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Gaming: Three Titless Days From Collapse? 2000-02-17 Erik
I can't reveal my source on this one, but it definitely wasn't Tom 'Paradox' Mustaine.

Recent events have proved that the game portion of gaming is no longer as important as the showing us your tits part. To succeed, a developer must choose one member of the team and sacrifice that brave person's shirt to the gaming public's insatiable appetite for nakedness. Unfortunately, when it comes to nudity, the public demands hot chicks - a scarce resource in an industry staffed almost exclusively by pale, blubbery men. The number of eligible women can be counted on the remaining fingers of a shop teacher's mangled hand: Stevie Case, Corrinne Yu, and Amerika's sweetheart, Sarah Walker. That's it. In other words, unless Ms. Case has some more drastic surgery to rekindle interest in her breasts, such as having eyeballs sewn into the nipples, we're already 1/3 of the way through seeing all of the available boobs. Can the industry survive this impending crisis? I had serious doubts until a very reliable source leaked me some information regarding Ritual Entertainment. Never content to sit idly by in a crisis, unless by crisis you mean game-killing bugs, Ritual is gambling on the fact that it's the breasts themselves that make a game popular and not the hot chick surgically attached to them. To test this theory, management has convinced a member of its all male staff to get implants. How did it work out? I think the results speak for themselves. In today's tit-driven marketplace, FAKK2 cannot fail. Note that I barred out the subject's eyes to protect his identity.

And in this next picture I barred out just one of his eyes to make him look like a pirate:

Daikatana... 2000-02-16 Chet
Daikatana To Be "Breast" Game Ever! Requires 32 Megs of "Mammary" If You Miss This Fine Tasty "Teat" Check Yourself Into The "Booby" Hatch! Fight "Boob"-oes Covered Medieval Plague Victims And Futuristic Bounty Hunters With "Mam"-onic "Implants" The "Tit" Is A Small Bird That May Oppose You In Daikatana. I Saw One Once In A "Mellon" Patch. The "Mellons" Were "Ripe"! While Looking Around, I Found A Copy Of "Juggs" Magazine Under A "Milk Squirting" Old Carton Of "Milk". The Magazine Featured Photographs Of Women's "Tits".

Something about the newest Daikatana press release is, as Jason Hall might say up to seven times in a single .plan update, "significant".  As selling points, the four time periods, the seventy-two weapons, and Romero himself have been forgotten.   Giving up on the game itself, the marketing staff at Eidos apparently feels that Daikatana will succeed or fail based on the hang, curve, and fullness of Stevie Case's breasts. 

Along with the pair of boobs' famous appearance in the Incite interview video, their guest spot on the cover of PCAccelerator, and the upcoming sale of pictures of them, we've now been alerted to their prominent role in the official Daikatana strategy guide:

In addition to the interview, visitors to Primagames.com can register to win an 11`` x 25'' pin-up centerfold of author Stevie Case, with a personalized greeting and autograph. The centerfold, which appears in Daikatana: Prima's Official Strategy Guide due out later this month, features an exclusive never-before-published photo of Case.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this.  I'm not a complete homo - just naturally curious about muscular men and what they look like naked.  Ms. Case's breasts are excellent.  Her boobs have been hand crafted by a team of talented artists and technicians, like the Hall of Presidents at Disney World, and it shows.  As salable products, they're top of the line.

What I don't understand is why Eidos is wasting valuable disc space on the game part of Daikatana.  I've seen ancient Greece, and it's no KillCreek's tits.  I don't think it's too late to rethink the product a little, ditch the sliding around and shooting elements, and make it more of a Myst-like multimedia slide show showcasing Stevie's boobs and guest starring other naked women.  Come to think of it, they could even keep the different time periods.  Maybe you could be a Television repairman who goes back in time and a meets a cavewoman.  "Where's the Television?"  you could say.  Then the cavewoman would say "What is this 'Television'?"  Then you'd say, "Well, why'd you call me?"   Then she'd say "I need you to lay some cable."  Then you'd say "It sure is hot here in the Pleistocene era.  Mind if I take my pants off?"   Then one thing leads to another and then the fucking starts.  Oh wait, first she'd say something like "You sure are a fine piece of homo erectus" to which you reply "You got the erectus part right, cavewoman" then you whip off your pants, stride forward, and start the fucking.  Did I mention the role of "cavewoman" is played by KillCreek? 

Once again, erik wants to rebut me by making a public plea for Ion to give the breast worship a rest for once and focus on more substantive issues, "like Stevie's ass.   Or her ass, but all wet.  And if they could get her foot and her ass in one shot, I'll buy two copies."

Nice Shadow Harry!
Trend setter Harry Teasley from Valve was the first game designer to include a centerfold spread in Valve's strategy guide to Half-Life.

Stevie before the Imagineers went to work on her.

Jason Hall has already posted a plan file claiming he was the first pro gamer appearing nude in Playboy.  Look for us to be the first developer to license the Lithtech 2 engine for "wiping a significant amount of our ass."

Imagine this skull with skin and eyeballs to get an idea of how hot my version of Daikatana would be.

Our Favorite Superbowl Commercial 2000-02-04 Chet
Buh Buh Buh Baaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Warner's wife is a man
Click the image to view the mpeg.

"Make Fun Of The Newest Daikatana Screenshot Week" Day 2! 2000-01-31 Chet
Note: Our week is being measured in Daikatana Time.
In this installment, I'm going to concentrate on the odd jumble in the middle left of the screenshot.  At first glance I thought the screenshot designers at Ion Storm had taken a cue from Urban Chaos and had added some falling leaves to the scene to bring it to life.

On closer examination, erik decided that the skeleton was shooting some leaves at our warriors with his mighty leaf blowing loincloth.  Before the words had completely exited his mouth, I grabbed a pen and started my new list for Santa.  I'm sure Daikatana will spawn many dolls-for-men, and the Leaf-Blowing Loincloth Action Skeleton is now topping my Christmas wishlist. 

When I get excited, I get mean.  What began as me regaling the office with tales of my play-plans for my Daikatana leaf-blowing action figure became, after a few hours, me screaming at Tony about how the skeleton doll was going to "fuck him up bad" and making sure he knew I was serious by saying things like "seriously, I'm not joking anymore, your head's gonna look like a fucking tree.  Come to think of it, it's gonna look like a tree that smells like a sewer, because I'm gonna hold you down and smear you with shit.  You know what?  I'm just gonna to kill you right now.  How's that sound?  And the Daikatana doll is gonna blow leaves all over your fucking grave."  Tony finally looked up from his work and asked to see a picture of his soon to be new foe.  Ten seconds later he was trying to tell me that the object was actually a dragon.  What?  A dragon?  Why are the two "wings" both on the same side of the body?  Tony produced an image of the dragon from Atari 2600 Adventure (see right) and pointed out that it has no wings, just a giant beak stuck to one side of its head.  "And it's wearing a beret," erik added, "like me!" 

I'd like nothing more than to believe that Daikatana will have dragons, but I have my doubts that this is what "the object" is.  These screenshots are not taken by yokels showing off some Drakan mod they've made for Daikatana.  These are professional screenshots showing off a professional product.  Why would the PR staff release an image that so poorly represented the dragon?  Next: what is the black cloud coming out of the woman's butt?



Now this is a dragon

Rynn can "ride my dragon" or "blow my leaf" any time!  I think that shared activities like yardwork and dragon riding might bring us close enough to eventually have sex.

The Physics That Came To Doom 2000-01-25 Chet
A few of our smarter readers pointed this out.  But we already knew it.

In our last update, we quoted Andrew Brazier, who is a designer working on the upcoming title Call of Cthulhu, which is a game based on the famous Trespasser horror universe.  Like all entries in the genre, Call of Cthulhu will feature a "stunning new physics engine" which will take the burden of creating compelling gameplay off the shoulders of mere mortals such as Andrew Brazier and place it squarely into the giant invisible flying hand of God.  In our excitement - not to mention our terror - we overlooked Andrew's planned enhancement to physics:

Water will behave realistically, so objects dropped into
it will float or submerge, depending on their weight.

Though theologians and fat people who fall into pools disagree, I've always felt God made a mistake when he designed the dumb world so that objects dropped into water float or submerge based on their density

Bad Memories 2000-01-23 Chet
This was everywhere. It took burns to remind me of Trespasser and waste my year in therapy.
But can you stack this crate?Call Of Cthulhu Quote:
"Our advanced real-time physics will be an essential part of the gameplay and atmosphere creation. Most games these days feature an element of physics, such as the bouncing of a grenade or the pushing of a crate, but we will be moving it forward a lot further by accurately simulating physics on most objects in the game. Therefore, if you throw dynamite into a warehouse, when it explodes, the windows might smash, debris will be thrown about, and the walls might collapse. This is not just some scripted event; the force of the explosion will be calculated by the physics engine, and everything will react accordingly.

In terms of gameplay, this has far-reaching implications as it means there will be a number of ways to solve any particular puzzle. For example, should you need to move a heavy object, pouring oil on the floor would reduce the friction. However, this would also reduce the friction for you, meaning you, as well as other creatures, will slip around all over the place. Water will behave realistically, so objects dropped into it will float or submerge, depending on their weight. We can also simulate events such as driving a car or piloting a plane."

Trespasser Quotes:
"We feel a lot of games are trying to hit the ball out of the park with one feature or another, be it their multiplayer feature, their rendered, the weapons they have - we're really working with advanced technology here and we think it's going to be a breakthrough product. The major feature we have over everyone else is the physics engine" Rick Flier.

"As far as the player is concerned, puzzles will arrive in many different shapes and sizes. Sticking with the door concept, if a player comes up to a door that won't open in the normal way, what do you do? Maybe you pick up a log and smash the door. Maybe there's a window on the door you can break, jam something through to the other side, and release the latch. A lot of these guys worked on System Shock and that game had some limited physics interaction but this thing (Trespasser) is fully physics based. Everything from the Dinosaurs to the doors to a rickety little table, which you could literally knock down, turn over, and break the legs off and use one as a weapon or whatever." Rick Flier

"Our puzzles. Our puzzles are free-form, and that sounds dangerous, because it implies they might be frustrating, but again, we have tested the hell out of them. The best moments will come when you solve a puzzle by thinking of a motion we didn't see, or wasn't obvious according to the visual clues we gave you. For example, we might give you a plank to get over a fence, but instead, you spring yourself up some clever way. You might set a crate up, shoot it with a gun onto the other end of the plank, and that flings you up over the wall. It can happen! You will be so proud of yourself, strutting around and thinking, "I am the king of the world!" That is where I get my joy out of puzzle solving. That, and after I solve a puzzle, I want to be led into a new area. I want a new environment to explore, a new set of challenges, and more stuff to do. Trespasser is all about that kind of payoff.
Seamus Blackley

is a great game, and all the 3D shooters are very alluring, but Austin and I feel that interactivity with a game world is really, amazingly fun. We have testers who come here and spend two hours putting planks together, floating them out into the water, jumping on them, throwing stuff in, knocking things down, and playing with the world . It's unbelievably, incredibly fun to do things like that. On top of that, you haven't seen anything until you are holding a shotgun and shooting at a Raptor, and he jumps on top of you, knocks the shotgun out of your hands, stands on your chest, and starts eating your face! That is just outrageous! You just don't see that in other games.
  Seamus Blackley

Do you need more?

"Make Fun Of The Newest Daikatana Screenshot Week" Commences! 2000-01-18 Erik
I saw this on Gamefan, where fans of games go to root for their favorite games.

When I was a kid, we didn't have Daikatana to kick around.  We had the Micronauts Hyperion.  Micronauts were proto-Transformer robot toys that shot rubber-tipped projectiles with just enough force to propel them about halfway down your throat.  The Hyperion was a Micronauts vehicle that was listed as "Coming Soon!" on every Micronauts box.  My friends and I wanted it in the worst way.  We never got tired of talking about it and drawing pictures of jets attacking it while it crushed stick figures beneath its three massive wheels on its way to a torture chamber.  One day, I showed my friend Jim Ball a new sketch I'd made of the Hyperion chasing Adolf Hitler through Berlin, which I depicted as a series of connected triangles.  Completely unmoved, Jim said "What is that?   The Hy-peepee-mobile?"  And that's when things changed.  I guess we were still excited about the Hyperion, or as it came to be known, the poopoo-cart, baron poop commander, or the poop-tractor, but emotions had run too high for too long and our excitement had turned ugly. 

The Hyperion was eventually released - in Italy.  But by then I was older and the beloved Micronauts of my youth had been replaced by the discovey that Glass Plus makes your head numb if you inhale it. 

And what relevance does any of this have to Daikatana?  Just this: yesterday two new Daikatana screenshots were released.  The link was mailed to me by a manThat man?  None other than my childhood friend, Jim Ball!  Goodday!

If it was my job to get people excited about Daikatana by releasing screenshots, and I released that screenshot, I'd lose my job.  And if I lose my job, I go back to prison.  So I wouldn't release that screenshot.  But that's just me.  I'm sure marketing people, when they're not daydreaming about their next Snickers bar or resting their overworked dialing finger in the warm, soft cave that is their nose, give lots of thought to these things.  I doctored the photo to make the Gamefan brand more conspicous so that nobody thinks we're in any way responsible for unleashing this awful image. 

In an effort to help the Eidos marketing department, we're going to spend all week analyzing the screenshot.  We'll start by posing this question:  Why is the skeleton wearing a loincloth?  For chrissake.  The confusion may stem from the word 'boner', which might have caused John Romero to believe that there is a bone running through his penis - a bone that would need to be covered up to protect children from catching a lusty eyeful of skeleton dick. 

"Run slaves! You're free! I'll see you in Hell, skeleton!"Here is that famous Matthew Brady Civil War photo showing Abe Lincoln at Shiloh freeing slaves from confederate skeletons.  Normally, this image is significant only because it's the sole existing photograph of the seriously depressed, seriously gay Abraham Lincoln wearing a dress.  I'd like to point out, though, that it clearly shows that skeletons don't have penises and, in combat conditions, don't even wear helmets!  Because their heads are made out of "nature's helmet", bone.  And they don't have brains.

Week In Review 2000-01-15 Erik
Thanks to Gauss.

I do this thing.  If I'm watching the Television or listening to the radio and some commentator is talking about someone famous, I'll pretend that they're talking about me.  Jules Asner will say something like "Edward Norton, the smartest, sexiest actor to emerge from the Boston theater scene." and in my head, I'll hear the same thing, only the words "Edward" and "Norton" will be replaced by "erik".  And "Boston" will become "Cleveland" because that makes it more like it's really about me.   Then the piece will be over and wry Steve Kmetco will say, "Thanks Jules, you're one young lady on the move."  And he's talking about me, and I wink and say back to the TV, "thanks Steve, but I'm no lady!"  Why do I do this?  I don't know.  I try not to think about it too much.

Yesterday, our office police scanner was picking up NPR for some reason.  Maybe because of truckers.   Normally, I avoid NPR since I don't really care about what's happening in Israel, but as I was running over to spin the dial and try to find a pit bull attack or some Internal Affairs radio chatter - they're the cops of the cops - I realized that the people on the radio were talking about P.T. Anderson and his new movie Magnolia.  I missed the beginning, so I can only imagine the topic was something like "what would Ehud Barak think about this movie", but they were going on and on about what a genius this Anderson is.  It was perfect for my game, and I quickly fell into a pleasant reverie replacing virtually every proper noun with the word 'erik'.  At some point the discussion switched to Robert Altman and I switched right with it.  Just as I was getting tingly  from the praise being heaped on me, someone said, "I think erik's work is often mindlessly cruel."  That really made me think.  Am I mindlessly cruel?  Could a person like me who, if you replace James Ellroy's name with mine, has been called "One of the great American writers of our time" by the Los Angeles Times Book Review also be mindlessly cruel? 

When I was a kid, I found a little baby bird that had fallen to earth from heaven, I guess.  It was very frail and my friends and I put it in a box and sat around cooing at it and trying to comfort it.  After ten minutes of that, we started to get bored.  One of us sealed the box up and put it in the middle of the street and then we rode our bikes over it.  Looking back, that was pretty cruel.  But we were kids.  More recently, there's everything on the site.  Like this picture of John Romero playing basketball:

I'd like to see him try that move on a normal sized man, or two of those Chinese midgets, one sitting on the other's shoulders.  His only chance would be if the top midget lost his balance and put his hands over the bottom midget's eyes and they spun around in circles then toppled over.  Man, that'd be great.  But mindlessly cruel, I suppose.

At least I'm not alone in my cruelty.  Last week Incite magazine released a movie from Third Law's upcoming game, KISS: Psycho Circus.  The movie opens with this awesome scene:

Is that a big square room with crates?  Nice.  The thing I like about crates is that they're so mysterious.  What's in the crate?   Is it ammo?  Is it health?  It could be either! 

Here's the crates from another angle.  I think that monster is KISS.   It's like spending Christmas with KISS!  It's KISS's turn to open a crate!   "I got ammo!" says KISS, "now let's rock!"

Maybe someone asked Todd McFarlane what monster he thought would be good in a game and he creatively declared "spider!" and everyone was too embarrassed to tell him that there are spiders in every game.  That's my explanation for the spiders.

The movie ends with the entire staff of Third Law peeking out of some crates.  "I'm health!" says one of them and the others laugh, because they're morons.

Unlock Your Inner Expert Assassin! 2000-01-11 Erik
I saw this on Marvin Sedate.
During the post-holiday season, in the uncertain time between the crushing departure of Santa Claus and arrival of the Easter Bunny, or as he's known to chickens, Satan, it's important to keep the spirit of harmony alive by remembering what ties us all together:  whites, blacks, Mexicans and racially vague "whaxicans" such as Mariah Carey.  Whatever your race or non-Christ based voodoo "religion", on the inside, with the lights out, we all hate teenagers.  The fact that these brooding, pimply monsters have inevitably begun to kill each other in large numbers would probably have passed without much comment were it not for the very real possibility that a few innocent adults could get caught in the crossfire. 

The "problem" has received so much attention that even Quake fan site Q3center has heard about it.  The news must have caused the editors to wonder, in their nasally white-guy voices, "whazzup wit dat?" because they immediately published an article describing in head-scratching detail how video games are responsible for "the world today... a place of criminal acts and violence." 

It's not until the middle of the article that impassioned but spell-checkerless author Paxed finally gets around to mentioning the central point of his essay:

During the 1970's and 1980's we didn't see such acts as these done by the kids today. They had guns then, and they had bombs then, but they didn't have games such as these we have today, and I feel thats the main reason of all these shootings in schools.

I can imagine Paxed typing that passage, leaning back, resting his hands on his giant belly, and declaring "checkmate" just before rewarding himself for a job well done by stuffing a Snickers bar through his cleft palate and mashing it up with his nubby yellow teeth.  At first glance, his logic does appear unassailable:  In the seventies and eighties the world was composed of two things, guns and bombs, and yet it was an idyllic utopia.  In the nineties, a third element was added, "games such as these we have today," and that's when the troubles began. 

Luckily, I am something of a wiz with the Internet and used it to uncover a possible fourth component of the world:  Darth Maul merchandise.

Etoys.com lists thirty-four children's toys based on this character.  In case you read that wrong, I said thirty-four and children.  Etoys makes no attempt to hide the plaything's true nature.  The description of Jedi Duel Darth Maul with Lightsaber sums it up quite nicely: "Evil personified."   A young child can don the Darth Maul with Mask costume to practice being "Evil, obedient, and tattooed."  Pixelly, realistic-esque killing simulators such as Doom may train kids to use weapons, but do they simultaneously rot their teeth?  Before you accuse me of being an absurd agitator, you might want to consider the Darth Maul Saber Stick - "This replica of Darth Maul's double-bladed, red lightsaber is also a gum dispenser!!!"(italics and most of the exclamation points added - ed.)  Worse yet, try bravely to imagine the corrupting influence of the Darth Maul Spin Pop "Candy with dueling action!"  Internet experts tell us that children are susceptible to only two forms of coercion, candy and torture.  The fact that Hasbro has chosen to train an army of "evil, obedient, and tattooed" adolescent butchers through positive reinforcement and sweets makes it no less insidious.   How many repetitions of the "dueling action"/"candy" cycle does it take to turn a child into a gravity-defying karate killing machine?  Internet experts tell us ten.

The official description of the Darth Maul's Double-Bladed Lightsaber cheerfully incites children to violence with the battle cry of "Happy Jedi Hunting!"  Yes, Jedis are gay, but that doesn't mean they're not human - unless you're a firm believer in any of the world's major religions.  Either way, the message to young people is clear: happiness is killing gays.  Again, unless you're some kind of Christian or Muslim, that's just totally unacceptable.

Which reminds me, forget about Darth Maul and Dylan Klebold anyway, we have a bigger problem.  The world is a shitty place where bad things happen.  Your life, my life, Hell, Brad Pitt's life is nothing more than an extended episode of "When God Attacks 2!"  He'd just as soon fuck you up as make a flower.  That's the way it works, Paxed.  Get used to it.  While you're busy agonizing over Doom's effects on lunatics, God's blithely deciding whether to plant a toothy, hairy tumor way up your colon or just right in your anus.  Try to look on the bright side, after all your hours spent playing Quake and posing your Darth Maul dolls, if you ever get sent back in time to the peaceful and violence-free 1970's, you'll rule the planet with a chubby iron-fist, like Wesley Snipes almost did in Demolition Man. 

Though I'll tell you what:  Polite massacre-free society dodged quite a bullet in the 1970's with the concurrent release of Frustration Ball and the Johnny Seven One Man Army kit.  I don't care what kind of right-wing nutjob you are, youth, frustration, and one-man-army-ism is a recipe for disaster.  It's amazing that we managed to escape that decade without any murdering. 

Sid! Meiers! News! Item! 2000-01-06 Chet
Saw this on Marvin Sedate, thanks to Marvin "Ass Sauce" Runyon.
Sid Meier, not content to have just another .plan file for his upcoming game - tentatively called "Dinosaurs" (my bet on the shipping title is "Sid Meier's Dinosaurs!") - has decided to document the wondrous creative process that led to such unflushed virtual turds as Sid Meier's Covert Action! 

In the latest installment of Sid's "Sid Meier's .plan file" he debates the pros and cons of turn based vs. real time action.  We're in the year 2000, man. 2000.   And you're still wondering whether your dinosaur game should be turn-based?   Meanwhile, every other developer is making arrangements to have their new game plug directly into my fucking eye.  Yet in just 6 long pages Sid is able to pimp every one of his previous games, come up with no new ideas, and still have time to brag about his team at Firaxis.  Firaxis?   Sure Gettysburg! was kind of fun for a few minutes back in the nineties when we were all so obsessed with the Civil War.   But Alpha Centauri blew and hasn't gotten any better with age and was voted worst game of 1999 by every major gaming website.  Do we really need an in-depth look at how this team develops a turn-based dinosaur game?  Maybe Firaxis could develop fingerpaint handprints and then use construction paper to make them look like turkeys!  Then the rest of us could hang them on our year 2000 talking refrigerators, and get busy playing any of the hundreds of three dimensional, force feedback, realtime shooting and dancing games about tank commanding apes that will be released this year.   At the risk of having to read six more pages from Meier's no-doubt therapeutic dream journal, allow me to throw out this idea:  Sid Meier's hand held LED football!

But, is anyone really surprised by Sid's need for attention?  Given his well-documented deep hatred of Peter Molyneux! and Peter's upcoming release of the potentially ground-breaking but probably enormously unfun Black & White, Sid is feeling the heat.  Why should Sid sit on the sidelines of the hype machine while Molyneux is permitted by everyone but us to continue spewing insane bullshit to children?

Sid is fighting back.  Armed with nothing more than a high school history book and a few pee-stained old gaming ideas, he has taken his cues from the promotional master, Evil Knievel, and decided to set the hype machine to full crap, no content.
Exclusive Concept
Art for Dinosaurs! 
Click on the image to enlarge the  detailed images.


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