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Wait, is this the right page?

I log into LinkedIn about once every 6 months or so. And I feel every time I do this, the page looks completely different... :)



Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms

Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms an Action-RPG developed by Games Farm. Honestly, I never heard of this game before - I'm really not totally up to date with current PC gaming - but it looks promising:



I like the idea that you can play as demon in this game. The early access version was released just a few days ago. And the game probably has some nice sound. Because it uses irrKlang as audio library :)



Why developing in C++ for the Windows App Store sucks

As you may know, I have a Windows RT Tablet and since the update to Windows 8.1, I'm very happy with it. My only main concern is a bit the lack of apps for it, although that situation seems to get better every day.

Last weekend, I had a small problem which a small app could have solved for me, but on the Windows Store, I could not find any app doing this. Being a programmer, I decided to write that app myself. I even have a Windows Store developer account, so I would be able to publish that app then for free, for others. C++ being my favorite programming language (although I'm also very fluent in C#, which would be the second option here), I decided to start writing that app using the new Windows API, or 'Windows API for Windows Runtime apps', how it seems to be called now. I've developed a handful of Windows Store apps already, so I knew that it would be no picnic, but this time, the design of the API stopped me from being able to create that app at all. Or to make it more clear:

Microsoft! Developing for your new Windows API sucks! And here is why:

First, not to be unfair, there are also good sides.
But the bad sides are sometimes a real show stopper:
So in short: The API works, but - IMO - it is only usable for creating toy apps. Maybe one reason why there aren't that many Windows Store apps is that it might be a bit too complicated or sometimes - like in my case - even impossible to implement your idea for an app. If you want to do some serious app, then this is sometimes simply not possible. The API is young, so I hope Microsoft will make some changes to it - That's why I wrote this blog post. I know a few Microsofties read this blog :)



HearthStone Review

On the weekend, I was able to try Blizzards latest released game HearthStone, finally. It is free to play, and apparently not one of those evil "pay to win" games. In short, it's basically a collectible card game, and reminds me very much on Magic: The Gathering - admittedly being the only collectible card game I ever played :)


In short, the game is fun, the rules are very simple, it is learnable quickly, and seems to be fair and balanced. If you are a PC gamer and in your mid 30s like me, you will also like the occasional Warcraft II reference, including various Warcraft 2 soundtracks playing in the background. Additionally, the game is ideal for an "old" gamer like me: I don't have much time to play games, and it is possible to quickly start it and play it for a short amount of time, and have fun.

But there are also bad sides:
I'm pretty new to this game, so my impression might be wrong, but as newbie, it is very, very difficult to win a game against people who already own hardened decks and advanced cards. I currently have a win-loose ratio of about 1:20, I think. One time a player decided not to kill me although he could have, but to heal me instead. Assuming he had done a misclick, I continued to play, struggling for my life. But after a few rounds, the same happened again: Instead of finishing me, he healed me and continued playing, demonstrating his superiority. I felt like a mouse in the clutches of a cat, pretty helpless. It's a bit frustrating, being confronted with overpowered players like this. I'm not sure if the disabled possibility to chat in the game is positive or negative in that respect.

Regardless, it is fun and I'm looking forward to the game being available on my Windows RT tablet. :)