Punctuality

Open the door before I take a hammer to the walls around it

Monday, March 20, 2006 | 11:48 AM | by
I'm going to hold off talking about Oblivion for another few days. As massive as this game is, I need a week with it before I feel comfortable discussing it from a review standpoint. But first impressions? Wow.

I held the first CAD GameDay in a couple of years this past weekend, and it was great. People showed up, had some fun for a few hours, and all was well. Despite some connection issues with trying to do sixteen person co-op, everything went very smoothly. Most likely I'll be doing another GameDay this coming Saturday. Not sure what game yet though. Maybe F.E.A.R. Anyone out there have a F.E.A.R. server that CAD readers can use for a couple of hours?

The Godfather game also comes out this week, for the Xbox, PS2 and PC. It won;t be out for the 360 until this summer, and one would hope the reasoning is to punch the game up a few notches to make use of the 360's hardware, similar to what happened with Burnout Revenge. I've seen the commercial, and the game looks good, but it also looks very obviously current gen. I guess I've already been spoiled, but the next gen systems have already raised the bar for me when it comes to graphics.

Nevertheless, the game was expected to be pretty large in scope, and it will be interesting to see if they pull it off.

We have finally been given an official release date for the PS3, which is now slated for launch in November. Or around November, would probably be more accurate, since we'll probably come second to a Japanese launch.

The PS3 is the last of the big three next gen consoles that I'm concerned about right now. It's just been such a rocky year, with rumors and news about the PS3 flying every which way, all sorts of behind the scenes troubles, etc. And the Revolution has won me over with talk of complete backwards compatibility (*gives the 360 an evil eye*) and being able to download all previous Nintendo games for play.

However I am still intrigued by what the PS3 has to offer, and I look forward to what they have on display at E3 this year.

Obviously most of you have heard the rumors that Microsoft will drop Halo 3 (or Forerunner, or whatever they're going to call it) to coincide with the PS3 release. Hell, that's what I would do. It just makes good business sense. But again, Sony just may be large enough that it won't matter. But coming to the table a year late has to have some negative effect.

And we're now hearing rumors that the Revolution may be released early, like June/July. That would be just wonderful.

If any of you recall the game Savage, you'll be happy to know that a little while ago, S2Games announced the sequel, A Tortured Soul.  The original Savage, at the time, was a completely unique spin on an online FPS. It was also the grounds for our most successful CAD GameDay ever, back in the day. S2Games gave CAD readers their own private server, and we played for about eight hours straight.

Basically it's a FPS, except for one person, the commander, who gets a top-down RTS view on the whole thing. The commander is in charge of placing buildings, buying upgrades, etc etc. The players, however, are in charge of actually building stuff, and harvesting resources. It is very immersive, and when teams work together, it is a force to be reckoned with.

Aside from the fact that Savage was a great game, and Savage 2 will probably be just as good, there's another reason I'm bringing this to your attention. S2Games is an independant developer, and they are self-publishing. They aren't a huge company, or owned by some huge company, and they don't have all the marketing and advertising that come with that. They're just a bunch of people who got together and wanted to make unique, exciting games. I saw this from them with their first release, Savage, and from my interactions with the company back then.

They're going to circumvent the whole retail circus, and offer the game directly to gamers online for $30. Not bad for a brand new game. You can preorder and be gauranteed access for the beta which is scheduled to start sometime this summer. I'm not telling you to go buy this game, because I haven't played it yet. I've only played the first, and while it was outstanding, I can't suggest people buy a game I haven't played. This is just me trying to do my part in making you aware of this game's existence. I think it's important to support independant developers, and this is a game I'm really looking forward to, to boot.

I am also really looking forward to the new Hitman. It has been far too long since I've strangled a gangster with garrote wire, and stuffed him into some nook or cranny where he won't be found by passersby.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES

Monday, March 20, 2006 | 11:03 PM | by
YES!

Oblivion Character Creation

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | 11:07 AM | by
So there's a demo out there for Singular Inversions' FaceGen software that you can grab. It's a really nifty demo. You can manipulate different faces to all sorts of degrees, and it's a lot of fun to play with. You can also upload photos and have it create a 3D model from the photographs. It's pretty crazy.

I uploaded a front picture and a profile picture, and fifteen minutes later it had produced a copy of my head. From a couple of 2D photos, I think the resemblance is astounding.



Obviously it doesn't do hair, and it stamps a big SI on your forehead (it's a demo). So if I shaved my head and got drunk enough to get tattooed on my noggin, that's what I might look like. You can't save or export the model you create (again, demo).

However, FaceGen is what Oblivion uses in its character creation engine. So once you've used the demo to model a likeness from your pictures, you can observe where it has set the various shape sliders, and then go into your game and set the sliders the exact same way. And voila! Your character looks like you.

I thought some of you might find that interesting, and fun to play with.