Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

The Write Stuff

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

I’m falling behind in my blogging, I feel. Not a whole lot goin’ on, but I’ll write about it all the same.

Work is going well. I’m still on team Pirates, and we’re plugging away on new features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes. If you haven’t tried the game yet, please do so. It’s free to try for as long as you want!

Speaking of online games, many of you know this already, but I appear to have fallen of the wagon. It was a nice break–almost a year!–but it’s also nice to be back. I’ve mostly been working on a new character and hanging out with Matt, Jacques, Devin, and Robyn online.

I was talking with the neighbors the other day and we got to chatting about music, specifically about the band “Garbage”. I’d forgotten how much I liked their second album, so I’ve been listening to it again for the past few days. It still holds up pretty well even though it’s more than 10 years old now.

Garbage Version 2.0

Venting

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Allow me to get expository here for a moment.

My industry, video games, has been taking a lot of flack lately in the media for some of its content. That the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) doesn’t do enough to protect the children from the violent games. What I’d like to point out is that all games are rated by the ESRB, much the same as movies are by the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA). Here is the the ESRB’s rating list and here is the MPAA’s rating list. First off, note that the ESRB has more ratings for minors than the MPAA does. Also, the ESRB always has what content garnered the rating listed right on the game box itself (violence, language, etc.)

But all of this is almost beside the point. It really all comes down to enforcement and who’s responsibility it is to keep inappropriate games out of the hands of minors. In this, I don’t think it should be any different than any other minor-prohibited media. If the game is rated ‘M’ (rated ‘R’ in movie-speak), then don’t complain to the game industry or the government when you find it inappropriate for your 12-year-old after you buy it for him/her. Some parents might allow their children to watch certain ‘R’-rated films or play ‘M’-rated games, and that’s really up to the family to figure out for themselves. After the ESRB rates the game and makes it plain what age group it’s appropriate for, it’s really not in their hands anymore.

I think a lot of this stems from the misconception that all video games are for kids and thus any adult-themed game is bad. This is, of course, not true. The Nintendo Generation has grown up, and most of us are in our late-20’s now. Gaming can be for everyone, young and old, but not all games are for everyone. Video games are here to stay in some form or another, and much like movies, comic books, and rock music, we can’t just call them a blemish on society and make them go away.

Bottom line: read the box, talk with your kids, and use some common sense.

Bad Night

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Last night was kinda sucky. Don’t know why, but I was just extra anxious for no good reason. Maybe it was the crappy burrito I had for right before dinner, and maybe it was because I kinda missed lunch and snacked on candy most of the day. And I could swear I was smelling breakfast cooking as I was trying to fall asleep. Like bacon and pancakes and stuff. Made me wonder if I had a brain tumor or something–I hear you smell weird things before your brain explodes–so this didn’t help any. My mind tends to wander to bad places when left to its own devices. Anyways, it sucked but I’m OK now. I’m trying some new things now, so maybe that’ll help.

In other news my brother, Matt “donut” Brunner, is coming down to visit for the Thanksgiving holidays, so that should be good times. Let’s hope that his ride doesn’t blow out more tires than his last ride down here did.

Our game, Pirates of the Caribbean Online launched last week. We’re showing good numbers so far, so ‘yay’ and go us! You can try it and play for free, so please do! No more beta keys required.

Lastly, I’ve just received word that mom has unpacked the last of the boxes in her new home here in California. Did I mention she moved here? I think I did, but if I did not… mom moved! She lives up in the mountains near here. So ‘yay’ there too.

Guess that’s enough for today.

Seattle Bound

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Did I mention that Megs and I are going up to Seattle this weekend? I feel like I should have, in case I did not. Some friends from college are finally getting married, so we’re gonna be there for that.

In other news, I’ve been playing a lot of Valve’s famous Orange Box lately. If you play video games and haven’t been under a rock lately, this is no shock to you, but it’s a great set of games. Team Fortress 2 is a really compelling team-based shooter, and who wouldn’t love more Half-Life, but the real gem here is Portal. Love, love, LOVE this game! As Tycho put it, it’s a “first person puzzle comedy”, and I tend to agree. Clever game play, physics, and level design, but absolutely brilliant character dialog and story. You’d just have to see it to understand.

Lastly, apparently Lindsey Lohan was having lunch at our local Pitfire Pizza place across the street. Lots of paparazzi and crowds. I went elsewhere for food.

Free Games

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Hey, anyone out there have Steam, yet need Half Life 2 and/or Half Life 2: Episode 1? I’ve got a free copy of both to give away. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, this probably doesn’t apply to you.

Done

Friday, August 24th, 2007

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft now since almost launch, which is a long time by any measure. Two and a half years, with over 56 days of in-game time is quite a lot of my real life free time.

So I’m quitting, cold turkey.

Why leave? Well, aside from playing this game for what seems like forever, it’s just not as fun as it once was. I’ve got my level 70 character, and I’ve played a couple of alts. I’ve got some phatt loot, which is nice, but will be worthless in six months or so when the next expansion comes out. PvP doesn’t interest me (also, I suck at it), and I guess I’m just feeling like I’ve done all this game really has to offer.

On Tuesday I came home from work, dungeon crawled for six hours, and went to bed. After that I was like, “Wow. I just spent six hours on something that in the grand scheme of things will not matter even a little bit.” If I was excited and thrilled it might be different maybe, but I guess I’ve been playing WoW for so long that it’s just not worth it anymore.

I’ll miss the world quite a lot. With how much time I’ve spent there these past couple years, I have a lot of fun memories tied to them. I especially miss playing with my Megs, and she hasn’t played in a year. But most of all, I’ll miss the community I found. The people who I only knew online, and the real life friends like Matt, Devin, Jacques, The Megans, Shelby, and Eric. You guys are the best, and without you I probably would have stopped playing months, if not years ago.

Deep Thoughts

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

In Chris’ ongoing saga of continuous posting, here is the Wednesday Edition.

Last night, I came home from work and immediately went Raiding in World of Warcraft from 20:00 until 02:00. That’s six hours, folks. Afterwards, having realized that I’d spent my entire day in front of a computer, almost half of that wasted in Azeroth, I had some serious pause for thought. How much time would I reclaim if I ceased playing this game? According to the in-game statistics, I’ve put more than 56 days 6 hours into my three main characters in this game. That’s continuous, total time. I mean, damn! That’s nuts! For the first time in a while, I’m considering quitting. I’ve been playing this game for over two and a half years now, so I think I can say I’m done with “business-related research”.

Still, I’m torn. When I think of “leaving forever”, I start to think of all the things and places in the game that I will miss. All the comradery and fun memories. The real life folks I don’t get to see often, like Devin. It’s been such a huge part of my free time activities these past couple years that its absence would definitely be noticed.

Even so, I can’t get as excited about the game as I once was. I’m playing some of the high level content now, and I’m seeing a limit to the new experiences I can have. I’ve played different types of characters to some degree (not to Matt levels of insanity, but some.) I’ve received some phat loot. I’ve also made lots of new virtual friends, but I’m just not feelin’ it anymore, you know? Maybe I’m burnt out, but when I think of just “taking some time off”, I don’t get as excited as I feel about “quitting forever.” If I do cancel my subscription, I can always resume it later and my characters will still be there waiting for me, but it’s one more step to keep me from just plopping down in front of the computer and wasting a few hours, or an entire weekend.

Anyways, no solid decision just yet, but we’ll see.

One Game to Rule Them All

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

I went out and bought Half-Life 2 today on my lunch break. About a year and a half ago, I paid $5 toward it back in Eugene at Software Etc. to reserve my copy, but I wasn’t expecting it’d take this long to actually come out. The original release date was Sep 30th, 2003 and it’s now Nov 16th, 2004, but here it is. I managed to get my $5 deposit transfered to a store down here in So Cal, which only just covered the sales tax. Oh well, I have it now on five CD-ROM discs. There’s a DVD version too, but that cost more cuz it comes with Half Life 1, a strat guide, and a t-shirt. I just wanted the game. I’m still at work so I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but rest assured that you’ll be hearing about it soon.

Work is going all right. Our mini-DV deck has a problem with the backlight for the LCD, so I found a local Sony repair place and drove it over there to get it fixed. Field trips are always fun.

“Field trip!” HA!! ( <-- inside joke ) Anyways, it should be fixed in a few days, so then I can go back to grabbing some more footage of the demo. I wonder what's for dinner tonight?

Glad It’s Friday

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

Why am I glad? Do I need a reason? Always just liked the weekends, is all.

Today went well. I moved some computers around in the conference room and installed/uninstalled some software. Good times.

The big plans for this weekend are to go out shopping and get Megs some LSAT prep material on tape or CD for her commute. She figure she may as well use that time for something productive. Other than that I think we might watch Shrek 2 on DVD with some of the extras. We already saw it with commentary, and that was all right. Sorta like the Finding Nemo commentary without the interruptions.

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a bit tonight and I think I’m growing to like it. It’s like a cross between Diablo and Warcraft, multiplayer-style. These people keep sending me off on quests doing this or that, never worrying about my safety. I’ve died three times already! I think I need to level up a bit before I can go on with my various quests. If anyone else out there is playing, let me know and we can try to hook up in game!

Gainfully Employed, She Is

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

The big news for today is that Megan is now fully employed at the Westfield Corporation, where she had been temping until today when she was made a full time employee. This brought much joy to our week and she is still quite excited about it. The compensation package is much better than it was as as temp and the feeling of increased stability is also a good thing to be had. It sounds like we’re going to go out to the local sushi place for dinner tonight to celebrate. Megs explains her reaction in her blog if you’re at all curious.

In other news I did finally manage to get World of Warcraft downloaded over the course of the night. I got it via FilePlanet here at work and I brought it home via my mp3 player at lunchtime. When I left it it was still downloading more patches, but hopefully I’ll be able to get in sometime tonight. Word is that the beta is now full and therefore closed, so if you missed out don’t say I didn’t warn you. You can join in two weeks when the game is scheduled to go live, but for a fee. If anyone did manage to get in, please leave a note on how to contact you in-game and we’ll go adventuring!