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

User Journals

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Archie's Journals

6 comments | 8th April 2017, 05:37 AM

I got to see one of my favourite bands of all time last night. Utterly, utterly phenomenal performance - somehow from a bunch of geriatrics.

My voice is gone from singing and shouting, my ears are ringing and I can't stop grinning.

14 comments | 19th September 2016, 15:12 PM

Melting point: 1246C
Boiling point: 2061C

19 comments | 24th June 2016, 07:48 AM

There are no words.
Scotland must seize this opportunity to get the fuck out of the UK, rejoin the EU and try not to wince as Farage's England tumbles further and further into a Dystopian wasteland.
This is a victory for xenophobia, short-sightedness and lies. Trump winning is the next milestone on this journey. This is the darkest timeline.

14 comments | 13th December 2015, 16:29 PM

I recently asked you guys for some advice about 1440p displays. After much deliberation, I went for the AOC Q2770PQU sitting at a glorious 27" which takes up my entire desk width - an impressive feat on a desk this big.

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I've now been living and working with these panels for about six months and I've got to say I haven't had a single problem. The colour reproduction - which is easily my most important priority - is staggeringly good. I had them calibrated to broadcast standards in mere minutes and the faithful, bright and vibrant colours are simply beautiful. I'm also running them on the absolute lowest power settings and they're still totally bright and rich. On the full power setting it's like looking out of a real window.

For work, the extra screen real estate of 1440p is phenomenal. I have almost all the tools I ever need on screen at once in After Effects and it creates a painless and efficient workflow that makes work so much less tiring.

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For games, I was worried that I would notice the slightly lower-end refresh rate. I don't, at all. Maybe if I was playing a twitch-fps like Counter-strike at an e-sports level I might see a difference, but for gaming for enjoyment, the beautiful picture, immersive screen size and ridiculously crisp resolution more than makes up for anything lost in the refresh rate. I was using a 144Hhz monitor for years and I don't feel any worse off at 60.

There are some nice bonuses like USB3 ports in the sides and I personally quite like the design of the bevel, though it's nothing mind-blowing. The stands are sturdy and easily adjustable and sit on lazy-susans so that rotating your displays won't scratch your desk. Nice touch.

Overall, I couldn't be happier. Would heartily recommend to anyone on here, but especially to those with jobs in design or video - I can't stress enough how stunning the colour is, even at basically a 180 degree viewing angle. What a display.

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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?

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?



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.

11 comments | 18th September 2015, 23:12 PM


12 comments | 2nd August 2015, 18:24 PM

I made another thing. If anything it's even less universal than the previous one in the series. Anyway, let me know what you think!


Tidy, tidy timelines <3

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It made a bit of a splash in a national newspaper!
From here on I always want to be credited as "Neil's pal" - doesn't matter if I'm working for Sainsburys or JJ Abrams - this is my title now.

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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