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Comment Re:Why would they... (Score 1, Interesting) 389

Ignore the fact that you'd have to get Sony, Nintendo and MS to cooperate with their matchmaking systems and such first.

Hi! Welcome to 2009! You may notice a new technology named ARPANET, colloquially known as "the Internet." The Internet allows you to communicate across vast distances at high speeds, and was designed with a set of protocols to facilitate these communications. These protocols are platform and computer architecture independent, and as such, said protocols may facilitate communication between two very different systems. /sarcasm

Seriously though, the only reason is to sell PS3 hardware, since their standard means have not led to great success on this generation of the Playstation. I point you to the case of Quake3 on the Dreamcast being fully compatible with all other ports of Quake3 as proof that Sony is just trying to sap your wallet of $300+ to play the same fucking game and alienate all of your Xbox owning friends.

Comment Re:Is Computerworld confused? (Score 1) 926

It is my opinion that when people fail to grasp something it is the fault of the teacher, not the student. The problem is, if you don't actually read through alot of RMS's essays or listen to him at a public talk, it'd difficult to fully understand where he is coming from, and let's be fair, who is going to do that unless you already have an interest in the Free Software movement in the first place.

Well, that's kinda my point. The philosophy itself may well be inherently complex, and a lot of explanation necessary. But the name of the movement should represent that philosophy precisely, and in a few catchy words. They've got the latter part alright, but clearly not the former. I'm not a marketing specialist (and perhaps FSF should hire one), so I don't have a correct answer for this, but surely, if most of the audience you want to capture describes your core tenets wrong precisely because they get false associations from the name, it's not a good sign.


Submission + - PS3 for $3? Is this for real?

An anonymous reader writes: Almost everyone, myself included, wants a Playstation 3 but not many of us can actually afford one at $500/$600 per system. Enter Email This small flash gaming website has stated its intentions to give away a PS3 to the winner of a tournament they're holding this spring. The tournament involves playing their flash sword fighting game against other players until only one is left as the ultimate winner of the coveted next generation console. The catch? Only paying members can participate in this tournament. The cost of a membership? A measly $3 US.

Apparently the man in charge, a person using the alias "Mer`Zikain", has had a lot of nay sayers and accusations of false advertising. To answer these accusations and doubts, Mer`Zikain made a long and quite informative post on the websites forum. (view it here.)

Before reading that I was definitely a doubter. Who would be crazy enough to put up a PS3 for a prize and only ask for $3 from each person trying to win it? Then answer is simple: Mer`Zikain. He goes a step further than offering just one PS3 as a tournament prize and says that they'll start an additional PS3 tournament for every 1024 people who sign up to participate. So now it goes from a 1 in a million chance to pretty much a 1 in 1024 chance to get a PS3 for only $3.

So then I started thinking about this. What if you don't even actually want a PS3? I figure I'd spend $3 to try and get it anyway since I could then turn around and sell it for $600. That's a 20,000% return on your investment!

After I finally wrapped my mind around the concept of getting a PS3 for only $3 I decided to check out the game I'd be playing in this tournament. At a glance it's a simple sword fighting game. I like to think of myself as a master of PvP fighting games so I figure this is going to be an easy PS3 for me.

First I have to create a character. It gives me options for distributing points to stats, kind of like the system for Neverwinter Nights. Then choose an avatar and finally customize the colors for the armor. I was a little disappointed that there were only two character designs for the fighters; a male and female armored knight. But I got over it since I could at least change the colors of the armor and such.

So I finish up and get ready to fight my first battle. At first I wasn't sure what to do. There was no big sign saying "go here to fight!" or anything but soon I found that the Arena was where the fighting should take place. So feeling a little dumb for not thinking about that earlier I click on the Arena option and eventually figure out how to challenge someone. I decided to go with a random opponent and I find myself on a screen with two grids and some other boxes. Again, a little confusing but I quickly find that all I'm expected to do is pick where I want to attack and defend for 10 rounds. According to the big box at the bottom I can enter a winning and losing message and then there are tabs for skills and items. I ignored all of that since I just wanted to see how the gameplay was. I chose my 10 different "actions" and clicked "finish". The game then took me to this screen that said it was sending the battle. Then it changes and says that the challenge was sent and I'd have to wait for my opponent to respond.

Ok, so let's back this up a moment. It's a sword fighting game. You build a custom character and challenge people to battle. I'm thinking of a fighting game like Soul Calibur or something. Instead I'm presented with a "choose your actions" interface and after sending the challenge I have to wait for a response. A little annoying and confusing. This game really needs a walkthrough or something. It has instructions but it's a little annoying that it takes you completely away from the screen you're on so you can't see what it's talking about as you read it. And not every screen has instructions...

Well I found on their site a description of how the game works. In said description I learned that I could have seen the results of my battle immediately after sending it if I had chosen to fight the COMPUTER instead of a PLAYER. So armed with this new information I go back to the arena and try again. This time making sure I choose to fight a random computer. I go through and make my 10 different attacks and blocks and this time I add a winning and losing message. After I click "finish" it does the "sending challenge" thing but this time when it finishes I am presented with a choice of whether to view the outcome or not. So of course I choose to view the outcome.

At this point I should mention that I'm not personally a big fan of flash or popup windows. The only reason I was even trying this thing out was to see what I'd be getting into if I wanted to try my luck at getting their PS3. Their game opens up in a popup window. A little annoying but apparently they have their reasons for this. Now after finally getting to where I can view a battle, I click on the view option and yet another window opens up. I'm not sure if all of these windows are necessary but it's definitely a little inconvenient and annoying.

Anyway, getting over my irritation at having yet another window open up I wait for a while for this thing to load. Evidently the battle viewer is a lot larger than the rest of the game, maybe that's the reason for the new window. In any case, the battle loads and I'm presented with a familiar fighter game intro with my character displayed on the left, a bit VS. and the computer character displayed on the right. The screen then transitions to a bridge scene where the two characters face off. After a single exchange I find that my character was no match for the computer and I lost. Why did I have to choose 10 different actions if I only got off 1? And why was the computer so tough anyway? Do they not want people to play this game?

Frustrated once more, I think about just giving up. But then I think of that PS3 again and convince myself to give it another shot. I do a little more research and find out that when challenging a random computer their system creates a character that is between 5 levels lower and 5 levels higher than your current level for you to fight. Well since I was level 1 that means I'm fighting computer characters between levels 1 and 5. Looking at that battle again I see that the system randomly chose to pit me against a level 5 computer. No wonder I got smoked. So I give it a few more tries, also learning that I don't actually have to choose an attack and defense for each of the 10 actions. I can simply get away with choosing a single action. That sped things up a bit.

After I got used to this strange system I found myself getting addicted to it. I fought something like 20 battles against the computer and won 12 of them. At this point I found that I had enough experience to level up my character so I did so and challenged the computer some more. That's when I found out that there is a system in place that limits how many times you can challenge the computer each day. The limit seems to be 50 but that's still plenty. I sent some more challenges out to other players but haven't received any responses at the time of this article post.

At first the whole thing was confusing and a little frustrating but now I'm finding it's a good way to waste time when I'm bored. And the big bonus here is that when they open that tournament in Spring I'll be ready to kick some ass and take a PS3! But I'm not going to pay until they open the tournament. Mer`Zikain even said in that topic of his that you don't have to be a paying member for a specific amount of time to be eligible to compete for the PS3 in Spring. You can sign up and pay the day of the tournament and still be able to participate. I for one am getting anxious for Spring this year, and not just for the warmer weather!

The links where I found all of the information on how to play the game can be found below:
Game Description
Tournament Details
Game Troubleshooting Forum
Dedicated Game Forum

Other information can be found in the instructions in the game or by asking other players via messaging them on the site or asking in the forums.

Submission + - Machinima maker acquired by virtual world marketer

CousinLarry writes: "In what may be a first for Machinima authors (machinimators? machinimists? machinographers?) everywhere, perennial producers The Ill Clan (creators of Trash Talk) apparently have been acquired by virtual world marketing outfit Electric Sheep Company. Their first project together was actually a short super bowl advertisement. It begs the question: are virtual actors and machinima coming to your favorite TV station anytime soon?"

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Like punning, programming is a play on words.