Á La Cartridge: The First Seasoning

One day, Destructoid’s features editor Steven Hansen, US notary Troy Henry, and Apple retail specialist Kenny Redublo thought it was a good idea to start a cooking show. It was a cooking show based on the question, “what does this video game taste like?” Loosely based.

We made six episodes for Destructoid, established a weird Twitter, Vimeo, and Tumblr.

The seventh episode has quite the cliffhanger…

Stay hungry, you filthy animals.

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NOS and Crave Online find the cure for sleep

After chugging a few NOS energy drinks, Crave Online had the jittery idea to break a world record at E3. It involved no sleep, fighting games and a tent full of energy. Fatalities and X-Rays were included too. Fueled by energy drinks and the lust for punching someone in the face, four gamers banded together to wreck the Guinness World Record of “Most Consecutive Hours Played of a Fighting Video Game.”

And wreck they did.

Located just shy of the convention center, NOS energy drinks and Crave Online collaborated to shatter this world record and get some E3 attendees the energy they need for the expo.

“We provide the gamers and NOS provides the fuel needed for this attempt,” said Nicole Chavez, senior marketing manager for Crave Online. “There is no better fit for this record attempt than Crave and NOS.”

Starting on June 7, the first day of the show, Lance J. Moose, Melissa Estuesta, Cristopher Bryant, and Paul Chillino started their attempt to break the world record of 30 consecutive hours of play.

Playing the newest iteration of Mortal Kombat, they were set for 31 hours to beat the record, but shot for 38-40.

“We wanna be able to show others that if you wanna beat our record, you have to work for it,” said Chillino.

Chillino has stuck with the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter series from the very beginning and though just a casual player, is interested in taking his skills into the tournament scene.

Though mainly a Call of Duty: Black Ops gamer and longtime Ghost Recon fan, his fighting game love has rekindled with the latest release of Mortal Kombat.

“The series has really gone back to its roots with all the blood, guts and glory,” said Chillino.

The idea of breaking a world record at E3 came from the creative director and the sales representative of Crave Online in order to hone in on big gaming events and gain a larger presence, according to Chavez.

The internal teams at Crave Online collaborated with their community to find the best gamers for the record attempt.

The whole sleepless affair was live streamed on Crave’s website icraveNOS.craveonline.com with interaction from the viewers through their twitter as well. Viewers had their tweets echoed to the gamers through the host of the live stream to give the gamers some motivation throughout their noble attempt at greatness.

NOS and Crave Online found the cure for sleep and it’s quite record breaking.

Originally published on June 15, 2011 @ Destructoid.com

Original post: http://www.destructoid.com/nos-and-crave-online-find-the-cure-for-sleep-203417.phtml

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Relentless Software goes smaller on iPhone and Kinect

Buzz devs Relentless Software get back into the quiz game foray with Quiz Climber, their first iPhone game that feeds the inner quiz addict with persistent social network integration and the lust for bragging rights.

Relentless Software Executive Directors David Amor and Andrew Eades are also working with Microsoft and their Kinect Fun Labs program to develop Music in Motion (tentative title), a Kinect project that makes air guitar look legitimately acceptable and fun.

With Music in Motion, Relentless uses the Kinect to superimpose guitars, drums and keyboards onto the “musicians” while they air-shred, air-solo or air-dazzle the party to five different types of music including disco and country.

“Air banjo is what the world has been waiting for,” said Amor.

Amor explained that Music in Motion won’t hold your hand since the actions of playing air instruments are usually natural.

“You don’t have to say ‘here’s what you need to do,’” said Amor. “Just go ahead and jam and see what instruments you can find.”

What the Fun Labs program is helping Relentless and the Kinect community out with is showcasing the potential alternative uses the device holds. Kinect games don’t necessarily have to be retail-size experiences and by making these “toys” and games smaller and experimental, Kinect can reach a more global audience.

“There’s no scores, there’re no levels,” said Eades. “It’s more an experience.”

Relentless have been on the smaller game track with their last project, Blue Toad Murder Files, premiering as an episodic PlayStation Network and PC downloadable title. Staying on the “smaller is better” track,Quiz Climber for the iPhone stays true to that purpose.

As these quiz game veterans have refined they craft, putting that experience on the iPhone is the logical step forward. In making their games a universal appeal for gamers and non-gamers, Quiz Climber plays out like the familiar and simple “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” formula. What keeps players coming back is the Facebook integration. The constant reminders of friends on a higher question than you fuels that lust for bragging rights.

“There’s something compelling about when you wake up and you see that little red badge [on the iPhone],” said Amor. “It drives you to go back in.”

With weekly updates for relevant questions and persistent Facebook integration, Quiz Climber will have some pull in the App Store on July 14 when it releases.

At Relentless, their purpose is to create games that have universal appeal and that anyone can get into. With Music in Motion and Quiz Climber, that purpose still stands.

“You don’t need to understand the language of video games to play our games,” said Eades. “We use the language of TV or something [familiar] to give people the leg up and understand what they’re supposed to do.”

Originally published on June 15, 2011 @ Destructoid.com

Original post: http://www.destructoid.com/relentless-software-goes-smaller-on-iphone-and-kinect-203432.phtml

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No touching my VisionBalls

Ever wanted to use your iPad but don’t have enough stupid hands to multitask? No? Alright then. Do even have an iPad? Well, that’s too bad. I’m still gonna tell you about this new tech though so deal with it.

According to the grocery store copy machine flyer given to me at this show floor demo, literally sitting on the floor, “building upon the spatial-tracking success of the best-selling applications Wall Painter and Home Decorator,” this middleware will use the front facing camera in the iOS devices and enable motion tracking for use in games and apps. But seriously, Wall PainterHome DecoratorBest selling.

Demonstrating the tech in a basketball game VisionBall, the camera is able to detect the depth of your hand and individual fingers and gestures like shooting a basketball will, obviously, shoot a basketball. The tech is very similar to early EyeToy games and, more recently, Kinect games… like Sports Champions.

The tech has been in development for six months now by one single man, Joel Teply. According to his representatives, Teply is in deals to collaborate with CNN and Pixar. Yeah.

The demo tech was made in a week before E3 and had some hitches especially with the convention center lighting. There were multiple options to fully calibrate the tech and by multiple options, I mean sliders. Like Jerry O’Connell’s run on FOX, these won’t make it into the final product. Janky is where the tech stands right now but still, motion controls is the equivalent to a VD for video games.

Where this tech’s real focus was was at WWDC, showing off its VisionBalls to the heads of Apple and getting some great buzz from developers, according to Nathan Evans, project manager at Digital Rising. This E3 demo was just to show that something is coming and in the works. I don’t blame them for having troubles with the tech since the rush it had endured, but to prove that there is something in the works is beneficial. I still stand by my views on motion control in games but as a use in different applications like navigating through the OS, I can see the potential. I’m lazy so waving my hands around and actually having those actions do something seems beneficial, especially lying down in bed just inches away from my computer.

Upon further discussion with Evans, the main difference between this tech and Kinect is that it isn’t tacked onto an otherwise controller based navigation system. iOS implements all touch so this tech’s finger recognition might prove better than Kinect’s often janky navigation.

Kinect comparisons aside, this tech is still work in progress but the potential still stands in making every iPad user a bit more lazier. Seeing the VisionBall demo didn’t very much pique my interest, due to its early bugs and unsurprising game concept, but if this tech can get us closer to that “Minority Report” style of navigation, as what the Move and Kinect initially promised, I’m all for it.

Until then, shoot some VisionBalls, paint some walls and decorate some homes. Just don’t touch me.

Originally published on June 15, 2011 @ Destructoid.com

Original post: http://www.destructoid.com/no-touching-my-visionballs-203447.phtml

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Unexpectations: E3 2011 Day 1 “So says Mr. Destructoid…”

Day 1:

Gas. Brake. Traffic. I thought 9:30 in the morning would be more than sufficient for clear roads. Of course, I was wrong. The usual 45 minute drive turned into an hour and a half of me cursing every congested junction I pass. I just wanted to get to E3 already!
Well, after a strenuous test of patience, I had finally arrived… to a four block trek.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

First walk of the expo

Not too bad considering the beautiful weather. For someone who doesn’t really know the existence of time before noon, I had quite the bit of energy. It was the E3 energy.
Dressed in my best bowtie and vest, I was ready to ham it up as Mr. Destructoid. To strut was my calling and to pose was my purpose.

Fresh out of the Nintendo press conference, I met Jesse “Tactix” Cortez, the ever great Dtoid SF community manager and most of the Dtoid team.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Always be busy

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Work work

The burning excitement was still ever lasting from the press conference, with the Wii U announcement and other Nintendo charm in the eyes of the staff. It was really great to see that common glee for video games instead of getting blank stares.

Having some spare time before I get into some mascot hijinks, I got to tour the expo floor. Due to me being excessively ready with camera equipment, Niero asked me to tour the Nintendo booth since that is what would be the hype of the day, coming fresh out of the presser. And focus I did.

Lines galore and pretty ladies tethered with tech, the Nintendo booth and its pretty lights was a warm welcome to E3. With tons of demos and the Wii U actually playable, give or take, the booth seemed to take the attendee saturation statistic.

The wait time signs proved no hinderance to eager attendees, while some just wanted the “experience.”

As the booth started to fill, the girl holding the Wii U controller I had previously talked to became surrounded by overly anxious photographers, taking awkwardly close photos of the controller near her crotch.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Calm before the storm

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Never mind that hottie, that's the effin' Wii U!

A look of discomfort was shot across the lurchers to me, in which all I could return was sympathy. So sorry, miss.

As I frolicked the floor, I couldn’t find the urge to stop myself and just play something. I was on a roll to just get footage of everything. I was addicted to footage. Video games were a second priority and I had no idea why. It was the journalist in me branching out. I also got to give Jeff Gerstmann and Vinny Caravella of Giant Bomb greatness my business card! Alright!

But I still did manage to break away from coverage lust to play Dance Central 2. I can’t express the joy I felt dancing to Montell Jordan’s ‘This is How We Do It.’ It is just ‘how we do it.’ I was also really happy to find out that one of the dancers remembered me from last E3. Not one for goodbyes, I told them I’ll be back… wearing a robot head.

It was time to don the mask. And a role it was.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

You know. Robot business.

Being silent in that head as I followed Jesse’s feet around the floor, all I could think about was that Sanford and Son theme song to motivate my strut. It worked, since I heard some ladies say, “I like how the robot walks!” Success.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Mission accomplished.

So I posed and strutted and apparently met quite a few people. I think I met the head of Gaijin Games. That would explain that Commander Video pin I had on me.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Dtoid Royality Hollie Bennett

Photo by Kenny Redublo

The infamous bastard himself, Mr. Caffeine.

I danced to Glee songs that Jesse would sing. Apparently, Glee is a thing.

Ladies love cool Mr. Destructoid according to all the photos I saw after my tour of the floor. I couldn’t really see any of them but hamming it up as I pointed and posed as cheesy as can be was the best part of being Mr. Dtoid.

Photo by Kenny Redublo

Also, cocktails.

As the first day of E3 ended, I was sweaty and fancy all over, but the night hadn’t even begun. And did it ever have its lasting effects.

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Unexpectations: E3 2011 Day 0

No, I was still unprepared. After a night of whiskey, beer and meeting people with great cheer, I decided to stay in neighboring Highland Park with my sister. I already planned to stay there for the days of the expo but under these certain circumstances, I had to make some exceptions. So for the day -1 and 0 posts, I won’t have any photos or videos since I was quite unprepared and maybe hungover.

Day 0:

Nonetheless, I headed over to the convention center as early as I could muster for some scouting. I ended up sitting in a chair by the press registration for at least an hour and a half, somewhat falling asleep. I had my reasons but I did end up getting out of there.

I realized it was almost time for the EA press conference and it not being that far away (and also getting my parking money’s worth), I decided to take my chances. Six or seven blocks later, I had arrived at the historic Orpheium Theatre with a sprawling line overflowing the sidewalks.

Well here are the press elite. Being a games journalist lurker supreme, my mind just starts name dropping all the people I see. I ran into 1UP’s Jeremy Parish on the way there. I was silently giddy while trailing behind Jeff Gerstmann, Vinny Caravella, Drew Scanlon and Patrick Klepek. I spent my time over there hanging out with Sterling McGarvey and Andrew Pfster, since I had met them previously at Insomniac Games’ Community Day about two months ago. I was happy they had remembered me so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable being in a place where I really did not belong.

After long periods of waiting and trying my hardest to look like I belong, I had the chance to get into the conference.

“Hey there. Can I get your name?”

“Hey how’s it going? My name is Kenny Redublo.”

“…..ummm. I don’t see your name on the list. Did you get an invite?”

“Hmmm. That’s weird. I did get an invite but I guess I’m not on the list. I talked to one of your staff members earlier and he said I would be fine.”

“Well, I’ll see what we can do. Just wait on the side. Sorry.”

Yes, I lied. I’m no one in this industry, but that just gives me more opportunity to exploit that fact. If I’m no one, I can be anyone.

Well, this time was not a success. I hung out with some other press members that were cool enough to let me just tag along.

And tag along I did. After EA was a bust, Ubisoft was just down the street. We had heard it was a first come, first served conference so our chances seemed much more hopeful.

Conferences are pretty damn hopeless. Especially for me.

We waited in the “without conformation” line until we got inside of the Los Angeles Theatre.

“What’s your name?”

“Kenny Redublo.”

*reads ID*

*reads list*

“I don’t see your name on the list.”

“Oh that’s weird. Well I’m with him.”

*point towards one of the guys I’ve been hanging out with*

“Well do you have a business card?”

“Aw actually I left them back at the hotel.”

“You don’t have a business card.”

(She knew it was all malarky)

(She had to)

“Sorry. :(”

Denied again. I was playing a losing game to begin with but it was still worth a try. At least the other guys I was with didn’t get in either. We had a defeated pizza lunch at the place next door before we said our goodbyes.

And so, I left. I smelled like beer from the night before due to Hamza Aziz spilling on me from the pre-E3 party and needed a shower. So I went home.


Design by Kenny Redublo

This took five hours of drawing, scanning and procrastinating.

I wrangled my (borrowed) cameras, my (borrowed) microphones, clothes, bike, vest, bowtie. This time I was ready. First day of the expo was tomorrow. It was time for business (cards).

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Unexpectations: E3 2011 Day -1

My original plan for E3 this year has been a bit modified. I was going to go as press for the Student Voice, but through unexplained circumstances other than laziness, I forgot to turn in my press credentials. I was out this year and I was fine with that. I actually wasn’t. As the expo inched closer, I started to go into business mode. Every E3 contest I saw, I entered. I tried. Oh, did I try.

My sleepless nights were riddled with ideas for entries. Videos of conversations, casual eating, the chugging of gallons of milk. Anything and everything came to mind when it came down to the wire. What I learned most from this new found inspiration is that I can be motivated. Motivated to write, to film, to talk. And it has paid off.

Day -1:

With this burning motivation, I found myself getting into the communities of Giant Bomb and Destructoid. I managed to set up a SoCal Giant Bombers E3 meet up and got some response, but that response was overwhelmingly great! I always strayed away from message boards and forums since I never thought I was being heard. When my ideas and interests are shared, there is no other gratifying feeling than that. With hopes of the E3 meet up actually pulling through, I was getting the comfortable feeling of not lurking alone.

As for the E3 contests I joined, my efforts with the 1UP.com contest were fruitless, but the Destructoid contest gave me a mention. It was no E3 pass but I was glad my sleep-deprived ideas were appreciated. Feedback was the real prize I won and it is gratifying.

Well, in my grogginess of wake after a night of more E3 planning, I gathered word of the Destructoid pre-E3 party. I always wanted to go to an E3 party but I was never of age or work had to conflict. It was Sunday. Nothing to do. Nothing planned. Until now. Drinking is always more fun when you’ve got something to talk about and with the shared interest of video games, there is drunk fun to be had. The party also gave me the chance to inquire about another E3 desperation attempt. Destructoid had an open call to LA locals who own nice suits to become Mr. Destructoid, their mascot whose swagger scours the expo floor. When I saw that open call, I was game. I like wearing nice clothes and I think I can strut it out, especially wearing a robot head.

Seven Grand was the venue and whiskey were the drinks. It was my kind of place. Dim, lots of wood paneling, on a second floor of a classic downtown LA building. It was classy. But video games. The first thing on my mind wasn’t just to schmooze with game journalist elites. I like to meet people. Naturally. So, over drinks, pool and smoking lounges, I got to meet people. Fun people. People who actually introduced me to the heads of Destructoid and founder Yaniero Gonzalez was kind enough to be Mr. Destructoid. As much as I wanted to talk shop, we were at a bar, for a party! Business can wait and wait it did, for the night went on with more genuine conversation (well, as genuine as it can get with alcohol) about what we all love, video games. And California burritos.

My only regret is that I didn’t make business cards in time for the party. I would get a business card then as they waited for a similar exchange, all I could give was an excuse. “I forgot?” “I’m just a fan.” “I don’t work for the industry.” Each excuse I gave made me feel like such a kid. Very professional, Kenny.

Well, after meeting assorted game journalists like Leigh Alexander, Phillip Kollar and most of Destructoid, I’m motivated. Eyes up, business cards ready. Bring it.

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