Archive for Gaming

An Application to Double Fine…

Posted in About Me, Games with tags , , , , on May 4, 2010 by randomintermissions

... Double Fine ...

So it turns out I have something to post after all…

Having read the jobs page of the Double Fine website I found it hard not to apply. I expect to hear nothing back, ever, but writing this application email kept me busy for an evening: this is the additon of random blank text as wordpress wont let me format correctly.

Hey there,

The Buttering Up:

I only discovered the world of gaming two years ago when I finally got a real job and could afford such things as a ‘console’ / a PC that would run anything heavier than word pad. Since then I have been badgered by my house mates (both long term gamers) into playing Psychonauts and Brȕtal Legend; subsequently I have fallen in love with them both. This then led to a feverish night of excited discussion about E3 2010 and to me checking your website looking for any hints as to whether Double Fine would be announcing anything at the event. Although I didn’t find any news, I did come across your jobs page which brings me nicely to:

The Tentative Proposal:

Although I have a steady job and all the usual comforts, I am looking to do something a bit radical and crazy. Call it a quarter life crisis is you will, but I am very much in the mood for dropping the hum-drum life of dreary England, head somewhere more interesting and follow a career I am really passionate about before I sell out and follow the money to the grave. That’s where I am hoping you guys can fit in.

The Boastful Part:

I graduated with honours in Media Production from The University of Lincoln. Although the course covered all forms of media, as the course progressed I specialised in Radio, Sound Design and Audio Editing. This is where my passion is most keenly focused, although I have dabbled (on a freelance basis) in a range of other avenues since leaving University including writing (fiction, non-fiction and script based work) and a bit of design / website work. I have also had some rather interesting stints in my paid working life spending a couple of years working for Waterstone’s (bookshop) and even in a café. This of course makes me a jack of all trades, master of… well some.

I have tried hard in the four years since leaving formal education to seek work I would be excited about / not feel like I would have to drag myself out of bed in the morning to go, but most media based careers; radio, film and gaming alike, seem impenetrable at the moment to someone who doesn’t have several years industry experience, something which is very hard to obtain unless I am willing to work for free as an introductory thing. As I am sure you can imagine, this just isn’t possible!

The Pleading Bit:

Please give me a job! I am far too under qualified for the positions you are currently advertising on your site, but I would make a brilliant sound designer / audio type chap, and failing that, I have been told my tea and coffee making skills are superb. Understandably I have no industry experience and live a fair ol’ trek away, but I would be grateful for any help you can offer me (even if it’s just some advice, seriously, anything at this stage would be amazing)!

The Obvious Statement:

Attached is my résumé for you to review (should you want to).

The Sign Off:

Kind Regards,

Ben Chandler.


N.B. If anyone is looking for an audio related chap, or even someone to makes damn good tea and coffee, then please feel free to send me a comment. In the mean times, here’s Goggalor:

... Goggalor! ...


Left 4 Dead 2: Demo

Posted in Games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by randomintermissions

Last night I downloaded and played the Left 4 Dead 2 demo from XBox Live.


... 17/11/2009 ...

I was a big fan of Valves orignal game realised 21st Nov. 2008 (yup, that’s right, just one year ago) but after a couple of months, and having played the campaigns multiple times, I began to get bored. What had been a brilliant concept (online, multiplayer, zombie, survival horror) began to get stale.


... 21/11/2008 ...

Yes, there was the AI engine that monitored how you were doing in the game and either eased up on you or threw additional hordes if you were doing poorly or well respectively. And yes there was cleaver bit of programming tech that analysed all the music you had heard so far in your campaign and would ensure it played something different to keep the atmosphere fresh. And yes there were the cool “special” zombie types and the cool level designs and everything else that made this game so addictive to start. And yes there was the free DLC (downloadable content) which added a new game style; but time took its toll and I eventually traded it in for something else (Fallout 3 I believe).

I was therefore a little shocked when it was announced at E3 that there would be a Left 4 Dead 2 coming out exactly one year (well, give or take a week or so) after the originals release. Also, to my disgust there was no mention of Valves other massive and eagerly awaited title; Half Life 2, Episode 3, but that’s a whole other rant.

So, returning to the point in hand, L4D2. The developers have thrown in a load of new extras: extra “special” zombie types (N.B. this article seems to have missed out the roaming witch, but I was unable to find a comprehensive list of the new zombie types), extra weapons / ammo types, extra pickups (Boomer Bile, adrenaline shots and even defibrillators), but this just gives the distinct impression that they are trying to cover up the games lack of originality or spark. Don’t get me wrong, I throughly enjoyed my play through of The Parish (the first two parts of this campaign make the demo, much like they did for the first game); it was fun and exciting and scary all in the right proportions, but this does feel very much like it could have been handled better as DLC, extending on the original game instead of marketing it as a new entity.


... The Parish - Demo out now ...

There is also one possible, and I do stress ‘possible’, downside to L4D2. Will peoples loyalty to the original game waver? I sit on the fence between being a casual and hardcore gamer, and as I have already stressed, I loved the original game, but I have no intention of picking it up again. I shall be picking up a copy of L4D2, play it until I get bored again and then move on to whatever the next big thing will be.

Having said this, the hardcore gamers / Left 4 Dead fans will own and continue to play and enjoy both games for many years to come.


EDIT: Further browsing for details on the demo, infected and plot points led me to an interesting article. It turns out that some of those very cleaver gamers out there have developed a PC mod for the demo that allows you to play Verses Mode and try out the new special infected before the game comes out. I have been purely a console gamer for quite a while now (my home computer just isn’t good enough to allow me to run newer games, even with the marvel that is Windows 7) but it’s little things like this that make me miss PC gaming. There is also the added benefit of the price! PC games in general are always cheaper than their console counterparts.

Jumping on the band wagon…

Posted in Games, Rantings with tags , , , , on June 9, 2009 by randomintermissions

Any body who reads Black Box Conversations’s blog should have seen his recent post about Valve’s E3 news; namely the reveal that they are launching Left for Dead 2 this year, and yet not a peep about the eagerly awaited Half Life 2, Episode 3.

I just want to jump on the band wagon to some extent and also voice my disappointment. I am not going to repeat everything he said, for that would be a waste of every bodies time (for the post [click]), instead I am going to focus on something Valve have got right… making damn fine games.



Half Life was released in 1998, and 11 years later I am still playing it, not because I fail at computer games (although to my recollection I have only completed the original Half Life twice), but because Valve make games with enormous re-playability factor. Time and time again Gorden Freeman has wandered the halls of Black Mesa and City 17, restarting the saga every time news is realised about the next installment. So, even in the absence of any news relating to Episode 3, I begin the Half Life from it’s routs, yet again.

I would put a review of the saga, explain why it is amazing, how it is a revolution in computer gaming story telling, graphics, yarda, yarda, yarda… but chances are if you are reading this, you have already played them and know all this…

Here’s to Valve… [although if you work for Valve and you are reading this, where is Episode 3?]