Monday, February 26, 2007

Brisbane Australia Gamers Meetup

Yug from Australian Gamer and Hawk from Game Arena had a Brisbane Gamers Meetup party this last weekend. There are some pictures and links to youtube moves here.

Everybody loved my t-shirt which Connie had gotten me for Christmas.
Eventually some people from Auran turned up, including Michael and Joseph (who definitely won the prize for best t-shirt of the night).
It has a graphic equalizer display on the front that lights up in response to ambient audio input just as you would expect a graphic equalizer display. Yug took some pictures of it but I don't see any posted. If you look at the picture of the 3 girls dancing you can see me talking in the background on the right. See that yellow-ish smear of color? That’s my shirt.

You can buy one for yourself from Thinkgeek.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Battlestar Galactica Site Live

The website for Auran's upcoming XBox Live Arcade version of Battlestar Galactica is now up in running.

I havn't gotten an XBox 360 or any of the new generation systems for that matter. At first I didn't miss not having one. Fueled by my anger with region codes I was able to avoid them. But now as more and more cool games are starting to come out I feel the loss. Or maybe it is just that there is no really cool PC games I am looking forward to in the immediate future.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

George R. R. Martin's First Published Writting

I am reading "Deamsongs" a George R. R. Martin rretrospective - yes its spelled with two R's. Its a collection of short stories he has written over the years and he has a little introduction the front called "A Four-Color Fanboy." He talks about his childhood and how he got into witting and we get this little gem:
The first words of mine ever to appear in print were 'Dear Stan and Jack.'
They appeared in Fantastic Four #20, dated August 1963, in the letter column. My letter of comment was insightful, intelligent, analytical - the main thrust of it was that Shakespeare had better move on over now that Stan Lee had arrived.
I went onto the forums of Comic Geek Speak podcast and posted this find and servo106 replied with this picture taken from the Fantastic Four DVD-Rom.George went on to say as a result of his address being printed he got a chain letter in the mail and being a naive kid he mailed the required quarter to the next guy on the list. Turns out that guy ran a comic book fanzine which he mailed back. This introduced the young George to the world of the independent fanzine press where he started getting his stories published.

Study: Surgeons who play video games more skilled

I can't resist commenting on this story that just popped up on

Study: Surgeons who play video games more skilled

I love how it has to end with two paragraphs of back peddling in case you were starting to think that video games might not be the root of all evil after all.
A 2004 survey by Gentile found 94 percent of adolescents play video games for an average of nine hours a week. Game-playing has been linked to aggressiveness, poor school grades and can become a substitute for exercise.

"Parents should not see this study as beneficial if their child is playing video games for over an hour a day," Gentile said. "Spending that much time playing video games is not going to help their child's chances of getting into medical school."
Laugh out loud.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Like Football with Swords

I know I said wasn't going to post every little Fury news article from now on, but I really liked the analogy. Can you imagine it? First down would go from being a good thing to "Oh man poor Bob... he was first down!" Though in Australia with Australian Rules Football first down does kind of work that way. BAM! Cheers mate!

And to be fair I said I wasn't going to post all the Gamecock links and this is actually normal media not even specifically video game media. Speaking of that, you can expect to be blasted by Gamecock 'pimping' Fury here real soon as we are going to be their first game to market and GDC is rapidly approaching.

Anyway this was on the front page of the's technology section. Nothing new at all and it talks more about Auran the company than specially about any of our games.

And while I’m at it here is an interview Tony did with IGN last week where he talks about Fury, Xbox Live Arcade Battlestar Galactica and Gamecock Media Group.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kane is still cool even though EA sucks

Gamasutra has an extremely friendly (read: white washed) history of Electronic Arts. It even goes so far as to try and shine a good light on EA’s tendency to buy up smaller companies and close them down a few years later.
Acquiring these studios’ Intellectual Properties significantly enhanced EA’s portfolio of games, but as Gibeau explained, acquisitions also brought much needed talent into the company.
Yeah, I’m sure the dozen or two hand picked people they kept from each company were great for EA, but I am willing to bet it wasn’t so grand for the 200 or so people that lost their jobs.

I love Origin Game’s founder Richard Garriott’s takes on the buyout and eventual closing of his company. He started a new company called Destination Games and when Origin was shut down, he hired back all of his core people. He pointed out just how much money EA gave him for his company and then let him have all the people back again. So what did EA get for the money? They have the right to Ultima, Wing Commander and some other games I can’t even think of at the moment. Yeah, they’ve been making a mint off those games I’m sure.

The most frustrating part of all this is that I believe the reason this keeps happening to companies EA acquires is EA. Here is another bit from the article.
In 2002 Westwood released Earth & Beyond, a complex massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Unfortunately, Earth & Beyond struggled to find an audience and EA shut it down two years later.
The reason that it struggled to find an audience is directly the fault of EA. The original design was much larger and broader in scope. Players were to get planets they could colonize and develop as well as explore and fight in space. But EA was afraid that game would be to complex for the AOL audience they wanted to target. So they changed the game into the watered down, beautiful yet boring game in order to try and get that AOL audience. Unfortunately the AOL audience wasn’t even in the market for that type of game.

They did the same thing to Pirates which was an isometric pirate game on the PC before EA came in. It became a half-baked, over-development, 3rd-person, adventure game that they then decided wasn’t worth their marketing effort.

Anyway, I really didn’t want to rant this long. I was just typing up this little bit while flying on the griffon in WoW. I am not even going to waste time editing the above to read better. Just not worth it.

I will however give a link to an interview with Joe Kucan, can from C&C. You might be thinking this sense of humor in interviews is a lot like mine, but I have to say that he’s been like that all along. I’ve had to work at it.

I won't be buying C&C 3 myself. They lost me with all the crap they did to Battlefield 2042 though it looks like everybody else who was outraged has since forgotten about it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Auran Loves the Gamecock

MCV, a big UK, game industry newspaper had Gamecock’s launch as one of their lead stories this morning: GOD Founders Launch Gamecock.

Kotaku has a second story, this time just focusing on Auran and Fury: Auran Loves the Gamecock.

So Fury is out there in the public eye now. The Alpha version of the game is slowly letting in more people and the Beta version isn't that far away. Which means I better stop writting on this blog and get back to work. Next task: finish up the last 100 or so Ability Icons... sigh.

Captain's Log, Supplemental:

Not going to make a whole new post for this link because 40 million post about Fury and Gamecock is already getting old. Anyway I found this one a few days ago when googling "Gamecock Fury" only when I went to the link it said 'server error'. Obviously it was pulled until after the official announcement. It is an interview with Gamecock co-founder Harry Miller at Games Radar.

When I was a kid I thought Supplemental meant something along the lines of "we're in trouble" because of the way Captain Kirk always said something along the lines of "Captain's Log, Supplemental: The Romulans are attacking!"


From the guys who brought you Gathering of Developers aka GoD games, we now have Gamecock Media group.

I recommend reading their company story, the Legend of Gamecock, on their website if you want the torrid, shady details.

Make all the fun of the name you want but consider the following:
1. You know you won't forget the name and its going to get lots of press.

2. Its pretty cool that they support small developers who are usually at the mercy of the large publishers. They even let them retain the rights to their creations.

and 3. you just know the booth babes are going to be hot!
Now if you are wondering why am giving them so much attention, you should head over to their website and check out their lineup of featured contenders. Thats right, Gamecock is going to Unleash the Fury!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Auran's Battlestar Galactica game

Just a quick little post about this announcement that went out over the weekend:
Officials from Vivendi Games division Sierra Online officially announced plans to release Battlestar Galactica over Microsoft's popular Xbox Live Arcade service, as well as the PC this fall.

The space combat simulation, which is based upon the hit series airing on the Sci Fi channel, is being created by veteran Australian developer Auran (Trainz Railroad Simulator), and will feature both single and multiplayer gameplay as either the humans or Cylons.


Stayed tuned for more incoming information...

Friday, February 02, 2007

50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002

I've been flipping through various comic book forums trying to find a place to settle in and discuss the titles I enjoy reading. I've also been jumping over to the blogs of some of the posters on those forums and on one of them I found this list. I changed the marker for those you don't like from 'strike-thru' to (X) since I can't figure out format code for 'strike-thru' on the blog.

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, italicize those you started but never finished, put an (*) beside the ones you loved, put a (#) next to the ones you intend to read some time and an (X) next to the ones you didn't like.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R.Tolkien (*)
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov (#)
3. Dune, Frank Herbert (*)
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin (#)
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson (*)
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M Miller Jr
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey (X)
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card (*)
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams (*)
28. I am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K Le Guin (X)
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven (X)
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson*
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer