Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wall.E Watchmen Mashup

If you thought Wall.E was a movie for kids...

I actually recommend watching the HD version... very sweet :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Apparently Apple invented all the fancy browser features we have today

Wow!  I'm flawed by the arrogance of Apple in their marketing of Safari 4 beta.  

They claim Safari is the first web browser to have features that Firefox and Opera have had for up to 15 years!  Some of the features they claimed to be the first browser to have were available in Internet Explorer 5.

Opera's has document clearly all the dates and version all each feature was included in Opera.

When Google released Chrome, they had the decency to credit other browsers for some of their features.  Nobody cares that they borrowed features.  It creates competition and is good for consumers.  But don't lie to your customers and claim old ideas as your own.

You can read the debate about which features were innovated by Safari and which were innovated by Opera at Call to action: Deceptive marketing of Safari 4.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Diffusion Curves: The next advancement in vector illustrations

I've done a couple of gradient mesh works using Illustrator.  The G-mesh tool in Illustrator works to create organic looking work, but a drawing can become extremely tedious.

Some guys have created what appears to be the perfect solution with Diffusion Curves.  It's difficult to explain how it works, so watch the video:

The tool itself includes a few other clever ideas that I wouldn't mind seeing in Inkscape, such as the "active contour" feature that attracts curves to the contour of underlying image.

I haven't yet tried the tool, but you can download it at the Diffusion Curves publication page.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MadWorld: The next Wii game I'll buy

This time I won't wait 12 months to get it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No More Heroes no more

Goddammit!  Yet another game I intended to buy for the Wii, once I could find it for a budget price, is no longer in print less than a year after release.

No More Heroes was released March 20 2008 and is not available at any major retailers at the time of this post.

No More Heroes wasn't reviewed as highly as my usual game purchases, but I loved the strangeness of Suda 51's previous game, Killer 7, so was interested to play No More Heroes in hopes of experiencing that same strangeness.

Even though the Wii is super popular, this feels like GameCube all over, where I have to hunt very hard to find copies of games.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gillette: the best a gamer can get

So, Gillette have released a new razor specifically for Gamers.  Penny Arcade have provided a theory for why, and I suspect countless gamers are blogging about how stupid this is.  And therein lies the genius.  The idea that gamers need their own brand of razor is clearly stupid, but by doing so Gillette have generated a viral campaign.  Gamers blogs are now advertising the Gillette brand for them.  And think what it'll do for their Google ranking.  Clever.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mirrors Edge Impressions

I was bought Mirror's Edge for the PS3 for Xmas and I've been playing it very slowly.

I think the game is really clever, and can be a lot of fun.  But unfortuntely I find that it offers as much frustration as fun.

I have to be honest, I've never ever played a FPS using a dual-analogue controller.  So I felt very clumsy to begin with but I don't think it's a limitation for me now.  Having said that, the overall controls and gameplay feels more like you are rolling a dice than mastering a game.

For the most part, running and jumping is great.  I have a hard time maintaing momentum but I know this is because I don't know the levels and I haven't played enough.  But at times you know you have to jump across at a certain point but getting across isn't so obvious.  During these times I'll die tens of times.  Although, to be fair, this is something I can improve at, but it's still extremely frustrating.

The worst and most hair-pulling part is when you have to take on armed foes.  Getting pass these parts is when I die seemingly countless times.  Taking out a foe with a pistol is relatively fun and easy.  You have plenty of time to disarm these guys.  But the guys with shotguns and machine guns are almost impossible to disarm.  You only have a split-second to press the disarm button and I don't know how anyone could ever get it right more than 50% of the time.  And if you miss you're dead.

You can slow down time to so you can do it more easily, but even then, I find myself responding the foes movements rather than when his weapon turn red to indicate when he can be disarmed.  His arm moves over his head to attempt to pistol-whip me, and that's when I press the disarm button, which is too early and then I'm as good as dead.  The ability to slow down time is very limited and doesn't build up until you start running around, and you can't run much after disarming the first guy before the next five have shot you dead.  Oh, and it only takes a few hits to kill you, so whilst sometimes you can run away, often you'll have to run directly at a firing weapon and just hope the guy is sucky shot.

I'm sure there are ways I can improve, and in that regard I wish Mirrors Edge had better training levels where you could practice and master the controls.  The first level introduces what each button does, hints about some of the techniques, slaps you on the arse and sends you on your way.  After that, you die so quickly you really don't get a chance to learn the more advanced techniques that might help.

I do actually enjoy the game, in that I want to play it.  But I only play one level at a time.  Any more  than that and I know I'm putting my plasma at risk of becoming a target for the PS3 controller.