Sia - Breathe Me
Sia, occasional singer with Zero 7, is one of my favourite artists so I'd heard Breathe Me before, but I never realised the video was so fantastic - it's built of a series of 1000's of polaroids and is a great thing to watch even if you don't like the music (*shame* on you if you don't though).

BTW: While I'm on the subject of music, and since it's ages since I've done this kind of thing, this week I am mainly listening to Arctic Monkeys, and Bedouin Soundclash. What's tickling your eardrums this week???

Entry 1655, Tuesday, January 24th 2006, Filed In Stuff
Comments(29)

Firewall
Firewall is a point'n'click adventure, from the Harrison Ford film of the same name, where we have to, as indeed we love to, "escape the room". It looks great, but the poor PC I'm on at the moment crashes everytime I try to look around the room. I hope you have better luck, as I hope I do when I move to another PC tomorrow, I also hope it's a good one as my opinion at the moment is based solely on the screen I've managed to capture for the picture above. Apologies if I've got it all wrong [subbed by brian].

Entry 1654, Monday, January 23rd 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(47%)Comments(185)

Glastonbury Games
Glastonbury Games is a superbly designed flash website where you can play 3, slightly bizarre, games: the mud slide, tent pegging and the long drop (I won't spoil the surprise by telling you what that one involves), all based on the Glastonbury Festival. The music isn't bad either as it features some of the "best of" live clips from the Festival itself. Be prepared to replace your cursor keys though, they'll get a hammering [subbed by Ron].

Entry 1653, Monday, January 23rd 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(48%)Comments(17)

Who Murdered Marilyn Spencer?
A completely different take on gaming from the BBC, "Who Murdered Marilyn Spencer?" is more think'n'listen than point'n'click, it is very entertaining though, like trying to pick out the murderer while you're watching Inspector Morse. However, while you can still play, the game is officially over, so it's easy to cheat and see "whodunnit", but you wouldn't do that now, would you? [subbed by Norman].

Entry 1652, Monday, January 23rd 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(42%)Comments(21)

Flower
Flower is a very cute point'n'click adventure where you control a little elephant and bird in a quest to save a flower that you have squashed, you big clumsy elephant you [subbed by anonynous].

Entry 1651, Sunday, January 22nd 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(59%)Comments(218)

The Grey Room
The Grey Room - it's grey, it's a room, you have to escape it. Fairly standard point'n'click stuff, but I know you love it [subbed by lolieh88, sophie, electra, hooper & flooor].

Entry 1650, Sunday, January 22nd 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(50%)Comments(87)

Escape To Obion
Ohhhh... There are some nice puzzles to be solved in "Escape To Obion", this is a point'n'click adventure to keep you entertained this Friday after you've spent one minute playing Jack Glover [via nordinho].

Entry 1649, Friday, January 20th 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(51%)Comments(185)

Jack Glover
With some moody comic book graphics, and down tempo soundtrack (it's a Portishead loop - one of my favourites) Jack Glover looks like it's going to be a great point'n'click adventure. But then you blink, and suddenly the game has ended, and the ending is rubbish. Damn it. Although I guess it does says it's part 1, and I was left wanting more... [subbed by f00].

Entry 1648, Friday, January 20th 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(48%)Comments(34)

Heart Key
I've been slaving away over a hot keyboard doing some coding most of the night, and now I need to go to bed, so I haven't got time to properly introduce Heart Key, but I don't need to say much more than:
  1. Point'n'click adventure game.
  2. Escape the room.
  3. Learn Japanese.
  4. Not necessarily in this order.
[subbed by Electra, Hooper & Anonymous]

Entry 1647, Wednesday, January 18th 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(51%)Comments(125)

Site Updates
Appologies for the pitiful number of posts today, but I've been busy making some site updates... If you're just here for the games read the short version of what these are, or you could even skip that and get on with some gaming, but if you are a sad g33k, such as myself, read the full version:

Short Version
I've improved the back end of the site so that you should see less error messages (hopefully none at all), and a side effect of this is that you might notice a difference in the way the pages on the site "build" in the browser, especially if you are on a slow connection, or you are viewing a larger page (like one with many comments). That's it.

Full Version
As much as I was blaming the constant error messages on the site on the MS Access database I use for storing all posts and comments (I will move this over to SQL Server one day), in the end I had to admit that some inefficient coding was also to blame, which didn't matter so much back in the day, but now the site traffic is really increasing it was starting to be a real issue.

First task was to move the results of some common database queries into Application variables (thanks to devguru for the reminder on how to use these properly). This cut out at least 3 database queries for every page viewed, less trips to the database = increased efficiency.

Next I cut down on the time recordsets and database connections were open. I think this was the major issue on the site. I did this by loading results of most queries into arrays of objects (see code snippet in the pic above), and then writing out the contents of these to the screen, rather than keeping recordsets and connections open while content was written out.

Finally I did a quick review to make sure all objects, connections, and recordsets were dropped correctly after use. I'm normally quite good at this but there were a couple of major omissions. I also added a few more "Response.flush" commands to make sure more content gets to the screen when it is available, so screen content starts building quicker on the browser even if the whole page isn't ready.

That really is it. If you spot any issues let me know, I've already spotted, and corrected, a couple of bloopers, like the comments coming out in the wrong order (all those "first!" comments were showing "last!"), but any feedback you have would be handy. For now, it's no more coding in the evening for me, I need my sleep.

G

Entry 1646, Wednesday, January 18th 2006, Filed In Diary
Comments(18)

Cannibal Escape
I'm not sure why Cannibal Escape is named as such, but I haven't played this too much of this point'n'click adventure yet, so perhaps it will become obvious. The skelton hanging on the wall is a bit suspicious though. Anyway, whatever, enjoy Cannibal Escape which I would subtitle "Escape The Prison-cum-Library". A barred window and a skeleton in the same room as bookshelves? What's that all about? [subbed by nimmersatt].

Entry 1645, Tuesday, January 17th 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(48%)Comments(84)

Kongbai2000
Kongbai2000 might have a strange name, but the game play is familiar, point'n'click around the room to find and combine objects, learn Chinese (I think that's right), and then try to escape [subbed by jenz].

Entry 1644, Tuesday, January 17th 2006, Filed In Games
Rating(47%)Comments(124)

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