November 5th, 2009

ChunLiGamer

Kameo Appearance Cancelled

It really is interesting that M$ couldn't come up with motion controls for the XBox 360.  When Nintendo revealed their big hook for the Wii, the PS3 wasn't quite out yet, and Sony was able to keep it in the oven until motion controls were added.  Admittedly, Sony's integration of motion control sucks (Uncharted's mechanics were purely unnecessary, and Lair was horrible).  But considering completely revamp controls (i.e. the Guitar Hero/Rock Band instruments) and firmware updates happen, the fact that the 360 can't apparently come up with motion controls is a little mind bending.

(Please note, I'm not necessarily criticizing this.  There are plenty of games for the Wii where the motion control seems tacked on, and if they would just get rid of it and go with regular controls, the games would be better.  So the idea of a console that is still focusing on games that let you press a button instead of swinging your arms like a mad ape on a bender is pretty nice.)

M$ is attempting to get ahead of the game now.  They are working on Project Natal, a camera-based motion control system.  Because God knows the EyeToy is just selling like hot cakes.  Peter Molyneux, the head of Lionhead Studios (Black & White), has confirmed the motion camera will factor heavily into Fable III.  M$ has put all their dev houses onto working on Project Natal stuff.

And that includes Rare.

Rare was one of the reasons I bought a GameCube initially.  I loved Rare's stuff like Conker's Bad Fur Day.  But, M$ was interested in them.  Nintendo sold them off, and the industry did a double-take.  Rare does quality stuff, as well as creating franchises for Nintendo (Banjo-Kazooee, for example), why did they let them slip away.  Well, Rare doesn't have the best reputation for making deadlines and making budgets.  Compared to Retro Studios, which was working on a football game when Nintendo bought them and had the Metroid franchise dropped on their lap which they then rose to the occasion and made fantastic games, Rare has gotten wobbly.  With M$ owning them, they only got worse.  The Rare making games now is nothing like the Rare that came up with Battletoads and Anticipation.  Flat, uninspired, derivative, and following trends instead of making them, and the sales of the games indicate Nintendo got one hell of a deal for letting them go.  Kameo -- Elements Of Power was supposed to be a GameCube game.  Then, when M$ bought them, it was supposed to be for the XBox.  Development took so long, it was shifted to a launch title for the 360.  It has sold just a little over 300,000 copies.

Supposedly, Rare was working on a Kameo sequel when M$ decided they had enough.  They have reorganized Rare and dumped a bunch of people, and one of the projects they apparently killed was Kameo 2.  So why everyone is only noticing now, I have no idea.

The Kameo series had potential (it was certainly the more polished of Rare's 360 launch efforts.  Perfect Dark Zero had some really lulzy physics), but people just didn't buy it.  And considering how much Rare has mucked things up (I never liked the endless hunt games like Banjo, and they made it even worse with Nuts And Bolts, Grabbed By The Ghoulies is a bad joke dragged out, and Conker was just the N64 game redone, no new material other than the online death matches), I suppose this either would have taken forever or it would have been ruined.  I'm sort of curious what would have happened, but I suspected it would never come to be.  With the news getting out now, I never will.
Worms Ready For Battle

How Bad Do You Want It? Not Bad Enough

Just got off the phone with the organizers for the Kids' Expo that I mentioned before to sell Cloudburst and Sound Waves.  I asked for prices.

10X10 booth, pipes and curtained, estimated attendance 12,000.

Cost:  $1,350.

$1,350?!?

Here's the math, focusing just on Sound Waves:

Each copy of Sound Waves:  roughly $2 to print each.

Sell for:  $3.

Number of issues available by the time the expo rolls around:  4

So, assuming I clear a dollar for each book, $1350 / 4 = 337 modulus 2.

So, I would have to sell AT LEAST 338 complete sets to break even.

So, the math looks like this:

   $1,350 for the table
+ $2,704 to print up 1,352 books (minimum)
------------
   $4,054 initial minimum outlay.

No fucking way I can afford this.  We're talking the equivalent of a used car here.  I'm getting my debts paid off, and have eliminated three in the past year alone.  I don't want to throw myself down the rabbit hole again.  It'd be different if I knew for sure this would pay off, but I don't.

I'm thinking the best thing I can do is, if I really want to target a show like this, to wait until the next year.  That way, I can plan and budget properly instead of going up to my ass in debt for something that might not bear fruit.  It might also enable me to increase the print run, maybe even enough to go with a printer that offers a quantity discount and reduce my cost outlay further.

But for now?  Forget it.
HolyHandGrenade

If God Had Meant For Us To Be Naked, We'd Have Been Born That Way!

Okay, everybody get inside, lock your doors, and only go out if you really really need to.  The Karma Train is making the rounds, and who knows who is going to get nailed for what.

First, there was the slab of meat with eyes that the rest of my family refers to as my brother-in-law.  Now, professional victim of society Carrie Prejean is back in the news.

Prejean was Miss California for the Miss USA pageant.  She lost because she doesn't support gay marriage.  When she was simply stating her beliefs, I didn't care.  That's her opinion, she wasn't acting like a jerk, so fine.  I was content to just ignore her and let her think the way she wants.  Then the Christian Right (which, like the Moral Majority, is neither) embraced her as a symbol of how people were being discriminated against for their Christian beliefs.  Prejean knew a gravy train when she saw one and jumped on board, going on speaking engagements about how important it is to hold on to your Christian principals in this day in age and other stuff.  Her book, which I suspect is ghost written due to the turnaround time, comes out next week, in case you need to level your table.

Prejean was also suing the Miss California Pageant officials when they bounced her from the title because she was acting like an attention whore instead of upholding the values of Miss California (whatever those are).  Please note when those nude photos of her surfaced, they didn't even factor in.  She continues to embrace the label of traditional Christian values and the persecution complex that brings in the bucks.

This week, the negotiations ended.  Rather sudden like.  Prejean was demanding a settlement of over $1 mil to walk away.  Officials apparently decided they were done fucking around.  They promptly produced a video tape.  It was a sex tape starring Prejean.  (The tape's authenticity has been confirmed, so those nude pics weren't the biggest skeleton in her closet after all.)  At least one web site has a copy of it, but they are sitting on it, supposedly out of respect for her because it is so racy.

In other words, you want to keep this gravy train the Christians have put you on to continue?  Then walk away.

She did.  The officials are paying $100K for Prejean's lawyers and publicists, which is just a fraction of the total cost.  And Prejean is getting nothing.

No doubt she'll still be around to tell us how sorry we should feel for her that she never got to be Miss USA.  Say what you will about Miss South Carolina, she just had a brain fart and has lived it down with grace and humor.  Not so Prejean.  No one wants to hear her talk about how she victimized herself, they'd rather hear someone else is to reaffirm their paranoia.  Some celebrities and fans truly do deserve each other.