April 2005 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Visited Felicity (29th April 2005)

I went over to Felicity’s house on 2005-04-26 and stayed for two nights, returning home on 2005-04-28. The conversations we had were fascinating and exciting…I am growing more and more fond of her company.

Invited to work on Half-Life 2: Fueled (23rd April 2005)

The team of what was formerly Multiplicity have moved their project from the GTA Vice City platform to HL2. They invited me to go work with them to get the vehicle handling together but since I just started my company about a week ago and need to be finding clients, plus the endless stack of other projects I am already working on, I couldn’t accept. They expect to be working on it for a good few years yet and they have left the invitation open for when I get some time to take part.

They are one of very few really serious modding teams around and they are in full collaboration with Valve, the folks who make the HL2 engine.

Conventional for GTAForums.com (23rd April 2005)

After spending a couple of hours fiddling with the colours on the various skins I have made in the Conventional series for GTAForums.com, I am a lot more pleased with the way they look. The original Conventional by Cerbera scheme now actually looks a bit like how I intended it to look; giving the boards a soft yet clear appearence. I have refined the link colours as well as the topic icons in other skins. I also made some little tweaks to the Legend section at the bottom of topic views and search results.

The WIP topic for the skins is in the WD&P section of GTAForums, called Conventional gets Colourised.

Site Scheme Refinements (23rd April 2005)

After having another stab at getting some more pleasing shades for the main body text and the links I think things have improved a bit. Main body text uses a very dark grey (not quite black) and links use a slightly greenish blue. We'll see how it goes. My Conventional skins for GTAForums and the Gouranga! Forums are basically replicas of Project Cerbera, so the styles I develop get shared between all three locations.

Handling Overhaul Error (21st April 2005)

In both the handling overhauls I forgot to include the new default.ide file. It allows some of the handling.cfg entries to be shared by more than one vehicle, such as the Mr. Wongs van now shares the Mule handling rather than having its own. Without the new default.ide file, the game will crash if you enter these vehicles.

You can download the fixed edition of each handling overhaul from these pages

Voice of the People™ Area Closed (18th April 2005)

The staff created a clearly bogus area called Voice of the People™ on 2005-04-04. During the recent April Fool’s joke (my news entry for it) they banned me for pointing out it was a joke. Evidently the timing of the area’s creation meant it was made whilst they were trying to pick up the pieces of their completely failed prank by trying a slightly different approach. The staff only gave themselves posting rights in the area but also gave posting rights to me.

Throughout the short while the area was running (just two weeks) the staff used it to poke fun at me and not consider the ideas seriously at all. They rather clumsily tried to make out that I was not using the area because I was somehow not interested in improving the boards. They locked the topic I made suggesting the structure of the area and announced that the area was going to be closed, which proves quite conclusively that they were never interested in a genuine discussion.

They made the area accessible to all for the last few days and despite many members taking part the staff have still gone ahead with locking it. This means that despite the members showing that they really do want to take part and that my suggestion to make it public would have worked (which was the suggestion they locked) the staff ignored the will of the members so that they could end the game they were playing before it turned against them.

Hopefully it will be many months before they use their staff controls for such sillyness again.

Handling Overhaul Updates (13th April 2005)

You are probably aware that I have completely re-written the handling for GTA 3 and GTA Vice City. After spending months testing the handling around my Curveshire District project in both editions, I am pretty sure that I have finally come up with the final versions of the handling for both editions

I have not altered the handling of very exotic vehicles such as the flying and floating vehicles in either edition. I have left the motorcycles in GTA Vice City as well since people will be so used to doing stunts with them in a certain way I did not want to end up preventing old tricks from still being possible by using more realistic settings.

Started FTP Client Review (13th April 2005)

I finished off the review for Internet Explorer’s abilties (which are somewhat lacking) and wrote the basic introduction for the piece. I ended up rambling on at quite some length about the things wrong with it so I might have to compact it when I add the reviews for other clients. I decided to conduct this review after I got so many different suggestions in the GTAForums WD&P topic I made asking for advice on which FTP Client I should get.

Braces Removed (13th April 2005)

Both my upper and lower braces were removed yesterday and I am not sorry to see them go. It’s not over yet since I have had a retainer bonded onto the back of my lower teeth for the next six months to stop them moving back to their old position. I will also have a removable retainer on the top as well, which will be a bit of a drag. Still, the permanent retainer is so smooth and flat that I hardly notice it and even with the removable one for my upper teeth it sure beats having a mouthful of metalwork.

MultiSlayer Updated (11th April 2005)

After a few months I am now pretty sure I have indentified all the bugs and glitches and fixed them. The new version of the level is now available from the GTA 2 MultiSlayer page. This is version 4.2 of the level and should now be the final edition. I said that about v4.1 too, though, so you might see me make another update to it after a few more months. c{¦¬\

Upcoming Removal of Braces (5th April 2005)

On 2005-04-12 I shall be getting my braces removed. They were fitted about half a year ago and they have done a great job...aside from them constantly scratching the inside of my mouth, requiring frequent maintenance and destroying several toothbrushes.

Felicity Small (5th April 2005)

When I was taking A2 Level Computing at Farnborough 6th Form College I was in the same class as her, although I don’t think we ever actually spoke. Anyway, I met her again on the two-week training course back in November 2004, where I started dating Emma. We kept in contact via e-mail in the months from then until now and on 2005-04-04 I went round her house in the afternoon, staying overnight and leaving the next afternoon (today).

Felicity is almost exactly the same age as me since our date of birth is 1985-06-27, which makes us both 19 at the time of writing this. Felicity is very concientious and articulate, so I hope she will become a great friend. I also hope that she won’t get too creeped out by me writing about her on my website.

GTAForums April Fool’s Joke (2nd April 2005)

This year it was a blatantly fake announcement about Premier Membership. This prank was so poorly thought out and the hints given in the opening post were so obvious (such as the use of the breadfish icon) that it was hardly worth bothering with, frankly. As with all previous pranks, the joke was created by the staff to make themselves feel cool and powerful rather than actually try and do something funny.

I suggested that a far better prank would have been for them to allow me onto the staff and create a new policy, then kick me off the staff at the start of May and restore the current policy. That would have been highly amusing for pretty much everyone at the forums and the staff could still have felt like they were cunning and dominant. Instead, we just had to put up with a day of confused kids panicking whilst the staff told them lies to make them panic even more.

When I pointed out the blatancy of the prank, Brodan got upset about me spoiling their little joke and banned me. I am unbanned now, so they obviously realised that because I figured out what was going on and was not afraid to post it, I would make it obvious to even the most gullible members that it was a fake. The joke really was on the staff this year, since even after banning there were loads of people just laughing at the staff in the thread saying about how obvious the whole thing was.

Site Revisions (1st April 2005)

I started using FTP to manage the website files. Internet Explorer 6 is the program I am starting out with and it is very easy to use but has some annoying habits. Typically Microsoft; great products full of minor flaws. I will be writing a review of a whole range of FTP clients suggested in a Web Design and Programming topic I made on GTAForums.