Quake Revolution Christmas Present

I should have wrote this a week ago, but with the holidays, well you know how busy they can be.

Heres a little excerpt:

“Sev3n of the XCM clan came to me the other day and asked about Revolution, notified me that he and quite a few others thought Revolution was much better than IU, especially for cross-Atlantic play. During our discussion he asked if there was a way to limit cg_railHum without the use of PunkBuster.”

The Quake Revolution team has gotten together a little Christmas Release for ya'll in response to some Euro gamers requests. Hop on over to quake-revolution.com and check it out!

Team: Work Gaming Clan

A gaming group, “Team: Work” has just blown into town. Not so much a competive gaming clan, but more of a group of folks who like to play online multi-player games of all styles and genres. The name comes from the concept that team based games require Team Work! Crazy concept I know. There is definintely room for individual excellence, but we feel the fun is from playing with your team!

 Hop on over to the site and forums, and certainly try out the new Team: Work Team Fortress 2 server:

http://www.clanteamwork.com



Regards!

The search has ended!

Well my friends, I have rejoined the ranks of the employed once again! A little spot called Insurance.com. I have to say I'm incredibly excited to start! The guys I interviewed with were awesome and I have a long time friend (26 years (whoa, I feel old lol 🙂 )) has been working there for 7 years and I probably owe him everything I have for sparking my love for computers, plus he's a freakin' genius so I get to absorb his smartness, heheh!

At any rate, I think it will be a great fit, as I am coming out of a large auto insurance company in northeast Ohio, and into, what I think, is the natural progression of selling insurance via comparative rating. Which is a big phrase for giving the consumer options without making them go to 16 insurance web sites and give their information again and again and again. And the development staff is much smaller which I think gives the people doing the work an incredible sense of involvement and ownership which you just do not get in companies with multiple divisions of 300+ IT staff.

I want to thank all my friends who were so supportive, and Insurance.com for giving me an opportunity. thank you all so very much!

Regards!

Unreal Tournament 3 (Demo)

It was with much reluctance that I downloaded the Unreal Tournament 3 demo after being urged by a friend. I have played UT in the past and own 2004. It was fun but just a little too knock-off-y of the Quake franchise, nothing special, yet another first person shooter. Although I have to give UT credit for being there to compete with it from the start.

So it downloads and I install it, which takes freak'n forever, and then it starts up. I won't speak to the graphics, suffice it to say it's a modern game and looks good.

Let me begin with the one unpleasant item in the game. Like a lot of new online multi-player games, you log in to an account to play which allows the game manufacturer to track you playing for the online stats. I'll leave the debate about privacy out of the picture, but what can ya do… My issue with the account concept is, apparently, UT3 uses your gamespy account which is fine, until you realize you made a gamespy account years ago and never use it anyway. So you must EXIT the game to fill out a form on gamespy web-site so it will email you your account information so you can start the game again and use it. I realize this is a (hopefully) 1 time thing but, if you're going to go the distance and allow account creation from the game, DON'T MAKE ME LEAVE THE GAME TO GET MY ACCOUNT STARTED. That's just lame, and as a matter of fact caused me to not even bother for about a week and a half…

If I had any kind of integrity I'd have left it at that, but my boredom brought me back. I have not played the multi-player, just the single player with bots. Why? Well I forgot I had to look my gamespy account information up and I realized I could start a single player game with out it. What can I say, a bad idea once, is a bad idea the second go round. Having said that, I will try the multiplayer and look-up my account info due to my enjoyment of the single player game. I wonder how many customers this will lose.

Single Player give you 4 game modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Dual, and Vehicle CTF. It additionally has Campaign style paly, but that is not available in the demo. I immediately went to Vechicle CTF being a HUGE Capture The Flag fan!

So, its exactly what the name says, CTF with vehicles. Riding a vehicle is not mandatory, the periodically spawn in your territory and you can hop in and drive or hop on and use the turrets for multiple players. The maps are pretty large so the vechicles come in handy or you're walking for a while to get to the action. The maps could easily handle 32 v. 32 players maybe more. Giving it a sort of Battlefield 1942 feel. BUT it's CTF :-).

The Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Dual are what you would expect: A free for all most kills wins, Red Vs. Blue most kills wins, and of course the boring 1-on-1 dual.

I'm not going to talk about the weapons, they seem to have kept it in the UT franchise, I assume they are updated looks and graphics, etc. Suffice it to say, they have cool guns to kill people with. What I can say is, it's a TON OF FUN to play! Feels like a game in all aspects (if you've read some of my other gaming rants, you know what I mean.)

In my eyes, Unreal Tournament 3 picks up the legacy of fun competitive gaming where Id dropped it 8 years ago after Quake3. My only real gripe is that I will have to learn a new set of console commands. I suppose there are worse problems to be had 🙂

Regards!

Team Fortress 2

So, I returned to TF2 after working my way through Orange Box (ok, well I had already finished HL2…)

Anyway, I think I have made a 180 on this one. I really have to say it's über fun!! Which has increasingly been a problem in modern games. What do I mean? Well I'll tell ya! The 3d rendering engines of today are all beautiful, some may handle shadows better, maybe lighting in another is better, pretty particle effects, smoothed high poly-count models. To even be a FPS game today, visually stunning graphics must be included.

But what has happened to the fun? So now that worlds my battles take place in look almost as realistic as the one I live in. Now i'm left in a combat simulation. And while I agree it's “cool”, it's not fun.

Team Fortress 2 has brought the fun back to the FPS! It's cell-shading leaving the game environment rendered somewhat like a comic book is the perfect touch to remind us that, “hey you're killing time playing a game, ENJOY IT Asshat!”

The sound samples and music and announcer voices are sheer genious! Over the top campy sound bites really make the characters feel real. And when the Pyro lights a Soldier on fire, and the soldier is screamming, “fire, Fire, FIRE”, I almost fall outta my chair everytime.

I still am not a fan of class based games, I prefer and equal ground for all players, but it does allow for people to play to their strong points, and enforces team work (which in my opinion shouldn't be required but definitely is in the highly immature world of online gaming (no offense, but ya gotta call a spade a spade.))

Compare that to “Enemy Territory:Quake Wars” offering using Id's latest greatest. Visually stunning, awesome sounding guns, and boring as hell. Not any better then any other Battlefield 1942 style of multi-player combat, just using Id's licensed characters and content. While neat and pretty, just leaves me bored. Quake3 was their crowning achievement, a perfect balance of fun and combat. Big floaty power-ups, smooth movement, fast respawn, perfect. And then they stopped making games for the gamers. Sad, I hope they come to their senses soon! Until then, Team Fortress 2 is it!

Regards!

A p0x upon teh job search!

Well folks, as a friend recently pointed out, I need to post something all ready. So here's the skinny, as some of you may or may not know, I have most recently been employed by a  large auto-insurance company in North East Ohio. Well due to a relatively flat insurance market over the past few years, and some less then innovative IT leadership, a decently large re-organization has been undertaken by the company, and in doing so they have decided to eliminate around 250 positions from the Business side (Business Analysts, Product Managers) and a corresponding 250 poistions from the IT side as well. I'm sure it looked good on paper, and to be honest I do believe it was required to truly change direction which is what is needed. At any rate I among with a large number of my breatren had our jobs eliminated on Nov. 15th (Happy Holidays folks!)

So, to make a short story long, I am in search of a job and hence the less frequent updates. My apologies, if any of you wanted to put me on your pay-roll, I promise to get back to more frequent rants 😉