Friday, September 29, 2006

This Blog Sucks (+Fury Q&A link)

Fury-Sanctuary has another Q&A with world famous computer game designer Joseph B. Hewitt IV and some yokel named Cameron McNeil.

Not so much slamming Cameron McNeil there but more of an opportunity to say the phrase “computer game designer Joseph B. Hewitt IV” I have to say the phrase “computer game designer Joseph B. Hewitt IV” because a friend of mine complained that he had a hard time finding my blog “Working As Designed” while web searching for it. He pointed out that I don’t mention my own name, computer game designer Joseph B. Hewitt IV, enough and that by changing the title “Working As Designed” to a graphic instead of the actual text “Working As Designed” means it probably won’t be picked up as easily by search engines.

He also said I am a very funny writer and that I can and have produced some really really hilarious stuff. Knowing that he asked why then my blog sucks so much.

Taking this very seriously I thought about it. It is almost like I go into some ‘official reporter mode’ when writing here. It’s like I think I am some stuffed shirt, news reporter taking everything way too seriously. “Today on the Intertubes there was this funny thing… and umm here I’ll link to it for you.”

He’s right! What is that crap? And even when I do make an attempt its only half hearted. Look at yesterday’s post, see that at the end, the bit about the gay prison sex reference? It’s a good joke, how can you go wrong with a gay prison sex reference, but the execution is only half hearted. No real wind up, lame prison guy names, and weak final delivery.

Now compare that to this post I made on the Fury Sanctuary forums a few months ago. That was all right off the top of my head without even trying.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Girl Rocks Halo on the Violin and More Urban Tile Art

I meant to post this a few days ago but the “blog this” link from YouTube wasn’t appearing here and I had to figure out how to do it by hand. Not that hard (the secret is to remember to remove the equal sign from the end of the URL code) but while doing it a WoW Battleground popped and after it was over I forgot about it. The smell of dead Horde players does that to me.

Anyway, the above YouTube video showing what appears to be a High School talent show with a teenaged, female, violinist rocking out the XBox Halo theme song has been going around the net. At first nothing was known about the girl, the group, or the performance. It caught the attention of Bungie who put up a higher res-ed uncompressed version on their site.

Now (well a few days ago) Florian of managed to get an interview with Hana Stuart the above mentioned violinist.

Kotaku also has another picture of some retro tiled urban street art. I really love this stuff especially since I used to do game art back then. I am seriously thinking about doing some of this myself. Technically it is graffiti though and you could still get arrested for defacing private property. Can you imagine being in jail, doing the face down with Ice-Pick Bob and Larry the Cannibal, and having to answer the “what’ya in for?” question with “doing Nintendo art on the side of building.” Yeah, unfortunately the Princess is in another castle and you’ll be standing in for her.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fury Stuff with add bonus: Lawyers versus Marketing

Auran CEO Tony Hilliam, Fury Lead Designer Adam Carpenter and Art Director Jason Robson share their thoughts on what went down at PAX’06 over on our own site.

Game Musketeers has a interview with our Producer Paul Whipp.

There are few other write-ups that I’ve proof read for Paul and Adam that should pop-up in the next few days. I know what you are thinking, "You? Proof read?!" Well not "proof reading" for grammar or anything like that. Content proof-reading type stuff: don’t use that word because it makes it sound like your implying this when you really mean that. That sort of stuff.

If I hadn’t gotten into Games I would have probably done really well in marketing. That is kind of odd since I consider marketing people to be the most evil people on the planet.

The common belief is lawyers are the most evil, but that is only because marketing people have sold you on that idea to throw you off the real scent. You see lawyers are just tools. You got an lawyer to fight for you? Well I can hire my own lawyer to fight your lawyer. We can send them off in the arena, I mean, courtroom to fight it out while we head off to Starbucks for some coffee. But if you got a marketing evil demon trying to sell me on something, I can’t hire my own marketing demon to fight your marketing demon. By the time we get back they can have it all worked out.

For example, there used to be a commercial for Lucky’s super-market. They claimed to be the “Low Price Leader” and to prove this they had an independent accounting firm with an impeccable reputation choose 100 items at random and then they compared their price on those items with those of other stores. Would you believe it that Lucky’s actually had the lower prices of all the stores!!! Boy that would sure have been embarrassing for them if they shot that commercial with the hot babe (I’m lying she wasn’t hot, I actually found her annoying) only to have to admit at the end that another super market had a lower price on those randomly chosen items. How did they know they would come out cheaper? An accounting firm with an impeccable reputation, items chosen at RANDOM! Why it’s water tight, they must actually be the low price leader!

Now see if I were to hire my own marketing person he could try and sell Lucky’s on the idea that I am the Ultimate Shopper! But that doesn’t really break their “Low Price Leader” evil plan!

But wait! If I were to hire a lawyer he would point out that Lucky’s never said just how many times they had the accounting firm choose 100 items at random. Isn’t it true Mr. Lucky’s that you actually had the accounting firm pick 100 items at random hundreds of times? And of all those lists where some times you came out lower and some times you came out higher didn’t you then picked which list of 100 items that you used on your commercials? The list where you came out the lowest? Isn’t it also true that you caught your wife having an affair with your best friend and in a fit of jealous rage murdered them both and concealed their bodies in the false bottom of your refrigerator where my client found them when putting away the cantaloupes he purchased at a competitor’s super-market?!

See the lawyer is my tool which I can use to defeat the evil marketing person and marking people know that which is why they decided to make us all think lawyers are the evil ones! You know that joke, “Why don’t sharks eat lawyers? Professional curtesy.” Marketing people came up with that joke!

Maybe later I’ll tell you how the anti-violent video game movement is actually a front for the Zombie Army. No really I figured it all out. It’s obvious once you see the pattern.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sorry Nintendo: No Wii for Me

If you are up on gaming news you might have read about Nintendo's VP of marketing Perrin Kaplan at the recent New York City press event said that the Nintendo Wii would be region free, meaning that games you bought in one country (region) could be played on the system bought in another.
“Like the Nintendo DS, the Wii will be able to play games from other regions, such as Japan, without any restriction.”
In my case that meant that if I bought a Nintendo Wii here in Australia I would still be able to buy games for it if I went back to the U.S.

After that was reported around the web there a Nintendo UK spokesman contradicted that saying the Nintendo U.S. arm had made a mistake:
"We are region-locked."
Well now claims to have finally gotten the straight answer from Nintendo:
"We've heard conflicting reports from lots of folks out there, but can tell you that Wii will be region encoded, as will first-party software."
So there ya go. Those of you who read my previous post on region locking will know my stance on it. So let me just say, “Sorry Nintendo but no Wii for me.” I had planned on actually reserving one at my local EB once the Australian release date was announced but it isn’t going happen now.

I’ll repeat what I said before in my previous post. Game companies have not gained any new console video game sales from me going on 3 years now. Now they are losing out on selling me their new expensive console systems all because of region coding. The only way they will regain me as a customer, the only way they will get any money from me, is if I move back to the United States or if I am willing to start modding my systems. Well either that or they can swap me a region 4 system and copy of every region 1 game I own for that system with a promise to swap them all back plus any new one's I've bought while in Australia for region 1 versions if I go back to the United States. Somehow I'm sure they will have some detailed business model rational on why that isn't a good idea even though the current business model that I just spelled out doesn't have me doing any actual business with them.

By the way I am not a Nintendo hater, I’m a big Nintendo supporter. I’m a Zelda, Mario, Metroid fanboy! I think Shigeru Miyamoto is god! I was really looking forward to the Wii. If I wasn’t busy typing this up while waiting for a WoW Battleground to pop I’d be playing my region free Nintendo DS instead.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yet another write up from another trade show

MMORPG.COM has a “hands on” write-up by Laura Genender from the Austin Game Developer’s Conference.

There is one small mistake; she says “Though I had a mana bar, I never once looked at it.” The build we are showing off still has the mana (actually we called it Ki, it’s an Asian thing) bar but we had already taken its functionality out of the game. The version we have been allowing people to play with still has the old GUI so it the blue bar is still there.

If you look at the screenshot I posted over on the Fury-Sanctuary forums you can see how the health bar now extends overtop of the where the Ki bar was.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Online Comic Update

I'm adding a few more links to the comics section that should have been there all along: VG Cats, Mac Hall, and The Perry Bible Fellowship. Warning if you are easily offended you should steer way clear of PBF, don't let the word 'bible' fool you. It is hilarious though.

There was another comic that I wanted to link but I can't find the bookmark for it. It was black and white, single panel, and the main character is a serial killer with a goofy hockey mask. It was very dark and morbid comic and I am trying desperately to remember its name because it was one of my favorites. It’s very much like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac which isn’t an online comic.

Wait, found it! Chopping Block! It was there all along just thought that was something else. By the way, it too isn’t for the easily offended… like I said it is about serial killer.

In my search for Chopping Block stumbled upon an alarming fact! In reading all these comic news blurbs with the reasons they post about why they are late putting up their latest comic I have found that the internet is going down hourly, natural disasters are running amok across the country, car accidents, dogs sleeping with cats, water turning to blood, Armageddon is upon us! THE END IS NIGH!!!

Somebody alert the media, I’ll be cowering in the bathtub.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Fury being unleashed at PAX

I went looking to see if part 2 of the previoius post's interview was up but no luck. I did find these two videos though. The second one, which is just a quick talk to a couple of fans at PAX doesn't show any gameplay and was actually made by Auran at the show and contains a dirty word.
Fury at PAX

PAX 2006 - Fury Fans