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  Bites:  RUMBLINGS�IN�THE�DEEP  
 
 
Posted 2002-06-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 

Neverwinter Nights' End-User agreement has been amended. There is now wording that precludes BioWare/Infogrames from redistributing your original server-side modules, although downloadable modules are still fair game. [discussion>slashdot, my rambling comment here]

Thanks to Jos and Titus for individually pointing my browser to the Bloop story. Strange sound data suggests Godzilla may be real.

Just what we need-- yet another Instant Messaging service. This one's via file-sharing app Morpheus, and foolishly hopes to compete with AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger.

Looks like Micro$oft isn't the only one to screw up Web server security. The iron-clad Apache Web Server for Windows (oh, wait, maybe I was wrong about that M$ comment) is subject to DOS attacks. [bulletin>apache.org]

 
     
 
   
 
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  The First-Person Shooter Goes Retro  
 
 
Posted 2002-03-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
There was once a time when we didn't have videogames. You remember that, right? Well, maybe you don't, but that's okay -- I can help. Rewind a few decades, and the twitchiest games around were probably Hungry Hungry Hippos and Mousetrap. Board games were pretty much it for a quick, sit-on-your-ass game fix.

In the eighties, the whole board game industry got shaken up due to the sudden popularity of arcades and the primordial videogame consoles. If makers of tabletop games were lucky, a kid might stop playing her Atari or Colecovision long enough to sit down for some Pop-O-Matic Trouble. But, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em: So traditional game manufacturers like Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley cashed in on the arcade frenzy, coming out with board game versions of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Zaxxon. It wasn't long though before videogames started getting more and more complicated, busting out in a 3D stylee, ending the love affair between traditional games and videogames.

Continue reading: The First-Person Shooter Goes Retro
 
     
 
   
 
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  Bites: King Kong Versus Godzilla  
 
 
Posted 2001-12-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I picked up and played Aliens vs Predator 2 yesterday. The first-person perspective game allows one to play from the viewpoint of an Alien, Predator, human Marine or Corporate soldier. Each of the species has subclasses, basically light through heavy weapons and armour. The real joy of this game is being able to do the same things featured in the Aliens and Predator movies. Aliens can skitter around the floor, jump up and cling to walls, walk on the ceiling, and pounce from over fifty feet onto their victims in order to bite their heads off. Predators have the crazy infrared vision seen in the movies (it looks *exactly* like the movie), and can cloak themselves as well as employ a variety of harmful devices such as spearguns, plasma weapons, and netcasters. Marines and Corporates have life-form detectors, the cool M-41 machine gun, flamethrowers, miniguns, and even sniper rifles. Notable multiplayer game types include Team Deathmatch (one species versus another) and Survival, which pits Marines against Aliens. Initially all players but one are Marines. As Marines are killed, the player of the slain soldier then gets to play an Alien for the rest of the game. The result is exactly like the movies, where a group of terrified Marines shrinks in numbers while the Alien population overwhelms them. Marine players tend to huddle together in corners and tunnels, trying to conserve precious ammo as they fight off an Alien onslaught. The graphics are quite good, representing a variety of environments seen or hinted at in both movie properties. The sounds are straight from the films, replete with all the hissing, clicking, and bloodcurdling screams you'd expect. My species of choice- Alien Drone, because I like to kick it old school.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Bites: PLOT DEVICES  
 
 
Posted 2001-12-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
  • Wherify Wireless has developed a highly-accurate, wearable GPS locator. The idea is that you latch it onto your child so that you always know where the little devil is. The service promises to "...map your child's location within feet and provide the closest street address." Now, as far as I know there are two types of GPS readings available: one to the military, and one to the public. Military readings are accurate within feet, and public readings are only accurate within about a hundred feet (possibly 1000 feet). If the Wherify GPS is accurate enough to provide a street address "within feet," would this not make an excellent device for all sorts of terrorist activities? Stick one to a car, and carry out an assassination when it's convenient. Get coordinates for a guided missile. It's child's play.
  • Hot on Harry and Hobbit heels, the classic "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" book series has been optioned to be exploited as a feature production and franchise. Walden Media has partnered with The C.S. Lewis Company to "not simply to make a live-action version of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,' but to do so while remaining faithful to the novel."

    It is notable that whatever sense of sharing C.S. Lewis might have had, the company that bears his name is one of those that pursues fan sites for copyright violations. Check out this unfortunate incident.

    Also noteworthy is that the sale of the Narnia series to HarperCollins has angered even the Christians. Suprisingly, they seem to have a fondness for lions... or make that the Christian symbology in the series. While Harry Potter has been blasted by some groups for it's witchcraft, the Narnia series is praised (in this article, anyway) for its parallels to Christian mythology. Most disturbing is the claim that HarperCollins plans to continue the Narnia series. For those who are not aware, C.S. Lewis, the series author, is dead.
  • Much like a post-apocalypse cockroach, the G3 can withstand a nuclear blast. Just look at these photos, taken after the first Spanish nuclear test inside a design firm. [link>grego]
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      Bites: CONSOLING, CONSUMING  
     
     
    Posted 2001-10-29 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
  • I rented Silent Hill 2 for PS2 over the weekend, the sequel to the PSX game. I hadn't played the first game, just watched others play. This one looked similar, although the graphics are stunning. The game play seemed basically the same, and took a loong while to get interesting. Aside from some basic puzzles, I had to resort to the Web for walkthroughs with The Baker telling me what to do next. I can't see how many of these puzzles could be solved without cheating. Anyway, the game is scary, but somewhat tedious. I was more interested in the story moving along than running around the town of Silent Hill in the fog.
  • Ginger Snaps. Watch it.
  • This is the somewhat inflated intro to my Bruce Campbell interview in November's Exclaim: "His is not a household name. His mug won't open any movies. But Bruce Campbell has made a good living on the fringes of Hollywood. Tony Walsh talks to Campbell about the early days of the Evil Dead, and how Tom Arnold journeyed from hog butcher to McHale's Navy." Umm, yeah... first of all I opened our phone conversation telling Bruce I wasn't going to ask any Evil Dead questions. And Tom Arnold was mentioned in passing. But that's Hollywood, I guess.
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      Bites:  NOT BY THE HAIR OF MY CHINNY CHIN CHIN  
     
     
    Posted 2001-07-24 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
  • Pigs fight crime. No - the four legged kind.
  • Read an interview with interactive fiction pioneer and Zork co-creator Dave Lebling. It's a journey back to the days when a big video game was 84k. That's about as big as this page.
  • Expect Disappointment: a performance by the Human Faux Pas Performance Art Collective. Fri, July 27, 8-11 pm @Workplace 35 liberty street #103, toronto. Strange people, funny outfits.
  • Yet another reason why Network Solutions (the largest domain name registrar in the universe) sucks ass. They have narrowed the window available to domain name transfer requests. [story@internetnews.com]
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      Novelist Jim Munroe Plays Games  
     
     
    Posted 2001-06-29 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
    Jim Munroe writes novels to pay the bills, but would rather be making video games. A couple of years ago, HarperCollins Canada published his first novel, Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask. The experience so bolstered Munroe's hatred of the mainstream publishing industry that he published his second novel Angry Young Spaceman himself. With the same amount of sales and a better profit margin than his first novel, the 29-year-old Jim Munroe seems to have developed a killer strategy for self-publishing. A strategy he threatens to apply to the web, to video games and beyond.

    Continue reading: Novelist Jim Munroe Plays Games
     
         
     
       
     
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      Bites:  YAHOO PENETRATES NEW MARKET  
     
     
    Posted 2001-04-11 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
  • I'm away from 04-12-01 to 04-18-01. Buck up, and try to get on without me. I know it will be hard.
  • George W Bush says plans are under way to bring home the crew of the US spy plane from China. [story@annanova] The plan is that The A-Team and Chuck Norris are going to fly into China in a super-high-tech helicopter that has never been tested before. The chopper, called "White Lightning", sports a cybernetic control system, and self-repairing battle armor. Chuck Norris will be deployed in a stealth-capsule, after which he will sneak into the Chinese airport and singlehandedly beat up the entire Chinese Army. Then the A-Team will land White Lightning on an abandoned air strip, and build a tank out of bamboo, which they will then drive to the airport and rescue the plane crew. Chuck Norris will create a diversion by flirting with an attractive, female, high-ranking Chinese military official. She hates him, yet cannot resist him. The A-Team flies off with the crew, and Chuck gets the girl. Everybody wins!
  • Support local rawk. This from Carol of Nice Cat- "Supposedly our video will be on the Muchmusic show, Loud, this Saturday!

    Saturday April 14

    I'm not sure what time-- check the listings for it.

    They'll be showing Nice Cat's video for "D.C."

    Apparently it's not eligible to be played before 9 PM anyway-- something to do with the lyrics, hehe. I think they have a problem with the word "cock". ("No, really, I was talking about a rooster...")

    Please please pretty please try and check it out.

    And what's more, if you dig it, write them an email or give them a call to request it-- it would mean a lot to us.

    Send emails to:

    ondemand@muchmusic.com with "D.C." by Nice Cat as the subject line.

    Or call in a request: Request line 1 800 265-6824"
  • LA Times: "Yahoo Inc., struggling for profit amid a shaky dot.com marketplace, has become the first top-tier Internet company to embrace the porn industry, opening an online store stocked with thousands of hard-core DVDs and videotapes." [more] This proves the only real money is in porn. I wonder if Yahoo is going to start spamming it's members now as well.
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      Bites:  UPPAGE  
     
     
    Posted 2001-04-08 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
  • Candiru: Up Yours!- Details on a dangerous, eel-like catfish from Biofax.
  • That Milko cow is at it again. This time, instead of a music video, you get to create your own workout video. Lots of fun, but you'll need a few minutes to get through the mixdown process. Very cool technology. [link>rui]
  • Poke Alex in the eye. Choose from the lazy Autpoke option all the way to Pokeplus.
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      More Gore: An Immodest Proposal  
     
     
    Posted 2000-11-30 by Tony Walsh
     
     
         
     
    There simply is not enough extreme violence in video games. I implore the public, the Canadian government, and the video game industry to work towards a dramatic increase in the proliferation of game violence, particularly where young children are concerned. It is with Canada's future in mind that I propose a legislated program of mandatory violent video game play as part of our national education program.
    As concerned adults, we are interested in healthy, robust, and mentally stable children. Through the enchanting medium of video games, we can deliver the badly needed medicine of extreme violence. The benefits of an early game-play program are twofold: desensitisation and basic combat skills.

    Continue reading: More Gore: An Immodest Proposal
     
         
     
       
     
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    Clickable Conversation
    5224 comments
    on 4159 entries

    Dinozoiks wrote:
    Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
    in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


    yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
    in More iPhone Gestures, Please


    Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
    in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


    Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
    in More iPhone Gestures, Please


    It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    @GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    ...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
    in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


    Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
    in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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