Archive for August 4th, 2008

04
Aug
08

Jay Oh Bee

“You,” I hear people tell me, “have a cool job.”

I can’t deny it, though my natural second-hand-Catholic-guilt training made it hard to accept for a long time. But despite the feeling that I should apologize for it for some reason there’s no refuting the fact that my job is rad.

It isn’t changing the world, I’m not making historically lasting impressions on the fabric of my country’s history, but I’m also not selling poison or justifying financial ruin of others for my own personal enrichment. And I like the place I work at, the people I work with, and mostly enjoy going everyday. So I feel like I’m ahead of the game.

But. (There’s always a but). But, for those of you about to kill yourselves with jealousy I gotta say it is still a capital-jay Job. For every sweet new game I get to play before the general public even knows it exists there are about 1500 e-mails I have to write to poke, prod, cajole, beg, demand, and inform. I have to fill out paperwork, make phone calls, and other office-y type busywork that fills up countless hours that I feel I don’t have to spare.

I know, I know: Wah, wah, wah. Poor me. But let it just stand, on record, that cool or not, sometimes the strategy guide world is work.

04
Aug
08

Madden NFL 09 Defensive Tips

Available August 12th

One word: blitz!  Here are some defensive tips from the Madden NFL 09 Prima Official Game Guide:

  • There are two common blitz techniques used in Madden NFL 09. One is to overload one side of the offensive line with multiple pass rushers. The idea behind this scheme is to send more defenders in on a blitz than what the offensive line can block.

Continue reading ‘Madden NFL 09 Defensive Tips’

04
Aug
08

Madden NFL 09 Offensive Tips

Available August 12th

Available August 12th

Because it’s better than throwing that Hail Mary on fourth and goal, check out these Offensive Tips from the Madden NfL 09 Official Game Guide:

When running outside, let your run blockers set up their blocks before using the Sprint button. You don’t want to outrun your blockers on plays like sweeps, tosses and counters.

Continue reading ‘Madden NFL 09 Offensive Tips’

04
Aug
08

the secret life of a strategy guide writer / 10

Last time: I witnessed an early iteration of Epic Games’ North Carolina Doombase. This time, I’m where all the beautiful, tanned people go to make it into movies, but end up in waitering jobs; the Santa Monica monolith of Naughty Dog.

Part 10: Going to the Dogs

Naughty Dog’s Offices are plush. They’re in one of the shiniest buildings in an already pretty glaring and tinted part of Los Angeles, in the swish part of Santa Monica, a few blocks from where Hasselhoff let his paunch hang out on Baywatch. The place is teeming with MTV personnel, with their ultra-trendy haircuts that make them look like a half-shorn hedge, hipster jeans, and Borg headsets. That’s because MTV is just around the corner. Naughty Dog takes up a palatial floor or two overlooking a meticulously preened pond and gardens, which is part of a larger office complex that loves their ice-cream socials. But inside the offices, it’s gaming overload. I was sent to capture footage for the Jak-X racing game, and was placed in a small storage closet not unlike the one Milton Waddams sat in during the Office Space basement scene. But no matter; I was in with the Test crowd, and aside from the close-proximity to man-odor, the sense of camaraderie was immense.

When I was allowed outside to feed, the office is open plan, with large monitors, huge windows that could have a fantastic view but are completely closed and stuffed with anti-glare blinds, curtains, drapes, and posters of skulls and crossbones. The executive offices are top-notch affairs, with the usual maple veneer desks, and the guy who used to work on Sonic games showing me his incredible maps. There’s an ultra-cute dog waddling around with an odd breathing problem, too. And let’s not forget the treasure trove of Jak-based schwag, now consigned to glass cases for all eternity. That, and the life-size Jak statue built for when trade shows meant something, makes Naughty Dog a class place to work.

Next time, I get locked in a side corridor in E.A.’s epic Redwood City labyrinth / campus.

 




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