8bitrocket Diatribe June 9, 2008

Wii Fit Kicks My Ass!
No Joke, I’ve been an avid runner and workout nut for years now, and I have never had a better workout than an hour of Wii Fit running, strength and yoga training! It’s fun, and the balance board trains you perfectly in core strength. I know they are a little difficult to come by, but I recommend it for anyone, even those who would poo-poo it as a toy. It certainly is not. The balance games are a blast, and I am actually trying to learn how to do the Advanced Step aerobics. As I am a talentless, rhythmless dance-o-phobe, this has been quite challenging. The only problem I have is with the BMI calculation as the sole measurement of fitness. It have a high BMI but most of it is muscular growth, with about 5-7 pounds of extra fat around the middle. I am training extra hard to lose that weight (which so far seems impossible for an old dude like me),. but the Wii Fit BMI calculation says I am overweight by 16 pounds This is not accurate for someone with a lean body mass and extra muscle weight distributed evenly. But that is my only complaint (that and the fact it puffs my Mii up to a marsh mellow man size after the fit test). It only serves as a motivator though.

Site Down For 20 Hours
We have a pretty good, reliable hosting company . We’ve used them for about 8 years now, and we have only had a handful of problems in those 8 years. It seems like those problems have increased recently though, as we were out of commission on Saturday for 20 hours. The I know the SLA is not for 99.999999% up time, and I know that we are only a small customer, but when an entire box goes down, and will be down for a number of hours, I feel like we should be notified. I don’t like being uniformed of a long outage. I was trying to show a prospective game site a new in dev game at the time and I got an email back (from the prospective customer) saying the site was down. I had no idea, and it made me look like a complete amateur. That, combined with the fact that I had just minutes before receive a glowing, self congratulatory email, from the hosting company telling me that a large investment bank had purchased them because of their great customer support, was enough to send me into a pissed off rage. The site was finally put back live Sunday morning with hardly an email response from the hosting company. Like I said, we are a small fish, but we need our water changed sometimes too. We might switch to a new host. Any suggestions? We need .net 2.0. SQL Server, and a lot of disk space and monthly band-width.

Boids Of Death
I finally had a little time (with the site down) to put some effort into my new game engine. Boids of Death is a Galaga / Spider Fighter / Demon Attack variant. I currently have a new GameLoop – which runs the application, loads, shows MochiAds, and starts the GamePlay object. The GamePlay object loads in my current sprite sheet, starts the new game timer loop and blits the background and player ship to the screen. I have just finished up the initial physics based movement for the ship. I wanted for inertia in the side to site movement so the player cannot stop on a dime when moving in a direction and suddenly go in the opposite (without a power up that is). This makes the game a little more difficult to play, but ultimately it is a little be more realistic. That’s all I have though, and as I want to start completing a game just about every month, I need to get moving.

Another thing I have been meaning to start is reforming abstracted versions of some of our tutorials for site as3gaming.com. I just have not found the time recently, but I think it will be a great resource when it is filled out with a lot of content from the community. Take a look at what Brit has up now, and contact him / sign up if you feel like you want to contribute to the Wiki.

Some Game Play Stats
I released Pumpkin Man into the wild about 4 months ago. I then followed it up, using the same engine with two more games: Mission Leprechaun and Bratney Escape the Madness. None of the 3 games have been an overwhelming hit, but through a slow build up on many small portals, plus a few home page days on AddictingGames and Mindjolt, they have amassed close to 900K plays. I wish it were more, but currently all three games together are averaging about 10K plays per day. I guess that’s pretty good for a Pac-man engine with a few extra twists. The Chinese seem to love it (based on our hosting stats).

Game of The Day

Planet Smash – Play4All.net: Decidedly awesome retro. Great music, great fun.

USA V. Argentina
After some toothless matches against England and Spain (with an Adu exception in the Spain game), the USA played a pretty decent match to draw current world #1 0-0 on Sunday. While the rest of you were watching the Celtics beat my Lakers again (or asleep after Germany – Poland Euro 08), I stayed away (in hopes of my bad luck not causing the Lakers to lose again) and watched this match. The footie haters (and soccer snobs alike) out there will YAWN at another 0-0 soccer game, oh joy, but it was a very exciting game. It looks to me, like our best formation is the following:

Altidore Donovan


Kljestan Edu Dempsey

Lewis DeMerit Califf Cherundolo


Bring that to qualifying next Sunday and beyond and we should have it sewn up pretty quickly. There will definitely be people who say we should go with Gooch and Carlos as the central pair, but I like what I see in Demerit and surprisingly Califf. I am the Beasley enthusiast, but I saw much more from Sasha in 20 minutes than Beasley in the last 3 games. Given, he is just back from injury, but to qualify, we need to go with those who can perform NOW. Howard had a Kasey Keller night, but the USA was unlucky not to pull out a win last night. Landon was great as always, and proved to be the difference maker from the last two games. I am not one of the Landycakes hating idiots. Landon is a great player who is just now coming into his own. In any case, this isn’t a soccer blog…

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