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19Jul/081

Dr. Horrible is super awesome great

But don't believe me, see it for yourself. While I'd love to believe that things like this can be successful at a larger scope, the mixture available is somewhat hard to top. This show has Joss Whedon writing, which from what I've seen thus far, is nearing incomparability, Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion singing (!?), and an absolutely ridiculous premise.

I'm pretty sure this show will be successful. And by that I mean everyone should go and buy it now (and by everyone I mean the 2-ish people who have ever read it). I'm not, however, convinced it will lead to a shift in the way the world looks at the internet and distribution on it (perhaps not coindentally related to the one of the show's themes). Who knows though. I'd love to be proven wrong.

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7Jul/070

Recap XXXIV

Went and saw Transformers. It was actually really good. The special effects were awesome, lots of cheese, and only a few gaping plot holes. Overall, much better than I was expecting. Now to Harry Potter next week. I think my girlfriend is going to explode.

We on the Suckerpunch coding team went to play pool at Parlor Billiards and I was reminded how inconsistent a player I am. I started off eh, and then won 2 games in a row by a long shot (e.g. sinking 5 in a row). I then proceeded to not make a shot for half an hour. Then I sunk 4 in a row again etc. Very periodically good and bad. It wasn't that I was just barely missing shots either, they were WAY off. It's really bizarre.

There are serious rumors of a PS3 price cut announcement at E3. It wouldn't surprise me, and I would be obscenely happy, especially because that likely means an xbox price cut too. The 360 at the moment has the more appetizing spread, so I'd probably jump into that one first.

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.
28Sep/060

Jet Lagged Hero

So I've arrived back from Japan.

Cool points:

People: Josie + Scott, Christine, Grant, Mike, Aaron and Denise are pretty awesome people. I'm not sure I made the best impression on those I didn't know (really everyone except Josie), but oh well, it was fun :).

Food: Izakayas have Great food, fun atmosphere even though we were there during the less crazy times. Scott claims there aren't any izakayas in Seattle. I am currently investigating to hopefully prove otherwise :). So far, it's looking like a big fat maybe. Yakiniku is yummy good. Fry your own meal is cool. The beef they have for these things is super great. We had a poor unfortunate vegetarian with us, who I felt bad for almost everytime we went somewhere for dinner. Noodle places, bakeries, and everywhere else seemed to have higher quality food than in the US (with like one exception). I think it was also cheaper too.

Karaoke: Holy awesome music collection + unlimited drinks = super great blast... x4! Let me put this in perspective... Josie has over 1400 tracks which is awesome. They had probably 5000+ in 1/3 of one book, and probably at least 5x that amount of material if you include all the japanese songs. While I didn't partake of the drinking (oh coke starts to hurt too after that many...), it was a really fun atmosphere.

Ghibli museam: Really super awesome spinning animation model. It's like animation flip books except 3d, and they spin it really fast and turn on a strobe light, and it was super great. Aardman exhibit was pretty cool. Giant Laputa robot on top of the building was super sweet. Special showing of a short film they only show at the museum (!?).  I think they've done on the order of 8 or 9 of them now.  There were two I really wanted to see, but probably will never get the chance to. The gift shop was awesome and would have sunk a hole much deeper in my wallet if I had less self control.  The giant cat bus play room was for elementary school and younger kids only. Bah humbug!

Tokyo Game Show: Smaller version of E3, more fan oriented, more booth babes that occassionally do weird little cheer-style dance numbers, awesome cosplay, and fewer carpets... = good. I would have survived not going, but it was sweet to see some of the Japan only companies. The cosplay I think was better than I've seen at Comic-con. All the costumes tended to be better in my opinion.

Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara, Ginza: Cool places to bum around. There is good food, great shopping, super sweet train system (similar to London's but better in most every way).

Down sides:

Clothing is insanely expensive. Though a few things were pretty cool, it all was crazy expensive (e.g. $80 min for shirts, $140 min for pants). Also those people who actually tried anything on could find stuff that fit. That is too bad because there was some frickin awesome goth girl clothing that Josie was looking at in this place called Good girl, Bad girl. I mean wow. Oh well.

Occassional sewer smell. Only really bad in a few places.

    General smokyness. It wasn't actually too bad for the most part. There was one arcade that was hard for me to deal with, but the rest was ok. The bars were somewhat eh, but generally speaking the fun made up for it. Besides, I've experienced much worse.

    More good stuff:

    Another interesting thing is the generally great feel to the environment. I love all the natural stuff in Japan. Very little vegetation is crew cut like the vast majority of the US. And if it is, it feels more sculpted than just painfully sanded into submission. The natural sights on the train to/from the airport are beautiful. And this by no means covers any direct exposure to nature ala hikes and such. The use of space feels significantly more efficient and the houses look super great. I have yet to see a case of the plastic carbon copy syndrome which has taken the US by storm. Additionally, the air feels significantly better there. I felt healthier just walking off the plane. I don't know if it's the humidity or maybe something else in the environment, but yeah, it seems very good for me.

    Besides the language barrier I could be totally comfortable living in Japan. There is always the outsider issue which would never go away, but I could probably deal with that. I really need to get in contact with my host family from my exchange trip in high school. They were so great, and hopefully will be receptive to talking to me after all this time.

    And wrapping it back around to the subject of my post... I totally bested the jet lag on the way in. To the extent that I was generally the one with the most energy throughout the group I think. On the way back... another story. My ass is still sore (from the kicking... *sheesh*) and I am totally wired at 11 pm at night. I was almost falling asleep about 4 hours ago. We'll see how long it takes me to get back to a normal cycle.

    4Aug/060

    Halleluiah Live

    So... you know how I was complaining about games and such on the 360.  Weeeeell, it appears as if fate has listened to me and offered up a crazy gem of awesomeness for me to actually look forward to.  Castlevania Symphony of the Night.  Oh don't believe me, see for yourself.  And while I had to search around a bit to get an actual quote since no one cites their sources online (turns out EGM), I believe it.  I'm not sure this could work out more perfectly.  If the 360 drops its price a ways and they release SOTN I'm all over that.

    If you're wondering why I crave this so much, it is that I've seen the game played I've never gotten to myself.  Shopping for it has always seemed impossible as the few times I've checked it wasn't even available on ebay.  So the real question is, will the PS3 have something equally motivating to offer me... for $600.

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    5Apr/060

    Bizawesome

    "I've been walking on clouds and flipping off rainbows. On Wings of an Email."

    Is there anything else to say.

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    10Mar/060

    GBAish Games + Cheesy vampires

    Kirby's Canvas Curse.  Neat game, easy to start off, tough to get good.  Unfortunately the whole game wasn't terribly tough (unless you're trying to get all the medallions).  The end boss was the hardest part and that only took me 3 times to learn all its moves enough to severely destroy it.  Fun game, I wish it were longer and had more/more interesting goals.  Interesting stuff.

    Zelda and the Minish Cap.  Also fun.  Too much collecting, although I will say that I find the joining of Kinstones infinitely more interesting busy work than diving for treasure every few minutes between stops.  I really like the mini-mode stuff.  It's too bad you can't really do anything except move and get into places you couldn't it would be cool to see a little more world interaction.

    Saw Ultraviolet.  It was also good.  There were a few things where I thought it was done just way too stupidly.  On the whole though, the through and through cheesiness fed right into my bloodstream.  Much of it could be considered "horrible" but that just means awesome for me :).  In any case, I liked.  Reminded me a lot of Equilibrium, but not quite as well executed.

    I will close with a HOLY CRAP on the new X-Men 3 trailer front.  If you haven't seen "Last Stand" yet, you should.  Looks super awesome great.

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    3Dec/050

    Singing+Scifi late night adventure

    So the a cappella group I perform with went and sang at Figgy Pudding. Positives - it only rained slightly, and later in the day we did well. Negatives - earlier stuff was rough, I was the only bass (in addition to only having one tenor), and wowza was it cold (especially when holding the sign :P)! But it was fun, and I'm glad the people of the female persuation turned up :).

    Afterwards we (7 from Unleashed + 1) went to see Aeon Flux and it was goooood. I've only seen a few of the cartoon (which apparently originally aired on MTV?) and it was pretty confusing. They took it in a pretty interesting direction and kept a few familiar parts that I remember from the show. It was honestly better than I was expecting.

    After THAT, 6 of us packed into Andrea's car and drove to the U-district. We then waxed philosophical over pancakes about the movie and other doing more party type things. I don't know what it is, but packing more people than necessary into a car is just awesome!