Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Retro: ZX Spectrum Hardware Mods ‘n’ DivMMC Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

Here’s a small blog on prepping your old 8-bit ZX hardware to do some retrogaming: on fixing keyboard membranes, creating a composite video signal and using the DivMMC Enjoy! cartridge to ease your storage life. 

But before that first a word on Internet sellers of second hand Sinclair computers. You should be aware that a reknown problem of the ZX keyboards is that the membranes die in the course of 20 years. If you happen to stumble upon a ZX being sold on the internet, always ask them to check the keyboard. I’ve bought three computers the past few weeks, and ALL of them had worn keyboard membranes. But only one seller reported this before finishing the deal! The other’s claimed “it worked before I shipped it!”. Yeah right. Not in a million years, buster! However, I fixed them like this:

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Fix Soundblaster X-Fi ‘no sound’ issue in Windows 8.1

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

After weeks of frustration I seem to have the solution to a X-Fi issue in Windows 8.1. There would be no sound each time after a reboot or after cold start. I’d have to go into Configuration Panel, go to Hardware and deactivate / reactivate the Soundblaster and reboot to get the speakers to play. Bottom line: the SB software / card thinks a headphones is connected. Solution:  go to the SB Configuration Panel, go to Headphones settings and disable “autodetection of headphones” AND disable “mute speakers automatically”. Reboot. Done. 

Why we need to ditch Metacritic as a source

Sunday, February 9th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

On January the 19th we released the comprehensive analysis of the Metacritic website regarding their Games data. As a way to shed some light on the findings reported in that paper, I write this annotated blog. It will save you from having to read the 30 pages.

Introduction

The Metacritic website has a number of important flaws according to the Wikipedia page:

Metacritic:
• Converts each review into a percentage the site decides for itself
• Manually assesses the tone of reviews that have no explicit score and then assigns a quantitative score
• Refuses to reveal what weights are applied to which publications

Now, assuming the above is correct, this would make the data shown at Metacritic highly biased and far from the truth. Statistics dictate that you cannot apply scores at your own leisure based on subjective perception or using unvalidated methods and then call that a sophisticated meta-analysis. Therefore, it is time someone took a closer look at the data at Metacritic, in a descriptive way, to explore the data and see what comes up.

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Metacritic: Quantify Me paper released (30 pages!)

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

Today we release the next chapter in the Quantify Me series: Metacritic. Having done an analysis of the CSDb first (CSDb: Quantify Me) in July 2010 and then Mobygames (Mobygames: Quantify Me) at the end of December 2012, the attention has turned to the games listed at Metacritic. This one turned out to big a big analysis, collecting data almost non-stop from the Metacritic website between the 25th of August 2013 and the 10th of September 2013. Then cleaning of the database and actual analyses took another lengthy period of time, as this needed to be done late in the evenings, as much as possible. Finally the first chapter of this endeavor is here. The conclusion of this 30 page paper (which you can get here as PDF) is as follows:

The data at Metacritic leaves much to be desired and seems to be heavily biased. When critic scores do not comply with user scores in the majority of cases, which has been shown in this paper, and the selection of critics is seemingly under no formal control, the validity and accuracy of the data is low. Caution is necessary when using Metacritic information to guide your own decision to buy or not buy a game. Until there is more transparency on how this process takes place at Metacritic, more transparency on the flow of funding from which sources and the observed biases are removed, the database is of limited use for the end-users.

The stranger uses briefcase nuke as political statement

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by Mr.Mouse

Check out my video of The stranger’s plans with bickering Dutch politicians. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhW8rnDO4VI. DutchPolitician mod and Briefcase nuke mod for Fall Out: New Vegas combined.

Video of Paul Koller’s presentation at GDC

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 by Mr.Mouse

There’s now the full video recording of Paul Koller’s presentation at the Game Developer’s Conference that we mentioned earlierIn his first slide he talks about this figure taken from my Mobygames: Quantify Me paper. Watch his talk here!

Paul Koller at the GDC Europe

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 by Mr.Mouse

Paul Koller talked about “Porting Contemporary Games to a Vintage Platform” during the Game Developer Conference in Cologne, Germany last Tuesday. Paul is the one responsible for porting games of this day and age back to the platform of the past: the Commodore 64. We remember the port of VVVVVV back in 2010? This time around he showed his conversion of Canabalt, C64anabalt, and SuperBreadBox (you know, Super Crate Box, by Vlambeer) as well during his talk. His opening slide to introduce his talk? This one taken from Mr. Mouse’s MobyGames: Quantify Me analysis. What a smart guy!  We hope to see the full presentation soon up at GDC Vault. Hopefully, for free. ..

 

MobyGames: Quantify Me

Friday, December 28th, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

Taking data from MobyGames I have analyzed their information on games released since 1977 on many platforms in an attempt to make some historical sense of it all in a descriptive way. It is entitled MobyGames: Quantify Me. A brief quantitative analysis of the gaming era according to MobyGames. Below is the Abstract plus some key figures, but you are encouraged to read the full article here: MobyGames: Quantify Me 2012. Enjoy the read!

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brienj’s Xbox Hacking Portal is up!

Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Mr.Mouse

SvRLogo.jpgWe offered brienj a place of his own for his XBox Hacking portal! There you will find many tools to mod your favourite games, such as SvR2010 v2.0 for Smackdown vs Raw 2010. Move over there now and keep checking for updates!

Alera has a new site up dedicated to game research

Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Mr.Mouse

11-6-2010 9-18-48.jpgAlera has his own subdomain at XeNTaX Game Research now! He has already posted his first blog on Biohazard and Outbreak’s *.NBD files. This will be his portal to publish more information on game formats!

Check it!