Thursday, June 29, 2006

ARRRR!! Pirates Game Released!

Hey all, our new game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow for the Playstation 2 is now in stores!

This is the first game released that I've worked on as concept artist. Along with the art director Miguel and my colleague Kevin, we created concept art for characters, environments and the various weapons and props you'll see in the game. As you progress through the game, some of the unlockable bonus content includes art by all of us.

It's based on the first movie, Curse of the Black Pearl, but since the story is being told by Jack himself, he exaggerates rather outrageously and you get to play his "tall tale of the sea." It's good fun, pretty easy to play, and it looks great considering it's on PS2. If you have kids, they'll definitely enjoy it, but it's good for players of all ages.

So please support our 14 months of hard work! :)

You can watch a trailer here!

Official site
Seven Studios site

Meanwhile, still working hard on The Sopranos game. Life's all good, I've just been busy as usual. Getting ready for SD Comic Con, where I'm planning on having ashcans of Just A Bit Off... for sale. I might give a few away too, ya never know.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First Day of Summer, WOOO!

It's the first day of summer, WOOO! Yeah!! It's the first day of summer, WOOO! WOOO! First day! WOOO! It's the first day of summer, WOOO! Yeah, first day! It's summer! WOOO! Yeah! WOOO! Rock!!! WOOO! It's the first day of summer, WOOO! Yeah!!

Is your sarcasm detector reading off the scale yet?

Happy Solstice to my friends who are solstice-y.

Me, I'm grumpy. I ain't been on a beach in like 3 years. Hrmf. >:(

Monday, June 19, 2006

Boring morning

Not much to do here at work, as I'm waiting for a designer to get into the office so we can meet about some camera stuff, so I have a minute or two to type.

TGF and I are in the process of going thru my apartment and everything in it and reducing the amount of STUFF in it. I have a lot of stuff. I have a small bit of pack-rattery in me, which makes me retain a lot of stuff that I don't need to keep.
She reorganized my bookshelves and the entertainment center area a couple weeks ago, and that looks great now. A neighbor had a nice coffee table that she gave me, a large improvement over my last one. I contributed by getting a multi-input AV switcher, so I could put all 3 of my game consoles into a single input on my stereo amp; previously I was plugging them into the front of the VCR, which meant cables all over. Now all the wiring is out of sight, the Xbox is inside the stereo cabinet (finally!), and the new coffee table has storage for the all the controllers. Major cluttery mess dealt with.

This weekend we went through magazines and comic books and a bunch of boxes that I have stored in the studio rack in my bedroom, full of old software and financial records that I've hung onto - most of which I didn't need to keep. So we sorted and shredded. And shredded. And shredded. It came to about 20 plastic grocery bags full of shredded bills and statements. Some of them went back to 1989 and earlier... I'd kept them because I didn't know how long I was supposed to hang onto them. Now that I know, I can keep my file cabinet emptier and not have boxes full of such stuff.

I'm not so sure what to do with the old software. Some of it I need to hang onto because I've been upgrading from an original license, so I need the old serial number and sometimes the original discs. Those I'm not so worried about, but I have a ton of old stuff like Kai's Power Tools and Poser and Morph 1.0 and Bryce 2 and various other apps like that. I don't know if anyone still wants these old versions, whether they're eBay-able or donatable to a school or something? I'll have to do some Intar-Wubbing to see what I can find out.

I also have a bunch of old games, some of which are kickass. Myst, X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Sim City 2000 and 3000, a whole bunch of stuff. I want to keep some of them, but some can go. I don't have an OS9 Mac anymore, so a bunch of 'em are useless to me now anyway. I'm sure someone out there might want them though. I'll start by asking around here at work.

I went to Home Depot and got one of those plastic organizer things with lots of drawers in which to put little stuff like screws and nuts and bolts and staples and other assorted knickknacks, and put it up on a wall inside my hall closet. It's already about half full, and doing that emptied a lot of random stuff out of drawers and ziploc bags that were all in different places. Imagine that, actually having a place for stuff. Maybe it's a bit weird having both various IKEA hardware and audio cable adapters in the same cabinet, but it gets a lot of little things that would otherwise float around my apartment all in one place.

There's still boxes laying around the living room and hall, so my place is in a bit of disarray at the moment but getting much better. Huge thanks and love to TGF without whom I'd never do this, the stuff would just keep piling up. It's not easy for me to go through all this crap and throw stuff out, it puts me in a weird mood, and she's being very patient with me.

Oh, and I finally got around to upgrading my network router to one that is Xbox Live compatible and also wireless. Finally I can get on Live without having to rewire my network by hand, which was a main reason why I stopped playing Halo 2 and Crimson Skies and Tetris Worlds on Live. Now that I can get on at anytime, I'll be doing that a bit more often. My gamertag is Scorpion919, so add me as a friend and message me if you wanna do some playing. Also, I got my Nintendo DS Lite and the WiFi works fine with the new router. My friend code is 210526-044483, so add me there too. I will kick your ass at Mario Kart DS. Yes, I will. No, seriously. I've been playing it since the SNES version and my chops are coming back very quickly. You'll be lucky that I'm on DSL so my ping is pretty slow. ;)

I'm updating the other two blogs as well...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A good one for the list

There is a list I keep in the back of my mind of people who have been directly responsible for my ability to make a living and/or do things I love to do. I can't list everyone on it of course but I try to keep some of the more important ones in mind. Some of the Top 10 include names everyone has heard:

Steve Jobs
Bill Gates
George Lucas
Jack Kirby
Walt Disney

Then there's a few who are somewhat less well-known outside their fields:

Les Paul (invented the Les Paul guitar)
John Knoll (creator of Photoshop, worked for George Lucas on Star Wars)
Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari, responsible for making Pong happen)
Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Donkey Kong, now the Big Guy at Nintendo)

Today I learned about a new guy who needs to go up top there with Jobs and Gates and Lucas. His name is Ralph Baer, and he's the actual inventor of the video game. G4 had a GameMakers episode about him which was on this morning as I got ready for work. I'd never heard of the guy before, so I was pleased to find out about him.

I was pretty surprised to find out that he did the actual inventing in September 1966 - when I was 10 months old, sheesh, and the same WEEK that Star Trek first went on the air. I didn't realize it was that far back; I put my first quarter into a Pong cabinet in 1973, at Don's restaurant in Livingston, NJ., and I guess I assumed that the game had been invented and marketed shortly before that, and created by Nolan Bushnell. It's kind of freaky to think that I'm about the same age as the concept of the video game.

He didn't stop there, either, he also invented Simon! So classic, you can still buy the damn thing new today! (Also this excellent t-shirt.)

I like having names and faces attached to the things that I love, and to try to have a connection in some way with these people, even if it's kinda tenuous. I've been able to meet a bunch of people who worked for Walt Disney and who knew Jack Kirby, for instance, and I actually got to meet Les Paul himself and tell him in person how much I appreciated his wonderful invention (and got my Les Paul autographed, too).

I'm gonna email Ralph and say thanks. I wonder if he ever met my grandpa, who was an electrical engineer and manager at New Jersey Bell? They were both in the same business at about the same time.

Friday, June 02, 2006

You know it's summer in LA when...

... the garbage trucks are out on Friday morning, and though there isn't one within eyeshot, you can smell the trail of garbage funk it has left behind it for minutes after it passes.

One of the downsides of riding a motorcycle - no filter between me and the air.

Apart from a stinky start to my commute today, things are going along well. I'll only gloss over things because I'm really busy at work - we are in crunch time for a mid-June deadline and everyone's working 12 hour days, 6 days a week. We did have both Monday and Tuesday off for Memorial Day, so we got a nice 4-day weekend, but before that and now we are all busting our butts here on the Sopranos game.

For the long weekend TGF and I went to visit her parents for a day and then to a wedding of one of her old friends. There was kayaking and good food and a spectacular wedding location and more good food and 2 nights in a hotel... and of course a lot of driving. That's okay tho, I like to drive.

I've got lots of things on my mind and lots of stuff going on but it's too much to blog in detail. There is exercise happening and apartment work going on, plans for the summer and all sorts of other stuff. But things are good and look to stay that way. So off I go, back to this stuff I gotta finish.