Saturday, November 29, 2008

game makers likes to nickel and dime you too

on one of my previous article, i was originally going to title it "pooping out games - now with ad supplements". but the topic warranted a whole separate article.

Sony, Double Fusion sign in-game ad deal - July 10 2008

EA, Massive extend in-game ad deal through next two years - Mar 18th 2008

Study: in-game advertiser says 82% of you don't mind in-game ads - Jun 18th 2008
now, i'm not saying that the concept is bad. but if the game is going to be designed with ad's first, games second... (and i'm talking about the console market) then you shouldn't be in the video game business. in fact, i hope you go out of business. and i'm calling out the 82% acceptance study bull-$#!t - or they are not telling the whole story.

anyways, let's start with why advertising in video games is something we even need to think about.
Devs Need To Watch Advergaming, Corporate Training - October 29, 2008
"the games industry is worth over $40 billion worldwide"... "advertising is a $270 billion industry in the US"...
those are indeed impressive numbers. but i'm sure you've seen the myriad of negative posts, comments and replies about ads in games that all boils down to - if there are ads in the game, the game better be for free or waaaay less than the full sticker price. the fact that many consumers will not see a price break while the publishers will reap on both ends is causing a rift with gamers. the developers (not to be confused with the executive douche bags who happends to work at a video game company) also sees this and feels for the gamers.
Don't like in-game ads? Mercenaries 2 lets you blow that sh*t up - July 21 2008
now, going back to the billions of dollars Gamasutra article, the speaker went on to say: "Get Involved -- Before Proctor And Gamble Forces You To" -- that has got to be one of the dumbest FUD scare tactic line i have ever heard. i say, go ahead, let P&G do it. it is going to be no different than what burger king has done back in 2006. it was beneficial for BK and i bet the parents loved it when the games were sold for less than the price of a whopper combo.
Eat Like a King. Play Like a King

Over 2 million BK games served - Dec 20, 2006

Burger King profits up 40% thanks to video games - Jan 31, 2007
so why does everyone (who isn't a gamer) want to shove ads down your gaming thumbs? i mean, i understand that product placement is a tried and true method of advertising. but do it for the right reasons - or else, the gamer will be thinking they just shelled out $60 bucks for a game that came with nag-ware; ad-ware; ad-banner; ad-supported; fill-in-the-blank-with-more-ads-shoved-down-my-throat-and-ruin-my-escape-from-reality-when-all-i-wanted-to-do-was-frag-my-friends-and-chain-saw-grubs-in-half-and-call-in-air-strikes all day.

was that last line annoying to read? good, because that's what your damn ads would feel like if i played your games. now, back to the douche bag execs who wants to nickel and dime you:
Microsoft contemplating for-pay Avatar accessories - Aug 1 2008

Free-to-play Battlefield Heroes delayed - July 30 2008

EA's future plans for Spore: hope you like expansions - July 30 2008

EA would 'love' to charge for Spore parts ... I bet they bloody would - July 29 2008
now, as for spore's expansion, i don't mind as long as the price is right for the new features. but if it's only for incremental features (such as madden football year after year) - then it better be for $20 or less. better yet - free or less than $10 DLC.
Activision: if we can't run a game into the ground, we don't want it - November 06, 2008

Kotick: Vivendi Titles Dropped Due To Lack Of Sequel Potential - November 6, 2008

Blizzard: We're Not "Milking" StarCraft - October 13, 2008
yeah, that last one (starcraft) came at a time when everyone was wearing their sequels haters-pants on. but, and i am such a blizzard fan-boy, hope that all races will have some sort of playable campaign mode so you are not stuck with just one side of the story. it would make the game... well... sort of boring if you, say, only had to play the marine campaign mode to begin with. anyways, back to the player-haters:
Activision no longer cares about games it can't milk to death - November 06, 2008
"Something tells me that if the videogames market has another crash like the famous one of 1983, Activision will have a big hand in its arrival. "
ok, now that was just uncalled for. the gaming crash of '83 was because of too many games in the market. and i mean, crap games. if you're saying diablo, starcraft and warcraft are going to cause a gaming crashing -- you're on crack. oh, wait -- those are blizzard's games. um... call of duty 6, uh... i guess, um... oh! there's guitar hero... on crack.

huh..., there aren't that many if you ask me. it seems you would have the power to pick and choose which games to buy and which to ignore. a far cry from flooding the market with a whole heap of random and $#!t games. and now, with download-able games -- there will never be another game glut crash when stores will refuse to stock games because of the limited shelf space. if anything, this will help propel games that are worthy of your precious gaming time to receive your attention instead of the shovel-ware garbage.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

iPodTouch + QuickPWN = Me Happy

well, it all started when my brother, mikey, got me an iPodTouch for christmas '07. the first thing i did was jailbreak it. no music, no videos, no pictures (even to this day). i just wanted the small form factor with wireless capabilities and touch screen ability.

it's the greatest toy i have ever had the pleasure to poke around in. so why did i want to jailbreak it in the first place? it was like: "damn, why did the iphone get the maps proggy and the iPodTouch didn't?" this was my single most wanted feature. i mean, take a look and compare what came on these two devices when they were first released.
i can understand that the iphone would have extra buttons for the phone, sms and (i guess) the camera. but what really miffed me was, "what? you get the stock thingie, weather and note pad too?" and when i had learned how to add them on (and this was way before the 2.0 firmware was out) i figured, this is how they should have released the iPod Touch.

now, i never had the need to upgrade the firmware on my toy for the longest time. but when i accidentally deleted an iTunes folder from my root (user) directory - i got my iPodTouch stuck in a restart loop. oops. lesson learned. but i still have an itchy trigger "rm -r" finger...

anyways, i have a whole heap of stuff backed up except for the iTunes folder for my root user, obviously, and instructions on how to restore and jailbreak my toy. so on to the internet i go. long story short, i ran into this utility called QuickPWN and wow. it was the easiest thing i have ever used.

first, let's make some fun of these guys.

on sept 12 (maybe around 8am according to the comment section) QuickPWN releases a post with instructions on how to use their utility that's kinda long winded. but what really baked my noodle were these 2 sentences at the very top of the article:

View this guide to learn how to jailbreak your iPod Touch 2.1.

[step] 1. Before you do anything, make sure you have a jailbroken iPod Touch.
O.K. wait... what?

my brain just went on a restart loop. good thing they plastered "DO NOT USE THIS" all over the page... so i chuckled. but then i was wondering where do i go to find this "OTHER POST"...

looking around, i see a list of labels on the side of the page. following the cookie trail, i find the second post. this was posted also on sept 12 (and seems like 11:30am this time) and basically the instructions was this:
run QuickPWN.exe ... and follow the on-screen instructions.
heh. O.K. let's see where this goes. after i had grabbed all kinds of firmware files and restoring my iPodTouch to one of them, i download the QuickPWN utility and run it. wow. yeah, i know i said that before. but this was so quick and painless, that it deserved a second wow.

i am so liking this this stuff! proceeding to install the bare minimum must have packages:
  • bsd system
  • openssh
  • sshd
all in all, there seems to be a few things replaced (since i last jailbroke): Cydia is the new Installer. and Boss* has everything else. BossTool, only used once, and BossPrefs, a nice one stop shop to turn things on and off. but i'd like to still keep SysInfo - it's still the best process viewer and killer.

finally, some updated instructions on stuff i can't live with out:
How to Block Ads on Your (Jailbroken) iPhone
Oct 8 2008

Setting up lighttpd web server on 2.0
Aug 7 2008
after installing the lighttpd web server, make a folder:
your lighttpd "home" folder
and think of this as your "everything" folder. i upload all of my media, docs and whatever into the "Site" folder. and i will also make it my download dumping ground. here's why this is my up/down folder.

if you installed MPlayer:
point /private/var/media
to /private/var/mobile/Site/media
if you installed dTunes (DO NOT [ chmod 777 Downloads ] like dTunes will say - this will be fixed with chown below):
point /private/var/mobile/Library/Downloads
to /private/var/mobile/Site/Downloads
or point to /private/var/mobile/Site/media as well to make things simpler
make sure to [ chown -R Site ] to keep things kosher.

everything is neatly stored in my "Site" folder and this is what i use for quick backup and (r)syncing scripts.

love it!

now, for your mac owners who don't need all of this brain busting instructions and only need to have the freedom of moving your music from one computer to another, mikey has recommended using Senuti.
senuti (which, cleverly, is Itunes backwards), is
freeware. works like a charm.
-- mikey