College Impressions

So I've been in college for about three weeks now and my overall impression of it is, "Wow.  I thought this would be fun."  To fill you in, I am going to U of Michigan-Dearborn, which is a commuter school.  I am studying to get a major in Computer Information Science (CIS).  I trust that everyone on this site knows what that is.  In short, I want to develop video games. 
 
I am a freshman, so I understand that there are some core classes/credits that I need to get out of the way.  At the moment, I am taking a Math class, Sociology, Psychology, and Composition.  Math is just easy as hell.  I've got a really nice Composition teacher.  My psych. class is a little boring (and so is the professor) and my sociology class is mildly interesting.  My problem with sociology is that it's a night class and after being there since 10:00 am, I just want to leave. 
 
So, the overall impression I mentioned earlier, stems from having a terrible schedule and really boring classes.  Plus, making that 30 minute drive 4/7 days a week becomes a huge drag (I do have a carpool). 
 
My question to you guys is, does it get better?  Is this how it is for everyone when they first start? Should I try finding a place that is closer, instead of still living at home to save money? 
 
Any advice or stories would be cool.  Thanks =)

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Storytelling and My Future

What sparked my desire to write this blog post was a thread in the PS3 forums asking whether or not stories in [PS3] games have gone downhill or, even, are just gone.  You can find my two cents on the subject in thread, but here it is for you: 

Hmmm.  The reason I have started to drift further away from games and towards televison is because I have found that story is what drives me to play a game.  It shows me that the game has a lot of depth and feel to it.  LOST, the TV show, was a turning point for me.  What I mean is that it showed me the difference in the storytelling mediums of video games and television.  I just find better story in TV than I do in video games.  It's sad and it has brought a change of heart for me in where I want to go in my life.  I thought it was game development, but I find that writing is 1.) my personal strong suite and 2.) I have a bigger passion for writing whatever comes to mind so that I can make something artistic out of it (and by 'artistic' I mean something that is compelling, naratively, from begining to end).
As of late, I have been really thinking about what I want to do with my life.  I thought I had it all planned out.  I was going to go to University of Michigan - Dearborn for four years and get my Bachellor's in Computer Information Science (CIS) and follow their "Game Design Trak" to become a video game developer, but lately I don't know if that is what I want anymore.  Writing has always been something I love to do and, modesty aside, I am pretty good at it, too.  So now, I am at a crossroad where I can either turn right and make the choice to change my major and to get into writing, instead of CIS, or I can continue going straight and take the CIS/Game Dev. path.  It's not that I don't want to do the CIS option anymore, it's more, "which do I want more and which will give me better job security for my future?"  I wish I could have the best of both worlds...maybe write a story for a video game, but the thing is, I beleive that TV/movies are better mediums for a story to be told than a video game.  Granted, there are many games that tell a strong, strong story with character development and drama, but I wonder what will keep me working for a long, long time.  I don't wanna loose my job because no one will go for a script I have written or because there isn't enough funding.  If I was in video games, the only thing I need to worry about is getting a job at a development comany, hiring me to write code for a game they thought of, not me.  It takes away the creative control that I want and gives me job security.

I have talked to my family and friends and even researched what colleges, including mine, have to offer with the dilema I have.  I felt it necessary for me to write this out so that I can think more about it and not dwell on one part of it.  I am going to be a freshman in college in just over a month, so I have some time to think about what I want to do.  They say the first two years are for you to find out what you really want to do.  I hope they're right, because I wish I knew already.
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Games On My Radar

I decided that after all the games and stuff to come out of E3 2009 that I would make a list of things that I will be following until their release.


Games On My Radar

Xbox 360

  1. Wolfenstein - The use of the different weapons in this game defiantly look very attractive.
  2. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - I love story in my games.  This one looks promising just from watching it's most recent trailer.
  3. Modern Warfare 2 - Modern Warfare 1 was very fun and had some of the best multiplayer of 2007, 2008, and is still going strong.
  4. Mass Effect 2 - I must admit that I never played the first one in the series, but there has been a lot of hype around this game so I had to put it up on my list.
  5. Marvel Ultimate 2 - I love superheroes and this just looks fantastic.
  6. Splinter Cell: Conviction - I was never interested in the previous Splinter Cells but this one doesn't even look like Splinter Cell anymore and that's great for me!
  7. Brink - I was a fan of Oblivion, but never found Fallout 3 to be interesting.  This game from Bethesda and Splash Damage looks very interesting.  It's a multiplayer game in a single player game.  At least that's what I've gathered so far.
  8. The Saboteur - I saw one video of a developer doing a demo for this game and it looks like a stealth-based GTA-style game set in Paris during WWII.  I'll keep following this one, for now.
  9. DJ Hero - Dude, who doesn't want to have a game tell you how to scratch a plastic record for awesome fun!?
  10. Guitar Hero 5 - Four person drum circles? I'm in!
  11. Final Fantasy 13 - The first Final Fantasy that has looked appealing to me in a long time.
  12. Prototype - This one is being released in a few days and just looks sick as hell!
  13. Metal Gear Solid: Rising - MGS on 360?  Cool!
  14. Assassin’s Creed 2 - Just watch the videos.  You'll drool as much as I did.
  15. Avatar - I'm more or less interested in the movie that James Cameron is doing, but if I'll keep a lookout for this one.

Wii

  1. New Super Mario Bros. Wii - Four player Goomba stomping, mushroom eating fun? Yipeeeeee!
  2. Metroid: Other M - Well Metroid Prime 1 was a spectacular game.  MP2 went downhill.  I never got a chance to play MP3, so I'm gonna put this one on the list on account of Samus is my favorite heroin and it's Metroid. 'Nuff said.

PS3

  1. The Last Guardian - Chimeras are my favorite mythical creature and JRPGs is a great genre.  The only thing that gets me about this game is that the creature in it looks like it has a chiwawa's head....quiero Taco Bell.
  2. MAG: Massive Action Game - Seven words: two hundred and fifty six player warfare!

PC

  1. Star Wars: The Old Republic - Just watch this game's most recent epic trailer!

Phew!  That's A LOT of games.  Hopefully I still have money by the time all of these games are released and in my hands.
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CIS vs. Software Engineer

Next fall I am going to attend a university to major in Software Engineering because I was told it would get me into game development.  However, after reviewing the classes and such I found that the if I chose to go for a Computer Information Science major I will eventaully be apart of the "Game Design Trak" at my university.  That sounds a hell of a lot smarter to me than a SWE major.  My question really is this: what will get me into the game development field and what are the differences in the two majors?  What does someone with a CIS major do in the game industry vs. someone with a SWE major?


Thanks
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Oh World of Warcraft...you good game, you.

Alright.  World of Warcraft is arguably a great game.  To me, it was an amazing game when I played it.  I started playing in October of 2006, months before the release of The Burning Crusade expansion pack.  I absolutely loved the game.  Almost too much.  My first character was a Dwarf Paladin, whom I leveled to 70 and raided A TON!  But, I loved it and I loved my guild!  It was unlike any other game I had played before.  The downside was, I played so much a nearly never saw my family outside of dinner, my morning ritual before school, and walking downstairs to get something out of the kitchen.  I started feeling bad about it, but I loved the game.  To be clear, I wasn't playing with complete strangers all the time.  I promised myself I would never play WoW unless my friends agreed to play, as well.  Lo' and behold, two of my friends (brothers), picked up the game (downloaded, actually).  So, the next thing was for me to give it a try.  As I said, I loved it.  Eventually, I had more and more of my friends playing the game, too.  It was great!  I could log on after I had done my chores, homework, etc. and there would be my friends whom I could play the game with.  Some were more into the PvP aspect of the game, some on the PvE aspect.  I defiantly leaned more on the PvE side, but when my guild wasn't raiding, I logged on to either do some PvP for fun or one of the many other things there were to do in WoW.  I guess my point that I am progressing towards, as I write this blog post, is that I loved World of Warcraft when my friends played AND before the release of The Wrath of the Lich King!  That expansion was just awful when compared to The Burning Crusade.  To defend myself, I did not do any raiding in the original WoW.  I had gotten to level 58 the day The Burning Crusade was released.  So I proceeded to the expansion content (Outlands) and got on leveling.  But, when I was able to compare the Burning Crusade to something, that being The Wrath of the Lich King, I was terribly dissapointed.  The new continent, Northrend, was just boring, bleak, and a change in the wrong direction for me, compared to Outlands.  Outlands had my favorite instanced dungeons, favorite zones to level in, and favorite raid dungeons.  Now I just hope that the next thing Blizzard has coming for WoW will be more in the direction of The Burning Crusade.  I really want to get back into playing it, but I just hate the current expansion.


Any opinions would be great to hear about World of Warcraft and its expansions. 

Thanks!
22 Comments

Comic Con 08'

So with Comic Con having started this year I can say: "WHOO!".  Unfortunatly, the only thing from Comic Con that I am looking forward to hasn't kicked off yet, in fact, it doesn't start until Saturday (26th) at noon.  If anyone recognizes this time, they know it's the time of the LOST panel at Comic Con.  LOST and its producers have done side projects dedicated to the show in the past and this year they are calling it Octagon Global Recruiting, refering to the Dharma Initiative, featured in the show.  They first gave news of it during the season 4 finale, during a commercial break.  Now, all LOST fans are tied to their keyboard and TV in hopes of any news or spoilers of what is coming next year's Season 5.  Last Comic Con, they released a teaser video of "The Orchid".  The Orchid is another Dharma station.  If you have not idea what i'm talking about, you obviously need to do yourself an enormous favor and go watch seasons 1-4, NOW.

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The Bomb Blew Up!

...or additional generic first blog post title for such a site.  Hey everyone.  New to the site here (like everyone else), but I wanna post here and see who's around and hopefully get a lot out of this place.  I play Xbox 360 and PC and right now you can find me on XBL playing Gears of War online as Lost In Gaming.  I know right?  Just keepin' it simple.  Last gaming site I used a lot was Gamespot.com and grew disgusted with it when many of the great folks there left for whatever reason.  Huzzah!  I found some of those 'Gamespotters' right here! Round of applause to you for making this, what will be, wonderful site.  Can't wait to see more content!

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