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Saturday, August 26, 2006

For Sunday: Stomp Tokyo Cult Movies Podcast

Covering such important topics as Snakes On A Plane and Doctor Who, take Stomp Tokyo's cult movie podcast for a spin.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

This Can't Be Good For Anyone

Via Wonderland:

Gamasutra got to play with the new Digimask (cripes, they've been around forever) technology, soon to be embedded into a few Xbox 360 games. Presumably you snap a few headshots with your new Xbox 360 vidcam, then up they go, onto your avatar.
-- Xbox meets Digimask

Mmmm. Yeah. Anyone remember how well tags worked in Counter-Strike once it got popular? They were fun, sure, but they never really served any purpose and it didn't take people long at all to figure out how to spray porn and other fun distractions on the walls. I suppose, XBL might have a review process or something ... but it won't be long until someone tries to reign terror as BoobFace.

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Nice Shirt

From philskaren's photostream.

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Why Not PSO For The DS?

I've mentioned this very idea before, but Video Game Theory goes into much more detail as to why Phantasy Star Online simply makes sense for the Nintendo DS:

The point of this article, aside from the history lesson, is that PSO is a very popular game. Still is, even today. But there are certain aspects of the game, certain quirks even, that would make the prospect of a portable version of PSO a very attractive offering. Which portable? Why, my friends, the DS. But of course. No, it’s not fanboyism. Logic. See, inventory management is a rather big part of the whole experience in PSO, what with having to use Monomates to heal yourself, or Monofluids to regain magic points, or changing out your armor or weapons on the fly, during the battle, well, you see a lot of the inventory screen. A lot. As in, it takes up a good third of the television screen. And of course, given the nature of the online functionality, you cannot pause the game to manage said inventory.

I say this with the utmost respect to developers, but I have never thought of a greater use for the second screen than as an inventory screen for Phantasy Star Online, if only because it would be so damn useful! Being able to glance down to the bottom screen to see one’s experience points, or how much is left to level up, how much Meseta one has currently, or to swap weapons or use a technique not equipped to one of the face buttons, or to feed one’s Mag for heaven’s sake; these are very attractive options for ANY regular PSO player, and probably even for the casual players. Having the inventory screen use additional touch-screen controls would make it that much simpler.
-- A Small Phantasy

Spot on and a great read.

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PrisonServer, A Hard Time MMO

PrisonServer is a PC online game for Windows. It's a persistent world, multiplayer online game. The game is played exclusively over the Internet with other real players from all over the world. Combines classic online RPG gameplay and unique feaures. You have to survive and make your way from just a rookie to gang leader or boss, meet new
friends and get a life while becoming stronger to gain real respect. Players unite, collaborate & fight creating their own gangs and ranks within the prison confinements.
-- PrisonServer: The Online Prison Game

Via Gaming Realm. Honestly, it sounds like one of those "might have been good on paper" type ideas. Being a newbie is bad enough ... but to be someone's bitch just isn't much fun.

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Quick Review: BenQ FP93V

I had to finally ditch my 17" flat CRT Sony monitor with this move, since we're trying to cram as much as possible into the small study/second bedroom and it occupied about a 20" cube of space. Since I do a lot less gaming on the PC these days (and they've improved anyway) I went with flat panel to conserve space. I ended up with the 19" BenQ FP93V. It's a well equipped but moderately priced LCD monitor which is designed to "fit" the Mac Mini.

It "fits" in terms of color (matching that soothing Apple white) and form factor. The Mini sits in a small groove on the monitor's base. It fits very snugly - almost too snugly because there's little clearance for the mass of wires which will inevitably protrude from back. In the long run, it's not such a bad thing because it does keep the cables somewhat tamed back there ... but can make the occasional swapping of wires a bit annoying.

Physically, the only other note I have is that the monitor has a tendency to wobble. Now, I don't think this is BenQ's fault - it's probably the fact that my 10 year old desk is just not all that sturdy anymore. A nice solid desk with little play probably wouldn't be a problem. It's just that I can't help that the thirty ton monitor I just ditched probably wouldn't either. Still, a couple of action figures now serve to help stabilize the monitor and all appears well.

The picture seems pretty rock solid. It's a little brighter than I'm used to, but I'm also pretty close to the monitor in the tight space. The colors hold up extremely well and last night The Girl and I watched those Microsoft "Office" videos and it looked great. It supports both DVI and VGA outputs ... even at the same time ... which will be nice once I get the old PC hooked up to the farm as well.

Overall, if you're looking for a good 19" that won't break the bank - the FP93V will do fine. It's not as cheap as some, but it's got a fast update speed, good picture and a nice design.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Updated Comments Template

OK, here is an updated version of the sidebar comments (for use in Blogger templates), but won't break with double quotes:

That works better. Basically I'm using a textarea here to feed in the comment itself. A textarea's value is freefrom and easily accessible by javascript (and easily made invisible by CSS). So it eliminates the double quote bug completely.

Oh yeah, I got mad skills.

Poor Pluto

From the excellent Sports Night, circa 1999:

"Good news." -Natalie
"What?" -Dana
"Pluto's still a planet." -Natalie
"It was touch and go there for a while?" -Sally
"Don't underestimate Pluto. Pluto doesn't know the word quit." -Natalie
-- Quotes from Ordnance Tactics

And now:

Pluto, which has been widely regarded as a planet since its discovery in 1930, has an oblong orbit that overlaps with Neptune's, so is disqualified full planet status.

The new classification means that the science textbooks will have to be ripped up, as the solar system is now made up of the eight "classical planets", plus a number of dwarf planets. The classical planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Astronomers from 75 countries were involved in today's vote of International Astronomical Union (IAU) members. The result of the vote was met with applause, but there had earlier been real disagreement over the "battle of the planets".
-- Pluto loses 'battle of the planets'

The inshow joke about Pluto was a pretty palatable one ... it was an analogy to how all of the show's mechanics - both in real life and fiction - were in jeopardy of simply being redefined out of existence. It was pertinent enough to be echoed later in Six Feet Under (also featuring Peter Krause).

So in some way, a cultural (and scientific) underdog just lost it's appeal in textbook court. Hard not to be a bit sad about that. I mean, isn't there a grandfather clause for some objects?

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Pac-Man Card Game

Never knew such a thing existed. From ToB's photostream.

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Lua Gaming Worms

Online gaming buffs could be at heightened risk for attack, McAfee has warned, after Avert Labs received several worms implemented in the "Lua" scripting language used mostly in gaming codes.

The language, which was first released in 1994, is widely used for the popular "World of Warcraft," "Garry's Mod," "Illarion" and "Escape from Monkey Island" games, as well as a list of others.
McAfee also said this week that the Lua worms appear to be targeting each other, and were written to find and target other Lua worms.

Dave Marcus, security research and communications manager for McAfee Avert Labs, said today that the malware activity is unique because the worms are targeting each other, aiming to directly compromise user account information and are written in Lua.
-- McAfee: Lua worms target gamers, each other

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Oh, I can afford heroin

Admist all this Microsoft training video hooplah:

In other news, Ricky Gervais is starring as a drug dealer in a new video game based on the film 'Scarface'.

The funnyman has also lent his voice to the violent game, and will be heard turning the air blue with a string of swear words in the game version of the 1983 Al Pacino film about Cuban drugs baron Tony Montana.
-- Gervais fails to see the funny side over Microsoft training videos


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Sony Stock Downgraded

Kaz Hirai, head of Sony Computer Entertainment's (SCEI) U.S. unit, said in an interview last week that the company plans to ship 2 million of the consoles in the current calendar year. That's just half of the 4 million consoles the company originally planned to ship. But SCEI said Thursday that Hirai misspoke and that the company's original plan remains in place.

It calls for 2 million consoles to be ready at launch, a further 2 million to ship before the end of the year, and an additional 2 million to ship in the January to March quarter of 2007. The PlayStation 3 is due to be launched in Japan on November 11, and in North America, Europe and Australasia on November 17.

A day earlier, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities downgraded Sony stock from a "2" to a "3" on its rating scale, citing expected low shipments of the console.
-- PS3 fears mount as Sony stock downgraded on Hirai gaffe - Digital World Tokyo

Nice one, Kaz.

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Pong Dress

White LED's shine through the black front of the dress. At hip level, two retro-game consoles are offered to players to play Mini-Pong on a 5x7 LED screen worked into the dress. Two pixels move up and down as rackets to the left and right along the waist. With every achieved point, the green score display blinks at chest level.
-- The Pong Dress

Apparently part of the Pong exhibit in Leipzig.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why Standard Def Users Should Avoid The 360

That image was liberally lifted from Joystiq, which reports that Capcom tells SDTV users to suck it if they're concerned about not reading text on the screen while playing Dead Rising for the 360.

Here's the thing. Microsoft can obviously make requirements for the development of 360 games ... but the default developer resolution is 720p. So any developer who makes a Dead Rising style error is under no obligation to fix it. SDTV owners should avoid the 360 for the simple reason that it isn't designed for SDTV. It's an HDTV friendly device.

I've got no idea if Sony will have any different policy - but I'd actually doubt it. Their high price tag is clearly aimed at the technocentric early adopter who probably is considering a second HDTV unit by now. Nintendo will be SDTV friendly and let HDTV owners deal just like they already do with most broadcasts out there.

Of course, this kinda collides with the whole XNA hobbyist thing. Basically, the 360 could make for a great amatuer dev social outlet ... provided that dev is pimped out HD style. Which, according to some, will only be about 1 in 4 households by the end of 2006.

Thanks goes to These Damned Machines with this insightful rant on what does and doesn't drive gamers crazy which lead me to actually read that article.

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Battlestar Podcasts As Episode Commentary

I'm guessing this might be one of those things that everyone knew about it before I did ... but in case you were in the dark as well and a Battlestar Galactica fan:

With the Battlestar Galactica podcast, you can listen to exclusive commentary by executive producer Ronald D. Moore about each episode, while you're watching it.
-- SCIFI.COM | Battlestar Galactica

Works simply enough - download the podcast and then start when it says "The Cylons Were Created By Man". Commentary will then be synced to the program. They even have ones that beep with commercial breaks. Sweet!

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Idol Master Review

insert credit is featuring this great review of Idol Master, a Japanese game of managing a pop star, which is almost hauntingly personal:

An Audition takes up most of the day. This is where your Image balance gets tested; the merciless ice bitches running the audition are merciless ice bitches, and they're not going to be swayed easily by the campy visual aesthetics of a set of bunny ears. Your idol goes out there and sings her song and does her thing, and you have the opportunity to bring up the Image categories in the meantime by tapping buttons. There are only the barest wisps of timing strategy here; it pretty much comes down to how much training you've put in.

Except, of course, when it doesn't. A good relationship with your idol can put you over the top; you can spend the good Memories you earn in the Communication phase of the game to start a brief slot-machine timing exercise, which can give you a nudge over your competition.

If you get called at the end of the Audition, it's off to the TV studio. Your idol is ecstatic; the fans pour in, the rank goes up, and you've done it all together. You mark the moment with a brand-new picture for your Idol Card.

If you don't get called . . . she's crushed.

You don't get to bomb too many auditions.
-- | insert credit | review | the idol m@ster |

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Stargate SG1 Cancelled

SCI FI Channel confirmed that it will not renew its record-breaking original series Stargate SG-1 for another season, but will pick up its spinoff series Stargate Atlantis for a fourth year. SG-1 aired its 200th episode on Aug. 18, and the SF series is the longest-running SF show on American television.

SCI FI issued the following statement on Aug. 21: "SCI FI Channel is proud to be the network that brought Stargate SG-1 to its record-breaking 10th season. Ten seasons and 215 episodes is an astounding, Guinness World Record-setting accomplishment. Stargate is a worldwide phenomenon. Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, SCI FI believes that the time is right to make this season their last on the channel. SCI FI is honored to have been part of the Stargate legacy for five years, and we look forward to continuing to explore the Stargate universe with our partners at MGM through a new season of Stargate Atlantis."
-- SCI FI Wire | The News Service of the SCI FI Channel

Honestly, it makes sense. The show was starting to get that "how can we threaten Earth again" kind of repetition. The characters have gone on so long they've bordered (if not collapsed upon) retcon. Atlantis is at least a galaxy away and might make for some new avenues (although I don't know how I feel about these "new" replicators ... again ... retcon).

The 200th episode was absolutely brilliant though and showcased much of the drama and comedy that's made the show great over the years. Thankfully we do get SciFi Channel at the new place, we'll just have to figure out how to record the shows.

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Serious Kubricks

From doc18's photostream.

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Oh Veronica

We just made our way through the first four episodes of Veronica Mars. I'm quite glad to find out that the show has it's third season since we have this tendency to find shows we really like that barely last through one season (many of them BBC shows, oddly: Green Wing, Strange, etc.).

The show is downright brilliant. The acting is very good and the writing is excellent. Every character feels distinct and in-depth. The plots are not only intelligent but surprisingly mature. When the main character is the school pariah in part because her dad accused her best friend's father of her best friend's death - ruining her relationship with her boyfriend (best friend's brother) - and she got a reputation for being loose after being rufeed at a party ... it's the kind of thing that could be cherry flavor Aaron Spelling'd 90210 (with the mandatory directing of every character perfectly in frame) or it could be somewhat dark and twisted.

And Mars is definately not 90210. Which, actually, is one thing they could have done a better job of advertising when the show premeired. Kid detective on LA beaches sounded wildly corny to me at the time. The show really defies that expectation by remaining edgy and at times a bit harsh. It lets all of the grit come into every scene.

So, thanks to all who recommended it. It fits somewhere above early Buffy and below Sports Night in terms of favorites for writing.

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Violence, Fire, Games

ON stage, an alien chef and a humanoid ready themselves for a battle for supremacy.

But first, they need the secret ingredient that will be announced by a three-eyed green lady. Who will win will be based on how long it takes them to complete a menu and how it tastes.

In Faust Mesias' intergalactic world, the alien cook accidentally sets himself on fire and loses to the humanoid.

Though it imitates the premise of the Food Network's "Iron Chef," Mesias created Intergalactic Battle Chef in the hopes that it takes off in the mainstream gaming world, and attracts gamers who may be tired of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," which features profane language, drugs and violence.

Mesias is a student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but also attends Digital Monkey, an art program for children and adults interested in infiltrating the competitive industry and creating games that do not focus on the spillage of guts and blood.
-- Inside Bay Area - School zaps video game gore

Anyone else see the contradiction here? I'm not sure where replacing profane language with self-immolation is really moving the bar all that much. One could say I'm being pedantic about the definition of violence, but it wouldn't be the first time someone has looked at most games as violent. The real question to me is - why are we so ashamed of something which apparently comes so naturally? I mean, when assigned a task to try and make a non-violent game ... a student starts blazing aliens.

So most games are, in some way, violent. Most sports are, typically, brutal. How narrowly should we focus on violence as actually worrisome? When I was looking at retro games to possibly emulate for the iTunes project, I noted that most of them involved attacking or shooting at something. Even simple "flight" games usually involve smashing into the ground at some point.

Should we even bother to try? At the heart of both stories and sport is conflict - the art of the challenge. The chances of survival. The odds stacked up against the protaganist. You can try and twist it into different forms - but it's still there. We can accept the wide spectrum for what it is ... determine what parts are acceptable for what demographics and what aren't ... and move on.

I'm sure in the long run ... the alien chef survives just fine.

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27 Playable PS3 Games At TGS

Sony Corp. (6758.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) said onWednesday it would offer 27 playable games for its PlayStation 3 at the Tokyo Game Show next month, a sign of progress in criticalsoftware development ahead of the November launch of the latest version of its blockbuster game console.

Sony, which competes with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Nintendo Co. Ltd (7974.OS: Quote, NEWS, Research) in the global video game market, offered 13 playable PS3 software titles at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show in Los Angeles in May.
-- Sony to offer 27 PS3 games at Tokyo Game Show

Not really as interesting as it sounds since "playable" doesn't mean "polished" or, you know, "good". It's nice that they've got double the stock since E3 and TGS is probably wildly important to Sony (possibly more so than E3). A broad launch would help cost concerns and Blu-Ray worries, but a killer app would go a lot farther ... and so far there doesn't seem to be one emerging.

Still, the Sony news seems to be getting more positive as the launch gets closer.

Update: I think Reuters may have to doublecheck it's facts on this one. Perhaps not all 27 are PS3 titles (or not all are playable?).

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Wireless 360 PC Controller

Not as complicated as it sounds:

Lastly, Microsoft is launching a wireless Xbox 360 controller for Windows computers. This one sells for $59.95 and debuts in December. It operates at 2.4 gigahertz and so shouldn't interfere with much else in your home. It has two vibration feedback motors and an improved ergonomic design. Last year, Microsoft debuted a wired Xbox 360 controller for the PC. Who wants something like this? Jukes says that sports gamers who play on the PC and racing game fans will like it. And maybe it will be useful for those of you who want to play the upcoming Halo 2 for the PC.
-- A+E Interactive: Microsoft Launches PC Game Accessories

Or those of us who might be interested in coding for the 360, obviously. This isn't a big deal, but it's good to see interest in developing serious gamepads for PC's. I really think one of the major things Apple could do for OS X gaming is to develop a really innovative controller, a la the Wiimote, for the Mac. It doesn't have to be a Wii-clone or anything, just something unique, flexible and accessible. Tall order, sure, but I hear Apple has some pretty good designers in their house.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sidebar Comments

Just FYI - here's how I added mine (for a Blogger). Simply add this to your template:

And make "cript" into "script" (Blogger is really annoying today. First it goes belly up, not it won't let me post the same HTML it uses in it's templates??)

Only problem is that I can't seem to strip double quotes from the $BlogCommentBody$ and so that will bust the actual comment showingup. Appearance may vary based on your CSS, of course. The idea of duping out the MainPage came from somewhere else, but I don't have the inclination to dig it up right now.

Feel free to email with ?'s.

Space Invader Tattoo

This might have already made the rounds, but it's still a great tattoo. From Pythagore Anonymous' photostream.

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GarageGames Interview on Torque X

The first is that, as a hobbyist, there's quite a bit of cool factor in being able to run your games [on Xbox 360]. Right now, sure, you can get a compiler and make a game and share it with your friends over email. They can play it on their PC, but it's pretty cool to be able to run it on your 360, and invite people over to come and see it. I think that'll get a lot of people hopped up on making games. I imagine if I were in high school again, learning games and game development, and I heard this announcement, I'd be rushing home as soon as it was available to make a game and show it off to my friends.
-- Microsoft Gamefest 2006: GarageGames Interview

I've only been saying this for, like over a year now. GarageGames are a natural partner for this venture since they've made a business in trying to excite hobbyists about making games. And the thing is - it makes so much practical sense because it's a lot easier to sell your friends on trying out your game than random strangers ... but a lot harder to really get it into their hands.

If others (Nintendo, Sony) jump into this - we could see a whole new subculture emerging. A kind of socialization of hobbyist game developers, not unlike garage bands or heck ... even quilting circles. It's all the interesting things about homebrew with a lot more potential and a lot less hacking.

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EA And Epic

The company, which is the largest video game software publisher in the U.S., said late Friday it signed a licensing deal with Epic Games to adopt its Unreal 3 engine, a technology for developing a wide range of video games. It includes content creation tools, support infrastructure and technologies used to develop next-generation computer and video games.
-- Analyst Note: Electronic Arts

Epic is slowly replacing RenderWare with the Unreal Engine, and that's an extremely serious coup. Having toyed with Unreal mods - I can't say I'm terribly surprised. The engine is very powerful and modular. They've also taken a very serious look at the tools and assets management required for making games with the engine and it would seem that this package deal is helping to tip them over the edge.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

The Cats Of Marrach

A comment on Psychochild's cat game challenge resulted in this info from Chris Allen:

When we were building Castle Marrach at Skotos, we wanted to have some way for staffers to be able to wander around the castle when players were playing, without being required to interact. We've long had the ability to +possess (a staff command) items, but we also have rules against staff "snooping".

So what we did was put a random rumor into the start story (about one in 50 new players would get it) that the cats were the eyes of the Queen. We then filled the castle with a bunch of wandering cats of various types. At any point a staff could +possess one and while in the body the NPC brain would still function. This allowed a staffer to have a cat in a room with players and the cat would react normally -- most of the time, until a staffer did something that NPC cats can't do.

This resulted in a culture in Marrach were you just don't discuss private things when cats are around, NPC or not, thus staffers can't accidently "snoop" on people (plus we don't allow staffers to +possess in private rooms).
-- Psychochild’s Blog

That's just awesome. When I was an admin on a Counter-Strike server, I would often go in under an alias so that people weren't aware that an admin was logged into the game. I had hotkeys would permit my admin abilities. So if I just pressed my mouse button, I shot at you. If I CTRL-mouse button'd ... you died, end of story. And I think CTRL-X autobanned whoever I was pointing at, although I didn't use that for fear of missing...

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Area 52 Thoughts

Area 51 was a decent FPS, so it'll be interesting to see what direction Area 52 will go. We can only hope David Duchovny will make a return appearance.
-- Area 51 sequel in the works for next-gen

I've played through a bit of Area 51, before life turned to chaos and the gnashing of metal. Couple thoughts on a potential sequel:

Dear god don't get Duchovny
I can only hope Joystiq is being sarcastic there. Duchovny should be banned from all voice acting gigs after his performance on this game and XIII. If you want a dry, robotic voice devoid of emotion or inflection, a Mac can do that for free. Only the English acting on Dynasty Warriors compares to him. It's really that bad.

Beef up the squad mechanics
One thing about Area 51 - it rewards your cowardice. Because your squadmates (when present) are largely invincible, it's easy to let them take the brunt of the fighting. Occasionally almost all of the fighting. Instead of this, make the squaddies vulnerable and add in a dynamic of having to keep them alive. Yes, this is hard in the modern day game because nobody likes the possible situation of not being able to continue because they've lost all their squad - but it would make for a far better game.

And of course - online and split screen coop. Should be a given.

Improve on the whole "hybrid" idea
Spoiler alert. Beep. Beep. Beep. OK. Ready? First - if I get infected by this virus, why am I still getting attacked by all these mutants? They don't attack each other. Plus, once "cured" the hybrid powers feel more like a tack-on than anything else. If you're going to twist the player role, do it all the way. And if you're going to do augments/powers/whatever ... treat them with the same loving care you would a new weapon in the game. Think Psi-Ops or the first AvP.

Everything. The scenery, the monsters, etc. When one room feels like just another warehouse and gee ... that mutant has a gun and stuff - it just makes the ride repetitive.

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Cat Game Challenge

Something a bit different this weekend. Let's pretend you're a designer at a small game company. The word has come down: the company has been talking to a cat-themed website and they want you to come up with some brief design treatments for cat-themed games. The games should be "casual", and generally cat-positive. What kind of games would you suggest?
-- Psychochild’s Blog

My idea: Cat Friendly. Given specific parameters for a cat (size, weight, jumping ability) ... construct a path from a start point to an end point consisting only of objects/furniture available for the room. For instance, a 2D interface which shows the side view of a room - cat has to be able to get from floor to window. 3D might be more compelling, depends on the system reqs and demographic (would complicate the UI). The puzzle would be scored by the time to success. Bigger, heavier cats would require more furniture to aid them in the path (not able to jump as far, etc.). Bonus points could be given for using less furniture, shortest route, least property damage, etc.

See Corvus' ideas as well (from which I stumbled onto the challenge).

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CosPlay Can Be Lonely

Just think it's an awesome pic. From the Seattle Times article on con culture.


We Move: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The deed is done. Our address is officially changed.

The Good: We're remarkably ahead of the curve when it comes to organizing and unpacking, thanks largely to much assistance from both friends and family. We finally got a firm sheet of wood for the platform bed, which is much welcome after days of packing, hauling and unpacking.

The cats have now been rescued from the old place (which was beginning to resemble a feline flophouse) and they're so great with the new place it's completely insane. There even seems to be new peace amongst them as my cranky old white cat (arthritic with an attitude problem) crashed out with one of The Girl's cats on the oversized ottoman last night - an event unheard of at the old place.

And in general - the place is great. Much more room than we had before, great location, and nice old woodwork. Also, basic cable has like twice as many channels as the last time I had it.

The Bad: My reciever won't fit into the new media center/stand/buffet table that we got. This has at least temporarily resolved an age old debate about how much hifi equipment I get to shove into the living room (now it would be none). Thankfully the living room has amazing acoustics so it's not that bad.

Our front hall closet shelf was apparently built upon the idea that drywall can hold anything. Sadly, that's not true. After repeated attempts, we're still shelfless. A stud finder and some hefty screws might solve the issue, or we might have to get a floor standing rod.

The Ugly: When the movers pulled into the driveway (which I had tried to talk them out of doing), they hit and bent the condo gate - making it unable to reclose. Not really the first impression we were going for with our new neighbors and management. Not to mention blocking the drive for a few hours. We're waiting to hear back from the condo board to see how annoyed they are with us. Thankfully the common opinion is that it's fairly easy to fix (with the right tools) and won't require a replacement ... and the movers are insured.

Also, we think they broke one of our chairs and just neglected to tell us about it. The Girl isn't too peeved about this, so I'm OK with it (we'll get a replacement from her ma) ... but it's just icing on the cake with these guys. If anyone in Chicago was thinking of using Jay's Movers ... I would think again.

So all in all - pretty mixed weeked. It was feeling like the bad was outweighing the good until last night when it really felt like we were living there. Then it really started to seem like all the pain was worth it.

And by pain, I mean real actual pain. I ache like never before. Course, my arms are also completely ripped right now. A shame one week of coffee and donuts will return me to my bloated state.

No internet at home now and I'll probably be too sleepy to blog much this week anyway.

Dubious PS3 Dev Kit Sale

This auction is supposedly for a PS3 dev kit (digg it) which someone "snuck out of the office". Which is impressive since it's about the same dimensions as my new fridge and gleaming white. Even if that's a true story ... there's that whole "buying stolen goods" thing ... not to mention that the Dev Kit probably won't do you much good unless Sony knows who you are.

But hey, it's your money. Not here to tell you how to spend it. Just click an ad on your way out, you crazy consumer.

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