I'm an addict

Yeah, so I went out searching for Honeycomb Beat tonight, and couldn’t find it. Alas, it seems to be delayed or something. With it no longer even showing up in the local GameStop’s computer system (it was there yesterday!).
So what do I do? I picked up Hotel Dusk (last one on the shelf at Walmart, only 24.00!). I also got God Hand, Gunstar Super Heroes. Yeah, the discount bin got me good. Also got the DS Rumble Pack cause it was right there and I actually own a game that requires it–Super Princess Peach (got it and Yoshi Island DS for 24.00 each at Target on Sunday night, awesome sale). Also note that I picked up The Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles this week. Yeah, that’s a lot of gaming in a week, and the only thing I’ve played so far?
Paper Mario 2: The Thousand Year Door (I bought it in November of last year I think…)
Yeah, I don’t even plan on playing most of those games for months, I just got them so I would have them before they disappeared for good. I can’t excuse it, I just know I wanted Honeycomb Beat, and picking up this other stuff was the best I could do. =\ Some sort of ADD thing combined with addictive mentality? I dunno. Oh well, at least there’s some good games on the horizon.
Speaking of addictions, I finally unsubscribed from Final Fantasy XI tonight. I haven’t logged in for months, so it was pretty easy to do. Just cancelled my content ID (didn’t delete my character, in case they do something awesome that’d be worth coming back to try out) and uninstalled everything.
Of course…now I’m about to log into The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (Can they make it any longer of a name, oh right, there’s The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 2: Rise of the Witch King). I do have a plan this time, each race has a plotline, I hope to play through only the Hobbit plotline, and then unsubscribe. No 3 year + run this time…I just can’t afford to give that much of my life to a game anymore (I never was really able to in the first place…though i certainly tried).

Purchasing Decision

So at work, we just made our million dollar purchasing decision on what disk array vendor we’re going to go with. I should be rather thrilled, as it’s taken 9 months to get to this point. Instead, for some reason, I just feel depressed tonight. I think it’s due to having to tell people “no” today. Three vendors, three people I’ve gotten friendly with, three small acts that I can’t help but view as small betrayals of their time and trust. It’s just business, but sometimes business sucks.
The worst feeling of all, is that one of these people I told “no” went ahead and thought through some of the information he knew, called back about 4 hours later, and pointed out a major oversight I had made in what I was ordering from the other vendor. This oversight would have caused me a ton of grief down the line, and there wasn’t any advantage to him bringing it up. It would have benefited him if we got screwed in the long run and had to come running back to him. Instead, he just brought it up, as best I can tell, out of legitimate concern for me and my company.
Ever since that happened this afternoon, I’ve been in a little cloud of guilt over the decision process.
Maybe I’m giving him too much credit, maybe I’m taking all this too seriously, I don’t know. Still feel bad about it though.

Sacred Photoshop

Was putting up my writeup of our demo of Sacred 2 at GDC last week, when I found myself i need of some image editing. Now, since I’m on vista, I decided to try the built-in tools as Vista is supposed to be all multimedia friendly. Yeah, not so much. About all I can do is some general contrast/brightness adjustments to photos. Actually editing and cropping with magic wand tools and stuff isn’t here.
So I tried Paint.net. I have to say I’m impressed with all the cool stuff in a free program. And normally, this would be more than enough for what I need. But ultimately, the lack of good anti-aliasing on the brush tools or bevels on the layers kept it from being a winner for me.
So, this is where I would go back to Photoshop Elements. Except that Adobe said only 5.0 is Vista compatible, and I have 2.0, which is why I hadn’t installed it yet. Since I’m desperate though, I decided to give it a shot. And low and behold, installing in XP compatibility mode as an admin seems to work, and Elements is running. I half wish Adobe would have just said you can make the old versions work, but the other half wishes this would have failed. Then I would have had a good excuse to buy the latest version of Elements. 5 looks neat, though I can’t figure out a good reasoning to think that I require it.
Ah well.
In other news, Microsoft updated Dreamscene, so now I have a bubbling brook as my desktop background, it’s pretty neat, but it still takes up 20% on each core of my CPU. :X Pretty hefty requirements for a background.

SAN outage

Well, you know how I was hoping work would go quick today so I’d have time to do stuff for RPGamer? It didn’t work out. Gotta come in for 3 hours of scheduled downtime to do some maintenance. Oh well….maybe I’ll leave on time instead of just staying straight through like I usually do. That way I can get some food.
Back to pouring through documentation.

GDC Day 5

And that brings us to Friday.
The last day of the conference’s primary goal was to play any games we hadn’t tried yet, unfortunately, we got a late start. Anyway, I was able to catch the Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi’s presentation about 2D gaming vs. 3D gaming. Really good arguments on the advantages of doing spatial dependent action gaming in 2D. It all basically comes down to 2D games being done faster, costing less, and being superior for actions…..but not appealing to main stream audiences. He’s confident it’ll live on, especially in mobile markets. I was tempted to ask him about what happens when cell phones and all get to the point where they have the power to do 3D gaming too, but I figure the entire market will change by then. For now, 2D gaming lives on in the mobile world (which sucks for me, as console controllers are a lot nicer on my hands).
After getting some time to play through Hellgate London, and some Multiverse MMOs. By the way, if you want to design your own MMO games, Multiverse provides a free toolset that will get you everything you need. Some good stuff is coming from the random users on the forums, so it’s kind of exciting to see what happens with that. User generated content for the win. I’ll have a story on it up too.
I have too many stories left to do still…and I have to go back to my normal job tomorrow. Bleh, I hope I can get out on time so I have time to work on them.
Anyway, Friday night culminated with Video Games Live. Yes, I seem to be unable to avoid going to video game concerts twice. It was okay as VGL is good at changing things up. This time, the notable things were a reappearance by Mr. Koji Kondo (Super Mario/Zelda/Starfox) to play some Mario Brothers on the piano. Also, Martin Leung was there to play some insanely fast Mario, Namco, and Final Fantasy music. The dude has skills. After the concert was a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong line to get autographs by 25 various video game composers/performers of varying fame. Kondo was one of them. Firemyst and Fenrir made me leave. Rawr.
Anyway, it was a great ending to a fun week (even if we did argue a lot while we were there). Thanks Myst and Fenrir, thanks RPGamer, and thanks GDC. Now to go and actually play some games.

GDC 2007 Day 4

Thursday began the same as normal, head down to the convention center to pick up some breakfast and split up to cover a couple different things. I went down to Miyamoto’s keynote, something which was going to be more exciting when we thought it was going to have announcements like Sony’s did. Unfortunately, due to a pending stock sale, that just wasn’t going to happen.
Instead, we got a fairly entertaning demonstration of how Nintendo is attracting non-gamers. This was demonstrated via Miyamoto’s wife’s interest. Aka. the wife-o-meter. Check my photos when I get them up, I’ll make sure it’s in there. I’m sure gamespot or 1up has coverage of it up too, along with the Mario Galaxy movie.
The afternoon saw checking out Sacred 2 (I’ll have a story up tomorrow on RPGamer) and going to Eiji Aonuma’s presentation about Twilight Princess and Phantom Hourglass. He described how they aimed to attract gamers back to the series, make it accessible to casual/non-gamers, and a bunch of other aspects, and we actually do have coverage of that up here.
That evening, we chose to keep working on stories and stuff instead of going to parties, though I still got less done than I’d hoped. I don’t know why, but I have like no energy after 10PM at these events. I start falling asleep. It doesn’t make sense as I stay up really late at home. Maybe it’s the jetlag.

GDC – Day 3

So yesterday was day 3. The first day of the expo. To make a long story short, the show floor is a lot smaller than E3 was. Which has good sides and bad sides. Yeah, not as many games for us to cover (no where near as many RPGs as I’m used to dealing with), but we have a shot at actually getting everything covered which is nice.
At 10:30 we got to go to Sony’s keynote. This turned out to be more interesting than I expected. It started with a presentation of Sony’s version of Miis and their version of Xbox achievements. Fairly expected stuff. I don’t expect to spend much time using any of it. However, then they brought out the guys who did Rag Doll Kung Fu. Little Big Planet looks awesome. It’s one of those games where you can jump in and play with your friends and just have fun for a long time doing nothing in particular. Really looking forward to it.
The rest of the day was filled with playing RPGs, going to a meeting with EVE Online’s creators, and going to a session where Koji Kondo talked about strategies for making good interactive music in games. That session was rather interesting. Check gamespot for a good overview of the session.
Finally, it was dinner in Little Italy and a return to the hotel for some story writing and posting.

GDC 2007 Day Two

So after a night of gorging on chocolate in Ghiradelli square, we got up and headed downtown to Perpetual Entertainment’s headquarters to get some hands on impressions of Gods and Heroes, their upcoming MMORPG. I wrote up an article for RPGamer and you can read it if you’d like. http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q1-2007/030607c.html
Afterwards, we checked out the GDC area, picked up our press badges, and saw the four teams competing in Microsoft’s XNA challenge. Then it was back to Perpetual for a reception and opportunity to talk to the people creating the Star Trek Online MMORPG. Finally, we came back to our hotel room to post up our stories, and for some reason, that took until 1 AM, at which point we all collapsed and listened to Mikel’s snoring until we fell asleep.
Still haven’t had time to post pictures, I will get to it though. 🙂

GDC: Day 1

Welcome to San Francisco.
That’s what I’m feeling at least. I’m sitting in the lobby of the Hilton in the Financial District/China Town in San Francisco, waiting for Firemyst and Fenrir to show up and let me tell you, it feels good. I really appreciate escaping the frozen prison that Wisconsin has been lately.
Today the only hard thing on our schedules is to check in and get settled. I don’t even know if we’re planning to bother picking up our media passes today. Oh right, I’m here to go to the Game Developer’s Conference 2007 with Firemyst and Fenrir from RPGamer. There, now as I was saying, we don’t have much on the schedule as it seems nothing interesting happens until Wednesday.
That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do though. China Town is literally all around us here, so we can check that out. And we’re also very close to Fisherman’s Wharf, which people keep telling me to go to, and I never do. I hope to rectify that today.
Anyway, I’ll post more later. I have a new camera that I got recently, and I’m going to put it and the 15 minute I-C3 batteries I got for it to the test. Look forward to far too many pictures.