Friday Fidget – Migrations, PC Gaming and Time to Breathe

I missed my Friday Fidget last week, but I blame that on simply being insanely busy.  You see, we launched Sins of a Solar Empire at the start of the week to retail and digital distribution.  This means there was a fairly constant flow of work related to Sins that needed to be taken care of, on top of everything I do on a daily basis already.  This week things were starting to calm down, then we decided this coming weekend was the perfect opportunity to do our massive database migration.  No rest for the weary.

Anyway, on with the Fidget…

What I’m Playing This Week

  • Sins of a Solar Empire
    Yes, even though I’ve been playing builds of this game for over a year, I’m still at it.  Mostly to test patches, but this weekend I’m taking part in the Shacknews SinFest.  I’ve also been playing with the map editor a fair bit.  When I have time I’ll be putting together and releasing a map pack.
  • Civilization IV
    A few weeks ago, GoGamer had the Complete Civilization set for $30 (it’s usually around $70-80) so I grabbed it.  This week I finally reinstalled Civ 4 and spent a few hours playing it.  I had completely forgotten how addictive Civ games could be.
  • InstantAction (Beta)
    I actually just got the beta invite for this today.  I’ll be playing Marble Blast and ThinkTanks on it tonight probably.
  • Burnout Paradise
    This game quite possibly has the best online integration I’ve ever seen in a console game.  It’s seamless and as easy as hitting the D-pad to the right a few times.  I also discovered "Showtime" mode, which is just more pure fun piled on top of this already excellent game.

Migrations…

This weekend we’re doing a massive database migration/upgrade to all of our forum and article-based sites.  This is big big big and if it works will will give us a much faster, more stable and responsive database, improving speed across all of our sites.  It’s also the foundation for JoeUser 2 and the new Political Machine website.  The move is this weekend so I’ll be here late night Sunday testing sites as we switch them over one by one.

I may be very tired on Monday

PC Gaming….

This week was pretty good for PC gaming news.  First off, you have Mass Effect coming to the PC in May, possibly the fastest any Bioware console game has been ported yet.  Even though I already have the 360 version, I’ll be getting this as well.  I’ve owned every single Bioware game released so far, and this won’t be the first one I miss.  The promise of good shooter controls and an enhanced UI for inventory and character management is very enticing as well.

And then there’s the Spore release day of Sept 7th.  Spore is one of those odd games, like The Sims that is hard to really fully "get".  Right now everyone’s oohing and aaahing over it, but few have played it first-hand so it’s a lot of speculation.  This is one of those games that could help rewrite the book on computer games if it’s even half of what everyone expects it to be.  I’m personally looking forward to it since the concept (manage a species from single-cell to space faring civilization) is incredibly compelling.

And finally, for me another huge bit of news is the announcement of Red Alert 3.  Red Alert 1 started my love affair with the strategy game genre, and Red Alert 2 was just spectacular.  I love the C&C tradition of using FMVs between missions to tell the story, especially because it’s usually over-the-top and ham-fisted.  Not much is known about the game yet aside from it contains boats (yay!  boats in a C&C game again!), tesla units and the chronosphere.

Time to Breathe…

Sins launch done, database migration complete, JU2 & TPM complete.  By mid-week, I’m hoping that things will quiet down for a bit.  It’s been go-go-go-go since New Years and I’m ready to go back to regular 8-9hr days, and weekends where I can do my own thing. 

But, I wouldn’t be surprised if some crisis came up to fill my evenings again.  It’s the way of things at a small company  ;)

 

Well, that’s it from me this week.  I have some JU2 testing to do and some misc WinCustomize work to do before I wrap it up for the day and head home.

Have a good weekend!