I experienced XBox Live for the first time last month, and despite the frustrating downtime I have been impressed - when it’s working correctly it’s certainly very slick and well integrated across the entire library of games. I like that you can pop out to the dashboard in any game at all to respond to IMs or whatever without having to exit, and that everything works the same way and integrates with your gamertag.
I did an interview recently for French 3D-oriented website 3d-test.com recently, and it’s just been posted. Despite being rather busy recently I always try to make time for these when they come up, since I know an important part of my job on OGRE is being the ‘front man’ - the last one I did was for Gamasutra. This one seems to have turned out ok despite my bashing out responses rather hurriedly during build / SCC update windows.
It’s been a seriously busy week - I had Monday to work on some Ogre features (tangents) but really since then I’ve been mostly limited to breezing through the forums at only slightly more than a superficial level. The reason is that the principal customer project I’ve been on the past 2-3 months hits a major milestone next week - a presentation to ‘the brass’ in Tokyo (it’s a Japanese company, although the project members are scattered around the globe - and no, I can’t tell you any more than that).
There’s no denying that a Yoda vs Vader fight is a rather cool prospect - although I think Darth Maul might actually be more interesting, given how Vader is mostly a cripple and has to do most things by just waving his hand. I’m just not sure it feels right in a Soul Calibur game; I found even the inclusion of Link a little weird and jarring in the last one (on GameCube), but such titanic icons as Yoda and Vader?
If you’re not familiar, Becta (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) is an arm of the UK government that is dedicated to setting IT strategy for UK schools. Recently, they advised schools in a report not to upgrade to Vista or Office 2007, for several reasons: “…there remains a perceived lack of significant business benefit delivered by the new features in Vista to balance out the costs associated with its deployment…“ “…only an estimated 22 per cent of [existing] machines meet the specification necessary to run Vista effectively…“ “Our interim report recommended that Microsoft should develop a compelling business case to underpin any rationale for deploying Office 2007 in UK education.
I’ve posted about this in the forum, but thought I’d cover my bases and mention it here too. If you write tools which export data to Ogre, you should know about some improvements in the tangent space calculation process in the next major version of OGRE (Shoggoth, CVS HEAD). You can now calculate tangents on any geometry, not just Mesh The TangentSpaceCalc class will generate tangents for any input geometry, so if you use custom geometry classes you can use the same functionality easily
Ok, let’s be clear - Rez HD coming to the 360 on XBLA is a good thing, I’m sure I’ll end up adding it to my growing XBLA collection - Pac Man Championship Edition is one of my favourite I’ve-got-15-minutes-spare games of all time, and Marie can’t seem to ever stop playing Zuma. If we’re really, really lucky, it might be the free game Microsoft will toss our way in recompense for the shaky Live service recently (which has gotten better, but it’s still pretty sluggish at peak times here), although that’s probably military-grade wishful thinking on my part.
Suddenly I’m even more glad I chose a 360 for my current HD console purchase - I just watched the latest Little Big Planet demo from CES 2008, where it looks cute and interesting as ever (even if they didn’t have time / inclination to show anything we haven’t seen before really), but the guy doing the presentation was talking about a public beta in late Summer, with an intention of a ‘Fall’ release (2008).
I had an ‘incident’ over the weekend (which I won’t go into, suffice to say that it was somewhat down to my own carelessness) which resulted in me needing to restore a bunch of files from backup for my local Linux server - luckily I back up my server every day on a typical full/incremental backup cycle so all I lost was a few hours worth of spam (I’m 99% sure I haven’t lost any genuine correspondence, but if you think I’ve missed you, let me know).
A couple of people expressed an interest in what my opinion of Mass Effect would end up being, as a previous KOTOR fan, so now that I’ve had it for a while, and am about 10 hours into the game (according to my last save), I felt I had enough information to deliver on this request. For the time-poor among you who are tired of my wordy postings, here’s the skinny version: