Sunday, August 31, 2008

Street Fred

Adam Isgreen with backpackLegendary game designer, and long time personal nemesis, Adam Isgreen posted this picture on Facebook a few weeks ago. I made the following comment:
I still have that bag. I used it instead of my 20 year old Tumi one when I came out here for my interview, because I felt it lent me industry street fred!
You may think Adam was poking fun of a typo when he responded with:
It's the perfect carry-on bag when I'm not taking a laptop. Street fred is very important!
However, I will now reveal that it wasn't a typo, but rather a closely guarded secret of game designers.Street Fred

Have you ever wondered where we get our game design ideas? Amazing imaginations combined with blood, sweat and tears?

No. We get them from Street Fred.

And you know, A civil war era, FPS-MMO would totally rock!

"You get better at standing in a line while people shoot at you (+4)!"

"Alright! I got my medic up to level 20! Now I can saw your leg off!"

Thanks to Tim Colwill, whose girlfriend can totally kick your ass in Guitar Hero, for the rendition of Street Fred.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Paul Oakenfold in Interzone Futebol

Paul OakenfoldI posted last week that the official Interzone Futebol website went up in Brazil, complete with teaser video. If you actually watched the video, you may have noticed the Paul Oakenfold billboards that were up in the game world.

Following up on that is the formal announcement that went out today, stating that Paul Oakenfold, internationally known DJ with a stellar list of remix and film credits, and who is listed in the The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most popular DJ, has been officially announced as doing the score for Interzone Futebol. Yay us.

You can read the full press release here.

Paul Oakenfold - Wiki, Official Site.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Socks

Years ago I decided that was it with the whole separating laundry thing. I had enough of it. I threw away all my white clothes except my white athletic socks and decided to just wash everything together in cold water. Being a bit giddy with the success of this plan, I went one step further and decided to buy all new socks and underwear and threw them all out. Well, except the pair I had on, because I just didn't think Target was the place to be going commando. I may be wrong about that, but at the time that's the plan I decided on. There is no point in getting your panties in a bunch about it now.

So, I buy all new socks and underwear. For underwear I decided to make a break from the norm. I went with boxer briefs, the comfort of boxers with the support of briefs. Years later I can say it was a good choice. Now, dispite how much of this post has focused on my underwear so far, rest assured its really about the socks which I also bought a bunch of. I actually bought all identical socks which turned about to be another good idea. Its been great never having to match socks again.

This weekend I bought 27 pairs of new socks. They were three in a pack and if you bought 2 packs, you got 1 pack free. Plus my friend Zoe let me use her employee discount so they came out to about $2 dollars a pair. Score.

I decided to put the new socks right in the suitcase for the upcoming trip next wee and finish wearing out the old ones. I just can't describe the incredible feeling I get every night now. The heart pounding rush I get when I go to put my jammies on. I can just take my old socks off, and toss them right in the trash! I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

The lesson I think we should all learn from this is that I need to get out more.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Watchmen Update

I’ve been bouncing all over the internet reading up on the latest news and buzz about the upcoming Watchmen movie.

There is a lot of fan angst over the running time of the film and the film's legal trouble with Fox studios. So much angst that it has spawned two of the internet's most dreaded entities, the online petition and the cry for a boycott! Shudder! I just got a shiver up my back!

Here is an easy one-page piece from Newsarama that describes exactly what the trouble the films producer, Warner Bros., is facing from Fox. But if that isn't enough for you, here is a post over at containing links to all the relevant legal documents, complaints, judges orders, alleged misstatements, purchase agreements and even a comparison to a similar situation in 2005, when the same judge granted a preliminary injunction that would have kept The Dukes of Hazzard movie from being released.

Supporters of the petition, which you can find HERE, are threatening to boycott upcoming Fox studios films such as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and even "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Those sound like empty threats to me though, but then again so does Fox's threat to prevent the movie from ever being released because, they say, "there are some damages you never recover." We all know that to Fox it is only about the money and nothing but the money.

As proof that it is about nothing but the money, people have highlighted Fox's timing on this whole thing. Fox stood by and waited until February to file their complaint. They waited until after Warner Bros had finished developing the movie, when they would have the most leverage.

A Fox spokesmen responded to the question about if Fox is concerned about the fans being upset by saying,
"Of course we are concerned about the fans; however, any disappointment from the core fans should not be directed toward Fox. What we are doing is seeking to enforce our distribution rights to Watchmen. Legal copyright ownership should not just be swept under the rug and ignored."
Translated that means, "No we just care about the money." But really, why should they care about the fans? We are still watching their crap even though there is no more Firefly.

Now on top of that all there is the issue of the movie's running time. Fans are crying out, demanding that the movie be allowed to come in at 3+ hours. Here is another Newsarama article about the running time including how that might be relevant to the legal problems and how other long running blockbusters have faired box office money-wise.

But is the movie worth all this? Kevin Smith, who was invited to see a rough cut of the film just after the San Diego Comic-con and posted this on his MySpace page:
I saw "Watchmen." It's fucking astounding. The Non-Disclosure Agreement I signed prevents me from saying much, but I can spout the following with complete joygasmic enthusiasm: Snyder and Co. have pulled it off.

Remember that feeling of watching "Sin City" on the big screen and being blown away by what a faithful translation of the source material it was, in terms of both content and visuals? Triple that, and you'll come close to watching "Watchmen." Even Alan Moore might be surprised at how close the movie is to the book. March can't come soon enough.
Though for the sake of full disclosure I should say that I didn't think the Sin City movie was all that great. Not that I didn't think it wasn't really faithful to the graphic novels, I just thought the movie version showed just how campy the graphic novel actually is.

Anyway, if you still juiced for more Watchmen reading here is an interview with DC comics president, Paul Levitz, about the trailer and such. Even more interesting is this piece by Isabelle Burtan, a new writer at, about her virgin take on The Watchmen trailer. It is her scene by scene take on the trailer not knowing anything at all about the graphic novel.

My personal take on the trailer is that was the trailer for us fans. There will be other trailers for the unwashed masses closer to the film's release.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Waiting for Pancakes

I'm sitting here, staring at the progress bar in iTunes, waiting for version 2.0.2 of the iPhone software to finish downloading and installing so I can leave to go get my weekly pancake fix.

Note to Apple, "more information" <> "step by step install instructions". When I click a link that says "more information" I kinda expect something that tells me what is in the patch.

Anyway, I realized I hadn't posted that the official web site for my current game, Interzone Futebol, went live last week. Though, I should mention that since we are launching in Brazil the whole site is in Portuguese.

Share and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Website Hosting Fun Continues...

I get an email telling me that my website should be fully restored, but no information about this switch over, nothing... oh except this that arrived the day after that email:
on Aug 17, 2008, wrote:

Web Disk Space / Storage Quota Warning (100%)


If you exceed 100% of your quota you will be billed for overages at the end of the month. You may want to consider upgrading to a higher package level if your regular usage levels have increased.

If you have any questions please contact us.

Thank you,
Net Identity Hosting

Toll Free (U.S.A./Canada) 1-888-390-1242
Well, at first guess I am thinking maybe this overage is caused by the 47.6 meg file sitting in the root directory. It appears to be some sort of archive file containing my entire website. Another guess would be that this is the file that they used to restore my website the day before. Without that file the space I am using is almost halved.

Do I really need the site? Is it worth this frustration? It basically has the ruined remains of my old resume site from 5-6 years ago and a few pictures and my resume and history html files that are linked over on the right. I've just always thought that maybe I would do something with it in the future.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Queueing Up the Portable Boob Tube

I have been loading up my iPod and iPhone with various TV shows in preparation for my trip and stay in Brazil. I really like to be able to sit down and watch an entire series.Multiple TV ShowsSo far I have bought and downloaded Dexter season 2, the start of Burn Notice season 2, Mad Men season 1 and the start of season 2, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and am in the process of downloading Rome seasons 1 and 2. I cheated though and already watched the 2nd season of Dexter. I have the second Dexter audio book, Dearly Devoted Dexter, as well. I get the impression that the TV show is only based on the first book though. Currently am re-listening to the first 3 books in Saga of the Seven Suns since I now have the all 7 audio books in the series. Actually I have a bunch of audio books I haven't listened to yet.

PrimevalBut back to TV shows; iTunes offered the first episode of Primeval for free, so I watched it last night. It was alright, but I don't think it was good enough to purchase the whole season. I do find it interesting that UK Sci-fi still has a unique identifiable "something" about it. Even if you magically stripped out the accents, locations and other stuff that would identify it as being make in the UK you could still tell. Not implying anything bad, just saying.

The Wire seasons 1-5I am sure they will be plenty of actual work to do once I'm in São Paulo, but there are many hours on airplanes and I do anticipate nights collapsed in bed exhausted but not quite ready to sleep. So I am also considering getting all 5 seasons of The Wire. I watched most of the 1st season before moving to Australia, and have caught several 2nd season episodes since. I also heard podcasts where some of the writers I like talking about how good it is.

Anybody have any other suggestions of stuff I may have missed in the last 4+ years I've been in Australia? I am looking for really strong character driven dramas. I've seen some of Weeds and Rescue Me that have peeked my interest. I have already watched The West Wing (still my all-time favorite TV show), Deadwood, Dirty Sexy Money, and Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I also own all of the new Battlestar Galactica series on DVD of which I've seen about half of. Its been a while since I watched it, too long ago for me to start where I left off but not long enough ago that I feel like starting over from beginning.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's Back!

Haven't actually gotten an email back from the second customer service guy, but it does appear that the site and all the files are back. I'll have to check when I wake up.

I'm actually still sleeping, its just that I think I hurt my back sleeping or something so I got up to stretch and take some aspirin. Yes, you heard me, "hurt it sleeping." I am a serious sleeper!

I saw a t-shirt a few weeks ago that said, "Damn right i am good in bed, I can sleep for days!"

It appears to be getting worse...

Now all the graphics that were hosted on my site are gone. It didn't even occur to me that even though the site was down and I couldn't link to the sub-pages, that the graphics that were hosted there were still showing. It's pretty scary to see them vanish. You know, there were some files there that I don't know if I even have copies of on this machine.

I got that domain and email address because I knew I would be moving about the country (and as it turns out, the world) and I wanted some place where I could store stuff and know that I always had a permanent and professional looking email address.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who is Screwing me and WHERE IS MY WEBSITE!?

Web site still missing.

Got a message back from Domain Direct / ItsYourDomain / Netidentity Customer Service.
Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to assist you with your issue because we no longer provide hosting services for domains. You will need to contact Domain Direct Hosting at 1-888-390-1240, or access your account through

Domain Direct / ItsYourDomain / Netidentity Customer Service
This reminded me that I did get some email about hosting changes. I dig back through my email inbox and found a letter from Ross Rader, General Manager of Tucows Retail services on May 7th saying Hostopia is taking over all their web hosting, that our accounts were being transfered, and Hostopia would contact us. I haven't heard anything since.

What really gets me is that Scott there in Customer Service should damn well know about the hosting changes, but his email comes off with a "not our problem dude" tone to it. Guess I should just be happy he actually answered the question I asked and didn't just copy/paste a completely unrelated answer into his reply like what happens with all the other customer support emails I've gotten in the last few years.

Reading several announcements and press releases I can't help but notice the lack of any helpful information. Nothing about if my account is now split? What about the money I paid NetIdentity, again in May, for a years email, website, and extra storage space? I guess that was supposed to be in the transition package I never received from Hostopia. And I will admit that it is entirely possible I received the transition package email from Hostopia and deleted it thinking it was spam. I get a lot of spam and useless game industry recruiter mail at that address that I just delete in bulk.

Now, you'll notice there is some name confusion. It appears from Scott's email from that Domain Direct does not equal Domain Direct Hosting? But Domain Direct Hosting does equal Hostopia? Except that has a logo that just says Domain Direct. But nothing else I have read apart from Ross's email makes any mention of Hostopia at all.

I did manage to login to which has logins for the different services dumped by Tucows, but it shows 0 of 50 megs up and no sign of my website. There was a FAQ link that took me to which comes up as 404 File Not Found Page. I also notice some of the URLs inside the site are still associated with Netidentity. What is really going on?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Web Site is Gone

Just found out that is coming up as "This site is under construction." It's really bad too, because the graphic they used looks like it was drawn to be displayed on a white background and the page is black.

The site used to be my resume website but I changed the main URL to say that I have a blog now and point to here. But I do host some things there, like some pictures and the Resume and History link on the menu down the right. They both come up as page not found. I just updated the resume and was in the process of updating the Personal History so I know it was working last week. The email address I host there still works and my account shows it isn't due until the middle of next year.

Hamster Powered ComputerMaybe the Hampster running the server is just taking a breather. I originally got the site through Net Identity, but they are now owned by TuCows. Its going to be UnCow if all the stuff I had up on their server is gone because I'm going to have a cow. Anyway, I put in a customer service ticket and I apologize if any pictures or links from the blog are now not working.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Don't Employee Idiots in Customer Service

While working on Star Wars Galaxies, we had one CSR group up with her friends to power level them and turn in her daily stat sheet showing she had handled 3-4 customer petitions. This is while the rest of use were doing between 100 and 200 petitions per shift. She was nice enough to have her log file turned on though. FIRED

Then there were the two idiots who, while everybody was trying to figure out how to be the first to unlock the Jedi character slot, they unlocked the Jedi slot on their CSR accounts, ran around Bestine having a light saber duel, while at work. FIRED and FIRED

None of that really compares with the intelligence of this Age of Conan GM.

Where's the Beef!?

Where's the BeefI did it again. I forgot that in Australia ‘Burger’ means anything on bun and it has absolutely nothing to do with it including any actual hamburger.

The first month of moving to Australia over four years ago I ordered a “Bacon Burger” and was surprised to find that they forgot the ‘burger.’ Except that they didn’t forget, Bacon Burger means bacon on a bun.

Today I went to what I was told is “The best hamburger place in Western Australia.” I was really looking forward to this, because a lot of places that claim to sell hamburgers, actually sell meatloaf on a bun. Meatloaf as in not 100% beef hamburgers with lots of breading. Yuck.

Anyway, “Was it the best hamburger place in Western Australia?” you ask.

I have no idea because I ordered a “something Bonanza Burger,” don’t remember the exact name. It was described as a bacon burger with egg and cheese. Sure sounded good. But as you have probably guessed it was just bacon, egg and cheese on a bun. Basically I had breakfast.

BilSo, if you happen to be in Perth, Western Australia and feel like having a hamburger. Stop by Bilby's at 2/64 Davies Road in Claremont. Just please let me know how it was.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fury Servers Shutting Down in 48 Hours

Tony posted the following on the Fury Forums in the early hours this morning:
We have reached our time limit to find a solution that would help us keep the Fury servers open. Sadly, no solution has been found and so we have no alternative than to shut the servers down in 48 hours.

To all those players who have enjoyed Fury and played countless battles, I am sorry that we could not find a viable business model that would allow you to continue playing. To all those naysayers and doomsdayers, we know that deep down you wanted Fury to succeed. Have fun with your parting wishes

To the Auran team, who put their heart and soul into making Fury, thanks for your efforts. As I said many times before, we need to be much better than the competition to have a chance of succeeding. We gave it everything we had and history now judges that it still wasn’t good enough.

Whilst this marks the end of the Fury chapter, who knows what the future may bring. There were many gems hidden within Fury and many lessons learned. Hopefully one day the full potential can be realized in some other form.

So for now, so long and thanks for all the fish.

P.S. We informed all stores more than a month ago to remove stock from their shelves. If you have purchased a copy of Fury in the past month, we suggest you return it to the store.


If you have any complaints which you'd like to make, I'd be more than happy to send you the appropriate forms.

Those of you who know me are aware of my long time goal of becoming: Joseph B. Hewitt IV – International Man of Mystery! As it turns out, the “Mystery” thing isn’t as easy as you might think. Anybody who is making a comment that also questions my manliness at this moment can go take a running leap… I mean seriously! You come to my blog and insult my manliness? That’s right you came here; you clicked on your bookmark to come here to MY blog! Yeah, I know you got me bookmarked!
My writing brings all the girls to the blog,
and they're like,
its better than yours,
damn right its better than yours,
I can teach you,
but I have to charge
I really didn’t start this to do a really lame parody of those lyrics. If that were the case I would have probably picked a better song or at least one where I would have to change more than the first line. They just played a clip from Family Guy where Peter sings that song in Prison and it’s now stuck in my head.

Joseph Brazil PosterSo anyway, I think it’s too late to be an International Man of Mystery. But I am well on my way to being...

...wait for it...

...its all in the timing...

Joseph B. Hewitt IV – International Game Developer!

This post sounded like such a good idea, full of potential for fun and hilarity, when I thought of it on my way home today. The point of this whole fiasco was to say that I’m going to Brazil next month to finish up the launch of Interzone Futebol. No idea how long I’ll be there. Looks like it might be awhile.

I really did plan on doing more with this post, play it up more, maybe throw in some Austin Powers jokes, but the problem is that it is already 1 AM! The stupid Brazil movie poster took way longer than I thought. First, I had to take the picture and honestly the ones where I am trying to do the “Brazil” smile like the guy is doing in the real poster were horrible. Can you say, “Psycho Axe Murderer?” I was also going to Photoshop the girl, soccer ball and something else into the picture better. I was also going to play around with the filter options see if I could get my face to look like the guy in real poster, but like I said, it’s already 1 AM.

You can tell how bad this by the fact that I even left in the stupid lyric joke that would have normally got cut on my first edit pass.

Austin Game Developer's Conference LogoOh, I’ll also being going up to the Austin Game Developer’s Conference September 15-17th. Hopefully, I’ll be swinging by Vegas to visit friends and family before heading back down to Brazil.