October 16, 2005

Friday, 14th October

Unfortunately I didn't write any notes for Friday as I was so tired. This is from memory.

I went to bed rather late (but in time to get 8 hours' sleep) doing the Logic homework and it still wasn't done by the time I got to sleep! That stuff was tricky. Then, I got woken up 4 hours later by another fire alarm, this one everyone in the halls just got themselves all dressed slowly and ambled out into the front given it was the third one. It was a drill and everyone just grumpily went back in. I tried to sleep again, but it was almost impossible due to the interruption and hence began a very long and arduous day.

I remember waking and zooming over to the Statistics seminar where I managed amazingly to not fall asleep on the desk, though when I got asked a couple of questions I wasn't able to really answer them with anything coherent, more a series of intellectual mumbles. I then had two hours to kill by staying in the computer science computer room. For the first 30 minutes I played a game on my iBook, but then Olga came in and we chatted and she showed me a game on her laptop called Knights of the Old Republic 2. Now, I don't usually go for angsty and franchise roleplaying games but from the first hour or so of it I could say it was a better game than most. For reference point, though, I benchmark games I play to these standards:

  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. (Glorious, kid's fun action.)
  • Adventure: Beneath a Steel Sky. (Brilliant plot.)
  • Puzzle: ICO. (Gorgeous, just gorgeous.)
  • Action: Silent Hill 2. (When I completed this game I couldn't sleep that night due to thinking about the plot.)
  • RPG: Seiken Densetsu 2 (old, old, old game for SNES) or Beyond Good and Evil.
  • FPS: Half-Life. (Classic.)

We had to run to the Statistics lecture and we managed to find a position near the back. The material was nothing new again, so I successfully dozed off at the back, though someone 'helpful' prodded me awake. I felt a tiny bit refreshed but still exhausted. That nap saved me in Mathematics for Computer Science where I was actually able to keep awake as Set operations were discussed (I think why I keep falling asleep in those is because they're always late in the day). From there I skedaddled of to the Programming for Computer Science seminar with Candle where we spent 5 minutes trying to explain to the Seminar Tutor that we wanted to work on our coursework in the laboratory below before he understood and said it was OK. He seemed distracted or tired.

I did that, and rewrote a lot of what I'd written already for the coursework so that it conformed a bit more to what was expected. I'm still really annoyed that what I have actually obeys the specifications written in the coursework, but the questions asked don't expect the solution to be done in the way I've done it and therefore I can't answer one of the questions without just saying 'my implementation doesn't do what's assumed.' I'm worried and guess I should probably start from scratch and do things in a way that others would do it if they didn't know how to program. Anyway, after that I chatted with Candle a bit before ambling back to halls.

I sent Dementia a message to say to meet up at the computer science social and put on some restful music. I didn't (or maybe I did?) sleep but after 2 hours of lying down I felt really energized. We had fish and chips (actually quite nice) and went off to gaming for two hours where we whiled away playing Tetrinet and GTA2 (surprisingly fun in multiplayer). Then I decided to head over to Dementia's to see his pad. We arrived there at about 1, and he showed me his room. There was a futon and a completely crazy computer that looked like if it was any more powerful it'd cause the local substation to collapse. He showed me Half-Life 2, a game released recently to much critical acclaim.

I think the reviewers are up their own asses. In only 30 mintues' gameplay I noticed:

  • You had no choice in the slightest in what you do. It was like a movie that you had to press buttons to proceed in.
  • Despite the shininess, the lighting was completely static. No cloud shadows or anything like that.
  • I hid behind the same box for 15 minutes whilst I fetched something and the enemies hadn't thought of deploying anti-terrorism units, instead content to shoot at said indestructable box from the helicopter.
  • Boxes bounced around in a realistic fashion but a crowbar didn't dent pipes on the walls.
  • The plot was disjointed and felt like a new game only made popular because it had bits of Half-Life stuck into it.

I managed to get a bit drunk on Reefs and after much silly giggling got to sleep at around 6:00 (so I took my twice daily tablet before I slept). Oops!


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