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CdrJameson "cdrjameson"

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The Road
The Road
Price: £1.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Standard Post-Apocalypse, 31 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Road (Kindle Edition)
Well and plainly written, but if you're familiar with the post-apocalypse then you're unlikely to be surprised, although it's not quite as miserable as it could be.


Castle Panic Board Game
Castle Panic Board Game
Price: £25.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Exciting for kids and adults, 16 Oct 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Castle Panic Board Game (Toy)
Got this for my games loving 6-year-old for his birthday, and we've since played it a dozen or more times.

Nicely cooperative, and frequently tense it's been a solid hit and he often asks for a game. It's also inspired him to make his own cards, including some monkeys that burst out of the jungle and help rebuild your castle (slight game-balance issues with that one, but we compensate).

Slight criticisms would be that it goes on a little too long - we play by drawing three counters a turn instead of the suggested two to speed things up - and (very minor) it's quite difficult to get the castle in the middle looking perfect, as the bases knock into each other.


Railsea
Railsea
by China Mieville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.89

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Tell When He's Serious Any More, 16 Oct 2012
This review is from: Railsea (Hardcover)
Honestly - I couldn't make my mind up if it was a joke.

My reaction to the first two pages was to burst out laughing. It's a suitably ludicrous premise - Moby Dick! but with moles instead of whales! and (get this) trains instead of boats! - but Mieville writes it the straight style of The Scar or Embassytown rather than the comic tone of Kraken or Century 21.

Even as he piles on the ridiculousness - White Whale obsessions are so common among train captains that they have clubs, journals and even a museum; Our first captain gets very annoyed by anyone calling her target obsession 'yellow' - it's still written very straight. Perhaps this is itself a parody of Herman Melville's style. I JUST CAN'T TELL.

Anyway, as is Mieville's gift he can make the most preposterous ideas actually work in an entertaining and readable manner that piques your curiosity and makes you wonder whatever is going to be around the next corner. Well worth a read, and recommended.

If I have any other criticisms it would be the protagonists (acknowledged) annoying habit of surprising himself by doing or not doing things for no reason, and the mildly irksome post-modern meta narrative mini-chapters. I love post-modernism, but more subtlety is needed.

So, I greatly enjoyed this 'Herman Mieville' novel, I just couldn't shake the feeling that he was writing it for a bet.


Game Coding Complete
Game Coding Complete
by Mike McShaffry
Edition: Paperback

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Useful, Practical, Compelling and no padding!, 2 Nov 2003
This review is from: Game Coding Complete (Paperback)
At last a book on the real experience of Game development. How much money have I wasted on 'learn game programming in C++ DirectX for dummies in 3 weeks'? Well none, because I leafed through them and left them on the shelf.
This book will not teach you to program. Good. This is a book, like Code Complete, for people who know how to program and want to know how to program well. Even if you've been a game programmer for years there will be something new and worthwhile here. It covers the stuff you really need to know but nobody ever tells you, like event handling, caching and memory management, initialisation, source control, testing and scheduling, all without unnecessary padding.
The only possible gripe I might have (and this is very minor) is that a few areas aren't covered due to space restrictions. on top of the author's noted omissions I'd have liked to see more coverage of after-sales support, demos & OEM versioning, outsourcing, cross-platform development and console development, and perhaps more guidance on team sizes (particularly testing).
Overall this book is pretty much all meat, I can't recommend it highly enough and I've praised it to my entire team. Its probably the most useful game development text I've read.
CdrJ


Real Time Strategy Game Programming Using MS Direct X 6.0 (Wordware Game Developer's Library)
Real Time Strategy Game Programming Using MS Direct X 6.0 (Wordware Game Developer's Library)
by Mickey Kawick
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Wasted Opportunity - a cut'n'shut job, 3 Sep 2003
This book is a good idea somewhat let down by the execution.
The sections concerned with RTS design and programming are welcome and interesting, as its a poorly covered topic. The DirectX part of the book seems bolted on, incomplete and clumsy. By adding them it consigns the book to premature obsolecence, as the versions of DirectX march ever onwards.
It would have been better to ditch the 'DirectX' part altogether and add more on the RTS-specific side. As it is it feels like the publisher hastily tacked the DX bits in for buzzword appeal.
If you're looking to learn DirectX try a specific book instead (eg. Inside DirectX, which is STILL the best introduction and reference to the non-3D elements).
If you're looking for how to program an RTS then by all means look, but be prepared to ignore the back half of the book.
CdrJameson


Chasm City (Revelation Space)
Chasm City (Revelation Space)
by Alastair Reynolds
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grand, but disappointing, 16 July 2003
As David Langford says in his amazon review, "reminiscent of Iain M Banks at his trickiest". Yes, very reminiscent. Anyone who has read Banks' "Use of Weapons" cannot help but see the many similarities in theme, and even technique (two narrative threads in alternating chapters of flashback that converge at the end, anyone?). Sadly however this lacks Banks' depth, imagination and diversity.
There are big ideas, but they're highly telegraphed and their resolution is anticlimactic. The 'dream fuel' and 'ghost ship' threads interest and draw the reader in to a sense of mystery, but are both ultimately disappointing and irrelevant. Both promise a range of interesting developments and possibilities that are sadly never taken up.
As with Revelation Space the book's ending is clear from half way through, and the reader's main interest is the steps taken to get there. There's a constant tension and hope that you're going to be suprised by some dramatic reversal. Sadly, you won't be.
On the plus side its got one of the best and funniest prologues I've read in a long time, however its downhill from there.
In short, a disappoinment. There are clearly interesting possibilities here, but their potential is needlessly wasted.
If you've read Use of Weapons, Chasm City will come across as a pale imitation. If you haven't, then read it instead.


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