Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Newfound Starcraft Obsession

Apparently I was missing out on a lot by not playing Starcraft earlier. It actually turned out to be a very great game! I know lots of people would read this and say "Duh!", and I guess when so many people agree on something, it's probably right...

The graphics isn't at all that old, in fact it's barely noticeable except during the menus and the low-res videos. As for the gameplay, and although I don't usually play that many RTS games, it looks fairly original, and I'm sure it was very original at the time of its making.

Bottom line, it actually had me pretty hooked up! I just closed it after playing it for 3 straight hours, which in fact isn't that good considering there are many other useful stuff I could've been doing -- not that playing wasn't useful, but variation is good. At least I could've played Doom 3 for a while too!

I have also been extremely lazy in doing something else I wanna do, which is thinking about and planning for a game that I wanna make. I don't know many details about it yet, which is exactly what I need to work on. I just don't get that much free time and free mind to think about creative details. All I know so far is that I wanna make an RPG, and I wanna use opensource technology from beginning to end. I'm still trying to work out the rest of the details, but it's not that easy. I just hope I can get it moving and stop being so lazy, especially that I wanna have it in a presentable state by the end of this year, at least as an interactive demo.

All suggestions and ideas are welcome, of course! Also, I'm thinking of using the OGRE3D engine; any thoughts on that??

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Winter-een-mas everybody!

I know people might think it's weird, but this year I'm celebrating a new holiday, Winter-een-mas! It basically takes place every year for the last week of January, and it's a celebration of games, gamers, and the gaming culture in general. In the words of its original source:
Winter-een-mas is a holiday of sorts. More specifically, it is a celebration of video games and the people that play them. Video games allow us to do things, go places, see stuff, that we couldn't do in real life. They can be an escape from reality, a release after a long day, a fun activity with friends, or just an enjoyable way to pass time. They give us a lot of entertainment. So why shouldn't they be celebrated?

The idea generally appealed to me. Why not, indeed? And, for this year's WEMas, I've actually started playing Starcraft, and I'm enjoying it quite a lot. I'm also still playing Doom 3 in the tiny amounts of free time I have. The only problem is, this free time is very scarce, and I have other stuff to do besides playing (like blogging, for instance), so I barely get the chance to get immersed in either game.

Anyway, Happy Winter-een-mas everyone! And, to all the gamers and game makers out there goes a very special shout... Rock On, guys!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I won Name That Game 34!

Gianfranco Berardi from GBGames made a post the other day about having won the Name That Game contest number 33 which I happened to read. I followed the link and found out about this nice contest which Anthony Salter holds occasionally on his blog. And so, when the next issue of the contest came around, I thought I'd give it a try. Guess what, I actually got it right! Yep, I won Name That Game 34! Of course, it wasn't until I embarrassed myself a little, but I guess I'm used to that by now. Besides, it was worth it, check the post and see what I won ;-) :-P.

All in all, it's a nice idea. I liked searching through old games and remembering the early days of gaming... Brings back lots of memories, MSX computers, those Atari 2600 game consoles and later models. Boy, those were the days! Even then, it was pretty obvious that computer games were here to stay, though of course nobody could have ever predicted the level of photorealism they have reached. Which also makes the mind wander; if that's how far the technology went in 10~15 years, how much further is it going? How much further till we reach the level of "virtual reality" that Star Trek and such futuristic productions fantasized about? I guess it's something to think about... I just hope humble old me would get to play even a tiny part in that play!


Oh, and by the way, I still have my old 1989 MSX computer, along with a cassette recorder, a color monitor, and a dot-matrix printer, all from the same year and all in good (used but unharmed) condition. If anyone is interested in any of these items, throw a comment or an email my way and we'll talk ;-).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Finally, an update!

Yes, it's true! Finally, a very VERY long overdue blog update... It's been ages since I posted anything new, mainly cuz I've been lazy and occasionally cuz I've been really busy.

A lot has happened with my life since my last period of blogging activity. I started work at LinkDev as a Solution Developer, stayed there for 3 months (7/16/2007 to 9/16/2007), during which I got called for military duty. I went away for a while, till the beginning of December, then I came back. I've been wanting to update the blog since then, and I actually did do some visual updates on the style and such, but posts just seemed like a lot of work. Anyway, here I am, finally getting down to it.

So, that was a quick update of what I've been up to. I'm currently doing service during the day and going home every night around 4 pm (ish...), and I'm looking to change that by getting a part-time job during the afternoon/evening, so I wouldn't waste this service year without working and actually earning money and, more importantly, experience. I'm already in the process of setting things up with my original employer, LinkDev, and I should be starting work there soon.

A lot has happened on the computer/internet scene during this time, of course. A whole 10 pages post wouldn't even summarize it! I have been busy keeping up with it, though, I didn't get too lazy with that part. I recently paid more attention to my Google Reader account, increasing the number of subscriptions to a nice 50, most of which is active. I usually sift through 50 something new items every day.

I'm trying to get back up to speed with my regular life activities. I re-installed Doom 3 and I'm trying to actually play through it this time. I'm also borrowing Starcraft from a friend tomorrow, since I never played it and I feel I'm missing out. I also put a reading list for 2008, as part of a challenge/contest I had with a friend of mine. We're both gonna read 12 novels in 2008, one per month. I will post my full reading list at a later post, along with some other lists/targets I have for 2008.

Which also reminds me! Of course the whole Thousander Club affair went down the drain! I didn't meet the targets I set for 2007, in fact I actually stopped counting. I did, however, manage to read the whole 7-book Dark Tower series, and another book for Andy McNab called Crisis Four. The Dark Tower was, of course, even better than I anticipated, and I definitely wanna read it again just to re-live it and enjoy it again. Crisis Four was nice, though a bit predictable and generally not quite memorable, but it was fun to read anyway. That puts me at 8 novels for 2007, which isn't a bad number overall. That's why I'm hoping to reach 12 this year.

I guess that's enough for now.. I'll hopefully be a more active blogger from now on, especially that I have lots of things I wanna post about.

So, expect more soon..!