Tag Archives: Weekly Wyrm

Weekly Wyrm ~ Breaking Into The Video Games Biz

No image tonight–just a grim wall of text, followed by a happy ending. And then crying.

Tonight I returned to my personal game project, trying to cope with old code. While inching through code lines, gelatinous cube-like, I watched Trion’s friday Livestream on Twitch, as mentioned on MassivelyOP.

It’s nice to see Brasse at Trion. As a fellow mapmaker, I’ve studied her fine work. Her mention of reviewing all of Trion’s community and forums is a little worrying though since the Rift forums are so nice and perfect.

I wrote up a synopsis as I listened. This, then some stocks and Guild Wars 2.

Synopsis of Game Industry Job Tips From Trion

  • Break into the industry, don’t break into Trion.
  • There are less 20 hours-per-day crunch times these days, so it’s easier to have a real life.
  • On the other hand, there is more money in other industries. Trading money for following your passion.
  • A passionate person needs to temper expectations for effecting change within a big team with lots of ideas that are never realized.
  • System designers must be aces at math, pro at Excel and statistics. Other designers are: narrative designers, content designers.
  • Audio is minimal, mostly outsourced. Try companies that are contract houses for game companies.
  • Designers need to be able to clearly communicate with teams.
  • Engineers (programmers). Need C++, C#.
  • Platform needs Java type skills. Account creations and logins are common with other companies like banks.
  • Game-specific education degrees may not be best, yet. Focus on life learning, keep educating self.
  • For artists, almost rather have a Fine Arts degree, recognition of art, broad understanding.
  • Being passionate about what you do is critical.
  • Be yourself and be honest above all, even about your weaknesses. Don’t be a poser because it shows.
  • Resumes. Don’t make a generic cover letter. Be sure you’re played Trion games and say why you want Trion.
  • You can and should remove old unapplicable things from your resume.
  • List your favorite games, mention the MMOs you’ve played at cap, your achievements, how your gaming has touched you and meant something to you. Show your passion for games.
  • Make games. Show something.
  • Keep clickable links in resumes, don’t remove.
  • Keep your Facebook and social media professional because they will search and find all of your personal dog and family posts and judge you mercilessly. (With all of my personality issues and depression, not to mention kinkiness, this kitty is irrevocably doomed.)
  • Networking and meetups. Talk to the devs at conventions, get to know people over the years.
  • College only isn’t a good resume.
  • Take any job in the industry at first to get experience.

Video Game Stocks

All of the stocks I recommended in a previous post three weeks ago have now reported quarterly earnings results.

Activision/Blizzard (ATVI) reported solid results and raised guidance for the year. Electronic Arts (EA) was also solid, both stocks were up 5-7% this week on those results. Winning, and you’re winning too if you listened to the kitty. At least, you are today.

NVidia (NVDA) disappointed and was down 7% just today. Luckily, as I mentioned in another post, I dumped Nvidia and went Blizzard before that happened.

I think this might still be a good buying opportunity for Nvidia if you’re a contrarian, but it might be dead money for a while. I want to believe Windows 10 can bring PC’s back, and the massive boom in handheld devices will make people want bigger screens and the PC/tablet hybrids, and not just these tablet-to-TV things. I don’t do TVs at all.

Just note the stock market may die in a fire soon. Wait at least three days, if not three weeks until the market breaks up or down from its converging trend lines.

Akamai (AKAM), the content delivery and security company formerly used by Turbine, Sony, and Nintendo, is also solid up 6% in my portfolio, and Limelight Networks (LLNW), my long-odds underdog pick, is up maybe 10%. I’m now holding all of these except Nvidia.

For another suggestion, my largest tech holding is Equinix (EQIX). I think of it as an internet “pipeline” company. They made a bid to buy up a European network/cloud provider this week, sending the stock up more, and Microsoft also announced that they are expanding partnership with EQIX to handle cloud delivery of Microsoft’s Office 365 worldwide for Windows 10.

Amazon (AMZN) is another solid cloud pick, and they own Twitch. It’s up big on strong cloud results, but it has based after profit-taking, and looks to be building momentum again.

Guild Wars 2

They announced the Guardian elite spec. It’s called Dragonhunter, and my first reaction was: NOOOOOoooOOOOOoooOOOO!

My second reaction was: I can re-roll.

This non-calm kitty really feels dragons are in a world beyond trite and over-exploited. I don’t like setting traps, and don’t even use them on my trappy Hunter. I assumed the new trap class (which was known) would go to Rogue. It’s like the GW2 devs went out of their way to make sure I hate this class! Waaaa!

I don’t know what I’m doing now in Guild Wars 2.

So I’m back working on my video game. I re-wrote the UI and created some new graphics in the last few days. I read somewhere that people are doing HTML/CSS/Javascript apps now somehow, so I can do that. Maybe. It’s an educational game, and may involve elves. Or maybe vampires. Systems first.

I’m coping with re-learning my schoolgirl code and learning lessons in why commenting is so important if you let kitties use keyboards.

Weekly Wyrm ~ July 16, 2013

Summer classes are over at last! This means lot of time to play games, undertake the daunting task of “catching up” in Rift, and also write some blog posts. Right? Wrong.

A: Welcome Back To The World Of I Can’t Play This Game

As soon as I invested a heap of cash in Rift unlocks, I started experiencing constant lag. By lag, I mean hitches and screen-stoppages about every minute. I haven’t had a single issue playing any game on my new computer in the last several months until now.

All of my gaming hours over the last week have been oriented towards solving this problem. I’m in the process of trying everything: monitoring my CPU and network, disabling windows services and uninstalling anything else that might be an issue, scouring the forums for people with similar problems, etc.

I still don’t have an answer, but the consensus on the Rift forums is that Rift lacks optimization. It only uses one core, which I can attest from spending ample time staring at a green graph showing one core high while my three others are languishing.

I’m currently re-installing Rift on my hard drive instead of the SSD. I really don’t want to deal with the cable internet people. Nothing is touching my cable broadband in terms of maxing it, anyway, based on the traffic. I’ve just downloaded the entire 10.5 GB base game in forty-five minutes.

Why only 10.5 and not the 15 that I un-installed? Wonderful, something else to worry about. Maybe Rift is downloading on the fly or using my computer for P2P.

While Rift was re-downloading, I watched Escapist videos. That was a mistake.

B: Cranky Kitty

First was Lisa Foiles doing top five cowboy games. Emphasis on “boy”.

None of those games offer a playable cowgirl, and the only women I saw in the entire video were a half-dressed prostitute, a sidekick, and a cute blonde fronting gaming news while entertaining boys by being portrayed as stupid while underdressed and dancing with a Wii.

Fabulous. Lisa does a fine job, by the way. I am not knocking her abilities and assets. She entertains better than I do, obviously.

The highlight of the week so far is cartooning at my desk at work on breaks, so I have a new episode of Forsaken Inn of Unplayable Races on the way. I also have a 740-calorie cherry pie hot and waiting to drown my lag frustration. That’s right, boys: a hot and waiting cherry pie.

Weekly Wyrm ~ June 16, 2013

raider imageThis weekend I played Rift, the FFXIV beta, and more Rift. I also caught up with Elder Scrolls E3 coverage and inked a new comic strip that isn’t finished. So here goes.

Rift F2P

I spent a lot of this weekend working on my Rift newbie guide, and I’m glad to see a lot of people visiting and hopefully using it. I think I’ve spent as much time Googling how to play Rift again than I’ve spent actually playing the game.

Friday, Elrar and the Rift devs did the most amazing dev chat I’ve ever seen–two hours of literally getting drunk on whiskey and scotch, answering fan questions, and spilling their guts on future content. (Ok, they didn’t literally spill guts, although one fan asked Daglar to take his shirt off.)

I was excited to hear them mention a mage tanking soul, so that locks my class decision. I was even more excited to hear the devs mention venturing off Telara into other planes (!!!), which is something I always hoped for.

I’ve sort of started dual-boxing my two old accounts on my new computer, bringing up a lowbie warrior supported by my mentoring mage. Rift boxes the same as WoW except with the addition of mentoring. I love it because I actually want to play the low level zones again, and I can get XP and on-level currency for doing so.

Other Livestream notes:

  • The devs commented that the art team was super excited right now and putting in long hours on a new project.
  • Two new raids coming soon. For what it’s worth.
  • Tradeskill extension scroll (get another crafting profession slot, and you can purchase more than one) is the second best seller in the store right now. I didn’t know these existed, but they are a great idea. This is just another example of the Rift guys doing things that no one else does or is willing to do.
  • No flying mounts foreseen in the future because Rift invasions are a ground game. It wouldn’t work well.
  • Refer-a-friend is expanding.

Daglar also emphasized that Rift would maintain a raid focus at endgame with no raid finder or any watering down of “prestige” content. This was disappointing, because it’s why I originally quit. On the other hand, I appreciate the openness and honesty.

We will see. F2P and hardcore raiding are not a natural mix. Rift has always hunted WoW players since even before launch, and their F2P advertising took another shot at WoW with a panda image. Now that Rift is both a WoW clone and F2P, and WoW is not F2P, Rift may need to re-think their strategy.

What types of players might leave WoW and make the switch now?

Elder Scrolls Online

The E3 interview videos were a little boring, again without solid gameplay. The big TESO news of E3 was the planned co-launch of PC, PS4, and XBone in spring of 2014. Some other news included no housing at launch and no romance but some sort of bonding ritual that allows you and your partner to get XP bonus rings.

Adam Sessler (originally from G4TV) looks like John Malkovich now with his bald look. Shiny distracted the kitty, and she clicked the link to see the Saint’s Row 4 interview instead.

I might be more excited about Saint’s Row than The Elder Scrolls. If you’ve only got two skills, then forget about forward slash and fire bolt. I’ll take a machine gun and a grenade launcher. (Kidding. A little bit. I can’t wait to see TESO.)

Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn Beta

First, it’s my understanding that the NDA is lifted. Second, some history for those who don’t know.

FFXIV the original launched in September, 2010. I was there, unemployed, and ready to go. I considered it a waste of my formerly hard-earned time and money. I did not resubscribe.

In fact, the original game was bad to the point that Square Enix allowed people to just play for free for a long while until they figured out what to do with it, and then finally pulled it to re-build and re-launch this coming August with new management.

I was begrudgingly impressed by my short foray into this relaunch. The character creation is now fantastic with some great ideas, including the ability to preview your character in different lighting and settings, to choose from several different voice sets, and to preview your character going through some emotes.

Two of the three worst things about the original appear solved: the interface and the auction system. (The third thing in my opinion was not enough content, only a fraction of an MMO.) There is now an auction house. No more nightmare of opening up one slow-loading retainer inventory after another searching for what you want.

The user interface and game controls are supposedly different between PC and PlayStation 3 versions. It looks very good.

My overall impression after only a few hours of play is that this game breathes with a special feel and spirit, and I’m happy for die-hard fans of this franchise. While I’m not very inclined to give this MMO a second chance after it stole my money the first time, the fans of this effort have every reason to have hope for A Realm Reborn.