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Saturday, September 01, 2007

For Sunday: Gotham City Explosion

For a scene in Dark Knight, they detonated (did you know there is such a word as undetonated??) the old Brach's building here in Chicago. If you're really spoiler sensitive, abandon this post now as you'll see what building it would be in the movie ... but you're missing some pretty cool footage.

Drinking and Development

On TIGSource:

He also revealed how getting drunk can lead to vagrancy and/or distribution deals:

“I was too drunk to get aware of all of it,” Morris admits of that night at the IGF. “I guess I slept on a park bench that night.”

In the Q&A that followed, Morris was asked how Introversion landed its deal with Steam, to which he glibly replied, “We got drunk with [Valve COO Scott Lynch]. It was simple as that.”
Read Full Article, Introversion's Mark Morris Drinks Responsibly

I might have career in this field yet.

Two Interesting Indie Titles: Emily Enough and Machinarium

On TIGSource:

An adventure game by Logan Worsley (in fact, the only adventure game by
Logan Worsley), Emily Enough is the story of an 11 year old girl, who like
other girls her age occasionally has moments of unpleasantness between ...
Read Full Article, Emily Enough: Imprisoned

Emily Enough sounds like that kind of bizarre, psychotic design that only indie titles can probably get away with. If a normal publisher handled this, there's be an article about it the Boston Globe claiming the end of western civilization.

TIGSource also has a bit on Machinarium from the guys who did Samorost, which I believe a few of you were found of playing.

Friday, August 31, 2007

"Shoot Em Up" Porn Marketing

On Gaming Today:

[image: shootemupgame1-1.bmp]

�Shoot �Em Up� is the upcoming action movie starring Clive Owen, Paul
Giamatti, and Monica Bellucci. Apparently the people marketing it decided to
create a simple flash game to promote the film: one that rewards the ...
Read Full Article, "Shoot 'Em Up" Film Advertised With Porn Game

Seems to be a new trend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

PlayStation Phone On The Way


What comes after W, K, Cyber-shot and Bravia? It�s not a Mensa code, but the
aforementioned are the lineup of Sony Ericsson phones. And if we go by what
the PS gaming boss Peter Ahnegard says, then we could be holding a
PlayStation-branded gaming phone ...
Read Full Article, Sony Ericsson PlayStation Phone Coming Soon

Not sure what they will actually entail, but sadly my guess is that it will be just like other game phones, interesting form factor with no new umph software or title-wise. This one will just have the PlayStation logo on it. Original article has some fancy schematics to show.

Chicago Cans City Wi-Fi

On Slashdot:

thatshortkid writes "The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a proposed plan
for municipal wi-fi in Chicago has fallen apart. The story cites contract
disputes and the falling price of residential broadband as reasons for the
talks collapsing. 'Chicago ...
Read Full Article, Chicago Cancels Municipal Wi-Fi Plan


Xbox Live "Friendz" On Your Mac

On Mac Freeware and Free mac Software for OSX:

Friendz is a software that allows you to connect with your Xbox live friends
without having to turn on your Xbox. Friendz allows you to see what friends
are online, notifications when you get new messages or friends come online,
the ability to send ...
Read Full Article, Friendz

Real Wife ... Meet Virtual Wife?

Via the always sexy, always excellent Sexy Videogameland, we find this WSJ article:

He's never met the woman outside of the computer world of Second Life, a well-chronicled digital fantasyland with more than eight million registered "residents" who get jobs, attend concerts and date other users. He's never so much as spoken to her on the telephone. But their relationship has taken on curiously real dimensions. They own two dogs, pay a mortgage together and spend hours shopping at the mall and taking long motorcycle rides. This May, when Mr. Hoogestraat, 53, needed real-life surgery, the redhead cheered him up with a private island that cost her $120,000 in the virtual world's currency, or about $480 in real-world dollars. Their bond is so strong that three months ago, Mr. Hoogestraat asked Janet Spielman, the 38-year-old Canadian woman who controls the redhead, to become his virtual wife.

The woman he's legally wed to is not amused. "It's really devastating," says Sue Hoogestraat, 58, an export agent for a shipping company, who has been married to Mr. Hoogestraat for seven months. "You try to talk to someone or bring them a drink, and they'll be having sex with a cartoon."

Mr. Hoogestraat plays down his online relationship, assuring his wife that it's only a game.
-- Read Full Article, Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?

Dude is definately pushing it. Even pre-nuptials I had to watch how much attention Grand Theft Auto would get ... much less making the beast with two backs with someone on the other side of the net. From the article is sounds like they're within the inner suburbs of Splitsville and it doesn't take a big brained alien to figure out why.

Surely not every couple can game together - but if it's enough of a hobby that it consumes a significant number of hours out of the week ... surely it has be a conversation point. Hiding virtual matrimony? Bad sign. Really bad.

10 Goofiest Weapons

On IGN Complete:

Welcome to IGN's weekly countdown of the exceptional, fascinating, and absurd: something we like to call Top 10 Tuesday. Every week we'll feature the top ten games, characters, fashion statements or whatever else we can think of that in some way relates to gaming and its history. And just because it's called Top 10 Tuesday doesn't mean it's always going to be a list of the best -- we like to razz on stuff as much as we like to praise it. From counting down the best consoles ever to revealing the worst-smelling instruction manuals, this is where it's at.

This week we're counting down the goofiest weapons in gaming. Sometimes we're given tools of destruction that make us exclaim, "what the crap?!" But just because it's goofy doesn't mean it's not awesome. Many of these attacks took a lot more creativity and imagination to come up with than your usual run-of-the-mill machine gun. Of course, some are a little too goofy for their own good (we're looking at you, Wood Man).
Read Full Article, Top 10 Tuesday: Goofiest Weapons

UT3 Demo For PC, Not PS3

On Gaming Today:

Mark Rein from Epic Games has said that they will be releasing a demo of Unreal Tournament 3 on the PC, but won't put out one for
the PS3. He cited the fact that it is much easier to produce a demo on the PC than on Sony's ...
Read Full Article, Demo for Unreal Tournament 3 Coming to PC, But Not PS3

Not terribly surprising and I'd much rather have a PC demo in order to see just how slow the CheapBox++ will be with it.

Update: Demo's available, happy fraggin.

More On Sony's Home

On Next Generation:

Sony's Home is running and it works well but it may not be progressing as quickly as the firm had hoped, according to an insider with access to the beta version of the upcoming PS3 online offering.
Read Full Article, PlayStation Home Details Leaked

Sounds like it's mostly there in it's E3 form - but the very , very important features like invites and buddylists aren't put together yet.

Time for less talk, more show, Sony.

Nokia's N-Gage - Round ... Three?

On Engadget:

Filed under: Cellphones, Gaming

Remember the sidetalkin' N-Gage? Yeah... well, this isn't it. This is
Nokia's new N-81 gaming device built upon their revamped N-Gage gaming
platform. The S60 device packs HSDPA (sorry, no US band support) for on-line ...
Read Full Article, Nokia's N81 slider is an 8GB N-Gager

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

NPR On China's Gaming Anti-Addiction Software

Imagine this: you're playing your favorite Internet game when suddenly a warning flashes onto the screen. You've been playing three hours, it says, so it's time to get some exercise. If you ignore it, any points you've won in the last three hours will be halved. After five hours, they'll be wiped out.

That's the scenario in China, where anti-addiction software is supposed to protect gamers under the age of 18. But it hasn't been an unqualified success.
-- Read Full Article, Anti-Addiction Software in China Has Loopholes

Seems ineffective to try and control a cultural concern with software. Especially when the target audience is probably insanely computer savvy. I'm pretty sympathetic here - I'm not really under the impression that anyone, kids or otherwise, spending the majority of their waking hours playing games as terribly beneficial.

Course, it is also interesting that if we were to take the American arguments about what video games are capable of - name encouraging murder - China would be awash in violent crime by now. Last I checked, not so much. Still not sure little Xiao should be spending as much time on SuperDancer as I take for my job - and I swear that isn't just envy speaking.

All Work And No BioShock For Valve

On Next Generation:

BLOG - CVG spoke
( to Valve head
Gabe Newell who said, "We had to ban BioShock from our offices. Nobody gets
to play it until Orange Box is done - that's our reward to ourselves as a
company; ...
Read Full Article, Valve: "Work first, BioShock later."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Halo ActionClix Review

On BoardGameGeek Recent Additions (review):

*A little background…*

I went to Gencon with no interest in playing Halo Actionclix. While I am a
worlds level Mechwarrior player and like collectible games, I have never
played the Halo video game and have no attachment to the license. But after ...
Read Full Article, Halo ActionClix - Pwns.

If Doom The Boardgame isn't enough real life conversion for you - this sounds like a good alternative.

Pretty Nifty "Context Aware" Image Editing

On TechCrunch:

This image resizing and manipulation demonstration is sort of jaw dropping,
particularly as the video goes on. The related paper, written by Dr. Ariel
Shamir and Dr. Shai Avidan is available here. Crunch Network: CrunchGear
drool over the sexiest new ...
Read Full Article, I Want This In Photoshop Immediately

If the retargeting stuff doesn't interest, wait till you see how they can erase your ex from old photos.

Vista's Stranglehold on DirectX 10

On Gaming Today:

In a recent interview with Heise Online, Gabe Newell, President of Valve Software, said, “Microsoft made a terrible mistake releasing DirectX 10 for Vista only and excluding Windows XP.”

According to stats on Steam, only half of the users have a DirectX 10 compatible graphics card. Developers are definitely paying attention to factors like this when developing their games, because only a fraction of the games out there actually utilize DX10 in noticeable ways. In fact, the two different versions of Half-Life 2 Orange Box, one DX10 compatible and one not, are for all intents and purposes the same.
Read Full Article, Microsoft Releasing DirectX 10 Only for Windows Vista a Mistake

If anything, this insistence on DX10 being Vista only will siphon off PC game development to the consoles. Microsoft is saying they want a push for PC gaming, but decisions like this one are simply not beneficial.

Crysis Nanosuit Trailer

On Gaming Today:

I've got to get a nanosuit like that. So fashionable�

GameTrailers have scored an exclusive new trailer for Crysis. As far as game
trailers go, this new video is pimp. Believe it or not, most of what we see
in this trailer, sans the typical logo ...
Read Full Article, Crysis Nanosuit Trailer

TV Watch Review

We've actually managed to keep ontop of a number of shows during all our nuptials and such. Here's a bit of what we're making to sure to watch:

The guy who runs The Futon Critic called it a "Grisham novel for television". Damages is dark, gritty and gripping. I can't imagine how they'll sustain the show past the first season with what is already unraveling by the fifth episode - but I don't really care. It's good and lucky for you - FX is running a marathon on Labor Day if you want to catch up.

The 4400
The show has twisted its premise around an axis a little bit, but only in good ways. Now instead of focusing on lives severed from their past the focus is on how the future is bearing down on the premise. 4400 makes good use of some of its more original aspects - a superhero drug and the looming unknown of which actions will provide best for the world at large. The plot is just getting convulated enough, though, that new viewers will need a bit of a primer to jump in.

Burn Notice
I was a fan of The Invisible Man for its soft action wit and clever fun. Burn Notice reminds me of that show if it took itself a little more seriously and added a pretty compelling spy noir angle to the deck. If Damages is a Grisham novel for your tube ... Burn Notice is something of a beach read.

Doctor Who
Does it need saying? I suppose it does as I've found the good Doctor a harder sell on people who weren't fans of the classic episodes. Season Three has proven to be one of the best so far, though. A great test of strength of any franchise is how well it handles manipulating its main character. The last two Doctor Who's have been surprisingly, well, Doctor-less, and they've been some of the best the show ever delivered.

Has anyone seen Flash Gordon yet? Doesn't seem to interest us in the slightest.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Microsoft, Sony: No E For All

On Joystiq:

Filed under: Culture, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 has apparently confirmed that Microsoft will not be
attending the E for All expo in LA at the end of October. Microsoft joins
Sony now in ignoring the event ...
Read Full Article, Microsoft joins Sony saying no thanks to E for All

Haze Hands-On

On Gaming Today:

At this year's PAX, I was able to get some play time in
with Ubisoft's upcoming FPS, Haze. For this demonstration, me and some
fellow journalists got a chance to try out the four-player co-op mode and
see just how it differs from ...
Read Full Article, PAX 2007: Hands-On with Haze

I don't know if the Cheapbox++ will be able to handle the next level of FPS (probably not). Although I do hope to have some ability to code for UT3 on it at least.

Haze has my attention if not for any the reason than I'm pretty big TimeSplitters fan - so I'll definately be playing it on some platform.

Girls and Gaming Panel At PAX

On Acid for Blood:

Really quickly before I head out (late). Each panelist was instructed to
introduce themselves, how they got into games, and how they got into the
industry. The moderator was Trixie from Apparently her reputation
precedes her and she doesn�t ...
Read Full Article, PAX: Girls, Games, and the Growing Role of Women in the Game Industry

Brin apparently wanted to ask what the male demographic can do to help. I generally avoid online multiplayer for the most part these days in part because I have little patience anymore for the griefers and trolls - and that's not even adding on the extra fun of sexual (and racial, as the panel notes) troubles.

Has anyone found a better solution than a decent moderator?