I’ve been an advocate of digital distribution for a while now; I think packaged physical distribution of a product which is essentially entirely complete as a stream of data is hugely wasteful financially and environmentally. Ever since publishers stopped bothering to give you anything worthwhile in that game case - manuals these days are rubbish, carbon-copy affairs that rightly no-one bothers to read because the in-game tutorials are more interesting, and Ultima-style cloth maps and runes are consigned to history - physical game cases are doing precisely nothing but take up space in my house and making me get up to fiddle with disks when I want to play a particular game.
It’s precisely 10 years to the day that I registered OGRE on Sourceforge, so in some ways, today could be considered to be OGRE’s 10th birthday. From most other people’s perspective that won’t come until next year though, since I only made the first public release to CVS in May 2001, over a year later, which really kicked the whole thing off. The delay was down to me not really being able to start work in earnest until late 2000 because of a course of study I was on at the time, but I already knew in February 2000 what I wanted to do, it would just be a few months before I could start to realise it.
I’d read about One Big Game in EDGE this month, and it was a great idea - kind of a developer-led version of Child’s Play with a more significant UK presence, and where funds are donated from game sales themselves rather than only from related activities. So, I was keen to see what their first game Chime was like, produced by Brighton-based Zoë Mode. At first glance it appears to be a hybrid of Tetris and Lumines, and undoubtedly shares a lot of visual and gameplay styles from those games, but actually it brings plenty to the table on its own too.
Yesterday saw world-plus-dog in the technology sector glued to Apple’s announcement of their new tablet device, which has now been officially dubbed the iPad. Basically, when you boil it down it’s a super-sized iPod Touch with optional 3G support and a few more apps. Reaction has ranged, as usual, from the ecstatic “I’ve seen the face of God, and his name is Steve”, to “What a useless piece of junk”, stopping at most points in between.
So, I’ve been a little quieter than usual since the new year, and that’s because I’ve been in a rather reflective mood as I plan out how I’m going to spend my time in 2010. That’s right - planning! Talk about the final frontier 😉 Basically, as you may have gleaned from my previous post, I’ve been looking to make some significant changes to the way I do things in 2010.
I’m far from being a gamerscwh0re who mines every game for every last Achievment, but nevertheless they’re fun to get. I like the ones that encourage you to do something memorable rather than the rather less imaginative “complete game on difficulty X” or “scour the world to find all of item X”. Having picked up a number of games for Christmas I’ve had something of a boost recently, but last night while playing Assassin’s Creed II (which is a vast improvement on the original which had great atmosphere and free running mechanics but was riddled with tedious repetition and hence I never finished it) I completely accidentally landed on precisely 10,000 gamer points at the end of the night:
Although many popular films and TV shows don’t seem to use the convention of using roman numerals in their copyright statements anymore, the BBC has, as far as I’m aware, always consistently used them. It used to be kind of fun to see who could figure out the roman numerals first, although my wife was always better at it. For anything made since 2000 (MM) of course, it’s become a bit boring, since you only need to know how to count to 10.
My friend Damien was blogging about his early experiences with computers & programming yesterday, and it reminded me of how I got started. Specifically, it reminded me of an influential magazine I read at the time called “Input”, which taught BASIC programming for the ZX Spectrum and BBC. It was a short-lived, esoteric British thing, but I was astonished to find that not only does Wikipedia have a page on it, but they also linked a TV advert of it which has been lovingly archived on YouTube:
I hope everyone had a good Christmas, I certainly did. I received a number of new games, which was good (will blog about them individually at a later juncture), but I also encountered something I haven’t done before - Evil Red DVD Tag Syndrome. For those who, like me, haven’t encountered these before, some shops in the last couple of years have been adding red theft-prevention strips to some DVD cases.
[Edit 20th Dec] We did it! Rage Against The Machine is number 1 for Christmas, proper music fans in Britain give Simon Cowell and his manufactured karaoke bullsh*t the finger. Very, very happy!! Best Christmas number 1 that I can ever remember. I detest reality TV with a passion. I think it’s low-brow, cheap nonsense that bare-facedly celebrates the very worst elements of human nature; promoting the idea that being famous (for anything) is somehow a laudable goal in itself, and indulging the public’s cathartic desire for a feeling of superiority and power over others via venomous gossip and voting people off.