29 August 2008

The Return of Abe and Oddworld!!!

I posted about this on the Friday Night Gamers blog; but I have to talk about it here too.

Abe is a part of my past. A part I almost recently revived when I was cleaning up my office some and ran into my Abe's Exoddus CD. These games will have you in stitches as you help Abe rescue his friends from slavery and impending doom.

Failures in the game are almost as fun as successes; and you'll find yourself repeating them for laughs as you go through the game. You interact with the friends to get them to team up to help you past obstacles. Depending on your actions... your friends will react in different ways (including getting into slap fights...)

The slap is useful when your friends seem "punch-drunk" from happy gas ... and speaking of gas... the games are loaded with farts.

Demos are available for both Oddworld games, so get downloading now... then go buy it, play them and come back and tell us what you think!
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (demo)
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (demo)

24 August 2008

Kimmie Rocks Out to Camp Rock Game

Mandi and Kimmie like to play a "Guitar Hero-esque" game based on Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" movie.

Here, Kimmie is watching Mandi play and jamming out to the beat of the music. You'll have to listen very closely and tune out the background noise, but if you can pick out the music, you'll see that she nails a lot of the hard hitting stuff at the beginning of the end of this short clip.

It was an absolute hoot to watch... enjoy!

23 August 2008

The Friends We Leave Behind

Friday was a bittersweet day. I am leaving ProPay to start new adventures at LANDesk.

If you want to see the soul of ProPay, this is IT! (Information Technology that is... swimmin' pools... movie stars...) Anyway... this is one of the finest conglomerations of talent ever "compiled" and I'm proud to call them my friends.

I'll miss you all... but I won't have to if you'll stop playing WoW and start playing TrackMania!!! (And don't forget to start watching Kim Possible... did I mention it's the BEST SHOW EVER MADE?!)

So, the friends I'm leaving behind...

From left-to-right:
Top Row:

Robin Shinkle, Scott Maxfield, Jim Austin, Wayne Peck, Nathan Younger, Marv White
Middle Row:

Rob Lish, Anthony Clayson, Jonathan Godfrey, Lloyd Dison, Rob Sabey,
Stuart Nelson, Ryan Jackson, Nathan Holman, Jason Gifford, Joe Hargadon,
Miguel Jimenez

Bottom Row:

Patrick Cahill

You'll also notice (behind Jim) Nate Younger's styrofoam Space Invaders... excellent!

Clint Lord was in a meeting, so I had to capture him later... I still missed Dave Jensen, McKay Salisbury, Cris Zamora and Danielle Sargent, for which I am bummed... y'all will have to send me your own pictures... heh! (I also missed alumni like Tyler Jensen and Dan Jarvis.)

There are others from other departments I'll miss too... a company full of good people to be sure.

Thanks for the good times, guys (and gals!)

20 August 2008

Where a Kid Can Be a Kid

So I'm driving out of my neighborhood this morning; heading to Bangerter Highway so I can get to I-15 and head to Happy Valley to my place of employment.

Along the way, I see two young girls walking to school. Well, one of them was walking. The other was stopped in somewhat of a crouching stance, periodically jumping as if she were practicing ollies on a virtual skateboard.

As I approached and past, I watched her jump a couple of times... one being right as I passed her.

Curious, I checked back in my rear-view mirror a couple seconds as I continued down the road... to see the girl hop a couple more times. Then it dawned on me why she was doing this.

Remember when you were young and you used to do really cool things like floating popsicle sticks down the gutter after a big rainstorm, pretending they were boats? Remember walking home from school on a cold winter day and taking 20 minutes at the end of your street to have contests with your friends to see who could slide the farthest on the ice? Remember walking to school on a spring/summer day and stopping to jump over shadows as if letting them touch you would induce a fate-worse-than-death?

That's the game this little girl was playing, my friends; and I was jealous. I remember hopping car shadows on my way to school... having to try to jump extra high on the ones that drove past slow or were extra big (like garbage trucks or semis with trailers...) Ah, good times... good times!

As if that wasn't enough to sweep me away, all the music cycling through on my mp3 player was stuff I loved in high school. That took me back to memories I have of other dorky things I'd do with friends from that era of my life, like: toilet papering someone's house, driving past a girl's house that I liked half-way across the valley (we won't mention any names... *Gina*), going for slurpees at 1:00am, coming up with silly "insider" code words for discussing things with your friends at school in public, but making sure only you understood them (donut gems and gold chains... *Ben*) :)

Why does life have to get so freaking complicated and laden with responsibilities when we "grow up?" Ok, let me rephrase that... when we get older and are labelled an "adult."

I've become this crotchety, ornery old fart (emphasis on the word "fart") and I want to go back to being the care-free, fun-loving, people-actually-liked-to-be-around-me guy that I was back in the days of pre-adult times... if not for anything else than to have my wonderful children see who I REALLY am deep-down.

My poor kids, they just see this man who is hustling in the morning just trying to get ready for work and with whatever spare time is left, trying to help Gwen get the kids ready for and off to school. Then I go to work all day (and sometimes night) and when I do get to come home before bedtime... am stuck just rushing to get dinner over with, homework finished, kids in pajamas, teeth brushed and whisked away to bed. It doesn't seem like much of a life with "Dad."

Of course, if I tried to go back to care-free with no responsibilities like I was back then, we'd have no house, food on the table, and most importantly to the kids... no video games/computers/TV... Dad becomes more of a loser.

So how do we win in this game called "Parenthood?" How does one "keep the child inside alive" whilst meeting financial obligations and other responsibilities?

I'd love to hear from my other friends in the same sitch and see what successes/failures you've had in trying to find the happy medium of having fun and staying responsible, without dying of ulcers, muscle tension and migraines from the stresses of the latter... because this kid wants to be a kid again!

I think I'm going to start by taking my kids on a walk... and we'll try jumping car shadows.

18 August 2008

Old School RPG Gaming

Going through some pictures today, I discovered some pictures I had taken of some maps I'd drawn up while playing through a couple of Role Playing Games (RPGs) I was into right after I married Gwen.

It's a fun kayak trip down the Nostalgia Nile... and I tell you, it's certainly not like it used to be anymore. In the old days, half the fun of the game was drawing up these things while you played through. Sure, walkthroughs were available on Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) but the maps weren't.

The map above is of a game called Times of Lore. Incidentally, while looking around for links to the game, I found these maps... puts my maps to shame, but I still think mine are cool (no matter how inaccurate they might be compared... Hey, they got me through the game, so they're good for something!)

The map below is of an area of Phantasie III (screenshots), a game I used to play tons in high school with my friend Russ.

Now with the advent of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs), especially World of Warcraft (WoW)... there is such a wealth of information online about the game (including character stats, guild forums, etc.) that the "world" of the game involves much more than actually playing the game. It's much more involved (and costs a lot more money) than I'd care to indulge in... but it's enough for millions of others.

For the record, I don't care what anyone says, I had some mad map-making skillz back then. :)

Celebrating the Release of "Camp Rock" and Kimmie - Our Rock Star

Kimmie the Rock StarOn Tuesday, 19 August 2008, Disney Channel will release "Camp Rock" on DVD.

Weeks before the movie's debut on Disney Channel, Kimmie would frequent the web site, listen to and memorize the music.

Gwen captured Kimmie in the moment while belting out the lyrics from one of the songs! I didn't get to witness it first-hand until we watched the movie on ABC the night after the debut. During the final two songs of the movie, Kimmie jumped up and started dancing around singing with the movie. She rocked. We enjoyed.

And now we'll get to do it again with the DVD.

If you (and/or your kids) enjoy the Jonas Brothers, you'll have fun with this movie. The music is catchy and the message is about being true to yourself and your friends. Give it a shot if you haven't.

16 August 2008

TrackMania United Forever only $20.00 This Weekend on Steam!!!

Buy TrackMania United Forever on Steam this weekend for 50% off!

If you like TrackMania Nations at all, you'll not want to miss this offer! Get one of the greatest racing games ever made for only $19.99 this weekend only!

What are you waiting for...?! Stop reading and start downloading! Then come race with the Friday Night Gamers!!!

01 August 2008

KP DVD Boxed Sets... Mission Possible

For some wild reason last night, I decided to start checking around Disney websites and Googling for Kim Possible DVD boxed sets again to see if there was any news about the possibility of Disney releasing any in the near future.

What I first discovered was a forum post at the beginning of this year talking about a release in Germany of Season One; including a YouTube link for a trailer talking about the DVD.

Doing further investigation turned up links on Amazon and Target (provided by Amazon) that talk list a USA version as a future item (if you click on the Amazon link, you can sign up for an e-mail notification when it becomes available.)

So get stoked, Kim Possible fans... hopefully the wait is almost over. I would prefer an entire series boxed sets; but I'll settle for invdividual seasons if that's what we get! Booya! It's bon-diggity...

For Those That Waited So Patiently For Updated Pictures...

I posted a page of updated pictures and movies of everyone but Gwen and Brennan (we'll dig some of those up later too.) There is a really funny movie of Mandi and Kimmie doing sit-ups. Check it out!

Here's a preview:

Daddy and Kimmie - Easter 2008Ryan and Andrew chillin' like villains