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Weekly notes 12/2023

··669 words·4 mins

What’s been happening #

  • As I was listening to some Aussie Rock music over the week, I realized I missed out writing about the South Summit with Slim Jimz and the Good Kids gig we attended. Fact that I forgot to mention about the gig should give an indication of how well it went. The bands are good and they have good music and songs, the set up at the venue was bad - the volume was cranked up just to make it seem loud, there was weird shrill sounds and feedback at random times and the vocals were barely heard. I was more looking to protect my ears than enjoy the music.
Stage all set for Good Kids, Slim Jimz, and South Summit
  • Went to a Satyanarayana Puja organized by a former 3i colleague at his house in Schofields, a suburb about 45kms from Sydney CBD. We went there via Trains, and upon returning back, there was a major signal failure. That meant that our hour and half long journey took over four hours, and we had to switch trains multiple times, go back stations and figure out alternative route. These breakdowns have been happening at an alarming pace in the past few weeks/months and I can only imagine how it’d be at peak hours on weekdays.

  • Got a chance to play Diablo IV open beta. My thoughts so far? A bit early, I have only few hours in but what is done exceedingly well:

    • Music. I think the soundtrack I listened to so far is really well done.
    • It looks gorgeous.
    • Combat is visceral and has the same amount of oomph and feedback you got in Diablo 3

    What’s not so hot:

    • I really hope the beta is an old build because it needs some serious performance tweaks. In particular, the frame rates are all over, the frame rate in cutscenes are absolutely craptastically bad while in gameplay it’s fine.
    • The skill tree is kinda meh, it borrows a lot of the skills from the older games without a lot of new twists.
    • The combat feedback text (“Dodged”, “vulnerable” etc) just doesn’t feel right, particularly the font size and type.
    • The crafting system especially with 50 bajillion types of ingredients/base materials seems over the top and will remind you how much grind would be involved. I doubt this will be changed though.

    Let’s hope at least some of these will be addressed.

  • Steam Deck update:

    • A week in and I don’t have buyer’s remorse over the Steam Deck, yet. It’s still quite big and clunky over the Switch (and I thought the Switch was clunky).
    • The desktop mode is interesting, and I have got Discord and rnning on it. Plugging in a USB-C cable from my Lenovo ThinkPad dock into the deck and I was able to use my Logitech MK850 wireless keyboard and MX Master 3 mouse after pairing it. The Logitech’s QuickSwitch works and I can switch between my desktop, laptop and the Steam Deck. I couldn’t get 4k60 output on the monitor though, and was forced to downgrade to 1440p resolution, which worked. While I don’t plan to use my deck for any productivity purpose, it’s still kinda neat to look into how far you can push it.
    • In the Steam Sale I bought Vampire Surviors and I have been playing exclusively on the Steam Deck. It’s one of those games that is so nice to play on the deck and I have close to 8 hours on it just from last week. Give it a try

I actually had a link about sound design in Top Gun and how they did it, but crazily enough Linus Tech Tips' YouTube channel got hacked. So here’s two links of the week. My initial gut feeling was that it was a social engineering attack with a malware that steals browser as the vector, and I was right on that. Check out the video below.

Till next week.