Archive for May, 2007

Machines are inherently evil

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

…Or maybe I’m just the guy with the least luck in the room. This is what usually happens:

1. I think about buying something. It may be something fun or something useful – the evil seems to not be very picky about that.
2. I buy the thing, either on the net or in a shop or store. Again, it really doesn’t matter how the purchase is done.
3. I use the thing for a short period of time.
4. The thing breaks or shows some fabrication fault.
5. I return the damn thing.
6. I get a replacement.
7. Everything is fine and dandy and suddenly the spell of evil is broken. The item works and can be used for years to come.

The scheme seems to be always the same. My new Wii managed to burn its graphics card while on standby for 2 days (it’s on service right now and I’m expecting a replacement in a couple of days). And before the Wii:

  • A USB harddrive that after 1 hour of usage just died. The replacement is doing just fine.
  • My Nintend DS had a bad WiFi and had to be replaced. The new one is working like charm.
  • My LaCie Firewire drive sounded like a cräck-baböön and had to be replaced. New one is dead silent and is 100% healthy.
  • My iBook caught the graphitis and needed to get some serious physical therapy. A new motherboard and then everything was fine, fine, fine…
  • I got a IP telephony router from my broadband company. Worked an hour maybe, then dead. Replacement one was fine.

Well, I don’t think I need to say anymore. There is obviously something fishy going on and I bet it’s spelled E-V-I-L.


A Life of videogaming

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Yesterday I went downtown and finally bought myself a Wii. The night was spent with Wii Sports and Rayman: Raving Rabbids and today I am a bit sore in my arms – throwing cows in Rayman can be exhausting…

The Wii is the latest in a long string of videogaming computers and consoles that I have owned or had around. Currently I have a Wii, a PS2, a DS, a Gamecube and a Gameboy Advance at home. There have been others as well. Here is a timeline on my gaming history.

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A

My father broughts home one of those around 1981. I was about 9 and I was instantly hooked. Initially, we played TI Invaders (A “Space Invaders” clone) on the family black and white TV, but soon I picked up other games, such as:

Soon I wanted to do my own games, and did a few – in TI Basic.

Commodore 64

I never owned a C64, nor did my father buy one. I had friends that did have one, however, and we played tons and tons of games on that machine. A few gems that come to mind are:

Me and a friend wanted to make games for the machine, but we aimed too high and never finished anything.

Amiga 500

Bought around 1987, this was my first own computer. I sticked with it for the upcoming years and played lots and lots of games on it.

Games I especially remember from the Amiga period was:

Amiga 1200

I upgraded to the A1200 in 1993 and focused more on programming, but there was a lot of games played as well. A few of them were:

Nintendo 64

When I bought the N64 in 1998, it was because of the fantastic “Ocarina of Time”. Since then, gaming has changed a bit for me. It has moved away from the desktop and into the livingroom. Notable N64 games:

The PC

I bought a PC in 1999 and ran Linux on it from the start. I also kept a Windows installation for the occasional game, but most games were played from the sofa by this time.

Playstation 2

I bought the PS2 around 2001. The reason? Well, if you like games you can’t affort not to have one. There are just too many fantastic games out there for this little machine. Just to name a few:

Game Boy Advance

I bought the GBA around 2001 and played it a lot while commuting to Uppsala and my work at Starbreeze. It was also handy to bring along on vacations. On the GBA, I had the chance to pick up some classic Nintendo releases, for example:

Apple iBook

Bought in 2003 to replace my PC. I looked for a system that allowed me to run the stuff I ran under Linux and also allow me to run programs such as Photoshop. OS X was my choice and I have never regretted it. Not much games are played on my macs, but there are a few:

Gamecube

I bought the Gamecube in 2003, again because of the latest Zelda game. The machine has brought a string of great titles, for example:

iMac G5

This machine bought in 2005 is now my main workstation. I don’t do almost any gaming on it, though. Just the occasional interactive fiction or emulation.

Xbox 360

I was never even tempted to buy an Xbox, and when the 360 was released I never bothered too much. Starbreeze, however provided me with one in 2006 and I had it at home until I left the company in March 2007. I didn’t play very many games on the 360 and the following list is actually all the games I played on it (including one Xbox title).

Nintendo DS Lite

I really liked my GBA, but hated that the screen was not backlit. Then the DS came and it seemed nice, but looked like s**t. But the DS Lite was love at first sight and I bought one as soon as it was released in 2006. Now, I have not played very many original DS games, but mostly replayed a bunch of my old GBA titles.

Nintento Wii

Bought yesterday (May 9, 2007). I initially wanted to get one at launch with “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess”, but there was serious shortage of consoles and the game was available for the Gamecube. So I bought the GC version (I’m almost finished) and postponed the Wii purchase until now.

It is too soon to list any games for the Wii, but I suspect that I will use it as I have used my other machines – to play both new games and classics that was originally released for another older console. For one, I really want to play “Wind Waker” again.

[EDIT: Eventually, I bought a Xbox 360 and a couple of months ago, I purchased a Playstation 3. Half a year ago, I also got an iPod Touch.]


New adventures

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

This spring has turned out to be a period of change. I resigned from Starbreeze at the end of February and spent Mars and April trying to get going as a freelance contractor. The Darkness turned out to need more from me so I have spent some time in Uppsala, but mostly I have been really busy with other things.

My initial plan was to continue working for game companies as a writer/designer on a freelance basis and alter that with other jobs, but I had barely packed my stuff together at Starbreeze before I got a call from Avalanche, a game company here in Stockholm. They wanted to meet and a few weeks later I went to visit them. They presented some really interesting stuff and in the end they asked me if I was interested in working full time as a lead game designer on the project. That was not really what I had in mind when I started my own business, but the offer sounded too much like a great opportunity and chance to do something really fun so I accepted.

During these months I have not been able to find the time to sit down and write anything new here, but I have an interesting backlog of notes, ideas, issues and thoughts that I really want to put into words. So keep a look-out for new material in the near future. I am looking forward to continuing sharing.

Oh, if you understand Swedish, I wrote a small piece for gameplayer.se that you can read here.