Posted inNews

Oh! My! Gawd!

According to a widely published AP article, an 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail.

Monster Pig

I’m really not sure whether to be impressed or disgusted. Both, I guess.

Posted inGames

Beware the Warhammer Battle Squigs!

Warhammer OnlineJust read an interview on MMOG Nation with Paul Barnett, Creative Director of the highly anticipated Warhammer Online MMO for EA Mythic.

It’s a long interview, but I highly recommend reading through it because Barnett’s opinions are both informative and extremely entertaining. In fact, the real reason that I’m blogging this is because it made me laugh out loud.

First, a little background… “Pets” have become a standard feature in MMO’s. Basically a pet is an animal or non-player character (NPC) who accompanies you on your adventures and often fights alongside you. Unfortunately, some pets are much cooler than others.

Well, as Barnett explains, the developers are having fun with their implementation of pets in Warhammer…

The fact that we’ve got pet classes, right? Pet classes, just not crap. Here’s the problem with pet classes right? They’re rubbish, they’re all rubbish. Who wants to have a little widget that wanders off and fights for you? How bloody crap is that? It’s sort of like … I don’t know what it is. It’s like being in school, and threatening people only because you’ve got a big mate next to you. He’s a cretinous coward. So! What we did with pet classes is we have these Squig herders, little tiny goblins with big ears who are basically on speed. They’re great. They wander around, and they summon these Squigs. And one of the Squigs they summon is this battle-armored Squig; enormous, great big armored Squig with a ring through it’s nose! And the Squig turns around and he eats the Squig Herder. And he’s sort of in the stomach of the Battle Squig, and he grabs ahold of all the intestines and he pulls on the intestines to make the Squig bounce around the land and fight things. And the Battle Squig sort of chews people up. And then when it gets wounded it sort of staggers around and coughs, and spits the Squig Herder out of his gob, and he sort of flies through the air doing this: “Waaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuughh”. That, to me, is what our game is all about: because it’s Pet classes, just not crap. It’s fun.

Can’t wait to see that in the middle of a battle!

Posted inRant n' Rave / Television

NEWSFLASH: Television executives found to have a higher occurrence of A.D.D. than typical 8-year olds…

OK, I don’t know for a fact that TV execs are more susceptible to attention deficit disorder, but it sure seems like it most of the time.

Your honor. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I present you with the following incontrovertible evidence…

Each one of these shows premiered (and died) this season. The way things are these days, I don’t really want to invest in an interesting-looking show because it’s probably just going to disappear in a few episodes. (Or even worse, after the season-ending cliffhanger.) Better to wait for the season one DVD, and then maybe start watching season two. On TiVo of course. ;-)

Classic shows like Cheers, Seinfeld, and M*A*S*H never would have made it in today’s market.

Well done, TV executives! You’re desperate ratings-or-die management policies are making me want to watch even less TV. You’ve been taking lessons from the music industry, haven’t you?

Posted inGames / WTF?

Vanguard: Saga of Zeroes

It’s something of an understatement to say that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes is a game that failed to live up to its high expectations.

Even prior to release, the game suffered from some “old school” (i.e. outdated) design choices and insanely high system requirements. However I believe the main reason Vanguard crashed and burned is beta testing, which the game desperately needs six more months of. It was rushed out the door buggy with a humongous but mostly empty gameworld. Unfortunately, the state of the game has lead to real-life repercussions for the employees at Sigil, who developed the game.

From a couple days ago…

Sigil employees were told to meet outside. At which point they were terminated. On the spot.

More details came the next day in this announcement from John Smedley, President Sony Online Entertainment…

Today I would like to formally announce that SOE has acquired the assets of Sigil Games Online, including Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. As a part of this acquisition, we are bringing on approx 50 people from Sigil in order to insure that Vanguard continues to grow. SOE is dedicated to making sure that Vanguard is well taken care of and that we provide the same level of service we do for our other titles. In the near future we will come out with a publishing plan that will largely be driven by the strong player community that Vanguard has already built up. We plan on supporting Vanguard for many years to come, and you can expect many content updates as part of your subscription. Down the line we will of course be coming out with new expansion packs, but right now the focus is on making sure Vanguard is running the way it should be.

The Grouchy Gamer has details on how the game might’ve arrived at its current state…

Brad McQuaid has been an absentee manager at Sigil for months. Not only has there been a leadership vacuum at Sigil, with the employees there left twisting in the wind, but I have been able to confirm that Brad hasn’t even bothered to be at the office.

Since last year.

And finally, we get some dirt in a candid and fascinating interview with one of the disillusioned Sigil developers…

What people don’t understand, is the game that went out the door was literally created in the last 15 months. Design worked 12-18 hour days for 9+ months. Coding and Art worked insane hours as well, all trying to actually get something playable out the door.

And also… How was QA treated through the course of development?

Ex-Sigil: QA? QA.

Ex-Sigil: QA was one person up until about November… ONE. What.

Ex-Sigil: 100% serious. What? How? This is an MMOG.

Ex-Sigil: Vanguard had one internal tester for probably 95% of the design cycle.

Unbelievable. My best wishes go out to all of the once and future Vanguard developers.

Posted inGames

Greetings From Middle Earth!

Lord of the Rings Online is a gorgeous game. Every once in a while, you’ll be wandering the landscape hunting for that tenth boar head or last bear pelt and you’ll just have to stop for a moment and admire the scenery…

The Town of Bree
The Town of Bree

Rainbow in the Shire
Rainbow in the Shire

Dusk on the Shore of the Brandywine
Dusk on the Shore of the Brandywine

There are also opportunities throughout the game to interact with some famous characters from the trilogy…

Posing with Gandalf
Posing with Gandalf

Posers with Gandalf
Posers with Gandalf

Losers with Gandalf
Losers with Gandalf

We crack ourselves up! :-D

Posted inComics / Games

Marvel Universe Online

Marvel Universe OnlineDetails have been scarce since Marvel Comics announced the development of a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) called Marvel Universe Online based on their iconic superheroes Captain America, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man, Hulk, and many many others.

Cryptic Studios is developing the game in association with Marvel and Microsoft. Cryptic made the terrific City of Heroes/Villians games, so I am really looking forward to seeing what they can do with Marvel’s rich history of stories and characters.

Unfortunately, even as more information is published about the game, those pesky details continue to remain elusive. So here are a few resources for fanboys like me…


Posted inGames

Blizzard’s Next Game?

Blizzard EntertainmentBlizzard set the gaming world in a frenzy recently when they released that they would be announcing details of their next game on May 19th at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, Korea.

A gaming/MMO blog named Wandering has a terrific article titled A Handful of Facts, A Spoonful of Reason analyzing the various rumors and speculation resulting from Blizzard’s teaser announcement.

SPOILER WARNING! I tend to agree with WG’s analysis/guess that Blizzard will be announcing a Starcraft MMO.

One thing we absolutely know about Blizzard is that they won’t be rushed. I suppose we’ll just have to wait until next week to learn how and when Blizzard will be relieving us from more of our hard-earned cash. ;-)