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Let Me Just Beat the Dust Off This Thing…

Hey guys!  Another few weeks, another post! XD  I might have to change Minecraft Monday into Minecraft Monthly or something at this rate hee hee

I was informed by a rather lazy family member that if we don’t post the animations to this blog they don’t know how to find them, so I might as well just post them before that person goes and breaks a nail -_^

First up is zee Impatient Chef!  Not that it is required, but if you want to go full screen with either of these two, 720 HD is available.  (Thought any higher would be over-kill XD)

Second one has a cool ending, actually.  Remember waaaay back nearly a year ago now with Developer Appreciation Week?  I did David Jaffe and the rest of the Eat Sleep Play crew as my first post?  Well, after this animation someone linked it to him on twitter and he mentioned that he wanted to post it on the official Twisted Metal blog.  How cool is that?

Working on a a sequel to it right now.  It’s pretty much set, but the wording might be a smidgin’ off so I’m chipping away at it.  Also had two more Walking Dead ani’s planned, but we might just scrap those even though the next one was gonna have Daryl in it.  Doubt we’ll have time before the season ‘starts up’ again, but we’ll see.

Anyhoo, enjoy the animations and have a good day, everyone!

World of Warcraft: Schadenfreude Is the New Emo

“…They found you amusing for a little while. … But the one thing they love to see more than a hero, is to see a hero fail. Fall; die trying.  In spite of everything you have done for them, eventually they will hate you.

Why bother?”

-Green Goblin from Spider-Man (2002)

Everybody loves an underdog.  David n’ Goliath. Rebels n’ the Empire.  The Chicago Cubs n’ the game of baseball.  You name it, people will generally go out of their way to root for the ‘Little Sister’ instead of a ‘Big Daddy.’

Fight the good fight, viva la whatever your slogan happens to be, etc.  I get the general appeal.  So and so is huge, and the other guy is tiny.  If you are going to lend a hand at all, might as well give the tiny guy a boost.  He’ll likely lose anyway, but you did your part.  And if he wins, hot dog!  It doesn’t take a horse-betting fanatic to know how well an upset pays out.

Enter the biggest subscription-based game to date.  World of Warcraft has somewhat in the range of over 11,000,000 active subscribers, but you wouldn’t know that based on the current ‘news’ on the web.  Every Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Sue online is not only stating the sky is falling, but that they are rejoicing the ‘fact.’ This ‘fact’ is not only law, which they will repeat constantly as if it really were, but it is also expected to be common knowledge because anyone who still likes that game is clearly behind the times.  Nearly all of those comments need to be read with a flared velvet top hat, smoking pipe, and a well-polished monocle accompanied with a drolling, nasal voice for the full effect of smarm and smug.

WoW has been so big for so long that it is now not only fashionable to hate on WoW, but to do so is an almost a right-of-passage-like fad.  (Apparently it is guaranteed to make your e-peen huge and your crits even crittier.  I haven’t seen the ad for it, but that’s what I gather from the commotion.)  Granted, I have raged about the game quite a bit in the past and I always joke that it’s my inner-Warrior burning through.  While I disapprove the direction it was headed, I don’t think I’d ever see myself gleefully doing the worm on its casket as it is lowered ceremoniously into its final resting space.

The game has been going on for quite some time now, I am well aware. I also know that if it was not for a two month time card I got for Christmas and the Misses wanting to play the game, my account would have likely remained frozen since a month after Cata came out.  Believe me, I understand the problems with the game.  (Personally I think this is more of a Powers That Be issue more than Blizzards losing its touch.)  While I dislike a lot and can easily see the formulas in place, I will not outright pray to the flying spaghetti monster wriggling in the heavens above for the game to fail, nor will I sadistically cheer it’s death throes for several reasons.

One, you’ve got a long, long time for that to happen.  Admitting ‘victory’ now is at best ignorant and a clear sign of your favoritism, be it conscious or not.  As everyone was mentioning recently, they are opening markets in Brazil and China and all that. Even if all of the US/EU subs magically disappear into the Nether the game will live on for at least another five years easily without a moment’s pause.  They will continue to do what they are doing until it is no longer tangible to generate revenue.

Note: Remember WAR and how that was the next game changer?  Remember how terribly fast people flocked back to WoW spouting “it burns us!” ?  WAR is still hanging on.  It is in a full body cast with an erratic pulse,  but the life support is still plugged in.  Heck, from what I hear it’s coming out with a DotA mode.  Good luck with that but hey, I’m not gonna cheer if/when it does actually die off.

Two, cheering for anything’s demise?  Not a silent nod that it’s pain is over, but blatant jubilation?  The last time I heard someone do that was Jon Stewart openly admitting he was too biased to cover Bin Laden’s death.  Ignoring the admission of bias for the sake of comparison, you have inadvertently placed a man who thought up plans to kill thousands in the same category of an online video game.  Bravo.

Not everyone is jumping on the Schadenfreude Express, though.  Syp made a very good post two weeks back which didn’t throw a single jab WoW’s way.  It was a casual and friendly look at WoW and how it might be the end of an era.  Not the end of a game as some read it, but an era.  Zee proof:

Just because the WoW era might be over doesn’t mean WoW is, and even after this next year’s worth of releases, it’ll still be alive and strong.  I just hope that as it rejoins the MMO crowd, WoW will forgo an ego about its former position and embrace a new, smarter attitude.  I think we could see great things if it did.

-Syp

For better or worse the game will continue as long as it turns a profit.  Any diehard anti-WoWers out there know three magical words that can bring even the dead back to life:  Free. To. Play.  (If it worked on a dreadful, dreeeadful game like DDO, it’ll do far more than just keep WoW afloat.)

As for my thoughts on the game itself, I remain unsubbed.  Till the Misses gets back into the game, I will not touch it.  The 4.3 changes did pique my interest though, and that alone is a milestone.  Since virtually December, nothing has been going on in WoW that interested me in the slightest iota as everything seemed teeming with greedy intentions on the developer(s) part.  But, seeing Actiblizzard revoke the charge on Real ID grouping and then follow it up with LFRaid, that did capture my attention.

It is fairly safe to say I’ll give it a go for a month once it arrives, but I am more than happy to play Minecraft and wait for the adventure patch 1.8.  Or design symbols and songs in APB.  Or shoot it up in Team Fortress 2.  Or read up on news for Guild Wars 2, or look forward to playing Twisted Metal in maybe February, or whatever else I’m interested in.  Will all of these games make a mistake somewhere?  Most already have.  But it doesn’t mean I’m going to sign my name with the blood of the innocent just to clamor and cheer at a video game’s funeral.  As David Jaffe recently said via twitter:

It’s all so f—ing Win/lose with people. What have we been conditioned into?!? It’s like the gamers and the biz folks have been so trained to only care about who wins and who gets their a– kicked that there is no room to appreciate a game can do well enough to turn a profit and please many fans. But doesn’t have to win awards like ‘most money made in a weekend by an entertainment product’. Sure we all want that success but it’s not the only definition of financial, social, creative, or execution success. There ARE still some shades of gray.

Twisted Metal Delayed >.<

Encrazed nation, I have some somber newz today.  While viewin’ Bits N Bytes I happened to notice that they mentioned Twisted and that Jaffe posted on the Playstation Blog stating the game is getting pushed back till the beginning of next year.

Not Good Eats :X

While this is annoying, there’s really nothing I can do in the situation.  I still want the game, and I still want to play it as soon as I can, but whining about it won’t help.  I will say I’m only beefed about it at all because everyone keeps asking me when is it coming out and I told them what Jaffe told ‘me’ and everyone else: October 4th.  So for my b-day the Misses went out and surprised me by getting it both pre-ordered and completely paid off in one go.  NOW I find out the game is delayed for another six months or more.  That information would have been good to know BEFORE she spent, what I believe, is non-transferable cash.  Even so, at best they’ll convert it into store credit, which in that case might as well let it ride where it stands.

I’ll still play the heck out of the game, but it’s really annoying to have virtually wasted the cash that early on.  Economic liquidity, and all that?  Yeah.  Bad money is spending cash when you don’t need to.  She didn’t need to spend it as the game didn’t come out yet.  And now it’s coming out even later, but we couldn’t have known that at the time as it was stated as fact that it was arriving in *early* October.  Now sometime in 2012.  Who-rah.

In further ‘good news’, the Misses got me another game to tide me over as the wait till October is still a bit off (and now far longer than that) and got me “Warhammer: Mark of Chaos.”  The game looks great.  Sadly the install disk, the first freaking one at that, is broke.  Damaged somehow.  Likely why the game was on sale in the previously used section in the first place, but thankfully the workers tested it beforehand, right?  Hah.  Let’s hope we can find the receipt on this one, or that’s even more money wasted.  Awesome.

I’ll get over it, but I hate waste.  Wasting cash in particular, as that and time are the two most expensive commodities there are.  It’s a temporary set back in terms of game development, and I know the guys at Eat Sleep Play did not do it on purpose, but considering we JUST bought the thing a week ago, I’m feeling like Adam Sandler from Wedding Singer:

Either skip to 5:13 or click the link below, same rage either way.

http://youtu.be/fyh-Kpc4O-c?t=5m13s

Twisted Metal (PS3) Sniper Mechanics: ‘Bad Timing’ Or P.C. Insanity?

I got a Minecraft update post in the works, but a bud of mine asked about how David Jaffe was doing because I seem to have something cool to say about him whenever he asks.  So I was surprised to see Jaffe’s blog got rapid-fire updates (sign the game making process is back in check, or just more press for Comic Con tomorrow ^_^), but I checked out his twitter where he really lives and got ticked off about a response made to a tweet of his.

David has made it very clear early on that he detests the “spawn-die-spawn-die” cycle in Call of Dookie and all that current nonsense companies are doing when classifying bad code and sloppy development as ‘modern shooters’.  Someone asked about the one-shot, one kill mechanic potential of the sniper weapon pickup, and he responded with the tasty details.

To the fine fellows- and lady- at TMA: There are ZERO one shot kills in the new Twisted Metal except for sniper. And SNIPER is only a one shot kill if you’ve kept the target on the enemy for X seconds (like 15 sec or so) and the enemy KNOWS he’s being targeted so he can flee or shield or counter attack to stop you from taking the shot.(source)

Then lord187x asked, “How exactly does the Sniping work? Does it go into like First Person Shooter view?” (source) David responded by saying:

2 kinds of sniper mechanics in the new Twisted Metal. Neither is a one shot kill like a traditional sniper. Scott and I have made it clear many times we hate the ‘spawn and die/spawn and die’ play from a lot of FPS and so ain’t no way we’re going to encourage that.  There is the pick up sniper weapon that works pretty much like the recital weapon in TM:BLACK. Then Grimm has a bazooka crosshair  (for his alt special) that zooms and that is kind of like GOLGO 13 on the NES…and if you don’t know the reference: SHAME ON YOU!!!! :)  NOTE: Doesn’t mean a good player can’t freeze you, fire a few shot gun blasts, then turbo dash into you and take you out a few seconds after you spawn but that’s like 4-6 attacks and shame on you for not shielding or blocking or knowing how to turbo the hell out of a bad situation :)…. (source)

A developer and his team that actually know how to make a game, astounding.  But instead of praise, someone mentions the shooting going on in Norway, and that discussing how people can be killed with a sniper rifle in-game might not be the most timely of choices.  He doesn’t do it rudely, and he even made a follow up to go out of his way to say it was just a heads up to the situation… but that really sets me off.  I’m not upset someone told him about the shooting ordeal, but that he felt the need to do so, and the cause.  The reason why he gave Dave a heads up wasn’t just to inform him of a current event, but to avoid saying something someone could use against him for their own personal gain.

Where do you draw the line on what is ok to say, and what is not?  How about when? Time is certainly a factor, or we wouldn’t have the phrase “toon soon?” coined.

The game is animated violence, it is going to get a T for Teen rating for crying out loud, and Dave comes from a background of M for Mature.  This very game is a sequel to a Mature, one of the first that came out commercially for the PS2.  He knows the boundaries.  Everyone involved in the conversation and even outside of it knows damn well it’s about a video game.  If anyone quotes Jaffe it would be blatantly obvious they were skewing his words to suit their punchline unless they only did half the quote intentionally to change the meaning, and that it is not accurate reporting.

It is a GAME.

People are worried about fairness in said game and he was assuring them that all is thought-out and you can react accordingly.  The “spawn-die” shenanigans will not be present unless you go against a highly skilled wheel man and didn’t get out of dodge before the stars aligned.

People jump on Dave constantly for his blunt remarks and make ‘something’ clearly out of nothing.  Just a few tweets previous to the one I mentioned he said something about someone being gay, to which he instinctually guarded himself by overly clarifying: “And to stop a N4G [----] storm before it starts: when I say ‘gay’ I mean HOMOSEXUAL. I do NOT mean GAY in a bad way.” (source)

It is obnoxious that someone has a knee-jerk reaction to defend themselves because everything they say will be skewed by a greedy ‘journalist’ just to get clicks and a bigger check at the end of the month.

It does nothing but promote other devs to stay the hell away from online social outlets, as those who choose to speak with their fans get it far, far worse than those who do not.  The ‘journalist’ gets a few more clicks on ad shares at the end of the month and gamers lose future opportunities to speak with their idols and possibly even shape the way the games they love pan out.

Their greed-laced vision and ignorant arrogance enrages me >.>

David Jaffe And Twisted Metal Live at E3 on G4

Just finished watchin’ it.  David showcased the Dollface boss battle and the Sweet Tooth vehicle in all it’s transforming glory.  I did find out that, though the Revenge trailer suggests Sweet Tooth is after Dollface, this boss battle is actually for Mr. Grimm, the motorcycle guy!  Also, it appears every playable character (Tooth, Grim, Doll) will have their own boss ‘form’ that you’ll fight against depending on who you are playing as in the single player campaign (apparently funded by Calypso himself, hmm).   There might also be different bosses depending on if you are playing single player or co-op single player. Interesting.

Jaffe also mentioned that, after you beat Twisted Metal and let the credits role, something new entirely unlocks.  Something the show host joked they could easily have just charged as a DLC, but Eat Sleep Play is very pro-gamer and knows over-charging the customer is just bad all around.

Any more news from E3 will be posted as I hear about it.  I just so happened on Jaffe’s twitter feed that said he was going live in a minute, so I tuned in ^_^

Twisted Metal: Revenge Trailer and Tips From David Jaffe Himself Via Twitter!

First off, have a gander at the new in-game teaser of the Sweet Tooth truck available in-game.  What’s that?  You thought you saw it already when it was running around like a mecha in the official reveal last E3?  View on, my friends!  It has a few more tricks that surprised even me.

She was the one that got away…  She needs to be cut.”

Read the rest of this entry

Twisted Metal (PS3) Release Date Confirmed!

10/4/2011 (Any fan of the series *needs* to watch that teaser trailer of the live action stuffs! I’d embed it, but gametrailers doesn’t seem to like wordpress.)

I am squeeing as loudly as I can about this news.  Of course I’m a guy, so it sounds more like tires squealing than a chew toy getting stepped on, but that perfectly fits this game anyway!

The last time I was this excited over a trailer was Dead Island, and while that video was heavy on the artistry, Twisted Metal’s is high on the action; high on the octane.

Fire, leather, explosions, heavy rock, chainsaws, motorcycles, and ice cream.  Oh yeah…

“…it’s good to be back.”

Minus Minecraft, the last game I purchased myself with actual tangible currency (non-gift card’d, etc.) was probably Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.  After getting burned with Devil May Cry 2, I am very particular on which games I buy.  Based on what I know about this one so far, and who is in charge of it (David Jaffe was my first DAW post, after all ^_^), I am definitely going to pre-order. 

More than likely a Collector’s Edition.

Developer Appreciation Week: David Jaffe

Upon perusing the always fabulous mmogamerchick’s blog, I happened upon this ‘holiday’ of sorts, where gamers of all genres put aside their grievances and jaded past to thank gaming teams or individual developers for all the hard work they do to bring us the games we all enjoy. 

So to take part in this event of sorts, I thought up a few devs whose work I have admired over the years, but the very first one that popped into my head neigh-instantaneously was the fairly warped genius who brought us Twisted Metal and God of War: David Jaffe and the rest of his crew over at Eat Sleep Play.  (As if the title of the post didn’t give this gem away.) 

He thankfully has a very open online presence and just recently has been posting on his blog again after like half a year hiatus.  Cramming content into his newest and most awesome  Twisted Metal took a toll on his blogging, but he has charged head-on into the fray and is back with some killer posts in just under two weeks.

Mr. Jaffe has always been willing to reach out to gamers and has been in contact with fansites such as Twisted Metal Alliance for years before even starting his blog.  He went so far as to include TMA in the thank-you portion of Twisted Metal Black’s credits and offered a few of the nearby members of the site to play test the game before it went retail.  Odds are if you were to check out his twitter feed the only time it isn’t buzzing with really great information and insight is when he is sleeping or eating dinner with his family.

Just recently the Jaff-Man posted a rant to youtube about terrible customer service, which happened to be directed at a near-by Apple store.  (Extremely Language heavy, yee hath been warned.  The dog chilling on the couch in the background is awesome, by the way.) He was very understanding of the worker’s situation, but was astounded by their indecency and incompetence, stating that “there is nothing worse than people who work for a company and don’t put the customer first.”

It speaks a great deal of his work ethic.  He does not have a lofty, elitist outlook on things, he does not expect people just to buy his game because of the brand name on the spine.  He sees them from not only the dev’s perspective, but more importantly from the player’s perspective.  He knows people want to have a great time playing his games and he puts forth all of his effort to make sure they get the best experience possible.  He is a gamer at heart, who happens to be making awesome games that I cannot get enough of.  Heck, my Minecraft avatar is based on a certain homicidal ice cream truck driver.

The resemblance is uncanny...

Thank-you, David Jaffe, and thank-you Eat Sleep Play.  I eagerly await the next Twisted installment, along with whatever else you deranged group of people come up with in the near future.

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