Games want to be free

Found Liberated Games.

So you might have heard that some companies have released some of their game data to the wild world. Things like source code (Quake) or even whole games (Grand Theft Auto). The site owner, jvm, has collected quite a few games, and links to resources. He’s looking for more, and is open to suggestions. Go and check it out and try out some great games that companies have freed for you to enjoy.

The Village

I went and saw The Village this last weekend. Having read about it before hand, I kind of knew what to expect, and I was sad that I had read a few spoilers for the movie.

M. Night Shyamalan’s movies are best seen the first time with little pre-knowledge going into them. Then they reward you with repeated viewings with little hints and clues that make the movie still enjoyable to watch. Another way to put it, Shyamalan rewards you for paying attention. Little small things, but they add up.

The Village though. Good and bad. I like the movie. It places second right now my personal list of his movies (with Unbreakable being the first). Good things: beautifuly shot, the pacing was great, pulled great performances out of his actors, and made for some great suspense. Bad things: I’m all for period pieces, but the dialect pulled me out of the movie too much, and I felt like it was too forced to be genuine, also he seems to be not as sublte with his “twist” endings anymore but lays it on heavy so you can’t miss it. Then again, I know that some people didn’t see it coming and were very suprised as to the twist.

Anyways, go see it. Bring your significant other. It’ll be fun.

Coffee Roasting – Victrola Style

I saw a coffee related article on Gizmodo and I knew I had to click it.

The article linked was from Tonx of Victrola Coffee. It’s a local shop up in Seattle, just down the street from where my wife works. They used to use beans from Vivace, a local Seattle coffee institution. Their shop has great ambiance, though I never felt as a barista that I’d ever be hip enough to work there, but besides that they had a nice comfortable setup. I’m glad to see they’ve got a guy tracking his coffee and communicating it to the wide world.

Also fun is that he’s a Word Press user, and he’s using the same template as me for his site. Quality.

Word Count

I found RandomURL through some obscure link clicking that eludes me now, but I found a link that made me smile. Enter Wordcount. Seems they’ve taken and done “an interactive presentation of the 86,800 most frequently used English words.” Kinda fun. Sad thing is, it looks like it’s been around since 2003 (At least that’s the copyright). Ah the wonders of the web, and the latency in discovering something on it.

Taking from the about section of the Wordcount page, the designer of it has his own very nice flash page, Flaming Toast. Great visual design and interesting navagation.

Nintendo DS Marketing Speach

I saw on 1up that Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo’s new marketing guru, was speaking at the Ziff Davis Games Summit. 1up was kind enough to publish the transcription of the speach too. How kind.

I think I like this Reggie. His speach of course is very pro-Nintendo, but still maintains an air of “we don’t think the PSP is bad, we just think ours is going to be better.” He covers some of they “whys” of the Game Boy’s past success, and what he belives the philosophy is for the new system. Convergence is the key, or at least the prediction. People want multiple things in one small package, the problem is no one has been able to do it right so far. Both the PSP with it’s video and music playback and the DS and it’s dual screens and stylus gaming, are interesting concepts that will make the next few years exciting.

Why Blog – Part 2

I’ve already written about this “blog” personally a few times. I thought to write again, as I’m still finding my voice for it and figuring out what the focus or concentration of the blog should be.

Already I’ve determined to myself that there would be two subjects that I would try and avoid as much as possible: religion and politics. I don’t think I need to explain, but if you really want me to I will. I also didn’t really want to go much into my personal life. People generally don’t care that I went grocery shopping last night and got some lunch meat to make sandwhiches for work. Trivial details suck. You’ll hear personal stories when they have relavence to what I want to discuss, and not for much else hopefully.

As for the focus of what I want to do? Who knows. It’s still a work in progress, and I’d like to experiment with a few other ideas: reviewing/commenting on what I’ve been reading book wise, retrospectives on older games (like this one) and more commentary on technology, old and new. We’ll see.

Stupid Site Registrations

After being frustrated at the fact that if I want to read The New York Times online I must register to actually read any article. They say it’s because they are tracking for ads and targeting ads at different user bases. The thing is, I’m not the only one who doesn’t truthfully answer those invasive questions as to who I am and where I’m from.

Another site, Bug Me Not, has also taken a great approach to the matter. If you have an account on one of these places, submit it to Bug Me Not and other people will be able to use the logon as well. They’ve got a ton of sites in there as well as a plugin for Firefox (my new browser of choice). Go try them out, if you come upon another annoying site that forces registration to read content. You’ll like it, and it keeps your privacy intact. Very good.

Lost Levels – Earthbound

Lost Levels is at it again. For those who don’t know, Lost Levels is a site who’s focus is bringing out the story of games that were cancelled and never released. We’ve collected a number of excellent interviews with actual developers and articles that have a lot of first hand information concerning the games in question.

The latest article covers the unreleased NES Earthbound. Released in Japan as “Mother”, the game was fully localized and translated into English, but never released in the US. When a copy of this “Americanized” version apeared on the Internet years ago, people questioned it’s authenticity. Now the story can be settled once and for all. Enjoy.

BBS Documentary

BBS – The Documentary. I cannot wait. In much the same way that I had to purchase Mindcandy (the PC Demo DVD), this is a must purchase item. It represents a big chunk of my childhood, and a big chunk of my learning about how computers worked.

Looking through the site, I see that he’s interviewed 200 people and done some great collecting of all the old BBS programs accross tons of different systems. It’s impressive, and fun to go down the list and find the different board software that I remember logging into. I even tried to setup my own WWIV board back then, and I had a friend create me a few ASCII graphics to put up on it. Ahh.

These kinds of niche documentaries and collections are wonderful. They bring back the memories that for the most part are long gone and tenderly present them with the love and respect they deserve. Thanks.