Mar. 19th, 2008 04:02 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
For Stacey and Jon: The 13 best electronic versions of Dungeons and Dragons
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Last night I played Sly Cooper 3 for a bit after I got home from school... Got to the second section that's set in the outback. New level=new goons. Sure, in the Sly games, all the bad guys are the same 3 or 4 basic badguys in terms of movement and abilities but they always look different.

Stacey: What's that?
Me: It's a kangaroo.
Stacey: Why is it green?
Me: It's a mutant hybrid of Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans.
Stacey: (holds head and rocks back and forth)

... Why do I find it so amusing to poke people in their mind's eye?
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
A friend posted privately about a group he's in that had a red-panic because a chinese guy wanted to join their RPG group. Some of them work for defense contractors or something and there has to be a sudden and drastic alert because of potential contact with a foreign national! OH NOES!

I swear these are the variety of people with 'security clearance' because they have to go into the offices to empty the waste baskets. Personally... I worked at NASA for several years and much of that time I was only a few yards from soviet scientists who'd worked on the russian ICBM guidance systems. Yes, ITAR had some stupid rules about 'foreign nationals' but they basically boiled down to. "Don't let them into secure areas. Don't trade files with them." but definitely not OMG COMMIES ARE INVADING MY D&D!!!! Seriously. Get a fucking clue. I've noticed an inverse proportional curve on security clearance when working at NASA. The lower your clearance is and the more useless you are, the more important you think your clearance is and the louder you are about it. Still... Seriously. I wonder what goes through these people's heads? Was it like?

I shall cut you down with my +20 Sickle of the People.

That would actually be pretty awesome. Someone should make a D20 adaption parody of the Cold War.

On the same subject, I should hunt down my old notebooks containing ASCII HERO. It was an expansion to the HERO roleplaying system that was cyberpunk set inside a PDP-10 where basically you operated as strings of code in the system, dealing with daemon processes, hostile users, glitches, virus programs, etc. Blocks of code made up rooms, data streams roads and.... Oh my god... I'm a huge flaming dork.
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Time to drag the Windows machine out of the closet! The long-awaited SEV has finally released! http://www.spaceempires5.com/

There go my evenings for the next month.
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So... Last week, I worked 30hours in a single sitting (from 9AM Thursday to 3PM Friday) After that, I slept.

The next day, I went to visit Ashy and the Atari was out but not connected. So we went out and found an RF switch and plugged it in and Hurray! It still works, even though I dropped it when moving it from the attic. The reset switch is broken off, but what's to worry about shoving a screwdriver into an electrical device between friends?

Anyhow, we played it and I got my butt kicked at just about every game except Video Pinball, though I mostly held my own at Outlaw.

It was so much fun but gawd the sound was annoying in a lot of the games.

Slowly, that's been percolating and got me thinking about audio. Audio is something I often tend to forget or at least be oblivious to. Suddenly, I wondered, 'What was the first video game with theme music?' A quick google search lead me to http://www.gamespot.com/features/6092391/p-2.html

I guess I have to step back and analyze, 'What do I consider music?" technically, the audio in Space Invaders and Asteroids is music. Not fantastic music by any means, but it is music. Of course, the real answer is 'Journey Escape', which I've never played and it's probably not entirely fair, since it's a game about the band Journey. 'SpyHunter' might be a better answer. This game definetely has music as opposed to a few bleeps played in a loop and I remember how impressive it seemed to me when I first saw it.

All this also gets me thinking about all the people I know who say or have said, "My friends and I are going to make a video game." Most have the graphical expertise and the programming skills, but I can't remember any offhand that have made plans for music. Nothing more than sound effects. Certainly, when I've built my own games, this has been a limitation of their scope. I think of the game in terms of images and sound effects and programming, but I've never really paused to consider the importance of music in making a good game, and yet, it's really an important aspect. Even for people who later turn off the music and listen to their own, their initial opinions about the game are influenced by the original score. This is important. It's what seperates a good game from a great game.

Definetely something to consider as I toy with the idea of building a couple of one-off flash games for my website redesign.

Reading this page also makes me want to get 'Seaman' and 'Kingdom Hearts' and try them out.
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I totally wasted yet another weekend. I'm so lazy. :( Saturday went well enough, I suppose. I cleaned the kitchen, went shopping, and made a huge dinner, but a fatal flaw had already been made. On Friday night, Stacey and I went to Frys and she picked up a game called, 'Harvest Moon' and said, 'I think you'd like this game, should I buy it?'. In the future, this question should get the same treatement as the 'Are you Gods?' question in GhostBusters, except the answer should be a resounding NO. I feel really really stupid having wasted two almost entirely free days playing/watching a video game.
That's right. Sunday I didn't even play the game, I just watched Stacey play it. I didn't sketch, I didn't paint, I didn't read, or anything useful, I just sat slack-jawed in front o the TV and watched her play a video game. The only thing I got done was starting the seeds for my garden and building a makeshift coldframe to put them in so that the eggplants would sprout.
Monday, it turned out, was a work holiday so I came home and began working in the yard. Sawed up all the fallen branches from the storms a couple months ago, then I turned the soil where I'm planning to put one of the larger sections of my garden. The ground seems good and rich with a lot of drainage. I think things will grow really well if it isn't too acidic.
I also set some beans to soak and later made beans and rice for dinner, but all in all only about 2 or 3 hours of work. Then (since Stacey wasn't playing) I started playign the game... And played and played and played. :/ I probably spent 12 hours playing a stupid vieo game. I could have got a LOT of work doen and got caught up on some projects. Bad enough I wasted one day, but two? *sigh* This is why I try to avoid games.
Anyhow... It's a cute game. The premise is that you're trying to save your late grandfather's farm (and the little town) from being developed next year. So... It's a game about planting things, watering things, growing things, and cooking things. ... This sounds familiar somehow... There's no combat or 'action'. You might imagine it as the game about the other characters in a Final Fantasy game... During the off season. You're the kid the hero talks to who has starry visions of having your own horse and saving your little town. Anyhow, it struck me as kind of funny that I had just done those things and then was playing a game about it. Maybe I'm just weird. :/ *sigh* But your character in the story would never waste his day playing video games. I'm rather ashamed I did. :/ Guess I'll have to work harder the rest o the week.
Anyhow, speaking of work, I have plenty to do at work and I should get back to it.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Lotsa stuff going on. Been a busy week and it's shaping up to be a busy weekend too. Got all my code done for work only to find out that the release date was going to slip to next Monday, but that's okay. It gives me more time to check and make sure everything is the way I want it. My boss is happy with my work, though I feel like I'm a little behind schedule of where I'd really like to be. I had planned to go in and work last weekend but the computers were down so I wasn't able to.

On the school front, things have turned a little frustrating. I thought we were going to do our first project individually but instead, he wants us to do it in groups of five. Worse than that, arbitrary groups of five. My group contains three people who don't care about the assignment at all, me, and a managerial-type who doesn't want to do anything inventive, just get the project done. Blah. :( Ohwell. I get to do the others with my own cast and crew and this is only a one-day assignment. I guess I'll live.

Oil painting has been a little less humbling. It's a mix of first through third year students and as our paintings have progressed, I can see that I'm actually pretty high in the class. Though the instructor frustrated me a little because he mentioned that if you only do the class work, you only get a C. To get a better grade, you have to do bigger and more work. I dunno. I don't believe quantity is quality. I think I may do a piece about that later in the semester if I can figure out how to transport it. *sigh* Also, I still feel like I'm not getting a lot of instruction on how to do things. On the whole though. This class is very relaxing and calming. Get to class, listen to classical music and just paint for several hours. So it's not all bad.

Animation is the definite YAY class! I love it! I'm learning tons and tons of stuff that I can put to instant use. I can already see big improvements in my work, and I'm at the very top of the class. ... There's that competitive ego thing again... It sorta bothers me that I think this way. It seems kinda juvenille, I guess. At the same time though, aren't I supposed to push myself to be the best I can? So confusing.

Anyhow. Just to prove there's more to my life than work and school, I can report I spent three hours at the Dentist on Thursday! :/ I had a root canal a few weeks ago 'n' the tooth still hadn't heeled. It was wobbly and I thought it was gonna fall out and it was still badly infected. It turned out though that it was just that the crown was bad and had been bad for a long time and was probably the reason I ended up getting a root canal. So my dentist cut it off and put a temporary on 'n' stuck the bitter-tasting anti-biotic strips in my gums. So now instead of yucky infected taste, I've got yucky antibiotic taste and I look like I've got food stuck in my teeth. :( But they're supposed to dissolve over the next few days 'n' I have another visit next friday to get a fitting for a new permanent crown 'n' hopefully that'll fix everything and I won't have any more trouble. Total cost on this adventure is going to be around $2500. (Xrays, more xrays, root canal,
more x-rays, antibiotics, consultation, second opinion, and new crown)
You know... The root canal didn't hurt a bit and I'd wondered what people ment when they said, 'About as much fun as having a root canal'... Now I know.

And finally, on the lighter side, my SO bought me a video game for the PlayStation 2! It's called, 'Okage: Shadow King' and it's really really really really really cute! I can't believe it was only twenty dollars! It's like a light and goofy version of Final Fantasy 7 with a good dose of Tim Burton style added to it! :) Hmm. Maybe it's a good thing I'm so set on being the best in class or I'd be off playing it right now. Anyhow. I should get back to work! Bye!!!! :)

February 2012

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