Thursday, May 29, 2008

damn you, rotten blog! Out! Out I say!

Phewwwww, but it has certainly been a long long time since I have written in this thing, wouldn't you say? As usual, the culprit is honestly just OT - lots and lots of OT. I have been banging the crap out of the neurons and dodecahedrons in the back part of my brain, as I have been overloaded with orders to "produce -- produce -- produce." I am really well exhausted these days, staying late at work night after night after night (weekends too). Ah, but so it goes, such is the lamentable life of the exhausted level artist. Hey, someone's got to build the world! Anyway, this is not new, it just ebbs and flows. Hopefully it will cool off sometime soon (in a postive way!) It's a double-edged sword - working like crazy gets some of the best work out of me, especially when I get into that groove - but it also makes me sort of miserable since I devolve into a kind of subhuman, incapable of complete thoughts, and regularly entertain fantasies of tossing myself over a bridge or something, ah well.

Anyway, in spite of my whining I am proud of the caliber of work I have been putting out lately, I sort of wish I could post it in here. It'll have to wait, though I hope we will have some more screenshots to show in the near future..

Other than work draining my vitals, absolutely, things are alright. Kind of a quiet pre-summer for games, in a way. GTA has been out for a bit now, and really dominating of course, but -- maybe it's just me, it feels like people aren't quite so sucked up into the whole hype megamachine for it like they were the last few go-rounds. Sure, it's making uber-bucketfuls of cash the world over, but it's sort of.. calm, for lack of a better descriptor. It landed and that's that, people are playing it but that's just it, they are playing "another sequel to a game that changed everything, some years ago." And the media is taking it easy on them, all we hear about is how the voice actor for the lead is pissed about lack of royalties (it's going to be hard for guys like him to get sympathy from dudes like ME, alright?) but that seems to be the worst of it. No hot coffee, no sexytime minigames, what-have-you. Put it out to pasture already. Actually, the game seems to be frying several people's consoles, that's SOMETHING, right?

Haze came out, plopped out rather, yeah this from the Goldeneye boys.. well, a lot of time has passed! I watched the dudes at work demoing it, it looked all well and good.. a little silly.. but competent. Not my thing, but then, WHAT IS, har har har? Seriously, the game is getting a lot of flack, and looking at the thing (from my admittedly limited P.O.V.) it's hard to wanna come down on those guys. In thiese post-Halo3, post-Gears days, it's just damned hard to put out an FPS by honesstly ANY company and not feel like sort of a weiner compared to the mega-powerhouses. I mean, you've got games like Unreal III, Crysis, things with serious 'recent' pedigree (not to take away from the Haze guys) and even THEY'RE sort of coming out with little more than a wink and a nod to show for it. Well, competition is good of course, and it's good to see standards are high - but at the same time, games are still early enough that it makes sense to expect these relatively B and C level contenders will have their place in the world as well. Do I encourage their persistence? Well, they need to make money if they wanna try to do different projects, I understand the business end of it. Anyway, if you can't really get something released that's at least feeling on a level of competency with Resistance, then you are probably bound for the bargin bin..

A strange season this time, the doldrums of summer usually but there's a little product this time, Coming of a ridiculously busy holiday season and a quite crowded spring, there seems to be a bit of hubbub to go on about in the coming schedule. Wii fit has just launched, of course, and true to it's heritage the thing is already sold out everywhere, and likely the case to be for sometime. I wanna buy one for my girl, also my parents.. looks like everyone's gonna be having to wait for a tad.

Of course the gorilla in the room is MGS4, which is out in.. what, 2 weeks, is it even that far off? That thing's been years in the making, I am sure it will make for some interesting times. Unlike the review bloats of GTA, I predict mid-to-high 8s. I think the thing will be fine, but it's getting old. We'll see.

Wow. Tired.. I must wrap this up, I have lots more to sya but it'll have to wait till next time. I need to talk about Boom Blox (which I picked up, haven't played yet - but looking forward tt it, sounds pretty fun!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

buzz binz

sigh, so much to say, so little time. as usual right now, i whine "sorrrry guys i haven't been keeping up with my game blog!" What can I say. It's 10:42 on tuesday evening and I am still at the office, that should give one an idea of the shape of things. So I am a workaholic, what else is new, so long as i apparently have picked the right career, eh?

Well, as noted, a lot is going on. All over the place, really. Rahter than try to sum it up and extrapolate it all down, I'll just binge and purge, so to speak. Work is very busy, our project is moving forward as usual. I have my hands in several things right now, with more coming. As usual, trying my damnedest to do a good job while still applying the L-O-V-E wherever and whenever possible. Next gen is gorgeous but such a pain in the ass, this spells so much headache for the future! In some ways, I miss the low-tech days, damn it..

A friend of mine got fired recently, I am sad to see him go. While I don't completely agree with the circumstances of his termination, I can't say I don't see where his superiors are coming from. Like they always say "it takes two to tango," and they are often right. So that sucks, but then, this is not the most unusual thing in this industry (take it from a fella who's been fired a good few times his own damned self..!)

On the other side of that, the bosses at this place are generally being pretty cool lately, as I have stated before (trying to not sound like a suck-up, but then, I am sure NONE of them read this blog - trust me, I watch the numbers, I know of what I speak!). Yeah, this place has it's issues and problems, like ANY company in this wretched godforsaken industry, but I still hold it to be true that the people in charge of this place, they are actually nice people, they make you feel like you are appreciated, if you are workin' hard for them.. that's more than I can say for some other places I have been at.

Listening to gaming industry podcasts all day long (surely it has contributed to my general floaty headache I have got goin' on!), I try to use those things to keep up with the trends, and generally very helpful (and entertaining) - though too much of it can be overstimulating/bulldozing, certainly. Listening to them talk about an online mod for the PC version of GTA San Andreas, very interesting - sort of a hint at what the coming future would be like when we finally are graced with a full on GTA-style MMO. As I write this, it makes me consider "I should drop what I am doing and get myself hired at Rockstar!!!" if for no other reason than to get myself in on the NEXT BIG THING. Yeah, we all want to get in there, don't we. Anyway, the point of bringing this up, it highlights my general disdain/disinterest in such things, that being MMOs, or honestly online co-op play in general (call it what you want). I enjoy playing videogames with other people, but I feel like I don't care if they are not actually in the same room, physically, with me. Something about chemistry, or something.. I just enjoy that social aspect of it. Yeah, I am a dinosaur.. Anyway, in spite of my lack of interest in that arena, I maintain that it's deserving of (a great deal of) attention as it is obviously quite a powerhouse force in gaming - and it makes me realize, actually, how out of touch I am with my fellow man. I mean this - people are BORED!!! I tend to forget this, as I have an extremely active and busy life, (though not necessarily of the sort that "most would be envious of,") but i mean - I have my career, I have my social life, I have my relationship, and to whatever other extent I have my hobbies (such as they are). All these things eat up so much time, that there's not a lot of time for me to really sit around and ponder how "tiiiiime is a-waaaaaastin'" But, yeah, the more I talk to people/pay attention to the world around me, I get the sense that so many people are just honest-to-goodness freakin' bored a good deal of the time. They have hours and hours of their lives that they just need to kill. Now it makes a little more sense to me how people can get so fixated on BS like World of Warcraft.. it's insta-gratifying substitute social life that leads you by the hand, plug-in-and-play, that doesn't require more than sitting down at one's desk, tokin' up or what have you, and just turning down the lights and clickety clackety the keyboard for a bunch of hours. Yeah. This stuff is just getting started, folks.. yeeeesshhh..

Lots of other stuff to say, Played the Bourne and Iron Man demos. One good, one bad, I will let you figure out which is which. Right now, I gotta get back to work. Also I would like to bang the chick in the new Mirror's Edge game. See you on the flip side...