State Of Decay

Picked this up cheap in the Steam sale. On the one hand, it’s another zombie game, but, on the other, it does a lot of things right. It’s less about killing zombies (e.g. Left For Dead) than surviving the zombies, by collecting survivors, building a base and keeping them alive. It also has permadeath, where any of the characters in the game can die; that’s not as bad as it sounds, because you can switch to another character, but you’ve lost any progress you made before that point.

However, at the same time, it is horribly flawed. The most obvious is the control system, which is designed for people with tentacles. For example, by default the ‘execute’ key to kill a zombie on the ground is ‘Z’, and I would need triple-jointed fingers when my hands are already on WASD to move. There are just too many keys, and they’re counter-intuitive; for another example, you press Tab to open the inventory/status menus, but you have to press Escape to get back out, pressing Tab again switches to the next screen.

I’m only about an hour and half in so far. More as I have time to play it.

November sales

After October being my best month ever, November is probably now going to be my best month ever. I hit a hundred sales in four weeks from late October to early November, and, last I checked, I was three books away from hitting a hundred sales in a calender month for the first time. It’s going to be tight, but I might actually manage it if people decide they need something to read over the weekend

When There’s An Error, Tell Me What It Is

So, I’ve been trying to register an account on a web site I won’t name. I keep trying, I keep entering the details, and, when I go to register, it keeps saying:

“Sorry, there has been a problem with your registration.”

Yeah, and?

There’s been a problem. You know what the problem is. I have absolutely no idea what the problem is. WHY DON’T YOU TELL ME WHAT THE PROBLEM IS?

How am I supposed to fix ‘a problem’ if your error doesn’t tell me what it is?

I did eventually figure it out: what the site meant is ‘we can’t register you at that email address, because you already have an account that you registered here using that email address years ago.’

Why couldn’t it tell me that? What kind of company unleashes such a crappy web site on the world without testing the simplest of issues?

$1.99 ebooks

There’s a myth that you should never price an ebook at $1.99, because it’s the worst price for book sales.

Correlation is not causation.

1. Most e-books at $1.99 will be short stories, since pricing a novel there is pointless.
2. Novels generally sell better than short stories.
3. There are a lot of novels at $0.99.

Therefore, as a group, books at $0.99 will sell better than books at $1.99.

QED.

Horror Movie

As Chekhov said: If you hang a scythe in the barn in act one, it should stab something through the head in act two.

Well into the second act now in NaNoWriMo at around 33,000 words. I’m busy splitting the characters up, one is dead, one is badly wounded, several are mildly so, and the werewolf fetishist makeup girl has got some action.

Saints Row 4

Now 71% of the way through; had to take a break from writing last night and cleared out a lot of the missions and activities I hadn’t yet done.

I have to say, some of them are much more difficult and annoying than others. I could happily never do the Rift racing activities ever again, and the Genki telekinesis activities are nowhere near as fun as the old Genki games in SR3.

The worst part, though, is that I suddenly ran into a limit on the number of save games. I have a 3TB disk with nearly 1TB free, yet the game won’t let me save more than about fifty times. It’s an insane limit that’s probably carried over from crappy consoles.

Ubuntu apt-get disk full error when it’s not

I was updating my Xbmc machine, which we use to play videos recorded by MythTV. Running apt-get kept complaining that it was out of disk space, yet ‘df’ showed there was plenty on every partition.

Turns out that’s because it’s lying. It’s not out of disk space, it’s out of inodes. For some reason it’s not cleaning up old kernels, and is leaving the kernel headers in /usr/src. That’s a staggering number of tiny files that eat up inodes much faster than they eat up disk space.

So, if you see this error, you need to remove old kernels and headers to clean up space.