Another video that I… “produced” … is up on

Sometimes I don’t like being just the guy behind the scenes 🙂

It isn’t anyone’s fault, everyone on our team is aware of the work I do, but sometimes I wish it was more visible to the public. I guess it is because I’m used to writing articles, that have my name so prominently attached, or blog posts that are so clearly mine… but when I work on videos for 10, I can be the guy who set up the interview, contacted all the right folks to make it happen and even (in this case) went over and held the camera… but yet, my name doesn’t end up anywhere in the video or the post. I’m not suggesting it should have (or that anyone is choosing to omit my name), by the way, I have the ability to edit the post at anytime so if I wanted it there… I’d just put it there… but it still seems like I’m missing out on some sort of credit. It would be cool to be able to point at a page that listed all the videos that I was the driving force behind… even if I then someone else was actually onscreen … collaborative effort and all that…

I guess that is just life in video land 🙂

Oh yeah, the video… we just put a video interview with a series of Xbox community folks. This all took place on the same day as the interview with Louis Castle from EA… I heard (through Mike at that EA was going to have these guys and gals in town to look at the new Battle for Middle Earth II and I bugged the Xbox guys (well, Tony Hynes to be specific… the Xbox guy behind the event) to get us permission to crash the party with a camera. Of course, Major Nelson had already arranged to be there along with his camera guy, so it was quite a crowd. Snagging each of the community folks one at a time (or two at a time in one case) and interviewing them on their own was nice though, good to get in touch with some of the people behind these great podcasts and sites.

BioWare is putting on a big giveaway/contest…

I’m certain I can’t enter, being a MSFT employee and all, but you can!

While I was there, I noticed they are running another contest as well, for an Alienware PC, tied to the release of Jade Empire for the PC. And, while we are on the subject of BioWare, we might as well mention Mass Effect (Big BioWare RPG for the Xbox 360)!!

Xbox 360 roundup: Blazing Angles, Rumble Roses and Tomb Raider

I’ve recently taken a little break from playing Oblivion, which had been the only disc in my 360 for the past couple of months, and I decided to try a range of games. While working on our book, Xbox 360 for Dummies, I added every single 360 game to my Q on, so I end up getting a random selection whenever I send back the previous game.

This month, I returned Full Auto (interesting idea, combining guns and driving, but after playing PGR 3, Ridge Racer 6, and Need For Speed: Most Wanted… it just didn’t seem like my kind of driving game) and ended up with Rumble Roses XX. Whatever else I may say about that game, it certainly has expanded the range of games that I have tried. I’ve only played it for about an hour, but it left me with some mixed feelings so far. On one hand, it appears to be a pretty good wrestling game and I am completely in favour of sexy, scantitly glad women wrestingly on high-definition television. The problem for me is that the game seems to take it a bit too far. The idea of a good fighting game where the characters happen to be very attractive women is a good one… but even the quick match I played involved a little fashion show to start, taking way too long for each character to do a ‘runway walk’ back and forth before getting into the ring. Outside of the fighting, the addition of a photo-shoot mode really showed how far from my idea of a ‘game’ this title goes. I have no doubt that there is an audience for this game, but I prefer to keep my hand on the controller while playing. DOA4 hits a better balance in this sub-genre of games (the ones with hot chicks in revealing clothing that is), focusing way more on the fighting and letting the fact that the fighters are sexy women be a nice side benefit. DOA4 does have additional costumes, but the lack of a photo shoot mode and a much deeper game makes it more my style. I haven’t played the DOA volleyball game, but I gather it is more aimed at the Rumble Roses XX crowd.

My other full game experience this month has been with Blazing Angels, a game that I’ve been excited about from the moment I read the first description of it online. I love WWII planes, specifically the Spitfire, and I’ve been reading books about them ever since I was old enough to pick them out myself. I’ve played Combat Flight Simulator and other flying games (not that this is a simulator, it is more of a Crimson Skies type of game) that covered some of these planes, but I have never found one that looked or played this good. Flying a Spitfire IX over London, chasing down wave after wave of ME109s and Stukkas never really gets old for me. The Arcade mode makes for a lot of replayability after the campaign is done, and mutliplayer is always a good feature…. I’ve been playing Split Screen with my son, although he is enjoying flying his ME262 into the eiffel tower so much that he usuallly crashes before I can even come close to shooting him down.

I played a few other games here and there, but none of them for very long… certainly not long enough to form much of an opinion. I tried the Tomb Raider demo though and I was quite impressed. If Ms. Croft was formed a bit more like Joanna Dark I would have been able to take it a bit more seriously, but all in all it reminded me a lot of the Prince of Persia games… but with the graphics bumped up a bit by the 360.

Next up, I’ll probably try out the table tennis game, Major Nelson was pushing it pretty hard the last time we chatted (and that is always a good indicator for me), and I’m really looking forward to Battle for Middle Earth II to hit the 360.

Favorite quote about the Wii

This is from a great blog “SuburbanJoe” :

“The fact that it is pronounced like “we” lets them say silly things like “Wii are going to change gaming” and the double lowercase “i” is supposed to be evocative of both the controller and the ability for people to play together as it looks like two people standing next to each other. Two limbless, hairless, featureless people who live next to a giant “W”.”

lest you think he is just another Nintendo basher, he goes on to make some really great points about how Nintendo makes good games for both adults and kids (much better games for kids than the Xbox has, if I wasn’t opposed to yet another console in the house, I would have bought a gamecube for my son ages ago)… and that people shouldn’t be reacting so strongly to the name

“what person can look at a console, look at the games, say “yes, I want to play those” but then doesn’t because they don’t like the name? Do these people, upon hearing that their friends’ or relatives’ new baby, who had, in the womb, originally been named Mark, is now named Christopher, swear off all contact with the new child? Is that child now dead to them as all support for the spawn evaporates?”

RE: I stumped Major Nelson

The source behind several of our questions for the recent Major Nelson bit on 10 is revealed, thanks Xbox Elle!

A fun little game show, How well do you know your box(or is it Xbox? I can’t tell), was posted to on Friday. Laura and Tina try to stump Major Nelson with a bunch of trivia questions, and guess what, three of them were mine! Tee hee!
Which ones? Gamerscore, gamertag length, and languages. He got only one of those right. In your face, MN

[Via Circlets]

Ok, so *this* has never happened with a Visual Basic book…

I’ve remarked to a few people that writing a more ‘consumer’ focused book has been quite different from my usual area of writing (covering programming topics mostly), but this takes the cake.

Gadget Models, a site that seems to combine the two popular topics of models and technology, has run a feature that includes our book. Sadly, we weren’t at all involved. Note to anyone who is worried about the content of the site itself, I didn’t look through it all but it doesn’t seem to cross into nudity or anything like that…

On another note, I just got back tonight from a week’s vacation… a vacation that included a lot of sleep and even some reading (of actual books), but no Xbox 360 and almost no email… so tonight I’m hoping to get back on with Oblivion!