Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Red Wind

“Those hot dry winds that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen.”

—Raymond Chandler, "Red Wind"

Its some unsettling days in LA this week, the Santa Ana winds are blowing and its hot and dry as hell. Theres a number of fires raging in Southern California affecting a lot of my Sony colleagues especially in San Diego. Joel Taubel, an AP on the God of War team got a nasty surprise on Sunday waking up to the smell of smoke. He has some really ominous shots of the sky ... it looks like a Hades level.

I am spending my evening looking nervously at the hillside next to my house. This photo below was taken by my gf about 3 months ago when there was a minor brush fire on it. The helicopter was on the scene in 15 mins and put it out. Theres no way we would be that lucky if it happened today. Heres hoping the Santa Ana winds go away tomorrow.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Alive and Kicking

If you check on the left of this blog to the products section there are a whole load of demos from the late 80's and early 90's that were the first real products I worked on. Some of these were done while I was at school ... all of them were done before I got a 'real' job. Writing a demo took an stupidly large amount of time. Some of them were multi screen with menus linking them all together. They went through a bug checking process, feedback from friends in the community .. the whole deal. They were major undertakings and way better experience to get me ready for the process of finishing making a video-game than University.

Many of the people who were in the scene at that time are now making a good career out of writing video games. I know of quite a few working at companies like EA, Microsoft, Sony etc. In fact one of the other guys from my demo crew is now a Technical Director at EA. I even was lucky enough to hire someone else from the french demo scene at Sony. He was one of the programmers on God of War 2.

I hadn't really paid a lot of attention to todays demo scene for many years. But recently I saw a demo called 'Debris' by Farbrausch ..... holy crap its good. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that in the same way as the games being made now are immeasurably more complex than 15+ years ago, so are the demos. But still ... holy crap. Heres the YouTube link, but if you get a chance download it and run it on a PC, its way more impressive running on a PC.

They have a web page as well . I don't even want to think how much time some of this stuff takes them to put together, its really very slick, great music etc.

Heres another, I think the latest.

Amazing stuff, I sometimes wish I could go back to doing this but I don't know how I would keep myself in Sushi and Ollie in Diapers.