Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dota, who does it belong to?

Well if you're a Dota fan, and have not been living under a rock. Then listen in, if you don't like Dota, then listen in about the IP, struggle, and blah blah blah.

So we start with the fact that around a year or so ago the man known simply as IceFrog - maker, and custodian of Dota- started working at valve. From this we guessed that valve was going to make some kind of Dota spin off. But they are making Dota.

Now business is a cut-throat world, you can get sued for patent infringement by making a slide icon on screen to unlock a touch phone. So Valve in their attempt to make Dota applied for a trademark.

Now we have the stink to the issue. Riot games counter filed for the trademark Defense of the ancients, and Blizzard are also trying to make their own Dota. So who is in the right and who is in the wrong.

Firstly my personal note. I grew up playing Diablo, and StarCraft. At one point I would consider myself the biggest Blizz fanboi there was. I almost cried when HellGate was announced - and was a lot closer to crying after playing. - I'm a really avid Dota player having spent entire weekends LANing and playing it with friends.

So back to who should get to call the game Dota. Dota was originally made by a pseudonym user called "Euls", this was in WC3 RoC, he was inspired by the SC map Aions of Strife. The map was then remade in WC3 FT by Steve "Guinsoo" Freak, who is one of the higher ups at Riot Games who make LoL. Now Valve hired IceFrog who has been the long standing Dota maker.

Now in short I believe Valve is in the right. Blizzard, and Riot Games both stand to lose due to Valve making Dota, LoL claims to be the successor to Dota, but it's rather hard to succeed a king while he is still lively and on his throne. Blizzard stands to lose since people would go and buy WC3 to play Dota.

Valve is doing what they have always done, saw a mod and went and made it into it's own game, look at Team Fortress Classic, TF2, Counter Strike. And the taking a game made in another engine isn't new since Team Fortress was originally a Quake mod. The team that made it hired by Valve. Sounds very familiar.

Now as far as design and so on goes. I'm very sure there will be tons of additional things to dota, I mead TF2 has received more content then some, or quite a few, subscription MMOs.

And I'm sure the Dota community will still be able to contribute to the game. And at heart it will always be their game, and if someone had to own the IP I'm glad it's Valve they have yet to give me a reason to doubt their actions. Blizzard has been Koticked :(

On a side note I saw that Blizz was making a map for SC2 called left to die. And I was totally making a text based zombie horror survival game called that . . .

Thursday, September 30, 2010

ZA Game Dev Article Analysis (Sunday Times)

So my usual routine of going on twitter with my Blackberry led me to a Star article Shoddy Quality Article used a picture of @dislekcia -Game Designer/Programmer/Collaborator of Space Hack, Desktop Dungeons, Monochrome amongst other.- So he is a rather awesome guy in terms of ZA Game Dev, since he runs one of the two communities, namely Game.Dev. The article instead focuses on AD Game Programming Courses, and Learn 3D.

Before this article I thought that the media tribunal is an absolutely horrid thing, I still do. I just think we need better articles than this. The article outlines that there are three types of Game Development. Professional, Indie, and Casual. I'm not even going into how flawed this is. But in my books a casual game developer is a hobbiest who makes games for the fun of it. Not really worrying about the selling of the game, thus giving us awesome freeware games. Indie developers focus on platforms such as iPhone, Android, XBLIG, and XBLA.

Moving on the two companies referred to in the article. Learn 3D offers Autodesk courses. So learning Maya, 3Ds Max. They also seem to be planning on doing a game development course soon. AD Game Programming Courses, seems to focus on a bunch of short lessons on how to make games, and from their demo screens it's in XNA. Not shower on the parade. But if you want to program just learn how, there are loads of tutorials on the net. If you want to program XNA then get a book. And start making games, join a game development community. And if you want a job, either get really awesome or get a degree, or both.

South Africa actually has game development on the international level just look at Luma Arcade. We might not be a country developing AAA title but there are reasons for that. We are still a growing game development industry barely even a generation old. If you want the actually story of what ZA Game Dev looks like Awesome Gamasutra Article

The conclusion is simple. We have Game Development in ZA. We have awesome Developers, we have an actual history of the industry in this country. The Star really should have done some proper investigating for that article.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why School has Failed

Well first off the blog isn't dead. Secondly after going through the South African Outcomes Based Education (OBE) system. My education looked like this I had a 70 something percent average and had never worked at all. You see there is a problem with that.

The fact of the matter is that something that is in turn more normal, tertiary education standards, is now something that is somewhat difficult. It went from the number of subjects in a year to more than that in a semester. And while I know of other degrees that require as much, if not less, effort then was required for me to pass high school these degrees much like high school do not advance you as a person.

The culmination of this flawed system is that the new South African government implemented a flawed system to fix apparent flaws in society. But the education system itself was fine, not perfect but at least better than OBE.

Thus I leave with this proposition. Let not high school be viewed as the final stop in the journey, but as another step in the journey that is life.

For as it is with universities (colleges for you Americans) the end all you have is a piece of paper saying you apparently know something. It doesn't say what you can actually do.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blogging for RealDev

Well there comes a time in every bloggers blife where he must move on to new and greater blogs. Fortuneately this is not that time. And I doubt it will ever happen.

So recently I, and by I I mean Pandawlf, has been doing a lot of development with Edg3. And as such we welcome him to the Pandawlf team as the guy who does the coding. In turn I am now blogging on his site http://www.realdev.co.za/ , and my blog can be found at http://www.realdev.co.za/karuji/

So now a lot of my development based posts will be there. But worry not good people I'll post all of it here with all the explicitives ;)

Also forgive the lack of image on this post, Edg3 has yet to get a logo for RealDev.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Number13 ARG

So for those of you who do not know what an ARG is. Wiki it. It stands for Alternate Reality Game, not Argentina.

So the Number13 ARG is the first ARG in South Africa. And it so happened to occur at the University of Pretoria (TUKS) which I seem to go to a lot, don't ask me why. The ARG began by the hacking of the university Multimedia website. A link to a strange website was found, and down the rabbit hole we went.

The basis behind the ARG was that someguy (better known to the players as Kael) sister or girlfriend. Was kidnapped by stone masons for the ritual of a virgin sacrifice. I suppose at the point of virgin sacrifice the sister makes more sense so she is his sister.

Kael sends the players around on a bunch or arbitrary quests to save his sister. Since a never ending quest to save his girlfriend would be lame. So off we go solving encrypted puzzles with recording devices, hard riddles and since most people doing this were studying Computer Science. Laptops.

(On the note of laptops I might at the humorous part of me not having a single programming compiler IDE or anything on my now stolen laptop since I couldn't have been bothered to re-installed when i was getting my lovely new netbook)

So now we run around campus and discover the scary amount of stone mason stuff on campus. We also learn that Kael doesn't really want to save his sister since he only wants clever people running around doing stuff, In the end his sister in fact died in the ritual and we consumed her body make of delicious snackage and soft drink.

Not bad for something that lasted from the 14th of April to the 13th of May.

If you want more info try:
http://www.number13.co.za/ (The mysterious website)
http://num13.pbworks.com/ (The player wiki)
http://www.dreamfoundry.co.za/archives/1299 (A blog by someone who isn't me)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Just a minute ago I heard the tragic news of the passing of one of the great fathers of metal Ronnie James Dio (or just Dio) died today the 16 May 2010. Dio had been battling against stomach cancer. And until a few months ago it seemed he was on his way to recovery although the more recent news pointed toward this unfortunate day.

Indeed we must mourn this day for Dio truly was one of the greatest influences upon the metal genre. Being the vocalist for Black Sabbath be gave us the Corna (horns) not to mention some Über Metal. No doubt his greatest song is Holy Diver, while my personal favourite would be The End of The World, and more recently Heaven & Hell rocked us.

So to you Dio we hang our heads in morning, but we raise the horns high. You have earned your place in eternity. Your music is eternal.

Don't get emotional but we're out of time
The melody's gone
And fools have got the sunshine
If I'm mistaken and I see you again
Don't leave me alone
Maybe tomorrow
Could be the end of the world -Dio (The End of the World)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Well I don't mean to rant. Actually I do, this time. To be clear I didn't start this blog to be a personal rant page nor do I intend for it to be but there are times when a rant is in order.

So the 'cause of this rant is rather simple I am moving into an apartment close to my university (college for those American folk) and more than one week after applying for an electricity connection I am still in the dark. And for my South African readers I can't even put in a eishkom how did we fucked it up joke here.

So to start off my lovely *seething with sarcasm* experience with this company (impact meters). Last week Tuesday I start moving my stuff through to my apartment and contact the company for information as to how to get electricity at my place. After waiting on hold only to be told that I had to contact another branch I promptly called the other branch to inquire as to how to get connected. Do they email me an application form that I fill in digitally print out sign then fax to them?

Simply no. I have to go to them and pick up a form to be filled in. To which I thus ask what their location is. The response was to give me directions. I ask again for an address explaining that I am directionally inept and need to check out Google maps and my GPS to get anywhere. Once again she tries to give me directions. I sincerely explain that I am not a native of the city in which I study and thus directions do not help me but an address would help me. After about eight minutes of waiting she eventually give me an address.

So now that I can finally find the place I go there to get the form. Upon collection of the form I see why it can't be done digitally, well not that it can't just the idiots wont. The form is on carbon paper, remember that old stuff that you press on one page and it writes on another. Way cool in the 80's but this is the 21st century.

So while I begin to fill in the form I am informed that I need my lease agreement. So I take the form run to my real-estate agents and get a copy of my lease. While reading through the terms and conditions of the electrical supply I notice something things like that they can just change my rates, the landlord can ask the company to charge me extra, and lots of other bullshit. But the Pièce de résistance is that all communication must be by email otherwise they will charge me extra. The idiots can't set up a system with any digital incorporation into the application. Yet they want to charge me extra if they can't email me.

But back to the thing that really bugs me it's been over a week and I still don't have power. Are they that inefficient that they cannot even provide what their business is setup to do. And I contacted them on Monday and was told that I would have power but when I got back to my apartment it was completely in the dark. Thus leaving me to drive to another city so I could do anything besides just pass out on a bed.

So now my question why are things always so blasted inefficient. Do people simply lack innovation, are they too lazy to do anything decent? Do they just not care. But if people do not innovate or progress then they stagnate and if you stagnate while others progress you are left behind causing you to be inefficient. This basic problem can be applied to many field. Actually I will do a proper no rant type write up on this. That soon. But for now can they just fucking connect my electricity.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


So Facebook, recently this booming social network has begun to annoy me. Ok that was a lie, I was being nice, facebook annoys the fuck out of me.

So why do I use it. Well it is convenient for what it was originally intended for. Keeping in touch with people, events, and so on. Basically social networking. Ok so if I think it's good for that then why am I ranting? Simple facebook fails at everything else. I've been using it since there was a mandatory 'is' in your status updates and you had to refer to yourself in the third person. So when I started using the site it wasn't the complete shit sauce I was expecting it to be, guess it lived up to my expectations in the end.

So what went wrong? Well the first thing was the apps. See back in the day you only used to have one facebook page, no tabs imagine that, and every-single-fucking-thing was on that page. You used to spend 20mb of bandwidth to load a page just to let a friend know that they left a cellphone at your house, and that they are an idiot for having so many apps on their page.

But facebook has it's redeeming qualities in that aspect that the devs soon realised like browsers facebook pages needed tabs. So crisis avoided and I started using facebook again.

Then came the one reason I still bother with the site. Events. These lovely little things let me know what's going on with music, lans, etc. So this little nugget of gold is rather helpful and convenient for my life. Since I run around to a lot of gigs and the bands can let me know what's going on. On the personal side, friend having a party, or myself, set up an event and problem solved.

So far I have mentioned the things I like about facebook and that's about all of them. So now to why I hate it. I'm an IT guy I'm passionate about it. Thus the facebook devs simple fucking around annoys me. Sure they have had some innovation. But really could that not have found a way to make it easier for the user? Every day I get 49 farmville, 20 petville, and what ever other app request. Then there are the group request, page request and so on. And sometimes there is that nugget of gold in the pile of shit. Often enough I lose it 'cause ignore all is just that convenient.

So let me go onto my recent gripes. Fan pages. Recently there has been an out break of page such as "Funniest pic evar join 2 c" besides horrid spelling of the name you have to join to see what is this less than humorous image. And you get spammed by an endless count of these.

If you are clever enough to catch onto a pattern here then you aren't in need of help. Facebook is a cesspit of viral trends from apps, to groups, to more app, to fan pages, to even more apps, to who the hell knows next.

In the end the problem is that a vast majority of facebook users are bored idiots who have nothing better to bide their time with than playing annoying apps and trying to coax their friend into joining them into playing these as well.

The sad part is the in the base concept facebook was brilliant. Social networking, well the next generation of it anyway. But a couple of mistakes by the devs has led to it being just a cesspit. Who wants all their information to be linked to fan pages? Hey is I was a self centred dev who was trying to prove to the world that I'm awesome I might make annoying things like the those mentioned above. In the end I'll just bide my time until the next generation social network comes along and I just hope it has events in it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And so it begins.

Hmm where to begin? Well I've been thinking for a while that I need a place to put all my crazy ideas and thoughts down so why not do something linked to my google account (one of the many) for convenience sake?

So here we are in my plain of meandering kaos (yes a purposeful misspelling of chaos but isn't that just kaos being chaos?) So basically you can expect anything from reviews on games, books, gigs, bands, to philosophy about games, music, and the universe or anything else my mind decides to spew out.

On that note if you have any comments or criticisms about about the blog in general just comment here and I'll take it into consideration