Saturday, October 16, 2010


...GOD I fucking want this!

This is the best Halloween display I've ever seen. So damn cool!

Totally one of those 'I wish I wuda thought of that' small businesses. Not sure how this guy is doing cash wise, but what fun!

Reminds me, I should download Atari's remake of Haunted House from Steam this weekend. Anyone played it yet?!?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dear Max Console...

...please change your headline.

I never said EITHER thing you are saying I said. 

Come on ya'll. Show a little professionalism. 


My Take On Medal Of Honor

I was home sick yesterday so in between bouts of sleeping I got to play a lot of Medal of Honor while crashing on the couch.

If you are interested, here's my take: 

I like it! 

The game has heart. The SP feels more immersive to me than a game like MW2. I think it's clear MW2 has MOH beat to hell and back in production value and sheer 'wow' factor, but MOH almost feels like I'm on an adventure with these three other soldiers...kind of more like playing a war story where as most other FPS war games feel more like I'm living in a war simulation. It's one of the reasons I'm really digging the SP of this game. I don't really know why that is as MW2 DOES have super cool scenario designs where it is just you and a buddy or two (ice pick climbing and such). But for some reason that game- while a fun ass ride- just doesn't feel as immersive. Is it that the scenarios are SO James Bond that it's hard to really feel immersed in the scenarios? Hell, maybe it just comes down to sound fx and music and MOH- I think-has really immersive sound and the music is just great. Makes me feel like I'm in a movie like SPY GAME or GREEN ZONE. 

That said, MOH is crazy repetitive in its enemy scenario design (to the point that- even as a short game- I'm reaching my threshold on how many times I can do the 'advance, hunker down and shoot dudes popping out, rinse repeat' thing). Also, I don't like how I went from being the Tier 1 guys to being Rangers. I was digging my ZZ TOP brethren and now- all of a sudden- I'm some clean cut army guy?!? WHY? 

Oh, also digging the little sub/mini game things like targeting tanks and trucks with the paint target binoculars thing. That's really fun! 

Also, I wish a lot of the non interactive story telling would have been interactive. How cool would it have been for ME to have solved the 'puzzle'- as a player- of kicking the dude in the chair ( with the bomb strapped to his chest) out the window?!? 

But still,all that said, really liking SP so far.

Digging the MP as well and not sure why. It still has the problem most FPS have (in my minority opinion) in that to ME it's not fun to respawn, run out and be alive for 5-30 seconds, then die and then you have this down time of respawning again, walking back to some sort of conflict area again before you are reengaged. I fucking HATE that pacing. But that's most FPS games, not just MOH. And most players seem ok with it.  

But the MP has me hooked for now. Maybe it's the quality of the matchmaking or just the fact that no one has played long enough to rank up to the point that they are fucking unstoppable monsters on the battlefield...or maybe it's the fact that the rank up rewards do a better job of keeping the balance fair while also rewarding players by letting them feel more powerful. Not really sure. But so far I've stuck with this MP longer than I stuck with MW2, KILLZONE 2, and BFBC2 MP. It just feels more 'fair' at the moment, like I have a good chance to get a decent number of kills, complete some objectives,etc. Versus just 'walk/die/walk/die' which tends to be my FPS online experience with other games. Is that only me? 

I also like the big, beefy medals that pop onto screen when you do something cool. Yeah, every online game has medals these days but the presentation of earning a medal in this game is a lot more rewarding to me for some reason than in other titles. That said, the presentation of achieving a rank up in this game is very lame. Just a little piece of text that says: YOU RANKED UP! ....meh :(

Anyway, I dig this game! I know the reviews have been mixed but for me it's a solid win.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Response to EA Louse...

If you have not read the EA LOUSE letter that is making some waves in the game biz today, I highly recommend it. It's good reading. Here ya go! 

And now, here's my response:

Knowing nothing about the company, game, or people, I'm in no position to comment on how true and valid all this is vs. how much it's just a tantrum from someone who felt they should have been listened to but was not.

I will comment on two things however:

#1- EALouse- no one gives a shit if you or the animators get to express yourselves IF in expressing yourself it breaks the fiction of/immersion into the world of the game. It's not a fucking art class where everyone gets a chance to 'show what's inside them!''s work. I don't know much about the Warhammer world but fuck man, seems a pretty spot on comment that if the whole fiction is about some horrid, down and dirty war then mechanics and animations that allow characters to fucking DANCE are probably not going to fit into that universe. And the fact that you feel removing the dancing- which was a good creative call in my mind- served to take away some of the team's ability to express themselves does nothing but paint you as someone with out of touch, unrealistic expectations of what your job is supposed to do for you. Games SHOULD allow for self expression by members of the team- that is FANTASTIC when that happens and something management should always try to offer up- but it's gotta be within context of and in service to the product.

#2- What the fuck is it about making games where it brings out the worst, most immature, most obnoxious sides of certain types of people on a team? Everyone thinks they always know better than the people in charge. On God of War 1 I still remember a small group of hard core gamers on the team that felt we were making the game 'wrong' because there was not all this deep, deep, Street Fighter 2/Tekken style depth to the combat system. "Jaffe's out of touch!" "Jaffe doesn't 'get it!'"...never did it occur to them that we were going for something else...even tho I explained this to them over and over! But still, every few weeks I could count on this little contingency being up in the studio head's office pitching 'their' version of the game, with the goal being to have the head step in- which he never did- and shove their ideas into the title.  Fuck it annoys me!  Am I the only one in games who has experienced this? 


ps. the dancing part is not in the original post but in the Q/A-Comments section of the blog post where Louse goes on to answer reader questions. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fuckin' Ugh...

While I like this ad, think it's well made and funny, and think most of us can relate to it (as both the phone users and the people annoyed with the phone users), I really hate when tech companies take this angle. As I recall Prodigy or Compuserve did the same thing back in the dot com craze with some line like, "Log on, get your stuff, log off, and get on with your life".

To me it really shows a lack of understanding about how technology is changing our very wiring. To not only push against that change, but to present our obsession with tech and the ease with which so many of us get lost within it as a bad/wrong/weird thing just seems out of touch at best and intentionally dishonest at worst.

The reality is many people- for whatever reason- DO want to look at their phones and text and get mail INSTEAD of interfacing with the outside world. Stop being such old fashioned snobs and just embrace that fact. Fuck, you want to do something innovative and cool, get to work on a product that lets us dive deeper into the matrix without running the risk of bodily harm as we are walking around the real world (heads up displays for glasses and contacts lenses...stuff like that....Apple should come out with the ieye :)...).

But this just reeks of one of those 'don't be a geek all lost in your phone and your tech but be cool instead' messages that I just hate.


Monday, October 11, 2010

It Begins...

My brother came down from LA to help me decorate my yard over the weekend. This year my kids wanted a more scary Halloween display instead of the cute, little kid one we usually have. So I splurged at the Spirit store Saturday and picked up some creepy stuff. There is still no gore- they are way too young for that- but it's a lot more spooky! I dig it!

This is my fave area of the house with my brand new Grave Digger! He is so damn cool that when the holiday is over I'm gonna stick him in my office. :)

Also, the kid's costumes have gotten scarier too. Instead of the usual Disney Princesses and barnyard animal style costumes that they've gravitated towards since birth, this year my oldest is going as a Werewolf and my youngest is going as a...hmm...I dunno what the hell she's going as...she just assembled her own little thing from stuff lying around the store and ended up with this:

Kind of like a cross between a vampire, Star Child from KISS, and something out of a Meatloaf video. I love surreal and creepy!

My brother and I also hit San Diego's famous HAUNTED HOTEL this weekend! I was SOOOO excited but it was kinda 'meh'. The production design/execution/professionalism/crowd control was fantastic! One of the best haunted houses I've been in in those regards; just very well done all around. But the scares were pretty by the book, nothing all that creative or unique other than the 'dot room' (which I won't spoil for you if you don't know what it is). I think it's time for haunted houses to step up to the next level; there is just so much more you could do with them. Not sure if there is a biz model that could sustain a more ambitious, creative haunt but perhaps one day- I hope- I'll get to find out.

Ok, back to work. As you can probably tell by the lack of updates, work is all consuming these days as we try to get the game where it needs to be before we unleash it to the world! Hope all is well!


ps. So my brother and I were older than 99% of the other people at the haunted house- naturally. But I got to wondering: why?!? At what age do most people lose interest in haunted houses? To me- assuming it's a good one- haunted houses can still be a fucking blast. What is it do you think that- as people get older- makes them no longer care to head out to the haunts for Halloween?