Customizable Startpage

GitHub offers one free domain for each user and a domain for each repository. I never used them until recently when I had the urge to finally get myself a website and since I don’t want to pay for a server and a domain name I got myself a github.io site. It’s free, but you’ll have to write the entire site by yourself and the source code has to be public.

Since none of these conditions are an issue to me I went ahead and created univrsal.github.io. It’s nothing special currently but at least it’s something. But I also wanted a custom startpage that I see when I start my browser or when I open a new tab. So I made a sub link /search/, which gives you a start page which you can configure by clicking on “cfg”. All settings are saved via cookies and reapplied when reloading the page. You can configure these things:

  • background image
  • background color
  • the quick links at the bottom and their color
  • the accent color (secondary color)

It’s nothing much but maybe you’ll find it useful. I know that I’ll use it 😛

Sourcecode for the entire webpage.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

When the game came out last year I really looked forward to it, since the original Mirror’s Edge was a pretty good game and it had been about six years since that one came out. Unfortunately it was a AAA title which means it costs around 40+ Euro so there was no chance that I’d buy it at launch. But now that some time has passed I finally got my hands on it and man does it look gorgeous.

The first game was already known for its great art style and the amazing visuals. Now six years after the original release they managed to make it even more beautiful. The game comes with a multitude of new technologies which make it look even better than the last one. For example they added real time reflections, which reflect your surroundings and yourself.

But next to the insane graphical improvements it also has some new gamelay mechanics, like open world. You can now freely move around and choose whether or not you want to continue with the story, do a side quest or try to beat someone’s time at a parkour course. You can even make your own races across the city and share it with others. While there’s all these things that allow for online interaction you can still play it offline, which sadly in todays times is something you have to mention. Since you can now freely move around you also get a map and visual representation of how you get to waypoints like the next quest or locations you marked on the map. You can also configure how much visual aid you get. The game also tells you that the GPS will only show you a possible route and not the fastest one incouraging you to try out your own paths to find more efficient routes.

After I played the game for a while I wanted to capture some of the amazing architecure in the game with screenshots. Which eventually lead me to nvidia Ansel, which is a tool specifically for taking screenshots in games. It’s actually been out for quite a while but it seems like noone paid attention to it. It features a bunch of useful features to capture ingame footage like 360°, stereo and 360° stereo images (Stereo as two images next to each other for VR) at configurable resolution aswell as a freely movable camera, some integrated filters, and super resolution to capure images at higher resolution than your actual screen size. Sadly Ansel has to be supported by the game to be available. It also requires a recent nvidia gpu (starting at gtx 650 up to the latest 1080). The saddest thing for me was that Mirror’s Edge catalyst doesn’t support the super resolution feature, meaning that I can only capture the game in 1080p.

So I ended up just getting high res screenshots from other people and made some wallpapers out of them. But I might go back through the game when I finished it and capture some screenshots, but the game really tests your system even on medium settings.

From my current experience the game is decent in terms of it’s story. It is a little odd that you have to read a comic to understand the beginning but other than that it’s pretty good. It might not shine story wise but its visual immersion makes up for that. It features a couple of new mechanics like a leveling system with upgrades which is not something I’d consider an amazing addition but it’s there so you can slowly unlock all the new mechanics. The combat is something that I really dislike because you can’t use any guns like in the last game and you’re mostly restriced to melee and although they offer multiple ways to combine and alternate your attacks it just feels like random button mashing.

TL;DR:

Game is visually amazing (Graphics are top notch, map and architecture design is incredible), story is good (so far and I don’t expect it to change), gameplay is great (except for the combat).

After about a year the price has gone down quite a bit so I’d say you get a really good game for your money (~15€ from what I saw). If you think about getting it I’d recommend you take a look at the website, since it offers a lot of information like an interactive map tinteractive mapo look at the cityinteractive map and some other things.

Anyway here’s two 360° images of the game (Viewable in browser):

360° image of city overview
360° of city ground level