Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dorkius Maximus

I am a dork.

A handsome dork with a great sense of humor, mind you, but a dork nonetheless.

As such, I always overthink the games I play on a regular basis. When I played Ocarina of Time many years ago, I actually spent hours thinking about what gave the Master Sword its evil-vanquishing power. More recently, I got behind a game on Facebook called "Nations". I really enjoyed it the first few weeks, but then I figured out that every nation follows the same set of issues in the same order. To most people, that's just an issue of convenience for the developers. The worst case scenario is you can look ahead and plan what you want your decision to be. But for me, it removes cause and effect from the game. It no longer matters whether I exile terrorists to the frozen north or if I let them litigate their way to freedom, because tomorrow, my issue is going to be about traffic lights no matter what I do.

Now, these rules don't apply to every game. In great games like Gears of War or Halo, I am more than content to shoot, slash, bombard, or incinerate my way through legions of enemies to reach the inconveniently located objective. But when you declare me to be the Grand Vizier of Hunteria, I want my every law to affect the the destiny of my country. Without that immersion, the game begins to feel less real.

Which is what I love about Spore, or at least, hope I love about Spore. For those of you who don't know, Spore is a game designed by Will Wright, the man behind the Sims and virtually every game with "Sim" in the title somewhere. In a drastic departure from company strategy, Mr. Wright has forgone the "Sim" title and with it his restraint. The game will allow you to take a single celled organism who creeps forth into the vast ocean and follow that creature's evolution into the supreme ruling species of the galaxy.

In blunt terms, HOLY CRAP IT'S AWESOME!

I've been excited about this game for a long time and it is coming out this September. But they recently suckered thousands of eager consumers such as myself the buy a sneak preview of the game's Creature Creator. It allows for you to design as many creatures as you like and, best of all, those creatures will show up in the game itself. Not only do I get a feel for the biological future of my Unnamed-Spore-Critter-Until-Further-Notice, or USCUFN, but I also am designing several of the creatures he or she will eat or be eaten by.

The flagship creature I made combined my great love of Velociraptors and of naming stuff after myself. So I present to you the Hunteraptor in glorious YouTube-vision:

This is the first video of my flagship creation, the Hunteraptor, in the Spore Creature Creator.

There is a story here beyond poor camera work and arbitrarily pressing buttons.

It begins with Maximillian Q. Hunteraptor enjoying the carefree life of a Hunteraptor in a demo. Roaring, dancing, flexing his muscles, proving that he is capable of love, etc.

But all that changes when three orphaned Hunteraptors are dropped at his Hunteraptor-doorstep-equivalent.

Maximillian is terrified at the prospect of parenthood, but then decides to educate the orphans in the language of dance.

Then I ran out of tape.

The thing is, this is just the start of the possibilities. I've already finished my first dozen creatures, each one significantly different than the last. Combined with the other 400,000+ entries on the Spore website that can be added to your collection at will, the possibilities are endless. This game should be nothing short of spectacular.

But then again, I am a dork

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Holy Crap! I meant to write this yesterday!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Father's Day. The good thing about this holiday is that everyone celebrates it, by virtue of having a father. But I think we should focus on the greatest father of them all, you might even call him The Father.

No, I'm not speaking about God, or even the Pope. I speak of the man who has been a father figure to us all- James Earl Jones. After all, he reminded us so often about how he was our father.

Whether he was the deceased King of the Jungle in The Lion King (skip to 3:54)

Or as the leader of the insane snake cult in Conan the Barbarian

y child, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the well spring, from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My son.

Or his most obscure role as Darth Vader in some weird sci-fi movie

So I wish you a belated Father's Day, James Earl Jones.

I would give you til the count of ten to tell me your favorite thing about The Father, but why when I can let James Earl Jones do it?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lord of the Dance

Apparently, part of the interview process for Dark Lord of the Sith was competitive dancing. Furthermore, it explains why stormtroopers never hit anything. They spent all their time rehearsing instead of at target practice.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Has it really been two months?

Wow, I am a horrible liar. I said I would stick away from content heavy dribble but I fell into the same trap again.

Anyways, Washington was going to win. He'll kick you apart. He'll kick you apart.

I'm going to work more on this site to be spur of the moment what I am thinking.