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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Issue: People: Herman Cain Obituaries


I don't know how to feel about Herman Cain now that he is gone. They say he is only suspending his run, but I threw on that Boys To Men jam "End of the Road" as all proper funerals require just in case.

Watching him attack the president on his policy, history, and hood pass felt like high school. It was like a set couldn't get at somebody they hated directly because they would look bad, so they convinced a naive member to fight for them by feeding them lines about crew loyalty, responsibility, and the fight in the dog, even though they could care less if he was beat to death, they just needed to soften the other guy up a bit.

While watching a news clip of his non concession Lyly said she never "Believed" his run, as in it should have never been taking seriously. I never spoken a word in defense of the guy before, but all of the sudden I'm spitting out factoids about his stint as Poppa Johns boss, his history of community leadership, his stalwart defense of  issues she cares about. I didn't understand why I did at the time but now I can admit the truth, it was because he is a black dude that wears glasses and cares about politics. I defended him because we shared those things.

I was a guy arguing the validity of a black president while the sitting president of the united states is a black man. I am first of new breed of hater, a new version of the race card should be released. Worst part is, all the things I don't like about our sitting president are related to his policy choices, I barely hear people complain about the fact that he is black. The race card is devaluing, I wont know how to argue at my current level without it in my arsenal. It's my anchor card.

An honestly, we all knew Herman wasn't Neo. 999, cmon man, that sounds like a Poppa John's deal. And the cowboy hat, I like, but you gotta sing like cowboy troy to stomp the landing. I mean Darrius is country as hell, not a ten gallon in sight. I don't think Herman is a bad guy, he even stuck with his side piece for thirteen years. I mean, he is a bad guy for having a side piece no matter how long, but in France she could have ridden in a back carriage during the inauguration parade.

You did a good thing  in trying Mr. Cain. I'm gonna tip a little Dr. Pepper out for you while this song cry.


The Protoculture Mixtape v.8



Issue: Regression : Modifications/Story



Issue Summary:

A mod (modification) is a term used in personal computer gaming. A mod creates new content for a previously released title through items, weapons, characters, enemies, models, levels, music, story line, and game mode. Mods can currently be made by the public or a developer, but require the user to have the original release in order to run, as mods are not standalone software. Modification is dangerous when people create mods independent of developer involvement.

A game story is a regular story located in a game. A Bethesda Softworks game called Skyrim installed a lot of stories in their game. I asked who owned these stories by stating, "I wonder if they own them, the stories I mean. Could they take what they wrote and do something with it, or do the owners of Skyrim own their words?"

Issue resolution progress:

Bethesda Softworks LLC recently announced the creation kit, a modification toolset available to anyone that will allow them to create anything they wish in Skyrim. Along with announcing the release of the Creation Kit, They announced that the kit will be available on Steam Workshop, a user created content marketplace for PC players.

Previously Bethesda also made strides in recognizing quality assurance personnel as the best video game players in the game industry and also in general by giving Sam "I Am" Bernstein a trophy for his pro speedrun through Skyrim. Although I am guessing he took it easy on his production staff competitor, as it is widely known they only play one portion of any game, the portion attached to their sprint, with the exception of demos for marketing.

Upon review this issue is closer to being verified fixed, QA suggests creation kits integrate into the flow of all sandbox style game development. Wow Bethesda, bravo zulu, big swinging balls you have over there...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Issue: Games: Hospital Records


Hospital Records is an independent drum and bass record label run out of South London. Tony Colman and Chris Goss started it as a way for them to get the music and musicians they liked together, and over the years it grew into one of the most well known labels in UK tech music.

I have something to say, I killed a demo today, and it doesn't matter much to me, as long as he's dead. Rocket pop then shotty. That is not the admitting part, that is me stunting. I want to get it out there that I soundtrack my activities, and have done so since before I can remember when I didn't.

Classic, bebop, or avant sans vocal Jazz or blues when I am reading or writing, metal, hip hop, rap, or jungle during physical activities, and D&B or Dub when I play games like shooters that don't require listening to audio or voice for full immersion.

Finding new music to bump used to be as easy as going to a show and swinging by the merch table. Being an old dude now I don't get out much anymore, I have reached the threshold of old guy in samurai design silk shirt doing a sad two step shuffle in the back of the club territory, so I tapped out. Now I rely on podcast's and whatnot to tell me what the kids are trying to dance to in skinny jeans.

The hospital records podcast is usually just the old hospital guys shooting the shit with old dj's about late nineties plates that melted faces around my time on floor watch. When they run out of stuff to talk about they throw on a tune they like, don't seem to matter the name of the producer to them, just that it feels good to listen to.

Hospital is celebrating fifteen years in business by releasing an album, I think it dropped a few days ago. Can't wait to hear what the selectors selected.

Issue: People: Hits

I took my first hit a very long time ago, it was delivered by a nun who happened to be my teacher. I received it because I spit into the dirt while waiting in line to come in from recess. She told me to come into the classroom, and for the class to wait outside. She closed the door behind her and asked me why I spit. I told her I didn't spit, and that I had shot a "boogie rocket."

She accused me of lying to god, I don't think she meant her, more that lying to her was akin to lying to god I think. Truth was I had spit, don't know why I lied. I heard my brother say "boogie rocket" once, but didn't know what it was, figured it had to be better than spitting though, reasoning that I had seen people get in trouble for spitting, and not "boogie rockets," solid logic to me at the time. She didn't buy it, and worked me over with a wooden yardstick.

Sometime around elementary school my brother and I came to the false realizations that we were physically safe when only our mom was there, and that we could pretty much do and say whatever we wanted. Once again solid logic at the time, but as we learned later a very painful hypothesis to try out in the field, as the next hit came from my dad.

He was the holy ghost ninja of belt work. He would come home and crack jokes with us, ask about school, or sports or entertainment, pretending nothing of note transpired. We would hop into bed feeling like they had finally taken a step back and realized what we did wasn't so bad at all, kid stuff.  Then in the middle of the night he would burst in like a swat raid of biblical wrath, stifled yelps, flashing lights, leather crackles, and little bodies scurrying for the door on all fours to no avail.

The first hit I delivered was given to a kid in middle school. We shared one or two classes and knew each other a bit. One day after an assembly he pantsed me as the combined classes were walking out of the gymnasium. Luckily this was in my pre-sagging era and the pantsing was only half successful, as in I was able to reach the belt in time to pull the pants and boxers halfway back up my ass. My Joe Boxers did a reverse muffin top that resembled a Victorian poets pantaloons.

I laughed it off and moved on with my life, but about a month later he threw a full can of soda that burst against the wall a few inches away from my head. I turned and looked at him and his friends who were laughing at the clouds. I began walking toward them while slowly zeroing in on the kid who had pantsed me.

When I got close enough I jump kicked him, I don't know why. Luckily the jump kick stunned him and his friends enough to give me time to think of what to do next, so I punched him in the stomach while yelling "Usssahhh!", I punched him there because I heard on TV that punching someone in the head would break your hand. He lunged forward and tackled me, we spent the rest of the time wrestling on the ground. A while later a couple security guards rolled up on golf carts and sat us in the principals office.

The principal said the witnesses state I walked up and jump kicked the kid unprovoked. I didn't know what "unprovoked" meant at the time, I thought it was a compliment for my technically sound jump kick. As in "How did a little kid learn to jump kick that well?" Or, "Who would teach children such a lethal maneuver?" I told her I took four years of karate, she started laughing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Games: Orcs Must Die!



Ensemble studios was a video game developer established as an independent but owned by Microsoft by the time it disbanded. They made real time strategy games, most notably Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, and Halo Wars. Ensemble also made the genie engine, a popular game engine used in many strategy based games of the time. Ensemble closed its doors after the release of Halo Wars, announcing that two studios were being formed by former ES employees after the doors were shut.

Tony Goodman, the head of Ensemble studios started Robot entertainment, and offered any former member of the company a position at the start up. David Rippy, a former Ensemble studios producer, started Bonfire Studios, which was staffed entirely of former Ensemble team members. A few months later a new studio called Windstorm was created by ex Ensemble staffer Dusty Monk. A few months past the creation of Windstorm, a fourth studio called Newtoy, Inc. was created by several former Ensemble developers.  

Bonfire Studios was later acquired by Zynga and renamed Zynga Dallas. Newtoy was also acquired by Zynga and renamed, Zynga with friends, a nod to Newtoy's popular "with friends" series of games they released while still an independent company.

Upon creation Robot Entertainment announced they were working on two new games, one would be an RTS published by Microsoft Game Studios, and the other would be Age of Empires Online. The next year it was announced that Gas Powered Games would be taking over development of AOEO so Robot Entertainment could focus on a new IP. That new IP turned out to be Orcs Must Die!

Orcs Must Die demo'd at PAX in 2011, then released to X-box live arcade and PC in October 2011. The game is strategy/tower defense, the player being tasked with protecting fortresses containing magical rifts from an army of orcs, ogres, and gnolls that want to destroy the rifts for some reason or another. The game had a minimal marketing push and generated revenue numbers defined in technical rankings as double wood in the hood. 

Orcs Must Die is one of the rare tower defense titles that doesn't get insulted when it is called a tower defense game. The Newgrounds and Candystands of the world have saturated the RTS market, as the game type is pretty easy for one or a few people to poop out. They are the new free ski, they are the free, free ski's. They can be as deep or as simple as they like, as the gameplay is in the driver seat.

But the magic in Orcs Must Die is that it harkens back to the days when developers didn't like players that much, and would show that disdain by throwing enemies at you from all sides until you die, or they get tired of throwing them, and players liked getting so beat up by a single level they would throw the controller and swear to never play the game again because it is a bullshit game that they do not like, then restart the level over and over out of wounded pride.  

It's also one of those games that people will automatically compare to something else when someone attempts to explain why the game is fun. The avvy acts like ash, the gameplay is horde mode, the traps are basic. All possible truths, but here is the thing, it's fun to play even if all of that is true, a very rare jewel in this gaming age. I loved Age of Mythology and Empires, and am stoked that the guys that made those games survived wave after wave of industry traps, emerging with a perfect simple soup that could only come from experienced hands that know how to measure by eye. To put it simply, the game is fun.      

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

People: Sour Patch Kids


I am done with video games because they finally made the last one I need to buy. Sour Patch Kids, the game. What else is there to say really? Oh you don't like sour patch kids? Liar. Everybody loves them, and they were being nice letting the Kratos' of the virtual world eat before they came through as the new age locus, drinking everybody's milkshakes.

I don't know what system it is on, I don't know how the game will play, but it is already that good. I will not be the man to judge Capcom, they have to understand that they are shaping the next thousand years of human civilization, the pressure on their shoulders must be wesley crushing. Take your time guys, deep breaths.

Think I am full of shit? Probably. But don't listen to me or sour patch kids, listen to method man. he believes that this mash up is to be the great thing in the mouth and in the hands. He made a damn rap about it, and for all that rap music is, it has never been about just making raps up for no reason. You gotta believe in the flow. That movie Honey made me understand that.

Also here are some video game industry jobs. Not that they will still be there by the time you show up because like I said video games are done. That's two confirmed kills for sour patch kids, my teeth, and the game industry. But really, I love these things, I eat whole bags in one sitting, I am eating them now, and I finished the bag yesterday. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Games: DJ Boy



The empire of arcades was strong in the late 80's-early 90's, and the force strong within it. Back then a social retard with a pocket full of quarters had a plethora of escapes from society, and I made it my mission to understand and exploit all of my options. A five block radius around my home served as my operating area, because my mom would only let me ride my bike that far. 

The places available were a pretty deep well of good times. There was Scoops ice cream shop a block up and on the corner. It had Golden axe in there, but didn't begin to truly interest me until Street Fighter II showed up in early 92'. The combination of ice cream and competition won me over. 

Majicade was a fully stocked, real deal arcade located about five blocks up, complete with funny smell, sticky floors and, sketchy dudes that would stand behind you and completely ruin your game of Outrun by saying "Aww shit turn mayn" until the car either flipped or slowed to a stop right around the rocks area that I could never seem to pass. 

But Majicade also had the misfortune of attracting the hoods worst representatives like moths to flame, and in our little network of arcade cockroaches whispers of other kids getting their bikes stolen and asses kicked in the parking lot became way too frequent for that place to stay the local H.

Four blocks up and east you had the Am/Pm run by the honorable Mr. Knobby Batswai. He let you play the two Neo Geo standups he had for as long as you wanted, as long as you had bought something first. So, as long as you had a cup of soda in your hand, Samurai Showdown was yours. Good show, sir. But the place where I spent the most time was five blocks west and across the parking lot from Knobby's. Grapevine comic shop, Mecca for the ADD set. 

The person that ran it was an old surly Japanese lady named Ruth. All day she sat on a stool behind the glass rare comic/candy display case glaring at us kids like rats let loose in a cheese factory. She also had a disturbingly effective good cop/bad cop dynamic with her husband, who served as the comic guru and dungeon master of the D&D group that occupied the fold out tables in the middle of the room. 

Comics were in the back, and to the right of the entrance were a row of Arcade machines. She imported titles that the were way ahead of the stuff that we would see at the other joints. But the title that I remember to this day is a game called DJ Boy. It was a co-op side scrolling beat-em up and the story involved a dude on roller skates fighting to retrieve his boombox from a gang of thugs.

The games interface was in Japanese, but the host of the affair was an all too American disk jockey named Wolfman Jack (Japanese/American mix match boxes replaced Demon Kakka with Wolfman Jack as if it would help). He would randomly shout Gibberish like "Get em' all up on their hind legs!" or my personal favorite, "Kick em' boy!" 

And the enemies were another type of event altogether. I was a young kid an had no understanding of the fact that at the time Japan saw American urban culture through some kind of weird blurry goggles. What these goggles saw, if one wanted to use this game as an example, would either turn out to be Alex Haley's TV movie Roots, or a very creative stripper. 

The game had you fighting a black lady that seemed to have jumped out from an Aunt Jemima bottle into real life. her attack, if I remember correctly, was either a flaming fart, or she would throw one of her many children at you, overhand like a MLB pitcher. When you hit her, she would fall on the ground, ass up, and moan Aww Lawwwwd! Brilliant. 

Another worthy enemy was a guy that would begin the battle laying down, dressed as just another bum. But when you got closer he would jump up like a man possessed, rip off his clothes, and display what he was wearing under them. A fucking Chippendale's outfit.

 He would then commence to chase you around screen shaking his junk until you beat this half naked dude to death. It is during this battle that the Wolfman Jack audio that states, "Get em' on their hind legs," gets incredibly uncomfortable for a child to hear. 

Arcades are awesome, and I hope they come back in some form because without them everyone is just at home playing games, and not being exposed to full breadth of gaming culture. Some shit is better off not being seen at all, yes. But when it as all said and done, every type of person needs a spot to congregate. Even us nerdy types.

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