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1321  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What would your perfect game be? on: December 17, 2005, 04:43:09 AM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"

Look, up in the sky!  It's a bird.  It's a plane.  No... It's a pie!  :wink:

Gee, a perfect game might be hard to obtain?  Shocking! :wink:
1322  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What would your perfect game be? on: December 16, 2005, 11:39:11 PM
I wrote this a while back on my website:

Let's go back to my ultimate wargame genre. If you make it online and seamless enough, you could be the grunt on the front lines then walk into a command tent. There you take over tactical control of fire teams based on objectives from strategic command. Back at HQ they're working out the coordination of air, naval, ground and armor forces. They're securing supply lines. Maybe they're coordinating with space command to keep supplies coming in. Space command has their hands full trying to impose a blockade on the enemy while getting reinforcements landed on the planet. Plus there are those pesky space pirates. Then the Galactic President is working to make sure the war effort is funded. He's sending spies on missions to keep tabs on various alien factions. One of those spies has just found his way into the Asvalia central command. He's releasing a stream of nano bugs while trying to avoid detection by the security droids. Meanwhile his ride off the planet is negotiating a bribe with the orbital patrol to let him land his ore hauler. If nothing else, we can get emergent game play that way as genres fuse together to create more than worlds, but living universes.
1323  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 will be scarce for some time it seems on: December 15, 2005, 06:39:53 AM
I don't have any hate for Microsoft.   It just seems they're being less than honest here.

I believe Sarkus is the manager of a Gamestop.  From a prelaunch thread (where I was trying the same argument to defend MS):
Quote from: "Sarkus"
Quote from: "Hrothgar"
If you preordered during the summer, whoever was taking the order was doing so before they knew how many they were going to receive in their allocation.  Of course that's risky.  On the one hand, you prove to Microsoft that you have demand.  On the other, Microsoft is under no obligation to fulfill that demand in the first shipment.

That's not true at all.  I know for a fact that both EB and GameStop were given "sure thing" numbers back in June that they used to determine reservation quantities.  It was only in late September that MS began warning that they might not be able to meet those numbers after all.  That's when both chains (and everyone else who was doing pre-orders at the time, including WalMart online) stopped.

Sold out is sold out.  Shipping enough to GameStop and EB to cover 90% of the pre-orders would achieve the same "shortage" marketing hype and do so without alienating core customers.  What we have instead is the situation that arises when you miss your manufacturing targets by a wide margin.
1324  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 will be scarce for some time it seems on: December 14, 2005, 07:16:06 PM
Wait, they're trying to spin this as good?  I'm raising the BS flag.

Microsoft employees have an internal store to get products below retail price.  As long as he pays for it, I'm pretty sure S-O doesn't stop Balmer from shopping there.  This sound pure PR.

I seem to recall Sarkus mentioning that Microsoft cut shipments to retailers at least twice (once in summer and again before launch).  Now they're blaming retailers to overselling preorders?  That's cold.

I also fail to see how Microsoft missing all their production goals equates to greater than expected demand.  If they really want to help, they could release those weekly shipping numbers they keep talking about.
1325  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Congrats Depward and TML on: December 10, 2005, 10:27:25 PM
Well, now I feel old.  Congrats all.  Good luck starting careers.  It won't be long until you're old and jaded like the rest of us.  Just kidding.  Real life only stays unfun as long as you let it.  Game on.
1326  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / AoE3 or DoW on: December 10, 2005, 09:45:33 PM
Well, the thing I like about Kohan II is that it doesn't feel as frantic as most RTS games, but the victories are just as satisfying.

BTW, Mwave still has it for $15.
1327  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: AoE3 or DoW on: December 10, 2005, 01:21:25 AM
Quote from: "Xmann"
I've never been a good rts gamer, really terrible in all honesty.  However, i occasionally get an itch to play one...........and that time has come again.  The few rts games i have played and enjoyed are those with minimal micromanagment.  I played AoE2 a few years back and enjoyed it ok, but never got decent at it before i lost interest.
So now that i have that itch again i'm wondering about AoE3 or Dow and which would most recommend as being newbie friendly and minimal resource managment.  I played the AoE3 demo and felt kinda blah about it.  But demos usually do nothing for me anyhow so i'm not worried about that.  I hear the addition home cities takes a bit of the managment out of AoE and adds another dimension to the game.  As far as DoW goes, i know nothing.
Any suggestions?
You're really asking for two things, limited micromanagement and limited resource manangement.  For instance, Ground Control 2 has no resource management.  You only gain resource points by attacking enemies and holding control points.  Battles can still get micro heavy though.  Then there's something like Black and White 2 where combat is just throwing a bunch of units at the enemy and numbers carry the day (the war is won back at your city).

For the best combination of what your asking, I'm going to go off the board and say Kohan II.  The graphics aren't top notch like the two you mentioned (they're comparable to Warcraft III).  There's no micromanagment in battle.  You make your decisions when building your companies.  Once engaged, the only decision you have to make is if and when to retreat.  Resource management is similarly streamlined.  You choose your priorities while building your cities.  The end result is that you stay focused on the ebb and flow of battle.  You focus on keeping your infantry protecting your archers and catapults instead of worrying about switching the ammunition your catapult is using.  It's quite fun and can be found dirt cheap now.

I was writing quickly and might not have explained that well.  Feel free to ask any questions if you're interested.
1328  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Holiday Gaming Value Idea on: December 08, 2005, 03:35:04 AM
Actually, it's Aspyr Media that's publishing them here.  So basically, you'd be supporting the idea that American publishers should take chances on hard to find European titles.  You'd also be supporting the developers.  But yes, JoWood will get some money out of the deal.
1329  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Holiday Gaming Value Idea on: December 07, 2005, 04:30:57 AM
I mentioned this on my site, but I thought I should remind people here.  A little while back JoWood put out a press release (GT posted it Here).  It's basically an American release of four complete games (including expansions).  They're all $20 a piece and there's some great gaming there.  I know Gogamer has them (GT Link).   Here are the games:

SpellForce Platinum – SpellForce Platinum features three games in one box – SpellForce Gold Edition, which includes The Order of the Dawn and Breath of Winter, plus the expansion pack Shadow of the Phoenix.  In SpellForce’s single-player action, players will enjoy a unique mixture of RTS and RPG elements that offer the player exciting gaming challenges through a persistent game world with a continuous, gripping storyline and numerous sub-quests.  While under SpellForce’s spell, player will encounter more than 150 new items and 27 powerful set items (some of which can be modified by the player).  The game offers multiplayer action where up to three gamers can play cooperatively over a LAN.
Gothic II Gold – Gothic II Gold includes the original game plus its expansion pack, Gothic II Night of the Raven.  In this popular RPG of action and adventure, players experience a storyline of intrigue and mystery as they wander through massive fully 3D lush environments, where players may encounter more than 500 characters.   With more than 50 magical artifacts, such as rings, amulets and belts; 50 magic spells to cast; and 150 powerful weapons to wield, players will have more than enough power to take on Evil.
Silent Storm Gold – Silent Storm Gold includes the original game plus its expansion pack.  This game is a true 3D tactical turn-based RPG set against the backdrop of WWII.   In order to win, players will need to successfully complete their missions through two non-linear campaigns while fighting on former battlefields and battling a secret terror organization. As a bonus, this Gold pack includes new mission goals, such as infiltration of enemy buildings, destruction of enemy establishments and assassinations. With an arsenal of more than 75 authentic weapons from WWII, players will have the gun power and blade power to achieve their goals.
The Guild Gold – The Guild Gold includes the original game plus its expansion pack.  In Guild, players jump into an authentic simulation of life in the middle ages.  In this edition, not only will players get to experience the original game, but they will also have three new ranks/titles to choose among, five new offices and more privileges.  Players will also enjoy the three new levels, three new locations such as the cannon tower and the Emperors Town of Nuremberg which is 3 times larger then previous towns.
Those could make a great small gift or stocking stuffer.
1330  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBox 360 problem scratched disc on: December 03, 2005, 11:09:42 PM
Well, there's always D-Skin.  Anyone tried it with the 360?
1331  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: December 03, 2005, 05:52:38 AM
I'm hurt that you didn't mention my excellent interview for SotS.  By the way, that homepage link isn't wrong.  Servers crash when Tycho links to them.  I'm sure they'll have it fixed soon.
1332  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / A minor blip - re: email notice of posts... on: November 30, 2005, 09:46:20 PM
That's interesting.

Seems to work.  So I'm guessing the post it's referring to got deleted.  Since that number came right after Zarkon's posting barrage so that would make sense.  The only way to avoid that would be to turn off users ability to delete their posts.
1333  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Welp -- My Christmas tree is going to be empty this year on: November 29, 2005, 10:16:31 PM
I'd like to officially apologize for buying into Microsoft's agile logistics hype.  As an old supply chain guy, I wanted to believe.  

I will say back when the PS2 launched, I couldn't find one.  We had a friendly Toys R Us in the neighborhood.  So each day before I left work I called to see if more had come in.   After about two weeks of trying, they said yeah, we just got a shipment in.  I headed over and got the second of ten units in the shipment.  My friend whom I called on the way there got number five.  It can work.
1334  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Take a Videogame Quiz! on: November 29, 2005, 10:00:32 PM
Another 10/10 with a couple of guesses.   Probably not really a spoiler but
Spoiler for Hiden:
Some reports now say the PS2 has topped 100 million units sold as well.
1335  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Interesting News. on: November 29, 2005, 03:30:55 AM
Cool.  Is this one of those all expenses paid trips?  We certainly know you won't be afraid to give them your opinion.  :wink:
1336  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Forget 360, may get PS2 to play Shadow of the Colossus! on: November 29, 2005, 03:18:41 AM
I put up a SotC review on my site recently.  As always, feedback is appreciated.
1337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Do you think MS will ever phase out the Core unit? on: November 26, 2005, 10:02:35 PM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
Quote from: "Jumangi"
From what I understand the core system is that way because of costs. The HD isn't a component thats going to come down in price. Its gonna cost MS about the same throughout the life of the system. But stuff like the CPU and GPU will so I guess the core version will be able to drop in price faster. So maybe in the future you could start to see a greater diffrence in price between the two systems than it is now so MS can offer a better low cost value to get people hooked in.

The CPU and GPU savings would apply to both versions.  If you're suggesting Microsoft wouldn't drop the price of the HD'ed unit in order to make up some of the $126 loss they're taking, it's possible.  However, I'd bank on any price drops hitting both SKUs while keeping the $100 price difference through the life of the system.  I think it'd be too hard to justify NOT dropping them both to the public.

Also, why wouldn't the HD drop in price?  HDs for PCs always do.
Hard Drive prices stay about the same but capacities and speed keep increasing.  That might be your answer to keeping the premium price up as well.   They go with a bigger (& faster?) hard drive, maybe throw in a pack in game or a 3 month Live Gold card.  Core price drops, but the premium can either stay the same or have a more modest drop.  Then Microsoft can sell the larger HD as an upgrade to both core can premium customers.
1338  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 26, 2005, 01:47:08 AM

I think you're correct.  If you avoid any direct statements claiming SpikeTV did act improperly, a discussion of the appearance of impropriety is certainly fair game.  To go back to the examples,

'This whole thing looks and smells bad' is an opinion and protected.  I would avoid using the words 'awards were paid for' at all without evidence.  I certainly would avoid them in any declaration.  I don't see any declarations in the quote you used so to me that's ok.

I agree that the point of the article is good.  Just take the six million dollar man approach, make it better and stronger than it was before.
1339  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 25, 2005, 05:07:31 AM
I haven't gotten a law degree since my last post, but I can't imagine that claiming provable facts are opinion is a magic shield against liability.  Maybe some of the lawyers around here will weigh in.

The example from Wikipedia:
For example, contrast "I think Jo is a bad lawyer", which is opinion, with "Jo doesn't know the law", which is defamatory per se.

The distinction appears to be in the nature of the statement rather than any claims of "that's my opinion."  You're saying the statement, "I think Jo doesn't know the law" isn't defamatory.  Wouldn't that open up a whole can of worms where anyone could say anthing about anybody if they added the words, "I think" to their statement?  

Could you say, "I think Dungeon Lords won PC game of the year" in your article?  Is that just an opinion?

I don't want an apology.  I just don't want anything bad to happen to this site.
1340  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 24, 2005, 11:12:11 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Officially: The opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the management of Gaming Trend, or the site at large.
That's fine when he's stating an opinion such as: These awards don't have any credibility with me.

When he's making an accusation of impropriety such as bribed awards, that's either true or false.  Either you have the evidence to prove it or you don't.  Those aren't opinions.

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm not sure that even a statement above the article claiming that Gaming Trend doesn't know that Spike TV has done anything wrong and disavows all claims of the author would protect you from liability.  I'd have Zarkon change the wording or take it down and have him post it in the forum as his words alone.  Why expose yourself to even potential liability when his point can be made without groundless accusations?
1341  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How Spike TV Is Ruining Gaming Journalism And The Industry on: November 24, 2005, 05:43:51 AM
Calling it an Op/Ed does nothing to protect you or the site if you make claims that are untrue and hurt the reputation of the SpikeTV.  You can say it smells fishy.   You can say it has the appearance of impropriety.  You can write satire about the awards show where winners are passing bills.  You chose to make a claim about their behavior without proof.

"I can't find any criteria" isn't a good answer.  They merely need something and it looks like they have it:

Ballots were sent out to the VGA Advisory Board, which was responsible for advising on categories and determining nominees in selected award categories. Winners of the VGAs are determined by votes from the Video Game Industry Voting Council which is made up of more than 200 industry journalists. Winners in two "Viewers Choice" categories will solely be determined by viewer voting.

If I were you or KD, I'd change the wording to something defensible.
1342  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's your GOAT of the year so far - 2005 PC edition on: November 24, 2005, 05:03:57 AM
Strangely, the Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 expansion Soaked.  The original played fine on my system.  The expansion turned it into a lock up monster.  I couldn't play more than a couple of minutes before it hard locked my rig.  The Frontier people on the Atari forum were helpful, but ultimately threw up their hands and said it must be my fault.  Oh well.
1343  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 19, 2005, 07:01:10 AM
I'm not defending their manufacturing shortfalls.  Nor am I saying they're making the right choices in their allocations now or in the future.  Clearly they have enough units if they just wanted to fulfill preorders, they could do it.  That would probably leave some big retailers out in the cold.

If I haven't been clear, I apologize.  When I'm talking about shipment allocations, I mean the percentages of total available units.  Less units results in everyone getting less across the board.

Shortages now are not reflective of the failure of the logistics plan.  However, if by next Friday, you, as a store manager, still don't know the details of your next shipment, that will be a sure sign of failure.  Perhaps you can tell us then.
1344  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 19, 2005, 06:21:49 AM
Well, maybe my local Gamestop and EB were just clueless, but they didn't have anything firm on preorders until September.  They were just putting names on a list.  So either the corporates didn't do a good job sending out the information or the local managers didn't understand.  Of course, they were also taking preorders before June.

Beyond that, we're both saying the same thing about manufacturing.  To be clear, I was talking about the logistics plan, not marketing.
1345  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 19, 2005, 05:21:57 AM
If you preordered during the summer, whoever was taking the order was doing so before they knew how many they were going to receive in their allocation.  Of course that's risky.  On the one hand, you prove to Microsoft that you have demand.  On the other, Microsoft is under no obligation to fulfill that demand in the first shipment.

Obviously, they can't do dynamic shipment allocation until the first sales data cames in.  They'll probably notify stores of their next shipments the night after launch or the following day.  So on say Black Friday Walmart will know when their next shipment will come in.  If they can tell their customers, their next shipment should be on shelves next Tuesday (or whenever), that's hope.

But, if you're in the shoes of Gamestop manager, all you know is that until Microsoft gives you the next allocation numbers, you only have one confirmed shipment.  Sure, Microsoft might be planning weekly shipments, but until you get that confirmation that units are tagged for your chain and your store, it's only fair to tell customers that you don't have confirmed units coming in.  Sure, everyone is disappointed, but you get to blame Microsoft.  Then, whenever you get your allocation information, you get to make the "Hey, you're in luck" calls.

I'm sure the Microsoft press release touting the sell out of the initial shipment will also mention their commitment to regular shipments throughout the holiday season.  So keep checking in with your favorite store.  They'll probably also mention the total number of units they plan to ship this year and by the end of next year.

Keep in mind that Microsoft has commitments to all their retail partners.  The initial shipment has to be spread a little extra thin since they don't want to rebuff any partner they need down the road.  After that, they only notify partners as shipments come available.  

And Microsoft does have those commitments world wide.   The slightly staggered launch doesn't significantly help with that.  Though I'd guess the greater than expected shortages are more due to manufacturing hiccups than shipment problems.  For some reason (or many reasons), it always takes longer than expected to start up a production line and longer than expected to reach production rate goals.

I'm not saying their plan is perfect or even that it will work well.  It's ambitious and could fail.  However, if it works, it's bound to be better than what we usually see at console launches.
1346  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 Launch Blows... on: November 18, 2005, 09:46:36 PM
From what I've read and what some market analysts have told me, Microsoft appears to be doing things differently, not wrong.  Instead of big initial shipments, they plan to have a smaller, sustainable stream of shipments.  

This gives the a few things.  First from a supply management perspective, they can route more shipments to the areas with the greatest demand.  That means less unsold units sitting on shelves somewhere.  The can also route core units away from areas where they aren't selling to areas they are since its the more limited SKU.

Second, the steady stream keeps both the product and the demand highly visible.  This lets sales people give customers hope of finding a unit before Christmas.  This also lets web communities shout alerts to each other (e.g. OMG, they just got 10 360's at the TRU @ Westchase).  I remember from the PS2 launch, several successful sites sprung up around the idea of keeping track of where units were available and sending email alerts to people when inventory showed up on the web.  

As a side note, I had a friend who wasn't particularly interested in the PS2 at launch.  He knew how hard they were to find.  So when he saw one at a store, he snatched it up.  Of course, he told himself he was going to sell it, but he broke down and opened it and played it.  It worked out in the end.  It served him well during his one year tour in Korea.

Finally, it gives Microsoft leverage and opportunities.  Stores with high attach rates and accessory sales might well get units before others.  Then as each shipment sells out, Microsoft can issue another press release and give us the updated sales totals.

Partially it's a good plan, partially it reflects how much better inventory management is now compared to five years ago, and partially, it shows how flexible shippers have become in that time span.  I'm sure their competitors will take note of their successes and failures.
1347  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Isn't it time to remove the: EVERYONE READ!!!! IMPORTANT!!! on: November 12, 2005, 10:15:23 PM
Thank You.
1348  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Isn't it time to remove the: EVERYONE READ!!!! IMPORTANT!!! on: November 12, 2005, 07:22:34 AM
I see that here it is no longer an announcement.  Could you perhaps remove it from the other sections as well?  I think it's time to move on.
1349  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / GT photoshop thread on: November 06, 2005, 05:05:04 AM

The weak spot is probably near the eyes.
1350  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Total Overdose Demo on: October 03, 2005, 02:54:44 AM
Game did not like my rig.  Crashed or locked up every time after I took control (cutscene played fine).  Oh well, I might reconsider when it's a bargain bin Xbox game.
1351  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Steel Battalion on: September 12, 2005, 03:01:34 PM
Quote from: "chewbaccasaurus"
WTF!? you mean you NEED line of contact to go online?
Yes, and you can only unlock new mechs for LOC in campaign mode.  And campaign mode is ending at the end of the month.  So there's not much point in buying LOC now unless Capcom suddenly decides to unlock all mechs for everyone.

That said, even offline, SB is an experience that all mech fans should try.
1352  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Speaking of IGN, Burnout Revenge Review up on: September 12, 2005, 04:30:06 AM
My Fry's (Houston) had it listed as in after 4pm on Thursday at $38.  Very tempting.
1353  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Small Talk Strategy Contest on: September 12, 2005, 04:26:59 AM
Last 24 hours.  Good luck to all writers.
1354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Speaking of IGN, Burnout Revenge Review up on: September 09, 2005, 09:06:29 PM
Overall it sounds like single player is more balanced toward the player.  In fact, the review seems to imply it's too much in your favor at times.  So it loses a little of the white knuckle tension and strategy, but otherwise everything is improved.  Sounds good.  

They give it an 8.9
1355  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / God is found - and he plays Ikaruga on: September 08, 2005, 06:48:08 AM
Sure, Black and White, but can he do

Black and Orange?
1356  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Football is Coming!!! YEAH!!! on: September 07, 2005, 04:02:13 AM
Quote from: "Zarkon"
Always a Houston fan.

1357  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360 is dead! PS3 has keyboard/mouse support!!!! on: September 05, 2005, 10:38:29 PM
If developers want to support mouse and keyboard, it shouldn't be hard for them to add a toggle box to the host's game set up menu.   Something like controllers only.  That way people who don't want to compete against mousers can choose to only play games without them.
1358  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Small Talk Strategy Contest on: September 02, 2005, 11:33:40 PM
Since I announced the last contest here and got a great response, I thought I'd let you know about the new contest.  It's a little smaller, but free games are free games.

Check out the details Here.

Please contact me with any questions.  Good luck to all the entrants.
1359  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I WON A XBOX 360!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on: August 30, 2005, 04:26:38 PM
Well, if anyone deserves a free Xbox 360 . . . congrats man.
1360  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the 4x space strat game on: August 26, 2005, 03:45:22 PM
Don't worry, you can safely discuss it here.  And while you're at it

Check out the amazing SotS interview at Talk Strategy.

For some reason, I just like the TS interview better. :wink:
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