Since I’ve been taking a rare weekend off, I took the time to download the latest batch of XBLA demos to check out the latest slices of (hopefully) juicy bite-sized gameplay. The results were mixed. Braid I’d actually downloaded the demo for this a while ago, but at that stage I’d been pretty short of time, and on getting frustrated with a particular section I had tossed it aside and gone with the far more immediate Geometry Wars 2 instead.
I’m the kind of person who likes to keep busy; not in a ‘mad about DIY / the garden’ kind of way that tends to be the most socially acceptable form of being a ‘project oriented person’, but I always have a bunch of things on the go and never seem to have enough time to do them all. I’m always ‘working’ evenings & weekends, but a lot of the time I really don’t think of it as work, because a large portion of the time I’m doing exactly what I want to do.
One of the things I like about Rock Band is that the DLC is regular, reasonably priced and à la carte - you can pick just the tracks you want and it doesn’t break the bank. Guitar Hero conversely has so far not released very much DLC, generally charges more for it (500 points for a 3-song pack compared to 80-120 points per track in Rock Band), and doesn’t give you the option of just purchasing the tracks you want - it’s the whole pack or nothing, making it much less convenient.
Thanks John for the reminder to investigate S3 as a business media hosting service, it works like a charm! Now that I have far fewer bandwidth worries (max $0.17 per GB), the Torus Knot site includes a nifty dynamic selector so you can pick low, medium or high quality - the latter is at a higher resolution too, clocking in at about 100Mb. I may well use S3 for future public commercial downloads in the future too.
Looks like I could be getting my wish and Rock band 2 will be out in the UK before the end of the year: Yep, that’s a UK official Microsoft ad saying it, so I think that’s pretty certain (for 360 at least). So it’s November - unsurprisingly the very time that GH:WT comes out - makes sense. Woohoo - looks like we can look forward to having 500 tracks to choose from this side of the pond too, instead of a just the measly 400 (!
A few people asked for an OgreSpeedTree video with more varied scenes, and I’ve now uploaded one to the OgreSpeedTree section of the Torus Knot site. Just scroll down below the screenshots if you want to view the video. I have a higher resolution & better quality version (this one is H.264 at 1Kb/s) but I’ve kept this one small for now to keep my bandwidth under control. Places like Vimeo don’t allow commercial advertising, and while before I could get away with claiming it was just in-development test output shared with enthusiasts only, this is really an advertisement video so I’m hosting it myself.
I blogged a few months ago about my concern regarding the precedents being set by the Northern Rock and Bear Stearns debacles - that investment bankers and city executives can take outrageous risks, bag huge bonuses and get into a situation that for the sake of the economy, the government has to step in and sort it out. If only that had been the end of it; I don’t think anyone really thought it was, but since then things have really gone south.
I just watched the Little Big Planet beta video that VG247 posted, and I have to say well done to Media Molecule for creating a game with a definite British feel to it (as well as it still looking damn interesting). I complained a while back about the overt Americanisation in so much of the output of British studios in recent years, losing a lot of the regional quirkiness that I think enhances content from any country, so I’m glad to see the spirit is not dead.
It’s an eternal truth that no matter how much hard drive space you have, you always manage to fill it with something. In my case, it’s mostly tools, SDKs and most importantly build environments. I have to maintain at least 3 active development copies of OGRE at any one time (the previous stable branch, the current stable branch and the development branch), plus clean build environments for at least 3 compilers in order to do releases.
For some reason I was suddenly curious as to how much money I’d spent since last December on digital content for the 360, such as XBox Live Arcade titles and more recently Rock Band DLC. Of course you buy things in Microsoft Points on the 360, which like Wii Points and Disney Dollars are designed precisely to disguise how much money you’re actually spending. The PSN has my respect in this regard for taking the brave step of actually pricing things in units of real money.