Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And Another (Good) Announcement About This Blog

Well guys, I should say that the last post I made about the blog closing down is simply not true.  It was a horrendous April Fool's joke I didn't take much pleasure out of and sorry if anyone was hurt by reading that.  I didn't do this to get pity out of you guys or to really bail cause I was on the fence or some nonsense like that--it was a joke from beginning to end.

Unfortunately, though it was a joke, there were some things that were true about it.  The reason it seemed so genuine is because those things I mentioned are true fears of mine--that you'll show up to work at Sumo Digital or wherever and suddenly go stupid and get fired, that your favorite game company or companies will stop making good games, that the things you used to love you won't anymore, and so on and so forth.  I've been in a funk for the last few months, that's obvious.  But this blog will always have a purpose and I won't ever shut it down unless it's for some really good reason, better than "I feel bad, I don't want to post anymore" or some crap like that.

The blog is the only place left I have to vent about games.  It's the only place where I can still remember the Sega racers.  Hey, on the flip side of the coin, Sega, as stupid as they are, has made great strides in the last decade!  Who would've thought that in the last 6 or 7 years, we'd get mounds of new Sega racing footage in the form of pictures, videos, and player testimonials, we'd get Daytona 1 and 2 emulators, that Daytona would get a home port, that OutRun 2, Crazy Taxi, and Sega Rally 3 would get on XBL/PSN, that we'd get not one but two Sega All-Stars Racing games, that the Hornet would appear in two new racing games (Ridge Racer and Sega All-Stars Racing), and that we'd get a serious fan-made racing game called "The 90's Arcade Racer"!!!

The way I see it, this is an American Football game and Sega is advancing the ball down the field.  He's running down the field as his teammates throw blocks to help him advance.  Well he's down to the 10 or 5 yard line and he's still got one more man to beat.  Who's going to block that guy???  I would certainly like to be that guy who throws the block and gets jacked up (but helps Sega reach the end zone).

The main two problems I'm facing right now is that I'm preoccupied with other things and that I need to get motivated once again.  I need to go back to a NASCAR race or an actual arcade again.  I need to get excited again about driving!!!  And I don't give a damn what's going on with the game industry or websites cause I sure as hell am not going to let "evil forces" like Electronic Arts, Activision, Microsoft, etc. try to persuade me otherwise.

Besides, let's face it.  If I were to suddenly quit on Sega and this blog, what else would I be doing with my life?  Where would I go?  Would I be content working at the same job being a "yes-man programmer" my entire life?  Hell no.  And if I get fired for some controversial things I said on this blog, well...good, who wants to work there anyway.

Unfortunately, I will probably not be posting as much as I did before but I will be saying good things about Sega and racing games some more.  I can't let that passion get away from me because without it, I'm a corpse who's assumed room temperature--I'm done for--so it's Sega or bust, dammit. Leave comments, I read every one of 'em, guaranteed, even if I have posted in a while.

Bye guys.  *hops in conveniently placed Ferrari and drives off*


  1. Hey bud, missed out on the AF post. Though it was more convincing than the one my sister fell for about Robert Downey Jr. dropping out of Avengers 2.

    I'm trying to get out of a funk myself after I went to GDC last week, and missed out on a lot of things like game announcements and Yu Suzuki sneaking in. All those complaints I had about my school? A totally different world between what was taught and what is actually expected. Not to mention my portfolio fell on everything on the list NOT to do. Developers live in a different world than we do, based on what I saw (and it wasn't everything either). But being at an actual game school, you already saw all this stuff firsthand. I could only read about it online, seeing it in person was a hard dose of reality.

    At the same time however, on a more positive note, based on some of the printed materials given, there are a surprising amount of developers in the industry who are also displeased with the direction games are going with creativity being sacrificed for mass market appeal. I think in my case, because the art area is so competitive, indie seems the way to go, or at least get started.

    To me it's like when people mention ideas like change or "progress" or "forward". The way they portray it, it's an arrow, just one arrow, pointing up, that represents a rather overconfident if not self-inflated portrayal of their views. Me, I see a series of paths separating and going into various paths with different objectives, goals and paths to reach each one. Gaming, same thing.

    1. Good thing you missed out on that post, you'd probably hate me if you saw it for real... Anyway, I had a few FIEA buddies go to GDC this week. I picked two up from the airport, Crazy-Taxi style. They said they saw a small "History of Sega" exhibit with some arcade games. No idea if Daytona or OutRun was there but I wouldn't bet on it.

      Glad you are able to improve your portfolio...it's never to late to learn more about the industry. Going to GDC really helps. But being the lazy bastard I am, I didn't...it really is a bunch of self-congratulatory speeches. Like if I have to hear one more thing about how awesome Cliff Blezinski is...eh forget about it :S

      Were there any interesting GDC talks you went to? Assuming you got a pass into the conference halls, that is. And what did Yu Suzuki do there, I asked someone, he said he wasn't there but he really was...? To do what, muse about Shenmue 3 again to tease us all?

      At this company I'm working at (you should know where), I think we are looking for artists (most any type I think), but you'd have to move to Orlando to work here. Oh well, we can hang out IRL, would be awesome :D

    2. They did have a small exhibit to Sega's history, but it was focused solely on their consoles, older marketing videos and rare merchandise. The Neptune, CDX, a Virtua Fighter jacket, NiGHTS pillow, stuff like that. There were arcade games but not Sega related. They had all their consoles playable, mostly focused on the Genesis and Dreamcast, while the Saturn only had two games, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Daytona CCE. Didn't seem like anyone was the slightest bit familiar with what they saw except what "everyone" played. They had another exhibit for art and music in games, showing off Streets of Rage, Jet Set Radio and Rez.

      I had an Expo pass primarily for the Expo floor, which was the daunting raw business side of the industry. Aside from a few things, nothing but firms seeking clients (developers) for their products or services. Marketing/advertising firms, security for apps, graphics cards, schools, books, development kits, motion capture, 3D printing. I dunno how your friends were treated, but it was evident some of these people got annoyed with me when they realized I was a student and not with a company (potential client). Some companies were hiring but for senior or overseas positions only. The big three were also there, focusing on the mobile technology above all else, and Microsoft had a bar. Tried the Oculus VR device but I ended up glitching the game, and the representative got defensive when I gave him the feedback he asked for. One poor kid got his portfolio trashed by a developer, saying his work was incomplete and mediocre, and it really wasn't. Just not up to industry standard. Watching the whole thing just made me hate AAA even more.

      The indie games was a more welcome environment, and I talked with a developer of a game that got overfunded on Kickstarter, and told me he started the game because he hated last year's E3. Briefly explained my dream game idea and they sounded very supportive of it, especially his wife, who I talked with for about an hour, first about games then about life and stuff.

    3. I was only able to attend the panels on Friday, designed for students. An Australian dev had a discussion that you didn't need a degree in the industry, and we yanks have it so good since McDonalds costs half than what it does in AU. There was the portfolio review, and it finished off with a Q/A session about breaking into the industry. A lot of people wanting to get in solely as writers, or break from another industry into this one (film or psychology). Their advice was that if you didn't have experience, just make games. And my stuff is nowhere near the level where I could get a job, at least not without one solid focus, but these are the AAA giants anyway. Irrational, Bungie. You get the idea. The girls I met had their portfolios tailored to what was expected, mine not so much. I was very ill-prepared.

      I guess being stubborn, I skipped on the awards ceremonies. Even though Sega wasn't listed as present (another organization did the history exhibit), I only found out after it ended that remastered Sonic 1&2 were announced, and Yu Suzuki was actually there. You can imagine my heartbreak when I found out. I knew Kojima was going to be there about realism in the new Metal Gear, but most of the discussion panels seemed to be about a bunch of business and new technology, not so much about game design theory, so I didn't feel all left out about that. But San Fran, wow. Not a place I'd want to stay in for very long.

      I kept my classmates tuned in to what was going on, and I think they would've been upset by the whole thing since we always talk about things we love about games and that wasn't on the Expo floor at all. Anyone reading this want to go to school for games, make sure you have ex-devs teaching.

    4. Not sure why Suzuki was there, but since he was only "spotted" I doubt he was a speaker and meant to keep a low profile. Probably wanted to see what us westerners were pursuing and embracing. I've got a studio in mind near where I'm at, but more than likely I'll have to move out of state. Maybe TX or FL one day, hopefully when the industry has gone a change for the better. :)

      If I met Suzuki, I actually would have hummed a song from every game he's been involved in just to let him know at least someone here acknowledges his legacy. (I listen to too much video game music. I regret nothing!)

  2. Hehe - you know, I didn't even *think* about that particular possibility. Which is funny since half the gaming sites I went to on 4/1 had me questioning their headlines. I hate trying to gather up information on 4/1 because you can't always 'trust' it like you normally would. That being said? Glad to hear you were yanking our chain and not bailing out. :)

  3. Well, I fell for it badly! Glad to see its all still on... blue skies forever! :)