the scene is set, the newpaper helmets adorned, the water-ballons ready… but where’s Suzy?

There are the flagships, Wesnoth’s mighty vessels like the original campaign, the Scepter of Fire and Under the Burning Suns yet no other campaign really comes to mind. Seven new campaigns were entered into Wesnoth 1.4. I have yet only tried three. But it isn’t the amazing Wesnoth open-source standard I’ve known so far. I expressed this to the developers in the Wesnoth Forums. For those that play regularly or any that have an opinion, I’d like to hear it.

Upcoming Games – OpenLieroX

I like to try new games, I generally don’t write about them though. I often shuffle through free gamer and game tome on the weekends to see what budding developers are doing. Some of them are pretty cool but few are worth talking about as they are all usually early in development. I was pulled in my OpenLieroX though.

I wasn’t a Windows user for many years so I never heard of it. Liero is an real time, excessive carnaged, Worms-clone. Though I have tried Worms before (and really liked it) I didn’t know what to expect. So a good clone would be something I’d like to see in Linux. Clones in general are something that I’ve learned to avoid. Good games are alot more than ideas and usually only pretentious developers feel they replicate the time and detail of a commercial success.

I’ve been real fortunately lately with games. I’m still playing OpenTyrian which rocks, and Wesnoth is alot of fun so I really didn’t need anything else, but I got the bug, or should I say… worm.

To be technical, OpenLieroX is a clone of Liero Extreme the most popular of Liero clones. So OpenLieroX is a clone of the of a clone of a clone, ok, I got it… :) This sounded discouraging but OpenLieroX is actually a polished game with some nice features.

For Gentoo users there is an ebuild available and debian users will also find a package on the website.

The plot of Liero is simple: destruction. Moving the worm about and firing various weapons is all Liero is basically about, but it’s Fun! Gameplay is smooth, there’s lots and lots of weapons, sound effects are all good too. Also there are a good number of mods to keep it interesting. Network play looks like it be a kick in the pants, and the CPU AI is about average. Maybe the screenshots will show it best.

The menu:

Local Play:

On a 747:

Now they’re trapped, think I’ll nuke ‘em.

Upcoming Games - OpenLieroX

The developer has been working on this steady for quite a bit now and I like his efforts. Good too see good games come into Linux. OpenLieroX is an unexpected surprise and well worth the try.

Wesnoth Tick

Wesnoth TickWarning: Content below contains mini-blogging and ranting. Not for sensitive peeps.

I like a good challenge. Often, if I go through something correctly in the first try I consider it not worth my time. Lately I’ve been playing “The Northern Rebirth” an Expert difficulty Wesnoth campaign. Well I’ve spent the last two weeks playing the first two chapters on and off which are incredibly difficult. To get moves exactly right and to prepare a perfect strategy are actually what I like doing. The second chapter requires near perfection and took many attempts before I finally got it right. So in the third chapter I’m bent on another tough battle but on turn three the leader is within sight and I thrash him. Way too easy. The next chapter became a good laugh for me. The hero enters the cave where he finds an evil skeleton king. In the contentious conversation between them the persuasive evil king tries to lure the hero and get him to kill his allied dwarf friend. If I kill the dwarf he promises me power and strength. Sort of the “You don’t know the power of the dark side type of thing.” So I’m actually given a choice if I want to do so. How cool. Of course I’ll kill him, this sounds neat. Now I didn’t think he’d actually do it. So the story, the hero actually attacks the dwarf and becomes a dark minion. And… Game Over. R U Kidding! !@#$!@#$!#@$@ Whaa… (Pounds on Keyboard). How !@#$ was that! I thought I’d at least I’d get a chance to free the hero for the dark side. Fooooo.

Case in point. Don’t play Northern Rebirth, it sucks. Why are Wesnoth developers putting such an untested campaign into the stock game?

The Battle for Wesnoth – 1.4 Review

Title TextI wrote about gaming in Linux before and left out my favorite all-time best game: Wesnoth. I said that I would write about it so that’s what I’m going to do today.

The Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based fantasy strategy that has both single player modes and a multiplayer mode. I’ve been playing Wesnoth for over a year now and have finished all the installed campaigns and tried a good number of the downloadable ones. Now, The Battle for Wesnoth -1.4 has been released (I have been excited about this) and I can say, I’ve never seen it better.

The Battle for Wesnoth is a large download. For space-hungry pc’s The Battle for Wesnoth will take a couple hundred megabytes of disk space. For my Gentoo install (on a 300Mhz computer) the process took overnight.

The Battle for Wesnoth now requires boost, which didn’t help my hard drive space either:

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda9             3.0G  2.8G   98M  97% /
udev                   10M  220K  9.8M   3% /dev
/dev/hda11            2.2G  1.4G  768M  64% /home/randk

Yikes, I might have to take out inkscape. :|

Install though went smooth. I didn’t realize it but my previous version was 1.2.8 (sad but true) so this was a pretty big update for me. 1.2.8, I believe was last February. Because my pc is older (I dont’ even have direct acceleration on a 4MB video card) Wesnoth 1.2.8 actually performed better than I expected. Scanning large maps was choppy and sometimes slow and computer move calculations could take awhile for large amounts on enemies. I was hoping that 1.4 wouldn’t add on additional poundage.

I’ve seen people talk about warnings with opening older saves so I took my original ~/.wesnoth folder and renamed it ~/.wesnoth-old and fired Wesnoth up.

Hmm started up quickly enough, maybe faster than before.

This is the main screen, really about the same as before. The preferences seem the same too. The screen size issues are something of a pain though. Wesnoth does support 800×600, the size I use, but the dialog to change it if off screen… yeesh. I had to change my Xserver resolution to virtual 1024 to be able to set it (see previous post). Also new was well was this, that I didn’t expect:

Crap whats that for? Not a huge issue but what the jeees? I could still play in 800×600 but it was slightly cropped as I couldn’t force the menu bar over the top of the screen.

I decided to give multiplayer a go first. I have actually never used multiplayer in all this time so I took a look:

Multiplayer seems nice and polished.

The lobby is great to be able to chat with people and see what’s going on. No one heard of a way to fix my 800×600 fullscreen resolution problem yet, but I plan to look in it more.

Since I was just looking, I decided to observe a game. Pretty cool, chat and everything. Several people were playing together at the same time. Neat. I didn’t get a chance to try multiplayer out but I’ll play it tonight.

Back in the Main Menu I decided to check on the new campaigns I heard about. Wesnoth 1.4 added seven new built-in campaigns! Yes. I have played some of them before by downloading ‘em, like Scepter of Fire, but a couple I haven’t.

The campaign screen has gotten wider now – good touch, and the character models have got some touchup.

Definitely my fav:

Time to play:

I noticed it right away, over 1.2.8, Wesnoth 1.4 is alot smoother, and runs alot better!! For a 300Mhz processor I’m not stung at all. Amazing just amazing. The graphics have sweet, brand new, touches, like more subtle move directions and more obvious tile strengths. And the music, I can’t say enough of, it’s incredible! Absolutely incredible. How such high quality top notch sounds get into an open source game, I have no idea, but the music designers deserver a lot of praise. In fact the whole team deserves a lot of praise, thank you guys for all the work that you do!

Now off to play!!!

The Battle for Wesnoth - 1.4 Review

Update:I have learned that playing Wesnoth full screen on an 800x600 display is possible, Wesnoth has command line arguments that can do this:

wesnoth -f -r 800x600

To add it permanently, cp the .desktop file to the local .desktops and edit in the line above:

cp /usr/share/applications/wesnoth.desktop /home/randk/.local/share/applications/
chork ~/.local/share/applications/wesnoth.desktop
vim ~/.local/share/applications/wesnoth.desktop

 

Classic Gaming on Linux

As a hujungnormous fan of classic gaming. I like the bare bones aspect of classic games where concept goes farther than graphics. Classic gaming can still be alot of fun if I get past the graphics and try becoming involved with the game. I’ve been lucky to stumble upon a couple ones lately. One is awesome, another is still in development.

Cave Story

Cave Story 1

Cave Story is about a robot ( Quote ) that magically ends up in a cave where Mimiga live (mean but adorable(?) bunny type creatures). I’m not gonna ruin the plot by giving a whole synopsis but the story is imaginative, detailed and interesting. Cave Story is a classic 2d platform game like a Mario Bros. or Contra. It has a lot of characters and deliciously menical evil bosses. The author spent 5 years on an off creating this and it feels well-polished.  Wikipedia as a good entry on it.

Cave Story 2

Not too long ago the author release a linux binary for x86, so for the free-software enthusiasts this may not be kosher, otherwise I like this game alot. A fair challenge even for an adult. Check out the game tome for more.

Nazghul/Haxima

Nazghul is a roleplaying game engine make similiar to the Ultima 5 game engine. It includes the game called Haxima. In early development but well playable.  It reminds me of my all too addictive Ultima 4 days ( I can still remember the map – cities dungeons, portals…).

The great thing about Ultima 4 was its complete detailed story and huge terrain. I just began Haxima and I doubt it can rival Ultima 4, it does seemto have a good start so far.

Nazghul - haxima 1

A couple tinkerings were needed to get Nazghul/Haxima working. Haxima includes a .desktop file and an icon for a menu entry but it doesn’t install them. So I had to move haxima.desktop and haxima.png in to /usr/share/applications and /usr/share/pixmaps respectively. Also an error in the .desktop file needed to point to haxima.sh in the Exec= line.

Because the LCD I use is 800×600 I had to change screenresolution in Nazghul  to 640×480 but the ingame option didn’t work, so I had to edit the script.

vim /usr/local/bin/haxima.sh

And define the “-r” option (resolution) manually.

“/usr/local/bin/nazghul” -I “/usr/local/share/nazghul/haxima” -G “$HOME/.haxima” “$@” -r 640×480

The tutorial is buggy, it’s better just to learn playing the game. In the tutorial when I needed to mix a spell, it would report acid each time I did it and cause damage.

To start the game, I’ll give a hint. The bandit town is west and little bit south of the ranger fort.

Playing Games.

Well, after the bit of a letdown yesterday, a letdown in the way only by being playable but unplayable, I’ve been thinking about a game to try – 90MB file can take awhile to download. I did find out that Penumbra – Overture uses that bit of the i810 intel driver that isn’t implemented yet in the linux version. Now I ran into this person who is known only as kahvipapu. kahvipapu has written a detailed report on fine quality linux games. So far he has covered first person shooters and strategy.

kahvipapu

Also looking for a few ideas I ran into this talk titled

Hardest Game Ever Made

It’s a kick. I played alot of these, and still can recall some of the details – Contra, Ghosts and Goblins. My top pick, I remember a game called Wizardry, that I spent months exploring a dungeon. I knew that dungeon like that the wrinkles in my hand, I was like a super mouse. At the bottom level there was this one creature I never did beat, though and I justified to myself that I completed the game- never heard of anyone ever beating him.

Hopefully I’ll find another impossibly ending game today.

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