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3441  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: White Knight, a PS3 RPG from Level 5 on: February 07, 2010, 09:16:12 PM
I got another hour or 2 in last night and finished what I guess is considered the "prologue."  I'm also a bit surprised at the negative reviews as I found it quite enjoyable for the most part.  The graphics continue to be strong, the animations and music are also top notch IMHO.  While the story might feel a bit typical JRPG cliche, it certainly isn't bad.  I really like the addition of your avatar being a part of the single player game but not necessarily the main hero, it's kind of interesting to be a witness to the whole story, a part of the combat team, but not the "star."

I am getting more into the skill/combat system as well, I do like that it allows such a degree of freedom to create your party characters as you wish.  You can make a jack of all trades, or a healer/mage, or a ranger/tank, etc etc - it's all up to you.  The only thing that bothers me within a game like this is you don't know if/when the story will take part of your party away and you might be left with only the main dude or whatever.  I wonder if you are specialized too much if it might be a detriment down the road somewhere, but I guess I'll find out.  This does happen in the prologue and I can see someone getting frustrated if they can't make it through that portion due to poor choices.

The White Knight transformation is interesting, I'm curious to see how it plays out.  It seems like it might be overpowered; I'm not sure if you can access it any time you want or if it will only be in scripted portions?
3442  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 07, 2010, 12:41:10 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 06, 2010, 11:28:22 PM

They did end her story arc pretty unceremoniously, didn't they? I'm glad they wrote her out -- having an ex-wife running around the island unduly humanized Ben's character, and weakened it. Once the Alex angle was wrapped up there was not much left for Rousseau to do. Still, they might have given her a grander exit.

Not to be picky, but she really wasn't his ex-wife.  He stole her baby (and raised her as his own), and chose to not kill her when he had the chance, that's about the closest they were lol. 

- - -

Spoiler for Hiden:
As for AltJack, it's hard to tell what's up with him.  He kept having odd looks like he knew something wasn't quite right, but maybe that was my interpretation of Matthew Fox's acting.  He had that weird mark on his neck, was it a tattoo or blood?  He was still drinking but it's hard to tell if he was alcoholic or not.  He still saves Charlie in "hero" mode so that's consistent, as was his demanding of a pen to remind us of the original premiere heroics.  His "nothing's irreversible" seems to imply he's a "man of faith" in this reality?  Or just that he has already worked miracles in the past.
3443  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 06, 2010, 09:47:58 PM
I can imagine Rousseau not wanting to come back after being obliterated so unceremoniously; I thought that was a disservice to her the way she was eliminated, considering she was a character introduced in season 1 and seemed to be an important/integral part of the storyline.

- - -
Spoiler for Hiden:
The Jack/Rose thing is interesting, I thought I imagined the reversal but I guess not.  Maybe the AltJack is now not so much the "hero" or confident take charge guy we are used to.  Possibly in this reality he never saved his wife, or never got over his fears in surgery?

AltDesmond is definitely a more intriguing prospect.  If you think that Penny possibly never existed, his entire life would be completely different.  So it's possible he never met Jack on the steps that day.  And of course if that never happened, maybe that's what affected Jack's life (I forgot the ramifications of Desmond's pep talk to Jack), and thus influenced what I mentioned above as well.

Butterfly effect!!! - will drive you crazy thinking about it, but I love it!!!
3444  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 06, 2010, 09:41:36 PM

Quote from: Zero on February 06, 2010, 05:32:07 PM

Quote from: rittchard on February 05, 2010, 07:19:47 PM

I'm curious what you mean by being bothered by the hype affecting you.  Are you bothered that you are slowly being converted by the hype to one of the Apple Borg Collective (ABC) or are you bothered by the negativity that the hype seems to draw?

Its bothering me that I thought it was a great device, and would fit into my world.  As I talked to co-workers about getting the device I find myself defending it against all the "negative" of what it isn't.  And it some sense it got me talking about it more, and supporting it, even though I don't have the damn thing.  That's what I meant by the hype bothering me.  That the hype is now coming from me and that I'm doing it to fight back all the negativity. 

Hehe, I know how you feel, that's pretty much where I am these days as well.  But I guess I'm more used to it since I went through the same cycle with the iPhone.  I think Apple owes me about 3 or 4 sales (at least) from all my pitches and demoing of the iPhone at work.  I don't think I'll be doing the same with the iPad, as I don't intend to bring it to work regularly at first.  Once they start becoming more popular (2nd or 3rd gen), or maybe if I bought a second one, maybe I'll start using it regularly at work.  I kind of don't want all my personal fun stuff (photos, games, music, etc) mixing with work so much; I almost think it would make sense for me to have a separate unit specifically for work.
3445  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 05, 2010, 09:26:45 PM

Quote from: Rich on February 05, 2010, 08:06:21 PM

Going back to the Maggie Grace question about why she wasn't on the episode, I've heard that a few of the actors that have been killed off (Libby) were asked to come back but refused.  The creators said that some actors hold a grudge when their characters are killed off and just won't agree to come back for a guest shot here and there, I haven't heard if this was the case with Shannon or not. 

Libby is coming back (along with Michael as well).  I can see that happening with some of the actors.  Still, whatever the reason for the actor/actress not showing up, the writers have definitely integrated this into the plotline.  Damon Lindelof specifically mentions Shannon, Eko and Michelle Rodriguez (I think some others) as being people we specifically did *not* see on the plane for particular reasons, indicating that the Jughead explosion clearly has a "Butterfly Effect" on the entire reality/macroverse.
3446  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Underworld returns on: February 05, 2010, 09:23:10 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on February 05, 2010, 08:50:21 PM

Setting the bar that high are we?

I guess my main complaint was that I didn't realize it was all period. I kept waiting for the jump to present day, so I felt like the whole movie was setting something up that never came. In truth, the whole move was backstory that I didn't care about.

While I enjoyed the movie for the most part (I guess I just like the series in general so I'll take anything I can get, even FakeKate/Rhona Mitra), I felt like the story had actually been told quite well in the previous films, and it was a missed opportunity to take the main plotline further.  I'm not sure why Hollywood has such a fascination with prequels; personally I prefer stories to keep moving forward, and if I really want to flesh out what happened in the past, I'll read the books/source material or whatever.
3447  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Underworld returns on: February 05, 2010, 07:21:33 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 05, 2010, 06:15:34 AM

Vampires.... IN SPACE!!! (slightly NSFW pi of Kate), or at least that's the latest rumor about the film.  I don't know about you but a 3D movie would be the perfect chance for Kate Beckinsale to finally have a full nude scene...

I'll sign up for this but only if Scott Speedman gets one too.
3448  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 05, 2010, 07:19:47 PM

Quote from: Zero on February 05, 2010, 02:41:58 PM

Its incredible the amount of buzz Apple has generated for this.  Its amazing to me that Amazon (and a few other companies) are having to compete against a product that isn't even available for sale yet.  I can't wait to get mine, but at the same time it bothers me that there a lot of hype on this and that its affecting me.  I never considered myself an Apple "fanboi", but even though I work in a mostly "Microsoft" environment that I'm slowly becoming more and more Apple (macbooks, iphone, ipods, and future ipad owner).

Yeah Apple definitely has a knack for generating hype.  Archos released their tablet last year (similar size, form factor, and price) and I think about 25 people knew about it   icon_lol  They can even generate hype by NOT saying anything (publically) which gets fans even more worked up.  I read an article a while ago about the tactics they use to leak info (but only the info they want to leak) slowly over time to get people interested early.

I'm curious what you mean by being bothered by the hype affecting you.  Are you bothered that you are slowly being converted by the hype to one of the Apple Borg Collective (ABC) or are you bothered by the negativity that the hype seems to draw?

Some of the negative backlash has been kind of annoying (though fairly predictable at this point) but I have to say the one thing that Apple did that I can see might be very annoying was to call its device "magical."  I mean it's one thing for Steve Jobs to keep repeating "isn't it cool?  or isn't that awesome?" but to say your device feels magical - well hopefully it's got the chops to live up to that statement.

Last thought, wondering if they'll have a cool ad for the Superbowl.
3449  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Denmark Man Offers to Trade Gold for Wood in WoW on: February 05, 2010, 07:05:55 PM
Oh no I've been caught!!!   J/K!!!!  But seriously what can I trade for hot pics of GTers?   ninja2
3450  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Excruciating Tooth(less)ache - any thoughts? on: February 05, 2010, 01:12:58 AM

Quote from: Gratch on February 04, 2010, 10:11:17 PM

Still going, unfortunately.  A few days after the root canal from hell, the jaw swelling got worse and I ended up with a lump about the size of a racquetball.  Massive infection, of course, and I landed back in the emergency room doing antibiotic IV treatments.   The IV started making a difference after 4 days of treatments, so they put me on an oral antibiotic.  The next day, I break out in hives all over my body.  Apparently I have become allergic to penicillin, even though I did a round of it 2 weeks ago for the initial infection and was fine.  They switched me on a different non-penicillin-y antibiotic, and while I didn't have any allergic reactions, it make me incredibly sick to my stomach (a known side effect), so I ended up puking 3-4 times a day for 2 weeks.  

As of this afternoon, the lump of infection is mostly gone (a huge positive) and I'm not in any pain (an even huger positive).  I'm working with the TMJ therapist to try and get my mouth to open again, and today is my first day wearing a retainer.  Oh joy.  Once I'm able to open, then the fun starts all over as we finish the root canal and crowns/fillings.  Not to mention the 4 other teeth that need either root canals or fillings.

I am truly in dental hell...

Man this really sucks so bad Gratch frown

Regarding Penicillin, I never had problems with it as a kid, but I was given Amoxycillin (I think) a couple years back and at the very end of it I got hives/rash so now I just tell the doctors I'm allergic.  This last time they put me on clarithromycin, which seemed to be OK but by the end of the cycle I was getting really bad stomach pains which felt like extreme gas or something for lack of a better characterization; this lasted about a week even after I had stopped taking them.  Not sure if that's what you ended up with. 
3451  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 04, 2010, 07:32:09 PM
Spoiler for Hiden:
Just to confirm something a friend mentioned, the bomb goes off in 1977 - does this mean Widmore and/or the Others on the island at that time (including Finola) all would have died?  In which case both Daniel and Penny would never have existed?

Also I haven't re-watched yet, but I did read in an interview that there are clues as to when in the timeline the island actually sank in the underwater pan.  So I guess it's plausible that the bomb going off doesn't sink it, as some of you have already discussed.

I don't have any specific theories right now, but I do think Jack is at the heart of everything, as he seems to be the only one who is suspicious of things in LAX and also is the one who tells Locke that "nothing's irreversible" - loved that as a kind of throwaway (but not really) line.
3452  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: White Knight, a PS3 RPG from Level 5 on: February 04, 2010, 07:23:09 PM
I spent about 2 hours with the game last night and my impressions are mixed.  The first hour was spent installing and then creating my avatar, which had a great deal of detail if you are into that sort of thing.  I just wanted to get playing but still got sucked into re-sizing my avatar's eyes and nose, etc.

Anyway, after a decent length cutscene, I finally moved into the game itself.  The main visuals look pretty stunning to me, I'm not sure why everyone seems so underwhelmed.  You start out in a town which feels like a large, expansive town.  Yes, the graphics are fairly reminiscent of FFXI, but the overall feel seemed a lot stronger to me.

There didn't appear to be much of a starter/tutorial and you are kind of just left on your own to figure things out.  I exited the town and entered the first wilderness area, which again to me felt large and wide open, for lack of a better description.  It feels much more MMO than JRPG in that respect.  There are mobs that show up as red dots on your minimap, and at least in the beginning they are not aggro.  You can just approach them and attack if you so choose.  Combat is kind of odd, I feel like I want to start mashing on buttons and be more action-RPG-ish but the system is more of a turn-based one, though visually it doesn't appear that way.  I like (as others mention) the addition of the avatar you created to the party, though he is clearly not the "star" of the main questline.  Very interesting and different approach.

The skill and combat system is a bit confusing at first glance.  It's so open and you are given very little guidance.  I ended up dumping a bunch of points in Longsword without knowing I didn't have a longsword, argh.  I couldn't figure out exactly how to equip my new skills at first, and once I did, I wasn't sure if it was worth switching to one or another.  I put mage/healer stuff on my avatar and set him to "Heal First" (there are apparently some AI settings for the party), though so far I can't tell if he is healing or not.  He does seem to use the Ice Spell I gave him.

So now on the main map, there's really very little to tell you where to go.  I know I was supposed to head to some town for further instruction but there was no arrow or guidance that I'm used to.  This can be a good or bad thing depending on what kind of gamer you are.  There's much more the feeling/illusion of a wide open game that you can do whatever you feel like from the very outset, including building your character.  It seemed to me like I could just wander this first wilderness and kill easy mobs forever if I felt like it (not sure if they regen).  But if you are looking to follow a tight story, this definitely doesn't seem to lead you as clearly or linearly as most JRPGs do.

Definitely a mixed bag.  Personally I like it but I would have trouble recommending it to someone unless I knew they really liked this particular type of gameplay.  It's an odd mix of JRPG with MMO style "openness" - even in only the beginning single player portion.
3453  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 03, 2010, 07:10:02 PM
I was totally blown away by the premiere, particularly hour 1.  Definitely my questions earlier were answered as to the difference between the leaked 4 minutes and the commercials.  I never would have thought they would do it like this, so I love being surprised.

I love Denoginizer's theory (above in spoiler), that never occured to me!  That sounds very much like what they will do.

So many little things about the premiere that I enjoyed, little touches, subtle (and not so subtle) plot elements.  Just wonderful.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Absolutely love the alternate realities playing out simultaneously.  But it just seems like there's not enough hours in the show left to properly resolve it all.  Unless very little time will actually pass in Alt Reality and somehow the key players will all get stuck back on another plane and still end up on the island again?  I love Kate on the run, but given that she's with Claire...

I'm not sure I liked revisiting Juliette's death.  I thought the ending last season was just brilliant and heart-breaking and should have been left untouched.  This just felt like a cruel way to tease and torture us Juliette fans (and then show her in commercials of V to taunt us lol).  But I suppose the "it worked" was a pretty critical element to the overall story, I guess she was the best person to deliver that message.

Go go Lockemonster!!!

Love Desmond showing up on the plane - apparently the reality altering goes further than just the plane not getting shot down?  Or was he even really there?

The underwater pan to the island completely sunken in Alt Reality -awesome awesome awesome!!!

On a side note, there was no mention made of why Shannon wasn't there, correct?  I guess they couldn't get her in time.  It was fun to see Ian Somerholder again after watching him as a completely different character in Vampire Diaries where he has so much more charisma.  And I loved seeing Charlie again.
3454  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Would you play a PVP'less MMO? on: February 02, 2010, 08:31:35 PM

Quote from: Toe on February 02, 2010, 08:20:26 PM

Quote from: skystride on February 02, 2010, 06:35:01 PM

PvP doesn't affect class balance.  A game like Guild Wars is very well balanced (in PvE) and it's mostly PvP.  A game like Everquest 1 which was entirely PvE (on 99% of servers) had balance issues for years and years.

Well Guild Wars is not an MMO so it doesn't count.

I always found it odd that many people don't like to consider GW an "MMO".  I guess the main game was too instanced but on the other hand in terms of how many different people you could interact with, it's actually more "massive" since you aren't tied to a single server of a few thousand people.  It's a different style of MMO but it's still an MMO in my book.

Anyway, GW was actually a strange case in which the original game was supposed to be PvP-based and balanced around that.  PvE was well balanced because they froze your level and all equipment was geared to not unbalance PvP.  My whole problem with that was PvE felt way too restrictive.  All the items and upgrades you could make felt too superficial in PvE (using Diablo 2 as a comparison).
3455  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What was the #1 song the day you were born? on: February 02, 2010, 08:25:03 PM
Where are you guys finding the answer?

I found this website but it only has US:

http://www.joshhosler.biz/NumberOneInHistory/SelectMonth.htm

Mine was....

Love Child    icon_lol
3456  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: White Knight, a PS3 RPG from Level 5 on: February 02, 2010, 08:21:59 PM
Checked with Gamestop and they said it would be available tomorrow...  I'm a bit confused with the whole ship/release date thing of late.  I used to be really on top of stuff like this, and/or it was clearer to me.  They would always put Ship Date XX and you could expect to get the game out on the following day for the most part.  But recently (like ME2) the game was out the same day they had the ship date listed.  So what gives?
3457  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24, Season 8 discussion (there are spoiler tags for a reason) on: February 02, 2010, 06:46:48 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 02, 2010, 06:39:01 PM

Yeah, the NYC traffic thing is dumb, especially when they put NYCTU in a very photogenic local that could not be a worse spot for needing to get to the action.  Also, it's practically New Jersey.  However, they've spent years driving to any spot in LA in ten minutes, despite Los Angeles having some of the most random horrible traffic in the country, so I'll let that slide.  Plus, I think Jack's gone to the bathroom exactly once in however many years.

Jack carries a portapotty in his super cool Messenger Bag.  You do realize that bag has *everything* don't you?

That was one thing that was bugging me last night.  It suddenly dawned on me that they were supposed to be in New York, and yet nothing in the story/plot has made any significant use of that location.  I was looking at some of the locales and they all seemed terribly generic, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me they were filmed in LA.  I've never been to New York so I was hoping there would be a very different vibe/feel to the whole show by being there.  Seems like yet another waste. 

On the plus side, still enjoying Dark Renee, which is about the best thing on this season so far.  German Jack was a bit disappointing, after he put on the goofy glasses, I was really hoping he would do his accent from Dark City  icon_wink
3458  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Would you play a PVP'less MMO? on: February 02, 2010, 06:41:35 PM
I'd play any MMO as long as it had a good design and gameplay (see my other thread on MMO design).  So while I prefer an MMO to have multiple options, I would certainly play a PVP-less one.
3459  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Chuck Season 3 discussion (spoilers!!!) on: February 02, 2010, 06:35:36 PM

Quote from: farley2k on February 02, 2010, 04:44:24 PM

I liked this week's episode a lot.  Very good and a little emotional.  I wonder where they will end up with Chuck becoming a "real" spy.

It's nice to see the Chuck character finally evolving, and also nice to give Awesome something to do other than just be a cardboard "awesome" character.  Absolutely love the addition of Kristin Kreuk, I hope they don't waste her, or best scenario, add her to the main cast.
3460  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Oscar nominations out on: February 02, 2010, 06:33:07 PM
Yay for District 9!!!  Definitely my favorite of the 10, which means of course it has exactly 0% chance of winning.  I read an article saying basically it's between 4 movies and the remaining 6 are just fodder, although I can't recall exactly which 4.  Probably Up in the Air, Hurt Locker for sure, can't be sure what the other 2 were.
3461  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: White Knight, a PS3 RPG from Level 5 on: February 02, 2010, 06:27:55 PM

Quote from: skystride on February 02, 2010, 04:44:28 PM

Eurogamer review 8/10 - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/white-knight-chronicles-review

The review describes the MP a bit.  Apparently it's 6 player instances.

That's odd because in the video that guy clearly said 4 people.  6 would be cool though!
3462  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: White Knight, a PS3 RPG from Level 5 on: February 02, 2010, 04:51:35 AM
The video was a little dull, but the graphics quality looked top notch, reminiscent of FFXI but probably higher quality.  So it looks like a fairly traditional JRPG single player (boy with special powers saves the princess) mixed with an online experience that allows you to build your own town maybe a bit like Majesty, and an online quest system that generates 4-player instances.  Interesting mix all around, not sure how it all works, like do you interweave what happens online with the single player or are they compartmentalized.  Also curious what the goal of doing the online stuff is for, other than to just do multiplayer.  Is it like Diablo where you are trying to get better loot, or do you use it just to level up outside the main game?
3463  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: White Knight, a PS3 RPG from Level 5 on: February 02, 2010, 01:36:07 AM
Bumping this thread in preparation for upcoming release and all the tons of "First Impressions" from GTers  icon_razz

This will be out Wednesday (Gamestop says shipping tomorrow)?
3464  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: February 02, 2010, 01:34:20 AM

Quote from: Jaddison on February 01, 2010, 10:22:50 PM

imo the "premiere" they didn't use for Dollhouse was much better than what they used...which leads me to believe there is a constant war as to whoexactly the target audience is.

I agree completely.  And I would say the same exact thing for Firefly.  The original premiere was a great 2 hour intro to the cast and premise, while the one they used had some more action (which apparently Fox demanded) but didn't do anything to really get you engaged with the show and characters.  Stupid stupid stupid Fox!!!
3465  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 02, 2010, 01:30:44 AM
Long long ago in high school I dreamed of being a writer.  But my conservative (practical?) parents crushed any thoughts of that and I became an engineer instead.  I always told myself that I would write in my spare time or after I was retired but I was just kidding myself.  In college I had so many different novel ideas which I would dream about and plot out during boring classes but I never really had the time to flesh them out and actually finish writing something.  That's always bugged me.  The closest I ever came was turning the first couple chapters of a book I was trying to write into a short story and submitting it somewhere off the advice of one of those books that's supposed to help you get published.  It wasn't really my best work but it was the only thing that I'd actually "finished" writing.  Of course it was horribly rejected and though I wasn't surprised I think I was pretty crushed by the experience.

This self publishing thing actually gives me some hope.  Now I know at the bare minimum if I ever get my act together and finish writing something, I don't have to worry about some editor telling me I suck, I can just publish it myself and I know at least ONE copy will get sold (to myself lol)!  I have to say it's pretty exciting, I haven't thought about writing in many years now.
3466  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 01, 2010, 09:56:58 PM
Just looked this over briefly:

https://dtp.amazon.com/mn/signin

That's absolutely wonderful, I had no idea this even existed.  Which does kind of beg the question if someone as big as Amazon is doing this, why hasn't it gained more attention? 

But anyway, the one thing I think is missing is some way for the independent guys to get more attention for themselves.  I don't know how the Kindle search system works but it would be neat if you could choose an option to see only "independent" authors along with the search, and if there were top 100 lists or whatever per genre for the indie guys. 
3467  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 01, 2010, 09:48:38 PM

Quote from: depward on February 01, 2010, 09:44:04 PM

I've already published a short story I wrote on the Kindle Store for $0.99. In fact, Amazon's DTP (Digital Text Platform) is super easy and, really, anyone can upload any story they wish. As for price, as far as I could tell, the lowest I could set it was at $0.99.

Tilt is correct about the percentages... however, I think previously it was Amazon 65%. Now they moved to Apple's 70%.

That's pretty cool, I guess that's what the guy in the blog was referring to.  So does Amazon handle all of the "publishing" and legal and copyright issues?
3468  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: February 01, 2010, 09:47:13 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on February 01, 2010, 07:58:54 PM

I think the Joss Whedon projects get fractured before they start....and probably not by him.  It appears they never really know what audience they are aiming at....mainstream or people who really dig story arcs and so the starts are always awkward and almost guaranteed to not generate large audiences......and then the slow (or quick) death ensues.  Kind of reminds me of the war between game makers and game publishers.

It seems like with the last 2 shows at least, Joss comes up with a "quirky" core concept that sells well on paper to the execs.  He may have some larger arc or deeper storylines in the back of his mind but not necessarily a full season and character arcs fully fleshed out.  It seems to take him some time to start revving up and get familiar with the actors/characters.  (Note this is the one thing he did stronger with the original Buffy series, which I read he never thought would last.  It seems like he had the main season arc planned out in advance.) 

He then puts together a decent premiere which is intended to slowly warm the audience (an presumably himself and everyone working on the show) up.  Then the execs see the premiere and it isn't what they envisioned, not sexy or actiony enough, so they force him to retool it.  He ends up grabbing a second or third episode idea and shoving some premiere-ish elements into it, leaving us with a kind of cold premiere.  In the mean time, Fox loses its interest, shoves it in a crap timeslot, and gives it no promotion.  It sucks for everyone involved. 

I really hope Joss gets another shot, and is allowed to flesh his show out the way he wants to, at the pace he wants to.  However I also think its in his own best interest to have a stronger full season story arc and plan (as well as a multi-season plan) laid out, and not hold too much back at the outset.  The premiere needs to be tight, and get the core story arc at least introduced.
3469  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 01, 2010, 09:36:56 PM
aka... Is traditional print publishing on its way out?

This is kind of an offshoot out of the iPad thread, but with the advent of eBooks and more and more newspapers going out of traditional print, it seems to be an interesting topic for discussion.  There are actually quite a few sub-topics, such as what services a publisher provides (such as editing and promotion) and just how necessary they will be if/when traditional print media goes the way of the dinosaur (which of course is also debatable.

Crusis posted a very interesting link comparing an author's print vs ebook numbers:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/10/kindle-numbers-traditional-publishing.html

- - -

And finally just to mix it up a bit, over lunch I was actually thinking about whether anyone would want to help develop an "Indie Reader" app for the iPhone/iPad.  The main app would be a Reader + Store, similar to Kindle, except we would allow any Joe Blow to upload their text, keywords, summary etc. and set their own price.  The app would have all the bells and whistles, top 10 lists, user reviews, user favorites, our own personal favorites, searches by genre and topic, etc. - basically a complete venue for wannabe/"independent" authors to show off their work.  All we would do is maintain the software, database and collect money lol.  But I forgot about all the legal crap with copyrights and such, so I kind of thought it wasn't worth mentioning, unless someone has an idea to get around all that.  I suppose we could just have a disclaimer but that doesn't seem very satisfying.
3470  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Dollhouse Season 2 on: February 01, 2010, 07:47:17 PM

Quote from: disarm on January 30, 2010, 03:31:07 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on January 30, 2010, 02:56:12 AM

I've caught up through the end of last week.  Seeing as the first thing that they did was recap Epitaph One, I'm going to wait until I get that on rental to watch before I watch this one.

i did think that it was a little strange that they showed such an incomplete and vague recap of Epitaph One at the beginning of tonight's finale.  if you haven't actually seen Epitaph One, those few clips really didn't explain anything.  that said, i think the events of the finale would make sense to anyone who has watched the show whether they've seen all of Epitaph One or not.  there are a few minor characters and references to events that might not make make complete sense, but the major events of the finale stand pretty well on their own.

It was strange/unfortunate they didn't make this a "2 hour event" and just show the 2 episodes together back to back.  I know a number of people who were pretty confused and disappointed by the finale because they had no idea of even the existence of Epitaph One.  Fox clearly just did not give a crap about the show, and were simply begrudgingly honoring their promise to air the final episodes.  I don't think I saw a single preview or promo for the series finale, which is I suppose consistent with their poor treatment of the show. 

While I thought it was a decent closer, it definitely felt rushed and certain elements that looked to be really interesting (like Victor's tech subplot and the Paul/Echo relationship) were just not able to be fleshed out in the short amount of time they had to wrap it up.  Such a shame, I really hope Joss's next venture gets the respect it deserves.
3471  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost: The Final Season on: February 01, 2010, 07:36:08 PM
One more day, I can't wait!!!!

The most recent commercial I saw on Desperate Housewives last night seemed to reveal quite a bit (or not).
BUt it seemed counter to what we saw in that 4-minute teaser thing.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I couldn't tell what was going on, but clearly in the commercial Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and Jin at least were all still on the island.  Sawyer points his gun at Locke a couple times and threatens him.  Locke asks Sawyer if he wants to know the answer to what/where the island is.  Which seems to imply the "reset button" did NOT work, though the teaser video implies it did.  It looks more like the explosion just bounces our main cast into yet another different time period, or is it another different timeline?
3472  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 01, 2010, 07:28:04 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 01, 2010, 07:23:37 PM

Quote from: rittchard on February 01, 2010, 07:18:01 PM

Quote from: Crusis on February 01, 2010, 05:38:15 PM

Seriously, why should an eBook cost $15? There is no overhead. No warehouse cost. And the authors don't make any more royalties off the books. If they kept the price reasonable they would sell a hell of a lot more ebooks. AND Amazon has already announced that they are bumping royalties on kindle to 70% provided the books are priced under $9.99. I've actually asked my publisher to lower the price on my new book for Kindle. If I had my way it would sell for $2.99 but it looks like $4.99 will have to do. BTW. eBooks sell 6 copies for every 10 paper copies on Amazon.

This is slightly OT, but if you think longer term, doesn't the whole idea of "ebooks" make "publishers" completely irrelevant?  At some point won't the price of a new "book" simply be set by whatever the market/readers are willing to bear?  Imagine this: you are an author, you "release" your new book electronically, say for argument as an iPad "app" or through iBooks exclusively, so there is no other publisher side middleman, so you get 70% (or whatever it is) of all the profits.  Technically is there anything stopping any budding writer from doing that right now (aside from Apple approval) and setting the price of their book to whatever they want or think is fair?

I'm not really trying to make any partiuclar point and I am kind of confusing myself to be honest.  I just think it's an interesting topic.  If you believe that printed media is slowly on its way out (maybe 10 years, 20 years? I don't know), it really starts to re-define the entire "book" industry, doesn't it?

Most authors interviews I've read indicate that a publisher support is invaluable, especially in terms editing, copy editing, and promotion.  

Well they pretty much have to say that right now, don't they?  Without a publisher they have no means to... publish or get their material out there.  But things are changing really fast, and I'm sure it's scary for people used to doing things the traditional way.  

The fact is, though, even right at this moment, I could write a novel, have a friend edit it (or not), and then build it into an iPhone "app" and promote it through the web however I wanted to, sell my novel for $0.99 (or whatever) on the App store and have access to 75 million potential customers.  

Thinking out loud now: from an established author's POV, they could likely reap a great deal more profit with no middle man.  Just imagine if JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer decided to release their next Harry Potter or Twilight sequel this way.  They could set the price to whatever they felt like, say $9.99 and you know everyone and their grandma and tween niece would buy it, and they get all the profit.  Do they really need a publisher to promote them?
3473  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 01, 2010, 07:18:01 PM

Quote from: Crusis on February 01, 2010, 05:38:15 PM

Seriously, why should an eBook cost $15? There is no overhead. No warehouse cost. And the authors don't make any more royalties off the books. If they kept the price reasonable they would sell a hell of a lot more ebooks. AND Amazon has already announced that they are bumping royalties on kindle to 70% provided the books are priced under $9.99. I've actually asked my publisher to lower the price on my new book for Kindle. If I had my way it would sell for $2.99 but it looks like $4.99 will have to do. BTW. eBooks sell 6 copies for every 10 paper copies on Amazon.

This is slightly OT, but if you think longer term, doesn't the whole idea of "ebooks" make "publishers" completely irrelevant?  At some point won't the price of a new "book" simply be set by whatever the market/readers are willing to bear or whatever the author feels like charging?  Imagine this: you are an author, you "release" your new book electronically, say for argument as an iPad "app" or through iBooks exclusively, so there is no other publisher side middleman, so you get 70% (or whatever it is) of all the profits.  Technically is there anything stopping any budding writer from doing that right now (aside from Apple approval) and setting the price of their book to whatever they want or think is fair?

I'm not really trying to make any partiuclar point and I am kind of confusing myself to be honest.  I just think it's an interesting topic.  If you believe that printed media is slowly on its way out (maybe 10 years, 20 years? I don't know), it really starts to re-define the entire "book" industry, doesn't it?
3474  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (2/1) on: February 01, 2010, 06:52:53 PM
Just White Knight for me!
3475  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 31, 2010, 06:31:47 AM

Quote from: Hrothgar on January 31, 2010, 05:53:06 AM

If I understand you correctly, this isn't targeted at me.  As a typical gamer geek, this is the Wii for computers.  It's from a company I've supported in the past even through hard times.  They tease me that they're giving me a new present that'll revolutionize my life.  It'll change the way I think about gaming (or computing).  Against my better judgment, I get all excited thinking they'll rekindle (har)  the old flame.  But no, they're not interested in me at all.  They want the mass market.  I want to say I understand, but just like Tycho, I'm hurt.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here - I guess you are saying you are not part of the "mass market"?  What market do you consider yourself then?  Either way, I think they *are* targeting this at you - because they are targeting pretty much everyone that uses computers in their everyday life (that isn't an inherent Apple hater).  Just because it's a popular mass market device doesn't mean a techie geek (like myself) can't enjoy and benefit from using it.

As a baseline, Steve Jobs is claiming this device was targeted to be a "better" experience (than an iPhone or a laptop) for:  Browsing, Email, Photos, Video, Music, Games, eBooks.  Judging by what I've seen so far, I think they've probably succeeded on all accounts but Video, with Gaming being a question mark.  I don't see how they can claim Video is better than on a laptop, though it is clearly better than an iPhone.  Gaming at best they can say will be a different/unique experience compared to a laptop, but better than the iPhone due to the size.  So anyway, if any or some combination of these functions interest you in a single device, you are clearly in the target audience.  

As a gadget freak like me, this can also become the home "hub" command panel from which you control and access all your other gadgets and goodies; this is the part that really gets me excited.  I want to stream content from my home server, watch TV off my slingbox, control my TV and other devices, check my home surveillance camera feeds, remote control my desktop, play music off my remote speakers, etc.  Sure I can (almost) do all of this on my iPhone, but it's not quite the same as being on a larger panel where I imagine it will just feel more natural.
3476  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 31, 2010, 03:20:27 AM

Quote from: Wargus on January 30, 2010, 08:07:20 PM

Once you get to the size of the ipad, I'm thinking well - what can I do with something that size?  The answer is a LOT.  The unfortunate part is it doesn't do any of it.  Do I want to check my budgeting? Invoicing? Full featured web surfing?  Work on my spreadsheets or business plan?  It won't do any of that well enough (if at all) that I'd use it for that over a computer. So really all this is is a media or media control device (meaning if you want anything but a book you have to buy other proprietary technology or use another method to hook it into your existing systems).

Everything it does do I can already do on my iphone, you only sacrifice in screen size.  So, what does this do that the iphone doesn't?

You really seem to have little faith in Apple (given that you're an iPhone user) and/or for some reason have completely made up your mind on what this product can and can't do.  Obviously you have your reasons and I won't begrudge you that.  Still, some of the concerns you have brought up are worth discussing for people who haven't made up their minds.

Earlier you were talking about the size/weight as compared to your 4 pound laptop.  The difference is that in the case of a tablet, you are meant not just to have it in your lap (which is perfectly fine), but also to be able to hold it in one hand and interact with it with the other.  The interaction is meant to be more intimate and personal, for lack of a better characterization.  Having used the iPhone, I'm sure you'd agree that touching your way through the internet is an overall more visceral experience than using a mouse or keyboard or stylus...  On the work side, this is something that you could easily carry from place to place that would have a lesser impact than a 3-4 pound laptop, essentially more like carrying a notebook or organizer.

So now you're saying anything you can do with the iPad you can already do with the iPhone.  While I'd agree in basic principle, here I think it's important to keep an open mind and engage your imagination.  Having a larger screen may seem like a simple enhancement that just allows you to see more or see things larger, but you can't discount the fact that this is a multi-touch screen, which also means your ability to interact with it is going to also be enhanced multi-fold.  It's too early to tell exactly how this will play out, but I'm sure you can imagine that this might drastically change the way a game feels when you play it, or how any number of the musical apps will be enhanced with a much larger surface area to work with, or how an artist might be able to paint and draw with much more freedom.  I think size is going to matter a lot more in the long run than you are giving it credit for, particularly as people get more and more creative.

As for productivity capability, as already mentioned iWorks will give you access to spreadsheets, presentations and word processing.  Omnigroup just announced they are bring a suite of productivity products to the iPad as well (looks mostly like Visio and Project Management).  I'm reasonably sure there will be plenty of other work-oriented apps making their way to the iPad as well, as it starts to be seen as not just an entertainment device by developers.

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/01/30/omnigroup-commits-to-bring-five-productivity-apps-to-ipad/

As for budgeting and invoicing, there are already a number of apps for both on the iPhone, and if there's demand, I have no doubt they will be improved and enhanced for the iPad.

http://www.iphoneappindex.com/2009/05/15/omni-invoice-quote-and-invoice-app-for-the-iphone/

http://www.brighthub.com/mobile/iphone/reviews/20825.aspx
3477  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 30, 2010, 07:01:47 AM

Quote from: farley2k on January 28, 2010, 10:11:41 PM

Quote from: rittchard on January 28, 2010, 09:37:35 PM

Nor did they have an installed base of 100,000 apps developed specifically for them. 

Really?  There aren't 100,000 apps developed for Windows XP?  That is what most notebooks run and I am pretty sure there are a lot of apps for it.  There are really more apps for the iPhone than for windows?

Oops missed this - you took the quote out of context, or maybe I wasn't clear enough.  I was talking about specific apps developed for that specific hardware platform (that adapted specifically to the size of the device, the touch screen or stylus, etc), not just apps on the OS itself.  My quote was referring to devices like the Samsung Q1 all the way through the Archos 9 - they may run Windows XP/7 but there are very few specific apps that were developed or optimized for them.
3478  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 30, 2010, 06:55:32 AM

Quote from: SkyLander on January 29, 2010, 05:52:06 PM

Why did they choose 4:3 instead of making the device a little bit longer to get a nice widescreen aspect ratio out of it?

My first guess is it had something to do with availability of screens from that Chinese company rumored to be supplying them.

But more probably it was a painstaking tradeoff between all the main functions the device was meant for.  And my guess is they went in favor of a stronger web browsing experience (and possibly book reading?) in lieu of movie/video watching.  The Archos 9 as a reference went with 16:10 (1024x600).  HD video plays and looks pretty nice.  But web browsing is clearly compromised.  In landscape mode, you get a long and skinny browser which feels like half of a real screen, it's almost worthless.  In portrait mode, where browsing is much more serviceable, you get a tall and skinny window which just doesn't look/feel right.
3479  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 30, 2010, 06:30:36 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on January 29, 2010, 10:37:59 PM

I'd like to think people will come up with great, compelling apps that truly use the screen size to do unique things that wouldn't work well on an iPhone screen, but it's a shame they didn't wait until someone did just that before announcing it to the world.

You know, for all the bitching about Apple being a "closed" system etc. this is one of the hugest advantages Apple has.  It's a subtle point, and I'm sure there will be people who will complain about one thing or another, but the early release of the SDK I think is just wonderful.  This opens the device up to an entire world of skilled people who might just have the next big thing in terms of software ideas but no other venue to share it.  In other words, why wait to do it themselves when they can just release the tools and have access to an entire world full of possible designers?

So yeah, Apple's own custom apps for the iPad demo were a bit dull, but I have complete faith in outside developers, who now have 2 months to build something prior to release, to come up with some slick and unique ideas to take advantage of the larger screen and larger interface touch area.  And of course this is just the beginning.
3480  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: January 29, 2010, 10:10:43 PM

Quote from: farley2k on January 29, 2010, 10:04:03 PM

I would be happy if he got me one!  I promise I would buy lots of apps from the store.

Yeah, the govt will then take a tax out of every app that's downloaded!

But seriously, for myself I do kind of seeing this device as a "central hub" command center kind of thing, kind of how it appears they use tablets in Stargate and such, but on more of the entertainment side.  On its own it stands alone fine, but in tandem with all the other electronics in your life, it becomes that much more powerful, sort of the "cloud computing" mentality with a bunch of dumber home-based clouds.  Which reminds me, I know you can set iPhone up to check home surveillance cameras and stuff like that, which would look much better on the large screen.  Either way I think the display is going to be a huge boon, because as much as I love my iPhone, there are definitely times I wish I could be doing the same thing on a bigger screen.

My question is on the overall size, I'm not sure it's light enough to justify carrying all over the place.  I'm imagining it will be, but I'd have to feel it in action.
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