Economy of Effort

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What A Week

I am typing this from downtown Austin, TX. But we’ll get to that part later.

Last week, the gaming gods saw fit to bestow SOCOM III unto us. And it is good. Probably one of the last three PS2 games I will really play (the others being Shadow of the Colossus and, if Play Magazine is to be believed, Dragon Quest 8). The game has lived up to my expectations. Granted, I got a sneak peek with the online beta, but that was only one map. The rest of the game is of even higher quality than what we saw in the beta. When it comes to my online shooter time, I’m left saying, “Halo who?” (No, Kristyn, this does not mean you will be able to defeat me.)

Also, I had a brutal midterm and an assignment to complete for a couple of my classes. I spent the first part of the week doing nothing but studying and taking occasional SOCOM breaks. When Friday came, I was happy. All I had to do was go to work, and after that, I was free - with a hockey game to go to that evening.

Then, as I sat in idle traffic on Nees Ave., some idiot girl rammed into our lane of traffic, causing the person behind me to hit into me and damage the whole back end of my car. This set of a flurry of insurance activity (given the fact that there are four participants and 3 insurance companies involved and all) that continues still. My back was sore for two days, but some rest and hockey-induced adrenaline chased that away.

So with all that behind me, I left Fresno today (well, Wednesday) for Austin to attend the Austin Game Developer’s Conference. On my flight, I overheard some other attendees-to-be. Indeed, there seem to be many staying here in this Radisson Hotel, three blocks from the Convention Center where the conference is being held. My goal, of course, is to offer myself up to the recruiters, seeing as I am finishing school after next semester. Although this may end up being more of a dress rehearsal for next March’s conference in San Jose, where I will have some demo work to present (instead of just a resume), it will still prove to be a valuable learning and preparatory experience. Plus, it will give me material to pull from for my research writing class. Anything on top of all of that is a great bonus.

My flight from Fresno to Dallas was long, but my PSP made the time pass quickly. On Tuesday, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories released for the PSP. I ran out and got the last copy that GameStop had, in preparation for my flight. It was a good move, as the game is excellent. It’s basically GTA3 on the PSP. Some new content and tweaks that have occured in the series since then are present, of course. I was always more keen on Liberty City as a GTA setting than any of the others, so I’m pleased with the return there in this game. The only danger now is that I might go out of my way to play it in situations where I wouldn’t otherwise play my handheld games, and I’ll run out of it before the next trip I take.

Anyway, I’ll be posting a bunch of pictures and notes from the conference here. Thank goodness for free WiFi Internet access in the lobby.