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Posts posted by Gryphon

  1. Okay. As has been mentioned in another thread, I've essentially been on the lookout for a new career since my writing/journalism kicked the bucket in May, 2003. Or so.

    In the past three weeks, I've had four companies interested in me.

    Let me tell you why this is extraordinary. In the nearly two years I was job searching, I sent out at least ten resumes per day and followed them all up with phone calls.

    I would research companies, mail directly to the hiring manager of the group I could work for, and tell them why I was so special. I would send out hundreds of these letters every few months.

    From all those efforts, I only ever got one or two job interviews --- and they didn't pan out.

    NOW...I'm on my third interview for a PR firm in the SF bay area. I'll be meeting with FOUR PEOPLE, including a VP, and taking an hourlong written test, on Monday. This opportunity came to me through Craig's List.

    The other three opportunities came as a result of having signed up with EVERY TEMP AGENCY IN THE SF BAY AREA. Literally. I've been working, as a temp, at a help desk just north of San Francisco for about a month now. They are talking about offering me a job. Another temp agency has arranged an interview, for a higher paying, 6-month contract position with another company in SF, and another agency has IBM interested in me as a project manager.

    So...everyone out there looking for a job...get out there and get your name in front of every recruiter you can. I...I daresay the economy may be picking up! I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel here, and haven't felt this happy/confident since September 10, 2001.

    Finally, I may get a job...and I'll finally be able to buy UC and add it to my gaming library!

  2. I have two things to say. First, that article was so poorly written I was literally marking up my screen with a red pen.

    Second, why in the hell did he get the order of the british empire? I mean, yeah, he's a pretty talented/imaginative guy, and he makes great games, but...I mean...I'm just flabbergasted. The OBE must be handed out to ANYONE that shows some glimmer of creativity or orginality.

  3. So, a bit late, but...got a chance to play this recently. Very, very unimpressed --- took it back to EB, demanded my money back.

    I read all the reviews, so I should not have been surprised to find that I was purchasing an RTS. I did not WANT an RTS --- I wanted what I saw in those screenshots in the months before its release --- a Middle Earth: Total War type of affair. But no...it's just the C&C: Generals engine with middle earth graphics, large unit count and pretty effects. It's pace is slow beyond belief --- and you can feel that it was done ON PURPOSE, else general RTS style play would have rendered it unplayable.

    The base building aspect is neat, but as Scriv mentioned, Kohan did it --- and did it better. I'm going back to Rome

  4. quote:

    Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

    What EA is doing is just frightening. Race has a point, although ten years is a big generous. EA is just 0wning the industry left, right, and center. Innovation is sure to be stifled for commercial games --- all we'll see are retreads of previously successful series and more sports games (commence vomit). The only interesting games will be released by small developers, online, for download. They will have subpar graphics and sound, but will be fun as all hell.

    I endorse this. Make games fun again!

  5. quote:

    Originally posted by Carl Burning:

    I thought we had the new Morrowind and Civilization 4 to look foward to? I hope so anyway- I dont want to wait until 2006 for those two games.

    The article linked above was by no means thorough. I don't think they were aiming for that. I think they were just mentioning all the "big stuff" that was going to happen. The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion won't be mainstream big, and Civ 4...I sincerely doubt it'll be a mainstream success. Heck, it just sounds like yet another incremental refinement in the series.

  6. Hm. So, basically, besides Quake IV, the only things PC gamers can look forward to in 2005 look to be UT2004 and Half-Life 2 mods

    To clarify: 2004 may have been a fairly "fun" year for gaming (Rome:TW, Dawn of War, HL2, etc. etc.) but I think next year will be either the attack of the clones (games using existing engines, which will probably end up being forgettable) or imaginative, free, mods, based on existing engines.

  7. quote:

    Originally posted by Soback:

    Nah, this game is waaaayyyyy too linear. Once you go through the campaign you have a $50 coaster. No replayability at all.

    Soback, there is mod support in the back --- IIRC, the tools are included with the game. Provided the game does well enough and gets the right sort of audience, some nice mods might be in our future.

    Anyway, an entertaining diversion, regardless. The Colossus' shield is quite cool, though I must say the Gorg's Siege Laser/Formation is equally neat.


  8. quote:

    Originally posted by Gol_Stoan:

    We wants it, we needs it, the precioussss.

    I will probably get mine in a day or two, anybody have any thoughts on this one? Gamespot gave it an 8.4

    I've only read reviews so far, but I'm disheartened to hear about the lack of unit diversity (two types of foot soldiers, two types of archers, and two types of cavalry for both sides --- and thats it?! (ignoring special characters of course) and the fact that units, once grouped, stay grouped. HUH?!? Who the hell thought that up?!

    Graphically it looks gorgeous. But I do believe I will find that, once I play it, it will pale in comparison to Rome: Total War. Which I'm still playing, months after release. I've conquered all of europe up to Spain, I'm on my way to england, and ASia is next.

  9. quote:

    Originally posted by Race Bannon IV:

    Massa, might be time to evaluate yout educational credentials. Do you have a four year degree? If not you should at least consider going back.

    Alas, no. There's no time for it, m'fraid --- if I'm not working a temp job, I'm looking for one. The long term goal is to get a degree of some sort, someday. But for now, I'm more concerned with keeping rent money coming in.

    My wife, too, is looking for work. But for her, life is a wee bit more difficult. She has a degree, and over a decade of experience in professional writing. She is easily director or VP level material...but this means there are just fewer available jobs for her. We've tried looking all over the country, and also in "different" job markets. For example, she could do PR, too...but regardless, she is either ignored (amazing, considering her incredible credentials) or is called in for several interviews in one place and nothing ever comes of them.



    2. Consulting is a good way to supplement your income or replace a 9-5. If you can pick up a book called " Consulting on the Side". I used it to help me with questions about taxes, marketing and account maintanance for my little business

    Oh, I know all about taxes, marketing and so on. I was a freelancer & consultant for over six years. No one does marketing better than me, for that matter. I would routinely print out hundreds of beautifully designed brochures and letters and mail them out every week, following them up with phone calls. I made an average of fifty cold calls every day. I harvested email addresses to spam people. I was damn good at it, too. Then it all went downhill and no amount of marketing helped.

    Hence my statement: save all you can. It has to see you through until you can get money streaming in. I'm hoping one of these temp jobs will turn into something. Paying insurance is killing us almost as bad as rent.

    Now, this is where I take a look at the bright side of things. Hm. Let's see. I traded in a truckload of old games to get Half-Life 2 the other day. Mmmmmmmm.

  10. WOW.

    I did the Ocean Hotel level last night. JEEBUS! I haven't been that on edge since Undying!

    And it's funny because...YOU'RE A VAMPIRE! You're not supposed to be scared of some dumbass ghosts. But jeez, the first time a vase flew out and hit me, I jumped. After that, they got annoying...but then, in the kitchen, pots flying everywhere...incredible. The atmosphere is perfect.

    When you're in that suite and the lights go out and suddenly, "GET OUT" is written on the wall, and something just PUSHES you out of the room...masterfully done. I hope the rest of this game shows this level of sophistication.

  11. I hate people. Worst of all i hate whiny people.

    Yeah, I've gotten to be this way, too. I've become very cynical and suspicious of everyone. Very introverted.

    I got so tired of looking for a job' date=' I made my own.[/quote']

    Yeah, I meant to comment on self-employment in my post above, but something took me away.

    I was self employed for many years. Did quite well, too. But after 9/11, everything went downhill. I'm lucky to get more than one article per month now, and corporate writing? One or two a year, these days.

    Bottom line: keep a VAST cash reserve in the bank. When our income started to drop, we had $60,000 in the bank. After two years at rougly $30,000 (combined income!) we're down to just under $10,000. The edge is really, uncomfortably close.

    I'm glad to hear it is working out for you anyway, Jag.

  12. Well, here I am, resurrecting this loooong dead thread. Am back searching for work, yet again. I successfully saw the project I was managing on to completion (software engineers are a PITA to deal with --- it's like herding cats --- but tend to be good fun regardless).

    Anyway, project over, time to look for something new. Have been firing off resumes left right and center, calling temp agencies, etc. It seems temp agencies are the way to go --- I have such a weird background (professional writing, project management, IT) and so little experience (in IT and project management) that no one has any idea what to do with me.

    Been at it for about six weeks now. Had a job interview last week that, after a two hour meeting, amounted to, "Hey, we don't actually have a job...we wanted to pick someone's brains to see how we should position the job. Thanks for your help, we'll be in touch." What an enormous waste of time!

  13. I have played it.

    It is goot.

    Actually, I daresay, it is 75% exactly like the original. Same options, same limitations (combat is 1v1 only, regardless of how many ships are involved) and so on. However, it has a nice graphical flare and is amusing.

    Sid Meier has created yet another entertaining game with lasting value. Just don't buy it expecting an engrossing experience. I give it two flagons.

  14. Scriv has a point here, folks.

    I started playing it last night, and its the first time in about a year I've been able to devote a whole four hours to a game, in one sitting.


    Gore? Depends what you mean. If you mean a bitmap blood splatter when you hit someone, or bloodstains on walls and such, then ya, there's gore. But if you're talking about intestines hanging around, tearing off arms, etc. etc., then no, I haven't seen any of that.

    Well, there IS a beheading at the start of the game, but it is clean and you don't get any nasty crap.

    For role playing however --- I'm impressed. The quests are great. I did a few fetch quests and didn't mind one bit, specifically because of the context. Instead of getting a magical tome for some mage (aka Baldur's Gate) I was retrieving explosives that had been stolen from my contact after he was mugged. Context is everything! Graphics are great overall, immersion is fabulous, runs relatively well, and I love the realism. Best RPG since Baldur's Gate II, IMHO.

  15. Okay, I hope we can make this into a sticky.

    There's been talk lately that the space sim genre is toast. Kaput. Gone the way of the...I was about to say the Adventure genre, but there's been plenty of action there. Honestly, the genres that has come close to death --- RPGs and Adventure, most notably --- have always been brought back from the brink by some fabulous, last minute titles.

    Well, let's see if we can't stir the waters for Space Sims. I've found quite a few sims created by small developers in my travels, and I'd like to list them here. I hope everyone else will post what they are watching/know of, also. The ideal is to compile the list into something we can use as a reference, from time to time.

    So, without further ado...



    3000AD (Of Course!)

    This one goes without saying. Derek Smart's games have been ground breaking in ways we can all appreciate.

    Cyberspace's Star Wraith series

    I've been watching this small developer for some time. His graphics can be likened to Wing Commander 3 & 4 era graphics --- blocky. However, the demos are good fun --- he even has a "Privateer" style game called "RiftSpace." Try downloading his demos --- he also released an older version of Star Wraith as freeware!

    Rampant Games' Void war

    Looks pretty slick. Haven't tried it yet myself.

    Galactic Federation

    Also one I haven't tried, but looks quite yummy. Purports to allow battles involving hundreds of ships!


    Bloody fine game. Great graphics, fly a starfighter or a capital ship, control squadrons, planetary or space fighting --- overall thumbs up.

    Microsoft's Allegiance

    Okay, its Microsoft...but it's now freeware --- heck, they even released the source code for it. It is a multiplayer online game that has some deep strategy elements. Graphics are still quite yummy. Rack up enough cash in game and you can even pilot capital ships!



    That's all I've got for now. Please list any small developer, open source, or freeware titles you can.

  16. Okay okay. Theory two!

    They have crashed on the secret island stronghold of a bald, cape-wearing megalomaniac that has invented a machine to make what you think come true --- BUT THOSE THINGS TRY TO KILL YOU!

    I am so right.

  17. quote:

    Originally posted by Race Bannon IV:

    Cinescape magazine has announced that USA has ordered 13 episodes of the 4400 which begins shooting this month in Vancouver. With the 4400, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Atlantis genre tv seems to be in good shape.

    This is very good news. I really liked the 4400 --- very good premise, somewhat interesting characters. Can't go wrong with those. Four episodes though, not nearly enough!

  18. Heh, the Kerry thing makes me laugh.

    Anyway, played my first full-fledged game the other night as...the red guys. The ones that focus on the north. Had two armies and had them attack a Gaul town from the east and west. The Gauls sallied forth to attack.

    This is when I discovered the imbecilic reinforcement AI. I do hope someone makes a mod enabling us to control the reinforcements. My reinforcements, out of 450 men, lost 180. My personal army of 400 men lost 46. 'Nuff said.

    So yeah, 3/4 of the Gauls in town attack my group, made up of 250 Hestati, 100 Javelin dudes, and my general's cavalry. They start streaming out of their gates and milling around. I get my general and his cavalry in position to flank the bastards so that, when they are embroiled in combat with my troops, I can ram 'em where the sun don't shine.

    That's when I noticed they would all try to chase my general! LOL! they were ignoring my troops completely! So I had my cavarly run off a ways just so and, when the Gauls gave pursuit, charged my entire army into their flank. A quarter of them were cut down in the first ten seconds, I think. Then I charged my cavalry back into them and they completely broke! It was fabulous. They were running towards the city gates, but I would be damned if I let them close. I charged my cavalry right in after them. They somehow held the gates open, allowing my infantry to charge through.

    All the remaining stragglers --- from my combat and that of my reinforcements --- ran into the town plaza to defend it. They just crowded around, all exhausted and tired. I just slowly marched my javelin guys, defended by infantry, and rained daeth down on 'em.

    It was a fine day to be Roman.

    Now the senate has asked me to attack a town on Corsica (the island north of Sicily). But I only have one boat and have never used it --- no idea how many of my men it can carry, and it has to be done in 10 turns!

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