How 'bout a little Magitek mayhem?
Thanks to Xorth for giving me a change of subject.
I'm happy to announce that my family and I are in the process of adopting a little girl from China! We hope to bring her home early next year sometime. We actually started the process in January and have gotten a lot done towards it. Please keep us in your prayers!
I wrote a twitter bot on the @HaloCharts twitter. With it, you can reply to @HaloCharts with #halo4stats followed by your gamertag and after a few seconds, @HaloCharts will reply to you with the Halo 4 stats of the gamertag you entered. It's cool!
Here's a screenshot of how your reply should look for it to work:
I have setup a system that will let you generate a Halo 4 Stats Signature Image. Check it out here: http://firestream.net/h4sigs/
There are a lot of uses for images like these, including the use of them on your own site or blog, post them on twitter/facebook, or stick them in your forum signatures all over. Hopefully somebody will find this useful and I only wish I could have set this up 5 months ago :)
It's nice here. Taken with my iPhone 4S
Here's my entry for the Art Challenge, tweeted out
by @DestinyTheGame the other day.
It's Destiny re-imagined as an old-school SNES era video game! (A la Mega Man)
I worked on the model a bit more. Better lighting and shadows and better reflections too. Enjoy!
Ok, here's all 3 of the Destiny Tricord renders for your viewing pleasure! Done with 3DS Max and a little touch up in Photoshop. They look really good full-size
A dark version... came out nice!
I made this over the weekend, but am just now posting it. Enjoy.
I'm having a blast getting back into 3D! It's been a few years.
I made this for my company
. Just sticking it here so I can get to easily.
I have a lot of new #Destiny art to work with, thanks to their GDC presentation. Here's a kick-off desktop. Enjoy!
Started this one last year. Finished finally!
In theaters soon...
Heavy inspiration from the original Star Wars posters from 1977.
Thanks to Archive.org, I've started building out an archive of a lot of my old work. Came across the original design for HaloCharts.com. This is from November, 2007. Who remembers it? Man, good times...
I had some great feedback in the Bungie forums
on my movie poster. So here's an updated version with some rework.
Back in the day, Halcylon, who now works for Bungie, created some amazing Halo-themed movie posters for Halo 3, Halo Reach and Halo 3 ODST
. I have always admired his work, and those posters inspired me to take a shot at doing one for Destiny. This is the first time I've ever tried something like this and I don't think it's anywhere near as good as his entries, but I had a blast trying!
Here is the result, hope you like it!
I've started a cult. That sounds bad doesn't it? Bungie goes and shows off Destiny, and all it's awesomeness. I knew I wanted to build another HaloCharts-ish site around it instantly, but I was never settled on a name. I went ahead and got DestinyStats.com in preparation for it, but after a week or two of seeing a dozen or so Destiny sites popup, I decided to change my approach. So, I give you the Cult of Destiny (http://cultofdestiny.com
So what is it?
It will be a site that encompasses the best ideas from HaloCharts, HaloUnity, and maybe a few things from HaloSphere. It will be all about Destiny, obviously, and it will be invite-only. It will support mobile and desktop from the ground up. It will be fantastic.
Yes, for a few reasons. I learned a lot building HaloCharts, especially once it started hitting 15,000 people per day. I learned that I can't handle it all on my own, both time and money concerns. I want to build something great and have a good time doing it, without it turning into a second job. That's why I'm going invite only this time.
I'll post more as I get further setup. We have a lot of time though, as I don't even know if Destiny will be out this year. I've already reached out to a few of you to help me in this project, you know who you are. It's going to be a fun, exciting system and I look forward to Destiny more than ever!
I'm not sure why it never crossed my mind to do some desktops with the various Bungie iconography. So, thanks to Spawn on Twitter, I decided to make this. It's minimalistic on purpose, so I hope you like it.
Feeling all artsy and stuff...
Welcome to the all new Firestream.net! It's still my personal website, but I have completely redone it to be easier for me to update and easier for people to use. The main focus will be my desktop art, now available in it's own section at the top. I'll also continue to blog and I have written up a section for my projects, both current and past. Take a look around and soak it all in. Oh, also it's fully responsive, so it will load correctly on your desktop, phone or tablet! Hope you all like it.
Things I'll be adding next:
- I'll put back the RSS feed
- Search box
- Contact Form
Moving to a new server soon, so this gives me a chance to clean up some old stuff. Along with this I'm closing some older sites, so check them out why they are still up!
This is actually HC Redemption's baby, but it's been dead a long time. We agreed to finally close it's doors for good. Better go screencap your profile if you have one there.
Tons of Halo desktop art from a lot of people
A stat sig creator site for Black Ops.
A database of RPGs for iOS devices. It never really took off either, and I've had a lot of trouble keeping it updated.
Never really got off the ground
Never really got off the ground
My art site (this site) now has an official Android app! It's called 'Firestream Backgrounds' and it will grow out quickly to be a great collection of backgrounds for your mobile phone or tablet.
Now, I am asking a buck for this app, so I hope that won't scare you away. I'm undertaking something this year that will require a great deal of money, and this app is just one of a few ways I hope to raise a bit of extra cash. If you support it, I'd very much appreciate it!
Day 1 it doesn't have a ton of art available, but that will grow extremely fast over the next month. Check it out! P.S. Apple wouldn't approve the version I originally did, so this will be Android only for now.
Why do we cringe when we see an app that costs money? This has been on my mind a lot lately, mostly because I'm on both sides of the fence as both an app consumer and an app developer.
I can tell you a lot of times I'll be browsing an app store (both iTunes and Play as I have multiple devices) and I'll see both free apps and paid apps, and 9 times out of 10 I just won't pay a dollar for an app. I look at the app and instantly my mind goes to 'No way would I spend a buck on that', even if the app is decent. Why is that? Why do so many of us absolutely refuse to pay for software, especially mobile software? I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks this way.
Now, in real life I'd say two or three times a week I stop by a store and buy a drink, easily spending $1.50 - $2.00 each time. If you eat out a lot, you might be paying a dollar or so to upsize your meal, or adding a dollar here or there for extra things. It's the same amount of money being spent on consumables as you'd be spending on apps for your phone, something you keep with you all the time and probably use multiple times per day. I can say I'm a cheapskate when it comes to buying apps, but not that way on most other things (not to say I just blow money left and right).
Making good mobile software takes a lot of time, more than I expected after having done it for a while. I've been doing websites and web applications for a long time and am fairly quick and getting something together that is functional and ok looking. It's taken well over 2 years for me to get to the point in app development that I am efficient and confident in what I'm building.
The worst part is, on average it takes about 20-30 hours to produce an ok iPhone app that meets the basic functionality requirements that I set for myself. If I charge a dollar for that app, take out Apple's cut and pay taxes on the income, and then factor in the yearly $100 fee to even be in the App Store and finally deduce my hardware costs, how much money am I really making? Now if I could charge $2.99 (or more) and people actually be willing to spend that much (when they are more than willing to spend that on cokes or cigarettes or whatever else on a near daily basis), then my return on app development would be far more worthy of the time it takes to build good software.
I say all of this because I'm just like everybody else. I don't like seeing the price tag associated with an app that looks interesting, but I don't flinch usually when it comes to spending that amount on other things. I'm going to make it a point to think about that more though when I see an app that might be useful, because there's a lot of poor developers out there that really want to make great things, but can't (unless they are really lucky) because of the current app pricing model that has become the norm.
It doesn't help either that there's no such thing as paid updates. So you give me your $1 once and you are then entitled to get every update to that piece of software so long as it gets updates. That's great for consumers, but not for the developers. I'd really like to see that option become available. I would never charge for every update, but there are updates worthy of charging that dollar again. You can't expect to get every version of PC/Mac software for free can you? Why should it be that way for mobile software?
So, in short, apps take time and cost us money to make. I'm going to try harder to support the starving devs out there who make great software. Most of us don't put an app in the store and instantly make $10,000 (in fact I never have). Think about that the next time you're itching to add a new icon to your phone :)
I had a lot of free time this weekend, which allowed me to get a lot done on HaloSphere2 and Legacy!
First, I replaced the oddball system with a new Juggernaut system. The mechanics are similar, but if you become a Juggernaut your name will glow in the match list and your Attack and Defense will be 25% higher. Also, every game you win as the Juggernaut will give you 2X payout! It's pretty cool.
I was able to get HaloSphere1 working as HaloSphere Legacy now and it has integration with HaloSphere2, which is going to lead to some new awards and achievements very soon. HaloSphere Legacy has reached over 35,000 people since 2009!
HaloSphere2's profile pages have been cleaned up a lot, with a new tab breakdown to make them easier to view. There are more cleanup changes planned very soon. That's a quick summary of what's new! Season #2 is well underway, so come by and check it all out!
Quick update on 1.1. It was approved by Apple today! It was mostly a bug-fix release, but has a few new features as well.
- stability bugs fixed, should run much smoother now
- added playlist section with population data from HC
- weapons and medals now contain ranks
Check it out at:
Android version is about 40% complete! Hoping for release by end of the month.
I was getting tired of the old look here and wasn't happy with the top navigation. So, you're looking at the new and improved Firestream.net, with a much easier way to see all of my current projects in one place.
The top tiles will link to the things I'm currently working on. I'll keep that updated and switch them out / add new things as they happen. The site still fits well on a phone too, if anybody out there actually browses here on their phone.
So now you can see why I never get anything done! Too many fires going at once...
Apple has had itunesconnect to track iOS apps for a few years now. I've become an avid user of the system and have discovered a lot of shortcomings to it. Not that Apple would ever read my blog, but I'm going to list them out anyways.
- Provide total download counts for all apps. There are no running totals that I can find anywhere.
- On reviews, it should display to the developer the iOS device and iOS version the user was using when they reviewed.
- Show how many views your App Page got per day, as this would help you know how many people passed over your app on a daily basis
- Give you a way to contact people who leave reviews. How am I supposed to help people if I can't contact them?
- Allow you to click the bars in the stat graphs to see how many downloads you had on that day. Basically they just need better reporting.
Sigh.... probably won't ever get any of that.
Anybody else as exited as me for this game? It will be the first PS3 game I've wanted in over a year, and it should have come out a long time ago. See my demo impressions here
For about a month, I've been working with Xorth from HaloTracker.com
to build out a nice iOS Halo 4 stat tracking app. It was approved this morning and is available now in the iTunes App Store.
Stat Tracker Halo 4 Edition:
This app features an optimized layout for the iPhone, making it quick and easy to see your Halo 4 stats, Leaderboards and the active War Games Challenges. We will be expanding it out a lot over the coming weeks as we get feedback and reviews. Android version in the works, to be released ASAP!
Thanks to @Fyrewulff
, I had some cool shots of the Didact to mess around with. Here's a desktop I put together featuring him. Enjoy!
This is all Smyf's fault. If he hadn't said the other day that I should build some stats based off of twitter data, none of this would have happened. So thanks to Smyf, I made this
It's actually almost a complete copy of the Halo Reach Stats Comparison tool I wrote a few years ago for HaloCharts. The code mostly worked still, so with a little messing around, it now functions as a great way to compare your Twitter stats. Enjoy!
Twitter Stats Comparison
Happy to announce that my Kids Eat Free Finder app "Hungry Kidz" was approved and is now available on iOS. The app is simple in design, allowing you to find restaurants running free or discounted kids meals in your area. It is currently only serving parts of North Alabama, mostly around Huntsville, but will expand over time.
It's gonna be a great year for movies. Here's my
list of must-sees and maybe-sees, really more for my own benefit. Each has the release date and should link to a trailer for it. I'll try to keep this updated through the year as more movies are announced.
Not sure how many people know about this, but right about the time Halo 4 launched I setup a JSON service to get the current Halo 4 challenges. It hasn't worked very well since then, but the other night I finally fixed the problems. I also added 2 fields to make showing when it ends easier.
To give you an idea of what you can do with this, check out this page by HaloCommunity.com to see what they are doing:
The JSON service is at:
Since I no longer have HaloCharts, which required a ton of hardware and bandwidth, I've downgraded to a much cheaper dedicated server, but still a nice one.
2X Intel Xeon E5620 2.40 GHz Quad-Core 8 Threads (w H/T)
12 GB RAM
1.5 TB diskspace
10 TB monthly bandwidth allowance
Old server was a dual hex-core with 12GB RAM and a 120gb SSD RAID10... but this server is plenty fast still for what I need now. Better yet, it costs about 70% less per month than the old one did :)
So far, I've moved 6 websites over to it with about 6 more to go. Halosphere and Halounity have not moved yet, but will within a week.
Is this running Android behind the scenes? Looks pretty, but can't see any reason to use it over iOS/Android/WP8.
Just got this one off to the approval queue, hoping it passes! Hungry Kidz is an iOS app that will help you find restaurants doing 'kids eat free' days in your area. However, for now its just for places in my area of North Alabama.
Once it gets off the ground, if it gets some use I'll expand it out to more cities and states. I think it can be an extremely useful app to help you save a few bucks if you have kids and eat out often.
Wish me luck!
Unfortunately, things haven't really panned out for HaloUnity.com
. The site was a big success at launch with a lot of activity. However, it has dwindled out over time for a lot of reasons, and I'm sad to say I'm not sure what to do with the site now.
First and foremost, it has no leader. I launched it and life took over so I've had no time to really manage it. Since that time a few great guys have taken the helm and given it their best, but things just haven't turned around for the site. It's nobody's fault. Maybe it's lacking interest in Halo or the fact that most of us already have a home site to spend time at. I think it also is that many of my goals for the site just didn't happen. I worked hard on it, and so many others did as well, but sometimes it's just not meant to be.
Now, I could shut it down, but maybe there's something that could be done with it. It does have a few things going for it:
, the official twitter of Halo Unity has over 2000 followers.
, the official iOS app has over 1400 downloads in less than a month
So if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Please comment below, or email me at email@example.com
BigTeamBattle.net is running a logo contest for the relaunch of their site. Below are the logo designs I entered. I have no idea who won and I haven't seen all the entries. These are in order of creation, but I'll comment about each one because I was happier with some and not others.
My first attempt at a new BTB element, massive failure IMO.
I wasn't happy at first with this one, but then a few days went by and I decided it was ok. It has a hog in it, which is pretty iconic BTB. I created that slogan as well, but it's really just filler.
This one is just ok as well. Kinda boring and safe. No room for a slogan.
Another BTB emblem attempt. Not great.
Starting to get somewhere finally. The font was ok, and the emblem is better, but the fade in the middle of it is ugly.
One of my favorites. The BTB emblem finally looks good to me here. I'm not sure about the shadow, but the overall logo came out nicely IMO.
My favorite of them all. It has all the colors they wanted. It's minimalistic and uses the new emblem well.
Kind of a mix of #8 and #2. It's ok, but busier than I like.
Another attempt to mix #2 and #8, with a cool Halo-like ring. Not amazing, but not terrible either.
So out of these, which one do you like best?
This desktop is actually based off the shots of the new Play Arts Kai figures coming out next year, particularly the Sarah Palmer
one. More info on them.
I spent a little bit of time tonight with the first PS3 game (as a demo) that I've wanted to play in probably a year at least. The demo is for Ni No Kuni 'Wrath of the White Witch', a game by Level-5 with art done by Studio Ghibli (who has done films like 'My Neighbor Totoro' and 'Ponyo')
Absolutely wonderful looking graphics. You feel like you are inside of a Studio Ghibli movie. Seems to be very polished with great backgrounds and textures. Everything looks super smooth and crystal clear. No complaints here.
The demo is short, but from what I've heard the music was very good. It's all orchestra, but everything seemed to fit the scenarios presented by the demo.
The battle system is initially confusing. There's really nothing in the demo that explains it to you before you start. After 30 minutes I'm still not quite sure what all you can and are supposed to do. It seemed to be a bit like Pokemon where your characters had pet-like creatures they could toss out on the battlefield. These creatures had their own attacks, HP and magic. You are also given control over movement on the battlefield, useful for dodging attacks, etc. I played a number of battles and a few 'boss' fights that were very challenging. Seems like a pretty deep battle system with a lot of skills, magic and creatures to get and train.
The demo doesn't give you much of the story. You are presented with two scenarios, one of which actually tells you a bit more before you start. Neither of them explain why you are doing what you are about to do very well, but the demo still gives you a good idea of the kind of storyline you'll be playing through. All in all it has a very magical feeling.
Final note: It has a world map! Something I think all RPG's should still have.
9/10 - only because the demo doesn't explain the battle system very well. Can't wait for the full game! Due out Jan 22nd, 2013
Hope you're enjoying Far Cry 3!
Some good friends of mine went off and built a very cool site to give the bearded-folk out there a place to pimp their beards. The concept is simple, upload a pick and people can 'like' it and you'll move up the leaderboard.
Other facial hair applies as well! I'm on there, but a better picture is coming soon.
It's been 5 days since my last post! That's unacceptable.
Well, I've been busy at least working on the new mobile mode for HaloSphere2. It's the same game you play in your browser, but now optimized for your phone's browser. Should work on any modern smart-phone! Here's a shot of it running on an iPhone:
Hope to see you soon at HaloSphere2!
Roll Tide Roll!
I setup a countdown site, similar to the one I did for Halo 4, this time for Bungie's upcoming Destiny!
PLEASE NOTE THE RELEASE DATE IS UNKNOWN. The countdown is a guess at this time until more info is revealed. Makes a good homepage :)
We have quite a few tablets at work, including a couple of my own. Had a few minutes this morning to pull up HaloWaypoint on all of them. Good times.
Running on my Macbook Pro, iPad (3rd gen), Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and Surface RT.
Some things I noticed:
Apple iPad (3rd gen)
: Works really well. Smooth scrolling all over. Background images scroll with page, which I don't think they are supposed to. Stats worked about as well as on your desktop, but the entire design seems very oriented to a Tablet and not a PC.
: Also worked well. Backgrounds rendered correctly and remained static as page scrolled. Very smooth, probably worked the best on this tablet out of all of the ones I had laying around.
Nexus 7 & Nexus 10
: Performed very poorly. Terrible scrolling performance. Backgrounds stayed static. Stats was very laggy and underperformed. Entire site and stats app were nearly unusable. This was the case on both tablets, although the 10 was running Android 4.2 and the 7 had Android 4.1
Just figured I'd share! And no, you can't have my Nestle Crunch bar.
Thanks to the leak today, there's a nice concept piece I can mess with. Here's a desktop to remind you that we still have so very long to wait...
This is a variation of the twitter background I did for TheHaloCouncil, setup as a traditional desktop wallpaper. Hope you like it!
Love these guys! Ancient Warriors
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all have a great day. I'm thankful for so many things, my Lord, my family, my job, where I live and for the freedoms we have in this great country. Be safe if you are travelling.
I'm super happy with this one, hope they like it!
Last night, I took a little bit of time to fix up HaloURL.com to be a bit more useful. I find it to be handy, so maybe others will over time. Here's what's new:
- URLs are even shorter now, down to just 3 characters!
- There's a JSON option now so that you can integrate the use of HaloURL into your own website if you'd like
- There's a bit more instruction on the site now, to help people know what to do
All previous HaloURL's should continue to work. Enjoy!
Desktop for The Real Forums
It's been a week since my last Halo Community desktop. This time, it's for Forge Hub
, a great site for all your forging needs! I tried to do more than one color variation for this one, but nothing would look good. Enjoy!
So, for being an attendee of MS Build 2012, I was given a MS Surface RT tablet. I would bet you've seen the crazy cool commercials for the device recently as they are pretty much aired during every TV show on cable. I've had mine a little over a week and have used it quite a bit, giving me enough time to really share my thoughts on it.
The hardware is great! It feels very sturdy, if not a little heavy. It has a plastic feel, but not a cheap feel. The material is somewhat of a fingerprint smudge magnet though. Here's a rundown of my favorite hardware features:
- Built in kickstand:
Super handy, but a little flimsy feeling. I hope it holds up after a lot of use.
- USB Port:
Every tablet should have this. Using Windows Explorer I can plug in a USB drive and copy files to and from. You can use the USB Port to plug in controllers, like a 360 controller. However, I'm not sure how many games support controllers yet.
- Expandable storage slot (Micro SD):
Also great, allowing me to gain more storage when I need it. My Surface is 32gb, but more than half of it is used between Windows RT and Office 2013
- Keyboard Cover:
The ones we were given came with a black keyboard cover. I was skeptical at first of how well this would work, but surprisingly it works great! I can type pretty fast now on it, but it took a few days to get used to it. The touchpad on it also works well, but is a tad small.
- The Screen
: It looks great, super bright and nice to watch video on
: Excellent battery life. I haven't timed it, but with daily use I'm only having to charge every 2-3 days or so. Most sites claim close to 10 hours
- The Screen
: It's a pretty low res screen, unfortunately, so reading on it kinda sucks, especially when you hold it in portrait orientation.
: Great for video, not great for holding to read IMO. I personally still like the 4:3 ratio better on this size of tablet (but not for a 7")
: It's too big. It's smaller than I thought it would be, but too big to be convenient to carry around with you unless you have a bag. I think I've just gotten used to the size of the Nexus 7 and feel that's the sweet spot for a tablet.
I was really sure that Windows 8 was going to be terrible. I watched a lot of videos of people struggling to get around it and figure things out, but after using it for a week I have changed my opinion. I think Windows 8 (RT in this case) is great from a usability standpoint.
It takes about 10 mins to get comfortable with the gestures and after that it's super easy to efficiently get around. It's not as dumbed down as iOS is so some people might take a bit longer to used to it. I think MS has done great work on this version. On the Surface you can only run apps shipped with it or from the Windows Store. That's ok though, because these limitations apply to the iPad as well and the two devices are priced about the same.
I like having a desktop when I need it, but I spend most of my time in the Start area or in apps. Side-by-side apps are fantastic. I can have Xbox Music running on the left and IE10 on the right. You could even have a 'Metro' app running on one side and the Desktop on the other. It's truly a more useful system for this reason alone.
It's drastically in need of software though. That's a pretty big problem right now if you compare it to iOS or Android. I have found a number of apps I am having trouble living without. I'm sure it will get there, but for now it's very far behind the competition.
It comes with Office 2013 preview and will be upgraded to full in the spring. Office 2013 is great and I used it to show a powerpoint, but I'm still not sure I'd want to build them on this. Out of all tablets though, this one is more productive for that kind of thing. Xbox Music is great from what I've used of it. You get at least a year of it for free on this device, but I really can't use the service until I can get it on my phone in my car.
Bang for the Buck
Since I didn't have to shell out $600 for this setup, I'm a little biased towards the greatness of this device. It is great and will get better over time. However, I don't think it's worth the price MS is asking at all. For the same amount of money you could get an iPad with a better screen, more apps and LTE. For even less you could get a Nexus 10 with an even better screen, more apps and more customization options. Or if you're really on a budget go get a Nexus 7 16gb for $200, which is by far my favorite tablet still.
Until there are more apps, I can't recommend anybody getting this tablet. I like it a lot and hope it does great, but there are much better options out today. If you need Office on the go, then this is perfect. It's too big for my liking, with a screen that really lacks when it comes to reading. Wait for Version 2 or the Surface Pro.
I just couldn't resist. There's a new Halo game full of numbers, so I threw together some (I think interesting) charts related to playlist populations on Halo 4 thus far. What better site to showcase this on then HaloCharts.com, so it's once again alive with a little bit of purpose.
What does this mean in the long run?
Who knows ultimately, but I know that I can't build what I had before on HC, due to time and resource limitations. That means there won't be much if any player specific stats anytime in the future, nor will there be player leaderboards. Once HaloWaypoint works their kinks out, it will be a fantastic place to track all of your personal player stats. I may do some things that supplement Waypoint, but you'll just have to wait and see.
What about the community side of HC?
I think everybody from the old HC has pretty much found new homes on the web, and if not there's HaloUNITY
, which will continue to get some updates and new functionality. I don't plan to add any community related things to HC this time around. There's enough sites out there already that have great groups of people, so there's no reason to setup yet another place for people to go. The focus will be Charts and only Charts.
Can I request things to be added to HaloCharts?
Yep! Of course, I have no idea if I'll be able to do all the things requested, and ultimately probably not, but I'm open to any cool ideas you may have.
So stay tuned! There's probably more coming. I am still waiting for my copy of Halo 4 to get here!
MS Build 2012 is where I'll be this week. Looking forward to see all the new stuff MS has been working on for some time now. Surface RT, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Azure, etc. Hoping that Halo 4 makes an appearance there, because you know that out of the 2000 or so devs going, a bunch of them will be Halo fans!
Follow my twitter
as I'll be posting stuff all week, and probably pictures too of any cool stuff I see.
Worked directly with DustStorm on this one! I think it came out nice.
Desktop for Podtacular
, an online Halo Podcast and community.
Desktop for HaloSphere2
, an online Halo MMORPG I actively develop.
A hodgepodge of recent desktop art:
Check out HaloUnity.com
! It's going to be very active when Halo 4 comes out.
HaloSphere2 is an online, browser based, Halo-theme MMORPG that has been in development for about two years. It actually started in late 2009 as an addition to HaloCharts and was very successful. HaloSphere2 broke off to it's own site in July of 2011. HaloSphere2 has not had the success that the first version had for a few reasons:
1) HS2 doesn't have a clear end-game. It should have had this at launch, and many people including myself and Psyfireman have thought about ways to add in an end-game to the mix, but it has never materialized. Without an 'end in sight' many people felt that there's no point to play without some obtainable goal in mind. I actually felt that way about Halo Reach's MM, so I never played it much.
2) HS2 didn't have a super-site to push it and there hasn't really been any push to advertise the game besides an online ad occasionally and word of mouth getting new players in. So it hasn't had the growth that I hoped for, unlike the first version which had HaloCharts.com around it. HS1 had over 35,000 players try it, many people really diving into it. HS2 has a little over 6,000 players currently, but only 12% of these players are active. Earlier this year around the 1yr anniversary the active rate was near 16%, which is pretty bad for a game that is only a year old.
3) There are flaws in the core gameplay and abuse of the system has been rampant for a while. It's unfortunate that people won't play a game as it's intended to be played, but all of the Halo games have seen this same effect, so I shouldn't be surprised when it happens to my own game. Outside of abuse there are certain gameplay elements that just aren't as much fun as they were in the first version. I won't spend any time here on which ones, but there were some conservative approaches taken that were probably good and bad for the game as a whole.
So what next?
I've struggled with what to do for a few months now. There's a few options, but I believe I have settled on the correct course of action for the game and it's future. I've spent 4 years on the system, and countless other people have given their time to the site, helping me run the day to day, manage players, think of ideas for the game and more. The game is still good, and can be very fun, it just hasn't lived up to the hype or the bar set by the original version.
Option 1 would be to start again, build a new ship, so to speak. It would be a ton of work and would require a lot of people who played the original version and HS2 to take a leap of faith, which can't be expected at this point due to the lack of attention to HS2 for a while now. I'm against this option.
Option 2 is to give up and the game is what it is, end the project, but allow it to continue running. This is pretty much the fate of the original version. It is running in a very broken state right now, hardly playable. I'm against this option also.
Option 3 is to fix HaloSphere2. Fix the holes, all of them. Fix the abuse the best I can and make the game stable to where people can play it without others ruining it. Improve the existing gameplay components, polish the UI more and just smooth things out. It will be a lot of work, but far less than trying again. This is the option I've settled on.
Along with fixing the game, I cannot expect every player who ever tried it to come back. I can't expect the active player count to really go up all that much, if ever again, but I can fix the game to be great and fun for the nearly 800 people out there that have stuck with it. It could take months, but the HaloSphere project has been a very fun hobby for a long time, and it sucks to see it decline and get abused by people who won't play fair, but I can do my best to make things good again.
With the imminent release of Halo 4, suddenly a ton of people are going to be excited again about Halo, possibly willing to try HaloSphere2 if it can be improved, and especially if it can surface up some Halo 4 related things to the gameplay.
So with the help of Psyfireman and the HS2 Staff, I'm going to fix it. It's going to be great again, and even if it makes a fun game for 1000 people, I'm happy. Numbers are not the end-all, and shouldn't be the focus, which a lot of times I'm guilty of focusing on these things. Please hang with me here on this! I truly believe I can make HS2 greater than it's ever been from now till it's 2nd birthday.
Thanks for reading this wall of text.
Halo 4 went gold a few days ago, so as a tribute here's a tasty golden logo desktop wallpaper I threw together. Enjoy!
I've had some issues getting my RPG Finder app approved by Apple. Some very frustrating issues, for over a month now. It's still not approved, but I just wanted to mention something that happened this morning that changes my opinion some of Apple and their iOS review practices.
Apple requested to call me about the rejections and go over why. That said a lot to me. They came to me, I didn't have to beg, I just simply wrote them on the latest rejection and said that I would need more assistance to fix what they didn't like. I had the call and it went well and I know now more about the issues and how to resolve them.
I never thought they'd give a little developer like me the time of day to go over why they rejected my app. That says a lot, and I am happy that they did what they did and I think I can work out the issues and move forward.
I did some digging in my logs and realized a ton of people were trying to hit the old RSS feed that was provided by wordpress, so I got that working again with a link to it up top. Hope it works!
I setup a blog stats section if anybody is interested. Thanks to some Waypoint mentions there's been a pretty steady flow of traffic to the site on a daily basis.
New Blog Background
Finally got a background I'm happy with. Simple, but gets it all looking a little bit less boring than before.
About a week ago, Twitter added a new header image feature to your profile page. Here's some Halo 4 themed header wallpapers, already setup to look good behind your avatar and bio. Enjoy!
To set one of these:
1. save the image to your computer
2. login to twitter
3. click the gear in the top right, then click edit profile
4. click on design over on the left side menu
5. by header, click change header
6. click choose existing image, select the image you saved
7, click Ok on the popup, then save at the bottom! DONE!
I got my Nexus 7 back in July, so I've had it for a little over two months. I still love it, by far the best tablet I've ever had. Just to be clear, my friends make fun of me often for how brief I keep technology. Sometimes weeks, sometimes only days. I see no reason to ditch the Nexus 7 anytime soon.
It's super fast and super portable. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean makes me take back everything bad I ever said about Android. It's smooth, polished, consistent, fast and flexible. It makes me want to go back to an Android phone, which I was quite over earlier this year. The Nexus 7 fits in your pocket too, making it more convenient than the iPad.
I picked up a nice leather case for it that lets the sleep/wake function work. I am disappointed that the official Google case didn't do that, but I was able to sell it and get more than I paid originally. I carry it with me almost everywhere I go. Being Wifi only hasn't been a problem. I can tether my phone to it, but usually pick up free Wifi while out.
Google Now beats Siri. There, I said it. I'd like my phone to have that feature, meaning I'd have to go back to Android. The Google ecosystem has vastly improved in the last year and a lot of iOS only apps are now on Android. No shortage of great games or apps, like it used to be a few years ago.
Emulation is crazy cool on it. I paired up a PS3 controller and it's like having a portable everything. NES, SNES, Genesis, GB, GBA, ScummVM, etc. My kids fight over playing on it.
So, don't go out and buy a Kindle, or a Nook or an iPad, go get a Nexus 7
This is the split up versions of the original
I posted the other day. Enjoy!
Some resized version of my past desktops to fit the iPhone 5 screen resolution. Enjoy!
I gotta say, it's kinda pathetic that so many people stretch their budgets so much, or camp out for days, just to get a new phone thats barely better than last year's version. What a screwed up society we have become. We are nothing but a bunch of lame consumers, striving to go out and buy the next shiny thing that comes our way, even if it means we barely get the bills paid from month to month. Hey at least you got a new toy to show off right?
However, I'm guilty of this as well, no better than the rest really. I know it needs to stop in my life, or else I'll only show my kids its ok to be that way. I can already see their overabundance in life is so much worse than even when I was a child. What happened to the days of being content?
A friend of mine asked this on Facebook the other day, "I wonder how far the money would go if every person that was going to buy an iPhone 5, instead gave that amount of money to charity?" Food for thought. I can't tell you the last time I gave to a charity, besides my Church, which I could do better at that too. It all makes me feel like we have so much that we take for granted, when so many other people can barely put food on the table or put clothes on their children, but we're all wrapped up in the latest tech gadget, because the world and the media and really everybody else would have you believe that's the cool way to be.
Scripture on being content:
1 Timothy 6:6-8
Maybe when it drops to $40 or less.
I haven't bought a game at full price in at least a year because I typically wait for them to come down to $40 or less used, but I am pretty sure I'm going to buy Borderlands 2 tonight. Any of you out there playing it now?
I liked the dubstep personally.
With a little googling, I found a fix to get Passbook working on my 4S.
Go to Date & Time settings and turn off Automatic time setting. Then set your phone's date to about a year from now, 2013 should do it. Then open Passbook like normal and when you go to the App Store it should work.
I did a few upgrades to my blog system that I hope you'll like. This is a fully custom built blogging tool, though it's super simple. I like being in control of my code.
- You can 'like' any of my posts now. It's IP based for the time being, which won't be super accurate, but that's really not important
- I setup some tags that you'll see at the very top. You can quickly get to things like wallpaper or halo related stuff as that's what I post about the most.
- The length of my blog roll is much shorter now, defaulting to only the last 7 days worth. There's a next page link at the bottom, so the entire thing should load much faster.
That's it. I'm glad to see such a steady increase in traffic since I switched over to this. Visitors per day is a little over 100, but there have been some huge spikes thanks to a few desktops making the Waypoint blog. More to come!
It's a good update. Things that are super handy so far:
- Siri, sports and movie stuff will be very useful for me
- Texts on phone calls, like canned replies and such. Awesome
- 'Do Not Disturb' mode, should be handy when I'm sleeping
- Facebook integration. Useful for picture sharing. About time.
- Turn by Turn driving directions. About time.
- Tweet / FB Post from Notifications. Handy. Where's my toggles for everything else though?
- Safari is super fast now. Unless I'm crazy.
- When you download apps from the App Store, you no longer leave the App Store. About time.
- Shared Photo Streams. Very well done and going to be very cool since my wife has an iPhone also.
I found this one to be super surprising, considering you'd think the PS3 is at end of life with a PS4 announcement happening next year... maybe?
I still have the Super fat PS3, collecting dust, barely getting used as a blu-ray player. "Ni No Kuni"
can't get here soon enough.
... clever prometheans
It will be mine... around Christmas time :)
Leave a comment with an idea of a cool way to use this domain! I've had it for a couple years and never did anything with it. Thanks!
1. "To the Moon" - http://freebirdgames.com/to_the_moon/
Old school graphics, story driven, PC game. Don't expect much actual gameplay, but the story makes up for that. I'm about halfway through the story and man it is pretty sad so far. I expect it to turn around though, hopefully.
2. "Tales Of The Abyss" - http://tales.namco.com/abyss/
The first good RPG for the 3DS. Graphics hold up good from the PS2, but the 3d is pretty weak. Story is good, gameplay is great and it's an RPG. Highly recommended.
It is tough to get people to review your app on both iOS and Android. I put together the chart below based on most of the apps I've released in the last year for both platforms. The rates are super low:
Less than 1% of people downloading my apps on iOS leave a review. Less than 2% on Android. I guess we're all just super lazy. Keep in mind this is based on total downloads, which could mean the same person on multiple devices, so the numbers are just a good idea of the rate of reviews coming in.
Still, I wish more people would take the time to review apps. It helps the developer know if they are doing a good or bad job and whether or not the app is useful. I know seeing a bad review come in certainly makes me want to improve the app.
I'm 95% done with this, which compliments HaloUnity.com to provide news, events and profile data in a native mobile format for iOS devices. The hope is that it will get a lot of downloads being a free app, thus sending people to Unity and all other Halo sites participating. As Halo 4 gets closer, the amount of interest should start rising greatly.
Here's a screenshot:
Planning to finish it this weekend and get it submitted. Then it will take around 10 days for it to be approved (hopefully, but I'm having bad luck with Apple lately). And Android version and maybe WP8 version will come out closer to Halo 4's launch or a bit after.
Check out this super simple Chrome Extension for HaloSphere2. All it does is add a quick toolbar button to the game, however, if enough avid HS2 players out there install it and review the game, then maybe we can get so new people via the Chrome Web Store into HaloSphere2!
Time to buy new cables and accessories. Again.
A much better camera than the 4S. We promise.
Because $30 adapters make sense.
We told you we wouldn't make the screen bigger. We made it taller.
Actually the iPhone 4S2
Because you're too stupid to plug in a cable correctly.
Earpods is the best name we could come up with.
There's no resemblance to the Lumia. None.
Because who needs an App Store.
Yes, a 5MP camera is great, especially in 2012.
Your old one is worthless since it doesn't have a strap.
The icons look nothing at all like the PS Vita.
More as I think of them...
The iPhone 5 was just announced and I don't know why, but I was expecting / hoping for so much more. It's a fair upgrade if you have an iPhone 4 or older, but hardly offers anything over the 4S and doesn't even catch up to the upcoming Lumia 920 or flagship Android devices like the S3.
So here's the list of finally's I see:
- it finally has LTE
- it finally has turn by turn thanks to iOS 6
- it finally has decent earbuds with a silly name
- it finally has a bigger screen
- it finally has Facebook integration
... and on and on, but all of those things have been available for a long time now everywhere else.
They didn't even improve the camera in the slightest! It's thinner though because that matters to so many people. The 4S has a great camera, but this is the NEXT MAJOR iPhone and it was such an unbelievable yawner of a device to me. Even the physical design of the thing is playing it safe, where as something like the 920 just looks phenomenal.
Don't get me wrong, it will sell like crazy, but I don't see a single thing in this new iPhone that is actually innovative. The Lumia 920 was far more impressive and I hope, really hope, that I'm able to get one this year at Build 2012.
Think you'll get one? Let's hear it!
This isn't brand new, I made this months ago, but I figured I would share it again. It's free and has almost 5000 downloads! Go get it!
Basically I'm just starting with a render or screenshot I find online and going from there. Feel free to suggest an image you like that would make a good desktop wallpaper. Thanks!
I'm like that guy in some ways haha. Not ashamed to admit that though, because the things he says are cool things about Apple products. However, the very end is the most like me. :)
And another! Fun with Master Chief, enjoy!
Version 1.1 got approved today!
- new look with new header image
- more detail in main view
- more detail in game view including AP and USAToday ranks
- service driven so I can update it without having to get approval
Added more to it, trying to get enough features to where Apple deems it acceptable as a complimentary app to the App Store for RPG's. I don't have high hopes still for approval though.
The years just keep getting faster.
I'm not happy right now. I've waited for over 10 days only to be told my app is no good for the iOS App Store. Apple's reason? Because they don't think it offers any features over that of the App Store.
Really Apple? Did you even look at the app and use it? Does your App Store provide a detailed breakdown of RPG's by sub-categories and provide pricing details including increases or drops? The App Store houses thousands of apps and games, while my app focuses on only Role Playing Games (RPGs), so that alone is quite valuable when you're looking for a new RPG to play.
On top of that, my app scores each game with a unique formula and ranks them providing a mucb better way to find the most popular RPGs for iOS. The App Store is flooded with non-RPG's in their RPG category, which is part of the problem I'm looking to solve.
I don't think Apple even uses the apps they review, and blindly rejects them whenever they like. What is the harm of having my app in their store? My app even transfers you to the App Store once you've found the RPG you're looking for. Lame.
Apple, you suck, and I'm nearly done trying to support your ridiculous review practices and guidelines.
Last thing, why don't you use some of that 60 something billion you have laying around and hire some more reviewers to get the times down from 10 days. That is a completely unreasonable amount of time to have to wait for a review or update.
I figured it wouldn't be long before there were software workarounds for having to boot into Win8's not-Metro UI. Price is right too.
Again, still in a creative art mood. Think of these as the spiritual successor to this piece
I did back in 2009.
Update to include iPhone 4/4S versions of each:
Here is a zip with all versions above and also the 2 Master Chief desktops I posted the other day Zip Archive
Also, and this is an important part: two of the Specializations – Pioneer and Wetwork – will be available at launch. The rest will come online later…unless you purchase the Halo 4 Limited Edition, in which case you’ll have access to all eight at launch.
A few replies on twitter got me thinking about this. Does the paragraph above scare you any? Is it the beginning of a 'pay to win' type scheme in Halo? I fully believe that Halo is going towards a micro-transaction type structure and the statement above only seems to backup that theory. Time will tell I guess, but it has me worried.
Cleverly hidden 5 in the shadow of the 12. Wouldn't it just be crazy if the phone Apple shows off looks nothing like the one that has been floating around for months now
Big hardware features?
- 12mp camera
- 4" screen, taller than current
- A6 quadcore
- better battery
- NFC (?)
- 4G connectivity
- new dock connector
I don't really have anymore guesses.
A clone of my Bama 2012 app, coming soon to the iOS App Store! Probably take at least a week for it to be approved.
Still in an art mood. Made this today real quick, hope you like it!
Amazingly, even on my little ol' blog, the robot comment spammers from Russia have already started auto-posting gibberish. So, sadly I've added a simple botcheck that will probably not actually prevent them from doing anything...
Cleaned up the look & feel. It's service driven now also so I can push updates without having to resubmit to Apple every time. It's had over 600 downloads in 4 days! This version should hit in the next 7 days or so.
That's really slick. Maybe they can keep going on width and start to add a bit of curve to the screen so that it literally starts to wrap around your viewing area.
Happened upon this verse today and it's amazing that God can speak to me exactly at the moment I need it.
I struggle with materialism, mostly in the form of buying stupid electronics and other gadgets. I definitely want to minimize that in my life and focus on things that are far more important such as my faith and my family.
Wow is all I can say.
I hate it. I'm pretty much NOT going to play a Free-to-Play game because I know that after an hour or so the game maker will be asking for my money and the only way to proceed in the game is to give them said money. I'd rather just pay up front ONCE for a game and play it and be done. Bonus points if they provide a free demo.
Anybody else feel this way?
I would totally use that. Looks great.
Why did Halo have to go with MegaBlocks? My son has a few of the MB sets, and they are cool, but feel so cheap in comparison to LEGO, and they really cost about the same or more. ($10 for 3 MB figures?!)
"And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against."
Definitely my prayer this morning. Have felt a bit discouraged by the political scene and the direction things appear to be going, but song's like this can really lift you up. God is in control, always.
Popular DS game ported over to iOS for $18. Here's the kicker though, Square made it so you can't play the iPhone version on your iPad, and therefore have to shell out another $20 to play it on both devices.
Square, I'm a long time fan of your games, but why are you screwing the consumer over like this???
I made this super simple app in under 2 hours, as you can tell, but it is a quick way to track the Alabama Football 2012 season. Version 2 is in the works with some new features, so I'll post about that one soon.
The first version of my new RPG Finder app has been submitted! It will allow a person to quickly and easily find iOS RPG games, track price changes and see the Top RPG's for iOS. This is just version 1.0, with some other cool features planned for 2.0
Hopefully the app will get approved within 2 weeks. The app review times are around 11 days, but I've been waiting 16 days for another app I submitted. I'll update again once it's approved!
You'd think I could remember this.
Fantastic reference that has already helped me a ton.
I think the Nexus 7 already blows away the Transformer Prime, but once they stabilize the kernel this will be tempting to do.
Final Fantasy Dimensions, $30 on iOS and Android. Looks like Final Fantasy V, except new characters and storyline, but still warriors of light and crystals, etc. Square should really try something new and realize that most people aren't going to pay $30 for a mobile game. I know I sure won't. I won't pay $15 for one...
I'm kinda hooked on Nike+ Running and the Fuelband. Love their site and tools, but felt like it needed a bit more. So, I wrote a Chrome Extension that adds a more to your Nike+ profile (and others) that does the following:
Adds 3 new stats:
- Goal Hit %
- Distance per run
- Distance per day
Adds new Goals bar that estimates how long it will take you to reach certain levels of Nikefuel (uses Fuelband data only right now)
This extension is published in the Chrome Web Store, so hopefully you'll find it if you search for Nike. You can also click the title of this post to go to the Extension download. I hope to extend it further. Enjoy!
And all grocery stores look the same too.
Suddenly I like dubstep.
It's really not bad.
Related to that, here's the last 25 years of Windows logos and my take on the next 20 :)
Speed... I am speed.
I've had a 3DS since right after they launched last year, thanks to a friend. I don't know why I was surprised that Nintendo made an XL version, but for some reason I was. I grabbed one from GameStop the other night thanks to their trade-in special and I'm glad I did it.
The XL fixes a lot of things over the original:
Feels way better to hold. Smoother edges, about the same weight, but obviously bigger. Still pocketable, still smaller than a PS Vita. In fact the top screen is the size of the Vita's screen (lower res though). Much better build quality. Hinges aren't super loose like the original's.
Better battery life. I think I'm seeing about an hour+ more than the original, but that's pretty good.
Screens are awesome. Not any higher res, but in this XL's case that's not a problem. I didn't like the DSi XL's screens, but I guess because the 3DS screen resolutions are higher to start with it's not so much of a problem this time.
3D effect is actually good now. It seemed so gimmicky on the original, so much that I left it off 99% of the time. I actually want the effect on now with the massive 5" top screen. Mario Kart 7 in 3D on the XL is pretty dang impressive.
Things that are still not great on the 3DS XL:
No 2nd analog stick. I think I understand why Nintendo left it out as it would have really upset owners of the original 3DS that didn't want to be forced to upgrade to the XL. It probably would segregate and confuse the market as well. Still needs one badly, but here's to hoping the DS2 has one.
System Transfer is awful. It's cumbersome and slow and it's an all or nothing option only. Why can't I simply choose specific games to migrate to the XL?
Still no dedicated account. Sony has the PSN, Microsoft has XBL, so why doesn't Nintendo have a cross-platform account system? Games should be tied to your account and move when you move. If I buy a new PSP or Xbox, I can redownload all my games and content. Having to use system transfer bites.
The price is still too steep. The XL is $200 and comes with a 4gb SD card. That's way better than the Vita's $250 price tag without a memory card (Add $50+), but it's pretty high in comparison hardware wise to other gadgets like the $200 Nexus 7 (8gb). The Nexus 7 can run circles around the 3DS hardware and emulate like a pro, as well as serve as a multi-function device. I like Nintendo for their first party titles, most of which aren't possible to play on a device like the Nexus 7 (but you could emulate older titles).
To buy or not to buy?
BUY if you want a dedicated portable game machine with a strong library of games (especially when you combine the DS's game library in) and if you don't already have a 3DS.
BUY if you had a hard time with the original 3DS's 3D, like having to squint a lot, etc, because the XL greatly improves on it.
BUY if you don't have a 3DS and love Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, etc.
A great upgrade, priced a bit too high, but the best way to play on the go with an extremely solid library of games.
Some really good samples. Remix stuff sounds great too!
Today is the 7th anniversary since I started working for TGI. Amazing it's been 7 years already. I've learned so much and work with possibly the greatest set of people anywhere. I am truly blessed to live where I live and work where I work.
A day or two ago I had the idea to make a simple app that acts as an extension of my company's website
. I spent about 4 hours over the last few nights and put together a pretty good start for this app. Here's a screen:
Uses JSON services from the company site, loads the data into tableviews. Does some other stuff with UIMapView, UIScrollView and TabController. Ultimately this has been a great way to continue to learn iOS dev and Objective C. I could do this stuff all day!
I took the plunge on a 3DS XL. Just couldn't resist the Gamestop trade in deal, but actually migrating to the thing turned out to be a real pain. The device itself is awesome, but I'll post more on that later.
Basically, Nintendo locks in your purchases and other files to the console itself, instead of using a login like PSN or XBL. So when you get a new device, you have to go through this terrible system transfer wizard. It's awful, slow and totally inconvenient. Nintendo, why in 2012 do you still not have a steady account system in place? Give me a single ID that I can use to login to my 3DS, my Wii, a Wii U if I ever get one, etc.
The transfer process can take an hour just for a couple games!
It's been a while since there have been any core game updates to HaloSphere2. With the help of Psyfireman, we have made a pretty substantial upgrade to the Class system, offering many new classes and a new tier system that will automatically migrate EXP of a class that is maxed out. Huge thanks to Kegonomics for the new Class logos!
Much more to come!
Gamestop, love them or hate them, has a pretty good trade-in deal for the new 3DS XL. You can get $100 towards an XL if you trade in your 3DS. They are giving other amounts for the older DS models, including $40 for the DS Lite. I've had a DS Lite sitting around for many years now, so I could potentially get $140 towards an XL. So tempting...
Keep in mind, if you do go trade in for an XL you'll want to migrate your stuff over (games, credit, etc) to the XL but Gamestop doesn't have open Wifi in their stores! You have 2 options to migrate:
1) Buy an XL outright, transfer to it, then return it (kinda) and some Gamestops will be willing to allow your 3DS trade still. Check first.
2) Bring in a phone that can tether and do the transfer there in the store.
I don't get why GameStop doesn't just offer wifi for cases like this.
I was on the fence about allowing post comments, but I think it's probably worth allowing them. So, if you want to comment on any posts I add here, just click that comment icon in the top-right. Try it now!
By true remake, I mean not just an 'HD' upgrade. In no particular order:
Final Fantasy VII - Sure Square says they won't remake it until they can top it, so does that mean we'll never get a proper remake? I think I'd respect Square more if they would just give FF7 a full remake using the FF13 engine, just don't mess with the story or characters. I know I'd buy it and a billion others would too. Gold. Mine.
Final Fantasy VI - Square, please stop remaking IV and instead give VI a shot. Or even V! Would love to see VI running on the FFIV Complete engine, or the FFIV 3d engine from the 3DS.
Zelda: Majora's Mask - I bet this one is in the works right now for the 3DS (or the DS2 lol). It's great, challenging, underrated, and this generation of kids should get a chance to play it properly.
Halo 2 - Needs the Halo Anniversary treatment. Use the latest and greatest engine (Halo 4 perhaps?) but leave the game alone otherwise. Would be tremendous to play it again in glorious glorious HD. (Halo 2 Vista is as close as it gets). Ok so maybe this one is just an HD remake.
That's all for now. Square, Nintendo and 343i know what to do.
UPDATE: Had a good one sent to me by bgrugby.
Dragon Quest - the first one hasn't ever had the full on remake treatment. I remember it fondly and totally agree it should be remade much in the same ways Square Enix has remade other games in the series. I'd buy it.
The release of the 3DS XL got me thinking about Nintendo's portable hardware lineup. They have released quite a few different versions of the DS since 2004, here's a rundown based on US release dates:
DS - Nov 21, 2004
DS Lite - June 11, 2006 (19 months later)
DSi - April 5, 2009 (less than 3 years later)
DSi XL - March 28, 2010 (11 months later)
3DS - March 25, 2001 (12 months later)
3DS XL - August 19, 2012 (17 months later)
You can see the cycle. Major hardware release, followed by revision. The 3DS just had it's latest revision as an attempt to boost hardware sales and fix some issues with the 3DS (like improving battery life, etc). But then Nintendo blatantly left out a 2nd analog stick, which would have put the 3DS XL on a much more even playing field hardware wise with the PS Vita. Why?
I think it's because the 2nd analog stick is a huge selling feature on the successor to the DS, which I'll call the DS2 until we hear something from Nintendo officially. And if history continues to repeat itself, we'll see this DS2 hit stores sometime late next year. The name DS2 actually might be Nintendo's best choice for a name playing off dual screens and dual sticks. I bet the 3D effect won't make the cut though. Time will tell.
I'm a sucker for tech gadgets. So thanks Nintendo for releasing yet another redesign of your handhelds. However, this one looks pretty good except for the blatant omission of a 2nd dual stick. Imagine if Nintendo had gone ahead and added one, which would really give the Vita a run for it's money... but no, they missed the obvious feature.
Still debating on trading in the old 3DS for one, because those larger screens, better battery and better 3D effect are tempting.
... and another ...
Guess I'm getting back into an art mood...
I think there's some confusion by some people on the correct name of the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 Android devices. I spent some time tonight with a group of people that owned both, but they couldn't quite call them the right thing. One guy said he loved his new 'Nexus Galaxy' phone. The next guy asked about the Samsung Nexus tablet. The conversation evolved to trying to figure out when Acer (not Asus) started making Android tablets in partnership with Samsung. I didn't really feel like trying to correct everybody.
I'm not saying anything at all against these people, as they were very nice, non-technical phone/tablet users, but it's clear that the naming of these products is kind of confusing to many folks. Apple isn't without their faults, but at least they do a pretty good job on product naming. (Although I hear so many people say the iPad 3 and not just the iPad or the New iPad or whatever Apple wants you to call it.)
I have an iPhone (but which one?) :)
Earlier this year I setup a site to act as a database of RPG games for iOS. It's called iOSRPG and is at http://iosrpg.com
. I haven't really done anything with it for months now, but I noticed recently that it's approaching 400 visitors per day. Pretty cool, especially given the fact that it's running itself.
if you have an iDevice and love RPG's, check it out! If you think I'm missing games from the site let me know.
Ifrit in XIV is awesome, from what I hear. So, using the FFXIV model viewer
I went in and snagged a few screenshots of him and then photoshopped him all up. Hope you like!
I really agree with this piece over at Kotaku. When I first played FFX on PS2, I was so disappointed that there wasn't a world map. They may be cheesy and unrealistic, but they always helped me have a bearing on where I was in the game world. Have there been any recent RPG's with an overworld?
Just came across this today, probably old news to the avid 14 player. However, if Square does this, I'd so play FFXIV just to be able to walk around in Magitek Armor (FFVI is pretty much the greatest FF ever!)
Sounds like there will be a smaller iPad this fall based on the stories I'm seeing just about every day. The thing is, if it's any wider than a Nexus 7, what's the point? The Nexus 7 fits perfectly in my back pocket and front pockets too. The iPad mini with a 4:3 screen ratio and 7.85" screen will just about have to be wider overall and therefore less pocketable.
That and iOS is pretty weak as a tablet OS. Until you can get more than just icons on that big screen, I'd venture to say Android is more useful as a tablet OS. Sure, there's many high quality tablet optimized apps for iOS, but the ones I need are perfectly fine on my Nexus 7 and I get glorious widgets to actually use all that screen space as opposed to just a grid of icons.
No doubt an iPad Mini will sell like crazy though. Time to start working on an iPad app!
Move your mouse around slowly, then quickly. If you're seizure prone don't look. Impressive HTML5 work though.
Loving my Nike+ FuelBand! It wasn't cheap, probably overpriced, but as a motivations device it's fantastic. I've completed my goal two out of the three full days I've had it and the charting and stats Nike+ gives you is just plain amazing.
Here's a link to the old blog, the wordpress one, if anybody cares. I also added the link to the very bottom. Might be a thing or two worth reading there.
My friend got me excited about this.
This is my new blog. It's minimal and I like it that way. I seem to do fine at twitter, so going to more of a micro-blog style should mean I can post something daily. It should also work better on a mobile device like an iPhone. Enjoy!
It appears to be on, yes. :)