MegaGear Intervention Con MegaGear
Strip 561, Volume 4, Page 42

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Intervention Con

console

< Piro >

that other site...

"lightning strikes..."

Friday - May 21, 2004

[Piro] - 01:57:00 - [link here]

Figures, the one time in the past few weeks that im done with the comic before 1am, and we get hit with a massive electrical storm here in lower Michigan. I'm not the kind of person that unplugs everything when we get a little lightning, but this storm was bad. Lightning hit somewhere near the office, and we could hear the crackle, and that crackle was one of our new phones getting fizzled. Hail was falling and rattling the hell out of everything. We unplugged everything and figured that we'd wait out the storm, but here it is almost 2am and its still going. Just had something hit real close. Whee.

I actually love thunderstorms, but I also know what they can do to computers. Years ago I learned how to build PCs when a lightning strike blew out all 8 computers in the architecture firm I worked for. That was fun. On one machine a ribbon cable actually had burned away. I take lightning somewhat seriously. :P

We decided to come home and I'll just head to the office and finish up and post first thing tomorrow morning. I'm working from a wireless connection right now (there's a part of me that wants this buggy Linksys wireless router to get zapped so I can one that's more stable). Oh well. Even mother nature seems to be against me when it comes to ever posting on time :P

< Dom >

Oop ack!

"Loose ends"

Wednesday - May 19, 2004

[Dom] - 14:30:00 - [link here]

As a note: The June issue of Wired is heading to magazine stands now, and yes, ladies and gents, that's my byline on page 62. Woooooo! :)

Okay, so I have to clear up a mistake I made in a previous rant: I credited Woodhead for Wizardry. I should've done my homework and gone to Moby Games, but I was under a lot of stress and forgot to. My bad. Here's the text of the e-mail I was sent:

From: Robert Del Favero
Subject: Woodhead and Wizardry

Concerning your rant of 5/11: My name's on Wizardry 2 as a contributor andon Wizardry 3 as a coauthor. I was involved with playing the game from whenthe prototype was an overhead-view 2d game written in Basic. AndrewGreenberg wrote that prototype in his dorm room at Cornell on his Apple ][computer, got his friends to test and give feedback on it, and then wrote adesign for Wizardy as it eventually made it to market. Robert Woodhead wasresponsible for implementing the game in UCSD Pascal, but the design of theprogram, the design of the content and most importantly the passion formaking the game, was Andrew Greenberg's. Woodhead was little more than acontract programmer, brought on to the project because Andy was too busyworking on a PhD in Computer Science to code the program he'd designed.

To say that Robert's responsible for "creating the American RPG" is asignificant misstatement of the situation. Andy's moved on (he has a familyand practices law in Florida these days) but he still deserves credit forwhat he accomplished in gaming, and Wizardy was his brainchild. Robert usedthe money and Japan connections he made from Wizardry to establish asuccessful anime import/production company, and that would be his claim tofame, not Wizardry.

So consider this a "my bad". I'd feel worse about it, but then I actually did my homework and realized that the first Wizardry came out while I was in the womb. Bet that made some of you gamers out there feel old... I apologize for that, but I just needed to make a point that it was an understandable gap in my video game knowledge that has since been filled.

Meanwhile, regarding my Final Fantasy Concert rant of last Wednesday, I got this mail from Germany:

From: Bastian Diedrich
Subject: formal dress required

Hi!

In germany we have a fair called Games Convention. It has taken placeonly twice up to now, and this year will be the third time. Last yearthey held a concert on the evening the day before the opening. Theconcert had a mix of videogame music from both the east and the west,containing music from games like Splinter Cell, Wind Waker, FinalFantasy, but also older games, like Quest for Glory V or 1991s Apidya.The guests were quite a mixed bunch. There were the guests of honor, allin formal attire. There were the older gamers, some more, some less informal attire (myself I was wearing something I did not wear since Igraduated from school). And then, there were the others. Adolescent guyswearing T-Shirts and short trousers, sitting around as if they sat infront of the TV. Some of them even wore baseball caps, I spotted onewith a Simpsons-cap. In one of germanys most prestigious concert halls.I don't want to know what people like the mayor of the city holding theconvention think of video gamers now. Oh well. This year they'll holdanother concert, and say it will be longer, better etc. I'll be there.

So it looks like this is a worldwide plague. Okay, people, I know that it may be hard to get out of your jeans and branded t-shirts, but would it kill you to at least dig out some sort of collared shirt? Even in my grungiest days I had a few of those for formal occasions. Then again, my family's big enough that there's a wedding and/or a funeral every year, so I've never gone a year without wearing at least semi-formal wear. But that's neither here nor there--have some respect, people... these people--composers, musicians, event coordinators--put a lot of effort into creating this show for you. The least you could do to spend your appreciation (above and beyond buying a ticket) is spend more than two seconds dressing yourself.

Another person asked me to go into more detail about my thoughts on Blizzard's two offerings at the show.

My impression of World of Warcraft can be easily summed up by the word "eh". I appreciate the level of effort put into the game by the developers--the interface is easy, the graphics are pretty and the dungeons well thought out. But the problem is, I'm more than a little burned out on fantasy MMORPGs, a burnout that NCSoft picked up and did something about with City of Heroes and Auto Assault. There's only so much spell-slinging and swordplay I can deal with on a daily basis. Gimme aerial battles, rooftop melees, Giant Robots! Gimme copy machines filled with NINJA! Something other than rabbits and boars and wolves and goblins and elven warriors and ohmygodIthinkI'mgoingtovomit. This is not a knock on Blizzard, mind you--I'm probably just a jaded gamer at this point.

As for Starcraft: Ghost, that looks like a lot of fun. It's been long enough since the last Starcraft game that the world seems fresh again, and while I'm disappointed that the main character doesn't sound like Clint Eastwood, I like the core gameplay--there's just enough action that I don't get bored waiting for someone to freakin' turn around (See: Tenchu) and just enough stealth that I feel like a badass while dodging Marines and throwing them off of cliffs. The controls felt smooth, and the game oozed typical Blizzard personality.

Another reader asked about the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. Unfortunately, those weren't on my beat and I didn't get a chance to see them. I just know that I won't get either of them, no matter how cool they are.

And, finally, one unfortunate reader gets the Dom Hates You prize. Here's an excerpt of her mail:

Hiya Dom!
I've E-mailed you a couple times before. About random stuff like yourGrandfather, FFXI, and how I'm your #1 Fan! It probably not truethough...and I used to sign as LockhartFF7.

Anyway...It sounded like you had fun at E3.

LockhartFF7 (I won't release your name because that just seems mean), you have earned a uterus punch. Because I have no idea how you read my rants and got "I had fun" out if it. You may have had fun reading my rants--that's the point of writing them, after all--but you didn't get the parts where I wrote that I spent most of E3 hungry, exhausted and in pain. As DeadKennedy put it on the forums, "according to my roommates who went to E3 you didn't so much walk the floor as shuffled around."

And for those people who e-mailed me wishing that I'd gone to ACen like I did last year, let me note to you that I spent most of Saturday and Sunday asleep or sitting still and staring off into space. It's Wednesday and I'm STILL drained--would you really wish 6 straight days of convention work on anyone? Be honest. And explain why you want to kill me.

Dom out.

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