Useful Screwing Around

April 23rd, 2008 by Shalewind

Okay, I just used some code from my H3ST (Halo 3 Stat Aggregator) for something at work. I can’t describe how cool it is to know that my work on something for fun increased my skill set for my actual job. Awesome.

For those interested – it was the use of an SQL summary cursor to step through aggregated data.

Oh, by the way, raisin/carrot muffins rock.

Current Mood: Rock’n It
Listening To: Broken Wings – Mr. Mister

Posted in Computer Geek, Work | No Comments »

Here Comes Round 2 – Go Stars!

April 21st, 2008 by Shalewind

Hello all. Had a fairly good weekend but we have some real muggy weather now. Adobe CS3 is one hell of a product suite but it takes FOREVER to uninstall. I guess they really want you to keep it.

GO STARS!!! That’s right we are going to round 2! It has been, so long… GO STARS!

One of the entertaining things about working in retail IT is the people that you meet, in particular the people from the creative departments. I just sat in a meeting with Richard (who’s totally Asian and yet totally American) who has one of the most bizarre haircuts I’ve ever seen. It’s isn’t dyed, but its mohawked along the center and alternates buzzed and spiky on the sides. Richard is one hell of a guy, brilliant and pretty cool to work with. Across from him at the meeting sits Joe who looks almost exactly like ZZ Top and has a voice like Walter Cronkite. Only in retail IT…

I’m still waiting to borrow Dave’s Assassin’s Creed so I started up a second normal run through of Mass Effect this past week. The game remains a whole lot of fun. I’m playing an Engineer this time and let me tell you, nothing tears through Geth like a powered up Engineering. AI Hacking, Damping, Overload, and Sabotage just rape them. It’s really cool to just wave my hand and have an Ampature fly across the screen in pieces.

So we went against all better judgment and got copies of Vegas 2 this weekend. All of us experienced a plethora of errors, though none of them similar. The game includes the following robust features:

  • Worse graphics than the original game.
  • A run feature that’s pretty standard.
  • A glitched achievement system (of course).
  • Very few low level clothing customizations.
  • No Co-Op Campaign with 3 or 4 players.
  • A much improved leveling system.
  • A good selection of maps.
  • Some of us experienced CQB problems similar to earlier games.
  • A horrible AI on computer team-mates.
  • Some of us experienced spawn problems – like into friendly fire.
  • And as always – enemies spawn wherever the hell they want to.

Needless to say I am happy I bought the game used and did not contribute to the coffers of Ubisoft for this one (I merely support that awesome Gamestop we give our patronage to).

For those of you watching, BSG continues to trend water and suck. I find the writing to be absolutely horrible – yet continue to watch because I would like to see how big the train wreck can become. One good scene does not cancel and episode of inept filler material. Why must you destroy and kill characters simply for drama’s sake? The tactic can even be done correctly, but that isn’t the case here.

That’s all for now. Have a good week!

  Current Mood: Happy   
Listening To: Newborn Friend – Seal

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An End to Fallen Sun

April 14th, 2008 by Shalewind

My computer is not cooperating with me this morning. Combined with the network being slow at work, the morning is not turning out to be very productive. I’m trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends.

Just a thought on computing in general. Why the hell does an installer have to verify the installation before uninstalling? And, more to the point of my annoyance, what do you do if the verification fails? Because you certainly can’t use the uninstaller then?

Finished up my Fallen Sun campaign this weekend. Last game was a long stretch into the AM which I have come to expect from my final episodes. Fallen Sun 3 lasted 50 episodes, and took just over two and a half years (we started in August of 2005). Looking back, that’s quite a long time. But I think we ended up fairly strong.

In making the credits for the final game I’ve learned a few things about the visual editing tools I’ve come to use. First, I moved away from PowerPoint because you cannot make a timeline in it or get music timing perfect no matter how much time you invest. I thought ProShow was a God send. After having done a complete film with ProShow, I have come to hate certain aspects of it.

  • You cannot create text boxes, transparent or otherwise.
  • You cannot control the animation features of a text item with any advanced timing.
  • You cannot animate a picture object at all.
  • Importing movie files in any format but basic AVI causes major problems.
  • The program is unstable and crashes often.

So all in all I’m come to use a blend of both programs to do what I do. I animate complex action in PowerPoint. Save the PPT into an AVI using a number of other tools and import the whole thing into ProShow for DVD construction. It’s a giant pain in the ass but I think the final product is worth it.

Okay, well that’s enough complaining for the week. I’m going to fix the old computer and try to get some work done.

  Current Mood: Frustrated   
Listening To: Lift – Poets of the Fall

Posted in Computer Geek, Main Posts, RPGs, Work | No Comments »

End of an Odyssey

April 7th, 2008 by Shalewind

Checking in. Sort of a busy week coming up. My work on the secure ASP page for work continues to move smoothly. I think I have everything down but the SSL now. Also doing some major prep for the end of Fallen Sun this coming weekend. So it’s a fairly concentration intensive week.

I finished Lost Odyssey and got my full 1000 points from it. Final time was 72 hours and my party was level 54-71. This game is most definitely the best RPG on the 360 and I’m fairly certain it ranks in my all time favorites. All the characters were wonderful, the story was great, and the ending was touching and well worth the play through. This is also one of the first games I have played through where I didn’t need to spend time leveling once. I basically just played through it straight. Superb design credit there.

June approaches as does the release of the 4th Edition D20 core books. I’m deciding if I want to pre-order them and have them shipped to me or go pick them up on release. Enworld has compiled an excellent Lite edition booklet with all of the known material for 4E in one place. It’s pretty cool and it’s updated daily.

We went with DJ to the last regular session Stars game yesterday for his birthday. There were over six fights in the first period alone – 95 penalty minutes the whole game. It was insane. The stars pulled out the victory too, 4-2. Pretty amazing game to catch.

Seems the Olympic Torch relay is being mobbed. I think the relay is a cool idea, even if the torch does go out a lot. And I can understand wanting to protest China from a human rights stance. Don’t mob the athlete that’s running the relay. It isn’t his or her fault. And certainly don’t mob some poor dude in a wheelchair! What is wrong with some of these people!

Not much else to report right now. Just know the Jeremy Soule kicks ass. I worship at the altar of his orchestral music.

  Current Mood: Concentrating   
Listening To: Do What You Want – JASEfos

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