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< Piro >

just one of the preliminary scribbles...

"wear this chaos well"

Friday - March 15, 2002

[Piro] - 08:29:00 - [link here]

My appologies for the lack of rantage recently - i've actually been doing a lot of writing, fine tuning and fleshing out a lot of the less defined areas of the MT storyline - but I can't really post that stuff without ruining the story for everyone. Besides, brain matter splotched on monitor screens really upsets the cleaning lady. :P You think my public rantings are inchoherent...

It's kind of nice to be back on track with MT again. I realize that for several months things were quite disjointed - thanks for being patient and sticking with us. I was sure that people would get frustrated and give up after a while, and i've been warmly suprised that this hasn't been the case. Thank you. I know i tend to get a little heavy on the pirodrama and piroangst at times, and the odd email or two will set me off (this is something new with me, i dont really understand where this reactionary segment of my personality came from...) As long as MT is a part-time thing for me, there will allways be little hiccups here and there. The past few months, of course, have been more like some kind of massive hiccup fit, like when Calvin tried to cure his hiccups by eating big scoops of sugar ^_^ - ah, Watterson, you magnificent bastard...

Well, i said i wasn't going to go to any Anime conventions this year, but... oh well. Somehow i got roped into it. More than one, too. I personally don't think we deserve any special attention, but it seems that several cons have seen fit to invite us as guests this year. So here's the 'Megatokyo Tour 2002' schedule so far:

I will be attending Anime Central in Chicago between April 19th and April 21st (the con runs from Thursday the 18th, but i'm planning on driving out there that friday). Anime Central is a great con, i actually consider it my 'local' con because i can drive there :) It was at Anime Central last year where the first Megatokyo panel was held. That was... an interesting experience... [insert 'flashback scene' harp pulls here]...

I wasn't really at Acen last year in any official capacity, but Dom said that we should try to get a discussion panel that saturday. I figured 'what the hell' - i mean, if ADV vision can have a panel, why couldn't I? :P I figured that if we were lucky 15 people would show up, so it's not like i did any kind of preperation for it. When it was time for the panel, we went down the hallway to where our panel was scheduled (a room sized for about 30 people or so), the hallway was pretty packed. Most of the rooms along the way had panels or gaming rooms going, so this hustle bustle was pretty normal. The room our panel was going to be in was still packed from the previous panel, so dom and i waited outside with people who seemed to be waiting for our panel (the megatokyo shirts were a dead giveaway). After chatting a bit with some of the folks there, some people from inside the packed room asked us what the hell we were doing waiting in the hallway - the packed room was for OUR panel, not the previous one, and they were waiting for dom and i to arrive.

Y'now, as an architect, i'm pretty used to presenting projects and whatnot to people. I don't have a problem addressing a large crowd at a plan review meeting, or presenting designs to board meetings - i'm fine with public speaking, really. But this was different, way different. Freaky, if you must know. I was not... ready... to deal with such a ... large crowd. As we went to sit down, my hands were shaking - that hasn't happened since i was a junior in college giving my first presentation to a grumpy irritible jury of critics in design class. ^^;; The room was more than packed, it was scarily packed, and i heard from many people later that they were unable to get in.

Well, when Anime Central invited me as a guest this year, i told them sure, but we sorta need a bigger room this time. :)

Anyways, Akamatsu Ken, the artist and creator of Love Hina is gonna be there. I feel it is my DUTY to admonish him to have a litte more respect the wonderful characters he creates - it's not fair that they are so damn... *exposed* ... all the time (cough). Damn DAMN fine artist tho. Makes me wanna shove both my hands in a food processor and hit 'liquify' when i look at the Love Hina manga. (historic note - i was using the love hina manga as a model for the switch from 4 panel to manga sized MT strips)

So, if you are in the midwest, Acen is a great opportunity to come down and help us break some more fire codes and room occupancy limits :P Largo and Dom unfortunately won't be there, but WingZero (also know as Asmodeus and Wing "bandai please don't sue us!" Zero) will be there, as well as Ukyo (he doesnt do anything) and a few others. :P Should be fun.

At the end of the following month, from May 30th to June 2nd, both Largo and I will be attending A-kon, a really great little convention in Dallas, Texas. A-kon is Largo's local con, and he's been going for years. I've never been to texas, so when the really nice folks who run A-kon invited me (it was a 'how can i possibly say no this nice lady?' thing) i said 'sure'. Also, MT is physically hosted in Dallas (gee, i get to see the actual server), and several mutual friends that have been a big help with MT live there and will be attending. Ukyo, Natsuki, Rubiko, and maybe even Dom (god help us). So, if you are in the south and wanna bop in and see us, please do. A-kon is a fun, well established con and i am looking forward to going.

There may be one more convention this year, and i'll give you details on that when we have official word on what we are doing.

One big worry about going to these cons is that it that it seperates Seraphim and I from each other for several days at a time - which is the biggest major drawback. Call me sappy, but i hate bein away from her for more than a few days. Seraphim is not a con-goer, it's just not her thing (i honestly think she could only roll her eyes and groan so much at watching me fumble in front of a crowd of people.) Also, just consider - comic seraphim at an anime convention - 'nuff said. ^^;;)

Of course, when i tell her that going to these cons is 'work' and 'i'm doing it for Megatokyo' i get this dead level stare that she is so good at. "but... but... I not going to play. Really! It's a working trip!!" to wit she replieas, "uh huh. really."

I'm so misunderstood.

So, what to do? It just means i have to pay some extra special attention to her in large doses over the next few months - which isn't something i mind at all, it just requires some 'planning' (refer to my last rant to reference how good i am at that). Ah, the next few months should be very interesting.

I do have one small dillema surrounding Anime Central. Right after the con, i have a chance to see VNV Nation perform in Chicago... gah, i am so tempted, i really want to see these guys. If i go, it makes it a longer trip, and i'm still not sure if i want to be away that long. I really should go - i plan to hire the VNV nation to produce MT tracks for "Megatokyo the Movie" someday ... yeah yeah, i know, but hey, i can fantasize too. :P

Oh, before i forget - go pick up a copy of 'Future Perfect'. Damn fine disk. If you are new to VNV Nation, be sure to pick up 'Empires' too. These disks, 'Empires' in particular, had a major influence on the Pirogoeth/RPGworld backstory. It also satisfies my inner sense of passive megalomania. Highly reccomended.

Some other quick things to mention - next week i am planning on starting the process of print new Megatokyo posters, based on the Capture the Bear image currently availible in our store - these will be 18" x 24" posters, not quite as big or as thick as the Pirogoeth posters (which were more art prints than posters ^_^). These should be availible in a few weeks, i'll keep you posted.

Finally, i have a little request for help, of sorts. As you may know, our hosting issues are still a pretty serious issue that we are dealing with here at Megatokyo. Our audience just seems to keep growing (it boggles the mind, where do all of you people come from??) and we are moving a pretty serious amount of bandwidth every day. While we are in no danger of falling over dead as a result of the bandwidth bills (yet), we are still facing having to change things again in the near future. Part of what we are going to be doing involves working with the small start-up colocation company currently hosting the megatokyo server.

It is actually owned and operated by our mutual friend and MT helper elf Jon (also known as 'Ukyo') Jon has several existing customers as well as hosting his own anime site 'Aniverse', which includes the IRC network that points to. When we had to move to new hosting, he took us in and we've been hosted there since. The only problem is - Megatokyo uses SO MUCH bandwidth that it's forcing him to have to grow - something he was planning to do in the future anyways, but with MT burning things up, he's gotta expand a lot faster than he was originally planning to. :)

Anyways, one of the things i was going to do for him was put together a website design - i have it started, but i've just been too damn busy to finish or refine it, and he needs a better site design ASAP so that he can attract new customers to support his expantion which helps us out by getting us the badnwidth chunk we need... you get the idea. ^_^ So, if anyone has some time this week and has good web design skills (we'd like to see basic layout examples) please email Ukyo@Megatokyo.Com.

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new! Capture the Bear swag! Woo hoo!

< Dom >

Come to me, Sakura Taisen 4...

"Carte Blanche"

Saturday - March 16, 2002

[Dom] - 11:00:00 - [link here]

The next two Tuesdays are going to be very bad for my wallet. Thankfully, I managed to snag a copy of the Great Teacher Onizuka DVD early, and have the Japanese version of Virtua Fighter 4, so the hit at least won't be as bad.

What games're coming out in the next couple weeks? Well, for one, Soccer Slam. Which is an absolute BLAST to play. There is nothing like playing Soccer Slam with a person who's seen Shaolin Soccer, because they are inextricably linked in the minds of those who've experienced both. When time slows down, a little targeting cursor appears and my player leaps into the air with a mightily improbable kick, I can't help but yell "Go, Mighty Steel Leg!" and my co-worker feels obligated to shout "Damn you! Nothing gets past Bruce Lee!". God, that game's fun.

Gunvalkyrie: I played some of that, and the controls are far too awkward for me to get to love. High learning curve plus American Xbox controller equals baaaad.

Deus Ex: The Conspiracy is coming, and it will devour my soul. As a sidenote, I once joked around about making a fake ad that read "Warren Spector will make you his bitch", in a mockery of the old Romero ad. The problem is--he already has...

Freedom Force is also on the 26h, and that's the game that's finally motivating me to upgrade my computer, which has served me decently for almost three years now, despite its ATI Rage Fury Pro 8 MB card. What do I like about Freedom Force? It's like The Tick, but more for the purposes of nostalgia than parody. How else do you explain Minute Man, whose origin movie looks back at the height of cold war hysteria? Or Bullet, whose origin is a Rambo-like "Let's win the war this time" fantasy... but lord. The gameplay is also great--it's like Baldur's Gate, but without the running from zone to zone--in between missions and quests, you head back to headquarters, level up your members, and recruit new ones. Then you go see the plot, you do some bashing, and you see some more plot. The game calls to me--the only problem is the lack of co-op multiplayer, but hopefully someone will mod it to do that.

That about wraps up the games that will be devouring my soul for a couple weeks, and so I'll address what I know everyone wants to see: Nintendo and Square, kissing and making up. Or, a little more accurately, Yamauchi deciding that Nintendo losing money is a bad thing, and making sure that when he finally gets around to retiring, no one will start their tenure as the new head of Nintendo by reversing his decision about Square.

What do I think will come of this? Well, my personal hope is that Square will diverge from the Final Fantasy cash cow, and try and make something new for the Cube, rather than a rehash of the old standbys. Re-releases of old Final Fantasies for the GameBoy Advance are almost inevitable, of course, but I, for one, don't like where Final Fantasy is going. The game is fun and all, but at some point it stops being a game and becomes a plot about statistics manipulating, or statistics with a plot in there somewhere. Few things annoy me as much as "Remember to level up at least five times before the boss or he'll kick your ass" and then "Okay, time to press Confirm for an hour." Xenogears suffered heavily from the latter, and what I've seen of Xenosaga so far does too--there's no game there.

Maybe I'm just too jaded about these things. I should sit down with Dragon Warrior VII for all 120 hours of play some time... or just beat Valkyrie Profile again.

After all my deadlines, I think I'll do one of those... until next time.


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