Senior Moment

So apparently when I post here, people actually read and comment on the entries. Who knew?!

Thanks for dropping by here even though I’m about as regular as the very intermittent rain we’ve had for the last couple months here in PA. It’s dry out there. Thankfully it’s come after the growing season. Not that this is the Farmer’s Almanac or anything of the sort, but I thought it was noticeably wet this summer and crop growing was better than I recall it being for a few years now.

WTF am I on about? I honestly don’t know…

To add to the crazy, my wife’s having Senior Sunday here at the house tomorrow. No, I won’t have a bunch of old couples hanging out. It’s actually the seniors from her varsity girls field hockey team coming over for dinner (she’s the coach). This house is typically ruled by the testosterone of four boys ages 8 to 36 but tomorrow, we will be outnumbered by estrogen producers in our own home for the first time evar! I’m rarely at a loss for words, but this is one of those times. I have no idea what to expect from this event. More to follow…

Game related stuff? Oh yeah, that’s usually what people come for, isn’t it? How about for a change of pace there, I point you to articles and interviews worth reading?

First up is the superb Peter Moore interview at The Guardian. That’s just part one. Look for parts two through five on the site. He confirms a lot of things I was often saying Microsoft was up to during the last eight years. I like Moore because he’s a former SEGA guy and clearly has a common sense approach to his job. He’s also got personality, something this industry could use a lot more of at the top levels.

Second is The Making of NARC with lots of commentary from Eugene Jarvis, the game’s creator. First HD game? Check. Ultra violence? Check. Digitized characters because, “You needed armies of animators. And Japanese animators were just destroying us. I was wondering what other techniques we could use.” Absolutely. It’s well worth your time.

The other stuff I think you should read is found in print mags, so take your pennies and go get the latest issues of EDGE and games™ at Barnes & Noble. You can thank me for pointing you to a superb retro article on First-Person RPGs in games™ and the Funspot feature in EDGE. There’s a pile more but unfortunately I left the mags at work. Bummer.

Surprisingly, the Funspot article is also available online. Top notch! Also, if you like SEGA as much as I do, you will absolutely love reading about the making of Segagaga! That one is worth it even if you don’t much care for SEGA, because it shows how one guy with a lot of initiative and a great idea can make a really cool game. SGGG is like nothing you’ve ever played. Check out this bit…

Often it’s as if Sega is using your character’s voice as a vehicle to vent its frustrations with the very industry it helped define. One particular exchange illuminates and haunts in equal measure. “Games are nothing more than mere products!” exclaims a member of Sega’s management team. “You examine popular market trends, churn out nearly identical titles, and then you rake in the dough! Imitate our competitor’s top-sellers: that’s the golden rule! Throw away your emotions and become a mindless machine. This is how you make successful games.”

“But I want to make totally innovative games that nobody has ever seen before,” your character pleads.

“Innovation? How foolish! Who will take responsibility if the game flops?”

“But if we do it your way, we’ll never attract new customers. Surely it’s worth giving a shot?”

“You know nothing about the business, boy! I’ll teach you the harsh reality of the corporate world!”

And where such commentary might so easily have sounded whiny and bitter coming from this company at this point in its history, the game’s execution is so off-the-wall crazy, light-hearted and inventive that it serves only to make its creator all the more sympathetic and its lessons all the more striking.

I know it’s cliché to say, but they really don’t make them like that anymore. Now that you guys have some good reading to partake of–the kind of stuff I get ridiculed for using as reference at Qt3 BTW–I’m going to go watch Rocky. Yeah, that’s right. That Rocky. I haven’t seen it in years and it’s been gnawing at me to see it again ever since I saw it was released on Blu-ray. I’ve already watched Speed Racer like three times since I got it on Thursday, also. That film is the most underappreciated soon to be cult classic of all time as far as I’m concerned. It’s just brilliant.

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