ShiftyGeezer Comments

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  • The Tomorrow Children goes free-to-play tomorrow

  • ShiftyGeezer 25/10/2016

    @BlackFlower : If the game is a money pit or grind fest, why not not play it? This model is giving me and others a chance to try what seems a polarising game with zero risk, and the option to spend as much on it over time as it is worth to you. Not seeing the problem. Reply -1
  • ShiftyGeezer 25/10/2016

    Pretty game. Worth a try as free! But from the sounds of it you can't team up with mates to play together in a group. Why do games do this?! Online multiplayer games that you basically have to solo. :confused: Reply +2
  • GAME charges people to try PlayStation VR in its shops

  • ShiftyGeezer 24/10/2016

    @Toothball : You should charge them and the headset would pay for itself! Reply +1
  • Samsung pulls YouTube video of GTA5's exploding Note 7 phone mod

  • ShiftyGeezer 20/10/2016

    @internisus : It's not a company reference, but a product. And you can't use corporate brands either, really. I can't make a game called Ferrari Racers featuring Ferrari cars. Rockstar can't put a Ferrari logo on any of their vehicles even if they basically copy the design.

    'Copyright' may have been the wrong word, and perhaps I should have used 'IP' to cover the legal position. But we currently live in a world where brands are protective and can be so, even if legally they aren't entitled to be. Kinda like employers aren't allowed to make people work overtime, but plenty of people find themselves pressured into such overtime knowing that they're job can be pulled from under them.

    I use Firefox and it's recently had an opening-page message that memes are illegal in some European countries due to copyright, appealing to firefox users to read up on the EU Copyright reforms to return fair use back to the public. Which generally I'm in favour of, but at the same time those concepts (fair use) existed in a completely different time. It probably is best if we leave legacy thinking behind and start again with a clear idea what needs protecting (brands and people's cultural use of them) and how.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 20/10/2016

    @Johnson : It will add to the 'flash-in-the-pan' coverage, but 3 years from now will everyone still think of Samsung devices as bombs in your pocket, or will we have moved on? If there are still videos of such three years from now... Reply -2
  • ShiftyGeezer 20/10/2016

    It shows the SAMSUNG name, so is a copyright (edit trademark) infringement. I guess the fear is also that beyond Note 7, this sort of footage would perpetuate the notion of Samsung having exploding devices. That's the sort of common myth perpetuated by the public that is next to impossible to shake, so I can see why they made this move. Reply +2
  • Armature's space MOBA/shooter Dead Star is being shuttered seven months after release

  • ShiftyGeezer 19/10/2016

    @seasidebaz :
    Also, how the hell did their running costs exceed their income? That's some pretty poor planning.
    $X million spent creating game ($X million deficit). $X + y million made in sales (y unpredictable). $y million funds servers for 6 months. Lack of ongoing sales means no more income means servers have to be switched off.

    Basically, without a subscription model, server costs had to come from new sales of game and DLC. It's the sort of game that needed to do exceedingly well.

    Although a better server model would probably have allowed scaling of servers for very low costs. There's a lot to be said for allowing players to host their own games - you can still play Warhawk!
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 19/10/2016

    Looks like a game I'd have enjoyed if I'd ever heard of it. Reply +12
  • Remember Star Control? A new one is in development

  • ShiftyGeezer 19/10/2016

    @pauleyc : Do you think the modern game audience would accept a simple rectangular planet-fall? I think this change was worth it for the modern target. I think the original would have happily gone this route if it had the graphical power available! Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 19/10/2016

    @pauleyc : SCII had planets that you could explore represented as a rectangular player area. This lander footage is exactly the same gameplay over a small area just spruced up. It'd be silly to have real planet-sized planets for SC as you'd lose the whole element collection minigame. Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 19/10/2016

    Looks good, but no footage of the combat which defines this series. Firstly, have they implemented a wrap-around play space? That's very hard to do in 3D. Secondly, the originals could have long, stalemate one-on-one combats, trying to use the planet to capture the enemy perhaps, or orbiting it as a defence. Keeping your distance as a Mycon or Earthling and getting off a shot every once-in-a-while when the battery was charged. That sort of combat just won't go down well for a modern audience. Playing the games on DOSBOX etc., they are a bit lacking now. But the formula of the two diverse skills and one-on-one combat is still necessary.

    This game needs to get that combat right to be a success, and it's a bit worrying that this backbone aspect doesn't appear in the reveal trailer. Or any of the screenshots on the website.
    Reply +1
  • Americans can claim $55 from Sony because of some old PS3 lawsuit

  • ShiftyGeezer 15/10/2016

    @milomikic :
    2. They sold their machines with a feature that was prominent.
    I agree, but this is happening all the time with software. Games we buy can change and become games we perhaps don't like. There's a need for whole new legislation regards firmware/software updates IMO.
    Reply +5
  • ShiftyGeezer 15/10/2016

    @hazzatori :
    But this settlements stipulations are just crazy, how do you prove you used Linux on your PS3 6+ years ago? Just about sums up Sony,
    The stipulations come from the court (Sony of course wouldn't pay anything!). It's compensation for those who lost functionality that they used. If there were no stipulations, people who never used Linux and had no interest in Linux would look for free money.
    Reply +2
  • Farabel: the turn-based tactics game where each victory leaves you weaker

  • ShiftyGeezer 14/10/2016

    @SupremeAC : I disagree. The unlocks are there because they are rewarding and add psychological momentum, for players of all abilities. Without those, the meaningful progression is limited to just gameplay, which probably isn't enough these days with soooo many games to choose from. eg. Warhawk had no progression other than paint job unlocks, but people played that for hundreds of hours for the fun of it. Any sequel now would likely need unlocks because gamers would expect it and feel empty without.

    Even something as pure as football has found a need to add collectibles to keep a sense of progression.

    I agree to some degree about taking away from better players, but when I've suggested before, FPS fans have complained that people who have 'earned' the better weapons should be entitled to use them to overpower noobs! Very little sportsmanship there. But economically it's a dead end. Take Destiny for example. It keeps on adding more stuff to unlock and level up, and in doing so it keeps players playing. If it had started at level 20 at launch and had everyone work backwards, everyone would have hit a dead end level 1 and stopped playing. Same with Diablo 3. By adding more stuff to unlock and craft and collect, it keeps people playing instead of moving on to other games.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 14/10/2016

    @SupremeAC : Do you think it's possible for a human to play a skill based game (or do any skill based activity) without improving over time? Aiming, responses, thought processes, etc., all improve with experience.

    As for levelling down, most games become more complicated as you progress, layering on more features. The opening character is simple with limited skills/abilities/options. As you get used to the game, more options are unlocked.

    Doing the opposite sounds like a recipe for overloading many players, especially lighter-weight mobile games. A typical Hex RTS will start with a couple of units and slowly build up until you're managing an army and can make sense of all the skills and their interplays. Running that backwards, you'll start the game with more units and skills than you know what to do with, and end up with a paltry, nothing-to-do couple of fighters.

    If it works, well done Farabel, but it certainly doesn't work on paper! ;)
    Reply 0
  • GoNNER is a charming but slight action-roguelike

  • ShiftyGeezer 13/10/2016

    @Costarring : Yep. Every other game is a 'Rogue Like' these days. Literally, procedural levels and permadeath counts as a 'Roguelike' which makes the game classification pointless. It's a very bad habit formed the past couple of years.

    Wikipedia definition of Roguelike

    This is a platforming shooter - the core gameplay is manoeuvre and fire. Unless we want to call the likes of Turrican "Roguelikes", this clearly isn't one.
    Reply 0
  • Switch off your Galaxy Note 7 immediately, Samsung says

  • ShiftyGeezer 11/10/2016

    @StooMonster : For a curved TV, it means every point of the TV is the same distance from the viewer when you sit in the very centre at the correct distance. This eliminates perspective warping in the edges. Of course, it's useless in real family situations.

    Edit- technically it ought to be curved in both dimensions, not just horizontally!

    The curved screen on the Note and Edge phones gives a little side message area that some people seem to like. Kinda like having a notification LED on your phone instead of needing to light up the whole screen, you can see info on just the edge. Personally I think it's overkill, but if it sells phones then it's probably worth it.
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 11/10/2016

    "We now ask that you power down your device and return to using your previous phone," a statement on Samsung's UK website reads.
    I expect many users no longer have their old phone on account of having bought a replacement. Then again, I've got all my old mobiles going back to my first...
    Reply +17
  • Super Mario Bros. speedrunner sets seemingly impossible world record

  • ShiftyGeezer 07/10/2016

    Sorry, but Nintendo charging me £25 for a 'triple A' game that can be completed in under 5 minutes is utterly disgusting daylight robbery. I demand my money back. Where's that Woolworth's receipt... Reply +22
  • GAME apologises for unfulfilled £150 PS4 bundle orders

  • ShiftyGeezer 03/10/2016

    @HappyGator :
    sometimes, dead is better.
    Is there ever a time it isn't (outside of computer game respawns!)? Has anything died and come back as good as before? My zombie uncle suggests otherwise.
    Reply +1
  • Advertising Standards launches investigation into No Man's Sky

  • ShiftyGeezer 28/09/2016

    @ant_man666 :
    The bit about screenshots not representing the final game made me laugh a little.
    Indeed. Back then we had painted artwork and the like. Even on the Apple App Store where screenshots are supposed to be representative, devs are being allowed to turn those screenshots into promo images with (hyperbolic) marketing gubbins around the game images.

    Marketing has always been unstoppable. It even features in our politics. And society, with things like 'dress to impress'. It might be better for everyone to learn to understand it and not believe any sales pitch rather than trying to enforce truthfulness.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/09/2016

    Not that I necessarily disagree (or agree), but surely there are other games that have been far more misleading. Was the ASA ever called in for whatever Molyneux games, or that Aliens disaster?

    Maybe NMS is just the tipping point and all games will be similarly judged on representation legitimacy, but otherwise this feels like a lynch mob picking on NMS more out of fashion than any moral high-ground.
    Reply +3
  • Failbetter Games announces Sunless Skies

  • ShiftyGeezer 24/09/2016

    @Binba442 :
    Surely the point of a kickstarter is to measure interest in a game
    Not aboslutely. Successful Kickstarting generally means having enough fans following you and enough capital to pay artists and editors to create a swish campaign including, typically, gameplay videos. So you need much of the game already done to use Kickstarting as one revenue stream to bolster your coffers. It's no longer a launch platform for ideas, but a mid-development capital acquisition platform, AFAICS.

    It's also worth doing regardless whether you can afford to create your game or not because of the publicity.

    And Sunless Sea wasn't a runaway success so may well not have made enough such that the Kickstarter is necessary. If it takes $500,000 to make a game, you make $0 until you've cleared $500,000 in sales. It can well be that the 'profits' go to the creditors/investors leaving little left for the company to grow with.

    It's certainly not the case of Kickstarter > Game > Self-sufficient company funding their own creations with no money problems!
    Reply +3
  • Earn entry into Titanfall 2 multiplayer mode at US resturant

  • ShiftyGeezer 23/09/2016

    @Skirlasvoud : They means reschront, innit. Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 23/09/2016

    @Dappa : Yes. Pay me enough and I'll make it happen! Reply +1
  • Four years later the Kingdoms of Amalur court case comes to an end

  • ShiftyGeezer 23/09/2016

    @fragglerocks : Gosh, fancy meeting a fellow Fraggle! Reply +5
  • ShiftyGeezer 23/09/2016

    Still haven't finished this! Reply +11
  • And that's that for fan game Pokémon Uranium

  • ShiftyGeezer 22/09/2016

    @Nikanoru : They didn't 'steal shit'. They made a fan creation. The world is full of fan creations, like cover songs and artworks. This one just got too big and directly rivalled the source material so had to be stopped.

    And I'm not advocating IP theft. I'm just explaining why "setting out to create your own IP" isn't an easy thing to do. So where Crashokami says, "why not turn it into your own IP?" the reason is, "the investment might not be worth it without the visibility."

    As I say, if it wasn't called Pokemon we'd have never heard of it and it wouldn't have gotten 1.5M downloads so quickly. That doesn't justify ripping IP, but it does show the impact strong IP has. With this publicity they could definitely take it to Steam now under a different brand.
    Reply +4
  • ShiftyGeezer 22/09/2016

    As such, we, the creators of this game, will no longer be offering downloads (but if someone else does, that's nothing to do with us!)
    @CrashOkami :
    I don't get why people create something that blatantly uses copyrighted material
    Because they're fans and were just doing it for the fun of it.
    then are dumbfounded...
    Are they dumbfounded?
    Why not turn it into an original project anyway?
    Might happen, although they'd probably face a legal battle, but would 1.5 million people have downloaded 'Portable Creatures' or whatever the knock-off was named? Visibility is massively important and a strong brand helps no end, which is why companies invest in brands and then recycle them ad nauseum. We wouldn't have even heard of the thing.
    Reply -3
  • FIFA 17 doesn't have Iceland because of a row over money

  • ShiftyGeezer 22/09/2016

    The value of a team ought (in business terms) to be based on their value to the customers. I guess EA reckons the buying public aren't interested in playing Iceland so only offered £11k. I expect England jumped at the chance of the £5000 they were offered... Reply +36
  • Microsoft on Project Scorpio, PS4 Pro marketing and Xbox tweets

  • ShiftyGeezer 21/09/2016

    @mocoworm : The Last of Us is a PS3 game though, even if enhanced. Yes, Scorpio can run some games targeting a lower pixel fidelity at 4k - so could PS4 Pro. It can also run higher resolutions than PS4 Pro. But the majority of AAA titles being 4K native (which again is a misnomer because many buffers in modern rendering are lower than native) still seems unlikely. It means less pretty games; what dev would want to target that?! For the same reason games aren't/weren't held back in pixel quality on PS3 and XB360 and XB1 to hit a certain resolution target, why would they be held back on Scorpio? Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 21/09/2016

    @Malek86 : Rainbow Six was the first commercial attempt at Checkerboard rendering. It's not indicative of the best attainable with smart reconstruction. Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 21/09/2016

    @Zicoroen : That paper confirms EG's assertion, no? Reply -1
  • ShiftyGeezer 21/09/2016

    Project Scorpio guarantees a true, native 4K video games
    No it doesn't. Smart reconstruction gives far more bang-per-buck allowing for prettier games with very little difference in image quality. It'd be better for Scorpio games (and PC games on high end cards, and all devices capable of smart reconstruction) if they use smart reconstruction and have twice the pixel prettiness. Devs are likely to realise this and implement it, meaning plenty of '4K' games are unlikely to be native 4k, and all the better for it.
    Reply +11
  • DICE reveals Battlefield 1 launch maps and modes

  • ShiftyGeezer 21/09/2016

    In the authentic Operations mode, do you have encounters where you have to walk towards the enemy machine guns and get gunned down? Or a creeping barrage where your own side is shelling you?

    If you want to be authentic, have no respawn.
    Reply +2
  • Steam dumps developer for being "hostile" to customers

  • ShiftyGeezer 17/09/2016

    @bad09 : It's not free and open to appear there, so it's curated, no? Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 17/09/2016

    Question is how did they get on Steam in the first place? Many other devs don't manage that, but Digital Suicide's games are, by account, crap and undeserving of the place. So how is the curated Steam allowing dross on? Reply +11
  • FIFA 17: How the Frostbite engine improves visuals

  • ShiftyGeezer 17/09/2016

    It's not all a win though. The last shot in the vid shows shadowing on the ball from the foot in 16 that's missing in 17. Could really do with some AO in the team huddle as well, and going a step further, some GI bounce from the boots and ball would be nice to see. But most importantly, though 17 is prettier, it's still a far way off realistic in play which, when you recall the 'next gen Madden' shown for last generation, we should already have according to EA. :p

    Edit: Also, Screenshot 5 - the crowd and officials aren't lit well in 17! All are casting shadows in the same 4 directions regardless of relative position to floodlights (which aren't even in the corners so shouldn't be producing four diagonal shadows...), so these aren't proper dynamic shadows lights. Similarly they're lit from all four directions without correct occlusion, so appear to 'glow' somewhat.

    Still, the grass is nice!
    Reply +3
  • PlayStation announces job losses at Sony London, San Diego studios

  • ShiftyGeezer 15/09/2016

    @jammers101 : As Far As I Can See. That's an old one, from the earliest days of the net and usenet newsgoups. Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 15/09/2016

    @jonbwfc : that's what we said! Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 15/09/2016

    @chilon : Varies by company, and location. Every business employs people based on the work they have and expect to have. Every now and again it can come to reevaluating their position and letting people go as needed (or employing more!). Software studios are pretty short-term, working project to project with any development job being a few years tops on the whole. The notion of 'permanent' staff is a fallacy. You can be employed as a 'permanent' staff member (employee with employment contract and rights) while in a boom phase (Rovio?) and then made redundant 2-3 years later as the company misses projections or changes direction. Happens all the time, and savvy businesses work the employment details (employee or contractor) based on how to spend the least to get the workers. Redundancy payment for a two year employee junior development on top of wages is probably less than the same employee as a contractor, I imagine.

    In the case of game studios where there's very little certainty, there's definitely no permanence, at least in Western studios.

    But that's common for many industries. People working for Hinkley Point construction have been employed as permanent staff within the company structure and yet worked various shifting workloads, employed/unemployed, and applying for new jobs within the company, as the project has progressed and stalled.
    Reply +2
  • ShiftyGeezer 15/09/2016

    @el_pollo_diablo :
    Thanks for all your hard work, now fuck off.

    What a vile and unsustainable approach to running a business.
    I'm not disagreeing, but that's many businesses. How many will willingly keep staff on beyond their financial usefulness out of a sense of friendship or loyalty. "Job for Life" died as a concept decades ago and now we have to operate with a degree of uncertainty over any position.

    Friend of mine, Oracle developer, mid project on a big project after years at the company, let go as they switch to outsource in India. Just like that.

    AFAICS that's life, not game development.
    Reply +14
  • ShiftyGeezer 15/09/2016

    Pretty misleading represent IMHO. Describing it as 'job losses' makes it sounds like downsizing. This is how the games industry often works and is normal practice, same as making movies or construction. The news is really 'these projects have completed and we'll start again as usual on our new projects.'

    For example, Media Molecule grew large to complete LBP/2, and then massively downsized to where it is now for Dreams, where they ramp up again. That wasn't run as a story as 'massive job cuts at Media molecule' giving the impression the studio was on its last legs. Not sure why this one is.

    A studio closure, that's a story. But this is reporting on the normal workings of the business as if it's newsworthy and it's not.
    Reply +1
  • The Last Guardian delayed again

  • ShiftyGeezer 13/09/2016

    @Zerobob : You have to know code very well. I use C# but Javascript is supported in Unity. One way to implement the infinite runner (and of course there are many, and you pick what sounds the best one, then find it doesn't work as simply as you imagine, then consider whether you should force it to work or try one of the other ways that now seems so simple and obvious you wonder why you didn't pick it in the first place...) would be to have a set of prebuilt obstacles and then place them just off screen whenever the player advances one unit. I made such a prototype in a few hours.

    Unity handles physics nicely, drag and drop. It's shockingly easy to start assembling stuff and get results on screen, such that you get a very false sense of ease. But the particulars are always tricky. eg. In my Inifite Runner prototype, I wanted you to jump on a screen press. Easy, OnTouch(){ add force}. But then of course you should only jump when on the floor/platform, and I wanted it to jump higher the longer you press, and you shouldn't jump if you've just fallen off a ledge. And getting a nice solution to this was a few hours playing around and it still wasn't perfect. Meanwhile my friend's excitedly saying, "we can add this, and do that, and have such-and-such!" Feature creep!

    It's really when you start stepping outside the most features (which everyone wants to do eventually) that the Lego-block style level construction breaks and you use more and more code. eg. Physics based object that you can drag with a touch. Suddenly you're wrestling with either manually trying to position it or trying to calculate the forces needed to move it where you're touching, etc. It all seems so easy and obvious when you add a 'RigidBody2D' and 'BoxCollider2D' to your object and see it fall and bash and roll and bounce, that you can't begin to imagine how hard it'll become to take that object and have it manipulated as you imagine with two-finger touch input.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/09/2016

    Read the comments... :lol:
    Reply +7
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/09/2016

    @Syrette : I'll add one more personal anecdote that really describes the unexpectedness of software for me. When I was doing my Comp Sci degree, we had a timed programming assessment. There was a simple task dealt with in two loops, and my program was hanging. So I put a print statement in between the two loops, knowing that if the first loop was successful this would print and I should look at the second loop. The statement did not print, so I read deeply through my first loop. I could see nothing wrong. I asked the supervisor and they knew what was wrong but couldn't tell me. Time ran out and I'd been stumped and not progressed.

    It was then that they told me the 'print' statement in this version of Unix buffers the line and wouldn't output until a second print statement.

    So my first loop was correct, but the system had a quirk I didn't know and couldn't anticipate that stopped the simple debug method working and caused a 'false positive' misdirecting me from the problem, which was an obvious loop condition fault in the second loop.

    Point being, you never really know what's going on under the hood! There can be any number of things that stop you solving a problem as you struggle to find if it's a problem with your code or the API/engine/etc you're using.
    Reply +5
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/09/2016

    @orangpelupa : I did announce an expected May/June release of the demo. Still, it'll be done this month, for sure! Probably... Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/09/2016

    @Spectral : How did I dismiss it? I answered it! That's software for you! When they started out, they had no idea PS3 just couldn't realise the vision. they developed, found bugs, solved bugs, came up with solutions, had to reinvent solutions, had to reconsider the whole problem... Then they had to make choices to change the vision to fit the platform, or shelve the project. This is how software rolls, especially bigger titles. Many, many titles get announced and then shelved. The only difference here is the fans caused the game to get picked up again.

    I still lament the non-show of The Agency, a 3-player team cooperative game announced for PS3.
    Reply +6
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/09/2016

    @Syrette : Software complexity doesn't match what you see on screen. It's not something that can be explained in brief effectively either. The interplay of complex systems just keeps generating roadblocks.

    For example, you could have an AI solution, then a new gameplay element. You could spend several months changing the AI, finding new ways to solve the problem each time the previous attempt leads to a dead end, only to appreciate a complete rewrite is needed based on what you've learnt over the past 6 months. That's probably the biggest bottleneck - having a solution that doesn't quite work, and having to choose between struggling to make it work, or reinvent the whole damned solution (again!).

    Bugs can be incredibly hard to track down and solve.

    Tools and update can stop progress. You can have an engine update or similar and suddenly something's broken. And time zone differences mean it's 24 hours from a question to a reply, and 24 hours after that for an update, just as you try to describe the problem.

    I created a balloon puffing maze game on mobile in Unity. The inspirational spark led to a playable prototype in 2 hours. Awesome! Won't take long to finish this. It was then 2 months until the final project was complete, for a mind-numbingly simple tap-to-blow-the-balloon mobile game.

    And for my touch soccer game, it was a few weeks to solve how to predict where to kick a through-ball to, and well over a month playing with AI to get it to play reasonably. The project was expected to take 2-3 months and took 9. Networking is a bitch!

    Presently my tile-based dungeon crawler, deliberately kept 'simple' to speed development so using tiles, has seen delay after delay. Things like movement on a grid, that are so easy to describe in your head, end up very complex to describe unambiguously for a dumb machine to implement.

    There's a good reason why game after game either gets delayed or released with many bugs (forced deadlines), and that's because software is insanely complex. It's like trying to micromanage a city full of people. You have to be an engineer and inventor to invent solutions. An architect to piece it all together. Then a detective to find out why things aren't working as they should. Then an academic to find papers explaining how to do stuff you've never done before. And a student learning grass-root skills like GPU shaders.

    Everyone who thinks it can't take that long should grab a copy of Unity and make a simple platforming Infinite Runner game. Shouldn't take more than a week, right? ;) (No buying an Infinite Runner starter kit from the Asset Store!)
    Reply +27
  • ShiftyGeezer 12/09/2016

    @Spectral : it was shelved for a long while. Started on PS3, dropped on PS3 as not powerful enough, picked up again because the fans wouldn't let it go. In real terms of development it'll just be however long it's been worked on on PS4, maybe 2-3 years. Possibly slowed by porting a PS3 engine, quite possibly with six months of that before realising they'd have to start from scratch. Reply +2