Monday, December 29, 2008

correction to the previous

okay i suppose it has been somewhere on the inside of an hour or so since the last entry i wrote.

mind you i have been thinking a bit and writing a lot, lately. my mind is split a few different ways: business in general - macro (my industry) and micro (my career in my own particular path). Also between social - my friends, my relationship, my family ties. And then between my own personality - work, make money, buy shit, ease the pressures, let time pass, "if i make some more money i can buy that nicer Television, to watch shit on, and also maybe some new sponges for the kitchen sink" I sit here hunched over the computer, or splay out on the couch "wonder when the washer will be done"

it is so easy to let life pass you by. to let life pass, you buy. wouldn't a burger be good right now? maybe a diet soda? answer my cellphone please? 'cause it is getting a lot of
messages backlogged on it.

i don't understand. my girlfriend said she was interested in meeting me because she wanted to see what it would be like to date (another) artist, 4 years later and I have just become another whiny wussy asshole. Now I have different shoes to fill.

Fuck it. I was the one who decided to put those shoes on.

I live in one of the most interesting places and work in this crazy industry with some of the wildest people you ever could meet. We all just mash up our brains trying to figure out how to make it satisfying to kill virtual people, monsters, and robots for the eighty-seven hundredth time. I watch the news and it tells me how the world is stupid and shitty and we are all miserable and sad and the brown people want to kill us. I think I forgot how to be a cool guy..

i pick up a book and it comes flooding back to me, fleetingly... all the tools i need are right here, in my head, in my hands. All my strength is just a moment away. I get so easily caught up in the trappings of being another dude like all the other dudes and suddenly i realize "i thougt i liked myself, but now i don't, instead i will just let it pass by."

is this a conscious decision? am i smart and crafty but also jaded and exhausted - from love, from dedication, from passion, or have i simply got over my naivete? The world is big and brilliant and young and ready and I just wanna keep eating pizza and drinking corona and staring at the same shit day after day? Man. I wanna have a nervous breakdown. So what if I get arrested and fired and no one wants to listen to me anymore. At least that way, I can look forward to being excited again.

I don't know the answer. It is monday night and I have 6 days till the man owns my soul again. i have.. maybe a few hours ago until the woman owns the rest of it again. I will sit here going back and forth in my head and bask in the glow of the monitor, or the dash of my dying car, or the rough cut-up feeling of the back of my phlegmy throat. It is so damned easy to waste time. I am tired of this shit. 2009 is just a number, December and January are just names we made up to formulaically describe the same period of time in what (makes it feel better to think of as) the "revolving door of our lives," but it really doesn't matter. It's just moving forward, till you hit that wall, and then after that whatever debris you left behind is all that will matter as far as you are concerned..

I am just another schmoe, I am working too long (not very long, but long enough) to see the damned cycle go back and forth, and get too used to getting caught up in it myself. if i practiced whatever it is i am trying to preach, i cannot really say there's no way I wouldn't just fall right back into the damned pattern, the pattern which I just crave anyway. I mean.. I am not gonna quit. I will always just have to work around and keep doing what I know I can do. Hopefully - it is up to me - I will find some way to get back in touch with that weird little freaked part of me ad use some of these tools i have, to do something interesting, instead of just the same damned shit all of the time, like everyone else. But yeah, Happy new year then.

comes a time

and so another year winds down to a close.

i feel older, i feel worn down, i feel irritated.. but i also feel thankful for the good times, the good friends, the luxuries. 2008 wasn't a banner year by any means, but i did manage to hold down a job for the duration (beginning to end!) even if we didn't ship a game, and there were some cuts. Also I did get to go to China (high point of the year, for sure!) and survived a visit from the folks, even Also my girl didn't get too sick of me.. yet. Nor did i wind up in the hospital with some kind of alcohol poisoning, so I guess that's a decent noteworthy point. EH? EH? EH???

2009 i haven't got much to expect. i don't go into it with much enthusiasm. things are good, and i should hope they stay that way, but i hope i end it on a brighter note than going on. the world is a little wacky right now, and i am feeling a bit rough around the edges because of my own stupid brain. but i yam whatti yam. by this time next year i'd love to have more money, a new car, and better security with work and hey, a new car wouldn't be a bad thought (no way that thing's gonna be able to last one more year!)

Actually here's what i predict. I will get a new job, making 5 times my current salary. I will lose 15 pounds off my gut (and ass) and gain 7 (of pure muscle) in my arms and chest. The press will be beating down my doors for interviews, gorgeous supermodels falling at my feet, and my bald spot will start growing out (and my erectile dysfunction will disappear for good. FOR GOOD) All my debt will disappear and I will suddenly find myself owning 3 luxury houses (two in Europe) and countless riches.

Hey. It could happen. Suck on that, World.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 - year-end wrap-up

And so, my little blog finds it's way to the end of another year, and I suppose it's my duty (absolutely!) to do a little summation of what 2008 had in store for the world of gaming.

Unlike the previous year, 2008 seemed relatively quieter/less disruptive overall. A lot of money was made, lots of big sweeping changed occurred, but overall the year seemed kind of grey in it's tone. I would say in the bigger scheme of things, it was a somewhat forgettable year overall... not a bad one, though.

Lots and lots of big releases for a year I hadn't expected much fanfare from. We saw the PS3 hitting it's stride quite a bit, after kind of a dull 1st year in existence. Xbox 360 of course had a great year, well at least consistent if not... noteworthy. Wii is continuing to be a mammoth money-making machine, and it saw some decent releases as well, but again nothing like it's previous year (though it saw a few very solid titles). DS and PSP sort of went on doing their thing, with expected efforts.

Economically, I can't say I know how much moolah the games industry raked in, but you can bet it was something hefty. I believe March alone saw something in the neighborhood of a BILLION dollars (a sum that previous entire years could not match!) and that was before some of the year's bigger releases had even come out. Despite the wild profits, game development has become exponentially more expensive, so in spite of wonderful sales, it's costing much more to get to those profits - we saw a lot of layoffs and studio closures this year, as the typical cycle of change continued in the industry. It really hit in earnest toward the end of the year (not unusual for such things) but what a bummer..!

Games releases - as noted, I was a little clueless about what was due to come down the pipe this year, but as it unfolded I wised up. We saw heavy hitters Metal Gear Solid 4 and GTA 4 of course, with much buildup and fanfare proclaiming these games to be the Second Coming for some time now. Ultimately, they may have failed to live up to that hype, and regardless of what their ultimate effects were on their audiences, they did deliver - and they DID sell loads of copies. Of course all eyes were on the Wii this year, as it's been building up quite a head of steam since release - for a variety of reasons, not least of which is it's remarkably well built-up userbase (hey, it is still challenging to find a wii system available for purchase on a store shelf! It has been TWO YEARS!) Wii did well with titles such as Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart, and of course Wii Fit - regardless of how these titles rated, or their staying power, they were standout during the year for various reasons. Wii Music released for the holidays, a game which I am sure will always be remembered as one that never-quite-fit, though it does seem to have it's fans (though perhaps not the intended sales). Personally, the Wii surpised me with the "EA/Steven Spielberg Collaboration" Boom Blox, which looks horribly childish (and low-tech) but is just incredibly fun, particularly at parties. No one wanted to like this game, but after playing it I don't think anyone could argue that it's one of the most enjoyable videogames ever produced, in many ways..

PS3 games.. ummm.. it's escaping me right now, WHAT came out for this system - was lair this year? Sigh. PS3 is stuttering along, they aren't exactly falling apart at the seams but certainly failing to impress when it really counts. I guess we saw Ninja Gaiden 2 on PS3 - or was it Xbox? (Exactly! Well, it was only on Xbox actually) Devil May Cry released for both systems this year as well, a former PS3 exclusive that wanted to "make money" and I cannot blame them. So they got their MGS4
anyway, and the (who noticed?) Metal gear Online as well. I couldn't even tell you if there was a SOCOM. Gran Turismo Prologue I think (enough with this...!) Ratchet and Clank got a very tiny side-story (better than nothing, but commendable nonetheless). No Jak and Daxter, no Spyro, okay that stuff is a generation or two old but still we should have seen something by SOMEone. There's big holes in their release schedule, and not much excuse for it. I mean, money is waiting to be spent! At the end of the year we got another Motorstorm (who asked for it?) and Resistance 2 (should have waited another year, or "who asked for this either?") Sony is a smart and powerful company, who seem to be making some extremely predictable missteps. Yea, they are making money. Yeah, their system is "formidable." But they are losing a lot of ground for some pretty simple reasons. I guess this is what happens when you start getting top-heavy (and invested a bit much in the longevity of the PS2). I predict a better 09 for PS3, but still sluggish and stale. Lest I forget, at least we got LittleBigPlanet out of the deal, one of the coolest games I have EVER seen. Truly a game which maybe didn't "deserve" to exist (2D? DIY? on PLAYSTATION?) but it gives me hope and pride to see a game this gorgeous, brilliant, and full of pep and character come out with this kind of backing. It won't make them tons of money, but at least it shows some willingness to do something weird and different.

XBox has gone on as planned - business as usual. What the hell big-name titles did they release this year, I can't even get anything out of my head? Who cares. Xbox is to hardcore gamers as Wii is to everyone else. They are truly the PS2 of this generation, in that they have games for all walks of life. Unlike PS2, they are powerful enough (technically) to stand head-to-head with the competition (PS2 always looked weak next to Xbox and Gamecube, though it had many more "fun games" that everybody wanted). Okay, this is bothering me, WHAT DID COME OUT for Xbox this year? Mass Effect was the end of 2007 - fallout was mutli-SKU. yeah I know Gears 2. Um... Viva Pinata 2? Banjo-Kazooie? Fable 2? Shoot I am drawing a blank, what a cheesy way to wrap up my year-end of blogging then. I guess they kinda lay back and let the multi-platform stuff run the show on autopilot then.. which I guess you an do when a billion people have already purchased your platform, and keep doing so. Notably, 360 is extremely progressive in Japan, where once upon a time (forever!) any game system not produced by Nintendo or Sony or the like was instantly DOA. Same for 360 for a time. Anyway I have to hand it to them for turning things around. I am still waiting to see if my system dies... sigh. Online, nothing spectacular. Geo Wars II, but everyone's forgotten already. I was excited - to a degree - for Galaga Legions, but the demo left me uninterested (this, after all the enjoyment I got out of Pacman CE). As noted in an earlier entry, I am waiting to see Space Invaders Extreme over here, I think that'll be a blast...!

What did the PC guys get - well, other than the usual Multi-SKU stuff, EA/Mythic got Warhammer out the door hoping to steal a little WOW thunder - no clue how that's going, though I am sure it's only a matter of time until another one bites the dust (you can't stop those guys.. behemoth!) Of course the new WOW expansion released recently as well, and it moved record units, though again.. it's an expansion. WOW's gotta get old sooner or later, but it's got some crazy-remarkable staying power. EA Maxis' Spore finally saw light, after umpteen years of development and redevelopment - again, to no great fanfare. It sounds interesting, but another halfhearted effort at the end of the day, no doubt throttled by politics and economics. But hey, I am not gonna be one to kick EA when they are down, they have definitely been trying to do right by the critics as of late (much to their stockholders' chagrin).


PS3 finally got their "online experience" Home up and running, after much lead-up. I don't think many people like this thing, personally I see it as a warm pile, but I stand by my conviction that it still holds enormous potential - if exploited properly, it could become a really unique, enjoyable experience. It needs the right people in charge of it, someone with a combination of technical knowhow and imagination and enthusiasm to make it their baby, who won't cave into the suits so much - I think it could take off (I'd love to give it a shot!) That'll never happen, but as far as where it does go, time will only tell.

Xbox has their "NXE New Xbox Experience" as well, which I think is kinda gross as well, but at least they are trying to change with the times - even if it doesn't fit my taste (and I'd never promote "changing for the sake of changing," at least not in such a fashion). Still it's noticeably more accessible than Wii's 24Connect service - yuck - but hey at least Nintendo has done SOMETHING. Pathetic that it must be so championed -- Again, I'd love to be the person in charge of designing such things, as there's a lot they could learn from M$ Live and the PSN.

Soooo, yeah! Another year, all wrapped up all pretty with a big ol' BOW on it. And me, what did I play? Ah heck, I am no gamer. I just read GAF a lot, boy. I got a vectrex! That's fun! I got a TG-16 and CDRom and Japanese card to play JPN discs! I guess my most enjoyment was a few notable sessions of Boom Blox on Wii with friends, plus back to it with more Rock Band (though that's pretty stale by now. Still fun, but old!) Honestly we pulled Bomberman 2 out for SNES at a few parties this year and that got a lot of play, that was probably the most enjoyable gaming for me. I played a bit of Wii Fit, it's not "fun!" but it does feel useful and gets me more interested in going to the gym and stuff. I would love to see a tweaked-out version of this, or something.. I still have to charge up my gameboy micro with some other games... As for PSP and DS, lest I forget, nooooot much to sayyyyyyy. PSP is yawny, DS is always eh-to-really good, and iPhone/Google-thing are the ones to keep an eye on.

Am I excited for the coming year in games? Not really. It's just kind of grinding away at this point. Wii's the one to watch, always, it gets the "weird games" which I find enjoyable. Uncharted 2 will likely be fun, colorful, and more-of-the-same... God of War 2 will of course look excellent and be fun. Xbox will keep coasting. No one will care about PSP, and more weird little games will come out for DS. Everyone and their mother will keep wringing their hairs over WOW. Bleah.

---SCRREEEEECH! I almost forgot! Can't have a year-end wrap-up without some mention of the weirdness in the industry! Aside from all the upset (layoffs times a million), the usual hubbub- 19 new guitar hero games announced, activision/Blizzard merger and all of that fallout, death knells of giants like Midway and THQ, etc... we saw a lot of change in the gaming press. A lot of big names who were active in the press retired, or went over to dev, or what-have-you. Also my favorite podcasty-thing Retrogaming radio pretty much ran outta steam after a decade. Over all it was a lot of changing of the guard, across a LOT of sources that I followed, and I am not too pleased about all of that - a new day is dawning, and it's with a lot of the old guard being absent. And so it goes. Happy new year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

so WHAT in the HELL??

Okay, so it is the time of the year - the end - when I would usually take the opportunity to sum up my thoughts on the whole past year of gaming. What's good, what's bad, what was a surprise, and what was -- the best, and worst! WELL - gonna save that for next time. This post will deal with the horrible state of the game industry, lately...

So, no one is a stranger to the notion that the entire country is in some economic turmoil right now, that's rather well-known. Plenty of people are out of work, there's no money ANYWHERE, we're all just freakin' miserable. Save for a new administration shortly to be inaugurated into the White House, it's pretty bleak bleak across the board, and that sucks. Two things - 1. Gasoline is about as cheap as it was like 10 yrs ago (how did that happen?) And 2. Videogaming, as a business, is doing better than ever in history.

So what's to complain about - well, for starters, a lot of the old guard is eating it hard. Typically (and ironically), right before the holidays is when the layoffs generally kick in. That sucks, but that is how it goes - therefore it is no surprise that some studious would downsize at this time of year. However I have never seen it happen at such record numbers. Like TEN studios have been suffering dire economic catastrophe and resorted to laying off staff this season! Maybe not ten, but certainly getting up there. I can't name them all - Aspyr, Midway (yeah, the long-standing old-timers!), Sony (not the games division yet, but even so) - Turbine, EA (record numbers of layoffs). Factor 5, Free Radical. That's off the top of my head, surely there have been a couple more. I know some Activision Blizzard studios got shuttered too (Mass Media, either laid off or closed completely, I don't recall). So what's this all about then? Games are making record money, to a ridiculous degree - where is it all going?

The development model is in need of a change. What worked with small teams on smaller-scale productions can't hold in this multi-million dollar climate. Studios NEED to churn out blockbuster titles to make money, since they are pouring so much dough into development. And now we have a peculiar phenomenon - even if a studio produces a quality title, will it even sell? It used to be the case where the worst thing one could imagine was that the market would be flooded with crap. Now, strangely, the market is flooded with good damned games! You look at the release schedule for the holiday season and what do you see - Tomb Raider. Resistance 2. Gears of War 2. Left for Dead. Dead Space. Mirror's Edge. Call of Duty 5. Rock band 2. Guitar Hero 4. LittleBigPlanet. Fable Fallout 3. WOW Lich King. This is the tip of the iceberg - thank GOD our game didn't ship this season..! Who has the time to play half this stuff? I guess it is actually GOOD people are losing their jobs, so they can manage to sit home and have time to play all these games!

So what is next? You make a bunch of decent selling games, then one bomb and you're toast - is that how this plays out? Suddenly making DS and PSP titles is sounding way more attractive. Is there money to be made there by anyone besides Nintendo? Man are those guys having the last laugh (and look at their Xmas release schedule, it's dead - they didn't even NEED to release anything! Mario Kart and Wii Fit are still doing well enough..). Then there's iPhone development, and beyond that things like Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, Wiiware.. all new models, all waiting for their time to hit, and in what fashion I cannot quite say. Well, it will be big, whatever form it takes, no one can deny that online deployment is the way of the future, and it is only a matter of time.

So, to my fallen comrades, I salute you. I have been laid off before, and it truly sucks. This is exacerbated if you have a family and all of that, especially now with the crushed economy and hell - it IS the holidays. I can't say what's to come, all I know is that it was a banner year for games (some of the best releases ever, and some of the worst layoffs and closures by a wide margin). Hopefully onto better times, though I suspect rocky roads lie ahead. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, if you are reading this and you are on the other side, I wish you much luck and hope you can get crackin' on your demo reel... there's a damned lot of competition out there, that's for sure.

mel mel melting away

damn so it is xmas in a couple of days, damn if it doesn't feel at all like the time of year it is supposed to be...

things are alright, i bummed around with my girlfriend and some other folks for the duration (though today was strictly a solitary affair for the most part). Not a bad weekend though! Unfortunately, my nerves are on a little bit of edge as things are stressful in my life (nu?) personally and professionally. Fact is, it is just a horrible holiday season! The money is all gone (and getting more all gone as the days pass) and my industry, as many others are, is in a pretty sorry shape. i almost wanna make like an ostrich, stick my head in the sand, and just wait it out..

i have two more days of work and then my own personal break will begin, can't wait! Well, I sort of can - i feel like i am not in the proper "mental space" for a break right now, if that makes any sense. Not to say I am eager to throw myself into heaps of work, but something just feels a little running-in-place to me somehow, at the moment.. can't properly explain it. I am definitely steeped in some lethargy, it's bad - my dishes are piling up again. On the upside, my car is running once more...

alright. it is 3am. i really need to get some shuteye.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

noodles, poodles, and bobby trendy's dog

my head hurts.
it's almost 6am.
i have to be at work in a few hours....

..that is all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No Place like Home - thankfully...

so, PS3's Home (beta) finally released for the general public's consumption a couple of days ago, how did it's much-anticipated release fare? Well, not so hot. The thing has been in the cooker for a good couple of years now, and as noted there's been a lot of anticipation of the thing - though I wouldn't say it was of the "hot" variety. Xbox live has been getting long in the tooth, the WiiConnect24 is just kinda.. sloppy, and now PS3 has their service to compete.

In their defense, the overall PSN looks good to an "average user like me." It's ripped-off the Xbox live service appropriately enough (which basically is what we'd had wanted them to do) and it's easily and cleanly accessible. It always seemed a fair question "why do we need a 3D version of this to walk around in?" Home tries to show us why this is cool. The graphics in Home are slick and clean, as expected of a system of this generation - but man! As soon as you touch down, and start wandering the landscape, you realize that there's just nothing to do in here. There's a bunch of 14-yr-olds spouting their shitty gang-speak about noting in particular, and a couple of sad-looking cases trying to explain that they think MGS4 is kewl. Of course, that's what you're probably supposed to WANT to do in an app like home, but something is just getting lost in the process.

I don't want to condemn Home. I still think it is a genius idea, it's very viable, if handled properly. At this point they've shot it out there just so they could at least say "it's out" and feel like they didn't completely waste their development time and budget - and now they can get honest-to-goodness feedback and supposedly concentrate on constructing a workable 2.0. As it is now, Home is empty and depressing, barely a hint at what could have been if it obviously hadn't misfired due to some (well-intentioned?) politics. No one will argue that the model is full of potential - one need only look at things like Facebook/Myspace, and of course WOW and Second Life. Sony can't expect to just put out "a product" with their label on it, and expect it to sing 'cause it's free. They need to put some minds behind this.

Walking around in the game it immediately becomes frustrating "oh I can.. I can walk. And what's this? I can sit as well. Oh! I can dance!" That's fine for starters. You know what I want? I want to skateboard! Rollerblade. SOMETHING. Rip off the whole Tony Hawk series, I don't care (it's been done). If ATVI had their heads on straight they'd just make a free online THPS world like this, it would get lots of flack but people would definitely live in it! I would! It's hard to look at a project like this when there's tings like GTA and Saints Row out there, online-ish communities where you can at least... do things. Okay maybe it's not cool to be able ot kill people in Home, but at least put a paintball (or lazer tag) arena in there. A climbing wall/jungle gym. Parkour. Something involving physics. A moonwalk. A weird carnival - something!

I can't let them get away with their bowling alley either. I didn't bother to try bowling - of course I wanted to see how the arcade looked. Man, it was sad. There were like 7 machines (3 different varieties?) and you had to wait in line to play. You watched someone else's avatar stand in front of a machine while they "played." Not moving, just.. standing there. Then you roll up, if you can get on.. and then wait a few minutes for the freakin' thing to load and play... echochrome? Would anyone "play" echochrome in an arcade? I played about 15 seconds and then quit the arcade. Please, Sony.. license like 500 old-ass arcade games from the early 80s (at least) and stick them in beautifully decked-out retro arcades. The newbs will hate it but us old-timers will love it - besides those old games are tiny (less than half a meg for the oldy-old ones, a couple megs after that) it would be no problem to stream that stuff over. Sounds like Namco is on the ball with getting this started, wisely...

So, basically the most entertaining part of Home was when I walked into a movie theater. A bunch of bored people were arguing over their headsets, yelling about how fat and stupid each other were. It was all very strange, but.. it was something to watch, and hey it was unique. People got bored and felt like they were wasting their time, so i guess they had to find some way to entertain themselves.

In closing, Home = not a colossal failure, but for what it is it doesn't measure up. Bring someone new in there and give them some power, for they definitely have some good foundation to build on - the enthusiasm just needs to come in.

Monday, December 08, 2008

some kid blogs, the internet looks at him, companies get mad

and hilarity ensues. money is spent (pageviews) and lost (game developer, floundering, takes another groin-hit). So this dude at Factor 5 in northern cali writes in his blog about how the company is suffering some fiscal difficulties. Dunno how or why, the guy is all of a year in the industry but somehow some non-spider gloms onto it and the beans spill across 1UP.Com about the troubles - projects getting cut, money getting lost, people not getting paid, yadda yadda. The guy (he is 24) is using the internet for therapy (hey.. it happens) and now I am sure he is looking at no more work in the games industry for a little while, doing what little he can to save face (I'd do the same, deleting the offending blogpost and putting up a sloppy retraction). Hell I gotta give him credit, he probably cleaned up a little better than I would have, but that's just my insecurity.

Anyway good luck to him. I have heard of people getting blackballed in this industry, it was a mistake of youth and of course let's not yet forget that the Internet is truly Pandora's Box - we do not yet know what we wreak -

Having a blog is a difficult thing for me, I have a game blog and a personal blog. I keep this game industry blog not because I just LooOOooOOoove to do noting but write and write ad write about games all day and night, in fact it can be something of a drag sometimes - but the industry is quite fascinating, no matter what, and I do have a somewhat unique view from my perspective. I like to think that, whether or not I get many readers in here, I do hold some responsibility in some fashion to document my work, at the very least for myself - my work, and that of those around me, this industry around me, these times.

When my game blog was new, I discussed it with a fellow dev over dinner one fateful night, she being a writer as well, no doubt more capable than myself (well, technically, anyway) - she expressed interest in starting an industry blog of her own, but shunned the idea as it was "a conflict of interest." Well the Factor 5 fellow proved her right I suppose, but I maintain that it can be done, if properly, without threatening one's livelihood - and without sacrificing the dignity of the writing, as well.

Is this a perfect experiment? Far from it. I have learned from it, I have a lot to learn yet - perhaps someone will stumble on my own blog some day and hold me up to some scrutiny as well (be gentle!) Perhaps a current or future boss will happen upon it, and it may negatively affect my career - or, perhaps the result will be positive.

One thing is for sure, when dealing with business, one must take their world seriously, they mustn't act impetuous (even if our world is stifling-suffocating with manchildren, I mean hell we make videogames - about robots and boobies and tentacles and spaceships and crap) - but we must be responsible as well, across the board. Sigh - I could write a book, EASILY, I have worked 11 years in this field now. I have seen and heard (and been part of) all manner of crazy stories. I could make some money, probably, and get out of my grunt position. But you know what, that isn't what I want. I like sitting there, at my desk. I like building and lighting levels, hanging out with my buddies, figuring this stuff out. I love the insane politics and the crazy hours. Well, it's what I do.

you've been missing for a long-ish time

monday morning, in the wee hours, so i will try and be brief...

things are alright. it is cold outside, which is nice actually (i like it to be SOMEwhat cold in the winter) - still it was about 60 degrees during the day so i guess to many that couldn't be considered any kind of cold, but it is all relative you know. The weekend was alright, we hosted a belated b-day party for my girlfriend, basically it boiled down to the usual (a bunch of the folks came over, ate food, drank booze, played video games). A good time, as always, though most left quite early it was still pretty busy over here until well past most people's bedtime, i think we wrapped up and hit the hay after four a.m. I say it often, i am pretty damned lucky to have so many good friends to enjoy company with, and of course lucky to have a place to entertain them at (thankfully, no one seemed too troubled with the parking, which can be a pain in the ass quite often!) So yeah, it's been busy with such thins lately, though that is the time of the year, and in that way it's happiness.

just got out and pulled my car in. My car, my car. As noted recently, the poor thing is seeming to be on it's last legs. I was unable to get it seen by the mechanic until late in the week, at that time they flushed out the idle control system but warned me if the problem persists, it's gonna be another $500 to replace, so we will see how that goes. Basically, all the signs are there that "i must buy a new car!" This one is 11 yrs old - no, 12! No, 13!!! DAMN! And it has 210,000 miles on it (holy moly, that means it's close to a quarter million miles, that's... not... funny). Anyway I am looking now, so if anyone reads this and has a decent lead on gettin' a new ride, be sure to talk to me pronto.

What else - not much to say, I am sleepy and must be up for work in a few hours, so I will cut off right now. Hopefully, a mellow and non-taxing week lies in wait, though any good news is of course welcome. Bye Bye, Italia.

Robot Rondo

2:21am, monday morning. I am sitting here in my blue and yellow "police" shirt, eating birthday cake and drinking coke. i need to be awake in some hours to go to work. instead i am sitting here eating this crap and typing in my game-blog - oh well, i suppose i could be doing worse things at this hour, eh?

news, Space Invaders Extreme is coming to XBLA, which is a definite-buy for me. I don't know wen it's out (shortly I hope!) but this game received lots of critical acclaim in the portable incarnations, so I think I can see myself parting with a few bucks for some good timey-ness. I am a fellow who still actually (very much) enjoys a good game of classic space invaders, even all these years later. it's a hard game, but it rewards patience with addiction. On a side note, while i loved the Pacman:CE update, I wasn't so taken with the demo for Galaga Legions.. hey well, that is why they have demos. Right?

More news, one of my very favorite things in all of videogames, a podcast called "retrogaming radio," has finally been officially retired. This guy Shane Monroe, who I affectionately would refer to in the past as "the Michael Moore of Videogames," decided after 10+ years of consistent output to hang up his mike. This was the longest-running podcast i have been into, since the dawn of my own career in the filed actually - and I am quite sad to see it go. Knowing him, the show will not die a true death - I hope! - at the same time, I know that life goes on and at some point one must move on and say "enough is enough." I encourage any who read this to seek out the website, if you are at all passionate about the world of retrogaming there is a goldmine out there waiting for you to plunder (hey the show is about retrogames, so it's all currently as relevant as it'd ever be, really!)

More news also, I got my hands on a divx of a documentary called "chasing ghosts:beyond the arcade" - seek out the trailer on youtube. in this post-"king of kong" world, it's interesting to have a different, more documentary look at the world of early-80s competitive videogaming, the world and the people who lived in it, and what it was all about - see the other movie for what little was left in it's wake. Fascinating movie, I was interested to see it for a couple of years now, though not quite was I was expecting - rather dark, upsetting, I am a child of that era, and it all seems so distant and irrelevant now. Of course all of videogaming is so different now from those pre-crash days, no doubt, but it does seem sad how such a colorful and interesting time mutated into something completely and utterly different. A good lesson to learn from...

Work is alright, i have been busy. I had a long weekend, our office moved into swankier digs, tomorrow's the first day over there so it will be interesting to see how high-class it will be (I have expectations!) Though I must say, a part of me will always prefer the more humble locales of some videogame development studios. I remember when I was with Neversoft, and we moved from one office building into a larger, more dedicated facility - Yes it was fancy, but of course it was like leaving a somewhat exciting, touching piece of history behind. And so it goes, and of course they found even greater success since relocating. Hey here's to that, you know?

Early December, all the big releases for the year have come and gone. It's all quiet as we gear up for a little mellow time across the industry, and then of course the next phalanx of releases will be out for early-early spring. What's next on the radar, my head is a little low. Killzone of course - that's the biggest thing I can think of. I guess Infamous and Bionic Commando are due in some coming months as well, but really everyone is just quiet as heck these days. No surprise coming off of such a busy season, but.. hey, what the devil is up nintendo's sleeve, anyway? I guess they are just at the phase right now where they can truly kick back, take a breather, and let the money keep-a-rollin' on in.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

another freaaaagin' goddamned bloggedy blog

ok here is the part where i go look at the last blog i wrote, so i can decide what i am writing about..

oh, okay, good, i got the thanksgiving stuff out of the way. Anyway, here i am, it is 20 past 8 in the PM, sitting hunched way over in my chair at work, my eyes are bleary from not sleeping (last two nights i was pretty awful!). I am waiting for my generous girlfriend to pick me up from work (she is already 20 min late and won't be here for at least another hour, hey this is my blog so of course i am gonna whine in here!) But i appreciate her going way out of her way to get me at all ('cause man, it cost me like $50 to even get to work today anyway! two taxi rides, one train..) Though i gotta say it was nice taking the train in, wish i could somehow swing that into a more regular thang. Just lie back and pass out for 45 minutes, then wake up and BOOM right in santa ana, easy as pie.

i had to leave my car at home today as it's having trouble... um... MOVING right now, in fact i will bring it to the mechanic tomorrow who hopefully, and inexpensively, can resuscitate the old girl. I mean, I put 90 miles on it just about every day (at least!), the thing has 210,000 on it, 11 years old - it does run really well for what it is worth, but all the years and miles are definitely taking a toll. I have to face facts that it is time to get a new car, sadly it's not the best time economically to think about that but as my current machine is getting more expensive and inconvenient to upkeep, i feel like my hand is forced. It sucks 'cause i am already in debt (not horrible, but enough to make me shudder thinking about car debt on top of it). Also I don't wanna get some middling piece of crap that kind-of works, i would like something that will last me for awhile, and comfortably (and yeah, it should look kind of cool!) Maybe I will look at VWs and Hondas off the bat.. if i had a fat load of cash I would dream of buying an Audi or something, my dad always drove those and they felt powerful, and sturdy..

work is alright these days, as mentioned i am happier on this new project, though of course there's always gonna be things that drive ya nuts (no matter the job). I can deal with that, if it was easy and all perfect and not kinda crazy then there's not really be any pressure I guess. I am just feeling a little bit long in the tooth to still have to deal with some of the frustrating things, but - i mean - in life, you gotta pay dues. Even when you've been paying for awhile, some stuff just hangs out and you gotta keep paying. I shouldn't whine, in a lot of ways things feel quite cushy for me, if i had half brain i'd shut up and not think on it too much. I feel like that's the way a lot of things have "worked out" in my life. Friendships, girlfriend, where I live, health, etc. At this point I am in my mid-thirties (well, just about) and looking at where all these things stand, it's all pretty damned well "worked out" - but the maniac inside of me wants to tear everything apart and burn all the shreds and go do it a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY. That damned devil sits on my shoulder "drink this beer! Stare at that whore! Get mad about those projects!! Bah Bah Bahhhhh!!!" I don't know why it is making sheep-bleating noises, but the point is that things are good, and still I feel so far off where my path "wants" to be in some ways - and I feel like no matter what I do with my life, I am always gonna be chasing that intangible thing. I WANT to have that thing to chase, that carrot always dangling out of reach, making me feel... SHITTY, because if i was actually content then i would be "finished" and bored and just sit around going through the motions of life with no passion to make me feel like getting at it.

Blogging is nerdy and lame and pointless in many ways, but is also a great tool, it lets one just completely go off about themselves - this makes me understand why people must love therapy, in spite of the stigma attached to it (which is just kinda vanishing anyway) you just get to sit in a room and talk about yourself, for HOURS. Why in the hell else do you think i have written nearly FIVE HUNDRED blog entries in this thing (true, this is entry number 495!!) I'm terrible, like most men in my family i have this crazy limitless energy pushing me to do all this shit and I never know how to properly express it, it is so nice to at least half this outlet - bizarre and damning as it may be.

well, dammit, i am sleepy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

sold out for toothpaste

Thanksgiving weekend is behind us, and now it is closing in on 3:30 in the morning - though I am powered with a ton of energy (don't you love how that works?) I need to be up in <5 hours so I will try to keep this sort of brief, so I can head to de bed.

Thanksgiving was fun! It was a lot of work, and I was beat, and it cost some $$$, but I think it was pretty successful. Big thanks go out to my girlfriend who did the bulk of the food preparation, it was extremely tasty (we had 11 lbs turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad, didn't even touch the soup...) Cranberry sauce (yeah, from a jar, which is fine!), she even made a strawberry cheesecake. Everything tasted wonderful! Some friends brought pies and booze as well -- we had about 12 people here I guess, just eating and drinking and playing rockband and bomberman into the wee hours, it was a really good time!

Friday, I was thinking maybe I'd wander into the office, instead we got up and met some friends in Chinatown for Dim Sum, they bought us lunch (thanks!). Afterwards, the lady and I split up (she'd got a test to study for) and I headed back downtown with the others to check out the Auto Show. I hadn't been to an Auto Show since going with my dad several years ago in Boston, nor had I been to the LA Convention Center for ages since E3 had wrapped up - it seemed like a weird and kinda random thing to do, so why not! We chilled out at the bar for a long time, putting away vodka tonic and beers, after the hectic day before it felt so nice to just relax in the corner with my buddies and shoot the breeze! We got a bit god and loaded and then ran like wild people through the convention hall, sort of a re-living of days long gone (taking lots of pictures, being nuisances in general) but it was fun and surreal and totally worth it. We returned to their place, ate a pizza and watched a movie and polished off another bottle of alcohol, called a cab and then went out for a following night of more debuauchery. I honestly haven't kept up a solid day of going like that since.. well, damn, maybe E3 those years ago! We ran into some friends at the bar, hit a couple spots, more of being a nuisance (yeah, it happens) and then eventually found our way back to my place (and my poor unsuspecting girlfriend) at the end of the night. Somehow, we picked up a couple of random ladies who followed us into my pad, they were trying to lose some shady guy who was tailing them. The story gets muggy... both of the girls wanted nothing to do with him, then one of them said he was her girlfriend, but she had just met him that day, but.. I don't know.. it was getting draggy and confusing and eventually we let the guy (waiting patiently, and kinda pathetically, outside) in to "collect" them and take them out of our hair, it didn't seem like anyone was in any danger so we bade them goodbye.

Next day was a rough one, after the manic prior day of nonstop abuse my head was pounding relentlessly, I threw a bunch of advil at it, did some dishes, had a fight with my girl, made up, watched a netflix movie and ate a pizza. Today (sunday) was her birthday, we finished doing laundry and slept in laaaaaaate and sort of lazed around all day on our asses. Watched Jurassic Park 2 on TV, then decided to go out to a fancy place for Bday dinner with some friends (it was tasty!) Then home to chill out. And now - I go to bed.

nice and rotten

the thanksgiving holiday is behind us, and now we can all get on with our lives.
Thanksgiving, as a yout', was traditionally the point of departure for me between my whole previous year of gaming and the beginning of the whole COMING year, the things i had been salivating over in gaming magazines for the past several months were finally seeing the light of day at Toys R Us, EBX and Child World, or the like. It was pretty much a high point of the year for me (well, of course I generally didn't like being in school very much, and I wasn't into sports and stuff like that, I suppose my parents were too lazy to kick my ass and make me go outside.. sigh) Anyway, now as an adult I view it from the flip side, seeing all these games trickling out just past halloween and the media barrage that accompanies them, of course driven in that particular way that only the internet can do -- yeah, if we had this stuff when I was a kid, I suppose I would have ended up being even more antisocial then I was already..

Thanksgiving was alright, we got a bunch of time in with Rockband 2, though I must admit that after a year, I have had enough. I have a long way to go with the drums, and I have barely touched the guitar - more than any of that I've not ever really touched the progression modes, in my househould RB usually serves as party entertainment. It's been fun while it lasted and it will be awhile yet, but the novelty has definitely passed (and I can't say I am too terribly looking forward to download many more tunes). I suppose if the selection blew wide open and there was a lot more to chose from - the selection, while decent, has always felt painfully limited to me, though I can not blame them for putting out a decent effort - then I would get a fair bit more enjoyment out of it for some months to come. I suppose that's up to the future of rhythm games, a genre which is still relatively early along in it's stride. The problem with the whole "yearly update agenda" they push with these things, is that it kills the potential and enthusiasm. Either that, or sink a shit-ton of R+D into the thing and blow a fat wad of cash to absolutely annihilate the competition. They don't need to, so they won't - the short term answer is it's a pretty powerful juggernaut, though the potential for better games inthe long term gets kind of diminished as a result. No matter really, since I suppose no one ever really knows what they are missing - though they do realize when they are bored...

Bookending the sessions of Rockband, we pulled out the SNES and played some Bomberman 2. I have had it sitting in my closet for a good year and a half or so, with little more than a session here and there in the past with the game. Truth be told, I never really caught the train on the whole Bomberman trend, not that I didn't dig it, the game just fell through the cracks with me. I did finally get wind of it several years later, and plunked down for a set, and glad to say I did, the game is a lot of fun! I realize there's like EIGHTY variations of Bman out there, and I can't really say I know where to go next (or that I really need to). Four-player local is enough for me, I guess I will see if I can hunt down the first SNES iteration as well as the game gets some praise. Really, games like that still hold up very well, they remind me that we don't need to churn out crazy tech to have extremely fun gaming. Honestly, they still look and feel more than satisfying enough.. I like when this happens, pulling up a rock and finding a whole cool branch of gaming that one was kind of oblivious to in the past, that can still be enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

your penguin has slowed you down

Thunderforce VI is a shooter (R-Type type of shooter, not Quake style of shooter!!) has released for PS2 in Japan, it's been nearly 1 month. This was one of my favorite series of games in one of my favorite genres of games, and it's been.. about 10 years since the last iteration released. I guess I only was a big fan of the first two, but I still enjoy the music and aesthetics of those series to this day. that might sound weird, a little, but if you know the games, you know what I mean. I am tempted to plunk down the dough for an import, or an ebay, but i might wait till i can find it sub-$50 - especially since it doesn't sound like the perfect "return to form" that some might have hoped, or expected it would be. I guess I have to be supportive either way, and it does sound fun, but honestly I have a billion gazillion other games i can keep busy with any event. If they touted it truly as a must-have then that would be one thing, anyway I know better than to expect to see high-tech shooters from anywhere in the world these days that are any kind of SERIOUSLY competent.. that's okay, they're a pretty forgotten game, and at least i will have the oldies always kicking around. Anyway, makes me feel old, sigh.

Though if Compile spat out something like a decent followup back from the grave, I would have to pay attention I suppose...

I downloaded the demo for the new Tomb Raider Underworld 360 - gorgeous game, in this post-Uncharted world I guess it would pretty much HAVE to be. Not as charismatic as that title from hat i could see, but geez - breathtakingly gorgeous. These games have raised the bar, this is history right here. We won't see too much able to measure up to game like this, at least aesthetically, not much more this generation I am sure (just because - is it truly worth the dev time/cost yet?) I am not saying I wouldn't love to see more beautiful games of this nature, I am just saying it's not what you could consider cost-effective, ad if someday we reach the point where that's the rule rather than the exception to maintain such a level of quality, then the industry will be run markedly different, I will say that.

Picking up with LittleBig here and there, a remarkable game - NOT without it's issues for certain, but a fine entry nonetheless and I don't think you could find anybody, really, who hasn't been piqued by it. Yeah, it's definitely NOT for everyone, and in fact I think it's one of those titles which both alienates it's target audience (cumbersome community system, heavy difficulty, tricky play controls) while those who would truly enjoy such a thing are probably turned off by it's cutesy aesthetic. Also the editor (for the meat of the game - the designing aspect), while powerful and capable, is kind of wasted somewhat due to the fact that most people just DON'T WANT POWERFUL EDITORS WITH WHICH TO DESIGN STUFF. They really just want to be spoon-fed things that are fun off the bat and play them right then and there. I guess it is one thing if there's not a ton of other worthy titles demanding the average gamer's attentions at the moment. Personally, I am excited to play with the editor some more, I have a few ideas I would love to play with, but at this point my time is kind of precious and limited for such things, but hey - i am in no hurry, it's not going anywhere.

It boils down to the notion that i would love to design some 3D platforming of my own, but as mentioned above "i am always too busy" - still considering my career choices, i think this would only do me a good service, and I intend to get on with it. At some point!

I picked up a Wii game, Shawn White Snowboarding - unusual for me in many regards, but we have a balance board here and interesting Wii games (especially of this nature) are certainly few and far between. Still this one got a good bit of press, and it sounded like it might be worth a look for a few reasons. Like anybody with half a brain I enjoyed SSX back in the day (though A. never got terribly far with it and B. never really moved on from there so much) but after skiing in Wii Fit, I was interested in going a little further via the motion-control setup for such a sport-game.. Wort picking up, though I must say after being Tony Hawkified those aesthetics and "story" trappings are kind of a drag for me - it's pretty downplayed so I can't really complain. I just miss when the Japanese games did this stuff all weird and differently styled (jet grind radioooooo) and Nickelodean style just doesn't measure up the same.

Things are alright up Obsidian - always a few things to say about that place! They got out a genuinely cool trailer for Alpha Protocol about a week ago, I believe it's at Gamespot or somewhere. Also we got a cover story with PSM that is currently on the stands. Nice to see it getting a little bit of press here and there, the things not been announced a whole year yet - I look forward to when they start letting the substantial stuff release a little more and how that all gels.

Aliens is going along, we are pretty quiet across the board and I am gonna keep mum as well. Suffice it to say I am happy on this project, one thing that must be mentioned is that I really like my team here as well. The people are really nice, friendly, patient.. it feels good to get good feedback as well, and I feel my work/capabilities mesh well with the rest of the folks over there...

Lots more to say as usual, I hope to update this thing much more often in the coming year. Stay tuned.

the babysitter’s dead - you heard what i said

wednesday morning/tuesday night. it is pouring out, all evening, looks to be much of the same the next several days, perhaps... we went out shopping for turkey day dinner last night after i got home from work, looks to be quite a feast! Hopefully we can make a det in it..!


cockroaches, dragonflies
being in front of people/center of attention
angry dogs
not wearing socks
being in an a place i don't know
my dad's belt
creepy old people
being stuck in a dark closet

long-term relationships
being stuck in the same location for an extended period of time
baldness, obesity
car accidents
annoying repetitive/tapping noises
not being asked for ID at bars and clubs
crazy women
expensive CC bills
blacking out
oversleeping thru my alarm(s)
nervous breakdowns
internet outage

--- this list was much more entertaining when i thought of it yesterday. perhaps i will do it again when i am feeling a little more creative.

Monday, November 24, 2008

a billion bullshit arti$$$T$$$$$

another weekend has dripped by, another November has nearly withered away into a bunch of more-than-nothingness, and again i am up past my bedtime in preparatuon for another week ahead. it'll be a short week, as it's gonna be thxgiving on thursday and all of that.

things are all right, as recently noted I have been making something of an effort to fly under the radar, stay outta trouble, keep on the DL, all of that - basically try to avoid spending shit tons of money and not get too drunk. I dd get out a bit more than i'd've planned since last writing in here (blame several people's birthdays) and for those reasons i have a few nights that exist only in the very vaguest of memories... but ah well, life goes on, doesn't it... this weekend, i stayed in fri night and didn't do much. saturday i hung out with some buddies in pasadena, we ate then talked (a lot) then ate again then watched the new bond movie (review:meh). Today, being sunday, I cleaned up the apartment/washed dishes/played some video games, that was about it.

called my folks this afternoon, as we spoke i heard a helicopter just overhead - midday, what the hell, is there a bad accident on the 11, damnnn that is annoying!! Off the phone later, I gt online and right there on the front page of yahoo, there was the news - bizarre, of course - some dude was brandishing a pair of samurai swords (!!!!!) and supposedly attempted to attack a security guard at the Scientology Celebrity Center up the street from my apartment - the guard panicked and shot the would-be samurai dead right there. So bizarre. Anyway, that place isn't even a half-mile from my apartment..! Sucks, anyway it made me sad... Life feels short, fragile, and pointless in a way, in times like that. I guess we are all just ants though, and designed to be destroyed, often at one another's hands.

For some reason I decided to look on the UMass Amherst Art Dep' website, I don't really think i have a good reason why. All these names (the chair-people) cae kinda foodng back to m as I saw them listed there, though to be honest I can't say 99 percent of them really ever had any meaning for me. I just figured they were all a bunch of elder uppity artists getting paid too much to not do much of nothing. hey, that's business, maybe one day I will be able to settle into a mega-cushy job and complain endlessly about THAT too (yeah, me complain? Hard to imagine)

It dd inspire me, once again, to get more of an advanced presence on the internet, at least art-wise - it would be the ultimate gallery, more so than just my "texture mercenary" thing i mostly have goin' on now, anyway - though i suppose the more one gets into that end of things, the more masturbatory it all becomes really. Well, whatever fills up the times of one's life, I suppose. I guess no matter what, you're just ultimately trying to sell something else anyway, until you reach the point where they keep bringing you cash nonstop for just being there to receive it. Well, not bloody likely...

Cold out, it's been hot, then cold, then warm, then cool, no one else seems to know or care, i guess it's kinda irrelevant but it does seem a little offputting.. i don't mind if it is a bit cold for awhile, just stick to something.. damned season!

How do I feel.. well, bloated, restless, sleepy, kinda sezzzzually frustrated, lazy, bored with the stable things in my life, so pretty much - business as usual. looking forward to getting into the office tomorrow so i can finish up workin' on a dor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

no, no, no.. november...

hullo, and welcome to the column. It's a busy busy season, so let us jump right in. The irony is that I perceived this fall as being a pretty dull season, last spring (and even into summer) - I guess I was being a bit clueless then, as it is one of the absolutely fullest schedules on record! I thought last year could not be beaten, between Halo and Mario and Ratchet and Clank and Crysis, Portal, COD, a bunch of other things - man was I wrong! Right now we are looking at Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero IV, Resistance 2, Gears of War 2, Left for Dead, Saints Row 2 (to a lesser extent, but still!, Mirror's Edge, LittleBigPlanet, of course the new WOW expansion is out in a couple of days, I believe a new C+C just released. The new Tomb Raider game is looking fine as well. Motorstorm if you like that genre.. Whew. If you are a gamer, you are a busy guy right now. It sorta sucks that all this stuff releases at the same time, in some ways..

Surely there's a couple more I missed in there, but ya get the drift..

As for what I have been up to, well I did manage to get my hands on LittleBigPlanet, honestly the only game I have really had my eye on for some time. It's a hot little game, a very powerful engine in there and I think we are going to see some wonderful product from the fan community. So far much of the user-created stuff I have looked at has been pure drivel, but I can suspect that some amazing stuff is coming down the tubes. Myself, I have not made it terribly far through the tutorials, but what I have messed with has piqued my interest - when I get some time to do so, I will put it trough the motions. I will tell ya, as my job already is somewhat close to design, it is a bit hard to wanna come home and start cracking the book with this thin, though - but geez. What a canvas. My mind keeps racing, how I would have loved this toy when I was a kid, that would have been IT for me. Every aspiring game-maker owes it to him or herself to pick up this masterpiece! I mean, it's definitely limited, but they could certainly use this for college courses at the high-end, and prototyping at the low end...

I downloaded the mirror's edge demo on PS3, a gorgeous game - some things are off about it, but I appreciate the balls to put out a game like that. Hopefully it will fare well in it's reception. As with most things of it's ilk, I had enough from merely putting in some time with the demo, but I would say it's worth looking at, some very very good looking shots in that game. I'd like ot see them use it as a springboard, use that tech and those ideas to get away from this clean sterile city, make it alive and rich. Kind of swing halfway between this and a tony hawk game, or something - just a playground that you can pull amazing, adrenaline-dripping stunts out of, get that wonderful rhythm going.

Work is going alright, as usual there's a billion things going through my mind about Obsidian these days. I am on the Aliens project about 6 weeks now, I have learned so much in the brief period - getting chances here and there to express that, it's coming faster now. I have said it before, it is truly like working at a completely different company since I've migrated from the previous title, in some ways..

That should do for now, lots on my mind gaming-wise but as is often the case, I will have to get into it later...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

fast one

well, obama cinched it, the projections were right-on, and so a new day dawns at last. As i drove home last night and listened to his victory speech broadcasting over my little car radio, damn if my eyes didn't tear up a little bit as i had a feeling that better times may lie ahead. Yeah, there will be lots of hard work to unravel the mess, and surely there's gonna be tough times to weather in the meantime. That is life. Anyway it's always interesting to witness history as it is being made. hopefully the stupid racist haters won't do anything stupid to screw it up. It'll be interesting to see if the rest of the world likes America a tiny bit more, now...

got word that daft punk was gonna be playing a secret show at space last night, so called some buddies up and trucked out lickety-split. the show turned out to be not, but it was fun to hang out with my gang. sadly, i am well into my career as an alcoholic, and as often happens I blacked out a good chunk of the night. i am tired of this shit! i never thought it was great when people proclaim how "awesome it is to get wasted," the more of it i do them more pathetic it feels, in my own case.. i know it's not helped by where i live, plus my lifestyle in general, and just getting always kinda wound up by work and all of that and needing to release, to escape from my inhibitions for a little while here and there. i have long wanted to find a more productive way to do that, but it's pretty hard, so i don't know if i will ever do that. just have to wait until some consequences kick my ass I guess - that's some pretty depressing thinking though. At least I am not the kind who "needs to drink," it's only when i am out in that certain environment that i snap into mode though. come to think of it, that's how i behave in every situation (that i have bad habits), it's totally an environmentally dependent thing. I guess that's why picking up and going elsewhere has long held a novelty to me, being someone else, having different behavior, stuff like that.

things are alright though. i will always have some stupid things in my life making me miserable, i will invent them if there's nothing there otherwise to give myself shit to stress about, the older i get i just realize that I am the type of guy who NEEDS stuff to get worked up about for no good reason (and as I type this I realize that I am definitely not the first person in my family to behave this way). I like to think that I am not dramatic about it, i may talk a bit about all this in here (hey it is my release, after all) but aside from the occasional binge-drinking episode i really tend to stay away from a lot of the shit in this world that is truly "bad for you," and particularly readily and easily available at all times - again, particularly in the crazy city in which I live. Perhaps just being on the fringe of all that insatiable, crazy endless energy is enough for me - to just dip in here and there and get a little on me, to wander through a little bit here and there, to teeter over the edge just barely a little knowing that I too could fall into that pit if i was a little more reckless. it's the old yin and yang story - the order and the chaos, you need to have a bit of one in the other no matter what, and the sooner you embrace that notion the sooner you can kind of get on with your life...

feeling a bit creatively driven lately, somehow.. not sure where i am being pulled, or what is exciting for me, but that energy is also kind of getting up some interest in my head as well. i recently evaluated a lot of the work i've done professionally, over the past year and change, and i feel like i have got myself to a decent spot and can generate some pretty good output that i am proud of. i'd really like to augment that somehow, just get a little more prolific and make some stuff to show off what i got - get away from the more destructive/time-wasting stuff i have been kinda mired in. I guess that shit is important too, since it sort of fuels my creativity (that is what the ANGST is for!!!) Ah, I love how life works..

i need to get a space, i'd love to have a little studio or something. i have a little "nook" at home but it's very hard to concentrate there, i can't really ever get ANY work done there unless it's an absolute necessity, and this irritates me to no end. I need some place to just put MY shit, to have my freedom, to chill out and make stuff and be free to concentrate and get into my rhythm. i'd love to just rent a studio space or something but i don't really wanna pony up a few hundy a month for that right now, however that could certainly become a necessity. my Dream, ideally, would be to get a little spot downtown, just move all my junk there, TV and games and stereo, be able to blast that
stuff any time when I feel like it, go there and just make a mess - make some models, some drawings, hell some sculpting, SOMETHING, I know it would be a great time. Hell even if I had a basement then it would be alright! Ah well. Things to work towards. Maybe someday I will finally work out some kinda half-decent payday, if i am a little bit lucky, and turn this pretty simple dream into a reality. A load more hard work is gonna have to get poured out before I can get there! You'd think a solid decade of working in an industry like this would have made that easier, but there's never any promises of anything...

Anyway it is inspiring for me to realize that I do have some goal to work towards, besides 'just make money so I can keep buying stuff and gasoline and keep working, or else'

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

toe knee hulk

10:30 pm, still at work but about to wrap up (it has been quite a long day!) - do you think I can make it home in time to bang it at cinespace? Nah, but i might wash my dishes and i think i will pass out after. Truth be told I would love to throw in a load of laundry, but i might not have enough stamina to wait for the cycles to go through. Still - geez, some clean underwear might be sort of nice? You know???

So after my recent political blog, the news has been pretty much declaring McCain/Palin the loser party this go-'round. All the poll projections show Obama Yo Mama with a ridiculously healthy lead. Granted it's not quite Super Tuesday for another week, but it looks like this thing has been decided in spite of my doomsaying. Well it feels a little weird, but let's hope things don't awkwardly fall apart at the last moment (which would be, well.... unbelievable, more so than anything seen before!) 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. Obama's projected with 355, McCains at 156. Mind you this is PROJECTED and it's a week early. To make matters more bizarre, Cloris Leachman's been voted off Dancing with the Stars. You got it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

my own, personal

mon-day ni-gh-t, 9pm, just wrapped up the day's work. I should buckle in and do a nice late night, but I haven't got the power to do that, especially since I am trying to make an effort to come into the office a little bit earlier these days...

things are alright, I guess there's not a lot to say over what's been said lately. I am kind of feeling like a hamster in a ball, lots of energy but no matter how much I expend it's only gonna kind-of propel me in some sort of general direction. I always consider myself as a focused sort of personality, but I think it's a disservice to myself to suppose that much (focused yes, but far from razor-sharp, then!) Well whatever, like anyone else I am just trying to do the best I can.

I feel like I am suppressing the more philosophical parts of my personality lately, like my deeper thought and consideration must just take a back-seat to being practical and productive, those are thoughts I don't like to admit (as it DOES run contrary to my personal philosophy) but with the way all things seem to go in my life, it seems like the only way to head towards some kind of solvent goal, and therein lies the notion of "focus." I think I have grown up in this day and age where freedom and personality are championed, but really as I get older I can see how that's just a myth really, if you try to act out and .. uh.. follow your natural rhythm in those regards (in their purer forms) then you're only going to end up broke and alone, possibly in jail. Well, in many parts of this country anyway (at least the ones I live in). As I write that, it fascinates me a little "if i am so drawn to that rough idea of freedom, why does my personality reject the idea of living under the radar, in a wayyyy more antisocial fashion?" I guess it's just not so simple an equation then. There's always a few more big factors to consider.

Maybe I feel limited enough from the outside world as it is, and then when I do subject myself to it, it can only be under extreme circumstances (i.e. if I am gonna go out ot a club, I need to be intoxicated). How silly an idea it seems to go out to a club and NOT be drunk, or conversely to participate in otherwise "sober activities" while otherwise mentally misaligned. I don't like thinking about this stuff, it makes me feel like I am just full of shit. It is interesting though, and something that's just not really approached in society, and it makes me feel like we are all no better than cavemen, still...

I am a little tied up, I want to bend my borders, I want to hop in my car and leave my office and pick a direction, let my mind wander, and just drive, drive until my Gas Tank is getting low, fill it up, and then drive some more, ignore the highway signs, don't care where I am going, don't care when I am coming back, or if I am coming back..

Sunday, October 26, 2008

you're ON!!

hello, texturizers, nothing to see hare. Mauve along.

I have been silent in my game blog for awhile now, maybe a bit longer than I'd like - I would think it'd be prudent to post in here maybe once or twice a week, at best, if I ever want it to be taken any-kind of seriously. But as usual, I have life and work and such to think about, and I do have my "real blog" to pour into when the writing bug strikes. Still, I have much to say on the world of gaming (and my work), so it'll come when it does. And it does, now..

At Oblivion, I mean Obsidian (was that a slip?) I have finally moved over to the Aliens team. Not sure how much I am allowed to talk on this stuff, so I must keep it pretty brief. After spending the last year and a half of my life living in Alpha Protocol, and all that entails, it is bittersweet to move on - I'll just say that the last work I was doing on that project looked like my best so far. Aliens-wise, well - I took the job with this studio specifically because I wanted to work on this title. So there! I am gonna miss working with Unreal Editor, though. I whined about it a good bit at first, but I feel pretty capable with it these days. So gratifying!

Nothing is spinning in my disc tray lately. AT ALL. The only modern-ish game-ish thing i have spent any time with was the Pixeljunk Eden demo on PS3. I seriously logged a good 10 hours in there - I didn't even feel the need to buy the full game, it was one of those where you can totally just cruise with the demo as it is. Fun though, nice little game to chill out and kick back with and while away some hours. Also downloaded the Mega Man 9 demo, expecting to make short work of it. holy CRAP tough. I am ashamed to say I could not pass the halfway mark of the stupid demo level - it only succeeded in pissing me off. Mind you I am a longtime lover of Mega Man TWO specifically - but geez. Anyway I think I am a huge loser if I don't shell out for Mega 9 sometime soon. 10 bucks, geez. Why the hell not.

LittleBigPlanet is the game I have got my eye on. I am going to see if I can snatch this business up this week - I sense this game might be something else. I haven't actually shelled out an honest $60 for a PS3 title yet, in the nearly one year I have owned the device - and the title that packed-in with it, Motorstorm, never got more than maybe 5 minutes of playtime from me (for shame! I know) so it is high-time to pick up something worthwhile, and this game looks like it's gonna be at least that. In this day and age of franchised IPs up the wazoo, it's no small feat when a game comes out with backing like this and interesting possibilities this intriguing. I expect it might end up boring, but I suppose that's only if I don't give it a chance...

Reading online about Wii Music, this is a title which most are scoffing at - and deservedly so? Maybe not - it looks deep, for whataver "it is," though I am not sure how one classifies this exactly. It looks like something I'd've had great fun with as a kid, and also looks like it is something I could enjoy playing with my girlfriend (and so, that is why I am eyeing it..) Weird looking title, but again, it's so refreshing to see Nintendo always going their own way with everything and sticking to their guns, their philosophy. It's nice to see this rubbing off a little on the competition as well (reference LittleBigPlanet, above) - trying weird things and just seeing it through to the end. This is what makes things interesting in the world, as opposed to the "static media" as I'll call it..

I bought an X-Arcade stick off a guy at work for 60 clams. This is basically a big chunk of wood with pro-grade joysticks and buttons sticking out of it, professionally manufacture of course. I have had a Hotrod for years, which is the same thing, but Hotrod's only good on PC - I feel a little out of place with that huge behemoth butted up against my workstation. The X-Arcade hooks up to my Xbox 1 as well, that being a modded Xbox with about a bazillion Mame (arcade) roms stored on it's HD. I love having that console but I hate playing arcade games with an XBox controller - the X-Arcade feels wonderful! Sucks that it took me so long to get this all figured out, but the price worked out at the end of the day. I'd still love to get a dedicated Mame Cab set up somewhere down the line, but this is a WAY more than satisfying substitute, perhaps superior in several regards. Playing Ms Pacman is STILL loads of fun, even all these years later.

Nintendo DSi, this cracks me up. What the hell is this? DSlite looks great as it is, a wonderful library, everyone loves it, etc. etc. This is kinda pushing it a little. Two cameras? No more GBA slot? Bah. It's interesting, and they will get some cool gear out for it I am sure. But let's just say I still have yet to buy any DS models at this point. I wonder how the new PSP is faring. Is there yet ANY halfway compelling reason to buy a PSP, for real? Hello? Echo-o-o-o-o-o...

how does it go, tomato

And so Roctober arrives to a blustery finish, another weary month drizzled by with little fanfare, depressing the world with it's economically troubling events, and few (if any) half-decent movie releases to sew up past a crazy-blockbuster summer. But no one is complaining about any of that. America's codpiece is tuned towards the coming elections, about a week and change to go. And of course, everyone has an opinion on the topic - and so, I am no different.

I seldom touch on politics in my blog, for several reasons, but it's always coloring my life, my mind, and all who cross my path, to be sure. When it's as relevant as it is now, I feel somewhat compelled to spit out a couple of words here or there on the topic, and so then..

"Vote Ron! Wy don't you vote? Vote, vote, vote. or you can't complain when things aren't running the way you wish they were." To the contrary. I am tired of explaining this, but I will put it out there once again - I don't vote for much the same reasons I will never by a lottery ticket, it feels like a WASTE OF TIME. If I wanna make a difference in an election, then I must do something to raise my visibility and develop my voice or something like that. Otherwise, punching a confusing card (in a state which always votes Democratic, anyway) feels somewhat pointless. But the larger issue, is the fact that it just goes against my philosophy - bearing witness to the past two elections, it has pretty much been proven to me how things work, and how much of a BS job the whole electoral process is. It just does what it wants. It makes us feel like "we have a voice, we have control" of this fiasco to some degree but honestly, it's so far out of our hands it's just not even funny. Is this a bad thing? Ummm.. well.. is it even relevant? Sure I would say "I WISH things were different and "good would prevail over evil" but at the same time, to be a superpower, to run the world "for the betterment of mankind" in the way that we do, things just sort of follow the way that they do in sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is not to say that massive foreign policy arguments wouldn't be different under a democrat-controlled white house - but at this point, with all the groundwork laid down by the GOP, there's nowhere to go but up, anyway. This war we are in, whatever state you'd like to call it now, isn't going to peter out no matter who is in charge... It's not a faucet that can be turned on and off.

I will give the Dems this much, though, they may be wussier and less shrewd than the Republicans, but at least to some degree they seem a littttttle less evil. Ah well. We will see. This is all pointless anyway, because as I have maintained all along McCAIN WILL WIN THE 2008 ELECTION. That's right, look at history, look at what's happened in the past as the prior Electoral Eves drew closer, how tight those races were, and here we are again, same old business. I think we all easily forget about what John Kerry pointed out last time, "The Two Americas" - you have us, the creative dudes, the hard workers, the intellectuals, the businessmen, the trendy hipsters, etc etc. And then you have THEM. The rednecks. The old-fashioned people with much worse grammar. The people who fear Jesus, Aliens, Terrorists, all with the same ferocity. I would still say those guys have us beat like 4 to 1 easy, at least. And these aren't the folks who go out to rallies, they don't "put out the vote," they sit at home with their curtains drawn and their shotguns loaded and their grits cookin'. They mind their own, but they fear everything, and they've been taught that, they've had it beaten into them, and they beat it into their own kids likewise, and it festers, it perpetuates. The Star Wars generation can't really touch it...

And these people aren't "bad." They are just people. They are our brothers and sisters, they watch the same movies an TV that we do, but it's all viewed through a slightly different prism - one that would never ever want to vote a black man into office, I will say that. On top of being black his name is "Barack Obama." Tell me that's not the one-two punch. Yes, America professes how badly it wants change, and it knows it needs it, look at the sorry state of affairs we've got ourselves into now. But it's not going to come that dramatically, not with all the hatred and confusion and Mickey-Mouse constitution we've still got, it's our foundation, it's our backbone, and in this way it is sort of our shame. America is the great big Melting Pot, but it's being tended by a fat old white guy with a straw hat, cowboy boots and the thickest southern drawl you ever did hear.

In spite of all I say, some part of me thinks that the Republicans put McCain out there to dry. Like they send him over ("is this REALLY the best we can do?") And some crazy person decides to strap a handgrenade named Sarah Palin to his chest and pull the pin. That was some craziness if I ever did see any. All they had to do was play it straight, get some good-looking large-chinned rich goofball in there as a subordinate, some no-name, it would have been boring but it would have been safe and, dare I say, pret-ty smooth. But no, somehow they decided to embrace this whole "America needs Change" attitude as well and wanted to pick up the Lesbo Vote which Hillary left in the lurch. Well this was not the way to do it, that's for sure. Anyway, that's what's frazzled my radar. Are the Pubs trying to throw the fight? Are they leaving us in this big stinking mess with the war fallout and the economy in cinders and trying to wash their hands of the affair, "let the dems clean it up!" It wouldn't be easy for anyone to take that mess and make sense of any of it, and by the time the next election rolls around the Pubs'll be sitting mighty pretty like the old father figure "it is okay son, we can handle it from here, you gave it your best shot." I don't know, something about that feels a little believable to me. As for all their investors, constituents, etc., they have enough firewood to keep warm during the long winter, and this will just weed out the wannabee's. I don't know. Something is up.

Anyway I stick to my guns. McCain's got this one locked in spite of all the weirdness. I would prefer to see Mr. Obama taking charge in his stead. I guess we can all just watch and wait - nailbiting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

the blankets were the stairs

apologies to that band.

Friday night, 1 week prior to Halloween, a time of the year that is very scary to me for reasons other than the usual (it's the Bermuda Triangle to me! Typically when I get dumped, fired, etc - while everyone else is out carving pumpkins and dressing like freaks, I just wanna stay at home and bury myself beneath my bedsheets for like.. TWO WEEKS, my eyes peering out, waiting for the blackest clouds of fate to pass me by so I can just get on with business as usual). Oh okay it's not ALWAYS horrible, but the human brain sure loooVVvvvVVes it's patterns. So, y'know.

Late, 2:30am, doing laundry, though it's almost done and then I'm to sleep shortly. Quite tired these days, things have taken a toll on me, I am out of shape, my nerves are quite frayed, the usual whining, etc etc. I feel like an awful pill of a person to be around lately, I don't know how/why my girlfriend puts up with it, hopefully for her sake she is a bit oblivious or something 'cause I feel like a major drag these days! Still, I tease her that "she's always happy and in a good mood" and I know that I appreciate that of her, it just makes things easier sometimes when I am feeling like I just wanna napalm all the fools on the freeway...

I have weird thoughts in my head, a lot of the same garbage/flotsam and jetsam that tends tt like to resurface ad nauseum, I wonder if I will ever be free of it (probably not, I guess I am not "me" if it is not there). Once in awhile, maybe more often that not I have this shitty urge of wishing I could just press a button and replace so many things in my life (particularly myself) - though I don't really know what that accomplish, after the novelty of "new everything" then I would probably just sink back to the same way I feel anyway, only set back some paces. Maybe that ain't a good way to feel about it. I think I am just looking for some direction, some belonging, something. I have all my shit all figured out (as much as it is gonna be) and maybe that bothers me too in another way. Maybe the bottom line is that despite my age, a part of me is frozen in this permanent-immature state, waiting for that next event which woulda happened long ago anyway if some things in my life had been different. Not sure if that's a good thing, a bad thing, or totally irrelevant, it's just a feeling, maybe I am just inventing crap.

Ah, seasonal affective disorder, where are you when I need you...? On that note, I am sick sick sick (not really so dramatically so, I just view the trend as pathetic/lame) how quick we as a society are to label everything with complicated-sounding names that brand them as "debilitating conditions," things that we have no control over," limiting factors that prevent like 99 percent of us from ever wanting to aspire to be more than some half-assed schmuck who's not good for very much at all. Who are we trying to make feel better, the old and infirmed? Come on, sickness and dying is a part of life! But more so, mediocrity is as well, in fact it's something of a saving grace - limiting factors are what truly define anybody as an individual. It's what draws us together, puts the humanity into us, and still we feel so shamed for it, somehow even when it's something ("talent") that we should not feel the least bit shamed for. It's not to terribly bad now, still kind of at a comical stage, but I can see where it's going and it sure ain't good. Again, my catch-all "this is part of our design" rings in my ear and so I can't just outright lambast it, people hate their humanity sadly, and this is an expression of that, and like all things in this world that too will grow and evolve however it will. Some will take advantage of it (ad agencies, pharmaceuticals, gov't) and others will know better, ad if not that then something else anyway, just like as usual. Okay I am pretty sleepy now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

my understanding has pretty much ground to a halt

greetings, those of you who read my blog, all fifteen thousand of you. How are you guys doing, I mean I really want to know! Jennifer, have you had that mole on your tucous looked at yet? And Bill, did you resolve that squabble you had with your neighbor yet (you know, after his god bit your wife and all). To be fair, she shouldn't really have been snooping through their yard anyway, I mean honestly, it's kinda not-cool to be going through you neighbor's trash and stuff looking for.. oh, I don't know.

It's a chilly night here in Los Angeles, as I sit here at my desk in my bathroom with the heater just-turned on, sipping a coke (it's filling and I've not really got any food here). The weekend was alright, busy times as usual in my life - let's see, last week my parents were in town (1st time in 4 years) so there was a lot of running around as I wanted to make sure they had a memorable trip. We rented a car and blasted all over town. this past weekend, I was hoping to just relax ad sit on my ass and not do too much at all, as it turns out it was still rather busy anyway - though I did get a little reprieve on Sunday. I sat my ass down on the couch to watch the final sox game this evening, unfortunately they got their hides tanned by the Mental Rays from tampa bay. I am sort of glad that I don't watch professional sports very much, though it is nice to be distracted I can see my personality just getting stressed/tense from too much getting-caught-up in that kinda stuff.

A few of us went out last night, it was a full night all around - dinner at Geisha House, drinking and dancing at Beauty Bar, and then back here to my pad for Pizza and Rock Band. I guess these are the Golden Days I'll look back at someday when I am old "for real." And of course today dragged my butt over to Los Feliz to meet some friends for a very tasty lunch. Life here isn't bad, I suppose...

Anyway, on to the complaining part of the email. I do feel tired, and I feel like my life is kind of at a standstill right this moment. It seems like some forward momentum I have been cruising with has kinda ground steadily to a halt, it's not there yet but it's pretty decided. I am not saying that's altogether bad, this halt is sort of representative of that Stability which I am always fearful of, but my personality is as such that I need to constantly be in the middle of some great flux where everything is threatening to break all-hell-loose if something super-crazy doesn't get pulled off at the last minute. It's this feeling, as usual. which puts my mind into evaluatory-mode and makes me think "hmm what should I do, quit job/move somewhere else/etc" and of course my reaction to that is that I must keep a steady course; if there's not a huge pit of trouble all ready to drop on my business, then don't ask for it. Still, there's a good few circumstances in my life which do kin of wind up that way, (hey - always, to some extent, right?) though by now I feel more than capable to be able to tackle any last-minute escape plans which would have to be hatched, if need be. So, I am not looking forward to that so much - but it's good to be secure in my own confidence of "I know what I am doing."

Still - I don't know really what I WANT. I think I sort of have already achieved many of the goals I have set for myself, certainly a few bigger ones are a ways-off from being realized but a lot of the middling stuff is pretty ordered at this point. Someone sort of pointed this out to me recently, and I took it somewhat offensively (a little, I suppose) "What!! how DARE you accuse me of having my shit all figured out - clearly you do not know me, sir or madame!" Well, I suppose it is all relative, then. Anyway I look around my apartment, and a lot of the clutter has been minimized, so I guess it's a little symbolic of my mental space being a little tidier than it'd been. I guess I kind of feel like a bit of a weight has been lifted in my life work-wise, as well, and as sad as that may sound, it's absence kind of leaves me feeling a little less chaotic in the rest of my dealing with the world....

Anyway, I guess at this point i will just keep working hard and trying to keep that stuff all going as best as possible. At some point i really WILL get out of debt (one should hope) and then maybe I will shovel out for a new TV or some crap like that (not something I ever seriously consider, but it's fun to pretend like I am concerned about it, in a strange way). Sigh, sleepy. I've had much deeper things I wanted to get over in here, but instead I think I will just phase off into the ether.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

rome is burning!!

You know, a friend of mine supposedly forecasted that "the world is gonna end Tuesday." Well, Tuesday has officially come and gone and the world is still here, but y'know, it is taking something of a beating right now. It's a weird feeling, this feeling of disarray - no one is quite sure what to make of it, how this has all happened, and quite what to do about it - nor what manner of times lie ahead. We kind of follow forward with quiet trepidation, the doomsayers among us clamoring the loudest, those with our delicate balance to protect just toeing the line, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but not so expectantly that we've battened down the hatches and locked up for the long winter, quiet yet.

The media has a nasty little habit of trying to drum up panic, but I see that as more reflective of human nature, really. Still, these are some unprecedented times we live in, with layers upon layers upon layers of - well, no one knows what's on the top and what's on the bottom anymore. Sometimes it feels like society is a very carefully-constructed house of cards. All these rules in place, intertwining and slipping and sliding all around one another, like some Eastern Traffic Pattern - but all it takes is for one sizeable-enough monkey wrench to full in place and gum up the works, and then it just all falls to shit.

Anyway, the natural order is kind of building up and breaking down, and the point of culture/society is to do that pretty much incrementally - not stop/start/stop/start with the slow determinedness of nature, but rather advance, then spread, then advance from more fronts, then spread some more. It's quite interesting really. Sure there'll be some time when that finds some weakness exposed as well I suppose, but it's hard to measure as compared to the regular patterns we see in nature, or at least that is what we like to tell ourselves. The ante just gets raised..

Anyway as I was saying, who knows what's to come. So the money will be all gone? Jobs disappear? People get hungry, lose their homes, submit to desperation - rioting, crime, strife? Never mind the problems on the world stage (they've been expressing themselves here and there to certain degrees) we have a big question mark about to slam into the Homeland of Tomorrow? The rest of the world is already definitely reeling from all this Stock Market BS.

Anyway, things continue with their momentum, all things, good and bad. Life goes on, as it doesn't know how to do anything else. We just take it a day at a time, and hope that those who we've placed in charge are smart enough to steer the course..

Sunday, September 21, 2008

stop crying over spilled organelles

13 past twelve and yes i am at.. the office. On the weekend. for the umpteen billionth time. i have (still) been lighting, all day, with somewhat satisfactory results. The point is RESULTS, at least it is getting done (enough). See my last post about the wonderful world of lighting.

Really I guess I don't have much else to say right now. The lights are rendering and so I have a few minutes to twiddle my thumbs while i wait for the machine to not-crash, hopefully. It has been doing a lot of that, unfortunately - I sat here for a good hour and a half trying to render lights, and then it crashed (burning that time). Then I figured a much quicker solution, sorta by accident.. UPDATE it just finished rendering the lights, and then I hit the "save" button, and as I did that, it crashed (and ate my work). Wonderful.

I feel like 2008 has sort of slipped past me, unnoticed. This is truly a year where I've been kind of wrapped up in work, mostly, and let everything else kind of take a backseat, in many ways. I did get to have a good few standout moments of irregularity, to different degrees - hey life is never actually "boring" - but it's certainly not been the usual hecticness I was kind of keeping tempo with a couple of years ago. There's only so many hours in the day, and I am just one man.

I eat lunch with a few dudes at work pretty much daily. I suppose it would be wayyy cheaper to bring lunch in, but when I do that I tend to get even more withdrawn and disassociative from my fellow man, and all that entails - basically makes me feel kind of extra-crazy, the point is it is good to get out for a little chunk during the day and out of my work-cave and away from the wretched, wretched computer. Anyway we sit and eat nachos or burgers or pizza or burritos or buffalo wings whatever unhealthy thing we can get our hands on, once in awhile down it with a beer or two (or margarita or two, hmmm, could go for a bit of that right doggamn N-O-W) and we sit and whine about work and whine about women and whine about money and all that other crap that guys do, heh heh. Anyway, it's the good part of the day. So recently one of the guys was talking about all of the horrendous circumstances he'd found himself in, during his tenure living and schooling in and around Hollywood, a lot of the cliched craziness one would assume would happen on moving out here and being an artsy fellow in their early 20s, in this day and age - stories with a humorous bent to be sure, but also quite dark and sort of depressing, overall. Narrowly avoiding running in with colorful characters of ill-repute, to say the least, and finding ways down some dark, dark paths. I don't like to pepper my journal with too many specifics if it is not actually my story and I am not sure how cool other people would be with degrees of incriminating them - I have had issues with this before! - so I will leave it at that. Use your imagination. Dirty living, alright! Anyway, the kinds of stories that you love to hate, and I am no different. So I am listening to this dude spill his guts, and comparing it with my own past (as I'll do) and it really makes me appreciate the crowd I have surrounded myself with, at the end of the day. I guess we do take one another for granted at times - and hell, no one is perfect - and SURE (damned.. thing crashed AGAINNN).. ahem..SURE we do things to piss each other off now and again, to whatever consequences.. but yeah, I am constantly reminded of the fact that I have got a nice group of people around me, and that I am really lucky for that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

everything in paradise is wonnnnderful

greetings from the front gate! What's up, I do believe it's been a good month or so, at least, since I have last paid any manner of visit to this little hellhole i call "my gameblog." I guess a lot has happened, or not..

Right up a the first, what have I been playing? Answer, nooooot much. Nothing at all really. Just killing myself at the office as usual, I am lucky if i take 20 minutes out of my day while I am on the can to get in a little GBA action. Replace PER DAY with PER WEEK, per-haps, and then it's a little more accurate.

Anticipating the mega man 9 throwback release, not so much for the game itself (no way it can even be anywhere near as perfect as good ol' number two) but I am pretty interested to see what type of reception it gets from the community at large, this is a weird move to say the least. I will probably grab it as well, though to be honest all the MM's past three were getting kinda grating. Not that they were bad games, they weren't bad at all.. it was just "enough already!"

Our game is going along well enough, as usual there's a billion things I'd love to say as far as positives and negatives go, but that's what post-mortems are for. Meanwhile, I am supposed to be moving to the "dream project" as I like to call it, this coming week - it was supposed to happen (rather suddenly) last week, but got held over for various reasons. So I am a little suspicious of what is next, but I am sure it will outline shortly. Anyway, mixed feelings about all of that - I am used to working on a game until it is out the door, not working feverishly on one and then getting plucked and dropped right into a whole different universe. Hey, I can deal with it, that's my job! It's a little odd though, and kind of a new thing for me. Not a big deal though, but worth noting. I guess my beef is that with my current project, I've got a few loose ends I was planning on wrapping up, and suddenly I find myself having my hands washed of that, mostly - to what degree I am unsure, but I would expect it is pretty absolute (especially since the project I am moving to will likely not leave much headspace for external goings-on). Anyway, suffice it to say that's why I have been pulling madman-style hours at the office lately, to the displeasure of those involved in my social life...