Friday, February 27, 2009

What Would You Do With 500 Canadian Dollars?

NERD ALERT #1: This post contains a fair amount of video game nerdery. If you don't like reading about video games... tough, read it anyway. Ha! Or just skip to the end catch a cool video at the bottom of the post.

About a month ago a good friend from grad school (Justin) spent several days trying to convince me to get The Orange Box (five complete video games in one title - three installations of the very popular PC series Half Life 2, and two other games using the Half Life engine) for the Xbox360. Eventually I caved and picked it up (I tend to trust Justin's judgment... for some reason), but it sat on my coffee table for maybe two weeks before the disc actually made it's way into the 360. And the inspiration that caused the disc to make into the 360 came from a somewhat odd source.

*We now interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog post for the shameless hyping of the upcoming debut of highly anticipated series Seven Beards in Seven Days coming March 1st, 2009.*
*We are now returning you to your irregularly scheduled post. The remainder of this post appears in its entirety below.*

NERD ALERT #2: I have been known to watch "machinima" online from time to time in my quest to be entertained at nearly all times. Machinima, if you are unaware, is basically a television show filmed entirely within a video game engine.

As a regular reader/viewer over at SmoothFewFilms, (I got hooked on their site after laughing my ass off after seeing this video... thank you Jim!) I caught this post about a live action version of Half Life 2 that two people (The Purchase Brothers) put together for apparently only $500 (Canadian). Wow! Freaking wow! If this is what a couple guys can do with a few hundred bucks, a little ingenuity and, presumably, lot of time , why did it cost $175 million to make Waterworld almost 15 years ago? Maybe it can all be chalked up to the availability of technology to the general public and absurd salaries of people in and associated with the movie industry. But damn, check out the video below.

Anyway... the point of the story is that seeing the live action Half Life 2 video actually made me really want to play The Orange Box. After a couple sessions, I'm through one of the five games (Portal - very cool game... thanks for the tip Justin) and about a quarter of the way through the first installment of Half Life 2. I must say - the live version looks pretty impressive and comparable to the game's story. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of the Purchase Brother series as they develop it.

Check out the Purchase Brothers website to see a couple other projects they've done... very impressive stuff.

Coming up... Health Kick: Part V - Progress Report #2 and more Seven Beards in Seven Days hype!

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