Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It's like my birthday, only better

I am super excited. Not only are all the components of my new computer arriving today (I'll post pictures later) but I've just learned that a single-player demo for GRAW 2 is now available on XBOX Live Marketplace.

Maranda and I never got around to finishing it, but we did have a 360P games of the year post going a while back in draft form (maybe I should finish that up?). The original GRAW was my runner-up for Game of the Year. I really loved the online co-op play in that game and all my friends are super excited for the March release of GRAW 2.

The great thing about GRAW was that they really nailed all the important features to online play. Good achievements, split-screen over live, character customization, and fun gameplay. I am literally giddy thinking about the mysterious improvements they're adding in the next installment of the Ghost Recon franchise.

Also, 360 Prophecy episode #13 production is well underway. You can expect to see it on (hopefully) mid-February.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week of Vista

I know, I know, we're console gamers and we don't care about our PC brethren. But you know what? You should. The launch of the (very) long awaited Windows Vista operating system, along with games like Shadowrun, will help us prove once and for all that shooters can be played on a console and we can do it just as well. Live Anywhere? Can't wait.

We've previously established that I am in the market for a new PC. Well I've also just finished my pre-order for Vista Home Premium ($139CAD Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit OEM @ My new PC parts should be arriving at several points during the week, I'll take some pics of my new monster box during the building process. Until then, see you on live!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Just a quick FYI

You guys rock, you really do. I mean, I want to help you but there just isn't anything I can do! There seems to be a slight misconception about who I work for. And when I say "slight", I mean a couple dozen people asking me to get them Halo 3 beta invites.

I do not work for Microsoft, I am not a contractor working for Microsoft. I am, in fact, a gamer just like you! I have no way of getting you an invite for the Halo 3 beta. If you really want in, I highly suggest checking out Crackdown (a demo was made available yesterday). It's a really fun game and specially marked boxes are going to include entry into the coveted Halo 3 multiplayer beta. See you on live!

Friday, January 19, 2007

360P Ep 12: Lost Planet

Episode 12 of 360 Prophecy has gone live on today. The topic of choice is Capcom's Lost Planet with, of course, a Canadian twist.

There has always been something about snow games that has always bothered me. Maybe it's because I hate snow. Do people in the tropics hate snow? Do they know they should hate snow? The only positive thing about snow is that after you spend nearly three decades living with snow, you kind of become immune to it.

Check the comic here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

XCT Concept Images

I put together some concept header images for the new XBOX Canada Tournaments website run by my good friend Greenskull and posted them to my Flickr page. He's got a thread going on at the XBOX Canada forums if you're interested in giving it a go. Check all the images here.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I knew I gave this up for a reason

Now, I haven’t always been an XBOX gamer. In fact, I only recently switched joining the XBOX gamer ranks late in the original XBOX’s late lifecycle. Before that fateful day I was a hardcore PC gamer. Like most switchers, I left my custom gaming rig behind because I was tired of having to constantly pay to upgrade my box so I could run the latest and greatest games.

I say it was a custom box because, indeed, I did build it myself. You see, I’m what’s known as an A+ Certified Computer Technician. Of course, every true tech out there will tell you that the only thing A+ means is that you can open up a case without poking your eye out with a screwdriver.

So, my computer (which I create all of my comics on) has slowly become obsolete over the years since I haven’t put any money into it. Today I was fortunate enough to receive payment for a contact I was working on. After some discussion with my better half I have decided to drop a portion of it on a new computer.

Confident in my old knowledge of computers (now over five years old) I went to an online retailer with visions of selecting all my parts and building my new PC. Here’s how that went:

“There are how many socket types now?!”
“WTF is SATA?!”
“PCI-E???! What happened to AGP!!!?”
“Core Duo E6400? Why don’t these things have GHz specs??!”
“Who is Conroe?”
“320GB… THAT’S HUGE!!!!”

… and on and on and on…The land has changed since I was last building computers. After that horrifying experience I called up a friend who (while laughing at me) walked me through the paces of selecting all my components… which will be assembled by the nice people at the retailer. I’m just too afraid of breaking something to do it myself.

I guess it really is true, “You can never go home again”.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Episode 12 on it's way

Just wrapped up episode 12 and sent if off to XBOX Canada's mobile space command center. It should be arriving on a website near you sometime this week.

The interesting thing about this comic is that it marks my first attempt at digital painting. Being a designer, I never have to really use painting for anything. Mostly clients want lots of flat colour, or subtle gradients. Painting is out of the question. It's nothing major in this comic, mind you... just the background and I know it isn't very good but it is progress. I'm going to continue to paint the backgrounds (and do some studies too) and we'll see how I come along. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple iPhone

In case you haven’t heard, and I admit this is the last blog you should check for information on gadgetry, Apple has finally introduced the iPhone.

The crowd goes wild.

I can’t say that I’m a huge supporter of Apple. To be honest, while I find their products to be phenomenal, their restrictive DRM gets in the way of my everyday life and I do my best to avoid the iTunes store as often as I can. It is products like the iPhone that just may change all that.

A funny thing happened here at the office after it was announced; a conglomerate of geeks appeared in our break room to discuss this new marvel. Unanimously agreed to be the hit of CES. Many things were said in that impromptu gathering and I’d like to bring a few of them up here.

We pretty much all agreed that if this doesn’t change cell phones forever, nothing well. But dammit, it better change because the truth is here. Cell phones are a stagnate industry where they obviously employ too many engineers and not enough designers and no one ever thinks of the end user. You can darn well be sure they’re starting to think about it now. Apple has done what they do best; they’ve created a killer (and expensive) product that will no doubt be imitated to death… and that’s what excites me. As a professional designer, following Apple is a must. They are one of the definitive trend setters when it comes to many aspects of design: industrial design and human interfacing stand out. Where they blaze a path, others will follow and stumble along hoping that maybe, one day, they’ll creating something half as good.

So wake up cell phone industry, Apple has spoken and they’ve shown you the future. It is, quite literally, time to think different.