Miscellaneous

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A catch-all for anything not covered elsewhere...
Bill Loguidice's picture

Unboxing Video for the OnLive Console

I did a quick unboxing video for the new OnLive Console. I'll do a full review after Christmas, but if you have any questions in the mean-time, let me know (by the way, the USB cable is for the initial syncing of the controller to the console, it doesn't actually allow you to charge it).

UPDATE: The controller is actually slightly larger than the Xbox 360 controller and it comes with both a regular battery compartment and two AA batteries, as well as a rechargeable battery pack. So a nice package is even a bit nicer.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Extended Comments from Tetris Interview

As mentioned last week, my commentary as part of the Vilcek Foundation's article on Tetris and its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, was published. As also mentioned - and something that I typically like to do anyway - I said I would publish the extended commentary that did not fit in the article. Check it out below, where the questioner is Joyce Li and the answers were supplied by me, Bill Loguidice:

Nathaniel Tolbert's picture

Electronic Art's Games Label President says Single Player mode is dead

The article that this blog and personal opinions are based on is located here.

I was reading through some online sites through links that were posted here, and I came across this article listed above. As the title says, the president of a section of Electronic Arts says that single player games are, to quote the article, 'finished.' He backs his statement with the following, 'because online is where the innovation, and the action, is at.' I read his comments and was personally surprised. I know I'm in the minority here when I say that about the only multiplayer games that I play are MMO's. I could turn this into a rant because it bothers me that someone so close to the industry could think that people only want online functionality in their games, but I will attempt to maintain a level head, unlike some of the responses in the comments to the article.

My feelings are that even though as time progresses, single player mode will be de-emphasized in games (it already is, if you ask the people who have played the new Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty games, with their dismally short, and lackluster single player experiences.) but that doesn't mean that this mode should be dropped or reduced to a minor role. If this methodology was accepted industry wide, I wouldn't have gotten to play such interesting new style adventure games like, the whispered world, Lost Horizon, and Kaptain Brawe, a Brawe New World (Thank you Gamer's Gate for the nice sales on these games, so happy to get good games for a price a poor college student like myself can afford:-). These games are exclusively single player and where as they are not everyone's cup of tea, they would not work in a multiplayer fashion. I sucked it up and bought wings of prey, which is a WWII flight game, which has a sizable single player arc, at approximately 50 missions. The game also has a multiplayer function as well, and that is heavily emphasized, but I haven't played it yet.

Chip Hageman's picture

Crystal Hammer PC version found.

A while back I showcased a fun Arkanoid clone by the name of Crystal Hammer by reLINE software for the Commodore Amiga.

I had read that this game was released for platforms other than the Amiga, but I had never come across any in my travels. Well.. official ports of the game, that is- There are a few rather bad indie versions of the game available on the PC which I won't go into.

Yesterday, I was perusing one of my favorite classic gaming torrent communities and came across a European release of Crystal Hammer for the PC. I'm guessing that this was an EU exclusive release since I've never come across it in the states.

Nathaniel Tolbert's picture

Abandonware and some possible reasons why it exists

Abandonware. We've all heard of it, most of us have even called programs we have it. Many of us have complained about the fact that it even exists at all. But the sad fact is that the term Abandonware is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. I'll start with a rough definition of what the term is; Abandonware: A software product, especially a video game, whose copyright is no longer defended or which is no longer marketed even by the company who made it. 1 (sorry don't know how to do superset here.) The definition is simple and easy to understand. A game, or software product that isn't defended via copyright law by the producer anymore.

But how can this exist at all? With copyright laws currently extending life of the creator plus 90 years this means that any product made since the mid to late 1920's should be covered by copyright law, correct? Well, technically this is true, and holds true for all of the software that is termed "abandonware". This means that realistically, every time you download an old computer game, you are infringing copyright. 'But people do it all the time with old software and I never hear of them getting in trouble.' You say. Again, that is true, but the fact is that if the copyright holder at any point in time decided that they wanted to go after anyone whom had downloaded their product without paying for it and you were taken to court over it, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. But this doesn't answer why it exists at all does it? I've only explained how it technically doesn't exist. There are countless reasons as to why some software is coined as abandonware and I will attempt to discuss a few of what I see as major ones below.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Video: Star Trek LCARS Interface in the Home

Pretty nifty stuff in the video from this Dutch gentleman, though it's debatable whether LCARS is a particularly efficient real-world interface. I've often wondered what I would do if I could design a home environment from scratch with reasonable resources. Unlike how most home design shows depict, most homes are designed/filled ad-hoc, with no real ability to plan things out in any profound manner outside of a single room or two.

Keith Burgun's picture

Mousepads!

I just looked down and thought about my mousepad for a moment. It's got a cow-print design and it says "GATEWAY 2000". I realized, wow, this must be from before the year 2000, then, and looked it up. Sure enough, Gateway Computers dropped the 2000 in 1998, which means that I bought this, my most recent mouse pad, in or before 1998.

Bill Loguidice's picture

A Very Brief Overview of what I've Been Playing for the Past Few Days

Since I've had a chance to actually play some games on platforms like the PC, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, and PS3 lately, I thought I would share some quick thoughts. After reading, why don't you share some of your own thoughts on those games or some of what you're playing?

Chip Hageman's picture

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: You Got Lucky (1982)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: You Got Lucky (1982)A few days ago I posted about the music that you remember from back in arcades "Golden Age" and I got to talking about it with a friend. He immediately started jotting down a list of music that he remembers blaring out in the arcades back in the day. I was interested to see what he was going to come up with because the few songs he mentioned (which were great songs) I didn't have on my list.. and that's basically why I did the post in the first place.. to create the ultimate arcade era play list.

While he was recalling songs to add to his top 10 list he said, "Hey, remember the video to Tom Petty's: You Got Lucky?". It had been so long ago that I'd forgotten about it.. but now, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, we can all view Tom Petty's vision of a post-apocalyptic world that has discarded the technologies of yesteryear.

It's a great song and a great video, dating all the way back to 1982 (28 years ago on Oct 22nd). It's just a shame that Tom took some vengeance out on a Stern Electronic's Astro Invader cabinet which, at the time, was a mere two years old.

My, how time flies..

Embedding is disabled on the video, so just watch the video on YouTube.

-Gandalf42

Bill Loguidice's picture

First Impressions of Microsoft's Kinect - It's a hit!

Well, chalk me up as surprised, but my first impression of Microsoft's new Kinect is that it's a rousing success for what it's intended for, much moreso than Sony's PlayStation Move or Nintendo's Wii Motion+. I had preordered the standard Kinect bundle, which comes with "Kinect Adventures", from Amazon, along with "Dance Central", as part of a special promotion. It arrived yesterday, which was the official street date when retailers were authorized to actually sell the thing (there were only a few cases of a broken street date). As is usual for a Microsoft product, it's a rather convoluted and bulky setup, but since it actually works, I can't be too critical of that aspect of the device. By the way, as a point of full disclosure up front, as luck would have it, we probably have the ideal family room setup for motion games, with a generous amount of space between the TV and any other obstacles, like our sofas, so, unless you want to move furniture to make the necessary 6 - 10 feet or so of clear space (you want a generous rectangle), know that your mileage will definitely vary from mine in terms of hassle-free play (you'll generally need a less space for Move and Motion+).

I have the old style white Xbox 360, and, as such, I was required to plug the Kinect into the rear USB port and then plug in yet another (albeit small) wall wart (this is necessary, because, among other things, the camera can turn on its own). If I had the new style Xbox 360 slim, it has an accessory port that the Kinect can draw power from directly. Anyway, for those of us with the old style Xbox 360's (which is probably most of us), they also give a small USB extension cable so the wireless networking card dongle can plug into the front USB port, since the rear USB port is a requirement for Kinect. Ugly. However, in my particular setup, both my 360's still have HD-DVD drives attached to them (yeah, I admitted it), which is where I have my wireless dongle attached to, so in fact I didn't need the extender as I could just plug the USB cord from my HD-DVD drive to the front USB port. Needless to say, with the old style white Xbox 360, a USB plug sticking out of one of the two front USB ports and the HD-DVD drive next to it (along with an old style memory card that keeps my sign-ins portable), it's hardly a sleek looking setup, though my launch ("fat") PS3 hardly looks much better since I have the PlayStation Eye camera always plugged into one of the front four USB ports. Looks aside, plugging it all in was logical and went smoothly.

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