Monday, July 28, 2008

New Pics on Flickr

I just uploaded new photos on my Flickr.

That is just a sampling of the 12 new photos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Eden of Vacation (Filler, really!)

I really don't have a lot to say.
  • I still love my new laptop
  • The government is presenting the new Health Authority organisational structure to the employees on the 30th (possible news on my job)
  • I'm on vacation
  • If you have a PS3 and have access to the PSN Store, you have to get the PixelJunk: Eden Demo!!!
I was serious when I said I didn't have a lot to say...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Kung Fu Panda - Art Book

As a fan of 3D Movies (and anything 3D Related since I started playing around and learning Maya), and as a Multimedia Designer; I owed it to myself to get an Art Book. Kung Fu Panda being my all-time favorite CG Movie, I had to get The Art of Kung Fu Panda.

It's an amazing Book. I've read and looked at numerous Movie and Game Art Books and this is one of the two best I've ever seen (along with the Okami Art Book I got Stéphanie for her graduation).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My New Baby!!!

It's official, I have a laptop. I got myself a Dell XPS M1530. Great specs for the price I wanted to pay.

Basic Specs
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 (2.4GHz)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 320GB Hard Drive at 7200RPM
  • Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT (256MB Video)
I did reformat the laptop already to take control over the factory-partitions and get rid of the Bloatware. I'm currently tweaking vista and then going to create a disc image and I'm good to go.

I love this laptop a lot!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer of Booty

It's official - Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty is coming out... this summer for $14.99 off the PSN Store.

Following the events of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, we're going to see Ratchet's search for Clank in a game that focuses on platforming, exploration and puzzles.

The game will contain answers about Clank's "abduction" by the Zonis.

...and yes, it's made by Insomniac Games!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Project Calendar - Calendar Rows

I don't have a computer, but it doesn't stop me from thinking.

Something I hadn't done in my prototypes was to have a dynamic number of rows (calendar Weeks) depending on the number of days. When I was developing the prototypes, I tried to come up with a logic for this but couldn't find it. I wasn't in that "mode", I guess.

For some reason, while playing [PS2] Ratchet: Deadlocked, it hit me. You know when something is too simple or easy that it becomes hard? Well, this is one of those instances.

calendarWeeks = rows in the calendar.

calendarWeeks ← ceil((daysInMonth + offset) / 7) - 1

I'm using "ceiling" and "-1" to be as logical as possible, without logical-shortcuts. If you think about it, let's say you have 31 days in a certain month + an offset of 1, devided by 7. You end up with 4.5714. You can't have half of a row, so you end up with 5 rows, which works. But, in my algorithm, the Rows loop starts at 0 for the calculation of currentDay, therefore the logic behind "-1" (from 0 to 4 is 5 rows).

Friday, July 11, 2008

LocoRoco 2 and Patapon 2

This is the month of great gaming news. Two of the most unique PSP games are making a comeback. That's right, SCEJ, through Famitsu, recently revealed Patapon 2 and LocoRoco 2.

Patapon 2
Expect bigger battles, new units (at least one flying unit), and even multiplayer with up to four players.

LocoRoco 2 and Screenshots
New challenges, new music, new bosses, and new abilities.

I need to start a new LocoRoco game now ;)...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Hate Arount Diablo III's Artistic Direction

For years, Diablo fans have waited for any signs of a sequel to the amazing Diablo II. Proof that you cannot please everyone, now that we know the game officially exists, there are some "self-proclaimed" Diablo-fans that are complaining about the color-palette of the game. I'm serious...

There's an Online Petition with over 17,000 signatures already. Funny thing is that there are a few "counter" Petitions, such as this one.

The "complainers" claim that the artistic direction of the game is not faithful to the serie's

I am quite disturbed by this, as a Multimedia Designer, a gamer, and a Diablo fan. My first remark is that the game is still a "Work in Progress". Not a lot of people remember the pre-release screenshots of Diablo II in the desert... I do... It was very bright with saturated light/spell effects. In essence, the petition is for Blizzard to finish their unfinished game. Not very smart.

Think of this other thing: Have online-petitions ever changed anything? Uwe Boll anyone? Blizzard has a company/community Forums, they have various email addresses. It's not impossible to contact them. An online-petition is not the best way to be heard. It's one of the best way to get humiliated or ignored.

The thing that bothers me the most is they don't even stop and think of why there are brighter and more saturated colors. As a designer I know this fact: "Bright colors are your friend!" I'm not the only one that knows this. Pretty much any designer or artist with a basic color theory course knows this. Keith Lee, ex-Insomniac Games employee and currently the Lead Producer of Diablo III at Blizzard, was recently interviewed by Tracey John of MTv Multiplayer. My favorite quote of the whole interview is this:
“One of the things that we considered when we were working on the visuals for ‘Diablo III’ is the fact that color is your friend. We feel that color actually helps to create a lot of highlights in the game so that there is contrast. A great analogy is like in ‘Lord of the Rings’ — not everything is dark. It allows you to see what a creepy dungeon can be like but if everything is dark it doesn’t allow you to have a lot of contrast.”
The main claim of the petition is that they want the Diablo III Universe to be "Gothic", "Cryptic/shadowy dungeons". But if you think about the use of color and the application from a design point-of-view, you need contrast. Especially for the kind of gameplay Diablo offers. Devil May Cry is "gothic" and "shadowy", but still makes a good use of lighting and saturated color. It's a must-have if you want a playable game. Not everything needs to be dark and brown, just look at Lord of the Rings.

It makes no sense to me that with the very first screenshot ever released of the game that there are some people already complaining, especially with the number of years Diablo-fans had to wait for an announcement. Regardless of the humiliation or waste of energy the "petitioners" are going to face, I know one thing. Diablo III looks delicious (yes, delicious) and I will be buying the game on day-1.

No Computer = More Gaming Time?

I officially sold my computer Saturday. As a result, I've been playing a lot of video games (consoles) since. I purchased Secret Agent Clank in the weekend and rented Resistance: Fall of Man. I won't be getting a computer before mid-August for sure, so I have quite a lot of gaming time on my hands.

I thought back on my "gaming commitment" post and thought of my gaming-backlog and things I would like to complete. In no perticular order (except for the first few):
  • Complete 1st playthrough of [PSP] Secret Agent Clank
  • Complete New Save File of [Wii] Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  • Complete [PS2] Ratchet: Deadlocked 100%
  • Complete [PSP] Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters 100%
  • Complete [PS3] Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction 100%
  • Complete [PSP] Secret Agent Clank 100%
  • Finish [PSP] Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
  • Unlock Bloody Palace in [PS3] Devil May Cry 4
  • Finish Hard Career on [PS3] Guitar Hero III
  • Progress in [PSP] Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
I don't have months of free time in front of me, so it's fair to say that some objectives won't even be touched, but it's going to be fun. I have three weeks of vacation somewhere in there.