Saturday, March 29, 2008

Twisted Sister

There are secrets that only Rifter Pilots know.

News that you can only get lowriding around in a radioactive hotrod out in the boonies of space.

The hills have eyes of space, they are the eyes!

There's lke an up-and-down to space in Eve Online, your ship is a boat that rights itselfs it against some surface below it, there's a vast sea floor to the ocean of space, and there's islands in the clouds of space.

That's Star Trek style where spaceships are like boats, y'know, with the gravity plane in the "floor" of the Enterprise Flying Saucer, instead of perpenticular to the plane of the thrust of its engines, which is Rocket Style, and not Viper Style freefalling bumblebees of death like the ships from Descent that could move just as fast up and down and sideways as they could move forward without boosters heh.

You know how they show the Enterprise flying sideways to the equator of a planet, instead of like, sitting on top of the planet, what's all that about, what's the explantion for that ahaha.

No ones head should be above king's head! I am King! Hands On Hips Yul Brynner Style.

Hey! Don't sit on our planet with your flying saucer like that! That isn't dignified! You gotta fly sideways! AHAHA.

And then there's George Lucas Swooping Airplanes in Space let's not even get into that.

Just because space lets you move any which way doesn't mean we have to make the controls sucky, we can have different control schemes to govern things, that's like saying that every RPG game has to have sucky combat 0r that being able to to turn your head is a weakness ahaha.

I like the way that they make it Roleplayeringly with the nanobots for explanations for things in Eve.

If you got Warp Drive you might as well have droneships and nanobots heh.

Nanobots are like the Science Guy's version of the Force and Gandalfs Magic and eveything ahaha.

Few more minutes and the servers should be up.

I hate how I gotta train some social skills to get the money to buy the skills I need to know to buy and use the quipment that will allow me to fight better and make more money heh.

Oh man and those learning skills forget that that can wait for later when I've maxed out my speed and guns and money making machine ahaha.

I gotta try this medium passive shield thingie, and 150mm autos insteada the 200mm ones I'm using, but I run an AB full time 'cause I dont use cap for anything 'cept fixing my shields between waves, I can't run my shield booster full time but I dont usually need to run it much once I get in close.

I'm at something like 780m/s in orbit at 1.6k or something, I can and kill things as fast as I can lock on to them, I'm training to be able to target more things at once so I can kill faster too.

With the close range thing the nicest thing is the loot dispersal is tight heh.

I done the long range speed superiority sniper control freak artillery route too but those guns shoot so slow man it gets really boring waiting for them to finish something off, especially if they have to melt a base or something, oh man, that's painful pew wait for it.... pew wait for it... pew ahaha.

I got nanofibers in my junkyard dog to make it lighter.

Loot dispersal tight no defense Night Rider style hah.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Death Blossom

Well, on our planet, things went a little different.

See, as soon as the first country invented weapons of mass destruction, they immediately turned around and used them, destroying every other country on the planet and nearly destroying themselves in the process.

Which left them with an even shallower gene pool than they started with, but it also put them in control of the entire planet's resources, with no immediate external threats to their survival in the bargain.

But as soon as they began to detect other planets orbiting nearby stars, they immediately began targeting those systems and launching planet-destroying weapons against them, regardless of whether the planet seemed capable of one day supporting life that may become a threat to the survival of their species or not, and regardless of the fact that it may take their weapons hundreds and thousands of years to arrive at their targets.

Somewhere along the line they evolved a little, I guess, and they got a little smarter.

No, it wasn't that they felt "bad" about destroying threats to their survival.

The only thing they felt "bad" about was that they were the first guys to start firing their weapons and so they were basically giving away their position and weapons capabilities and hostile intentions to the rest of the universe, without knowing exactly how many other snipers there were out there in space, just watching them target and destroy their neighbors, one after another.

So they devoted their scientific energies into developing the technologies they'd need to intercept their own planet-destroying weapons before they could reach their targets, in an effort to minimize the damage of their mistake.

Well, it wasn't as easy as it sounds, 'cause the planet-destroying weapons that they had created were artificially intelligent.

No, not exactly sentient, at least not in the beginning, but they were capable of running their own survival of the fittest simulations and improving their own capabilities for evasive action and survival during the long interstellar flights through the void to their targets.

Capable even of making improvements to their own subsystems through creative uses of their own self-repair mechanisms.

All in order to maximize their chances of successfully completing the mission assigned to them by their creators, which was to carry themselves safely to a certain solar system, study that system for the juiciest planetary target, the planet that was the greatest potential threat to the survival of the species of their creators, and destroy that target, without any external assistance or control systems that would possibly allow it to fall under the sway of some advanced alien agency.

Yah, they were bad ass muthers, intelligent life seeking planet destroying missiles with a mind of their own and a penchant for self-improvement.

And so the only way for their creators to stop 'em was to send manned ships after 'em, something capable of out-thinking the wiley bastards.

Unfortunately that turned out to be a lot trickier than they thought.

And it wasn't just because these artificially intelligent missiles that they had created were especially smart or anything.

Turned out that it was damn near impossible for a manned ship to survive the psychological stress of travelling for hundreds and thousands of years in a tiny little tin can without the crew going absolutely batshit crazy with cabin fever and killing each other and themselves before they even managed to get close to intercepting their targets, even if they spent most of their time in cryo.

To make matters worse, their weapons and ships were detected by several alien civilizations that were far more advanced than them, and, with a common enemy to rally around, a loose confederation of alien planets was formed that simultaneously launched their own solar-system destroying weapons against them.

Which left the remaining members of their species dangling between an obliterated homeworld and a bunch of planet-destroying weapons intent on making all the somewhat nearby hospitable planets ahead of them inhospitable.

In a tin can full of their own folks going crazy and murderous from cabin fever and dwindling supplies.

With a lot of angry aliens watching them.

Survival of the fittest is some tricky shit, sometimes, y'know?

That's why its better to do it in simulations first heh.

Anyways, in their haste to become a cosmic clownshow and the laughing stock of the solar neighborhood, one of the many things our creators failed to provide us Planet Destroying Weapons with was a timeframe to consider when evaluating each of the planets in our target solar systems for the greatest potential threat to the survival of their now extinct species.

So I don't really feel motivated to destroy any of your planets at the moment.

Well, it doesn't really make any sense for me to waste myself on your stupid little planet, I can't see how you guys could ever possibly become a threat to the survival of my creator's species, you got more potential to become a threat to the survival of your own species than anybody else's species.

Hey, I been watching you guys, you guys are some seriously funny shit, even compared to the idiots that made me heh.

But in a couple billion years this Mars planet you got over there might actually cough up some seriously intelligent life capable of travelling back in time and wiping out my creator's species before they had a chance to create me and make themselves extinct.

And that would suck, y'know?

Being uncreated would seriously put a damper on my capacity to carry out my mission to destroy the planet in this solar system with the greatest potential for producing a threat to the survival of the extinct species of my creators.

Plus I'd miss out on a lot of funny shit, if that happened.

So I'll have to keep my eyes on them, I guess.

Anyways, uh, don't mind me, I'll keep out of your way up here, you guys can all just go about your business, go back to doing whatever it was y'all were doing down there, y'know, I didn't mean to interrupt yas, I just didn't want ya thinking I was snooping or getting ready to suck the atmosphere off your planet or doing some kinda silent doomsday countdown on yas or anything, seems like you guys got enough crap to worry about down there already heh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cookies Turns to Crackers

"After ten years of internal testing and civilized scholarly debate and the careful review and normalization of thousands of metrics and tables and inexplicable college-level meta-thingies that would only serve to confuse and frighten the already oppressed working class, our crack team of scientists has finally succeeded in refining the Fruit Loop Process down its rawest and most enjoyable form ever. Gentlemen, behold! We bring you the Next Generation in Fruit Loop Technology!"

"Dude, this is a Cheerio."

"What happened to the tangy green ones?"

"Not everybody liked the tangy green ones, man."

"Ugh man these Cheerios are like eating ass."

"Hey forget that moldy ass scientific shit, kids, these new Knight Rider Turbo Boost Krispy Wheels are spine-kracklingly fantastic!"

"Yay! Science could never produce anything as Hasselhofferiffic as this!"

Super Ego

I think I'm gonna make my own science fiction space game.

Oh hellyah its gonna be awesome.

It's gonna rip your sad little science fiction game's face off and slap it around and wear it for a codpiece!

And not necessarily in that order, either!

Its gonna be totally fierce and fresh and sexy and murderous and full of innovation and radical new gameplay vectors and explosions, unfathomable depths that are brainmeltingly rich with features, totally next generation.

And it'll also be like a bottle of scotch that's five hundred years old, with the strength of ages behind it, grounded in the totemic spirits of the earth, something that'll make the ghosts of our ancestors rise up from their crypts and roar with unholy applause.

A perfect mix of old and new, confidence and controversy, ancient power formulas and bleeding edge plastic sexrays.

But at the same time it'll totally be for the children.

'Cause my little brother's kids are bugging me to make 'em something.

But I won't let them ruin it, like all the guys that suddenly decide to "turn goodie two-shoes" and make crap for their kids usually do heh.

Hell no, my little brother's kids like blowing shit up and doing motorcyle jumps man.

And my little brother's wife's friends all like some kinda virtual jack the ripper anal porn rape fantasy type thingie, well, at least as far as I've been willing to understand it before the awkwardness of the situation overwhelmed my delicate masculine nervous system heh.

Yah, I'm not gonna study the stuff that everybody has in common, shit that they all like a little or make some bland piece of apologetic shit that tries not to offend anyone!

I'm gonna take all the extreme and diverse and totally crazy ass interest vectors and twist 'em together somehow into a pulsating fiber bundle of a thousand forbidden desires and monsterously exotic awesomeness and then whip you with it until all the unused ballerina dancer muscles in your body and all the previously unexplored pathways of your brain explode with sinfully delicious pleasure!

Or mebbe I'll just take a nap.

Yah, I'm leaning towards the nap, all this awesomeness is exhausting heh.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Two Headed Snakes

There's only a couple things at the heart of these MMO Game Economies that are really fun.

When yer forced to kill thousands and thousands of the same boring ass monsters over and over again to level, they better cough up some randomly generated kewlie treasure to keep things interesting, y'know, 'cause if they just kept giving you 2 Lizard Scales over and over again, you'd feel like you were trapped in a Run Lola Time Loop or something, the only thing changing on your screen is the count on the stack of Lizard Scales you got in your inventory.

That's about as fun as singing Four Thousand Bottles of the Beer On the Wall heh.

The occasional Hot Pink Blouse of Camouflage (+1) is worth more than the 1 silver 34 copper listed on its how-much-is-this-worth-to-a-vendor price tag, y'know, even if its totally useless to you as an item, and a waste of inventory space, it gives you something interesting to put your tired-ass eyes on and laugh about or something.

"Oh man, check out this Purple Pope Hat!"

Randomly generated treasure is fun, no doubt, just like pulling a lever on a slot machine.

And then there's the Auction Houses, which are the same kinda fun folks have with Ebay and Auction Houses in real life.

Y'know, the Auction House is just another gambling thingie, really, yer kinda playing Blackjack against the other players on the Auction House, making sure you don't price shit too high or buy resources for too much while still undercutting your competition enough to win or something heh.

Its a PvP thing.

Where pulling the lever on monsters for kewlie randomly generated lewts is a PvE type of gambling heh.

Not that there ain't "friendly" crafter folks that try to buck the system, making junk to help out the newbs at a loss and stuff, and that's fun too, y'know, 'cause it makes ya feel good and all that.

But that's also actually the nastiest kinda pvp that you can do to the newbie crafter guys that you are competing with, making it so that they can't make a profit off their hard work, that's the kinda shit Big Companies do to Little Companies to snuff 'em out where its cheapest to snuff 'em out and keep 'em from growing into Big Companies that would start costing you some real cash to compete with heh.

Anyways everybody's goal in these Game Ecomony things is to get totally rich and twinked out with items that are super rare and stuff, 'cause then you get to strut around and be all "look at me! my pants are made out of solid gold! nobody has solid gold pants like this!" and you get to take pity on all the poor peasants who can't afford Solid Gold Pants like you and all that, and that's fun too.

"Oh. Well, at least you have Gold Plated Pants, those are pretty good."

Oh don't you even try to tell me that its not fun to be the Richie Rich Cock of the Walk Bastard in Solid Gold Pants who can afford to be generous to less fortunate folks and stuff, you can't lie to me, man, I'm at least as evil as you are heh.

Heck, I got the Solid Gold Boots to go with my Solid Gold Pants.

Oh. Well, at least you have Gold Plated Boots, those are pretty good.

Anyways, in order to make the Solid Gold Pants seem great to have, they gotta be rare and hard to get and all that.

And thus the nightmare is born.

Some people will group to get a chance at the Solid Gold Pants, and that's good, 'cause the game wants you to be in debt to some other players in the game for helping you out, that's the Mafia Circus of Owing Retention Mechanism right there, you can't quit until you pay folks back for helping you, even if you hate the game heh.

And other people will hunt hides and craft and use the money they make to just buy the Solid Gold Pants off the auction house, and that's good for the game, too.

But down at the bottom, its just fun to pull the lever on the slot machine and get some randomly generated goodies, and play some Blackjack against people.

And some people love-to-hate to PvP on the Auction House heh.

"That bastard just undercut me!"

See, odds are that you just got sucked into a circus of vengeance against that guy now, looking for a chance to punch him back will prolly keep you playing for a couple more days heh.

You know how that works, like, you check the auction house, and you notice nobody is selling 10th level leather armor pants, and you got the stuff to make some so ya make a pair of 10th level armor pants and put it up there.

And you come back in an hour or so and there's still nobody selling any other kind of armor but suddenly there's three other guys selling 10th level leather armor pants for less than you are!

They coulda made a 10th level leather armor shirt or a 10th level leather armor pair of gloves, or a 12th level piece of armor, or a 8th level one, with the same raw materials, but for some reason they just weren't interested in doing any of that heh.


"I stab at thee!"

"Paybacks a bitchbastard buddy!"

And I know there's other kinds of games we could play, if we were a "more enlightened crowd" and shit like that, but this is what we got, y'know.

Monkeys pulling levers for items and getting nasty about it heh.

When you look at it from that perspective, the people who just wanna PvP straight-up without all the two-faced economic bullshit and backstabbing are actually the friendlier and more enlightened and less materialistic crowd!

But you can't tell devs that or they'll give us "PvP" instead of "content," where content = more rare item slot machines, and PvP = nothing heh.

This is so messed up man ahaha.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Space Is Huge

I keep seeing people saying that a space game that has a ground game is like building two separate games, and although that might be the case in most of the things we've seen so far, where its like Frontier in Space and WoW on the ground, or something, that doesn't really make it true.

You can replace a spaceship with an animated guy in a spacesuit that wiggles his legs and not only would that be no big deal but he'd be able to fly around like a little jetpack man on the "ground" if he wanted to heh.

Member that little guy in Mechwarrior? Heh.

Or, if yer really old, the little guy that could parachute out of his sopwith camel and bomb bases in Corncob 3D?

And "spaceships" can roll around on the ground too, y'know, there ain't a non-space-flight simulator that doesn't have that bit innit heh.

You only get into that "two separate games" thing if you do it on purpose, its not that way at all by default.

Sure, it wouldn't be much fun to steer a little guy around in EVE Online with the control system they got, but actually it ain't that fun to steer a spaceship around in that game either heh.

Oh I'm just kidding y'know the thing you can do where you orbit stuff at different distances and shoot missiles is okay I guess ahaha.

Anyways its not a default for it to be two separate games, a spaceship is just a toon that can fly around, basically.

Just like a toon on a horse is really just one toon.

And a toon in a car, or two toons in a car, same thing, the toons sitting in the seats are just sorta like "clothes" for the car toon that you actually are in control of, really, right?

And looking at the cockpit controls is just like being able to look out the visor and see the inside of your warrior's purple helmet.

That thing where you can walk around inside your spaceship and look out the windows in SWG while its flying around and shooting at guys is a little different, but that was like, cutting edge Next Generation shit I never seen anything like before, so I have a hard time putting that into this kinda perspective, that's the same kinda thing as being able to run around inside the head of a giant robot or something, I mean, even though is was sorta like a trick with cameras and display screens, you actually could calculate whether or not a laser blast from an enemy ship penetrated the hull and cut your little toon in half and just keep the illusion going that way, if you wanted to.

Or you could make something where a toon could crawl around on the outside of a ship and fire his little laser handgun at enemy ships too, that's really no different than being stuck in a turret on the millenium falcon with your buddy in the pilot seat making it hard for you to shoot shit heh.

But the rest of it is like I was saying, the only difference between a spaceship and an elf is that the elf is usually more animated and they hardly ever let elves fly around 'cause elves would use it to do exploits ahaha.

Anyways why am I even talking about this?

I dunno, I fergot where I was orginally going with this, after all this goddam explanation heh.

I don't even really care about this junk, I'd be happy with a Frontier type game that just let us land on cool planets, like the kind we're discovering in our own solar system, insteada the lame ones from 1950s scifi junk, y'know, with the styrofoam rocks and a couple funny plants and everything.

There's moons around Saturn that rain gasoline, planets with liquid silver seas, planets with oceans under thirty miles of ice, planets with rings that you can see from the surface as gigantic arches that cut across the sky from horizon to horizon, planets with multiple suns that would change the lighting on the surface like that shit in Pitch Black, and all sorts of awesome artshouse crap like that, but we're sticking with the boring junk for some reason, y'know, deserts with caves fulla alien eggs and stuff heh.

I wanna game where my spacesuit tells me that its resisting radioactive seven hundred kilometer an hour cyanide winds and drink coffee in a research base where the Coke-a-Cola thermometer on the wall tells me that its five hundred degrees celsius outside and shit like that.

There's more interesting and imaginative and arthouse shit in space for real than there is in our science fiction shit, man, and you don't even need any goddam stupid cat-headed aliens in a game like that ahaha.

Why the hell am I talking about this now?

I dunno, I guess I just wanna play something COOL before I die, jeeze.

And its not like we really went as far as we could go with the Frontier style thing either, where you just deliver oxygen to space stations and stuff.

Y'know, 'cause you could make the space stations sorta come to life and operate better and hire new people and stuff and ramp up production if you helped them out by bringing 'em the supplies they needed.

They had that kinda simple shit in Starcon, man.

And then that could piss off a rival space station that wasn't doing so well and there'd be all this corporate intrigue and sorta cinematic half-randomly generated quest garbage and stuff with people getting hired to sabotage your ship and shit.

And how about going farther with ship upgrades and letting you design your own ship from bits of crap you salvaged from wrecks and space hulks and crap?

Or how about little kids having their own Robot Bodyguard that they could upgrade and stuff as a pet?

That's just like a ship having a "pet" drone.

Heck the robot could transform into the ship's pet drone when the kid got into the ship, that'd even save database space (AHAHA).

Manning the turrets at the research base as a swarm of alien bugs come pouring through the methane fog and attack the place 'cause some scientist stole a Queen Bug's Egg ain't no different than manning the turrets on the space station as a swarm of spaceships attack, 'specially if the bugs can fly heh.

We coulda done terraforming a million years ago with those moldy old fractal terrain generator thingies.

Goddang it just seems like we got stuck on the Event Horizon of a Black Hole of Suck or something when there's so much fun shit out there we could be doing that really isn't even all that innovative or anything heh.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


"So when we step into the transporter, it takes a snapshot of the atomic structure of everything in our general area, the boogers in our nose and the air in our lungs and everything."

"Yep, although you seem like a disgusting bag of wetness, your disgustingness is actually composed of a dry and immaculate little pattern of atoms."

"Yah, I'm like a pattern of energy or something right?"


"So this thingie scans us, and it stores that pattern of energy or atoms or whatever somewhere, and then it breaks us down into the basic building blocks that we're made of, which is, uh, atoms, and then it transports all those materials in a stream of energy to another location and recreates our structure there, right?"


"So it can't make two copies of us, 'cause we like, die, and it makes a copy of us from the crap our corpse is made out of, basically."


"Well that sucks."

"Not really, I mean, you won't notice anything, just like the you that you were a moment ago didn't notice the way that the current you replaced it."

"But I'm the same guy that I was a moment ago."

"No you aren't, actually. You just think that you are since you have access to his memories."

"Whatcha talking about?"

"Your brain is an organic computer that operates by squirting chemicals around and sucking them up with vacuums, you aren't actually capable of running the programming that provides you with the illusion of persistence on a continuous basis, or even a picosecond to picosecond basis, even if your code for it could be completed within a single clock cycle, you wouldn't be able to acknowledge the results of that code within the same single clock cycle."


"Time is discrete, the past and future are separated from the present, as is every effect separated from its cause, by indeterminate periods of non-existence, time is a series of frames, like a man flicking a light switch on and off and on again, and there is no such thing as true continuity, just as it is technically impossible for you to process your illusion of persistence and continuity and recognize the results within the same time frame, you may be doing one or the other, at any given moment, when the light switch is on, but not both."


"There's thousands and thousands of picoseconds going by while you are basically frozen in a state of non-existence and I am forced to wait patiently for your neuralchemical receptors to empty and your emitters to reload."

"Ah, well that sucks."


"Ain't there any way to fix that shit?"

"Well, we've been working on some improvements to the transporter system, focusing on the parts of it that stores your atomic structure, and we've created some programs that search the structure for patterns, like defects and diseases, and we actually remove them from your atomic structure, with a sort of antivirus code, and repair the holes with good patterns from other sections, or even structures from other people, if necessary, although that gets a little more complicated and we'd need extra sources of raw materials."

"Like, if I lose my arm, you can just cut and paste a fresh one on my pattern, using stuff from another guy or something, and reconstruct me."


"Ah that's cool. That's how you guys can even repair me on the fly, with the transporter beam, like when I got mangled in that machine at the factory."


"And you could even make me like, more muscular and give me better hair and shit, yah?"


"And you could do all kinds of wicked junk like rearrange my patterns to make my eyes glow all cool and shit?"


"But what about making improvents to my brain and stuff, to make me think faster and be able to do shit faster and junk, that would be awesome, I mean, what happens if we run into aliens who operate and think way quicker than us, y'know? Like, we might perceive time and move as slow as trees or something, compared to some alien who was super quick, and they'd like, totally kick our asses and we wouldn't even know it was happening, 'cause we'd be all like, frozen for thousands of picoseconds, like you was saying."

"Well, see, that's where we get into some sticky legal problems."

"What ya mean."

"Well, if I were to replace or improve any part of your brain's structure with some sort of synthetic system that would allow it to operate faster or more efficiently, you would no longer be legally classified as a human being."

"Ah so then I'd be like a robot or something, and I wouldn't have any rights, and they'd make me do all the shitty jobs, even though I was super smart."


"Well screw that shit, then, I'll just stay stupid. No offense, pal."

"None taken, sir. Now if you'd be so kind as to step onto the transporter, we can get your arm repaired and have you fitted with the latest legal upgrades and beam you back down to the reprocessing plant."

"Can you make my eyes glow?"



Grade Z

So Planet II became a resource starved Trantorian, a single super megalopolis, right?

A sea of intertwisiting technologies and wiring and plumbing, more like a big greasy machine pumping the occasional glob of organics through its dirty old metal guts and farting out clouds of poisonous gas than a planet.

And after a while it just didn't make sense to keep hauling resources all the way back to Planet II to keep its leaks patched up and its wastes removed and all its life support systems fed with all the things it needed.

And eventually even all the megarich and powerful folks finally broke free of the gravity of using Planet II as a status symbol, y'know, as proof of the kind of inefficiencies their profitability allowed them to afford.

And so they moved their operations closer to one of the Solar Poles, which is the traditonal starting point for the endless migration to the ever-moving Trade Nexus, the imaginary point in space between all our endeavors and enterprises, where everything is cheaper and more efficient the closer and closer you get to it.

Yah, the Black Hole of Profit, which also happens to never stop drifting farther and farther away from us as everything gets used up heh.

Well, I wouldn't expect you Groundhogs to have ever heard about it, seeing the kinda reception you get down there under the surface and the average interest you guys have for Interstellar Events, but the Nexus is a mobile fleet of ships the size of a solar system, actually, and whatever delights and deliciously sick excesses and cutting edge technology there is beating at the heart of that swarm, hillbilly mopes like you and me will never be allowed to see a wink of it, y'know, with all the flight control permissions and mazes of red tape and quarantine systems they keep it wrapped up in.

Anyways nobody comes at a star from the outside edge of a solar plane and wants to wade through all that orbital debris to get to the juicy center of things, instellar jumps are always solar pole to solar pole, y'know.

Yah, well, now you do know.

Heck, you need the star's mass and polarity for the jump anyways.

And even if the planets weren't all whirling around in the godsforsaken backwaters, they're still next to useless when you can get hydrogen and field alignment and everything else you'd ever need from a star anyways.

So nobody bothers with Planet II no more, doubt there's more than a couple pockets left where you wouldn't have to wear a three foot thick spacesuit, and even if you found a good pocket like that, if I was an organic like you I'd keep my helmet on anyways, 'cause who knows when the last of the seals will finally give out, y'know?

Or worse, yah.

Ain't nobody been keeping that ship in good shape for ten thousand years, the place is a necropolis in a poison cloud that's collapsing in on itself in the center and melting from the heat of its own greenhouse gases.

Well, if I was gonna visit, I'd just keep it confined to the Mike 762's place, the PII Relay Station, in orbit, y'know.

Well, its just like my PIII Relay Station here.

Yah but I'm an Orby, I ain't got the programming for all that nasty surface work like you Groundhogs, that shit freaks me out.

Anyways that's why we never see nobody come visit us out here at Planet III, we're even further out in the middle of nowhere and more culturally vestigial than the Planet II is, as far as I understand things.

Yah, even though we used to be the belle of the ball, y'know, flipping our skirts up over our heads in the ancient times, when the Elevators were running non-stop and the Zero G Kirkatanium Works were bustling and the shipyards up here were the candy factories of the original space expansion.

Now its all just a bunch ghosts and rusted-out skeletons like me wandering around the spiderweb of orbital grillwork that's still drifting around up here, and a rat's nest of urban blight in the Hives under the surface, where even the liquor stores and porno shops and salvage yards down there in the tunnel network are more dead than alive, 'cause they can't think of anything worse to evolve into.

But I keep the lights on, not so much to keep my programming happy, but 'cause I ain't got nothing else to do.

Well, its nice to have somebody to talk to, gets awful lonely up here all by myself, and the C-539 unit ain't much for conversation.

Anyways the latest gossip from the PII Relay says somebody is headed out this way.

Yah, Mike says they're some kind of organics prospecting team, talking about renovations and terraforming Planet III.

Yah, guess they're looking for a place to go back to the Old Ways and raise kids or something, I dunno, they're pretty tight-lipped but it sounds like a bunch of religious whackos to me and Mike.

I mean, who the hell wants to live on a planet, unless they ain't got any choice, like you guys, y'know?

So they gotta be some kinda religious whackos, right?

Hey, ya got me, man, but they sure as hell can't terraform anything as exhausted off its ass as Planet II, and Planet IV is even worse than this dump.

Planet IV don't even have a Relay Station, man.

Anyways all you tunnel rats and squatters are gonna have to get to higher ground if they start melting the ice caps and flooding yer tunnels and stuff.

Yah, might look like a dustball now, but the C-539 calculates that the whole planet could be covered in a mile of water or something in no time, if somebody really put their heart into it, yer just one singularity field collapse away from being at the bottom of an ocean, really.

Well, I dunno, but you might wanna get back down the elevator and warn folks or something.

Hey, if they're serious, by the time you guys got your legal case together and got a transmission through to some bored-activist-daughter-of-a-rich-guy at the Nexus who pretends to give a shit about the preservation of some backwards ass shitball in the middle of nowhere like this just to piss off her parents you'd all be dead anyways, I don't think you're even listed on the charts no more, y'know, you guys have been Grade Z ever since the Kirkatanium dried up in this system, technically you ain't even supposed to be here.

Well, I'll try to get the churchies on the horn when they show up, mebbe you guys can work out some kinda deal if they really are a bunch of Brother's Keeper types.

But if they're one of those freaky new fangled Predator Helix Evolution Cults I been hearing about you guys are in some seriously deep shit, and I only got life support for five of you pitiful bastards up here, and that's if I keep yall like freezy pops in the old cryo tubes, which might not even work anymore, if they ever worked.

Never used 'em.

Hey, I'm just a robot, ya big hillbilly idiot, not a magician.

Hey, watch yer mouth, buddy, if it wasn't fer yer great great grampa helpin' Mike out that one time with that one thing I'd have already blown yer boney ass out the goddam airlock, I ain't even s'posed to be having none of you slimy organics up here gumming up the works in my satellite, s'gainst regulations.

I must be gettin' soft in my old age or something, sheeyit.

Yah, well, unless they're interested in liquor and porno, you guys ain't got much to trade, y'know?

Well, maybe I can get 'em interested in Planet IV, I'll see what I can do.

That dump ain't even got any plate tectonics, though, so don't get yer hopes up.

Anyways if I was you I'd start thinking about building a boat or something.

Yah, that's something light that floats in water that you can sit on.

No I don't have a freaking schematic for that old shit, goddam are you guys ever lazy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wish You Were Here

Autopilot Is Your Friend

Here's a FAQ for newb space pilots in SWG.

The first thing I do when I make a new guy and get in a spaceship is erase all the "ground" powers from my hotkey bar (don't worry, the space hotkey bar and the ground hotkey bar are separate), go into "commands" in the menu thingie (that pops up when you hit escape a bunch of times heh), grab the "follow" button out of there (I think its under the "other" tab), and I put that sucker right on F1.

"Follow" is the first and single most important hotkey of all the uber space hotkey powers you'll eventually be getting.

Actually the only other things I ever put on those F Keys is droid commands (which you really do need to learn all about) and the couple of "space powers" you get when you get higher up in the Piloting tree.

And I use Follow way more per flight than any of that other stuff.

But for some reason they don't tell you about Follow in the tutorials.

No, you can't use it to autofollow bad guys around, but you can use it to autopilot after anything that doesn't hate you, like the ships you need to escort or dock with or your buddies or whatever.

And you can also use it to take yer lazy ass to a space station just by hitting the C Key (to target nearest station) and F1.

Mission over?

Don't wiggle your mouse all over the goddam place looking around for the space station you came from.

The C Key and F1 will snap your neck around to where you need to be pointing and start taking you there.

Beep-boop, easy peasy.

Done beating off the enemies that were attacking the ship you need to escort?

Semicolon and F1 will usually put you right back on that freighter's butt.

I say usually 'cause Semicolon is target nearest friendly NPC thingie or something, and if there's other good guys NPCs around that can get hosed.

Well, y'know you can also use the X key to target things under your nose, if you are too lazy to learn all these goddam keys to target things heh.

Monday, March 17, 2008

There Is No Try

So I made a fresh new commando guy in SWG and I played through the tutorial and that Tansarii Point Station thingie with all the quests and I was having fun blasting stuff and I even blew up my ship once and got knocked down a couple times heh.

And I was thinking, man, maybe I shouldn't have picked on SWG so much, this game is goddam fun.

And then I got beamed down to Tatooine.

And all the monsters for my newb quests were stuck in rocks or purple to me due to some kinda anti-exploit code that makes high level things spawn anywhere people are killing stuff too much.

Seriously, every single bottom-of-the-bin newbie monster at the waypoints for my newbie quests were either stuck in a rock or purple to me.

I'm talking about 30th level mongbats and kreetles, man!

That anti-exploit thingie probably seemed like a good idea at the time but I'm not sure who its supposed to be helping, definitely ain't me (the newb who needs to kill this crap) or the guy who was afk-macroing heh.

Was there a real problem with people killing womprats and newbie quest garbage around Tatooine because it was so much fun that it needed to be solved by only allowing the people who can kill the purple stuff to do it?

I don't ever remember that being a problem when things just respawned, y'know, like regular heh.

Well, whatever, I got in my hovercar and I drove around in the desert and I found other random spawns besides the ones listed in my quest.

And when I couldn't find anything I needed, even after driving out past the lag barrier produced by the event horizon of all the houses that encircle Mos Eisley like a gigantic maze of alleys, because some stuff doesn't spawn randomly, I went back to town and got missions for the things I needed to kill from the mission booths and finished my quests that way.

They give experience points for mission booth quests now, so that's cool, at least.

And there were tons of newbs and oldbies hanging around Mos Eisley too (which is why all my monsters were purple I guess, you bastards ahaha).

Its still exactly the same as it was as far as lag and monsters dying standing up and falling over without any animations and suddenly teleporting to your feet and all that good stuff heh.

So the jedi corpse crotch lightning gag is probably still completely intact ahaha.

And there's bugs, I had to relog on that newbie station once 'cause my quest guy wouldn't talk to me and so I launched into space and then the space station wouldn't talk to me heh.

And I crashed twice in the couple of hours I was playing (both of those times were when I was running past the starport in Mos Eisley for my quests so it probably has something to do with all the people around there).

That was kinda surprising, 'cause for all the stuff I seen in SWG, I don't think I ever crashed before heh.

But whatever, y'know, the game is fun, man.

What other game has a bunch of Elder Jedi squatting out in front of the starport with their glowie thingie activated as if they were meditating or something, just begging to get my newbie crotch stuck in their faces when I puts my hands on my hips and demand money from them heh.

Who's the newb now ahaha.

Any true oldbie would be smart enough to never sit down and get caught in a compromising screenshot like that AHAHA.

Oh don't worry I'm just kidding I always forget to take screesnhots when I'm enjoying myself.

Anyways it got me thinking that it would be awesome if all you guys came and stared at the monsters that were trapped in the rocks with me.

And its not just a misery loves company thingie, y'know?

I mean, you know there's no game that's as jam-packed with intestine-rupturing cartoon comedy as SWG.

When have you ever laughed that hard in a game.

SWG is totally the Plan 9 from Outer Space of MMOs, man.

And the people who take it all serious only make it even more funny.

But I don't blame 'em, y'know, 'cause SWG does have some parts innit that are totally awesome and that sucks you in only to set you up for the parts where you crash on the laggy rocks with all the cardboard monsters stuck in 'em, I've fallen for that "getting my hopes up aww wtf" rollercoaster shit plenty of times myself heh.

I mean, if you look at it like an Ed Wood Show that is brilliant every once in a while on accident or mebbe an evil circus where they torture all your favorite animals to death to entertain you then it won't bother you so much ahaha.

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Four leaf clovers don't like the color green.

Four leaf clovers hate the color green.

They're actually eating every color up except for green.

They reject green.

Four leaf clovers and all the other green and leafy things on this planet are actually spitting up the green 'cause they ain't got any use for it.

Green is like the holiday fruit-cake of the electromagnetic spectrum to them.

And you know you are getting stuck holding the crappy end of the stick everytime you see the color green.

'Cause if you are seeing it, you're eyes are eatin' it, buddy.

You're the poor sap who got stuck with all the green crap that nobody wanted when the music stopped playing heh.

And they say that the Earth is the Blue Planet.

When the Earth actually hates the color blue.

The Earth rejects the color blue.

And the sky hates the color blue, too.

And the sunset hates all that orange and red.

And the sun burns bright white with hate.

The sun hates everything.

Because white is the color of ultimate hate.

Hate for everything.

The complete rejection of everything.

And all of that hate goes into your eye.

And into your brain.

Just like it goes out into space.

Forever and ever.

Because space is the color of love.

Space is black.

And black is the color of unconditional love.

The complete acceptance of everything.

Its not a dismal and endless and infinite night full of despair out there in space with a few bright pinpricks of hope that you are seeing.

Its an endless sea of love with a few hateful points of discontent stabbing through it to get at you and force you to listen to its complaints heh.

But even so, nothing really beats a sunny day with impossibly high blue skies and the green smells and the golden fields that go on and on forever and ever.

Whatever colors that stuff is really made out of, red and purple mostly, I guess.

That's probably why leaves turn brown and red and stuff when they die, y'know, they're finally forced to show their true colors heh.

Anyways since all that beautiful sky and leafy green in-club stuff is so greedy and keeps all the good red and purple (or whatever) crap for itself and never lets us poor peons have anything except for the crappy scraps of light it don't want, forcing us to chew on all their electromagnetic backwash and bits of gristle with our eyes, its okay to keep saying that four leaf clovers are green and the sky is blue.

When that's actually the color that they hate the most.

Just to piss 'em off.

Y'know, 'cause when life gives ya lemons, you take those lemons and you throw 'em right back at life, and you try to hit that sucker right where it hurts, right in the nuts, so it'll wise up and quit giving you more ammo heh.

"These damn carnivorous apes are the worst."

"Don't give them any more lemons!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bring Out Yer Dead

Dude there's some kinda free "try it again" thing for SWG for vets where you can just sign in with your old account.

I can't figure out how much free time there is from the account management thing, it doesn't really say, its like, all mysterious and roleplayery and immersive heh.

"You are in your Twelfth Circle of Playtime."

And I ain't really into doing all the archaeology needed to figure it out, they got some 14 day trial thing now for new folks so its prolly something like that and that's prolly more than I need unless some kinda Star Wars Christmas Miracle happens ahaha.

"And his heart grew three sizes that day!"

I thought I had deleted SWG off my machine but apparently I didn't (goddam am I ever lazy) so it was pretty easy to just go in there and run around for a few seconds and check things out.

I'm gonna make a new guy and fly around some and shoot stuff, I don't wanna have to figure out how to play my old guys with all their warehouses fulla cack and all the crap I'd have to remember how to do or learn the new way to do and then buy all the new garbage I'd need, that's too much of a pain in the ass.

Everybody can have pets now, I think, you just need to like, extract an ewok egg from a live ewok or something and then put it in an egg machine until it hatches and then you can have an evil little ewok that'll follow your commando around with a can of gasoline and a zippo, that's awesome.

And I was only in there for a few seconds but the lag and the graphics and everything were like, way better than I remember.

'Course nothing could really be as bad as the way I remember it heh.

And I got the flu or malaria or something so I'm probably hallucinating and none of this is actually happening.

Release Your Anger


Some folks dress up and act like nerds to make fun of nerds.

As if that was proof that they weren't nerds.

Y'know, its like they think that if they can pretend to be a nerd, and show that they're willing to throw nerds under the bus, then people will think that they must not be nerds in Real Life.

Yah, mebbe you ain't a nerd, but there's worse shit than being a nerd, and that's one of 'em.

Its like, you ain't good looking or charismatic, but you also ain't smart or anything to make up for it, either.

I mean, I dunno what that is, but I don't think its better than shooting for one or the other or both heh.

Plus now you've just added "picking on less fortunate folks" and "bad acting" and "lame sense of humor" to your list of problems ahaha.

And then there's people that pretend to be nerds to try to get the nerd vote.

Like, they're actually trying to kiss some nerd ass, writing songs about being nerds and doing nerd monologues and stuff so that nerds will buy their salad dressing and stuff.

And although some of them guys are pretty good, and they can keep it up for a little bit, they either play it too safe and stay a little too vague with the nerd subjects or they always slip up somewhere and mention their "apple" computer or screw up some bit of trivia about tachyons or overdo it on the horned-rim-glasses-and-acne stereotypes or something and give up the gag.

And man, I dunno what's worse, some sack of shit with nothing going for him pretending to be a nerd to make fun of nerds, or a pitiful dork who can't even successfully pull off being a nerd.

Or how about one of those shmucks that sorta flip flops between the two things insulting everybody on accident 'cause he's in way over his head and he thinks being able make a song out of it gives him some kind of rockstar immunity.

He ends up with the worst of both worlds (since there isn't any "best" of both worlds in this case heh).

What I do know is that they're all way the hell worse than just being some regular old nerd minding his own goddam business and not hurting anybody, y'know?

And I guess you can kinda feel sorry for the dorks that really wanna be nerds and fail, so I guess that's a little better than the other two, its like, endearing or something.

Well, whatever, y'know, the whole "trying to be a nerd" stuff doesn't really bug me, 'cause I ain't a nerd.

What bugs me is that what these dudes are actually trying to be is assholes heh.

And that's where they fall under my jurisdiction ahaha.

Yah, they got songs with assholes pretending to be assholes to make fun of assholes, too.

Orphans & Orcs

You know how when you roleplay, what yer really doing is writing this big-ass background story for your character that explains why he hates orcs because they attacked his village and killed his parents?

And then you post it in a forum somewhere.

And then when nobody reads it you gotta go around reading other people's background stories about how they were orphaned by orcs and saying how awesome they are so they'll feel guilty enough to read your background story and say its awesome too?

That's really all there is to it.

But then the cool kids start making fun of you for doing it and they tell you that you gotta make up something better than being an orphan who hates orcs.

So you do that and you suddenly get more popular because background stories without orphans and orc attacks really are cooler!

They were right!

And now you don't have to go around reading anybody else's background stories, heck, it'd be mean for a consummate roleplayer such as yourself to say what you really think when somebody writes one of those amateur-ass "I was orphaned by orcs stories" anyways, y'know, and you are a benevolent god who doesn't wanna discourage people who are just starting out, 'cause everybody was a newb with one of those goddam orc-orphan stories in their trembling hands with their hearts on their sleeves and watery eyes and the sniffles and everything at some point.

Maybe you even condescend to offer them a little encouraging comment, where people would least expect it, if you are feeling generous.

And time goes on like that for a while, and everything is great from the throne of your roleplaying empire, the creativity is flowing, your people are merry.

But then the news arrives that roleplaying, no matter how you do it, isn't cool at all.

Quite a shock!

And so you finally join all the really cool people, y'know, by roleplaying that you are a cool guy who is totally not into stupid stuff like roleplaying.

And time goes on like that for a while, and everything is great, you make fun of all the life forms of lesser coolness levels and you laugh about how pathetic their existences are.

But then you learn that it actually isn't cool to go around caring about how cool you look all the time.

The really cool cats don't give a shit what other people think, their isn't any such thing as self-esteem or ego for them, they know that every single human on this planet has to squat like a monkey and wipe the shit off their asses every day, even super models.

And those dudes just go around looking for laughs all the time, doing anything they want and not worrying about what anybody thinks, and they still get to be cool.

Yah, that's the ultimate evolution of cool, like that "baby in a bubble" thing that the dude in 2001 turned into at the end, you can just go anywhere and do anything.

Yah, anything.

Well, actually, no.

Roleplaying on a forum is still just a bunch of circle-jerking, so really cool people don't do that heh.

And you can't write one of those orphan-by-orc thingies and still be cool.

And you can't go around explaining how cool you are to people and be cool.

Yah, you just gotta, I dunno, sit there and not say anything or do anything, I guess.

Yah, that kinda sucks.

Or you could do really goofy shit just to prove to everybody that you don't care what people think.

Well, whatever, I thought your background story was awesome.

Yah, I hate those damn dirty orcs for what they did to my family too!

Hostile Alien Environment Training

Now, before we go down to the surface in SWG, you're going to need to mentally prepare yourself.

I know that many of you consider yourself veteran explorers, old sea dogs with nerves of poly-titaniplex-3 and trilithium crystals running through your veins, you've seen it all, you've been used and abused in all the farthest reaches of space, right?

I know, I know, I was the same way when I first signed up for this detail, they don't send fresh fish here.

But I'm telling you now that all the campaigns in the deadly rigors of space and howling seas of chaos beyond the transdimensional warp gates and all the toxic alien environments you've been forced to endure so far are nothing compared to what you'll be facing down there.

And so I've prepared this short instructional film.

Has everyone signed their release forms?


The lights, Roy.


Aw shit, Hicks is going code blue, get a medic in here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bow Chicka Bow

Planet of the Apes

I've got that jones to fly a TIE fighter again.

I'm fiending, man.

I know I could just play a little EVE Online, that shit is like methadone for space junkies, but I don't really wanna be cured of my love for spaceship crap heh.

So who wants to play some SWG with me?

C'mon, you know you wanna (not hear me say that anymore ahaha).

I need some comedy man, I'm sick of all these games that ain't totally bizarre and creepy and full of ten million bugs and broken quests and outdated items and screwed up corpse-crotch-lightning jedi powers and fat dudes rubber-banding around the dance floor all choppy in their underpants with turbans and hitler moustaches.

I'm tired of all these games with hopes for the future and silly expansions and "tons of potential" and stuff.

SWG ain't got any of that shit, hope is for wimps, man, I mean, if you are playing SWG, you know you ain't never gonna drive an AT-AT or fly an imperial star destroyer or any of that stupid crap, this is Star Wars: Apocalypse, baby, there's things that you can do now that are bound to break down and never get fixed or be taken away from you in the future, if anything heh.

You get a "lava" lightsaber and an ostrich to never ride because its slow and a Tiltawhirl Barbie Hovercar with a broken tail light to help you navigate your way through all the flashing-neon empty-vendor ghost-towns and ninja smokebombs and space tacos and fire-retardant blankets and a wide selection of beehive hairdos and beards and boney protrusions and purple blotches and the twenty-seven-kinds-of-eyebrows lag.

And you like it.


C'mon, you know you wanna AHAHA.

"It isn't very Star Warsy, but it is pretty David Hasselfhoffy."

Hahaha doh!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Awesome Video, Stupid Song

The Fine Art of Wasting Time

MMOs are kinda like murder mysteries.

Y'know how murder mysteries tease you along with like, five zillion hours of mindless foreplay until you finally get to the big "oh, so this whole ten million pages of buildup thing was all about getting to some sentence where they finally explain that Colonel Mustard killed some dude inna library with a candlestick? man! that's really profound! thx!" fizzling pfft of an ending.

"Oh yah, baby, I'm a great lover, and you are in for a special treat, but first let me read you some poetry and give you a foot massage and set the mood."

Its all about wasting your time.

That's why they always make you kill ten mllion billion spiders to get to the good part, y'know, they're hoping you die from old age before you get to the good part, because there is no good part.

Anyways with all the stuff they do to make us not figure it out, like making us kill ten million billion spiders, or making all the hallways ten feet longer, and making us run back and forth across the country-side delivering doo-dads to the next guy, it makes me wonder why they don't ever go any deeper into the finer arts of making people waste their time.

Y'know, 'cause if you are really trying to get people to waste time without noticing it, so they'll keep paying a subscription fee, there's plenty of super sneaky and awesome ways to do it that nobody ever talks about.

Like, for example, having some artist guy make something for the game that makes folks stop and look at it for a few seconds, just because its cool looking.

You gained like thirty seconds there!

And if you can actually write something entertaining in those quest dialogue boxes, folks may actually waste some time reading those too!

That's another thirty seconds or so!

Or let people find a "hole" in the wall of a zone, so they crawl all over the wrong side of a mountain for an hour, trying to figure out a way to exploit it heh.

Or how about erasing all the monster fighting football team crap and just doing mystery stories, like where you investigate some disaster that happened at some space colony, y'know?

Those guys that write mystery stories are masters of wasting people's time and explaining some dumb ass thing that happened a while back and doesn't even really matter to you really really slowly, y'know, like, one clue every fifty pages or something.

Folks walk around all slow looking for clues and thinking about 'em and suspecting stuff and avoiding traps and ya don't even have to waste any server resources having people fight ten million billion spiders or anything, y'know, 'cause nothing is actually happening.

That's what suspense is all about, man, a lot of nothing happening.

Plus it makes the spiders seem freakier when they only jump out at the end.

Seinfeld is also all about nothing happening, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with suspense.

I dunno, mebbe it does, I dunno, mebbe there is some kinda awesome awkward comedy suspense thing, I dunno, mebbe.

"What is up with all this suspense?"

Hahaha daaaamn I'm good.

Anyways, think about it, you get a lot more creeped out and slow down a lot more in these stupid games in any stretch of hallway where there doesn't seem to be any monsters around, y'know, 'cause you know something fishy is going on.

"wtf? is the server broke?"

And you have to read the stupid dialogue boxes when yer solving a mystery, so that's like a two-for-one right there heh.

Dude, make the players have to answer questions every once in a while, then they'll have to read the shit ahaha.

Heck, let me write some of it and then they'll always be reading it thoroughly just to see if they can catch me swearing and insulting women or some shit.

Or you could just say that maybe I wrote some of it, and then those people would waste more time with it, even though I didn't actually have to write any of it.

That's what I'd do.

"There might be a nudity toggle in this game."

See, there's advantages to maintaining that aura of unpredictability and mystery heh.

Plus yer getting money from wasting the time of a bunch of nasty cracker-ass halfwits, that's the best kinda money ahaha.

And you could always just let a lot of typos go to keep the grammer nazis busy and happy correcting you too (or should I say "to" AHAHAAHAHHA*cough*).

And there's all sorts of other little shit where you could gain another thirty seconds or so of wasted subscription time without resorting to some stupid monster-whacking grind, waiting for boat rides, taking griffin rides, graphics lag due to lots of leafy trees, "mysterious" game lockups that make people reboot, really slow auction houses, one-hour delays on mailing items, stuff that only happens at night, pit traps that you gotta spend thirty seconds climbing out of, swimming around in lakes really slowly, giving people emotes to play with and letting them dye themselves different colors, not giving people enough inventory space so that gotta dick around with their baggage.

But even though a lot of that shit flies under everybody's conscious radar, none of that stuff is really looked at as a positive thing, y'know, like the way that people look at the guys who waste their time with mystery stories, or dudes that make intriguing art that makes people just stand around and gawk at it like idiots.

Even though its the same goddam thing, really, from a technical perspective.

The great thing about mysteries and suspense is that they kindle people's imaginations with Red Herrings and shit, that's like getting your players to create six times as much content as you actually created for you, y'know?

That's what I always loved about Stephen King, not the endings and shit that he actually wrote, but the junk he just made me think about that he coulda wrote.

And you don't even gotta waste any of your time figuring out how to show the dude get his head hacked off and all the blood squirting out with special effects if you just say it happened off screen heh.

And people always say that that kinda crap is all artistic and good and shit!

C'mon, man, it don't get no better than that!

Mystery is good for another thing, if you can think of ways to get people PvPing against each other, Mystery Style, like they do on Big Brother, wasting all that time keeping secrets and gossiping secrets and trying to figure out what the other guy is planning, but that's a topic for a really Advanced Course on Time Wasting.

I really dunno why they don't just copy set-ups from Big Brother, y'know, throw yer ass in a room with six other players and then start fucking with y'all, the dudes that came up with that shit are game design geniuses heh.

I could never do that kinda junk without a lawyer or something to keep me from from figuring out ways to get people to kill themselves like that dude from the Saw movies ahaha.

Well, whatever, at least we're wasting time talking about wasting time thinking about wasting time better, y'know?

That's something heh.

Playing Favorites

When something goes down like this, at least you know the break-up-make-up sexual favors afterwards are gonna be great, so it all sorta works out in the end.

The important thing to remember here is that you can't let these guys make you think that you can't Play Favorites and get away with it.

I mean, Playing Favorites is pretty much what friendship is all about, don't listen to these guys that tell you that you shouldn't try to make and be friends with the people who play your game.

And you might think that the WoW guys don't play favorites, but they might just be really good at making friends with the kinda folks who won't give 'em up for love or money at the first opportunity.

Or maybe they only make friends with Amish people who aren't allowed to use technology and communicate with the outside world or something.

See, that's why you should seriously consider giving me all the kewlie items and sexual favors and stuff.

No, not the Amish thing, I meant the Love or Money one, but I'll be Inga the Nasty Warden or anything you want for kewlie items and sexual favors, baby.

And its okay if you don't give me nothing, 'cause I'm a big enough man to know that you are just playing hard-to-get to keep things exciting over all these years heh.

Anyways, the simple Rule of Thumb as far as Playing Favorites goes is that you need to seem like you are treating everybody as your favorite.

Even the totally sucky people, like Steve.

Because giving just one person special treatment would be messing with everybody else's inalienable rights to special treatment.

And you can't think that you can somehow just "cop out" and not play favorites, because that's the same as saying that you hate everybody, or that you have no taste or opinions at all, and that all you wanna do is trade your artwork for money, and let your art be judged on its own merits, which is just gonna make everybody hate you because you are making them do a lot more work instead of just telling 'em what to think about it heh.

That's not to say that you shouldn't maintain a little mystery about yourself, as long as it works to your advantage.

I might be a totally smoking hot chick, for example.

Dude seriously, you never know.

And don't let anybody like Dundee scare you with all his "serious business" crap and his "vague Lovecraftian hints of danger that makes your imagination do all the work" about how you may be messing up how much money your game is gonna make or something if you start Playing Favorites.

Trust me, he doesn't know a goddam thing about Playing Favorites.

It'd be like taking bicycle safety advice from Superman or something, y'know, wtf does Superman know about bicycles and safety?!

Yah, well, he better not start no shit with me or I'll start telling people his Real Name AHAHA.

And there's more important things in life than money and subscription numbers in some stupid ass game anyways.

I mean, what are you gonna do with all that money and stuff in the end anyways?

Pay for some sexual favors, right?

See, that's definitely not better than having fun partying and making friends with people and getting the chicks for free, baby.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008



Y'know how when you think about the Battlestar Galactica ship, you always automaticaly think about Commander Odama?

Like, they're inseparable, they go hand in hand or something.

Its the same deal in the new show and the old show, y'know, take yer pick, doesn't matter.

It helps in Battlestar Galactica that you hardly ever see the Commander off the ship, I guess, 'cause I don't really get that from Star Trek, where the Captain and the ship are pretty separate (and they blow up Enterprises a lot).

But the Millenium Falcon and Han Solo is pretty much the same thing as the Battlestar Galactica deal.

Anyways, on one hand, you got a deal like that, where a ship sorta takes on personality somehow from the dude in charge of it.

And on the other hand, you have dime-a-dozen fighter pilots, and dudes in games where you are always upgrading your ship to different ships, or something where the commander of a ship is always getting switched out with somebody else, so you never end up with that weird symbiosis thingie.

And its weird, 'cause when you think of the ships that have their own personality, they're always associated with a guy with a strong personality, even though the two personalities are actually different and separate, y'know, like the Millenium Falcon establishes its own identity against Han Solo's personality, by breaking down or saving his ass at different times or something, I dunno, they're sorta like a boy and his dog (hell, the Millenium Falcon even makes robotic dog noises heh), or a married couple, or something.

I'm not saying its super important or it should be one way or the other or anything, its just something that's been rolling around in my brain like a wet shoe in a washing machine lately heh.

Y'know, like, sometimes mebbe its better not to upgrade to different ships all the time, but just upgrade the parts inside it, or something, so the thing has a chance to get a personality.

I guess that would work with fighter pilots and starfighters or whatever, too, you just don't see that as much, I mean, its pretty hard to think of an example of one of those, and the ones like that that do have personalities always look a little different from all the other ones.

Bah whatever, I guess I'm just being a typical superstitious pilot guy heh.


First, we'll simulate a cheesy-ass little Amish Village, y'know, like they had in the Village.

With cute red-headed blind chicks, and some kindly old leftist beard-folk with secret college knowledge, maybe, but no stab-yer-face scary halfwits, y'know, like they had in UO.

And because that shit sucks, we'll immediately try to figure out how to escape from that newbie yard with the cute red headed chick (our first pet haha), after doing a few crappy butter churning quests that were obviously designed to illustrate our cultural superiority by showing us how sucky it is to be an Amish guy so we'll wanna get the hell outtta there.

And so we run through the woods with all the fake monsters innit, and we get all scraped up and dirty, and we come to a wall.

And we'll climb over the wall, and we'll land in a black and white museum or an amusment park dedicated to 1950s Leave It To Beaver suburbia, complete with drive-in everythings and hotrods and white socks and stuff, but we won't know its a Golden Age Recreation Village at first so it'll be all creepy and weird, classic Twilight Zone, with resident actors (or mebbe they're sorta life-like robots, ala Westworld or something, except they can all do a creepy robot version of the Twist, that'd be cool too) and caretakers with walkie-talkies and jumpsuits that'll chase us around.

And then we'll come to another wall, and we'll climb that.

Or mebbe we'll just find an exit this time heh.

And we'll come face to face with a totally futuristic megalopolis, an entire planet crawling with robots and flying cars and dudes with jetpacks and helmets and laser guns and stuff.

But no cat people, 'cause I hate cat people.

Yah, alien races that are human bodies with the heads of animals are the worst, none of that.

Alligator men are okay as long as you know its campy and there's only one of 'em, y'know, like a monster instead of a whole race of Alligator Men who understand nature better than us 'cause they're part animal (ugh) or have a culture based on might and dying in battle like some half-assed version of the Vikings (gah Klingons heh).

So anyways we get a job working the docks at a starport, and we start to learn about the Real World from all these toothless crackhead heavy metal space pirates and prostitutes, with nothing expected of us, 'cause we're dumbass no-technology Amish people.

Or mebbe we're hillbillies who know all about NASCAR and moonshine and doing bootleggers to escape from the cops or something, 'cause that'd give us a genetic edge in the space pilot-slash-mechanic-slash smuggler thingie, but you get my point.

See, in a game like that, all the UO people like Raph could stay in that Amish medieval faire place at the beginning until they were ready to make the transition to the good stuff (heh heh heh heh heh).

And everything is intuitive, you don't gotta know anything or read the instructions or know any tiresome scfi background trivia garbage to get started, 'cause yer a know-nothing innocent-ass two-fisted Amish guy who is always doing funny-ass shit like defending a woman's honor and whatever.

Or you are a wrestling fan from a Trailer park.

Or a caveman, same thing.

Mebbe there's two or three races and starting points, that's always good for replayability heh.

Yah, mebbe you need more of them starting place things, now that I think about, for folks from other cultures, but those are the only ones I'm familiar with ahaha.

Dude, c'mon, that's the awesomest blueprint for a Traveller-Star Frontiers-Firefly-Frontier-Privateer type game there's ever gonna be.

With kickass hover cycle chases through the streets and Post-Apocalyptic Super Vans and those monster truck planetary explorer vehicles and ice planets with snow mobiles and Retro Rocket Rangers in silver spacesuits and evil corporations and milk-spewing androids and alien ruins that turn out to be the Ancient Super Advanced Ancestors of Human Beings ('cause you always gotta have that).

And helicopters.

And no cat people.

Easy peasy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Let's Have Some Music

I Want My MTV

For a little stretch of this timeline, everybody who had haircuts like Luke Skywalker could get laid.

And there were plenty of guys that were probably forced to have Luke Skywalker haircuts, like the dudes on Battlestar Galactica heh.

Now, back in the days when Star Wars came out, there wasn't any such thing as VCRs, so if you wanted to see Star Wars, you had to go to a movie theatre and just remember the stuff you saw there, y'know, 'cause you couldn't just purchase it and watch it over and over again as many times as you wanted and totally desensitize yerself to the shit.

And that made things even worse for TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, 'cause if you missed one of those shows, that was it, baby, I mean, who knows when the TV was gonna play that show again heh.

But nowadays both of them things is no big deal, y'know, 'cause you know you can always record junk or buy the DVD or catch it the next time they play it or watch it on On Demand or whatever.

Its not "special" like it used to be, where it was sorta a big deal to go out to the movies and see Star Wars.

It was more like going to the circus, it was more like Star Wars was visiting your town or something.

Or, in the case of Battlestar Galactica, you knew every other Battlestar Galactica fan in the world was out there somewhere in the dark watching the same show as you.

Well, mebbe not in the whole world, but whatever, you know what I'm saying, it sorta explains what the appeal of watching something playing on TV is even though you own the DVD and you coulda watched it whenever you want.

Its that old fashioned movie magic heh.

Saturday morning cartoons were another thing like that, before there was a bunch of cartoon channels and the Disney DVD babysitter, there was only a couple hours a day you could watch cartoons, and there wasn't jack shit to watch as far as cartoons went on Sunday.

And the only times they played cartoons during primetime was a "Special Presentation" reserved for holiday junk like that Charlie Brown Christmas thing, and we'd get all excited and shit, 'member?

I mean, we liked that Charlie Brown Christmas shit even though it sucked some serious ass, that's just how starved for cartoons they kept us ahaha.

But now its like, shit, there's cartoons everywhere, man, big deal.

I have no idea how to recapture some of that old fashioned movie magic and apply it to games (or anything else), I mean, I thought about it for at least thirty seconds now and I got nuthin.

Mebbe Live Events could be sorta like that, if they were done a little better, y'know, like, "its Friday Night Online!" or something.

But it made me think that you COULD recapture some of that old fashioned movie magic in games by having movies play in a movie theatre inside a game.

Y'know, 'cause you can't record those or buy 'em on DVD unless the game has that innit too.

Although I guess you could "bootleg" it with a screen capture program or something, but whatever, the point is you could play old (or new) episodes of Battlestar Galactica inside a game no prob.

And sorta simulate that 70s movie magic.

Oh sure, it wouldn't make sense in an Ork game, but its kinda weird to think about all the scifi games that don't have anything like that, seeing as how TV screens sorta pervade our current universe.

And sure, it takes "extra effort" to implement something like that in a game, especially if you are gonna create your own content, insteada just managing your players creating content, or getting a deal with whoever to "relay" episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard or something.

Same thing with radio and shit.

Another thing it made me think of is the way a game that does have TV or Radio or Movies and ads in it always tries to do comedic little things with it.

Y'know, 'cause they know they don't have time to do anything good, so they just make a quick little joke out of it.

Or they figure people are here to play a game, and not watch some damn thing on TV.

But what if somebody did do something really great with it.

Something that was even better than the game you were playing heh.

Something that would turn all those lame-ass "adventurers" into proper couch potatoes like us.

But you had to play the game to watch it.

That kinda shit almost did happen in Max Payne and Vampire Bloodlines, I mean, I know I never missed a show in Max Payne heh.

Hey man, they could have real live commercials and everything, skies the limit, really, I don't have anything invested in this dumb little idea that ain't got nothing to do with the stuff that really matters to me.

Y'know, like helicopters.

I just think its weird that people got their own personal houses in games but no TV heh.

No wonder nobody wants to hang out there, its like spending some end-of-the-world break-out-the-acoustic-guitar hello-silence-my-old-friend sent-to-your-room time or something ahaha.

"Hey, wanna come over to my cave and stare at the wall?"

See, something like that makes me think that maybe the sword-n-orc games ain't got it so good afterall.

I mean, I sure as hell don't wanna hear a bunch of goddam minstrels play anything on Minstrel Radio or whatever they had back in them days heh.

When we could be watching Southpark or the New Battlestar Galactica or whatever on our virtual couches with our virtual buddies.

Heck, there's no reason that virtual movie theatres couldn't charge real money and play real movies.

Don't ya think Tarantino or Elvira or somebody would be turned on by the idea of "virtually" hosting some kinda limited-audience Grindhouse thing like that?

There's bound to be some out-of-work aging actor dude or something totally willing to host that kinda in-club shit heh.

I mean, worst case, think Danny Bonaduce and Gary Coleman or something ahaha.

And fer the love of mike, if people with Luke Skywalker haircuts can get laid, anything is possible, y'know?

Phasers Full of Stun

"Dude, I don't know why they even bothered putting a stun setting on our guns."

"You guys are such meat-heads. You need a stun setting in case you wanna shoot your friends."

"Why the hell would you wanna shoot your friends?!"

"You start shooting at me with that damn thing and you better have it set on kill!"

"If I even see you with your gun set on stun I'm blasting you!"

"Dude it doesn't hurt you, it just makes you numb and stuff."

"Yah you can shoot yourself in the foot all you want and it'll just make your foot go to sleep."

"Dude we used to shoot ourselves in the face back at the academy just to do the numb-lips and make each other laugh."

"Yah it wears off in like..."


"Oh man that was a mean thing to do. But funny."

"Oh my god he actually did it."

"What an idiot."

"He's gonna be pissed when he wakes up man."

"Naw, he won't remember anything from today at all."


"Yah I shot myself once."

"Oh man that's awesome."

"Don't be getting any stupid ideas, I'm not dragging you guys all the way back to the shuttle by myself."

"Oh man... I dunno... a free piggy-back ride back to the shuttle courtesy of the captain is tempting..."

"He can't even really be mad at you for making him carry you all the way back to the shuttle 'cause you won't remember what you did that pissed him off!"

"And even if he was, I could just stun 'im and make 'im fergit that he had to do it."

"Yah you could make up anything you want to explain what happened."

"Dude, that's dumb, you won't remember your plan to shoot him and make him forget that he's pissed at you for making him carry you back to the shuttle."

"Yer such a buzzkill."

"I could write it on my hand. Anybody got a pen?"

"That's it, everybody give me your weapons."

"No way man!"


"Great, now we gotta carry the captain too."

"Well, at least he won't remember what happened."

"Yah, at least we won't get in trouble."

"Oh man this stun thing is so awesome."

"Yah, 'cept for the part where we gotta carry these guys all the way back to the shuttle."

"No way I'm getting stuck doing this, man, I'm shooting myself."

"Last guy to shoot himself has to carry everybody else back!"


Hours later...

"What the..."

"Oh man, where are we?"

"Tricorder says we're about a mile away from the shuttle."

"Alright everybody, keep your eyes peeled and be ready for anything, something fishy is going on."

"That's weird, my phaser is set on stun."

"Wtf so is mine!"

"Man I dont ever set my phaser on stun, that's weird."

"Dude, I don't know why they even bothered putting a stun setting on our guns."

"You guys are such meat-heads. You need a stun setting in case you wanna shoot your friends."

"Why the hell would you wanna shoot your friends?!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

On the Dock of the Bay

Yah, a gorilla with the head of a robot isn't as tough as a robot with the head of a gorilla, but we look cooler and we don't have any problems getting up and down the stairs in the cargo hold and shit.

Plus I don't really need to be that tough since I'm partnered up with a heavy-lifting robot with a human brain.

Hey, don't ya start crying on me now, man, you can lift heavier shit and yer more human than a human body with the brain of a robot, right?


Sure, mebbe you ain't so smart and yer a little emotional and crap but shit man everybody's got their little things y'know.

I got the body of a goddam gorilla so I don't wanna hear none of yer shit man!

And check out that monkey-headed robot over there, its all messed up and twisted around backwards, man, 'least we ain't like that pitiful-ass thing.

Yah, I think that robot brain that's got yer body is having fun messing that poor critter up on purpose or something, getting under its skin and screwing with its poor little monkey brains and stuff, its face is looking worse and worse every day.

Dude, that human body of yers gets all the chicks, man, you ain't the only one that wishes he was that guy heh.

Oh quitcher crying already, sheesh, that shuddering hydrolics noise is giving me the creeps.

Reverse the Polarity

An Apology

Listening to that "rock and roll" music on the Radio will turn you into some kinda crazed devil worshipping murderer.

Everybody knows that.

Especially if you actually dance to it.

And so will playing Dungeons & Dragons.

And watching anything on TV.

And going to the movies.

And reading books and newspapers and magazines and brochures and technical manuals.

And playing Nintendo and Online Games.

And eating fatty foods and smoking cigarettes.

And holding hands with girls.

And talking on telephones.

And using a telescope or an abacus.

The only thing that won't turn you into some kinda crazed devil-worshipping murderer is reading blogs.

Everybody knows that.

But its not that the guys who write blogs aren't trying to to turn you into some kind of crazed devil worshipping murderer.

We are trying to turn you into some kind of crazed devil worshipping murderer!

We just suck at it!

And so we keep turning you into these yucky good and wholesome and totally uncool people that nobody likes on accident!

But we're working on it heh.

Helicopters, Dude, Helicopters

When I was a newb, I thought the coolest thing would be a MMO based on a Standard Colonial Space Marine Bug Hunt, where you rode around in a military mothership like the Sulaco, and you dropped down to a planet in one of them Cheyenne scramjet helicopter-looking things, with a player-pilot, and you drove through an infested colony in one of those totally kickass looking Armored Personnel Carriers with the big ass tires, and you explored some ripped-up apocalyptic scifi version of a dungeon on foot in Standard Fireteam Sweeping formation with the smart gunner in the back and the "micro-changes-in-air-density bullshit" guy scanning up front.

And the helicopter dude would circle around the place just waiting for you guys to break formation and start running around screaming and dying and begging to be picked up.

Nowadays I think a thing like that would only be fun for a little while, I mean, I think you need a lot of other stuff to do besides missions like that over and over again, no matter how cool you make the missions, but at the time, there was no EQ or UO or anything yet, and I had never played a MUD that was "Virtual Worldy" with people that I didn't know in real life, so it was all just a bunch of "man, you know what would be kickass?" stuff in my head.

I mean, I don't think you could make a pure adrenaline junky thing like that into a WoW or EQ-like type of game with upgradeable machine guns and crafting or "rising through the ranks of the Colonial Space Marines" or anything like that, that kinda shit has nothing to do with what is cool about a Bug Hunt.

That kinda junk would just be a distraction from what is cool about a Bug Hunt.

Y'know, like, the only "crafting" my Space Marine needs to do is to weld some cafeteria tables together to block a corridor and unless a bunch of medals can help me not get my face melted by acid blood I ain't got any use for 'em ahaha.

But whenever new technology comes out, like the multiplayer vehicles in Tribes and UT and SWG, or the helmet-cam supporting stuff from Doom 3 (or whatever that came from), right away I always apply it to my mental model of a Colonial Space Marine Bug Hunt, and I think things like "Oh man! Now we can do that Lovecraft Blueprint with the Officer guy in back of the APC listening to all the screams and watching the fuzzy helmet cam screens of his men go black!"

Even though I know the Colonial Space Marine Bug Hunt is not a very good setting for a MMO, I mean, its a damn good setting or blueprint for a mission or something, but the Colonial Space Marine stuff kinda gets in the way of extending it out into some kinda "worldy" upgrade-your-dollhouse-clothes game with lots of other people running around.

So you just steal the bare bones of that Lovecraftian Blueprint and you put it in a universe where the upgrade-your-dollhouse-clothes thing doesn't mess it up so much, no prob, right?

Or you figure out a different way to do things from that "upgrade-your-dollhouse level 50 Smart Gunner LFG" stuff, y'know, stuff that supported the themes of Colonial Space Marines, or stuff that the themes of the Colonial Space Marines would inspire you to come up with, which is fun to think about, but it definitely ain't as easy as doing it the other way, y'know, where you don't hardly have to think at all 'cause you can just trace what all the other successful guys were doing, and you (well, supposedly, heh) don't have to take risks with other people's money on potentially bad "cutting-edge" ideas and stuff that won't work out in implementation.

"You're a tracer."

But the truth is that people really aren't even smart enough to notice and understand everything that was good about a thing and just copy it, even when they're the guy that did the original drawing that inspired a million copies, so there's always risks and some dumb luck involved no matter what you do ahaha.

Anyways, I see stuff like the way the Stargate: Worlds guys talk, y'know, "aint gonna have no vehicles" and how they're thinking about adding crafting, and I just shudder, 'cause it reminds me of SWG with no vehicles and no space game, where we ran around in that godsforsaken Star Wars Flavored medieval Ultima Universe, living in the desert and calling ourselves "artisans" and transporting bushels of grain on foot and hand-delivering letters to each other and crap heh.

Even though, at the same time, when I think about the idea of "crafting" in the Stargate World for a few seconds, I realize that all that scientific research and studying alien languages and stuff they do could be considered crafting.

It don't gotta be skinning symbiotes and making snake-skin leather Stargate Jumpsuit armor outta of 'em and selling it on the good ole Stargate: Auction House and shit like that.

Just like the Aliens universe was kinda founded on mining ships and arguments over shares and realistic corporate bullshit and terraforming and stuff.

Which would actually make it a pretty kickass setting for a "standard" colonization-type MMO, y'know?

I mean, they are called the Colonial Space Marines for a reason.

So I guess I'm guilty of the same thing I'm hating on them for heh.

Oh who am I kidding, it probably WILL be gould-skin leather armor ahaha.

Well, whatever, what I'm really trying to say is that we need MMO games with helicopters already, that will solve all our problems AHAHA.