Sunday, April 29, 2012

Icons 3. More or less.

48 games, 50 icons, bringing us to a grand total of 259 icons if I'm not mistaken, and around 200 games. And I'm still far from done. :|

It's more of a "quick and dirty" pack this time. Some official covers are quite butchered, but those will do until I get my hands on better material and feel like spending an hour or two tweaking and cropping and stuff.

Also, I think it's time for a friendly reminder: the icons are easy to modify for your own distro, or even Mac and Windows. See the first "icons" post for the xcf and a quick howto.


Download: over here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Damn source material. Icons 2.

TL;DR: List of games at the bottom, as promised. moved. See download link. *: new game. Download link: bottom of the post too.

And here's the first update. It was so much faster than the first batch, I'm starting to wonder if I didn't really learn a few tricks as I went. Sure, it's smaller: 50 icons, no more, no less. But seriously, some of them were ridiculous. I mean, have you ever tried to google the Wizardry series' covers? Do it. Then look at the icons. It's a real pain in the ass, and while it may look so-so to the trained eye, the result is still pretty much bearable (otoh I'm using 256x256 in thumbnail view, so it alleviates some of the problems). The main problem, I feel, is finding decent source material. I'm using quite a few fanarts (when the quality is good enough - and that doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like it to), but I still prefer modifying the official covers. It's easier to find the games with those.

The problem is, even decent original sources are becoming a PITA. Mobygames butchers everything it touches, decent scans are few and far between, and I've seen so many boxes, manuals and so on in a state that doesn't even half qualify as decent it makes me want to cry at this point.

There are so many great artworks that are seemingly lost forever, and there isn't any initiative to recover and restore them. And that's very, very sad. I lost hope of getting a nice Deathlord icon, for example. And that may be the greatest loss of all. But enough ranting, on to the point.


Download: over here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Icons? Icons.

It was quite a while ago that I started some kind of icon pack. For fun, and to better harness The GIMP. It's a fun ride, even though the application can be a bitch at times. I've made several icon types, and finally settled for one which, I feel, gives me the most options, the most fun and, as a side effect, the most work. I HATE YOU, GIMP. I SO HATE YOU.

Ahem. Anyway. Feel free to plunder some of them. The pack will keep growing with time, I'm not even halfway through my games, and I'll post an update every now and then, when I feel the changes are worthwhile. All icons are 512x512, png format so quite cross-platform. Windowsers: no whining. There are freeware tools out there to give you some nice ico files. I think the GIMP may help you too.

In case you're a complete noob to The GIMP and any other image editing program, here are some quick instructions to get the icons provided sticking to your OS: open the xcf file (that's The GIMP's psd format for you pirates out there). Switch the F layers at will to get your OS's icon. Switch the T layers at will to get your OS's text. Export as a png. Open that png. Copy the left chunk (into the black thing on the left, you want that text but you don't want to cut into the covers). Open the icon you wish to modify. Delete the left chunk (at the same size as your copied one). Paste. There ya go. Wasn't that hard, right?

Credits: holy f... - let's just call those "pending", okay? I've spent countless hours scouring Google Images to find those, and it will be a PITA to identify the authors. If you recognize some of your work, just ping me, I'll gladly start a text editor and add your name to the list. You may even be the first on it. I will find the authors. Or as many of them as I can. But it will take a loooong while. Bear with me. ;p

And just in case you're wondering: I do NOT know whether I'll make icons for games I don't own. This takes a lot of time. And I will not make icons for Windows/Mac only games, no matter what.

Before I forget: the possible "categories" are GNU/Linux, MacOS, Windows, Wine, Web Browser, DOSBox, Emulation, ScummVM, and Commodore 64 (because yeah, I'm one of those old geezers). Distros supported are Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Arch, Fedora, Frugalware, Gentoo, Mint, Mandriva, Slackware, and SuSE.

All corresponding icons come from the Faenza icon pack. Because quite frankly, I have yet to see anything better looking. The font is abeat by kai, which can be found on

And that's that. Enjoy if you're into that kind of things.


Download: over here.

Oh. And I'll throw a list of games when I have time. For now, time to crash. It's been a loooong weekend. >_>

Monday, April 9, 2012

Care to send shit the fan's way?

I'm usually just your average nerd. I'm not really used to posting serious stuff, not really the kind of guy who'll stray out of his way for real life concerns (I mean, isn't bad enough already?), and even less your apocalyptic message carrier. Still, when shit's bad, shit's bad.

So here. I know few people will read this, but if even one person acts or reacts after this, I'll be more than happy.

First things first. I recently - and finally - bought UnReal World. I'm a bad guy, I had played around a bit with a pirated Windows version in days of yore when I had no credit card, no paypal, in other words no sane way to buy it (oh heck, now sue me), and recently went back to the site for kicks. There's no telling my joy when I saw a GNU/Linux port was in the works. So I finally got that cheap "current version" license. That's 2€ well spent, and it'll be renewed on a regular basis with "major version" licenses once the port is finalized (the lifetime one is still a bit too expensive to cough up in one shot. Oh well.)

So anyway, I'm happy as can be, the port seems to be stable enough to play and enjoy, and I'll probably get to bore the dev to death with insane bug reports. Joy all round.

Now to the more serious part ('cause frankly, if I had to post everytime I buy something, this would look like a shopper's guide to Linux games). Promptly received my license and a bonus that almost killed my keyboard with the coffee I instantly spit out.

Sami Maaranen looks like a cool enough guy from what I see on his forums, so hear his plea and, if you would feel so inclined, please spread the word about this. This is what he sent me as a "bonus":

Talvivaara mining company -- Finnish-based "environmental crime company" determined to turn Finland into uranium paradise to the detriment of the local people, their livelihoods and age-old of usage of clean water and nature.
This is a short text to englight worldwide audience what's happening in Finland - a nordic country that is said to have one of the world's most advanced democracies, lowest official corruption rate and lots of clean nature and lakes. Well, since Talvivaara mining company was founded (by Pekka Perä) this hasn't been completely true anymore.
Officially Talvivaara is Finnish-based nickel mining business, but in reality it appears to be just a moneymaking environmental crime company leading a plot of full-blown uranium scam. Talvivaara, all through its operation, has ignored and overlooked the local people, their natural resources and finnish environmental legislation. The Talvivaara mining company was established in 2004 when it acquired the rights to mine sites at Sotkamo in Eastern Finland. The appropriate permits to commence mining were obtained in 2007 and metals production started late in 2008. In 2010 the company announced the commencement of uranium production as a "by-product" from its normal mining operations in Sotkamo. Talvivaara neglected to mention uranium in its EIA (Environmental impact assesment) statements even though mining company knew in advance that the process used in the mine separates uranium from ore. No one told about uranium to local municipalities and residents before the mine was already there. Uranium reserves at the area have been well-known ever since 80's. Talvivaara gained access to uranium production through the back-door; their environmental permit was granted for europe’s biggest nickel mine, while later it "turned out" that the area is also a potential uranium production site with huge reserves. Now Talvivaara has signed uranium deal with Cameco, and is carrying on the plans to create europe's biggest uranium mine.
During only the first couple of year of its operation Talvivaara mine has systematically failed to follow its environmental permits having consistently exceeded its permitted effluent levels, officially polluted four lakes beyond regular usage and now spreads its pollutants to important water courses within 80 kilometre radius from the mining area. This all has happened despite the fact that Talvivaara's environmental permit was granted on the basis that pollutants would not spread beyond the mine. There have been numerous pollutant leaks throughout Talvivaara's history and one major leak in 2010 from the gypsum precipitate pool (containing also uranium). About this major leak Talvivaara announced publicly two days after the incident. Talvivaara company systematically overlooks the faults, harm and pollution it is causing and dismisses health and environmental claims. Environmental impact caused from Talvivaara's operation is already probably irreversible - and if uranium production is started that will be the start of large-scale uranium production in Northern Finland. This would destroy both the image and reality of pristine Finnish nature, and kill the chances for sustainable livelihoods in the region.
Talvivaara company's ignorant approach towards nature, finnish environmental legislation and local people have become widely known and publicly noted. This has already proven highly disastrous, damaging the local environment, the people and sets an unacceptable precedent for the future. Environmental effects resulting from Talvivaara's activity are strongly and unacceptably contravene both Finnish environmental protection legislation and Talvivaara's environmental permit. All of this has been overlooked for years by Talvivaara mining company itself, the local environmental agency and sadly also by Finland's ministry of the Environment.
In February 2011 Cameco, the worlds largest uranium producer, signed a contract with Talvivaara to build the uranium extraction plant on site. It is expected that 350 tU a year will be produced. Their 45 million euro (US$60million) investment will be repaid by uranium deliveries should approval be granted.  Euratom and the European Commission have already granted their approval for the uranium processing facility. Finnish government has also granted permission to Talvivaara to start producing uranium. Uranium plans have been already approved despite the fact that there is number lawsuits raised and police investigations started concerning Talvivaara's operation. For example, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (SLL) has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the uranium decision as it violates Finland's law on nuclear energy and there's also police investigation going on concerning Talvivaara's environmental impact report.
In making the whole world aware of Talvivaara's mining and uranium maddness Finland truly needs support and help from abroad. Disastrous plans for europe's biggest uranium mine aren't widely known - but the results will be. Spread the word, take action and help the local finnish people in their fight to keep the country as beautiful and clean as it is!
Talvivaara's environmental permit simply needs to be revoked until their operation is proven completely safe and already undergoing preparations for uranium production need to be cancelled. This is especially important as Talvivaara mining company has proven to be incapable and clearly unwilling to follow its environmental permit. Wherever uranium has been mined, the surrounding communities and nature have suffered. That is why uranium mining has been stopped nearly everywhere in Europe. I also bring to your attention that Talvivaara’s new partner in uranium processing, Cameco, is infamous for leaking radioactive waste into the Ontario lake and has been involved in US uranium weapons used in the Gulf War.
Here are few links in english about this little known but huge disaster, which has been allowed to continue in Finland for too many years.
Blog with few selected finnish to english translated articles:
Few english websites:
Website of local resident with bits of english information:
Chronological set of news in english from HS (Helsingin Sanomat - finnish newspaper) and YLE (finnish national broadcast network):
HS: 11-May-2007
* Talvivaara nickel mine looks to listing on main market of London Stock Exchange
YLE: 07-Jul-2007
* Mining Sector Set for Record-Breaking Year
YLE: 22-Sep-2010
Environment Minister Discloses Links to Government-Sponsored Mining Project
YLE: 26-Sep-2010
Minister Denies Knowledge of Insider Trading
YLE: 27-Sep-2010
Lehtomäki Explains Mine Share Purchases
HS: 28-Sep-2010
Value of Talvivaara shares linked with world price of nickel
HS: 28-Oct-2010
Talvivaara’s estimate on mineral resources rises by more than 50 per cent
YLE: 12-Nov-2010
Environment Minister Cleared of Insider Trading Suspicion
YLE: 08-Feb-2011
Talvivaara Signs Uranium Deal With Cameco
HS: 18-Aug-2011
Decline in nickel prices depresses Talvivaara mine outlook
YLE: 26-Sep-2011
Talvivaara mine dismisses health and environmental claims
YLE: 13-Nov-2011
State has ownership interest in Talvivaara emissions investigation
YLE: 14-Nov-2011
Hacker group "Anonymous" threatens Finnish mining company
HS: 25-Nov-2011
Environment Minister faults lax supervision over Talvivaara mine
HS: 22-Nov-2011
Officials admit failures in oversight of Talvivaara mine
HS: 8-Nov-2011
Chemicals from mine contaminate lake - “Sea conditions” in inland lake
HS: 9-Nov-2011
Neighbours complain about dust and odours from Talvivaara mine
HS: 10-Nov-2011
Police investigation into emissions from Talvivaara mine
HS: 14-Dec-2011
Environment minister sees no wrongdoing in supervision of Talvivaara mine
HS: 19-Jan-2012
Talvivaara mine to stop waste water emissions into environment
YLE: 1-Mar-2012
Government green lights Talvivaara uranium extraction
HS: 2-Mar-2012
Government votes to grant Talvivaara Mining Company permit for extraction of uranium
HS: 13-Mar-2012
Protesters picket Talvivaara Mining Company general meeting
HS: 15-Mar-2012
Salty water not to be removed from lakes near Talvivaara mine
HS: 16-Mar-2012
Sample collector dies at troubled Talvivaara mine
HS: 19-Mar-2012
Hydrogen sulphide frequent problem near Talvivaara mine
HS: 27-Mar-2012
Nelonen: Police investigate Talvivaara environmental impact report
HS: 28-Mar-2012
Sulphate emissions vastly understated in environmental impact study for Talvivaara mine
YLE: 28-Mar-2012
Activists take Talvivaara uranium decision to Supreme Court
YLE: 2-Apr-2012
Talvivaara plant closed until further notice
YLE: 3-Apr-2012
Authorities delay Talvivaara uranium permit

So yeah, it's one hell of a long text. Just... Just read it, please. And if you would feel inclined to help, just contact me. You probably have my twitter account, my Desura account, my Live account, my mail address, something that allows you to contact me. I don't want Sami's mailbox to get spammed, so I'll play the man in the middle. And if perchance you arrived here through exotic means (e.g. Google Search, implausible as it seems), here's my twitter account, which should be more than enough to get in contact : @MrHyeron.

Want some more? Here's some more details from Sami:

Talvivaara case in Finland is really alarming. My nearby lake, located 80 kilometers from the mine, is already suffering from their pollutants. Environment permit granted for the mine clearly states that there should be no pollution outside mine, not even few kilometers away.

And there you have it. As I said, I'm not usually dabbling into ecological stuff or even real-life stuff. But this kind of thing kind of gets on my nerves. So please. Spread the word (that's what those tiny buttons under each post are for). Get back to me in the comments, on Twitter or whatever you see fit with a way I can contact you, or contact Sami right away yourself. Friendly reminder to that purpose: he's the guy behind UnReal World. It shouldn't be too hard for you to find him. He (or I) will provide you with the details of what you can do to help. Let's do what individuals can do best: send shit the fan's way.