For the most current photo exploits of my time in Hong Kong and East Asia, look no further than my Instagram feed here (or follow me @scriptmonkeyking).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stanley - Parks, Bars and a Party for People


Hong Kong Tidbit: There are parks for kids with playgrounds, but also for the elderly as well. Here below you see a small example of such public places for them to workout.


Hong Kong Tidbit: All the restaurant/bars near Stanley Market/Plaza are all along one dead end street. All have special set course lunches and dinners that run you about $150-200 HKD, but you can also order a la cart as well. There are two roundabouts on this street where taxis wait for passengers. There are also two bus and mini bus terminals within 5 minutes of walking as well.

Party for Old People
There was a party for old people that was held in the soccer court. It was done one of the many associations that are common almost anywhere. It featured live music and a dish called "poon choi," which is sort of like a Asian style casserole.

Hong Kong Tidbit: I grabbed this description from Wall Street Journal: Pun choi, whose name translates to "basin food," is literally just that -- a large basin, traditionally made of wood, filled with up to 14 types of ingredients, assembled into a casserole. Each item is individually prepared in advance and then carefully layered in the basin, similar to the way a terrine is made with the ingredients arranged in tiers. Then, just before serving, the contents are reheated until warm for no more than 30 minutes over an open fire.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Asia Game Show 2009 Report

The last time I went to this show was in 2006. I pretty much summed it up as the Playstation Show and for 2009, it's no different. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I would have loved to see the show expand to include Nintendo and Microsoft.

Still it was an interesting show where the other booths were a mix of vendors and local game developers. Most of which develop online games that usually veer towards the RPG market. MMO and RPGs are huge in Asia.

I went to the show with my friend Sunny. He’s an old university buddy of mine. The first two things we tried out was Gran Turismo 5 and Final Fantasy XIII--yes, just the Japanese version folks. The cuts scenes are as one would expect, breathe taking. Yet the game play graphics weren’t as crisp as you may imagine. After that we checked out the rest of the games they were showcasing, which you can read commentary from the photos below.

Two things from the show that I must mention before the photo parade, first is Heavy Rain.

Heavy Rain looks and plays as a great detective thriller should. You immediately get immersed into the game where the options are presented as "feelings" and "thoughts,” like that of Rise of the Argonauts, but more elaborate if you will. Some may find it annoying with so many options and possibilities of how to play the game, but to me that gives it a strong replay value, which many games today lack. They made the process of looking up old files to solve the Origami Killer case an interesting one. Instead of reading mass text files on your screen you dive into a virtual world (see photos for reference), where you sit at your desk with VR glasses. You grab the rotating orbs and slam them onto your desk to create a virtual world. The cut scenes are handled in a manner that utilizes story telling mechanics from the film and comic book mediums. This is on the top of my list to buy when it hits stores.

The other is not really a game, as it was a showcase for a new branch opening up in Hong Kong from SCAD. What do you get when you have a smart phone sized screen, a printed out bird's eye view of some city streets and a hand full of Skittles? A zombie game of course!

You place the Skittles anywhere on the map; they become your grenades and mines. View map through the screen; so wherever you aim the camera on the printed map, you will see where the zombies are coming from, who they are attacking and more importantly, how close they are to your Skittles--I mean grenades and mines to set them off for some zombie splatter. This alone would be impressive, but when I tilted the screen the buildings became 3D. You can move the screen around the map and view the 2D, bird’s eye view, printed map the city in 3D. Hands down this was the coolest thing in the show. I made a shot video that I hope is viewable here about it.

Where's the booth gals and cosplay people? Yes there were there in force as usual in such shows. Yes, there are some photos, so those that are interested in that, there you go. Yet, let me take a moment to talk about how Sunny and I ended our Asia Game Show 2009 experience, which does tie in with the booth gals.

We're not the youngest guys in the world, so we looked for a place to sit for bit before making the journey home. We accidentally found the PSP Go station (I hope my Toronto friends get a little chuckle out that name like I did), which had benches to sit at. We then noticed people around us all having a PSP Go. One of the volunteers asked if we would like to try some ourselves and after saying "sure, why not," he replied with, "great, let me get a girl for you."

"Wait. Sunny did he just say what I thought he said?"

So he comes back with a booth gal that sits down and teaches Sunny how to use the PSP Go. We didn't' see anyone else having this, er, introduction to the PSP Go--not that either of us were complaining. So after trying out the PSP Go, we end up talking about university and learning abroad. I noticed a small line of other people (yes, all of them, but a few were guys) waiting to try out the PSP Go. All were a little disappointed when given a PSP Go by various show volunteers. No idea why. I felt a little bad when a guy that waited for a while to build up his courage came up to her an asked if he could try out the PSP Go, only for her to just give it him and continue our conversation. Anyway, her manager politely asked her to get back to posing for strangers and they're crazy sniper scoped cameras--I mean work. We left afterward (Yes, I did tell me wife about this. No idea if Sunny did. Maybe I’ll tag him on some photos in Facebook so his wife can see how the show was for him).

Did I pick up anything from the show? Well, I guess you'll have to look at the photos to find out then.

I’m going to be busy packing (again) to move as I mentioned in my last post, so there will be some delay in new posts in the coming week or two. Before that happens I’m going to get more photos uploaded about Stanley and yes, more Weird Food photos too.

Mall Christmas

So here are some photos from two malls that we were at this past Christmas. It's interesting to see how they see Christmas and envision snow or snow themes. There is also a few shots of Stanley at night during the festive celebrations.

I hope that everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season so far. The New Year is around the corner and with that we will be moving to a service apartment until our more permanent place of residence is ready for us. So good-bye Stanley, and hello Aberdeen. We're going to be trading the open tourist spaces for a more old school urban lifestyle for the next little while. Think Chinatown in any major city and you'll get an idea of what I mean. Rest assure there will be photos about the area.

So without further ramblings, here are the photos.

Taikoo Shing - Cityplaza

Causeway Bay - Times Square

Hong Kong Tidbit: The area that you see with the decorations was declared a public space, so all decorations must include seating areas. Besides typical benches people have used their designs to incorporate this requirement. You'll also notice that unlike many places around malls in other places, planters and other makeshift seating is designed to discourage people from doing just that. In fact those at Times Square a slanted for that purpose.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Asia Game Show 2009

So what am I'm going this Christmas? No where, but come Boxing day--The Asia Game Show baby! I'll be picking a little something up while I'm there and will of course take photos for you all.

Weird Food Stuff of the Week

Ginger ale flavoured Kitkat

Did it taste like how it sounded? Sort of. Without the carbonated part of the ginger ale, this just didn't sell it for me. Still, it's an interesting thing to try out.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Script Monkey King Logo

First off major thanks to Jessie Lam! You so awesome girl!

This is how it came about: I was talking with my friend and super talented artist pal, Jessie Lam (go to her website, now!) about needing a logo for my blog. I gave a small description (a take on the Monkey King where his crown curls up into a light bulb to reflect creative ideas, and instead of his staff we have a pencil to show the writer aspect) and she turns around and delivers it with a BAM!

From Script Monkey King

Seriously, that's what she wrote in her email to me. I tweaked the light bulb with some slight lens flare (yes, that's right lens, flare), as well as the clouds too (Please don't kick my butt Jesse). Not crazy about the text, but for better or for worse this is what the logo will be for now.

From Script Monkey King

I may set up a competition for different renditions of the logo, so stay tuned!