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12:43 AM on 11.27.2008

SSFIITHDR First Impressions

Alright so I just went ahead and downloaded the full version of SSF2THDR without ever bothering to try the demo out first. Having been a long time fan of Street Fighter in all its incarnations (mostly a fan of SFIII in arcades), I was very excited about the visual revamp set up for this XBLA game.

Although I can say that I am satisfied with the purchase, there are a few things that really grind my gears, at least at this early stage. Mind you again, these are only first impressions and are subject to change with time.

1. The Music: for the most part I loved the new remixed sounds used in the game. I listened to these OCRemixes all summer and was getting one heck of a vibe from them. However there is I find a huge annoyance anytime it speeds up because one fighter's health is low, it just doesn't scale properly. The worst culprit so far has been Dee-Jay's stage, whose remix I know to be a lyrical affair. Also, the ramp up after the Capcom logo scared the shit out of me.

2. Other sounds: I don't get why Capcom would update the visuals without rerecording the sounds. A lot of the voice samples scream to be redone, and I found them to be very scratchy in places...

3. Ryu's Hadouken: Ok WTF: Down, Down-Forward, Forward + Punch right? Then why the hell does it only work 1/2 times. Ryu will go into his fireball launching animation but poof, nothing...what gives!!? This was infuriating as I have never had this happen in the 15 years of Street Fighting.

4. Animations: I can understand the reasons behind keeping the original animations I suppose, for those that enjoy the competition, but lo & behold, I see Capcom also included a classic GFX mode, ok so then why not have both sets of animations: old-school choppy SF2-style, and buttery smooth SF3-style?!

5. Characters: It just seems to me that some of the less popular characters haven't gotten the same kind of attention to detail as the original roster - looking at your Fei Long, he just looks off...

6. Menus: SHUT UP, why is the outlandishly too loud be have to happen every friggin' click!?

7. Difficulty: OMG I am getting raped on Easy wth?! Stupid Xbox360 Dpad...

OK so seen like this it might seem like I hate the thing, but I guess I'll get used to these. I hope to try it online this weekend see how that rolls. Let me know your annoyances with the final product, or bash mine if you will   read

5:58 PM on 08.20.2008

PunchOut Photoedit - 2nd Attempt

You might have seen my edit from yesterday's post. Well I am at it again. This will most likely be my last edit of this pic, cause I'm really sick of looking at it. Anyways, the minor adjustments might go unnoticed to some, but a keen eye will see that the colors of the characters are not fateful to the 8 Bit originals. Little Mac now sports his famous green trunks and gloves, and I've also darken his shirt and hair a bit, so that it is more in like with a 256 color palette. As for Soda Popinski, I believe the difference is quite glaring - he's pinkish/purpley...what with all the drinking soda pop I would assume. Also his speedo/boots are appropriately red colored and his gloves a shade of orange.

That covers it really. Below is my favorite version of the 5. See attached pics for a panorama view of all 5 edits (crop the ones you so desire for wallpaper madness). Just note that in the panorama shot the upper left pic is the original (which I did not do) and the other 5 are my edits to make it more contextual.


5:03 PM on 08.19.2008

I AM 8 Bit Photoedit

I was taking a look at the Art Attack Friday picks and couldn't resist putting my own touch on the Punch-Out fight poster that was put up at the exhibit. Have a look see.

The Punch-Out Wall

I feel this way it ground this somewhat unrealistic fight in reality.   read

11:30 AM on 08.14.2008

Software Engineering Project - SB Studio Live

With the Fall school semester now looming, I come to the realization that my Bachelor's degree is coming to an end. With that in mind, the behemoth that is ECSE 495 - Software Engineering Project is at hand. This class has an equivalent in all engineering departments at McGill, though Soft. Eng. retains a unique twist that these other disciplines simply don't offer.

Rather than being forcefully teamed up with random students from your graduating year, you are free to pick your team of 2-4 member. DONE (we'll be 4). Also, instead of the course being split over 2 semesters (1 credit - prep, 2 credits - execution), this puppy's got a full 3 credit workload (prep and exec.), so that's why I am tackling it early. Lastly, instead of having a subject forced upon us, we are free to come up with something of our own to design, build and demo.

Here is where the video game stuff comes in. My intent upon graduation is to land a job with one of several gaming studios in the area (EA, Ubisoft, or Eidos are the major players) and so I figure that having as many games in my portfolio would help boost my credentials. With that in mind, I've come up with a sort of preliminary concept for a fun experience and I wanna know if it'll fly with gamers.

The plan is to use the XNA platform (with the new XBL and Vision camera support) in order to build a game focused around music. Now I know what you're thinking, this is not some clone to cash in on the Rock Band/GH craze of late. No, this would be more of an extension to that building off one of the features of GH4. In essence it's a sort of virtual recording studio, where for example, playing guitar or base buttons translates to pre-defined chords. Same goes for drums of course, and voice is a no-brainer. The vision camera comes in with a 4-player XBL mode, wherein users can see themselves as they play their own instrument (kitschy I know, but whatever). You can then of course recording audio and even hopefully output the true chords to be printed out for use by real musicians ;).

Although it might seem at first like a clone of the recording studio in GH4, from what I've seen of this feature it seems to be insanely complicated and just not catered to the casual music/game crowd.   read

11:45 AM on 07.17.2008

CabinetOS - Full Flow Demo

This demo showcases the new look and feel of the UI. I felt the original to be too cumbersome to work around. It also shows off the full flow from selecting a sorting criteria, to a sub seletion and finally selecting a game and starting it. Flow is given back to the UI when the game is exited.

This version still does not support contextual selects, that is to say selecting Capcom will not display only Capcom games, but all games regardless. Look for this feature in the next version.


Hope you guys enjoy the new look. I'm still working out a few kinks with the text alignment, and window resizes when exiting the emulator, but it's all looking good.

Cheers   read

6:51 PM on 07.14.2008

CabinetOS - Sorting Demo

Aha! The project moves ever onwards. This time I bring you a demo of how the sorting works, as well as showing you the subsets of developers, letters, years and genres that will be featured in this amazing Front End application.


Hope you enjoy, and do please comment and style/substance. I've tried to get a retro feel with the old video game fonts, and keep all simple using text. In fact all input at this point is through the keyboard, as the final intent is to only use and X-Arcade joystick (which emulates a keyboard).

Cheers!   read

8:55 AM on 07.11.2008

CabinetOS - Noise Demo

For any of you having read my previous post calling all artists for background images for an arcade cabinet front-end, here is a small demo of what I am currently doing. It's all quite hard-coded at this point though.


This video showcases the code I put together to have a white noise transition between selects. Note that in the final release, there will be 0 mouse input, as all control will done through an X-Arcade dualstick. . Please note that all backgrounds and images are subject to change with time. I left in the dtoid version for fun.

Today I should be completing work, so that in-game snapshots populate the select screen, and the correct items show up during selection of criteria (year, developer, alphabetical, genre). With more accurate sorting coming up probably next week (ie actually showing shmups when selecting this genre, instead of just all games).   read

2:15 PM on 07.08.2008

Calling All Artists - Arcade Cabinet UI

Hello D-Toid Community,

I am currently working with a colleague of mine on a front end application for selecting MAME roms for play in a custom arcade cabinet we are also building. We both have tremendous programming skill, though we are a tad lacking in the artistic department.

What I ask is if anyone is willing to lend a hand in coming up with some retro style, gaming related-ish backgrouds and button icons for our UI.

I've include for reference what I was able to mock up quickly - it's terrible I know - but the goal here is to select a sorting mode on the left, display a subset of selections on the right, and when the selection is confirmed, move on to a more sorted screen, with titles, screenshots, and descriptions.

Note that any retained designs will be fully commended (details to follow - (not $$ btw)), and the resulting product will be made available to the community at large.

Thanks guys!

[UPDATE: 2nd pic for sh*ts and giggles]   read

9:51 PM on 04.04.2008

Man this sucks

Well after have gone through the trouble of building up a fairly sizeable gaming library and setting up my whole place for glorious HD gaming over the course of 6 months, I come home last Thursday to nothing less than a broken into home, with no TV or 360 to be seen.

Now I am stuck waiting for several weeks gaming-less during a 2 week lull at school and HD-less during freakin' NHL playoffs because of some two bit punks in my shitty neighbourhood. I hate these guys with a vehement passion!

Stolen Items include:
42" Viewsonic Full HD TV
Remote control for TV, and Remote Control for Sound System (Now I have to get off my ass when I want to up or down the volume, what a bitch)
Xbox 360 Core (special Amazon deal)
Xbox 360 HD Component Cables
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
Xbox 360 Live Headset
VGA cable for HD computer setup

Guitar Hero 2, Superman Returns (got it free while working at EA), Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Fight Night Round 3, Halo 3 2 Disc Special Edition, Call of Duty 3, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Project Gotham Racing 3, Kameo, Bioshock, Elder Scrolls, Oblivion, Dead Rising

Games/Content on hard drive:
Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Yaris, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Aegis Wing, Pac-Man, Texas Hold 'Em Poker, Hexic HD, Undertow, ScrewAttack Profile Pictures

HP iPaq PDA (older QWERTY model - man QWERTY is fun to type, give it a try)
PSP Charger cable
Towels from the dryer and my bedsheet (seriously WTF?)

In all I should be getting most of this reimbursed, but it sure does suck a whole lot, specially since I had some pretty sweet save games on my machine that are now lost forever. Plus I've double checked with some Live friends, and there's some random fucker playing on Live with my account, what a douche.

Thankfully among my prized possessions, they did not take my sweet ass 5.1 surround system, or External Hard Drive.

Anyone have similar stories of robbery woes?

Mike   read

10:15 PM on 02.11.2008

Super Stick Bros. - Making Of Videos Week 1-4

Here is the making of our game developed by Seventh Border Studios as a Software Engineering project. Weeks 1-4 are linked here to the GameTrailers video posts.

WEEK 1 - Boris Varbanov, the Technical Lead on the project, gives us a quick look at what's been done so far.


WEEK 2 - Meet Michael Tavares(Me) the Project Lead. We go over the main menus and some animations.


WEEK 3[/b] - Ritvik Mudur, Audio Engineer on the project, gives us a quick look at how the game is starting to look & control, as well as a rundown of our power-ups sounds


WEEK 3 *Bloopers[/b] - Continuing with the tradition of the weekly game development updates, we bring you the bloopers reel from the Week 3 featurette.

A montage of Ritvik's saying hello, as well as bursts of laughter and a game demo gone awry. The LOLs just keep coming.


WEEK 4 - Our intern shows us the new features that have been added: Attacks, Health Bar and Lives. He also gives us a glimpse at how the control setup menu will work.


I really hope you enjoy these. Look for more weekly updates as we present our progress and the rest of the team.   read

10:10 PM on 02.11.2008

Super Stick Bros. Development

For my software engineering practice class, we are developing a fighting game in the vein of Super Smash Bros. The catch is however that all players are simple geometric shapes - Circle, Square, Dots, Line, Triangle and Stick Figure. The end product should end up looking fairly decent, sporting some basic power-ups, cool voiceovers, decent animations and smooth control through keyboard or USB controller.

I will be putting links to the making of vids here, so please stay tuned.   read

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