The Animal Farm

June 23rd, 2009

I Cook!

I just made burgers on my own for the first time ever! For those that have lived with me, you know that this is kind of a big deal.

I may die of tragic food poisoning tomorrow, but in the meantime I’m going to enjoy this deliciousness.

Next, the world.

June 22nd, 2009

Bread Bowls

I just tried Domino’s bread bowl pasta - the Italian Sausage Marinara if you want details. I can’t really recommend them. The pasta was cooked awkwardly, and in general it was just bland. This comes as a mild surprise, since Domino’s cheese bread is heavenly.

That’s all. An entire post about my dinner. Get over it.

Fire woman you’re to blame.

June 21st, 2009

I’m Rich!

Laura left 3000 South Korean won on my coffee table before leaving for Prague. It smells like gold. I’m going on a shopping spree.

Who wants a dip in the money hat?!

I think it’s about two dollars and thirty seven cents.

June 13th, 2009

Weekend Hackery

First. to respond to Zach:

Of course, Nintendo is winning the console wars by a huge margin. But only on the quality of their marketing, not the quality of their product. I would speculate that developers themselves aren’t seeing much of that improved market - how many games other than Wii Sports do your parents own? How long do you give them before they shelve it and never look at it again? Sure, Nintendo’s making a lot of money, but not because they’ve done anything good for gaming.

If you want to see a company actually empowering good game development - and I’m putting on a fanboy hat for a second here - look to Microsoft. They focus on making the lives of developers easier, whereas Sony’s own Hirai has been quoted as saying that difficult PS3 development works in their favor. XNA was also brilliant, allowing games to be made by an entirely new audience with new ideas. Now, yea, OK, Community Games has a lot of rubbish, but there are gems in there.

And speaking of XNA…

XNA 3.1 was released with Avatar support! They didn’t release the skeleton (they said they’re working on it), but I was able to construct it using the BindPose and BoneParent information they provide.

So yea, I’m kinda the first one making custom avatar animations. *Slow clap.*

Do what you say, say what you mean, one thing leads to another.

June 12th, 2009

Sorry, Brian,

You won’t get an argument out of me.  I completely agree with you.  I don’t think motion control added anything at all for me.  I guess that’s a lie, Wii Sports was really fun and Ricky, my entire family, and I got a LOT of enjoyment out of it.  But honestly, that’s the only game I can think of where the game wouldn’t even exist without the motion controls.

I think it’s a gimmick and I wish it would go away.  I mean, I like hitting a few buttons and watching the in-game character do some really fancy combo.  I would hate the disconnect of me swinging a Wii-mote like a sword and watching the in-game character do a fancy combo.  I would also hate having to do that combo myself over and over again.  The kinds of games I enjoy don’t really lend themselves to motion control.  Navigating menus to use potions really doesn’t need motion control :-p.

I guess that’s just it though, Project Natal might be(well, is) Microsoft’s answer to the huge “non-gamer” market of people.  Nintendo and Microsoft said it themselves, they aren’t targeting you and me, they are targeting our parents.  My dad does own a Wii, one that he plays a lot, because the control-scheme is easier to get used to than a traditional controller.  The last console my parents played was Nintendo (possibly, Sega Genesis, but I’m not sure my brother and I ever let him actually play it.) and I’ve played Wii Sports with them for literally entire weekends before.  They’ve planned get togethers with their friends around the fact that I was coming home and bringing the Wii (before they got their own).

I am thinking that is a pretty big market.  And in terms of a company trying to make money, selling more units is a good thing.  I think I was in the right saying Nintendo was “winning” the console race because they sold more units.  If I were a company, I would measure my success in my revenue.  I do completely agree with you that the Three-Six, and possibly the PS3 (haven’t played it myself) is better for someone who actually likes video games as they were last generation.  But for people who want some new entertainment, I think these motion control suites, and some of the games that use them, would be a pretty enticing idea.

Zach

June 11th, 2009

F Natal

Here’s my unwarranted prediction for Natal:

It’s going to be wonderful technology. It’ll expose new avenues for the developers. It will open up possibilities gamers never dreamed of.

Of course, that’s what the pamphlet in the box is going to say. What’s really going to happen is that we’re going to be assaulted with a bunch of mini-game collections and shovelware; if the device has any actual potential, only 0.1% of games is going to expose it at best.

Zach uses the Wii as an example of new ideas being big, but his only support of the - yes, gimmicky - hardware is that it sells a lot. Not that it’s actually better. I would challenged him to think of three games where the Wiimote positively influences a game. I’ll even give him one: Trauma Center. Hell, I can count the number of really good Wii games on one hand: Smash, Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart. There are a few other solid experiences in there (Wario Land, Mad World, de Blob, Excite Truck, Chocobo’s Dungeon, Mario Party, Dokapon). And not one of them uses the Wiimote in any way that improves over a classic controller. If you want to believe a waggle motion is superior to pressing a button, you’re a fool.

I welcome innovation, but innovation does not immediately equate to quality. I don’t see a lot of opportunity for Natal, but perhaps some creative genius will show me a better way.

June 11th, 2009

I had to laugh.

From Kotaku on Project Natal:

“As for who Microsoft hopes to catch with the Natal net, Kim said, “We’re not focused on this generation’s casual gamers or even PS2 people who haven’t upgraded. This is about the 60% of households were a video game console doesn’t exist… the problem is that the controller is a barrier for some people and now with Project Natal we completely eliminate that.“[Bold for emphasis]

First off, Project Natal seems like awesome alien technology and I can’t wait to see what they can do with it.  It is effectively a real-time motion capture device that doesn’t require one to wear a black one-sy with little white ping pong balls attached to it.

But seriously though, where have we heard that the controller was the limiting factor on getting people who don’t play video games to play them?  When was it said?  Hint:  Nintendo about the Wii, 3+ years ago.  Everyone called Nintendo crazy, including Sony and Microsoft.  Now they just look like they are eating their collective hats.

Argue all you want about the Wii and DS having gimmicky hardware, they sold a ton and made a lot of people happy.

Zach

Seriously, Microsoft, that quote is 3 years too late.

June 8th, 2009

Response to Aside #2

June 19th.  Looks like that’ll be a rough Friday.  Pretty sure one of my co-workers and I are going to stake out the local Apple Store and be in line well before the place opens.  Hopefully they open earlier than their normal 10am, so I don’t have to take off too much work :).

Zach

June 8th, 2009

World,

I’d just like to point out that Brian’s email never made it to my inbox.  I checked it recently and it wasn’t there.  I checked it after reading his post and it wasn’t there.  I called him shortly after reading his post though, and all is right again.  But just know that I would never leave him (or you, Morgan) hanging when I receive an email.  Also, Morgan doesn’t read the site, so any messages to her are falling on deaf (blind?) ears(eyes?).

Aside #1:  It is absolutely freezing in my office today, I can barely type my fingers are so cold.

Aside #2:  Today is the WWDC, so hopefully the new iPhone will be announced and I can see when I am getting one.

Aside #3:  Brian Delano Sowers is coming to my place next month, I am pumped.

Zach

Poseidon, look at me now.

June 6th, 2009

Zach,

You’ve got mail. You’ve had mail for a few days now. Far be it from me to use this site as my personal communications medium, but I want the world to know your negligence.

Morgan, this is the kind of man you’re marrying. I want you to remember, when your e-mails go unanswered, that you had ample warning.

I can’t hear you. I still can’t hear you.