Finally sinking in

Well, it’s now the beginning of December and I guess the news about Bizarre Creations is finally sinking in. My mind has been fairly chaotic for the last week or so, I think this is the first night when I have finally had a chance to just have a bit of time to myself.

The UK has been below freezing most nights with some snowfall… and amongst the chaos I had to fix a frozen condensate pipe from our boiler using boiling water and a towel. Ford Prefect was correct, a towel apparently is the most important thing you can own! Boiler is currently working and the house is nice and warm.

Of course I’m not sure what I can or can’t say, so I’ll limit myself to just my own personal thoughts. Obviously massive sadness because for some people at work, friends and even relationships could very well be divided. I guess that’s just the nature of business, but it is of course sad.

I do have a large pile of free Activision games sitting in the cupboard, as yet un-played, a random Guitar Hero, the latest Spiderman, GoldenEye, Black Ops. I played up to the Vietnam level of Black Ops in the days before the announcement, but since the news I haven’t played any further. I can’t quite explain why… I guess part of the enjoyment I was getting from the game was the fact that Treyarch, a company which I felt put a lot of effort into the CoD franchise and were getting an unfair amount of flak from gamers players, were finally having their long-deserved moment of recognition. I’m sure it’s a great game but it just doesn’t feel like I would enjoy it currently. I still reckon Treyarch are a bunch of talented guys, it’s just that in my head I now associate the game with the bad news at Bizarre. Strange how the mind works… :-)

I haven’t really been keeping up to date with how Kinect has been selling either, but I do hope it does well. For me personally, the device was blu-tacked to the top of my TV for a couple of days, then I took it into work (the day before the news I think!) and since then it was in a cupboard for about a week. Poor Kinect, for a moment it started to look more short-lived that the Wii! But we had visitors over the weekend and it’s now proudly on top of the TV again, peering over our lounge.

Absolutely loving the various hacks which have been cropping up on YouTube videos of course. I am finding being the lazy sod I am I’m using the voice control much more than the actual depth sensor. “Xbox Kinect!” “Xbox Play Disc!” – delight that we could play DVDs with our voice, but then disappointment that we couldn’t control the DVD player with our voice, only start it up. “Xbox – Pause! Pause! Xbox PAUSE! Xboooooox! Oh…”
There is about 100-150 ms of lag when playing the games, but as far as I can tell this lag is actually in the software – as I understand it the cameras return colour and depth information pretty much instantly. I’m guessing it’s whatever smoothing is applied in order to feature extract bone positions which introduces the lag. I guess we’ll find out if lag gets reduced with future games.

Anyway, back to Bizarre – we have of course been looking at the events of other companies in the UK, Free Radical, a company I very nearly worked for, Realtime Worlds, etc. I remember reading Luke Halliwell’s blog and thinking “I really must make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to us!”, and now here we are in a similar situation.

As a final note for tonight, I thought it might be as good time to write down the various blogs I know of from Bizarre peeps:

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4 Responses to Finally sinking in

  1. Travis says:

    Dave,

    I don’t know anyone from Bizarre Creations but I, along with plenty of others, do genuinely feel for the fine people at Bizarre Creations.

    I’ve no idea if the words from a complete stranger are of any comfort, I can tell you the Bizarre Creations forum regulars, along with many from the largest forums like NeoGAF, do care and we hope that something good comes of all this very soon.

    Keep your chins up, you’re all way too talented and have created so many beloved games as Bizarre Creations for this “state of limbo” situation to last very long.

  2. dave says:

    Words of support from the forums are definitely ace to hear, Ben sent round an email he received last week which made us feel slightly better. What will become of the forums though if Bizarre is closed…? I don’t know the answer yet :-(

  3. Travis says:

    Nice to know that messages of support are coming into the office.

    I ribbed Ami about the lack of Tweets from BC, she responded by tweeting a couple of messages on the eve of Blood Stone which made me laugh. Ben, Ami and The Boy Chris (to name just a few BC regulars) had stepped up their intereaction with the forum, then the news came through. Since the announcement, the forums have been a bit of a ghost town recently, which is completely understandable.

    Messages of support can be found in the “Activision Closing Bizarre” thread on the Bizarre forums. Like I posted, please keep your chins up, Bizarre are a very talented group of men and women and something good will happen very soon.

    As a final note, I enjoy email contact with the PC & Xbox car simulation experts at SimBin & they rate Bizarre Creations highly. A direct quote from the SimBin community manager from his last email, Bizarre Creations “have a lot of skill and great ideas”. Enough said!

    Cheers & best wishes,
    Travis

  4. Travis says:

    I was hoping the new year would bring good news, according to Develop Online Bizarre Creations is to close.

    Thank you to all the past and present staff at Bizarre for creating 3 of the best games I’ve ever played: F1 ’97, PGR 2 and PGR 4. Blur’s mutiplayer was the only reason I bought an Xbox Live gold subscription, such is it’s addictiveness.

    May you all enjoy much success in the future.

    Kind regards,
    Travis

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