Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The mark of any true console gamer is the prized merit badge known as Gamer's Thumb. Gamer's Thumb is the callusing of the thumb, usually the left thumb but can develop on both depending. Most gamers who possess it will tell you that it takes years of hard gaming to achieve, but I'm going to let you in on a secret! It doesn't!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
For anyone thats a Zelda fan, right now you are like me, waiting. Nintendo has a nasty habit of letting its fanboys know they are working on something that makes them drool, but then handing so little information over the span of years that by the time a trailer comes out for the game we're expecting the holy grail. I think that part of why people get disappointed with some of the zelda titles is because they force us to anticipate to the point of impossibility. When you've been waiting for something for so long, you expect it to be beyond your wildest dreams to make it have been worth the wait.
Monday, August 3, 2009
To those of you who didn't read about it already, I use a Mac. But that is not where our story begins. No, our story begins with the Nintendo Wii. You see, the Wii has a cute little feature that lets you put an SD card from your digital camera into the Wii and view your pictures and videos on the tv. Well, I thought "Gee, if you can view videos taken with the camera why can't I convert a video to that format and watch it on the Wii?". So, as many of my musings do, it became a quest. A quest to convert a video and play it on my Wii.
It would seem that this is no easy task for a Mac user such as I. Not without expensive software that is. I found out that the Wii played a video format called a Motion Jpeg. But even when I would convert a video to this format it still would simply not play on the Wii. I began to get frustrated. But then I discovered something amazing. Its called Wii Transfer. It basically sets up a special web based server on your local network from your Mac (sorry Windows users... not really lol) that you can surf to from the Wii Internet Channel. The page it generates has links to your Itunes music folder, your Iphoto folder and a folder for your converted videos. You just click on the link and select what you want to play / view. The program is dirt cheap and works wonders. It does take a bit of time to convert the videos, but then again so does just about any good video converter.
The coolest part is that the page is viewable to any computer on your network as well. So basically, the gigs upon gigs of music that I have on my external hard drive are all now also available to my wife (not that she likes the music I listen to but the fact that its available is what counts). Seeing as how the software only runs a few bucks and does all the work for you its probably the cheapest / easiest way to set up a home media server even if you don't have a Wii and just want to listen to your music collection from other computers on you network.
Definitely two thumbs up!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Have you ever wanted to make your own game? I know I sure have. But my problem is always the same, I have plenty of ideas and I'm not too shabby at writing out story / dialog, but I don't know how to program or have the art / rendering skill to make the graphics. I have the creative side covered, I have vision, but I have no technical or artistic talent. I know countless gamers in the same boat. We've all had an amazing idea for a game that we wished could get made but never will. What if that could change?
Imagine with me for a moment. Imagine that you had a tool that let you make games. A point and click, drag and drop editor that let you construct tile-based retro style games on the fly. An all encompassing tool that had features for tile / sprite editing, animation editing, 8 / 16 bit music composition, level editing, AI and physics editing. A tool that let you choose your game style and then held your hand through the rest. Now imagine if it was all free!
I know, its all starting to sound too good to be true. And thats because it is. No such free game creation utility exists to my knowledge.
I began to have this vision of glory long ago on one of my internet odysseys in search of a good free game engine. I have found countless open-source tools that give you one function or the other, but nothing really easy and useful. But on this particular day I found something special. Click HERE to see what I found. Essentially, its a tutorial on how to build a tile-based game using Flash. It gives you the basics and lets you run from there. Unfortunately, Flash is yet another one of those fields in which I have little experience. I used to be a rather good HTML coder back in my day, but that was the 90's when Windows 98 was the new killer OS everybody was talking about and Flash was a brand new thing called Shockwave. Yeah, I was a mean coder with my Microsoft Notepad and Internet Explorer 3, but Flash is just a little bit younger than I am.
But it got me thinking. What if you could build a Flash game that MADE other Flash games? What if you could build a suite of Flash based tools that worked together as a full 2D game building utility?
A pixel by pixel tile / sprite editor
A sprite animation assembler
A tile-based point and click level editor
A collection of game engines for different types of games (platformer, rpg, action, fighter, shooter...)
A Mario Paint-esque music editor
And any other tools that I might have forgotten. You could modify the engine physics with simple sliders for things like gravity and have a tool that lets you assign actions to different keys on the keyboard / mouse.
If Flash cannot output another Flash file, as I'm sure it cannot, I thought it would be cool if instead it simply created the jpeg and mp3 files and then generated a text page of code for an outside compiler to use. It could be in C or Java. Again, I have no experience with this sort of thing, but I think the concept is sound. You could simply copy and paste the text into a plain text file and compile it. I did something like this years ago when I took C at collage and didn't like the editor the professor provided. I would write the code in notepad and then compile it with the C compiler. Since I know Flash can display text on the screen, this sort of system should be possible.
So please, if you think you can help develop something like this or know someone who could, spread the word and drop me a comment. I envision an active community of new game developers who are armed with nothing more then an idea. They could come and use the tools we could develop together freely, and share their games with the world. If anyone is out there and wants to be part of this, leave a comment below. If I get any feedback and a plan comes together, I will set up a dedicated page for the project.
I seriously want this to happen. If you can help, please do. The project could set up a free license that would allow people to distribute freely but pay royalties if they make money with there games. If it got finished, we could set up a publishing company for indie developers to copyright their games through once they are done. Heck, we could even look into a way to port the games made this way to other systems like Wii Ware or Apple App Store.
Help grow the game market that the big boys are leaving behind. The industry really needs a source of creative content that is fresh and I can see no down side to a free way to create games combined with venues like Wii Ware and Apple App Store to sell them without having to manufacture inventory and get your games on a physical store shelf. The market is ready and the outlet is there. All we need is the tools to make them.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
One of the common themes of science fiction is the idea of humans building machines smart enough to take over, or simply coexist with us as a new, robotic species. I for one can't wait for mankind to be faced with the moral dilemma of having created a virtual being who possesses a personality that is indistinguishable from that of a human. At what point is it alive? What makes us human? If a program can display creative thought and is self-aware, is it sentient?
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Today I'm going to talk about something that everybody knows about. Something that is both a bane and a boon to PC gaming. Warcraft.
Monday, July 13, 2009
So yesterday was more than full of geeky delights. So full in fact that I was unable to attend the rock and gem show but had a friend of mine pick me up some neat goodies. As for books, I had to cut my scavenging short but still managed to pack up 50 magnificent artifacts. I managed to find an entire set of Tolkien paperbacks from before I was born. The Hobbit, all three Lord of the Rings books and a copy of The Tolkien Reader which is rather cool. I also managed to get my paws on a heap of dirt old scifi and a copy of The Wheel of Time Role Playing Game Players Guide. All in all a worthy day.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Hey folks! Sorry for the few days of hiatus. This particular weekend has been chock full of local geeky things. Yesterday was the first day of the Book Bonanza. Its perhaps the largest used book sale in my region. Yesterdays sale was $.50 paperbacks and $1 hardcover with newer or rare books priced anywhere from $2 - $10. My wife and I are huge bibliophiles, so we braved the crowds for some treasure. Today the sale is $2 a freaking bag! The wife wont go for two early mornings in a row so I'm adventuring solo with a set limit of $10, which could score me over a hundred books. Yesterday I scored some awesome scifi/fantasy goodies and today I plan on getting there before the doors open so I can scoop up anything that didn't get picked over yesterday.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
On the topic of giant robot games, I'd like to bring you another one of my favorite games from retro-land: Metal Warriors. This is one of those cult games that were just so amazing that those who played it couldn't stop talking about how awesome they were.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
As I write this, behind me my two sons are playing a game based on a cartoon franchise that I have come to love. That franchise is Gundam. But it's more than Gundam that captivates me. It's giant robots. I grew up watching giant robot shows and as an adult I have access to even more anime of this genera than I did as a kid. But the game they are playing isn't the only Gundam game I own. In fact, its not even the only game based on a giant robot show I own.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
If you've never heard of DeviantArt now is the time to check it out. There is an artist named Orioto who is making some of the most amazing paintings of classic game scenes I've ever seen. I had a zelda pic made by this artist as my desktop wallpaper for a very long time. The paintings are done as if the original game had been done in HD and had been done without 3d.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The game industry of today is a completely different world than the world of yesterday. Today we have high-end near photorealistic 3d graphics. We have massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) that have vast landscapes and millions of living characters inhabiting them. And we have games so easy and short that you can beat almost any of them in a single rental. Wait, that last one isn't a good point!