Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'd Be Obliged To A Sniper Right Now

Yeah, yeah, neglecting updates, boo hoo. Here are some links to all the ZPs and XPs I haven't mentioned yet.

Machine of Death is now available! It got all the way to the top of the Amazon book charts by simple expedient of getting everyone to buy it on the same day. Why didn't I think of that? Anyway, it's too late to contribute to the sordid Amazon chart manipulation but you should still pick up a copy 'cos it's dead good. And my story's in it.

Speaking of my stories, Mogworld has now officially sold out of its first printing. This is good news for me. Probably less if you're still waiting for a copy, but the second printing should be underway even as I type this. I have spoken to the Dark Horse bods about a digital version and an audiobook, but while lacking any dates I can definitely say they're in the works.

And after an unfortunate bout of illness, and Yug rather obstinately wanting to stay on some mysterious regular schedule known to him alone, Yahtzee's Trivia Night is returning to the Mana Bar next Tuesday (November 2nd) after a solid month of absence. Can't say it hasn't been nice having my weekends free, not having to make a quiz and all, but it's always nice to shout people down from a position of authority, so do show up to join the fun. As always team registration is at 6:30 with kick-off at 7. But you should definitely try to be there as soon after opening time (5pm) as possible, because my musky animal magnetism always seems to fill the place up.

Finally, I asked this on Twitter but no-one seemed to know what I was talking about, so I'm posting it here because it's driving me mad. There's this thing that really good improvisational comedians and actors can do where they appear to be speaking in a specific foreign language but are in fact making up complete gibberish on the spot. The Swedish Chef arguably does it with Swedish. John Cleese does it with German while pretending to be a ranting Hitler in the 'North Minehead by-election' sketch from Monty Python. Danny Kaye's character in The Court Jester does it several times with several languages in a fairly early scene to show off his repertoire. There was a game in Whose Line Is It Anyway called Foreign Film Dub where the cast would speak gibberish that sounded like a particular audience-suggested language. Hopefully this creates a clear image of what I'm talking about that the Twitter character limit prevented.

The thing is, I know there's a special term for this ability but I can't for the life of me remember what it is. It's not pidgin - that's a blend of two languages. It's not glossolalia or xenoglossy, that's just plain old regular gibberish that isn't intended to resemble a particular foreign language. If you know what the term (it might be a two-word term) for this is, please post it in the comments before I eat my own face.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heir to the duchy of Nukemberland

This week's ZP was Dead Rising 2.

And XP was about Halo Reach.

"It's adequate, that's all. Mediocre. Halo remains what it has always been to me: strictly rent-only - at best. But in the interest of clarifying my position, here are some more reasons why it didn't set my pants alight."

This concludes the digest of the week. Today (Saturday) is the special Duke Nukem Forever event at the Mana Bar. I've worked out some questions for Randy Pitchford and Steve Gibson for the presentation at around 6pm and personally, I'm quite looking forward to seeing what, exactly, 3D Realms were doing with all that time, besides sticking liquorice twizzlers up their arseholes, then pulling them out and licking them for some illicit sexual thrill.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cap in hand

Remember when I said I intended this blog to be a complete and timely digest of everything I put on the internet? Those were fun, innocent days, weren't they. The fact is I'm so burnt out these days from my multitude of creative projects that it's hard to summon the energy. Today alone I have to meet my target for making ZP images, write half of next week's XP column, have a meeting with my fellow Mana Bar directors, write another two pages of the first draft of my second novel, play a decent amount of whatever game I'm reviewing next week and see if I can squeeze in some work on one of my hobby game design projects. And creative writing isn't like data entry where you just knock it out while listening to Smash Mouth on your MP3 player. My brain can only produce so much between meals and caffeine intakes.

But I've just downed my morning cappuccino so hopefully I can get it together long enough to update you on everything I should have mentioned earlier. For example, there's last week's Zero Punctuation, which was for Amnesia: Dark Descent.

Secondly, there was yesterday's Extra Punctuation, which was also for Amnesia: Dark Descent.

"Also, incidentally, Clock Tower 3 contains some of the most spastic character animations I've ever seen in a game. In some cutscenes people throw absolute fits while conversing with each other. It's like they stuck all the motion capture balls on an octopus in an electric chair."

And finally this week's ZP, which was the latest of the serially adequate Halo series, Halo Reach.

There's also something quite exciting going on at the Mana Bar soon, on Saturday the 16th. If I were to say the words 'Randy Pitchford' and the words 'CEO of Gearbox' and also the words 'demoing Duke Nukem Forever for the first time in Australia in a public venue', you might find a subtle hint somewhere in those words as to the nature of the event.