If Only Spirit Had Attended More Quilting Bees

Matt Barton's picture

Phone Home, Damnit!Pick up, you Nickel-plated Nincompoop!It's Wednesday, May 25th, 2011. A day that will promptly be forgotten and wasted. I imagine when you're old, infirm, and rotting away in a nursing home tended by a robot who's stopped responding to your cries for help, you'd gladly give it all for just one more day like you're going to have today. To be young, healthy, and free, just (gasp) one more day! And on that note, news.

First off, something really neat: Depixelizing Pixel Art: Upscaling Retro 8-bit Games. It took me a little while to figure out what's going on here, but it amounts to a new algorithm that turns blocky pixel images into smooth vector images. The actual article is pretty technical, but also includes lots more cool transformations. I can see tech like this being used to "update" old games, perhaps even on-the-fly. The researchers really seem to get what they're doing, too, and believe they've "managed to capture some of the charm of the original" from the 8-bit "masterpieces." Can't wait to see what Samantha Fox will look like.

Speaking of art, check out the Color palette of glorious hues of the golden age of comics. If 64 colors were enough for decades of comics, why do we need millions today? Eh. I don't know if you can ever have enough shades of black.

Matt Findley appears to be swiftly becoming the Rebecca Black of game design. Or, at least, his inane comments are causing more Diet Pepsi to be spewed into monitors and keyboards. Good ol' Rampant Coyote has posted his thoughts on the matter. He does a much better job than I did of trying to explain why Findley is so wrong (I'm still too stupefied to say anything but ugh!). Let's just hope that Hunted has plenty of opportunities to have a bowl and have cereal, catch a bus, see friends. Oh, wait, that's a bit too intellectual for fans of "action."

Remember Karateka? This is awesome!!!

Ham on! Better watch this now before the copyright police nab it.

In case you haven't heard by now, there's a new Conan movie coming out. I've seen the previews a few times now, and I'm still not sure what the hell to make of Jason Momoa as Conan. I know a lot of people hate Arnold's versions, but I always loved them (campy or not, Arnold has the body to pull off the role). I have the same complaint about Thor--I mean, Chris Hemsworth is in shape, but he's not massive. I guess these modern heroes are more into bicycling and tofu than pumping iron and shoving down steaks. ANYWAY, Funcom has decided to make its flop Age of Conan MMO free-to-play. Remember that game that was supposed to be a "wow killer?" Now it's entering that slow death called free to play. People, please stop messing with one of my favorite mythos!

Oh, well, even if movies these days suck, you should go see them anyway: Theater-Goers, Volunteers Take Heart: Cultural Activities Are Good for Your Health, Norwegian Study Finds. And I thought it was the "butter-flavored topping" on the popcorn. If you dig a little deeper in the article, you find that men get more out of cultural activities than women, and you get more out of "creative" than "receptive" cultural activities. So, me buckos, let's get ourselves to a quilting bee before it's too late!

One sad item: NASA Gives Up On Stuck Mars Rover Spirit. NASA has called again and again, but there's just no answer. Kinda like your ex. There are plans for an "Irish wake" for the rover, but no funeral. Be sure to tip back a pint of Guinness for our plucky little robot friend. We're gonna miss ya...


Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
The depixeling pixel art

The depixeling pixel art thing is interesting. Personally, I love pixel art as-is, and I hate the often garish attempts at modernizing that kind of stuff. With that said, these efforts are fairly tasteful. I guess it could be a "cheap" way of making "HD" versions of the classics, and if it gets more people playing these purer games (i.e., big focus on straight gameplay rather than extreme complexity), all the better. As with the "Hunted" discussion of late, it's clear that the more today's gamers and developers can be exposed to the classics, the better our new games will be.

Joined: 01/21/2009
SPIRIT and comics... i was

SPIRIT and comics... i was sure there was something on "The SPIRIT" comic... (not the bad movie adaptation) as Matt said "People, please stop messing with one of my favorite mythos!" the Spirit comics rocked....

Conan movie: Conan was the single character that drove my love of SciFi fantasy, the first "real" books I read, the comic series that made me collect comics (and in turn introduced me to great indie comics and made me the comic book geek I am). The Original Conan movie... I really dont see anything wrong with it, its a mess, no doubt, but its a faithfull mess. It uses bits and parts of several Conan books/comics and changes a name around or two..
The second movie actually followed a Couple conan stories (instead of a whole bunch like the first) a bit better, but switching to PG was not good. Personally i liked his thief companion (weasel to the bone) and the girl was a hottie, but yes, it was a much worse movie.. its sad it used a much closer adaption of some of the Conan stories, but didnt end up being a better movie. Im excited to see any Conan movie.. there is actually a Cartoon (MOVIE!) that was going to be released about christmas time ( but wasnt) the webpage hasnt been updated in ages.. I'm guessing it was probebly put on the back burner with the LIve Action Movie comming out. Possilby to come out after if the Live action does well.

personally I was really looking forward to the Cartoon, the artwork looks a bit iffy, and smacks of Cheap Saturday cartoons, but RED NAILS is my very favorite Conan story so I kept my hpopes high. I was a bit suprised it was used for the cartoon as its pretty much the darkest, nastiest Conan Story, its pretty grim.. not exactly cartoon fair. Ron Perlman is doing Conans voice ( i liked that choice).

Age of Conan : again Im a bit suprised you feel this game is a bad mark on Conan, I sure didnt see it that way. The grapchis where awsome, the crypts, temples/jungle etc.. all looked as I imagined Conan books. the fighting was exciting (I thouhgt). This game really suffered the same fate ALL MMORPG's do.. people leveled to fast and had nothing to do endgame except fight each other.. This is the HOLY GRAIL to most gamers.. problem is teh guy who can grind equipment and always has 10 guildies will beat the average player day in and day out.. and 90% of the players are that average guy who cant sit at the computer 24/7.. so getting your arse handed to you day after day creates some intense hate. Everybody wants PvP combat that is fair... in a game with items, people with different play times, its simply not possible, it never will be.. SO it will never happen.
I loved AOC, right up till endgame.. if it becomes F2P I WILL be playing again.. I have a Deluxe edition ($9) and a all the expansions (2?) I picked up for nothing too sitting on my stack of games.. In fact as a founder I got an email a few days ago my account was free for rest of month so I would check it out again. I hadnt heard anything about F2P... But it makes me happy if it goes that way. From all reviews I have read, they pretty much all say the game is 100X better then release, and most say its a dang good game now. But... I havent looked, that endgame awfullness has left a pretty bitter taste.

Rebbeca Black: I think the world needs to grow up a bit.. a friggin 13 year old getting so much PURE hate and ASShat comments... she is 13 years old!!!!!! and people are picking apart her dreams... and in very nasty ways.. I just cant understand the awfull hatefull attuitude people have taken to this. I dont care for it at all (her singing or music) but 100,000 people have done much worse stuff on youtube and are over 18 that could be made the mean spirited nasty fun of ( and no im not ok'ing mean spirited fun just becuase they are of age). I just find it really sad that picking on a 13 year old is considered OK in internet world today. I guess stuff like the star Wars kid has made making mean fun of kids ok? In all honesty i think its more of that sad hatefull part people have where they wish they could do it (make a music video/song) and cant, so they hate on the people who can. I agree it seems like a waste of a few $1000 bucks... and after listening to it once I dont want to again. But its just pure hurt being directed to her. Guess its good its the net, she will be forgotten soon (and if she is tough be better for it, sounds like she has made some reall money off it.. and the HATE has generated alot of that money, so there is an Upside).

WOOT! my book length rants are back! sorry to all who are reading them :)

Joined: 01/21/2009
err just to add the Stuff at

err just to add the Stuff at Rampent games was excellent (story and comments).. I still think you guys are putting words in his mouth and over reacting.. I do think many game developers would have done things differnt if the tech had allowed them too. One good thing about it all, I never knew who he was till all this.

I Loved the SSI gold Box games, but loved the EOB ones more... the switch from tile to 3D was an improvment to me and far more imerssive. This is the reason I "sorta" agree with him. But its an opinion thing, like anything we all like differnet stuff. I'm not sure how many of you have tired DEMONS SOULS on the PS3... to me its almost the prefect ACTION RPG.. There are no dice rolls (random uncontrolled resaults) only the players skill. it has exploring (almost my favorite part of games) that has to be done CAREFULLY... no running to that chest, you have to examine and look for traps and such. I cant talk this game up enough, i think its the singel best game for a console in the alst 5+ years... Of course others might think its crap..

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