Saturday, May 31, 2008

The cogs are beginning to turn

Heres some of my work from the past few days: A cube or two and a model or two and what happened when I tried to make two cubes.. still working on separating the resources and textures in XNA.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

fun and games

I had quite a weekend and a rousing discussion on Keen and Graev's this morning but I finally, yes I know its hard to believe, am going to get going on coding this game tomorrow. This weekend I had to replace the starter motor in my Camry with my bare hands.. they are STILL dirty :P.

And I got to meet some new people and make friends on Lotro and ran them through book 2 and GA, along with my buddy Scoops, who got a new bow out of it as well as a rousing and deadly adventure. :) The poor minstrel musta died at least 7 times cuz the tank was still learning how to tank. One time everyone died except me (cuz I'm a few levels and a few traits ahead) and I barely lived by like 15 hit points which I somehow maintained in battle for half a minute at least. Was a pretty close call. (numerically speaking) Anyways I am resolving to get my butt in gear and bring my laptop to work tomorrow since that's the only way I get things done but I couldn't today because my company is courting another company and we need to all be on our best most "normal" behavior. :)

Oh the other thing thats hard to believe, I finally went and saw forochel and its really gorgeous.. but my screen shots keep getting shrunk so just see my earlier ones. The aurora borealis is particularly nice at night, along with the mammoth caravans and the Grims (a monster made of lightning and ice and ghostiness). Also the quests all seem solo able so far which is good.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Book 14 and the Mines of Moria

Quick Lotro update here:

Highlights from the interview:
The Runekeeper is magic based and is the official dwarven loremaster
Monster players will get some type of advancement, alludes to leveling them from 50-60
Players will be getting dynamic player lighting (torches)
There are several new concept art pictures
Eregion for book 14 will go up to the Hollin gate (place where tentacled monster similar to Helchgam lives)
The Hollin gate will be opened for those who buy MoM
The encounter with the Balrog of Moria is couched by the devs as a flashback for your players near the time when it is awakened.
There are many other flashbacks to the dwarves
more character slots added in the expansion
info on buying game
and much much more...

I still want to know what a "Warden" is.. I hope it can turn into a bear...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lich King Updates Posted Yesterday

A lot of info was added yesterday about Wrath of the Lich King. A lot of it had to do with the new character class, Death Knight.

The nice thing about Death Knights: If you have a level 55 character or higher, you can create a brand new Death Knight character that starts at level 55. The only limit is you may have one Death Knight per Server. It'll be nice to have an option that doesn't start you at level 1. They can play the roles of DPS (damage dealers) or Tank (damage takers) in parties.

Wii insults little girls... The solution? MATURE!

Okay, so here's something to ponder...

"I know it is just a game but we already have to worry about young girls starving themselves to look like magazine models and now we have a game that tells them they're fat. This to me is very worrying."

Taken straight from this article:

I tend to agree to this. Why should your performance in a game be based on how much you weigh? I think game success should be based on how well you PERFORM... What you can DO, not a gross statistic that can be measured while you're standing perfectly still doing nothing.

On the other hand, I can think of a lot of games which could easily be deemed far more degrading to players... but they have ESRB for that... maybe an easy solution would be to just change the ESRB of Wii Fit to MATURE.

Problem solved.

Wii fit is out and I don't care :)

So what is supposed to be a big release has gone down with very little enthusiasm from the gaming community and here's why (IMO): Wii fit is too obviously an attempt to get you to exercise instead of just have fun. It doesn't subtly trick you into it like Wii sports. That is all.. plus the price is high for casual but I'm sure a number will buy it anyways since they are bored and have not much better to do than buy new gadgets and goof with them.

I personally will not be buying one.. until some games come out that justify it, and even then I'll be resistant, though Wii ski or a Wii snowboarding game might make me cave in eventually. I'd prefer to support a third party if possible since I am tired of Nintendo killing itself with good first party releases and bad third party support. How bout you guys, are you gonna get one?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dynamic MMO's versus Static thinking

I have been wanting to post on this subject for a while without stepping on people's toes too much.. I am not trying to offend anyone.. just trying to get people to think a little and reevaluate how they think. Heres my questions to start: When you do form opinions, how often do you reevaluate them? Do you ever change your mind? Do you feel it is wrong to do so or right to do so?

The reason I ask is because so much of opinion that I see is channeled into what people experienced instead of what is currently in existence. SWG may be a great game now.. it may have changed but many peopel continue to bash it, is this justified? (just an example, I have no idea how good it is)

Ok so put all that in any context you want but as far as MMO's go: how static do you feel MMO's should be? I think most people don't want them to never ever change. But, people do like consistency, MacDonalds got going and continues to thrive off of this principle: if you go into a MacDonald's anywhere you can order certain same things. Yes there is a rice burger in the Asian countries and yes theres some funky do thing somewhere else but by and large they are consistent.

So I'll be brief lest I lose your attention and my job here at work :P I submit to you that MMO's do need some consistency. Somethings have to never change. What those things are is not written in stone, nor should we regard it as such, but you also need to have some change, well actually you can get by without it for a while but then your game dies, slowly or quickly depending on how much change you introduce. But MMO's are subscription entertainment, not buy and play forever games run on servers like Starcraft and CounterStrike.

So what are you paying for? I'd say your paying for dynamic content, and thats the short and fat of it. Some more egalitarian people might argue that your paying for customer support and server support but I say you can get that one way or another.. either through making your own server with a hacked client on top or some other way. I would also argue that those things should be included in the original price of the game, as they have been with all computer games that are not MMO's.

Last but not least is my final point. Where should the balance lie in dynamic and static content. Do you want the dungeons to change every day? Every time you enter them? How bout never? I'm sure everyone has a different answer for this. What if a Boss could learn from your actions, what then? What if it stored what you did and the dungeon learned and got smarter each time? You would never have the same encounter twice would you?

How often should a company revamp their old areas? In Blizzard's case they think the answer is: NEVER :P In Lotro's case the answer is: constantly. Btw if a game does change significantly and your opinion of it stays the same as it was before the change, doesn't that mean theres a disconnect between your opinions and reality? I know my opinions of City of Heroes are outdated since I haven't played it in years and haven't even tried City of Villains, but thats just an example. Then there are games like world of warcraft which change so slowly I can keep a valid opinion for a long time :P Ok sorry for the wall of text. Feel free to criticize my points.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Big news, Wii Ware is out

Hey Dudes and Dudettes I'll keep this short cuz I don't wanna eclipse Antons awesome pics yet, but Wii ware is out and about and I recommend you check it out. What is special about it? These are unique games crafted by various people for any price they want to charge that you download like the retro games only these ones use the wii remote's special functions.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My WoW characters

Finally some pictures of my World of Warcraft Characters:

This is my character Aleeda in World of Warcraft on her gryphon mount in Shattrath City. Level 70 human holy paladin.

And Zonk, my new tauren warrior on Frostmane server. Level 12! Yes, amazing!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

PvMP revisited

Zubon of "Kill Ten Rats" has written an interesting article
on Monster Play in Lord of the rings so I linked it here:

I did some monster play the last two days, joined a tribe, and as Robert Frost said: "That has made all the difference" Things are much better when your raiding and especially when your fighting freeps(the Free Peoples of Middle Earth) or taking keeps. So take the "road less traveled by" and play lotro and roll a monster and join an actual tribe, they will help you get the hang of things in a giant raid of drooling fangs and dripping claws.

By the way I tried out the orc defiler (the new monster class) and hes a decent healer but super wimpy in most other regards until he is ranked up and since nobody has them ranked yet they are all wimpy right now. (but useful)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Here I go!

I had some friends over and played Mario Kart for the Wii with them and my siblings (little brother and sister) It was fun. I particularly enjoyed racing in versus and the online stuff.

The battle mode with coins was a bit crazy and went on a bit long but wasn't too bad. The balloon one wasn't anywhere near as much fun as on the 64. However I enjoyed the retro maps, especially from the original Mario Kart... I just wish red shells behaved like they used to back then instead of the gamecube downgrade to them. I used to love using red shells where they spit out and then made a beeline for their target disregarding all laws of momentum. You could make all kinds of fun shots around corners and stuff. In a battle arena this makes sense. In racing it works but maybe they preferred the smoother transition heatseekers instead, even though they're not a cool.

So yeah, all in all my first experience with the game was positive. And even though it needs four player online, it has two player versus 10 other people which is VERY challenging since that dirty little girl in Asia keeps beating me... umm.. I mean, never mind. I like the bullet bills and the cloud of death and the new ink attack blooper who makes it so you can't see where your going. They needed to fix a few of the old items instead of just reuse them, too much gets reused in this game as it is, even though most of it is good fun. I like how even in the races they have 4 cups of reused tracks and 4 cups of new tracks.

The graphics look worse to me than the gamecube ones for some reason, that DOES confuse me. Maybe its my imagination, they seem fuzzier (the character models) but only when your racing not when your in select mode. Dunno why that would be. If you buy or try this game make sure you try the online, even if you think you'll get whooped, it may well be a selling point. This is the first game I have ever played on the wii where I liked the online match up system. I did play mario strikers against my buddy Scoops but we matched up via the EVIL friend codes of lameness +13. Go get your game on, or not, but at least rent this one or play it at a friend house. Cuz fun is fun and thats all there is to it.