Friday, December 11, 2009

The word of the day is:

an⋅noyed

[uh-noi] Show IPA
–verb (used with object)
1. to disturb or bother (a person) in a way that displeases, troubles, or slightly irritates.
2. to molest; harm.
–verb (used without object)
3. to be bothersome or troublesome.
–noun
4. Archaic. an annoyance.

Origin:
1250–1300; (v.) ME an(n)oien, enoien < class="ital-inline">anoier, anuier to molest, harm, tire < class="ital-inline">inodiāre to cause aversion, from L phrase mihi in odiō est … I dislike …; cf. in- 2 , odium, ennui, noisome; (n.) ME a(n)noi, ennoi < class="ital-inline">a(n)nui, etc., deriv. of the v.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Data, in this modern world it is more precious then almost anything else. My car was recently broken into and my laptop bag was stolen. In it was my laptop (works actually), a great laser mouse, power supply, headset, cds, some of my and my kids ID's and worst of all 6 USB memory sticks.

On these sticks was:

-An archive of 11 years of work e-mail, thousands of folders and correspondence, now gone.
-The last 2 years worth of pictures of my kids and events I went to
-My documents folder which contained all my articles, work diagrams, RFP documents, security notes and irreplaceable assets I used daily at work.
-Some short stories I was dabbling in
-My completed Ubisoft game design (60 odd pages) and my partial Bioware and EA designs
-Music I archived over the years
-Game saves and other bits of data.

Frankly I am still reeling from this loss of data. It is like a part of my life was erased and cannot be replaced....it is only data, but so much of my life and passions were in there. Do the thieves have any concept of what they took? Probably not.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The word of the day is:

per⋅plexed
[per-plekst] Show IPA
–adjective
1. bewildered; puzzled: a perplexed state of mind.
2. complicated; involved; entangled.

Origin:
1350–1400; ME perplex confused (< class="ital-inline">perplexus; see per-, complex ) + -ed 2
per⋅plex⋅ed⋅ly [per-plek-sid-lee] Show IPA , adverb per⋅plex⋅ed⋅ness, noun
Meant to post this a while ago! I attended the Montreal International Games Summit a few weeks ago and it was an amazing experience! I attended some great Seminars:

MIGS 09: Cinematics sans Cutscenes

Jonathon Cooper from Bioware discusses how he would love to see cinematic gameplay instead of cutscenes.

MIGS 09: Dead Space: A Musical Post Mortem

Jason Graves dissects and pulls apart the process he used to create the excellent audio for Dead Space.

MIGS 09: Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development, Valve Keynote Liveblog

A liveblog and recap as Jason Holtman from Valve, discusses games entertainment in the age of connectivity.

MIGS 09: Ken Rolston, Lead Designer Big Huge Games Liveblog

A liveblog and recap as Ken Rolston, Lead Designer from Big Huge Games, discusses a narrative designers toolkit.

MIGS 09: Yoichi Wada, President and CEO of Square Enix Keynote Liveblog

A liveblog and recap as Yoichi Wada, President and CEO of Square Enix, discusses cultural diversity in gaming development.

I also interviewed a number of influential people in the videogame industry:

MIGS 09: Interview with Jonathan Cooper, BioWare

Lead Animator at Bioware, Jonathan Cooper, sat down with me to discuss Mass Effect 2 and cinematics in general.

MIGS 09: Interview with Ken Rolston, Big Huge Games

An organic discussion with a talented designer of huge narrative RPG titles.

MIGS 09: Interview with Patrick Plourde, Ubisoft

Patrick Plourde from Ubisoft and I share a candid discussion about Assassin's Creed 2.

MIGS 09: Interview with Dorian Kieken, BioWare

Dorian Kieken from BioWare shared some insight on how a living plan benefits BioWares development process.

It was a great conference and a real life experience for me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I should mention that the laptop purchase was not all clear sailing, I had serious issues just getting a status update last week, perhaps the worst customer service I had ever experienced.

Below is the e-mail I sent Ronald Garriques - President of Consumer products for Dell:

Hello Mr. Garriques, I am sorry to disturb you as I am sure you are very busy but I had a recent issue when ordering a consumer laptop that I wanted to bring to an executive level. I recently ordered a new Studio 17 laptop (on the 26th in the early AM) and have yet to receive any updates so I decided to call support to see the status of my order.

When I reached someone in customer service they bounced me to online sales where I was on hold for over 30 minutes. As soon as the online sales rep answered and I told her what I wanted she transferred me back to customer service without even trying to assist me. Once I reached customer service (another 10 minute wait) the gentleman was extremely rude to me. That portion of the call started at approximately 2:45 today (Nov.27th) ending at 3:15PM and was extremely disatisfying (and disheartening) from a customer experience.

Without even asking my name he insisted that my order is not ready to discuss and that he would not look up my account. When I asked him politely to take my name and investigate he again flatly refused to look into it. I work for a National Telecom and I managed our support and provisioning teams here in the past and was appalled by his marked lack of any interest in doing his job. I then asked him to pass me to his supervisor or manager and he flatly refused to do either, even go so far as to lie to me saying he cannot transfer calls. I was actually dumbfounded at this and then asked him his name so I could call back and address the issue. He also flatly refused to give me his name, I was speaking to a customer service representative and he refused time and again to make any minimal effort to help this customer. At the end of the call I was insistent on getting his name or transferred to his manager, he still refused to do any of this or even to take my name and check the order still and then hung up on me with a thank you.

I am shocked that in this time of economic recovery and a realization that customer service levels are at an all time low that actions like this can happen at a company as respected as Dell Canada. I would appreciate a response to my issues and a reprimand to that employee or to the outsourcing company that manages your overseas support.

Below are my order details, I still have no idea what the financing options are, if the order is approved nor do I even have an order number.

Thank you for any assistance.
Finally getting a new laptop. I have been discussing it for a while and I am getting via work with a buyout option. This thing is a monster as I was able to design it myself (within reason):

Studio 1745 Studio 17 Laptop
Processor -- Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9600 (2.8GHz/1066Mhz FSB/6MB cache)
Memory -- 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
LCD Panel -- 17.3” HD+ (900p) Bright LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera
Video Card -- 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650
Hard Drive -- 500GB SATA HDD (7200rpm)
Combo or DVD+RW Drive -- Slot Load Blu-ray Disc (BD) Combo (Reads BD and Writes to DVD/CD)

Yowza! Very excited and it is a slick midnight blue color. This will definitely allow me to play some LFD2, Star Wars The Old Republic and Star Trek Online as well as DDO Unlimited with my friends in a very sweet resolution! The benefit of the Blu-ray drive is that I can now take screencaps of the blu-rays I review instead of having to search online!

Windows 7, Direct X 10 support, wireless N! All sorts of goodies onboard!

Tres excited, now I just have to wait...and wait...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Full Twitter Feed from Star Wars in Concert,a review will be posted shortly on Blogcritics.org, Imperial March and Duel of the Fates live almost unmanned me.


  1. Michael Prince Jer1ch0 Awww yeah!!! Imperial March again!!!!
  2. Jer1ch0 an encore!
  3. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qtoyf
  4. Jer1ch0 So it ends...final end theme...goosebumps again!
  5. Jer1ch0 Endor and the death star...big finish, more flames...daniels introducing the end of Vader...
  6. Jer1ch0 I am feeling that same sense of wonder that the original trilogy always gives me...this is Star Wars aurally at it's best...
  7. Jer1ch0 Tone, imagery, lights and the music...by God the music...this makes me want to marathon through the movies..
  8. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qtmn9
  9. Jer1ch0 Yoda time!!!!
  10. Jer1ch0 cantina music! geek euphoria again!
  11. Jer1ch0 Princess Leia segment..now Luke..starting with tatooine theme...hd imagery is phenomonal!
  12. Jer1ch0 Millenium falcon and Han Solo time! daniels just reverted to 3P0 mode...awesome!!
  13. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qtjzq
  14. Jer1ch0 post intermission...amaIng laser show...sith theme!
  15. Jer1ch0 I am your father at the pinnacle of March...mega goosebumps!!!
  16. Jer1ch0 Imperial March...I am in geek euphoria....Darth Vader time!
  17. Jer1ch0 Wow!! flame bursts during volcano planet fight...i could feelthe heat from them!
  18. Jer1ch0 Ooh, Anakins turning...morose theme...deep notes, choir and full orchestra...goosebumps again.
  19. Jer1ch0 somehow this is actually making me interested in their love story...very effective cuts and music...
  20. Jer1ch0 Amidala and Anakin segment...love theme from attack of the clones...very nice....
  21. Jer1ch0 funny moment as daniels introduces C3P0! Droids section playing...jawa music!
  22. Jer1ch0 Anakin being introduced...looks they will play themes based on characters and scenarios...
  23. Jer1ch0 This is actually making the prequels cool...really!
  24. Jer1ch0 with Live Choir...I have goosebumps!!
  25. Jer1ch0 Anthony Daniels eloquently introducing the star wars mythos...seque to Duel of Fates...LIVE!!!
  26. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qtbhn
  27. Jer1ch0 Darth Vader introducing Anthony Daniels!!!
  28. Jer1ch0 screen is huge and image is ultra clear...live footage of players...they are using HD cameras...
  29. Jer1ch0 lighting is AMAZING! Main theme being played...
  30. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qtana
  31. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qtai0
  32. Jer1ch0 wow, serious bass, battle sounds all around!
  33. Jer1ch0 show is starting!
  34. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qt9zk
  35. Jer1ch0 Hmm..men in an orchestra always wear tuxedos, but the women don't wear gowns generally...dress pants and nice shirts...odd that!
  36. Jer1ch0 Orchestra is bathed in purple light...smoke is billowing and players are filtering onstage! Star Wars in Concert starting soon!
  37. Jer1ch0 They are slowly testing effects, random blaster shots, lightsaber noises and breathing!
  38. Jer1ch0 Posted a picture http://twitpic.com/qt712
  39. Jer1ch0 Sitting in my seat, have to thank PR person, sitting on the floor16 rows from the stage!!!!

MIGS 09 - Interview with Jonathan Cooper - BioWare

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Test



MIGS 09 - Interview with Patrick Plourde from Ubisoft

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday, November 08, 2009

In breaking news Stephen Tyler has quit Aerosmith!

In other breaking news Stephen Tyler formally of Aerosmith is the ugliest man alive!


Note - I don't really care about the breakup, just wanted the excuse to make the ugly joke. I amuse myself at least.
It's no secret that my eventual goal is to have a creative director style role in the video games industry. In fact I have three solid game designs in various stages of completion. One for Bioware, one for Ubisoft and one for special one for EA. These are all tailored to the strengths of the individual studios.

Video Games are my true passion, not just playing them, but the design thought, the histories of the studios, and the desire to join this industry. The feeling of creating of one of these games in my head is my true and deepest dream.

To this end I am going to be attending the Montreal International Games Summit next week (Nov. 16 & 17). People from Square Enix, Valve, Bioware, Ubisoft and many other studios will be there and discussing aspects of the gaming industry. Game Design Workshops, cinematic progression, pitching your game and other topics will be discussed. I am there on a press pass for BlogCritics and will be LiveBlogging a few speeches, plus making a number of posts about the event itself.

This is it people...my first real steps towards my dream, hope it doesn't get crushed.

P.S. My Ubisoft design is essentially done. First chapter fully storyboarded, with dialogue, progression and characters fleshed out. Gameplay mechanic is fully described, as is the unique narration technique I developed and I mapped every chapter out already. This is a game I would LOVE to play, but it is not a pie in the sky design, it is something Ubisoft could do very well and sell boatloads of.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Best.Walken.Ever!

Monday, November 02, 2009

PSA: This post in no way is meant to imply that I do not love and cherish my long-time friends...just some deep thoughts

Friends, I have a good amount of them, most of them are long time friends, greater then 10 years, some going back 20 years or so. I love this core group of people, but as I grow and age and learn to try new things I find myself recently (last year or two) opening myself up to new friends. Not to replace my current friends, far from it, but to represent some of my new interests.

You see I don't make new friends very easily, that is not to say I am not outgoing, personable and even charming, without sounding egotistical I believe I can be all of those things. It really is a matter of trust, respect and opening myself to new people and ideas. I tend to close my true self out and while I have tons of acquaintances, I have a relatively small group of true friends as I don't let people in often.

Why is that? Not really sure? I did lose my best friend when I was a teenager and I think that affected me a great deal. I don't think that is entirely why, at this stage in my life I am so busy I tend not to invest a lot of myself into people emotionally unless I feel they are, well worth it sounds harsh, but essentially that is what it boils down to. If I think someone is interesting and could be someone I regard as a friend, I realize I internally weigh them and decide if I can open myself to the idea of friendship with them. It sounds in depth and anal, but it really isn't, I find that within a short time I can determine if I think the person is someone I would enjoy a friendship with.

Why is it such a big deal? Well I consider friends as someone I would sacrifice for, help, support, and invest myself in them and their well-being. I am a very emotional person (despite some opinions to the contrary) and when I click into a friend mode I take that very seriously. Acquaintances I will hang with, get coffee, get lunch, but the core of me will not get revealed, I hold that too close to my chest.

Over the past year or two I have made inroads to some new friends, I would say I have a handful of new friends that I have opened myself too. Some of them don't quite get what that costs me, some do, but regardless I am happier because of it as it has been years since I have let myself have new friends and it is a nice feeling.

PSA 2: I don't think I have had many introspective posts on this blog, usually just hooray a new game or technology type things...probably won't happen often.
ZOMG! Harley Quinn is one of my favorite DC female character, seriously, it is truly funny because she was created for the Batman Animated series, not for the comics. She is sexy, funny, psychopathic and completely loyal to the Joker despite all the crap he has done to her. I actually liked the dark sexy spin they gave her in Batman: Arkham Asylum and a female gamer/nickelodeon star Lisa Foiles seems to like Harley Quinn (and Kotaku) just as much as I do:



That is truly the Sexy!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

In no way do I need more games...really I don't, and with Dragon Age dropping on tuesday I REALLY don't need more games. But I was at Roger's Video and the had a 50% off PS2 sale, a 30% off used x360 sale and a buy one get one free sale, end of the day I got Gears of War 2, Rise of the Argonauts and Shadow of the Colossus for the grand total of 38 dollars taxes in! That deserves a woot!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

OK, I have to talk Borderlands again. It truly has gripped me in it's OCD inducing claws. This game has such a wonderful loot drop system and I am a true sucker for Mission based RPG's. I truly love games that let you grab a number of quests and then let you pick and choose which ones to complete and in what order.

Done well
--The map and compass clearly shows you where your next point of interest for the quest is.
--Quests are interesting and varied, fetch quests, challenges, boss fights, mayhem and repair variants are all there.
--Rewards are very rewarding! Generally you get XP and money, sometimes a great weapon. The loot is so cool that you really want that next gun, shield or mod.
--Quests have level indicators and they are accurate. I tried a level 15 when I was level 12 and paid for it in blood. Nice to see this done well.

Done not so well
--Quests for the most part have no personality. The ones from people resonate a little bit, but the ones from the bounty board are always for people, but you are never given their motivation or history. A little background would have gone a long way
--I don't mind the overland back and forth, but give the low level monsters AI a little nudge and teach them not to attack people who could kill them with a sneeze. Pup Skaag's keep attacking me, it is now an annoyance, like mosquitos.
--Quick travel would be lovely, even if it is just back to FyreStone to hand in quests. The vehicles are great, but it is tedious to drive back everytime...

Not related to the quests things that suck
--Really only the load times are annoying. With a 2.7Gb install I would have assumed we would have short loads, nope! Moving between the maps takes about 70 seconds...that is 40 seconds too long

I do truly love the game despite my quibbles. It has made me late for work three times as I played in the morning for a bit and I am thoroughly sleep deprived from plying too late daily.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So Borderlands is a game I have been looking at for some time. It is labeled as a Role Playing Shooter (RPS) and it is just that. It has a really well done FPS engine (no surprise as the developer is Gearbox) but the game using that engine is your classic North American RPG structure.

-Odd characters who assign missions
-Overarching story with smaller sub-quests
-lots of varied monsters
-customizable skill tree and level progression as well as a deep equipment system.
-Lots of dialogue, missions and rewards that are satisfying.

The game is really, really violent (geysers of blood), has a mad-max vibe with some dark and twisted humour, and the cell shaded graphics add a great feel to the game as a whole.

People will compare this to Fallout 3, Fallout 3 however was a more realistic take on a post-nuclear world with less humour. It is also an incredibly deep RPG wrapped around a basic FPS engine. Borderlands is a more casual RPG experienced wrapped around a stellar FPS engine...both are great, Borderlands has a little edge in the fact that it has 4 player co-op using your canned character, carrying over your benefits and rewards between single and multi-player games.

Very recommended, and tons of fun!



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I discovered Emily Haines of Metric when she first collaborated with Crystal Method on their Divided by Night album (on the Come Back Clean track) then with Tiesto on his Kaleidoscope album (Knock You Out track). I recently acquired all the Metric albums and I am astounded by the sheer quality of her voice. I tend to like artists that have a diverse range and not just one 'sound', Emily Haines is one of those people and I recommend her work with great enthusiasm...plus she is so edgy/yummy that it just adds to her appeal.











Monday, October 19, 2009

Mother of God, this trailer shows nothing of the actual game, but a hell of a set and a seriously sexy female Boba Fett...well a mercenary in the same Mandalorian armor anyway.

Friday, October 16, 2009

YUM!



Enjoying a great new beer, Sapporo, Japans oldest brand, started in 1876, Super Yum!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates, life/work/play has been so busy lately that I haven't posted a lot, will try to be more consistent. What have I been doing you ask?

Well I played a Game:
PSP Review: SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny

Beautiful, great engine, great sound, great controls, no game to be found. No gameplay modes worth lingering with, a shame really.

I watched a Movie:
Blu-ray Review: Shaun of the Dead

Fantastic movie, a true classic in the genre and a must see for anyone. The Blu-ray treatment is excellent, great visuals, stunning audio and worthwhile extras.

I read a Book:
Book Review: The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski

A good read, no new ground is broken by any means but the characters while a little cliched are interesting and the plot was engaging.

And I saw a great Electronica concert in Montreal:
Concert Review: Tiësto - Kaleidoscope Tour, Montreal, October 2

Tiësto gave a hell of a show and had all of us dancing in the Bell Centre like it was a club till 3:30 in the morning. A true performer he looped, mixed and played synth tracks like a maestro and enjoyed it as much as we did.

So I have been busy! ;p

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

OH.MY.MOTHER.FUCKING.GOD!



If I had not pre-ordered Dragon Age: Origins already I would be running out of work right now to do so. I need to book some time off in November to just play this I think.

Wow, and yes that is Claudia Black as the Mage. Yummy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Am I a bad person because I found this incredibly funny? A great Hitler rant from a movie called Downfall and the death of Michael Jackson make a great mashup. perfectly timed text in the subtitles, it could almost be exactly what he is saying.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will be a great game. The original game (sans the Sigma) was amazing on the Xbox 360 and they are adding more extras, more bosses, more characters and tweaked (better, not worse) graphics. They also added some motion control using the sixaxis technology, this additional control is the focus of this so bad it is good advertisement.



Yes, the motion sensors in the controller directly manipulats, umm, movement of the breasts.

wow...Japanese are truly weird...the best part is the guy at the end.in a robe.with a glass of wine.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Know why I love Batman: Arkham Asylum? Well many reasons, it is truly a fantastic game, but the real reason is how it handles collectibles.

Many games have them, scraps of paper that tell a story, audio clips relating a nightmare, things like that. Arkham Asylum has patient recordings and an audio diary split into many parts on Arkham's history. All of the material is amazing and what they did that was unique was never present them out of order.

Each main villain has 5 patient logs where they talk to therapists, even if you find one, let's say the third you found for Joker, and in fact it is the fourth one you COULD have found, it is listed as the third. Basically they don't (unlike every other game) dictate that a recording is number X. Every recording is the next one in sequence for that person no matter where you found it.



This is a smart move that is actually quite simple really, but no one else has really done it before...kudos Rocksteady for thinking outside the box.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aww yeah!!



Batman: Arkham Asylum is the love child we have all been looking for in a Videogame. Paul Dini wrote it....and the the kids show restraints were removed. He has crafted a brutal, gritty and very edgy Dark Knight vibe that has plenty of dark twists and nasty secrets. From historical patient recordings, to Jokers taunts of Batman, to the mass murder of guards and inmmates this game features a dark Joker that we love to see. Mark Hammil is at his absolute best voicing the joker on this game, I have never heard him so engaged as the character.

The game looks, plays, sounds and is simply GREAT. There is stealth, puzzle solving, 100+ riddlers from the riddler to solve, great dynamic fighting system, plenty of gadgets and bios to enjoy. If you have a PS3 or a X360 you must own this game. Walmart is selling this game for today and tomorrow for 38.83, after that it jumps to 69.99. This game is averaging 92% in ratings, one of the highest (if not highest) ranked games of the year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In other gaming news I am a sucker for a great concept picture, this one from the upcoming Bethesda Softworks game Wet was just too cool for school:



Well the game is launching soon and it is described as a highly stylized 3rd person action game. Shoot anywhere, anytime gunplay (think Stranglehold) combined with sword fighting and amazing acrobatics. The story is supposed to be zany, serious and gory, plus the main character is ridonculously hot. I like any game that can turn the concept image above into a near perfect in-game model below. There is a demo live on the UK PSN store, gonna try it tonight!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

God I want Dissidia: Final Fantasy for the PSP so bad...here is a video that features one of my favorites, Squall Lionheart, versus Sephiroth...yeah, the game is that cool

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wowee, big news at Gamescom with the PS3 Slim announced. Every feature of the current 80GB PS3 phat except the power button on the back, but with additional Bravia synch support and it features a 120GB hard drive. On top of the announcement of a 33% lighter and 36% smaller PS3 they also lowered the price on existing PS3's immediately to $299 which will also be the price of the PS3 Slim when it launches Sept. 1st.



This is huge news for Sony and will be a game changing moment for them. Many people have held off buying a PS3 due to the prohibitive price point and this is the time for them to buy. This year many games are coming only on PS3 led by Uncharted 2 we also have Demon's Souls, EyePet, Gran Turismo 5, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time, PixelJunk Shooter, The Last Guardian and Heavy Rain.

Should be a good year, also the PSN keeps improving, we now have a portable ID that displays our trophies as bragging rights. I need to work on mine a bit more I think...


Get your Portable ID!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Okay, I am ready to eat crow. Back at E3 a game was announced and when I did my E3 post mortem for Microsoft I made these comments about this Xbox 360 exclusive game.

'Shadow Complex – Nothing about this looks terribly interesting to me, I know I will be in the minority, but I could not feel any excitement about this announcement.'

Sigh, I am a weak, weak man (see Riddick post) and the hype post release for this game has been great. So I bought it last night and boy is it good. They were right, it is a 3d, modern day take on the Metroid formula. The maps, guns, tunnels, climbing, everything feels comfortable and solid. Add to this the absolutely STUNNING graphics and the game is rocking.

The main character is so generic though, a review called him Nathan Bourne (although his name is Jason) because he looks and acts like Jason Bourne but is voiced by Nolan North (of Uncharted's Nathan Drake fame). If you were on the fence, don't be, with collectibles, powerups, amazing action, hidden paths, smart backtracking (they give shortcuts) this game is a winner.