Latest blog posts

2019-06-27: A baker's dozen AdvJam2019 entries you should try

Posted at 2019-06-27 23:18:53 by SHD

This year's Adventure Jam has yielded some great entries again. Those who, like myself, have entered get to vote on other people's submissions before they go on to the judges. I'm trying to play every single other entry, vote, and leave constructive criticism and/or positive comments on each one. Every team or individual person who took on the herculean task of making an adventure game from scratch in a mere two weeks is to be commended. Whether gorgeous pixel art with full voice acting, a bunch of stick figures, or even a text-only adventure, everybody has a story to tell. Even those who had to drop out or had to submit something they knew was buggy or far from finished should be proud of their efforts.

2019-06-27: Escape from DIMANSION

Posted at 2019-06-27 23:18:41 by SHD

Despite being short on time, I really wanted to participate in the Adventure Jam again, just like last year. In 2019, this ran from 8 to 22 June and once again the challenge was to make an adventure game basically from scratch in 14 days. This year, my entry "Escape from DIMANSION" should have a LucasArts vibe to it, at least from the interface and from having it impossible for the player to die or experience a dead-man-walking situation where they are unable to finish the game.

2018-09-04: I may have broken the law, but it broke my heart first

Posted at 2018-09-04 13:44:25 by SHD

Enough time has now passed that I can write this without endangering somebody. A while ago, I met somebody who'd fled to the Netherlands. This man had to leave everything behind... his home, family and friends, everything that he ever knew. Why? Because he's not straight. And where he comes from that means not just being discriminated against, but experiencing physical violence, with police looking the other way. So, this person took what little he could fit in a small backpack, left everything else behind, and came to the Netherlands. That's how I met this young man: his few remaining worldly possessions in the tiny backpack and, heart-wrenchingly, the scars on his arms betraying he had tried to find "another way" out of his living nightmare... yet there was a sheepish grin on his face, hoping he'd finally be free here.

2018-05-18: Spy Quest 1 - Mission: SPECTRUM

Posted at 2018-05-18 00:45:00 by SHD

Even though I'm a big adventure game lover, I hadn't known of AdvJam before. The jam is about creating an adventure game in a mere 14 days. This year, it ran from 4 to 18 May and I learned about it in time and was able to create an entry for it. "Spy Quest 1 - Mission: SPECTRUM" is my tribute to the older text parser adventure games as made in the 1980s by Sierra. Not actual Sierra AGI, but with the same kind of blocky low-res style of artwork in all the 16 glorious EGA colours. Party like it's 1988!

2017-12-27: 5 Firefox about:config tips

Posted at 2017-12-27 22:29:44 by SHD

Firefox can be virtually endlessly extended through all manner of extensions. But even without extensions, the browser has a plethora of settings that are not exposed through the Preferences panel and hidden away in the about:config system. When using Firefox, enter about:config (no "http://" or "www" in there) into the address bar, take heed of the sensible warning and take a look around. Many of the settings are there by default, or changed through preferences (anything that isn't at default value is displayed in bold) and still others have to be added manually. Most of these settings won't be very useful to the average user, but there are some hidden gems. Here's a few of my favourite ones.