Why I’m Not Playing GTAIV

Nat over at the Buttonmashing blog just put up a post titled “Why I’m Not Playing GTAIV“. (Aside: Why am I not playing GTAIV? Well, it doesn’t fucking work.)

I think it is odd to have to justify to anyone why they wouldn’t want to play an acclaimed game. Did you all need a reason not to see There Will Be Blood or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly?

I think Nat hits the nail on the head when he suggests that what Rockstar does is juvenile at best and repugnant at worst. Seeing as I (obviously) haven’t played through GTAIV, I can’t comment if this game offers anything different from its predecessors in terms of being nihilistic.

I have to play it because I am a designer and I need to play as much as I can to see what our competitors are doing and what our consumers want. I’m not allowed to avoid it.

But isn’t it a shame that we take a team of hundreds, the best voice actors, animators, technologists, et cetera in the business and when we smash them all together we get something that a savvy, smart, respectable consumer like Nat wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?

GTA4 Doesn’t Work

Breaking news!

I bought Grand Theft Auto 4 this morning on the way to work excited about the promise from the incredibly superlative reviews. I get it home and play for about a half hour before the game froze up. No biggie. Games have frozen before. I reboot and play for another ten minutes and the game freezes while on the pause menu.

Now, a little miffed over the situation, I took to the Internet to see what was going on. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with the problem. Various other outlets seemed to offer two possible solutions:

1. Clear the game data and start again.

This I tried. I rebooted the console and the game froze during the second cutscene.

2. Clear the X360 cache (From the System blade on 360, select Memory and then your Xbox’s hard drive and then hit Y for the advanced settings. Then enter the magical combination of X, X, LB, RB, X, X and choose to perform maintenance.) The reason for this is that the problem is purported to be an overflow of the system’s cache. How this was untested on all configurations of hardware is unknown, seeing as this problem supposedly occurs on both platforms.

This I also tried and the game crashed in the same spot.

Apparently, Rockstar is aware of the solution and ‘feels terrible‘, which means a fuck of a lot to me. Let’s say this only happens to 1% of players and you shipped four million units at launch. That’s a medium-sized football stadium full of gamers who can’t get to the first mission.

No doubt they are working on a fix up there as we speak, but it has to get certified by MS before it can be pushed. So how long will we have to wait? Is anyone else out there reading my blog experiencing this? This is the kind of bug you need to find during certification.

Leisurely Stroll

This is too long to Twitter so it is going here. I went to the West Oange Trail today to bike for the first time this year and found they extended the trail out from the start at Killarney to the west.

Having never been on this trail (and having been a big huge fan of the West Orange Trail) I decided I’d try it out. It was to my surprise that I spent the first mile or so going downhill. This should be surprising to anyone who has been to Central Florida seeing as one can probably stand on their tiptoes from Orlando and see Miami. I digress. Going downhill is nice, but it has an ugly side – you eventually have to go uphill. I went to the end of the world…

…and turned back and started the ascent. Having not biked in seven months or so took its toll. I was so gassed by time I got back to my start point (breaks are for the weak, I tried to keep cadence as long as I could) that I decided I’d curtail my trip and only go to WInter Garden and back on the West Orange Trail. This decision was assisted by the fact that my pedal strap broke AND that since I was wearing regular bike shorts, I didn’t bring my iPod to distract me (yes, I know listening to music is dangerous and illegal). So I did that and came back.

Total miles: 14.5. Total time: 72 minutes. Extremely weak if I say so myself and I post this to shame myself into getting back into better riding shape. I’ve been using the bikes at the gym when I go, but it doesn’t really compare to having to deal with real world conditions. Gross.

I Hope It’s Not All Theory

Via Tara Teich‘s twitter stream comes a book I had to add to my Wish List:

It’s 112 pages long.

I swear, I can’t go one mile from my house without damn huge ships all getting up in my grill. It’s like, yeah, I know, it’s one of the wonders of humanity that we can build such heavy floating objects and use them for our transport and military needs, but they need to gain some social awareness and learn to call ahead or something.

People Get Paid For This

Along with being a game designer, I’m really interested in other realms of design particularly graphic design*: packaging, advertisements and even logos. That’s why I get such a big kick out of this logo design some firm got paid a truckload of money to design, which probably too all of ten minutes to throw together with hilarious, if juvenile results. Related: London olympics logo. Are Brits sexually repressed or something?

*But I am too lazy to make my site look well-designed.

Also: My site has a favicon now. It’s my take on the SkiFree Yeti, SkiFree being one of the best games of all time for its audience.