I tried the Steam Community program. It’s a free Xbox Live clone for the PC which is supposed to allow you to see a overlaid buddy list and do voice chat on top of any PC game. It didn’t work so well when we tried it with a few random games. I hope they get it working because so many games don’t seem to budget in a buddy list, voice chat, etc. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? I assume it’s very hard to get foreign interfaces overlaid on Direct3D. It’s amusing to see Valve muscling in on Microsoft’s plans for Vista gaming domination like this. Microsoft wanted to charge you a monthly fee for this (Windows Live) and Valve is doing it for free. (Well, I assume it gets them a foot in the door for you to buy stuff through Steam.)
Vanessa dropped Sean and I off at the mall Saturday. We rode the bus home because Sean had been wanting to do that for a while. He enjoyed sitting in the “elbow” of the bus, which rotates like a merry-go-round in turns. Have you noticed there are no longer merry-go-rounds or teeter-totters on playgrounds anymore? Look at me using these old dashed words. Next thing you know, I’ll be saying jack-o-napes. Anyway, I assume someone sued a city somewhere for a merry-go-round incident and it was all over. Sean still finds a way to make his own danger on the playground by making 5 foot jumps from the playset. He’s only 3, so that’s quite a jump for him.
I disassembled a PS3 controller because I had a sticky button problem and needed to clean it. Disassembling, not too bad. Reassembling it makes me cry. There seemed to be something like four little pieces that all have to be carefully held together as you put it back together. In the end, Vanessa had to help me hold one half of it together as we put it back together. The inside is pretty empty without the rumble hardware, which will be put back in starting Spring 2008, they’re saying.
We saw Monster House yesterday on blu-ray. Definitely too scary for kids. It had the flavor of The Goonies (also from Amblin). The making-of videos showed how the entire movie was acted out via motion capture. I wonder if it saved time and money. I’m guessing it did. I think a lot of computer animators are up in arms because of motion capture. Pixar put an “animated by hand” disclaimer on the end of Cars. I say it seems kind of silly to hold things back like that. Motion capture gives a better end result if you ask me. Anyway, animators still have to touch things up.