I feel weak. I’m playing an MMOG that Wen got me into. I’m giving money to Sony. I’m in a game based on a franchise of movies that I maybe liked for about a week when I was a little kid and was impressed by special effects. I’m probably paying royalties to the man who forced the character of Jar jar Binks on us all. All this is true, and yet somehow, Star Wars Galaxies is a good game.

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What the fuck is a .plan file? I think they came into vogue after John Carmack started publishing his in a sort of weird quasi-open sourcey let-the-future-customers-know-what’s-happening sort of deal, and as a cheap way to get advance publicity. Nobody needs it anymore, since you know as soon as you let some crappy site like Gamespot know you have some sort of an inkling of an idea for a game, they’ll be hyping it up at least 4 years before it comes out anyway (if you give them enough press junkets and free food). So now .plan files tend to be pretty much primitive blogs. "I’m the lead designer of Pirate Cavemen in Space the MMORPG… wow my big toe really hurts today… don’t buy KFC food, man I hate that guy at the drive thru near the office… Hootie and the Blowfish really rock…"

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After watching Kat’s band play tonight, I realized that there were some simple things that bands should be doing in order to improve their audio performance. They were actually a pretty good R&B band, but something about sonic flaws just irritates the engineer in me. The problem is, it’s very rare that the band is even aware of these little sonic problems, as they stand on the stage being blasted by a relatively clean monitor mix and the guitarist’s entirely too huge stack they’re forced to stand downrange of. Nobody ever tells them this either, since in general your audience is not made up of audiophiles, and they’re used to this sort of live mix. The sound guy is probably not going to tell you either, since live sound engineers, as opposed to good recording engineers, are generally people who pick up a night’s work for like $50 and a beer or six, are usually half deaf, and about half of them are such bitter people they don’t give a shit anyway. Therefore, with the incredibly unlikely goal of getting a better audio experience the next time Wen drags me away from my computer, here are some useful tidbits I’ve found helpful. Note that all of this could be for naught if the venue you’re playing has SHIT gear, a SHIT engineer, or NO engineer. A lot of little places have these problems. Suck it up, I guess.

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How stupid do people find those game postmortems that show up on Gamasutra or in Game Developer? "What went right: Purdy pikchurs. What went wrong: Our game sucks." What then could be more annoying than a postmortem on not even a game, but a mod for a game? What a waste of time! It sounds like a really good idea as I sit at my computer, having not slept for several days and watching Monkey Magic episodes. Monkey Magic! Monkey Magic! Monkey Magic!

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Microsoft’s project to dominate all facets of the computer industry continues as it buys FASA and manages to make a game out of Battletech that’s enjoyable for a while.

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The team that designed the pretty damn good Imperium Galactica 2 takes several giant steps backward in the successor, reaffirming the industry trend of making nothing but inferior sequels with higher system requirements, and my personal reluctance to buy any game ever again.

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Have you ever bought a game that looked like it had potential, if only bugs would be addressed? Have you ever waited patiently for a patch to address bugs, and find out that what the devs release might possibly fix some bugs (but more likely not), but added a bunch more? Have you ever seen bugs posted again and again on forums, only to get one of the following replies?

  • This is not the appropriate place to post this
  • Did you email this in? If you didn’t email it in, we don’t know about it, despite countless posts about it here which we obviously read and a QA department
  • We are unable to reproduce this bug that apparently affects everyone who posts here
  • WTF U SUX NWN R00LZ!

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#include "annoying_stuff"

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Truth be told, I wasn’t even interested in DAoC when it was being hyped and released. Wen badgered me into getting the game for her, and I tried it out for a couple of days and was slightly miffed to find that I sorta liked it. Then Wen snuck out and bought me a copy while I was asleep, and I continued playing it. My general impression was, "It’s Everquest without the sucky bits." Now if that statement makes DAoC sound derivative, it’s absolutely correct. However, when comparing something to EQ with the qualifier "without the sucky bits," you might as well be talking about an entirely different game. Most of EQ can be categorized as "sucky bits."

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Later on 11/7, two other versions of what happened during the dying days of SND appeared, on The Chosen and Mobhunter. The former is very similar to Down in Flames structure and information-wise but puts a positive spin on Myschyf (not surprising, considering that after SOMETHING BAD she approached them to take her on as a writer), and the latter is strange, concluding with a reference to EQ’lizer going down, a bizarre non sequitur but important to the EQ crowd I suppose. These accounts point out more rifts and personal conflicts that contributed to the site’s demise, miss some other details, add some details I missed, put different spins on details, etc. I have no problem with other versions of what happened, as long as they are as honest as possible and backed by research with multiple sources. What bugs me is when people say things like, "Thanks for getting an accurate version of this up there that does more than rumor-monger." It’s not so much that articles may similar to mine. The fact that the only other story up at the time was mine seems to imply that all I did was rumor-monger and didn’t have the facts straight. The whole concept of objectvism/truth is what bugs me, and I’m going to tell you now, in a situation like this, "truth" is a mutable commodity based on whom you talk to.

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