Friday, February 25, 2011

Site Update: Deep Blue Theme 1.3

TL;DR: A new(ish) version of this turn-of-the century desktop theme awaits on my web site. The shiny new wallpaper's up on my dA gallery.

Back in the Summer of 2000, I was way into desktop themes, well, that, NES ROMs and Limp Bizkit; It was kind of a strange time. I'd been throwing together bad wallpapers for more than a year, but the concept of themed wallpaper, cursors, sounds, etc. in a single, handy package was mind-blowing to my tiny, nerdy mind. Having assembled this bitchin'-lookin' 800 x 600 wallpaper from two royalty-free photos, I decided it'd be the perfect foundation to build my first theme upon.

By July that year, I had a bunch of accompanying cursors I'd made in Cursor Maker; a set of sounds I sampled from the shitty dance tracks I made the previous year (scroll down, if you dare); and a very blue colour scheme packed up with that insanely highly-compressed JPEG as the Deep Blue Theme.

As well as putting the theme on my own site, I sent it into download-behemoths-at-the-time, Tucows, where bizarrely, it got highlighted as the Theme of the Day for July 13, 2000. I was probably walking on air for a week after I found that out, I don't think I'd ever been as proud of anything I'd done up to that point. :D Not only that, but there were actually real people dropping by my crappy little site for the first time ever, leaving messages in the guestbook (remember those?) and even sending me email questions about a fucking desktop theme!

Now, I know no one else cares, but since I pulled down my old web site in 2003, my cerulean masterpiece has been missing from the internet. That's mainly because I've never been happy putting together a new version with the old wallpaper - it's small, heavily artefacted and maybe a bit dodgy copyright-wise. I needed a new one, and in classic JiliK style (in a number of ways), I finally threw something suitable together in Paint Shop Pro last July.

Tah-dah! It's quite a departure from the original, but it is actually original this time and I think it works pretty well. Well, that is if you want to rock a Windows Classic theme in this day and age. :D If that sounds good to you, Deep Blue Theme 1.3 is now up for download on my downloads page, appropriately enough.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Steam Holiday Sale 2010

An actual train of thought from a few weeks ago: "I wonder if I should try out FlatOut 2? Hold on, do I own FlatOut 2? Didn't I buy it during the Steam sale? Holy shit, yeah, there it is! Fuck." Time for a little holiday sale recap, maybe?

This year's sale kicked off on December 20th with more daily deals than ever, a bunch of crazy-cheap indie bundles and publisher packs galore, all presented in a nifty flash-based sale catalogue. This year I was hoping to grab Oblivion and Super Meat Boy for cheap, keeping spending to about €40. So, how did that all go?

Day 1

Super Meat Boy €3.50

I grabbed this one before the store front was even up, worried that such a deep discount on a pretty recent release could only be a mistake. I'm on World 2 at the moment, really digging the look and the music and it's nice to see my investment into a wired 360 pad is finally paying off. Much like N+, which I've played a fair bit of lately, it's hard as balls, but super-addictive. Finally figuring out the strategy for getting through a seemingly impossible level and then pulling off is the most satisfying thing in the world.

F.E.A.R. €2.24

I think the first I heard of FEAR was through a Quicktime trailer on a PC magazine cover-mount in 2005. It looked pretty cool, but there wasn't a hope in hell it'd run on the shitty Packard Bell I had a the time. Better late than never.

Peggle Complete Pack €4.79

After playing both Peggle Extreme and the free WoW-themed version, I was confident I had had my fill of Peggle; It was fun in a mindless, casual kind of way, even a little addictive, but there was no way I was forking out even €10 to get more of it. Dammit though, Popcap got to me somehow; As soon as I saw both games for less than a fiver, I was thinking "Hell yeah, I want to buy Peggle!". Bastards.

Magnetis €0.50

Originally a €5 WiiWare, that I was kind of interested in, how could I pass it up for 50 damn cents?

Day 2

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light €3.60

Who'd have thought that that unplayed Steam copy of Tomb Raider Anniversary would have come in so useful in the end? Thanks to owning that already, I was able to nab this for €3.60 instead of €5.10. Another sweet deal on a pretty recent game.

Puzzle Quest €1.50

When everyone was ranting about how awesome this Bejewelled-fuelled RPG was, I thought they they were insane. Since then though, I've come to know the joy that is match-three gameplay and I'm quite eager to try this out.

The other deal from Day 2 I was strongly considering was The Witcher for a paltry €3.99. Knowing that in all likelihood, I wouldn't get around to playing it before next year's sale, and trying to stay within budget, I took a pass on it in the end.

Day 5

Overlord II €1.35

In a continued (and rare) showing of self-restraint, I managed to resist any purchases for a whole two days until I snagged a copy of Overlord II for a little over a Euro on Christmas Eve. To date, I've only played a few hours of the original, but it was pretty damn fun. No way I could pass up on the sequel for that price.

Day 6

FlatOut 2 €1.00

Having bought it in 2009, I've only got around to playing the first FlatOuta bit of it in the last few months. What better time than now to add the sequel on top of a backlog so immense that the games on the bottom have formed into diamonds? :D Eh, the first one seemed like a pretty solid racing game and I'll buy pretty much any thing for €1 or less. Speaking of which...

Caster €0.89

I was planning to buy this along with a bunch of other cheap, non-daily deals to round out the sale. Seeing as I was only spending a Euro on FlatOut 2 though, what was the harm in another eighty nine cents?

More reckless fiscal policy after the jump.