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Posts tagged “australia

The Corpse-grinder that is Team Bondi

Here’s a funny story: when I was fresh out of university wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life oh, maybe 5 years ago, I happened upon a game developer in Sydney. It was Team Bondi and they were making, as they described it, ‘GTA set in the middle of last century’. I can’t remember who I saw or even exactly what the role was (no doubt ‘Junior-[insert alternative for shitkicker]‘) but the fact is I didn’t get the job. Thank heavens I didn’t.

Now that L.A. Noire has shipped, and is in fact nothing at all like GTA, IGN Australia has published a riveting expose on what is quit possibly the most exploitative studio in the world. If they’re to be believed, the man above is not only a collosally poor manager, but also a colosal prick. To summarise the article, 100 hour weeks were common throughout the troubled 7-year cycle, the boss was dictatorial despite lacking a clear vision or good management at any level and now 100s of people who worked on the game have not been credited anywhere for the project.

Brendan McNamara takes the cake though when he comments that his only regret is doing it in Sydney. I find it funny that some cocky Brit with one hit under his belt can relocate here, act an atrocious boss, devoid of any talent if the accounts are true, and then claim that the real problem is the Sydneysider work ethic. Fuck him. He rode Sony’s cock to success with The Getaway and even they dumped him for failing to deliver with L.A. Noire. No surprise- between platform shifts, rapid technology changes and the gall for someone in HR to tell me the game was effectively a GTA out of time it’s apparent that vision was clearly lacking throughout.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: L.A. Noire is a bloated, overstuffed monstrosity that wouldn’t have received half its notice had it not coasted on Rockstar’s coattails. Despite that I feel sympathy for the 100s of artists, coders and designers who were mercilessly burnt through by the travesty of management at Team Bondi. According to IGN, many of them will never work in games again solely because of how they badly were ill-treated on this project. McNamara thinks he’d have had it easier had he opened up shop in Canada or the US. Go ahead and do so you talentless tyrant and leave what’s left of Australia’s already-struggling game industry alone.


Oddsfish: Fallout at Berry Square

A well positioned Fallout: New Vegas poster.

Working in advertising, I oftentimes see things which may seem strange to the layperson, but make sense to me, since I know how all the convoluted workings behind the scenes. Optus’ short-lived ‘Unlimited’ Moose campaign, for example. This is not one of those times. I’m talking about Fallout: New Vegas, the recently released PC game whose not one, not two, but five individual illuminated panels in North Sydney’s Berry Square boggle me.

It’s unusual for a couple of reasons. 1) You rarely see ‘above the line’ advertising for video games in Australia, unless it’s something like Call of Duty. 2) There is not a single place that sells video games in the centre. Not an EB Games, not a JB Hifi. Not even a K-mart or anything like that.

I wonder which media agency represents publisher Namco-Bandai (yeh, they published it here). Whoever they are, this is the most baffling media placement I’ve seen in some time. Well done, guys. It’s even more questionable since Greenwood Plaza, also in North Sydney, does have an EB Games. It however has no panels advertising Fallout while Berry Square has a staggering five- more if you count both sides of the stand as individual surfaces (how they’re billed). Oddsfish.

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Broadband Policies Compared

 
Broadband Policies Compared
 
Following on from my last rant about the NBN, our friends at SMH have summarised the policy differences quite nicely. This might help people at the polls tomorrow but since I’ve already voted I couldn’t care less at this point.


The NBN and Why Democracy Fails

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy
 
As a rule, I don’t care for politics and piss away civic rights like voting. My rationale is both that issues on debate don’t directly affect me and my say also isn’t worth much when weighed against those of the 22 or so million ignorant voters out there. The whole National Broadband Network issue is both the exception and proof for me.
To summarise, the incumbent government promises if reelected to line fibre-optic cabling (not the garbage Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial a certain telco is flaunting as ‘superfast’ at the moment *cough*) underground not only to nodes but to individual premises. This is significant because a lot of the speed, latency and general signal quality of internet comms is lost in the ‘last mile’ to houses due to old tech. In Australia some 80% of households connect to the internet via copper phone lines and technologies like DSL essentially place more of a signal burden on them than they were ever designed to carry. Fibre will connect these homes to the internet at a much faster speed than currently available. However it comes at enormous taxpayer expense. At $43 billion or more, this is one of the largest infrastructure rollouts Australia has ever seen. The boasted 100Mbps isn’t much compared to Verizon’s FiOS or the fibre networks in South Korea or Japan, but if it is really 1Gbps-capable cabling going into Telstra’s ducts then it will at least help keep the country in step with those others.
Whether or not this rollout goes ahead will depend on who is voted into office this coming weekend. The problem? This election isn’t being fought on this issue. Our PM was just ousted, just weeks before the government’s end of term. This has already polarised voters and will absolutely determine the outcome of this election. Nevertheless, this outcome will dictate whether we enjoy ultra-fast broadband in 8 years or a mishmash of market-driven, slowly-evolving technologies.
So, I take issue with the following;
- Voters don’t know, or care about the right things. This election will decided based on which of the candidates are more popular. Yet voting is mandatory here and all the poor saps, who likely wouldn’t give a damn either way otherwise, are forced by law to go out and ‘cast’ a vote.
- Politicians desperately scramble for policy differentiators with little regard for merit or even feasibility. Despite its strengths the NBN is splash-spending (hallmark of the Australian Labor Party) at its most reckless. The alternative is an ill-conceived and confusing opposing solution that raises more questions than it answers.
- Neither our infamous communications minsters (pictured above) nor the opposition leader have a sound technical understanding of what either scheme actually entails. Quotes referencing scams through the portal and high fiber come to mind.
As it happens, this is an issue that interests me for a change. Too bad then that it’s being trivialised by squabbling and factional nonsense like everything else in parliament. If anything this all just drives home the fact that democracy doesn’t work, voting isn’t a liberty that should be forced on an apathatic and tech-illiterate public, and that any faith in these processes, people – nay – politics in general is misplaced.
Too dramatic?


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