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Messages - Antdude

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Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Spore Video Game
« on: September 09, 2008, 04:32:08 PM »
Great to hear your music made it into the game. I'm one of the people who really enjoys game music when it's done well. Will Wright's games have always been a bit of magic in a box.

That said, I'm really on the fence about this title. EA's ridiculous DRM rules are getting out of hand. 3 installs tops, and then you have to call EA support? Internet connection required? I call shenanigans.

DRM just punishes the legitimate owners and makes upgrading your own hardware an exercise in frustration. I was going to buy the game as a gift for someone, but until the DRM is either eliminated or seriously patched, i'll pass.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: August 27, 2008, 12:50:32 PM »
Just starting Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, the first volume in The Baroque Trilogy. Very, very dense stuff. I hope I can stick with it. Reminds me of when I read The Gulag Archipelago years ago. Made me wonder if I was biting off more than I could chew. Any other Stephenson fans here? I loved Snowcrash and The Diamond Age, but this is decidely different.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Gold Farming
« on: August 26, 2008, 01:29:49 AM »
Virtual game economy is very unstable, and it changes constantly, even from server to server!  Something like an expansion pack coming out can change the market drastically.  Wow has around 200 servers +  so you can get some idea of the instability of the market. father is a bit of a stocks and shares man, and really, is there that much of a difference between virtual economy, and market shares?  He sits at his laptop selling shares all day.  Sounds a bit like a hardcore gamer to me. :)

It's fascinating to watch an online game economy evolve. I've watched the WoW economy move from a handful of entrepreneurs playing the auction houses to most anyone having several thousand gold with little work. Of course, as in real life, inflation plays a big part in this economy and prices for goods have jumped as well. In another game, Eve Online, the developer has hired a full-time economist to watch and report on the trends in the game universe. He puts out quarterly reports on the state of the game. I've seen the spreadsheets and charts on this and it's literally the GNP of a country on display here. Raw and processed materials, sales of goods and services, industry fueled mostly by corporate construction of fleets of ships(Eve has corporations rather than guilds), shifting borders controlling the price and accessibility of materials, and hundreds of other aspects of an economy in microcosm. Of course it's a bit easier to track since all the game's players are on one server instead of multiple 'shards.'

Many European companies have their executives playing the game by creating a corporation, and seeing how they respond and grow (or fail) to the demands of the game world, so I think your point of real-world and virtual economies being indistinguishable will become even more true as time goes on. Even if you're not into playing these games, there is a fascinating subculture developing in front of us, where virtual goods will have a growing value in the real world.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Latest ultra-realistic character animation
« on: August 19, 2008, 07:02:53 PM »
True, motion is the acid test and things like what we've seen from WETA Digital and others the last few years point to the future. What I was impressed with was the final image's skin, with its reflective characteristics and realistic pores, instead of shiny smooth skin with the Saran Wrap look.

In other news, Blizzard will be unveiling their latest cinematic for World of Warcraft in Leipzig this week. it will be fun to see how far they push the boundaries again.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Latest ultra-realistic character animation
« on: August 19, 2008, 04:28:43 PM »
Here's one that blew me away:

Especially interesting was how the artist made the eyes more expressive, which is usually the dead giveaway in CG animation.

Since we're posting youtube clips, I thought I'd contribute to the Sunday conversation with this clip of Vladimir Horowitz's 1986 recital in Moscow.


 It was my first laserdisc purchase  ;D and this was my favorite piece from that performance. I love Scarlatti and this is a beautiful interpretation.

Just listened to the samples on Saul's site. What a tease. This album needs to be released right now.


New Entia Non.

Or Oophoi's next release.  ;)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: July 07, 2008, 11:44:42 AM »
Quicksilver - Neal Stephenson Volume 1 of the Baroque Saga. I wonder what I've gotten myself into....

And if you're interested in some good books on the computer industry, I'd recommend Accidental Empires by Robert X. Cringely or The Cuckoo's Egg by Clifford Stoll. Both are entertaining, accessible books that show the very human side of technology and how it's evolved over the last 20 years.

Everything and Nothing / Re: WALL - E
« on: June 30, 2008, 12:54:17 AM »
I saw it on Friday. It's everything you expect from a Pixar film. It has humor, warmth, heart, pathos(without schmaltz) and a genuine love of its main character. Someone told me once about characters in animation, "Get the eyes right, and you're halfway there." Without going overboard in anthropomorphizing a mechanical trash compacter, Pixar has created a character whose eyes are literally windows into something more than electronics. Wall-E lives and breathes personality from the first moment he's on-screen.
 It's not just in his look and mannerisms, but in the way he attempts to fill the days when he's not creating gigantic, neatly organized mountains of compacted debris. Wall-E's a collector, and the stuff he chooses to keep says a lot about his attempts to understand the people who left it all behind. Without literally saying a word, the first half hour of the film is brilliant visual storytelling that gives you everything you need to understand the character before his real adventure begins.

Is it perfect? No. The third act stumbles a bit getting the characters and events rolling to a very emotional finish, but it's one of Pixar's best films and in my opinion, should be a nominee for Best Picture next year. It's got more soul in 90 minutes than all of the dreck produced by Dreamworks.

Visually, it's got more going on than one viewing can take in. Not only are there numerous in-jokes, but there's so much going on at the edges of the frame, you'll probably want to see it again. I know I'm going to.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 13, 2008, 01:09:47 PM »
Stars of the Lid - Carte-De-Visite (The tour-only CD. Just arrived today. Magical. Buy this from Kranky before they're all gone.)

Thomas Koner - Nuuk, Kaamos (Isn't he working on a new CD for release this year? Please?)

Tim Hecker - Indigo Aerial

After listening to Carte, I have a feeling this will be another SotL weekend.

Everything and Nothing / Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!
« on: June 12, 2008, 11:52:42 AM »
Happy Birthday, Mike.
I suffered through my 50th a few months ago. No big deal. Looks like you got much better cards, though.  ;D

Enjoy the extended birthday.

Excellent mix! Highly recommended.

I have about half of this stuff already, but this is a great new take on the material.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Free Entia Non download
« on: May 26, 2008, 05:26:12 PM »
Nice. Another bit of enjoyable magic from James McDougal.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: May 14, 2008, 04:40:30 PM »
Book 5 of R.A. Salvatore's 6-part War of the Spider Queen series, Annihilation.

Then there is Lisa Smedman's 3-volume follow-up to that. Afterward, Salvatore's, The Orc King, which is the first of another trilogy. Ugh. I'm enjoying these books, but what is it about these multi-volume opuses, that keeps sucking me into a months-long reading commitment?

 Oh, yeah, then there's the Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian to get back to. I left off at book 9 in that series; only 10 more to go...

Just a comment, that, with these upcoming releases, and looking at all the latest additions to the Hypnos Store (new Aglaia!), Hypnos is becoming a 1-stop place for all the best ambient music now. The outlook for the future really looks great. Is it possible for a label to have 1000 True Fans as well?

Great job, Mike & Lena.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 27, 2008, 08:29:42 PM »
King Crimson ~ Thrakk, Red, Starless and Bible Black
Rumforskning ~ Fremtiden
Entia Non ~ Fold, Remora
Nunc Stans ~ Ellesmere Island

Coming up:
The Winterhouse ~ Slow Promises

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 05, 2008, 01:07:53 PM »
Netherworld - Firmament in Obscurity, Eternal Frost, Hermetic Thoughts, Six Impending Clouds

Entia Non - Fold, Distal

Rumforskning - Fremtiden, Livstegn

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 28, 2008, 01:43:50 PM »
Entia Non - Fold
Rumforskning - Fremtiden, Livstegn

Thanks, APK!  :)

These are terrific.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: March 23, 2008, 04:31:34 PM »
It's been a Stars of the Lid weekend. I'm in the middle of 'And Their Refinement of the Decline', but stopped to check out the Severence mix. Very nice indeed.

On to Seren Ffordd....

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