A blog about the many neat things in life, along with the many other things that are lying around. Categories include: political things, philosophy things, design things, template things, garage things, music things, and lots and lots of other things!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Japanese Voices in Games

Naruto Purists Rejoice! - GayGamer.net:
"The official Japanese Naruto voice cast is now available via Xbox Live Marketplace as a free download (only Silver account required!). Just boot up your game, and select XboxLive Marketplace from the main menu, download the Japanese voice package, then activate it in the options and enjoy!"
I will now proceed to buy this game. Been waiting on a good fighting game for 360, and if Ubisoft is being awesome enough to give us Japanese voices, you can count me in.

Ubisoft -- you win.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Space Giraffe - NOT worse than Frogger

stinkin' thinkin':
"not seeing a lot of reason to continue even trying to make games, at this point, when a remake of Frogger, one of the worst games in the history of old arcade games, can outsell Space Giraffe that we put so much love and effort into, by more than ten to one, in one week.

OK, we get the message. All you want on that channel is remakes of old, shite arcade games and crap you vaguely remember playing on your Amiga."
I feel for Jeff here. Yes, he's ranting a bit trollishly, but I have to say I think I'd have the same reaction if I produced something amazing and got outraced by Frogger.

I haven't had nearly the time I want to sit down with Space Giraffe. The flood of ridiculously cool disc games for 360 has kept my XBLA gaming to a minimum. I haven't even tried to spiffy-looking Guitar / Dance pad update to Boom Boom Rocket. But when I did have the chance to play Space Giraffe on my friend's 1080p HD projector, and it was one of the most trippy, synasthetic experiences I've had. I was expecting to get a shooter (since I love blast-em-ups like Ikaruga and Giga Wing), but instead I found the gameplay much more nuanced, with a focus on combos and "bulling" to really rack up the scores. I don't feel like I fully understand it yet, but the depth that's there is pretty amazing for an arcade game.

Anyway, my best encouragement to Jeff (who says in his next post that he will continue to make games, just perhaps cut back on blogging about them). I hope to see more from Llamasoft on XBLA... and if it's any consolation, I haven't bought any game remakes since that awful port of Gauntlet, with infinite lives a button-push away.

Kindle Things

Books versus documents: what's wrong with so-called "e-books":
"To sum up, future e-book readers will have to offer both an expansive facing-page format and a stylus-based annotation feature before they can evolve from being mere document viewers aimed at consumers of texts and become something approximating a genuine electronic 'book' that those of us who use and re-use our books can finally adopt."

This statement is so stupid, pretentious, and insipid that I don't think I need to comment on it. It speaks for itself. How would Mr. Stokes complete the following sentence: consumers aren't buying eBook readers because... they don't display two pages at a time? Because they're not tablet PC's with a stylus?

As Jason says, I agree that there's a lot of premature hate for Kindle. But at the same time, I can say I wouldn't buy one. John Gruber outlines my problems with it well, and it boils down to DRM. Kindle will read PDF's, word documents, and picture formats... but you have to email them to your Kindle account, and each email costs $0.10 -- which adds up really damn fast if I want my collection of extraneous D&D rules on there. I just can't bring myself to buy a reader that charges to read my existing files, won't export or backup its own files, and might stop working in 5 years if no one else buys one. Especially for the cost of an iPhone. Which, by the way, CAN read my PDF's, Word documents, RTF and HTML files for free -- just in an unpleasantly small screen size for reading long documents.

I don't know if my reasons are the same as everyone else's (aside from the outsiders like Jon Stokes, whose opinion is wildly different from mine), but I think most people just don't see the advantage of an eBook reader. Only half of all Americans read AT ALL (2002 study - Yahoo news), and how many read so much that they need more than one book on hand at a time? Unless there's a more distinct advantage to eBooks than that (and concerns about eye-searing screen reading and DRM are allayed), people are probably just not going to invest in eBook readers.

I won't make a prediction about Kindle's success or failure. It would be cool to see it take off and eBook readers become a popular and competitive field. But I have my concerns about such a thing, and I won't be investing in one at this time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MFF 2007

Originally uploaded by agius.
Went to the con last weekend, for my fourth year in a row. Possibly the last, sadly - I have no idea what state I'll be in at this time next year, or whether or not I'll have the free time & cash to get to Chicago. Here's hoping!

I went to this con primarily as a gamer, hoping to play video games. I set up in a room for a little bit with Guitar Hero 3 and my projector, and we had a blast. I played more hours of Apples to Apple than I care to count. I met some totally awesome people, a few of whom I managed to remember to give my contact info. Write me, yo's!

Anyway, this last con for this year was a total blast. I had an awesome time, and hope I can make it back next year.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Android Developer Challenge

Google released their Android platform, and it looks pretty awesome. Their application stack looks equally friendly to web developers and Java-heads. I'd like to make something simple and sweet with SQLite and WebKit - couldn't be that hard. I'd like to participate in the Developer Challenge, but first I need an idea. And some free time.

Yeah, that novel-writing thing? Not happening. No way.

I'm backed up on a lot of projects right now, and as much as I want to take on some of the great work offers I've been seeing, there's just no way right now.

All the best,

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Novel-Writing Things

Once again I am doing NaNoWriMo. I have started my novel, but between a flight home to Maryland on the first, subsequent visits to the doctor's office and the hospital to deal with a nasty cold and its associated rampant asthma, and my father's wedding today (pics tomorrow! hopefully...) it's been a slower start than last year's bonanza. Hopefully I will finish again this year - maybe things will settle down a bit soon. We shall see.

Anyway, here's a clip from my first 2000 words to give you an idea:
Mr. Crowley spoke, "As I see you've no wife or children to worry you, I should think that would be alright, yes?"

That was awfully detailed knowledge about his personal life. Coming from the blank-faced ferret with his unusual smile, it was rather unnerving. "I have friends, Mr. Crowley. Quite a number of them. I also have a house, and a number of possessions within."

"Yes, yes," Mr. Crowley replied, the smile not quite leaving his face. "I suppose you have. Sign this agreement, and tell your friends you are moving, but do NOT MENTION the research factory to them," the ferret said, standing from his chair and spinning the paper with the small print about on the desk so it now faced Harvey.

I'm hoping this year's novel will be significantly better than last year's. I'm hoping that I will be able to blog more of it, and perhaps post it online somewhere when it's finished. Again, we shall see.

Back to writing!

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