Thursday, August 23, 2007


I leave for Brazil today and will be spending a few days in Paraty (see below).

No email access or updates for two weeks.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I am so proud of my company right now, because the just-released track-list for our upcoming 'Jam Sessions' totally kicks ass. Whoever chose the music for this title has great taste in music.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Rock Band and User Generated Content

I've talked about EA's Rock Band before and do not hide the fact that it sits proudly upon my list of most anticipated upcoming titles, but I've been hesitant to blog about it with any depth in the past for fear of disappointment (as a player). Simply put, up until now I've seen very little mentioned of any 'user generated content' for Rock Band. I know they'll have online multiplayer (certainly a plus) but without the ability for players to craft their own songs and share with friends I'm worried it might feel crippled.

Now, obviously there are serious legal issues to be considered here and I'm guessing EA will ship the title without a feature that would allow players to create their own songs knowing full well that doing so would immediately open the doors to Copyright infringement issues. Clearly this is something EA wants to avoid given how closely they are working with various rights holders.

Whether Rock Band supports it or not, though, the fans will eventually find a way. I've recently come across this tutorial for uploading your own custom songs to Guitar Hero II (PS2 only, I believe). You can see an example of this in action in the video embedded below.

Copyright issues here are obviously less of a concern given how complex it is to upload one's own songs. Only the most dedicated players would invest the time and money to do so.

Its a pity really -- I'd still like to see a way for players in Rock Band to be able to easily create their own content in order to get the true 'band' experience in a way the copyright holders could accept. What do you think? Is it even possible? Or would user generated content in Rock Band be a Pandora's box of legal issues and/or crippled functionality?

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Brazil Bound

Late next week my wife and I will join five friends from Montreal in Brazil to help celebrate the wedding of a very good friend of ours. We'll be there for a little under two weeks, with the majority of our time spent in Rio and Sao Paulo.

Many in the group are planning to content themselves lounging on the beach during the day but sitting idly soaking up cancer rays doesn't rank too high on my list of favorite past-times.

So I'm putting out a call in case some of you have been to Rio before and can suggest some attractions worth visiting.

Any and all recommendations are most appreciated. If you suggest something, I'll make sure to take photos and post them on this blog.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007


A good friend of mine (who also happens to work at Ubi and maintains a french language blog about the gaming industry) Sebastien Ebacher recently pointed me towards a very cool cellphone app called Megaphone.

In short, megaphone allows people to turn their cellphones into game controllers but is network and device agnostic because it does not depend at all on cellular data. Instead players use their phones to dial a number and a computer on the other end of the line interprets the key tones (beep beep boop) as controller inputs, in real time, and updates the game state accordingly.

I think this is just brilliant and can't believe it wasn't done before. I spent over four years working in the wireless gaming space and can honestly say that neither of the companies I worked for ever thought of this (or, if they did, it certainly didn't trickle down to me).

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Steampunk 4 t3h win!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Grand Theft Auto Delayed

GTA4, it has just been announced, will be delayed until Q2 2008, missing the "Murderer's Row 2" window that is this christmas' shopping season.

If you play theSimexchange (or better yet, have some money IRL to invest in Ubisoft) now would probably be a good time to get behind Assassins Creed, as they've just become the main open-world/sand-box game of the year.

I expect this news to work heavily in our favor.

Update: Analysts, it would seem, at least partially agree. I haven't seen any specific guidance on Ubisoft as a result of this delay but several have gone on record as saying EA should benefit.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Croal: 1, Ebert: 0.

Lengthy but very much worth a read, particularily if the 'Games as Art' debate interests you, or if you just feel like reading N'Gai Croal run circles around Roger Ebert's continued assertion that games cannot be 'high art'.

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