Archive for 2008

About Brittany I am overburdened
September 26th, 2008 by Brittany | Digg | Technorati | Reddit | Stumble Upon

Stack of PS2 gamesMy love of gaming and collecting has turned my room into that of a disaster area. Strewn across the floor all over are cases, discs, systems, the errant set of batteries, and gutted Wii remotes that I do not use. On the side of my room where I have a dresser, there are stacks of gaming magazines that I read four or five years ago. In the room adjacent to mine you can find a large duffel bag containing the original Game Boy, a Game Gear, and all the subsequent handhelds I don’t use at the moment.

It all takes up space, which I haven’t enough of. Why? I just can’t bring myself to get rid of any of it!


About Suzie Let’s Talk About Sims, Baby: Part I - SimCity Creator
September 23rd, 2008 by Suzie | Digg | Technorati | Reddit | Stumble Upon

SimCity CreatorEA is the ‘big guy’ when it comes to game development. They have a string of successful franchises across a range of platforms and genres, and I don’t just mean success in terms of dollar bills - though they have plenty of that. Many of their franchises are routinely held up as ‘great games’ - most notably for me is SimCity and Command & Conquer. I’ve played most incarnations of these two series, and I love them.

So I was delighted to receive an invitation to EA Redwood Shores, CA to attend a Sims Bloggers Day. I would get to see several upcoming Sims game, talk with some designers, meet some other bloggers, and see just what’s it like at the HQ for the biggest name in gaming. I’d also get to spend 22 hours sitting in a plane, but such is the lot of the dedicated blogger.

First impressions count for a lot, and EA makes a good one. The building is huge, modern, and the lobby decorated with arcade machines, and a giant TV screen. There are gardens, a labyrinth, a nearby lagoon, an on site gym, a creche complete with playground, big lounges, and (of course) game rooms. No expense has been spared, which is perhaps not surprising given the furor that arose in 2004 over the work-life balance of EA employees. The developers may still have to work long hours, but at least they can see their children and get some exercise. Certainly none of the people we spoke to seemed to be unhappy, and the passion for the games they were creating came through in their presentations.

Ah yes. The games. As a Sims day, all the games were shown were part of the Sims franchise, but there was quite a wide variety in what we saw. One developer compared the MySims characters to the muppets - able to be plunged into any storyline or genre, whilst still retaining their muppetness (or Simness).

I’ll start at the beginning, with the soon-to-be-released SimCity Creator. In my next few posts I’ll move on to MySims Kingdom, SimAnimals and finish up with MySims PC. Finally I’m going to talk a bit about what the Sims franchise represents for gamers, and explore EA’s corporate culture a bit further. So stay tuned - we’ve got a lot to talk about.

About Gloria Get in My Ghost, Bro
September 22nd, 2008 by Gloria | Digg | Technorati | Reddit | Stumble Upon

HOP IN DUDECars are boring. What? They are. Brake, gas, honk. Brake, gas, honk. Turn left, turn right. Flip that guy off. Psh, so old. Video game characters have all the luck, really. They get totally amazing mounts to ride all over their pre-programmed world. Playing through some games got me to wondering which mounts I’d love to have in real life. Obviously, not all of them are practical. But still, beats the Hell out of the rising gas prices, eh? Yeah, I should stay away from the political commentary, sorry. On with my list!