The Animal Farm

February 28th, 2007

It’s in the Game

I’m getting an interview with Electronic Arts.

My performance in the Experimental Gameplay Competition earned me and the other top four contestants this interview. EA was especially nice and decided to extend the offer to three other people, one of which I know (and whose game was submitted to the 72HGDC, if I recall properly). Further, they’ve decided to give everyone who participated a free game.

I don’t think I need to explain how excited I am about this, but if I do: Woo woo!!!11

Also, I’m proud to announce this site has its first spammer. If you look at the posts “When is it?” and “Never Reformat. Ever.” you’ll see this friendly little fellow posting garbage comments. It’s touching.

EA.

February 22nd, 2007

The Sleeper Awakes

Let’s pretend it hasn’t been over a month.

Basically I couldn’t update over the break because we didn’t have access to the site. Then, WoW:TBC came out and my life ended. I basically rushed to 70 so I wouldn’t get left in the dust by my guild. I am now one of the only 70s and am currently waiting for people to level so we can do some endgame. In retrospect, playing for 15 hours straight on Saturday to push out that last 800k exp was a very bad idea.

Classes are going well. They aren’t as hard or as boring as last semester’s, which is a nice change of pace. I have to admit that I would like a little more challenge out of my operating systems classes, but I can’t complain to much. The project I have this semester is rather fun to work on, we are developing a bare-bones OS to illustrate how the core of any system really works. it is a nice learning experience, I just wish I could actually program more of it.

My girlfriend got a big-girl job in DC working for the DoD. I am pretty pumped about that because I wanted to work there to begin with and now it should be easier. She isn’t going for her master’s, so technically she finishes with school a year before me. That means that this May she will be moving to the DC area and starting “real life.” I still have a year of schooling before I can join here. It is gunna be kinda hard with her living even farther away, but I can’t imagine any problems arising because of it.

I don’t have much else to say currently. I will definitely post here more often when the need arises. No more 2 month hiatii( hiatuses? ) for me.

~Zach

February 20th, 2007

Heart Stream Postmortem

Here is a bit of writing I submitted to the EGC3:

<meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 2.0 (Linux)" /><meta name="AUTHOR" content="Brian Sowers" /><meta name="CREATED" content="20070220;12100900" /><meta name="CHANGEDBY" content="Brian Sowers" /><meta name="CHANGED" content="20070220;13362300" /><br /> <style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Heart Stream Postmortem</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Introduction:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">Heart Stream did not start out as Heart Stream. It started out as a game titled “Magnetoball,” and the Visual Studio project still keeps that name. The initial concept was that the player controlled a ball rolling around the world, and he could point at a wall and activate a ‘magnet’ which would draw him toward that wall, allowing him to gain some leverage (there was no jumping). If I had time, I was going to allow the player to draw in objects and throw them back out as weapons. Thus, the player would try to avoid traps and enemies in a platformer-style game.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">That idea didn’t work.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in">The major problem was that I couldn’t get the physics to <span style="font-style: normal">feel right. I hacked at the simulation a bit and had the ball rolling around and colliding appropriately, but I couldn’t get the sense that this world was going to be interesting to navigate. I looked at that ball rolling around and simply dreaded what was going to be produced. So I decided to shift gears.</span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">I wasn’t sure where to go from there, so I just started playing around with particles and masses. I intuitively derived the gravity formula (you’d be surprised how easy it is) and watched some things fly around the screen. I kept running the simulation, rearranging things and watching what happened, and then the idea for Heart Stream came to me.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">The idea had quite a few evolutions to go before arriving at the final concept. Originally it was going to be a slower puzzle game – you would place things down before the simulation began and then kick the simulation into gear. Also I was going to include a lot more things to place down, such as walls or particle modifiers.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">As development progressed, I still didn’t feel quite right. I wasn’t seeing how this would all come together, and I wasn’t sure if it would be any good. Two things changed that:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">First, I discovered the wonderful filters the Gimp has to offer. I’m a horrible artist, but I think I managed to create a pretty nice space scene by using some of those filters. A nice polished look can do wonders for how you feel about a game.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Second, I started allowing the player to simply place the gravity bodies down and manipulate particles in real-time. Simply watching the particle interactions became fun in its own right – I wasted a lot of time just starting up the simulation and playing around.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">So I simplified the concept a bit and made it more free-form while still maintaining its puzzle roots. I went on to finish up the programming and polish things up as well as I could, but I was running out of time and couldn’t make everything quite as shiny as I would have liked.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">On the very last day, I managed to get some levels together and I created a simple music track. The levels went a long way toward making me feel more confident about the game. They made the game a lot more ‘alive.’ I wish the Gimp had a music filter, though, because my electric guitar talent isn’t so hot.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">What Went Right:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">(1)The Art</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">If you look at the games I made without an artist, you notice a common trend – either the art is very bad or I use simple vector shapes. The reason for this is that my ability to draw is only marginally better than a small dog’s. I managed to cheat a bit with The Duelist by taking pictures of people, but even that didn’t look great. The inspiration to throw together a dating simulation and take pictures again was there (I nearly considered just reusing The Duelist’s images), but I stayed strong.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">This game nearly used vector art, but one night I was playing around with the Gimp and opened the Filters menu. Put some noise on a sphere and colorized it, and I actually liked what I saw. Played around with a few of the other filters, did some nifty color effects, and before I knew it I had graphics. Bless Kevin Perlin and his noise function.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">(2)The Physics</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Games involving physics aren’t the easiest to develop. My original idea was very kinematics based, and although it used a lot of simplifications (was only 2D, simple line segment collision, etc), it was still complicated enough to burn a bit of time.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">When you get into the effect that gravity has on objects in space, though, things are a whole lot simpler. I managed to derive the entire gravity equation in its entirety before Googling to check the accuracy of my simulation (I’m a little ashamed I didn’t just remember the equation, but in my defense it’s been four years since I took a physics course).</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Level design also became significantly easier since I no longer had to arrange lines and complicated geometry and work out jumping distances, etc. I could just throw some mass bodies into space and setup some particle generators and play the level, constantly tweaking positions/masses until I was satisfied with the difficulty.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">(3)Levels</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">The game is all about the puzzles and playing around with the gravity. Nothing was really ‘alive’ during most of the development, and this caused a great deal of unease right up until the last day. It wasn’t until I threw in the levels that the game clicked with me and I enjoyed it. I would encourage future developers to constantly be creating real levels so that you can get a sense of how the game is actually going to play.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">What Went Wrong:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">(1)Timeline</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">I struggled with getting out any idea at all, and once that idea was conceived I had to do a little bit of research to get it working right. And then when it didn’t work, I had to struggle with a new idea. I probably wasted a solid week going in the wrong direction.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Even after I had my idea, I still felt a little weary right up until I got the levels integrated. In retrospect, I should’ve made those sooner.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Combine that with a full school schedule, a teaching assistantship position, and doing Master’s research, and you can see my schedule could be a little hectic some nights. I probably shouldn’t have been developing the game at all, but I managed to juggle some obligations and push some things off so that I could produce something.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">(2)Sound</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">I didn’t allot myself a lot of time to do sound because I knew I wasn’t capable of producing anything brilliant (I’m just not a good musician). The quality of the sound illustrates this. I tried to keep things simple and minimalistic to at least not hurt the game, and hopefully to that end I succeeded.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Conclusions:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal">Despite how I felt throughout the entire development, I’m relatively pleased with the game. I hope you will enjoy it. Feel free to send any questions/comments to <a href="mailto:bsowers@mix.wvu.edu">bsowers@mix.wvu.edu</a>.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1552#respond" title="Comment on Heart Stream Postmortem">No Comments</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1552" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1552" dc:title="Heart Stream Postmortem" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1552" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 19th, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1551" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Heart Stream Goes Gold"> Heart Stream Goes Gold </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>I’m pleased to announce that The Animal Farm’s tenth game, <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/games/HeartStream.zip">Heart Stream</a>, has been finished. Try it out. I think you’ll like what you see, if you know what I mean.</p> <p><em>All the love has been sent into space.</em></p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1551#comments" title="Comment on Heart Stream Goes Gold">2 Comments</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1551" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1551" dc:title="Heart Stream Goes Gold" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1551" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 18th, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1550" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Momotaro"> Momotaro </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>Means “peach boy”, suckas.</p> <p>Props go out to Steph and Andrea, who danced in an adaptation of Momotaro.  They both dominated the scenes they were in.</p> <p><em>Absolutely dominated</em>.</p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1550#comments" title="Comment on Momotaro">1 Comment</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1550" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1550" dc:title="Momotaro" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1550" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 14th, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1549" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to An Open Letter to WVU"> An Open Letter to WVU </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>I’d like to post a few of WVU’s announcements:</p> <p>“<span id="story_tblset"><span class="text12" id="abmbody">The accessibility van service that shuttles WVU’s mobility-impaired students to and from class has been shut down today (Feb. 14) because of icy road conditions, a University official said. “Today, it’s a safety issue,” said Chris Gump, who coordinates accessibility services for the President’s Office for Social Justice. About 24 students use the van service; those students are being encouraged to contact their professors. The U community will be advised when the van resumes operations.”</span></span></p> <p><span id="story_tblset"><span class="text12" id="abmbody">“</span></span><span id="story_tblset"><span class="text12" id="abmbody">Adverse weather conditions today (Feb. 14) are continuing to cause possibilities of delays with PRT service and closures of platforms, according to WVU Public Safety and Transporation officials. Buses will continue to be provided, as needed, throughout the day between all stations, except for Walnut Street. We appreciate your patience.”</span></span></p> <p><span id="story_tblset"><span class="text12" id="abmbody">“</span></span><span id="story_tblset"><span class="text12" id="abmbody">As you all know, the weather has not been very cooperative for the last 24 hours or so. This morning Van Voorhis Road, the only route in and out of The District, which houses hundreds of students, was closed. The District?s own shuttles were not running this morning, and MountainLine buses were reportedly not running to The District until the sleet and traffic moderated. The PRT has been operating sporadically because of icing conditions. Moreover, WVU’s accessibility van service was shut down temporarily, stranding WVU’s mobility-impaired students at their residences.”</span></span></p> <p><span id="story_tblset"><span class="text12" id="abmbody" /></span>Now, I’m not an expert on snow-ology. I don’t hold a Ph.D. in students-not-being-able-to-make-it-to-school. It’s fair to say that I hold absolutely no distinctions when it comes to decision making aside from some well-managed school projects. But I’m going to throw this out there.</p> <p>Maybe it’s time you cancelled school, guys.</p> <p>I understand the aversion. You lose money. We lose money. Everyones time is wasted. But the fact - and I can testify to this fact after sliding on the roads - is that traveling isn’t safe and the school isn’t providing any reliable transportation. It just doesn’t make sense to keep going like this.</p> <p>So just chill out, guys.</p> <p>You like that? That was a pun.</p> <p><em>English majors think puns are trash.</em></p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1549#respond" title="Comment on An Open Letter to WVU">No Comments</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1549" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1549" dc:title="An Open Letter to WVU" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1549" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 13th, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1548" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Heart Stream"> Heart Stream </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>My entry for the latest Experimental Gameplay Competition is well underway:</p> <p><img width="484" height="380" src="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/afgallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=30&g2_serialNumber=2" /></p> <p>It’ll be finished by Monday one way or another. Though I’m considering expanding it beyond that point, since I think there might be some merit here.</p> <p><em>That joke was horrible.</em></p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1548#comments" title="Comment on Heart Stream">1 Comment</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1548" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1548" dc:title="Heart Stream" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1548" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 4th, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1547" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Experimental Gameplay Competition 2"> Experimental Gameplay Competition 2 </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>They decided to announce the next Experimental Gameplay Competition two days early. The theme is ‘attraction.’</p> <p>A less honest man would simply submit Magnetica and be done with it. Another alternative is to interpret ‘attraction’ as being some sort of love thing and modify The Duelist to be a dating sim (with DDR pad support, of course). I’m not going to do either, but the latter option could have turned out interesting.</p> <p>I don’t know what I’m going to do, and to be honest I don’t know if I’ll be able to do anything. The top five entries win an interview with EA for an internship, which is of course <em>very</em> appealing. But it’s a pretty busy time for me, juggling research and a time consuming TA position and classes which - although they haven’t hit their stride quite yet - are still challenging enough. <em>But</em> I’m also relatively confident that if I put a good bit of time into this I could produce something good enough for the top five. So I’m going to try, and hopefully I’ll have time.</p> <p>If that doesn’t pan out, I’m going to start putting resumes in for internships. I guess it’s about that time.</p> <p><em>Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?</em></p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1547#respond" title="Comment on Experimental Gameplay Competition 2">No Comments</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1547" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1547" dc:title="Experimental Gameplay Competition 2" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1547" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 4th, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1546" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to It’s a Psychobilly Freakout"> It’s a Psychobilly Freakout </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>I have shamed my house eternally.</p> <p>The local Gamestop decided to host a Guitar Hero 2 tournament. I’m fairly good at Guitar Hero, but I’m nothing special - still can’t beat Freebird or Jordan on Expert. Still, I thought my chances were pretty good.</p> <p>We were surprised when the store manager told us that the easiest song on the list was Hangar 18. Hangar 18 is doable, and it doesn’t even compare to Jordan, but it’s certainly not <em>easy</em>. From there he named Six, Psychobilly Freakout, Freebird, and Jordan as potentials (there were others that I can’t remember). You can see why I might be a little apprehensive at this point.</p> <p>Four people showed up for the tournament. This is counting me and Ricky. He and I were destined to duel first, and Psychobilly Freakout was the mandated song. Neither of us play that song particularly well, so ‘winning’ was defined by who got the luckiest. I kept up a marginal lead and managed to best him, but only slightly. A shame, since a final showdown between the two of us would have been <em>awesome</em>.</p> <p>The next time I played - the finals - Six was chosen. Six isn’t a particularly fun song to play, and again, I don’t play it well. Regardless, the final match was rather tense. He initially started with the lead for more than half the song until I came back and evened things out. In the end, though, he managed to inch away from my score and beat me. Which is utterly heartbreaking.</p> <p>I also invested a good bit of the day in Rogue Galaxy, so I feel a little more qualified to talk about it. The game isn’t horribly impressive, but it’s not bad either. The size of the environments is epic; you certainly get an ‘MMO’ feeling as you run around the big open areas. However, with the size comes a lack in variety and a huge time sink. Most of my time has been spent running from point A to the almost identical point B. There are battles in there, and at first I thought they were challenging, but once you realize the ‘trick’ they become rather easy. The trick is that the magic can easily wipe out everything on the screen, and the items to refill your magic are far less expensive than the items to revive you (which you’re likely to need at least once per battle if you take on the enemies head-to-head). So most battles get a little repetitive. The boss battles, however, can be pretty epic. The storyline is moving at a crawl and has consisted nearly entirely of sub-quests during the first eight hours of gameplay. You go to one planet simply for the purpose of renewing a license (a side-quest in itself) and you end up getting involved in two unrelated side-quests before you can finish that. I don’t know that I’ve actually encountered the actual story in any fashion yet. Further, the characters aren’t really all that amazing. Flat stereotypes for the most part, and they don’t even look cool.</p> <p>Reading over this, I’ve given the game an awfully negative impression. That’s probably fair. But I’m still entertained by it so far.</p> <p>And as it turns out, it’s 3:30 in the morning. Time for me to go to bed.</p> <p><em>I didn’t know your father was a pharmacist.</em></p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1546#comments" title="Comment on It’s a Psychobilly Freakout">3 Comments</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1546" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1546" dc:title="It’s a Psychobilly Freakout" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1546" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Print the title of the post --> <div class="center-widget-title">February 2nd, 2007</div> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="clearfix"> <h2> <a class="post-title" href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1545" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to Watchoo Want Natalie?"> Watchoo Want Natalie? </a> </h2> <!-- Print the time the article was posted --> <div class="post-author">By Brian</div> <!-- The article content --> <div class="post-content"> <p>Guitar Hero 2 tournament tomorrow! Woo woo!</p> <p>I invested a good bit of time into Rogue Galaxy tonight, and it seems like a fairly decent offering. There’s nothing revolutionary or earth-shattering (yet), but all the elements are solid. The voice-acting is excellent, the battle system is engaging, and the presentation is just plain pretty. It’s also a good deal challenging. I have no serious complaints yet.</p> <p>I’ve found myself distressed recently over how unnervingly difficult it can be to comprehend a ten page academic paper. I’ve been reading one paper on scale space in particular, and I’ve probably gone over it more than five times and still don’t fully understand everything. A good deal of that is my fault - I just don’t have the background in advanced mathematics that I really should have. Some of it is round-aboutness on the end of the paper: a good chunk of it can be broken down into three relatively simple equations, and it took me entirely too long to realize that those equations were the impetus of the entire paper. I’m getting better at this, though. There was a time when I would just sit baffled by a cutting edge paper, and now after I work through them a few times I can typically figure <em>something</em> out. A lot of them are pretty interesting.</p> <p>Of course, I probably look awfully weird as I sit in the coffee shop reading the same paper over and over again.</p> <p><em>Strutter</em>.</p> </div> <!-- post-content --> <!-- Metadata --> <div class="post-metadata"> Posted in <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?cat=1" title="View all posts in General" rel="category">General</a> <strong>|</strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1545#comments" title="Comment on Watchoo Want Natalie?">2 Comments</a> </div> <!-- Traceback autodiscovery --> <!-- <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:trackback="http://madskills.com/public/xml/rss/module/trackback/"> <rdf:Description rdf:about="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1545" dc:identifier="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?p=1545" dc:title="Watchoo Want Natalie?" trackback:ping="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/wp-trackback.php?p=1545" /> </rdf:RDF> --> </div> <!-- clearfix --> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- End of the loop --> <!-- Page Navigation --> <div class="center-widget"> <div class="bottom-page-nav"> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?m=200702&paged=2" >« Previous Entries</a> <strong> | </strong> <a href="http://www.theanimalfarmcreations.com/?m=200702&paged=2" ></a> </div> </div> <!-- center-widget --> <!-- If no post is found... --> <!-- ########################### The Loop - End ##################################### --> <div class="footer"> <!-- Please do not remove attribution to me from the bottom of your page It's the least that you can do to acknowledge my hard work. 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