Friday, June 29, 2007

Knowing Someone

Just when you think you know someone, life pulls a twist.

I've a friend that I've got a....peculiar relationship with. He's one of the most money-grubbing individuals I know, always out to make a buck. He's the kind of friend I'd shake hands with, then count if I'm missing fingers after. On my part, I often talk to him about gaming, business and ethics. I occasionally act as his prosthetic conscience, and try to give him my insight into the corporate world from my ivory tower.

Yet, somehow, through all the conflicting values, I never asked the most important question, "Why?"

Today I discovered why.

Turns out that his granny suffered a stroke 11 years ago. This was the granny who raised him, who loved him very much. He gives her eulogy tomorrow. He is using Gandalf's "White Shores" speech.

Today, I find out that his grandma's medical fees and care has been costing him a lot of money.

Today, I see my friend in a new light. And yet, somehow, not.

Rest well, G. My prayers are with you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Granado Espada @ Zouk - Swordplay Demo

Some media coverage of the event.

Aaron and Jeffery demonstrating 2nd Drill

Page and Seng Kian demonstrating 3rd Drill

Me and Josh Demonstrating 2nd Drill in armor. I'm the one getting manhandled.

Me and Josh Demonstrating 3rd Drill in armor. I'm the one getting manhandled.

Added: MyPaper has covered our free spar here. Emoboy at Gameaxis also mentions us in his blog post.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Granado Espada Launch

The Compagnia Della Spada....

Compagnia della Spada
Left to Right - Tome, Greg, Me and Josh

cordially invites you to the launch of....


Granado Espada

Join us, the PHEMAS demo company, at Zouk on the 16th of June. We'll have a booth as well as a structured demo at 1430. There we will be demonstrating what we're about, and some of the training and drills we do. We're a pretty friendly bunch, so don't shy okay?

Just turn up and have fun. I hear Zouk's going to be open all day, and the entrance is going to be decorated as a Hill Giant! There will be people dressed up as characters in Granado Espada and for the daytime, at least, there will be no age limit.

As for me, this will be my virgin demo. I'm terribly excited - not the least for being able to indulge my geekiness in the center of one of the most happening clubs in Singapore!

If there are any questions, leave me a comment and I'll do what I can to answer them. Hope to see you these!

(Update: Apparently, we are the opening act as well!)

P.S - I've deliberately dated this post ahead of time to keep this post on the top of my blog until the date of the event. My other posts will appear below this in the interim, so scroll down for regular developments.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


My apologies in advance to my readers who don't speak Mandarin.

One of the problems with not watching TV anymore is that you miss some incredibly good this. I originally dismissed Project Superstar as an American Idol clone. I stand corrected - some of the singers here are seriously seriously talented.

It also helps that the particular song they performed is an all-time favourite of mine. I grew up on this song. It's one of those songs that I understand even better now that I've grown up a bit.

Short Translation of the Lyrics: Woman catches her (former?) lover with a new gal. She has two options - let them see her, or sneak away. The song essentially sings of her moment of indecision.

Time to go rip up my parent's CD collection on the off chance it is there.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Midevil Teddy v 2.0

The Steel Version....

Medieval Teddy Ver 2

Friday, June 08, 2007

"Everyone has temptations..."

"....The great temptation for all of you is to believe that the one-tenth of one percent of you which is different and which brought you here and which can bring you great riches or whatever else you want, is really the sum of who you are and that you deserve your good fate, and others deserve their bad one. That is the trap into which you must not fall."

- Former POTUS William Clinton, Harvard College Class Day '07

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Comedy and Change


"But resisting old age makes you old. It makes your losses serious. When you accept those losses, on the other hand, they become comic. You defeat old age by making friends with it. By letting it win. And you might as well, because it's going to anyway."

Gary Kamiya, "I'm younger than that now",

It's been a year now. The question remains - "How do I cope?". The answer is, I didn't. There are days where I am inexplicably grief-stricken for no reason. There are nights where I relive that fateful day in California where everything came crashing down, except in my dreamscape, the scenarios mutate into a literal multitude of torments.

There is one thing to be said. The grief-stricken days are far fewer now. The nightmares trouble me far less.

I bring up Mr Kamiya's excellent article because it is relevant. Old age is the avatar of what we fear most - inevitable change. What do you do when Fate drives you away from where you want to be?

Healing is not in defiance, as I once thought. It is not in acceptance, nor rage. It does not force itself into your psyche, but descends upon you as a butterfly upon a flower. It cannot be forced, cannot be accepted, merely integrated.


The comedic attitude offers a kind of resignation, a calm surrender to the inevitable. And it's regenerative because it doesn't see change as the enemy. It's an invincible, self-fulfilling belief, one that bubbles up from somewhere unseen....This may seem like a superficial way to live, all "positive thinking" and blind optimism. But it isn't. Comic laughter emerges from the darkness. It isn't naive. It coexists with tragedy, but it cannot be defeated by it. It gets, literally, the last laugh. The man of comedy has experienced the pain of life, been staggered by its strangeness. He turns his staggering into a self-mocking dance. His laughter does not deny his losses. It is built on them."

- (emphasis mine)

Spot on. Quite a few of my new friends have already noted my razor tongue and sense of humor. Older friends will note that my laughter is no longer tinged with the same cutting edge it used to have.

I laugh the way I do now knowing I
have lived through personal tragedies, I have paid the price for my dreams, and I will go on living my life. I don't celebrate my loss by displaying my scars, neither do I mourn the loss. Somehow, laughter becomes easier each day, just like how life goes on.

Endure, and eventually endurance will give. Defy, and eventually strength will go. Rage, and eventually your anger will burn out. Accept, and eventually, your pain will consume you. Surrender to it, for inevitable change is just that - inevitable.

Surrender enfolds your tragedy and transforms it. It allows you to laugh at what once made you cry, to look to the past with no bitterness, nor regret, nor nostalgia, to look to the future with no fear, anxiety, or sadness.

Time to keep on keeping on.

War Never Changes...

It's back! It's back! A 10 year wait and it's back! -dances for joy-

It looks like Bethesda has gotten the atmosphere and mood of the games right. It's almost as if Bethesda created the teaser specifically to reassure Fallout fans that Fallout 3 will not be the abortion of the game that is Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. -spits on Interplay-

The fact that it is rumoured to be FPS concerns me a little. However, I think the modern trend is to integrate good storytelling with kick-ass, in-your-face action. Gears of War is a good recent example of this. IF they integrate good character building mechanics (i.e: Perks) then I think they will have an awesome game on their hands, regardless of where they place the camera.

Tycho describes it best I think.

"Fallout is not - for me - defined by its perspective. It's defined by the unique setting, and the meaningful, satisfying choices I can make to affect that setting. I don't care where the camera is. If those things are intact, they can put the camera in geosynchronous Goddamn orbit. "

(Hat Tip to Penny Arcade.)