Dresden RPG

Today I got to play the Dresden Files RPG for the first time today. The system is really interesting in that it emphasizes narrative over mechanics. The same people who made this game also made the Fate Core RPG system. If you have not heard of this system before, I highly suggest you check it out. Our rag-tag group consists of an upper class supernatural beast hunter from South Africa, an initiate of the magical arts, a werewolf punk, and a wizard hobo on the run from the White Council. The setting takes place in Austin TX. The current issue is that not only has Austin become popular with the general public over the last few years, but the supernatural find it very appealing as well. So far the story has taken us to a coffee shop with an unsuccessful drive-by shooting, a fraternity house with a seemingly friendly vampire, and a park with bad magical juju and a very fast supernatural creature. This is going to be a fun game.

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Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling

Good stuff – Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling.

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Writing Exercise

Characters:

  • The gambler tilted his hat, and gave a wry smile just before he rolled the dice.
  • The tribesmen were a primitive people, but I have never seen anyone learn our technology as fast as them, even when compared to our own children.
  • The man spoke in a language no ears on planet earth have heard, since he was not in his own time.
  • Madame Amorie succeeded in pilfering the key from the unaware consul.
  • I have never seen a man with crazy hair and even crazier eyes run as fast or as naked; it cannot be unseen.

Items:

  • The crystal glowed a brilliant blue that lit the cavern in an eerie light.
  • The rock from the cliff face broke way and fell toward the ocean, eventually splashing out of sight.
  • The banquet was full of food and life and was big enough to be remembered for generations.
  • The report said that the submarine sank due to an explosion, but there was no indication that actually happened upon inspecting the sub itself.
  • The more mysterious something is, the more the audience wants to know about it.

If anyone knows of any other writing exercises please leave a comment!

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Rosetta Code

I stumbled upon this site not too long ago. Not since stack overflow have I seen such a comprehensive site for programmers. I present you Rosetta Code.

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Writing Exercise

I came across this post not too long ago talking about a writing exercise: http://ryanmdanks.com/?p=468

Instead of 10 sentences for characters, and 10 sentences for items, I am going to scale it back to 5 sentences each. I may forego the paragraphs altogether. The idea is to do this daily, but I am taking this one post at a time.

Characters:

  • The commander’s grim face with a scar that runs through his right eye lets you know that he has seen some shit in his day.
  • Her lips pouted, and her eyes pleaded; she was a sight for sore eyes, but she wanted something, something big.
  • The figure was barely perceptible in the shadows with the eyes glowing, betraying their position in the darkness.
  • He pulled the rope with all his strength, his muscles protesting, but he was not going to let go.
  • He… it made a sound so guttural, so primal, I knew then it wasn’t human.

Items:

  • The liquid was turbulent within the vial, and glowed with the most iridescent colors.
  • The blade was stronger than any other steel, sharper than any razor, and our enemy has it in his hilt.
  • 20 years ago, only a few fortunate souls were introduced to the idea of the internet, now it is one of the biggest avenues for a business to do business.
  • You would be surprised how much sentiment a heart shaped PCB with some blinking lights would bring to someone.
  • The chest could potentially be the most mysterious thing in any role playing game since it could hold treasure, trash, or be a monster itself.
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Ubisoft DRM, among others

There has been a lot of talk going on recently about Ubisoft’s new DRM for Assassin’s Creed 2 for the PC. Some people hate it, and a lot of people know little about it. I’m glad some light is being shed since one of the worst things you can do on a computer is install software, be it a game or otherwise, and it does something in the background that you don’t know about which could be a security risk. The main issues that a lot of people are having with this is that in order to play a game, you have to have an internet connection. If your internet connection goes down while playing the game, you get booted off the game. No warning, no saving the game. If you do have a solid internet connection, but the Ubisoft servers are down for maintenance, you cannot play the game.

Ubisoft has recently released their side of the story. The most interesting bit about this is that Ubisoft alludes to possibly patching out DRM for games when servers go offline permanently. The problem is that there is no guarantee of that. Some game companies shut down their servers for games on a regular basis, although you can at least still play the offline portions of the game.

As a consumer and a software developer, I find myself looking at both sides of the debate. Is DRM necessary for PC games? Maybe it is, but there are other developers out there who would ultimately beg to differ. There are other services that do a much better job, in terms of what the user can do, than what Ubisoft is proposing. Ubisoft even admitted themselves that it’s all DRM’s fate to be hacked. If Ubisoft is so scared of the PC market that they have to shoe-horn something like this in their games, why do they develop for the PC in the first place?

I understand that developers want to protect their intellectual property; they have every right to do so. What I don’t understand is why would anyone go to such lengths, at the expense of losing trust to your consumers, to protect it.

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Facebook tip

If you are tired of Facebook’s interface, I would like to point out Facebook lite. It is a slimmer version of Facebook that I think is much better than the current look

Head on over to http://lite.facebook.com to check it out.

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