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Ian
@machall
productions
.com
Would you kindly...
August 27, 2007, 02:54 EST
 
Finish your rant when you get to the office, Ian?



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
The cats had unplugged the cable modem.
August 27, 2007, 00:14 EST
 
So he couldn't just Google for it.



Ian
@machall
productions
.com
What can I say...
August 24, 2007, 04:35 EST
 
...I guess I'm threatening looking. In an angsty, stick figurey kinda way. I think.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
Lately it's been termites
August 21, 2007, 14:33 EST
 
I am the man on point with the vacuum.

At least we don't own the building, so haw haw on you apartment management.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com

August 17, 2007, 01:54 EST
 
By contrast, Greg lives about 25 miles north and does comics about the San Francisco's ever-changing weather.

This place has crazy microclimates.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
Shirts and things
August 10, 2007, 03:02 EST
 
We're going to take a mulligan on the logo shirt and redesign it, but the redesigned "sell your soul for a cookie" shirt is up.



Ian
@machall
productions
.com
Tap 2 Mana
August 10, 2007, 02:59 EST
 
tm nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

...Pixel stepped on the keyboard.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
Unexpected
August 8, 2007, 21:27 EST
 
The old Mac Hall IRC channel is still up and running at irc.sorcery.net #machall.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
Oh hey
August 7, 2007, 13:35 EST
 
There's a new shirt in the store, along with some old Mac Hall prints. Revised cookie shirt to follow.



Ian
@machall
productions
.com
Done and Done
August 5, 2007, 01:59 EST
 
Well that was a blast. No really, I may have taken a long ass time on it, but I rather enjoyed making this one, and I'm happy with the results.

Since this is a Warcraft comic and all, with the announcement of the Death Knight hero class, I have to comment on something...

Gnomes better be available as a race choice for the class. I must create such a monster:

I shall call her Calabim.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
See, because fist weapons don't grant a backstab ability and...
August 4, 2007, 23:47 EST
 
Actually, if you don't play World of Warcraft, I'm positive you don't care.



Ian
@machall
productions
.com
More progress made...
August 4, 2007, 04:40 EST
 
Taking my time with this one. I want to make sure it's done right. I shall continue to chip away at it over the weekend. However don't expect another comic after this one bright and early, Monday. I'll be all groggy and shit.

And for those that missed it, here's the last round of sketches for this comic. Mostly unused action shots.



Ian
@machall
productions
.com
Oh good God...
August 2, 2007, 14:54 EST
 
...Why did you have to link RED? I was such an angsty dink in high school.



Matt
@machall
productions
.com
Nostalgia
August 2, 2007, 14:52 EST
 
Ian and I sat down with the rereleased Marathon 2: Durandal on Xbox Live last night. Good stuff.

Ian and I put in a marathon Marathon session and plowed through up to "The Big House." Marathon co-op was never something I got to do back in the day. It was an Appletalk-only gig, and I was the only guy around with a Mac anyway.

We had to fiddle with the aspect ratio on Ian's non-HD tv to regain perepherial vision, but other than that, it's a good adaptation.

As a game, Marathon 2 holds up even better than I remember. Durandal is possibly the best character in video games, and all the terminal text is wonderful pulp sci-fi.

It's an odd symmetry, being here and playing Marathon with Ian, considering we first met seven or eight years ago over Marathon: Red.



Ian
@machall
productions
.com
"There are obviously many things which we do not understand, and may never be able to."
August 2, 2007, 13:39 EST
 


So by now, there's a good chance that if you have a 360 you've heard that Marathon:Durandal has been ported and detailed up for Live Arcade. While my co-workers may argue that Doom was better, I have a lot of love for the series.

It's been ported by the creaters of Burning Monkey Free Verse. When I heard that part of the news I had to laugh. The same chat channel that I met and eventually teamed up with Matt on was a Marathon fan channel. (I think it was on a program called 'Hotline') Matt went by the screen name Forensic where as I went by the ever creative handle of _IAN_. Also on the channel was Bruce & Mark. (Hippieman & HaveBlue) who both now work at Free Verse. When I heard that that Bruce was the lead on the project I had to smile at how it sort of came full circle.

Now, I'm going to talk about the port, not the original game. It's still the same damn game it was when it was released. So all the gripes of level design and confusing back tracking is still there and really doesn't need to be discussed here.

With all that said, I'm biased toward the 2.5d shooter. The port is pretty spot on. It feels just like the original, though I'm not keen on the Interact button (Switches, terminals, doors) be so far from the rest of the controls. The art is very well done. My hat's off to the wall texture artist. Most artists when they tried to up res those graphics made their own thing. This artist remained so faithful to the source material it almost looks like he painted between the pixels of the original art.

The creatures and guns are also really well crafted to their source material, though I would have liked more frames of animation than the original clips. But I understand what they were going for.

I also would have liked the co-op option to better support respawning. Halo style. As it is, when you die, you warp to the start spawn with just your pistol. I would prefer that you warp to another player's location and if both(all) players die, the level resets. Otherwise with enough lava deaths your eventually have a team of players trying to punch Juggernauts to death because they ran out of gear. (Though considering you can have 8 players in co-op, this could be an amusing sight.)

My last and largest complaint of this port is that if you play single player on a 4:3 ratio screen you will be in for some stomach aches. Instead of squeezing the screen down and increasing the FOV you are instead limited to an infuriating tunnel vision that will have you wildly whipping your view around so you can figure out where you are. This is just down right unacceptable. (Hippie, what the hell?) So if you can set you screen to 16:9, do so and switch you Xbox to the same. Even if you lack an HD screen. Otherwise enjoy playing with blinders on.

Now if you play spit screen, there's no problem. That width is ideal for the game.

All things considered, I still played the game till 1am last night.



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