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


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avatar Archie 1 comment | 29th July 2015, 20:47 PM

An open letter to Codemasters:

Dear Codemasters,

I've been a long time supporter of Codies Racing to the extent that I don't think there's a single Codemasters game I don't own. Some have been a little disappointing, but overall it's an extremely strong library.
As an F1 fanatic, I've sunk many, many hours into your F1 franchise - playing with as realistic settings as I can (occasionally using mods to boost this) and a G27 wheel and pedals. Aside from unbelievably bad sync errors in coop multiplayer, these games are wonderful experiences and I'd like to thank the team for the hard work you've put into the series.

With all that said, I hope I convey my genuine regret in saying that with a Steam Library of 300+ games and probably a further 100 physical copies of games, F1 2015 is the first game I have ever gotten a refund for. To me, it represents a core misunderstanding of the fan base you've built for the series and with most features stripped out rather than be improved upon, it's a disturbing sign for the direction the series is taking.

The absolute basic staple of the series - the career mode - is missing. This is a fundamental mistake from a game trying to bridge the sim genre with accessibility. A huge part of the appeal of these kinds of games is the escapism and the fantasy of putting yourself in the car, the cockpit or the... farm equipment, I guess? I don't quite get that side of it, but still, the point stands. Sure, it really just comes down to a helmet selection and seeing your name in the championship standings, but those things are massively important to the genre. I'm flabberghasted that you would think they weren't. Nobody wants to be Lewis Hamilton (although with rumours of him dating Rihanna, I may change my stance on this), they want to race themselves alongside him!

And I get it - I understand that the fans have been asking for podium celebrations for years and more pre-race buildup. That stuff is great, but it doesn't have to come at the expense of the already established career options. Need an un-helmeted player model for the podium? Add a basic character creator; it's not that difficult. Genuinely, I can give you the name of a pure nice guy up in Dundee who just made a great one in a couple of weeks for a furniture store. Just replace cushions with nose shape and fabric with hair colour and it's basically the same thing.
Also that then opens up the opportunity to have female player characters. Imagine the positive press when screenshots start appearing of female drivers on an F1 Podium! That is some golden PR for you right there and who knows - it might even instigate further discussion of the gender disparity in motorsport as a whole. The stunning Susie Wolff is lightning quick on the track, but still isn't taken seriously in F1. You could be part of getting her a drive!

That still leaves your Sky commentary, I'll grant you, but you've gotten around the audio issue with a common names list and a list of nicknames before. Why couldn't that work now?

The safety car issue is just puzzling. You have all the resources and the knowledge of how to make it work. A literal carbon copy of F1 2014's safety car would be a better option than stripping it out altogether. It's not a minor aspect of the sport; having all the cars bunched up for a ten lap sprint to the finish is one of the most exciting outcomes a race can have.

Then there's a lack of customisation options when it comes to race weekends. Why are we no longer able to compete in a full three-stage qualie unless we have a 100% race distance? Have your default setting, sure, but why can't the player override it? My favourite weekend setup in 2014 was practice, full qualie and 25% race distance and I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to have that in 2015.

Lastly, I mentioned modding earlier. I understand that with the complex licensing issues of the sport you've presumably been asked to prevent modding to an extent (I know I'm not the only one who immediately re-added the Martini stripe to Williams and the Smirnoff logos to SFI upon F1 2014's release). That, or a suit upstairs has decided that a yearly franchise is at risk of dwindling sales if, for example, the 2015 season could be modded into F1 2014.

This is, of course, utterly daft. Fans will come back every time you release a new game if you support what they want and keep refining the games and polishing features. Locking out modders and removing features that cause slight difficulty in development is what will kill your sales and ultimately a great series of games. I implore you not to let that happen.

My advice would be to open up more about the things that matter. Take Valve as an example - they're one of the most secretive companies in the world when it comes to their games in development, but when it comes to their releases they're completely transparent. If they fuck up, they admit it, apologise sincerely and do what they can to appease the fans. This is massively important and is why they're still completely trusted, despite seemingly forgetting to actually make games once in a while.

Let people know what you're actually doing about F1 2015. Address the missing features rather than just vaguely mentioning that people might be having issues. Explain why things were cut and whether they'll return in a content update or future game. Don't just leave us in the dark.
"Since the launch of 2015, we have become aware that some people are currently experiencing issues while playing the game"?
Come aaaahhhhnnnnn. You can do better than that. Be less corporate. Be more racing fans. Be more games fans.

Sent with admiration and support and hope for the future of the franchise baked in a crusty shell of abject disappointment,

James Archibald

F1 2015

Purchased: Apr 24, 2015 BST
Subtotal: 29.99
Tax: 6.00
Total refund: 34.97 to your Visa
1.02 to your Steam Wallet

avatar The Mad Carrot 12 comments | 27th July 2015, 22:10 PM

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avatar JeffMOD 11 comments | 26th July 2015, 18:59 PM
avatar DoctorAmazing 4 comments | 26th July 2015, 02:16 AM

Virus Warning:
This was taking too much room in the shoutbox, so I'm going to write it down in a journal.
A fanmade version of Hammer, subtitled "Valve Hammer Editor 3.5.2 Unofficial", comes with it's version of ZHLT Tools, but the hlrad.exe seems to have a trojan horse in it

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If any of you guys use this or have it on your computer, immediately run a scan on your computer and delete the 3.5.2 folder

avatar DoctorAmazing 7 comments | 20th July 2015, 17:49 PM

So in the recent years, I've been up to a few things, and I thought I'd share them with you guys:

First off, I DJ at a community radio station for school, but now during the summer I do my shows at home, DIY, and upload them to Twitter

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In fact, here's tommorow's show, already finished:

Also, I collect vinyl now, here are some new additions to the collection:

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Devo - Jocko Homo/Mongoloid (1978 UK Pressing With Foldout Sleve) DEV-1

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The Prodigy - The Fat Of The Land (2012 US Repress, non-gatefold) XLLP 121

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Kraftwerk - Autobahn (2015 European Repress on the Parlophone label) 5099996601419

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Daft Punk - Discovery (2015 Parlophone Repress) PRL1-496065

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Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks (2008 Rhino US Reissue)R1 3147

And also, my CD collection is coming along very nicely

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avatar Skals 11 comments | 13th July 2015, 10:19 AM

Hi everyone, Skals / Albert here.

A few months ago I made a post about me being in my final year of Uni and apologizing for not having spare time to go on TWHL and such.

Well recently I finished my Uni course - Games Design BSc Honours degree, and I got a first in it, yay! - that's like an A basically. So now I'm a graduate :)

Also I've managed to land a job at TTGames -
and I've worked here for almost a month now.

They only make LEGO games atm as they're owned by Warner Brothers, but everyone here is great and I really like the environment I'm working in.
I'm only doing a QA testing job, I test the games, look for bugs etc. so it's not the most amazing job, but I get to work hand-in-hand with all the developers, and it's a stepping stone for something bigger so I love it.

With work and all I still don't have much free time, but I wanted to pop in and thank you guys for putting up with me for the last 6 or so years,
because you guys at TWHL made me passionate about designing games and helped me improve loads and get to this point. Thank you all :)

avatar DoctorAmazing 3 comments | 9th July 2015, 21:07 PM

My new baby

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Pioneer PL-500

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Came installed with a Shure M95HE cartridge, though I ordered an Audio Technics AT95E just in case

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Perfect for playing my vinyl collection

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Which is growing

avatar Suparsonik 8 comments | 5th July 2015, 23:47 PM
avatar Jessie 11 comments | 5th July 2015, 13:22 PM

If you were not constrained by the limitations of work, money, compulsory education, etc., and were basically free to do anything you wanted for the rest of your life...

How would you like to spend your life?

avatar potatis_invalid 14 comments | 3rd July 2015, 18:19 PM

(~0b11101000) & 0xFF

avatar DoctorAmazing 1 comment | 2nd July 2015, 22:32 PM
Vinny playing shitty Half-Life mods

Mods played:
Before (Declared "not so shitty")
Red Mesa

Jamie's Mod (In a separate video)

avatar Rimrook 5 comments | 2nd July 2015, 19:28 PM

A few special things to announce :D

avatar Tetsu0 5 comments | 2nd July 2015, 12:20 PM

My WV Jetta never ceases to amaze me. I recently moved apartments, and my Jetta was the workhorse when my Dad's truck was filled with the furniture.
Trunk Space is incredible:

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Cabin Space is great too:

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This is all the stuff I fit into my car IN ONE TRIP (Minus the golf clubs)

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5 Guitars, 1 Bass Guitar, 2 Guitar Amps, Assorted guitar peripherals, clothes, office supplies, ironing board, misc kitchen supplies...

avatar Jessie 0 comments | 2nd July 2015, 10:09 AM

Here y'all are. Educational, informative and entertaining. Kinda depressing, too.

(And if the video doesn't load for you, I recommend one of those youtube-downloading sites. This one worked fine for me.)

avatar Jessie 25 comments | 26th June 2015, 21:46 PM

Looks like America finally got their marriage equality going! Respect where respect is due.

Just you wait though, another 100 years and Australia might catch up!

avatar TJB 5 comments | 22nd June 2015, 18:03 PM

Yesterday I was in Belfast for what is currently the only concert I've been to. I went to see The Who for their Hits 50! tour. It was really good, especially since we had some fairly good seats for it.

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I was with my dad, because next week he'll be moving to Australia for at least a year, although quite possibly longer, so it might be the last time I see him for a while. Since I'd never been to a concert before I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I quite liked it. If I had to describe it in one word though that would be 'loud'.
Belfast itself was also pretty interesting. It's the first time I've been to Northern Ireland, and it's odd. The landscape and the people are obviously Irish, but it's weird because how English the architecture and infrastructure seem. As well as that, you can really see how much of a divide there is between the Protestants/Unionists and the Republicans/Catholics. I don't think I've seen so many Irish Tricolours or Union Jacks in my life. I'll have to upload some photos of it when I get home.

avatar Dimbeak 1 comment | 18th June 2015, 16:14 PM

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you a work of imagination, boredom, and 4 hours of fucking around in Adobe Premiere.

The Black Echo: An Interactive Experience

avatar Kazemeka 3 comments | 13th June 2015, 11:40 AM

So another year has passed as LBTH. What have we done?


JK, lots of maps.

avatar Dimbeak 5 comments | 11th June 2015, 14:47 PM

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Rest in peace, Christopher Lee.

avatar Tetsu0 16 comments | 7th June 2015, 22:26 PM

Repaired the girl's car on saturday.

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Full album with steps: HERE

I've done paint before and every time I do it, I get a little better and learn some more tricks. But for $200, I think it looks great.

avatar Instant Mix 3 comments | 5th June 2015, 23:30 PM

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Missed it.

Ah well, was on holiday. Here's to being here for over 10 years. Long live TWHL.

avatar Dimbeak 3 comments | 4th June 2015, 15:44 PM

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Oh, Business Insider, just you wait until they announce Half-Life 3.

avatar DiscoStu 28 comments | 2nd June 2015, 04:45 AM

So who else got this today?

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I'm going to wait until it's well studied to decide if it's worth my while.

avatar DiscoStu 12 comments | 25th May 2015, 04:14 AM

I seem to be missing ~100GB off my hard drive. I don't know where they went.

Last time I checked, I had ~150GB free. Last night I happened to notice the red bar, looks like now I have 42GB free. The only thing that happened since then is Windows updates and installing a gift game I got on Steam that took up less than 1GB.

Disk cleanup said it could clear some 500MB. Not quite enough. Getting it to count Windows update files, it said 6GB. That's better, BUT THERE'S STILL 94GB UNACCOUNTED FOR.

Has anyone ever experienced this?

avatar ninja defuse 1 comment | 24th May 2015, 19:08 PM

Hello my TWHL friends!
I have found a facebook page with design ideas... i think they might help a bit in mapping

avatar Dimbeak 7 comments | 24th May 2015, 05:23 AM
avatar JeffMOD 20 comments | 22nd May 2015, 00:16 AM

Lost my G500s after surgery today.

The Logitech G500s is hands-down the best gaming mouse I have ever used.

With the exception of the wire, which is apparently notoriously prone to fraying.

My dad and I managed to take it apart, figure out how everything works, cut, strip, and resolder the wire, then put it back together after an afternoon of work. After plugging it back in, I found that everything was working perfectly. Then, it died, and, unlike every other time in the past few weeks, did not come back on again after a few seconds.

So, I am unfortunately in the market for a new mouse. I need something with minimum 5 buttons, wired (bad experiences with wireless mice and battery life) and preferably with a low-key case design instead of something like this.

Anyone have suggestions?

avatar Instant Mix 3 comments | 20th May 2015, 22:28 PM

Anyone remember when I spammed my journal with some girl from donkeys ago that I was "deeply in love with" and found out she'd been abused by her stepdad?

BBC article

Motherfucker deserved more than 4 years. Things had been very sour between us so I hadn't been keeping check but.. yeah. Things there that I didn't even know about..

It's scary to think things like this happen so scarily frequent. I found out whilst I was away at uni that one of my neighbours-ish had been arrested for doing a similar sort of thing, not to the same extreme however.

The fuck is wrong with this world

avatar Dimbeak 4 comments | 19th May 2015, 20:09 PM

[EDIT] Those of you who probably don't wanna sit through 2 hours of a shitty highschool performance, here's a list of the highlights I'm in:

9:26 TROUBLE (personal favorite)
25:10 Trouble Reprise
35:10 Sadder but Wiser (second favorite)
41:00 Marian the Librarian
1:20:39 I KISS A GURL

So, my school's production of The Music Man was a couple of months ago, and we just now got around to editing the footage. I was the lead of this show, Professor Harold Hill, so if you want to see me dancing around, singing, acting, and if you wonder what I'm like when I'm not screaming into a microphone embarrassing myself, then check it out...


Oh, and I even kiss a girl a couple times throughout the show. ;)