Stories by Andy
In 1978 disco was king, Jerry Brown was Governor, and the people ruled. They voted 2-to-1 in favor of Proposition 13, rolling back property taxes.
Recently, I grabbed my friend Lee and embarked on a grand quest to find cool t-shirts in San Diego. In normal times, shops that sell artistic t-shirts appear and disappear at Whack-a-Mole speed. But this economy has turned the San Diego t-shirt industry into a horror movie.
The current slices on offer at Zia's Gourmet Pizza. Photo by Andy Trimlett
T-Shirt Hunting in San Diego
Zia Gourmet Pizza has ruined pizza for me. & Sure, I can still enjoy a pepperoni pizza, but it has lost the magic that it possessed before I discovered pizza covered in rosemary potatoes and cream cheese, spinach and yogurt. & Now, before you descry this shocking transmogrification of pizza as blasphemy (and by the way, Zia is worlds away from CPK & ndash; the whole wheat crust is sheer genius), I ask you to simply walk through the doors of this humble Normal Heights establishment and lay down a few bucks for a slice. &
Most first-person games set the camera in the head of the character, which makes things easy to control, but forces a very fluid movement that looks unnatural. &
Lead Designer Jonny Ebert started off by explaining the three keys to success of the first incarnation of the
So yes, the chainsaw bayonet is back. & "Of course the chainsaw is back," says Cliff. & "That's our lightsaber." & One new tool in your gore creation kit is the Mulcher, which sounds a lot like the Heavy's gun from
For a long time, cut scenes were the principal way to advance the plot in a video game. & For some reason, game creators more or less took you out of the game and into a movie when they wanted to tell you what was going on. & Bioshock wasn't the first to use "discoverables" to tell the story -- an old letter, and audio recording, a newspaper -- but they certainly showed us all how much more powerful (and fun to play) a story could be when most of the story is advanced in the game itself. & And Bioshock inspired Cliff for the sequel to
In this season, "we're traveling around [more than in the first], and amping up the bizarre scenarios." & But really, it doesn't matter where this dog and rabbit go, or what story they're involved in, for Steve, "The plot existed to give the characters things to say to each other."
In this version, which supposedly features "new, action-packed sequences" where you get to "fly as Harry Potter, play Quidditch, mix up magical potions," and even duel, according to John Fenno, the game's product manager. Games based off of movies are rarely worth a salt, but according to John there is a crew from the movie dedicated to ensuring the game lives up to the standards of the movie. And the bespectacled magician's creator, J.K. Rowling, is even overseeing the project, so I'll cross my fingers for this one. This new installment of Harry Potter is made for the Wii, so if they can manage to really take advantage of the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wiimote - making it feel like you're really mixing potions, for example - then they'll be well on their way to making a winner. The broom race seemed to be a good start, so we'll see.
Straight from the marketing department, according to MK creator, Ed Boon. & I have to say, that is not a great start for creativity, but since it is internet fashion to beat up on MK, I'll leave that alone. & Boon told me, "We've been making MK games since 1992, which is a long time. & At some point around MKIV, we talked about & 'wouldn't it be cool if we made a versus game with one of our competitors?'" & He mentioned Street Fighter and Virtua Fighter, but ... there's a game called Street Fighter, there's a game called Virtua Fighter, and we thought it would be cool." & That would actually be pretty cool. & But I imagine the corporate war that would ensue would be bloodier than anything in the MK universe. & And, according to Boon, that project "never really panned out." &
After needlessly crossing the length of downtown -- at the brilliant suggestion of a friend of mine -- we showed up to our first press party of the evening at 9:30 p.m. & The company throwing the party shall remain nameless. & But suffice it to say, I hope their new video game will be better produced than the party they threw last night. & I counted nine people in the bar. & It still makes me hurt inside.