The Haus

Sunday, July 22, 2001

Games Are Good For You

A British government-funding study indicates video games make children brighter. Games helped with concentration and coordination, and the gamers were well-adjusted. Thanks Slashdot.

I think this article makes a very valid point. Gamers who have a life outside of gaming are going to be well-adjusted. Those who never escape the glare of a CRT are going to have problems. If your kid is a head case to begin with, playing Quake probably won't help. If your kid is developing relatively normally, Quake won't turn him into a psychopath. Why people insist on looking at removing games as a quick-fix to all the problems of youth is beyond me. Actually, I know why. It's easier to blame a game than to say, "I'm a crappy parent."

ION Fallout

A rather disgruntled ex-ION-Storm-Dallas employee made a post on the PlanetAnachronox boards (thanks Voodoo Extreme) about the disintigration of ION Dallas:
Look. I didn't sign any NDA, so if the EIDOS lawyers come to chomp my beans off, I'll see what I can do. We were told to keep it on the down low until EIDOS made an official statement, but they've had almost a Month, and It kills me to see people on the forums who don't know what's going on. I know the rumour mill has been Crazy about ION since its inception, and it's really strange that Blues or Scarys hasn't posted anything yet about the closedown. But yeah. We're closed. Shut down, get your stuff packed and pick up your severance check on Friday closed. We still love the game, and many of us developers are still supporting it. Even while putting my portfolio and resume together, I've been working on Planet Docs and attending messageboards.

We've still got love, even if we don't get paid for it.

On the Bright side, I don't care if you Warez the game anymore, being that No one who actually worked on it will see a penny one way or the other.
Naturally, we at The Haus do not condone warezing, even if the cause might seem noble. It is a bit disingenuous for him to say they'll never see a penny of the money, since Eidos has been paying them all along during the games production, hoping to be reimbursed through the sale of the game.

Did Daikatana kill ION and Anachronox? It didn't help, but I think their free-spending ways just caught up to them. You can't bleed cash and not expect to be amputated.

In other ION Storm-related news, is reporting that John Romero was actually axed months ago.
We've received word that Ion Storm's leading figure, John Romero, had been "let go" a couple of months ago. Romero was fired from the company allegedly because he did not ship enough titles to fulfill his contract. Details are still sketchy at this point but we are investigating the status of the rest of the Ion Storm Dallas team (who recently shipped Anachonox) and will bring you updates as soon as we can.
Of course, this is all academic now, since all of ION Dallas is gone. Thanks Evil Avatar.

Pondering the Imponderable

The Master is AWOL until late tomorrow and I'm going to be gone until tonight. It looks like a slow news day anyway.

I've been going back to an old addiction--EA Sports' NHL series. In particular, NHL 2001. It's a pleasant diversion from my standard diet of shooters. Unfortunately, no game can get me more mad than NHL2K1 can. I'm getting pretty good at it again, except on the penalty kill where I'm a miserable 70.7%. I need to get a newer gamepad though so I don't have to use the keyboard for line changes.

No T.V. for Me!

In case you are wondering why I rarely watch anything on television other than the various incarnations of ESPN and the Weather Channel, here's your answer. I'm still 6.5 years short of 40, but I share his opinion nonetheless.

J.t.Qbe comments: Good article, and written at a level that even a TV watcher can understand. One who can read, anyway. I kicked the TV and movies habit a few years ago. Now I can't stand 'em at all. Anyone who believes that TV can have some redeeming value is dreaming (or is an addict), especially given the pap which passes for "prime time" TV these days.

The Master comments: Heh-I know you watch more TV than THAT A.T., 'cuze I know about your Junkyard Wars addiction (not that I don't watch that one regularly too . . .)

Saturday, July 21, 2001

Linux for Guitarists

As an aspiring (read: bad) guitarist, this article really caught my eye. It gives an overview of several handy guitar programs for Linux, including tab writers and players, effects, and even rhythm machines. Cool stuff. Thanks Linux Today.

SirCam Worm on the Loose

CNet is reporting about a new worm spreading via email. I got one of these this morning. Thankfully, I adhered to my policy of deleting any email with an attachment that I was not expecting. Of course, I don't use Outlook nor do I have the version bundled with Win98 installed, so I was (relatively) safe anyway.

WinCE 3.0 Core Source Released

In case your curious what Microsoft's "Shared Source" idea is all about, you can snag the Windows CE 3.0 core source code. You will need to agree to this license and be signed up for Microsoft Passport. Thanks Slashdot.

UPDATE! Apparently if you are a member of the MS Developer Network, this code has been available for some time. The license is pretty restrictive if you have commerical aspirations, so I don't know how much good it would do you to have it, unless you are developing free (as in beer) software for WinCE. Having said that, maybe this is a sign that "competition" from open source software is leading MS to loosen up a bit?

Max Payne Requirements

Stomped got their hands on the system requirements for Remedy/3D Realms' Max Payne.
Minimum Requirements:
450MHz AMD / Intel Processor
16MB Direct3D Compatible Graphics Card

Recommended System:
700 MHz AMD / Intel Processor
128 MB RAM
32 MB Direct3D Compatible Graphics Card
In other words: don't bother wasting your time downloading the demo, A.T. Hun. 700Mhz recommended CPU. Gak. And you just know that won't let you run everything at full detail. I guess the name "Max Payne" may be more appropriate than we originally thought.

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