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Gone Fishin' Until Further Notice

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 1, 2012, 9:00 AM


For those who don't know (which is 99.9 percent of the people reading this) I've been out on disability for the past few years. In the past, I kept busy and sane by working on personal projects or taking on small comp and commercial projects. But unfortunately the health problems have been getting worse recently and as a result, I'm no longer able to work on any types of projects. I also don't check my DA account nearly as often as in the past.

So while I greatly appreciate the requests I still receive for help with projects or customizing my resources for specific uses, for the foreseeable future I need to exclusively focus on getting healthy and returning to something that resembles a normal life. I'm only sharing this to hopefully save people the time and energy of attempting to contact me and waiting a week or more until I'm able to reply.

Wish I had something more cheerful to write about but as they say... life sucks :lol:

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamesindustry.biz
  • Watching: HGTV
  • Playing: Saints Row 3
  • Eating: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Drinking: Arizona Stress Ice Tea

Mass Effect 3 Demo?

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 16, 2012, 1:04 PM


So has anyone played the Mass Effect 3 demo yet? I'm interested in hearing what people think about the single player demo.

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: HGTV
  • Playing: The Sims 3
  • Eating: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Drinking: Sierra Mist

Devious Journal Entry

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 7, 2012, 8:15 AM


Apologies to everyone who left comments on my homepage and didn't receive a reply. I've been dealing with some fairly severe health problems since early Dec. so I haven't been on-line too often.

I think the problems will continue for a few months so if you leave a comment or message, I'll get back to you as soon as possible. But it may take days or weeks.

Hope everyone else is having a better New Year :lol:

Thanks!

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: HGTV
  • Playing: The Sims 3
  • Eating: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Drinking: Sierra Mist

Zombie Question

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 30, 2011, 10:30 AM


I'm not really a fan of zombies but I was watching a show about zombie lore last week. The show made me wonder: what would happen if a zombie was dropped in the middle of an ocean or a deep lake?

My theory is since the zombie doesn't retain any of the knowledge or skills learned when it was human, the zombie shouldn't have the ability to swim so it would just sink. Technically, it's already dead which means it doesn't need oxygen to survive. But the zombie virus can't survive without human flesh. So I postulate :lol: that the zombie would die after the virus is starved. But then... what would happen if fish eat the dead zombie? Would the virus effect the fish? Could the zombie virus be passed onto humans who eat the fish?

I don't know why, but I love trying to punch holes in lore! :lmao: I posted the question on Facebook but I think people thought I was kidding. I'm not... based on what you know about zombies, what do you think would happen?

I need answers!

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: HGTV
  • Playing: The Sims 3
  • Eating: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Drinking: Sierra Mist

DA Log In Behaving Strangely?

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 13, 2011, 9:12 AM


Anyone else having issues with logging in?

I'd alway been able to auto log into DA until they started adding upgrades and new features earlier this year. But now, when I restart my computer I have to manually log back in to access my homepage. But sometimes, like today, it randomly logs in automatically. It doesn't make any sense. The site is also adding a cookie on my system for every DA page I visit. I don't know if it's a problem with the site or a conflict between the site and the version of OS X I currently use.

Any ideas about why this is happening or what's causing the problem?

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: Morning Joe
  • Playing: The Orange Box
  • Eating: Zone Bar
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

Looking Back on 9/11.

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 9, 2011, 12:43 PM


As the 10th anniversary approaches, I've been thinking back about what I experienced that day, and in the days and weeks that followed. I don't know why but, I thought it'd be a good idea to share it. Feel free to share your own 9/11 story if you'd like.

In 2001, I lived in northern NJ and I worked in NYC for Entertainment Weekly magazine. I was getting ready for work and listening to Howard Stern when his producer cut in and said "a small plane hit the WTC." He didn't sound concerned and I was running late (as usual) so I didn't turn on the TV. I was about to run out the door when Howard, who usually takes nothing seriously said something like "Another plane just hit the building, this is bad. Stop listening and turn on your TV's." I turned on CNN, about 5 seconds after the second tower was hit. The first words I heard were "our country is under attack." I tried to call my office but the lines were jammed and cell service had been cut off in Manhattan. I knew there was no chance of getting to the city so I just sat down and watched it unfold.

I remember when the first tower collapsed, I said out loud "my god, thousands of people just died." Then I got sick to my stomach when I flashed back to a party I attended a year earlier at Windows on the World, the restaurant on the top floor of the north tower. piclund.com/data_images/window… My friend and I stood up against a window looking down at the city and I joked "what would happen if this building fell?" After the first tower fell, the phone started ringing. Family and friends were calling because they didn't know if I was in Manhattan or at home. A few hours later, my manger called with a status report. Amazingly some people made it to the office and were trying to get the issue to the printer (they did). But the city was locked down, nobody could get in or out. He said I should stay home until the bridges and tunnels reopened, which would take days. I watched CNN the rest of the day, through the night into the next afternoon. I didn't even try to go to sleep.

The bridges and tunnels reopened at the end of the week. But nobody knew if more attacks were planned so the thought of going into NYC was unsettling. But there was one part of my commute I'd been dreading for days. The drive to the bus took me past a viewpoint of NYC that was always my favorite part of the trip. As the highway exits the hills, it opens up to an unobstructed of the entire NYC skyline. That would be the first time I'd see the skyline without the towers. When I got there, I almost lost control of the car. If you never saw the towers, it's hard to appreciate how big they were. The viewpoint is about 10 miles away and they still looked massive from that distance. So when I came around the turn and saw they were gone... along with the huge cloud of smoke covering lower Manhattan, my brain couldn't process it. I was stunned and in a fog for the rest of the drive. I arrived at the park and ride to transfer to the bus and when I walked into the depot I noticed nobody was talking. People were sitting there, staring out the windows and everyone looked nervous. The bus ride was no different. On "the helix" leading into the Lincoln Tunnel, I got my first close up view of ground zero from across the river. There were boats and helicopters everywhere. Smoke covered all of lower Manhattan and part of NY harbor. I could see and hear the fighter jets flying overhead. By the time the bus entered the tunnel, I was on the verge of a panic attack.

The NYC bus station was normally a very noisy place but as I came down the escalator, I didn't hear a sound. It was completely silent which was very, very creepy. I thought it would be better out on the street, but it wasn't. People were in a daze, nobody was talking. As I crossed the street, an F-15 or F-16 flew directly overhead which literally made me drop to my knees in the middle of the street. It was flying so low and it was so loud that I thought it was another attack. I walked up 8th Ave. and approached the local firehouse. There was a crowd standing outside, some of the people were holding candles. I assumed one of the firefighters had died. But it turned out that firehouse lost more firefighters than any other station in the entire city. People had been leaving flowers, photos and notes on the sidewalk and the pile was about 3 feet high. When I arrived at my office building, there were security people and metal detectors everywhere. Once inside, I learned one of my good friends had just moved into a apartment directly across the street from the WTC. We found out later he was in the apt. sleeping when the first plane hit. His widows exploded in and destroyed almost everything he owned. He made it out of the building to the street which he later described as hell. He saw people jumping from the towers to escape the fire, the bodies of those who already jumped or who were blown out of the towers by the explosions. I think he was evacuated before the first tower fell. Still, he was pretty traumatized and didn't return to work for several weeks.

The following day, I walked past the train station in my town. There were about 10 cars in the parking lot and a group of people standing there looking at them. I asked somebody what happened and he told me the cars belonged to people who were killed in the attack. In all the chaos, nobody thought to return them to the families. In the weeks that followed, every other day there was a new rumor about pending attacks. My brother called me at work one night telling me to get out of the city right away because he'd just picked up a CEO at the airport (he's was a town car driver) who told him a nuclear attack was imminent. I asked him why would the guy fly into NY if it was true? Silence... Still, I never felt safe while I was in the city again. Every time I heard a plane fly overhead or a loud noise, I got weak in the knees.

About two months later, I went down to ground zero to visit my friend from work. The city was allowing people who lived in the area to return to buildings they cleared for structural damage. His building's owner had repaired the big damage so they allowed him back in. After I arrived, he pointed towards one window and told me to look outside. I was looking directly down at the wreckage of the south tower from across the street. I could see the emergency workers and the wreckage was still smoking. Then I realized that hundreds or thousands of bodies were buried down there. That was the last time I was in lower Manhattan. I'll probably never visit the area again. I still can't understand how my friend's building wasn't completely destroyed, it was only about one hundred yards away.

So... that's my 9/11 story. Thankfully I didn't witness the events first hand, I don't think I would have handled it very well. Living with the aftermath was stressful enough.

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: Morning Joe
  • Playing: The Orange Box
  • Eating: Zone Bar
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

Opinions on Dragon Age 2?

Journal Entry: Sat Sep 3, 2011, 7:53 AM


Delayed 5 months by my rule of never paying more than $30 for a game, I finally got around to playing Dragon Age 2 last week. Just wondering what everybody else thought about the game? Overall, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected based on what I'd read. Still, compared to Origins, DA 2 looked and felt like a low budget knockoff from a eastern european developer.

I know DA 2 was not the game Bioware would have made if not forced by EA. Its painful to watch as one of the best studios in the business is assimilated into EA's profit over quality hive.

  • Mood: Anger
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: Morning Joe
  • Playing: Dragon Age 2
  • Eating: Zone Bar
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

F.U. Irene!

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 29, 2011, 5:14 AM


Actually, the hurricane wasn't too bad in my area and it passed by about 20 miles east of us. But as Tom Petty said the waiting is the hardest part! Just sitting here knowing we would lose power at any second on top of everything else that could go wrong was nerve racking. It felt like the hurricane hit us in reverse. We had tons of rain from Saturday night into Sunday morning, but not much wind. Then after the rain ended yesterday, the wind started. It was pretty bad for about 10 to 12 hours. So I sat in a candle lit room last night listening to the 60 mph winds blowing outside. Our house is surrounded by trees so again, pretty nerve racking.

But its over, life returns to my screwed up version of normal today.

Hope everybody effected by the storm is safe and healthy!

  • Mood: Anger
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: Morning Joe
  • Playing: Dragon Age 2
  • Eating: Zone Bar
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

WTF Final Fantasy XIII?

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 9, 2011, 9:50 AM


For the past few years I've had the same reaction to pretty much every new game I play. I start the game and within one hour I hit pause out of frustration and say out loud "who the f*** was this game designed for?" Final Fantasy XIII is the latest in my WTF were they thinking series.

Let me put how truly ridiculous FF XIII is into context... I'm 160 hours into my first play-through and about 50 hours into a second. Yet, I've only unlocked less than half of the achievements. On my first play-through, my squad is still not leveled up high enough to defeat the ridiculously over-powered bosses you need to defeat to access accessories and XP points... which are needed to unlock the higher level weapons and accessories... which are needed to unlock many of the achievements. 160 hours, literally one month of full-time work and the game is still blocking me from accessing content. The only reason I've kept playing is I'm on disability, so it's out of sheer boredom. But what about people with full-time jobs or who go to school? It would take a player who only played for 2 or 3 hours per day months to reach the level I'm currently at. And it still won't be enough. The designers had to know most players would just trade in the game out of frustration. It's not possible they honestly thought large numbers of players would grind for months just to unlock rewards and achievements.

This is FF XIII in a nutshell: you watch cut scenes and fight boss battles. But the designers took the process of grinding to level up and reduced it down to pure masochism. Your ability to level up is capped to ensure you are always weaker or slower than the AI. They don't allow you to power up to the point where you have an advantage until the very end of the game. The designers want players to use "strategy" instead, which frankly is a big load of nonsense. They want players to choose the correct combination of squad members, place them in different combinations of roles, and equip them with specific accessories. Except early in the game, you fight all battles with only two squad member. So there are only a handful of different combinations of roles plus accessories and haste (reduces the amount of time between turns) isn't one of them. By the middle of the game you'll have three squad members all with at least three different roles. Towards the end of the game, there are as many as 77 different possible combinations of characters and roles. Then factor in hundreds of possible combinations of roles and accessories. I spent eight hours trying to get past one boss in the middle of the game, failing over and over again trying to figure out the right combination. When I finally looked for a solution on-line it turned out, I didn't even have the weapons, accessories and components I needed to beat him. I only got past it by sheer luck. It's a good bet most people who weren't diehard FF fans walked away from the game at this point.

Granted, I'd never played a FF game before (I'm not a fan of Japanese button mashing) but I am an RPG fan. I should have had a basic understanding of how the game's advanced concepts and features worked. But I didn't have a clue and beyond a few quick and basic tutorials at the beginning, the designers explained nothing. I played almost three quarters of the game without any idea of what I was doing. By the time I finally broke down and used a guide, it was way too late. I'd made so many mistakes without knowing it and the game doesn't give you any opportunity to recover until the end. I played the remainder of the game with severely under powered characters, weapons and accessories which made reaching the ending twice as hard. By the way, the guide I discovered was an amazing piece of work. I can't believe somebody took the time to compile all of this information: www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/95089… I never would have finished the game without it, which is the problem. It was the developer's responsibility to include a guide like this with the game, not some fan-boy's. I hope Square Enix at least gave him something for doing their job for them.

So when you combine the overall difficulty (which is extremely high after the first few tutorial levels) with the fact the designers couldn't be bothered to explain how important features of the game worked, the first play through is like beating your head against a wall. But here's what makes me nuts about FF XIII... it's a game I really want to like. I see and appreciate the amount of creativity that went into making the game. The art direction, graphics, character modeling, environments and overall attention to detail are amazing. Probably the best I've ever seen. The graphics are so good the game play looks like the rendered cinematics. The story is almost impossible to follow during the first play through, but the characters are very likable which makes up for it. Even the music is great. So hundreds of talented people spent years creating the framework for what should have been an amazing game. Then the game designers walked in, pulled down their pants and shit all over it with masochistic game play design. They went out of their way to make sure only one type of player could access and "enjoy" the game.

The question of who was the game designed is now rhetorical because it's always the same answer. The lead designer of FF XIII basically admitted it the game play was designed to appeal to the hardcore shooter fans while the cut scene were added to make the game accessible to everyone. Once again... WTF? This is how pathetic AAA gaming has become, the entire industry is pandering to a tiny segment of the audience based on nothing more than the profits of one franchise, in one genre. Given the amount of money at risk, I find it hard to believable there's never one person on the design teams or in management at these developers with enough common sense to say, "No, we can't do this. Not only is it absolutely ridiculous, irresponsible and unethical, it's completely unnecessary. Doing this severely limits the appeal of the game to a wider audience." And that's exactly what happened with FF XIII. The game didn't sell nearly as well as expected because the established RPG audience hated that it was streamlined to appeal to shooter fans and the larger core audience had no interest in it for multiple reasons.

When will they learn? AAA developers and publishers need to wake up to the fact that the players at the top of the leader boards don't pay their bills. Nor do the hackers, modders and self anointed "leet" who bully and harass everyone who dares to question their sociopathic preferences and opinions. It's the average players who pay the bills. The players the industry has forgotten about since 2007.

  • Mood: Anger
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: HGTV
  • Playing: FF XIII
  • Eating: Zone Bar
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

Grokking Games

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 12, 2011, 10:54 AM


What do you do when you're on disability and stuck sitting on a couch for 14 to 16 hours a day? Answer: read and play games. But when this becomes your life don't just read and play, you grok what you read and play. Grok meaning "to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience."

I don't track how much time I spend reading each month but Big Brother a.k.a. Microsoft, is kind enough to track everything I do whenever I power up the 360. The overseers in Redmond also send me a monthly summary of my activities. Just to make sure I know how truly pathetic my life has become. :lol: So courtesy of Microsoft, here are my frightening grokking stats from the month of April:

Total amount of time spent on the 360 - 263 hours, 30 minutes.

Most frequent activity - 160 hours , 52 minutes playing Just Cause 2.

Other activity - Saints Row 2: 45 hours, 12 minutes. Halo: ODST: 35 hours, 37 minutes playing.

260 hours is the equivalent of working a full-time job plus a part-time job. If I could find a company willing to pay me for playing from home, I'd be rolling in money! But it's highly unlikely... sigh. BTW - All of the time was spent playing single player, I won't go near multiplayer anymore because it's a toxic environment.

For the record, I'm not even playing for enjoyment anymore. Truth is 9 out of 10 games are really, really bad. Unless you happen to have masochistic tendencies. If you do, then you should definitely play all of them. You'll "enjoy" yourself... wink, wink. (cue sound effect of a leather whip cracking on a bare ass). The only reason I keep playing is I'm interested in game design / theory and the game industry in general. If and when I'm able to get back to work I'd like to get involved in game research and or market analysis, fingers crossed. So it's not a complete waste of time, it's just a partial waste of time. But on the bright side, I've doubled by gamer score since last year and XBL has started rewarding me with MS points. Now, if I could get Blue Cross Blue Shield to let me pay my insurance bills with MS points, I'd be a happy guy.

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: Spike TV
  • Playing: The Sims 3
  • Eating: Zone Bar
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

Update - Ripped by a huge game developer?

Journal Entry: Tue May 17, 2011, 12:38 PM


Holy cow... I just opened the demo for a very high profile game from one of the three largest developers in the industry, and it looks like they used one of my shape sets on the main title screen!?!? WTF????? I'm not going to say which shapes until I confirm it. They've been altered slightly but I'm 99% sure they are mine. Granted, the shapes are "fan art" but still... shouldn't they have at least informed me they used them?

I don't understand why so many people have such a problem with asking. I don't want corporations using my stuff for free but given the fact that I'm a huge gaming fan I would have happily agreed to let them use them. All they had to do was ask!

Jesus... what do I do? Should I even waste my time getting in touch with them? Technically they may have not needed my personal permission but the shapes are based on copyrighted material from another huge corporation. Oy...

***Update - First... the developer is not one of the big three. I thought the game was produced by Ubisoft, but it's not.

Two - I found screen caps from the game online so I pulled them into Photoshop for comparison. The problem is the highest res. caps I found are still not large enough to compare the fine details. Still, I don't think there's any doubt my shapes were used as a master template for a ton of shapes and graphics in the game. I can find parts of my shapes in all of the game shapes, but no single shape exactly matches a single shape I created. I think they pieced their shapes together from my shapes and then modified them further.

So without access to their master art files, I guess there's ultimately there's no way to prove exactly what they used. But still... my shapes are technically fan art since they're based on copyrighted material. So I wonder if the game developer was smart enough to obtain permission from the movie studio that holds the copyright?

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: American Chopper
  • Playing: The Sims
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Arizona Stress Ice Tea

DA Is Cheating On Me With Bimbos!

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 2, 2011, 3:39 PM


I was surfing my way through some sites I visit on a regular basis earlier when I came across a job posting from Deviant Art for a "Online Ad Sales Account Executive." www.mediabistro.com/joblisting…

The job description includes all the standard corporate HR bullshit... self-starter, blah, blah, blah, establish, blah, blah, ownership, influential, yeah... whatever. But then, there is this line:

     • Entertain Junior media Planners at night during the week to build strong relationships

For those who don't know, junior media planners work at ad agencies. They're typically 23 year old sorority girls fresh out of college.

Ouch DA... I've been a paid subscriber for 5 years, where's the love? DA has ever invited me out for drinks or a night on the town so we can bond and "build strong relationships". Not that I'd accept, I'm not easy like your ad agency bimbos! But hey, humor me and ask god damn it. :lmao: It doesn't have to be dinner or drinks, try doing something small to let me know you care. You could send me a thank you note after I pay my monthly fee, or you could send me some swag on our anniversary. For christ sake you could just send me some frigging llamas since you make them yourselves you cheap bastards! Granted, I'm not nearly as much fun as a barbie doll with perky C cups but I'm just as insecure and needy (insert puppy eyes Emoticon here).

But seriously DA, the point I'm trying to make is the members are just as important to your bottom line as the advertisers. Just don't forget your business is providing services to artists, not advertisers. If you jump that shark, you're doomed. And occasionally, think about throwing the paid subscribers a bone to let them know you appreciate them. Back in the old days before those fancy internets ruined everything, giving something back to clients to build brand loyalty was called "added value". Really, look it up... or you can just ask one of your cheap business school whores about it while you're out getting her drunk!

BTW - It's my birthday in three weeks... just saying... :)

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: ESPN
  • Playing: COD Black Ops
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Arizona Stress Ice Tea

Deviant Art Browser Cookies?

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 14, 2011, 8:06 AM


Anyone know why DA has started adding cookies to my browser for every member page I view? I just checked and found about 20 different DA cookies for each member page I viewed over the past few days. The site has also been randomly logging me in and out each day. It never did either before.

I really hope DA is not trying to add Facebook-like anti-privacy features...

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: ESPN
  • Playing: COD Black Ops
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Arizona Stress Ice Tea

MIA...

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 1, 2011, 8:39 AM


Apologies to everyone for being MIA the past few months. Been dealing with multiple health issues and just haven't had the energy or motivation to create new material to upload. I'm finally starting to feel a little better so hopefully I'll have some new stuff to post in the near future!

Cheers.

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: ESPN
  • Playing: COD Black Ops
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Arizona Stress Ice Tea

Heads Up Black Ops XBL Players

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 7, 2011, 11:20 AM


As expected, Black Ops is being hacked to hell. Which isn't surprising, COD is the most compromised franchise of all time. The problem is now just as bad on consoles as it is on PC. As usual, the developer (Treyarch) and Microsoft claim they're doing "everything possible to find and ban the cheaters" which really means "we'll run our standard system scans and ban the accounts of cheaters when detected even though we know they'll be back on-line in minutes with new accounts. But who cares, we already have your money. Now f**k off."

For all DA members who play, here are some red flags to watch out for:

1 - Hackers use gamerpics to i.d. themselves to other hackers: img822.imageshack.us/img822/65…

In the past it was almost exclusively the Gears of War logo (third row down, forth over from the left). But in Black Ops, most seem to use either the Panda pic (second row down, first on the left), or the Skull pic (third row down, first on the left). The Gears of War logo remains the Jolly Roger for multiplayer cheaters and any member using it is more likely than not a hacker. Don't waste time playing against them or arguing with them, just give them negative feedback so you can avoid them in the future.

2 - The gamertag is bracketed in X's and / or is just a series of random letters and numbers. Example: xX3iPaCksXx, xXnOObKiLlerXx, etc... For the life of me, I can't understand why Microsoft hasn't figured this out yet. All of these accounts should automatically be flagged and monitored.

3 - They have a combination of a low gamer rating and (usually) a very low gamer score (achievement points). All new XBL accounts start out with a 3 star gamer rating and a zero gamer score. As soon as the new the member plays on-line and receives no negative feedback, the rating automatically increases to 5 stars. Any member who has a gamer rating of 3 stars or less and has achievement points in any other games other than Black Ops is not a brand new member. Their gamer score is low because they've received some form of negative feedback which is a big red flag! Hackers also don't waste their time playing single player modes for achievement points which means they'll usually have a gamer score of 300 or less. Now do the math: low gamer rating + low gamer score + multiplayer achievements only = sociopath a.k.a hacker.

Here's the bottom line... when I see any player do something I know for a fact is not possible, I open their gamer card. Surprise... 95% of them have all three red flags things I've listed. So I'll use the new in-game option to report them then when the match ends I'll also file XBL complaints for tampering (both cheating and system tampering) and leave negative feedback for behavior. You also have the option to leave feedback that they are "too skilled". But if you suspect they cheated, you're probably right. Don't reward them by leaving any feedback that implies they have any type of "skill".

However, *pause* if they don't have any of the warning flags... it doesn't mean they're not cheating. Don't be fooled by prestige icons, long time memberships, huge gamer scores, etc... It may only mean they haven't been caught yet. Trust your instincts, if you think they're cheating then file complaints and leave negative feedback. There's no harm in filing a complaint, all it does is alert Microsoft to scan their console. If the scan doesn't detect tampering, MS doesn't take any action against them. And if a player has so much more "skill" than you that it "just looks like they cheating", then why the hell were you matched against them in the first place? Leave negative feedback so you can avoid them in the future and let the Treyarch and Microsoft know their matchmaking systems suck!

Of course the best way to end the nonsense would be for all of us to stop buying the games until the problems are permanently fixed. But that's not going to happen, is it? :lmao:

Good luck, you'll need it!

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Gamasutra.com
  • Watching: ESPN
  • Playing: COD Black Ops
  • Eating: Nothing
  • Drinking: Arizona Stress Ice Tea

Cool Flickr Typography Collection

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 24, 2010, 6:18 AM


Found a cool Flickr gallery of old typography books. If you're into type... check it out! www.flickr.com/photos/n1ke/col…

Makes me want to start collecting! :lol:

For those of you in the US... Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

  • Mood: Sadness
  • Listening to: Nothing
  • Reading: Your journal!
  • Watching: HGTV
  • Playing: Assassins Creed Brotherhood
  • Eating: Chocolate Muffin
  • Drinking: Cranberry Grape Juice

Fable 3 Co-op and Trading?

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 18, 2010, 7:22 AM


Hey... any DA'ers playing Fable 3? The only thing I disliked about Fable 2 was you were forced to trade with other players via Xbox Live to unlock one achievement. Unfortunately, they took that concept to another level in Fable 3. You need to trade with other players to unlock at least 3 single player achievements. Which kind of destroys the entire concept and purpose of a single player campaign. Bastards!

Anyway... if you're playing Fable 3 and have a Xbox Live account, look me up!!!! My gamertag is cobain07642. If you're playing as a female hero, even better! To open the Mistpeak Demon Door you'll need to invite a co-op player into your game and... you'll need to kiss that player (in-game) to pass the test :lol: A bit creepy but what can you do. Plus female heros can't unlock the King outfit, they'll need to trade for it to unlock the Fashion Victim achievement. I'm pretty much done with the game so I can also gift you a crap load of gold too!

Over and out.

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nada
  • Reading: Your journal!
  • Watching: Nada
  • Playing: Fable 3
  • Eating: Nada
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

Fallout New Vegas?

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 24, 2010, 10:35 AM


Anyone playing Fallout New Vegas?

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nada
  • Reading: Your journal!
  • Watching: Nada
  • Playing: Fallout New Vegas
  • Eating: Nada
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

Another Feature!

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 20, 2010, 10:37 AM


Cruzine.com featured my Ironman shapes today. www.cruzine.com/2010/10/15/33-… This is the second time the site has featured my shapes. Thanks so much to everyone at Cruzine!!!!!

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nada
  • Reading: Your journal!
  • Watching: Nada
  • Playing: Fallout New Vegas
  • Eating: Nada
  • Drinking: Diet Coke

WordPress Anyone?

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 4, 2010, 11:48 AM


Anybody out there have experience with creating or editing custom WordPress templates?

  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Nada
  • Reading: Your journal!
  • Watching: Nada
  • Playing: Dragon Age
  • Eating: Nada
  • Drinking: Diet Coke