Friday, November 26, 2010

Another job interview, another physiometric test (psychometric)

Thank you for being shortlisted for the position. To help us with our selection process please answer the following question.

Are you a person who:

A) is on time for work
B) likes spending time with friends
C) is physically active
D) likes cats

Please choose the response that is most like you and the one that is least like you.

Now answer a hundred more similar questions.

Your brain should now be completely exhausted. Please complete the following timed reading comprehension test.

That was wonderful. Could you now do this numerical reasoning test. Its timed too, which will make it more demanding then any exam you sat at university. Don't make any mistakes, we won't let you go back and correct your answers.

In three days a psychologist will call you to discuss your results. Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Star Wars Battle Front II

Um, yeah, novel got sidelined by a new Xbox game. This is an atempt to produce something useful out of it.

The original battle front was innovative. Instead of being the ultimate hero you were just an ordianary soldier. You join with hundereds of other stormtroopers, clones ect to decide the fate of the universe. Its surprising how much one soldier can do.

Battle Front II remains true to the original game, just adds lots of extras. The coolest new feature is the Jedi. You get to weild lightsabers and the force in deadly combinations. Some maps let you play as other heros, including Bobba Fett and Hans Solo. The Jedi life concept is new, instead of picking up health you gain life by making kills.

Space combat is another great feature. You can't participate in the attack on the death star, or run the blockade of Naboo. But you can get involved in a number of smaller battles. The space combat is initially fun, but quickly gets old. The AI is pretty weak, in all my hours of space combat they never once landed inside my hanger. There are only so many ways to win, once you've done it a couple of times you've done it all.

The single player campain is weak. Battle Front I allowed numerous ways to win each battle, leaving the stratagey up to the player. Battle Front II dictates which command post to take, and in what order. Some great moments as Darth Vader attacking the Jedi temple, and later hunting down Pricess Leia. So while fun the campain loses the versatility that is the games biggest strength.

Conquest mode takes on a whole new level. Originally an after thought in the first game, its now worth playing for its own sake. Strategic placement of fleets can block the enemy progress. Credits won after each battle can be used to unlock other units or bonuses for future battles. Because of the AI weakness in space its an easy win, but great play.

Multiplayer has a cool new 'single flag' mode. Both teams try to move the flag into the middle of the opponents base. Trouble is there is to much 'helpful' text popping up on the screen, every time the flag changes hands. Makes it difficult to actually focus on the battle.

Overall I give it four stars.
BM out

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lessons from NaNoWriMo

I'm about 7000 words in, way behind target. I still hope to catch up in time to finish. Either way the lessons I've learnt so far are well worth it.

1) Writing 1,667 words a day is no picnic. I have a new admiration for everyone that completes the challenge.
2) Planning is not essential. In fact not planning ahead can add an extra layer of spontaneity. The story is doing things and taking directions that I didn't expect, and its working out well.
3) World building is not essential. At least not to the sword and sorcery I'm writing. I'm not convinced one could pull off an epic without extensive world building. Maybe I'll try that next year.

To top it all off my wife is actually enjoying this novel, going to the point of askign when I'll have another chapter ready for her. Who knows, maybe this could be the one thats worth sending to a publisher. Then I'd really be eating my words.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not as easy as it sounded

My 300 words on day one was slightly short. Today I've got to write a lot to catch up. But I'm enjoying the experience. It’s an odd feeling to say 'that sentence doesn't work at all, but who cares'. Nothing is polished or pretty. But it’s there.

In the spirit of NaNaWriMo I decided to do everything this month, including all of the planning and plot. It’s exciting, I literally have no idea what is going to happen next. Normally I know the 'end from the beginning'. Yesterday Zeek and his pals were fighting off hordes of soldiers and a sorcerer. Mouse was trying to pick the lock on a door so they could escape. Today I'll find out what’s behind the door. And tomorrow, who knows?

How is everybody else going?

Good luck
BM out