For Whom the Bell Tolls

Yesterday, Zombieland was released on Blu-Ray and DVD.  It was probably one of my favorite movies of 2009.  I mean, I paid to see it twice in the theater.  If you didn’t see it and you can handle a little zombie gore with a dash of comedy, then I highly recommend it.  If you haven’t seen it, or if you don’t plan to, then you missed out on one of the best opening sequences since the Dawn of the Dead remake used Johnny Cash’s “When the Man Comes Around”.

To help you out, here it is.  Be sure to switch it to 720p to give it a little more clarity, and turn off annotations to keep the viewing pure.  It’s not as good as seeing it on the big screen, but it’s still pretty damn good.  Enjoy…

No More Kings

I was first introduced to the band No More Kings because of a funny video for a song of theirs.  The song was “Sweep The Leg” and the video is…

The infectious groove of that song immediately had me hooked.  Shortly after discovering the song, I found out the band was coming through Atlanta and playing a gig down at Smith’s Olde Bar.  We went, and there I heard more of Pete Mitchell’s music.  I bought the CD and it has remained a staple of my changer.

Not too long ago, No More Kings put out a second album, which I pre-ordered and it has joined the first in remaining a staple of my CD changer.  One of the best parts of Pete and company’s style is that while many of their songs are littered with and about pop culture (or specifically 80’s pop culture) like the song in the video above they never really come out and beat you over the head with it.  The song is called “Sweep The Leg” and not “The Karate Kid song”.  For another example, take the following lyrics:

there’s no reason to look under the hood
a slight malfunction, doesn’t mean i’m no good
i won’t be shut down, i’m not ready to die
i said that i was sorry, but robots don’t cry

hold on
the very thought of losing out now is making me tremble
hold on
i am alive, i am alive, i am alive
hold on
please just gimme a chance now, no disassemble
hold on
i am alive, i am alive

there’s no reason to take me apart
extension cords and circuit boards don’t mean there’s no heart
i can tell somehow you relate
we’re indifferent to the difference between program and fate

now i know i’m alive
can’t you see i’m alive

i finally know i’m alive
i wanna show i’ve arrived
i wanna stay up all night
set all circuits to jive
i wanna prove i’m alive
do so much more than survive
i’m gonna reach for the sky
and give the world a hi-five
i wanna shout it out, i know what life is about
i wanna laugh wanna scream wanna cry out loud

You might need to read through it a couple of times if it doesn’t jump out at you, but this song is called “Robots Don’t Cry” and is about Johnny 5, the star of the film Short Circuit.  Many of their songs are like this, although they also do a number of fully original tunes that are not about movies and TV shows.

One cut off the second album called “Obey The Groove” is available for free from the band’s website. And you can go to Amazon and listen to samples of everything on both albums, No More Kings and And The Flying Boombox.  I highly recommend checking them out, but then, I’m a fan.  No More Kings has made my list of must buys.


A World as big as the World

One of the things I’ve always dreamed of in an MMO was playing in a truly enormous world.  For example, if I were to play (or make) an MMO for a zombie apocalypse setting, I would want the world to be so large that even if I had millions of players, it could be as sparsely populated as you might expect a horror themed zombie game to be.  Of course, players could choose to cluster, for safety and companionship, but the possibility to walk for miles and miles and find no one else needs to exist.

The problem is that taking the time to build that world would be too much.  And that is why this has me very excited.

The CityEngine by the people over at Procedural just floors me.  Lots of people will tell you that hand crafted games will always be better than a procedurally generated one, and in one aspect they are right.  If your goal as a game maker is to tell a story, a narrative, like a Halo game, or Dead Rising, or any other traditional PC or console game, then yes, hand crafted content is the way to go.  Your story demands it.  But in an MMO or other Virtual World type game, where the players and their interactions are the real story, and your setting and lore are just a sandbox for them to play in, procedurally generated content done well is, in my opinion, the far better choice.

Thanks to Critical Distance for the link.


I’ve always been interested in low-budget film making.  When I wear my writer’s hat, many of the ideas I scrawl on paper are ones that could probably be done admirably for a couple dozen thousand dollars or more… but with the help of Facebook and other volunteer avenues, one man has made a zombie film, Colin, for the low low low budget of just $70.  Yes, that’s seventy dollars.

Apparently it is wowing people at Cannes, so I really want to see it at some point… in the meantime, take a look at these clips:

The movie looks rough, and “shakey camera”â„¢ doesn’t have many fans, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

Zombie Apocalypse

Coming soon to the Xbox 360 (and PS3), Konami has made a zombie killin’ game called Zombie Apocalypse.  Here are a couple of game play videos.

Should be a fun little time waster…

Yar’s Revenge

Today is the Superbowl, which in recent years (about as long as I can remember) is little more than a program about advertising that gets repeatedly interrupted by a football game, and given that I present you with a comparison of advertisements.

This is why I game…

… this is why I hang my head in shame…