Once again, there’s a new trailer in town. This time around, we’ll pay a visit to some kinda hospital dubbed “Medical Pavilion”. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to get a treatment there. Not even with my life depending on it … but see for yourself:
Finally, we’re able to buy the long awaited PS3 in Europe too. On Saturday, my roommate decided to go and get one of the infamous Playstation 3 consoles. Of course, we needed a second controller and a HDMI cable too, to enjoy the graphics galore. Anyway, everything went according to plan until my roommate tried to integrate the PS3 into our wireless network. It absolutely didn’t work and for some reason the console insisted that “A connection error has occurred (8013013E)”. Yesterday I had a look at the settings and deemed them quite fine, so what exactly is the problem?
I typed various combinations of “Linksys”, “PS3″, “network”, “issues”, “wireless” and “error” into Google but I didn’t find conclusive information. By the way, the official site doesn’t offer any helpful advice too. Anyway, I tried changing various settings but nothing worked out. In the end, I changed security on my router and suddenly I was able to establish a connection. I went from WEP – which isn’t very secure, I know – to WPA2 and that was all the PS3 needed to work. Well, strange that it didn’t work with WEP enabled. Ultimately, the goal was achieved and the PS3 is fully functional. I’ll think about wiring it when I next move my furnishings, I promise.
Afterwards, I spent two hours playing Ridge Racer 7 and then I hooked up to MotorStorm for another three hours. I enjoyed both games but MotorStorm is much more fun. The next games I’d like to test are Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Virtua Fighter 5 and Resistance: Fall of Men. We only got the latter gamer so we will have to pay our local PS3 games dealer a visit. That’s all there is to it for now. Have a nice day
Last Friday, I and my friend Dave went bowling. It was fun but it soon turned into something else. He completely and utterly destroyed me. I was infinitesimally handicapped but I don’t hold that against him. He simply got the better of me and won most of the games that evening. Anyway, afterwards we dropped into a nice pub where we drank some some beer and talked about lotta things. I brought up a topic which is currently very interesting to me – Future Shock. It’s a word that everybody should know.
It’s all about reaching the Singularity which is a predicted future event where a normal human being won’t be able to understand technological progress without auxiliary means. Even now there’s a huge percentage of humans unable to comprehend existing technologies. That leads us to the important question: should the Singularity be viewed as a positive event or a dangerous one? Should we work to hasten it’s arrival or try to prevent it from happening – if that’s even possible? I for one like technological progress and the idea of intelligence amplification. Technological advancements have much to offer for humanity.
The downside is that – as it is the case with almost everything – it can be abused. People can use it to wreak more havoc, to influence and control other people, or to spy on every aspect of our lives. Just imagine, you got some implants allowing you to see things before your virtual eye just by thinking of them and you’re reading the latest tech news your spawned agents have gathered on the web when, all of a sudden, a pretty nasty commercial sneaks through your firewall and keeps annoying you until you can finally adjust your filters and ban it from your vision. You may now think that’s pretty straight-forward, and I agree. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the next 20 years. I’d surely make use of such a technology if could get my hands on it.
Ultimately, it all comes down to bandwidth and that’s what people in First World countries are in the process of being served. Over the last decade, the demand for high bandwidth connections has grown rapidly and there’s no end in sight. Digital distribution is becoming ever more important in our daily lives and people like to access their stuff from everywhere. As a heavy internet user I own a high speed connection (currently capped at 8 Mbit/s) which is more than sufficient for my needs but it still is very far from offering instantaneous results. I’d very much like to see a phenomenon called quantum entanglement being utilized for transferring information. Right now, it may be unconceivable but I’m convinced that I’m gonna see that far sooner than expected.
Ah, I’m just a dreamer but these dreams have a certain appeal …
Today, I received a mail containing interesting information on the upcoming TV show Sanctuary. For those of you who still don’t know what Sanctuary is about, here’s the synopsis. As for the mail I received, Canada’s Daily Planet recently covered Sanctuary on the Discovery Channel. The spot is six minutes long and includes interviews with Amanda Tapping and Martin Wood. In addition, we got to see the first footage from the show and a look at the video game production technology utilized to generate entire sets. Sanctuary is almost completely produced in green screen, adding hundreds of hours to post-production. This approach taps a new potential and takes the term interactive entertainment to a new level. The new show will release on the internet in May and later as a computer game. So, without further ado, here’s the clip:
Yesterday I discovered something very interesting. An enterprise called Emotiv Systems introduced some kinda helmet that allows gamers to control games with their mind. Thus, it’s safe to call it a brain/computer interface. The system is called Project Epoc and it can move objects based on gamer’s thoughts, reflect facial expressions, and respond to the excitement or calm the user mentally exerts. The helmet contains lots of sensors which pick up electric signals in the brain. The software part analyzes the signals and wirelessly relays them to a receiver which is plugged into the USB port of a game console or PC.
The developers all share the same vision: to transform the way humans interact with machines. They’re going to develop this technology for use in other industries too, including medicine, security, market research, and interactive television. Currently, the helmet on display at GDC is a prototype and some video footage indicates that it takes a high level of concentration to actually make things happen. Nonetheless, it’s an important step into the right direction: creating a highly efficient interface between humans and machines. According to Emotiv Systems we’re going to see the device on the market in 2008.
Pretty cool stuff, isn’t it? Frightening too.
I love playing video games. If they’re well done, that is. And that’s the really difficult part. What elements must a game have to make you love it? Kick-ass graphics? A good plot? Freedom of choice? An innovative interaction system? Intuitive controls? Cinematographic sequences? And there are many more things people name when asked why they like a game. One of my all-time heroes, Warren Spector, the creative mind behind great games like Wing Commander, System Shock, Deus Ex, and Thief, yesterday gave a talk about writing and narratives in games at the GDC. Gamasutra has the essential bits over here. The guys from Next Generation have a story too.
They also have an interview with Warren which is very informative. There he makes a point of having “a unique experience”. In short, interactive storytelling is what it really boils down to. I don’t need the most beautiful and amazing graphics engine available today to enjoy a game if the story enthralls me. By the way, there’s a short summary of different storytelling techniques over at Next Generation. In retrospect, you should also have a look at this article which tackles the emotional side of games.
On a side note, Warren also mentioned a new method of episodic distribution he thought of for a long time. Well, his plans were thwarted by people who obviously don’t have a clue. According to Spector, all the answer he ever got was something like “it’s five years to early for this”. Unbelievable, isn’t it? I always though they want to make a shitload of money. At least, Warren is convinced that digital distribution and episodic content are a big part of our future. And I definitely agree with him that currently nobody is approaching development in the best way to do things episodically.
Gamers should demand more depth and freedom in games. Anybody who tells me that quality doesn’t sell is short-sighted to the extreme. Perhaps, if the quality goes up the number of software pirates goes down? To my mind, people rather download a game than pay for it if they think it’s not worth the money. Neither will I buy a game I can beat within 10 hours nor am I going to buy that such a game for my kids. A game has to offer more than just a few hours of amazing graphics which seems to be a really sad trend right now. That’s why the term next-gen is so ridiculous. It’s next-gen graphics only and that’s not going to help. I want next-gen story-telling and next-gen interaction. I want to roam a virtual world with the possibility to to whatever I like to do.