The Minimal 2200G Build – It’s Aliiiive!

DHL picked up the A8-9600 yesterday to get it back to AMD. Goodbye, Bristol Ridge APU, I hardly knew you.

The board now has the Ryzen 3 2200G installed in it, and it’s working. I got the 2200G fully settled in its new home, or rather, the old case, after taking out the AM2 motherboard + Athlon X2 240 which was its previous resident, and had enjoyed its gothic environment of dust, cobwebs and the ghosts of DDR2 RAM.

Now that everything is working, I will relax a little, try to get some photos added to the existing posts (like this one), learn how to edit videos so I can post some captures on YouTube, and start playing around with it.

In the meantime, here’s a little more about the process of installing and testing the A8-9600. It’s pretty boring stuff, and expert builders might scoff at this, but perhaps some noobs might find helpful tidbits here.

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The Minimal 2200G Build – BIOS Blues

I knew going in that there’s a good chance that the Ryzen 3 2200G won’t work out of the box with the motherboard I ordered. Many boards on the market come with older BIOSes, which aren’t compatible with Ryzen APUs, even though newer, compatible BIOSes are available for download.

So it wasn’t a real surprise that when I got the AB350M-HDV board there wasn’t a ‘AMD Ryzen Desktop 2000 Ready’ sticker on the box, which signifies that the board is compatible with the new APUs. I checked the BIOS sticker on the motherboard (following instructions on ASrock’s site) and saw that it was 3.10, a BIOS from July 2017, and certainly not compatible.

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I also knew up front that AMD was offering boot kits to solve the issue. It’s possible to contact AMD and it will send a low end older APU, guaranteed to be compatible, which would enable the BIOS to be updated. The APU is then sent back, at AMD’s expense.

What I didn’t know was that it wasn’t really that easy.

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The Minimal 2200G Build – Introduction

I’m building a Ryzen 3 2200G PC. It may be a PC that every enthusiast will look down at, but hey, there’s a reason this blog is called Lowendia. I love the low end and seeing what can be done there. I’m planning to test this PC and see what it’s worth and how to make the most of it.

Here’s what the build includes:

  • CPU: Ryzen 3 2200G
  • Motherboard: ASRock AB350M-HDV
  • RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 4GB DDR4-2666
  • HDD: 4TB Seagate BarraCuda (which I won from TechSpot / Hardware Unboxed)
  • Old generic case and PSU

For now, here’s a short introduction about how I ended up buying this configuration.

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Let Curators curate for Steam Direct

Valve recently said that it will replace Greenlight with Steam Direct, a method by which developers pay per game to get it on Steam, and (presumably) get the money back if the game sells well.

The idea of payment that’s refunded for games that sell well should work for reducing the number of throwaway games, or at least those which don’t sell well. Developers with successful games will spend less than those with many games that don’t sell. Successful games will get the developers back their money, while developers with many failed games will have to pay more.

The problem is that making a decent game isn’t enough to get sales, and that developers with little up-front money could have a hard time getting in if the fee is high.

Valve is asking the public’s opinion about the fee (a range of $100 to $5000 was mentioned), and already there’s reponse of people willing to pay for other devs. This, in my opinion, is the right way to go: put a high monetary barrier, and allow others to function as curators. This means that games liked by others get in, and those without fans will have a tougher time getting in.

But why not have Valve integrate this ability into the process? Why not keep something like Greenlight and allow it to be used in a sense like crowdfunding, allowing others on Steam to pay for the game to enter the store? Having this as part of Steam is better for Valve and for Steam than having it all happen outside of Steam, because the path for developers will be clear, Steam users get involved, on Valve’s turf, and Valve helps make a contribution towards indie development.

In particular, curators could be made into editors and publishers, putting their money where their mouth is and helping get the games they’re interested in onto steam.

Read on for more analysis and details.

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RPG Maker VX Ace from scratch – part 2, objects and customisation

In the first part of the tutorial I created a new project and made a cutscene in it. I decided to break the tutorial into multiple posts to make things easier to manage, for both the readers and me. I thought of breaking the post into multiple pages, which I know the WordPress software can do, but it looks like this doesn’t work at WordPress.com, at least for the free account. (Let me know if that’s possible.)

I’m itching to add some object interaction now, so I’ll start with that. Then I’ll change the opening image of the game, the music on that screen, and also add some music to the house scene.

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RPG Maker VX Ace from scratch – part 1, the cutscene

Some month ago I started playing with RPG Maker VX Ace. I’ve wanted to create a game for a long while, but┬álack of free time makes it hard to do something complex, so I decided to try what I hoped was a simple tool but good enough to tell a (silly) story.

Jumping into RPG Maker development was a little harder than I had hoped. The standard tutorials I found early on didn’t seem to address what I was most interested in, which was creating interaction rather than creating a world.

I decided to create a small project to learn interaction, and figured it could be helpful to others if I documented what I learned. Unfortunately, as with many things, life and other interests took over (full time job plus little kids don’t leave that much free time), and I haven’t touched this for a while.

Still, I figured I’d still post what I’ve done so far, in the hope that it will help someone. RPG Maker VX Ace is often sold at a deep discount, and is a neat tool for game development, so I imagine that there will always be new users looking for help.

Note that I’m still a beginner. I’ve only played a little with RPG Maker, and what I did is based on my experimentation and what I’ve read on the web. Some of what I write here may not be the best way to achieve the goals. Comments and advice are welcome.

You can download the project containing what I’ve published until now (the first three pages of this tutorial).

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