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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Effin' Hardcore Game Designers

This is the most complicated game ever made.
I don't know what's going on, either.

I read an awesome article on Tarn and Zach Adams, the creators of Dwarf Fortress. These guys have been building this game for years but they only consider it to be in it's alpha stage of development. Dwarf Fortress hasn't made a commercial cent, but the Adams brothers have been sustaining themselves off of donations, living in squalor, eating maybe one meal a day and drinking soda during the rest. Their studio/bedroom is barren of any signs of an outside life. They wake up late, work on the game all night and go to sleep in the morning. Neither of these guys have any further plans with their lives except to work on Dwarf Fortress, a game that only a fraction of hardcore gamers will ever attempt to play, and only a fraction of them will ever play longer than ten minutes.

Tarn and Zach have sacrificed their lives in pursuit of an almost inscrutable goal. A digital cathedral that's brilliant in concept, but insane in it's execution.

I love these guys.

I fucking love them.

And I really hope that, twenty years from now, they're still working on the same ASCII game and haven't decided to blow their brains out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Have You Ever Gone to a Grocery Store, Looking for Your Favorite Product, Only to Find It Missing?

I did that.

I'm the one responsible for removing those jars of Hawaiian brand nuts that you loved so much. I'm the one who rearranged all the cereal boxes so you can never just pick up your god-damned Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch and go straight to check-out.

That is literally my job. I'm the gremlin who lurks in the aisles, shifting all order to chaos. I sneak into your grocery store. I mess up your shit. I get paid.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

MAL Title Screen

Humor me by clicking on the image and viewing the proper resolution.

Tactical Spider Issue

Take a close look at this disturbingly accurate picture I made of me in my car.

Yes, that's a spider. It's living inside of my car. Specifically, it's living inside of the rear-view mirror, right behind the mirror itself.

The spider has been living behind my rear-view mirror for almost a month, now. The first time I saw the web I just knocked it off, but come the next morning I found a brand new web.

Impressed by the industrial spirit of the little guy, I left the web alone.

I wish I hadn't.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Machinima Friday

Oh wait, no. It's Thursday.


Ross Scott is a magical man who has managed to successfully perform the greatest trick ever: creating entertaining machinima.

The dude is best known for his Freeman's Mind series, which is probably the laziest machinima ever made.
Basically, Ross just plays through Half-Life as the silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman, and all he adds is Gordon's inner monologue. Think of it as a Let's Play video with creative liberties.

He's been making these videos for almost four years, now. There are almost forty episodes that run an average of 6-7 minutes, and keep in mind that it's just some dude playing Half-Life who added some voice-work. Freeman's Mind is amazing just for the fact that anyone can walk around a game for twenty hours and still come up with stuff to talk about. It helps that Ross Scott is a great voice actor. I've seen so many of these things that I'll never be able to play Half-Life again without assuming that Gordon Freeman sounds exactly like Ross Scott.

Fun fact: The guy actually looks like Gordon Freeman.

Forget episode 1. Watch this part. It's funny.
(Unless you get a commercial. If that happens then the episode will start at the beginning.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Have You Seen 'The Beaver'?

A troubled father finds a beaver puppet in a dumpster and uses it to express his inner self, fix his broken life, and become a better man.
Starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster(who also directs), for a film calling itself The Beaver, of all things, this movie takes itself very seriously; which is confusing because from almost every angle the film looks like a satire.

And maybe it is.
Maybe The Beaver is the most straight-faced satire ever created, and even now Jodie and Mel are scratching their heads, wondering why nobody got the joke.

Well, if this is the direction Jodie Foster wants to go, then do I have a movie pitch for her.
Granted, it's a little more serious than The Beaver, and there's a lot more action, but I'm thinking she'll appreciate the human drama at the core of this story.

I call it ABDUCKTED.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Dream in Retro

Apparently, this is how I operate.
With random videos.
Much better than text. Don't you agree?

The creepy thing about this video is it's accuracy.
Any child of the 8-bit era, over-saturated with Golden Axe and Goonies 2, will agree with me on this: we all had dreams like this one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Computer Learns to Play Civilization

Civilization is a nation-building strategy game.
And it's more fun than the previous sentence implies.

Civilization already has computer opponents built into the game, so why is this a big deal?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Invasion of Privacy

I get a lot of random calls and messages on my phone. My brother was able to get me this thing last year for a really good deal, but now I'm starting to think that by really good deal he meant this is stolen property.

Sometimes I answer these calls, but lately I haven't bothered. You can only experience so many awkward conversations before apathy sets in and all you're left with is this mild amusement at the sheer number of random calls that come in at 3 A.M., from a labor union asking me to attend their meetings, to some guy asking for dinner before he ships out with the Navy, and for one week there was this group of foreign girls who didn't speak a word of English.

I think I've finally reached the final phase of dealing with strange phone calls, where I'll take whatever shows up and post it on the internet.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Death of Richard Garriott

Where were you when Lord British was (virtually) assassinated?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Impulse Buy

Ashley Davis specializes in what could best be described as a story-book approach to video games, and ever since she finished her run of Once Upon a Pixel she's been more and more focused on selling individual artwork.

Well, check this out! Young Samus and a Chozo condoning violence to a child. And so many wonderful colors! It'll go great next to all the other weird crap on my walls.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Random Loot is How Our Civilization Will End

So I was researching really boring topics that I could write about and random item drops came to my attention.

Ask any real game designer and they'll tell you that rare drops are a necessary evil of game design, and without them many popular titles would stagnate.

But I'm here to tell you that random drops is a bunch of shit that has no purpose in a proper, self-respecting video game.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Machinima Tuesday

I can actually guarantee that this will be the stupidest thing that you'll ever see in your life.

The following is the narration of a piece of super-low-grade fan fiction by some poor third grader named Squirrelking who made the horrible mistake of posting amateur work on the internet.

If you're going to be insulted by an anonymous team of machinima developers then this is how you want it to happen. The machinima mimics the writing style perfectly.