Daily Archives: May 10, 2007

Me = Geek

Working where I am working, on what I am working on, has clearly done something odd to my wiring. Specifically, over the past two weeks I’ve deliberately been researching the world of casual gaming, which has in turn led me to reading and talking about the subject to people. I’ve been making private posts to myself, which I will now collect here for your amusement.

May 4:

9:47: I can’t believe I’m actually contemplating buying a DS just so I can mess about with this game and others (read: things that make me think, involve words or self-exploration) in development when they’re released. I’m hoping it’s a positive trend and I would be able to play others in the future. I’ll try to find one secondhand. It probably qualifies as a tax write-off as job-related equipment too, now that I think of it. Hmm.

9:49: Good lord — you can read ebooks on a DS, watch movies with the right adaptors — wow. Not quite as use-specific as I thought. More of a chance I’d use it.

May 6:

12:47: Blade lent me his DS Lite to mess around with. This is very useable indeed.

8:22: Did my research on eBay, bid on a used original DS that has a broken hinge but otherwise works perfectly. Ended up winning it, too. Including shipping, I’m paying about forty dollars for it. Ha. Even if I never use it after playing it a few times over the summer, that’s no more expensive than two CDs, or three and a half trips to the movies.

Good gods — I own a handheld gaming system. Who am I, and where did the real me go? This is completely unlike me. I blame the workplace.

May 7:

13:27: I told Scott as we walked back from lunch that I bought a secondhand DS yesterday. He stepped sideways in surprise and beamed, then put his arm around me and said, “That’s awesome! Congratulations! Now I can bring mine and we can play together at lunch!” It was very cute, and really made me feel like a kid again.

May 9:

There is a package for me at the post office!

May 10:

3:15: Scott and I have been IMing back and forth about music games for the DS. There’s a NA version of M-06 coming out next month, Jam Sessions, which is not a exactly game but more of a music work package to recognise chords and mess about with composition, and I’ll definitely be picking that one up. There are more, too. And he’s pointed me towards review sites and othe nifty places. I am being enabled.

8:15: Got home and the package was waiting for me on the kitchen table. I opened it and pulled my very own DS out. It’s blue. It is mine. It was even all charged up. I slipped in one of the games Blade lent me, and voila, it’s functional. Liam finds it fascinating, and figured out immediately how to move my stylus hand to make the characters walk around.

Here is my new toy:

My new toy, May 11 2007

I can’t remember the last thing I bought that was a toy and intended to be such, something to just mess about with for entertainment.

Also, in case it hasn’t been clear, I’m not a gamer. Not video games, anyhow; RPGs were my game of choice, and I slipped out of doing that regularly nigh on sixish years ago now, with only the occasional half-hearted foray back once in a while. Looks like that’s changing. I’ll never be a hardcore gamer, but I’m interested in the phenomenon of casual games based on music and language, and there’s a growing market of those out there aimed at people exactly like me. This is a trend I’m happy to support.

Scratch Pad May 10


It is probably a bad thing that I want to begin my day with a vanilla soda.


I ended up not going to orchestra last night; too much work to do. I settled down in bed with my laptop after dinner and fell asleep around 8:30. Oops. Slept all the way till 6:15ish, too. That’s about twice the amount of sleep I’ve been getting a night.


t! just showed up and asked me what the name of the dictionary is, as it has to go into the script somewhere.

A: Joyce. Let’s call it Joyce.
t!: No, that sounds too much like joy, of which there is none regarding this dictionary.
A: Wait — Hector, then. Yes, let’s call it Hector.
t!: Hector; yes, Hector. Doleful doleful, and all that.


Over the past couple of days ADZO and Sandman7 have really helped me work through an issue I was having difficulty dealing with. Thanks, guys. I appreciate your thoughtful input. As a result, something vaguely resembling sanity has been restored. Or at least equilibrium in the associated area.


For the third day in a row we are having merrily out-of-season weather. Lots of shorts and sandals around. I myself wore sandals yesterday, and am wearing a different pair today. Today I have also worn my first summer skirt of the season, and a t-shirt. Yesterday was a short-sleeved knit top with jeans, but today it is officially summer at my desk. Except when I went down to get a tea and another immensely delicious shortbreadbrowniesquarething, I discovered that not having a pocket for my key card is a drawback.


I thought my job was pretty much over. Was I ever wrong. Now I’ve sorted my dbase by definition, and there are SO MANY DOUBLES. A script was supposed to catch these a few days ago, but I was only told about a couple of them. There are so many more. Woe! This is going to take longer than I expected. Good thing I’m coming in on Monday anyhow.


Did I mention my contract was indeed officially extended last night? By a week, because of the placeholder voice work I’m doing in the studio next week. Heh.


Scott and I have been talking back and forth about the different music-based games for the DS. I want someone to develop a Cello Hero game. Or maybe we could hack the upcoming Jam Sessions and make it sound like a cello.


I wish someone would make a Music Minus One CD for Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to King Arthur. It’s really phenomenal. Hans is so very fond of a solo cello line, either exposed or playing in the ensemble, possibly because he has such an awesome cellist in Martin Tillman. (See [well, hear, really] such examples as PoC 2 [and 1 by extension, as he had so much of a hand in Badelt’s score], King Arthur, The Da Vinci Code, and MI2. Tillman and Zimmer are the reason why I ordered the cello music to PoC2 a few months ago: it’s all for the opening track. Seriously — much is the cello love for Hans and Martin for that track alone. And it’s finally shipped to me! It should be arriving tomorrow!


Sigh. Vanilla soda. Even at room temperature, you are heavenly.


It occurs to me that my cello would sound awesome in this room. High ceilings, hardwood floors, not a lot of thick things to catch and muffle the sound… (See what happens when I listen to Hans Zimmer and think about music games at the same time? My worlds collide.)


Just checked; there’s King Arthur sheet music available, but it’s for solo piano. I could arrange it, of course. Because I really don’t get enough of that in band already, you know. Although it would be worth it just for a few of the themes. And hey, band’s on hiatus for half a year; I’m going to need something to keep me busy after the July 1 chamber orchestra concert…


Erk. t! just gave his opinion on the auditionees for one of the voices to be recorded for this project, and told the sound guy to use me instead.

Scratch Pad May 9


So: the pressure is now off, unless something drastic happens. I’ve got a good version of the dictionary without US/UK spelling issues (as far as possible in the game words), questionable game words removed and the same in definitions replaced; all levels balanced. Now it’s tweaking, looking at words to see if I’m happy with the progression, double and triple-checking everything. I sent both last night’s version (the one currently loaded) and ths morning’s version (all known errors fixed) to our ESRB rep this morning; I’m waiting for a reply concerning changes or issues, but that may take a while.


It feels odd to be kind of making work for myself after focusing so hard for the past couple of weeks.


Five minutes ago they handed me a DS and asked me to play, and I found a bug for them. Heh. (Or maybe I just confirmed it. Whichever — go me.)


I’ve been staring at -ise and -ize suffixes for so long that I can no longer tell what’s right and what isn’t — they all look wrong to me.


I spent my lunch hour browsing in the new Welch’s second-hand bookstore location, and came out with an armful of books. Then I bought a vanilla soda and half a dozen bagels. I’m going to miss this area. I am definitely going to make an effort to come out here at least once a month for lunch with the gang.


Yup. I’m going to miss this. I won’t miss the loss of two and a half hours a day to commuting, though, and I’m looking forward to not missing Liam so much. And I miss working on my own stuff, too. I’ve been sitting in bed at night with my laptop reading through the Vivaldi story and Swan Sister on my breaks, and my interest in them is slowly being revived again. I just wish there were more places around where I live where I could go sit and drink tea and write, in order to get myself out of the house.


Stewart’s Cream Soda is SO GOOD. It is positively addictive. I’m glad HRH picked this instead of the lime soda by accident for me two weeks ago, because it has allowed me to discover the wonderfulness of it. I usually find cream soda much too sweet, but this is very smooth. And did I mention addictive? This one is gone much too soon. (Checking the clock I see that it’s been forty-five minutes since I started it, but it feels sooner because now I have no vanilla soda, and I am lonely…)


They’re progammed a sound into the game that’s a kitten’s meow, and it’s amusing but distracting. I think of Stella every time I hear it, or as HRH has dubbed her, “Darroch’s little monster”.


There is a world of difference between misspelling something and mistyping it. Just thought I’d share that. (So I have lousy typing ability. I can’t be perfect.)


Just came back from a brief ice cream break with Meallanmouse. I had a small cup of chocolate, but I should have had a small cup of soft-serve. We also picked up vanilla soda, from a different company. Not As Good. Still, it is vanilla soda.


Heh — they’ve just asked me to do a sound test. They want to record fifty-odd definitions. Naturally this occurs forty-five minutes after I have eaten ice cream, so I am all gunked up.


Not happening today anyway; no time in the studio. They’ve also asked me to be the on-site consultant regarding the pronunciation of the competition words at the Friday recording session, as t! is away that day.


Working on this contract has also really sharpened my desire to read again, particularly theological and spiritual texts. It’s like the analytical and critical part of my brain was kicked back into life.


Looks like this sound test will happen Monday — so voila, my contract has been somewhat extended, even if only by one day. This has to be officially confirmed, of course, but it seems logical to me.