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First - thank you to every one for the faves, features and follows (I know it's watch, but I didn't want to break the flow). You've all been incredibly busy, and I'll make it around to all of your galleries at some point in the near future.

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last updated my journal. I haven't had much time to get out and spend some quality time with my camera as I'd like - then again, time management has always been an issue. If I had more time to manage, there might be some improvement, though - and as a painful lesson over the past week brought to the forefront, we never know how much time we really have. I lost a cousin last Tuesday in a horrible car accident, one that was caused by a third party who left the scene, turning his back on the mayhem he left in his wake. He caused the deaths of two women in two cars, and just drove away. Thankfully the police did catch him, but we have had no word since in what legal consequences he will face for his actions. My cousin lived her life to the fullest - she was always busy, always smiling, always helping out wherever she could. She worked as both a Corrections Officer and a Special Constable for the SPCA. She shouldn't have even been working, but she was doing what she loved - heading for a meeting to better the lives of abused animals, filling in for a colleague who was on maternity leave. While I will be sad for her passing, I will celebrate her life and honour her with the lifetime of memories she has left behind.  

On the lighter side - I have been asked to be a panel speaker at the Casual Connect Conference in Seattle next month. Women In Games International, Women In Games Vancouver and the IGDA are presenting a Leadership Development forum the day prior to the actual start of the Casual Game Association's annual conference, and our Women In Games Vancouver is the main organizing body for the forum. I've wanted to attend this conference for a few years now but was never able to get there - it's an event I'm definitely looking forward to - except for the public speaking part.

Our news site has grown a lot since we launched it, as well. It, along with my involvement with various digital media associations is what has made the severe dent in my time to get out and shoot. There is so much going on in the Canadian digital media industry and so many research studies to read - and games to play, that time just disappears. There have been more than a few nights where I only intend to check on a few things, and before I know it the male population in the house is wondering what happened to dinner. Oops.

I'd also like to congratulate the organizers of the annual Canary Derby in Vancouver and Victoria. I don't know how much they raised today in Victoria, but yesterday in Vancouver the total was just over $113 000.00 for early detection cancer research. The Canary Derby ( is a soapbox derby made up of teams mainly from the technology industry. We had great weather for the day, there was an excellent turnout, and that much more money directed to researching ways to detect cancer cells earlier - something which is sure to save many, many lives.

Congrats as well to the recent graduates of Vancouver Film School and Art Institute Burnaby - many of them have work on this site, as do past grads, and they are very talented indeed. have you all been?
  • Listening to: Traffic
  • Reading: Weird Ideas That Work
  • Watching: Something on History Channel
  • Playing: Prototype
  • Drinking: Caffeine
If you answered yes, then head out to the Agricultural Inn in Braunton, North Devon this coming Sunday, September 7 to catch some young musical artists put on a show that will move you. The show starts at 7:30pm with a door admission of £3 and will be featuring a sensory feast of live music, special effects and visual media. This is your chance to catch some very talented up-and-coming artists who are well on their way to topping the rock charts. Headlining group Mendella will be venturing into the studio this fall to record their first commercial CD, which is scheduled for release Spring 2009. Don't miss this chance to see the new generation of rock.

Performing groups for the show are: Mendella (pictured below, all photos by me), Spoonful, Central News and Jim Jones.

Mendella Collage by Adaera

Mendella Promo Poster by Adaera
Yes, I'm lazy - I stole the title of my last blog on my personal site (as those of you who read it know), and I'm going to steal most of my last blog off of there too, just because I can.

Anyway, as I said in the title....

Coming up for air …and taking a deep breath before rolling into the next list of projects. August has certainly been an incredible month - Digital Storm, Mendella here for a two week tour, the Abbotsford Airshow - busy, tiring, but oh so fun.

While the tournament component of Digital Storm wasn't as well attended as we'd hoped it would be, those who came to play had fun. It's too bad the weekend was marred by a thief who made off with two 360 Elite hard drives, but I'm sure that in the long run, the thief will be enduring some serious payback. The show put on by the boys in Mendella kicked some serious butt and won themselves some new fans and friends. As always we're indebted to our crew and sponsors for the assistance in putting on a fun event - and we wish those who are moving on to the World Cyber Games Canadian Nationals the best of luck on their road to Cologne and the Grand Finals.

The day after Digital Storm ended, we had a houseful of friends over for a barbeque. It was great extending some BC hospitality to Mendella and their management - Dave, Jo, Luke, Jason, Toby, Lewis, Tom and Sam - and serving up some fine Canadian steaks, some good Canadian beverages, some Guitar Hero and a radio interview. Okay, they hijacked the station Mike dj's for, but that's a minor detail. Maybe we'll even have the new patio done before they return in 2009 ;)

We spent BC Day at the Tom Lee Music Hall in Vancouver, where the boys had a 3pm performance. After the boys' show, we were treated to dinner at a Thai restaurant in Yaletown by Dave, Jo and Luke. The food was incredible - almost as good as the company we were in. Unfortunately we had to cut the evening a bit short due to the fact that our parking time was going to expire and we didn't want those parking lot hawks making off with our wheels.

During the week we made preparations for Mendella's Saturday afternoon performance out here in Aldergrove. We'd hoped to be able to host a small-ish Battle of the Bands for some local groups, but due to logistics and a few other issues, the bands who wanted to participate couldn't. Friday afternoon we took everyone to the Abbotsford Airshow, introducing Dave and Jo to the President's Club while the boys, with Mike as their guide, wandered the static displays until early afternoon when they were able to join us in the President's Club. They definitely made an impact among the crowd, making new friends all around - especially with the USAF Strike Eagle Demo team. The photo shoot we were able to conduct after the show ended for the day was very exciting. I haven't processed those photos yet, though.

Saturday's outdoor performance in Aldergrove was definitely unique. After a week of hot, sunny weather, I bet you don't have to try very hard to guess what it did on Saturday. Yes - it poured. It was windy. There was lightning and thunder. However, we had hoisted - and re-hoisted - a very large tarp which kept the ground and our audience dry. Even with the weather, we still had a great time, again with a great crew. This was the first time we had an opportunity to work with Ryan and Curtis from Sonic Voodoo Productions; we all worked extremely well together - the weather conditions and stringing up the tarp created several moments of amusement, and we are definitely considering doing more shows with them in the future. While the weather did put a big dent in the audience size, those who came to watch and listen enjoyed the band's performance immensely. I must make mention of Dave from Sweet Max. If not for his loan of a guitar amp, the show may not have gone on. The Fender DeVille we'd rented for Lewis didn't work properly and had an awful squeal in its valve. While it was a cold and windy afternoon, working with great people always makes the worst situations seem more fun. The experience of performing in such conditions was a learning experience for the boys in the band as well - and they had a good time too. Packing up in torrential rainstorms isn't all that much fun, but we got the job done anyway.

We all had some relax time, and then it the was boys' final Vancouver performance for this year. They rocked The Roxy, and have been invited back anytime they're in town. This was followed up by dinner at MileStone's in YaleTown, which was relaxing and a great time - even though we all knew that our friends from the UK would be going home the next day.

I met up with everyone the following afternoon to provide the extra vehicle needed to get people, instruments and luggage to the airport on time. It was a bitter-sweet parting - knowing that they would be back next year, and that they will soon be off to record their first commercial album. I am thankful for the time I got to spend growing a deeper friendship with everyone, and I especially enjoyed meeting Dave's wife, Jo. I am definitely looking forward to seeing her again, as we have so much in common and get along quite well - and at least now she knows who her hubby has been chatting with in all of those late night (for them) phone calls. :P

So…what are we doing now that our events are done for the year? Well - we have sites to design for some new clients,  and I have about another 1500ish band photos to go through and choose which ones to spend time on - and a few new landscapes/sunsets too.  We have planning to do for next year's event, PAX is coming up at the end of August, and of course there's Greg's final sentencing date in September, when we get to find out what the judge has to say in regards to the amount of time he will serve and any restitution he will need to make to KillaNet.

And now you are basically up to date on where I've been and what I've been doing - and seeing as the dispatcher is on holidays for the next week and I'm stuck in the office filling in for her, I will have time to get more caught up on here - it's always good to have something enjoyable to do at work, isn't it? :giggle:
  • Listening to: A Quiet House
  • Reading: Turning Learning Right Side Up
  • Playing: Battlefield: Bad Company
  • Drinking: Caffeine
Game Boys: Professional Videogaming's Rise Form the Basement To The Big Time
Author: Michael Kane
June 2008

Games Boys: Professional Videogaming's Rise from the Basement to the Big Time by Michael Kane is the best inside look at the competitive videogaming industry I have read to date. He peels back the layers of this very complex subculture and lays it all out there for anyone to read - from the gamers themselves to the parents who try to understand. Game Boys has it all - the celebratory victories, the heartbreaking losses, the passion of its supports and accompanies it all with backroom dirty laundry. This book is an informative, exciting read. Author Michael Kane has managed to translate the excitement of competition into his words, and sometimes I found myself reading faster through the competition gameplay to get to the moment of victory - even though I already knew the results of many of the matches he wrote about.

As a participant full of passion for the videogame industry, there were so many times I found myself identifying with CompLexity GM Jason Lake and harbouring feelings of resentment towards Craig Levine. Like Jason Lake, I believe in the grassroots foundation of this wonderful industry, and even though Craig Levine has done much to get competitive videogaming out there into the main stream of today's world, I often felt that Levine's tactics were less than honourable, and I am of the generation when honour was at the forefront of how you conducted your life. These are elements which make for a great book - eliciting emotion and appreciation from the reader, making the reader care about the characters in the story.

Michael Kane has artfully included every aspect of our advancing technological world - global friendships and rivalries, heroes and villains, supportive families and families who feel the gamer is wasting his or her time. Corporations who only look at the biggest and the best for exposure, instead of looking at and supporting the grassroots events and players who keep the industry churning forward on a daily basis. Event promoters who are in it for the dollar, and to heck with the injury they do to our industry by scamming the players who have poured their heart, soul and often their last dollar into feeding their passion for gaming in hopes of making it to the winner's circle.

I commend Michael for the honesty of his words, even the ones which cast a less than idyllic light on the e-sports industry, because the end result shows that our cyberathletes truly are no different from the mainstream sports athletes. They train, they play, they do things they shouldn't, but when it comes right down to the final seconds it's all about the game and the opponent in front of them. Game Boys shows how far we as a competitive market have come, but also shows how far we have yet to go. Michael touched very briefly on the girls in gaming, and while some things have changed since Game Boys went to print, much has stayed the same, from the disdain which meets many girl gamers head on, to the insults and unwelcome photos hurled at them on XBL. While the industry is still very much a boys' club, the girls are rapidly gaining ground - perhaps in the future we can look forward to a book on Gamer Girls to compliment Gamer Boys - what do you say, Michael?
  • Listening to: A Quiet House
  • Reading: Grand Theft Childhood
  • Playing: Quake Wars: Enemy Territory
  • Drinking: Gallons of Water
Good thing I'm not holding my breath, though. Having three or four clones would make my life sooooooo much easier. One could work at the day job I hate, one could write all of the game and book reviews I have piling up... The other clone could be the maid, cook, laundress, gardener, etc. Then I could do all the fun stuff - shoot photos, go to conferences, work on the network stuff I like to work on, and read. And game. And game some more. Did I mention that we bought a Wii? It doesn't like it when I ignore it to play Call of Duty 4 or Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 or the dozens of other Xbox 360 games we have. And Scott just bought Quake Wars Enemy Territory for me. He said something about "see you in a week or so" ...dunno why though :P

So no, nothing has really changed - Digital Storm LAN is coming up in 6 weeks. We're just about ready to launch a different project as well - or the first stage of it, at least. We've been having some serious discussions about where this new project is going and exactly what we want it to become.

You are now basically up to date on stuff, sorta kinda. I'm still breathing, still alive, and still trying to find the time to fit as much as possible into one day.

I hope you are all doing well, and I will be plowing my way through all of the deviations and comments that have piled up in my absence. I'm sure that the Feared Pirate Dog Bud has been busy and needs some more chapters added to his story.

To all of my new watchers .... Hi there, and thank you!! At least I've finally put up something new for you to see. =)

  • Listening to: A Quiet House
  • Reading: Grand Theft Childhood
  • Playing: Violent Videogames
  • Drinking: Lots & lots of caffeine
It’s official - Digital Storm LAN 2008 has a date and location, and the website is now live!

The tournament, which is a KillaNet Technology Ltd. production, will be held August 1, 2 and 3rd 2008 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, located at 3250 Commercial Drive in Vancouver, BC.There will be space for 350 gamers, and the event will once again be a regional qualifying location for the World Cyber Games. Tickets go on sale March 10th at a cost of $45.00 each for the weekend. This event is reserved seating, so any teams or gamers who wish to sit together, must buy their tickets in blocks. We will be announcing more about ticket sales as we get closer to the On Sale date. We are still working on some areas of the website, but it will be 100% live very soon.

Game events will begin on the Friday night and run right through to the final events on Sunday afternoon. We are working on some special tournaments, but the WCG tournaments will be dependent on the Games List chosen by the World Cyber Games producers. There will be some casual play time available during the weekend, and all players qualify to win some very cool swag. We will also be offering event shirts for sale at a very reasonable price, we will announce when they become available for order.

We are currently working to finalize sponsorship deals, and will post them as they are confirmed. You can hear news and broadcasts about Digital Storm on Blade Radio, the official internet radio broadcaster for Digital Storm. There is also a rumour floating around that two Vancouver studios will be going head to head in a Team Fortress 2 match, but this challenge has yet to be confirmed.

We still have room for a few more good volunteers and referees (and sponsors), please see our Event Opportunities page for more information. Digital Storm’s community forum is also open for business, where you can talk with other attendees, ask questions, issue challenges and more. We also have a chat channel on KillaNet’s IRC server - you can simply click here for the AJAX browser chat client, or if you are a mIRC user, it’s 6667 #digitalstorm.

Digital Storm 2008 is a warm-up for an even bigger event in 2009 - there will be further announcements on that later in the year. Everyone at KillaNet is looking forward to a funfilled weekend of rabid gaming this August, and we hope to see you there!

  • Listening to: Mike playing Rock Band...still
  • Reading: The Illuminati by...someone...
  • Drinking: Lots & lots of caffeine
Well let's see....

Christmas...yup, did that. New Year's...that too.
Out taking photos? Nope, haven't had time, except for work-related stuff.
Ground Hog's Day - survived that.
Valentine's Day - *gag* ...although it's also Scott's birthday, so that makes it okay. And for all you saps...yes we did give each other a present...sort of...get your minds out of the gutter - I took him to see Jeff Dunham (okay so I bought the tickets in November...the show was Feb. 1, close enough to the 14th, alright? If you don't know who Jeff Dunham is, look him up on YouTube) and Scott got me what every gamer chick would love - a new game :D

We've been so incredibly busy that somedays it's unbelievable how much we've done and how much there is still to do. We've booked the location for KillaNet's LAN tournament, which is going to be held on August 1, 2 and 3rd at a secret location (it's not really secret, but I can't say where it is until we take Digital Storm's newly re-designed site live and announce it there first). I *can* tell you that there will be approximately 350 tickets available.  I can also tell you that it will be held in Vancouver, BC. There's something else to do with the LAN, but you'll have to read on to catch that little tidbit of a rumour. ;)

We're also a couple of weeks away from launching another brand new site which has to do with the video game & animation industry (of course, what else would you expect? lol) buuuuuuuuuuuuuut.....I can't tell you about that one yet either, because we're still gathering industry content for it. It'll be good though.

We're also redoing KillaNet's main site (still) but it should be ready to go in the very near future as well.

Let's see...what else have we been up to....oh yes....

This past weekend Scott, Michael and I attended the 2008 Elans - Canadian Awards for Electronic Art and Animation in Vancouver - and we all feel like we are now suffering from a major case of jet lag - without ever having gotten on an airplane. We worked as volunteers during the event; Michael was head of the security team and Scott was head of the limo team while I assisted Jack Weatherell and Holly Carinci, the event's producers. We all had our work cut out for us, but we also had a very good time. It didn't hurt that a room in Vancouver's Sutton Place Hotel - one of only two AAA Five Diamond hotels in all of Canada - was provided for us Friday night - many thanks to the staff and management of The Sutton for making our stay so enjoyable.

Our weekend in Vancouver began with hotel check-in at 10:30 am followed by rehearsals at The Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts. We then went back to the hotel to work on a few tasks in preparation for the evening and also to get all glammed up in our formal wear. Michael headed back to The Centre early in the afternoon to guard the trophies, and Scott followed soon after with some of his limo team (in a limo, of course) to await the impending arrival of dozens of limos. I assisted Jack and Holly with a few last minute preparations and then we went off to the VIP pre-gala reception where our show host Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad) would be introduced to the event's sponsors and awards presenters. After the reception and a couple of interviews with Canada's Space Channel and MuchMusic TV, I accompanied Mr. MacFarlane and his assistant Andrew in a limo while Holly & Jack accompanied Mr. Nick Fletcher, producer of The Bee Movie.

Upon arrival at the theatre, Mr. MacFarlane was interviewed by several members of the local press and then left alone for some relaxation time before the curtain went up on The Elans. While we didn't see all of the show, what we did see was very enjoyable (ignoring the few glitches that occur in any live performance), and Mr. MacFarlane was in fine form as Host, regaling us with several stand-up routines. At the end of the awards presentations, we were all treated to a combination live and animated musical piece - featuring who else but Stewie - and Mr. MacFarlane - singing "I've Got A List" which was to originally air in the Family Man episode titled "Stewie Kills Lois" but was cut due to time constraints.

Once the curtain went down on the awards presentations, Michael and two members of his security team accompanied Mr. MacFarlane over to the After Party which was held in the Atrium at the Vancouver Public Library. The relaxed atmosphere, refreshments and entertainment were most enjoyable, as was the chance to mix with all of our friends from the video game and animation industry. Michael was also able to get loads of professional advice as he embarks on his voice-over acting career from some of the top names in the business.  Rumour has it that there was also an inter-studio challenge issued for a head-to-head Team Fortress 2 match at our upcoming Digital Storm LAN, but you will all just have to wait awhile for more on that one. :P

Saturday saw us attending the industry networking event held right at The Sutton, which featured brunch and an informal panel about the state of the industry in regards to financing, incentives, education and more. Michael and Scott tried out some very techie gaming chairs at the Microsoft Xbox 360 booth, and we all came home with a few gifts courtesy of Microsoft Game Studios and Microsoft Servers. Once again, it was a chance to catch up with some friends and congratulate them on their Elan wins. We had a fantastic time, and would like to personally thank all of the sponsors and of course Jack and Holly for the opportunity work on such a great production. We are definitely looking forward to doing it again at the 2009 Elans. We do have several photographs from the weekend's events, and will be posting them on our site (sites) soon. Perhaps I will post a few over here as well. I didn't really get a chance to take that many shots as I was busy with the producers, but I do have a few.

I *would* like to take the opportunity to congratulate :iconbrennanpm: and the rest of the development team on Bloom, this year's winner for the Student Video Game of the Year award. Well done, all of you. :)

If you'd like to read up on who the winners are, here's the link to the list on KillaNet.

And yes....I know I have been neglectful of all of you - thank you for your notes and messages - I appreciate them all (and yes, I intend to answer them - just not tonight). All really is very well at my end, we've just been so incredibly busy - we've barely even had time to play Guild Wars! *cries*

KillaNet is moving forward at an amazing pace, and while that is a very good thing, it's also time consuming. I will start making more of an effort to get over here and get caught up on all of your fantastic work - and it might even be soon - but until I am completely caught up on your work, notes and messages, none of you are allowed to post any new work. I only have about 4500 of your submissions to catch up on, shouldn't take me long at all, and then you all can start posting new work again. :P

Just kidding...maybe...sort of....

Take care, and a :hug: to all of you, as always. :)

  • Listening to: Mike playing Rock Band
  • Reading: The Illuminati by...someone...
  • Drinking: Lots & lots of caffeine
Authors: Bendik Stang, Morten A. Osterholt, Erik Hoftun, Jorgen Kirksaeter, Hans Christian Bjorne

Note: This book is not yet available in stores, look for it at the end of October or early November 2007. :)

I was privileged to be sent an advance PDF copy of The Book of Games Volume 2 by author Bendik Stang, and having now completed my reading of this volume in one evening, I am eagerly looking forward to the print version. The Book of Games Vol. 2 has matured exponentially over its previous incarnation, which I feel is very appropriate as Volume 2 has a very pointed focus on the maturity which the videogame industry as a whole is experiencing. While I am still disappointed in regards to the lack of coverage in regards to the Guild Wars properties, that is largely due to personal bias, as I am a casually hardcore Guild Wars player. Now that I have my only truly negative viewpoint out of the way, let's move on to the good stuff.

I was extremely impressed with the amount of research which had obviously gone into the production of Volume 2, as well as the new features which had been added for the individual game listings and ratings. These additions show that the authors listened to those who took the time to give them feedback on Volume 1, and as such have made themselves a part of the gaming community in a way which some authors never achieve, no matter how knowledgeable they may be on their topics. Another interesting sidenote was seeing another book which I am in process of reviewing featured in a sidebar in this book. As a journalist with a heavy research addiction, I always consider how useful a publication will be to me on my endless quest for knowledge, and The Book of Games Volume 2 passed that consideration with ease. There are many, many sources for further reading and education.

While The Book of Games Volume 1 was a handy reference for the parents and relatives of gamers, Volume 2 fully opens up the changing videogame industry, from development to tournaments and beyond. The authors have successfully put the industry into a nutshell - one which gamers, teachers, parents and even grandparents will appreciate. This volume has every component of the videogame world between its covers, and takes a look at every aspect in a well-worded, well-researched, and well-presented manner. Every chapter contains evidence of how videogames have become an integral part of our lives in the 21st century - from those who pick up a quick game of solitaire to those who travel the pro-gamer circuits. One photo I could immediately relate to was that of Norway's Olav Undheim, winner of the 2007 World Cyber Games Grand Final Warcraft III Tournament. I saw that match, along with all of the other events held on that final game day in Seattle this past October. I was there when Olav hoisted that $ 20 000.00 cheque over his head at the medals presentation - and that's what this industry called videogaming has at its core - a vibrant, global community - one which we experience at our own annual LAN tournament, and one which The Book of Games Volume 2 has opened to the world.

I think that this book will do more to bring an understanding of the videogame culture to non-gamers than any collection of web sites and media articles could possibly do. Parents everywhere will benefit from this book, while gamers will embrace this book for the validation it brings to our gaming culture. The Book of Games Volume 2 is an excellent counter-weight to those who vocalize loud and long their negative views on the gaming industry as a whole. I challenge those who, without really understanding what videogames are truly all about to pick up this book and read it. Understand what draws those of us who game into our multi-pixelled worlds. The artwork is amazing, the music is incredible, and the passion insurmountable.  As the owner of a company which has been trying unsuccessfully for three years to obtain a business license for a digital media centre for youth in our hometown, I would love to see the members of our Township council who oppose us, as well as those in the licensing department who insist on calling us an arcade, read this book. The Book of Games Volume 2, I believe, will become a very useful tool for those of us who are not only proud members of the gaming culture, we support the up and coming designers of tomorrow and all of the possibilities the world of gaming has opened to them, whether they become game designers, engineers, architects or even doctors.

I whole-heartedly give The Book of Games Volume 2 a five star rating, and if there have been this many improvements in the series just between volumes 1 and 2, I can hardly wait until I get a look at Volume 3 which will be out in November 2008. To the authors I say "this is a work to be proud of, a job very well done."
  • Reading: The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte
  • Drinking: Coke
As some of you around these halls are aware, I've had an open FBI file for a few years now in regards to a script kiddie from California who was attacking one of KillaNet's webservers. Today I finally got the phone call I have been waiting for - he was indicted, arrested and charged in US Federal court this afternoon - on a no bail federal warrant. All of the months of gathering evidence, dealing with FBI agents and the US State Attorney, and of course the hours and hours and hours spent by myself, Scott, and some of the other KillaNet staff in server repairs and generally dealing with this kid is finally coming to an end. The attorney doesn't know yet if there will be a plead-out or if the case will go to trial, but either way, I want a Guilty Verdict to go along with the warrant. ;)

For anyone interested, the official press release can be read here. :aww:

And now for a somewhat related feature....I'm sure you'll all get the connection. ;)

:thumb64655301: by :iconlestrim:

Windows and Bars by saamhashemi by :iconsaamhashemi:

:thumb65861038: by :iconinjuredkitten:

freedom by morgak by :iconmorgak:

:thumb65559602: by :icondigitalarticulation:

Law and Order by Tobias-Cray by :icontobias-cray:

Deathrow by KTinaMK188 by :iconktinamk188:

:thumb61629562: by :iconchoco-piccu-kiss23:

Locked Ambitions 3 by Gijoe13844 by :icongijoe13844:


This weekend we're off to the World Cyber Game Grand Finals in Seattle, WA. - the Olympics of videogaming. :D

:hug: to all of you, new shots coming soon, I promise. :)

  • Reading: Clothar The Frank by Jack Whyte
  • Watching: Prison Break
  • Playing: Guild Wars: Eye of the North
  • Drinking: Coke
This small group of features is inspired by a conversation a few of us were having in KillaNet's irc channel about shots with people in them. As many of you know, I personally don't like people in my 'scape shots, however I do like photos of people who look like they have a story to tell. For these features, I went searching through the People & Portraits section for photographers I've never visited before, but who have submitted portraits which are thought-provoking in some way - who they are, where they've been, the things they've seen in their lifetimes, however long or short that may have been. I hope you enjoy them.

Beautiful Cry
beautify cry by metindemiralay by :iconmetindemiralay:

:thumb65057077: by :iconvirjinya:

:thumb65042465: by :iconamviews:

The Long Walk Home

Mature Content

The Long Walk Home by snappypete
by :iconsnappypete:

:thumb36763388: by :iconemeyardyey:

Taking A Stroll
:thumb24107902: by :iconkbraz:

Grandfather by sees2moons by :iconsees2moons:

Age Before Beauty
Age Before Beauty by Kingfishers by :iconkingfishers:

Imitating Life, In Man's Eyes
In mans eyes.. by straightfromcamera by :iconstraightfromcamera:

Say Hi To Tom
and say hi to Tom by canphoto by :iconcanphoto:

The Accordian Man
The Accordian Man by alkaline by :iconalkaline:

children by elairan by :iconelairan:

Be My Friend Sam
Be my friend Sam by Berthod by :iconberthod:

0035 by svi-design by :iconsvi-design:

Cross In Hand l
Cross in hand l by SauriaMami by :iconsauriamami:

window seat by poeticarmor by :iconpoeticarmor:

:hug:s to you all....especially if you want to adopt a few flu bugs ;)
  • Reading: Clothar The Frank by Jack Whyte
  • Playing: Guild Wars: Eye of the North
  • Drinking: Coffee
A little publicity for my friends at Hothead Games Studio in Vancouver :aww:

Fans of the Penny Arcade online comic strip were treated to more than just a few surprises this past weekend at PAX 2007, held at the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle.

Attendees at the packed designer panel hosted by Hothead Games were first treated to the premier viewing of MC Frontalot's latest video escapade, after which Hothead Games' President, Vlad Ceraldi announced that MC Frontalot would be writing a track for On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One.

Hothead Games at PAX 2007 by Adaera
Hothead Games At PAX 2007

Mr. Ceraldi then unveiled the official game trailer for Rain-Slick, along with the game's official website.

Following these announcements, fans were taken through the beginning of the highly anticipated game. Players are able to customize their game character, who carefully examines each item of clothing chosen by the player. I will say right now that the interaction between characters and players at this stage is the best character customization sequence I have seen to date.

Rain-Slick, true to classic adventure play, allows the player to save his or her progress at any time except while engaged in a battle. The developers, along with Mike and Jerry, want to ensure that the player feels challenged by the game, that the play is not too easy and has a variety of puzzles to solve as well as levels to achieve - all the while keeping the player entertained and having fun.

Everything about the game, from the user interface to the characters and game play environment is consistent, with an atmosphere one could have expected to see in the 1920's - in a warped HP Lovecraft kind of way. The humour of Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (Tycho & Gabe) translates extremely well into Rain-Slick, and it is evident that they have put alot of time, thought and effort into every aspect of the player's experience. Both Mike and Jerry have wanted to make sure that Rain-Slick meets their fans' expectations in regards to content, humour and character recognition. It is important to them that Rain-Slick feels like a Penny Arcade product.

The player is able to control not only his character, but also those of Tycho and Gabe through turn-based interaction. As players advance through the game, they are able to uncover mysteries, learn new skills and upgrade their weaponry, attacks and strength. The power of the attacks on the baddies can also be determined through the playing of mini-games, where the power of the attack is based on the player's ability to achieve a 100% ranking in the mini-game. Players are also able to further develop their characters as each new Episode is released. Also, each Episode will be both stand-alone as well as have the option to link with previous Episodes. Players will not be forced to purchase each chapter in order to play, but each character will need to attain a certain level before being able to move on to the next Episode.

Hothead Games Designer Panel by Adaera
Hothead Games Designer Panel At PAX 2007

At time of writing, Rain-Slick will be available only via digital download, but Mr. Ceraldi did state that retail market options were being investigated. The game will be available for play on PC, Linux and Mac computers, as well as on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade. The estimated cost of each episode will be in the range of $20.00, with new releases available every three to four months. The game is currently in single player format, but could possibly be expanded to multi-player in future editions. Mr. Ceraldi also stated that they want the game to be playable on older machines as well as the newer, high-powered machines now available, and the studio has been testing the game's playability on a variety of computer specifications. Projected release date for On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One is late 2007 or very early in 2008.


Thank you to all of my new watchers and those who have recently faved or commented on my work. I promise to get to all of those waiting messages, comments and deviations very soon - only two - no, three -  more news articles to write and then I can start getting caught up again. :)

:hug:s to all of you,

  • Listening to: Games You Play - 12 Stones
  • Reading: The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
  • Watching: The clock count down until the GW:EN release
  • Playing: Guild Wars: Eye of the North at midnight!
  • Drinking: Coke
Several of us over at KillaNet are in countdown mode for three upcoming releases and a conference.

Update You can hear the entire Anthem For the Underdog album in streaming stereo right here

First is the release of 12 Stones' new album, Anthem For The Underdog, which comes out on August 14th. There are two song previews on 12 Stones' newly re-designed site - Lie To Me and the title track, Anthem For The Underdog. I've heard a preview of the entire album, and all I can say it, you will not be disappointed. 12 Stones is currently touring in the USA, headlining with Daughtry for some dates and from all reports the concerts have been incredible - full of energy and great music. Check their site for concert dates - more dates are upcoming. :w00t:

Our second countdown is for the release of Guild Wars: Eye of the North, a new expansion pack which will open up new areas for exploration, new missions, new quests, new armour, skills and heroes. Eye of the North will pave the way for Guild Wars 2. The Eye of the North preview weekend is August 24-26th - players must have the Pre-order Pack in order to participate. Several of us are also awaiting the release of the Guild Wars Mission Pack, which arrives in November. :excited:

Taking place over the same weekend as the Eye of the North preview is the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, which 4 of us from KillaNet will be attending on the 25th. Of course our main motivation for attending is the fact that ArenaNet will be there with a large Guild Wars display, freebies and two designer panel discussions. There will be lots of other things to see, do and learn at PAX, but Guild Wars is definitely the prime target for us. ;)

So in keeping with our countdown theme, here are a few clock images from around dA which I like and decided to feature:

by :iconalx-iv:

A Clock That Doesn't Tick by 13TheWicked13 by :icon13thewicked13:

How Much Is Left? by misanthropoly by :iconmisanthropoly:

last time by LiuJo by :iconliujo:

CLOCK by chemicalorgans by :iconchemicalorgans:

Ice Clock by amadeus16 by :iconamadeus16:

Parkville Castle by TurtleVVisperer by :iconturtlevvisperer:

:thumb58328138: by :icondakann:

Time to go by Eskimo-Evan by :iconeskimo-evan:

:thumb56754047: by :icontrashdolls:

Riwak by Shikaz by :iconshikaz:

:thumb54675672: by :iconanderton:

Small Clock by RawBerry by :iconrawberry:


:hug:s to all of you as always, and have a great weekend everyone. :aww:

  • Listening to: Adrenalin - 12 Stones
  • Reading: A Feast For Crows - George R R Martin
  • Watching: All of you
  • Playing: Guild Wars
  • Drinking: Coffee
A collection of features from my :+fav: gallery. While some of these shots may seem totally unrelated at first glance, they aren't. Could be the title, could be the description, could be the subject, or it could just be the emotion they portray - but they are all related.


Sweet Secrets by laurengary by :iconlaurengary:  
"In the aftermath of love, the secrets whispered between lovers can be the sweetest of all."

:thumb60963331: by :iconkeithchanning:

Just one step to the moon by blessedchild by :iconblessedchild:

Dreams do come true by incredi by :iconincredi:
"Dreams do come true. Believe it...and enjoy"

PINK AND WHITE ROSE by THOM-B-FOTO by :iconthom-b-foto:

:thumb53653141: by :iconheatherwaller-rivet:

My study Painting by Buble by :iconbuble:

Mature Content

maybe i forgot by scottchurch
by :iconscottchurch:
"Maybe I forgot...all the things I missed."

Bridge Across Forever by TruemarkPhotography by :icontruemarkphotography:  

Perfection 100 by SilverMixx by :iconsilvermixx:

:thumb53511236: by :iconmarkramstead:

:thumb58143495: by :iconlavalynne:

Home Alley 02 by ximocampo by :iconximocampo:

ON GOLDEN POND by gordonrae by :icongordonrae:

Roses and London Pride by AlicesPlace by :iconalicesplace:

:thumb55134847: by :iconpheelfresh:

We'll be here... by ZephonSoul by :iconzephonsoul:

by :iconiamwiley:

Sunrise Reflections by bamako by :iconbamako:

:thumb49971999: by :iconwaynebenedet:

:thumb47494625: by :icontavistock:

For you by Loucos by :iconloucos:

FRI 13 WEDDING by roykatalan by :iconroykatalan:


I hope you enjoy these features. I am certainly enjoying life right now, as some of you already know. Yes, still playing catch-up but I'll get there - hopefully before I go away for the weekend again. :giggle:

:hug: to all of you, I hope you're keeping well. :aww:
  • Listening to: It Was You - 12 Stones
  • Reading: A Feast For Crows - George R R Martin
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: Coke
As promised, here are some features for the ladies from the Portraits category. ;)

Neven by TooLost by :icontoolost:

:thumb60220491: by :iconrlsphotographer:

Jean-Charles 01 by Typhaine by :icontyphaine:

:thumb58223770: by :iconaeenchantment:

:thumb57988739: by :icondavidsobe:

:thumb54985732: by :icondigitalrebel-basel:

:thumb52455446: by :iconluciform:

:thumb46371139: by :iconhappymartin:

by :iconmlunenborg:

Mature Content

Shades of Etienne by Midnight-Flyer
by :iconmidnight-flyer:

SE-male silhouette by theapan by :icontheapan:

The Guns by osoling by :iconosoling:

:thumb4818999: by :iconrubarb:

and there's just something about a man with a sword..... :blushes:

:thumb47559889: by :iconsentern:

Sensei by Body-Art by :iconbody-art:


I'm still playing catch-up on here with your submissions, comments, messages and notes, but I'll get there, I promise. My life right now is incredibly busy and undergoing a few changes - so I'll apologize now if I :+fav: and run through your gallery, it's not because I don't have anything to say about your work, I'm just on some heavy time constraints - and no, that's not a new drug :giggle: I do try to save going through my :+devwatch: when I have a bit of time to spare so I can comment, but know how life is. :O_o:

I hope you are all keeping well, :hug: to all of you, as always. :aww:

  • Listening to: Temptation - Cradle of Filth
  • Reading: The Black Order by James Rollins
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: coffee..lots of coffee
...yes, that's a Warrant's just appropriate - for many reasons. Tonight's journal features my favourite photomanipulators. Their work speaks volumes to me, and for me. Please stop by and visit their galleries.

:iconaf-studios: freaky665

Letting Go


Finally Free


:iconladydarkraven: LadyDarkRaven

Amor e Morte by LadyDarkRaven
Amor e Morte

And Love Said No

Hollow Heart by LadyDarkRaven
Hollow Heart


:iconmmenathalie: mmenathalie

The Tragic Truth of Me

Catching Loneliness

Everything For You


:iconjcruzrobles: jcruzrobles

the lake by jcruzrobles
The Lake

delicate by jcruzrobles

glory by jcruzrobles


:iconbarrygreenland: bazzabent

Arthur's Excalibur

Wish by BarryGreenland

:iconwcs-wildcat: WCS-Wildcat

too lost to be saved by WCS-Wildcat
Too Lost To Be Saved

all that I'm living for by WCS-Wildcat
All That I'm Living For


:iconinnmemoriam: InnMemoriam

Hold Your Breath



:iconmicoi: Micoi

remember me as a time of day by micoi
Remember Me As A Time Of Day


:iconking13galford: King13galford

loneliness by king13galford


:iconinnerdarkness: InnerDarkness

Watery Grave


:hug:s to all of you.
  • Listening to: Sometimes She Cries - Warrant
  • Reading: The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: water
This will be my last set of features on Boys and Their Toys.

:iconnature-photographer: I just met Jay recently, and discovered that he has many beautiful landscapes and sunsets - it's all about the sunsets you know ;) - in his gallery.

An old life-size Tonka toy


:iconlowapproach: A visit to his gallery is a must. You won't be disappointed, trust me.

Young At Heart by lowapproach
Dodge :heart:


:icondaidone: Has many many historical buildings in his gallery - okay so sometimes it's not about the sunsets, it's about the old buildings. But for the shot I chose to feature, it's about the sunset. ;)

Or maybe it's about spending the day sailing out on the water, then coming to a stillness as the sun sets below the horizon.


:iconod1e: has a very nice array of shots in his gallery.

2CV by od1e
Citroën 2CV


:iconxspyfishx: has some really nice wave shots - and several other interesting shots as well in his gallery.

Tim01 by xspyfishx
Catching the wave


:iconpeterzz: has beautiful work in his gallery. You should visit him.

Journey by peterzz
Pirate toy ;P


:icondiprivan:  Another great gallery full of wonderful & fun shots.

Definitely boys and their toys :giggle:


:icongbraden: if you stop by his gallery, he'll give you a :cookie: :nod:

Kinda Sad by gbraden
A really big toy


:iconmefromsa: is a really nice guy, and he has lots of photos to look at. He never locks the door on his gallery, feel free to wander on in.

expensive toy :|


And so ends another series of features - I hope you've enjoyed all of the artists and their work.  Now I will have to think up another from the ladies this time...or maybe one for the ladies.... :giggle: .... ;P

:hug: to all of you :aww:
  • Listening to: Sing In Silence - Sonata Arctica
  • Reading: The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: water
We have now returned to our regularly scheduled feature.

First up today is a vector art piece by :iconzaleeu: who has many wonderful pieces in his gallery.

Of course I am partial to this one, as green is my favourite colour.
Vanquish by Zaleeu


From :iconximocampo: we have a....

La Nao Victoria by ximocampo
....pirate toy!! :ahoy:


:iconciar4n: is another very talented photographer. He has a gallery full of wonderfully emotive shots, please stop by and say hi. He might have cookies, too.

The Subtle Edge by ciar4n
While this is a dangerous toy, I love the lines & lighting in this shot.


:iconcrestmultimeadia: has a wide variety of shots in his gallery, and it was really hard to pick one from his skate park series....

The Boys FDR Park by crestmultimeadia
Some boys and their toys


:icondocsavage06: has more car shots in his gallery. :)

This looks like it would be fun to take cruisin' :nod:


:iconvipallica: has many classic car shots in his gallery...

Snake.... by Vipallica
Fast toy :D


and here we have :iconkyactus: with....

His naked car :|


And last but not least for Part 4 of this series, we have a really big toy from :iconaskjell:

DSV Bibby Sapphire by Askjell
For some reason, the name of this ship seems very familiar, but I haven't figured out why yet - maybe it was on The Sea Hunters.


Thank you for checking out these "toy" features, stayed tuned for another edition coming soon to a monitor near you. Does everyone have a hand stamp? :giggle:

:hug: to all of you :aww:
  • Listening to: Full Moon - Sonata Arctica
  • Reading: The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: water
We interrupt our regularly scheduled features of Boys & Their Toys to bring you this message for Canada's 140th Birthday.

Canada Day by Violet-Kleinert


Oh Canada by shykisses


Canada Day - O Canada by mystiquemoons


Tribute to snowbirds by gogluman


Tulips in bloom by PaulMcKinnon


Photo: Canadian Gold by Insidious-Ink




They Worked The Land by altered-states Done My Time by altered-states


Canadian Geese Heading Home. by Dr-Zook Moraine Lake II by Dr-Zook


:thumb57341550: :thumb54197008:


Canatara Contest by dendrology Sustanance by dendrology


The North Shore by tfavretto Lavender Sky by tfavretto


A Present Past by WayneBenedet End of a Prairie Day by WayneBenedet


Makeout Point by wartorn How To Tell The Future II by wartorn


The Struggle Begins by wb-skinner Dockyard Dawn by wb-skinner


:thumb57355944: :thumb44786624:


Falls Under A Full Moon by Tasky Requiem Of Dreams by Tasky


Scotch Pond No. 2 by imisslife The Neighbours by imisslife


Haunted 5 by rebelx Canada in 2006 by rebelx


British Columbia Glaciers by hoodie2u Mount Revelstoke, B.C. Canada by hoodie2u


There are many wonderfully talented photographers, writers and traditional artists on deviantART who make Canada their home, and these features are but a small sample. It would be nice if we could search for artists by country. Hint, hint dA ;)

So, to all of you other Canadians out there, Happy Birthday, Eh!!!

just to clarify to all of you non-Canadians out there - no, we don't all end our sentences with "eh" ... just those Easterners do. :giggle: ;P  

:hug: to all of you, and we will return to our regularly scheduled features shortly. :aww:
  • Listening to: Wander - Kamelot
  • Reading: The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: water
I know this installment is a little late - but I have a good excuse :giggle:

I'm very happy that so many of you are enjoying these features. :D


:iconpitchblacknight: starts off the list tonight. He has some wonderful work in his gallery, so make sure you stop by. I'm sure he'll leave the door open for you.

Sailing Dreams by pitchblacknight
We all know that not all toys involve wheels on land. I love the simplicity of this shot.


:iconsassaputzin: Stephen is another who has many fantastic shots in his gallery - like - castles :D
I heard he hands out cookies to visitors. :giggle:

Yes, I know you know that I like trucks - but I agree with Stephen, this Bentley looks might fine in that sunset.


:iconshwilson: Heath has a wide variety of shots in his gallery. He has castles too - dunno about cookies though.

Truck stop by shwilson
Big shiny trucks :D


:icontgrq: Walter has some stunning panoramas in his gallery, along with many historic Argentinian cathedrals.

DAY OF the FLAG 3 by tgrq
I just love the look on this guy's face :giggle:


:iconwaynebenedet: Wayne has been a great source of encouragement to me. For all of you saps out there, he has some wonderfully romantic shots in his gallery. ;)

3 at Rest by WayneBenedet
...and sometimes boys don't put their toys away....


:icontibs-: Tibs is another KillaNet staffer, and our top 3D modeller. He recently graduated from university in Belgium with a Masters Degree in Engineering...of some's late, I can't remember...and he really needs to post some of his newest work. I will send him a memo on that. ;)

Low poly Audi S3 by Tibs-
Future engineer at work...


:icontonyelieh: Tony has many beautiful works in his gallery. Stop by and take a look, but no leaving fingerprints on the photos, please.

Minimalistic beauty


And here we will pause for intermission. Please remember to get your hand stamped if you wish to leave the building during our break.

:hug:s to all of you. :)
  • Listening to: Sing In Silence - Sonata Arctica
  • Reading: The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: water
Thank you for the great response on Part 1 of this series. Here then is Part 2:


:iconfoureyes: Bernie has some of the most incredible works in his gallery. If you don't stop by and take a look, there will be no cookies for any of you. :evileye:

Joe's truck by foureyes
Joe's Truck


:icongilad: I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the fantastic images of Gilad. If not - well then click that mouse and visit his gallery ;)

Final Destination by gilad
Final Destination


:iconjosephthomas: Joe is one of those men who is truly kindhearted and just born to be a Grandpa. He reminds me alot of my own Grandfather, who has been gone now for almost 24 years.  :hug:

The College Years: Squire by JosephThomas
The College Years


:iconkeithchanning: If you want to see some outstanding wildlife photography, drop by Keith's gallery.

This is his pride and joy


:iconkingswana: Dave has limited internet access, but I always enjoy seeing what he's been up to when he does appear. :)

Bad on fuel mileage, great in traffic jams


:iconloucos: est mon ami qui habite en France. He is also the producer of many of the black & white photos which adorn my Fav Gallery. He also sometimes drives me crazy with some of his macro shots, when I can't figure out what it is. :confused:

Belle de nuit by Loucos
Belle de nuit


:iconmetro: has been a great help to me with IR and camera info. Thanks Nick :)

Stabled by metro
Nick's baby


Enjoy :)

:hug: to all of you, as usual :aww:
  • Listening to: Lunatic Fringe - Tom Cochrane
  • Reading: The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
  • Watching: All of you
  • Drinking: water