Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GameTap changes coming; I want more ...

GameTap, she is a'changing:

Tomorrow (May 31st), GameTap is going to launch a functional and aesthetic face lift to

I've been meaning to write up some thoughts on the company, concept, and potential for several months, and tomorrow's relaunch --and a interview with GameTap VP of Marketing David Reid and their VP of Content Rick Sanchez (who I've met, is a sharp (and nice), and has been very responsive to my questions) spurred me to action.

If you're unfamiliar with the GameTap service, the oversimplification is it's a Turner Broadcasting offering, and lets you play (usually) older PC game hits on your PC. It's a subscription model (that is, until tomorrow), with nearly 900 games on-Tap (*snicker*).

The Joystiq interview has got some good stuff.

Stuff like, "Turner Broadcasting has this core competence in acquiring content", which is ostensibly how TBS, Cartoon Network (seriously dislike the usability of their Website), and GameTap got started.

The difference is GameTap was Turner's first direct-to-consumer model, and it's grown to be more than just games -- as it also has a "GameTap TV" arm (also available via your computer), and recently announced a new, original IP traditional (video game-related) television series.

So, what changes with tomorrow?
"What you'll see more of is a less purist game business model and more of an overall broadcast model. Like our ad-supported games service."
There's a fundamental switch from a "cable model", to a "film / TV model, with three new "tiers":
  1. Subscription (the current GameTap model, and likened to "video-on-demand"

  2. Digital Retail Business (new on Thursday, and likened to "box office premiere")

  3. Free service (new on Thursday, and analogous to "free broadcast television")
I'm pretty excited at the announced prospect of more integration across Turner services -- like more Adult Swim content available via GameTap, as well as more of the Adult Swim online games (seriously twisted / fun, high-caliber games I'm not used to seeing on a branded site). I'm all about media intersection that gets me the stuff I want in more ways through more pipes.

There's also some other good stuff in the interview, like a succinct (and diplomatic) breakdown of GameTap's version of "episodic" (which they've made work, with Sam & Max), versus Valve. And there are bigger media change nuggets in the interview, like what the interviewer calls "co-releases in retail and on the service" (the first being Tomb Raider: Anniversary), but Mark Cuban has been calling "day-and-date" releases (like what he and Steven Soderbergh did with Bubble and it's same-day theatrical / DVD release). Media distribution is changing big-time.

And I'm excited that America McGee's Grimm -- a 24-episode treatment of children's fare, a la the 2000 PC hit Alice (one of my favorite PC games). But it's American McGee, and while I think he's brilliant (again, a la Alice), Bad Day LA and Scrapland got me hyped and then left me cold. And they took loooong development hikes. So despite GameTap saying they make episodic content work by "only talking to developers who can actually deliver on a schedule", my sense is McGee isn't great on that front. On the upside, he's an entrepreneur's entrepreneur, and I'm impressed by his Spicy Horse Shanghai game development studio (love their logo), and his Carbon6 / TMIEC cross-media IP development houses.

Oh, and Mac owners are going to get start playing via GameTap this summer.

But I want more:

Seriously. Maybe I'm greedy. And maybe it's my product management background. And maybe it's that I'm really good at making product / service suggestions with other people's stuff (my bonuses aren't tied to their success or failures ;-).

I've attended a few sessions where companies like GameTap, Encore, Inc., RealNetworks, and Microsoft verbally joust about their online services.


Not to get all We-are-the-World on you, but from a business perspective, why can't Microsoft pull a DirecTV partnership with GameTap, and give GameTap an additional distribution pipe, giving both of them additional revenue, and me an additional play pipe?

This seems like an obvious win-win-win (GameTap-Microsoft-me):
  1. Additional distribution pipe (and revenue stream) for GameTap.

  2. Additional content partner (and, therefore, content) for Microsoft -- for Xbox Live Marketplace (via GameTap TV) and Xbox Live Arcade (via GameTap games)

  3. Additional revenue for Microsoft (depending on how they structure their "consignment" take on XBL Marketplace content).

  4. Additional way for me to play the games I want, on the platform I want.

I envision something like a "My Subscriptions" Xbox Dashboard blade, where I can get to my value-added subscriptions (which would also be embedded in appropriate existing blades). These would be services (GameTap, DirecTV, Zune Marketplace (detest that site), etc.) that I pay for on top of the Xbox Live subscription cost, or I'm already paying for outside of Xbox Live.

If I'm subscribed, GameTap could also show up under Xbox Live Arcade. It and DirecTV could also show up under XBL Marketplace blade, "Media and Entertainment" category.

I can't figure out why this isn't happening already. I mean, Turner's parent company is Warner Bros., who's already a strategic XBL Marketplace content provider (and see here for more, and here for music). And Adult Swim is already dumping a ton of content onto XBL Marketplace, so this seems like a logical extension.

Either that, or I'm missing something big. And probably obvious.

I think I'll get a hold of the GameTap and Microsoft folks and find out.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spector + Woo = Awesome ...

OK, all of the news posts about the newly announced Ninja Gold game and film have focused on John Woo, largely because of his current work on the Stranglehold video game from his studio Tiger Hill Entertainment (and Midway Entertainment).

But John Woo is partnering with Warren "Deus Ex" Spector for Ninja Gold. , who will be serving a critical role on the game (I suspect through his Junction Point Studios) and the film.

To me, that's the news. As the Hollywood Report coins it, it's a "collaboration between one of the biggest names in video games and one of the top action filmmakers."

Said Spector:
"What happened with 'Ninja Gold' was very different and, to my mind, much cooler. I know that my thought from the start was to develop something that would work just as well in games as in movies, and I know John was thinking along the same lines. This was an attempt to create a concept that would work in, and be developed for, a variety of media simultaneously. That's something new for games -- and for movies."
Over at, they're detailing the film will be released under the 20th Century Fox genre label Fox Atomic, and Spector will serve as executive producer.

Plot details are understandably sparse:
"The movie's, as well as presumably the game's, plot is set in the modern
day, but focuses on a group of ninjas still dedicated to centuries-old
traditions. The title refers to the smuggling of gold from South Africa by
organized crime syndicates."
No timetable has been set for the game or movie, though I've seen some unconfirmed reports that "production will start in 2008".

A slightly longer (badly titled) article is available from Yahoo News.

Monday, May 28, 2007

What I want to see on XBLA ...

So, this is a little embarrassing.

After pimping Gamerscoreblog's solicitation for Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) feedback, I didn't send my feedback to them right away, and they closed comments to that post within a day or two of my post.

So I sent them Email.

And now, I'm sharing with you what I think XBLA "needs":

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Halo 3" beta impacts today ...

There's some server flippage happening for the Halo 3 Beta today between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. PDT (see what time that is for you).

The change "probably won’t affect you one iota", but check out the post to understand how it might.

Oh, and don't freak. It'll be OK ...

Give Microsoft and Bungie your feedback ...

Hey, Microsoft wants your feedback.

So, rather than gripe and grief through your headsets on your Cheetos-stained couches, take advantage of some open forums:

"PC Game On" Austin conference ...

CMP Technology's Game Developers Conference (GDC) announced "PC Game On, the only consumer-facing PC games event of its kind":
"Unlike other consumer events which focus primarily on consoles, PC
Game On gives PC gaming the full spotlight with cross-publisher, hardware, and
software company support."

CMP Game Group's Katherine Schoback said, "Considering media attention of late has focused solely on console wars, PC deserves its place in the sun."

Game On willl occur September 8-9 at the Austin Convention Center, following the Austin Game Developers Conference and Game Career Seminar, which was purchased by CMP Technology from the Game Initiative earlier this year.

More details:
PC Game On will take place in ballrooms A-C of the Austin Convention Center, Saturday and Sunday, September 8-9, from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. Admission is $30 at the door, and $25 in advance of the event. Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit
See the full article over at

Monday, May 21, 2007

Serious(Sam)ly ...

So, Croteam is evidently got a new version of their in-house "Serious Engine", and they're going to do a Serious Sam 3.

I'm a huge fan of the first two games (OK, an average-sized fan, but hugely fanatical about the franchise), so this news by itself has got me stoked.

But add in some tech demo picts of what the new engine can do, and the additional tease of a new, forthcoming, non-Serious Sam title?


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blizzard announces StarCraft II ...

Ending (at least) weeks of speculation, last night Blizzard announced StarCraft II, the RTS successor to its venerable title:
"Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. These three distinct and powerful races will clash once again in the fast-paced real-time strategy sequel to the legendary original, StarCraft. Legions of veteran, upgraded, and brand-new unit types will do battle across the galaxy, as each faction struggles for survival.

"Featuring a unique single-player campaign that picks up where StarCraft: Brood War left off, StarCraft II will present a cast of new heroes and familiar faces in an edgy sci-fi story filled with adventure and intrigue. In addition, Blizzard will again offer unparalleled online play through, the company's world-renowned gaming service, with several enhancements and new features to make StarCraft II the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game."
No release date's been given.

Head over the StarCraft II Website to see the amazingly detailed if (if "Hardened-space-marined-cliched") cinematic, and some fantastic gameplay footage.

Friday, May 18, 2007

CoR confirmed for Xbox 360 ...

Remember this post, when I said I suspected the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape to Butcher Bay (CoR), would come to the Xbox 360?

Turns out it is. More than just a port, the re-titled Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena will be coming to the Xbox 360 and PS3, "will apparently boast an additional 40 per cent single-player content set on board the scavenger ship Dark Athena", and include (wait for it!) multiplayer. Yes. Multiplayer.

And at least one source claims the developer's commentary that was on the PC ("Developer's Cut") version will be included as well.

This, Dear Readers, is sweetness ...

GameTap announces video game animated series

From over at
"GameTap have announced Re\Visioned, a new and quite frankly fantastic-sounding animated series for GameTap TV. The deal is that a whole bunch of quality and/or popular writers and artists are going to get together and make short cartoon series based on video game characters and their settings."
First up is Tomb Raider, and "[s]ome of the guys involved in series one are Warren Ellis, Peter Chung and Jim Lee". And me, doing voice over. Hopefully. Seriously, I'm calling someone about this right now.

Oh, and the "shows are available globally, and they're free."

Wicked cool ...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Halo 3 "Crackdown beta " available now!

The fine folks at Bungie / Microsoft Xbox Live have fixed the problem keeping early-copy Crackdown owners from downloading and playing the Halo 3 beta.

You can now launch Crackdown, where you'll get a DLC title update that'll then let you download the Halo 3 beta.

And, "for lost time and inconvenience, we are extending the Halo 3 Beta end date to Sunday, 6/10, at 11:59 PM PDT."

That's decent of them (seriously).

Halo 3 beta still MIA; no ETA ...

UPDATED (2): Those sneaky Bungie guys (SketchFactor this time) have updated their update, thinking we won't notice (I cut and pasted from the first notice): "This just in! The Microsoft team has identified the issue that was preventing the Halo 3 beta from being downloaded via Crackdown. This problem is expected to be fixed within the next 3 to 6 hours. New information as soon as we have it!" (Emphasis mine.)

UPDATED: Just in from Bungie's Frankie O'Connor: "This just in! The Microsoft team has identified the issue that was preventing the Halo 3 beta from being downloaded via Crackdown. This problem is expected to be fixed within the next 2 to 4 hours. New information as soon as we have it!"

This is awesome.

More than 12 hours after acknowledging the problem, the Halo 3 beta is still missing in action, with not even a peep from Bungie or Major Nelson during the entire time.

Granted, this is a game. And there are arguably bigger, more important things going on in the world.

However, as a worldwide services / program manager myself, I'm interested in the logistics and fallout of this. Put over simply, there was a promise of a service; a promise upon which delivery has not been made. And nobody's saying nothin'.


And for a fun take on the personal cost of the delayed beta, check out the "write-up" from

I seriously so like those Joystiq and Kotaku folks ...

Halo 3 beta delayed; ugliness ensues ...

So, the Halo 3 beta was supposed to be available today for Crackdown owners.

In short, it's not, and we don't know when it will be.

Joystiq's running "Halo 3 beta absent, internet explodes", which pretty sums it up.'s community manager Frankie O'Connor posts:
"Folks are reporting problems downloading the Halo 3 Beta via Crackdown this
morning. We have alerted the appropriate Live authorities and they are taking
care of the problem as we speak. More news as it comes in."
Now, I'm excited about Halo 3. But I didn't wait up all night like some folks did. I checked before I went to bed at 1, and again when I got up at 6 to run. Reading posts, there are folks who were (and are) staying awake to get the beta. As an example, there was a guy bragging about his stash of "Jolt Mints and Inferno gum" that (I suspect) makes him a little on edge right now.

It doesn't help that Microsoft mouthpiece Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb sent out a post at 4:19 a.m. saying, "As if you didn't already know, the Halo 3 beta is available for download for Crackdown owners."

And it wasn't. Which has got to sting those folks waiting with twitchy download fingers. And has got to be a bit of an embarrassing mistake coming from the Xbox Live Director of Programming. But I know how this stuff works, and he was probably told it was available, and he's not likely the guy directly making it available.

And " is Temporarily Unavailable due to abnormally high load. Please try back soon."

It'll be interesting to see if Hryb and ops manager "e" just make fun of gamers again in the weekly podcast. But maybe they learned from last time's bad press.

Halo 3 coming September 25th ...

Read the full press release here.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Forza 2 demo, new Crackdown DLC ...

Forza 2, probably Microsoft's premiere title for the Xbox 360 (maybe until PGR4), saw its free demo released last night on Xbox Live MarketPlace. (As an aside, I was entertained watching forum posters percolate the "it'll be available at 2 a.m. EDT" rumor all last night, and saying they were going to wait up for it. Since Microsoft only releases content on a PDT schedule, those East Coasters waiting for the content at 2 a.m. EDT (rather than 5 EDT) are probably sucking it up in home room this morning.)

More exciting to me (I'm stoked about Forza, but that's in the context of my sucking at racing games) is the massive amount of downloadable content coming in the next week for one of my favorite 360 games -- Crackdown (at which my suckage is less obvious).

Check out the post for all of the details (and videos), but there's a ton of free and premium content coming for Realtime Worlds's seminal sandbox title. The free stuff''ll get you new and improved attacks and effects, new game types, and achievements. The premium content (800 MS Points) will get you new vehicles, races, weapons, achievements, and gametypes -- including formally supported rocket tag. Sadly, it looks like it's all still limited to 2 player, so I'll feel a bit mislead by the released screenshot with 4 of the new Agency Buggy vehicles (turns out the new race type actually supports 12-way racing, but 10 of those racers are NPCs).

And really cool? If your friend buys the premium content and you join his / her co-op game, you get that premium content for that co-op session. That's a really intelligent product choice, in my mind.

Check out the post for the pages and pages of text and video goodness.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TimeShift ...

I was excited about TimeShift. Then I played the demo, and badmouthed it.

My, how things change.

With Atari fire-selling the Sabre Interactive-developed title to Vivendi Games, and Vivendi intelligently stopping the release of the game to polish (but not kill) the title, it looks like we may have a great game on our hands, with an innovative, non-Blinx, non-PoP use of time.

Check out the new "TimeShift: One Man Army" hi-def game trailer (not game play, I'm sure, but it shows the concepts off nicely). Even better, watch the interview with Senior Producer Kyle Peschel, where he (A) acknowledges he wishes the original demo never happened, and (B) talks to what sets TimeShift apart -- analog art input and damage persistence among them (and among my favorites).

Xbox 360 Dashboard update ...

The new Xbox 360 Dashboard update is available today upon sign-in to Xbox Live.

I've detailed features of note in my previous post, and you can also check the official Microsoft press release for more info.

Now, there's a lot of subtle goodness in this update, not the least of which is Xbox Live Marketplace getting its own blade, and the integration of Xbox and Windows Live Messaging. And there's the much needed (and slickly implemented) game and video enhancements.

But there's still room for improvement.

For example, I noticed in the new Marketplace blade, something's been added to the "Newly released content" category -- stuff that isn't newly released. I'm a little irritated having to wade through the (apparently chronologically sorted?) offerings to find stuff "available 07/17/2007" or "11/19/2007". Um, shouldn't this go into a "Coming Soon" bucket?

Also, it'll be interesting to see what "integration of Xbox and Windows Live Messaging" means, because the press release says, "Windows Live Messenger and Xbox LIVE will be unified on Xbox 360" (emphasis mine), implying it won't be unified on both platforms. The Xbox 360 isn't my chatting platform of choice. As nice as the new soft keyboard and USB keyboard support is, until the fingerboard peripheral comes out from Microsoft this summer, my preferred chat platform remains the PC. And right now, there's no apparent change to my Windows Live Messenger app -- no Xbox Live friends showing up as a new category, no new functionality under the "Xbox" tab.

But, in the scheme of things, those are relative nits. They're needed fixes for further the usability, penetration, and polish, but they don't detract from the other good stuff going on.

And the low-power mode then auto shut-off for downloads? Nice!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The reality of outsourcing ...


Take a moment and evaluate your response to that word.

What does it mean? In practicality, how does it play out in your vertical market, and how does it impact you?

No disrespect meant, but the video game industry thinks it's very special. And I think it's relatively late to the party and behind parallel efforts from Hollywood and Corporate IT.

But it thinks it's doing things for the first time. (To be fair, any vertical market thinks they're special.)

Like with outsourcing. There are a lot of video game companies just now beginning to explore outsourcing, what that means, and how it benefits the company, the team, or the game.

There's some misunderstanding about what outsourcing is and isn't, its benefits, and what the video game industry is doing recently with it.

First, to level set, realize outsourcing does not mean, "Losing jobs to India."

Outsourcing, at its core, is "sourcing outside". That can mean outside of the local group, but still within the local office; or outside of the geographic office, but still in the company; or outside the company, from another company that may or may not be local, regional, or even domestic.

The "losing jobs to India" is a perception, and only a facet of outsourcing. To be fair, some people have suffered that actual pain of that outsourcing. And then you have things like Bank of America laying off staff and making their severance dependent on training their overseas replacements. That PR doesn't help.

But I've managed outsourcing. At its core, outsourcing is figuring out how to reduce cost and still get acceptable quality.

So, for example, when I inherited a project that realized "cost savings" by off shoring day-to-day support, but that support wasn't quality? I had the vendor replace the support. Twice. Then, since they failed that, I moved to an on shore model, requiring the the same off shore rate to the vendor, because they were the ones who were not able to provide adequately trained or managed off shore resources.

Or when I worked for IBM somewhere when IBM was moving away from charging internal "Blue Dollars" for internal work, I would beat the bushes for resources who had extra cycles and relevant expertise, and have my management negotiate with their management about providing stuff we needed, and vice versa.

I've also manage the "RF[n]" process, ad nauseum -- Request for Proposal / Information / Quote -- to find adequate vendors for plug-in, one-time, or special use pieces that don't make sense for me to redirect my folks ("don't make sense", for me as a development manager, includes the effort wouldn't give my folks skills they can use in their careers, regardless of whether it's for me or the company).

So, what makes for good outsourcing candidates?

It's not simple, but good candidates include projects that can be broken into discreet modules or chunks that are not real-time dependent. So, libraries often make good candidates. Assets (art, 3D, animation, and others that have hook able templates) make good candidates. The candidacy pool for outsourcing efforts grows as you move from international to domestic, national to local, and local to in-house, different group. Inflexibility of a development methodology (RUP, Agile / Scrum, etc.) can severely reduce the pool of candidate items.

What makes for bad outsourcing candidates?

Again, not simple, but items that require real-time resolution need to be evaluated in terms of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for acceptability nationally, and especially internationally. (Support a business application that requires next-day resolution for any issues? That's a high-risk candidate for overseas outsourcing.)

And some video companies get this, and are already practicing it.

In 2004, I attended an excellent session at that year's Austin Game Developers Conference, where rockstars The Animation Farm (still, animation, 3D, storyboard, mocap assets) and Critical Mass Interactive (turnkey development and management solutions) talked about what they were doing -- and what worked -- in the outsourcing arena (frankly, much of which involved overseas outsourcing and management).

And now, big companies are making concerted recent outsource management efforts.

Blizzard has announced the formation of an Austin customer support office, roughly 500 strong. This is fairly intelligent outsourcing, because it takes advantage of Austin's rich IT support infrastructure (and job pool), and may well react to California legislation reclassifying several IT roles as hourly, which can get very expensive for a corporation. And it creates some subset of 500 jobs in Austin (I have to think a portion of them are going to be willing or encouraged relocations from Irvine, CA, and I'm angling for a management job, so you have to remove that from the mix).

And then, a bit under the radar, in February "Midway Announces Creation of the Central Outsourcing Group (COG) to Streamline Outsourcing Efforts" (is Epic ticked?), which is geared toward ""consolidating all product development outsourcing initiatives into a centralized group" -- and managed (coincidentally?) out of Austin.

And off shoring of work is happening in the video game industry. You have a company like French-headquartered Ubisoft create Ubisoft Shanghai, responsible not just for pieces, but entire Ubisoft titles. And LucasFilms is rumored to have a massive LucasFilm Shanghai group working on a secret 3D Star Wars entertainment project. (When I worked with Peoples Bank of China, they were adamant their country's greatest natural resource "is our people", and were far more aggressive than any group with whom I've worked on parallelizing development efforts.)

All this is to say (in a rather rambling manner) that outsourcing is complex, has benefits, and the gaming industry could probably learn some lessons from their non-gaming IT counterparts who have been struggling with it for years (and should give themselves some grace because their counterparts are still struggling with it).

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Video game play premieres tonight ...

Hey, "Spider-Man: The Musical" is coming (so, so torn), so why not "Counter-Strike: The Play"?

OK, it's actually called "First Person Shooter", it's from the mind of Aaron Loeb from Planet Moon Studios (the brilliant Armed & Dangerous / Giants: Citizen Kabuto / MDK), and it premieres tonight at the San Francisco Playhouse.

Here's the official summary of the play:
First Person Shooter takes us inside 'JetPack Games', a start-up video game
company, where the hottest, most violent game on the market has brought instant
success to its twenty-something tech geniuses. Their celebration fizzles when
their game is blamed for a schoolyard shooting. As the young CEO of Jet Pack
deals with an impending lawsuit and the father of one of the victims, he must
confront whether he has any responsibilities in the world beyond his computer
Aaron Loeb was a video game reporter at the time of the Littleton, Colorado shootings:
"[Loeb] wanted to write a play about the people caught in the echo chamber of the
debate. What must it be like for the people actually accused of making a game
that turns kids into killers? What about the parents of the victims? Their
children are dead and the news is jam packed with talk of something so trivial
as videogames!"
Kudos to Loeb for taking this on -- not necessarily for the content, but for taking what he knows into a new medium to explore something important. And for doing more than sensationalizing and cheapening single events (and extrapolating those single events to describe the "problem" / "solution").

If you're in SF and get a chance to see it, let me know how it is. I'll try to get down there before the run ends June 9.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New "Gears of War" maps ...

Epic Games has just released the "Hidden Fronts" Multiplayer Map Pack 2, which includes four new Gears of War maps and will set you back 800 Points ($10 USD, per the Microsoft Points Converter). The maps will be free after September 3, 2007.

Here are the maps:
  • Bullet Marsh -- "Kryll-infested swamp"
  • Garden -- "overgrown and crumbling conservatory"
  • Process -- "subterranean Imulsion processing plant"
  • Subway -- "Timgad’s Central Subway Station"

Full details here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Back online ...

OK, the blog is finally back online, after an outage since April 20th, when Blogger (Google) "force migrated" me (not as Star Wars as it sounds) from the old Blogger to the new Blogger, locked me out of the old Blogger, and didn't migrate this blog (my most trafficked / read blog). Thanks.

And, Blogger support didn't respond to my request for help, or tell me the issue was fixed. I've just been trying to migrate daily for the last 12 days, and today it worked.

So, I guess that's one way to do service support. But wait, since I manage that ... No, it's not.

And don't give me any crap about it being a "free" service.

Anywho, if you see wonkiness with my "migrated" blog, please let me know. Everything should look just the same to you.

By way of consequence, the new (non-video game) blog I'll be start on the creative front will likely not be hosted on Blogger. It might not be better, but given all of the pain I've had with since Google took over (admittedly, could be coincidental), and since I'm involved with a bunch of the community / social networking software out there, I owe it to myself to find out.

If you have opinions on WordPress, Community Server, TypePad, MoveableType, Habari, hosted SharePoint 2007, etc., (again) let me know.

Here are my high-level requirements:
  1. Robust
  2. Database-driven
  3. Permissions-based (i.e., a single post will show sub-sets of data depending on the permissions for the site -- "premiere" (la tee da) members get more "making of" and "cutting room floor" content.
  4. Seamless, safe, content-owner-protecting hosting and display of audio and video, integrated into the platform.