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23May/090

Shipped!

Infamous is done, and has been for a bit now. It'll be on sale Tuesday (26th) in the US and Friday (29th) in Europe. Color me excited :).

It's not perfect, but I played through it a bit ago and it's damn good. Also, there are few loading screens. Maybe that's why I'm so biased :P.

3Sep/080

Everything is Canon in D

That was a funny sketch I saw some comic do with a guitar online. Buy yeah, what this post is really about is that I'm now engaged. Huzzah and all that. Also, bring on the ninjas!

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27Jan/080

Sweet energy saving

First non-gaming post in a while. So I took the test at Earthlab the other day. I ended up with 256, which is better than the average for my city, state and country at least. It's also kind of cool that it's 2^8. Unfortunately that also means that if I'm going to keep that trend the next step is 128, which seems like it would be pretty difficult. I'll probably have to move into a cave with a bike and somehow stop consuming food. We'll see what I can do about some of those problems.

I recently read an article on commercially viable bacteria based ethanol creation. It's pretty cool as it solve the standard corn problems of low net energy yield and competition for food market. I read about something like this years ago that worked on waste water or something. In any case, it's really good to see that these things are actually starting to be applied. Now if only someone would create a TV or body armor based on carbon nanotubes I would be happy. That stuff had sooo much hype and has been incredibly sluggish to any sort of market product.

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28Oct/072

Weee… Time Machine

Wow, so it's been a while. What's happened since July....

The company I work for, Sucker Punch, announced our game, Infamous. It should be pretty sweet. Some of my friends at Valve also released Portal to good reviews (generally complaints that a game is too short is a good thing). I need to build a new machine so I can pick up the orange box. But fortunately I've finished paying off my car (woohoo!) so that won't be so tough.

I bought an Xbox 360, and have played a few games. Thus far not quite as impressed as I'd hoped.

Gears of War is somewhat one dimensional, though very polished. I still haven't made it all the way through, and it's fun so far.
Bioshock has amazing atmosphere, but it's death system makes it a bit hard to get into personally. When there is no penalty for dying, you basically can just keep getting a single shot off and coming back from the dead. Also some of the enemies feel a bit stupid. But still atmosphere makes up for a lot.

Blue Dragon is stereotypical JRPG. Not a fan of the design for the main characters (it's not as cute as you might think). Also, I hate the main character, very irritating, completely impossible to identify with. For that matter, they basically have all the stereotypical roles, with zero depth.

I'm playing through Phantom Hourglass and wow. They took Windwaker, which had an interesting story with awesome plot twists and slightly cliche characters and turned it into what, so far, feels like braindead mush. The gameplay is crazy superficial. Combat painfully easy, longer irritating parts from Windwaker (read fetch quests), and now they are essentially the entire game. Perhaps it will get better. So far the only good thing I have to say is that a few of the tools are neat. Boomerang feels great, very analog. Bow and arrow is decent. We'll see, maybe it will pull up before it hits the ground.

While it's not terrible in Phantom Hourglass, I think 3D looks like crap on the DS. Some things work better in 3D. However, all the more solid feeling games that I've played on the DS were in 2D. I hates aliasing.

Ok, enough griping. I saw some movies. Was most impressed with Stardust. Some new Playstation3 titles have been coming out that make me think twice about the machine's chances (and its price... ugh, why remove backward compatibility though!). Rachet looks cool. Seems like a pretty carbon copy of their previous titles. I've played through the first 3, so I'm not sure it's for me, but the reviews don't seem to care, so who knows. Uncharted could be fun.

Eternal Sonata looks sweet, and Team Fortress 2 looks awesome. Assassins Creed is coming out, by this point I'm deathly afraid that they haven't improved the game in 2 years. Long ago, after their first demo, I thought, with an extra bit of polish, this could be awesome. I haven't seen it yet, but we'll see.
Ok, now to wait not 3 months so I can have a more normal post.

13Jun/070

Holy Jeepers Batman!

So, long due post. Things that have happened since last one, in no particular order:

  • Vacation in France for two weeks. Uncle's wedding + stuff. Food is good, but no where near as small portions as people would lead you to believe.
  • Movies, some good some bad. Was very disappointed with Spiderman 3 for numerous reasons, enjoyed Pirates 3 vastly more than was expecting, Shrek 3 ok... etc.
  • Unleashed concert. We did some fun skits, probably got a little too crazy singing the pirates theme song and shot ourselves in the foot sound quality-wise.
  • Back to Karaoke at Skylark. It has changed hosts twice, I didn't like the first change, second is back to a better pace I think, although significantly reduced, albeit legal, songlist. Quirky skippy McCDplayer threatens my happiness!
  • Work. Good stuff, still on graphics. Working hard on performance now, and in two words "it's tough" (tm). When adding extra work makes shaders go faster, my head esplode.
  • Role playing. Been very slow getting into Warcraft d20 game. I wrote a huge 15ish page back story for my character so I am dismayed to say the least. Starting a new Forgotten Realms Wizards game. World looks cool and deep, but I can't say I'm looking forward to the preplanning spells system DnD uses for wizards (my head esplode x2).
  • Games, some good some bad. Mario party fun, but hasn't really changed in the billion versions they released. Super Paper Mario huge let down. Super simple completely gamey flip to 3d mechanic interrupts the normal pace of action jumping (as does tons of dialog boxes). Need to play God of War (and so many other games). Warcraft 3 is an excellent game. Super great value even at $40 for the battle chest... still!
  • Lost phone in Cinerama after Pirates opening show. Bought an EnV. It is, as I thought, huge. Though not requiring hours to enter new phone book entries and the occasional text message is nice.
  • Board game night at work is fun. We've played all sorts of interesting stuff that I haven't really seen before. And I thought I used to play a lot of board games :).
  • My sister went skydiving which was entertaining and made me want to go.
  • OpenGL is heading down an amazingly promising track. Cleaning up the API, adding static typing through struct tags (still C compatible), and all the other stuff they're adding sound awesome. I will have to build a new machine with a DX10 to try it out (yes I know the irony of getting a "DX10" card for OpenGL).
  • Allergies suck, since right before going to France I've been screwed with congestion and such. Medication only defers symptoms a few hours (did I mention I hate medication). I think I'm going to do a cleaning spree and regularly vacuum the house or something *shudder*.
  • I may have gone to GDC and such since I last posted. That was fun, although didn't get to see as much of people as I'd like. And now I've lost most of their numbers since my phone is gone, let the long march begin.
  • Going to start attending Thursday night East/West side game developer get togethers. They're fun, and I don't have a choir conflict during the summer.
  • Been reading up on C++ template stuff for fun. I looking to create some sort of reflection system. However, I think writing a new language may be just as easy as implementing reflection for every relevant C++ class I would want to use. Binary dumping/loading is my goal. Wouldn't it be nice land. I'm starting to think that, if using C++ just writing the serialization to the binary format may not be a bad plan, purely because it reduces the transformation work you have to do on the runtime side. Not to mention the pain of dealing with cross platform binary incompatibilities. Still if you had reflection this would be easy. Why the C++ board does not put that in, I will never know.
18Feb/070

Vibrant Reality in Thought

Pick up your color. It lies in the street. Why leave such a precious gem in this state. Think, feel, breathe. It flows around you, life. The whispering leaves, the baying wood, asks that you come with. Just close your eyes, close them down to a point. That singularity of color, of power, of dreams. Feel it envelope you, and the doors are open. Always there, always waiting, warmth to bestow. Horizon of thought, break through it and you will find it. Power, the sword of kings, the dream of fire. It lives.

Hopefully enjoyable, as it happens all too infrequently.

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30Jan/070

Staying still-phobia

So I'm setup to fly various places (including GDC) 4 times in about 2 months.  3 of them will be California, so it won't be too bad on the brain.  One is to France for my Uncle's wedding.  It will certainly be interesting.

Got a Wii the other day.  Played all the way through Zelda in a weekend.  I don't know why, but I think I liked it less overall than Windwaker.  I would have preferred a gamecube controller for it too.  Control latency is too high and not precise enough.  There are a few things you can relatively reliably do, but overall, I felt way way more badass with the tight control at the end of Windwaker.  Though it was decent, it really felt like it didn't have the same depth as the earlier games.  The main new mechanic of the wolf I felt was done better in Okami.  They had some good weapons, but some of the special stuff you get was just half assed.  Oh well, now I have to go pick up Rayman and play that.

On the xbox front, now they're releasing Worms for Live.  It's good that these games aren't out yet, or I'd have to get one now before the "Unlikely" 2007 price drop.

The PS3 has apparently fixed the nasty image quality backward compatibility problem it had.  Hooray!  Now, when they lower the price I can only hope they've fixed the rest of the issues (e.g. background downloading).

Went and saw Pan's Labyrinth, which was awesome if a little gruesome.  The Queen wasn't as interesting as I was hoping, I really just can't identify with royalty.  Decent weekend, good week at work.  I do need to get back into yoga.  Good stuff all around.

11Jan/070

Tiiiiiiime is on my side

Just like in Fallen, except I don't enjoy killing people.... Yeah.

And it goes on. Christmas came and went with much ado. I haven't seen anywhere near as many movies this year as I did last year. Unfortunately the only one I did go see was Eragon. What a catastrophe. They killed off every plot twist and character motiviation in the story. Jeremy Irons really needs to stay away from dragon movies. The only compliment I'll give is the dragon CG was awesome.

I've shifted to rendering stuff at work, which is fun. But wow, what a muddy pit graphics performance is. Moving through everything and getting the information I need is going way slower than I would like.

I've heard very good things about Gears of War and the upcoming Castlevania Live release (2/10 if 1up is correct) increases my desire for xbox 360. I am also awaiting the arrival of Wii, which should accompany much Zelda playing.

The iPhone came out, and it's awesome, possibly revolutionary. It's also $600 + 2yr contract with cingular. Add to that the cost of a data plan to support a fully fledged browser (unless there is wifi around) and the fact that I don't currently have an iPod. I've survived thus far, we'll see if I make it through this.

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12Dec/060

I’m coming!!!

Just like in Kung Pow I will eventually get there. I might be closer or farther away some time in the middle, but eventually... I'll make another post. I guess that would be now.

In the beginning there was a Halloween costume, okay maybe that was just the last post. Regardless it went well-ish. I was one of two people who actually wore halloween costumes to work. I will say Adam bested me with his Kthulu infested minion of sorts. Then I went to Karaoke, and was bested by all maner of other people. I really need to plan better next year.

Since then, Thanksgiving came and went. My sister's graduation came and went. While she does have a lot more school to go and is planning on buying an SUV (grrrrr), I am proud of her. The Unleashed concert came and went, thankfully better than I was expecting. It's funny, I seem to underestimate the potential for improvement at the last minute. With Unleashed I have no idea how everyone pulled things together and was so much generally cleaner than we were in practice, but congrats. Props go out especially to the soloists who only had one run through to actually practice with the group before performing on stage.

In the end, we're coming down to Christmas... and I'm sick. I think I may be on the tail end of it, but I am definitely sick. This has lasted 4+ days now and it's really irritating. I haven't been sick this long for as long as I can remember. It's kind of distgusting really. I've taken 1.5 sick days so far. It's really weirding me out.

The only pro of staying home and drinking ginger tea, besides not feeling quite so crappy is that I get to try and catch up on my movies I've been buying. I watched 3 so far that Andrea doesn't want to see, 40 year old version, Mulholland Dr., and Dodge Ball. The first two were good, if weird. I'm going to subject her to the later since it has some seriously funny parts in it.

In other news, I finally went a Industry drinking night. It was fun, although I probably should have branched out a bit more. I spent much of the evening talking to Josie and Scott (wheaties beer?!?). I did meet some other people from Arena Net, SOE, and Gas Powered. It was cool, and while I feel like I've barely grazed the surface, it appears that few Suckerpunchers have done much shmoozing in those circles. I shall try to encourage others to join me. Although, since we may be moving the Exalted game to Thurs. nights it may be hard for me to even continue going. We'll see.

I should sign off, before the next person who reads this has a chronic head explosion. Til next time.

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28Oct/060

28 days later

Ok, so I'm not going as a zombie.  However, I do like the phrase brains.  It's just so great, even to repeat over and over again.  Halloween this year falls on my weekly karaoke night.  I'm going to TRY to go as Ryu from the Street Fighter series.  Mostly because I'm lazy and think it will work.  I need to actually come up with a good costume one of these years....

I've finally beaten Okami barely squeezing under the 50 hr mark.  The game was great, but it probably should have been half as long.  The end was a bit heavy handed plotwise and cliche.  Not as bad as say Paper Mario 2 (ugh.), but still a bit off putting.  I was planning on picking up God Hand to see what the defunct Clover's new game was like, but having heard horrible reviews and with the other 5 games I bought at the time of Okami, I'll pass this time.  Another game that I've heard is actually really good is Bully.  It sounds pretty interesting.  From what I've heard/seen so far I'd call it school yard GTA with a social element.  I won't comment on the ridiculous contraversy surround a game that no one ever played.  It sounds pretty interesting though.  Next up on the roster is probably going to be some DS games.

Haven't really been any movies out of late.  The Prestige and The Departed sound good, but I won't die if I don't catch them.  Jeremy Irons is going to be in Eragon, which is apparently coming out this Dec.?!  In any case, I'm hoping he can redeem himself since the last time I saw him in a movie was D&D and that was only for 15 min.  I'm hoping it will be good.

The exalted game I'm running is going ok.  I seem to be able to pull together a good game every 2 sessions, which is kind of irritating.  This is what comes of having an inexperienced storyteller.  Regardless it's generally pretty fun and I've faired ok.  Next time I'll have a better plan for actually getting the characters into the story.  In any case, I'm starting to wish that the role playing thing was more serious.  I got into it as a replacement for acting in a theater setting, but I'm starting to think I might have to do that at some point too.

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