Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chuck vs. The End

So that's it. Chuck has finally finished. In some ways I'm sad, in others not so much. The first two seasons were tremendous telly, and this last season has been pretty damn special too. At least it got to end properly. Part of the problem has been the writers treating each half season as their last, only to receive a last minute reprieve from the networks. This wasn't more obvious than the first half of Season 3, which ended beautifully, only for them to get a further six episodes and the staff seemed to scramble for a suitable storyline.

Its probably why season 5 has been so good, for once they actually knew this was the end and it was time to draw a line under it all.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Unlocks AKA Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo

The Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo, yes I only played it because of the Mass Effect 3 items, but that's what forms the majority of this story.

First time I played it I was vaguely impressed. It was sort of a more serious Fable, the world seemed interesting for a rather standard fantasy fare, but then as I was speaking to the first Fateweaver conversations just disappeared with a lovely bug. However, there was a prize at the end of the road so I pushed on, ran across the play area to see as much of the main quest as I could to see if it grabbed me. It sort of did. But then it happened. It crashed. One of those big ones that freezes the entire Xbox and the only way around it is the power button.

Any other game would have gotten a “Well that's buggy as week old shit” and forgotten, but there was a Mass Effect unlock waiting at the other side. A few days later I had another pop. I had a few hours before I had to head out and figured I had plenty of time to fit in the 45 minutes needed. This was when I realised just how amazing a demo the game was. First I didn't have to redo the tutorial the game just went “Shall I skip that part since you've done it already”, which I thought was going to be the most painful of the replay. That done I set off handling the quests I'd blatantly ignored previously and I was in for another shock. The disappearing conversations were nowhere to be found, and I'd never see them again.

Friday, January 20, 2012


It's funny. If this had happened a year ago I pretty much would have been on the outskirts of this debate saying something like "I hope the Americans realise" and being nicely surprised at the blackouts conducted around the internet on Wednesday and the consquences of that action.

However, here I am now and I was part of one of those blackouts over at BeefJack. For a day we didn't post any news at all, because if SOPA went through in it's current state it is entirely possible we would get shut down for using images from games that we're trying to tell people about.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Title Story

Another writing group segment. This was we were given the task of creating a piece of writing using a number of book titles. I cheated a little, it was meant to be a pile with no manipulation but I skipped over a couple I didn't think I could do anything with.

The books were:

DEBT OF HONOUR by Tom Clancy
RAINBOW SIX by Tom Clancy
BLACK HOUSE by Stephen King and Peter Straub
DEAD EVEN by Brad Meltzer
FIRST COUNSEL by Brad Meltzer
MILLIONAIRES by Brad Meltzer
ZERO GAME by Brad Meltzer
BROKEN ANGELS by Richard Morgan
GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
ICURAS HUNT by Timothy Zahn
BETTER THAN LIFE by Grant Naylor
BACKWARDS by Grant Naylor

It was Icarus Hunt that finally gave me an angle on what to do. This is what I came up with:

We call it the ZERO GAME. We cater for MILLIONAIRES and billionaires that are looking for something a bit different, something that offers more than just the TEETH OF THE TIGER, something BETTER THAN LIFE.
This one felt different though. the vision of BROKEN ANGELS I'd had the night before wasn't exactly what I'd call GOOD OMENS for our upcoming ICARUS HUNT. But as FIRST COUNSEL I had a DEBT OF HONOUR to the organisers to see it through.
Genetically engineered prey. Scientists cook up mythical creatures in a lab. Rich people hunt them for a kill that they will be the only person in history to ever claim. Many called it genius. They had it BACKWARDS, it was INCOMPETENCE. You can't go messing with nature and expect nothing to go wrong.
I knew it wouldn't be long till until someone was hurt or DEAD, EVEN. But here at the BLACK HOUSE we gathered and as I looked across at a the artificially generated RAINBOW, SIX of them declared they were ready. We set off. I just prayed it wouldn't be me.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Annual Games Cycle

With the release of Assassin's Creed: Revelations a lot of people are once again talking about how it shouldn't be an annual release. How Ubisoft are killing the franchise releasing games so close together. How only two games ago, Assassin's Creed 2 was hailed as a masterpiece and look how much it's fallen already.

What this has us asking is why is everyone in the industry so desperate to have annual releases? There's so many examples of it not working.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

My First Proper BeefJack Article

2012 is off to a great start as my first article over at BeefJack "Why I stopped playing so many games in 2011" appears. Quite a moment for me. 

Random piece of information, I nearly spent a whole afternoon relearning Photoshop to do that first image, doing little tweaks here and there. I had to step away from it to stop myself going crazy.

Monday, January 02, 2012

And A Happy New Year

Hello Twenty Twelve. Not Two Thousand and Twelve. Embrace the future people!

So what's the plan from here on out. Well, the last few weeks of 2011 didn't really contain any major writing, in fact it was pretty atrocious. But it was the holiday season, so that's my excuse.

But, it's the new year and it's time to press on. In fact, I'm just back from lunch and I already have over a thousand words clocked up today so not a bad start. I intend to have the first draft of the novel finished by the end of January. Of course the fact I've been offered that deadline by a friend with promise of a rewards helps (though I'm ashamed to admit I need it).

After that I'm not sure. Ideally this novel should be done in the first half of the year. I've got a few ideas where I want to go, and the website needs that overhaul finishing so I can put it back up. But first draft first!