Sunday, 30 September 2012

In a such a short time

Normally a big project would take years if not, decades to build like cruise ships, dams, skyscrapers, bridges and tunnels. Imagine building a small island, an airport, miles of highway, railway lines and a large suspension bridge in seven years? This happened in Hong Kong and the reason for seven years was because Hong Kong was to be handed over back to China from the British. The engineers feared the if not completed by then, the Chinese might pull the plug.

Hong Kong needed a new airport as Kai Tak was overwhelmed by huge number of passengers and cargo with only one runway. Due to the overwhelming numbers, if incoming cargo is delayed, then millions of dollars is at stake. Expansion was impossible as Kai Tak was surrounded by buildings and skyscrapers. When pilots land, they often flew low around buildings which was considered dangerous for people living in apartments around the airport.

The only option left was to build a new airport. There was too few land to build and looked at Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau Islands. Both islands were mountainous and work began on clearing the mountains so both islands were level. The rubble was not wasted but used to connect both islands. Ships were used to vacuum the sea bed to expose the flat bedrock before adding the rubble on top. Because of the shortage of time, The terminals had identical rooves with 126 of them mass produced on sight. A cargo terminal was built with state of the art system where cargo can be transferred through a conveyor belt and if lifted through a high levels of shelves for storage.

Infrastructure had to built to and from the airport. Hong Kong already had two tunnels built decades ago. Due to constant heavy traffic, a new six lane tunnel had to be built. Bridges in the city had to be built due to heavy traffic. It was only built at night and on top of existing roads. Through the Ma Wan channel, a tunnel was going to be built but was too dangerous to build due to theavy traffic of container ships. The Tsing Ma Bridge (long suspension) was built. It was also tall enough for any ship to pass under. At 1733 metres long, engineers found that a deadly typhoon can knock it down so the bridge was made heavier. A tunnel was added inside along with a railway line and it became a double decker bridge. High speed railway lines were built along the highways for the millions of people using rail transport each day.

The fear of not completing on time was showing and negotiations were being made with the Chinese. When Hong Kong was handed back to China, the terminal was still not completed and the fear of the Chinese pulling the plug did not occurred. The Chinese gave Hong Kong a one year extension to complete the airport construction which they have successfully done.

Hong Kong Airport opened in 1998 with the historic closure of Kai Tak. The runway flights were turned off after the final takeoff made by Cathay Pacific and the quote "Goodbye Kai Tak, and thank you" before turning off the runway lights. All the equipment was moved to the new airport in seven hours. Cathay Pacific also made the first landing on the new airport. Hong Kong Airport's location away from the city centre would be alot safer instead of having planes constantly flying low above apartments. To be able to build big infrastructures and a big airport in seven years is an incredible achievement for the tiny land of Hong Kong.

30 day video game challenge - Day 30

My favourite game of all time

Saturday, 29 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 29

A game I thought I would not like, but ended up loving

After enjoying Modern Warfare 2's epic gameplay and graphics, I thought Bad Company 2 was no match against it. Bad Company 2 managed to impress the community with it's comedy campaign along with huge destruction and vehicles in multiplayer.

Friday, 28 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 28

Favourite game developer

A company from Sweden, developed the Battlefield series and made big success from Battlefield 2 to Battlefield Play4Free to Battlefield 2142. It was very brave of them to accept a challenge given from EA to develop Battlefield 3 and try to take down Modern Warfare 3 in late 2011. They managed impressed the gaming community with it's Frostbite 2 engine and major features that Modern Warfare 3 did not offer like 64 player modes, huge maps, vehicles, etc. Battlefield 4 is expected to be released in late 2013 and expections are high. This year celebrates Battlefield's 10th anniversary.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 27

Most epic scene ever

In Battlefield 3's mission "Going Hunting" where the player is flying through the Carrier Battle Group after take off with the Battlefield theme playing while base is giving the pilot its next instructions. Sure you're not piloting the plane but the thrill, the sound effect and the speed of flying off the carrier is amazing.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 26

Best voice acting - Battlefield 3

Digital sounds and great voice acting puts the game one step further to realism. During development, Andy McNab (former SAS) assisted the development by giving advice on how soldiers think, act and talk trying to reflect what a real soldier would speak.
"Words like 'maybe', 'we will try to' or 'we will attempt', don't exist in a soldier's world. We use words like 'you will', 'I will', 'we will'. All dialogue is absolute because soldiers in the real world must be positive in everything they do. After all, real lives are at stake, so there is no room for failure."
Andy McNab

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 25

A game I plan on playing

Using the Frostbite 2 engine, showing off epic campaign trailers plus having multiple special forces factions in multiplayer makes the game look very promising.

Monday, 24 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 24

Favourite classic game - Road Rash

Riding through highways and cities while evading police plus trying to reach the top three without putting too much damage on the bike puts in alot of fun and adrenaline.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Saturday, 22 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 22

A game sequel that disappointed me

Modern Warfare 3 using the same I.W 4.0 engine as Modern Warfare 2 despite knowing that they were facing competition against Battlefield 3 and it's Frostbite 2 engine. After a lawsuit occurred between Infinity Ward's West and Zampella against Activision, 44 Infinity Ward employees left to joing West and Zampella's new company. This crippled IW which saw Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software to help co-develop Modern Warfare 3. A new engine was never developed and many gamers complained it looked like the same as previous Call of Duty games even though MW3 later made $400 million in the first 24 hours plus reaching $1 billion in 16 days beating Avatar who reached it in 17 days.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 18

Favourite protagonist - Captain Price

In 1996, he was involved in an assassination attempt to kill Zakhaev under Captain MacMilan's command. As SAS captain in 2011, he led his team on a number of missions like hunting a nuke on a ship, rescueing Nikolai, searching for Al-Asad and stopping Russia from launching it's nukes to the US. During a standoff, he slid his pistol to Soap which he used to kill Zakhaev. During Operation Kingfish, he deliberately stayed behind to fend off enemy troops, allowing the rest of the team to leave. He was captured and held in a gulag for years as Prisoner 627. He was later rescued by Task Force 141 and led the team in hijacking a Russian submarine by launching a nuke to trigger an EMP over the East Coast to turn the tide of the Russian invasion on the US. He saved Soap from Shepherd from executing him and worked along side Yuri in Prague, Serria Leone and Somalia. He and Yuri assaulted the hotel Makarov was hiding in and killed him with his bare hands.

Monday, 17 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 17

Favourite antagonist - Vladimir Makarov

A former soldier accused of ethnic cleansing in Chechnya witnessed Zakhaev's arm shot off during an assassination attempt and drove him to safety. He also ordered the detonation of the nuclear device which killed 30,000 marines during a battle in the middle east during 2011. He was upset by Bravo Six's actions in killing Zakhaev. The new Ultranationalist government wanted a stable relationship with the US which angered Makarov. Makarov wanted the Ultranationalists to stand down and conduct numerous terror attacks including kidnappings, human trafficking and bombing. In 2016, he led a team on a brutal massacre at Zakhaev International Airport and killed PFC Allen who was undercover. Makarov used his dead body as evidence that the US was involved which led to the Russian invasion on the east coast. He was contacted by Captain Price and agreed to give him the location of General Shepherd. He led a team to hijack the Russian President's plane and captured him after crash landing. He did not want the president to sign the peace treaty and wanted the launch codes for the Russian Army to invade Europe. He even demanded the nuclear launch codes but was too late as Captain Price rescued him. He was hiding in a hotel in the Arab Peninsula when Price and Yuri conducted an attack against it. He escaped via helicopter but crashed and later killed by Captain Price.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saturday, 15 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 15

Favourite ability from a video game

The ability to go invisible in Ghost Recon - Future Soldier because with the latest arsenal and equipment at your disposal, fighting fair is not an option.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 13

Favourite boss battle in a video game

The ending of Modern Warfare 3 when Captain Price killed Makarov, a terrorist who led an airport massacre, human trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnappings, murders, bomb attacks and started World War 3.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 12

A game everyone should play - Battlefield 3

  • Huge maps
  • Destructable buildings
  • Vehicles
  • 64 players on PC multiplayer
  • Frostbite 2 graphics
  • Digital sound
  • Huge variety of guns and camouflage
  • Variety of dogtags
  • Variety of terrain maps like urban, snow, desert, woodland and close quarters
  • A variety of modes like team deathmatch, rush, gunmaster, tank domination and conquest. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 11

Gaming system of choice

The Playstation 3 plus being able to play online for free.

Monday, 10 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 10

Best gameplay

Modern Warfare 2's soundtrack by Hans Zimmer combined with it's single player story produces epic scenes like manning a minigun flying through the war-torn capital city, escaping in a snowmobile, rushing through the white house or chasing General Shepherd in the very end.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 9

Saddest game scene

The saddest scene was Modern Warfare 2's level Loose ends. It was at the end after Ghost and Roach survived a vicious battle to defend Makarov's safehouse while waiting for the DSM to download all of Makarov's files. Upon extraction, General Shepherd's forces arrive and after shooting the two, grabbed the DSM. Shepherd then burnt the bodies while Price from Afghanistan warned the two about the betrayal but it was too late. Shepherd wanted to betray the Task Force 141 so he could take all the credit and become a war hero after crushing Makarov and Russia. He did this after losing 30,000 marines from Modern Warfare 1 and the world just watched.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 8

Best soundtrack

Not only were Modern Warfare 2's graphics were a huge leap from Modern Warfare 1, but the decision to hire Hans Zimmer to make the soundtrack made it the best epic video game soundtrack of all time. What made Hans Zimmer accepting the offer was the graphics being amazingly advanced, in other words, the I.W 4.0 engine was probably one of the best engines that existed during 2009 and 2010. Using an orchestra, the music blends in with the gameplay which makes great epicness.

Friday, 7 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 7

A game I wish could have lasted a bit longer

Homefront does have a good storyline written by John Milius who also wrote Red Dawn and Apocalypse Now. Many reviewers complained that the single player campaign was too short (about 4 to 5 hours) and the epicness is short lived as repeating the single player is not at all interesting.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 6

Most annoying character

Flynn is a character who is barely serious during war times, loves humour, smoking and fancy music while flying through some of the world's most dangerous places. It's ironic how he is a pacifist and yet he helped transport Bad Company all the way. He lost his pacifism after being captured and tortured. After rescue, he saved Marlowe, ordered Bad Company to provide supressing fire on the enemy and saved Bad Company from enemies before being shot down and killed. At first Bad Company did not like him but after he was captured, they regarded him as a friend after everything he did and would not leave anyone behind until Flynn was rescued.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 5

Game character I feel I'm most like

Nikolai, a character who always help save the day by rescueing Price and Soap from the boneyard, providing intel about Makarov, assisting Soap's medical attention and providing extraction after operations. Not only he is a big helper but he is like a flying taxi saving lives and providing important intel.
In Modern Warfare 1, he had been an informant for the SAS until his cover was blown and was later rescued by Captain Price's squad. He later sent the exact location of Al-Asad's safehouse. In Modern Warfare 2, he rescued Task Force 141 from Brazil using a Pave Low, rescued Price and Soap from the Afghan boneyard using a C-130 and rescued them both again using a Little Bird after General Shepherd was killed. His ability to fly multiple vehicles is highly excelling. Modern Warfare 3 saw Nikolai providing assisstance to Soap wounded in action. He later provided air support in a Mi-24 during an operation in Somalia and provided important intel while helping Price and Yuri catching Makarov at a hotel.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 4

A guilty pleasure game

A game where I can do a variety of crimes and bad stuff. The series probably created alot of controversy as it encouraged young people to commit crimes and left victims filing a lawsuit against the developers.

Monday, 3 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 3

A game that is underratted

The first Black Ops game ran on a disappointing IW 3.0 engine inferior than it's predecessor Modern Warfare 2's IW 4.0 engine. Black Ops 2 however during E3 2012 had surprisingly revealed many changes like it's graphic improvement and single player and multiplayer epicness.What makes the Black Ops series more than ordinary is the zombie modes and wager matches like one in the chamber, gun game, etc. Black Ops 2 setting will be the first in the Call of Duty franchise to be set in the distant future.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

30 day video game challenge - Day 1

Very first video game

Rise of Nations

Developed by Big Huge games, it is a real time strategy game where you control empires from the ancient age to the information age. There are a variety of nations to play as like Chinese, Americans, British, Bantu, etc. Building your own economy and military, you can make alliances, peace and war with others and you can also set difficulties like easiest mode where opponents go easy on you or toughest where opponents will do everything they can to destroy you. Apart from single matches, there are also conquer the world campaigns with simulated campaigns like the Napoleon, Alexander the Great and Cold War. There are even multiplayer matches where you can play with people around the world.