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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

Journals

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User Journals

Take a look at all the journal entries from our members.

User Journals

avatar Jessie 7 comments | 20th November 2015, 00:27 AM

I find myself in need of a new graphics card, as it would seem that the one I have is likely the source of my recent computer woes.

Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about graphics cards or where to find info on them. Thus, I turn to you fellows.

I'm looking for something at least comparable in power (or better) to what I am replacing, which is an AMD Radeon HD 6800 (or something like that, anyway). Moreover, I'd like it to be relatively affordable, around the $200-$250 mark.

Can thou help me?

avatar Archie 16 comments | 18th November 2015, 11:40 AM

We're gonna be recording season 2 of Formula SnC soon. Just wondering if any TWHLers would like to join the roster?

At the moment it's still just Ant, Urby, Scoots and myself. I'd like to get one or two others for some more excitement and variety. Only requirement is that you can be available for a couple of nights (probably friday or saturday), can speak English conversationally on Teamspeak and don't mind putting up with Ant.

Any takers?

avatar Dimbeak 4 comments | 12th November 2015, 18:49 PM

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It's been almost a full year since I last made a map. This is scary, especially since I've been working nonstop on maps for a year straight. Yet, here I am, with nothing to show for it. Except I'll show for it what I can for what it's worth.

The Atlas Miller Super Space Adventure

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A very pretentious mod I poured hours into. Set in the Half-Life universe, Atlas Miller was a complicated story about a single guy who effectively replaced Gordon Freeman in the grand scale of the Half-Life narrative. Basically: an awful idea.

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I feel like this was some of my strongest work when it comes to mapping, though. I actually started to craft decent-looking environments, and I was using hand-made custom textures and playing with lighting, atmosphere, all while trying to tell a super ambitious story. But it didn't work out.

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It was too big. I aimed too high. And worst of all, I lost interest when I slowly came to realizing that it was, in fact, an awful idea from the start. Maybe the first step to making a project should be planning it out and foolproofing it, and not asking Archie to do voice acting for it and let me constantly waste his vocal talent time and again.

Fallout (Garry's Mod Edition)

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So my friend Dallas and I had an adventure on FalloutRP and decided that we wanted to make our own map that would be bigger and better in every way.

We started working in August, and we stopped just now.

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Our idea was to have a big town area for people to live normally in, an open wasteland, a Vault, a base for the NCR, a base for the legion, and plenty of other places for Raiders to base in and explore in. The best part was, Fallout 4 was coming out, we were hyped, and we could use that as our constant inspiration every day we worked on it. It's probably the most I've ever done for a single project.

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It was big. It was bold. We tried to make it as big as we possibly could. Every building had its own story. Everything was unique. With the power of fog, this could run smoothly on any computer. We were even using ported props from Fallout 3.

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We designed it so that the Legion and NCR could be at constant war, and we were even talking to the owner of the server and talking to him about the changes to the server he could make to fit our map and vice versa. So many ideas were coming along so smoothly. It was beautiful.

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But then, disaster. People had warned me about the entity limit, and I was always careful with my entities, but what really fucked me over was the brush limit.

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There were too many brush angles. Fuck. The map was only 50% done and we had hit the fucking brush limit. I guess that's what I get for trying to make an open-world game using the Source engine.

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All in all, it's a shame. I know what you're thinking--I need to buck up and deal with it.

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This might sound stupid, but I can't. We won't be delivering on half of what we promised if we started cutting here. I already have enough incomplete, released maps under my belt. I don't want one more. I would sooner start a completely new map than bring the scissors to my beloved baby. And I probably will.

All in all, expect new maps from me in the future, I guess. I just need help planning things. And I need to aim low, but keep quality high. Maybe I'll go back to making CSGO maps for nobody to play.

avatar JeffMOD 14 comments | 10th November 2015, 00:22 AM
avatar Striker 8 comments | 7th November 2015, 02:12 AM

After tackling with the installation of Arch linux for about 3 hours, I can finally browse TWHL in a retro-as-heck way:

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Although this stuff is not practical, I have to emphasize that it is lightweight as fuck:

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Unfortunately 3 more hours later since opening this journal I still haven't succeeded in installing a window manager. I'll probably report tomorrow or another day on this.

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Managed to install the X.org window system. This is very barebones and it's actually a basis for other window managers. Slapped there the lightweight "Netsurf" browser, and voila:

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About ~70Mb. Keep in mind that Arch linux, afaik, is not developed to be as lightweight as possible. That is a concept followed by other distros, like DSL or Puppy Linux. It's... impressive.
What's even more impressive is that these are programs that are actively developed.
Underground tech is a wonder.

avatar Archie 14 comments | 2nd November 2015, 12:29 PM

Ant, Urby, Scoots and myself have created a new series on the old intertubes. This first run will be bi-weekly and will have ten episodes. Whatcha think?

Clickityboo!

Ep2!

avatar DoctorAmazing 7 comments | 31st October 2015, 20:47 PM
avatar Soup Miner 11 comments | 31st October 2015, 19:19 PM

It's funny how much can happen in a year. Or two. So what's everyone up to these days?

avatar Alberto309 14 comments | 31st October 2015, 01:22 AM

Welp... It's my birthday. :3

I'm 25 years old now. And since this is a special day for me, I would like to show you some cool things I've done this year with the good ol' Goldsrc:

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And, lol (not related):

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avatar Striker 9 comments | 28th October 2015, 15:16 PM

I visited a friend who has a 3D printer. He offered to demonstrate me how it works, and told me to think of something to print.
As 3D printing takes a lot of time(sometimes hours) when you have complex shapes, I figured out fast what to print:

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It's 4cm in diamater and took 20 minutes.

avatar ThatGuy4878 4 comments | 25th October 2015, 17:04 PM

I've been playing the first Half-Life for about 8 years now, and a large majority of that time was spent fragging friends on various deathmatch servers. Over time, my valve folder was slowing building up an arsenal of downloaded maps.

Recently I did a very long Twitch stream with my friend, and out challenge was to sit down and play a selection of maps that weíd remember from long ago and see if they still held up in any way. Our lot was 55 maps in total and we dedicated at least 5 minutes to each map, increasing it to 10 if we still wanted to check things out.

To our surprise, the maps that held up the most in our eyes were A) really shitty looking, and B) Had something hilariously fun about them that neither of us could describe. I mean, hell, our favourite map from the lot that night turned out to be a map by the name of 1337_Street, and itís just a street with blocky as sin cars and buildings with rooms you could teleport into. And yet my friend and I had so much fun on this map during out session that it practically stole the night.

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Another example of a shitty map being a hell of a fun time to play is just a map that was simply called ďsmall.bspĒ: a house thatís as badly brushed at it was textured, and yet I had a hell of a time playing it.

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Now, contrast that with some of the other maps we played that night. Our folder wasnít just filled with peopleís apparent first map creations; we also had some other really nice looking, thought out maps with excellent design choices when it came to making the map look nice, but the odd thing was that a large majority of them (besides the Karnak, pictured below, which is a BEAUTIFUL map that we had to skip because it was just too big for it to be fun for two people) were surprisingly boring, and we ended it just thinking about how much fun it was to tripmine the fuck out of the kitchen in Small.

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So whatís the point Iím getting to here? That shitty maps are better than well textured and well thought out maps? That sinfully blocky brushwork is far more entertaining than maps with excellent use of brushes? No, not in the slightest. However, our best moments from the session happen on those really shitty maps.

This just reinforces my, perhaps spotty, ideology when it comes to making HLDM maps. I usually donít really use custom texture wads outside out of the ones that come with half-life, nor do I really try super hard to make my maps look good. If I complete a map and playtest it and my friends and I never want to stop playing it, that is WAY better (in my mind at least) to map that looks exceptional, but does not really get to the top of the list of map suggestions before we start playing. I mean, we still play 2Partment as our first map in our sessions, and that just uses textures that everyone has seen 18 billion times by now.

Maybe Iím just a naÔve mapper that needs to grow up from bad practices, but thatís just how I feel.
\_(`-` )_/

avatar ninja defuse 2 comments | 25th October 2015, 13:41 PM

I have just launched TV

e-sports are growing up

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avatar JeffMOD 5 comments | 25th October 2015, 04:10 AM
avatar Archie 2 comments | 20th October 2015, 10:17 AM

Fancy getting into a new podcast? Check out my flatmate's new series Crossover Quest ft. your friendly neighbourhood Archie.

It's still finding its feet, but it's a glorious concept. Every week they take two beloved franchises and create parody crossover fan fiction. It's rude, racy and often hilarious. I've heard some of the newer un-published episodes and they just keep getting stronger as the format grows and the recording and editing improves.

I'd love to know what you think and will pass on any comments! Constructive crits very welcome.

avatar ThatGuy4878 11 comments | 20th October 2015, 02:59 AM

This is going to be a long post, so buckle in if you're in the mood for journal reading.

It's weird how nostalgia grows. I mean yeah, sure, I'm only 18 pressing 19, but I remember hanging out on this website for a long time being a lurker before finally joining this thing many years ago. I have an oddly nostalgic relationship with TWHL.

I came for the tutorials and for the entity glossary, which still provides me help and guidance to this day, and I stayed (albeit quietly, and for a short amount of time) for the community. It actually didn't really take me that long to know the regulars, if only because their online handles were memorable.

My last map uploaded was 7th January, 2013 - the last time I made a journal was 8th August, 2012 - and then I stopped playing Half-Life for a while. And with Half-Life stopped, my frequent visits here ended. To be completely honest, I really didn't think much of the years I was gone.

However, this is the present. If you're the kind of human who like to round numbers up, it's been nearly 3 years since I've seen the inviting Orange layout of this site. And holy shit, is it great to see it again.

I'm happy that TWHL still exists, and I want to high-five the people behind it all that keep this place going. And hey, while I'm here, I might as well post some maps I've cleaned up that are hideously brushed and textured maps that play surprisingly well.

Hopefully I'll stick around longer on this second wind. :D

avatar UrbaNebula 13 comments | 18th October 2015, 06:56 AM

XXIX

avatar Suparsonik 8 comments | 4th October 2015, 14:12 PM

I am now 0 years old.

avatar DiscoStu 22 comments | 27th September 2015, 04:45 AM

If anyone even cares and had been following, I now have one of these.

Comes with Android 4.4.2, it updated to 4.4.4 but hasn't offered me 5.x yet. After fiddling with it for a few hours now, I can say the following:

- My older phone has a 140dpi screen. After two years of use everything was good. The new one has a 330dpi screen. After two hours of use, there was no turning back. Everything looks so bloody fuzzy on the old one.

- I actually liked the 3x4 keyboard on the old one. The new one only has a QWERTY keyboard which I find much slower and error-prone. I'll look into installing a custom keyboard or something.

- It's pretty snazzy but I have one gripe: On the contacts list, the old one has an option labelled "Only show contacts with phone numbers". Which is pretty nice. The Moto G has no such option and it displays every Google contact ever. I do not like that. The list gets a bit long.

- It's pretty nice to have more than one app installed at a time.

- I probably don't need to worry about it freezing or hanging for several minutes every time I try to do anything, including nothing.

Conclusion: I like it. It's affordable and good. I'm happy with it.

avatar Dimbeak 10 comments | 21st September 2015, 23:23 PM
avatar Archie 11 comments | 18th September 2015, 23:12 PM

XXIV

avatar DoctorAmazing 3 comments | 17th September 2015, 15:58 PM

I made a YTP
http://youtu.be/9UWEzxNL3Z8
It's bad

avatar Instant Mix 6 comments | 7th September 2015, 18:42 PM

Well, looks like I'm going to have to take a year out of uni for not passing a prerequisite course that's difficult as fuck, which means I'm going to be a year behind all of my mates, as well as having to work full time at this shitty chocolate shop.

Feel like shit

avatar DiscoStu 14 comments | 2nd September 2015, 05:20 AM

//UPDATE1: Since I unexpectedly I can afford a tiny bit more if necessary, I've been looking a bit more. I've come across two models that are essentially the same, the only differences being a marginally bigger screen, more camera resolution (can't say I care about either) and a bigger battery (I do care about that though).

Does a 2600mAh battery vs. a 2000mAh battery seem worth a $75 difference? Because I'm thinking probably not and I'd rather find out if the bigger battery fits the smaller phone :P

------------------------------------------------------

I managed to scrounge up a few bucks from places I didn't know existed so I could get a long-needed phone upgrade* and now I must choose what to spend them on. From what I can afford, I'm between two models with very minor differences**.

Do I need to worry about 4G vs. dual-band wi-fi, or should I go for 4G without a second thought?

I don't care about the other differences, but I won't refuse an explanation if anyone feels I should know something I'm ignoring. Such as what's listed under Bluetooth or NFC***, which are things I'm intrigued about but I'll probably never need. I just want to future-proof it as much as I can so I can hold on to it long after most people change it. Because I'm poor and also because I'm lazy and I don't want to do this research too often.

*Current phone not only hangs, freezes and restarts, now it started to reject texts blaming lack of memory. Deleting all the old ones did nothing, so I can pretty much only receive calls.

**I know those sites might give incomplete or inaccurate information, but that seemed the most complete. I tried to double-check with the manuals, but they don't say anything at all about the specs. How silly is that?

***NFC intrigues me the most because the manuals don't even mention it. If I don't even know how to use it, how am I going to know if it's useful?

avatar DoctorAmazing 3 comments | 2nd September 2015, 02:27 AM

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What a lovely day

avatar Dimbeak 12 comments | 31st August 2015, 19:55 PM

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I've got a car. I'm a licensed driver now.

Ah.

avatar DiscoStu 15 comments | 18th August 2015, 21:24 PM

I truly hope it's considering it failed because I didn't agree to it, and not that it's constantly trying without my permission and failing for other reasons.

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This appears to be happening since the day of the release. I like W7 and have no intentions of upgrading for now. STOP TRYING TO SHOVE IT DOWN MY THROAT.

The day W7 becomes W10 without asking me first, will be the day I turn to Debian and never look back.

avatar Instant Mix 5 comments | 16th August 2015, 12:30 PM

This is going to be my view for the next fornight!

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Lighting Op for Little Shop Of Horrors @ the Edinburgh Fringe; going to be good!

avatar Jessie 14 comments | 15th August 2015, 18:18 PM

Oh man, I forgot about these! (Ep1) (Ep2) (Ep3) (Ep4)

They were, and are, incredible. (Despite featuring a way-out-of-date me.)