PAX 2012 Gallery

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“As an industry, we have been undersold this event”- Hideo Kojima

To be honest, I almost didn’t make it this year. There were projects that need finishing at a job that gave me real money. My 3-day badge would have made triple the purchase price on eBay. My wife wasn’t going with me, because there was no way I was going to make her stand in line like that while she was 6 months pregnant. Still, had been a long, hard, and almost getaway free summer, and my friends had a hotel room for me to crash in, so off I went.

PAX is the biggest convention Seattle has ever seen, and it is the ultimate test of fandom resolve. Pre-release Triple-A games are everywhere but you could stand in line up to six hours to try them out. Every venue, restaurant, and parking line looks like the crowd bulldozer scene from Soylent Green. After having to park 6 stories in the air, I was done. The only panel I went to was the Extra Credits community event (Which was a blast!), and I only lined up for about 4 demos. It turns out that this is the way to go at a place like PAX. It’s PAX, people! There is always something new to see and do. Even if you’re stuck in a corner people-watching, it’s still a better show than what you can see at home. There’s always a Cosplay group, some free swag, or even invitations to special developer parties just floating around the convention hall. Go with the flow, and you shall find what you seek. You can see more pics of the convention after the jump.

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Raingeek Rant: My “What am I doing?” Moment

So it’s 10 at night. I’ve just come off a day of cleaning, running errands, unpacking a baby crib and trying to get a hold of my family for a coming reunion. Work promises to be “interesting” tomorrow. But I’ve got my passion. I’ve got my community. I’ve got Raingeek. It’s become harder and harder to keep the site up. Your first full-time job in 3 years will do that to you. For the first time in weeks I’ve been able to sit down and get down my requisite 3 posts a day for Monday Morning. I looked through my Google alerts, and what’s my lead story? The guy who played Ryu in that crappy 1994 Jean Claude Van Damme Street Fighter Movie is going to be a guest star on the CW’s Arrow series.

That was it. My “What am I doing?” Moment.The network doesn’t even have enough faith in the series to call it The Green Arrow. They don’t want The Green Arrow. They want Smallville from season 6. Yet still, I had my finger on the bookmarklet that would make it a post that no one would read, simply because it was a TV series with a slight genre bent filming in Vancouver.

Maybe I started this site too late. Never mind the pressures of impending fatherhood, the Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest are going through some dark times right now. Our film productions are getting poached by Ontario. Microsoft, the former Monopoly bad boys, are quickly being sidelined by an impending joke of an operating system. And of course, Video Game companies can’t leave Vancouver fast enough. If this was 7 years ago, I could be reposting other people’s articles about Battlestar Galactica, the Xbox 360, and 3 different Stargate TV series!

But does the world really need something like that? There are perl scripts that can take everyone’s good news and perseverate over it. I started Raingeek because it was something I wanted to exist. I care about the local fan community in BC and Washington. This is my home and these are the people I care about. However, no matter what I do, it has to be relevant. It has to matter. I won’t be ending this blog, but I am putting a stop to the reposts. I have original content that I haven’t even posted because I wanted to maintain my schedule with other people’s work. Stuff like a Q & A with Michael Scott, author of the Nicholas Flamel series, or a pictorial of the ceiling display of Toy Traders, which is literally a Nerd Sistine Chapel. It’ll be content like this that will now make up the backbone of Raingeek. To paraphrase the philosopher, I won’t always post, but when I do, it’ll be more interviews, more local photos and will show you what it means to be a true Raingeek.

Tokyo To Experience Seven Days of Fire in Live-action Nausicaa short

The destruction wrought of Tokyo by this God Warrior from Miyazaki’s “Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind” is nothing compared to the shockwave emanating from the collision of talent going on in this live action short. Evangelion Director Hideaki Anno will be producing an 8 minute featurette based on Hayao Miyazaki’s Manga and Anime epic from the early 80’s. Sometimes I forget we have the technology to put something like Nausicaa on film. Apparently this scene is a mixture of CG and good old Godzilla-style “Suit-mation”. Imagine a 2-hour film like this!

Souce: Topless Robot

Onward and Upward

I won’t lie folks, it’s been a week. We’ve been taken from the dizzying pinnacle that is the San Diego Comic-con, to a new Chris Nolan Batman movie, to the tragedy in Colorado. I’ll spare you the details about the last part. Turn on the TV to any station and you’ll find plenty.

I only wish the “senseless” part of the whole ordeal was just a cliche. There’s no sense at all in this. We’re a pattern seeking species, and we want so bad to find one now. Unfortunately, we’re not going to find any easy answers. Not in violent video games or movies, and certainly not in gun control laws or conceal and carry permits. We might come up with some debate about mental health, but we’re so far off from anything concrete that we might as well forget that this was even carried out by a person.

So what are we left with? We are left with a choice. How is the tragedy going to affect us? What do we want to do now? Are we going to ban midnight premieres and cosplay at movie theaters? Are we going to set up TSA-like security checkpoints at every multiplex?

Or are we going to let this be a call to our better selves?

For first time, geeks of all stripes are being forced to choose between their hobbies and their safety. I say we reject such a choice. First of all, we see this movie. We see it with friends we care about, and come away with the memories you’re supposed to get from a 3-hour Batman movie made with the care and intelligence that it deserves. Next, we live up to the values we see in Batman or any other superhero. We use our limited time on Earth to make things better for people and we do it with our intelligence, creativity, and hard work. We get started on that programming or costuming project that we’ve been putting off.  We show the world that having a passion in your life makes it worth living. An even brighter future awaits beyond these dark times, but we must choose to see it for ourselves.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson Vows to Keep Vancouver Geeky

The Nerd Lobby of BC has scored its first victory today as Mayor Gregor Robertson filed a motion to promote the plight of Technology and New Media companies to the provincial government. The motion recognizes the nearly 20% difference in provincial tax credits between Ontario and BC (37% tax cut vs 17%). It’s unclear whether this will lead to any action on the part of the legislature, especially since the City and the Province are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Still, the road back to #1 has to start somewhere, and for now it starts at the Mayor’s office.

Source: Mayor of Vancouver

J-Fest Returns This Weekend

Anime Evolution is resurrecting J-fest, the Vancouver anime get-together from the Dark Days of VHS this Saturday at Douglas College. Admission is $10, and children 6 and under are free with a paying adult. There will be Cosplay an Artist’s Alley, and of course, lots of Anime! The weather couldn’t be better, so head down already!

Penny Arcade Returns to Crowdsourcing.

Once upon a time, Penny Arcade was not the sprawling media empire you see before you. It used to be just two unemployed guys who relied on the fan community to donate their money to keep them from working at a PetCo or some other God-forsaken place. While advertisers have taken the place of donations, Gabe and Tycho feel that the time is nigh for a return to form.

Penny Arcade has started a Kickstarter to go ad-free for a year. The 250k minimum will remove the leaderboard ad from the site. $1 million will remove the scourge of advertising from the site completely for one year. This move is highly experimental, and full versions of the comic in the RSS feed are probably the beginning. I still want to see a video of Gabe shouting donors’ names as he chases ducks, though.

Source:Penny Arcade

Rockstar Vancouver, The Development Team Behind Max Payne 3, Closes Down | RipTen Videogame Blog

Max payne 3Hot on the heels of Radical Entertainment’s closure, Rockstar Vancouver has now closed its doors and will be moving any and all operations to Toronto. The 35-person studio started life as Barking Dog Studios. They were responsible for such classics as Global Operations and Homeworld: Cataclysm (When are we seeing an HD version of that game? Honestly.) Their last game, Max Payne 3, sold over 3 million copies in its first week, but even that was not enough to keep the studio’s doors open. Vancouver needs to drop the AAA branch plant mentality pretty damn quick. We’re running out of studios to close and game designers to lay off.

Source: RipTen Videogame Blog

Valve Introduces Steam Greenlight

Greenligh SOON

So many video game projects are started through Crowdsourcing. Kickstarter and IndieGogo have been a godsend to many (increasingly numerous) unemployed game creators.  Unfortunately, not much oversight exists for these websites, and there is little to stop fund recipients from pocketing the donations and walking away.

So Valve says to itself, we’ve got money, the games will be released through OUR platform, why don’t we let our community choose which games get released? This August, Valve will be releasing Steam Greenlight, a platform where game developers can submit their concepts and have them voted on by the Steam community. The winning projects will be distributed on the Steam Store, at which time the burgeoning community that the developers have built will buy the game with real shiny money! It’s democratic, it’s meritocratic, and it’s free for gamers!


Source: Steam Community

Dean Devlin hints at a new Stargate Movie

Dean Devlin recently told the Hollywood Reported that he would be interested in making another Stargate movie, as well as a sequel to Independence Day. He has been working with his partner Roland Emmerich for the first time in 11 years,  and is psyched to re-ignite the franchise.

Stargate has always had this empty hole,” he confessed. “When we made the first one, we always intended on doing part two and three, and we were prevented for years. And our hope is that we can get another chance at Stargate and tell the entire story we wanted to tell.”

Does this mean he’ll completely reboot the story of Stargate? After all the lore that was produced through the SG-1 TV series and its sequels, will fans be willing to accept his return to the franchise?

Source: Hollywood Reporter