2011.01.10

2010 was a great year. This was a not typical year for books. The list is quite short. This list is what I could remember.

Games

  • Most, but not all, I finished
  • 3 Cards To Dead Time
  • Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None
  • Agatha Christie: Murder On The Orient Express
  • Amnesia
  • Assassin’s Creed 2
  • Borderlands
  • Cities XL
  • Civilization V
  • Darwinia
  • Dawn Of Discovery
  • Democracy 2
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • Dragon Age: Origin
  • Epic Mickey
  • Europa Universalis III: Heir To The Throne
  • F1 2010
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Fifa 11
  • Gratuitous Space Battles
  • Harvey Teh Attorney
  • Kirby: Epic Yarn
  • Little King Story
  • Mafia 2
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • New Super Mario Bros
  • No More Heroes 2
  • Rock Band Beatles
  • RUSE
  • Settlers 6
  • Settlers 7
  • Shatter
  • Super Matio Galaxy 2
  • The Saboteur
  • The Secret Files: Tunguska
  • Thief
  • X-Com: AI

Movies

  • 2012
  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Alien 3
  • Aliens
  • Angels & Demons
  • Avatar
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Brüno
  • Clash Of The Titans
  • Crazy Heart
  • Escape From New York
  • Fantastic Mr Fox
  • Funny People
  • Ghost Writer
  • Gosford Park
  • Green Zone
  • Halloween
  • Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt 1
  • Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
  • Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
  • Hot Tub Time Machine
  • Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
  • Inception
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Kick Ass
  • LA Confidential
  • Law Abiding Citizen
  • Murder On The Orient Express
  • Near Dark
  • Paprika
  • Paranormal Activity
  • Prince Of Persia
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Pulp Ficiton
  • Robin Hood
  • Shanshank Redemption
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Shutter Island
  • Taxi Driver
  • Terminator Salvation
  • The A Team
  • The Blind Side
  • The Fisher King
  • The Silent Warrior
  • The Sound Of Music
  • Time Bandits
  • Twilight
  • Up
  • Up In The Air
  • Where The Wild Things Are
  • Zombieland

TV Series

  • Death Note
  • Fullmetal Alchemist 1-10
  • House S6
  • Lost S6
  • Naruto 1-20
  • Mad Men S01 S02
  • Breaking Bad S01

Books

  • Some of them I used the audiobook
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • Butcher’s Hill – Laura Lippman
  • Dramatica
  • Screenplay – Syd Field
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • The Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim And Renée Mauborgne
  • The City And The City – China Mieville
  • The Comic Toolbox: How To Be Funny Even If You’Re Not – John Vorhaus
  • The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
  • The Murder On The Links – Agatha Christie
  • The Naked Face – Sidney Sheldon
  • Y: The Last Man – DC Comics
2010.12.03

The new version Unity 3D engine was just released and Im really excited.

All the previous features continues there: great asset integration (several 3D, 2D and sound file formats), programming scripts, grate IDE. But know the visual performance is better, even with the new features enabled.

Pre baked lightning is now included by default. It allows to create amazing scenes that most of the lights pre rendered. It allows the video card to work on other stuff, like shaders. Speed is also better the inclusion Ambient occlusion package. It analyses the scene/map previously and checked what parts of it will not appear depending on where the camera is and saves the information to be used in realtime. The performance gain is huge.

The animation manager is also a great plus. It seems very much like video editing, with curves and keyframes. It is now very nice to program the animations, specially for designers.

UDK (Unreal Development kit) is also gaining a lot of attention of the media, but with a feature set somewhat similar (again, 99% of the game makers are not even capable of using the engine fully), it is quite a irresponsibility to accept the license that makes you give 25% of the profits to Epic (and after paying your distributor, marketing, etc…).

2010.10.21

I just bought a Zenithink ePAD tablet. It’s a generic iPad tablet made in China that runs Android as the OS. Please, consider from now on that it costs less than half of the price of the original.

I must say that despite the whole “generic” label, its quite a nice piece of machine. It has a 10 inches screen with resistive touch sensor, which is great to navigate thru internet and reader ebooks and pdf. The processor and memory don’t rival Apple but i don’t feel it is big lack, except, of course, games.

The Android used is the 2.1, which is good one. With Google Market fully enabled, its possible to transform it into a quite comprehensive computer. Zenithink US, the american distributor are releasing often versions of its firmware, so its possible that 2.2 “Froyo"or even 2.3 “Gingerbread”.

The only two things that i was disappointed (which i should not be because i knew about them before buying) are the short battery life (4 hours if WiFi is off) and the ridiculous short range of its internal WiFi. If the tablet is not less then 2 meters, it simply not work! Its better to connect the net cable at this distance! There are several minor things here and there, but hey, as i said at the very beginning: it cost me less then half of the iPad price*. I really believe that tablets are going to be the next world desired toy. Apple is in grand advantage, but this time their advantage for being the first in the market is not to last long. Chinese companies are going to flood the market with generic inexpensive hardware until they acquire experience, scale and courage to face these big guys. That is what takes in trying to create simple and copyable products with a premium status. Apple woke the dragon.

2010.10.15

Masterpiece. The crazy style of China Miéville is notorious. He specialized into a science fiction sub genre called weird fiction, which mixes the real world with some out-of-the-place elements that are common of the characters, somewhat like Lovecraft. Almost all his books are great. But The City and The City is really really great.

The story is a noir murder investigation. The main character is the detective Tyador Borlú and the story is first person point of view. Borlú is a great character, clever but not a Sherlock and a little sarcastic about his job.

One curious thing is that I “read” the audiobook. At the beginning i was completely lost because the name of the characters and places: Besźel, Ul Qoma, Tyador Borlú are just unusual.. I had to check the names on internet to see how they are written. After some time, they become familiar.

{SPOILER ALERT begin}

It’s basic concept is fascinating: two cities that occupy the same physical space, at the same time. People that live in one have to “ignore” the existence of the other. “Trespass” this is a crime worse than murder. Crazy crazy concept. That is just one element that stick you to the book.

{SPOILER ALERT end}

As of September 2010, the novel only won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, tied with Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, the BSFA Award for Best Novel of 2009, as well as the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award and won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

2009.12.30

2009 was a great year. I had the opportunity to watch/play/read/listen several great games, films and books. This list is what I could remember.

Games

Most, but not all, I finished

  1. Braid – PC
  2. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars – Wii
  3. The Beatles: Rockband – Wii
  4. Dawn of Discovery – Wii
  5. de Blob – Wii
  6. Dragon Age – PC
  7. Drakensang: The Dark Eye – PC
  8. Machinarium – PC
  9. Neverhood – PC
  10. Planescape Torment – PC
  11. Race Driver: GRID – PC
  12. Torchlight – PC
  13. The Witcher – PC

Movies

  • 5cm Per Second
  • Akira
  • Amadeus
  • Army of Shadows
  • Citizen Kane
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Drag Me to Hell
  • Ghost in The Shell
  • The Hangover
  • Helvetica
  • Home
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Lady Vengeance
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Oldboy
  • The Sinning
  • Star Trek
  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
  • Tokyo Godfathers
  • Up

Books

Some of them I used the audiobook

  • David Allen – Getting Things Done
  • David Allen – Making It All Work
  • Malcolm Gladwell – The Tipping Point
  • Malcolm Gladwell – Blink
  • Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers
  • Peter F. Hamilton – Fallen Dragon
  • Peter F. Hamilton – The Dreaming Void
  • Peter F. Hamilton – The Temporal Void
  • Raymond Kurzweil – The Age of Spiritual Machines
  • Stephen King – The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands
  • Stephen King – The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass
  • Umberto Eco – Foucault’s Pendulum

And 2010 might be even better.

2009.05.07

200 megabytes is the size of the entire game. And yet, probably one of the most surprisingly good games in some time.

Braid tells the story of Tim and his journey to find the princess. Its a basic platform game, with the controls just like old Mario, except one thing: you can control time. By pressing a button (and further in game, by some other situations) you can turn back time. Even after you died. If the controls are similar to the famous plumber, the game dymaics is completely different. It is a puzzle game.

Braid is an action-puzzle game about manipulating the flow of time. To rescue a princess, the player journeys through a series of worlds; in each world, time behaves differently. The game provides a mind-expanding experience that is filler-free, treating the player’s time as precious.

The puzzles are very well designed and the difficult progression is a state of art. Considering that it is a one-man work (Jonathan Blow. did it alone, except for the music, which he licensed, and graphics, which he hired a guy for the job), it’s amazingly good.

My grade: 9.50 Metacritic: 93