How Time Flies

Thursday, May 13, 2010 | 4:18 pm
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Wow. I can’t believe it’s already been almost a month since my last post. I really didn’t mean for it to be so long. My new job has really kept me busy over the last month and a half.

I’m still learning the ropes and reading more books. I’m working on a small, practice Flash game (similar to Tetris), mostly for learning better collision detection and multi-collision detection. I’ve been procrastinating for the last week with it, though. I need to get back on track.

You’d think that making a Tetris-like game would be simple and easy… en toto, it is, it’s coming up with a, what I’ve termed, slot-collision detection scheme. i.e. How to tell when two pieces with very different shapes “notch” together. Coming up with a way to do it hasn’t been my problem, it’s deciding on which one to use and to allow me to expand up later on that’s the problem.

To any of my fellow Kansas Citians, pray for clear skies, I’m tired of this overcast. 🙂

Learning the Ropes

Friday, April 16, 2010 | 5:27 pm
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Well, for the last few weeks I've been trying to get some research done on Game Design. I picked up a few books off of Amazon (Game Engine Architecture , 3D Game Programming All in One & Game Coding Complete, Third Edition to be specific) a few weeks ago and I'm still on the first one (Game Engine Architecture) to help me get my head around the mechanics and typical design techniques of today's games.

To say the least, I've been a bad student. I haven't been doing my homework, putting off studying and just plain watching TV instead of doing what I should be doing. But no more , I say! Don't get me wrong, I haven't been lazy. I'm one of those people that, when I sit down to read a book, I get comfortable…. and subsequently fall asleep. Regardless of my interest in the book I'm reading, I go to the land of the sugarplum fairies.

I think I may have an answer for my predicament, though. I don't know if I'm going to enjoy my solution, but it has to be done. I'm going to sit on the floor. Simple, yes. Easy, not for my rear.

Granted, the first book I'm reading actually is a textbook. i.e. The book you would get if taking a class on Game Design & Architecture. So, cut me a little slack that I'm still on the first chapter. Plus, it is 864 pages long and that's not a small paperback book, either. It's a whopping 9.4" x 8.2" x 2" hardcover badass of a book. This thing could knock someone out if it fell off a second story window.

Why am I posting this, you ask? While I haven't been the most avid of posters, I may be posting less than normal… even for me. In the last year I have posted more and about more than in the past. But, there may be benefits from peaking into my den once in a while. As I explore these tomes of knowledge and try to wring every morsel of juicy goodness from them that I can, I will most assuredly be posting my experiments up here. The first ones I'll most likely leave off and allow them to whither in the dank, dark pit that they will most likely be thrown into on my machine since they will undoubtedly make me think, "What the hell was I thinking making that?" You know, kinda how Dr. Frankenstein thought when he made the Frankenstein Poodle. Nobody likes to speak of it.

So, if you share my enthusiasm for learning all that is game, check out the books I posted and, if you have any to suggest, please leave a comment.

Until next time!

Good News!

Monday, April 12, 2010 | 6:29 pm
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Well, sorry to have been away for a spell. A lot of things have changed for me recently.

First off, I got a new job for a large marketing firm locally. Started last week and it’s been pretty cool and busy. I’m enjoying it a lot and the job is a really cool one. Cool co-workers, cool environment and fast-paced work. Oh, and did mention that we are located on the tarmac of the KC Downtown Airport?! Is that not cool or what? I get to see private jets take off, local news stations’ helicopter pop in and out, oh, and not to mention the fighter jets and bombers that buss the airfield. Totally awesome.

Second, my previous employers made sure to get their money’s worth out of me before I left, a couple weeks ago. I guess that’s a good thing. ???? It was hard leaving but I’m glad I did. The place was awesome and I loved the people I worked with, but I needed to move on. So is this profession of mine.

What do I do, you may be asking. Well…. stuff like my own website. I’m a Software Engineer, with a good helping of Flash/ActionScript Developer, all accompanied by a dash of sarcastic whit.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 2:31 am
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All I have to say is "WOW"! I just finished the game after playing it intermitently for the past 4-5 days. The game was well put together and very compelling.

I loved the storyline, the cinematics and combat. I won't say that I was the best coordinated Jedi… saying that I was even a moderately good Jedi would be generous, lol!

I can honestly say that I went through the entire game without using one cheat code. That's probably a first for me with a console game.

To be completely honest, I don't think I can come up with the words to express how amazing this game was. The physics engine, the graphics engines, et al were amazing. I loved the dialogue and the cinematic feel that the game gave. I'll admit, I bought the Sith Edition. But, I don't know if there was a whole lot of difference between it and the regular. Oh well, I'm still pleased and will be watching the cinematics for grins.

Tune in for other game critiques and gossip!

Where, oh where, have all the PS3’s gone?

Saturday, February 27, 2010 | 7:02 pm
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I just spent the last hour in an futile attempt to track down a PS3. I first went to a GameStop, no luck. I then tried going to a Best Buy (that called 3 other area stores), no luck. After that, I braved The Mall and went a couple stores there, including another GameStop, again, no luck. I then went to a Target, who, unsuccessfully, tried 2 other stores, all no dice. I then called 2 Wal-Mart’s, nothing, all out.

After this disappointment, I came home. And then a lightbulb went off. “I’ll try the ever-in-stock NewEgg” … was I surprised to “Auto-Notify” beside each of the PS3 versions…

What has the world come to when a gamer can’t get his fix, I ask you? It’s inhumane! It’s unscrupulous! It’s devilish! It’s… it’s…. genius marketing. ????

There’s only been one other time that I’ve seen a shortage of game consoles, and especially of the Playstation variety. When there is one of two things coming down the pipeline. Either a new model is about to come out, i.e. PS4 or, at the least, PS3.5. Or, and the far more likely, it’s a plan to drive up hype to get even more interest in the best console out on the market today.

There has been a standing rivalry between the Playstations of old and every other console that has come out. Even when the Playstation was the new kid on the block, it was coming up against the big dogs. The original Nintendo, the Sega Genesis/Saturn/Dreamcast. The Playstation outdid them all and is still growing strong.

Even when pitted against a massive monster like Microsoft with the XBox, then the XBox360, Playstation still held its own.

So, what would make a Gaming giant like Sony pull back on manufacturing and distribution of these beloved consoles? Maybe they aren’t. Maybe Sony isn’t behind any of this. Seriously.

It would be heralded as a brilliant marketing move, but, if truth came to light that this was all a planned marketing scheme, there would be a huge backlash. The only thing that would temper such a backlash would be the release of, either, a new system or an upgraded current system. i.e. a new PS4 or a PS3.5.

Personally, I think we gamers are to blame for my current suffering. Over the holidays, a whopping 1.36 million PS3 consoles sold. Think about that for a second. That many being taken off the shelves in a relative short period of time has now caused a shortage. (And my suffering. Have I mentioned that yet?)

Sony’s communication boss, Patrick Seybold, was quoted:

We’re working very hard with our retail partners to meet consumer interest, but the demand is tremendously high for the PS3 and we expect tight inventory in the coming months…

There’s no telling how long this “tight inventory” might last, but this is one gamer that is hoping it won’t be long. One good thing to come away from this shortage is the fact that the PS3 is continuing to grow in popularity, even challenging the XBox360.

So, now that my rambling has come to an end, I must go a stare at the games that I bought earlier today in the hopes that I will be able to find that gleaming, illusive prize called a PS3.