Bug Village on Windows Phone 7 Black Screen Solution

Weeks ago, another free game landed on Windows Phone 7. This time it was Glu’s Bug Village. The game itself is a fun little time-sink with the idea of making their money back through microtransactions. You build up your small town, harvesting acorns as your primary currency. Fun and simple.

Recently, however, problems have plagued the free title. A recent update for the game seems to have made things worse than the original launch title, breaking random occurances of some of the bugs which you need to tap in order to obtain certain achievements in the game. More annoying, still, is this flickering black screen issue which has caused many people, based on the reviews in the marketplace, to stop playing the game entirely. Lucky for you, I have a solution to keep the lights on.

The problem occurs because of a glitch in the game overpopulating the with sprites. Too many graphics loaded in to memory, and the game begins to fall apart, leaving you with a black screen unless perhaps you pan around to a secluded corner of the map. I can nearly guarantee that the people who are having the problem are people who went for an achievement included in the game, entitled “Great Decorator” – where you get some gamerscore for placing 50 decorations. If you love earning achievements, I suggest you earn the “Great Decorator” achievement before reading further in this article.

To fix the black screen issue with Bug Village on Windows Phone 7, simply click the ‘store’ icon in the lower left corner of the screen, then tap one of your decoration items, and finally click the purple ‘upward arrow’ icon which will uproot and remove the decoration item. You’ve already unlocked the achievement, right now all of those items are just for decoration – and they are what is causing the problem.

Removing the majority of my ‘decorative’ items hasn’t fixed the problem 100%, but it has made the game much more playable, and it is possible that removing all remaining non-essential items (houses / piles / flowers) might fix it entirely. However, I’m still one of the few experiencing the problem with random characters not popping up – meaning I’m stuck unable to get a few achievements until a patch is released. Some people have suggested ‘moving’ your bug’s homes (click the store, click a house, then drag it to a different location) might “uncover” these random characters which may have spawned in to a location where you already had a structure built, but I have had no such luck.

So there you have it. Although very niche, and not much, it’s my quick gaming post of the week, and hopefully a few people (Glu included) will find this helpful and get things working again.

Better Know a Gamer: #34: OneOfSwords

It’s another milestone for me. Today, on NuAngel.net, I get to interview a legend. Activision’s own OneOfSwords! That’s right, it’s Dan Amrich, former Editor in Chief of World of Warcraft Magazine, Senior Editor for Official Xbox Magazine, and GamePro’s Dan Elektro & Bad Hare. This is a big deal for me because I can remember being a teenager in the late 90’s and reading Dan’s work in GamePro – then hearing him for the first time on the Official Xbox Magazine Podcast and following him on to his current project as OneOfSwords. You may have known him as a ‘writer’ but he’s officially the author of his second book, read on for the details of his brand new publication!

NuAngel: What’s your Gamertag, and what’s the story behind it?

OneOfSwords: When I took the job with Activision, I was asked to pick an identity along the lines of fourzerotwo or Major Nelson — a nickname that was unique, but didn’t have my real name in it or overt references to Activision in it. I thought back to when I used to try to read Tarot cards in college, and the Ace/One of Swords means “intellect over emotion; clarity.” I thought that was perfect for jumping into a role where I’d be dealing with angry gamers — I should be that source of clarity, that person who says “calm down and think about this, here’s some information that will help.” Continue reading

Special Announcement & Dan Amrich Interview Tomorrow

Back on WinBreak.com, there was a short lived “STAR LIGHT” series of interviews. The goal was to interview people who were influential in the games industry, famous in some form or another. For all intents and purposes, it was almost identical to the Better Know a Gamer series of articles. The Star Light series had a few questions that were targetted toward these special interviews, but were otherwise the same thing as BKAG.

Therefore, I’m doing away with Star Light in the interest of growing Better Know a Gamer into a longer running series. And tomorrow, the series gets its 34th installment, its first here on NuAngel.net. And what a special occasion it is. I will be interviewing Dan Amrich, Activisions OneOfSwords. Stay tuned, it’s only a few hours away!

8-Bit Camera pixelates you for free

I wanted to share this because I stumbled on to it over the weekend and think that the feedback scores are giving it a bum rap. 8-Bit Camera is a free app for Android which lets you import pictures or take them with the camera on your phone, then pixelate them. Essentially, it just lowers the resolution into various levels of “blockyness.” It’s not perfect, but it’s fun, and I think the unfair number of 1-star reviews for the app need correcting!

I did run in to some minor stability issues (had it force close on me twice over a twenty minute period), but it’s fun to play with, and it’s completely free. Enjoy it. Go download 8-Bit Camera from the Android Market.

Set Office 365 Passwords to Never Expire

In BPOS, users would at least get a warning when they logged in. In Office 365, we’re seeing passwords expire and nobody knows why their Outlook or Lync suddenly stopped working. You can always have someone go to Portal.Microsoftonline.com and reset their password – it’s rather simple. But even less of a headache? Make it so that their passwords don’t expire. Follow the step by step below:

Download & install the cmdlet programs (you may
already have these and be using them).

  • Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant (IDCRL7) (32 or
    64-bit).
  • Microsoft Online Services Module for Windows PowerShell (32 or 64-bit).

Now launch the Microsoft Online Services Module for Windows PowerShell
from your desktop or start menu and enter each of the following commands one at a time (each bullet
point is one command NOTE that some commands may span more than one line due to web formatting – look for the actual BULLET POINTS to show you the beginning of each new command and copy it entirely).

  • $LiveCred = Get-Credential
  • $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange
    -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential
    $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
    • ENTER YOUR ADMIN USER CREDENTIALS (admin@xyz.microsoftonline.com &
      a password).
  • Import-PSSession $Session
  • Connect-MSOLService
    • ENTER YOUR ADMIN CREDENTIALS AGAIN
  • Get-MSOLUser | Set-MsolUser -PasswordNeverExpires $true

And now you’re all set! Passwords won’t expire any more and passwords which have expired already will begin working again within minutes.