Joe Wojciechowski. A web log.

About.  New. 

#  Quotidian Radio →

Curtis and I started a new podcast, in which we talk about whatever we damn well please in the most boring fashion possible. Hopefully you find it entertaining.

Freshened Up

The site has a slightly new coat of paint – I’ve switched to the default Poole theme rather than Lanyon. I decided I didn’t like the sidebar-style theme after all, and it wasn’t as mobile-friendly as I would have liked.

#  Forever Doomed →

This YouTube playlist I created is really great, if I say so myself – it contains an episode of Double Fine Productions’ Devs Play series, where developers go back and reminisce while playing their classic games. This episode’s videos specifically cover Doom, and offer lots of great insights and anecdotes regarding its design and development from developer/level designer/hair master John Romero.

Doom holds a special place in my heart, and, in point of fact, is close to if not my favorite game of all time. Its combination of hellish surreality, breakneck speed, and challenging puzzle-like gameplay make it a touchstone gaming experience for those with the stomach. I wholeheartedly suggest finding a source port for the platform of your choice (I’m partial to ZDoom on Windows and either PrBoom+ or Doomsday for OS X), grabbing the shareware Doom .wad or the full Monty on Steam for $15, and knocking on Hell’s door yourself.

Diablo on Modern PCs

The Diablo series of games are something near and dear to my heart, a world in which many hours were spent with friends defending the town of Tristram and the world of Sanctuary from the Prime Evils and their minions. The original Diablo is a slightly different beast than the latter two, lacking many of the player niceties and stylistic badassery of its descendants. Because of this, it still stands up on its own merits as an interesting and fun game and not simply a chopped-down Diablo II. As with so many other classic games, however, the installation and startup process has not aged nearly as well as the gameplay. This is the method by which Leah and I were able to get local network games working between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Installing the executables is still a flawless procedure and takes barely any time at all. Running them, however, leads to some immediately-obvious issues. Here I used a utility I had found some time ago for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings – well before the Steam version existed– called DirectDrawFix. Feed it the problematic executable and it will apply corrections to the Windows Registry to fix the color palette issue.

Only marginally more complicated is multiplayer functionality. Playing over Battle.net with others doesn’t pose an issue, but both of us trying to connect from the same network was a no-go due to the both of us trying to connect from behind the same router, which would require router configuration changes (port forwarding) that I was too lazy to figure out. I attempted to sidestep the issue by starting a LAN game, only to notice that the ability to reinstall IPX networking (which Diablo uses for LAN connectivity) was killed off after Windows XP. Fortunately, there exists a set of IPX-to-UDP wrapper DLLs that, when placed in the directory of the game in question, allows the IPX connection option to simply work seamlessly. Much simpler!

Thus did we venture down into the Cathedral and proceed to get utterly annihilated by King Leoric at our first encounter.

Your death will be avenged.

A New Year

I think I got lost in thought at some point, because my calendar now reads January 2015. 2014 was a total blur between managing work, preparations for being transitioned to Florida, financial stability, and, of course, broadening the family tree. Now 2015 promises to start off with a bang as I get back into working and surviving our impending move to Orlando. I wanted to make a list of my intents for the coming year, more for my own benefit than anything else.

  • Fatherhood: Obvious. I’m nothing without my family.

  • Read more: I’ve replaced much of my free time with idly browsing the Internet and playing video games. I still enjoy reading but can never seem to find the time. I won’t set a goal number, but I will make time.

  • Game less: Be more discerning about games. Don’t try to play everything everyone is talking about. Find entertainment that can be returned to time and again. Let go of my backlog and accept that I won’t ever play all of the SNES and PS1 classics – most of them probably don’t hold up without nostalgia goggles, anyways.

  • Program more: As my livelihood, I need to be broadening my horizons beyond what is simply necessary for work. Contribute to open source. Start a game that scratches a personal itch. Make an iOS app finally. Doesn’t matter if I make any money.

  • Follow less: Twitter and RSS feeds are my lifeline to news and information about the wider world, but connectivity comes at a price. These often-bite-sized morsels of entertainment are addicting. As a Twitter completionist, I’m constantly checking my timeline for new, cool stuff. I can’t see everything.

  • Write more: Breathe life back into the blog. Take the time for longer thoughts. Cultivate a style. Start that novel that everyone always wants to write.

  • Tweet less: Defocus interactions on social networks. Call and text and e-mail more. Communicate longer and more often.

  • Live more: Travel. Volunteer. Work. Play. Go to concerts. Walk in the woods. Lay on the beach. Be with family.

  • Get political: Sounds silly, but House of Cards rekindled my interest in the goings-on on the Hill and in the White House, an interest that waned significantly in the last several disheartening years. 2016 is approaching.

  • Forgive: Anyone always, but especially myself for all of the things on this list I will fail to accomplish. Nobody’s perfect.