Sep
01

See the rest: Nextround.net

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Aug
27

FD grass

Felicia Day has been one busy girl. I first took notice of her as Vi on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, I am a Whedonite), but this fiery red head has done so much more. She acts, writes, produces, sings, games, and flirts with Warlocks via emote ;). I seem to fall in love with everything she touches and I can’t wait to see more. For those not internet stalking her, let me fill you in on why she is becoming so popular and stealing the hearts of nerds everywhere (with the help of a +5 Dexterity Vest).

1. She games!  Felicia doesn’t fake it and use geekdom as a step to higher celebrity (like many others out there).  She’s part of the culture.  “I had a REALLY bad WOW addiction for almost 2 years. The life of an actor is either very busy or VERY SLOW, and I filled every second of the slow times with WOW. I knew it was bad when I was turning down professional opportunities to run MC with my alt :)”

I had a REALLY bad WOW addiction for almost 2 years. The life of an actor is either very busy or VERY SLOW, and I filled every second of the slow times with WOW. I knew it was bad when I was turning down professional opportunities to run MC with my alt :) Source

2. She’s creative.  She took her internet gaming addiction experience and produced the smash hit web series, The Guild.  If you have ever played an online game, you will be falling out of your chair at all the inside jokes.  Felicia meant it when she said “by gamers for gamers.” (Felicia may or may not have actually said this).

3. She’s smart!  Felicia was home schooled (In your face public school!) all the way until college.  She majored in math (geek!)  She also plays the violin.  Too bad she didn’t go to public high school.  She could have been a hot orchestra club nerd!

Day chose to double major in mathematics and violin performance at the University of Texas at Austin, despite having been accepted to the Juilliard School of Music. She graduated with the highest honors, having a 4.0 GPA. She was also the student speaker at her department’s convocation.  Source

Fd brainiac4. She’s cute!  Don’t believe me?  Watch the music video for “Do You Wanna Date My Avatar”  or the musical episode from “The Legend of Neil.” (This reminds me – add ‘sings’ to that list on the top)  Felicia may not have the looks of a super model, but that’s why we love her.  She cute and quirky and looks like the girl next door.  Mom would be so proud!  Just don’t tell her about doing it dragon style… hopefully your not having a conversation with your mother where that might slip out anyways… weird.

5. She is always at it.  The Guild is in its third season.  It is already available on Xbox Live, while the rest of us wait patiently for it to appear on the interwebs…  (Is it here yet?)  In addition to The Guild, she is working on a new project with Machinima.com.  Details of this new project are scarce, but it looks promising.  Machinima is a new medium for web series, which has spawned such hits as “Red vs. Blue.”

Felicia has been working hard and making some real gems.  She has stayed true to herself and her geeky roots and that is exactly how she has carved out a little place in the hearts on gamers and fellow geeks everywhere.  Keep your eye on her because Felicia Day is headed places.

Links

feliciaday.com

IMDB.com

watchtheguild.com

wikipedia.com

Aug
26

Source: Flickr.com

Photographer: DD240sx

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Aug
25

SWTOR

Bioware Austin announced Star Wars: The Old Republic at a press conference on October 27, 2007.  The game is one of the most anticipated in years.  It follows Star Wars Galaxies (the first SW MMORPG) from Sony.  Bioware is the company behind the hugely popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series.  There are plenty of informative articles about this game already available on the net, but there are several key things about this game that I want to discuss.  Because it will effect my bias towards this game, I want to say that I am a Star Wars fan, I played Galaxies for years (and actually liked it) and was never a huge fan of KOTOR.

The Positive

  1. Game Engine.  This game uses the Hero Engine.  This is an advanced game engine which will bring a new and unique feel to the game.  It offers loads of customization options for characters and is the key to the games “Consequence System” BW is so proud of (I’ll get to that).  This is also an important feature because it utilizes new technology that allows developers from different regions to work simultaneously on the server, greatly decreasing production time.  The fact that BW is not creating their own game engine from the ground up is also noteworthy because that will most likely save development time and money.
  2. Its Star Wars.  I love the idea of a Star Wars MMO because the universe is perfect for it.  Star Wars has always had that adventurist spirit because the world is so big and filled with mystery.  Its a great place for Role Playing because there are so many options and any story can be realistic.
  3. Visuals.  I am NOT a fan of the cartoon-ish graphics of games like WOW, and when BW started tossing around the phrase “stylized” I got worried.  However, the further this game gets in development, the more I like what I see.  It doesn’t have the realistic(ish) graphics that Galaxies has, but they look refreshing and new.  The landscapes are beautiful.  One thing about galaxies I did not like was the dull and drab landscapes, and BW has done a good job on what I have seen so far.
  4. Voice Acting.  BW is really pulling out all the stops to make this an extremely immersive game.  Detailed cut scenes and the largest voice acting job in a video game to date really drive that point home
  5. Consequences/Story.  If you have ever played a BW game before, you know that they revolve around story.  Most MMOs lately have tried so hard to appeal to the mass market, that they have taken a lot of the consequences out of the game.  You never really make a decision you are going to have to live with, post character creation.  BW plans on changing that:

As an attempt to appeal to a broader and broader audience, consequence has left gaming,” he lamented. “Everything is very low impact and there’s no real negative result that can occur. We’re going to start bringing that back but in a rational way, a way that doesn’t punish the player — but puts them on the spot. You have some level of choice in who you hang out with and what quests you go on. But once you go on a quest, you don’t have a sense of a choice. Your job is to get me some of these, get me five of these and bring it back. They’re often very unabashed in their mundane [approach to player choice].” Source

The Concerns

  1. Not enough MMO in my MMORPG.  BW is very very VERY concerned about story.  In fact it is all they have been talking about.  If I didn’t already know this was going to be an MMO, there is no evidence out there that it is.  I will admit that at this early stage of development, its entirely possible that we will hear more before the game comes out, but I am ready for them to stop talking about story.  I get it already.
  2. There is mass hysteria around the interwebs that the game will not cater to Role Players (like me).  We are die hard gamers and although we make up a minority, we have a big voice and are not above stomping our feet and holding our breath.  Things like dedicated crafting classes, a player driven economy, highly customizable items/clothes and general role player tools (emotes, cantinas, housing, guilds, player cities, etc…) could possibly be missing from this game.  The RP community is worried that BW is so concerned with telling a good story that they will forget many of us like to take a break and role play in our role playing game.  This is something Galaxies did extremely well and many Star Wars fans who enjoyed that aspect of the game are really eager to see if TOR will deliver.
  3. Simple/Linear Character Development.  I know we haven’t even seen the release of all the classes yet.  (So far we have Trooper, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Jedi and Sith with 3 classes yet to be revealed.  That gives us 4 classes per faction.  We don’t know what kind of progression there will be but hopefully it will have a lot of options.  One of the things I disliked about Lord of the Rings Online was that the character development was completely linear.  Every Champion was exactly the same as every other champion.  In SWG (pre-NGE) there were limitless choices and combinations that really made the player feel unique, which is great for immersion and role play.

To Conclude

I’m really looking forward to this game.  BioWare has a great reputation for making RPGs and seems to be taking their time and trying to do things right as they enter the MMO world.  All my concerns for the game stem from the fact that I am a die hard role player.  BioWare seemingly loves to torture me by not saying word about that aspect yet, which makes me nervous and twitchy.  If the game does end up released as basically a single player game with a subscription fee, I will still most likely be checking it out.  It just won’t be the RPG replacement I’ve been waiting for.

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Aug
24

I swear I am not on an anti-Facebook crusade here, but I just found this article on CNN and I had to share it.  I’m going to shamelessly copy the 12 types here because, fankly, I can’t say it better:

The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. “I’m waking up.” “I had Wheaties for breakfast.” “I’m bored at work.” “I’m stuck in traffic.” You’re kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn’t mean we all want to know when you’re waiting for the bus.

The Self-Promoter. OK, so we’ve probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.

The Friend-Padder. The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies — you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway — might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 “friends?” Unless you’re George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That’s just showing off.

The Town Crier. “Michael Jackson is dead!!!” You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.

The TMIer. “Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids.” Boundaries of privacy and decorum don’t seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.

The Bad Grammarian. “So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe”. Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.

The Sympathy-Baiter. “Barbara is feeling sad today.” “Man, am I glad that’s over.” “Jim could really use some good news about now.” Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks — baited with vague tales of woe — in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.

The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you’ll be talking to them and they’ll mention something you posted, so you know they’re on your page, hiding in the shadows. It’s just a little creepy.

The Crank. These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn’t complain about. “Carl isn’t really that impressed with idiots who don’t realize how idiotic they are.” [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.

The Paparazzo. Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone’s posted a photo of you from last weekend’s party — a photo you didn’t authorize and haven’t even seen? You’d really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.

The Maddening Obscurist. “If not now then when?” “You’ll see…” “Grist for the mill.” “John is, small world.” “Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not.” [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you’re not being mysterious — just nonsensical.

The Chronic Inviter. “Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which ‘Star Trek’ character are you? Here are the ‘Top 5 cars I have personally owned.’ Here are ’25 Things About Me.’ Here’s a drink. What drink are you? We’re related! I took the ‘What President Are You?’ quiz and found out I’m Millard Fillmore! What president are you?”

So there you have it.  I think the author sums this up pretty well.  In fact, I think he and I have the exact same friends…  Check out the original story at CNN.com

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