[Destiny © Bungie, Inc.]

After the mixed results of my first experiment in running Lord of the Rings Online on Surface 3, I decided to give another try. This time, I installed the game on a memory card and used a wireless Bluetooth mouse instead of a wired laser mouse. I used recommended settings for my system (Very Low).

For the test, I did some questing in West Rohan. Without the power drain from external devices, Surface was able to run the game without crashes. With the low settings the game looks bad, but the frame rate is unstable. Out in the wilderness on in interior spaces Surface can reach over 30 frames per second, but with more characters or visual effects frame rate drops below 10 per second

In conclusion, Surface 3 can run LotRO. Unfortunately, due the low power of the hardware the game is not fun to play and in will eat a considerable amount of the limited internal storage or memory card. To fully enjoy the game a more powerful machine is strongly recommended.

[THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ interactive video game © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.]

It has been a while since my last Journey Through Middle Earth post. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much for LotRO so this time I decided to share a bunch of miscellaneous older screenshots.

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Until now I have posted exclusively LotRO screenshots, but I seek to broaden my scope. Earlier this year a screenshot functionality was added to Xbox One and I chose Destiny for the first experiment and I like the visual style of the game.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy taking screenshots from Destiny much. Outside of cutscenes and social spaces the user interface elements are distracting and most of the time, the gun is stuck in the middle of the screen. Also, timing the shots is a bit tricky because there is no dedicated screenshots button. However using voice command to take the shots seems to work quite well.

[Destiny © 2015 Bungie, Inc.]

Go check out all the great screenshots and give your vote to the best!

#NBI2015Safari: The Vote Begins

I got the new Surface 3 with 4 GB memory this week and even if I did not get it play games I had to test how it performs. So, I installed The Lord of the Rings Online on external hard drive and gave it a short spin. Loading times were long, but the game started. In the open I got between 36 fps in Bree-land and 18 fps in West Rohan with Very Low setting.

So far so good and went on to try some real action. I was able to complete Thievery and Mischief skirmish in solo mode and while the skirmish was playable the low frame rate made it was not that enjoyable with 10 – 20 fps and Type Cover’s trackpad.

Next I plugged in external mouse and keyboard. This was where the problems started. The single USB-port on Surface struggled to deliver enough power for the three devices. The game was still running and I tried to do some questing in Aldburg. Here the game started crashing constantly and I had to quit.

In conclusion, the Surface 3 with 4 GB memory can run LotRO, but with uncomfortably low frame rates and the heavier regions like Rohan can be unstable. I did not research further whether the instability was caused by the game or too many connected devices. The game took almost all of the memory, so the 2 GB model will probably be unable to start the game.

[Edit: 28.12.2015] I made a follow up post.

[THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ interactive video game © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.]

It has been a while since my last LotRO gallery post. I originally planned to post on monthly basis, but it happened that I skipped February. However, the theme for March is Thinglad.

Thinglad is an area within the Great River region in Rhovanion. Adjacent to the southern border of Lothlórien, Thinglad is defined by its tall, grey trees with twisted, roots that drink deeply from the Great River. The forest is misty and shadowed while the skies are pale and as cheerless as the land itself.

LotRO-Wiki

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After a long pause in hobby game development we managed to make Flappy Skimmer Ride for the FlappyJam.

Just completed Limbo on my Xbox 360. It is a refreshing take on the platformer genre with black and white film style graphics, eerie landscapes and physics based puzzles. The whole game is single large level without any transitions, although game can be started at certain check points once they are reached. This gives the game a nice feel of continuity.

Limbo is not particularly hard and it is possible to play it through on one sitting. Still many of the puzzles require thinking, experimenting and lots of deaths to complete. Fortunately checkpoints are always near and game does not get frustrating even if some puzzles require several retries.

The game looks very nice and it’s visual style sets it apart from other games. Apart from ambient hum there are very few background sounds, but when there is sound it makes a good impact — be it a trap springing or a rolling boulder. Overall the game is very enjoyable if bit short. I recommend it to all Xbox 360 players.

  • Released: 21.7.2010
  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Developer: Playdead
  • Publisher: Xbox LIVE Arcade