LAN Yarns: How To Lose Friends And Ingest People

Giants: Citizen Kabuto was a favourite at our LAN parties for a long time.  It’s an interesting game;  predominantly a single-player game it had a rudimentary multiplayer tacked-on, seemingly as an afterthought.

That meant multiplayer was a massive sand-box to play in with very little thought to balance.

Hence, it was totally awesome.kabuto-2 Continue reading “LAN Yarns: How To Lose Friends And Ingest People”

Tales From IT: How I got paid to play World of Warcraft for 3 months

Upset customers, complex systems, poor documentation, high-pressure situations, bizarre legacy choices.  Working in IT is hard work.

Except when it’s not.

Watching installations / patches run, interminable meetings, deciphering manuals (“What does ‘Klaatu barada nikto’ mean?”), hanging around for a change window to open;  there can be plenty of waiting around.

“I found the regular expression documentation!”

But waiting around for 3 months with a client that had nothing for you to do but refused to let you leave?  That’s a pretty unique situation… Continue reading “Tales From IT: How I got paid to play World of Warcraft for 3 months”

LAN Yarns: The Vital Importance of Casus Belli in Free-For-All Games or How One Wrong Step From A Peon Costs You the Game

My friends and I have regular LAN parties.  Back in the day these were real LAN-only games without any connectivity to the Internet, matchmaking or progression systems.  People occasionally played team-games but the real measure of a man at the LAN was in Free-For-All.

Every man for himself, the true test of skill! (Actually a test of stamina over 4+ hour games).

One man standing atop the conquered nations of his peers while earning their grudging respect! (Actually while they all seethed and grumbled about cheap tactics and underhand ‘diplomacy’).

One of the key tenets of playing these FFA games was the necessity of Casus Belli. Continue reading “LAN Yarns: The Vital Importance of Casus Belli in Free-For-All Games or How One Wrong Step From A Peon Costs You the Game”

Tales From IT: Don’t Confuse Relative and Absolute Pathnames!

This incident occurred in the first place I worked and it proved to me just how much damage a little ignorance can do (unfortunately I was the source of the little ignorance in this story).

More specifically, a little ignorance, god-like permissions and a hacked-together backup system built out of scripts. Continue reading “Tales From IT: Don’t Confuse Relative and Absolute Pathnames!”

LAN Yarns : Black and White; or How To Raise A Psychopath

The geek generation is getting older.  More and more game protagonists aren’t saving their  true-loves but instead are saving their kids.  As we’ve gotten older in the real world, more of us are having a hand in raising little nerds in the One True Way, whatever that may be (Wars vs Trek, UT vs Quake, Linux vs Windows etc.).  This, of course, is awesome.

But a gamer might not always be the best influence on a child, as we saw when we played Black and White….. Continue reading “LAN Yarns : Black and White; or How To Raise A Psychopath”

LAN Yarns : How not to bluff, or “I’m The Phantom!”

We play a lot of Starcraft 2 at LAN parties especially the free mods in the arcade.  There are some great games on here, many of which with totally different gameplay to vanilla Starcraft 2.  One of our favourites is Phantom, a game less about Starcraft 2 and more about deception, bluffing and intricate plots to back-stab your friends.

Of course you can always be too clever for your own good…. Continue reading “LAN Yarns : How not to bluff, or “I’m The Phantom!””

LAN Yarns : Fear Of The Dark

Back in a time that my children referred to as ‘ago’ we used to like staying up at LAN parties late into the night.  Games stretched into the small hours with the only light coming from the glow of our monitors and the odd peripheral.  The silence was infectious so the normal shouting was replaced with long bouts of silence; quiet occasionally broken by the frenzied mashing of keyboards or the odd sigh of dismay.   Pure gaming atmosphere.

Of course this kind of immersion had its downsides if someone was feeling unscrupulous… Continue reading “LAN Yarns : Fear Of The Dark”

Tales from IT: Man Vs Pager

In the IT department where I first worked, there was a Network Admin who was a bit ‘highly strung’. He’d get quite short when things got tense and he liked things done the way things were always done (he supported the physical network and Novell; this was in the time when Microsoft NT was just starting to make inroads into business).

It’s a good thing stress and rapid-change aren’t a big part of IT work, eh? Otherwise, a meltdown might occur…. Continue reading “Tales from IT: Man Vs Pager”