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Boomjack (Page 48)

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Latest Articles by Boomjack

  • Congratulations to the Canadian Women's Hockey team for winning gold at the World Championships. NHL playoffs start tonight which means my years of despair cheering for the Sabres come back to make me grumpy and cause my family to avoid my office like a biohazard zone. Go Sabres! My family beseeches you to at least get through the first round. I have often wondered why console makers didn't allow users to purchase a viable keyboard peripheral. It is the obvious point of migration for a PC game player to a console. I can't play first-person-shooters nearly as well with a console controller as I can with a mouse and keyboard. Trying to aim, run, strafe and swap weapons using two thumbsticks and some poorly laid-out buttons is much like running across a hockey rink wearing roller skates. You can do it, but why would you? I certainly can't chat in a text box as well in a MMO as I can with a keyboard. What's the hold-up? Do developers really think I want to hear the voice of the beer-bellied guy from Arkansas come out of the well-endowned female character's mouth? This is nothing more than promotion for the virtual drag-queen society. You gusy know who you are. Stop it. Apparently the XBox 360 is working through the voice-changing, the hormone shifts and acne of adolescence to become a man...a real man with...a keyboard. So says, CNet;

    "In addition, Microsoft will launch a new text input device this summer that will attach to the Xbox 360's controller and will let users type messages using a QWERTY keyboard."

    A "text input device". Somebody sat around in Bellevue, Washington all day to come up with that. What they call it really doesn't matter. The fact that consoles are going to give MMOG players a familiar way to play is what is important. It wasn't too long ago that console games couldn't even be updated with new content. As the barriers to putting a MMOG on a console in its true form come down I expect that more developers will look to the easier to develop for console market as a viable alternative to PCs. What say you? Our readers previously asked developers what they could do to make the MMOG experience an easier transition for new gamers. Here are a few of the answers.

    “We need to make “sampling” play easier and more attractive. Mammoth install times, patch times, and long registration processes make starting a new MMO a daunting process. The next big leap in accessibility will have nothing to do with gameplay – it’ll be a better delivery method for game trials.” -Nik Davidson, Turbine

    How many of you have passed on a game trial simply because you had to download 3+, 5+ or in one case 20+ Gigs of data just to give the game a whirl?   More quotes, a Q&A with NetDevil, robotic overlords and more are but a click away today in Loading...

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    Wed, Apr 11, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Have you ever noticed that movies and television shows always use a phone number that starts with 555? Inevitably, if there is a number being shown it looks something like 555-0234. The 555 prefix actually exists, it is just that numbers between 0100 and 0199 are reserved for fictional use. Here ends your educational process for the day. I'm glad that you got dialed in to edition 555 of Loading... I am passionate about the MMOG industry. I've been a part of it for a very long time. Many readers and often many developers mistake this passionate view for one of hostility. In fact, some developers don't post on TTH because they feel that we are unfair to them or that we don't like them. Educating our readers about the various games on the market is our job. Pointing out flaws in a game is a necessary portion of that process. I don't for instance, write huge diatribes filled with naughty words, laying blame on specific developers because quite simply, that doesn't solve any of the problems. What it does is whip a community of users into a frenzy. They are unhappy. The developers are unhappy and in the end nothing changes to solve the initial problem. Furor, the past leader of the Fires of Heaven guild and now developer at Blizzard made a name for himself by attempting to put at least one curse-word for every other word used in his ramblings. Give him credit, it got him noticed. Being noticed is exactly what he wanted. In his case, mission accomplished. I get you noticed, Vin plays blackjack, Pandas poop and 13 new MMOG articles get written, today in Loading...

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    Tue, Apr 10, 2007
    Boomjack
  • A big round of clap for Cody Bye, who anted up, put the pedal to the metal and went sleepless for a week just to grind out the Loading... columns last week. What is especially interesting is that he had more viewers than Quentin Tarantino's new movie, Grind House. When it comes to the grind our Cody is one of a kind. Many of you likely spent the weekend with family and friends devoutly re-enacting the Easter story, eating heaping plates of turkey, ham and scalloped potatoes, followed by bags of chocoloate eggs that had been delivered by a life-sized rabbit. It's these kinds of events that give the crazy-people ammunition, literally. Oh I know, many of you have giggled or chortled that a person who blows themself up to get 72 virgins must be nuts. I'll go out on a limb and claim that those same goofballs were pointing to the West over the weekend, mispronouncing "crucify" and deliberating over the demon that lives in a man-sized bunny suit. Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Pope Benedict, his gold vestements shining and shimmering, reflecting in the polished marble floor beneath his silk-covered feet, denounced poverty. Vimy Ridge, LotRO first impressions, exclusive new screenshots and more are but a click away in Loading...

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    Mon, Apr 09, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I will once again be travelling to make your MMOG life better, which means that Loading... will be delayed and/or written by a more eloquent hand next week. Some excellent suggestions on how to make TTH a better MMOG network have been posted in the comments section of the blog. If you have something that you would like added, changed or removed from the network please let me know striaght-away. I'll be hob-knobbing with the TTH uppity-ups next week where I can pretend that your ideas are my own. Seriously though, I will pretend that they are my ideas, but at least you might get them implemented. Send them in! Raph Koster has posted his power-point presentation titled, "The Core of Fun". It is worth a look. Eight new MMOG articles, more Vin and girls gone wild.... one click away... Loading...

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    Fri, Mar 30, 2007
    Boomjack
  • One of our most popular interviews of late has been the one with Raph Koster. Once again Raph Koster has hit on as aspect of games that should be migrated to other forms of media. Raph was a speaker at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference where he took the audience through a demonstration of what Amazon.com would look like if it was designed to maximize fun. Alice who writes the Wonderland blog attended the conference and as is often the case delivered a fantastic article that touches on the major points that Raph was attempting to convey. It is easy for us as a game network to see what our readers enjoy, what is fun, and what is not. You love forums. The debate of countless points from the trivial to the critical is a game in itself. Your post count is a badge of honour. More Raph, more exclusive MMOG content and more humour, though that is debatable I suppose... one click away... Loading...

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    Thu, Mar 29, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I received a disappointingly low number of questions for our developer friends yesterday. I received hundreds of times more e-mail when I discussed chocolate Bibles for Easter last year. This is your chance to ask the devs the questions you so desperately need answered. This is your chance to be heard directly by the developers. Make the most of it. You can mail me at this address. As I looked at my phone bill yesterday I noticed that Bell Canada charges me $2.80 for "Touch Tone" service. Shouldn't this be something that is part of the core phone experience? Who uses a rotary phone in this day and age? What's next, a charge for a dial-tone? This assault on my financial well-being made me wonder that MMOGs would be like if we added in all the "real world" nuisances that we deal with. Can you imagine the riots if MMOGs had the following? A Top 10 list, exclusive Gods and Heroes and Fury articles as well as eight other exclusive MMOG stories, yours today in Loading...

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    Wed, Mar 28, 2007
    Boomjack
  • Welcome to the 545th edition of Loading... If you aren't reading this in your e-mail, you could be. Sign Up The relationship between the sites like TenTonHammer.com who cover games and the developers who create them is an interesting one. There is a siege mentality in many development teams when it comes to discussing their game, their passion, with the press. In many cases this has been a completely justified response. Many members of the press are interested in one of two things; Oh, but what are the two things? Vin vs Batman, six new MMOG articles and attack sheep are but a click away in Loading...

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    Tue, Mar 27, 2007
    Boomjack
  • First up, did anyone not see that twist coming in the final episode of Battlestar Galactica? And tell me that Baron Longshore, a NPC in World of Warcraft isn't just like Colonel Tye. The guy is obviously a cylon. He can appear simultaneously in at least three different camps. he even looks like Tye with the eye-patch action going. Top 10 lists can be a lot of fun, albeit very difficult to write. This is especially true when it comes to MMOGs. Nonetheless, I will attempt to give you a Top 10 list of the best MMOGs ever, but first I would like to hear from you. What game or games kept you up late at night, caused you to call in sick to work or maybe even affected your life? 15 new MMOG articles, Vin, two fantastic interviews and more, all new today in Loading...

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    Mon, Mar 26, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I previously mentioned that Richard "Lord British" Garriott developed a pictographical language for his upcoming title Tabula Rasa. NCSoft is even offering a reward to anyone who can deciper the message found here. I was fortunate enough to receive one of approximately 150 Tabula Rasa coins from Mr. Garriott during our demonstration time at GDC. These coins aren't some plastic pieces of rubbish. They are heavy, well-detailed pieces of art. Pictures of the coin, new PotBS shots, 32 things you can do with beer and more is but a click away. Loading... March 23, 2007 [Coinage Edition]

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    Fri, Mar 23, 2007
    Boomjack
  • I was fortunate enough to sit down a number of gaming industry legends at the Game Developers Conference this year, but none were more engaging than Jeff Butler of Sigil Games Online, the development team that brought you Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Jeff Butler,President and Exec. Producer; April Jones, Senior Manager for marketing and PR; and Ryan Elam, Director of Technology sat down with our team in San Francisco to chat about Vanguard, the industry in general and even real money transactions. An informative interview, 10 new MMOG articles and even paper viagra is but a click away. Loading... March 22, 2007 [Butler Edition]

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    Thu, Mar 22, 2007
    Boomjack

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