July 2007 Archives

July 2, 2007

It's All Greek To Me

So, I got through college* without a Greek bone in my body, but it seems that all I am working on now is updating or coding Greek sites for BGSU. Lately I have done the coding for the Toledo Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association and BGSU Zeta Kappa Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. I have also been updating the Kappa Sigma Fraternity site.

Now that I think about it, I host a couple Greek sites too: Zeta Kappa Chapter 25th Anniversary, Tau Beta Sigma Alpha Xi, and Kappa Kappa Psi Beta Kappa sites. What does all that mean again?

* Almost got through college.

July 4, 2007

The Flying Olive Has a Splash Screen

Back in March I posted about getting an office in downtown Bowling Green. So far it has been great.

The Flying Olive, which you can guess comes from the names Martini Creative and Winged Design, has a splash page up. Hopefully we will have the complete site up soon.

The Flying Olive, or TFO for short, is the new partnership. It was better than "two designers and a web guy."

Happy Fourth of July

Have a happy federal holiday. I am taking the day off too. Maybe I can get some writing done for BC.

July 7, 2007

Transformers (2007)

I don't have many complaints about this film. It was a lot of fun. I will say this however, I was not psyched to see it. I did not go into the theater with huge expectations. But I am glad I saw the film.

The CG work done by Industrial Light + Magic is once again absolutely amazing. I had no idea that Dreamworks farmed the work out.

The story line was well crafted. It had some Men In Black overtones with the Sector 7 agents. The movie had some great humor, very campy. School of Adam West campy. The one-liners were good, but almost too much.

But my problem was not the humor. Hugo Weaving voiced Megatron (to which he did a great job) and has a line in the final battle with Prime that sounds as if Agent Smith is talking to Neo in The Matrix. It is unmistakable to the lore of The Matrix, and was easy to pick out. The line just bothered me, and it was worse that it was Hugo Weaving.

My biggest gripe is the scene where the Autobots are "hiding" around Sam's house. BumbleBee even trips on a power line. It is just one of those "look ma, we animated this because we can" scenes and could have been cut down in length, or cut entirely.

It really did nothing to further the story.

My last problem was the new look of Megatron. He just looks weird in this movie. Who decided to make him look like that for the film? Boggles the mind.

Back to the animation for a moment. One very hard aspect of CG work is conveying weight and mass. Another hard one to tackle is emotion. ILM really nailed the weight and mass of the Transformers. They really felt like they were interacting with the environments, even with the flowers next to Sam's house.

They managed to be successful with emotion by giving the Transformers mouths, and facial expressions, including some rather intricate eye animations.

Bottom line - this movie is worth seeing a second time, especially for the CG work, not to mention Megan Fox

July 8, 2007

Automated Phone Sex

'Nuff said. Definitely not work safe.

July 10, 2007

Michael Moore Goes off on CNN

Absolutely classic live TV here. Moore rips Wolf Blitzer a new one, completely off topic and on, and it ends up completely entertaining.

July 11, 2007

We Are Back, Now with 100% More Commenting Opportunities

Sorry it took so long for me to get the domain switched over. That little thing called work has been getting in the way lately.

At any rate, we are back at our wonderful breakingwindows.com domain. And if you did not notice when I temporarily moved the blog to spoiledlittlebitch.com, comments are again turned ON.

So comment away. You just need TypeKey. It is the only way to (try) and keep the spam comments at bay. I may look into a CAPTCHA approach, but since TypeKey is built in, it is what we will use.

The Style Sheet is not in place, and I am sure there are still some bugs, but those things can be handled later. After staying up for the Microsoft E3 keynote, editing Matt's op-ed, finishing setting up this blog on my new host, playing some Sonic the Hedgehog on XBLA, and, playing some Golden Axe on XBLA, I am quite tired.

July 13, 2007

New PSN Game: Nucleus

Sony put Nucleus online today, and for a change, included the demo day and date to the full game. You see, they have not done this with many games. If the demo goes up at all, it is many times days later.

This is in stark contrast to how XBLA works, where you can always play the demo before you purchase a game.

Kudos to Sony on this one. Please keep this practive up. We like demos.

Is the acronym YADAS used yet? It should be, this is Yet Another Dual Analog Shooter. It also has the cell type theme that Blast Factor has.

This demo has three levels, a good amount of variety to guage if it is a purchase or not. Your goal is to collect eight power ups in 90 seconds in one level; another level is a survival level where you must clear X amount of points. You can "push" cells together before you shoot them, so that they release more protien, and of course give you a higher score. You can also use cells as a blockade, which is neat.

The game says it has over 40 levels, it does have a two player mode, and it has some nice creapy techno music. Now that I think about it, the music (at least in this demo) has a very Metroid sound to it. Think of the menu music from Metroid Prime on the GameCube and you would be very close to this. The visuals are nice, it has a simple hud, also nice, but in the end, it is YADAS.

But with the darth of PS3 software right now, I will likely pick it up.

Why Hide PS3 Videos?

There are seven videos hidden on the PSN Store right now.

Why on God's green Earth would you do that, Sony?

This was not some mishap bad categorising my the Sony webmonkeys, as it has been this way for days.

Why Sony, why?

We like new content on the PSN Store. We really like new content that is easy to find.

July 24, 2007

I am impressed with firmware 1.90

Sony has had a lot of firmware updates to get to 1.90, but this one is impressive. It is impressive because it takes care of three major annoyances I have had, and adds some other nice features to the PS3:

1) I can finally set my XMB wallpaper... because I have been able to do that for some time now on my PSP.

2) I am not required to plug my controller in via USB to run the update. Whoever made that part of the update process deserves to be shot in the kneecap. I mean, seriously, connect controller via USB cable to continue update? Thank you Sony for taking this irritating step out of the firmware update process.

3) You can no sort the GAME portion of the XMB by Type, this is really helpful when you have five or six PS1 games, three or so demos, and about 11 other PSN games. This is a very welcome addition to the XMB interface.

The update does offer some other impressive items, one of which is a nice overlay that shows in the lower right-hand corner for a couple seconds that tell you which buttons to push to bring up various functions. This is usually the Triangle button, but its a nice touch and gives the XMB that much more polish.

Other notable additions include:

Emoticons in messages; new display options that will allow you to adjust your display while playing PlayStation, PlayStation2 and Blu-ray movies; The ability to eject a disc via the Triangle menu; play AVCHD videos saved on a Memory Stick or digital video camera; ability to upscale audio CD output from your PS3.

Best of all, the update came early. We were only today it would be available "soon" even though Japan got their 1.90 update already.

Nice job Sony, especially for the three items I listed at the top.

July 25, 2007

Attack of the Killer Fleas from Hell

I had the weekend planned. Really I did. Saturday I was going to Detroit for their giant monster film festival to see the original Godzilla on the big screen. Sunday was a lazy day of catching up on movies and games, along with getting a new grill.

As you can probably assume, I’m not writing this because all of that happened.

Continue reading "Attack of the Killer Fleas from Hell" »

July 27, 2007

Heavenly Sword Demo Impressions

Shortest demo in the history of video games? Yes.

Short but sweet. The game has all types of great combos. Button mashing will get you somewhere. But you won't be able to pull off cool close-up finishing moves, and deadly reversal moves.

You have a speed and power stance, these are mapped to L1 and R1. You hold these down and they become the modifiers to the two attack buttons, Sqaure and Triangle. Once you build up a Superstyle gauge, but performing combos, counters, and aerial combos, you can unleash a Syperstyle move with Circle.

Here is the demo, taking five minutes even with the intro cinematic: Jump on ropes, go through Quick Timer Element scene; fight bunch of bad guys; another QTE; fight another bunch of bad guys; doors slam open and three huge bad dudes come out; fade to black, see ya in two months.

Yea, it was fun, and the combo system and controls feel solid. To put it bluntly, it feels like God of War (but with beat-em-up combo moves). She even has a whip-like weapon not unlike Kratos. Game looks quite good, and I can't wait to play the full game. The best part of the demo is the music, very thick and atmospheric.

It would have been nice to have a bit more demo in the demo, though.

July 28, 2007

Sony Releases Desktop Backgrounds, Does Not Charge

I honestly figured that Sony would charge for the two Heavenly Sword desktop pictures they put up on the PS Store. I mean, after all, Microsoft sees fit to rape our wallets for themes and gamer pictures.

Thank you Sony, for being reasonable. Now lets get a sizable library of game related desktop backgrounds on the PS Store. Chop chop!

cube. Marketing Site Live

Be sure and check out the cube. web site. The site design went back-and-forth a bit, which made this project take a while to get finished. But it is live! As with most of the work I do with TFO, I did not do the design, just a suggestion or two.

I really like just handling the web production of the site. There is much less stress involved.

I am happy with how it turned out, and so is the client.

Eight New iMacs for Student Publications

I sure love this desktop replacement program the university has. Eight more of our oldest machines get traded in, and we get new iMacs.

This time they are dual proc, 20" Intel 2.16 Ghz, with 2 GB of RAM. They will be distributed as needed around Student Publications. The most needed spot is for our Advertising, which is getting a substantial upgrade next week.

The oldest of the old we gave back was a pink iMac. That is a 233 Mhz G3 with maybe 512 MB of RAM (which is a lot for that old system).

New Feature: Rapid Reviews

I play a lot of video games. So does Matt. We obviously do not review every one. To add a bit of exclusive content back to my blog, today I am introducing Rapid Reviews. The format will consist of three paragraph: What Rocked; What Sucked; Recommendation.

Pretty simple, rapid, if you will.

Rapid Review: Tetris Mania (Mobile)

What Rocked: Sticky Mode is very addicting; three modes to play in Endless and Challenge game types.

What Sucked: This is EA Tetris, not real Tetris. Fusion Mode is really weird, and doesn't really fit the Tetris thing. Odd change in strategy.

Recommendation: Everyone should have Tetris on their cell phone. This one gives you three types to play. It is very colorful too. Yes, I like colors. Okay, its getting late.

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