"an ology for the new millenium"
Why, it's the vanity site and weblog of Eric Tilton! [*]

Bernie says hello. He'd like to know if you have any wet cat food for him.

Welcome to ology.org! This is the personal vanity site of Eric Tilton and Carrie Jones. It mainly exists so that we can laugh heartily at our clever e-mail addresses (like tele@ology.org). Ho ho ho!

Please wander around, and feel free to enjoy my fine Corinthian web log.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

[Posted 1/8/2002 11:17:50 AM by tilt]
(I wrote this on the sixth; though I didn't post it until today...)

One year after moving to Austin, I'm on a jet plane flying back to Pittsburgh. Like film running in reverse, it was sunny and gorgeous in Austin when I left, and dark and snowy in the 'burgh on my arrival:

(This is a slightly different attempt at posting pictures; I used the new iPhoto app to upload the image (and thumbnail) to my mac.com site. Unfortunately, the PITA factor for getting the link to the corresponding thumbnail is high -- about as high as my other scheme, with generates better quality thumbnails.)

[Posted 1/8/2002 10:58:49 AM by tilt]
Hmmmm, apparently Xanadu went open-source a few years ago, and they've just now got the web site up.

Ted Nelson can go hang; he had a great idea thirty years ago, and his spent his life doing squat with it. We've moved on. We don't care. (Obviously disprovable, since I bothered to post the link.) The web succeeded because it's a simple, 80% solution that let people get on with things. Xanadu was a perfectionist dream that would have required us to buy into a Microsoft-like software tyranny. So, whatever.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

[Posted 1/3/2002 03:56:41 PM by tilt]
As Francis observes, "I'm going to try and get away from the computer and play less PC games. I mean there's a whole world of console gaming out there that I'm denying myself."

On that note, I bought a PS2 for Christmas this year (with the help of some Best Buy gift card presents). I've been toying with the idea for forever. I'd originally been thinking about an XBox;after all, it's new, it's hip, and it's got Halo. But that's about all it's got, while the PS2 has a year's worth of PS2 games, a passel of PS1 games, and plenty of titles that specifically interest me, like:

  • Ico (which I rented and played before I even bought the PS2, and which rocked)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2
  • Final Fantasies IX, X, XI, ...
  • The Lost (a version of Dante's Infernofrom the guys who did System Shock 2)
  • The sequel to Drakan
  • Grand Theft Auto 3
etc, etc. I borrowed a bunch of games from my brother, and I also went out and picked up MGS2. I don't know what I was expecting, exactly. I know that the port of Max Payne to the PS2 was texturally underwhelming, and that the Volition games (Summoner, Red Faction) that were initially done for the PS2 and then ported haven't taken full advantage of the PC platform (again, underwhelming textures). So what's the big deal?

Raw polygons, my friends, raw polygons.

I don't have any "facts" or "benchmarks" to give you, but I can say that the PS2 games I've played so far make up for in lighting models and effects what they may lack in texturing. And I don't have any explanation for that other than that the polygons on the models must be jacked way the hell up, so that the light & shadow effects look an order of magnitude more realistic. For that matter, they clearly must have allocated some nice resources for using an accumulation buffer, because there's also plenty of motion blur & depth of field effects. And, since these features are standard on every PS2 (but you can't count on them in Joe Random's PC video card), the games take advantage of them.

To be specific, Metal Gear Solid 2 has the most god-damned amazing water effects I've ever seen. (OK, the water reflection effects in Blade of Darkness are probably still the leader in that category.) Rain falls, water pools, Snake shakes off the rain when he gets out of it, and -- best of all -- when you're in first person view, the water beads convincingly on the camera.

If it'd been my job to write the code, I would have done nothing but dance around in my socks saying "who's da goddamn man?" for a whole week after I got it working right.

So, yeah, I'm enjoying my PS2. I'm not done with my PC by a long shot; Return to Castle Wolfenstein aptly demonstrates what the high end of that platform is capable of visually, and I'm hungry for more. But now I've got the capability to check out even more of the "adult" gaming that's out there. And besides, it turns out Carrie's into playing Dead or Alive 2, and hey, who can resist the lure of video games that your girlfriend wants to play with you?

See earlier stuff in the archives


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