One of the latest items of news in the music game scene is that Sting is now confimed to be lending his likeness to Guitar Hero : World Tour, along with the already announced / leaked likes of Ted Nugent, Billy Corgan, Jimi Hendrix, and Ozzy Osbourne. Now, I can imagine marketing men getting excited about being able to include famous characters in a game, in a wonderful brand marketing / halo effect / leveraging synergy moment, but I look at these announcements and really can’t give a rat’s arse.

Read more →

I blogged a little while ago about the soul-crushing tedium that was my brief, never to be repeated experience with EVE Online. Well, happily Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation has waded in with his size 9’s and had me cheering from the stands in between chuckles. Amen, brother Yahtzee, amen.

Read more →

One of the problems with doing most of your business internationally is that you’re at the mercy of currency exchange rates, with the ever-present possibility of losing money just because the market changed. In the last couple of years the Pound has steadily got stronger against the Dollar, meaning it’s not a case of whether I lose, but rather how much. It has also meant that for new work I either have to stick to my Pound rates and risk being less competitive, or just accept a lower & ever-depreciating Dollar rate in order to secure the work.

Read more →

I’ve had a long-running back injury (a twisted vertebra in my lower back) which I’ve figured out how to manage through experience - a bit of stretching here, avoid certain types of activity etc. It’s a bit inconvenient but after a while you get used to living with it, and it’s not that painful most of the time provided I don’t go nuts. However about 2 weeks ago, not long after getting back from LA, I was doing something quite simple (moving a coffee table back after a Rock Band session), when something in a completely different part of my back suddenly hurt really badly.

Read more →

My wife mentioned to me a week or so ago that one of her work colleagues had recently had a hard drive crash on her laptop. Having replaced it, she wanted to try to get some of the data back from the disk, because she had a lot of family photos on there which were not backed up (I’m sure this experience has informed her future back-up plans). However she had taken it to a local store, which I won’t name, who quoted her £600 to recover the photos.

Read more →

Ok, soapbox time. I’m going to alienate a lot of people and say that ubiquitous voice acting in many games, particularly roleplaying games, is a bad thing. The reason is that it’s constraining the ability of script writers, particularly in conversations. It’s obvious really - recording voice is more expensive than text, both in terms of the time required to produce it, and the space it consumes on the final media.

Read more →

Today has been totally bonkers, but I finally got at least a large part of the Ogre 1.6.0 RC1 release done. I finished all the straggling documentation updates, the source releases are up and the prebuilt SDK for VC8 is there too. I have to do the VC7.1 SDK, the Mac OS X SDK and perhaps the VC9 SDK too (since I have a build of that locally now) yet. Florian was having a few odd linker problems with MinGW which didn’t occur on Linux or OS X so that one might take a while longer to resolve, perhaps until RC2.

Read more →

Bruce Byfield wrote an interesting article (discovered via Matt ‘Alfresco’ Asay’s blog, which should be required reading for anyone in this field) about the sometimes unsteady alliance between open source and business that, on the whole, I agreed with - within a given context. I do think, however, that his context was weighted towards the larger players in market that are fusing open source with business opportunities though, and wanted to share some of my experiences and conclusions from the perspective of a more individual player in the business.

Apologies for the length of this article, I had a lot to say 😀

Read more →

Oo, EW.com has just revealed (picked up via RockBandContent.com) that there are more full albums on the way for Rock Band after the release of Rock Band 2: **Foo Fighters (The Colour and the Shape) Red Hot Chili Peppers (Blood Sugar Sex Magik) ** Jane’s Addiction (Nothing’s Shocking) Megadeth (Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying) Stevie Ray Vaughn (Texas Flood) No Doubt (‘Best Of’ Collection) I don’t know about anyone else, but the top 2 are instant purchases for me, since both are regulars on my iTunes playlists.

Read more →

I’ve copied this message from ogre3d.org just in case there are those that track my blog more often than the main site: 2008 OGRE User Survey One of the questions I always get asked when talking to other people in the industry is ‘How many people are using OGRE then?’. Compared to regular closed-source software where people can’t use it unless they pay, it’s hard for us to answer this question accurately, apart from pointing at download statistics (approximate 40,000 per month, if you were wondering).

Read more →