Call of Duty: Black ops announced – but do you care?

“We can’t wait for our community to experience Call of Duty: Black Ops,” said Mark Lamia, Studio Head for Treyarch. “We have focused our entire studio on this game, with dedicated multiplayer, single-player and co-op teams creating the most intense, gripping and riveting experience possible for our fans on all fronts.”  – Activision press release

So it looks like Treyarch have took the wraps off the next call of duty game. This is going to be a big thing, and likely the last game of it’s type that we will know of.

With many of the visionaries behind the call of duty franchise itself leaving and forming an EA based company called Resapwn (no points fo originality), This game will be important to the community itself that has been built during the Call of Duty 4 years.

Their movements and publicity will be just as important, knowing that things such as dedicated servers, paid for DLC content like map packs were going to happen, and were hidden from us. Continue reading Call of Duty: Black ops announced – but do you care?

Capture card solutions, or lack of

Been having a lot of (sarcasm) fun with making a working HD capture solution for recording gaming. It has been a very finicky process and I think I still have a long way to go. Currently I am at a point where I can record non live, in excellent quality – but that’s no fun, I want to do it live!

Software like Procaster, VHMulticam, UStream producer et all appear to be great, but at this point the Hardware just will not place ball outside of it’s own proprietary capture software. It appears to be not saving it’s resolution settings and therefore not working when using their settings panel.

Ah well, back to troubleshooting… As a sidenote, it’s got to the point where using various combinations of their software might be the fix – there are 2 “good” firmware versions, and two different software drivers.

Keeping it real

Been a while, but thought i’d write at least what I plan to talk about! doing eSports weekly, as well as maintenance and running of clan H*EA*T for it’s servers have taken a fair bit of time, but it’s been productive. I want to write a bit more about the programming doo-dads I’ve ran into that helped me, In particular jQuery. I have to post up about how I got around making some apps and getting inputs to play nice.

With Google’s ie6 abandonment, It’s good to see sense is finally on the right side of using a proper browser – but is it correct that it took a hack of that magnitude to establish the fact, and for microsoft to acknowledge the problem? The exploit was well known, but without patches being deployed to a large amount of the people still using Internet explorer 6 in the first place, that trouble means nought. The lack of public accountability for microsoft over the whole ordeal has been staggering – at most, firefox being its main competitor has grown in usage, and developers have another anecdote to bring up when told to make it only work in “their browser”.

While it is all good and well to preach the progressive enchancement or adaptive degradation camps of html and front end web writing, sometimes you need to step back and see another reason why we care about writing code – to make detecting poorly written code easier as well.

In the end though, we’re always going to chase each others tail it seems!

Hardware news, I’m looking to make a ghetto pocket video rig. The idea currently is to take a accessory bracket and combine it with a Zoom H4n and Kodak Zi8. I’m a bit reluctant to get the latter, as it’s been out for a long while now – and it’s still the workhorse in its category!

I’ve bought a Samsung umx h10 recently, and found it good – but not that useful for what i’d like. Focusing is fixed at about 1.5 metres, meaning you need to preset your position, then not move. Sharpness is already at a premium with the lens of a pocket video camera, so you really do need autofocus of the Kodak Zi8. Even better though, is the hdmi output into professional rigs, as well as the Audio input jack I can connect something worth listening too.

eGames 2009

Sadly I can’t make it there :( But its going to be an excellent time this year, even better than the last one with Gamestah! looking forward to the after reports with it.

In the meanwhile, be sure to twitter using the tag #gamestah on twitter, as it may make you famous….

Steelseries 7G: First thoughts

Box Photo

Well I just received a Steelseries 7G Keyboard from PcCasegear in Melbourne, and although they shipped it the wrong way so I had to wait an extra day, they always over package with bubblewrap so I at least know these things are safe! It also helps that compared to my other keyboard, the Logitech G15, this feels much more weighty.

I’ve always said the G15 Could make for an impromptu cricket bat, and although this one is not as wide, If you were to pit these together in a fake lightsaber battle, the Steelserie’s 7G Keyboard and its build quality would come out on top.

Continue reading Steelseries 7G: First thoughts

Wipeout HD: Fury expansion thoughts

I’m very much a Wipeout fan, so its a big suprise for me to miss both the E3 Announcement of this game, and the actual release of this expansion in Australia. It’s a exclusive to the Playstation 3 so far, and is a download only title. a design view, the new ship designs are fantastic – It’s like a cut open version of each of the designs and they look edgy. When you use photo mode on them even the craft has self shadowing on it too, wow.

Gameplay itself, it’s practically a whole new game. You have a new campaign that has the same amount of medals in it, and you can use the new crafts in the old campaign too (helped me get some time trials a tad easier I think, because they are a touch faster and handle better too.)

Might as well mention the modes I remember, as they seem to be the meat of the game:

Zone battle – Good, takes a bit to get used to. You need to use your boost at the right time. Either lots to hope to slow down the other cars, or hold on to the last minute and hope for the best as you rocket up 10 levels in a few seconds and everything is a buzzing blur around you (It’s a mini star trek in practice I think).

Detonator – tiny craft, similar to zone but you shoot more and more mines. You have to be accurate to chain up rows of kills, and its based on points. You turn great so the main focus isn’t on your steering but aim. I got right into this mode!

Destructor – This is the one where you get violent, And I think the main part of the name. You start out, then first person to get a powerup in front will flip (l1) on the spot, and fire. If that weapons a Quake going back on 7 people, then there is a world of hurt about to happen. Besides that though, this one I would love to play with some friends online, because the rounds can be short, and you really get to see some pyrotechnics in the game – You have to risk getting close behind someone to fire something and get a certain hit, but then they can just flip and fire rockets in your face, and keep going as well. And I didn’t think of running the track in the wrong way neither, that would be fun.

The new tracks are nice and for the most part blend in with the rest of the tracks (there are 4 new ones, but effectively 12 when you mirror, reverse and zone them)

Price for the expansion was $15.85 for me, with the original being about $27 (both AUD). Overall with the expansion, it turned fun into even more fun!The game now is huge, to the point where I still need to finish the non expansion if I wanted to be a completist as well.

Barcamp melbourne – Talk on Podcasting: The technology

Well, BarCampMelbourne is over, and I’m still catching up on sleep in bits and pieces.

Having said that, this post is the first of two parts about the event. This one is about the talk I gave!

Podcasts: The making and technology of


Although podcasting began as a very niche area, it has since expanded to be able to be done by anyone with enough passion in an area to be able to put some out and help out likeminded people – for a laugh or to inform them.


Software

There is a lot of software available for making a podcast, starting with the actual web. For ease of use, http://www.blogspot.com with its similarity to wordpress is a great start. The website was very popular even before google acquired it, and now is a very stable platform to put your blog on. Theme support is good, you have a big range to choose from, an easy way to insert a header image to personalize your blog, although editing beyond this is for stylesheets only, and only by editing a file in browser.

One alternative is hosting your own blog using a software combination like wordpress, mixed with podpress or some similar extension to make the posting experience easier.

In short though, you need some form of service that will give you an xml or rss feed. These are the lifeblood of your posts, so other services can know what to do with all the information you put in to it.

Shortly, I will amend this entry with more information about the software and workflows I’ve tried for getting your audio recorded, and on the web. I’ve found that the less time you can take with this, the better – as long as you still can see

http://www.blogspot.com

Slow posting!

Been so busy at BarCamp that I havn’t been able to post much content! The hackerspaces people have been fantastic in looking at and playing with the Open Plug – definately got me a lot more motivated with getting it running.

Can’t wait to get home to work on it all, but at the same time the strong focus of the people in here is hard to top as well!

Tech, code, cross-fingers.