End of Evangelion

Yes, today we had to put a hold on our Netflix account on account of no money. This means I will not be seeing the last two DVDs and the two movies of Neon Genesis Evangelion. I'm kind of devastated because the events of the DVD I watched today has led me to drool and want them even more, the DVDs mind you. To tide me over, I went out found a copy of the theme song and got a desktop theme featuring the main characters of Evangelion. I'm hoping to win the lotto now to get my own copies. Or a job. A job will work too. Just some sort of income which will allow me to get more of Evavgelion.

And the envelope please...

It has finally happened. A sure sign of the end times. A fantasy movie has won best picture, about 27 years too late. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (or more simply RotK) grabbed the top honors at the annual award show in Hollywood along with 10 other awards. I was expecting RotK to sweep, really I did. Through from reading other opinion sites, I did not expect it to get the Oscar for best adapative screenplay. But it did. Also, I like to give kudos out to Sophia Coppola for getting the nod for best screeplay for Lost in Translation. I finally watched that the other night at CV's. I really enjoyed the movie. A must see for all you out there.


The Muddy Foundations of Game Design

So, I was at the WSU Tri-Cities library the other day, cruising through my favorite section (the computer programming books, of course!) and I spotted a couple of books I donated to the library last year. I'm kind of weird that way. Every time I pass by something I donated, I say to myself "Yup, I used to own those books. Now the rest of humanity has a chance to benefit as I did." I think this, or something like this, to myself almost everytime I recognize something I donated. Anyway, I was passing through and I saw a book I had donated. It was a book on Game programming using DirectX 7 or something. I forget. Right next to that book was another book called "Game Design Foundations" by Roger E. Pedersen. I stopped and wondered to myself why the library would get this book cause gaming isn't something they're interested in. Didn't matter. I picked it up in all my excitement of having the chance to read yet another book on game design. I almost ran up to the check out desk, foaming at the mouth for this new information. I flipped through it and at first glance it seemed like a book worth of my time. Though, in reality, this book is really only worth the time of my trash can (which has mold growing at the bottom of it which I should take care of...soon)

So, that day I started reading it. The first couple of chapters gave the author's view on game design in general. Stuff like what game designers and producers are NOT and his principles of game design. My favorite principle was "KISS, or Keep It Simple, Stupid". Words to live by. After that, the book goes downhill. The chapter 5, Game Genres, is where some simple editing errors come to the fore front. His first miss is putting Baulder's Gate: Dark Alliance in the section for adventure games. For those of you not in the know, Dark Alliance is a console game for Playstation 2 (PS2), Gamecube (GC) and Xbox. It's basically a clone of Diablo, a hack-and-slash dungeon crawl. There is no adventure in this game as compared to something like the Monkey Island games from LucasArts. Adventure consists of thinking through puzzles. Dark Alliance was the killing of the rats and orcs and collecting of their treasure. I'm not saying that it was a bad game. I really enjoyed it. You can even play with a friend. I'm just saying that Roger didn't has his facts straight. This happened many times again in this chapter.

The next error was in his Role-Playing Game (RPG) section. He lists both Dungeon Siege and Neverwinter Nights as games for the console. I personally visited Gas Powered Games, the makers of Dungeon Siege, back in October of 2003 where they said they had no plans on releasing it on any console platform. Considering this book was published earlier in 2003, before the trip to GPG, chalk one up for another bad edit job. As for Neverwinter Nights, to my knowledge, it has not yet reached the consoles. It may not even get there. But I digress. There are other mistakes in this chapter that tells me that the author and his editor did not do their homework.

The next chapter he gives a list of game ideas and movies you can steal ideas from. True, a good designer can borrow from a previous idea and make it better. But the author didn't really say that. It was just a list of games and movies. He could have offered up suggestions on ways to change them for the better. Alas, he didn't. Next chapter moved into the subject of research. This was new to me. This was about the only useful information in the book. Why I didn't know before hand is beyond me. Maybe I knew but I didn't want to admit to myself that this book was full of crap. I mean, how would you feel if you spent hours of your time reading a book full of crap? Pretty smelly I bet. Anyway, he basically says to research as much as you can on your chosen topic as you can't really pull any fast ones on the players who might be playing your game. It makes sense. I just wished he heeded his own advice.

In this chapter, he tries to do reviews of several games. When I say he tries, it was an half-ass try. There was no consistency between reviews. One review might have a section on the good and the bad, the next review might just have a section on the good and the following review will just have a description of the game. The descriptions of the games were varied as well. He went into way too much detail about the weapons of some games and hardly mentioned any in another game. He also sometime gave the system requirement specs. But I think he only did that twice for all the reviews he did, 27 reviews in total. If there was any useful information within, it was cleverly hidden. I wonder if there's a secret panel on the spine of the book to reveal the secret to the information held within.

About the only useful information that can found in this book is the listing of software and websites that can be useful on the trek towards zen game design. He lists many audio libraries that you can buy as well, in the appendix. Ok, there's one more good thing in here. And it's chapter 18. It's not good because it's the last chapter in the book. It's good cause it has a complete game design document for a poker game. It's pretty complete as it has audio sound bite lines of each character, sample graphics of the players, and complete rules of each Poker game supported. That's a lot of useful information just for a poker game. I hate see the design docs for games like Beyond Good and Evil.

So, as of right now, I'm only about half-way through the book. I haven't actually read chapter 18 yet. I may never. I am really fed up with this book and I am really glad the library decided to shell out money for this book before I did. On the back of the book, it says that the level was for beginner to intermediate. I don't think I could recommend this book to anybody. Dead objects, like the trash can, I can whole heartily suggest for. Just beware. And that's my final word on this book.


Priceless after the rain

The Tri-Cities, which include Kennewick, Richland, Pasco all of Washington State, has never been a happening place to be. Well, ever since I've moved here, 1979, it has never been the place to be. I can almost say that before 1979, it's was pretty much the same. There are the local festivals that I'm sure all towns of moderate size have. Our little claim to fame (if you happen to know what a hydoplane is) is the yearly stop on the hydroplane race circuit, the Columbia River Budweiser Cup, at the end of July. Over the years it's evolved to a hydroplane race/airshow. It's pretty boring unless you're into flesh sight-seeing. But it's not the only boring thing here. Most events here are like that. Though we do have the Hanford Nuclear reservation. (People on the west side of the state say we glow here) That probably is our main claim to fame. It's been here since World War II where some radioactive stuff was made for the second bomb dropped on Japan. Not something I'm proud of, but I couldn't really control where I lived when I was younger. Our local economy really depends on the cleanup effort of the whole site. One little positive in a sea of red. Though once the cleanup is all done, what's gonna support the flow of money? That's debatable and something I'm hoping I won't be sticking around to find out.

The Tri-Cities have grown over the years. We've got a decent THX theater about 6 years ago followed with a 12-plex with great sound and seating. No word on a digital projection setup. The latter is my preferred theater. We have a bunch of blaw, generic, stores like Best Buy and Circuit City. No variety is offered. If one has it, the other will too. We have some specialty stores though. Nothing to shout home about. If you really want a good selection, hoof it over to Seattle where you could probably find anything you would need.

During the summer months, it's gets hot. And it's dry. Then you bring on the winds. This leads to dust all over the place. It's really not fun getting the dirt and grit to come out of your nose. Fortunately for me, I don't have any allergies so the blowing stuff doesn't bug me at all. It's just the breathing, driving in, cleaning of it all. Though one good thing arises from this blowing of the sands.

After the blowing crap has been doing it's thing all day then we get a good rain, I enjoy driving on I-182 on a section between Pasco and Richland at night. Looking south, towards Kennewick, right after the rain has stopped is the best thing about living here in the Tri-Cities. You can see all three cities' lights. It's on these nights where you can see for miles and miles. The visibility is great and makes for the best view in all of the Tri-Cities. It's a very soothing sight. Though not too soothing as I'm driving all the time when this happens. I hate to space off and drive off into the medium.

These nights make it almost worth it to live here. However, they are few and far between. But priceless when it does happen.

Edit: Update

I had to fix some wording. I really suck at proofreading my own work.


Hey! Yo!! Hip Hop Horray!!

That's right. It's that time of week again. Saturday is DDR casual. So bring on your cleanest socks and get ready for the time of your life! Well, at least the time of Saturday. So, if you're cool, I'll see you tomorrow.


DDR, the last week

I just realized that I haven't posted anything about DDR since last Wednesday. That's terrible! How will you, my loyal readers, know about my mad skillz? Let me get you all up to date. The days before Radcon, if I had time, I just did the workout regiment of about 45 minutes. I like it that I can bound up stairs like a kangaroo and not like a three toed sloth. I just need to cut down on my food intake. I'm still hovering about the same weight at which I started at. But, that's ok. Today, I went for a little over 2 hours. I did the workout thing and I wasn't too tired so I went on to Game mode to see if I could raise my score on some of my favorite songs. And I sweated....and I sweated some more. Boy, did I ever sweat. You could fill a whole resivor full of my sweat. I'd call it Lake Keith and fill it with my favorite fish. Then I'd charge people to go fishing for them cause the fish would be good eating.

The point of my little story is that I practiced lots today. I'm beginning to see some wear and tear develop on the dance pad. Or it's just my imagination. The left arrow sometimes doesn't not fire correctly. Sometimes I will step on it at the right time and I will get a boo for that step. Doing a little eperimentation, I discovered that it might be better if I had a hard surface underneath the mad so there's better contact. Oh well. We shall see what will really need to happen. So, that's about it for right now. Until next time.


Report from Radcon

My RadCon activities, a report by Keith.

The highlights of the Con pretty much only included playing Munchkin. I played a couple of complete games and learned to be dirty. I may be a big target the next time I play with them. *EG* The first day/night, Beth and myself just wandered around and played Munchkin. I bought my own copy of Munchkin which we played the next day. We went to the opening ceremony which included belly dancers and a one act play. The play was pretty good. It was basically Romeo and Juliet on Jerry Springer. The belly dancers were good too. Not something you'll find on Star Search any time soon though. I do remember this one fellow that was sitting right next to us, one of the guests of honor, say that they sucked. I guess being a guest allows you to be an asshole. Later that night, we got with Beth's friend Mike and his friends. So, we wandered around till the wee hours doing the party scene. I had a few drinks, two I think. We wandered some more but didn't find anything else going on. We both eventually went home.

The next day began with me getting there a little after 10am and I started off at the armor demo. I saw two people hit each other with swords. It was humorous at times as the little one was always wacking the other guy in the head. I left and came back a little later. There was suppose to be a scaled down robot wars going on, but no one registered so it didn't happen. I was sad. But went back to happy because I played Munchkin right after that. I finally ran into Mike, Beth, and Cameron. Cameron didn't see all that interested, so him and Mike went home while Beth and myself played more Munchkin. Jeremey showed up a little later and I showed my true nature at Munchkin. *eg* Some other notable mentions of the afternoon included a little demo on Green Screen (was boring, from my POV) and some more Munchkin.

The night brought on the parties. The first drink I had was a Romulan blood ale at quark's bar (USS Rubicon little party room). It is easily the most powerful drink I have had. I normally take at least 5 or 6 Bacardi Silvers/Raz/O^3 to get me going. I was going new the middle of this drink and, as Mike has said about the same drink, I was on my way. Other highlights of the evening was a Fetish Fashion show (not really fetish, but the person at the beginning said we all have our own definition), standing in line for a Slave auction, standing in line for the Waste (a powerful drink, so I assume) which we didn't get because they ran out.....the bitches, and going to the Mardi Gras room. I got some more drinks at the Mardi Gras room. One guy bought me one. I found out later he bought a lot of people drinks. I should have hung around with him lol

Now, I was with Mike for a some parts of his bead giving away and I myself got some beads, but I bought mine with intentions to give them away. I still have them. I tried to offering them to many. None accepted. Now, I kind of feel bad that I actually went through that. While, I didn't give away any of my own beads, I was around when others were giving them away. I guess freebies if you'd like to call them.

My evening ended with leaving everybody at their room, getting ready for bed or already sleeping. By that time, I was feeling more tired than anything else so I went and got a slice of pizza and drank some more water. I left just a little before 2am.

So, that was my first real full weekend at RadCon. Some of the things I would like to see different is an area set aside for free gaming. As it was, I had to quit two games because the tables we were using were being used for an official thing. So, that sucked. Also, their damn website was never updated. All the good cons have schedules and whatnot on their sites long before the actual con. Maybe next year, the chairman of the con will be better....That shall be determined though.

So, two posts in one day. That's a lot of crap. So, until next time.

Jobless in America

That should really say Jobless in Richland, but really, who really cares? Anyway, when I say jobless, I refer to myself. When I had my hopes raised in August, when I was still working at my internship at PNNL, this really didn't occur to me, being jobless that is. I finally had a job over the summer and they told me that they would be able to pick me up till at least June of 2004. I was stoked! But then weeks before their fiscal year was gonna end, the project manager came up to me and told me the news. The budget that gets approved by congress hasn't been approved yet. So, what's new? Then she goes on to tell me that some upper management dude (I don't recall his name as his name was the last thing on my mind at the time) said that they need to let go all the students working in the groups he managed. So, long story short, the cycle of borrowing money, not paying things on time began anew. So, here I sit today.

In about two weeks, the last of my money from financial aid will run out. The money should have lasted longer, but I was busy using it to pay for stuff I missed in the previous months. That's also another nasty thing in the cycle. Using money to pay for the future to pay for the past.

I know you are all going, "go get a stupid job, dumbass. sheesh" And, I think we all know that's easier said than done. I could go get an minimum wage job but it simply won't cover all the bills I have per month. "Dumbass, you shouldn't have all those bills in the first place." True, there was a time when I could have deviated from my normal trend of spending money to the conserve mode and I wouldn't be in as deep as I am now. But, woulda, coulda, shoulda. I can also hear the comments "But at least you'll have some money coming in." Some might as well be none. Also, I'm essiatially going to school full time right now, at least until the middle of March when I drop down to two classes. And, of course that's another problem. I may not even have any money to pay for the tutition for my last class. My last class for my BA in Computer Science. And I won't be able to pay for it. I always love getting right up to my goal and having it snatched away and hearing a booming, evil laughter in the background. But back to the full time thing, to work full time at a mini-wage between the times I have to be at work and attempt to do homework isn't feasiable. "Yeah it is, fooking dumbass" Shut up you! *bitch slaps voice in head*

So, I guess I'm just whining about myself here. I'm hoping that some my contacts back at PNNL will hear of something. Or I can hope for a winning lotto ticket. Or, even better, I can go find me some Romulan blood ale, with gummy worms, and forget all of this.



Just a little blurb. As some of you know, I am against the outsourcing of all American based jobs to oversea countries. I have no problems with the countries that they are being outsourced to. That's not the issue here. It's the issue of the American businesses wanting to exploit cheap labor in those countries at the expense of local employable people here in the States. It's all about the profit for them. They say it's good for the economy. And really, it makes sense. For the time being. But in the long run, it will hurt us.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the issue has finally become political with some report that was recently released where the top economic advisor to Mr. Bush, Junior I'll call from here on out for the rest of my time here, said "offshoring" was good for the economy. I've only seen this report today on the morning news programs, I think even on CNN. I can't remember. There's soo many "news" channels now. Anyway, I don't have a link to anything concrete about it. But I saw it on TV so it must be true. heh On those same programs, they are saying that both Junior and the advisor are backing down from that statement. Which is laughable. guffaw even. Though I can't a link regarding that exact story, I did find this story about a software tester who was told to train her Indian replacement or don't get a severance package. OMFG That so burned me up! The company is Watchmark-Comnitel. Don't ever work for them. They are evil. And really fucking stupid. "Here, we're gonna fire you but before you go, train your replacement or you don't get this not-even-good-enough severance package. Buh-bye!"


This trend needs to stop now or some dire consequences might arise. Some might include: After years of involvement in offshoring, American businesses finally pull their head out of their ass and start killing contracts to their outsource country. The outsource country's government gets up in arms, figuratively at first, about how the US business is killing their prosperity or some shit like that. They get angry at Americans (what's new). Extremists take up arms, literally, and start blowing stuff up. Disclaimer: This is a very extreme case, but being the type of guy I am, it's a reality that must be looked at. Please take this with a grain of salt.

Ok, this is really my last post before RadCon...really. I swear to the Munchkin gods. BTW, (see previous post on BTW) Munchkin is a card game and that is where my reference is from. And I hope that someone will be playing it at RadCon. Please...puhhhleeeaaazzzze.


Holy Shizpspah! Batman!

Tonight, we had another game development club meeting. A few new people showed up, the end total was still about 8 or 9 people. All the pizza was eaten. Progress seamed to have been made. Assignments of different things were given out. Mostly club officers including myself. It just seems like that's all is interested in doing the game. I dunno though, I don't feel like I'm being an effective leader. It is my first time at leading a large non-class project. The Vice President has done something like this in the past, so I do look to him for guidance. He was saying we were looking at too much detail and needed to back up a little to make sure we see the whole picture. He seems like a project leader to be sure. Anyway, I just want a fun game at the end of all of this. We have a project milestone on March 13th where we have a joint LAN party thingey. A showoff of what we have got going.

Welp, I'll be busy or getting busy at RadCon for the next few days so, until next time.


Have you wondered why we build castles in the sky?

Castles in the sky is perhaps the most danced to song on DDR, well, when I'm playing it. It was the first one I started out on. That's right, I skipped the slow ones and went directly to the not so slow ones. I'm that BADASS! and a bag of chips. I've been praticing other songs as well. I few I don't remember the names. Last night, I just started to add a little "spice" to my dancing repitore. I'm attemping to do spinning jump combos where I turn my whole body around. Yup, I'm that BADASS! and a bag of chips. I actually got a D on a standard song, but it wasn't hard on light. Still, practice is the key here.

Welp, I have one more test this week, Bio tomorrow and then RADCON, finally. I think I'll wear a mask so Bruce can't find me. *EG* BTW, (BTW = by the way) EG = evil grin. And then and only then will I be able to enjoy myself to the fullest. Sope, until next time.


Rant about something

So, it's kind of official now, unofficially. The first Star Wars trilogy will be out on DVD September 21st. So like YAY! I saw a little blurb about it on Slashdot. I've heard rumblings about it for a few weeks now. Ok, it's actually official. Check StarWars.com for the official word not on the street.

Anyway, it will appear to be the Special Editions. Though reading closely at the official release statement, it actually doesn't say anything about the movies being the Special Editions. I guess that first posting had information regarding that. I can't verify it because it was slashdotted, or simply loaded down with too many slashdot readers.

Ok, back to the DVDs. I was reading in the comment section underneath the star wars story on slashdot and discover that lots of people still hate the fact that Han shoots second in the special edition of A New Hope. And if one were to go by the comments, they will not be buying the DVDs. I, for one, didn't like that whole scene. It looked totally cheesy and did not belong in the movie. It was way out of place. I mean, come on! It was a god damn still frame with a damn laser shot drawn over the top. It was ridiculous. All the other updates were computer generated, why couldn't they do some computer magic there? If they were gonna have Greedo shoot first, they could have made it look better than what it did.

And now back to the people complaining and saying they are not going to buy the DVDs: That's a load of crap too. First of all, they will buy it and still be hypocritial later, hiding their copies. Second, someone was saying the ballot box is our checkbooks or something like that refering to that people won't buy what they don't like and effect the bottom line. Welp, I hate to tell ya, but there are far too many people who don't care about one scene to not buy Star Wars on DVD. Period. And besides, George has said he'd make the movie the way he wants them to be made, painfully evident in episodes I and II.

So, this was just some rant about Star Wars DVDs. So, stay tuned for my next rant about something.


Welcome to the RadCon, we got fun and games....

So, it looks like I'll be heading to RadCon this year. I'm hoping that there will be stuff to do this year. Maybe I'll be able to get into a game of Munchkin or something. I went to the very first one some 13 years ago and have been back maybe 3 or 4 times since. The first time was ok. I paid to much too get one of my minatures painted and it was the first time I played Axis and Allies. I actually talked to people there too. This was amazing in itself. I don't think anybody who reads this knew me 13 years ago, when I was just 15. hmmm I might have been 16 cause I remember driving there to it. Anyway, I did talk to a few guys who lived in Oregon or someplace like that. It was fun. It was one of the events that spead me along to my current geek status. The first major event was Star Wars when I was just 2 1/2 years old. But that's another story for another time when I've had more to drink than I should.

Back to RadCon. I discovered today that the "Hair God", Bruce himself, will be on hand at RadCon as part of the staff at the Red Lion. Some sort of supervisory role. I feel sorry for him. I really do. Though he told me that they will get a good laugh come next Monday when they will watch the tapes of people in the halls. So, now I may have to be my ol, self-contained person again, knowing that Bruce might be watching me at any given second while I'm there.

There is also this other quandry that I find myself in. See, every year, RadCon happens on President's Day weekend which is pretty much in the middle of February. Though there's this other "consumer-day" on the 14th, which this year is on the Saturday of President's Day weekend. So, now you know my quandry. I'll get through it. I'll probably will be beaten several times between now and next Monday. But I'll live. Though if I haven't posted anything by Tuesday, call the cops!

So, hopefully until next time.


Ten minutes till Doom!

Ahhh yeah! You gotta love Zim!

Well, today has been kind of ho-hum. It's laundry/homework day. I've been doing both since about Noon today. I have a calc test tomorrow. Gonna be a pain in the ass if there are any integrals in any of the problems. I hate integrals. Only because I don't remember how to do them. *sigh* The next chapter has stuff I've already covered so it will be a good review. I still have one more section to cover. Probably tomorrow before the test. Right now, I'm just gonna get a grade to just pass the class. I have other things to worry about, like not having a job. *double sigh*

You might have been wondering what happened to the "day *some number*..." titles. Well, they were boring. Yup...can you believe I was boring? Someone take me out back and smack me around with the umm...non-boring stick? And while you're at it, smack me around with the creative stick too.

And on that note, it's time to see if my brain is able to absorb any AI text book readings. So, until next time.


A Saturday well enjoyed

Well, what can I say? Casual DDR Saturday went over very well, I think. More people showed up and a big ol thanks goes out to you all. You know who you are. I had intended not to serve food, but we went ahead anyway and got some make your own pizza stuff. Also a big thanks to CV for suplying half of the fundage for that. That was much appreciated. As much as I would like to do it again next weekend, alas I must say no. RadCon is next weekend and I'll be going. Yes, a big surprise to be sure. Maybe I'll actually do something there this year. In any event, Casual DDR Saturdays will convene again in 2 weeks. See ya there!


The Announcement of Casual DDR Saturdays!

Welp, I gone and did it. Make no Opps about it, again. Yup.

Anyway, this is a little note to say that we will be starting up Casual Dance Dance Revolution Saturdays! Casual meaning I will not be preparing fine foods. Casual meaning come as you are. And casual meaning it will be lots of fun! So, I think Dawn had said we should do it from 4:30pm to about 6:30 to 7pm. So, if you want do some some casual stuff, wink wink nudge nudge, come to our Casual DDR Saturday get together. Party. But casual. Comment, email, phone us for more information.

Why the worst will never do

This is a video of a guy, apparently on the home shopping network, showing the durability of a pratice sword. And this is exactly why I only purchase practice swords that were lovingly made by hand, from blood, sweat, and tears.


Actually that was the Shop at home network. my bad.

Update the second:

I changed the URL after looking around on the site it's hosted on and discovered a polite message to not link directly to video. So, you have to go indirectly there. Please don't burn me at the stake!

Update the third:

It would also be helpful to tell you that the video is the Public service anouncement just a little down the page. Enjoy!


DDR Champion? ME!

Ok, this is a self-decribed title, but it certainly fits my performance last night. Contrary to what other bloggers might have to say. Actually was a fun time last night. Lots of food to be had, food made by me. heh Katie, next time I'll skip the chilies. I would like to do it again sometime in the future. Or maybe just casual DDR thingeys. I'm all about the casual stuff. Sope, until next time.