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Arcade in the Sky Blog: July 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trace Bug 2, new game

I have a new game up on Kongregate:

Trace Bug 2

I've worked really hard on it. You can check out the Otakon Trail as well of original Trace Bug on the sidebar ->.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Otakon days 2 and 3

Suffice it to say, my 1st day did not end where the last post did. I returned to the convention to see the drawing Yuri panel, however I got sick from the bad Chinese and had to step out of line, loosing my place.

Saturday was awesome, I attended panels and the like the Sailor Moon fandom. There were some great costumes and fun to be had. We partied hardy that night.

Sunday, was basically a last trip around the dealer's room. I got Space Pirate Mito and Idol Project at deep discounts. Look for reviews soon!
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Otakon Day 1

Otakon this year is quite an adventure. I came down on Thursday, as per usual, but this time I only had my girlfriend and old college friend Dan in tow. We made good time down to Baltimore, only making the one mandatory stop at Cracker Barrel for some awesome biscuits.

We checked into a harbor site presidential suite at the Hyatt. Since I'm not doing any panels and I didn't pre-reg, I couldn't pick up my badge on Thursday night. We went to a piano bar called Howl at the Moon, next to the Power Plant. They played some great tunes like "fly me to the moon" and "dirty diana". Also, they played "gay bar". They even started playing the mario bros. theme as I was leaving.

I had a chat with the Gamma Prime games group I had to hit at 10:30pm, but that's another story.

Friday morning came, and I hit the Registration line at 7:30am. I brought a manga to read, but I finished it before the line even started moving. I didn't get my badge until 11:00am. Then I took my gf to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. We shared on entre, which was a great idea.

We checked out the game room then dealer's room then a panel on traveling to Tokyo on a budget.

We went to a "Make a Manga" panel, and it was alot of work. We mostly just filled out speach balloons from webcomics. Kittyhawk was one of the people running it, and I got her autograph.

The gf was tired, so we retired back to the room and ordered in some Chinese. That's where I'm signing off for today, more tomorrow!
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Otakon Trail Game

Just a notice, I'll be at Otakon this weekend.

In celebration, check out my new flash game on Kongragate.

Click Here.

It's a fun parody that those who are in the know will enjoy.
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Friday, July 10, 2009

Transformers 2

Revenge of the Fallen:

As I have stated, I have been mad busy these past weeks with the Life in a Game project. I did, however steal a few minutes to see the new Transformers movie.

What did I think? I liked it.

Like the first movie, there are serious flaws--and like the first movie, non of those flaws seemed to get in the way of my over-all enjoyment of the experience. I had no expectations of this movie going in, so there was little chance it could disappoint me.

For those who were expecting an improvement over the first, there are lots of them. The plot centers more on the robots as characters, and there are lots more of them. The movie does not forget about Megan Fox, Shia or Bubblebee though, and that was enjoyable. Visiting more of transformers lore was also good; the death and rebirth of Optimus, Jetfire, the mythology of the Primes, all good stuff.

There is the issue of whether The Twins are racist are not. They are very shallow and insipid characters, but I was able to live with them. Being ethnic is not enough for a character to be racist, they need to paint an entire group in a certain light in order to meet the criteria. The Twins are a few steps removed from this. I would hate them, but one of their lines early in the movie made me laugh out loud, that doesn't happen often for me. So, I had to concede that they were adequate comedy releif material. At least for one movie.

I'm a fan of this movie, and will probably get it on DVD as soon as I can
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SGC is over, and I must say it was one of the most fun cons I've ever been to in my life. My review is a nutshell is that it was awesome, and I can't wait till next year.

I will however, detail my experience for those who want the nitty-gritty.

The con actually started for me almost a year earlier when I booked my ticket on travelocity. That roaming gnome is so cute! I volunteered also, to make sure I had full access to the con, and I wanted to help out as much as possible to ensure the con's success. The important this about the con was it was to be the unveiling of the Life in a Game: the game. I didn't get it completely done, but I got enough done to show a demo at a panel.

My friend Rigg drove me down to the airport in his slick sports car. He wasn't working that day, so there was plenty of time. Good thing I was only taking carry-ons, or there would be no room in his trunk. My plane took off at Noon with no incident. In fact, there was a tasty lunch with a cheeseburger, salad and a fun-pack of M&Ms for desert. When I arrivedin Dallas,however, there was some confusion. The air was a somewhat dry 96 degrees the whole time. I attempted to re-visit the hotel I was at for A-kon back in 2000. The hotels and the airport have changed so much I didn't recognize a thing. I then attempted to find the hotel for SGC. I thought it was the Best western, but it was really the Westin. I had to call Dan from Life in a game to sort it out for me. I was there a day early to volunteer, so I had no one to share a room with. I found a days in across the street from the Westin with singles rooms for cheap.

Since I had time, I signed in early at the Westin and offered to help out. They gave me a staff T-shirt and name tag. It seemed like there wasn't anything to do, so I went back to the motel for a swim in the pool. The water was warm, very warm. In fact the swim was not refreshing at all. Is this common in Texas? I need to find a hotel with an indoor, air-conditioned pool next time. I went back to the Westin to ask if I could help out some more. The first thing they tried to do was give me another T-shirt. I declined because I already got one, and they said I was nice guy. I admitted to being an Eagle Scout. As it turns out the guys standing next to me was a life scout, and he was working on his Eagle Scout Project.

This lead to a conversation about Eagle Scout Projects; I haven't had one of those in a while. I told them my project was to paint the fence around my high school's football field. The girl behind the counter asked "Was it a big fence?", to which I replied, "Yes, it was the size of a football field."

I helped move some tables, and helped unload a large truck holding Stuttering Craig and nearly all the contents of their new store, game attack. With the truck unloaded, we couldn't unpack the boxes until Jared. The Jared! From nametags! He was hired to manage the new screw attack retail store, and he was at the convention to run the dealer's room. While me and the other volunteers were waiting for his arrival, we got to talk and I met some very interesting people. I met Mat, a friend of Craig and a major Ghostbuster fan. Him and his legion of fans were spread around the convention, in full costume. It added a lot to the atmosphere. I also me the voice of black ranger on the newgrounds series parody rangers. He was a cool guy, and we both like the webcomic 2kinds.com

When Jared arrived, all hell broke loose. The boxes we had unloaded had thousands of games in them. From Atari 2600 to Wii, they all had to be unpacked and shelved. They were mostly in alphabetical order, but it was still a monumental task. The strategy guides were the worst because they were packed in no sort of order. There were at least a dozen volunteers working on the store setup continuously for hours. It was quite impressive when it was finished, I must say. They had everything a good game store should have, from statues to game mints to retro NES carts. The line was horrible when it opened because they only had one register to use. They made a killing that weekend.

After the setup, we were rewarded with pizzas. We were only supposed to take 2 slices per person, but I only took one. I wanted to leave more for

everyone else. I am on a diet, anyway. We were sent home and told to be back at 7am for orientation. It was supposed to be 8am. I had to rush to check out of the Days in and skipped breakfast just to make the meeting. It was worth it, there was a great tour lead by Stuttering Craig. There was the Iron Man of Gaming room, Guest lounge, Main events stage, Panel Room, Console Room, wifi lounge, tabletop room, LAN room and Vender's Room. After the tour, we had a few minutes, so I went to Denny's with some of the other staff, including Angel. He's awesome. I was in a video of him that went up Saturday morning.

The vendors room is the only thing that would close, but everything else was 24 hours. I worked morning shifts watching the tabletop room. Nothing was scheduled for those times, so I got to just sit around and work on my game code. I got to play a game of Monty Python Fluxx, which was cool.

On Friday, I hosted the Gamma Prime panel, even though there really shouldn't have been one in Marc Marta's absence. I got to show off the new Life in a game: the game there. The panel went well, and the Nerd and Stuttering Craig even stuck their heads in for a few minutes to check it out.

On Saturday, I checked out some panels. The crew from GPX gamers is insane. It would be nice to get their help on the fighting game. I tried to show off my moves in Street Fighter 4, but I was pitiful. I couldn't even win one game the whole day. I as getting a serious case of gamer rage. I'm normally such a laid back player too, but I was becoming a real dick to everyone the more I got pwned. I eventually had to give it up, I'm just not SGC gaming material.

I got some cool games at the vendors room. Look for videos about them on my youtube channel, hayesmanga. I met James Rolfe again and had my picture taken with him. Z and Captain S were there, but they weren't in costume, they just filmed footage and did interviews. They interviewed me about the con, which was nice.

Dan, Jon and I went out shopping for snacks at the local food market with Aaron. He's their friend who was in the first episode of Life in a game, then moved out to Dallas. A happy coincidence. Saturday night saw the premiere of the series finale of Life in a Game. Dan and Jon did a great job MCing the thing and answering questions. I liked the episode myself. I'm sure it will be up on screwattack soon.

Sunday I pretty much had to finish my morning shift and leave for the airport. The flight back was just as pleasant. Rant picked me up from the airport with his new girlfriend. I had a special treat for him; I found a rare Sakura action figure at the venders' room and gave it to him. He was very grateful.

And so life marches on. I can't wait for the next con. I'd like to do more games for screw attack as well, but we'll see what the future holds.
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Road to SGC

Strap yourselves in, this is going to be a massive post.

The reason I haven't been posting much is because I've been working like a dog to finish Life in a Game: The Game, a project for Gamma Prime Games and Screw Attack. It's been a massive 6 month project and I scheduled it to be done by July 4th, the day of the panel at Screw Attack's Gaming Convention.

I got a lot of it finished, but It's only in Beta. I was hoping to have it totally done by now.

Anyway, the reason for the delays was a few events. Last week I was a guest at Anime Mid-Atlantic. Truly and awesome convention. One of the best. Totally worth the drive down to Virginia Beach. I did 3 workshops this year, How to program video games, how to draw manga and how to draw shoujo. The video game panel had the most people. I took trivia questions from all of them and assembled a flash game and put in on Newgrounds the next morning.

I stayed in a days in and got a lot of coding and sprite animation done.

As soon as I got back we went to the beach house in Seaside Park for a week of beach fun. I was intending to just sit and cod the whole week, but the friends were so destructive, they preventing me from getting it all done. At one point, I took my girlfriend out to see Transformers 2, and when we came back there was a giant whole in the wall. I had to drive to Home Depot and do a rush spackle job because we were leaving the house in 24 hours.

I actually got most of the work done in the 2 days of the weekend after the beach house, and on the plane ride down to Houston.

Tbe beach was nice, I got to go in the ocean for the first time in years.

Now, on to SGC...

Awesome. As I'm typing this it's Saturday night. I'll have to write a complete review when it's all over, so I can give a total assessment. I volunteered and even flew down a day early to help setup. I've met Chad and Craig before at Magfest, but now I got to hang with the entire crew. It's great. More tomorrow.
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