Found an amazing program that is really catching on with friends. It’s free. Simplify Media. Lets you share your entire music collection online with up to 30 friends, and it works great. It streams like an online radio station, but with no buffering issues and perfect sound quality! Even works on my iPhone (the app cost 99 cents for the iPhone) so I now have my ENTIRE home mp3 collection available to me on my iPhone. It’s quite awesome. A great way to expose yourself to new music. It lets me listen to mp3s off my computer from work, in iTunes or Winamp, and when I feel like listening to something new I can listen to one of my friend’s mp3 collections. So far Chad, Dann and Melissa have it. Kristina tried to get it working but had no luck :(. Shame cause we always share so much music and have very similar tastes. If anyone wants to get it, you can download it free here, and add me “notme2000” to have access to all 9000 of my mp3s, and to let me listen to yours! Oh, and it’s completely legal!
Monday, April 27, 2009
I just watched the movie which gives this entry it’s title. It’s the new movie from Charlie Kaufmann, who also brought us Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and had a helping hand in The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. This movie completely blew my mind. I’m going to have something to think about for months, if not years, and re-watch again and again. This is definitely the kind of movie you either love or hate, there’s no middle-ground. It truly achieves what many movies claim. It’s up to the viewer to decide what it means.
And whenever that’s the case, a majority will hate it. “How dare entertainment ask me to make a decision!?”. I think that moment when you’re forced to decide something about yourself and how you view the world is when something becomes art. I strongly recommend this movie, even though there’s a good chance you’ll hate it. But either way, please feel free to talk to me about what you got out of it, because I’d be glad to talk your ear off about my take!
I’ve always been a fan of movies that tell it’s story through metaphor. Movies where what you see is not what’s happening. Every scene and character represent something else, and the actual story is deciphered in your mind, and never shown on screen. This was one of those movies. When someone asks the question “What’s it about” I could describe what takes place on the screen, but it comes across as a chaotic mess, which when taken literally, it is. But if you are able to grab the under-currents it takes you on a wild ride. And to describe that ride to anyone else would probably come across as even more of a chaotic mess. Especially when, if they caught the under-currents of the film, it probably took them on a vastly different ride.
I guess I just love films that have a firm grasp on the subjective. Anyone can tell an objective story. True journeys are told through emotions, not words or scenes. And it takes a true artist to know how to use that language while chained to an objective medium.
You can probably deduce whether or not you’d like this movie from that rant alone. And I leave you with this:
I'm singing this song
But it's about you
Whoever else is listening
It's only about you
See there's just one story
And everyone's the star
And it goes like this...
No one will ever love you
For everything you are
And so you build up layers of deception
And you leave out things to alter the perceptions
Of the ones you love
Who would never love you back
If they knew all about you
Every solitary fact
And the sadness of your life
Is built upon this lie
Of really knowing anyone
Or having them know you
It's the sadness of the world
There's nothing left to do
And so just go to sleep
Just let the hours pass
Sleep it all away
None of it will last
Soon it's all over
You're under clover
And none of it matters anymore
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I stumbled onto this cool game being developed called Love. It’s an indy game, more specifically an indy MMO. Watch the trailer here:
After watching that trailer, know this: It’s being made by ONE GUY. I am really excited about this. Basically how the game works is it takes place on a planet (server) with about 200 other players on it. You collect different artifacts found throughout the environment on the planet which lets you edit terrain and build your own base. The base building system looks very intricate. You team up with others to build your base/community and attack/defend from others. The world changes dynamically, meaning the changes you make to the world, added with the changes that occur spontaneously over time, create a unique planet per server. So every server would look completely different, with a very different history. It has a story telling mechanism which focuses on your actions. So let’s say you do something really important for a community, the game may name the cavern leading up to your base after you. Then when other players go “why is it named DALE CAVERN?” the other player can say “Oh, he fought this epic battle here and won us this artifact”. Then, because each server only has about 200 players, they may actually meet me and go “Hey, you’re that guy the cavern is named after”. So the game creates and perpetuates its own lore, per server.
The entire game is procedurally-generated, meaning the game resources, landscapes and graphics are all created in game through algorithms instead of file resources. This is the same technology that allows all the games resources to evolve over time, AROUND the players actions and reactions. One interesting side effect of this technology is there is no textures, all graphics are rendered on the fly, so grass, trees, rocks, etc all have textures made on the go. It creates a very interesting look for the game that you either love or hate. Personally I love it, I think it gives the game a very unique feel, and the ONE GUY making this game definitely designed an art-style around the limitations.
To me, this is the kind of thinking the gaming industry needs to start looking at for the future. Here we have a gaming environment where the player truly makes a difference. There are 2 types of gaming stories. The stories we were told, and the stories we tell. A story we were told is something like “Man, I can’t believe Aerith died!!!” and stories we tell are more along the lines of “…and I shot him at the last second, and that’s how I won this weapon from him, it was awesome!” And this game makes its lore around THAT, so that the story we’re told IS the story we tell. And it evolves, along with the environment, around the players and their experiences.
And it creates replayability. Suppose I make a base, it gets destroyed and I leave it behind. The ruins of my base are slowly overgrown and eroded, the surrounding terrain shifts over time. Some other player comes along, finds my ruins and decides to build his base around them. A month later I return to where my base had been and it looks completely different, and yet oddly familiar. The entire world will be like this.
If this is sounding at all interesting, watch this video on gameplay mechanics. It’s best to watch it fullscreen.
Web 2.0 was revolutionary. But it wasn’t just the technology that made it possible. The technology had been around for a while. It was the realization of companies that internet users wanted to leave a mark, not just observe the internet. Once they realized this, and the profitability it inherently had, that’s when web 2.0 really took off. I think we’re ready for gaming 2.0. It really says something that I’m more excited about an indy MMO being made by ONE person with no funding than any of the big budget MMOs being developed right now. Now if big budget companies can start recognizing the genius in projects like this, we’ll really enter a new era of gaming!
Another game that seems to finally “get it” is City of Heroes. In their last update they included something called Architect, in which players can create their own missions and entire story archs which have real in-game rewards including experience. Within the first week, more A-grade content was released than the developers had created in its entire run. Developers need to realize that players will love their games for same reason they love their job. It’s fun to create. And gamers, as a group, are generally creative people.
For more info on the game LOVE, I very strongly suggest looking over the official site.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
In case you needed proof I’m a narcissist.
- I wore all black and nothing else for almost a decade.
- These days I can be pretty metro, and love clothes shopping :P
- I’ve never played an instrument but have been thinking of taking up either drums or piano.
- I love music more than most people realize.
- I’d decided to move out of Winnipeg before I knew Edmonton was an opportunity.
- I keep a journal.
- I’ve never been an alpha male.
- I’m addicted to sunflower seeds.
- I love tattoos but never been a big fan of piercings.
- I’m a hopeless romantic.
- I don’t believe in destiny.
- I love taking long walks or drives by myself at night just listening to music.
- People only see about 15% of me, and it takes a lot of trust, time and effort for anything else to come through.
- My favourite number is 4 and it comes from the first Are You Afraid Of The Dark episode I saw.
- I’ve always believed life can be an amazing ride, and no matter what I do I’m never satisfied, I always feel there’s more to be taken from life. This is both a blessing and a curse.
- I have 2 sides to me that are always in complete opposition. Emotion and logic. I feel emotions very strongly, but also think way too much.
- I have a constant inner monologue, and if it were put on paper, people would either find it beautiful or frightening.
- 80’s pop music is my guilty pleasure.
- I’m a very all or nothing type person. Once I’m on board with something I go all out, and once I consider a person my friend they mean the world to me.
- My two favourite books are Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and The Outsider (also sometimes known as The Stranger) by Albert Camus.
- I don’t believe there’s any meaning to life other than the one we give it.
- I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic. That means I don't know if there's a God, but don't believe in one at the moment out of lack of evidence.
- I love movie scores (especially orchestra).
- I'd probably rather be blind than deaf. I couldn't live without music.
- I HATE writing by hand.
- I don't believe in karma. But I do believe that a person who lives a moral life lives a deep live, and an evil person lives a shallow life. That's reward/punishment enough.
- I've had blue hair, blonde hair, orange hair, red streaks, half black - half blonde, and been bald.
- I love laying in bed with headphones on cranking some good music and just thinking.
- If I were an animal I'd be an owl.
- I never eat breakfast.
- Someone else by the name Dale Furutani wrote a bunch of mysteries about Japan. He won a bunch of awards.
- I'm 4th generation out of Japan.
- My last name means Rising Sun In The Valley in Japanese.
- My favourite movie is a tie between Magnolia and Waking Life.
- I love camping, especially bon-fires.
- I have very high standards for almost everything.
- I love thunderstorms, but hate groggy cloudy days.
- Like the song goes, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.
- The best 3 weeks of my life were when I was alone on the road on my road-trip.
- I’ve danced in the rain with someone.
- I’ve stood at the edge and considered jumping.
- I’ve slept under the stars off the Trans-Canadian highway.
- I’ve loved and lost.
- My very first tattoo was the words “Stay True” because sometimes I need reminding.
- I’m figuring out life as I go along.
- I’ve been the other man.
- I’ve never been cheated on.
- Over the course of my life I’ve been completely opposite versions of myself.
- Driving away from Winnipeg, watching my friends vanish in the rear-view mirror was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
- It was also the greatest.
- Somewhere in Chicago there is a bartender who knows my entire life story, and I know his.
- I stood under a forming tornado.
- The girl I had the deepest feelings for never even knew it.
- Every time I cross the border they search my car.
- I fall in love too easily.
- I’m only so cynical cause I’m so naive.
- I’ve never broken a bone.
- I’ve had a stalker.
- I’ve hitch-hiked.
- I’ve picked up hitch-hikers.
- I have a recurring nightmare of a scene of a serene forest, the very image of beauty, and yet I wake up in a cold sweat.
- I want to be cremated, with nothing permanent left to mark my existence. When my time is over, it’s over.
- I’m an introvert at heart.
- I used to be terrible at dealing with change, now I thrive in it. Ironic.
- I had braces as a kid.
- I miss my family.
- I’m always 2 steps behind.
- I’m not a one night stand kind of guy. Never have been.
- My sense of humour makes me seem like a very different sort of person than I actually am.
- I got dumped on September 11th, it was kind of hard to feel sorry for myself.
- I believe in happiness of the truest sort, and believe we all deserve it if we’re just willing to keep fighting for it.
- I have secrets I’ll take to my grave.
- I tend to learn the hard way.
- I believe in conversation.
- I remember the 80’s.
- I miss the 80’s.
- I’m a very philosophical person by nature.
- I love an empty theatre.
- I’ve stayed friends with most of my exes.
- I’ve been a pallbearer.
- I find science, physics and astronomy extremely interesting.
- I had a sponsor child when I was 18-20.
- I’ve always wanted to see Seattle, but never been.
- I have regrets.
- I have accomplishments in my life that still fill me with pride.
- I’ve given a $100 bill to a homeless person.
- I’ve been a hero and I’ve been a coward.
- I’ve burned bridges.
- Everything I own fits in the back of my car.
- I was an outsider in highschool.
- When I was a kid I used to “run away” to a certain spot in a field right beside a forest, and even when I grew up I’d return to that spot to think. I miss that spot.
- I’ve moved over 20 times.
- I’m a night owl.
- I like nerdy, socially awkward girls.
- I almost married someone to help get her a citizenship.
- I almost drowned as a kid.
- A part of me wants the white picket fence, even though the older I get the more that ideal conflicts with my personality.
- I’ve spent most of my adult life fixing myself, from the stupid mistakes I made in my youth.
- I’m a techno-geek, always need the latest gadgets. Love my toys!
- I was kicked out of my house at 17. I had it coming.
- I’m still young.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Fun fun fun. Funnnn!
Ok, so tonight is a pub crawl! Everyone is coming! Dann, Melissa, Nathan, Colin, Jolene, Jess, Jen, maybe Dave. Gunna be a blast. And I just got paid, so I will be drunk!
Also, Chad officially booked his tickets! He’s coming!
Kyra is talking about coming out to visit too! AND Jeff texted me with plans on to go Vancouver this summer, something I was planning on doing anyway. So that will be great. I’ll pick him up at Calgary, pick Kyra up on the way, get to Vancouver where Andi will be living. Ah, so much fun ahead.
And it’s finally warm out. I had the feeling this city is gunna be awesome during summer!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Been thinking of getting back in to photography. I was really in to it once, but a multitude of things kind of soured me on the concept for a while. Then I moved out here and life was busy as I got used to everything.
But I’ve found a new life here and settled in, and the idea of an artistic outlet once again sounds appealing. One of the things that turned me off from it last time was that I tried to make a career out of it, when photography was always more an artistic medium to me, not a consumerist one. So this will be just for me.
I have a few great ideas already, though they require certain conditions and some time to complete, so whenever I get a chance I’ll be taking a few new photos.
I’m excited to get back in to it. I loved doing it back in the day, and now my thousands of dollars of photography equipment wasn’t a total waste! Yay!
Monday, April 13, 2009
I had an awesome weekend. Yesterday Dann and Melissa showed up while I was about to jump in the shower and told me were gunna hang out some more. I was down! So that afternoon I headed over and we all just relaxed, headed out for some yummy pho, enjoying a chill Sunday afternoon.
As afternoon became evening we decided to head out and get some alc. We got Revs, an energy drink with vodka in it, it was goood. We all started to get pretty drunk, and Dann’s friend Jen came over and got drunk with us. Dann and I walked to get more alc then to get some Bogogi (sp?) pizza. It was awesome. I paid a lot of money towards debt on my last check but didn’t leave myself enough to live off, lol, so Dann’s been awesome by lending me money so I can have a good time which I will certainly pay him back for come Friday. While getting pizza I changed my voicemail to a drunken one, which is quite funny and I will be leaving it that way for a while :P
Today we had plans to hang out with Brian and finish up our board game from Friday but I’m hung over… I think. Never really been hung over, so hard to say for sure. Either way, think I’ll be taking it easy today. Back to work tomorrow.
This weekend really felt like a turning point for me. I finally feel like I live out here and have a life here. I’ve once again managed to find myself surrounded by great people. I feel like I’ve struck gold twice. Had great friends in Winnipeg and now I’m making great friends out here.
I cannot wait to get paid on Friday. I’ll continue to pay off my debt, but from now on I’ll make sure to leave myself more than $50 to last 2 weeks…
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Had another awesome weekend, and it’s only half over! First off, it’s awesome that I get paid for Friday and Monday even though I have them off. Secondly, so far every night I’ve had a blast.
Friday I went with Dann to his buddy Brian’s place and played some serious old-school board games with them. Met Brian’s wife, and Melissa dropped by for a bit. It was good fun, and didn’t get home till around 1:00 AM.
Tonight (Saturday) was great fun as well. During the day it was absolutely gorgeous out. I was running some errands in a t-shirt and was hot! I love summer, and it’s pretty much here! Organized Chad’s trip with him. He’ll be coming down in 2 or 3 weeks, staying for a week. It’s gunna be a blast! He’s really gunna get along with the friends I’ve made out here, and I’m certain they’re gunna love him. I really hope he does end up moving out here in a year with Olga.
So when night came Dann gave me a call and told me they were all going to Next Act Pub. Next Act is kinda becoming our regular haunt, like Cheers, lol. It’s a great place right by Whyte Ave. So I met up with Dann at his apartment and we walked to Next Act and met up with everyone. Melissa was already there, with a friend of hers, Julie, who is in the middle of an epic cross-Canada trip. She was actually leaving for Winnipeg the next day! Colin, a fellow Bioware employee met up with us with his girlfriend. Devon, another Bioware dude and also Melissa’s brother, even came out a bit later.
For a while some girl from New Zealand came and sat with us. She had a New Zealand accent like the dudes on Flight Of The Concords, it was AWESOME!
After the pub we crawled Whyte Ave for a bit. Such an awesome area. It kind of reminds me of Osbourne and Corydon mixed together on steroids. Good times.
We eventually made our way back to Dann’s apartment and just had more drinks and hung out telling stories, having fun conversations and laughing our asses off. I eventually took off around 2:00 AM. It was a really fun night.
I’ve been finding myself deliriously happy lately. My life is so fulfilling these days. I’ve never had that before. I’ve enjoyed my life before, of course, but to find it fulfilling is a very new experience. Every day I surprise myself with what I’m capable of. If you told me 5 years ago I’d move to Edmonton, find a career I loved and would be pursuing it with determination, dating, and making a group of new friends who are amazing people, I’d never have believed it. I really feel like everything I’ve gone through in my past was leading me to this. It’s great to know it was all for something. Cause without those experiences I never would have found myself here.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Work didn’t end up needing me for the crazy overtime we were expecting. A shame, that woulda been good money. But on the bright side, I came home and made a new playlist for everyone (does anyone actually listen to these!?)
Frankmusik – Better Off As Two
The Dodos – Walking
Beirut – The Concubine
We Are Scientists – Let’s See It
Modwheelmood – Problem Me
Alaska In Winter – Streetgang Pt. 3
Dj Unknown – Until It Sleeps Remix
Depeche Mode – Wrong
Depeche Mode – Corrupt
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – We Are Rockstars
Nine Inch Nails – Demon Seed
Innerpartysystem – What We Will Never Know
Zero 7 – Morning Song
Kwoon – I Lived On The Moon
The Submarines – Submarine Symphonika
Milosh – Run Away
The Airborne Toxic Event – Innocence
Beirut – Venice
The Lightning Bug Situation – The Unhappy Robot Version Of Me vs Coldplay
The Dresden Dolls – Sing
The Real Tuesday Weld – Bringing The Body Back Home
Balmorhea – Baleen Morning
William Fitzsimmons – After All (Version 1)
Just push play on the little iPod Nano on the right --->
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I’m doing some overtime tonight. A LOT of overtime. Apparently I might be here as late as 6:00 AM! I doubt it will actually be that late, but it is a possibility. A last minute emergency that I volunteered to help with. Looks good for me, plus think of the money!!!! If it were till 6:00 AM that’d be a 21 hour shift!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
So, as you can tell by the title, I had a good weekend! Friday Dave, Nathan and I went for lunch with Dann. It was our first time hanging out with him since his contract wasn’t renewed. It was cool hanging out with him. He invited me to see Monsters VS Aliens with him and his friend Jessie and her cousins. So after work he picked me up and we headed to West Ed.
That movie was hilarious! We were all laughing our asses off. It was in 3D too, and looked really cool. I’m a sucker for 3D.
Afterwards we went for drinks at the Lion’s Head (the pub on the main floor of the building Bioware is in). It was a good night.
The next day I hung out with Dann again. Him, Melissa and I went for pho (yum!!), then for drinks at Next Act, and finally watched episodes of How I Met Your Mother. I got to borrow it, and it’s freakin’ hilarious! I have such a crush on Alyson Hannigan.
Sunday was a lazier day. I was in a really good mood and it was beautiful out so I decided to go for a drive. Ended up driving out to Leduc for no apparent reason at all. It was great, singing along to the tunes with the window down, enjoying the weather. After that I did some grocery shopping. I decided to get some frozen dinners to eat at work, felt kind of funny coming in to the office on a Sunday with a bag of groceries. The rest of the day I watched episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
So it was a pretty fun weekend!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
As the game gets closer and closer to release, we’re releasing more details, and thus I’m linking them. This article, also from GDC, includes the following video with gameplay and cutscenes. For GDC there was little to no music, but you can hear the high quality sound and voice-acting. This is the game I play 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
P.S. This other article here is an interview that has some more details about Mass Effect 2 for you Mass Effect fans!