Archive for May, 2012

Social Medium

I can’t believe I hadn’t started using them sooner is all I have to say. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with Twitter and the connections that you are able to make with people that you probably never would have had an opportunity to do so with is amazing. The ability to directly message someone and ask for advice or respond to a thought or question is empowering.

Although I’ve never been that great at expressing my thoughts and translating them to text I can see the advantages and the addiction of blogging. If only I could take advantage of the strokes of inspiration I sometimes get to do so, and overpower  my self-destructive procrastinating ways . Blogs account for a large portion of my actual daily reading lists and I never really knew it, although a large portion of bloggers are associated with larger sites its easy to forget that they are people just like me with strong opinions and passions that were discovered and proactive. I plan to use my experience with technology and my growing social media skill sets in conjunction to actually create content aside from code and one day I hope that I will share the passion of those fighting the good fight, and for that I thank you Dr. Royal.


Tournaments Update

I’ve recently attended some local tournaments where I’ve had some success since my last tournament posting for Magic the Gathering. I attended a Grand Prix qualifier for Salt Lake City here in Austin that I ended up winning, the prize being a couple hundred bucks in prizes and an invitation to Salt Lake City to play in a large prize tournament.  Unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to school and flights being ridiculously expensive (Mormon prophet convention that weekend, seriously?!?!?). Nonetheless I was very proud and thrilled to know that my skills were sharpening to have beaten some of Austin’s finest.

The following weekend I attended a Pro Tour Qualifier in which the Prize was an expenses paid trip to Barcelona in mid-May for the Pro Tour. The Pro Tour is where the money and recognition is, and that would be the apex of my Magic tournament experience if I were to get invited to one. The tournament lasted from the early morning until late at night with hundreds of people battling for the coveted prize. There were roughly 10 rounds of play, and then a top 8 cut to single elimination rounds. I ended up getting 9th and just barely missing the top 8 with 5th-9th all having the same scores but I missed due to tiebreakers. It was a great experience and was glad to have taken part of it although my brain was completely mush after such a long day of battling wits.

State of the gaming industry

My passion for video games has been insatiable since as long as I can remember. I went through 3 original Nintendo’s by middle school just from use, and had a small collection of 5 1/4 floppy disk Dungeons and Dragons games for DOS that I knew by heart. I was that kid. I can’t remember a time where I’ve been more bored with games then now and it’s not from a lack of interest, maybe time.

The current release cycle for games is incredibly long, particularly for my engine of choice the PC. Most games are cookie cutter models of previous successful games and the cost of these iterations is not getting cheaper. Mobile device games are becoming profitable for developers with a fraction of the development cycle/costs, although they are a niche market they are alluring for an up and coming developer since the big game market is flooded with terrible releases. I have seen countless titles be in development limbo for years only to see their budget get cut and never release.

Game giants such as Blizzard and Electronic Arts are still milking their flagship titles with their newest releases of Diablo 3 and Sims 3, but what direction are we headed in this day when seemingly every scenario for a successful game has been thrown out there. How many Calls to Duty will there be before your 1 millionth headshot is no longer fun.

With the social nature of gamers within games the massively multiplayer online genre is thriving, there is hope. Dating sites for online worlds have been created, Twitter incorporation within game chat has been done, and being able to “/orderPapaJohns” is a thing of the past. I’m very much looking forward to what the next decade of gaming has to offer and can only hope that our children can enjoy another golden age of gaming as I saw it.

Minecraft Introduction

So I mentioned Minecraft in my previous post and then decided for those who aren’t really sure what Minecraft is might be interested in seeing a brief view of what it is really about. So I filmed the first few minutes of gameplay that should put it in perspective. Enjoy.


Mojang Finally Hiring

Mojang is the company that develops the free form sandbox building game Minecraft that is entirely coded in Java, and also happens to be one of my favorite games ever. The main developer goes by the name Notch and is well known for having basically developed this game on his own for the past 3 years. It spent a good amount of that time in a beta form where you could purchase it and have access to the game for whenever it was “released”. Minecraft’s main beauty lies in the developer community that has taken the game into its own hands with the ability to mod the game, it currently enjoys one of the most active modding communities in the world.

Unfortunately, Notch never actually came out with an API specifically for modding so it mainly involved developers painfully going through code and adding to Notch’s existing code. So any time a new version of the game was released it basically broke the game for all users that had created these elaborate worlds and had to patch it all over again.

Since Minecraft has enjoyed immense success since its release I’m imagining they finally have the funds  to put into development and Mojang has finally decided to hire more developers. Among the first group of new hires is a development crew called Bukkit, they are well known in the community for having developed an alternate version of server code that is technically more stable, uses less resources, and had a built in modding API. It seems their passion has finally paid off as they will now be getting paid for their work! Needless to say I am looking forward to a stable API to hopefully be making my owns tweaks to the game. Post apocalyptia here I come, mmm brainsssss….