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Everything posted by DanJW

  1. Happy Birthday!

    Thanks guys. I had a really nice, if busy, birthday weekend. Some nice restaurant meals, BBQs in the parks with friends, interspersed with play rehearsals. Good stuff.
  2. Shogun 2: Total War

    The past few months I have been watching the DVD of the 1980 TV series Shogun, based on the story of William Adams the first Briton to reach Japan and the first Gaijin Samurai. It's really good! In a classic slow-paced 1970s kind of way. Watching that definitely puts me in the mood for some Japanese Total War.
  3. Life

    Since there are a few Kendo and other martial artists here, I've been asked to post this; my girlfriend's club is holding a Summer Kendo festival and seminars, open to all clubs and practitioners wherever you may be from. Entry is free. http://www.msmas.org/news2.php?id=366 They want to make it a big thing, national if possible. I'm sure they'd be happy to help organise travel and accommodation if you contact them.
  4. The Cannon Fodder theme: e7YW5tmlsLo And the Chaos Engine theme: 55jpHprP_ao Yay Amiga games!
  5. The threat of Big Dog

    Whoah, those are really cool! Things like that have become such a staple of sci-fi TV and video games* but I never really thought they would actually be built one day. *(ahhg! for the perennial flying swarm of small and bloody irritating enemies)
  6. Movie/TV recommendations

    Going Postal was very good, a noticeable improvement on the previous Sky1 Pratchett adaptations. The performances in particular were excellent this time around. The downplay of the fantasy and the presentation of Ankh Morpork as an extra weird Dickensian Victorian tale was a good move. My only big gripe is that the editing felt incredibly impatient. Understandable when trying to cram a busy novel into 3 hours, but still the comic and dramatic timing suffered badly. Few atmospheric or reaction shots lingered long enough for them to sink in. Often as soon as the dialogue ended, so would the scene. They missed out one or two real gems from the book too; I would have really liked to see the initiation into The Secret Society of Postmen. Maybe it was filmed and will turn up as an extra. Otherwise I don't have many problems with changes to the story or simplification of characters (Groat's penchant for alternative remedies, although hilarious in print, would be difficult to pull off on screen). I recommend it to everyone here anyway.
  7. Movie/TV recommendations

    Actually, recent physics theories suggest that constructive paradox (closed loop as Reese->Connor) are entirely possible. It's only destructive paradoxes (eg shooting your own great grandfather, or what Skynet was attempting) that run into problems, being either impossible or unravelling the universe. The point is that Connor was always Reese's son. Their was no point in causality where he was not Reese's son. It helps if you think of time not as a stream, but as a map (all the points already exist). Fun! Also, Firefly is indeed excellent. I try to put off re-watches as long as possible to make it more fresh each time. I think the time is approaching when I will have to introduce it to the girlfriend.
  8. Doctor Who: The Adventure Games

    The animation looks really shit. 10 years out of date. Rotoscoping but no motion capture? Motion capture would be a must, I would have thought. But never mind about the visuals. It's the quality of the puzzles right? And at least the snippets of dialogue sounded... alright (except that it includes the Darleks. I just realised that the Darleks bore me to tears by this point). On a slightly tangential note, I have noticed that lots of TV trailers for games are looking rubbish recently. Badly voice-overed, badly edited and boring shots chosen. I did some work once as a "virtual camera man" capturing video to be edited into a trailer by someone else on ten times my salary. It was fun and not all that difficult to get nice looking shots. But some of the adverts I see on TV now... they make games as a whole look a bit rubbish.
  9. The threat of Big Dog

    You crush it with your foot and then you hear a strange noise all around you. You turn to see an massive swarm of LittleDogs bearing down on you, emerging out of every nook and cranny. You are quickly overwhelmed. Try again Y/N?
  10. (IGN.com)

    "It is the Street Fighter: The Movie of video games" - IGN.com (I will not be surprised if one of you tells me this has been used somewhere)
  11. Movie/TV recommendations

    I never watched the show, as I strongly suspected it would fail to deliver and end that way (also because I expected the three-year forced extension would lead to lots of filler). But I've always kept an eye to the blogs, looking for something to draw me in perhaps. From what I can tell of the reviews and synopses, the whole thing boiled down to: "A wizard did it".
  12. A friend of my girl-friend is a career advisor for a school in Wales. Apparently many of her pupils have expressed an interest in being game testers or developers. The grapevine being what it is, she asked me to fill them in on what those jobs are actually like. Probably not like they imagine. I'm having a chat with them on skype tomorrow. Anyway, although I spent a few years in the industry I am not in it currently. Because of that and because I believe in getting balanced and varied views on this type of thing, and because despite all evidence I do not know everything, I am soliciting your good selves as well. So if you work in the game industry, whether developer, publisher, third party or journalist (or other) what are your tips or snippets of advice or impressions, for BTEC National Diploma students? Many thanks in advance.
  13. Happy Birthday!

    Many happy returns, dear Thunderpeel!
  14. The threat of Big Dog

    Moving on from robots to bio-punk... but still science horror: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10132762.stm Like Bigdog, I find this equally terrifying and awesome-exciting!
  15. Piracy has hit a new low....

    A think the Valve stance is more about pragmatism than higher ethics. You can cry about theft and whine and litigate, but it won't increase your bottom line. Valve's underserved customer approach sees the problem as an opportunity and they come out of it with more sales. Hmm, the older I get, the more of an ethical pragmatist I think I'm becoming.
  16. Piracy has hit a new low....

    I think that brings us back to the beginning of the thread. It's hard to see how the pirates of the indie bundle could have been better served. Perhaps if the publicity had been better then more people would have seen it on sale, rather than having the torrent be their introduction to its existence?
  17. Wizaaaaaards!!

    12/16. I'm fairly happy with that.
  18. Life

    That kind of sucks Nachimir, but I'm glad you're dealing with it so maturely. I've had one amicable breakup in the past and they really are to be preferred - emotional, sad, but also weirdly life affirming.
  19. Movie/TV recommendations

    I went to see Four Lions last night. It's a surprisingly complex film, both very funny and also quite sad. Leaving the cinema we were all strangely silent for a good few minutes before we started talking about the bits which made us laugh the most. I think it might turn out to be a fairly important work. It's very good anyway
  20. Red Dead Redemption

    Can you give a horse money for sex then afterwards kill the horse and get your money back? (-IGN.com)
  21. Well that seemed to go well. Got your post in time Piratepoo I'm going to send them an email later with useful links and answers to follow-up questions. I'll include Steven's article, as well as general resources like gameindustry.biz and Gamasutra, plus some modding wikis and so forth. Also LinkedIn type places. Any strong recommendations for links?
  22. OK, thank you everyone. This pretty much confirms what I was going to tell them. I'm not going to sugar coat it, but neither do I just want to tell them not to bother. I think I will focus on the proactive indie and mod scene as the best way to get creative ideas out there. Testing isn't the best bet for a career, but for a stop-gap it sure beats call-centres. I'm linking up them in about an hour, so feel free to make any last minute additions now. Thanks again folks.
  23. Life

    This year, add a movement-activated time-lapse camera.
  24. Red Dead Redemption

    I wonder if it is set in the 'GTA' world (in its past obviously)? Will any of these places actually become San Andreas in the future? Or is Red Dead its own separate thing?
  25. God of War

    I finished God of War III the other night. I thought the whole series was great. The second game possibly has the edge though. I had that feeling with Poseidon as well; my tactic ended up being "kill him before he kills me". However you do have a block and a dodge and I used them much more later in the game. Constant dodging in particular seems a good tactic. Different weapons and manoeuvres are definitely better in different situations, sometimes obviously so and sometimes not. Seriously though, I can't think of many other games that have the ambition of the God of War series. It's not just the sheer scale, or the care and polish that has gone into the visual design of every asset; its the little snippets of divergent gameplay and the really clever work with the camera and lighting (I loved the silhouette battle in GoW II).