Thursday, 4 September.
1. Got e-mail with key a little before 2pm (USA/Eastern time) -- good !
2. Launched Impulse, and in the "My Games" section, DEMIGOD was already there, associated to the key (which I did not have to enter) -- good !
3. Downloaded the game : a 611.74 MB file, which came in at a steady 820 kb/sec (+/- 10) -- good !
4. When the download was finished, the process shifted to file extraction on my C:\ drive ... and the extraction crashed, rebooting my PC -- not good !
5. Came back to Win XP desktop, and relaunched Impulse : was informed that the process could be resumed -- good !
6. File extraction freezes my PC : the HDD red light does not flicker anymore, and I lose mouse & keyboard -- not good !
7. I press the reset button, and come back to the desktop. (I feel a little anguish.) Ummm ... that has NEVER happened to me before, with any game : a file-extraction process that crashes the PC.
8. I speculate that a background program might be interfering. I do control/alt/delete, opening the Windows Task Manager, and I manually close the most non-essential programs & services which I am allowed to close, hoping that I am removing the cause of the interference.
9. I launch Impulse again, and resume the file-extraction process ... which completes itself with success -- very good (oufff...) !
10. Afterwards, the installation runs to its very end, creating an icon on my desktop.
11. I launch the game, and change a few graphical settings in the options to get better framerates : I turn off shadows & AA.
12. There is no single-player mode ... but you can go around that if you do not wish to compete against other beta testers through a LAN. I host a LAN game, even though I am not connected to any other PC. I am then given 2 comp allies, to play against 3 comps. The game setup options are disabled : I cannot change that 3 v 3 situation ... but I may change the demigod-type of my A.I. allies & opponents. OK, then. I select all 6 demigods and launch the (pseudo-LAN) game.
13. The battle starts, and I have no idea whatsoever what to do. I do not have a clue how to play. I study what my 2 allies are doing, but since they must fight against 3 enemies, I am not contributing to the team effort. Oh, well ... I'll try to read somewhere how the game is played, and I shall be back.
I hope this First Contact tale has been informative to other totally clueless n00bs.