It was supposed to be so damn beautiful. For our big Battlefield 2 event, the Ninth Life were to link up together, destroy noobs on-line and do so with a swagger and a video camera strapped to our faces. It was to push the boundaries of video game blogging and enter us into a new era of vidcasting and voice wording. So, to kick start this new venture, we chose an ancient game that was on-line and we'd never used the video capturing software before. NINTH LIFE, ASSEMBLE!
Battlefield 2 is the game, and rinsing it up was our....intention. I've spoken before of the dangers of nostalgia in games, and there were a few lessons to be learned here as well. After setting up the date for the play-through we even had the foresight to make sure that the night before was used to actually get BF2 installed. We already knew this would mean patching and sorting out niggles (such as finding the disc) and this would all eat into our play-through time. We thought we had it covered and we even let took our time eating our dinners, not getting on-line until the wee hours of 8pm.
To our credit, we had actually gotten BF2 installed, and patched, despite an issue we had where the patch had to applied twice in order to work. Skyped up and hyped up, we dove into the lobby. The first glaring ommision from the server browser was that we weren't friends, and had no facility to become so. After messing around for an age with my log in settings (was it my EA account? Gamespy? Gamespy?!) I had to create a whole new one, and forfeit all those unlocks I took forever acquiring. All of sudden flashbacks of the past came flooding in. We used to pick a server, send one of us in to scout the server IP address, and then read that back through Skype so we could all dive in. And you had to be quick, as those servers filled up fast!
Thankfully, this folly was spared us somewhat as we noticed that only 3 servers were available. This made picking one somewhat simple, and easy! Server'd up, and we were in.
"I'm on USMC, come joi....I've been kicked?!"
Issue one. Punkbuster was kicking both Thom and Ben. I had updated mine using pbsetup, and seemed to be getting away with it, but no joy for the boys. This began a thirty minute forum scour for solutions, opening firewall settings, allowing services to run, and getting frustrated in chat. This of course all happened back in the day too, but it was common place. Services like Steam had yet to really make this stuff streamlined, and pre-game setting up was rife. Our flabby, spoiled present selves never had it so good, and I for one actually quite enjoyed the whole experience, and the memories it brought back.
Editors note: I had no issues, and was bombing around in a mobile AA tank whilst the lads faffed.
Ben, managing to sort his Punk Buster setup, was in, and playing. Thom, not so much. What followed was more forum probing, and hair pulling, until eventually we discovered that the video capturing software we were using, Bandicam, was considered by Punkbuster as a hack, as it had the ability to overlay information to the screen (to let you know its recording). More trawling revealed that this was a widespread issue (which could also effect future PB games for us) and there was little we could do. Turning it on myself, I did manage to capture a small 2 minute section whilst testing it, in which I experienced the highs of getting a 10 kill streak (although I can only count to 7 in the vid), finding Thom cowering in a bush, and getting kicked myself, which you can see below. God knows what the nasty graphical maff was in the distance, we had bigger fish to fry!
Warning, due to our masses of preparation for these vidcasts, I forgot not to point the mic directly at my nasal cavity, so it gets a little breathy. If you picture it as steam ejecting from my ears, the mood of the night will be more accurately captured.
Nerves were fraying, and out of this, a foolish and stress induced idea surfaced. Why don'y we try Battlefield Play 4 Free? It was almost identical (we thought) to Battlefield 2, and it would at least get us some footage in the can. Sadly, this simply led to a very long end to the evening, watching a download bar and discussing the hilarity of the pricing model used in Play 4 Free, which enabled you to rent clothes, and buy bandages. In a game as utterly dire as Battlefield Play 4 Free, this only added insult to insanity. We'll spare you a review, as it is outside of our game list. (Mini Review: It's shite!) Thankfully, 10 whole minutes of the affair above was captured in glorious video, so feel free to listen to our baffling (and in Thom's case, semi drunken) ramblings below.
So what do we have to report? Nothing really! The first vidcast is somewhat of a total failure, although I haven't given up hope that there is a solution to this, and we will get some Battlefield action on the site. In the meantime, if anyone reading knows how to successfully record BF footage whilst using Punkbuster, feel free to educate in the comments!
Chin up boys, there's 2142 to come as well!