Go me.

Sonic: The Fated Hour got featured on the front-page rotator on Moddb and as a result it is the #1 game on the site right now. :D


What am I playing this weekend?

Nothing, probably. I need to buy a new motherboard soon, I need to keep working on my game so I don't miss my new deadline (the 16th), I need to get ready for SAGE as I am supposed to be covering the event for the website I work for. Not to mention Microsoft wants to talk to me about my "Xbox Experience" (which reminds me, I need to respond to that email after I write this blog). And then there's simple house chores stuff like mowing the lawn.

Busy weekend and very little of it will be spent playing games. What I do play will probably be whatever is on my old laptop - so Sega Genesis emulators, etc. Usually when I cannot access this PC (it gets too hot and the motherboard starts shorting out and giving me blue screens) I get on my laptop and do whatever stuff I can to pass the time until about 11pm or so when it cools off enough to get back on the main PC. I've been lucky in that the past two days have been fairly rainy and cool, giving me lots of extra time to work on my game - but the heat is supposed to be returning as early as today. So yeah, I expect I'll be going back to Sonic 3 & Knuckles sometime soon - or maybe Mega Man X4. Pretty good PC port, that one. Runs very well on my 266mhz laptop. Maybe start up an RPG. Tried to get in to Crusader of Centy a few days ago to no avail. But I guess that's no more an RPG than Zelda's an RPG - but let's not get in to that argument here. Started a new game on Earthbound on this PC a few months ago, may try and go for that one on the laptop.

There is also my monstrous backlog; Zelda: Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 4, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Shadow of the Colossus, Metroid Prime 2, Kingdom Hearts... all of those need to be finished, but I never feel like playing any of them and I don't know why. Most of them feel like I have to sit down and invest too much time in them. I seem to be drifting away from the "sit down for a few hours and play something" and gravitating more towards "sit down for a few minutes and play something".

Maybe an RPG isn't such a good idea after all.


Goin' Digital

Those Digital TV converter boxes suck. I got one last night because the TV in my room still uses antenna.

It's like, okay, every channel is crystal clear. That's cool. There are channels I can now watch that I could not watch before because the picture was too fuzzy. Like, now, I guess I could watch Saturday Morning Cartoons on KidsWB or whatever if I the mood struck me.  

But... if you've ever had DirecTV or something, you know that when there's a bad storm, how the signal will sometimes break up? The sound will start cutting out, you'll get nasty artifacts all over the screen, etc.? On channels that don't come through so well on this Digital Converter Box, that's what you get.

What sucks is that there are some channels on analog that while a little snowy are still watchable - but they are rendered totally unviewable through Digital. Either they show up as NO SIGNAL or they break up so much that you can't even tell what's going on. The tiniest bit of interference seems to completely destroy a channel, and because of the way it breaks up, it's hard to tell when moving an antenna if it's getting better or getting worse.

Also weird: Channels now have Sub Channels, so there's like, Channel 9, and then Channel 9-2. Channel 9 is our local NBC Affiliate, but Channel 9-2 is 24/7 news and weather from the Channel 9 news team.

I don't know if I like this new Digital TV thing.



So I bought another new Power Supply for my PC hoping that would fix the BSOD problem. If the sound coming from my case is any indication, it did not. That most likely narrows the cause of BSODing down to the Motherboard itself, which comes with a massive string of its own problems - after all, the last time I changed motherboards (a little under a year ago, might I remind the viewers at home), I actually lost an entire 160gb HDD because of various poor decisions I made regarding the re-installing of Windows and formatting the drive.

So obviously, I'm more than a little paranoid about doing another motherboard switch. That is, of course, on top of the always present money situation, in which every spare dollar I've had in the last 4-6 months has gone in to trying to buy new parts to fix this thing.

It's really, really putting a damper on my work ethic regarding a new demo of my Sonic game. When you can only work on the game for say, 2-4 hours a night (when typically I'd work on it for 5-8 hours a day), the notion of having this ready for the August 8th deadline is very rapidly slipping away.

Especially when performance issues start to crop up less than halfway through building the level's design. I'm basically getting 30fps now, in a 2D side scrolling game, on a rig that can run a fully 3D game like Half-Life 2 with all settings on high at over 100fps.

This sucks, basically.

On the plus side, a number of my larger GiantBomb submissions were approved, putting me up at 700pts. Hooray.



This is sort of a bummer:

Your submission to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been rejected.

Moderator Comment: Please work with the existing article

When I wrote the volume of information I gave for the game, there was no existing article to speak of. And Sonic 2 was one of the first full-length articles I wrote for GB, meaning I do not have it saved to a text file (everything from Sonic 3 onwards, however, I do).

Oh well.


Woo, I am writing full pages for various games around the GB database. I've written entire, top-to-bottom pages for Sonic 1, Sonic 2, and Sonic 3 today. They're pending approval. Tomorrow, I plan on giving Sonic & Knuckles the same treatment and possibly even Sonic Adventure and/or Sonic Adventure 2.

Depends on how much time I have. Gotta go pick up the car from the repair place tomorrow, which, even with a bus ride to help out, is quite a walk. For me, anyway. After dropping the car off the other day it probably took around an hour and a half to get home.

I also need to think about working on my own Sonic game. I updated its Moddb profile yesterday with a new video of an upcoming demo I'm planning, and I need to have the demo completed by August 8th (that's the submission deadline for SAGE - read the Moddb update to understand what that is). Which is, uh, not very far away, and I was planning on doing a fairly large level for this. So yeah. Need to get crackin' on that. But I can't work on the level design during the day - but through the magic of an old 266mhz laptop, I could probably write some text documents and paste them here on GiantBomb later tomorrow night.

I feel like I'm incoherently rambling at this point so I'll just shut my mouth and go get some sleep.


Introductions are in order

Hello, internet. Most of you crazy cats know me as BlazeHedgehog, a name I adopted when I was like 15 years old and never bothered to replace. I feel like I have to say that now because I am 25 now and being called BlazeHedgehog feels a bit silly, but none-the-less, it is my identity on this series of tubes. My real name is Ryan - I'll leave my last name a mystery though no doubt some of you weirdos out there reading this already know what it is. I'd prefer that if you are speaking to me on the internet and do not know me in person, you just call me Blaze, as having internet people call me by my real name is weird at this point.

I've been gaming since I can first remember. Blurry visions of the Atari 2600, Pac-Man and Super Off-Road arcade machines dot some of my earliest memories. Things become a little clearer when, in 1989, I got my NES with Super Mario Brothers. But what has come to define me as a gamer is my first experience playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my brother's Sega Genesis. Something about that game captivated me in a way I can't describe, and although I initially lacked a Sega Genesis to call my own (my brother moved out not long after my time spent with Sonic), the majority of my childhood growing up was spent focused on the blue rodent and trying to find similar games to play on my Super NES. As such, not only do I have a crazy (and somewhat depressing) encyclopedic knowledge of Sonic the Hedgehog, but I have memories of games like Awesome Possum, Bubsy, and Alfred Chicken. Do any of you remember Rocky Rodent? I do. Sometimes I wish I didn't, but I do.

I figure a reason I became so attached to Sonic is because somehow the character is related to most of the interest and fame I've gotten. Doodling Sonic in the margins of school reports honed a decent level of skill in the areas of cartooning, and early in Junior High/Middle School, me and my friends set out to create our own Sonic games, drawing level layouts on paper and snail mailing them to Sega. Though my friends eventually drifted off to their own pathways of life, the idea of making my own videogame is something that has stuck with me through the years and is something I continue to pursue today. That being said, I still haven't graduated to original games just yet - right now my primary focus is a game called Sonic: The Fated Hour, which I started work on nearly ten years ago and promised a lot of people I would finish no matter what - a promise I'm trying to stick to (for better or worse!). It's been a long road and a major learning experience, full of long periods of inactivity, repeated data loss, and tons of frustration - but it feels like I may actually, finally, be getting somewhere. Other games I've made include Super Mario: Blue Twilight, The House, and a handful of other smaller games that probably aren't worth linking to.

I'm a reasonably good writer and also enjoy writing about videogames. I enjoy writing reviews and the like, and am currently employed as an editor at TSSZnews.com, a gaming news site that slants towards Sega-related gaming news. I write news for the front page and I also write stuff for their Review Slew section. I've been published elsewhere for my work, including in the first issue of The Gamer's Quarter, for my article entitled Dissecting a Hedgehog. The ten page article was basically a lengthy dissertation on the gameplay mechanics of the Sega Genesis Sonic games and how the newer, 3D games often ignore everything that made Sonic unique to play as. The article could stand to be re-written nowadays as all I see when I read it is how weird some of it sounds (and how really, really long it is). I've mirrored the article here, if you really want to read it without cracking open a PDF file.

This post is getting a bit long in the tooth, so it's probably best if I end it right here. That is me and this is me at GiantBomb.com. I am considering abandoning my Gamespot.com profile in lieu of this new, exciting frontier, so expect to see a lot more of me here.