Aug 7, 2006

The City of Nidus (Part 2)

Went to Otakon

For those who didn't know, I recently attended Otakon in Baltimore Maryland. Otakon is basically a really huge Anime and Japanese culture convention covering a myriad of subjects from anime, video games, design, fashion, etc. I left around Thursday and got home around Sunday night, so if anyone was missing me, you now know where I disappeared to :)

This year it was slightly disappointing as most of the interesting things had lines around the block to get in. I did happen to see the premier of the new Full Metal Alchemist movie as well as a new series coming this fall called Trinity Blood. Met some voice actors (the voice of Master Roshi and Piccolo from DBZ) and got some really kewl autographs from some of my favorite webcomic artists.

My favorite so far are the artists for a series called Megatokyo and also Applegeeks. I was fortunate enough to get both of their autographs, as well as Sarah's autograph (Sarah is Fred Gallagher's wife who also is a character in his web comic series).

Some Disappointing News

I am sorry to report that the planned concert for August (Myndkill) has been cancelled indefinitely. There were circumstances beyond our control with this, so please understand. The band Myndkill moved to Pennsylvania recently and (apparently) lost their lead singer. With the various band members scattered to the wind, it would have been impossible for us to get them all in the same studio for a live concert.

This doesn't mean that Myndkill will never do a concert for us, it just means it will be some time before they are prepared enough to follow through. We would rather bring you an awesome concert rather than a rushed and half assed production. In the mean time, we are using this free time to look into other bands who would like to perform for the AW community. We'll keep everyone posted as we find out.

Some Interesting News

While I was at Otakon, I attended a Video Game Development panel wherein I was to learn some of the recent advancements and techniques used for video game design. Some interesting people showed up to this panel (most from larger companies like Square/Enix or something) but what caught me off guard was that the gentleman who was running the panel knew little to nothing about game development.

Which is why I was incredibly happy when an exec from Atari pretty much took over the panel. Not that he was scheduled to talk or anything, he was attending the panel just like me. Well, in the end of the panel we got to talking outside of the room (away from prying ears) and swapped information and cards.

I would very much like to assist Atari in their coming campaign (though I'm not going to let anyone know what that is), so I am hoping to hear further from him when he gets back to NYC and settles in. By the way, for those of you rolling your eyes and saying "yeah right" - the gentleman's name is Adam Poots and can be reached at

A little bit of information about what he's trying to do: At some point in time, Adam made a YouTube video more or less demonstrating the fact that such a legendary company as Atari no longer has any true brand recognition. In fact, nobody even knows if they are still around. Atari must have seen this video and decided to give him a job doing the one thing he was bashing them about: re-establishing a link to the gamer community and creating a project that would involve this community in it's creation.

I think this is an excellent idea and would like to help him out. It never ceases to amaze me what kind of people I run into when I go on vacation... mater of fact, I think I should start running the entire company based on this fact. (lol)

While I was Away

I'm also amazed at what kinds of stuff happens while I am away. For instance; when I left for Maryland we had just finished a huge concert in world for the community with Aztech Rising. (Dear god the effects for that concert were rediculous...)... anyways... I come back from maryland (and among other things) find that VR5 is now listed under "Worlds to Watch" in the AW Newsletter.

Well, ummm... Thank you? Didn't see that coming, really. Unfortunately we had to cancel concerts for awhile, but we will be using this free time to collect ourselves and get some work done. I mean, we can't build that Starbucks forever... no matter how sexy that building is.

Which leads me to the last topic...

Revenge of the AIML

I'll admit I'm a sucker for Artificial Intelligence systems. That's really where I got my start back in the day - programming multi-layered AI chatterbots with natural voice TTS. So I guess I'll be working on this for awhile longer in my spare time.

I have recently done a massive update for our bot Serena (running on Pandora Bots). Alot of AIML files were recently converted over from the CORe directory (with the exception of a few that don't seem to compile correctly), making Serena just a tad bit smarter than before. I'm not going to say she's a genius, but at least she has taken a step forward.

I also added the /version command to her database so if you want to know what the last update was for her you can see. I will also be transposing the CORe AIML set over to The AW AIML bot directory at some point and giving her another test run. Not that I'm taking this as a serious project, it's now back to what it originally was - my hobby ;)

Looking toward the Future (with a Rum and Coke in Hand) - MPL Knight


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