Entries Filed Under "Video Games"

August 10, 2010

Comic-Con 2010 Day 1 – part 1

Filed under Gadgets, Movies, Video Games, Xbox 360

I went to my first Comic-Con this year and had a really good time. Comic-Con is HUGE…over 140,000 people this year. Getting a ticket is tough. All passes were sold out in November 2009 (9 months before the show!). Luckily, I’m considered a “professional” and got a free pass just 2 months before Comic-Con.


I am not into comic books, so I was not sure how much there would be that interested me.

I arrived on Friday morning. On my way to the convention center, I noticed all the gas lamps in the Gaslamp Quarter were decorated with TRON posters for the new movie.

IMAG0034I am a big fan of TRON. If there was one thing I wanted to see at Comic-Con, it would be anything TRON related.

And look what I happen to walk past on the way to the convention center…

IMAG0035 Flynn’s Arcade!

I asked the people in line what was happening. “Press event.” Dang! I really wanted to see what was inside.

I continued to the convention center and saw the “Black Beauty” from the upcoming movie “The Green Hornet.”



Once inside, I saw a huge “recognizer” from a distance. First stop: find out what is going on with TRON.P1030480 There were were a couple dressed up in TRON garb working the booth.


They were giving away a light cycle toy if you waited in line. I decided to pass on that one due to line length.

There are going to be a TON of product tie-ins with this movie. Some of the products were on display. I may have to get the Xbox 360 controller.

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They also had the Lightcycle from last year’s Comic-Con on display.

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I asked about access to Flynn’s Arcade. I was told Flynn’s Arcade would be open to the public after lunch. You could get tickets later in the day at the booth, or just go to the Flynn’s Arcade directly.

Some neat new Star Wars Lego kits coming out.


Slave 1 with frozen Han Solo


TIE Defender


Imperial Shuttle

I stopped by the Xbox 360 setup at the Hard Rock Hotel so I could try out Kinect.


I tried out “Dance Central” in front of a group of people. It was fun, but you can’t help but feel like a big dork…especially as you learn the moves. I’m definitely getting this when it comes out.

Here is a clip I took of a guy playing Dance Central. There is a kid that is running around and it doesn’t mess up the tracking.

P1030496 The other game that really stood out was LIMBO. It looks like no other game I’ve seen. I picked it up as soon as I got home and have already finished it. Read my review here.

Next up: Heading to Flynn’s Arcade.

August 5, 2010

Game Review: LIMBO

Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Xbox 360


LIMBO is a new game for Xbox 360.

This is a special game. It reminds me of the original Prince of Persia in terms of the fluid animation and puzzles.

What I liked:

  • Unique look
  • Looks as if the game was filmed with an old black and white camera
  • Impressive puzzles
  • Great sound and effects
  • Dark theme
  • Not 3D for a change

Check out this video to see what LIMBO looks like.

I really enjoyed this one.

Highly recommended. 5/5 stars.

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May 21, 2009

IMDb Credit

Filed under Celebrity, Movies, Video Games, Web

I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve always thought IMDb (Internet Movie Database) was pretty cool.

And now *I* am on it! My IMDb credit is online.


I got this credit for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (a video game).

I should have another credit soon for a movie coming out in July.

January 4, 2009

Getting Rid of My Crap

Filed under Gadgets, Video Games, Web, Xbox 360


I have a closet full of electronics that I don’t use anymore. I am going to get rid of them via eBay and make some cash doing it.

I updated my website so I have a link to my current eBay items on the right (only shows on my home page, not individual posts).

Here is my first item: my old Xbox 360…

Xbox 360 w/ 20 GB, 11 games, HD DVD player w/ 4 movies


December 11, 2008

Some TFU Love

Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Work


Here are a couple of nice holiday recommendations for TFU.

These guys place TFU as the number one game gift for Xmas.

Time Magazine picked the top 10 games of the year, and TFU was number #7!

I played through the whole game and thoroughly enjoyed it…definitely a must-play for Star Wars fans.

September 28, 2008

TFU Launch At Best Buy

Filed under Events, Video Games, Work, Xbox 360


We had a fun event at Best Buy for the launch of TFU. The game didn't go on sale until Tuesday, September 16th. The party started at 8pm on Monday the 15th and went until midnight when the game could be distributed. It really felt like a mini-Star Wars convention with all the costumes.

George was there...which is always fun for any Star Wars geek.

I took a picture with the cutest Hoth soldier I've ever seen...

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My favorite part of the launch party were the droids. These guys are part of the Astromech club...and their work will blow you away! They built their own R2-D2's from scratch...and the attention to detail is amazing! I took a bunch of video:

Here are a bunch of photos of R2...

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They also had a mouse droid running around and I got some video of that.


The mouse droid and its operator


Tie Fighter Pilot and Obi Wan catching up


Playing TFU before it is released


My Mom...Unleashed!


Mom (wearing a very cool and unique Javva the Hutt shirt), Speeder Bike Storm Trooper, Imperial Officer, and my buddy Myra at the entrance to Best Buy.


Mom, Chewbacca (center), and Ben (worked on TFU)

They had a stage setup up in the back of Best Buy with various celebrities talking to the crowd...

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Crowd favorite Bobba Fett begged me for a photo with him. How can you say no to a bounty hunter...


Autographs! They had the cast and developers on hand for autographs...



Very cute Adrienne Wilkinson as "Maris Brood"


Cully Fredricksen as "Master Kota"


Lead Engineer Cedrick Coullomb (also author of the must-have utility "unlocker")


David Collins (voice of Proxy, Audio Lead) on left and Art Director Matt Omernick on right.

I got got a bunch of autographs from my co-workers. Amy Beth Christenson (Senior Concept Artist...she is simply amazing) asked me for *my* autograph, which was very cool!

tfu autographs 

Of course they had everything TFU on sale at Best Buy...


The whole point of the party was for people that wanted to get the game as soon as it went on sale at midnight. I got pictures of the front of the line...and almost the last guy (#998). They only gave out 1000 tickets...then there were people waiting after position 1000 hoping to get the game without a ticket. Wow!

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Sony provided an 18 wheeler loaded with PS3's for the event...

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We had nice press coverage...

P1010922 P1010923



The Gas Unleashed...to the right you can almost see the storm trooper blasted off his feet.

September 24, 2008

1.5 Million and Counting...

Filed under Video Games, Work

From Penny Arcade...


The Force Unleashed has been out a week now.

This article from Variety says TFU sold 1.5 million copies in 5 days making it the fastest selling LucasArts game in its 26 year history.

September 18, 2008

First Video Game Credit

Filed under Celebrity, Video Games, Work

TFU Manual Cover

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (TFU) came out Tuesday this week. I'm pretty excited about it...it's my first video game credit!

I worked in a group called "Shared Tools and Technology" (Shared Tech) which is made up of people from ILM Research & Development (my group) and LucasArts. We worked together to build software used to create the game.

I am in the instruction manual credits, on page 19, 2nd column, 5th from the top...

TFU Manual Credits


I am also in the game credits. You can get there from the TFU main menu by choosing "Extras" and then "Credits." I'm under the heading "Shared Tools and Technology/Shared Tech", 13th down...


game credit

TIP: You can get to the good part of the credits quickly (i.e. my part) by pressing down on the the left joystick. You can go backwards by pressing up.

LucasArts also let us do dedications in the game credits. It is located under "Special Thanks." I am the 5th one...

game special thanks

September 13, 2008

#1 on NY Times Best Seller List

Filed under Video Games, Work



Wow! The novelization of the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game debuted at #1 last week on the NY Times' best seller list.

September 11, 2008

TFU Launch Party @ Best Buy

Filed under Video Games, Work


This is going to be fun!

The Best Buy in downtown SF is hosting a party as a countdown until the game goes on sale at midnight.

I'm definitely going to this...and if you are in the area, you should too. It sounds like it will be quite an event.





Here is the press release:

LucasArts, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Best Buy Invite San Francisco to Celebrate the Launch of Star Wars®: The Force Unleashed™

Party on Sept. 15 Kicks off New Chapter in the Star Wars Saga

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Sept. 5, 2008 — LucasArts, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Best Buy will commemorate the release of the upcoming videogame Star Wars: The Force Unleashed with an exclusive launch party, offering eager gamers a chance to celebrate the Saga and get their hands on the first copies of the game. The party, which will be held at the Best Buy store at 1717 Harrison St. in San Francisco on Monday, Sept. 15, will run from 7pm until midnight and will feature appearances by several very special guests, including:

  • Sam Witwer, who plays Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice in the game and who also joined the cast of The CW’s “Smallville” this season; Adrienne Wilkinson, who plays Maris Brood, a dark and mysterious Jedi; and Cully Fredrickson, who plays Jedi Master Rahm Kota, a militant General who is the target of one of the Secret Apprentice’s early missions
  • Executive Producer Haden Blackman, Art Director Matt Omernick, Lead Engineer Cedrick Collomb, Lead Content Designer John Stafford, Lead Systems Designer Rich Davis, and dozens of other members of The Force Unleashed development team at LucasArts

In addition, attendees will get a chance to play the full version of the game in advance and be able to get their photo taken with some of their favorite Star Wars characters.

An entirely new chapter in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed casts players as Darth Vader’s “Secret Apprentice” and promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The game’s expansive story is set during the largely unexplored era between Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. In it, players will assist Vader in his quest to rid the universe of Jedi — and face decisions that could change the course of their destiny.

About LucasArts

LucasArts, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. Based in San Francisco, Calif., as well as on the Internet at www.lucasarts.com, LucasArts was created in 1982 by George Lucas to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multifaceted entertainment company.

LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2008 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. & ® or ™ as indicated. All rights reserved.

The Force Unleashed Commercials

Filed under Video Games, Work

It's almost time for launch (Sept 16th)! You should start seeing these on TV soon.


August 19, 2008

TFU Demo

Filed under Video Games, Work


The playable demo of The Force Unleashed is coming out Thursday on Xbox 360 and PS3...check it out!

July 22, 2008

TFU @ E3

Filed under Video Games


Here is a nice write-up by Kotaku on the E3 demo of The Force Unleashed.

I like this quote...

I walked away feeling confident that this could not only be one of the most exciting Star Wars video games of all time, it could very well provide moments more epic than anything we saw in the three prequel films.

July 8, 2008

New TFU Trailer

Filed under Video Games, Work


Should drop tomorrow...and it is *awesome*!

Look for it on Entertainment Weekly.

*Update* Here it is!

July 3, 2008

TFU Hands On

Filed under Video Games, Work

IGN has a nice article about playing some of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

They also have several videos from the game (look for videos added July 1st).

These are my favorites...


Coolest Achievement EVAR!

Filed under Video Games, Xbox 360


A buddy of mine (Chris Franka) asked me how I got the "Rockstar" achievement in GTA4.

I didn't know what he was talking about so I looked it up on the Internets.

Apparently, you get this achievement when you kill a Rockstar developer (creators of GTA4) in a multiplayer game!

It's actually not as impressive as it sounds, since it is a viral achievement. Once you kill a Rockstar developer, you are added to the Rockstar developer list and anybody that kills you also gets the achievement and is added to the list.

It is very likely that I killed someone that killed someone that killed someone that killed someone that killed a Rockstar developer.

I am a self-confessed achievement whore. I *love* getting achievements...this is one of the best/most creative.

June 19, 2008

Sincerest form of Flattery?

Filed under Funny, Video Games, WTF

This is so outrageously wrong that it seems like a joke...but I think it may be real.

A new game called "Limbo of the Lost" blatantly uses content from several other games.

Here is an article comparing Limbo of the Lost to Oblivion.

Here is a thread of where people uncover more lifted content from other games and movies.

When tourist guy first hit the Internet, parodies soon followed.

And let the parodies of "Limbo of the Lost" begin!

My favorite is Zork...


June 9, 2008

Crime is Out of Control!!!

Filed under Funny, Video Games

Liberty City Cops

Is anybody going to do anything about the mayhem in Liberty City?!?!? The police don't seem to care. Read this article that perfectly articulates the issues of the sudden rise of murders...830,000 people or one tenth the population since April 28th!

June 2, 2008

Blu-ray Player/PLAYSTATION 3

Filed under Gadgets, HDTV, Movies, Video Games, Xbox 360


I made the plunge yesterday and picked up a PS3 to use as a Blu-ray player. From what I've read, it is the best player out there and it is relatively cheap ($400).

There are some things I really about the PS3 when compared to an Xbox 360:

  • Quiet operation! I don't notice the PS3 at all...and that is my #1 issue with the 360.
  • Web browser...I can watch glorious 320x240 youtube videos stretched out on my HDTV
  • Slot loading drive...no tray
  • Solid unit...360 feels cheap in comparison
  • No power brick like the 360 has...just a cable to the wall outlet

I picked up the remote for the PS3 and figured I would use it to program my universal remote.

But you can't do that.

The PS3 does not have an IR port...it does its communications via bluetooth!

The cool thing about bluetooth is you don't have to do line-of-sight like you do with IR...which is nice.

The *bad* thing about bluetooth is...no other universal remote can send out those signals! So now I'm stuck with two remotes....grrrrr!

Help is on the way, though. There is a product called IR2BT that will take IR codes from your universal remote and convert them into bluetooth signals that the PS3 can understand! The product is out of stock, but I'm getting one as soon as they are available.

Now that the format war is over, I am switching to Blu-ray as my primary format. I picked up several discs this weekend including:

I am going to continue to use my 360 for gaming. The PS3 doesn't have anything that I'm really interested in with their current line-up.

In October, Little Big Planet comes out for the PS3 exclusively...and I *will* get that. It looks amazing...

May 4, 2008


Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Xbox 360

imageI picked up Grand Theft Auto IV this week.

This is reported to be the most expensive video game ever made...$100 million...and I'd believe it based on what I've seen. You can tell a lot of work went into this game.

When I started playing, it brought back memories of playing the previous versions...but with much better graphics in HD and more attention to detail.

And that's a good thing...because the previous versions were already well done.

One of the most fun things to do in GTA 4 is just explore and see what you can do and the consequences for your actions.

One new feature I really like...if you are trying to get to a location in town and you steal a luxury car, the car's GPS voice instructions will let you keep your eyes on the road instead of looking at the map.

I'm going to be playing this one for a while.

April 28, 2008

Half Life 2

Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Xbox 360

image I finished Half Life 2 this weekend.

This game is old by video game standards (it came out in Nov 2004).

It is one of 5 games on "The Orange Box."

The first game I played on "The Orange Box" was "Portal," and I loved it. It is one of the best games I've played in the past 5 years.

HL2 is huge. I spent much of my time in awe over the expansive environments and the effort involved creating props that you sometimes just fly by. The attention to detail is amazing.

I certainly enjoyed it...but it may have been too easy. I never felt like any part was really challenging using the default settings. In some ways that is good...because I never got too frustrated...but when I finished the game, I didn't feel any sense of accomplishment that I normally feel when I beat a difficult game.

I'm guessing most people have played this already...but if you haven't, it is worth checking out...it holds up well for an "old" game. This game feels like an interactive movie.

Now I'm on to playing HL2 Episode 1.

The Orange Box is a great value and full of great games...definitely a must have (and I still have 3 more games to try).


April 13, 2008

More TFU Video Clips

Filed under Video Games, Work, Xbox 360


Here is some new HD footage (run this full screen) of the The Force Unleashed in action.

The whole show is 21 minutes with lots of great video and reveals about the game. There is also talk about the voice of Darth Vader by "Chad Vader", the new TFU toys coming out, and the Wiimote lightsaber addition. Definitely worth watching the whole program.


April 3, 2008

September 16

Filed under Video Games, Work


Today, LucasArts announced the U.S. release date for The Force Unleashed as September 16.

Also, Spike TV is going to show exclusive game footage during its screening of all 6 Star Wars movies starting this weekend. Here's the schedule for the game footage:

  • April 6 at 7:58 p.m. ET/PT - between the premiere of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  • April 11 at 10:52 p.m. ET/PT - At the end of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  • April 12 at 12:00 a.m. ET/PT - throughout an episode of GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley filmed at LucasArts' headquarters in San Francisco
  • April 12 at 5:06 p.m. ET/PT - before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  • April 13 at 5:06 p.m. ET/PT - before Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back

March 1, 2008


Filed under Video Games

Here are a couple of new TFU videos that were shown at GDC.


Raxus Trailer


Lightsaber Gameplay


February 22, 2008

GDC: Friday

Filed under Video Games, Xbox 360

At Microsoft's lobby bar today, Microsoft showed a "teaser" trailer for the previously unannounced Xbox 720.

There were no specifics, just a lot of canned animations showing off "movie-like special effects," photo-realistic people, and real-time soft body dynamics.

I know it is way early (no release date), but the 720 can't get here fast enough! It's hard not to get excited about the nextgen consoles.

Check out the trailer here.

February 21, 2008

Gears of War II

Filed under Video Games, Xbox 360

Gears of War II was announced yesterday at GDC. It will be coming out in November of this year. Here is the trailer...


And here is a demo of what the new game engine for GOW2 will be capable of...meat cubes!

February 20, 2008

GDC: Wednesday

Filed under 3D, Programming, Video Games


Optimizing DirectX Rendering on Multi-Core Hardware

I didn't get much out of this that I hadn't already heard before.

They presented some profiling for some games that showed 50% of CPU time was spent on graphics related tasks.

They gave a list of tools that are helpful for profiling:

Some of the talk was about the benefit of multiple cores verses the overhead required to synchronize multiple cores.



Sandbox2 editor for CryENGINE by Crytek

  • Best/slickest game editor I've ever seen
  • An editor built on top of the game engine
  • Everything is WYSIWYG
  • Artists can get great results very quickly
  • Realtime Shadows
  • Realtime Ambient Occlusion

Check out these demo videos of Sandbox2 in action...


Intel VTune

  • Only works on Intel processors (surprise!)



  • Allows C# code to run on Linux, Mac
  • Have a validator that examines C# code for compatibility with Mono called MoMA
  • Mono supports most of .NET framework 2.0


IGF Pavilion

There were some "indy" games that caught my eye...


World Of Goo


The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom




Crayon Physics Deluxe


Pleo is a dinosaur-robot made by UGOBE. What are they doing at GDC? They wanted people to know that Pleo is a "platform"...you can program new behaviors and applications for Pleo (via an SD card) and they are reaching out for people to add to its abilities. Check it out in action here:


Technical Issues in Tools Development (Day 1)

This was my favorite talk of the day.

It was a round table hosted by John Walker from High Voltage Software. John was the moderator. He started by asking for a few topics people would like to cover. Then he would ask some questions concerning a topic and let people in the room answer. Some people used this as an opportunity to say, "Has anybody in the room tried to do X? How did it work for you?" It was very informative.

There is another one Thursday and Friday, so I may go to those as well since the conversation will be different because different people will be there.

Some of the things I picked up...

  • An artist complained about data-driven tools being great for programmers, but terrible for artists. He wanted more custom GUI work.
  • Someone mentioned using XGE (Xoreax Grid Engine) to speed up their tools.
  • We have debug and release builds of code, why not data? The debug data could contain information about where the data came from so that a crash because of bad data could be quickly resolved.
  • Artists and Programmers need better communications
    • For artists, programmers should do video captures with audio explaining how to use a tool
    • For programmers, artists should do video captures with audio showing how they *actually* use a tool
  • Artists were pleading for tools to use standard formats as much as possible, it makes their lives much easier
  • A company should standardize on a set of icons so their tools look and feel the same
  • When planning the UI, consider what the artist already knows and is familiar with. Maya? Max?
  • Involve Artists in UI design
  • A new, untested concept: decoupling the UI from the code, like the WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) model in Vista. This lets an artist build the UI independently of the code behind it. No one had done it yet, but there was much interest.


Stupid Spherical Harmonics Tricks

What I learned here...was that I need to learn a lot more about spherical harmonics (SH).

The DXSDK has several samples involving SH.

The presenter has a couple of papers on the subject (here and here).


Creating Havok with Destruction

Havok announced a new product, Havok Destruction.

  • Coming out mid-2008
  • Features fracturing and deformation
  • Artists draw how and object can be destroyed (where cracks will be)
    • Deterministic
    • Art driven
  • Use "connectivity" to determine how much of an object breaks
    • No connectivity - object breaks along every crack
    • With connectivity - object can break along crack in close proximity to collision
  • Deformation
    • Throwing cannon balls at barrels that dent instead of crack
  • Direct competitor to DMM


February 16, 2008

Game Developers Conference 2008

Filed under 3D, Programming, Video Games


I'll be going to GDC next week. GDC is the convention for video game developers. It is here in San Francisco at the Moscone Center.

Not sure what I'm attending yet, but I'll probably be there Wednesday through Friday.

GDC is not as fun as SIGGRAPH, but you can learn a lot. The focus is on interactive 3D graphics and techniques you can use today to speed up or improve the look of your graphics.

Looking forward to it!

February 9, 2008

Vanity Fair TFU Article

Filed under Video Games, Work




The March 2008 issue of Vanity Fair features a nice write-up of The Force Unleashed (TFU), the video game we are working on.

It is interesting that a video game is getting this kind of attention from a magazine like Vanity Fair.

Check out the article, "The Game Has Changed," here.

VF has some exclusive video from the game here.

Here are some new screen shots from the game.

The VF writer added a web post about "the lively sport of Jawa punting."


January 29, 2008

The Force Unleashed: Webdoc 3

Filed under Video Games, Work

Here's a nice clip on our new game:

December 1, 2007

Still Alive

Filed under Music, Video Games

I found this on Youtube and had to post it. This is a bit of a spoiler because this song gets played when you beat Portal...but I love the song and I want to listen to it more often than just when I beat Portal. The song is called "Still Alive" and it is sung by the HAL-like computer that performs experiments on you. The video features an amber monochrome display with synchronized lyrics text and ASCII art while the game credits roll...a nice touch!

November 30, 2007


Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Xbox 360

I bought the Orange Box recently for the Xbox 360. The Orange Box consists of 5 games. The first game I tried is called "Portal." The video above gives you an idea of the concept behind Portal and what game-play looks like. This video was also shown at the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater in 2007.

It took me about two sittings to finish Portal. Some people will be annoyed with how short it is. I love that it didn't take forever since I don't spend a lot of time playing video games.

Portal is an amazing game and unlike anything you have played. It seems like a first person shooter...but you don't have a gun and nobody is trying to kill you. It is actually a mind-bending puzzle game.

The game's sense of humor is part of the charm. It is so well done.

I can't stress this enough...you *must* try this game! It may be my favorite game since I first tried "The Sims." This is a fun and very satisfying game!

Portal (part of "The Orange Box") is available now on the Xbox 360 and PC and coming soon to the PS3.

October 9, 2007

Halo 3

Filed under Video Games, Xbox 360

image I started my next Xbox 360 adventure this week: Halo 3.

This is a *big* game for the 360...it made $170 million on opening day in the US. That makes Halo 3 the highest grossing entertainment product in history...and that includes movies! Amazing.

I've never played any of the previous Halo games, so I'm curious to see what all the hype is about.

I understand that multi-player is a big part of Halo's draw...so if you have an account on the 360, add me as a friend (and send my your real name so I know who I'm dealing with). My Xbox gamertag is "rgba."


September 26, 2007

iPod classic 160 GB

Filed under Gadgets, Movies, Music, Travel, Video Games


I'm going to spend quite a bit of time on an airplane soon, so I wanted to find something to keep me entertained.

I initially thought about getting a Dell XPS M1330 laptop. I was actually one click away from buying it today when I realized the ship date was after the bulk of much of my traveling.

I'm actually glad I didn't get the laptop. I don't travel very often, so the laptop would probably sit unused most of the time.

So the next best thing...an iPod. What I like about the iPod over the laptop...

  • Much cheaper ($350 vs. $2,500)
  • Much better battery life (7 hours vs 3 hours for watching movies)
  • Much smaller (can fit in my jacket pocket)
  • Much lighter
  • Fast charging (about 2 hours for 80% capacity)
  • Less concern about theft
  • Should arrive next week

I figure I will load it up with...

  • Season 5 and 6 of 24 (from iTunes)
  • Several seasons of South Park (from iTunes)
  • A few movies I haven't seen (from iTunes)
  • Some audio books (from iTunes)
  • The 3 video games iTunes has (Ms. Pacman, Tetris, and Sudoko)
  • My music collection

Putting everything on the iPod means I don't have to worry about bringing a bunch of DVD's with me.

I decided on the 160GB over the 80GB because of battery life...the 160GB can do 7 hours of video watching on a charge verses only 5 hours on the 80GB.

There are two color choices, black or white. I went with black.

Any suggestions for good audio books, TV, or movies available on iTunes are welcome!

September 24, 2007

Scene It? Xbox 360 Edition

Filed under Movies, Video Games, Xbox 360

I'm a big fan of the DVD board game Scene It?. I found out that Scene It? is coming to Xbox 360.


But what is more interesting are the 4 wireless controllers that come with it...The Big Button Pads.

The 4 colors make it obvious which player you are. The big button makes buzzing in simple.

A controller with a big button doesn't seem very useful beyond trivia games...but there's more going on here.

The big button is actually a 4 way direction pad. Since this controller is wireless, you can rotate it so that you have the A, B, X, Y buttons on your left or right...an ambidextrous game pad.

I bet this controller will be used for the simpler games available on Xbox Live Arcade that don't use the shoulder buttons, triggers, or 2 joysticks. It should make the 360 more approachable for the less hardcore gaming crowd.

September 5, 2007

BioShock Review

Filed under Reviews, Video Games, Xbox 360


I finished BioShock yesterday. I don't want to give anything away in case you might play this game...there are a lot of fun surprises.

In short...I loved it.

The story line was incredibly deep. Probably the thing that sets this game apart the most is the art direction and the architecture...it is beautiful to just look around the very detailed buildings of this underwater city from the 1940's.

The game is very dark in its mood and disturbing in its images and sounds. It's very creepy. It's rated "M"...so don't play this game around kids...you might scar them for life! There are scenes that remind me of some of the more gruesome parts of the movie "Seven."

This game reminded me of several movies I've seen. I already mentioned "Seven." Others include...

This is the first game I've played where you are judged by your actions. You can be a good guy or a bad guy...and each choice will give you a different experience.

I chose to be bad my first time through. I'm going to play the game again, but this time I'm going to be good.

I played on the easy level first...and it was virtually impossible to die. I was more interested in the story, so I'm not disappointed with the lack of a challenge. Now I'm going to replay on the hardest level (which gives you 40 achievement points if you can do it).

This game is certainly discussion worthy. Several of my friends and co-workers are playing it and I hear conversations daily about the game.

I'd put this game up with Gears of War as a must own 360 game (also available on the PC). Go get it!


August 22, 2007


Filed under Video Games, Xbox 360

Bioshock came out yesterday for the Xbox 360. I played the demo and it looks/sounds amazing. There is quite a buzz about this game. I ordered it online and should have it by Friday.

August 15, 2007

PS3 vs. Xbox 360: Madden NFL 08 Frame Rate

Filed under Video Games, Xbox 360


I heard about this today...Madden NFL 08 (which was released today) runs at 60 fps on the Xbox 360 and 30 fps on the PS3.

You can really see the difference in the HD video (WMV or Quicktime) when it shows them running side-by-side at 25% speed.

This is *HUGE* because the PS3 was supposed to be superior to the 360, and thus was worth the high cost.

I've read that EA's NCAA Football 08 as well as 2K Sports' All-Pro Football 2K8 both run at 60 fps on the 360 verses 30 fps on the PS3.

It will be interesting to see if this trend holds up with games by other developers coming to both platforms at the same time:

July 12, 2007

Why We Do It

Filed under Funny, Not Safe for Work (NSFW), Video Games

Sometimes I get asked why I work so hard on video games. I think I speak for many in my field...we do it for the kids. There is nothing like seeing a child completely immersed in a world you helped create. When you see the joy on their faces...that makes it all worth it.

June 15, 2007

Who knew? Hitler is a gamer!

Filed under Funny, Not Safe for Work (NSFW), Video Games, Xbox 360

Big ups to E-dog for sending this in. It has some cuss words in the captions, so it may not be work appropriate.

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May 15, 2007

Any game companies in this town?

Filed under Programming, Software, Video Games, Web

Gamedevmap.com helps answer this question. Just click a red dot on the map to get a list of game companies that call that area home. The site claims it stays current.

I love information like this. I just wish there was the same thing for every work discipline. Very helpful!


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April 17, 2007

Classical (Video Game) Music

Filed under Video Games

This was going around work today...

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April 11, 2007

It's Coming...

Filed under Video Games

There are not many billboards in the Marina where I live, but this one got my attention. All it had was the Roman numerals "IV".

On closer inspection you can see the "Rockstar" logo...the people that make "Grand Theft Auto." The "IV" is for the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV.

It is April and they are already advertising for a game that won't be out until October....on billboards no less. This is going to be a big release.

The trailer for GTA4 is pretty impressive...check it out here.



About Video Games

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