a cesspool of interwebness

You Lucky Sonofa...

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-29 3 comments

The last one is the best!

The voice of games

Posted by pseudoRequiem On 2010-10-27 8 comments

I've agreed with Yahtzee Croshaw about many things he's said and one of the biggest ones I've noticed him being right about is big name voice acting in video games. I first noticed it in Oblivion where I loaded up the game and couldn't help but think "Tea, Earl Grey hot mother ****ers" when Patrick Stewart starting doing the opening narration. Since then there have been a few notable examples that got me a bit excited. Liam Neeson playing as your father in Fallout 3 was a big one for me as well as Nathan Fillion and some of the other Firefly cast in ODST. The problem with these examples for me has been, with the exception of ODST, the characters use has been extremely limited. Of course, both Oblivion and Fallout 3 are Bethesda games so maybe the fault is theirs. Either way, I'm happy to see that this trend is 'falling out'.

In fact, ODST can probably be used in the second part of this post as examples of games that are using the talent well. Hearing Fillion's voice, I've heard, set some people off as breaking the immersion of the game. The same has been suggested of Martin Sheen voicing "The Illusive Man". Some people suggest that they can't get into the game when they are thinking "Hey, that's Martin Sheen! So excited!". Well, personally, I never had that problem. I heard the voices, recognized them and at the same time, incorporated them into the story as if I were watching a movie with them as an actor. Not that hard people. But to move on, I'd like to say that I'm excited about the upcoming potential of Call of Duty : Black Ops in particular.

Adding professionals from the movie industry can't hurt your product. I understand that their time is likely more expensive than a lot of game companies would like, but the quality shows where they have left their mark. Black Ops is having it's script consulted on by
David Goyer and there are going to be NPCs voiced by Gary Oldman and Ed Harris. Also, as a franchise first, they are going to enrich the single player experience by giving the player character a name and a voice. And a plus for all you Avatar fans out there (and the lesser quantity of Terminator:Salvation fans) the role will be voiced by Sam Worthington.

Now if you want to play 6 degrees you can see that David Goyer knows Gary Oldman from the Batman movies starring Christain Bale who played alongside Sam Worthington in Terminator:Salvation. So the only question here is did one of the game producers cry during Armageddon or were they one of the three people in the world who knows that Ed Harris worked on the visual effects in Lost In Space another film which Gary Oldman starred (and incidentally alongside Joey from friends -Matt LeBlanc). Yay sidetrack.

Anyways, do the names and voices behind the games produce any meaning for you? I've been excited every time I was able to pick out a voice or recognize it's familiarity. It always forces me to wait until the credits scroll to figure out who that sensual female voice is that has been gently tonguing my cochlea all game. Except in gears of war 2, cause Carolyn Seymour didn't really get me going in game or afterward. Although it was cool to learn how much she has contributed to the voices in video games thus far. Anyways, I 100%ed this topic so now I need some opinions. Go forth my minions!

Words Cannot Describe....

Posted by pseudoRequiem On 3 comments

Fuck you lady! Just fuck you! Hope you get shivved day one. There is no need to explain...

OMFG: Geekgasm Part 2

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-26 5 comments

OMFG: Geekgasm Part 1

Posted by James Davie On 5 comments

A Public Service Announcement for Vegans

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-25 3 comments

Have a nice day!

Map Making 11010110101

Posted by Kyro Sk On 3 comments

I'm going to take a crack at assembling a campaign map using photoshop, and thought I might seek out some advice from those who've tried.

Found a fella named Peter with some excellent advice for how to go about it:

why YOU should switch from depressant to stimulant

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2010-10-23 0 comments

Bumped into this while researching my reply to the Kinect thread (not quite ready to post that comment yet).

Story Time

Posted by Selbonaut On 2010-10-22 4 comments

So I would like to try something a little bit different. We are all very imaginative people who read this blog, so I would like to put said imagination to the test. I would like for you to watch the below video (NSFWish) and in to comments write a story as to either the night before, or what he was thinking during the video.

Watch, and comment away.

Kinect anybody.... no not like that!

Posted by pseudoRequiem On 4 comments

I made this post on gametrailers.com in response to MilitiaMan trying to get people to buy Xbox Kinect. I thought it was worth throwing around to get an opinion or two.

MilitiaMan makes a point by saying that all launches are fairly weak due to the new tech being hard to develop for until people get the hang of it. I get that. I just can't agree with him/her that as time goes by that Kinect games will get any better.

One of my favorite things about games is that the control schemes are usually familiar from game to game. This makes them easy to pick up and play. Since the original Halo, left stick to move right stick to look has been a first person and third person staple. I personally have strong resistance to learning a new way to do the exact same things on the same console. That 'gimmick' should not sell anyone on the validity of this new peripheral. I will repeat what I've said many times already. Don't buy this for the gimmick or you'll use it as much as you do your Wii (casually I assume, so if you're a casual gamer ignore this post). Wait to see if they can actually pull off some new ideas for games or if the integration of the new 'controls', for lack of a better word, into existing game templates actually works.

Before the argument begins, I have a little homework for you. Assume all the voice and motion controls work perfectly ( and by perfectly, I mean better than any other voice system before it and much better motion capture than I've seen so far in the demos of Kinect.

1. How would you play a platformer? Actually jump every time you wanted to make a move and walk in place the rest of the time? If not this then think of what other actions could be used to do this. Keep this in mind.

2. How would you play an RTS using Kinect? How would you select a single unit or a group of individual units, pan the camera, select a unit type to build...

3. How would you play a FPS using Kinect? How would you aim your weapon or PAN THE CAMERA? (ok, if it worked perfectly, the camera would detect where a finger was pointing but....) How would you signal that you wanted to reload (would it be a different reload gesture for each type of weapon or the same one for all types), open a door, disarm a bomb, etc.... All these apply to 3rd person shooters as well.

4. How do you find the balance between the ease of pick up and play vs oversimplifying games? For example, the demos show driving games. Ok fine. That would probably be great, until your arms get tired but that's just nit picking. Now try to make a game one step up from that, like a Mario Kart style game. What do you do to throw and item forward, or backwards? Easy answer, just throwing a hand forward or backwards. Now step up one more level to a twisted metal style game. So many more controls are required that controls become too complex for people to actually want to learn unless they are hardcore gamers. So what does this mean for the platform?

I feel that this means everything Kinect is destined to be mini games and at best mario kart style games because that's the most complex controls their target audience are willing to learn to play. Yes, there will be some attempts at hardcore games and they will fail horribly like the original 'Red Steel' for Wii.

Bottom line, it doesn't make sense to argue that you should buy a Kinect because better games will come out for it later because you'll have to suffer through 4 years (Red Steel 2006 - Red Steel 2 2010) of crap before getting a sequel to a game that sucked that plays adequately. Don't buy a system that doesn't have any games you're dieing to play, it just encourages companies to make crap. Let the discourse begin...

I love you all, this is only my opinion as someone who has gamed since his thumbs developed and who's mother broke her wedding ring in half playing Dr. Mario :)

After I made my post the thread was closed by MilitiaMan....

Witness the Glory of the Ninja Biker!!

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-21 5 comments

I am not worthy...

My Kind of Politician!

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-20 2 comments

I may have to move to New York just to support this guy. I'd be this kind of politician, but with less coolness!

Tilt-Shift Your Perspective

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-18 3 comments

Coachelletta from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

If you've never witnessed the neat effect of tilt-shift photography, you're in for a treat!
Check out the above video for tilt-shift in action. Better yet, hit the HD button and go full screen.
It's so pretty! 

Some things are happening...

Posted by Selbonaut On 6 comments

and I am not sure how I feel about them. Two things happened in the world of international politics over the past week that are leaving me unsettled.

The first is the new presidency of OPEC. Iran for the first time in 36 years is the new president of OPEC. OPEC nations account for two-thirds of the world's oil reserves, and, as of April 2009, 33.3% of the world's oil production. OPEC as an organization has huge control over oil prices and production globally. As an example when Brazil was asked to join OPEC in 2008, oil prices went to an all time high because of the amount of oil that Brazil produces. This joining would have given OPEC even more control over the oil. Brazil declined the offer to join however.

Normally a nation getting that seat wouldn't be a big deal, the problem is that it is Iran. More so it is that Iran's outward hostile view of other nations, such as Israel. Now the rest of this portion is speculation, but follow me down the rabbit hole if you will. Iran is now the leader of OPEC, single handedly the most powerful oil conglomerate in the world. The US doesn't like Iran to begin with, so if Iran who too doesn't like the US decided to play dirty with the US then I can see this going badly. The US is still and ever growingly dependent on oil, they drink that shit for breakfast. There is no proof that the war in Iraq (most resent) was because of oil, but it doesn't take much to see why they went there. The US is a major backer, still, to Israel, and again Iran doesn't like Israel. Iran having the seat just makes my stomach tingle, and not in the good way. I just hope that it stays business as usual.

The second thing that happened is that for the first time EVER in the history of the UN, Canada did not get a seat on the Security Council. Canada has had a seat on it since its inception 64 years ago, but this year lost out to Portugal. There is a slew of reasons that we didn't get it, and all of them have to do with our governments foreign affairs policies and how they represent us in the global community. I am embarrassed and enraged that this has happened. This is a black mark on our governments record that I hope that they do not walk away unscathed from. How can you fuck things up that bad? We were part of the origins of the UN and now we can't even hold our seat. We are a G8 country that the world no longer looks to for help and safety. It is going to be a long road ahead to regain the faith of the world, and I think it should start with the outing of the current government. Harper has always been weak on the international front, and this is the exclamation point on that. This, I am sure, will have far reaching consequences when it comes to future diplomacy and trade.

Thank you for your time.

Inital Thoughts: Fallout New Vegas

Posted by James Davie On 2010-10-17 4 comments

If you've been thinking about possibly picking up Fallout: New Vegas... 
This one is a sure bet!!
I started playing the game Thursday night in the rare downtime I have nowadays (babies do that to you), and I'm thrilled to say that it's fantastic. So far.

I should include the caveat that if you didn't like the last game, Fallout 3, you won't like this one. But if you, like me, loved the huge open-post-apocalyptic-world of Fallout 3 then you're in for another, slightly different, dose of the same awesomeness.

This time you're in Nevada, and there's a lot more wilderness, but so far that hasn't been a bother as there are little settlements scattered all about. Haven't actually made it to Vegas yet, but I am looking forward to it! 

There's been some nice tweaks to gameplay, making the perks (many of which remain) and the VATS system a little better balanced. They've added elements that encourage you to pick up the oodles of random shit you see so that you can use it to make useful stuff (similar to the potion and magic item making skills in Oblivion, also made by Bethesda). Also added is Traits, which add both an advantage and disadvantage at the same time, and the moral decisions in the storyline aren't quite so clear cut. 

I've barely scratched the surface of this ginormous game, but first impressions are that it's exactly what I was waiting for. If you're sitting on the fence regarding this game, then consider this the first of many reccommendations you are sure to see.
Now I'm gonna go kill me some convicts and mutants. Viva Los Freaking Vegas!

Random Banner Images

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2010-10-15 4 comments

I'll get this working over the weekend.
No, really.

Even if I buy an iPh4...

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2010-10-09 5 comments

It wouldn't work in Vanscoy anyway - notice how the yellow balloon around Saskatoon doesn't _quite_ make it to where I live?

Game Photo Albums

Posted by Kyro Sk On 3 comments

Creationary Game (from LEGO)

Talisman (4th Edition from Fantasy Flight Game)

The super close-up hi-res photos of the Talisman minis make them seem a lot less impressive than they are when actually playing the game.  They beat the hell out of little grey bits of plastic at least.  I plan to squeeze in some more games this weekend.  Both video and board.  Anybody else free on either Sunday or Monday this Thanksgiving weekend?  I'm itching to roll (dice) both nights.

Who needs a Death Star

Posted by Selbonaut On 2010-10-08 4 comments

So here we have mankind again trying to meddle in shit that we just shouldn't. I present to you the National Ignition Facility in all of its glory. The idea here is they are going to take 192 really powerful lasers, and shoot all of them at a bit of hydrogen fuel ( or whatever gives them the biggest bang). The idea is that by doing so the nuclei of the atoms of the fuel inside the target capsule are made to fuse together releasing tremendous energy. Now, I am not a pessimist and am all for scientific discoveries, but I think that there is a limit on what we should be trying to stick together. Last I was taught was that fusion is what causes things like the sun.

Now, I admit that out friends over in Switzerland haven't created a black hole yet like everyone said that they would, so perhaps we won't have a small sun in our back yard too soon either.

I love innovation in science, and know that these types of experiments will lead to a better future. I am just not sure where the line is. Is there a line, who gets to decide. I do think that 3.5 BILLION DOLLARS is a bit much, granted it was over the past 13 years so really it is only 269 MILLION a year to develop a theoretical device to produce energy that may or may not be able to be tapped once it is created. I mean, really. 269 Million a year is a small price to pay for the advancement of... of... I am still having a hard time figuring out who is going to benefit from this.

I offer you no solutions to the problem of where to invest money, everyone has their hands out these days so perhaps this will pay off. Time will tell. But for now, FUCK ME 3.5 Billion...

Will Ferrell

Posted by James Davie On 4 comments

Is suddenly waaaaaay cooler in my books.

An Alternative to Castle Ravenloft?

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2010-10-03 0 comments

Mansion of Madness

In a previous post, I alluded to the fact that I was a little let down with Castle Ravenloft now that I've seen game play video. Mansion of Madness looks to have the same dynamic/changing game board as BaHotH and CR, but will have it's own separate proprietary game mechanic.

I've played a number of Fantasy Flight games over the years (the best of which are Arkham Horror and A Game of Thrones, each for totally different reasons) and I'm generally a big fan of their well thought out, thoroughly play tested game mechanics and polish.

Any game that opens up with a letter: "by the time you read this I'm probably dead..." sounds pretty neat to me. Also going for this game is a fresh take on some familiar monster tropes instead of a simplification (or straight up regurgitation) of 4th Edition monsters and character villains that I'm already familiar with.

I came across the Fantasy Flight splash page for this new game while looking up some minutia of the rules for Arkham Horror, as I'm playing a solitaire game at home this weekend. The Fantasy Flight site is very well laid out and I was able to find what I was looking for super quickly. I think Mansion of Madness could be a huge winner.

Release date is Christmas 2010. I think I know what I'll be asking Santa for!