Thursday, July 24, 2008

Apple II Cracked Screens

I recently stumbled upon this awesome collection of Apple II cracked game screens. Brings back memories!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fusionfall Site Updates

There's been a few changes at the Fusionfall official site. Check it out!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Last Stand 2

How exciting that Last Stand 2 has been released, a sequel to one of my favorite web games of all time!! This new one has lots of interesting gameplay updates, including maps to select your search locations, travel, and the ability to equip your companions. Said companions can also die during a shootout...poor companions! The dogs are still as annoying as ever. And the chainsaw has been seriously gimped, having the annoying tendency to putter out when you need it the most!!

Web Kids

And just as I post the below, here comes an article in News Day about virtual worlds for kids and RL toys, like Webkinz.

Kid Stuff

There's a recent feature on 1up about virtual worlds for kids. It's a good one to read (I never heard of Dizzywood), but it only scratches the surface. It's indicative of something I've noticed: while the media aren't looking, this kind of content is surging. Why isn't this being covered? Sure, you get the occasional "MMOs Aren't Just For Grownups Anymore" article, but in general, nobody is really paying attention -- except maybe the people making the games. My theory? The guys (yes, they are almost all guys) who make up the press (twentysomething fanboys) don't care. And really, why should they? Gears of War 2 is coming out!

I'm waiting for somebody to seize the opportunity to really cover this genre, if such an opportunity exists. I mean, other than the articles above and niche websites like Ten Ton Hamster, where can you go to see reviews and analysis of this stuff, for kid OR adult audiences?

In ten years (or less), when these games are making really serious money (instead of just plain ol' serious money), we'll probably start to see significant media attention.

Friday, July 11, 2008

OMG

Friggin' great article in this month's WIRED about the gathering of internet cewebrities at something called ROFLCon. Catch an earlier story here and an image gallery here. Oh, and check the official ROFLCon site here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

FusionFall Safety Measures

A press release about FusionFall's safety features can be found here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Game Tunes

I'm doing a ton of writing and revising of various game documents as we race towards our launch later this year. To stay in "the zone" (AKA not reading or posting to blogs, ahem!) I am listening to lots of game music while I write. It's excellent stuff because: a) it generally doesn't have vocals, and b) it's very atmospheric and works in the background. (Just like in a real game!) Not to mention the fact that it is wonderful to revisit favorite games when the tunes are just fun to listen to. And you'd be surprised at how excellent some of the compositions truly are. On the current playlist:

- God of War: an epic soundtrack, to say the least. Very "cinematic" though perhaps a little too much in-game dialogue.
- Resident Evil 4: light on melody and long on atmosphere...actually quite scary! Great for deadlines.
- Metroid Prime 3: recommended by a friend. I forgot how awesome this music is. I've had the original Prime/Fusion soundtrack in my collection for a long time...this one is almost as good and echoes many of the original's themes.
- Diddy Kong Racing: well, it's a bit silly. But this is one of the best game soundtracks of all time. (By Rare's David Wise.) I played the crap out of this game. I hear the music in my dreams.
- Magna Carta: The Phantom of Avalanche: I grabbed this one from our Korean developer when I was in Seoul. I don't think this game came out in the states. The music is good, though cheesey in that proto-Asian style. A dance remix of the love theme at the end is rather sexy.
- Capcom Music Generation Rockman 1-6: If you don't think the stage themes for the original Megaman are some of the best game melodies of all time, then you're a dummy. I looked for this collection forever. I didn't even know it existed until I found it online.
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem: mentioned in a Chris Kohler blog post in the context of his Too Human preview. Reminded me how cool this game is. The music is excellent and brings back good memories of the game.
- Nintendo Power: Play It Loud!: this was a magazine bonus CD from the SNES era, and it contains music from some of the best games of that generation: Yoshi's Island, Super Metroid, Link to the Past. A fantastic collection and a great find.
- Super Mario 64: I ripped this soundtrack years ago from a cassette that I owned from back in the day. Now I found a much better and more complete version. Not to mention the fact that my original copy was not broken into tracks...just one long 32-minute song. Obviously, some classic tunes here. (Love "Dire, Dire Docks"! Cool name.)

Where can all this great music be found, you might ask? Now, I am not one to condone the proliferation of "illegal" intellectual property, so let me be the first to admit that I am rationalizing the following...visit Galbadia Hotel or Kingdom Hearts Insider to find these gems, amongst many (MANY!) others. But remember, it's always best to buy the original article when you can. (Hey, I bought my "Dragon Quest VII" OST when I was in Tokyo, dammit!) However, some of these things are so rare, hard to find, or just not available in this country that you would be a stalwart nerd indeed if you could resist the urge to dip your toe in these waters. Who knows how long these sites will be around, anyway?

Happy listening!