Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


Leave a comment

Firefly Online Announces Lead Voice Actors

I’ve blogged about Firefly Online before, but here’s an update of meijianguo proportions.

Taylor wheaton

On Wednesday February 23, Firefly Online announced that Wil Wheaton will be the male voice lead for the upcoming game, a multiplayer strategic RPG set in Joss Whedon’s TV show universe.

Today, they announced (in an exclusive with the Mary Sue) that the female lead will be Courtenay Taylor. Taylor is no stranger to voice acting in video games, with credits in games such as Evolve, Mass Effect, Starcraft II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age: Origins.

Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Review: Emoji Stars

IMG_1802I should start with a caveat: I’m not really a fan of real-time social games. Being designed for quick turns between players, they are usually straightforward, with little content to them.

That’s why I find it puzzling that I’m still playing Emoji Stars after two weeks. The goal of the game is to describe a song to a teammate using only emoticons. Your teammate guesses your song’s title, and then sends you a new song to guess. All the controls are by touch, although sometimes you might have to drag letters into the right order to spell out the song title.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Destiny gives us a Lesson on Stranger Danger

You know how there’s that saying about if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is? And you know how your parents probably warned you about strangers offering you things?

A young Destiny user learned this lesson the hard way when he gave control of his game to a stranger, who promptly deleted his two highest-leveled characters, as well as dismantling an exotic weapon.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Adventures in QA: Chapter Two: Training Day (or how game testers are presumed to be male)

In retrospect, not the greatest hashtag, but it was short.

In retrospect, not the greatest hashtag, but it was short.

Since the interview, there’s been a little bit of pedantic paperwork with background checks and whatnot. Then, yesterday, I received an email telling me that mandatory training for the client was today, and that I had to reply to the email and then they would send me the (apparently super-secret) location, even though they could tell me the date and time of training. With less than 24 hours’ notice, they weren’t kidding about this being an on-call job. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Adventures in QA: Chapter One: The Interview

It was nothing like this. James Franco was not there.

How does one get started in the games industry? If you’ve got no experience besides playing games, how do you get your foot in the door?

This is what it is feels like to get farmed out to companies.

This is what it is feels like to get farmed out to companies.

One way of doing it is through QA. For some reason unknown to me, QA jobs often hire by advertising by saying “play video games all day and get paid!” or something like that. Technically you’re not playing a video game; you’re playing a tiny  section of one repeatedly. You get paid though. Anyway, I saw and ad like this for–let’s say, Company X–on Craigslist and replied. There was a link that led to a google docs-type page where you submitted your details and a resume. Within an hour, I was contacted by the recruiter and asked if I would be free for an interview at the end of the week. I wrote back and she sent me some information for the interview location. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Adventures in QA: Prologue

This is a new series I’m starting, and it is basically what it sounds like it’s about. I’m going to explore the world of gaming gruntwork by being a QA minion. I think the official title is “QA Engineer” but whatever, I’m not naive enough to think I’m engineering anything.

As a bit of background, I’ve been interested in video games since literally the age of 3, when we got an Apple IIe and I played Pacman on it for hours. Soon, I was better than my parents. But while I’ve been playing games for over 30 years now, I’ve not actually (technically) been part of the videogame industry. Sure, I’ve written about it and I know people in it and whatnot, but I’ve never actually been part of the industry myself. So when I found an ad for game testing, I thought it’d be a reasonable place to start. Why not, I mean? What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading


Leave a comment

Review: Monument Valley

forumbanner

Monument Valley is an elegantly-designed puzzle game with intriguing challenges and polished mechanics. You guide Princess Ida through ten Escheresque levels on a journey of discovery and forgiveness. Along the way, you meet crow people, befriend totem creatures and traverse seemingly-impossible optical illusions. Continue reading