I’m still not dead

But my PC was. I’ve had about three weeks worth of PC woes which have resulted in exchanges of motherboards, cpus, ram and quite a variety of four-letter words. I’m back on track now with everything pretty much ship-shape. There’s a couple of minor niggles I want to investigate but I’m sure they’re nothing I’m going to lose much more sleep over.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my best friend, best man and PC technician extraordinaire Marc for his advice and saint-like patience over the last three weeks. Thanks, as always, goes to my wonderful and astoundingly tolerant wife who helped to keep me sane!

I’ve not blogged from my new job because I’ve been rather busy doing a variety of things that I’m delighted to say I can’t tell you. Yes! Call me Mr. TOP SECRET because that’s the status of my current project. All I can say is that it’s next-gen and would be a number of videogamer’s DREAM project to be working on. Expect an official announcement in the far future (2007 at the earliest).

Making games isn’t quite the dream many gamers might think it is. My role as an associate producer has seen me doing many mundane things that aren’t exactly worlds apart from stock-taking or auditing. Of course, the context under which these tasks are performed is where the difference lies. All in all I’m delighted to be working with Free Radical and hope the relationship is rewarding for us both.

Speaking of employers.. ..my previous one, (the one I left just over 6 weeks ago) has seen fit to pay me a bonus this month. The bonus is related to the company’s performance during their financial year (April to April). I was working throughout that period and I guess they feel that makes me eligable for a bonus even if I’m not working for the company at the time the bonus is given out (June). I’m not complaining of course, just bemused and pleasantly better off.

I’ve done two very strange things this weekend. Things that many people would assume I’d never do – even under pain of death.

The first is that I went to see Take That live at the Milton Keyne’s Bowl. Look, that’s me on the right*:


*not really.

I’m not a Take That fan. I’m not a boy-band fan. In fact most popular music doesn’t interest me – I still prefer chiptunes. However, my gorgeous wife was a bit of a fan of the boys back in the day and when a reunion tour was announced her eyes lit up. Presenting tickets for the gig as a birthday present went down very well. I made it very clear that the pair of tickets were for her and a guest – not me. She invited her best friend who, a week or so ago, realised she’d double-booked and couldn’t make it. My wife put on her most alluring irresistible face and made it very clear how much she wanted me to be there and I was powerless to resist.

I made it very clear that I would NOT be enjoying myself nor be converted into a Take That groupie. I’m happy to say that I kept to my promise. The boys clearly put a lot of work into their 2 hours and the Beatles medley was a nice change from the blandness of the other tunes. The 2 hour ordeal to get out of the car park at 11pm wasn’t so great.

So, Koffdrop at a Take That gig. Whatever next?


Well, courtesy of Experian’s belated bonus, I splashed some cash on a DS lite. I’d been pondering over this for a little while. I’d been waiting for the DS homebrew community scene to report reliable flash-kits for the DS and a few months ago the compatibility seemed to reach the high percentages. This was what I’d been waiting for and then the DS lite date got announced and with Experian’s recent generosity it seemed that the stars had aligned and I should just go and get one.

Another massive incentive is that my sister (who doesn’t really play games) told me she got one some time back as when I explained the game Trauma Centre to her she was too interested in the idea to resist. She’s such a sucker for hospital stuff. Other gaming highlights of my sister’s select career have been Theme Hospital and the Life and Death PC games. And the Sims, naturally.

The DS Lite then. It’s cute. It’s certainly heavier than I expected and becomes a little *too* heavy for it’s size on lengthy sessions of Tetris and particularly Metroid Prime Hunters. I’m worried that I’ll not make much progress in the latter as the controls for a lefty like me are pretty grim (yes, even with ‘left handed’ mode on). Still, time will tell. My birthday is in July so I may ask for some more games and a WiFi connection to investigate gaming options. I must say the idea of throwing myself into a community of rabid DS fans isn’t a thought I relish. Thank God I’ve got some gaming colleagues to embarass myself against!

Oh, about the only other thing I have to report is that I finally decided to bash my way through the original Halo on the Xbox. It starts very strong. But they really switch the fun off in the second half and make the game a bore-fest. What a shame. Maybe I’ll have a gander at its sequel in a bit.

11 Responses

  1. Number45 June 25, 2006 / 8:15 pm

    Starts very strong and turns into a bore-fest? That’s going to be Bungies epitaph, I’m sure. Expect much of the same from the sequel dude. 🙂

    Anyhoo, glad to see you’re getting back online and that you’re enjoying your new job (Though not without reservation, which is good. It wouldn’t be work without at least one thing you don’t enjoy).

  2. Yamcha June 26, 2006 / 8:23 am

    For me it got to the point that Metroid hurt my hands so much that I could no longer play it. Hope you enjoy though 😛
    Tetris is as lovely as ever, except when you play those ‘spin-forever’ twat’s online.
    Nice to see you enjoying working at Free Radical, hope it works out for you.

  3. 4b51n7h3 M477 (aka HC) remember me? June 26, 2006 / 5:49 pm

    Best of luck with the project mate. I look forward to the announcement and your certain smugness!

    And what’s this about going to see Take That? I know you’re going with Lady K but try faking an illness or becoming a tout at the entrance and sell your ticket for a good few quid! I, on the other hand, will be at Hyde Park with my friend on Saturday to see Roger Waters and Nick Mason perform Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety live as well as a very good all round line -up. Been looking forward to that for months now. :). I just hope it’s accompanied by a convincing England victory against the Portuguese Diving – sorry, Football team.

    See ya around, love to yer lady as always. I’d come along and say hi more if I could but I’ve been VERY busy with a project of my own, and I can say very little apart from two words. Nikola Tesla.

    M 🙂

  4. Samor June 28, 2006 / 9:06 am

    Congrats on the DSL… err DSLite. 🙂
    Sadly I’m stuck with the old and inferior version 😉
    My DS is homebrew enabled, so if you want to know stuff about that I might be able to help.
    Other than that, http://www.drunkencoders.com and http://www.ndshb.com/ are nice places to pay a visit to.

  5. Segamak June 28, 2006 / 9:00 pm

    Welcome back, koffdrop – I think the picture of your spangily new DS lite confirms what many nintendo fanboys to this site do not realise: You may have “Dangerously anti nintendo” views, but whats that I see…A ninty DS?? Surely not? That has to indicate your not COMPLETELY biased, surely 😀
    Completely agree with comments on MPH and Tetris DS – my right hand goes numb (Ha, ha….) after a good session with the DS!
    Anyhow, Imagine I’ll see a few people from here online on MPH – Bring your best 😀

  6. Segamak June 28, 2006 / 9:03 pm

    Sorry to double post, but Id recommend purchasing the WiFi USB adaptor should you have XP – its the best accessory Ive ever purchased. Pay £30. Place CD in drive. Select language. Insert USB adaptor into USBP. Click OK on PC. Thats It, Online!

    Very Highly recommended.

  7. Keith Fistman June 29, 2006 / 5:23 pm

    Aye, good to see you back Koff; nothing pisses me off more than a broken PC!

    Whilst the USB adapter *is* decent, it causes no end of problems if your PC is networked with anything else, so you’d probably be best off with a decent router.

    Oh, and give Ouendan a shot. 🙂

  8. Alastor July 1, 2006 / 3:03 am

    Definatly, Definatly, Definatly get Phoenix Wright:Ace Attorney, it’s funny and requires thought, it’s such a satisfying gaming experience, you can live your dreams of being a lawyer at last!

    The music, dialogue and anime style are PERFECT.

    If you don’t like you can hunt me down. (I’ll punch you straight in the nose though ) 😆

  9. DFB July 3, 2006 / 10:57 am

    Koff, i would have swapped my Bon Jovi ticket for your Take That one. I ended up in the same predicament as you and at the same venue, only two weeks prior i think. Did you try the bangers in a yorkshire pudding from one of the stalls…hmmm.
    We parked out in the station car park and walked along the river for almost a mile, bit of a walk but no hassle to get out of the car park thank the gods.

    Myself, i just don’t get the DS. At all. But then again i haven’t tried it, so i’m not judginging, i just don’t see its appeal tis all.

    Halo 1 is still fun today, but there are a couple of levels that really grind, the libary one with the monitor thing. Luckily these style of levels are not repeated in the second one, so i’d go for that and if you can find some fellow noobs then try it Live, if anything, just to see how smooth it runs.

    Now stay out of the sun or move back to your old job, we come here for angst, ok.

  10. DFB July 3, 2006 / 10:59 am

    Double post heathen – but heed this warning, do not say Halo more than 6 times, alas the Retroid appears spouting Halo semen. It’s a bugger to wash out.

  11. FaustsHausUK August 1, 2006 / 10:34 pm

    Have you tried playing Tetris DS online anonymously? It’s great fun taking on randoms from the comfort of your bed.

Leave a Reply