Archive for September, 2008
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
After a day in which I thought I was going to explode (in several directions, not least of which at the Matrox support group), have finally made several breakthroughs on the TV contract work and it looks like we’ll make the Sunday deadline. Touch wood of course…
Obviously very much looking forward to working on Synapse again. A load of stuff has been brewing in my head that I want to put in.
Looks like Esteemed Colleague has been riding the Determinance wagon, and you can now pick up the game for $10. That my friends is a bargain price.
Infoquake by David Loius Edelman was one of my favorite new writer book for ages, and I’ve just ordered the sequel from Amazon. If you’re into sci-fi I wholy recomend it. Also Marrow, but you’ve probably already read that. Hamilton’s latest is out too.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
We have decided to cut the price of Determinance. The game has been out for quite a while now, and I really want to encourage new people to buy the full version. I think $10 is the perfect price for Determinance, especially now that we have some new players on the servers and things are getting going again. I really hope that this will enable some people who did not get free keys recently to buy the game and support what we’re doing.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Just wanted to let you know that I hope to have an announcement about Determinance pretty soon. It’s been good seeing new people around the place, in the chat room (irc.maxgaming.net #determinance) especially.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
I’ve recently been giving out free copies of the full version of Determinance on a few forums without any warning – here’s a list of the places I’ve been so far:
Die by the Sword
Mount & Blade
A few clever people happened to miss their “own” forum’s giveaway but tracked me down elsewhere – this is legitimate.
The point of this behaviour is simply to get people playing the game again, and to prove to people that Determinance is still alive in some form. The guys who played today seemed to really enjoy themselves and stick around – that’s exactly what we’d like.
Almost everyone has been complimentary about this, and we have seen increased sales as a result. I may (yes, Facepunchers, may) do it again at some point in the future, but I need to sit back and look at the effects from this round first.
Sunday, September 28th, 2008
If you have a Wii and anyone else who is not a hardcore gamer EVER spends more than ten minutes in your house then you have got to get Boom Blox. I have played it a lot, with a lot of different people, and it is hands down the best party game that doesn’t have “strip” in the title. I can honestly tell you that there is absolutely no game I have ever been able to recommend as unreservedly as Boom Blox. It’s not me being silly, or a bit “out there”, or even just having a game-crush. I promise you that any guest you have over will be completely hooked within 5 minutes of play.
I’m not going to call it my Game Of The Year yet because I really, really hope that Far Cry 2 or Fallout 3 knock it out of the park. And Head Coach would get my hardcore Gotee. But please just take it from me that there is absolutely no way in hell you could regret buying it.
I was at Royal Ascot yesterday, having been invited to Thomas’ father’s private box. It was a very cool event and I’m glad I went, despite racing not really being my thing.
I think we’ll find out who the Falcons are tonight. A win over Carolina would be a big, big deal. Thomas reckons we can only get ONE in-division win this year which I think is bullshit. I think par is two and I think we have a shot at 3 (but I will admit that 3 is unlikely).
Mode 7 had a bit of a shake up last week… I’ll be talking about that in a while, but it’s too soon to now.
I’m working on the TV contract stuff today. Tight deadline but I’ve made some progress.
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Malakian posted! Go and read it below.
Beta has been delayed due to this contract I’m doing. It’s actually incredibly exciting in many way – I’ll be involved in a real live tv show, and we’re making a very cool product. I can actually give you some details on this – I’m creating a c++ library which allows Visual Basic to use the Matrox XMIO card in an easy and useful way. Look, I’m not eluding! I’m giving you details! Go look up the XMIO card and shut up.
Exciting as it is, not being able to work on Synapse is always annoying. Esteemed Colleague and I are in serious talks at the moment about how we help this situation.
I watched a fairly interesting film called The Upside Of Anger with Lizzie on monday… it’s an interesting family drama film with Kevin Costner being a drunk idiot. Awesome.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
If there isn’t, perhaps there’s another explanation as to why so regularly I have to deal with reams and reams of identical opinion. What’s particularly perturbing is how often said opinion evokes a feeling in me only akin to having copies of batman: Vengeance thrown at my eyes for 10 minutes a pop. Hello by the way. Welcome to this centuries copy of The Encounter. You may think this entry is sporadic and extremely late, but our readers from Greenland will tell you that weekly editions have (since the last internet post) been dispatched by town crier, and the feedback shows the heralds were very well received over there. They like that kind of thing. Sorry to the rest of you, but retro methods are cool, right? Of course they are! Anything retro is! Just take a walk through Camden town; you’ll see three trendy ladies shooting up bubonic plague at any time of day! Let’s do this shit.
Crivvens! The logo we all know and love! I hear your cries! Or perhaps they’re from Archa’s hot sister, whom I’ve kidnapped…Either way, I hear some cries. Anyway, Fear not, there is no heinous mistake – this is a special stormtrooper commander figurine edition of TEWDIT. It’s great to have a new friend. I’m pretty sure Ultra Magnus will get along with him. I’m just hoping the three Lego men will be welcoming. Still, I’ll work out my own friendship problems in my own time – I should tell you how we met!
It was a rocky start for me and Mr Trooper. We weren’t always friends. When we first met I was buying Lucasarts’ latest console tour de force (lol) Star Wars: the Force Unleashed. While I was paying I noticed the bag handed to me was a little bigger than usual, but for some reason didn’t think much of it until I was on the bus with my fellow university students. Then I took a look in the bag, and, before considering the reaction my peers might have, pulled the man you see before you out. Now in hindsight I know the sniggers, pointing and yells of ‘what a big twat’ must have been intense jealousy of my awesome pal, but at the time I hurried him back into my bag. I was ashamed. I didn’t want to be seen cavorting with a man a small fraction of my size! Still, fate had brought us together, so I decided to break the ice. ‘Hey stormtrooper commander figurine, have you read about this game? It’s got digital molecular matter, and the reviewers are saying the storytelling is fantastic! Well beyond anything the prequel trilogy could offer!’
It didn’t take many small beers before I realised I was hanging out with a pretty neat guy. All my preconceptions had gone out the window, a bit like when Edward Norton is in prison in American history X. The rich tapestry of my new pal’s character didn’t take long to dwarf that of the force unleashed’s protagonist. The sparse dialogue, vacant looks and one dimensionality of this guy are astounding. Stormtrooper commander did such a funny impression of him at one point, just staring forward blankly. I guess it was pretty easy for him as he’s made of plastic, but oh man, I was in FITS. We laughed together as the pseudo-deepening plot seemed to be being weaved around him by all the other characters’ acting, and desperate attempts to make out he was more important/relevant than he was. As stormtrooper put it, “it’s like imagining Noddy Holder running into the Houses of Parliament and being taken seriously in a debate on NHS funding”. Except at least with that example NHS could be seen as an acronym of ‘Noddy Holder – Slade’, making it a bit more feasible. I can’t think of a single reason why the secret apprentice is relevant beyond smashing things. We kept placing bets on which parts the protagonist actually knew what was going on in. Good times. In the latter stages you’re being constantly told you’re arranging the origins of the rebel alliance. I do not remember doing this, or watching the main character do it in cut scene form. It just happens and we’re told through other more talkative characters that apparently he has done it. It’s all his doing. Of course, the route that brought us to it was invariably through smashing people. I think I ‘spoiled’ there. I don’t deliberately set out to give any spoilers away, but I don’t care about ruining plots that I consider junk, so if you have any complaints please send them up your bum.
We were both pretty shocked that there were a bunch of noticeable back steps in AI since the Jedi knight series. These included enemies not dropping weapons when shaken about (leading to hands up surrender or frantically searching for a weapon again – great little behavioural patterns), no minor limb severing despite having a ’12′ age certificate (Jedi Knight 2 didn’t, and JK: Academy had no certificate either if I recall correctly – if I’m wrong on that, please send corrections up your bum).
I didn’t want to sour our evening by showing what a geek I was, so I didn’t mention to stormtrooper about all the reviews I’d read, but it was something that had begun to get my goat. In fact, it wouldn’t be an over estimation to say my goat had been force gripped. No matter which major review site I went to, all I’d hear was ‘GREAT storytelling, gameplay suffers from camera issues’. In reality, the story is borderline pathetic and the camera isn’t bad at all. The story reeks of being tagged on, or as it is between trilogies, jammed in, and does its utmost to remove every last scrap of dignity and enigma from Darth Vader – a goal Lucas seems to have been relentlessly pursuing since the prequels. The digital molecular matter might as well not be there either, as so few bits actually use it due to processing constraints that I probably wouldn’t have noticed this groundbreaking technology unless I’d been told that it was there.
Nevertheless, some fun was had during our time with the overblown hack and slash platformer. We threw a few baddies and goodies around and zapped a few more…I suppose we can’t complain! Though, as The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has just been released, I can’t wait to have some real innovative gaming sessions with my new pal! See you soon guys, thanks to my new friend I’m finally going to be able to make use of those really small plastic pool tables that they sell in news agents sometimes. I never knew why they made them before!
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
I know some people who cultivate a massive irrational hatred for all things Apple. If you want a genuine, actual piece of recent stupidity to point to – try this.
Sound “enhancers” are almost exclusively evil.
Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Yes, not beta yet and I’m sorry. A lot going on at Mode7 the past week and EC and I are having a big strategy meeting today. Synapse will be central.
I’m on contract work the next two weeks; writing an interface library for a hardware device. There’s a bit of a deadline on this one so it’ll be fairly intense for a while.
Friday, September 19th, 2008
When I first heard about Far Cry 2 – about 18 months ago probably – I obviously just presumed it was going to be as bad as Far Cry Predator or whatever, and ignored it.
Then, about 6 months ago, it started being featured in magazines a lot. And what they were doing sounded pretty interesting. I started having quiet excitement for it.
Now, I open PC Gamer and they’ve given it 94%. And it looks mind blowing. It properly looks like it’s doing the open world thing (the Boiling Point and Merceneries 2 kind of open world thing) properly. Gamer are talking about Oblivion and Deus Ex as it’s direct peers. That’s pretty bloody exciting. I cannot wait for October 24th.