Friday, November 30, 2007

Turok

May I recomend checking out the Gamspot multiplayer preview here?


I uploaded the interview but it failed. Darn. Watch it on gamespot!

Lost Chapter of The Game

http://www.neilstrauss.com/lost.html

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Huckabee

The video would have been hilarious a year ago. Now it's just moderately humorous. There's one thing bothering me about it though, after hearing that there was actually a fist behind Chuck Norris's beard and not a chin I had to investigate. I strained my eyes strenously for several seconds at Norris's non-existant beard only to find that there was no fist at all.

There's a mini Norris.

When (Not) To Own Up

Many people, when dealing with their shortcomings or failures, like to point them out and feel like it's not so bad if they make a bigger deal about them than anyone else. Sometime's it works, but this really isn't a good habit. Honesty isn't bad, but sometimes a person can be too honest: such as Havery Smith, Creative Director of Blacksite: Area 51.

He spoke very freely about his mediocre game, saying, "This project was so f***ed up." That is definately an overboard thing to say as Creative Director. You and I could say something similar about the game, but it is irresponsible for him to speak that way about it, especially when there are others who also take credit for it. Common sense would beg to ask, why would anyone want to work with him after this? Sure, he is coming forward about flaws, but he is putting it in such a way that brutalizes the game more than it deserves. It goes without saying that doing so will have consequences for him, as well as even more consequences for the game.

On the other hand you could say that this is exactly what he and all developers should do when they don't produce a great title. I personally disagree with that, but if you're interested in the discussion and the gamespot article it may be found here

[Insert Wii Joke Here]



Oh, I know! Wii wiish you a merry christmas! How's that?
Unfortunately for Nintendo fans who have yet to get a Wii, obtaining one this holiday season is going to be a tricky task. Unless of course you're willing to use the Ebay.
Why? Because of high demand for Wii's this past summer, a time when game sales and demand generally decrease for several months. Had this been the case for the Wii, it would have accumulated over the summer to prepare Nintendo for this christmas.
So just how many Wii's are being made? 1.8 million a month. Last week saw 350,ooo Wii's sold in the U.S. alone. The demand for the Wii, unlike Xbox 360 and PS3, extends to all age groups, rather than kids and young adults.
So if you're planning on getting the kids or even the grandparents a Wii, better shop early, and even then you may be stuck using the Ebay.

For more on this visit Wired here

Robot Homing Chicken



I don't know when this chicken was implemented, could have been awhile back, but I do know one thing- WoW never ceases to amaze me.
Hate it or love it (and in my case hate it), WoW is an amazing game.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hitman Movie

Games were good. Movie isn't. It's not bad, but it's not catchy either. Overall it's boring. It also doesn't help that I'm watching it on my computer and it looks like crap.


Don't watch.

Autism


I attend a small writing class that happens to be completely filled with girls. It is very interesting to watch how they behave when guys aren't around. (They feel comfortable enough around me to forget I'm there at times.) Even more interesting to note is the Autistic girl. She is a very friendly person, but the differences are bright as day. She once jumped from her seat out of dead silence and asked, "Is it true that some people have mental problems and they think they're really young and they act really young even though they're really adults? Is that true?"
It was a depressing moment. She was speaking about herself, albeit unknowingly.
Yesterday she got up and wrote on the board the following words:
"An EKG measures your Broccoli"
She then asked if it was true what she said, and I told her no. Then she laughed heartily and said, "I'm funny aren't I!"

"You're hilarious."

She's good hearted. Today a group of non-autistic, although I won't go so far as to say "normal" ;), girls were somewhat harassing her. She started it. She started it by seeing cleavage and complaining about how cleavage is bad.
"Well don't look at it."
"I can't help it I have to look at it."
The girls got annoyed and were less than polite with her.
Then she saw asscrack.
"I see London I see France, I see someone's underpants. Pull your pants up please."
And of course this just embarassed the girl who was letting it all hang out, but once again she and the other girls were less than polite with the Autistic one.

It's a real struggle for both groups. On one hand, the autistic girl is aware she's different, although she clearly doesn't realize to what extent, and on the other everyone else is expected to surround her and make her feel normal when she makes everyone else feel out of place.
I'm not going to say that it's wrong for those without disabilities to get fed up with those who do have them, but those who aren't functioning on the same level as the majority can't help it. It's not their fault.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Amputees 'Feel' Lost Limbs After Nerve Work

Found this post on Discovery News, which can be accessed here.

It's a great article on, well, exactly what the title says. It's not phantom limb syndrome, it's progress.




Nov. 27, 2007 -- Amputees given prosthetic limbs could soon "feel" with their new hands or feet, after a team of scientists successfully rerouted two patients' key nerves.

Scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University announced late Monday they had rerouted through their chests the nerves of two patients that had transferred sensation from the hand to the brain.

After several months during which the nerves re-established themselves in the chest muscles, physical pressure, heat and cold, and electrical stimulus were applied to the areas of the nerves and the patients said they could feel the effect.

In some of the testing, the patients could even specify which area on the hand they could feel; one, a woman identified as STH, at one point pinpointed a strong feeling of the skin stretching and the joint position of her ring finger being extended.

Moreover, the patients consistently distinguished between the sensation of the chest nerves and those of the missing limbs.

The scientists suggest their success in reviving such specific sensation identified with missing limbs could lead to establishing nervous system feedback in prosthetic devices like artificial hands, arms, feet and legs.

"Our results illustrate a method for creating a portal to the sensory pathways of a lost limb," they said in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This work offers the possibility that an amputee may one day be able to feel with an artificial limb as though it was his own."

Led by Todd Kuiken, director of the Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs at Northwestern University, and director of Amputee Services at the Rehabilitation Institute, the researchers tested two volunteer patients: BSD, a 54-year old man who lost his arms at the shoulder due to electrical burns, and STH, a 24-year old woman who underwent a left upper arm amputation after a car accident.

In both they took the remaining four main nerves that had connected to the hands and transferred them to different areas of the chest, attaching them into the chest muscles.

In BSD, this took place nine months after the injury. Five months later, the report said, when touched on the chest he began registering sensations from the phantom limb.

Depending on the location and the strength of the pressure put on the chest, BSD registered feelings on the palm or backside of the missing hand.

In STH, the transfer of the nerves was made 15 months after her accident. Four months later, she was registering feelings from the lost hand and wrist from the nerves moved to her chest.

The scientists say their results did not show a full recovery of sensation in all four of the nerves, noting there may be limits to a patient's spatial perceptions and ability to handle complex sensations.

New Video

The World Record for Natural Breasts.

The biggest normal titties I've ever seen.

The videos at the top of the page, if you're here, well, I don't know how you missed it.

If Only Life Was A Video Game

In my opinion, Crackdown and the GTA series are very far fetched examples of what life would be like were it a video game. The baddies would still exist, and they would be on all the corners shooting innocents, and the goodies would travel around to all the corners fighting them. In fact, a much better example would be City of Heroes/Villains. Everyone would just pick a side and fight and die and fight and die some more. It would be ridiculous.
But maybe it would be more sensible than that. Maybe when I got a ticket today for speeding I could have erased the cops memories and driven off. If life were a game.
Would we still have funerals? Would people suddenly become 'inactive' because the soul owner (haha, I made a joke) of them suddenly stopped playing? Would we respawn at certain places? Would there even be airplanes, or could we all fly or teleport? Is rerolling how babies are made?
What if everyone looked the same, except for key figures. Imagine you and me the spitting image of eachother, while George Bush is decked out in armor and a big Ninebreaker sword.
Comical as it is, I don't think we'd be able to say life was any easier. Do you?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Practical Motion Capture Suit




Just found this from a /. link. This is by far one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Smooth, accurate, and cost effective too! I need to get me one of these...

Ninja Gaiden Teaser Trailer




I hinted at a really juicy entry, all things permitted.
Let's make an extremely long story short and just say they weren't permitted.
Today. Was. Terrible.

Bloggerwave

As I previously mentioned, most of my favorites are money related. Many of these are Pay Per Post sites. Pay per post blogging is a relatively new idea that not many people outside the blogosphere have heard of. In fact, the entire reason I made my original blog was for places like bloggerwave.People don't realize how easy it is to make money by blogging. Most of those people are like me, they hear about bloggerwave or some other pay per post site, and rush headfirst into blogging, only to be let down. Truth be told, I still can't use blogvertise because of doing that. Bad customer service at the point, but still.
The reason I mention bloggerwave is because it wont let you down. I had a link to someone's post where they had proof of payment but I can't seem to find it, so you'll have to take my word on this one. There's site like Blogvertise which won't respond to customer emails or PayPerPost which won't actually pay per post, and then there's bloggerwave, the simple and easy solution to blogging for money.

This is drawn from a hidden folder

Sunday, November 25, 2007

World of Warcraft Movie

Straight from wowthsale. Make sure to check it out firsthand please.
I'm not even sure what to make of this to be honest, although it's no secret a WoW movie is going to happen.



Warcraft movie comes into focus
We’re a ways from production yet, so…

He gets it.

Just like Blizzard.

GS: So who’s the movie expert? PS: We’re not naive enough to think that we know how to make movies.

And he said, ”Listen, I’m going over to Legendary.” And he told us a bit about that, and he says, ”You know, these are the guys that did Batman Begins, and we’re doing Superman Returns.” And he started sharing that stuff with us.

PS: Braveheart.

There are other directors out there that are also very, very capable that we would love to explore this with.

And then there’s been others where they’ve licensed it, they’ve washed their hands and they said, ”Go do it,” and the results haven’t been great.

It’s important to them, too, because they want to do it justice because those people are going to be some of the best word-of-mouth people.

GS: It sounds like you hired Legendary to make this movie! PS: You know, I would say that we sought them out.

There’s one in particular that’s probably in the lead right now, and so we’re working on a take together with them.

We’re not going to say, ”Oh, it’s all us, you guys better do what we say.” Because we we’re not movie makers.

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Not just with the fact that you’ve got to be focused when you’re playing, but we’ve really tried to build rich storylines, rich mythology, and very deep character packages.

In an interview with GameSpot News, Blizzard COO Paul Sams outlined the deal with Legendary Pictures, a Warner Bros.

And specifically, from a relationship perspective, their top guy, a guy named Thomas Tull [Legendary’s CEO], he and I just meshed like nobody’s business.

GS: Did you get much sleep on that weekend before? PS: No, I have not gotten much sleep for the last few weeks.

You wonder what’s going to happen next in their journey.

GS: So the current status of the story is what? PS: It’s in development.

No, you don’t.

Blizzard is very much involved, Chris Metzen, our vp of creative development, is intimately involved in that.

How do you make sure the Warcraft movie–well, plain and simple–doesn’t suck? Paul Sams: We’re not trying to take what we’ve done and…try to make a literal translation to the big screen.

We want them from a word-of-mouth perspective to want to bring those people.

GS: Do you know what the title of the movie will be? PS: It will have the word ”Warcraft” in it, but we haven’t determined what the title will be for sure.

It may be a side story within the universe.

In the early days, the studios were telling us, ”you know, we don’t want to do this.

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GS: Tell me, when you close your eyes and you imagine this World of Warcraft movie, who do you see playing the lead roles? PS: I’ll tell you, it’s hard for me to answer that question because we don’t know for sure yet what story we’re going to tell and what races are going to be highlighted.

I say Braveheart.

These are the guys.” I mean, we knew within minutes.

We and Legendary want to make a great film, an event picture, big-budget picture, that is a great stand-alone, fantasy-based movie that is good for you regardless of whether you’re familiar with the Warcraft universe.

So, we’re going to need to go through that with a very fine-toothed comb and make sure that we’ve got our act together from a historical perspective– from character history perspective, the locales, where these different battles might occur or…all these different things.

It’s the box-office battle and possible critical lambasting that looms on the horizon–the history of game-to-film successes isn’t exactly on World of Warcraft’s side.

John and I are actually relatively close, and he’s close with Chris as well because we’ve been out pitching together with him.

A lot of it comes down to picking the right people.

Last year at–soon after Blizzcon, John called me.

GS: And if you are familiar with the game universe? PS: If you’re familiar with the Warcraft universe, well, then hopefully you’re going to be geeked up to go see it.

GS: How long have you been looking for a production partner? PS: We’ve been searching for a good five years, and if we wanted to have made a movie before we could have.

I mean, just really, really meshed.

But believe me, when we can, we’ll be calling you.

But there haven’t been a lot of video game movies.

We know our customers better than anybody.

Chris Metzen and I, however, for the last five years, have met with every studio and practically every production company on the planet and everybody of note, trying to find the right people.

With all these different conflicts going on within the universe, there’s a huge tapestry from which to work–a lot of the other video game movies we’ve seen prior to this have not had the benefit of as much lore and mythology, and this huge visual tapestry from which to work from.

Yeah, he would kick ass at this.

So, let’s go.” And they said, ”Well, it’s too close to the Lord of the Rings.

I mean, we’re really in the development process at this point.

I mean, the more the Legendary guys immerse themselves in the material and the more and more that they get a feel for this franchise beyond what they already have, and the more and more we talk and collaborate, the more we are going to be able to zone in on who the right people are for the material.

GS: Going back to the approvals, it’s not all all the norm for the licensor to have script approval…

GS: Well, you don’t hire Woody Allen to do a Warcraft movie.

We know the history and the lore better than anybody.

Lord of the Rings.

It’s like I said to someone the other day, I said, ”You know, we feel like the creative guys there were separated at birth from our creative guys.” There’s a creative love connection that we have not had with many people outside of the walls of our office.

GS: So what type of movie are you shooting for? PS: So, Braveheart.

affiliate, which will produce the film.

So, there’s been a lot of fear.

GS: Who’s on that list? PS: I’m not at liberty to discuss it yet, so I’m not going to be able to give you names.

But it will absolutely have the word ”Warcraft” in it.

We have Chris and his creative development group that is going to be there to support that.

There’s absolutely no doubt we could have done that.

If it’s a novel, they get it.

PS: Thank you.

And John is somebody we trust intimately, and the fact that he’s at Legendary as their chief creative officer gives us an even higher level of confidence because we trust him.

Aside from the duties that I have to deal with as it relates to the World of Warcraft business, this has been my primary focus for the last few weeks, getting this deal done.

We know what story we’re going to be telling best, so we’re going to work together on how to translate that into a motion picture experience.

Characters that you care about, that you either love or you hate.

These guys [at Legendary] are not approaching it as a video game movie.

So that’s a hard question to answer.

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We really think that this is the movie that we want to make.” And then, we need to set the screenwriter out on building the screenplay.

GS: Pre-Legendary? PS: Pre-Legendary, yes.

There’s a handful of screenwriters we’ve been evaluating together with Legendary, and with Warner.

I mean, there have been so many adaptations from novels, it’s unbelievable.

We need to make sure it all meshes together.

That’s not to say that they want to tie their hands, because anybody that’s going to be putting money in like that, they also don’t want to get in a problem where every single thing they do has to be validated and approved–and make this gigantic nightmare.

So we know the Warcraft name will be in it, but what we don’t know is if it will be World of Warcraft or Warcraft and then some subtitle, or–World of Warcraft and some subtitle.

They do not want to put out a picture until it’s right.

So, it’s one of those things where they’d say, ”You know, well, there’s just not an audience for it.” So, we were like, ”That’s because it’s never been done right.” Then, Lord of the Rings came and somebody did it right, and it was like, ”See?” Then, we’d go out and we’d say, ”Okay, well, you guys all said you just needed it to be proved out.

Those are the highest levels of involvements you can have in these processes.

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And so, it’s a really cool situation, because we feel like we got somebody that we trust here.

GS: The level of input Blizzard has is what? PS: We have the ability to approve or disapprove a screenwriter, and so we’re in a situation where we’re going to be helping guide who that is and where they go, and the structure of which the deal is built.

I appreciate that.

And those that have been made haven’t done well and haven’t been good.

They really have a Blizzard mentality in that regard.

We’re still fleshing that out.

And we have to go down the road a bit and kind of flesh this out.

GS: How did you know Legendary was the group for you? PS: They really get it and, you know, I was talking to someone the other day, and I’ll say it to you–these people are like extended family members.

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They don’t want to flood their brains with a bunch of things, it’s all about focus there.

World of Warcraft has been out for how many years? PS: It’s been out since November of 2004.

On the creative side, which is the most important place, there’s an absolute love connection, with somebody that we have five years of history with already.

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So, that process is going to take some time.

We need to build out a detailed treatment or outline of what it’s going to look like.

But we’ll make sure from a continuity perspective that the timing of when it happens in the world history, the characters that are brought forth in the movie, and what have you, that it all fits and is woven into the continuity that we’ve built within the franchise–between all the video games, you know, the novels, pen-and-paper RPGs, all of those things that we’ve been doing–that they all tie together.

They love it.

A lot of that’s going to be fleshed out as a result of what the screenplay ends up looking like and what the story is.

GS: What are the core components of the World of Warcraft universe that will transition into the movie? PS: Well, I think with the Warcraft universe, and I think this is something where Blizzard kind of sets itself apart, is we’ve worked very hard historically to create immersive environments and immersive experiences.

We’ll have a lot of input and say as to what the screenplay ultimately ends up looking like.

And the Warcraft franchise originated in 1994.

And then, from a creative perspective, there’s a guy there by the name of John Jashni.

It’s the same thing, the big movies that really do well, it’s the buzz.

But if you’re not familiar with the Warcraft universe, we’re hoping you’re going to want to see it because the buzz around the movie is that it’s a great fantasy movie and a great movie experience in general.

GS: Do you guys get script approval, directory approval, cast approval? PS: We have approvals in certain areas and we have meaningful consult in other areas.

With the Legendary team on board–a team Sams reads as really ”getting it”–inking the contract with the boutique production company might be looked back on as the easy part.

GS: That’s my only advice.

If you look back at the history of video game movies, you’ve seen companies that have taken an extremely active and maybe overriding and overarching involvement–and the results have been, you know…[laughter], they haven’t been great.

It’s a big part of our whole marketing push with our games, this is all about word-of mouth, we want to make a great offering and for people to talk about it and people to want to go.

We don’t know.

And he and I looked at each other, and I could see it in his eyes, and he could see it in mine.

What we want to do is to make a great movie that happens to be set in a video game universe.

And John has been with us for these last many years working with us to try to find a movie opportunity.

That has mixed results.

And so as it relates to the development process, we need to finalize who the screenwriter is.

We wanted to find a partner to collaborate with.

GameSpot: Let’s talk about the big news this week, the movie.

So they know we know this franchise better than anybody.

GS: Very…epic.

I think the combination of approvals and meaningful consult rights that we have is going to provide the right balance where we can be involved and participating in this process enough to try to make sure that justice is being done for the franchise, that the continuity is there, that we’re telling the right story, that we’re dealing with the characters and locales correctly, and at the same time, give them and the director and the screenwriter enough leeway to be able to do what they do.

But you know, obviously Lord of the Rings is a different type of fantasy tale, so we want to make sure that there’s separation out there.

PS: Well, it’s a balancing act.

GS: Five years? So for five years you knew that this was movie material.

I think Braveheart is an epic, big, gorgeous, wonderful tale, and it’s full of conflict and intrigue and all sort of things going on and you learn to love these characters or hate others–kind of what we’ve tried to build with this universe already.

However, Sams appears intent on changing that.

So, our guy, our Hollywood guy, is their chief creative officer.

There’s a list of people we’re all evaluating, that we look at their track record and say, OK, these are people that we should explore, should talk to, we should see what their take is.

But I feel like they understood and they value our input enough to where they wanted us involved in certain things more than traditionally has been the case.

We’re feeling our way.

GS: When did you and Legendary come to your final terms? PS: Monday [of E3 week].

And we feel really good about that.

I think we’re bringing more to the table that movie makers will be able to draw from.

I think that to get a director as invested as can be, having them involved in the screenplay process is going to [help] do that because, you know, you hear about directors making changes on the set and this, that, and the other.

And we finally did.

It was as if the stars aligned.

And I think a lot of it was because people didn’t understand video games.

GS: Do you think Peter Jackson could do justice for the Warcraft Universe? PS: Absolutely.

And that being said, we each want to bring the skills that we have to the party and for us to work in those areas where we have the greatest expertise.

But do you think that you could get her to go and invest two hours with you at the movie? Well, we want to do right by them.

We’re game makers and we’re a franchise-building company.

We can’t do that.” So, then it was a different reason.

Blizzard’s fans are very, very knowledgeable of the lore.

They want a great film, just like we do; [a film] that stands by itself as a great film–that happens to be the Warcraft universe.

But we’ve been looking for the right opportunity, we didn’t want to make a video game movie, we didn’t want to go in the same formula that’s been used.

I mean, there’s people like Peter Jackson, that’s an obvious.

A lot of the other video game movies that have come out before this haven’t had the budgets, the right people, and haven’t had the right mindset.

It’s too risky.” And we said, ”Well, why is that?” They said, ”Well, fantasy movies don’t sell.” And they’d bring up movies that had come before, and it was pre-Lord of the Rings.

GS: How many on the list? PS: A handful.

GS: Will the movie’s story be drawn from what gamers already know, or will you extend on what’s been told? PS: We don’t necessarily feel like we need to tell a story that’s already been told in the universe, you know, that’s been explicitly told.

It was frustrating because it was like at every turn there was some fear that was going on in Hollywood that was preventing it from happening.

There’s a very large desire by the Legendary folks, and by us, to make a great movie, set in this universe, not a video game movie.

They only focus on a small number of products, or offerings, at the same time.

But, you know, whether we can get him or whether he’d be interested is, you know, who knows? GS: What is the timeline to the Warcraft movie arriving in theaters? PS: Well, here’s the great news.

And, you know, when we got together with them, within minutes, Chris and I looked at each other and it was, you know, Chris and I are very, very close friends, very close, and we can read each other’s looks.

Legendary and Blizzard have the same answer on when they’re going to get it done, and that’s when it’s right.

And in addition to that, we’re there as a creative backstop to make sure, from a continuity perspective for all the Warcraft people, that we do right by the franchise.

I mean, he gets it! And so, we’re geeked out of our minds because we feel like on the business side, there’s an absolute love connection.

GS: Can you tell me about the rejection stories? PS: Absolutely.

They understand this mythology better than a lot of people that work here because they just live it.

Then, you know, during that process, we’re going to need to identify a director.

I mean, he’s a busy guy, and he’s a very sought-after director, but, you know, would Peter Jackson be a great solution? Absolutely.

GS: Can you elaborate on the word of mouth? PS: As an example, if you’re a gamer, if you play World of Warcraft, you may not be able to get your girlfriend to play WOW with you because maybe she just doesn’t want to do it.

John has been a producer in Hollywood for quite some time and worked on some projects that were ones that we really enjoyed.

We think that they know how to tell stories.

Warcraft movie comes into focusBlizzard exec Paul Sams discusses the inner workings of the deal with Legendary, outlines atypical approvals.

But will Orcs play in Peoria? By Curt Feldman, GameSpot Posted May 16, 2006 2:10 pm PTSee it ?Screenshot Index ? LOS ANGELES–One of the biggest pieces of news to cross the wires last week in Los Angeles was the deal brokered by Blizzard Entertainment to bring a live-action feature film based on the Warcraft universe to the big screen.

We were saying, ”This is it.

That’s another thing that we love about these guys.

When we were out talking in the studios and out talking to the production companies, John was the guy with me and Chris.

So we joke around internally that we want to fall somewhere between Braveheart and Lord of the Rings.

Again, as I mentioned to you before, they’re approaching it as making a big epic event-type picture, big budget, that is a great film.

And, you know, while I can’t give out names right now, there’s some meaningful people that have expressed interest.

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PS: And during that process, our creative development team [will] have to be really dissecting this.

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Peter Jackson would be great.

We’ve talked to a handful of these different types of people, not Peter, but some others.

And we hope that the movie stand-alone will be a good enough fantasy journey for them to say, wow that was great, and for them to spread the word.

They know how to make the movie, we don’t.

GS: What’s the story going to be? PS: We haven’t brought forth what the story is going to be.

We spoke with Paul Sams in a Vivendi Games meeting room just off the South Hall show floor.

Most studios don’t want to give you approval on anything because they want to have complete control of the process–they’re putting all the money in, and that’s understandable.

That’s a differentiator, and a key differentiator.

All the parties need to work within that and think about it and collaborate on it and refine it and get it to where everybody goes, ”Okay, this detailed treatment really sings to us.

PS: No.

They, like us, want to have a collaboration and involvement together in the areas where we both add the most value.

What I will say is, with Legendary and with Blizzard, we both have similar thought processes, we both are very focused companies.

The three of us were out [pitching].

That's A Wrap

That's a wrap for the holidays, gamers. We've got about a month to prepare for the big one. You-Know-Who is coming to town, so you better watch out. It seems that a lot of the good titles were pushed back from the holiday season, but that's ok. There will still be plenty to get our hands on, not to mention the games we already have, Mass Effect, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Crysis, Assassin's Creed, that one mario game, and a few others. It's been an amazing year for us gamers, and we're finally taking the ship into descent.

Tomorrow I may have a juicy blog for you all, if everything goes well...

Girls and Games

Typically when "Girl" is associated with "Game" it is some hot japanese chick from something like Final Fantasy or Dead Or Alive. Every now and then you meet a special breed however, a rare type of girl who actually plays games. I'm not talking about the loopy kind who play The Little Mermaid on Gameboy and are probably half psychotic. No, I'm talking about a normal female who plays video games (although they can hardly be considered normal at that point). I met a few of these on WoW, however most of them were married to fellow gamers. They weren't every nerd gamers dream- a busty, hot chick in a school girl outfit with slim glasses who could solo your 3v3 team in WoW or Overkill you in Halo 3. I'm still not convinced these actually exist.

Jade Raymond. Does that name sound familiar? She's a key member of the Ubisoft Montreal team, and she's beautiful. She's a prime example of the Rare Breed.

Today I was browsing Gamestop with my girlfriend, and no, she doesn't not play games, she's just great company, when something caught my eye. It was shaped somewhat like an hourglass, its chest protruded oddly, and its hair was long and blonde. I didn't know what to make of it. Then it hit me. There was a female in Gamestop. What's more is she wasn't a customer, she was an employee! I was stunned. My heart lept for joy when I realized it was a woman. The gaming community doesn't just need women in games, it needs women with games! Sure, you can go to game conventions and see slim and sexy asian chicks dressed up as different characters, but to work at a gamestore you have to know what you're doing. This woman knows what she's doing.

"Thats what small step for gamers, one giant leap for gamerkind."
-Neil Armstrong




Thank you, Gamestop Woman.

The Good and Bad

As promised, Assassin's Creed and No Country For Old Men.
One Good, One Bad. Let's start with the bad.

In no way does the following contradict my previous review.
Assassin's Creed was a great game up until the end. Instead of taking the fun aspects of the game, the stealthy killing mixed with rooftop jumping, and ramping it up to match a climax, it instead matches it with dull fights with hordes of enemies. When you think you're finished, you're not. They probably wrapped the ending together for sake of time. It also leaves out key details in the ending to leave an opening for a sequel, and by key details I mean all details. It's a real cliffhanger. Serious disappointment. I knew from the grapevine it was coming, so I've just been telling myself to go ahead and beat the game and get it over with.

Aside from the ending it's a great game.

The Good.
Most movies are fairy tales. They play with our emotions and get us riled up in some way or another, but they always hand us our hearts still beating at the end of the movie. No Country For Old Men (NCFOM) is not one of these movies. It's gritty, it's real, and it'll break your heart if you can't face the truth. It's a no holds barred movie, reflective of the real world. Albeit, psycho killers with air pressure guns aren't all that common in the real world.
What's gonna get people is the ending. They're gonna be taken by suprise, and they might be a little disappointed at first. But if you look at the tone of the entire movie you'll see the ending could really be no other way. It sticks to it's path through and through.
All in all, don't expect to leave NCFOM with a warm feeling from a fairy tale, but expect to leave pleased and thinking to yourself, "That wasn't a movie, that was real."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gameplan

Tonight there are two things to accomplish: beat Assassin's Creed (no, I really haven't beaten it yet), and watch No Country For Old Men. I won't say much on AC due to obvious spoilers, but I will come home with my opinion of NCFOM, and let me tell you, after reading the first couple pages for the book, I'm sure it's gonna be one heck of a story. The guy with the air pressure weapon just looks like a psycho!

Flugpo

If you look at my favorites list, 17 out of 26 are blog related. Out of those 17, 11 are ad or money related. Yeah, I like money. A lot. It's a curse. Getting to the point, my good friend Kelly recently introduced me to Flugpo, a sort of Craigslist meets Myspace, as they described it. It's not only a nifty social networking site, but it's also a great place for free, online classified ads. Which is great for me, because the only word I like more than "money" is "free." (Or "free money!")

So check out Flugpo, sign up, try it out. If you feel a little skeptical about signing up, not that you should because it's free, you should also check out their blog here. Heck, it's as interesting as the actual Flugpo site itself!

UT3



This review is a few notches away from professional, but it provides adequate info and the ending is humorous (to me at least).

I tried the UT3 demo and wasn't satisfied. But it was probably because I did deathmatch and, like they mentioned, it was too intense and I was just a noob.










...the bots were pwning me.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sidenote: American Gangster




On a sidenote, I just watched one very thrilling retelliing of history: American Gangster. No doubt it was embellished like every other good story, American Gangster
wasn't noticeably so. Denzel Washington plays Frank Lucas, big time drug trafficker from the 1970's, and Russel Crowe plays the cop that busts him. The stories of these two individuals intertwine with eachother and are remarkably similar to yin and yang. Neither good, neither bad, and yet they are so opposite. Both struggle in their own right, only to come together at the end in a most unlikely way. The fact that the ending is 100% true skyrockets the marverlousness of it.

American Gangster is not, despite the way its ad's portray it, a shoot em up action movie. Don't get me wrong, there's tons of action, ton's of good action, and it's directed by the same fellow who did Gladiator. But American Gangster is so much more than that. It sucks you in. At the end of the movie you don't know who you're rooting for, the gangster or the cop. It's moving, but not tear jerking. It's far beyond surface level. It's a good movie.

Darkfall

Dev. Update 18 is here!

Darkfall Dev Journal: Economy, Prestige Classes & More
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer)

In today's journal, there have been a few questions on the forum lately which caught my eye which and which I'd like to address.

Economic system of Darkfall: Now this is an interesting question actually because it goes a bit deeper than economy mechanics, which is what I believe the poster meant to ask about, but I'll do both anyway.

As far as how the economy works, this is the basic overview:

Warfare is the driving force of the economy. Everything in the game revolves around wartime production. NPC Merchants sell the basic items. Everything else is crafted by the players as you already know. Crafters need ingredients to implement the formulas to create the items they want to. Monsters also drop items. As far as items go, there is wear and tear through use. There are universal banks, clan vaults with player controlled access levels, a secure trading system, and in-game trade boards. 1 Gold is the monetary unit.

Clans can own resources, such as mines and they will know who has been using them. This will allow them to moderate their use in any way they see fit. Crafters can sell their products in exchange for protection, for gold, for other items, for raw materials to craft more items with. Surplus can be hoarded, put up for sale, or sold to NPCs merchants. Apart from selling products, a service economy is also very possible. Entrepreneurs would have to take advantage of market trends in order to being successful.

Now the question asked was about an economic system which is a lot deeper and would have to do with what to make, how to make it and who gets what's made. Overall, I guess a certain traditional economic system is at work within Darkfall.
Economic systems relate to society, so with people and institutions. If we take the clans for example, each of them could implement their own economic system. They can ask their members to contribute a certain amount to the clan vault, and then decide who gets what or what it's used for, reward their members based on their efforts...something like a participatory economy etc. There are quite a few options that can be explored and the successful application of economy may make the difference in how successful a clan will be. Claus says that the game is a sandbox so you can try out a lot of things, even when it comes to the economy. Kjetil comes back with the mathematical balance of everything. These two working together well allow for endless possibilities. So asking about the economy actually has more implications than what we have decided the economy is going to work like. You have a lot of choice in how to work it.

Another question about the prestige classes again: Unfortunately it's not looking good for launch. Priorities have taken over and we would rather do them right, than half-assed just to squeeze them in.

On item IDs, meaning what you'll find out about an item you've got. You will get information about damage protections, weight, value, durability, critical hit capacity, who crafted it, who enchanted it, minimum skill to use, what enchantment is on it, a basic description and of course the name of the item.

On the topic of universal, European, and US servers: Our ideal situation is having universal servers. That's where we start at. Then come various factors to consider, starting with the publishing end. We may or may not have the same publisher in N. America, and in Europe. Then there are gameplay factors to consider like time zones. Greece and California for example have a 10 hour difference. I don't need to explain how frustrating 3am raids can be to anyone that's ever played on a PvP server. Finally while ping isn't an issue like it is in FPS games, and we've had people connecting to our UK servers from Japan without any problems, ping is still a consideration to keep in mind. So while the jury is still out on what to do, there are a couple of pretty compelling reasons to separate the servers to start. This doesn't mean that we'll ever give up on the notion of a universal server.

On character morphology and body types: It's pretty easy to implement a fully customizable character editor where you can change every conceivable aspect of your character's facial and body features. It's fun doing that. Thing is, this is a fully optimized game for massive battles and we'll go with faster loading and framerate every time. This is not to say that your characters will all look the same, far from it. We've talked about the endless variations available to make your character look unique but without sacrificing functionality.

On remapable keys: You can absolutely remap everything.

On Invisible hiding: There is no invisibility or stealth skill built into the game. You can be stealthy using actual player skill and using the right equipment and movement, and hide as to not be detected moving in.

On the related issue of having radar: The only radar is one that shows you your own party. No other radar exists in Darkfall. You can add your own map markers and customize your map, and some quest information will add map markers for you.

Finally on the question of whether or not you can play Darkfall casually, I'll say that you can, more so than with most other MMOs. If you're asking if you'll rule the game with 2 hours a week, well, you probably won't but you could carve out a niche for yourself. Everything needs a certain level of commitment at some point, and then a certain level of maintenance. I can go back to playing Counterstrike after a few years and probably take out players who have been playing every day for the past year. This is only because of my high initial commitment to the game. Thing is, if I meet the guys I used to play with that are still playing, they'd wipe the floor with me. That's how you can think of Darkfall if you're mostly a solo player. If you're talking team tactics, then that's a much more demanding discipline which would require a lot more practice to be successful.

On the question of conquest and destruction of structures, there are several stages of destruction. You can see some conquest tests in the screenshots where in one, the gate and walls are damaged.

I'd like to thank everyone for their feedback on the free business model which came up during the last update, and on behalf of the Darkfall team I'd like to wish everyone Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading

Tasos Flambouras



Original post at Warcry here

IBuyPower.Com

SUCKS!


And I mention this now, months after I bought my computer from them, because as I was rummaging through spare cd's, computer parts, and various accessories old feelings emerged. Rightfully so, too, because I spent at least a hundred extra bucks on a webcam and a GamerBridge (nifty little thing that lets me hook up consoles to my comp and record), neither of which was compatible with the Vista os they sold me. Call me dumb for not checking on compatability myself, but that's dirty marketing right there. They should have either not included it in my options, or at least forewarned me about the unuseability of the two. Not to mention, I don't think I ever got the actual installation cd for the gamerbridge.

And it doesn't even stop there...
I love games. I love pc games. I don't know didly about computers. So when I was handed a computer with so many unnattached parts and no instructions whatsoever, I was not pleased. Especially considering there was a form with some jerks signature saying the computer passed inspection, yet when I DID finally get it hooked up right it still wouldn't work. Why? Because someone screwed one of the dang video cards in completely wrong. It was very noticeable as well. How they managed this I don't know, but it doesn't suprise me after calling customer support and talking to a man who didn't speak a lick of english.

www.ibuypower.com
Don't do it.

Yippee!



Really, this is the most fun I had in portal.
It was even better than the amazing song at the end.
But that's just me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

M Games to E Kids

NIMF miffed with M-rated sales to minors
Nationwide survey conducted for National Institute on Media and Family finds teens able to buy violent games 46 percent of the time.
By Brendan Sinclair, GameSpot
Posted Nov 21, 2007 1:42 pm PT
The National Institute on Media and Family isn't releasing its annual game-industry report card until early next month, but a San Diego-based affiliate of the group has given a sneak peek at the results, a NIMF representative confirmed to GameSpot today.

As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, a two-month undercover survey found that underage teens were able to purchase games rated M for Mature at 46 percent of surveyed stores. Included in the group were 60 retailers nationwide. Games carrying the M rating are intended only for audiences 17 and older.

The stat was attributed to a representative of the East County Youth Coalition, which aided the NIMF in conducting the survey. That group wants retailers to adhere better to the ratings guidelines, create formal training procedures for employees, display information about the ratings in their stores, and to physically separate M-rated titles from the rest of its offerings.

The 46 percent figure falls more-or-less in line with a Federal Trade Commission report on violent media released in April. In that report, the FTC found that 42 percent of children aged 13-16 were able to buy games rated M for Mature, a significant improvement over the 69 percent that were able to do so in a 2003 study.

The NIMF's findings still put the game industry well ahead of most other entertainment industries when it comes to keeping violent content out of kids' hands. The FTC study found that only movie theaters did a better job of limiting minors' access to inappropriate material (39 percent of kids were able to buy tickets to R-rated films), whereas retailers sold children R-rated DVDs (or their unrated counterparts) 71 percent of the time. Vigilance in the CD aisles was even worse, given that minors were able to purchase recordings with explicit content 76 percent of the time.



Original Article Here

Too bad it wasn't the case in my Game Crazy Post

Irth Online F2P

Irth Online in the coming days will be going Free to Play!

Between November 23rd, 2007 and February 29th, 2008 If you sign
in or create a new account you will have your Account no charge
and free to play through at least February 28, 2010!

Get your friends, guilds and spread the Word, Irth is Free Free
to play! More details will be posted on our web site which is new
and content is still being added so please be patient!

The Irth Download will be coming shortly as we make the
appropriate changes to the launcher to handle the new free to
play.

Come join the community and discuss it on our forums we want to
hear from you and look forward to your input and seeing you in
game!

Irth Awaits You!


http://www.irthworlds.com/

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mass Effect

Has arrived. It comes complete many small, annoying faults.
But hey, who doesn't love a good story?

Especially one your create.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm Alive

I don't know how much time has passed between when I bought Assassin's Creed and now.

This may be due in part to some Salvia I smoked last night.
I took a little trip to the carnival, and then to the great forest.
It was the coolest place I have ever been in my entire life. Ever.

http://www.shamanic-extracts.com/

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally.

Assassin's Creed is mine. I must say, all reviews I've watched or read really underplay the majesty of AC. They chop down the fighting system, which isn't bad, it just takes some skill in the early stages. The controls are simple enough, and the story is engaging. The only thing I see that degrades the game at all, and this is being very nit picky, is the voice acting of Altair. He's lacks a sinister tone when he speaks, and it is more like sight reading than acting.

Graphics-5/5
The visuals are stunning. There are some clipping errors and glitches, but it's really not bad. Especially considering that during cutscenes, in which you still have control of Altair, you may press any button to change the perspective which alternately stops any graphical error. I've only stumbled upon one of these so far, and it was almost unnoticeable. AC also has certain highly elevated spots where you may view vast parts of the landscape, soaking in it's beauty.

Gameplay-5/5
Think Splinter Cell. Think Elder Scrolls. Think Zelda. Think, "I'm going to kill you any way I see fit, and look like a total BA in the process." The world is open, but not so open that you get completely lost or deterred from the story line. You may kill in the open with your sword, or play a true assassin and use your hidden blade. As you progress in your goals you are rewarded with weapons, which had previously been stripped from your arsenal, as well as combos and other moves.

Story-5/5
You play as Altair the skilled but cocky assassin, who makes a dire mistake in his opening scenes that costs him his life... sort of. You also play as Desmond the modern day bartender, which really amps up the story. You have been kidnapped by an organization who want his genetic memory, that is, the memory of his ancestors that is stored in his body. The particular ancestor being, clearly, Altair. Why they want it is yet to be seen.

The Bad-4/5
This game isn't without it's flaws, but they are few and far between. The AI isn't bad, but it doesn't always measure up to everything else in the game. It really doesn't dampen the gameplay or anything, but it could be a little better. Sometimes you can get a little lost in the open world between major cities, but as I said you never get deterred from the story. The map is a little tricky to use at times.

Overall-19/20
Amazing game! I'm hooked! I'm dreading beating this game, so thank god for all the tiny side quests and achievables. The graphics are very nice and at times you will find yourself perched high atop a building immersed by the scenery. The action is intense and the kills are merciless. The storyline is engaging and intersting. Assassin's Creed is all around an amazing game that everyone should play.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shippin Out...

Today will go down in gaming history. It's the one day this year bigger than my birthday ;). Crysis and Assassin's Creed shipped. So I suppose, technically, tomorrow is that big day, but what the heck. I'm too excited to save this for tomorrow. Both games got great reviews on all gaming sites, with VERY few flaws. Below is the Gamespot video review of Crysis and the GT review of Assassin's Creed.






Those graphics are just amazing. You may remember I played through the demo alone several times over. There really is so much replay value.






I had to get a second opinion for this after reading the Gamespot review. While this isn't as amazing as it seemed to be, it's still amazing nonetheless. I'm debating getting Crysis instead and waiting for the pc version of AC, but I'm sick of FPS. So I don't know. The one thing that is sure is this: both games are phenomenal games that will leave you more that satisfied.


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Monday, November 12, 2007

So Close

Assassin's Creed, again.





He shall be here wednesday. Oh wednesday.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Assassin's Creed...

Will be here within days. It's close enough to make my mouth water, what about yours? Really, who hasn't ever dreamed of being just like Altair, some hidden blade wielding assassin who gets to stalk the streets in a crisp, stylin trench coat?
I only hope I'll be able to use my right arm when it comes out. Last friday I tore my rotator cuff, which is the set of four muscles that holds your shoulder ball joint.

But hey, it could be worse, right? At least I haven't been garroted by some assassin in the shadows.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guitar Hero Tres

I'm slapping myself for letting this be the first of the franchise that I've played.


...yeah. Really.

To me it seemed like a slightly cooler version of DDR, but after a friend buying it for me last night I am hooked! I had planned on getting it just for parties, but I could barely put the guitar down long enough to type this! Guitar Hero 3 is a wicked game for solo play, and even better for you and friends. Heck, I don't even have time to give a real review... I've some to songs to rock!


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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Call of Duty 4




This is a very nice CoD 4 review. I can't wait to get my hands on it, especially for the multiplayer features.


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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Game Crazy

A friend of mine is turning 17 tomorrow and just got some birthday cash to spend. He decides that he's going to go down the street to Game Crazy and buy The Orange Box, which is rated T-M. The reason he chose to go to Game Crazy rather than buy it off Steam is because of his 20% discount card. When he brought the game to the counter the guy behind it asked for some i.d., which he presented without a word, fully expecting this one day difference to be disregarded. It wasn't. The guy flatout refused to sell it to him and told him to come back at midnight. Game Crazy isn't even open at midnight. He was a complete jerk about it. Not that it means anything, but apparently this guy was wearing a satchel and was heavily adorned in odd pins, such as one that said GANGSTA Nerd.

This wasn't Manhunt, Witcher, GTA, or anything politicians and mothers rave about. It was The Orange Box, a game that everyone should have.

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Crysis Demo: Revamped

Thanks to Utorrent and Demonoid, I got my hands on a spoiler version of the Crysis demo. I won't ruin it for you, but I will tell you there are some pretty AWESOME weapons and vehicles, as well as enemies, that are going to be in the final release. In the regular demo you are only able to try two new weapons, the Fy91 (or something like that) and the shotgun, along with frags. The vehicles are also limited as well. In the spoiler there is a multitude of weapons and offensive vehicles to wreak havoc with, and you'll need it for the creature that's out to get you...