I've been spewing my day to day thoughts to the random masses on Twitter lately, and thus neglecting longer narrative here. I feel ok about that - I don't think too many people read this anyway, and I'm not sure how productive it is to record every moody thought.
I spent 3 months at EA on a contract, and I loved it. They had the most beautiful campus, games everywhere (including a fucking Arkanoid machine), the best cafeteria I've ever encountered, and a Starbucks. My contract was terminated right before Christmas. I was a bit heartbroken. I don't think I've ever been so sad to leave a company. Thus is contracting.
Monday I start back at Verizon, in a completely different capacity. I'm really looking forward to it - this spotty employment thing has been really horrible. I don't really have anything else to say about that, except that it's going to be hard work, and I need that.
Snow and I have been playing D&D on a regular basis at Endgame, to enormous entertainment value. It feels good to geek out like that. I haven't made it the last couple of weeks and I've been in terrible withdrawals. I'm hopoing I can make it Monday despite it being my first day at work. I don't have a lot of social interaction, and I need it.
Today is my last day of leisure, so I plan to slack and then possibly go to Becketts and eat fish and chips and drink cider.
Things are looking up, I'm cautiously optimistic. Once I get a couple of paychecks under my belt, Snow and I are planning to move in together. After 5-ish years. We are slow, but it's for the best. My biggest concern is how our cats will get along. Here's hoping, on that one.
Things that are good:
The last few episodes of Battlestar
Settlers of Catan card game
Spacefarers of Catan
Arthur and George
New sparkly blue nail polish and a new huge oversized flannel shirt to sleep in - I am unabashedly delighted with both. Yesterday was a good day - in addition, got a wonderful Navy wool sweater, a commando sweater, and a name change at the DMV and bank.
Also, I apparently only need 5 hours of sleep now. Probably to make up for the 18 hour sleep days I was having last week.
They aren't ever anything good, are they. I mean even if you're being rescued by one out at sea, it means you're out at sea and need rescuing.
I think in this case they are likely newsies covering the last of the moron protesters (read: deadbeat hippies) sitting in trees on campus. Yes, save the landscaping. Nevermind all the valuable time you could be putting in volunteering at the real actual regional park a mile away - or heaven forbid, taking care of real actual humans. Some people give everyone else a bad name. Stupid false heroics.
Nearing hour 24. I remember once, after many days of ingesting alterants, I asked a friend, "Are things getting really weird, or is it just me?" He said, "No."
And so it is. The fog and dim light and my sore eye and woozy head, the snippets of conversation, the seemingly prophetic graffiti... these are all symptoms of synapses slow to synch. This is your brain off its rhythm. Off meds, now that I think about it. Rectifying that now...
Strange how easily chemistry can lose syncopation, and how hard it is to tell the beat is off. The world is strange. People are doing strange, doomsday-like things. It does seem reasonable that the sirens should start screaming at any moment. The other day, the ground shook hard, twice, and then stopped. It does that sometimes. Sometimes it's my neighbors. Either way, everything rattles.
I say, I think I'm nocturnal. Snow says, will you ghost around in a white night-dress? It sounds appealing. I've discovered weaving disconcertingly keeps people from panhandling me, whether I do it on purpose or not. Similarly, I can't really imagine anyone would mess with a 30-something insomniac purposelessly haunting my street.
Gonna fix the off-kilter chems. Going to stay up until it's dark, and hopefully sleep until it's light. Less ghosting, more of well, whatever else it is.
I'll be posting some pictures and video later, when I feel like it.
What can I say, I'm a sucker for a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Even more so one with gun and zombies. But this looks fucking brilliant. I'm excited enough about this to want to buy a next gen console. They've pegged the art - it is dirty, creepy, and beautiful. The wreckage of a lost world looms everywhere. The live walkthrough demo was great fun to watch - the developers of this game clearly are in love with it. Their glee and humor while doing the demo was contageous. That can only produce a more wonderful game, really. There seem to be about a zillion paths to take and eastereggs to find. They implied it's the largest fucking game ever, saying it's as big as Oblivion but much, much denser.
They put in a system where you can make your own weapons out of junk. This delights the pack-rat in me - maybe this old cable box will be *useful* down the road, right? To make a remote controlled auto-cannon? Why not!
They did some really smart stuff with the interface. You can play first person, or pull all the way back to third person above. The configuration and controls are all designed not to pull you out of the game world, they are devices you interact with. It sounds cheezy, but it really works.
The humor and strangeness that is a trademark of Fallout is definitely there. I am very seriously excited about this.
They didn't have a demo going, which sucks. I really wanted to see it. What they DID have was Templesmith's comic, so I picked up the one I missed. So that rules. They also had a really nice hardcover art book, with the concept art and a lot of discussion of the artistic design of the game. It was $5 and worth every penny, really.
The way they are developing this property appeals to me. Building a multi-faceted world, leading up to immersion. I really enjoyed the Dead Space comic, and I'm looking foward to the movie.
The game itself is sci-fi horror - the book said that the sci-fi tropes were well established, it was putting real horror on top of them that was the challenge. And seriously, they have put some thought into scary. And creepy. So that's exciting, because a lot of horror leaves me cold instead of shivering under the table as it should.
So yeah, excited.
Left for Dead
I'm not a big fan of run and gun shooters, but damn if they didn't do this one right. The interface is just stellar - you can see who your enemies are, you can see who your allies are, and you can see actionable items clearly. It leaves the rest of your attention to, you know, killing zombies. And the more time killing zombies, the better.
Guitar Hero World Tour + Rock Band 2
Guitar Hero World Tour introduces a mic and drums to the classic Guitar Hero gameplay. Honestly, I think it looks great. The drums look like drums. The interface, while a mimic of Rock Band, seems cleaner and easier to read. And people were having great fun rocking out.
Rock Band 2 looks like Rock Band, but with more songs. Honestly I don't see much new here. But it was enormously fun to see bands go up there and play on expert. The guys who switched instruments halfway - classy.
Also, only in Seattle do people actually still like Alice in Chains. Seriously. I never want to hear Rooster again.
D&D 4th Edition
Man! They fixed it! It is so great. I didn't get a chance to actually play, but I did watch Snow run a module with an RPGA judge, who happened to also be the writer of the module.
It is mini-focused, which I never thought I'd approve of. But really, it works.
The system has been streamlined to the point where it is easy to watch and know what is going on. Which I have NEVER found to be the case.
I went home and made a 4th edition character in anticipation of finding an RPGA game around here. I have blue dice and a frigid wizard. Look out world.
I have to confess, this looks fun. They've done a nice job on the interface and art, and you can see all of the pretty cards better. That's all.
Wii Games in General
Ok, I want a Wii. I want to wave my arms around and dance. I want to drum by waving controllers. I want to run around on a sensor pad. All of these things vastly appeal to me. Wii brings the cute. And if there's one thing I like as much as post-apocalyptic wastelands, it's cute.
Is preeeeetty. The gameplay is identical, from my observation, but they made it SO much prettier. Honestly, I have no idea why this should have taken so long to put out, considering it's really just a graphics engine change. But, it looks great, and will entrance me for some long period of time, I think.
Neverwinter Nights 2 Expansion
Roped into an enthusiastic demo, I actually thought this looked great. In addition to being pretty, it has a really great party control system, where you have tons of control over your party members without having to walk each of them around. And, they communicate! Seeing a party member tell you they're switching to their melee weapon, without you have to tell them to do so, is neat. If they ever get it together to put this out for Mac (the last one took forever and I'm not sure it's even out), I'll be spending some time in it.
More on the rest of the trip later, wanted to get this down before I forgot all of the cool shit we saw. There was probably more, but my mind is a sieve. Suffice it to say, the next year in games looks very, very bright.
OH and just to post twice in 20 minutes, I was at Starbucks this afternoon with Snow, and we sat upstairs where they were having the Quarterly New Product Indoctrination of their barristas and barristos (is that the masculine of barrista?)
Anyway, it was all about MORNING NOURISHMENT FOOD ITEMS. Fucking seriously. Not "Breakfast chomps" or "Tasty crumpets" - nourishing food items!
The oatmeal does sound delicious, though. And the first three toppings are free, as long as they aren't a banana. Seriously!
LINGUISTIC INNOCENCE WARNING: Words that are apparently not words in this post include nonsensery, assfuckery, multicast, and geekery. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Wow, I have totally neglected blogger! I knew this would happen at some point - something else would steal my attention. In this case, I wish I could say it was simply real life (haha) but in reality, my stray output cycles have been sucked into twitter. Yep. Random brain emanations now are being multicast. Hooray for the future!
Real life kept me away even from twitter for a few days, though. Up at PAX for the weekend. Seattle was beautiful - I really do like that town. PAX was chock full of geekery, which was wonderful. I regrew my intimacy with my PSP, namely with Wipeout:Pure. Which I suck at. And Snow beats me at. And then laughs at me. Neigh, he *cackles* at me.
I have pictures and videos and nonsensery which I will post for posterity at some other point than this. For now, I just bought some REALLY pretty blue dice, and I'm going to go roll up a 4ed caster later at Snow's house once it cools off quite a bit. Did I mention Seattle was overcast and cool and breezy?
It took something like two and a half hours to get back from the airport on Sunday, due to luggage and BART assfuckery. My fish was dead and my fridge door open when I got home. But aside from that, life is grand.
I'm pretty sure I saw Cereal Killer from Hackers at a recruiting event at Linux World today. To refresh your memory:
I didn't get a picture of him, lacking cameraphone at the ready. He was talking to the people at LBL. Are you fucking kidding me?
I was there checking out a job fair, since I was going to be in the city in interview clothes anyway. It was a bust, but worth it to see the Linux dork burnout trying to talk to the lab folks.
Interview, however, was stellar, and my mood is exceptional. If you have a favor to ask, now's a good time.
First attempt at some kind of visual narrative - a comic, if you will. First page of 12 I have images and words for. Layout takes me a long time.
Click for full, 'cos it's too big for this column
Untitled, as of yet. But you can probably see where it's going.