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< Piro >

Megatokyo Cosplay - be 4fr41d... (this link's to their site ^_^)

"little by little"

Sunday - May 5, 2002

[Piro] - 12:23:00 - [link here]

Gyah. I should know better than to go to cons. For some reason, whenever i leave the state for any length of time, all hell breaks loose and i spend weeks cleaning up the mess. My trip to Anime Central was no exception.

I still can't believe that Anime Central was only two weekends ago. It feels like it was months ago. First, i returned home to find my Eudora in-box was corrupted, and after making the mistake of saying 'yes' to the 'rebuild indexes' prompt, i lost 15,000 emails. Why in god's name did i have 15,000 emails in my In-box? Mainly because i never did sit down and work out a way to properly handle all the email i get as a result of MT. I read it as it comes in, and god help me if i want to answer anything a few days later - it was almost impossible to find anything.

There is some good that comes from loosing all this email (basically, it's all the non-spam emails i've received since MT started a year and a half ago) I decided that i needed to find better ways of dealing with my email, and better ways of filtering spam and virus ridden emails (btw, word to everyone out there, PLEASE SCAN FOR VIRUSES... i literally get 50 emails with the Klez virus attached PER DAY.). I've also developed a system for marking emails that i want to answer, priorities, flames and beatdownmails, etc. I simply cannot answer most emails, but i am going to try harder to answer emails that i want to answer.

Speaking of viruses, the next thing i returned to was a rather nasty virus infestation at the office that came in through my personal email account (yes, my Megatokyo email). We finally got on top of it, but it just added a truckload of stress that i didn't need last week.

Then, it was a whole host of other Megatokyo related things that needed to be done. There's a lot of stuff going on in the background, above and beyond just getting the comic out three times a week. Yes, the past two weeks were screwed up. This happens when you loose momentum. I know some people still have a problem with me trying hard to keep the 3 per week schedule - well, tough. you know damn well that you will at LEAST get two good comics per week, and on good weeks there will be a third comic. It's rare to completely miss a comic, but it happens. Let me explain real quick why 3 per week is preferable to 2 per week one last time so maybe all of you will finally 'get it'.

When it comes to drawing and storytelling, momentum is the key. When I am on a roll, it's actually EASIER to roll from comic to comic. What kills you are the breaks in between, where you get out of your groove. I tried 2 per week for a while, but the gaps between comics were too great, it was actually HARDER. 3 per week is a good schedule for me. What gets me are all the extra things that i do in the background. Honestly though, if you've been reading MT for any length of time, you've got to be used to this by now. Also, i think it shows people that the creative process isn't perfect. People think that THEY can't create anything because what they see on TV or in print is always there and flawless. Sure, with lots of lead time, money, and it being your main job, thats very possible. Most of us don't have that luxury, so perhaps my way of doing things isn't so bad? :)

ok, enough whining. I need a little electronic 'whine meter' that can sit on my computer (maybe it can be shaped like seraphim sitting on the monitor, showing me her laptop which has a readout that says '75% annoying - stop whining before i smack you." Gosh, that'd be cool.

I had an absolute blast at Anime Central, as did the rest of the Megatokyo crew who came. I didn't get there till Friday afternoon, but once i had a chance to hook up with everyone, it was a lot of fun. We managed to get an art table to sit at, and for once i think i was able to actually draw something more than just a scribble for most people who came by (sharpie marker is not really my favorite medium). On friday we came across the first Megatokyo cosplayers...

now, before i serve up some pics and whatnot, i need to pause for a second here. I don't think i can describe how WEIRD it is to see people dress up as characters that you created. Even here, a year later, i found myself blinking and looking around with a funny feeling in my gut. My first experience with this was last year when i went to Anime Central - i was told that there was a girl running around in a burgundy version of Kimiko's idol outfit.. Sure enough, there was (i come to find out a year later that a friend over on the Fredart Forums knows her - small world ^^;;) I remember drawing this sketch while sitting on the couch scribbling out ideas for this webcomic rod and i were working on. It's just too spooky.

At Otakon 2001, i think i was more prepared for the idea of MT cosplayers, but even so, it's just... a WEIRD feeling to see people dressed up as you characters. For instance, at otakon, the one's that i did catch was this gal dressed up as Pretty Pretty Piromi (from this horrid sketch i did) - she looks a hella lot better than the sketch, and then there was this darkly spooky cute Miho cosplayer - she even had red contacts in her eyes... ^^;;;

At Anime Central, there was a whole crew of MT cosplayers - and the most amusing thing about them is that they are Asmodeus's friends from school... they knew Asmo was involved with MT, but weren't aware that he was the 'asmodeus' character until he started helping them with thier oufits ^^;; I knew they were going to be there, and on friday i got a chance to meet Piro and Seraphim ^^;;; That's another thing... cosplaying MT characters is cool, but when someone is cosplaying as your girlfriend... that's really kinda spooky ^_^ i gotta tell you tho, she pulled it off quite well. Looks disturbingly LIKE seraphim. ^^;;;;oh, and there was this guy cosplaying as Dom, who oddly enough looks more like Dom than Dom does. ^_^

Oh, and i understand that there was a Largo and Miho cosplayer... but they got into a car accident on the way to Acen, and couldn't make it (no one was hurt, just the car ^^;;)... that somehow seems so... prophetic, somehow... ^^;;

Saturday was the real work day for us. First there was the Iron Guest competition against the lovely Lorraine Reyes McLees, which i lost (no surprises there ^_^) - oh, Ukyo has put together some of his pics from the con here - he's much more organized that i am). After that, we went to visit Akamatsu Ken's panel and hear from the great Love Hina artist himself. I had made a little gift art for Akamatsu-san, which i carried around in hopes of giving it to him. I finally was able to later that day, but we were both so busy that we didn't have a chance to talk. More on that later, though...

Its right after the iron guest that i made a small mistake. Issac asked me if i could help judge the cosplay masquerade later that night. Like a doofus, i said 'sure!'. what i didn't realize was that this would goof me up later that evening.

after relaxing for a bit in the guest suite, we finally headed on down to the do the Megatokyo panel which was at 4:45 to 6:30. First off, the line to get into the panel was huge... mind numbingly huge. People described it as being bigger than even what i saw. When i got into the room, my heart fell... i had assumed we were getting both programming rooms, but what i saw was that the room had been divided and we had only a room for 200 people - and there were way way way more than that outside. Now, to be fair to the con staff, we had a room for 30 people last year, and they figured that a room for 200 would be plenty... but it wasn't. I was pretty upset about this, and i couldn't figure out what to do. I had committed to the cosplay judging, and i had to go, but i insisted on having a second panel after that just in case any of those people in line would be willing to come back later. I don't think its fair or right that anyone who gave us the honor of coming to see us couldn't - no matter what ever happens with mt's popularity, i don't ever want people shut out. My many thanks to everyone who came back to the second panel (which included the MT cosplayers, who didn't make it in the first time :(

The first panel went pretty well, i think we were sort of entertaining (there are times i just want to beat dom, asmodeus, and ukyo up with a baseball bat, and there were times that evening... ^^;; I think Crowqueen felt the same way. :) There was even an underwear signing request... gyah, i felt bad for refusing, she looked dejected... but i have to keep my conscience in mind, you understand. ^^;;;

after the panel, i helped judge the cosplay event... now, honestly, i think that everyone, and i mean EVERY one of the cosplayers that got up there and performed their skits on stage deserved a prize. It takes a brave person to do that, and i have to say i enjoyed watching all of it.

I was, of course, late for the second panel... to my chagrin, i discovered that Dom, Asmodeus and Ukyo had been, er... entertaining the crowd... while waiting for me. I do humbly apologize for this, and I will be bringing a liberal supply of duct tape to the next con to prevent any further... incidents...

At least the MT cosplayers were able to get to the second MT panel ^^;;; I've ruined some of these panels by posing with them (i don't look like piro at all, tho i do have the whole 'dork' thing down well ^^;;).Here's the cast - Junpei, the Megagamers boss, Piro, Seraphim, Ping and Dom., as well as them posing here and here, and then me ruining the picture here. Here Ping beats up on Junpei ^_^, and a better shot of ping-chan.

And yes, there have been other sightings of MT cosplayers, most recently a Piro cosplayer, of a sort, at Fanime 2002, and yet another Seraphim cosplayer at Sakuraocon...

Needless to say, i've never ceased to be impressed or not honored by people dressing up as MT characters. People seem to have fun doing it, and that really, is all that matters. :) Thanks to all of you, and if i missed anyone, please send me some picks, i'd love to see em.

Ok, this is getting long (what else is new) i should finish my con report. As i said earlier, I didn't have a chance to talk to Akamatsu-san, the guest of honor and amazingly talented creator of Love Hina, on saturday. However, on Sunday, thanks to Seizo-san, who was working as Akamatsu's translator, myself and the MT crew were invited to join Akamatsu-san and his wife for some Chicago style pizza at a restaurant near the hotel. I have to say that Akamatsu-san and his wife were incredibly nice, and were very receptive to talking with us (and trying to work their way thru a chicago deep dish ^_^). Many thanks to both Seizo and Asmodeus for their translation efforts. I have to admit that i was so damn nervous at the lunch that i didn't eat much, and any Japanese comprehension went out the window. Akamatsu-san had indeed checked out Megatokyo before coming to the con, and i was very grateful for the chance to talk with him about MT and to tell him about the nature of the market for anime, manga and comics here in the states.

after that, i headed home. I have to say i was pretty thoughtful on the drive home. It's been a very weird year and a half since Megatokyo started. Sometimes i dont know what to think. I've just been enjoying the ride, with all its trials and tribulations. Things do indeed change little by little, but its better that way... it makes it more surprising when you suddenly register just how much they HAVE changed over time...

I'd like to give thanks to Issac, Tony and Ryan as well as the rest of the Anime Central crew for all their help and for running a great con. You guys really made me feel welcome as a guest, and I hope i am able to come again next year. Keep up the good work. Props to our silent MT crewmember Crowqueen for proving that not everyone involved with MT is a freak :P, and hi to Cortana, Cookie, Pingchan, Shinji, cddikers, Mike, Rob and everyone else i missed or didn't get a chance to talk to at the con. That's the trouble with cons - too many friends around ^_^

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< Largo >

you're already here.

"My l33t Wedding"

Tuesday - May 7, 2002

[Largo] - 12:20:00 - [link here]

First up, Some Bioware News!

This Media Alert has been brought to you by the letter 'L' and the number '3', oh, and also by those talented Canadians that make my favorate unreleased game, Neverwinter Nights.

"Neverwinter Nights fans get an early look at the tools that make the game.

Fans of Neverwinter Nights will soon be able to get their hands on the BETA version of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset - the same tools that BioWare developers are using to build the game’s expansive Official Neverwinter Nights Campaign story. This BETA version of the Neverwinter Nights Toolset is being made available to enable the Neverwinter Nights community to become familiar with the easy-to-use Toolset, and with the process of building Neverwinter Nights modules. The BETA version is an ‘in development snapshot’ of the toolset that we’ve chosen to release to the fans early. It is not finished, but it is quite cool, and we thought the Neverwinter Nights community would appreciate getting their hands on it. The full, complete toolset will be included with the Final Neverwinter Nights game (coming soon to a software shop near you).

So, where can you get the BETA version of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset? Participating retailers (Electronics Boutique, Best Buy, and GameStop) are making the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset available as a Pre-Order bonus disc. As well, some of the participating retailers are also including in the pre-order package, a special ‘custom created’ module - to be made available after Neverwinter Nights is released.

About the BETA version of the Neverwinter Toolset:

This is a BETA release of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset. As with the previously released Neverwinter Nights Model Viewer, the Toolset may not work on certain systems. As a BETA version, it will include a limited selection of the final content in the game. There will be no updates, patches, or fixes to this BETA version of the Toolset. You will not be able to play, or test modules created with this version of the Toolset - you need the server software to do this, and that will be shipped with the final version of Neverwinter Nights.

Modules created with the BETA toolset will probably not work in the final game. Neverwinter Nights is still under development, and we may change the way things work. We will attempt to build a utility to convert modules made with the BETA toolset to be compatible with the final retail game, however we make no guarantee this will be possible.

Additionally, fans with a fast Internet connection can download the Aurora Toolset from various gaming websites (to be announced). Be warned, the toolset download is quite large! -Brad Grier, Bioware Communications Manager"

Well.. there you have it, within the next few weeks, everyone will be able to start working with the NWN Tools Set... I can't wait to craft myself my own little magic sword with that thing...

It's always an odd time when a game that you've been following for years while in development begins to approach that final moment of release, for us - the fans and press, we wait patiently, telling ourselves "Just One More Day." -- meanwhile the developers themselves are working "standard 60 hour crunch weeks", which is code for "I live in my cube, shoot me... please!"

Initializing Wedding Rant

As many of you know, I'm getting married in just a few short weeks on June 3rd. A Wedding is a wonderful thing, I always pictured it like a big fancy party with some ceremony and lots of beer at the end.

... man, was I wrong.

The truth is, a wedding is a massive undertaking, and ironically, the middle-sized weddings are the hardest to plan, apparently a large wedding is easy to deal with as you're forking out so much cash to hold it, that you just hire everyone else to do the work.

Having spent the last few months tied up in planning, decision making, and other assorted wed'd goodness, I've come to conclusion that couples who end up just eloping may be on to something.

Still, there is a certain irreplacable charm to a traditional wedding and reception, and so - my bride to be and I are looking forward to it. It should be great, I only wish I could invite all the fans of MT out there to it, but I don't think that could be managed with our current budget.

However, I have gotten a lot of emails about where to send gifts / where we are registered, etc. So for those of you interested, we are registered as Rodney Caston & Ruby Boiko at the following websites. Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and The Knot.

Recently I've taken a keen interest in playing Go, as a gamer I've always been fasinated with gaming systems from the d20 rules on down to far older games such as Chess and Go.

Lately I thought I'd try to see if I can actually get good at playing Go. Initally I started some games up on yahoo and the zone but finally came to find a server called Kiseido, a site for playing Go online that allows you to use their software so others can view your games and vice versa - and so you can determine your ranking and progress. Along with this, you compete with others for purposes of learning, or in my case - losing, lots of losing...

I had always been a good chess player, but it gets stale after awhile, like most strategy games, it eventually comes down to a war of depleing resources, as the board yields fewer and fewer pieces.

In Chess - you begin play with a board with a complete set of pieces, and as the game progress's the pieces are slowly removed, one by one. You always end play with less pieces on the board then when you began.

With Go, it's the opposite, you begin play with an empty board for you to fill with your stones like it was a canvas.

With Go, it's not that the stones that get depleted, it is the territory left on the board.

Another difference between the two, is scale - where Chess is about unit control, Go is about entire armies. You get a different vision about conquest from Go then you do from Chess. Chess has a singular objective - "CheckMate" - the striving to capture one piece on the board, where as Go focus's on aquiring territory on the board, not capture - instead, capturing stones in Go is a side effect, not the goal.

I suppose I could go on for a few more pages about Go, but I doubt I could really give my description of the game any justice.

If you want to learn more about the game, or to find local Go clubs and tournaments - try this link.


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