Friday, January 19, 2007

Get the Game Machine in Motion

Three Hundred Eighty First Post: Get the Game Machine in Motion

Well an article on quoted Bill Gates as saying, “Working Perfectly.” He was talking about the Xbox 360's success compared to Sony and Nintendo. He said the graphics on the Xbox are more powerful and even if they weren’t it wouldn’t make a difference. To him the Nintendo Wii is just novelty. That is paraphrasing what the article said.

I agree with Bill Gates prediction. The motion of the Wii controller is an attempt to change the gamming experience. But after a while I believe that most people will find it boring as they become more familiar with it. The problem was discussed in the Hunches – Math section of Constructor’s Corner. The controller can on move the objects in 2D. It has a 3D range but the movements of the characters onscreen is a simple 2D motion. In other words a baseball bat or sword slash of the player might be diagonal, but the motion of the game is a simple generic slash. So instead of having a 3D sword fight true to the players moves, the game just reacting the same way the button of a joystick would. So the difference between a joystick and Wii remote is a movement of the hand instead of pressing a button.

One other problem I see with the Wii and have friends who have complained that the Wii remote is no good for First Person Shooters. There is less control of the character onscreen than with a joystick or mouse. In fact the Wii remote makes it more difficult. In games like Red Steel the gun onscreen must move before the character moves. It is hard to explain but the controls are frustrating.

I’ve been on message boards all day discussing the Mac. As I have blogged before I was going to switch to a Mac. And I have been told and agree that Macs are better at sound, graphics, and video editing. The Mac Pro is powerful for the price, but as others have told me it all comes down to what you are going to do. That combined with the expense of new software and familiarity of Windows leads to the decision to keep the PC. I also want to Mod games and the PC proves to be the best platform. I am in no hurry to upgrade to Vista because XP works great. But as stated in PC Magazine (paraphrased here), “Vista will prove to be a good system not because of all the development. What will make it great is the programs that will run on it.” Also Direct X 10 seems to be done nicely.

Of course all this message exchange on message boards makes me ask the question: Who owns the copy right on message boards and wiki’s? I ask this because I am now starting a wiki and need to know how the knowledge would be shared. Obviously the poster will get credit for their work, but we all know that when something is posted on the Net it can be copied. I was thinking of giving my wiki users the ability to post vanity pages. For example a page showing their artwork would advertise their talent and give other users some graphics to use. There are a lot of options and ideas here. But again if you wish to join the wiki email .

And until the laws of the Wiki are set in stone: May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wii Weeviewed

Three Hundred Eightieth Post: Wii Weeviewed

I had a chance to see the Nintendo Wii for about 10 minutes. I was not impressed. Now it could be since I’m older now and not much into most video games. But my disappointment was with the controller. I swung the sword and Link only makes to different types of sword swings. I wanted a 3D sword swing that matched my exact sword moves. One liked I wrote about in the “Math Hunches” section of Constructor’s Corner. To me the movement did not enhance the game compared to a regular controller. First off, the enemies attach fast and they should be slowed down to give the player more time to swing the controller. I feel that the game play could be advanced more with a motion sensing camera then what Nintendo is using. That is just my opinion. The Wii is selling well. I tried to buy one myself. I’m sure it has great games, but I’m just not a kid anymore.

Did anyone download the dancer that was posted Jan. 1? Back when I first got the Internet on a dial-up modem I downloaded a dancer. She danced around, but never got completely nude. Now that I think about it hmmm... I had to install the dancer and it was probably a virus. But mine isn’t a virus. It is just a Flash file so it is safe to download.

And I must mention again to email me if you want to work together on math or join the Wiki. It is still under development and needs members to construct it. The last 2 “Hunches” in the math section were not very complete, but the proposed many great ideas. The intention was to create projects for group projects and be something interesting everyone could learn from. That is why they are written words explaining ideas and not math formulas. The formulas will come latter.

But until the Wiki has 5000 members... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, January 01, 2007

John Rambo

Three Hundred Seventy Ninth Post: John Rambo

Well 2007 is here. This year I am going to make the switch from PC to Mac. It isn’t much of a switch however, since the Mac can dual boot to Windows. The only thing that the Mac lacks is speed when playing games compared to a similarly priced PC. The only game I want is Unreal 2007. Other than that, I am content to leave the gaming to the game consoles. The Mac Pro is just designed for multimedia and making graphics. Of course I am waiting for OS X Leopard which combines both a 32 and 64 bit operating system. With Vista there is 2 separate installs. Mac users have always said that Mac was better, and I never believed them even though I have used Macs briefly at schools. From what I’ve read of Vista I am not impressed. It is 5 separate versions which add technology that is already available from other OS’s. The one thing I do like is Direct X 10. But time will tell which is better Mac or PC.

Rocky 6 has been recently released in theaters. I heard on a late show that there might be another Rambo movie. In “First Blood” the Colonel says, “You sent a 100 men after John Rambo. There all dead now!” He said this meaning Rambo could fight a hundred men. But in the new Rambo the Colonel says, “You sent a 100 men after John Rambo. At least one of them is dead now!” You see Rambo’s not as young as he used to be. (My Dad made that joke.)

I have an interest in spiral graphs. It is a toy from the 70's that a pencil traces curves as patterns turn in a circle. When I was working with curves I was thinking of different shapes and I found the spiral graph already does that. What does it do? Not only does it make interesting shapes, but these shapes can represent the way gears work. After all if you have a traditional spiral graph the templates used to draw are basically gears. It is very hard to find a spiral graph to buy. Mine uses a pair of templates. I was thinking of ways to construct my own. For example using pairs of tape rolls. But what I think would be cooler is connecting 2 compasses with different size gears and turning them. Though, that would be hard to use. Today spirals are just simply made with computers. Windows Media Player has tons of shapes as backgrounds. However I think the mystery of the shape is lost (at least on the none complex ones) when the drawer doesn’t get the feel for where the shape comes from by drawing it by hand. This is the same reason that most teachers teach drafting by hand first then move to the computer CAD programs.

So for all of 2007... May the Creative Force be with You