Wednesday, April 30, 2008


A while back i got to talking about some of my favorite all time game intros. That was a fun little article that can be found here.

I was doing the periodic maintenance on my computer that any game player must do from time to time. I was removing old games, and games I wrote reviews for that sucked (the games not the reviews), and remembering fun times past.

In that nostalgic mood I retreated into my blog archives to replay a few of those favorite intro movies. The movies for Mechwarrior 2 and Mechwarrior 2: Ghost Bears Legacy are some of my all time favorites.

A third favorite was the intro movie for X:COM Terror From the Deep. At the time I couldn't find a copy of it, but since then a few have appeared on Here it is:

I've watched this intro many times. Probably a lot more than I should admit and I have always enjoyed it. Watching all three of the above mentioned intros in a row I could see that each of them is dramatic and tense. I wish I could find more intros like that (and games like these too!).

These are all well thought out introductions meant to capture your interest and add flavor to the actual game play. All three of these succeeded. I just finished playing Fantasy Wars and the intro to that game was trite and slooooooow moving. It felt like an afterthought to the game - something they had to add because there were animated logos for every company involved in the production too. It added no flavor and the only emotional impression it left was "Ugh, not again!".

Intro movies may be a forgotten art but I hope not. The teaser trailer movie for Fallout 3 makes me think that there are people out there who still carefully craft their stories and use intros as a critical part of setting the scene and pace and taste of a game.

Monday, April 21, 2008


They persistently use ~Js name on the reviews for some reason but this one I wrote. The pictures are strangely miscaptioned too. I'll have to check my original source to see if that's my fault or theirs. You may or may not see those mistakes since the publisher has been contacted and is correcting them.

Anyway, the game is solidly average. I played it even after finishing the review so I definitely don't hate the game. It makes me long for a new classic style X-COM or Jagged Alliance game. I loved the turn based small unit tactics games lots and lots but this is certainly a fun little game to fiddle with especially if you like turn based strategy games.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Several weeks ago I was sitting at a game night with many of my good friends enjoying myself when one of the little girls at the party informed her parents that she had found a spider. Only being an adorable little girl she called it a pie-der.

You’ve probably heard kids call spiders that before. I know I have. In fact I’ve heard it lots of times but something happened to me at that moment when I heard the word pie-der. I was suddenly overcome with a vision. A vision I knew I could make real.

Two weeks later at a gathering of those very same people I unveiled the worlds first chocolate pie-der.

Before I made the pie-der I searched all over Google because I thought I couldn’t be the first person to ever think of this. While assembling the legs one of my friends pulled out all her Halloween cookbooks (of which she has a remarkably impressive collection) and we still could not find a pie like mine. So I claim the world first.

When it comes to creative cooking though I am a sous-chef to the master chef my lovely wife ~J is. She regularly makes fantastic meals. It’s a joy to watch her cook. She recently made two fantastic cakes.

The first was for a joint birthday, mine, The Rabid Paladins and Coyotes. We all have birthdays within a week of each other and since we are all members of the same gaming group we celebrate them all together each year. Last year, you may recall, had the famous battle map cake. This year ~J made us all a cake of consummate majesty, the Trogdor cake.

My sons’ birthday is a little bit more than a week after mine and he wanted a very specific cake too. This one took quite some doing but I think you’ll agree with me the results are fantastic. The Wii cake complete with oversize Wii controller.

Oh, and just because it was cute I’ve included a picture of my friends cat Ivan. Please forgive the blur – Ivan moved as I clicked and then scampered off of the matt before I could get another shot. I’m really not sure what size category that Ivan would be but it’s really big. I’m glad he was just a wandering monster who wandered off instead of being one of the DM’s creatures.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


For about the last five years I've participated in my works annual NCAA mens basketball tournament Pick'em game. It used to be a $5 buy in and the winner takes the pot. The last few years, it's been for bragging rights instead and occasionally a work donated prize to the winner.

I've had a clever strategy of listening to talk radio and looking at what I consider the hustle stats (assists, blocks, rebounds and especially offensive rebounds) for each team when making my selections. This synthesis of data has never worked well enough to win my groups until this year when I managed to finally place 1st place. Go me!

No prize given (at least so far) but I've managed to use my bragging rights for a day or two and that was lots of fun.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I've just been published today! It's my first article that pays per word and I'm really excited about it. Bridges to the Middle.

One of the most interesting thing is the editing process. I submitted about 1400 words and after help by a terrific editor at Escapist Magazine ended up with a really tight article of around 950 words. I do miss the joke that got cut but I also like how tightly the article reads now.

Besides, I can always ramble here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


April fools day. *sigh* I'm not really fond of April fools day. I really don't go in for practical jokes in any way shape or form anyway - they often tend to seem mean to me. (Yeah, yeah, I guess I'm just a big softie.)

So I'm happy to report that while the day was DUMB (not only with a capitol D but with all the others capitalized too) I did manage to escape it without falling victim to any of the usual wacky hi jinks that typically accompany the day.

It was dumb due to some annoying problems I had to work through in my job, loooooong drive times required to accomplish the days goals, and a spectacularly badly timed muscle cramp. Fortunately the day came to a close with much giggling and snuggling with my amazingly wonderful and beautiful wife ~J. Love ya doll.

Hope you all escaped April fools days intact as well.
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