Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This is what's up

I'm starting a new series of posts called "This is what's up." It will be similar to the "update from your favorite blogger" series, but will be a little bit more focused and talk about a few big things rather than every single little thing going through my head at the time of writing.

So one serves the point of actually leting you know what's up, whereas the other is just me entertaining people with my A.D.D. (which I'm going to continue telling people that I have because it's funny.)

So, here's what's up:

StarCraft II beta ended last night:

After about a month of playing the game I have to say Blizzard has done a very good job of creating a game that's both fresh and similar enough to StarCraft I that old fans won't be disappointed. The game mechanics are exactly the same - I was able to sit down and start playing competitively without losing too badly (I actually won my first two games, which says something either about me or the game, I'm not too sure).

The 3 biggest differences between this StarCraft and the previous are (in my opinion):

1) StarCraft 2 gives good players more to work with. The pace of the game is faster, and being a top player requires more active management of every unit under your control. Blizzard has actually made many low-level "administrative" tasks simpler to execute, so the player's focus is more on scouting the enemy, deciding what kind of troops to build, and what special abilities to use.

2) Unit selection is CRITICAL. In the old game you could sometimes get away with sending the wrong kind of units into battle if you had enough of them. This no longer works! For example - I played a game yesterday against a Protoss player who only attacked me with zealots. As Zerg, I countered with Banelings and Hydralisks. Banelings are mutated from Zerglings and explode on impact - thus they are the perfect counter to a melee unit like the Zealot. Needless to say, I annihilated him with very little effort.

3) There are more ways than ever to be very very very gay use strategy to surprise an unsuspecting opponent. While playing, you have to constantly think of what the map looks like, what race your opponent is, what units he has the capability of building, and how he can use them to be really really gay strategically outmaneuver you.

I am looking forward to the full version being released this summer and am waiting to find out what final changes Blizzard makes to the game...

Making progress on the EP:

It seems that I've been recording drums for so long now that I've actually forgotten how to properly play guitar. After tracking every song 18,000 times to get a perfect recording, I discovered a little utility called the Beat Detective in Pro Tools, which basically tears apart your recordings and moves the pieces around so they are perfectly in time, then uses some clever crossfading techniques to conceal the scars. It's not magic, but if your playing is close enough to perfect, the Beat Detective will make it very very close to perfect.

Apparently they use this or something similar to it (fancier) on pretty much every recorded song ever made. I wish someone had told me about this earlier!!!!! (angry face). But I'd rather have my original drums recorded perfectly and then tune them than have to Pro Tools a bad drum track to death. I've always been about solid fundamentals and I don't see this changing my game. So (raises glass) to the next 18,000 takes.

Finally started tracking guitars on my favorite song yesterday (which none of you have heard yet, except Keith, Justin, and Alex). If you're lucky I might release this one early! I have most of the riffs/choruses recorded already and am going to dedicate tonight to some good quality production work to really spice up the track. Stay tuned!!

Mo out.

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