blog / 2007

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12 / 13 / 07 [15:36] - Waiting for Christmas

The last two weeks have gone by really fast.

I have been busy with work and haven't spent as much time as I would have liked working on my robot game. I have, however, managed to update a few sections of the site. I fixed a lot of fomatting errors, so the site should appear more consistent. There is also some new content to be found.

I posted the first entry in my opinion section. Unfortunately I didn't finish the entry, but it gives you an idea of the types of things I plan on posting.

Also my main page here is getting too long and I will soon look for a way to archieve these pages. I was going to do it monthly... but now I'm thinking yearly. But more than likely it will be dependent on the amount of posts. This is the 10th post, and its feeling kinda crowded.

I added a new video to the random section.




11 / 27 / 07 [11:49] - Just a few items

There are a couple of links I want to post. One is for Ulillillia City and the other is a download link to Das Roboss. Someone emailed me to complain there was no Das Roboss link on I apologize, I am in the process of rebuilding the site and probably will be for some time. So here are the links :

Visit Ulillillia City


Download Das Roboss

The last thing I wanted to mention was that I've started a new Game Maker project. There was actually an entire game between now and my last post. But anyway, the new one is a story based game, which is a new thing for me. I'm not going into many details now, as hopefully I'll have a lot more to post later. But in this game you play as a Robot.

Doesn't it look like fun?

You may notice some font and forma

tting errors on the site. They were not apparent on the PC I used to create the site but have since come to my attention. Rest assured that I am aware of them and will be working to fix them when I find the time.



9 / 30 / 07 [15:53] - John Romero's Bitch

I was going through my stack of old PC games this weekend and came across Daikatana. There has been a lot written about this game and it holds a special place in video game history. Wikipedia says "The game is known as one of the major commercial failures of the computer game industry."

Recipe for failure : Video games should not be tied to industry egos.

A few years ago I picked up a copy of Daikatana, aware of the bad press. I installed it and played it and didn't think too much about it. I only completed the first 25% of the game but I didn't think it was particularly bad. This weekend I reinstalled the game and I feel the same way.

It's not a bad game.

Saying Daikatana is not a bad game might be considered blasphemy to some people, especially those within the video game industry. But I try to look at video games on their own merit and outside of the context of their legacy, or other related drama. To put it bluntly, Daikatana is an average Quake generation shooter. There are many things I really like about it and there are plenty of problems with it. I believe the drama, politics and marketing of Daikatana are what destroyed it.

First let me comment on the bad. Save Gems. Got that? Save Gems.

Save Gems.

Games that limit saving through a sadistic mechanic such as Save Gems deserve to be bashed. Even though I found this implementation to be somewhat engaging, forcing me to learn the levels and replay sections until I got them right, it is a bad mechanic. But the saving grace is that

Save Gems are completely optional.

That's right, you can turn them off and use a normal save scheme. I was looking for a cheat or something to bypass the saving restriction when I realized there was an option called 'Unlimited Saves.' Turn that on, no problem! I haven't heard that mentioned in any review or critique of the game.

Another problem with the game is the sidekick feature. Everyone would have liked the game better and I'm certain Ion Storm would have had an easier time making it if this feature was simply scrapped. In the end it was implemented poorly and should not have passed QA. In my current game I have been running around with Superfly Johnson for only an hour or so and he has gotten stuck numerous times, charged forward into battles alone (and died, causing a game over), run into my line of fire and yelled


In short, playing with one of Daikatana's sidekicks is like walking on egg shells. It puts an unwanted burden on the player at all times. But again I feel ambivalent. There are times when I am in a bind and Superfly comes to the rescue. And I also enjoy sharing resources with him. When I find a cache of pickups I tell Superfly to grab some Ion Charges and hit the Hosportal while I pick up the shotgun shells and strap on some new armor.

As for the features I really like, the first episode is cool. The level design is such classic old school shooter design. I loved the original Quake and Quake II even more. Daikatana is the same type of game. In fact, I will go as far as to say I like Daikatana more than Quake IV.

I like the weapons in Daikatana. The Ion Blaster is over used but a fun weapon. The Shotcycler is really fun to use. All the weapons are powerful and often risky depending on the situation. The enemies are plentiful and fun to frag.

Daikatana does a lot of things right and it's sad to see it ripped for what I consider mostly external factors.




9 / 26 / 07 [17:40] - Wednesday

I have been enjoying the week so far. I have decided to purchase Team Fortress 2 after being pressured by my coworkers. I haven't bought it yet but I will by Friday.

Sometimes I feel like this lion.

I bought the third season of Six Feet Under the other day and have been watching two or three episodes per night. I watched all of the third season during its original run but there is plenty of stuff I forgot or didn't pick up on the first time.

Lately I have been listening to a lot of Reggae music. I have been doing a lot of writing at work and I cannot listen to BBC or NPR when I'm writing. Usually I listen to techno if I'm writing but it has become a little overwhelming, and I'm not consuming as much caffiene anymore. But Reggae seems to work, keeps me calmed down and I'm able to focus.

Shoutcast has a lot of Reggae streams but I listen mostly to Roots Reggae as it seems to have a good mix.




9 / 22 / 07 [18:41] - Try the music player

The music section now supports streaming mp3s. I had to try a few different methods before I found a solution that worked for me. If you have a momment please check out the Nice Trylak page and try to listen to a song. Please report any issues you run into so I can fix them. You may have noticed the TYLAK.COM header image has been updated and I even added a custom 404 page.

Progress is steady and things are going pretty well. Working on the site so far has been a rewarding experience.

I am pretty content.

I have been playing a lot of San Andreas lately and enjoying it. According to the game I am 30 hours in and almost 40% complete. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a game that always seems fresh and exciting. I had a difficult time taking this screenshot though because I can't seem to find a key binding and had to use Print Screen.




9 / 20 / 07 [19:53] - T Y L A K . C O M v2.0

I've officially launched the new site!

I was a little nervous about the switch but everything went smooth. Specifically I was able to back up the old site on the same server and it can be viewed just how it was circa 2005. If you're feeling nostalgic take a peek.

I didn't add much new to the site as it was hard enough just digging through all the files I've hastily uploaded in the last five years. I'm looking forward to the weekend when I'll get a chance to finish up the major content section. Specifically I am looking to add a cool music player to the music section and an archieve of my old projects neatly tucked away in the game development corner.

For tonight though I'm looking forward to watching Dune which I have never seen before and Phil was kind enough to let me borrow.

He recommends the extended version in widescreen,

though I might not have enough time to watch the whole thing tonight. I can't wait until I have the site cleaned up enough that I can post my impressions in the opinion section after watching.




9 / 19 / 07 [19:09] - Your Fortress

Team Fortress 2 has just been released by Valve and its a pretty big deal. Many Half-Life fans have been waiting eight years for this. And so far it looks like it was worth it. I haven't played it yet but I have enjoyed a few over-the-shoulder glimpses of the game around the office. I probably won't pick it up for a while, its $30 on Steam at the momment.

But it's not the money that is keeping me from getting it. I don't tend to buy new games unless I'm bored with the ones I have. I like to beat games, sometimes multiple times over, so I'm less likely to continue to move on to the next big thing. In fact, last night I was playing XIII (which I beat on medium mode a year ago) and some parts of the game I didn't even remember. I'm also busy playing DoD : Source and Fortress Forever on Steam. I recommend both of them.

It's not likely that I will post anything new on the site during the week (except for blog posts). I'm hoping to make progress on game development and music because I have a lot of content that just needs to be uploaded.




9 / 16 / 07 [17:12] - Short Sunny Day

Sundays always seem like compact days to me. It's because I'm up late on Saturday. I sleep late on Sunday then have to get to bed early so that I can wake up in time for work on Monday.

I took a stroll down to the other side of the train tracks today. Red Bank is split almost down the middle by a heavily used North/South rail road. On the East side, where I live, you can find Monmouth Street, Broad Street and Front Street. There are lots of bars, shops and restaurants which are kind of touristy. On the West side you find Shrewsbury Street, which runs parallel to Broad.

I've been living in Red Bank for over a year

and it has always struct me how the town is divided. On the West side things are a little run-down and the neighborhood is mostly hispanic with some black people. On the East side, close to the cetner of town, everything is well kept (especially on Broad Street) and the people are mostly white.

This is not an unusual arrangement but it still strikes me to see it so clearly. There are other phenomena such as all the Mexican day laborers who stake out Wawa (convenient store) every morning and the Mexican kitchen workers that you usually only see when you walk around the back alleys of resturants.

I grew up in central Ohio

in a rural, mostly white, farming town. I wouldn't say that I ever whitnessed any real racism growing up. Partly because there weren't many minorities in my town and partly because everyone I knew was pretty level-headed, and not racist.

This lack of racial diversity makes me extra sensitive to such issues. The issue facinates me but I try not to let it cloud my judgement, or the way I treat anyone.

That said, I had a good time out and brought my camera along. I was specifically looking for graffiti (which I mostly found East of the tracks) but took the opportunity to shoot anything else of interest.

Progress on the site is going well but I'm not rushing it. I already went out and bought a six-pack of Sierra Nevada : Pale Ale so I don't plan on getting anything else done today. I'll probably just play San Andreas, maybe watch a movie and call it a night.




9 / 15 / 07 [16:33] - Lazy Saturday

It's funny that this is the second update even though the new site is not yet online. It doesn't really matter though because what you're seeing is the real purpose of the blog. It's a log. Just keeping track of things. I have been doing that more and more recently, so much so that I keep a log of every time I buy gasoline.

So I've been working on the website today for the last few hours. I've pretty much finalized the look of things. It's a mix of coordinated color schemes and chaos.

The original TYLAK.COM was created about five years ago when I was in college. My goal was to really impress anyone who visited, to help me get a job. Once that was done the site fell out of use. So I am deliberately not trying to impress anyone with the new design. I'm just making something very simple and functional so I can actually use it.

I still need to figure out how I'm going to achieve the old site. I suppose I can just leave it in a sub directory and it won't cause any harm. I'm pretty sure I have plenty of web space.

There is still a lot of missing content, but if I get things wrapped up today I may upload the new site.




9 / 12 / 07 [18:51] - Making a new website

I haven't updated TYLAK.COM since 3 / 16 / 05 [21:36]

Mainly I've used this website as a tool to find work. That will probably always be the case to some degree. Recently I have become interested in expanding the site as an outlet for some of my other interests. Also I don't like the old site design anymore.

Some things I may introduce with this redesign :

Blog - I never used to save my posts. I might as well because they're kind of fun for me to read later.

Music - Often I want to share music with people know but I don't keep all the recordings in one place. I have the entire Nice Trylak album to upload.

Games - Over the last few years I've made a number of Gamemaker games I'd like to share. Some of them are playable and some are just funny to look at.

Reviews - This is probably the dorkiest new feature... but I do spend a considerable amount of time arguing about what games and movies are worth a crap and it would be kinda fun to be able to cite myself. I'd like to document some more obscure titles as well.