This last weekend we had some guild drama. So our guild has never been big, and many in our guild do not want it to be big (leaders included). It is a rule free, fairly rank free guild, that by design is meant to limit the drama and strangers (some might call this family oriented).
I went to the GLS Conference this past week. I wanted to start going to more conferences so that can network better and chose this particular one because it was here in town so that I didn’t have to worry about paying for hotel stay and travel arrangements and such. This conference is a small conference which really focuses on how games can be used for learning purposes and how they teach players how to use the game. This is a topic that I find somewhat interesting, however it is a very base interest. I mostly like when they talk about the games or the social aspects of games because I find that more interesting being in the MMO field myself. However a good majority of the field seems more interested in the learning so I do pick up stuff here and there.
The Conference itself is mostly used as a forum for students, professors, and other teachers, however there are some more mainstream developers and writers as well. This year’s speakers included a writer from the New York Times, a game critic from the New York Times, a couple of writers/designers from GameLab, Pathfinder Linden from Linden Labs (Second Life), and some guy that works at the company that made There.com. Rich Vogel (of Ultima Online fame) and Jeff Briggs (one of the producers of the Civ series) were also supposed to attend, however they both did not which was a major upset for me as I was really looking forward to both of them.
All this said the two day event had its ups and downs.
The ups were that the food was fairly good, though some was questionable. I was mostly disappointed that the beverages were weird (tea, milk and coffee). The snacks between sessions were great (nummy cookies, muffins and fruit). The Monona Terrace was beautiful as expected, though surprisingly small considering how big it seems and how much of a fuss was made over it, though I understand that part of that is meant as a transportation hub too. Several speakers were very good, I liked the two NYT speakers, as well as Constance Steinkuehler, and Katie Salen from Gameslab was absolutely amazing (she is seriously underrated, I put her up with Will Wright as far as speakers on games concerns). I got to meet plenty of people, including a couple in town I plan on hooking up with over the next week or so (and incidentally got myself pictured a couple times in Mark Chen’s blog.)
The downs really was the lack of the two that I was looking forward to seeing, as well as the lack of much strictly about games and even society to a lesser degree. It really is a meeting meant for people studying learning which just isn’t what I am into. I also had some issues apparently with paying. I thought I did back when I registered, and now they are telling me I did not so I don’t know how exactly that works. What makes it worse is that now they want to charge me the full price instead of the early entry price that I should have paid. This sucks only because I thought I had paid.
Would I go again? I don’t know. For networking purposes I suppose I would. What makes this decision more difficult is next years I will not be a student anymore so I will have to pay more. This makes it far less worth going to. For the student price, I think it is worth it for the networking, the food, the cool location and the about one session each day that was really worth the while. I don’t know if I will go again next year, depends on my situation. But I will definitely think about it.
I recently have been playing Uplink which you can get off Steam for about $10. This game is an older game made by an indie development team I think around 2000 or 2001. The game is really genius. It puts you in the role of a hacker working for some weird hacker corporation. You take out contracts from corporations who want to sabotage people and companies, steal and destroy data, and start viruses. You then go out with these contracts, break into the target system, and do the task envolved.
Well it has been a few weeks now since I got pokemon. I did want to mention from the previous post that I also do like their touch functionality. I’ve heard alot of reviews complain that they didn’t really utilize it, but I feel for a game like Pokemon that it was good. Some reviewers need to really keep in mind that not every game must use every feature on the DS in order for it to be good. Just because it doesn’t use the touch screen to do zany things, or the mic for weird voice recognition doesn’t mean that it would be better if it did. That being said, the touch recognition is mostly for using items and stuff, and it works great. My fingers get tired of using the d-pad all the time and it offers them a break. My main complaint is that they could have done a bit more, I would have actually liked a d-pad on the touch screen largely because of the hurt the d-pad can put on your fingers when you run around in circles so much. I would have also liked to see them have like a list of commonly used items instead of just their y registration so that if I have 5 items I have easy access to all instead of just 1. Still it is overall really good, and touches like bread making and mining with the touch really add the zaney parts to it that work.
The game itself has been fine. I am up to the final four, and have gotten my Diagla. But as usual in Pokemon games I am stuck at the final four because they are always 20 levels above me when I get them and I HATE grinding my pokemon up that much. What I will have to do is go around and look at what pokemon I haven’t caught and try to go and get them. I have also been concentrating a tad more on the berries so that I can make some bread, but that is a low priority.
Overall, I’m still happy with the game. Though I feel there isn’t quite enough new creatures. Early every creature seemed to be new. But after the first few areas they repeated a lot of those new pokemon quite a lot (I still see their beaver one in high level areas), and they also have a ton of overly used older pokemon like Machop, GeoDude, zubat, etc. That to be honest considering how common they are in EVERY game, I am bit tired of these guys. I would have liked to see more of the new ones from Gold/Silver (many of which haven’t been seen since) and Ruby/Sapphire, just to increase the variety a tad. I think the number of new ones in this title is still fine, they just need to do a better job at keeping some of the more common ones from newer versions in, and keeping a fresh recycle of commons.
I got the final pieces to my new computer last Thursday and then promptly got it set up. I was up till midnight the first night and I went to bed with the happy knowledge that I got it up and running with Windows cleanly running. Actually the whole process went fairly smoothly. I had a couple hiccups, but all the pieces worked perfectly and once I made sure all the power connectors were hooked up, it was up within minutes. Read more “New Computer”