Portugal 2018 03 – Urban Architecture

Personal, Photos

My Portuguese origin honored in an amazing trip. Lisbon, Sintra, Caiscais, Óbidos, Coimbra, Porto, Guimarães, Braga, Fátima and other beautiful places. It was 2 weeks of great views and friendly people.

Long Games that I Have Never Finished

Game, Personal

[Edit: I pressed publish by accident. Some games added]

Length is a important variable for a video game. It is a bit curious, because for the similar prices, even the shortest game will be much longer than a movie. But among it’s peers, games do have a scale.

Many companies advertise the amount of hours to finish a it’s game. There is even a great website called, you guessed it, GameLenghts that tracks how long users take to finish the game. Their is a second site, and my favorite in the market, called How Long to Beat, that I fell more complete.

Bigger is not Better.

Several games suffer from a syndrome that most players never reaches the end of it. Sometime not even half of it. Many games do have achievements triggered when the player crosses the line. I currently have being playing some short games that I felt much more fulfilling. Some let me wanting more. But honestly I fell that wanting more is a better felling “this game never ends!”.

I believe the story driven games should have a more concise length. It could be delivered in chunks, for those that want more. Open world games, like GTA and Skyrim/Fallout, are understandably really long, allowing the players explore several things.

Here is a list of some games that I personally never finished.

  • Divinity: Original Sin: this one I will finish soon. But it entered the list because I’ve played several games in the between.
  • Skyrim: yes yes… I know. After not liking the previous installment, I came to this game knowing that I would struggle. After meeting The Witcher 3, it now seems likely to be played again
  • Borderlands 2: I played mechanically. Despite knowing that it is a nice game, I struggle to do it so brainlessly
  • Bioshock Infinite: I started, I felt a bit fake and the story never hooked me
  • LA Noire: I am in a very late mission, but I think the saving I got is lost, so I might never finish it
  • Dishonored: I started but soon uninstalled to open space to play the The Witcher 3 expansions.
  • Transistor: I installed in my Linux notebook but I rarely used to play games
  • Alan Wake: it’s a bit stressful to play. Also, I was not having time to play at night to fully appreciate it
  • Half Life 2: I always stop in a certain point than something happens that I move on
  • Spec Ops: The Line: I played a bit and did not think it was amazing, but I feel it will surprise me
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent: I loved the whole concept, but by the end of a session I fell exhausted because of the level of fear and stress.
  • Hitman Absolution: I stopped in a given level than I moved on.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: I liked the like story and the game play. But the game seems endless. I might play it more
  • Alien Isolation: the same as Amnesia. I always fell that I like horror games, but I fell very stressed out after while
  • Invisible Inc.: the same as Transistor.
  • FEZ: I liked the puzzles, but there are several of them tooo obscure for the to find fun on solving.
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: I like and I fell it is good. I is installed waiting to be played.
  • Psychonauts: I played a lot before Steam having a cloud save and my PC crashing
  • Metro 2033: felt another FPS at the time.

And the list goes on…

In a list of more the 200 games I own and played, it is comparatively short list. Most of them are long games.

In bold, some that I try to play it again in the future, mostly because there are some that I liked so far and I fell shame in not getting it to the final. I wanted to say that the others will be played in the future, but knowing that I will buy newer games, it is not honest with myself 😛

Linux on Notebook, Take 2, Mini-Buntu

Game, Linux, Personal, Programming

My notebook it not new. I bought the Yoga 2 Pro almost 4 years ago. Two years back, I got annoyed with Windows so I decided to install Linux in it. I was scared because on the contrary of most my PCs that I assembled myself, the Lenovo had a warranty and possibly custom hardware.

As I told, the attempt failed. It was giving me too much headaches. Also I generally use my notebook to also program and develop games. And because the Unity Editor was not available (not at least in a reasonable version), I was kinda forced to migrate back to Windows10.


About 3 months ago, I decided to give it a second shot. In case I was not clear, I use Linux in the desktop, in a dual boot, for about 15 years. I saw Ubuntu entering the market. But since I start to systematically be involved on making games, the necessity of Windows started too. Back to the experiment. It was a requirement for me that the general performance had to be great. Not good, great. I would prefer to keep on the Debian-like distro because I’m familiar to. Ubuntu family if possible. So I selected both Kubuntu and Lubuntu for a ride.

Kubuntu was the one that I tested before. I like KDE since version 2 but again failed in deliver a blazing fast experience. In the notebook, the boot time was several minutes. Even Windows 10 was couple of seconds. I decided then to format and install Lubuntu.

Lubuntu is a Ubuntu derivative using the LXDE desktop environment. Super light. Man! Boot was fast and when ready it consumed a fraction of RAM of both Windows and Kubuntu. However, during my 4 weeks test I was giving too much little problems. So I decided to make another switch.

Xubuntu, in a similar vain, is a light variation. And I know can say that I am really satisfied with my notebook. I is a bit more robust and complete, but that makes a lot of difference. I had to downgrade the screen resolution to FullHD (the notebook allows the at-the-time stunning QHD+ 3200×1800 ), which is fine in a 13 inches monitor. Then came to the software selection. Lubuntu was super short on preinstalled stuff, which i like because I generally don’t use them anyway, but Xubuntu came with some. The good news is that the selection does not consume much of the the drive space and are light enough in case I really want to use them.

I had to install Steam and it works nice. Unfortunately, GOG’s Galaxy does not have currently a Linux version, so the games have to be installed manually one by one. Also your play time will be not computed nor you will be alerted about updates. A second negative point is that most GOG’s games do not use the new cloud save feature, so playing a bit in the notebook and a bit in the desktop is only for games that progress do not matter. Fingers crossed for the future.

 

Finally I was looking for a game engine that works on Linux. Unreal, as I found, works, but you have to compile it yourself. GREAT 🙁 I did it. It took hours and the result was too many crashes and too big suite to work in a notebook. I was once again looking for a lightweight engine. I tested Godot and liked. But it is still lacking.

Then I found out that Unity is in fact releasing in a alternative channel (thru forums) the update engine for Linux. I installed it too. crashes a log but it works. I`ve being playing the game developer in the note book ever since. With the excellent Visual Studio Code editor, it makes my days fun.


After 2 months and half working most of the time on this notebook, I can be happier man but in general I am already one. It is fast, close environment that I face when I deal with cloud Internet stuff and free. I plan to migrate to a newer machine in the next year, mostly to get a better amount of RAM memory and battery life. Currently, it lasts 3 hours, which is by any means a shame for a mobile device.

This is currenly my desktop

Carnaval 2017 – Rio de Janeiro

Personal

It’s Carnaval! One of my favorite times here in Brazil. I always have a lot of fun and this year was no different. Some dear moments…

Real time blogging during a trip

Personal

During my trip to both Dubai and Egypt, my second big international ride alone, I tried to do experiment: convert my daily writing routine into a travel journal.

For the last 5 years or so, I have habit the write almost every day into a personal journal. It is my way of putting drafting ideas, tell my day and the interesting things that I have in my mind and complain about the bad things that happens to me. In other words, a free way to do some therapy.

But I tried this time to focus my energy trying to create a dialogue with friends and family that were curious about this particular destination. So I decided to dedicate about 1 hour every single day to choose some photographs, enhance them and post with a cohesive background story. Many have some humor but there was some with pure aesthetics in mind.

IMG_20160425_002323-01_result

Every day, I published the stories both in Facebook and Google+.

The feedback was – simply put – amazing! Hundreds of likes and dozens of comments, much more that I’m used to. I tried to respond them as soon as possible and the dialog evolved.

For me it was also a good thing by itself, because reviewing all the photos and trying to organized them into a story, it remind me about the great experience that I was having. It made me happier, despite the exhaustion of the long days.

Also It forced me to take a different and more careful look into the landscapes and people that I was meeting everyday. I was paying attention to the opportunities, the colors and mood of places I was knowing.

The professional camera that I used was… my phone! I have to admit that the Galaxy S6 camera is really great. Just a couple of moments that I had the desire to have a professional dedicated camera. The portability and versatility of a phone camera is, however, much more valuable for me than the ultimate picture quality.

For almost every photo I had also to do some minor editing, enhancing the brightness and forcing a bit the overall saturation for more vivid colors. While it affects the truthiness of the image, I’m totally in for the dramatic effect it causes.

Facebook mobile app was not super smooth on commenting each of the uploaded photos. Google+ unfortunately don’t allow this. It affected the storytelling part and led to a more visual-only experience.

20160427_134939-01_result

The world is an amazing place and it was a pleasure to be in the places I visited. By doing this journal, I learned that people are hungry of positive messages and beautiful images. After hundreds of photographs, I am very happy to have feed them for a while.

Facebook posts (in Portuguese):

Google+:

 

Dubai and Egypt

Personal

What experience! Originally I wanted to go to the east, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali and Vietnam, but I thought it would be too romantic for a lone hitchhiker.

But during the initial planning I found that almost all planes go from Brazil to Dubai, than to the eastern region. And suddenly it caught my attention: what about going to Dubai instead? It is not a primary destination, but there are so many crazy news about this place that I believed that it would be a nice destination.

But Dubai, despite being nice, is a small place and it would not take much time. A 2 week trip would fatally become boring. So I decided to go to somewhere else nearby. And them it comes Egypt!

What a trip! Dubai was organized, beautifully artificial, man made effort. Egypt was the total opposite, being beautifully natural, man made chaos.

The Islamism was really different from my reality, and I could see how deep it affects their cultures. It is now in their roots.

While Dubai I had basically no reservations, Egypt, I must say, is not a trip for everyone. Afflicted by a ever political crisis, the poor country is now in a profound economic crisis. The people are getting desperate. They accept any deal for a penny. Even trying to mislead tourists. I had SEVERAL discussions with natives because I felt being cheated.

Taxi drivers, guides, shop keepers. Almost all that I had contact tried to get a bit of extra money from me. Something around 500%! :O Making a local friend was my salvation.

That was my very first trip that I did not know the local language. Arabic was simply too complicate to learn in a short period of time. But in Dubai was not a problem, because it is a very internationalized city and everyone speaks English. Egypt, in the other hand, even being one of the most famous places in this planet, is not prepared for the global community, just like here in Rio de Janeiro. Those people that are involved directly with tourists do speak enough English, but if you do not follow the path of the masses, you will end up dealing with mimic and gestures with the locals.

For many surprise, food was not a memorable thing in either places. Dubai do have any type of food you might want, but none was particularly remarkable. Egypt do have some local and famous dishes, but none of them did enchanted me. I was expecting some simple but tasty food. Exotic stuff from the desert. Ancient recipes. But nah. Nothing.

And did I mentioned that being Islamic countries, alcohol is really hard to get? There are only small local stores that have beers, and they are expensive. After a full day walking under a unforgiving hot sun in the desert, I just wanted some ice cold beer to close the day relaxed. I had to console myself with juice instead.

Egypt recently had some terrorist attacks and most of the tourism has vanished. One told me there was approximately 5% of tourist from the once a popular Russian winter destination. Europeans also are just too afraid to visit it.

It has some advantages for those that actually go there. The only still remaining of the ancient wonders of the world, the Pyramids had nobody. I could bargain a good price for a camel ride, entering the tombs and even hiking the Great Pyramid of Giza. I hired a personal taxi driver for the whole day and paid just a penny for it. Slept in the middle of the Sahara, ate local Bedouin dinner, visited temples, rode a hot-air balloon, did a cruise thru the Nile river and hired guides for a fraction of the normal price.

All these attractions did a very nice mark in my heart. It was the most unique trip I ever did. I felt I was in another planet, from another time, in totally different culture. I was special. I can totally recommend it, but you have to have an adventurous heart.

Amazing!

Faça do Limão uma Limonada

Personal

Faça do limão uma limonada: queria tirar uma foto do templo sem ninguém. Uma amiga entrou na frente sem saber. Na hora, fiquei puto. Mas para minha surpresa, não é que ficou mais legal com ela!?

20160506_131824-01_result