I’ve always wanted to get into geocaching since I heard about it years ago. If you’ve never heard of geocaching the premise is simple – people hide stuff out in the real world, and other people try and find it. Sounds easy, but once you start throwing stuff like puzzles, encryption / decryption, nano and microcaches and muggles, the hunt becomes much more challenging and interesting.
A perfect storm occurred in order to get me hooked on geocaching. Like I said, I had always wanted to do it, but you really need a GPS device to go hunting for caches. Luckily, I recently got a iPhone with GPS hotness. The Appstore happened to have a holiday sale going on for the Geocaching.com app ($3, down from $10), which helps you find nearby caches to your location, shows them on Google maps, and so on. I was at my sisters place in Oregon visiting, and my brother in law had taken my niece geocaching a few times and wanted to go again. We were bored, and there happened to be a few within walking distance, so it was on.
Some guys at work started up a game of Axis & Allies. I had never played it before but have heard a lot about it. The game plays about how you’d imagine: you control one (or more) of five nations during World War 2. The basic game is is to attack and defend various territories with pieces representing various military units. Axis & Allies is easy enough to understand, but there are a lot of rules, and it’s not a beginners board game by any stretch of the imagination.
So, I watched the guys at work play and I really wanted to get into a game. However, they played over the course of three days and never finished the game properly. Part of the reason they never finished is because I went off and searched for online versions of the game, and ran across “TripleA“, an open source, video game version of Axis & Allies. It’s free, and it’s an exact replica of the board game version. They were hooked.
Those lyrics always get stuck in my head when I play Rock Band 2 for some reason.
Anyway, Rock Band 2 is the shizzle and I refuse to believe otherwise. Harmonix basically took Rock Band, added and fixed all the stuff I had issues with which basically makes this this perfect music game for me.
I didn’t get the new instruments. I think buying a new guitar or drum set with every iteration of the game is silly and wasteful. I’m still rockin’ the Guitar Hero II guitar, the OG Rock Band guitar (which sucks so the bassist always gets it) and the OG Rock Band drums. And they suit me just fine, especially since I had the pedal replaced after it snapped in the middle.
Back to the motherland for me – the Pacific Northwest that is. Microsoft liked me enough to decide to hire me for a new project they’re working on. My last day with Activision at Treyarch was today, December 19th, with my start date at Microsoft being the 12th of January. Seattle here I come!
I tell everyone this, but when you come from a place that has seasons (Oregon) and go to a place like Los Angeles, time feels like it stops. I’ve been here for about five years and it feels like I’ve only been here for a few months. It’s always roughly 70 degrees and sunny – even during “winter” which to me feels unnatural. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong, but something just doesn’t feel right about it. When you see people busting out sweaters and scarves and it’s like 65 degrees out it’s laughable. I’m rolling cargo shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops during the winter because I appreciate the fact that I can.
Brian Tuey, our Audio Director at Treyarch has a new blog up called Aural Audacity. His site is fairly new, but he already has some great content up, including a song we were going to use for Nazi Zombies which didn’t quite make it in. The song, “Lullaby for a Deadman”, was performed by Kevin Sherwood, a Sound Designer and Elena Siegman, one of our producers. You can hear a few riffs that the song was based on when you die in Nazi Zombies, so the song should feel familiar if you’ve played that portion of CoD:WaW. Definitely a must for your iPod if you’re a fan of Nazi Zombies.
He’s got some other tracks from the game up there as well (and some we didn’t use) plus he has some interesting info on Nazi Zombies from an audio perspective. Great stuff if you’re an audiophile, especially with respect to games.
Here’s the level I scripted on Call of Duty: World at War, “Little Resistance”. Thanks to Michael Barnes for capturing nearly everything we put into the level so well and showing off everyone’s hard work. You definitely have “the eye” and I’m sure the world is your oyster in either the games or movie industry unless you already have something lined up already!