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Comment Re:A Bold Move (Score 1) 1721

In a lot of ways, I think that this is a better use of the prize; not to recognize achievements after the fact, but to encourage and foster new achievements that might not have happened without the award.

I'm really hoping to prove string theory, but I need the encouragement to foster my new achievement.

Don't really feel like traveling to Norway, much too busy. Please have them mail my award to Old Pink, care of the funny farm.

Comment Re:Free speech and democracy? (Score 1) 869

Of course Flickr has the right. But, just like everything else in the media, what's okay to do to conservatives is not okay to do to liberals.

Consider this image from flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917549@N04/2709323478/

I would think this should be taken down. Also comments like "Bushtard is an utterly worthless waste of oxygen, DNA, and a desk. " should be removed with the offending poster's photstream deleted.

Doesn't that make sense? It's okay to do the whole "Bush is a murderer, idiot, liar and fascist", but it's not okay to say "This joker Obama is a socialist". Wake the fuck up people, which of these is more fascist thought?

Comment Re:Good riddance to bad rubbish. (Score 1) 65

Websites are just as biased in their reviews as magazines. True, in the case of OXM, Bungie could compress feces into a DVD form, slap a Halo logo on it, and OXM would rate it a 10/10, but they've been doing that for years. It's the previews that really bug me, as they make crap games sound good (Hour of Victory anyone?). However, you just take the previews with a huge grain of salt and continue on. My biggest gripe with them is that the magazine seems to get thinner and thinner each year.

Let's face it, it's not like these magazines are the Economist. They're decent bathroom material. Judging them on journalism acumen is hardly worthwhile.

I've been getting Xbox World 360 from the UK for a couple of months now, and have been happy with that mag (despite the $10 price in the States). The previews aren't afraid to pull punches and the reviews seem to be fair.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 2, Interesting) 749

I echo your "Seriously?" sentimonies. I am constantly giving my girlfriend shit for infringing copyrights, but this is insane. I read it to be "Just because you buy something from us doesn't give you the right to listen to it x time from now". Bullshit indeed!

While I have been sympathetic to their generic argument "You want to listen to this song, then you should buy it", I am starting to think they've taken a few hundred miles with the inch I gave them.

Perchance this is how pirates are born?

Comment Re:Gamers can be demanding (Score 1) 176

Good point, however, I would like to think the type of gamer who would care enough to put up an investment in a game would be a little more advanced than the "ur a fag" or "sony is teh suxxorz" variety.

I saw this news yesterday, and said to myself, "hell yeah, I'd give $100 to get a new Rainbow Six game that brought the tactical aspects back. I'd want the plotting of waypoints, and setting up a strategy, not knowing where the randomly spawned enemies would be located". Would this idea sell? Would I be overruled by 40,000 'nade spammers who just want to run n' gun? What about some "Colbert stunt" to get people to vote him in as one of the game's main characters?

I would envision a regular touchpoint, where the devs open up the game for feedback sessions. Certain aspects could be voted on by the financing community, but in the end, if 25,000 gamers got together and put up $100 each, they'd only be financing $2.5 million, hardly enough to have veto power or any sort of real input into the game.

In short, I feel like I'd be stuck with a run n' gun, 'nade spamming generic shooter, with Colbert as the villain, rather than the tactical strategy squad based shooter I so desperately wanted.

A good test of this may be in the DLC market. It's cheaper overall, already has an established fan base, and a quicker time to delivery.

Finally, my requisite slashdot conspiracy theory. Let's say you do invest in a game. The game is released, and people are playing it and buying it. It sells a million copies. People start griping because they've not seen any ROI (there would most likely have to be a profit sharing model in place). Publisher comes out and says, "yes, game X sold very well, but it wasn't enough to cover costs and credit obligations - because of PIRACY!!!". With that, perhaps a community led anti-piracy movement is created.

Comment I've been buying more... (Score 1) 310

I've found the recession to actually cause me to buy more games. Here's the kicker - I rarely buy them at $59.99 at release (maybe 1 per month, down from 4-6 across PC, 360, Wii, PS3, PSP, DS). So, I'm spending less on games, but playing more.

Considering the typical game release lifecycle:

1. Hype game months before release
2. Fanboys proclaim it the next big thing
3. Release game
4. Lukewarm community reception
5. Fanboy revolt/denial - "the game is great, you have to know how to play it"
6. Play for 5-10 days
7. Game is all but abandoned on-line.
8. GOTO 2

What I'm doing is hitting up games on the cheap. Say I'm mildly interested in a game, but it's not a ZOMG GOTTA HAVE NOW!!!, I've just learned a bit of patience and will get it on a price drop. It's amazing how a middle of the road game can be a bad experience at $60, but a decent play at $20(FEAR 2 for example).

Comment Re:Used to play APBA (Score 1) 29

Thanks for the link. I can see why it isn't an XBLA/PSN/Steam download, they really know how to tack on the fees. $25 for a season, $10 for a ballpark, $10 for a schedule - that would never fly on those distribution channels.

Still, an all in cost of $150 for a few historically great seasons, a couple ballparks and the game itself isn't a bad deal if you're into this kind of thing.

Comment Used to play APBA (Score 3, Interesting) 29

I played APBA back in the 80's, as a kid (now 35). It was a very fun game, and I've spent the past couple of years searching for an electronic version or replacement. I even stooped so low as to buy MLB Front Office Manager, which did nothing to fill that void.

OOTP has promise, as does Baseball Mogul, but neither really hit the sweet spot. Back in the late 90's there was Ernie Harwell's Baseball Blast, which was an APBA game, and was pretty good. Sadly, nothing new since.

The opportunity is there, and there chance for microtransactions and DLC is great. I'm surprised there has been nothing. Perhaps the 2k Sports exclusivity is getting in the way? Perhaps the powers that be don't see a market.

Why don't I just go tabletop? Well, I don't have anyone to play against. While my comic book store has a great big tabletop section where cats can sit and play all day long, there are sadly no APBA leagues, nor interest (an exploratory flyer didn't get a single response).

Comment Re:like every other sales demo (Score 1) 210

And nothing pisses off a customer more than spending big bucks and finding out after all is said and done they are still stuck with the same problems they had before they paid you.

In my experience, having been on 3 sides of this - client, vendor and 3rd party system integrator - many times, they're struck with the same problems they had before because the business refuses to update their processes. Case in point, a few years ago, was working on a nifty java solution for a major bank. Their existing process was mainframe. They had no interest in process re-engineering, nor did they have any interest in using out of the box industry standard functionality. Ego and laziness drives many business decisions. Be it "we've got 30 years of knowledge in this mainframe system, we won't change processes" to "we can't assign a full time SME to this effort", in the end, business has a huge part in why projects fail.

As for SAP, big whoop. A salesman sold a blue sky picture with vaporware and a presentation. That's sort of the norm. Shame on WM for falling for it. I would be a dollar to donuts that an "enterprise architect" was asleep at the wheel, dreaming up grandiose ivory tower patterns that could never be implemented in the real world on a timely, cost effective basis, and thought the SAP proposal was lock step with his vision.

Being on the implementation side, I'm always at odds with our sales staff. Luckily, I'm now high enough up on the food chain that I've been able to implement a golden rule, which has worked: "All presales demos, proof of concepts and prototypes must be demonstrative of out of the box functionality, not include customization unless it is achieved through out of the box customization options". Customers seem to love it, because I can walk in with sales, talk tech and then show their tech people that it's not smoke and mirrors. Others can't/won't/don't.

Comment Re:Doesn't the reason lie in the demographics? (Score 1) 54

I too, laugh when people say the Wii and DS are "family friendly", albeit for slightly different reasons. As for the Wii and DS having a small number of M rated games out or coming out, it doesn't really signify a shift in Nintendo's strategy. They had a handful of exclusive games for the Gamecube (Killer 7 for example) which were M rated.

Truth be told, I'm not finding the Wii all that family family (or the DS for that matter). When you're trying to share your hobby (gaming) with a 5 year old boy, a 6 year old girl and a 7 year old boy, it's very difficult to find the right games. I want something that they can play independently - solving puzzles on their own, competing against each other and working together as a team. So far, one Wii game has delivered on that - Mario Kart. They're not very good at it, but they have a ball with it.

Being the Wii, I figured I'd try some more kid friendly fare - but it doesn't work. The shovelware games often have kludgey controls and are difficult for kids. Thinking back to recent purchases - Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a bust. Endless Ocean was high on my list - a chill out kind of game, and teaches them about sea life at the same time. Nope, they didn't take to the mechanics at all. I've rented myriad Wii titles from Gamefly, and they miss the mark frequently.

Case in point, for a comparison, I rented Monsters Vs. Aliens on the Wii shortly after we rented the same title on the 360. After 1 hour long session, the kids wanted nothing to do with the Wii version and actually asked to play the demo on the 360 instead!

Now, I'm migrating the kids more to the 360. We had fun with Monsters vs. Aliens, Puzzle Arcade is a sleeper hit, You're in the Movies is a family friendly hit that the kids go ape for. The controls are more intuitive and less "wonky" than arbitrary, tacked on motion controls that actually take away from the game.

I don't like the DS, because it puts the kid's attention on one small area. At least with a console, you're watching them, having fun with them, seeing where they're getting frustrated so you can call an end to the festivities, or lend some help. The DS is far too isolationist, and I notice the kids seem more "zombie-like" after playing that for an hour than they do playing on a console.

So, when people make a fuss about the Wii and DS being family friendly, just because they have a ton of games with cartoon characters doesn't mean that there is actually family enjoyment coming from them.

Comment Re:They pull a knife, we pull a gun (Score 1) 337

oh please! I'll start with a perpetually flawed argument just for grins: Am I a victim because I can't afford a Maserati with a hot stripper wife included?

To the real argument. I'm running low on cash, and Generic First Person Shooter #1138 has just been released. I've bought into the hype and want to play the game, but you know what? I have a hard choice to make - do I buy the game, eat for another week, wait until I have the cash to buy it and spend money on more pressing needs in the short term, or pirate it? I fail to see how "not wanting to or not being able to pay for something" qualifies one as a "victim".

Same argument applies to a movie or music. Surely, the movie is going nowhere and I'll be able to see it at some point in time. I'll be able to hear the music I like as well.

I'm all for exposing the ways of those damn media conglomerates, but your post reads more like "it's the company's fault for making we want it so much".

Comment Re:heh @ openoffice comment (Score 1) 476

But the main thing for me is just the sheer awesomeness of the whole thing. I never used 2003 so didn't struggle at all with the new 'ribbon' thing, which I think is great. I find the whole Office package shits all over OpenOffice in terms of usability and performance.

Agreed. I started a small services organization last February. Not a good time to gear services towards financial services organizations, but we're doing okay. One way is by keeping overhead low. As a result, we use OO.o on some of our laptops. Others, I was able to get a good deal on Office 2007, so a couple of the guys use that. OO.o, while good for the price, is not as good as Office. OO.o works for me to an extent, but I often have to play around with it or send a doc to an employee before a client, just to make sure the formatting is correct.

It's a nice app, don't get me wrong. I do install it on my family's PC's to give them an office suite, but it is not a reliable business level application suite.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 425

Good points Nova - PS3 is technically the best of the bunch, but it's not my preferred platform.

I see a lot of parallels between the PS3 and the original Xbox. Superior hardware, specs, and potential all tie together to make it the best machine - from a technical point of view.

Even going back to the Xbox vs. PS2 - the PS2 was riddled with DRE failures, which weren't as widespread as the 360's RROD, but had a higher than normal occurrence (as I remember).

The 360 beat the PS3 out of the gates and has enjoyed a more robust library. Another factor that had contributed to the lukewarm reception of the PS3 is that developers have been largely using the 360 as the lead platform - resulting in most games not fully exploiting the power of the PS3 - similar to the lament of the first Xbox. Finally, remember that Sony put a ridiculous price tag on the PS3 at launch, which made it so only an idiot fucktard (see below) would justify the $600 outlay with not many games to play.

The library's advantages are starting to narrow now with the recent additions the PS3 has made (MGS4, LBP, Valkyria Chronicles, KZ2, Resistance 2 and MLB 09). However, the perception seems to be that the 360 has more going for it software wise than the PS3.

For full disclosure - I have had a 360, PS3 and Wii all since their launch dates.

I prefer the 360 due to the controller and Xbox Live. The PS3 is mainly for rental games and Blu-Ray, and the Wii is only used when there are kids over who want to play Mario Kart.

Now, I am concerned that this is the second video game machine that Sony has made with terrific specs, but under-delivering on the "WOW" factor. The PSP has been another with drool inducing visions of a complete package, but software and odd controller design (single analog nub?) holding it back.

Comment Re:Note to Warner, and anyone else for that matter (Score 2, Funny) 140

Dear Time-Warner:

1985 called. It wants its business model back.

Change or almost die, then ask the government to give you a couple billion dollars to make up for your short sightedness. You are irrelevant, and that's why you're seeing less money from licensing deals. Y'all should get down on your knees and thank God that industry publishers can still make money off of properties like "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Talk Dirty To Me."

Embrace it, or wither and die.


There, fixed it for ya.

Comment Re:Developer Ego (Score 2, Interesting) 88

Some of this is due to big developer "ego". Ignoring the Wii/DS because it isn't as sexy as the big consoles - trying to dictate to the market then listening to it and changing your strategy accordingly.

I'm not sure about that. The Wii gets plenty of 3rd party love, but those games don't sell as well. The attach rate for the Wii is friendly to existing Nintendo franchises, not 3rd parties. On the PS3 and 360, the 3rd parties get more attention from consumers. If anything, I think the Wii deserves less attention.


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