Monday, 12 March 2007

A Busy Week Begins...

After spending the last couple of weeks in preparation for Friday's gig, I'm now facing the monumetal task of moving out of my flat. The bulk of the move should happen this weekend, though I have another week after that to clean and move any last-minute bits and bobs. Of course, as I've only just started my new job, I can't take any time off and as such the evenings are looking to be exceptionally busy this week! It'll be worth it in the end, though.

So Friday was the first time I went onstage as rhythm guitarist with
Puritan Slain and we rocked hard. Everyone seemed pretty nervous to begin with, but as soon as the first count-in occured, it all went away. I think we put on a great show, and judging by the response we got from the small crowd, so did they! It was a disappointingly small turnout for J's party, but everyone that did come seemed to enjoy themselves. A job well done, methinks.

A big thanks to my Dad for taking the
video:













All my gaming and XNA plans are on hold now for a couple of weeks, until the move is over. After that, I plan on spending my evenings finishing Gravsheep, and trying to complete the many games I've got on the go at the moment. STALKER's out soon as well, can't wait for that. Of course, now we've got a taste for playing live, I'll be trying to score some more gigs for the band as well. The next couple of months are going to be very busy. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Saturday, 10 March 2007

What a Night!

Last night was amazing! If reaction from the small crowd was anything to go by, all our practice has paid off. We lost our gig virginity in style. I'll write more impressions later, but for now here's some pics - more to follow along with some video!

(pics no longer available)

Friday, 9 March 2007

Worms and Gigs

I played five games of Worms on XBox Live Arcade with my fellow IGers last night, and what great fun it was too. This particular version of worms reminds me of the original Worms on the Amiga, mainly due to the classic weapon set and a return to the use of proper tactics. Many a morning before trotting off to school I'd play a hot-seat game with a couple of buddies. Those really were the days.

I've heard of a lot of people having problems with connecting and staying connected to games over Live, but the games I played last night were flawless and without any kind of lag. I guess it really does make the difference when you connect to people you know, rather than just playing pickup games.

I'm waiting with baited breath for some downloadable content, as the three level themes that Team 17 managed to cram into the measly 50mb allowance they had at the time just aren't enough. I know they are doing their damndest to get some more themes and sounbanks out, but how long will it be before the huge Microsoft roadblock will let them pass?

Tonight's the night! My first time on stage as a member of
Puritan Slain. I think we're as ready as we'll ever be. Sunday's practice was brilliant, everything went right and if we can pull that off tonight we'll have done ourselves proud. Wednesday's practice was a complete balls-up, but at least we got the bad stuff out of the way. I'm still a little nervous, but I'm sure a couple of bottles of beer will have me loosened up enough to relax and enjoy my thirty minutes of stage time.

It's not so much the playing in front of fifty odd people that worries me, it's more that it's the first time we're playing our songs in public. We all know that our stuff isn't going to win any songwriting awards just yet, but we've been sitting with some of these songs for almost a year and not knowing how people will react to them is a little unnerving.

It's going to rock though \m/

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

A Couple of Things

I noticed today that Caiman free games has one of my old OpenGL games, Rollminator, listed. It's been downloaded nearly 6000 times and is rated at 96%. Seriously, what? If you can even manage to get the game to run on XP, you need a medal. It's cool to know that my stuff is out there and people enjoy it though. Read the readme files if you do download it, as there's some tips on getting it to run in there.

Both Rollminator and my other OpenGL game, Cuberoids, can be found on my old personal site.

I head the news that Microsoft have finally launched their XNA
Dream-Build-Play competition for real. A $10,000 first prize as well. That's seriously cool. I'm going to enter Gravsheep I think, as long as I can get some decent art together for it. If you're reading this and you're a 2D artist and fancy having a go at winning some prize money then leave me a comment and I'll get back to you. I did toy with starting over on an original game idea, but as I'm short on ideas at the moment it'll probably be better to make Gravsheep the best it can be. I'm under no illusion that I have a chance of winning, however!

Friday, 2 March 2007

Gaming's Good News

Two great bits of news concerning gaming today. First of all, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl has gone gold. I've been waiting for this damn game for four years now, and it'll be a relief to finally play it. I'm just not going to expect miracles. I've already had a dabble in the recent multiplayer beta, and it chugged like mad on the DX9 renderer on my shuttle. The DX8 version of the engine was super smooth, though. I'm just worried how much detail will be lost without the dynamic lighting effects offered by the DX9 renderer. I'll be buying the game regardless, simply to support GSC and original game concepts in general.

The second piece of news is that Worms is out on Live Arcade next wednesday. God yes. I used to be pretty damn good at the original Worms on the Amiga, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle with some old-school 2D wormy action.

In other news, I'm still plugging away at Zelda. Just finished the fifth dungeon (Ice Mansion thingy), and I'm well on my way to the next. Also, my Wii sports fitness age is resting at a respectable 26. Damn that baseball though. Damn it to hell!