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Twinsen Canceled
Posted on November 28, 2008 at 01:05

That's right, breaking my tradition of one word titles, partly because this is a significant announcement and partly because if I stuck to only one word I'd have to go with "Canceled" and fewer people would bother to check what project has been dropped.

So yeah, this wasn't the easiest decision, but it was ultimately inevitable.
Basically we were at a point where our lack of planning was making things difficult and it was getting too restricting to work as a "fan-game."

We also decided that since Twinsen is now canned, we might as well release the current build, flaws 'n all:

Please keep in mind it is obviously not finished, there are plenty of flaws and bugs (nothing rendering the game unplayable though), we are aware of all problems, and since we have dropped this project there is no need to report them.
We still of course appreciate feedback.

So that's about it, I just wanted to keep this short to let you guys know.
Also, I think I may start blogging again because well.. something new is taking Twinsen's place...


Posted on May 21, 2008 at 07:30

Okay, okay, I'm writing, I'm writing...

I didn't mean to put off writing another entry for so long after getting back. (I arrived home about 10 days ago)

It's not that I was waiting for Cocopuffs to do something to add worth to an update (he actually has done some stuff tho. )
It's that I did so much stuff in the states that I've been putting off writing my inevitable long blog.

But that time has come, so I'll get right into it.

The week before we left I had work 7 days in a row, all PM shifts so it kinda messed up my sleeping schedule more than normal and the night before we left I was up till about 6am watching Freaks and Geeks. (awesome show)
But that's all good, made me tired for the 12 hour flight to LA even though I didn't actually sleep on the flight, I watched like 8 movies.

So LA huh?
Yeah, first thing I noticed is how the traffic never stops, even in the busiest part of town here you'd still find at least a 10 second gap to cross the road.. and that reminds me, half the crossings have timers.. now that's something we should have too.
Also, the sky is really grey in California, man what a ton of pollution, and at night you can barely see a single star.

We were only in Cali for 2 days, the first of which we spent at Universal Studios.
Which actually, was pretty cool.
I'd say the tour was the best, you get to see stuff like the Delorean, Jaws, a bunch of sets I did actually recognize.
And they take you through a few sets that flood with water, explode, fall apart, all kinds of cool stuff.
Oh, I should mention, they have these long ass escalators from one part to the other, and they have speakers playing TV show themes and two hosts encouraging people on the escalators to yell out the name of the show if they recognize the theme song.
So the theme to friends is playing and I'm sure everyone on the escalators knew it, knew that everyone else knew it, and didn't want to act like they thought they'd impress anyone with their extensive knowledge about a show that's still being re-run for the 15th time.
So my mum yells out "The Monkees!!!"
And I was standing right behind her, so I just turned around and walked down the escalator.

I would ask if the Monkees even had a show, but 10 seconds on IMDB says, yes, they did.

So I kinda blocked out the rest of the day from that point on, and the next day we spent at Disney's California Adventure.
And well.. meh.
The rides were alright, some were so small my knees stuck out and I got bad cramps.
Some were cool like the twilight tower that just throws you up and down in an escalator, and the roller coaster, I rode those two twice to make sure I.. didn't forget them I guess.
But overall, I felt like I was too old, I'm not even 20 yet and there were plenty of people older than me.
I guess it's just that basically every kid dreams about going, and when you finally do go, you stopped dreaming about it a long time ago.
But hey, there's Disney Land ticked off my list.

Oh and about 10 minutes after we arrived at our hotel we went for a walk and saw a dude riding a bike get hit by a car, an ambulance came 'n everything.

Then we flew to Vegas, we stayed at the Circus Circus hotel which was pretty cool, they have the largest indoor theme park in the world, but after Universal Studios and Disney Land who cares.
There isn't much to say about Vegas, it was probably the most sobering of all, I'm 19 so the main attraction goes out the window.
But I did walk down the strip sipping a margarita (tick) and every 100 feet or so there's a group of usually Mexicans or Latinos handing out 'escort' cards.
The roads are seriously covered in them, I think it's safe to say they're doing their job.
Just walking around Vegas isn't that fun, there are some really cool buildings and stuff, but just about everyone else walking round is a tourist, I couldn't help but think about how miserable the people working there are.
The best part of Vegas was the Hard Rock Cafe, not only was the food awesome, but they had so much cool stuff on the walls, hand written letters, the massive painting of Hendrix done in the time it took him to play a song was especially cool.
I also bought a bunch of cool stuff for my friends and coworkers there.

One of those days in Vegas we took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon, the tour there was actually pretty good, we had this cool guy... Mike driving the bus and he just had so many things to say.
He would answer any question, like what's that bird over there and he'd not just know the name- but list it's wing span, preferred prey, how long they live, etc.
When we finally arrived it is pretty amazing, you definitely don't get the same experience from a photo or video, but at the same time it's so huge it looks like a painting.
We spent 6 days in Vegas, which honestly was too long, there isn't really 6 days worth of things to do when you can't gamble.

So fast forward to our flight to New York. (Ja Rule was in first class btw)
I had a bunch of loud Italians behind me (they started off the landing applause (don't you hate that!?) and basically yelled "bravo")
They kept pulling and pushing on my seat to look out the window and stand up for no reason.

New York is cool, but it is also basically a Mall.
From the airport we had one of the worst drivers in NY, I know you're thinking they're all pretty bad in NY and I'm just not used to it, nah, he was fucking crazy.
He crammed as many people into our shuttle bus as possible and damaged all of our luggage, he nearly hit so many people and made turns so very very late.
He of course turned down our $1 tip.

We stayed at the Pennsylvania Hotel right across the street from Madison Square Garden where there was more often than not some performance going on outside.
We were supposed to be in two 2 double-bed rooms, but when we arrived the guy had to 'downgrade' us into a one 2 double-bed room and a 3 single-bed rooms.
There were only six of us so it wasn't a big deal, so we checked out the one double-bed room they still had for us, and then we checked out the 3 single-bed room.
And the single bed room was anything but a downgrade.
It was 2 rooms with the wall knocked out, walk in wardrobe, bigger bathroom, bigger TV, fridge, couches.
So we kinda went over what we'd say if they tried to add any 'upgrade fees'.
I'm just gonna list the things I did in NY:

Rode horse cart through Central Park
Saw several commercials being made in time square and central park.
Went up to the top of the Empire State building
Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Went to the New York Comedy Club.
Went to the Wax Museum.
Went to ground zero.
Went to a ton of shops and delis.
Used the subway and taxis many times.
Went to the Late Show with David Letterman, I was the last person they let in, it was the one with Robert Downey Jr (Ironman) and Alicia Keys, you might have seen me during the camera sweep of the audience during commercial lol.
Also, my brothers girlfriend was asked if she wanted to be on the show in Rupert's Hello Deli, she agreed and waited in there, but they decided not to run the skit, or game, or whatever they had planned and she came back to the audience.

I think that's every significant thing I did in NY, the comedy club was really cool too. These girls were having a sweet sixteen there and half the jokes every comedian made was about them.

After eight days in New York we caught a train to Indiana, a roughly 30 hour ride.
Which sucked sucked sucked.
It's like riding in noisy turbulence the whole way on a really long flight.
Sitting at a dining table in a train eating pretty bad and definitely overpriced food is not fun, but (tick) I guess.
And there was this loud walrus woman sitting across the isle to us, she snored like she was choking for about half the ride so I only slept about 30 minutes, but I know in those 30 minutes I dreamed about stomping her face in.
Admittedly the first few hours in daylight were alright, the chairs were comfy, we went over plenty of rivers, and through plenty of towns. But once it turned to night and she started snoring...
Also there was a psychopath on the train, like he was probably fleeing New York after a triple homicide or something.
He went crazy at anyone who came near him, made a girl cry and stared intensely at people sleeping.
So when we finally got the hell off that train we had to catch 2 taxis to the airport where our rental car was waiting.
One thing I really like about America is how easy it is to find a taxi, 6 people with 10 suitcases requires planning here in New Zealand, but it only requires a few minutes on the corner of an intersection in America.
We hadn't done any driving until we got the rental car and my dad was the only one of us who was going to, we drove around the car lot for a while until he got used to driving on the other side of the road, I would say he got used to having a footbrake instead of a handbrake, but he didn't- when we stopped for petrol (it's twice the price here btw) we slowly rolled away until he noticed.
We drove from Indiana to Terre Haute (I think I spelled that right) as the sun rose behind us, it was bright red and looked really cool.
James and Pina have a big place that used to be a frat house I think, they have two other roommates, one's dad came to visit for a night and it still wasn't cramped.
Terre Haute was my favourite of the whole trip because I was looking forward to seeing James and Pina again, plus it was really normal.
The people walking around aren't tourists too, no constant crazy traffic, no one getting hit off their bikes, the sky's blue, the homeless aren't abusive.
We actually did quite a bit in Indiana.
We met the people James and Pina have come to known, went to a BBQ with them all, went to their Graduation (they did play that classic graduation music) (one dude was naked under his robe), we did almost as much shopping as in NY, the prices are so much lower there and the stores are so much more bearable.
We went to the indi 500 track, we actually snuck through security and drove on the F1 track until we decided to turn around, this was obviously the highlight for my dad, he wanted to keep driving.
It is really surprising how huge it is inside, there's also a really cool museum with a ton of cars that look like they're straight out of speed racer.
We went to the smallest theater I've ever been in, we saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall which was unsurprisingly pretty awesome.
It had Jason Segel from Freaks and Geeks (he always seems to play very emotionally unstable characters (see Undeclared also)), yeah a really good movie.

I think I've touched on about every part of the trip, but I'll just go through some of the things that are very different to what I'm used to or what I was expecting.

First, the people.
Americans that come to New Zealand don't give the best impression, and every medium seems to remind me that America is a terrible place with terrible people.
But it's not, even the fakest places like Disney Land and Vegas had helpful happy people and service much better than anything here, sure the tips are probably behind the service, but still.
And in New York, if you stop to look at a map, more often than not someone will ask you if you need help, everyone I asked for directions offered as much help as they could, and everyone seemed so happy.

The food.
American food sucks, pretty much every aspect of it is incredibly inferior to New Zealand food.
The bread tastes like it's covered in sugar and feels like it's gone stale, the tomatoes are freaks of nature, the milk keeps for 2 weeks, I don't know what the hell was in those mashed potatoes, KFC is garbage, even subway was pretty sickening.
Of course, food in restaurants was nice, and a few places like Arby's were pretty good.

Pepsi and Coke.
What's going on there, it's like some states are Pepsi states and some are Cocacola states, Pepsi is a borderline failure here. Plus American coke is way richer and hard to burp without foam coming back up my throat.

While the $1 note is cool, I kinda hated all the coins, is it the smallest coin is worth 10c and you also have 1c coins?
I ended up with like 40 1c coins because whenever I tried to get rid of them no one would fuckin' accept them.
We used to have 5c coins but we got rid of them because even they were annoying, no one really wants them anyways.
Also, everything is way way way cheaper in America, the more expensive stores were basically regular prices here, games usually cost at least $100 here, and some are as low as $20 in Gamestop, but since there's regions n everything that is basically just a slap in the face.
Eating out is way cheaper, even with tips it's like stealing, clothes are like 4 times the price here, I bought 3 pairs of shoes for what would cost less than 1 pair of shoes here.
Hats for like $10, shirts for around $20, pants for around $30.
And like I said earlier, petrol is twice the price here.

But really, the biggest surprise was the people, that one driver in New York was the only bad experience we had with someone.

Since getting back I haven't done a whole lot.
We had the backyard almost re-landscaped while we were away and Jazz has to stay out while the grass grows, so I set up a wall around the side of the house and she'll have to stay in that area for a month or so.
She was ridiculously happy when we went to get her from the kennels, I actually filmed her patented happy dance.
I might upload it to youtube or something if you guys are interested.

Basically, I've just gotten back into the regular routine, I did buy some new games too.
Sonic & the secret rings was 60% off, No More Heroes is too awesome to skip, and I bought Mario Kart just yesterday. (your jedi mind trick did not work, at least not fully)
Sonic isn't that bad, it's pretty broken and unpolished, but there is a decent amount of fun to be had.
No More Heroes is pure awesomeness, it's like they went back to NES days and thought what those developers thought 3D games might end up like, there's no blood in the NZ version which sucks (cutscenes are also toned down) and there isn't a whole lot to the city, basically suda51 could've just replaced it with a menu, but I appreciate they put in the effort to make a town that wasn't really necessary.
Mario Kart is better than I was expecting, Gametrailers kinda slammed it in their review, and the wii-wheel has gotten very mixed feedback, personally- I love it, it works like an absolute charm and it's kinda got me back into need for speed carbon again.
The only thing I'd say is a definite negative is the weapons, they really have gotten to the point where they absolutely rule the game.
It pays to hang back until the last lap just to avoid a pummeling for the first two.
I think it's about time Nintendo included the options to disable specific items, or at least turn all items completely on/off.
Online is actually, really good.
I've already spent probably 5 hours racing (haven't even done a battle with bots yet) it's a lot more fun with people when you or they do something stupid, also downloading ghost data is fun, some people are insanely good at this game.
Tricks, bikes, even the new drifting are all good in my books.

My Mario Kart FC is:
Leave a comment with your FC if you want me to add you.

And I've kinda gotten back into Galaxy again, hunting down those last few stars.

Oh and one last kicker, I've finally checked out the Twilight Hack and have been playing snes9x on my Wii, and guess what game I've been playing.
Super Metroid Redesign.
I just thought what the hell, I'll see if it works (coz it doesn't on the DS emulator) and I ended up playing for a few hours and realized it's nowhere near as hard as I remembered it as.
I'm around halfway and only 6 hours into the game, almost half the time it took my first play through.

So um, I think that about wraps up my trip to America. (tick)
I took a bunch of photos and I'll probably include them in the next update.
But until then,


Posted on April 15, 2008 at 04:57

Half you of probably clicked on that title expecting some foreigners rant about how much America sucks, nah- I'm not going to bother.

Those of you familiar with my blog will probably remember a game called Twinsen, and by association an Alaskan called Cocopuffs.
Since the last entry I decided I wouldn't write anything until the next time Cocopuffs was online, he was actually online a few days prior to this, but (and this ties into the title) I'm going to America soon, I decided to wait until the night before we left.

So yeah, the main reason my family and I are going to America is for my brothers graduation in Indiana.
We're also gonna do the typical tourist stuff, Disneyland, Vegas, grand canyon, statue of liberty.. We'll probably even ride the subway like it's fun.

Today we took my dog to the SPCA kennels for them to look after while we're gone, which was pretty sad.
As we were leaving, all the other dogs are jumping up against the fence barking 'n stuff, and Jazz is just sitting there wagging her tail.
Oh and before we left, we found out what happened to my uncles dog (he had to give him away), it turns out the police came to check him out and he's being trained as a customs dog. Maybe we'll see him at the airport.

I'm going to take my Wii just in case we run into a very boring situation, and I'm also taking my DS.
I still haven't bothered with the pokemon games on DS, so I'll be playing it on the flights, I doubt I'll get too into it- but hey, it'll definitely last long enough.
Also, I'm taking the battery from my broken DSlite.

So yeah, tomorrow after noon we all get on a plane and we'll be in L.A in about 13 hours.
I doubt I'll make another entry before getting back, but I'll probably have lots of photos when I write one.

So what else is new..
Twinsenly speaking, close to nothing.
Cocopuffs said (me putting blame on him) we could have a demo ready before I left, but that hasn't turned out to be the case.
At least he has a todolist for while I'm gone

I've been playing SSX Blur on the Wii, and it's actually a really fun game- especially for a launch title.
The controls have some nice depth to them and it was a little overwhelming at first, but once you adapt they feel really natural.
Just leaning and curving down the slopes feels awesome.

Zack and Wiki is also awesome, lots of really good ideas and puzzles.

For movies, believe it or not, the only Star Wars movie I've seen in its entirety is episode 1.
So I got out 4, 5, and 6 to watch.
I have seen most of 4 by piecing together random parts I'd occasionally see and the many parodies/references.
I was still surprised to learn that Yoda doesn't show up till episode 5.
I was wondering pretty often how most of the effects originally looked, but overall they're pretty awesome movies.
But I was kinda expecting that.

So I'll probably watch the Godfather trilogy next.. or the Indiana Jones movies... or maybe the Rocky movies.
Yeah, I haven't seen any of them.

Also, we got a lot of new back catalogue movies at my store.
Ace Ventura, the Goonies, Goodfellas, Gremlins, Lethal Weapon, etc.
Lot's of basically mandatory movies for any video store, but we still don't have Titanic.

I think that'll do for now.
I'll see you guys when I get back!


Posted on February 27, 2008 at 03:13

Oh it's so time for an entry.

First, Photobucket; last entry my images were all deactivated due to excess bandwidth use and photobucket wanted me to upgrade do a premium membership. (fuck that)
This is mainly because I posted an image on the somethingawful forums, and with it's millions of members it quickly went over.
I was meaning to update when my images were reactivated on the 22nd, but I couldn't be bothered spending an hour or so to write, and now I've finally got a day off after 8 consecutive shifts.

Now, whats new with Twinsen.
Well, a little, about a week ago Cocopuffs got all randomly motivated and did a few days work, and like usual he had to go bail his sister out and save the youth center from being demolished.
Like usual, we're so damn close to having it ready, there are still a few glitches and some of them absolutely have to be removed, they just break the game at the moment, so I guess I'm waiting for Cocopuffs to make his way back to Alaska.

What else is new...
The Wild Foods festival is coming up in New Zealand, it's just a random festival on the west coast where you can eat some weird food like huhu grub cocktails, worm sandwiches, etc.
But the real fun of it is just camping on the beach with thousands of other people and wandering around the town all day.
My friends are going this year, and I'm allowed the time off to go, except I need to find out the exact days I'll be gone and we still don't have a solid plan.. and I think by the time we have one, it will be too late.
So I probably won't be going, which I don't mind much to be honest.
Since I'll only be given the days needed to attend the festival which means no shower, bed, tv, computer, good food etc.
It'd be great if I could get another day once I get back to shower, sober up, etc, but since I won't- I think I'd definitely regret it.

This morning as I got off the bus, the courier guy caught me and gave me a parcel to take to work, and inside was our first blu ray movie.
Black Book, it says it's subtitled on the back of the box, so the DVD won't rent well, but I guess the blu ray copies will do alright, I think those with PS3s/blu ray players will just rent it for the sake of renting a blu ray movie. (although the movie does sound pretty good)

And I keep hearing about how one dude at work basically hates me, it seems everyone has a problem with him so I'm not really giving him much thought, and everyone else says they love working with me because I do all the returns, most of the customers, and let them stock the popcorn/m&ms, put up posters, ring overdues, the slightly more interesting work.
And when I was at Sydenham, Rachael said I was the only person she's ever worked with there that was actually organized and logical.
I think it's because of little things like he loves the Cube- I think it just sucks, and a few things like he insists Stranger than Fiction is a comedy and Night at the Museum is one of the funniest movies ever.
But, I don't think he'll still be here after a month or two, he's already made it clear to the owners (and the manager) that he wants to be manager, and after being completely shot down he's been going on about how under appreciated he is and blah blah blah.

I finally finished Metroid Prime 3.
After being well and truly stumped for a while, I realized I had missed an entire planet, the pirates home world.
After slapping myself in the face, this is where I realized this is the best game I've ever played.
Pretty big deal for me, at first I wasn't sure since I regard Super Metroid so highly, but as I continued I was sure of it.
To be perfectly honest, I hadn't really believed the next gen controls approach nintendo was taking until Prime 3, now I just cannot go back to dual analogue sticks, they have truly been made obsolete and it feels like a huge step backwards now.
There were so many moments of awesomeness, but I think the best part is just the general room to room traveling, one of the best rooms I found is the repair bay on Valhalla, the one with the Metroids and Miniroids.
You run into that room, kill the Metroids, jump over the electricity and continue up around the platforms while jumping over the gaps, shooting Miniroids in the middle of the room and avoiding the electricity, it sounds complicated but it's so very easy thanks to the awesome controls.

I'd like to see Retro make a Zelda game, honestly after Twilight Princess, I definitely don't think Nintendo can make another Zelda as great as Majora's Mask or Wind Waker, but I'm convinced Retro could even best those two.
Retro seems to love level design, each room is packed with more detail than complete areas in most games, I'd love to see how they fare with say Lake Hylia.
And I think it would take Retro to finally make a drastic change to Zelda, imagine the whole game with a steam-punk setting like the Sky Town in Prime 3.
Link driving a big tractor/train hybrid that rips up the ground through a huge desert with abandoned oil wells everywhere and a huge factory/castle off in the distance.
Plus Retro would optimize and utilize the weapons much better, especially compared to Twilight Princess...
Rumour has it that Retro is working on a new IP, I doubt it's Zelda and to be honest I really don't mind, but I'm definitely looking forward to whatever it is.

That reminds me, a week or two ago I went to buy Medal of Honor 2 on the Wii since the reviews were saying its controls were even better than Prime 3's and it's awesome 32 player online.
So I brought it home, played the single player for about 30 minutes, okay I'm ready for some online.
Quit to the menu, scrolling through...
Maybe I need to register online since EA has set up their own system instead of using Nintendo's shitty friendcodes...
Nope, I check the manual, Yeah it gives a thorough explanation on how online play works, but not how to actually start it.
Then I check gamefaqs and find that the Australian and New Zealand versions have had all the multiplayer removed because EA didn't want to set up servers there.
I mean, what the hell?
Okay fine, don't set up servers, why not throw the friend code system back in it? Or perhaps make it peer to peer?, LAN? Splitscreen? Anything!?
Why the fuck would I want to storm the fucking beaches of Normandy again?
Just when I thought, hey heres a game on the Wii with awesome online play, great controls, pretty decent graphics, and holy shit it's made by EA!
And they go and remove main attraction because they didn't want to spend a little money setting up servers for their customers, as if they don't have enough money or something.
Seriously, I'm done with EA, I was thinking I'd support Need for Speed on the Wii because honestly- I like racing games, and they're even more fun steering with the remote.
But now, no.

Luckily the EBgames at my mall is cool, so I took it back, and decided just to buy Warioware instead and they gave me a classic controller for free since the manual still said it had online play and they were gonna make a real complaint to EA.

So now I'm back into Mario Galaxy which is almost as awesome as Prime 3, plus No More Heroes and Zak and Wiki both come out tomorrow.
My Wii library is already pretty nice and it will soon be even nicer.

[various stuff]

I started a drawing on my DS today:

It's currently a bit of a Saturday morning Disney mutant, but I like it, I think it will be fine when I've finished.

Youtube, what the hell I've finally got sound working on youtube again, they must've updated their player and fixed some minor problem that was affecting me.

PBFcomics sadly is apparently shutting down, definitely the best looking and arguably the funniest comic on the internet.
I sent him an email basically saying "thanks for all the comics" and he sent one back saying:
"I'm just withdrawing it from papers to slow production down,

but your appreciation will be directed toward something good. Trust in that.

So whatever he's got coming should be cool.

Fez, on the TIGsource boards, one of the guys behind Fez had said some cool news was coming regarding Fez.
The news was that he would be attending GDC (although he had to quit his job to be able to) and deservingly, he won a few awards and got a lot of mainstream media coverage.
Fez really looks like an amazing game, it's got a slight Cavestory vibe to it's appearance but it's gameplay just takes it to another plane, really looking forward to the level design, puzzles and bosses.

[/various stuff]

I'm sure I've missed a bunch of stuff I was meaning to write about but I guess I'll get them later.

So for now,


Posted on January 30, 2008 at 01:50

I'll try to word this so I'm not trying to bash him or pin all the delays on him, but man, I've started sending the gmk to other friends (not for them to do work) just because they can mess around with it and come up with some neat stuff so I have something new to do.

Cocopuffs has done a great job putting up with my flipp-flopping and the results speak for themself, but there just hasn't been any significant developments since decemberish.
So writing updates is getting a bit tough.

So what's new...
I've been playing Street Fighter II Turbo and New Challengers on my Wii, because I can kick my brothers ass in third strike, but I've never really been that great at SFII.. well I did get really into SFII during highschool, but I never vsed him till a few months after it broke.
So I've been mastering (I don't know the official coined term) "back spin hurricane kick", it only works in turbo, which if I recall correctly is my brother's preferred version.
It works best if you knock your opponent down, then as they're getting up jump over them and hit them with a hard-kick pretty much at the point when you're directly above them, then once that animation finishes and just before you land, start up a hurricane kick.
It traps them in the middle between the front leg and the back leg and they get hit about 3 times as much as normal. The most effective maneuver/exploit in the game if you ask me.
So hopefully when I see him in America this year, I'll beat him.

I also downloaded Star Fox 64, really is a great game, and it still holds up very very very well, I'm currently up to the dog fight with Star Wolf and his team, and I think I took one of the hard routes because it's god damn impossible.

Scientology really is a dangerous evil in the making, they're already pretty despicable, but they could easily become so much worse in the years to come.
Which is why I'm so happy that anonymous has declared war against their organization.
If you haven't heard or been following it, they've been constantly attacking/hacking their sites, stealing their private documents and handing out copies in public.
All of this does take potential millions from scientology, and I think it's great.
What can I say, scientology truly is a common evil, and is the type of shit that movies get made about.

And that's why I watched V for Vendetta again the other night, such a great movie, probably the only comic book based movie I like, and perhaps that's because I never knew of the comic before the movie.

I also watched the Asterix and Obelix movie, which was.. alright, fortunately I was in the mood for a cheesy/familyish/comedy and it delivered on everything i wanted.

I tried watching the Dennis the Menace Christmas movie, but I got up to the point where he said something like "Don't worry guys, I'll win.. with a little help from Santa Claus" and then I turned it off.

My friends came to work the other night when I was closing and we came back to my house and played video games all night, well I tried to sleep most of the night because I had to open the store the next morning.
Of course, I never got to sleep and just bought some caffeine pills on the way to work (they don't do shit)
When I got home, I went to bed at about 6pm, and then I was woken up at 9pm with them back in my room again, but they were wearing their school uniforms from highschool.
So I'm like "what the hell?" and they told me to put on my uniform because everyone was having like a high school reunion, I said "fuck that, even if I was wide awake I wouldn't want to go." I really just got sick of everyone who wasn't my friend in the last year.
Although they did tell me the next day that the biggest bitch in my class is like clinically obese and pregnant with twins apparently, which cheered me up, as evil as it sounds, it's comforting to know how quickly her life has been ruined.
And just in case you're thinking "god damn, she can't've been that bad" one time she punched me in the side of the head because the TV's volume was "too loud"

Oh, Scribe's brother got fired.
Yeah, he's disappeared with several games, and yeah.
Darren came in the other day and asked if Puck still wanted the job, I said yes, and he took his application (and no one elses)
Puck came in a few days later and I asked him if he'd heard from Darren yet, but nope, not yet.
I told him that Darren grabbed his application and asked if he still wanted the job, so hopefully he'll be starting soon.

Well, that's about all for now, I guess I'll go back to annoying Cocopuffs.


Posted on January 20, 2008 at 05:59

Man, almost been 2 weeks since my last update, but I've got something fairly cool to make up for the wait.

Not much new 'real life' wise, well actually...
There's a new guy at work, he's actually Scribe's (New Zealand rapper's) brother.
Apparently Scribe doesn't exactly share his wealth and his own mother still only has a VCR (he brings home video tapes for her)
It's pretty cool to say I work with Scribes brother, and I'm pretty sure that's why he was hired.
Darren's probably waiting for scribe's next album to see if he mentions his brother and the store.
But truth be told, he's pretty.. bad.

He's down to one shift a week, and he hasn't shown up for the last 3, plus when he does show up he forgets his uniform half the time.
And he often makes mistakes overcharging, returning movies incorrectly, locking empty cases and stuff like that which slows down working for everyone else.
He's a cool guy n everything, but it's annoying working after him because he de-alphabetizes the discs and puts half of them back in upside down so they fall out when you grab them.
Puck should've got the job eh James?

So what was I gonna show you guys to make up for the 2 week delay?

Not a real trailer, just what I felt like making after watching a couple TAS's and finding a great program to convert the recorded frames into a movie.
Seriously, all I have to do is open one frame and it automatically loads the rest.
Every other program I have to import every single frame, then select every single frame, then add them to some time line, then save as a movie. That usually takes about ten minutes, and now it's down to 5 seconds.

When we do get the demo ready, I'm gonna spend a day putting together an awesome trailer, then upload to gametrailers. Hopefully we'll be able to get a game page, which isn't too unlikely since other indie games like cave story, underside, fez, etc have their own pages.

I watched Ratattouille or however the hell you spell it, and well.
It was alright, kinda stupid how when the rat pulls his hair he just automatically moves his arms, but well, if you just get over that and accept it- it's an alright movie.
Another thing that bugged me was the underdeveloped human characters still having the same standard plot points.
Like when he blurts out to the female cook that he loves her when he only talked to her for like 5 minutes, then when the rest of the kitchen find out about the rat, they all feel deeply betrayed even though they never really liked him in the first place.
But like I said, it's really easy to fill in the blanks, and it would be just as annoying to have to watch them fill in those blanks where you know exactly what will happen.

And I watched The Invisible a week or so ago.
It's kinda like.. if disney made a thriller, doesn't sound that good, but when you think of Remember the Titans it's actually pretty good.
Basically, a kid.. becomes a ghost and has to help the police (etc) solve his murder.
Some of it's a little awkward, but there's lots of cool little touches that redeems it in my opinion.
Everyone I've recommended it to has said they enjoyed it.

That'll do for tonight, I'll probably write another entry in a few days since I've got 3 days off soon.


Posted on January 08, 2008 at 05:06

Happy eight everyone!

Yeah, we haven't got the demo ready yet, still, yet, again, still.
And so, we've got nothing to really brag about for 07, but that's cool, because I'll be damned if we let 08 pass us by too.

My family is currently out of town on holiday, they're actually in a small french town called Akaroa.
It's highly unlikely I would've got a full week off work to go, and to be honest I'd rather stay at home if I had a week off
I like it fine by myself, just me and my dog at the moment, I have to get up in the mornings so she can sprint down the driveway to get the paper, and she is super excited when I come home from work.. she must get really bored.
One thing though, that's really annoying, they took the milk, cheese, eggs, bread, flour, salt, half the pots and pans, and the plastic wrap with them on holiday.
So even if I do manage to make something nice, I can't wrap it up and take it with me to work, I can't even bake my own bread to make a sandwich for fucks sake.
And of course, I learned exactly what was missing in the most annoying ways:
Fill a bowl of cereal- no milk.
Go to make a sandwich- no bread.
Go to cook up some eggs- no pan, or eggs.

I took Jazz for a walk today though, and on the way back some kids drew on the footpath with chalk, a drawing of the earth inside a wire-frame cube.
Harmless childhood drawing?
Or a map of the universe?
I'll take a picture if I can be bothered some day.

I also watched a couple movies today (first day off in 5 days)
I started with I Robot, which honestly was a lot better than I was expecting, I remember hearing it was full of product placement and was just really dumb in general.
But nah, I think it was alright.
I would've liked more conspiracy paranoia and suspicion because it really just gets straight into it, kinda similar to the davinci code movie a little...

Then I watched I am Legend, been seeing the trailers at work a lot and it looked pretty cool.
Great movie, really cool seeing new york with grass all over the streets, deer and lions running wild, and going hunting with his awesome dog.
The ending was a little dumb how.. and I'll try to word this so you will only understand if you've seen the movie.. how he could've easily thrown it and gone in too.
But still, really cool.

Then I watched steal this film I and II which made me feel like some noble information sharer just coz I pirate movies and use the internet.
It does seem really stupid that MPAA etc know they can't stop piracy, but they just want to make it as inconvenient as possible, we all know it's an inevitable step that they should just stop fighting and embrace.

In gaming news I haven't been playing much, mainly virtual console games.
So far I've downloaded, Yoshi's Story, Kirby's Adventure, Donkey Kong Country, Super Metroid, and Zelda LTTP.
And man, I really love the virtual console, one of the best things about the Wii if you ask me.
A lot of people think the Wii is a joke, a non-gamer's console etc.
And to me, the simple existence if the virtual console makes stuff like that not true.

Cocopuffs really needs to stop logging off MSN when I write a new entry, because he sometimes complains when I spoil something he wanted to keep secret.
But.. meh.
I whipped up a map screen for Twinsen which will mean you can level select and give a clear indication of your progress.

I'm relatively sure that's exactly how it will look in the game, and I have no idea if we'll end up putting it into the demo.. whenever that time comes.

Well, I'm gonna go back to some Donkey Kong Country.


Posted on December 30, 2007 at 00:44

Hope everyone had a good nondenominational holiday.
I had an 8 hour shift on Xmas day which I honestly didn't mind much.
The store was only open 1-9pm so I didn't have to get up early and go straight to work, it also was a good enough excuse to not go to church.

I didn't get much this year, which I can't complain about, there's nothing I really wanted anyways.
I got mostly small stuff like chocolates, lotto scratchies, magazines etc.
My brother did get me a couple thousand Wii points which is probably my favourite gift, I downloaded Yoshi's Story, Kirby on the NES, the internet channel and of course, Super Metroid.
I've been absolutely rocking the Yoshi's Story, is slightly more fun than I remembered, though the presentation is over the top childish- when the yoshis' sing it's sickeningly cute.

My friends came round a few nights ago and well, we didn't even play Halo or Street Fighter like normal, we played a little Guitar Hero, but the main event was Mario Galaxy.
They picked me up from work and I was just gonna show them it for a few minutes, but they kept telling me to "keep going", "get another star" etc until I let them play.
I got 60 stars that night so I beat the final Bowser, which was.. alright.
The final level was pretty cool, but Bowser was nothing special really.
And then I got that congratulations picture sent to the message board, so we then did the 192 piece puzzle of it in the photo channel.
I don't know why it was so hilarious, it took us about an hour because of the sky, sitting right up against the TV trying to identify artifacts and dithering and where those specific pieces belonged.. really needs the option to zoom in, or at least when you peek at the solution it switches immediately so you can see exactly which pieces are wrong.
We did get it done eventually, it just took ages, not recommended.

Over at Pixelation each year there is a secret santa thing and for this year I got a member who only really said he likes this smilie:
So I made him this:

I'm not really proud of it, it's pretty rushed and uninspired, but I dunno, you might be interested.
There were some fantastic gifts though, which I will now show:

The last one is the one I was given, it's still a WIP but it's looking pretty cool so far.

I really want to get a demo out before the year is up, and there's not much I can do other than remind Cocopuffs on what needs doing, and well.. I'm not sure if we will get it done within the year.
I mean that like a good thing, I was sure I'd be certain we wouldn't get it ready in time, but I dunno, maybe we will.
Cocopuffs went and finished the cutscene which I really wasn't expecting, now it's pretty much just glitch fixing.
I've also been brainstorming some ideas for puzzles and levels with a specific gimmick, they'll be fun.

What else to talk about..
For the last two weeks I've been getting asked every single day, at least once, without fail, if we rent Wii's and Wii games.
We don't.
And on Xmas day I had 4 phone calls asking, and 2 people came in asking.
It's pretty stupid that we don't, because whatever you think is good about PS3/360/PS2, that's not the reason it's getting rented.
Halo 3 rarely leaves the shelf, uncharted has been rented twice, ratchet and clank never rented yet, but all the singstars, buzz games, dance games etc are almost always out on hire.
Not to mention we can't resurface PS3 discs, so if they get badly scratched we have to buy new ones.
And then we don't even have a PS3 or 360 for rental.

As we all know, the Wii has tons of mini game collections and party games, and that's what gets rented.
Plus it's the cheapest, smallest console, and you can get free games, free controllers etc with certain purchases.
So I told my manager Darren that I've been getting asked every day if we have them for rent, then 6 times on Xmas day, and I don't know how he did it, but he said something like:
"Do you know why they were asking us for Wii?"
and I answered with "because we were the only store open that day?"
"No, because the Wii doesn't make money"
I was just sorta like, wait what?
They want the Wii because it won't make us money? Come on there was at least 6 potential customers on Xmas day, that would've been like 25% more money that day.

To be honest, when I got the job he did ask me that semi-fanboy question and he was pretty.. odd discussing the Wii.
So I figure I'll just skip Darren and ask the owners about it, I'll probably go all out with sales figures, comparisons etc, and hopefully we can get, I don't know... one Wii and a couple games for rent?
Even then that's only a few hundred and we'd easily make that money back within a month or two at the most.

And how 'bout that winamp?
Don't you just fuckin' hate it every time a new version comes out, and that stupid pop-up shit happens every time you listen to a song?
What the hell is wrong with them, it's an MP3 player for fucks sake, get it right and leave it alone.
It's not like a new mp3 file comes out that winamp can't operate so they need to create a fix or something.
It's just annoying as hell that they insist on everyone updating for some small change I will never notice ever.

So, that's about all from me.
I hope you guys had a great whatever and had lots of fun with your family and friends.


Posted on December 20, 2007 at 00:41

So it looks like the Christians were right about Jesus making a second coming, but it doesn't look like they were expecting it so soon, or in the form of Lupe Fiasco's latest album.

Some people won't like the album, but hey, that's how things usually go for Jesus, just don't kill him this time.

But seriously, this is such an awesome album, the best new rapper in a long long time, I know I'll be listening to this for a long time, just like his first album.
Absolutely classic.

I'll just get straight into the Twinsen stuff.
Just realized the other night that the first demo came out in 2006, and we've almost let 2007 completely pass by without a second demo.
So I've been finishing the last remaining graphics and going over stuff we'll probably cut out of the demo with Cocopuffs, nothing serious, the gameplay will completely be in there, just stuff like the cutscenes and specific options I'm not sure about.
I really hope we can get it out this year so I can be all "demo of the year" or something.

I promised a while ago I'd show off the sliding once I made the new sprites, well I haven't finished them yet so here's some sliding with the current sprites:

Still has a ways to go, and the controls for it feel a bit awkward which we'll hopefully end up changing.
We're so close to having everything ready, and to be perfectly honest we could just release it now with all it's blemishes and small glitches, I think they're pretty hard to spot, but I know I'd regret having it released unfinished very quickly.

I don't like how long it's been but I love the progress we've made, the game has improved so much that I have no idea how I was ever proud of the first demo, I'm sure you will all enjoy it.

What else is new...
I bought a new DSlite, my old one's L button has completely stopped working, so I went to trade it in.
But EBgames only offered $30 for it, so fuck that, I'd rather keep it.
Bought a nice new black DSlite, it's got a dead pixel on the touch screen, a light blue one about one centermeter from the bottom right corner.
It's almost impossible to see in most games, but if that area of the screen is red or a similar colour, because of the bleeding the dead pixel looks like black- then it's super noticeable.
I tried a couple homebrew apps that force "stuck pixels" to wake up, but the thing is, they'll only wake up stuck pixels, and if they don't wake up, that means they're dead.
But I think I've mentioned this before, my local EBgames is pretty cool, so I took it back to trade it in for another one with no dead pixels.
So they brought out all the black DSlites for me to test, and it turns out they all had dead pixels (some had more than one) so I decided I'd just stick with the one I had, it's not really that annoying.

Oh, and I haven't even started Christmas shopping yet, it's almost the 21st here and I haven't done anything yet.
I'll be getting some more money tonight and I finish work tomorrow at 5pm, so hopefully I can get a present or two on my way home, I have a pretty good idea of what I'll buy, now it's just a matter of finding the time, a store that's open and if they still have one.
Also, over at the pixelation forums, I signed up for the secret santa thing and I need to draw another member a present (I'm not gonna say who it is just incase )
He didn't really give a good list of things he likes etc, so I'm not sure what I'll make for him, any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

That's probably it from me until after xmas, so to all my readers- I hope you have a great time over the holidays with your family and friends.


Posted on December 12, 2007 at 05:01

Here's an update!

I dunno where to start.
Okay, at work we had to promote Shrek 3 as I think I mentioned a while ago, and me being the resident artist I was assigned to paint a picture promoting the movie.
So they bought me a canvas, a brush and some green and black paint.
After all, that's all you need to paint Shrek.

After a while I decided I'd just paint the 4 main character's silhouettes in black against a green background.
I started painting it at home, but it was so boring I gave up after sketching them out on the canvas, I took it to work the next night and painted it there.
And it was actually pretty fun considering how boring a night can be there, I got so into it that I even closed the store an hour late.
I wouldn't mind painting more pictures to promote movies, the Simpsons movie just came out on DVD and it'd be fun to paint something for that.

But it turns out another store built a castle around their entire counter up to the ceiling with draw bridges, windows, etc- so they won the promotion competition and got the store BBQ or whatever the prize was.
I didn't really want to win, because if we did, I would have to go since I did what's kinda our main thing for the promotion.

Oh, I bought Mario Galaxy the other day, and I love it more than I was expecting to.
I still think I'd give my pick for game of the year to metroid prime 3 just because I know I'll play through it more than galaxy, with Mario, there isn't much need to start a new file ya know?
Everything in the game feels so great, and I've gone off a little before at how I feel most platformers these days are really just "3D side scrollers"
You remember how you'd always have a gun, and you're always just walking through these linear corridors, streets, etc?
But that isn't the case with Galaxy, really feels open, everything is fun to explore, and the controls are absolutely perfect.
I thought I would get a bit disoriented running upside down and on the other side of planets, but it just doesn't happen.

Back to the subject of game of the year, a few of you probably already know, but SpikeTV 's nominees were hilarious, was it for GOTY or xbox360 shooter of the year?
Needless to say, after the nominees, it seems absolutely no one cares who they gave the award to.
Oh and Halo3 took the "best game fueled by mountain dew" award, very prestigious indeed.

Over at the SomethingAwful forums, one of the Let's Play threads has been getting a lot of attention due to it's awesomeness.

And that was made by one of the readers.
Seriously, check it out, it's a great read, and some of the chapters have been narrated Max Payne style by other readers, there's also a lot of other cool art to check out.
The only disappointing thing is that after a while it uses less and less screenshots from the game to tell the story, but to be fair I can't really blame him since they greatly restrict any direction he could take it.

In related Let's Play news, I've started another video series for another sub-par SNES game based on a classic childhood movie, Dennis the Menace:

S01E01 - "Faggit" based hilarity

I think me and Ped sound a bit better LP'ing now, I attempted to make the next video by myself since Ped was offline, but after a while I just start mumbling incoherently about purple cats and jumping teacups.

We're gonna do another video later tonight, so I should have it ready by the next time I update, and yeah, that's about all for this week guys.


Posted on December 05, 2007 at 01:22

We need comparison between first Twinsen screenshot and what it looks like today! Whii!

Well, if you have any screenies left from first versions of Twinsen ;)

Sure, why not:

Cocopuffs has also been doing some work, Twinsen can now crouch and dive. (kinda like the dive in Mario 64)
So that opens up a lot of new level design possibilities and gameplay doorways.
The controls are pretty complex now, but I'd still say it's not to a Super Metroid degree, there's still things in Super Metroid where if you run off a cliff, aim down, and then press diagonally down in the opposite direction, Samus moves forward while still aiming down, as far as I know, that's the only situation where that will work and it can be pretty useful, though hard to remember.
I'll show you guys what the diving looks like later, because I'm not very happy with the current dive sprite, but it has got me playing Twinsen all day again, another thing to master and find fun ways to use.

I've also written up what will hopefully be the final to do list (before the demo)
Documented all the glitches etc, and it doesn't look like anything on the list will take much time to fix/implement.

Time for some gaming.. stuff.
Contra 4, I know some of the guys over at the Pixelation forums helped make the game, so it's cool to see their names in the credits, also "Bender Bending Rodríguez" is in the credits because apparently one of the directors wife is an animator for the show.
I will definitely be buying this game once it comes out here, it's a really fun game and the unlockable challenges offer a ton of replay value.
Highly recommended.

Geometry Wars DS, is also a lot of fun and quite impressive.
it doesn't have the same pretty effects around the black hole enemies and your bullets don't warp the playing grid, but that's understandable, both because it'd be pretty taxing for the DS, and rather distracting on the smaller screen.
It controls excellently and there can be a lot of enemies on screen with bullets flying everywhere etc without any slow down.
However, when there is absolutely tons of enemies on screen and the red particle squares flying through the playing field etc, it does slow down a little.
But it only happens in very hectic situations where the slow down is welcome and really helps you focus on what you need to do.
Also highly recommended.

Next update I'll finally get around to giving my impressions of Metroid Prime 3, I'm planning on spending a good 6 hours on it tonight.
I haven't played it in a while, because like I said I want to really really pace myself, but now it's kinda getting to the point where Super Mario Galaxy will be out soon, and I prefer to only play one game at a time per console, especially if it's a game I am really interested in.

And season 7 of scrubs has started, well, it started about 5 weeks ago and I just realized.
It's started off a lot stronger than season 6 was and I laughed during each of the five episodes so far.
I remember reading an interview with Zach Braff somewhere where he said he wasn't very proud of his performance in season 6 and that everyone got a bit lazy.
But now that it's the final season, he said everyone is really giving it their all and I think it shows.
I'm looking forward to seeing how it all ends, especially if we get to know the janitors name.
My bet is either on the initials J.D or something ordinary like Collin etc.

Oh, and Puck came in again and dropped off an application, so I put a note on the back of it recommending him etc, hopefully he'll get the job coz it will be fun to work with him.

That's about all for tonight, take it easy.


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