Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Checking out the Playground again

Well, with things finally getting fixed on the Electric Playground's web servers, I'm finally able to post reviews up there again ... which I will be doing on a regular basis. Today marked the debut of two new reviews: X-Men Legends (Xbox) and Spider-Man 2 (Xbox). There's a lot more coming down the pipe, and I'm really interested to hear what some of you guys think about the reviews.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Really, it IS my work!!

Y'know something that'll bug the hell out of me? Not getting credit for work I've done. I've had it happen before w/ Play when they forgot to put my credit in the masthead for some work i did. Y'know what will get me even more torqued? Seeing my work credited to someone ELSE. Not too far back, I did a review of Doom 3 for the Gamexilla web site. So, imagine my surprise when I saw my review posted on the site ... word for word ... only to see that it was credited to Autumn Sims, the Artxilla/Gamexilla Creative Director. I talked it over with one of the guys there who said that it was a mistake on the part of the programmer, and that it will be fixed ASAP. I understand that, and I know that ... "stuff" ... happens. But it STILL irritates me somewhat ... especially after having already been burned once before. Ah well.

There's also no rest for the wicked, as I've had another review go live over at GameSpy. This one is a review of Vietcong: Purple Haze on the Xbox. Also, I had a phone conference with the guys over at Greedy Productions, and it looks like things are about to go full swing with me writing content for the Electric Playground's web site. I'm working on a new batch of reviews as we speak. Originally, they also wanted me to post the stuff I wrote back before the server crashed just so it wouldn't go to waste ... but I'm not really inclined to do that. My reasoning is I don't think many people want to see a batch of reviews that are three months old. Maybe I'm wrong. Chime in and let me know what you think.

And finally, I've been having some fun with a new toy lately. I took an older PC that was in storage and set up the latest version of the Fedora (Linux) OS on it. I've been wanting to do some more work on things like that for a while, and since this PC didn't have any recovery discs I figured it was a good place to start.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Murphy's Law

So ... I had a frustrating day yesterday. Every bit of planning I had for how the day was supposed to happen fell through. On the upside though, it did give me more than enough time to finish up my review of Vietcong: Purple Haze for the Xbox. Some people have really hammered the game, but I actually had fun with it. Sure it has its flaws, but it was still entertaining. Ah well.

Speaking of reviews, my review of Monster Hunter (PS2) went live today at GameSpy. Some of you may remember that I wrote the preview for it a few months back. I liked the game well enough, but I thought there was still some polish Capcom could have added to it. Unfortunately, there really wasn't any difference between the preview copy I played and the final retail version. It's still fun, but it just fell short of its potential.

And finally, I've got a phone conference to take part in later today w/ Greedy Productions. Now that everything is running smoothly on their servers again, it looks like I'll be back posting content for the Electric Playground website. If all goes as planned, I'm looking to post an average of 3 or 4 pieces a week over there. As soon as I can iron out all the details w/ Vic, Rob, and Tavis, I'll let all of you know what to look forward to.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Quick update

Short post this time around. The GunGrave: OverDose review went live at GameSpy tonight. I just got my review copies of Monster Hunter and Vietcong: Purple Haze, so those should be done by week's end. And with any luck, I'll be picking up Star Wars: Battlefront for the Xbox tomorrow. I'll let you guys know what I think.

Friday, September 17, 2004

And the hits keep on coming

No, I'm not talking about the hurricanes in Florida ... although I have dodged a few bullets there. Of course I'm in Virginia now and we're getting tornados from Ivan's aftermath. Ah well. Nope, this isn't weather related. Instead I'm talking about more reviews coming up from yours truly.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm not only working on that comic article for GameSpy, but I have three reviews assigned to me: GunGrave Overdose (PS2), Monster Hunter (PS2), and Vietcong: Purple Haze (Xbox) ... and that's just for GameSpy. I'm also about to write up a new batch of reviews to update the Electric Playground website. Since the servers are finally back up and running smoother than ever (knock on wood), things should be in place for me to do regular updates.

It looks like my plate is about to get pretty full with the writing gigs (thankfully), but I always make sure to post the latest news here. Oh, and before anyone asks ... no, I haven't stopped doing the digital coloring. I just am putting more focus into my writing. But don't worry ... more art WILL be posted here in the near future.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Back to the written word

Okay ... so I've been dabbling in the world of digital coloring as of late, but first and foremost I'm a journalist. Having said that, it's back to the virtual typewriter for me now. I've got a new piece I'm doing for GameSpy. This time around, I'm focusing on various comic companies which are doing projects based on different video game properties. It's basically a round table discussion on the interaction between the two industries. It's set to be a three or four part feature. I'm really looking forward to seeing how everything comes together.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Working with new toys

Well, I broke down last night and got a Wacom Graphire 3 tablet to help me out with my digital coloring. After using this for a while last night, I've got to say that if any of you are serious about doing any graphics work on your PC, you REALLY owe it to yourself to pick one of these things up. I was amazed at how much I was able to do with it.

Some of you have caught me online and asked me how much progress I've made learning coloring techniques. I decided to use a Red Monika (Battle Chasers) sketch I had on file from Randy to tinker around with. You can click on each image to see a sharper image. Here's what I started with:

Original pencils Posted by Hello

I spent some time on Monika herself, then copied just those layers over to a new image so you can better see her with the coloring work I've done:

Initial colors Posted by Hello

I'm still playing around with it from time to time, adding more colors to the rest of the image. Here's the piece as I left it when I decided to post this blog entry:

Adding some extras Posted by Hello

And finally, just because I could, I tweaked out a Grayscale version of the art ... just to see how it looked:

Grayscale Posted by Hello

Although I know I still have a LOT to learn, I'm having a hell of a lot of fun doing this ... and it helps me to unwind. I'll keep posting things here from time to time, along with the usual updates on my writing. I'm slowly expanding what I feel like covering in the blog, so expect to see more as time goes on. I'm also beginning work on my "official" website as well. We'll see how that goes in time as well.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Vroom vroom!

Okay, so it's not the most original title ... sue me. Anyway, the NASCAR 2005 reviews went live on GameSpy today. There's an Xbox review and a PS2 review, both written by me. The only differences in the pieces were a few lines specific to each system.

Beyond that, it's just been a hectic day. Worked out a deal for Tommy to get a colorist on a project he's doing (no, not me ... a REAL colorist), and spent some time working some contacts. Oh, later today (y'know ... when the sun comes up), I'm hoping to get a UPS package w/ some stuff for me ... including another cell phone. It looks like Nokia sent me the new N-Gage QD to go over. When it comes in, I'll put the new sysem through its paces and write up a review. In the meantime, after I spend some time with it, I'll post my initial impressions here.