Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There Is Always Hope

Man, any minute now I'm gonna be kicked out of my cardboard box and begin the great American Adventure through the wasteland of shanty towns and abandoned buildings and junk.

Its gonna be awesome.

There's prolly tons of dirty-faced little Dickens kids and folks living in their cars that need laughs more than you people do.

And I bet I'll learn how to tell Cowboy Stories finally.

But don't worry, I'll return at that part of the movie where everybody is surrounded by the orcs and you're all just about to totally lose hope.

And I'll be leading an army of stalwart Train Hobos and Feral Children and Mohawk Guys with the Asses Cut Out of Their Pants or something totally kickass like that that totally changes the tide of the battle, it'll be like a ray of sunshine blasting down through the thunderclouds and making the ground shake.

And when that happens, I want you to play this music track so I look totally awesome and cool and stuff.

We are gonna need a little bit of your gas, though.

Fanboy For Hire

Okies I'm gonna pick somebody else to be a fanboy of now instead of Dundee.

I can do that right?

I'm pretty sure you can do that.

Even if it isn't okay to do that, I'm gonna do it anyway.

Yah, Dundee is too normal for me, man, I need somebody weirder.

Plus he's all like, "don't say how good Scott Jenning's stuff is on my website " and "hey I've got an idea let's talk about how famous I am some more" and "look a hot chick with MY name on her isn't that interesting?" all the time.

Well, actually that makes him more appealing 'cause he sorta reminds me of Rimmer from Red Dwarf but he does a lot of other stuff that's like, totally normal and that ruins it man ahaha.

Anyways I need somebody really weird man, there's gotta be somebody weirder out there, I tried seaching the net a little but I totally suck at that stuff and I ended up learning all about Orgone Energy instead.

Plus I don't like Anime so that makes the internet almost useless to me y'know I mean there's only a couple things on it besides all that Anime crap and it's all this boring politically correct stuff about how to assemble sewing machines and how you should stay in school and whatever.

Hey, at least I didn't do this one.

And I need somebody that can REALLY take a beating and not get all self-conscious and awkward and stuff even though I totally love all that self-conscious and awkward Kubrick stuff.

So who wants to be the Lucky Guy that gets me for a Fanboy after all that horrible-ass build-up huh speak up quickly now you maggots time is money and somebody needs to GET BACK TO WORK IN THE MINES!

See, its just safer all around if I ain't totally on your side y'know heh.

You couldn't handle it baby ahaha.

Guess I'm stuck with Dundee for now AHAHA.

Poor guy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


There Is No Easter Bunny

Not to be a spoil sport or anything, but the deeper I think about all this (after reading all the stuff that Zubon linked to, too, which was all awesome and smart and everything), the more I've got to question whether devoting all this time and energy into tools and automating processes and routines will actually pay out in the end compared to just brute forcing everything with crappy low level tools as far as content goes.

And even if you automate a lot of stuff you usually have to go back and make exceptions or redo the way it works later on.

It all sorta reminds me of the learning skills in EVE, y'know?

Although a game with a lot of "randomly generated from-a-list-of-good-choices-only content" would benefit from this kind of thing more than something like EQ where everything about every single monster in every dungeon (pathing, loot, safespots to rest in, etc.) and everything about the dungeon itself was hand-crafted (that's what I'd call "brute forcing" it).

The guys that are brute forcing it are generating content gains while everybody else is still back at the starting line building better tools, and sure the brute force guys won't be moving as quickly if they're forced to NEVER automate any processes (just because you are being a stickler with me haha) but they still might win the race.

And their junk is gonna be exactly the way they want it, every ten feet in those dungeons is a new nightmare heh.

And its a more likely scenario that they'll ask for a few tool enchancements when they really think of something that would help 'em move along quicker.

Instead of putting an emphasis on tools, just sorta make a couple as you go along when you see something you really need.

Meanwhile the tool guys are probably stuck spending time making some "oh I need it to be able to do this too" stuff that no content guy is ever really gonna use in the end, too.

People always leap right to the place where "oh man I wish this toolset coulda done this, that would be exciting and new, everybody's already seen all the other tired-ass junk we could do" heh.


Its all a bit of a gamble really, 'cause you don't really know what kind of results you are going to get in the end as one guy on a team full of cooks, you could build the best gaming system in the universe and people might just hate the art or something and that'll kill the lifespan of your game.

"I'm not playing nothing with cat people in it."

Or mebbe you'd be like Sony and be able to make 10 different games with 10 different genres all at once, and make this whole tool thing pay off in a huge way or something.

And I think the composition of the guys doing it could be rearranged in lots of different ways, too, besides the way that Sony (or whoever we're basing all this process stuff off of) does it.

Plus, what are these tools going to be used for?

Making the totally kickass quake-style maps like they have in WoW and EQ?

Those guys already got killer tools for that, that's a Survival of the Fittest game that is way the hell tougher than the stuff that MMOs have been put through so far.

So mebbe its for making kill-ten-rats and fed-ex-type quests, or monsters that do some kinda cool new trick or something, where the npcs move around, that "puppetry" stuff, right?

Tools for making traps and stuff like there was in NWN?

Is that really such a big deal as far as tools and content goes?

I know I don't sit there as a player and think "man, I wish they had some more of these quests where I follow some npc dude around!" much, if at all.

Y'know, not that that stuff ain't cool sometimes, like the way they had us follow that Joe Pesci guy around in Mafia so that you'd get to like him right before he got whacked, its just not the be-all and end-all of the whole thing, y'know?

And mebbe folks wanna be able to automate monster spawns and pathing or something, but so far, whenever I've seen anybody do THAT, it really sucks, its like the game is missing an important dimension entirely heh.

Y'know, there isn't infinite possibilities, there's only a few things that I can even think of that this tool stuff even applies to, and they don't by any means make up the most important parts of a game, and the contributions of automated systems haven't been that great anyways.

Well, not so far.

And when everybody has to build things from bricks at the lowest level, dot by mind-numbing dot, they can't mangle things up like Zub was talking about either heh.

I know Dundee is totally into this stuff so I must be missing something about it.

Well, he's also totally into that randomly-generated-content thingie and organic systems, so that kinda explains it to me, I guess, but as far as looking at the junk that's really out there, I don't see anybody who is into that like him.

You've played with the tools for NWN right?

Or Oblivion?

Or made mods for other stuff sorta like that?

The tools for all that stuff was fine, man, don't you think?

Or are we talking about some new kinda randomly generated content thingie?

Or is this some kinda thing about enabling a guy who doesn't understand anything about computers to make "good content" for a computer game?

Where all the responsibility for the "good content" is actually put squarely on the shoulders of the guys making the tools and the ten million pounds of lego-brick-art so that this "vision" guy can rearrange 'em all in different ways and make fascinating dialogue boxes that nobody reads and fed-ex and kill-twenty-rats quests out of 'em heh.

Its okay if you want to call me a stupid bastard or whatever y'know I really just don't see the schooner we're all supposed to be looking at here ahaha.

The Hills Are Alive

Oooh this thing at WorldIV about music in games is cool.

They got some other awesome links to game music stuff on their site if you poke around a little.

I agree with the UO music thingie, even after all the zillions of hours I spent doing UO and UO emu stuff I never got sick of it and I always liked it.

I remember hanging around near the gates to Freeport (a good guy city) as a bad guy in EQ, just so I could hear their cheerful music, too.

And the one that really sticks out the most to me is that Night Elf woods music in WoW, although there was a lot of music in WoW that made me turn the music off heh.

I can totally see how the music for a place could make it popular or unpopular, in a game that had really good music in other places (so that the players didn't just turn it off).

And I really thought the music in the Trollshaws of LotRO was brilliant, not really as game music that enhanced the mood of the area in the game or anything, I mean, I didn't even notice it at first, and then when I stopped for a minute and just listened to it I thought it was brilliant in the way that lovely lovely Ludwig Van is brilliant, like, how the hell did this guy think of all this stuff heh.

I don't really have nothing useful to add to the technical discussion of music in games, and what makes certain music good or bad, I mean, I could guess some stuff but I don't think its one of those things that can be turned into a bunch of rules that are "always right" or "always wrong."

Me and my buddies have played plenty of games on voicecom where we left the music on 'cause it was good, and just kept it under the mic pickup limits.

And then there were plenty of games where I just turned the junk off and listened to something else heh.

Y'know, music is to emotion what taste is to smell, and when you tie something like that to certain areas in a game, we associate all sorts of our own memories and experiences with that place.

That might be good or bad, depending on the person, and what they'd rather be thinking about at any moment.

You could give all the quests and "types of characters" in a game themes of their own, just like all the "places" have themes, and do that Peter and Wolf stuff too, just like we do with "combat music."

But then again, repetitive-ass combat music is usually what makes me turn the music off in a game, I actually liked it better in LotRO when my combat music got messed up and it just kept playing the "area's" music while I was fighting instead heh.

What makes music hook in our brains is a whole 'nother ball of wax, like, if it doesn't swing right into the good part, we'll prolly decrease the processing power we're devoting to it in our brains.

That's what the music in the Trollshaws makes me think of, it takes it a while for it to get "rolling" y'know?

I couldn't even tell you what I'd associate it with emotionally until it goes on for a couple of minutes.

And then there's games that are like EVE, where you're supposed to be watching TV or something while yer playing 'em, so they don't even need music, which just makes it sad that the music in EVE is actually pretty damn awesome, even though it ain't tied to anything in the game world, its just a jukebox that goes from one thing to the next.

Combat and environment sounds are a totally different thing, I remember needing to sit and stare at my spellbook in EQ, to rest, y'know, and using the 3d positional audio to know when a giant beetle or another player or something was sneaking up on me, that was pretty damn cool.

And I used to fish in WoW by ear, just listening for my bobber to "splish" when I had a bite.

Which made me hate it when somebody else came along and started fishing next to me 'cause they'd totally screw me up with the noise of their bobbers.

Which made fishing a totally solo thing for me, instead of being an excuse to hang out with folks and make jokes like it was in EQ heh.

So it can sorta screw things up, too, y'know, if you don't think it all the way through.

But mostly I turn combat noises and all that kinda stuff way the hell down and leave the music cranked up (if I even leave the music on at all), 'cause there ain't hardly any games that really take advantage of that kinda cool junk.

And I don't really wanna be immersed in some hellhole mongbat grindfest where my brain is going to record the reverberations of every single sword blow and nine million grunts of agony and everything else in painstaking detail, that just makes it worse ahaha.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yah Yah Yah Yah Yah Yah

Good Nipples & Bad Nipples

You know what's messed up?

The way that female nipples are like, naughty or something, but men's nipples ain't.

I don't get it.

Its only the nipple part of the boob that's evil or whatever, apparently, the rest of it can't hurt you or anything, a nipple-less boob is no danger to anyone.

But I don't remember nothing about any kind of nipples being naughty or anything in any of the lectures at the Monastery.

Well I think I woulda remembered that, that kinda talk prolly woulda woke me right up heh.

So how did we decide that just the female nipple was part of being naked?

Doesn't make sense.

And why isn't the word "nipple" a bad word, when nipples are obviously all totally evil and stuff?

I mean, maybe I did miss something that the Abbot said, but then men should at least have to wear them star-shaped pasties and tassles and stuff, too, right?

'Cause if its the nipple that's evil, they got the exact same kinda nipples ahaha.

And men should get arrested or fined if they get all cheeky-monkey about it and let one their evil little nipples poke out, too.

That's the only way to be fair, man.

Gotta have some equality here.

You can't just go around making up totally unfair rules like that just 'cause we're bigger than them.

"My nipples are fine, its only your nipples that are bad."

Until we get that far things are always gonna be kinda lopsided and messed up y'know?

And that'd be good fer the economy too, 'cause there'd be a lot more jobs at that place where they do the ratings for movies, inspecting films frame by frame to check for nipples and stuff.

"Dude I saw it."

"Are you sure?"

"Rewind a couple frames."

"Yep, there it is. Make a note of that."

"Jeeze looeeze man that guy's nipple almost slipped right by us."

"Imagine the damage it could've done."

Or we can repeal all these crazy nipple rules and set those falsely imprisoned nipples free.

Either way is fine with me heh.

Man, even I ain't sure which side I'm on with this one.

Like, if a guy has really great manboobs, then they'd probably make him cover up his nipples, right?

Its like some kind of boob "quality" thingie that makes the nipple bad or good.

Whether a nipple is on a good boob or a bad boob.

But why do we blame the nipple for everything?

And let the rest of boob get off scott free?

When its actually the shape of the boob that determines the guilt of its nipple?


Nipples all look the same, y'know, for the most part, 'cept for the really gross ones, its not like you couldn't just cut-n-paste 'em between people, man, its the boobs that are different.

It's like, why even bother covering up that part, we all have those damn things, man.

I mean, it would make more sense if they made you cover up everything except the nipples, maybe, right?

This whole thing just doesn't make any sense ahaha.

"Nipples should be rare."

Heroism is a Crime Against Nature

In order to do something heroic in a game, you need to have taken some kind of risk and sacrificed something of your own in order to help somebody else, or a bunch of somebody elses.

So you need horrible punishments and penalties for acting heroic, and rewards for doing the wrong thing, y'know, rewards for doing the non-heroic thing, in order to provide heroic players an opportunity to show their true quality by deciding to fight against all the risk-reward mechanisms they got in all these games nowadays.

If you create a game mechanic that rewards heroic acts, then it actually makes the thing you did less heroic, depending on how great the reward was for you.

And even on the human side of things, if everybody knows its easy for you to help them, 'cause you're some high level guy that ain't got nothing else to do, and you just want people to think you are cool, then they ain't gonna give you a whole lot of points for it heh.

I was trying to think of examples where I've seen heroism in games, and I'm back to EQ again, where the punishments for stuff were really harsh and cruel.

It wasn't just the "knock me back into the Stone Age" loss of Experience Points when you died, there was also stuff like the possibility that you would lose your corpse and all your items in some place where nobody could get it back for you.

I talked before about how Necromancers had to help folks get their corpses back in the early days of EQ.

You had to be willing to spend your time doing that, instead of grinding out levels and making money.

And you actually had to risk losing experience points and losing all your items, 'cause you could get your corpse stuck in some hellhole while trying to help somebody else get their corpse out of it heh.

And sometimes, the folks that I was helping actually had to trust me not to loot their corpse and run off or whatever, too.

And then you gotta add to that that we were all dirt poor and all of us were a few spells short of a full spellbook and a few pieces of armor short of suit, and it starts to stack up pretty good.

Which was cool with me, man, 'cause I wanted to do stuff that was heroic, and the guys behind the keyboard always matter more to me than some stupid-ass thing in a game heh.

Plus I had just come from Half-life, y'know, so I had mad phat gaming skills and I was really quick on my feet compared to some of these people, so really I was one of the best guys to try to snake somebody's corpse out of the clutches of some monster hellhole.

And I had plenty of WASD ice-skating pals that were just like me who could do distractions and help me with whatever powers their characters had and stuff if I ended up needing it.

But sometimes corpses got stuck up in trees or in the ground or turned invisible or something as a bug in the early days, and sometimes people didn't show up asking for help until their corpse had already disappeared.

And whenever that happened, our community would hook up anybody that lost all their junk with new stuff.

All of that stuff was heroic in a game where we were all missing a lot of spells and we were all a few pieces short of a full suit of armor for the first three months.

Y'know, when you give somebody something that you don't need, that's nice, 'cause you could've just sold it for personal profit, but it ain't heroic.

When everybody has only got six of the eight pieces of armor you'd need for a full set, and they all chip in a piece to get a guy back on his feet, then that's a totally different thing.

And it was also heroic when some little new guy jumped into a fight with something nasty to try to rescue my dieing ass, and whether we both died or whether I managed to use the momentary distraction to turn the whole thing around Hulkamaniac style is besides the point, and whether he was just dumb or brave for doing it is besides the point, that kid's got a new buddy for life heh.

"dude! run! this is not going to go good!"


He had a chance to show his true quality, y'know, and the little guy took it.

That's the kinda bulldog I want on my team, man.

And it was heroic the way that all the newbs sitting on the Log By the Road out in front of the gates of Neriak, like a bunch of evil little birds on a Power Line, protected each other while they were resting up for the next fight, jumping down and helping out anybody that ran up to the Log with a bunch of monsters chasing 'em, especially if they didn't have any mana and they were still low on hitpoints.

But you can see how you need all these negative and non-rewarding game mechanics to create a situation of adversity where heroism can exist, being poor, losing levels.

Its like, heroism is created by super hideously painful game mechanics that try to actually discourage you from doing anything heroic.

And anything (like me having come from Half-Life) that lowers the risk or increases the reward makes the act of heroism less heroic.

That's the kinda junk that welds the good guys together, though, that's the kinda stuff that makes the dudes that could've and maybe would've been bad guys into good guys, by example, when they realize they can use their powers to help folks and get all sorts of cred and a place of honor in a community.

Its a contagious thing.

Seeing cool stuff like that way back in the beginning was what sold me on this stupid junk in the first place heh.

I don't really think you can be heroic like that in a non-multiplayer game, y'know, risking your neck to save a bunch of pixels from another bunch of pixels doesn't count, it ain't the same, its fake.

And nowadays there's like, no death penalty, and everybody else is in your way, and the only thing yer really sacrificing is time that you could've spent doing something for yourself when you help somebody else out just because they're a human being and human beings matter more than the rest of it.

But its the same thing right there, really, you're rebelling against the risk-reward mechanisms and the will of the gods and the game designers when you do that kinda stuff.

See, it really ain't no different than it was when we played D&D, the game dev still has to be the Bad Guy, and there's a whole sneaky art to doing that really well, y'know.

They have to be willing to play the bad guy, insteada wanting to be the guy handing out the goodies to make people like 'em.

But that is actually the place where game devs could do something heroic themselves, by providing an environment where other people get a chance to be heroes, y'know by going against the risk-reward mechanism that is probably gonna punish the hell outta them for doing it heh.

Not that I meant this to be some kind of cheering section for hideous-ass death penalties and stuff that make people feel like they just wasted days of their lives and shit, y'know, you gotta take it more subtle than that, and you gotta be careful when you talk to devs about this stuff 'cause some of 'em are really vicious little dumshits with god complexes who are trying to make all of us pay for some shit that happened to them in high school or something ahaha.

Y'know, you can never turn your back on one of them Gods from Greek Mythology, and you should never use all your tricks up in the beginning of a fight, either, you always gotta keep something in reserve, and if you do end up where you ain't got nothing left up your sleeves besides your wristwatch, then your wristwatch is telling you that its half-past time to run for it AHAHA.

"I don't know whether you are just stupid or brave."

"That is why you ain't a hero, man."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The D-Man

Oh man Dan Rubenfield put a bunch of new (to me) old (to him, I guess) stuff up.

And not only do I just nod along and agree to it all this time (insteada two out of three ahaha) he actually took me to school and learned me something new that I never even thought about before.

That usually only happens when somebody (mebbe me) makes a terrible mistake, I love me them free ones where nobody (especially me) has to lose an eye and stuff heh.

And he almost made me get mad once and then he turned it all around and did it even better than I could do it with that story thingie, I love that kinda junk where I go from getting all ready to get totally pissed off to cheering a guy on, really quick, I gotta remember that trick, I usually do it the other way around ahaha.

Players Play Elves Because...

I was reading this thing at MMOG Nation about the races and classes people choose in the Standard EQ and WoW-like MMOs and its interesting and there's all these smart folks talking over there and everything.

But I'm gonna write my thing over here so I can fix my crappy writing up and go off on my own tangents and add junk to it as I think about it without getting yelled at or making a mess heh.

'Cause I think things are lot more complicated than folks consciously think they are, even though we all sorta know what we're doing unconsciously, or non-verbally, or something.

I see a lot of people saying the same kinda "elves are the most popular with the players" stuff I see over there, and it always sorta bugged me, 'cause I know there's lots of other reasons the numbers turn out the way they do, just from examining the reasons I've chosen this and that in the games that I've played.

Somebody might assign Zero (or practically Zero) Value to how their character looks, and choose a race and class for purely mechanical reasons.

Maybe a character of that race has some kind of technical advantage over the other races, a racial superpower that's really great or racial powers that stack really well with class powers or maybe they just have better stats than everybody else for a particular class, whatever, everybody knows all that junk.

And maybe, with all the other game mechanic elements being equal, there's some kind of mechanical advantage to a race's starter zone or newbie yard (or whatever you wanna call it) too, better monster spawns, better loot tables, more quests, more entertaining quests, less running around because everything is closer together, or organized better, quicker access to instant-travel thingies or a mailbox for twinking and an auction house, maybe an area is starved for a certain kind of resource and you wanna be certain kind of crafter.

Mechanically, the most played areas have the best spoiler site stuff, too, so that's sorta a self-perpetuating thing there, especially, if a game is really annoying with the "figure-it-out-by-Chaos-Theory-stuff" and folks need spoiler sites for it heh.

All the other stuff perpetuates itself to some degree too, because a lot of us play with our pals, y'know, so we'll all sorta tend to get dragged into the most advantageous races and classes in a game, usually, as the players figure 'em out.

And I'm sure some people do assign a Zero Value to Looks and Feel, and 100% to Game Mechanics, when they make their Race and Class choices, 'cause I've played games where there's only one starting area and every race was so ugly and unappealing that it didn't matter to me at all which kind of blob I was, and it was definitely all about the numbers baby ahaha.

And there's people with no taste, too.

And then there's folks that don't assign a Zero Value to Looks and Feel.

And its the same kind of super-complicated thing all over again, they may choose a race because they like how it looks, or they may hate the way it looks the least, or they may choose a race because they like the way their newbie yard looks 'cause it helps them get their mind off of a shitty day at work and it has good music.

There's things that are stupid looking in a good and endearing way, and things that are just stupid looking, too, heh.

If you like to play humans, but you just can't stand the way the humans look in a certain game (I dunno maybe they remind you of somebody you hate or you hate the way they're animated when they run or something) and you refuse to play one, that doesn't mean you like the next best thing the "best" on your list, or that you even like the next best thing at all, y'know?

Maybe you hate a certain kind of mount, maybe you want a certain kind of house (in a game that has houses), maybe you would normally like the way a race looks but you hate the style of the way they look in the game you're playing, or you hate the style of their armor and stuff.

And then there's folks that pick the most unpopular race just because they value being unique more than they value all the other stuff they gotta assign values to in a game when making the decision on what to play.

Or maybe they pick the most unpopular race that isn't totally stupid looking like the Trolls in WoW are and that's why those wanna-be-unique guys all end up as gross-ass little cutesy Gnomes ahaha.

I'm just kidding I've played plenty of Gnomes man don't get yer widgets in a bunch.

And that kinda brings me to a third layer, where there's folks that choose a race because they want to play that race, and they don't care how they look, and they don't care about game mechanics, they just want to be elves to be elves, 'cause they have a love of elves from some other place outside the game, maybe they played an elf in some other game they played before, or they just like 'em from books and the movies or something.

And that weird neither-looks-nor-mechanics thing applies to the starter area too, maybe they want to be from the shire and not bree, regardless of game mechanics and looks, because they love the shire from the books.

Or they love the elven woods, and even though the woods in this game sucks, its better than the having your eyeballs dried out by the desert heh.

And then there's a social layer.

Maybe they may choose whatever they end up choosing because they want a less crowded starting area, or a less lonely one (hmm, that's kinda mechanical and kinda social).

Or they might not want to play an elf because they don't want to be made fun of, y'know, peer pressure type stuff, "omfg you made a night elf priest?!" heh.

And then there's the way you get dragged around by yer real life buddies or yer online buddies or whatever the heck too, y'know, maybe all yer pals were elves in the last game you guys played, and you'd rather be a orc but even though they'll be nice and try 'em with you they won't stick with orcs.

You can't tell me that nothing like that's ever happened to you I mean c'mon seriously that "democracy" thingie can really suck sometimes ahaha.

Or maybe you're one of those dudes that likes the culture of the folks who tend to play orcs and ogres (and not necessarily the culture of orcs and ogres) and you don't care about anything else that much.

Or maybe you play an orc 'cause you just can't stand the people who tend to play elves and it ain't got nothing to do with liking the people who play orcs heh.

Or maybe all the hot chicks and people pretending to be hot chicks tend to play a certain thing, and you wanna surround yourself with Things That Might Be Hot Chicks heh.

That's why I did two years in French Class and ended up learning more Spanish than French 'cause I sat next to this totally hot spanish model chick ahaha.

Same kinda stuff with classes, where folks might play a support class just because there aren't enough people doing it and they always want to be able to find a group, or they may decide that being able to solo in a certain way is the most important thing, and it may have nothing at all to do with anything else.

Maybe you want "cred" with the folks playing the game so you pick the most annoying class to play so people will say "whoah that dude is hardcore" or something ahaha.

Maybe you choose a class for mechanical reasons that isn't as simple as how well they can solo, or how valuable they are in a group, I mean, maybe you don't want to play a warrior because they have to run up to all the monsters they fight and you can't just be lazy and use ranged attacks to bring everything to you heh.

I mean, its pretty complex, I think we all actually know all this stuff, and we assign different values to it all depending on our particular mood and interests on any given day, and then we add it all up and bliggie blam, we're a Human Paladin again, ugh! ahaha.

I think this also has an element where the numbers are influenced by previous gaming experience too.

A game could come out with really awesome looking Trolls, with all the mechanical things and everything else being equal among the races, and that might make more people want to play trolls in other games, later on, y'know?

Or that people won't play warriors in a new game because they had terrible dps in EQ1, or horrible armor repair costs in LotRO, even if they don't have all those problems in a the latest game they're playing heh.

There's that Brand Loyalty thingie tied into that particular thing too, where people say stuff to me like, "I always player a Ranger, that's my class in all these games," because Warriors in the first game they played really sucked, and then they got locked into "always playing a Ranger" or whatever heh.

Or "I always play a tank, because my guild needed one in the first game I played, and now I'm stuck with this crap just 'cause nobody else knows how to do it right in a group," ahaha.

And then there's a whole 'nother level of complexity to this when you look at the choices folks make over time, like what do they tend to make for their second "twink" characters, and why do they do that, and what they end up spending the most time playing might be due to the fact that its easier to solo with this one kind of guy 'cause the friends that they group with are hardly ever around, but they would prefer to play their group-oriented character, if they could, and junk like that.

And then there's a whole 'nother level of complexity on top of all that where its actually the interests of the developers that decide and shape how good any particular race and class is fleshed out and how appealing it is mechanically and visually and all that to the players.

I have a super hard time coming up with Fresh and Interesting Cowboy Stories, for example.

Do you really think a guy that's great at designing Elf stuff is gonna be just as great at designing Orc stuff?

I think that determines what I'd pick more than anything, 'cause it influences everything else.

Y'know, I'll always put my money on playing whatever the guy in charge of the all the changes to a game plays heh.

Or better yet, whatever his wife plays, if there's one of those involved ahaha.

That's not necessarily the boss of the place, y'know, I mean, just look at what those guys did to the Brad and his poor-ass sucky Ranger in EQ AHAHA.

Meanwhile the rest of us are all out there running five hundred miles an hour and teleporting all over the place and Quad Kiting with our Druids!


Anyways, its all super-complicated like that, y'know?

I don't think anything is really decided, even though all of this stuff does tend to feed back on itself and bias us as players in certain ways toward the things we're presented with in the future, you can still make players change their opinions about all these things by presenting them with better options, or with different balances and arrangements of the all the things that they're going to need to assign values to somewhere in the backs of their minds.

Not that I mean to be negative about what you guys are talking about in any way, you all got different points from anything I've really been talking about.

Studying stuff like this might tell you something about WoW, places you could improve it, maybe (and maybe you'd just make things worse by screwing up whatever equilibrium the players had managed to find in it heh), and maybe the gaming history of the people who play it, but there isn't anything about class and race choice that's written in stone, even if you DO make some kinda game that's almost exactly like WoW, y'know?

Really I'm just glad I don't see anybody saying anything like "might as well get rid of gnomes because hardly anyone plays them," like folks in SWG talk about stuff sometimes.

That's some seriously HORRIBLE backwards logic where you are really just looking for excuses not to get smarter heh.

At least you guys are going forwards ahaha.

Y'know, all of these things I've talked about are influenced by things that you can make all sorts of changes to that would make the results come out in totally different ways.

P.S. My first character in Everquest 1 was a Dark Elf Necromancer, not because I like Dark Elves and Necromancers but because I asked the buddy who had convinced me to play it with him "What race and classes do you know the least about?" so he wouldn't be able to bug me all the time with all his know-it-all I-was-in-beta Making Plans For Nigel crap heh.

And I've had to quit playing certain characters 'cause they nerfed something like "kiting" out of a game too.

And me and my buddies have played Warrior-types in more than one game that was really laggy just because Warriors are the most lag resistant characters ahaha.

So We're Back to This Again

Heroes Are Simple

Superman is this guy that's like, super strong and indestructable and has all these other super powers like eye-beam lasers and x-ray vision and flying and stuff.

And his arch enemy is Lex Luthor, whose only "powers" are that he's smart and rich.

But somehow, even though Lex Luthor is supposed to be smart as his "not even super" power, he always ends up doing something stupid, and Superman beats his ass.

That's 'cause people in the olden days were big and strong and dumb and poor and they liked it when a big dumb strong guy beat the hell out of smart rich guy.

Even though that could never ever actually happen in Real Life, not in a million billion years, no matter how many super powers you give a dumb guy, unless you make the smart guy "accidentally" do something dumb that gives the super powered meat-head a chance to knock his block off ahaha.

Then came Batman.

Batman is this crazy, smart, serious, mean and gothy rich guy.

Batman is the definition of batshit crazy, man, his whole gimmick is designed around the idea that flying mice are scary, the only people that are scared of bats are people from the city, and the only thing they are afraid of is that they'll get bats stuck in their hair, so its totally some kind of bizarre goth hairspray city person niche thing ahaha.

Batman's arch enemy is the Joker.

The Joker is a crazy, smart, funny, happy, clowny purple-pimped-out rich guy who makes jokes.

And the Batman fans like it when the serious mean goth guy beats up the happy funny clown-pimp-guy.

Yah, see, the stuff they have in common, the "crazy" and "smart" and "rich" bits, in this case, sorta cancels out, y'know.

And the incredible Hulk is for folks that like it when this great big angry, ugly, misunderstood idiot with no money wins.

And Wolverine is for hairy, angry, little toughguys who smoke cigars.

See, this whole Hero thing is totally simple, man.

Looks Like Meat's Back On the Menu, Boys!

It is a well known fact, among certain Loremaster circles, that the Hobbits eat their dead.

That is why there aren't any graveyards in the Shire.

And its also why they lick their gross little lips and get that strange and distant look on their plump little faces whenever they remember their dead relatives.

Their farming operations are dedicated soley to the purpose of producing the special seasonings needed for their horrifying funerary rites and practices!

Have you ever seen a hobbit actually KILL a pig?

Just doesn't happen, the 1st level commoner can't digest pork, it takes an especially adventurous and heroic hobbit to digest anything as foreign to their usual ghoulish diet as coney even after boiling it at high temperatures in a stew!

The domesticated animals one may find throughout the Shire are merely part of an elaborate ruse which allows the hobbit community to continue to make their fiendish raids on the burial mounds of neighboring human settlements whenever it becomes necessary for their survival!

And that is also why there is so much unrest among the undead of the barrows!

Don't you find it odd that there aren't any halfling wights?

And look at their faces when they're forced to eat elven waybread!

Watch their crafty little carnie hands carefully!

I'm sure you'll notice the way that they crush it into thousands of nearly invisible crumbs so that they can brush it off their shirts and wipe their hands off on their pants without having to actually put any of the undesireable material into their tiny little bone-crushing mouths!

You think I'm crazy?

You won't think I'm crazy after you've checked out the meat processing plant located in the basement of the Mathom House!

Look at the bones, man!

"Ugh, I think I'm gonna be sick, I just watched this big fat greasy elf eat a pork chop!"

Colin Bear Online: You're In Our World Now

(Gotta read this first unless yer all psychic or something)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Legend Lore

I was reading about Vanguard and I was surprised to find out that folks were all upset about these new flying mounts they got 'cause they didn't fit the lore of the game.

Well, they didn't fit the mechanics of the lore, either, from what I read, an Orc has to like, ruin his own faction with the Orcs to get his factional mount, and that kinda junk really sucks.

But at first I was all like, what the heck is this all about, are people actually roleplaying or something?

Well, at first I was actually all like, omfg somebody plays Vanguard?

And then I was all like, what the hell's up with the roleplaying stuff heh.

But whatever, it made remember that the Brad and all them were totally into the Lore of the game and stuff back in EQ1.

I know a lot of you guys didn't start playing EQ1 'till later but in the beginning it was super rare to find a Troll or an Ogre that didn't roleplay, and all the Dark Elves called each other "brother" and "sister" and stuff on my server, even if we didn't go around staging performances and "acting" or anything stupid like that.

Y'know, there weren't no "background" stories or anything, we just talked funny (well, the dark elves only did that "brother" and "sister" thing, but the Trolls and Ogres were godawful and hilarious) and responded to situations in comedic ways from our character's point of view if a situation made us think of anything funny to say about it.

I actually knew every single dark elf's name and who they hung out with up 'till there got to be about two hundred of 'em.

This was back in the days before there were any guilds on the server, too, y'know, so it was kinda like everybody was in One Big Guild.

Anyways those racial hometowns in EQ (well, at least for the bad guys) were all deep with cultural stuff to learn about 'em, y'know, like all these stories from the history of the place, and the gods they worshipped, the mythology of how each race came to be and all that.

And in the end, even when we strayed really far from our hometowns, we knew we could always ask somebody from any of the Bad Guy Races for help, if we needed it (and sometimes you really did need some serious help in that game heh).

Yah we could speak in our own racial language too so that everybody else couldn't understand what we saying, although that was kinda rude and we only did that when somebody from another race was being an ass ahaha.

That's kinda weird when you consider how things are nowadays y'know but I'm glad I got to get me some of that.

Humans didn't really have it so good, and the Faydark guys were just okay, y'know, nothing special, although the Dwarves on my server had this huge (like 250+ people) guild of dwarven roleplayer guys who were totally awesome and their guildleader was one of my all-time favorite guys 'cause he was just one of those people that could keep you laughing even past the point where it had already started to hurt and rupture your internal organs and stuff ahaha.

Aazimar or something like that was his name, I think.

There mighta been a few more z's or a's in there or something.

I'm terrible with all that yaggedy-shmaggedy roleplaying name stuff, I seen so many of those kinda names over all these years that I can't even remember the names of half of my own characters heh.

Oh holy shit here he is man ahaha.

Anyways sometimes folks say things like "you just want to reproduce stuff you saw that was really great" and that's the one thing I always think of when folks say that, the way that a little Dark Elf guy could always get help from a Big Dark Elf or a Troll or an Ogre as if we were all in one big family, warts and all, that whole thing where mebbe the way the game was dangerous and full of adversity and the lore (and definitely a huge amount of the credit has to go to all the really awesome and entertaining roleplayer guys who made us Half Life dudes feel like dummasses and mouth breathers for not trying to do it better, in the case of the Dark Elves it was this English dude called Thaddeus who was a totally killer showman, and for the Trolls there was Bogmu and Korak) somehow combined to create this really cool and entertaining environment to be a part of.

And I think about how it fell apart and how could you fix that and stuff.

But I don't really know how to do that, it's very dependent on the luck of having dudes like Aazimar and Bogmu and Korak and Thaddeus around, y'know, the guys that like, made us want to do it too, or at least not screw it all up so bad ahaha.

Nowadays people don't even know what the OOC channel is for but back in the beginning everybody actually roleplayed in /Shouts and hardly anybody ever used OOC ('cause it was sorta like admitting failure or something) and everybody hated merchants coming along and trying to sell their shit heh.

And when I say merchants, I don't mean gold sellers, I mean regular players wanting to sell their loot and stuff insteada making hand-me-downs and gifts-to-newbs out of it like all the cool guys did.

That's weird huh?

The merchant-hatred and generosity is even weirder 'cause we were all dirt poor in that game, we seriously couldn't even afford half our spells, and we needed advice from the bigger guys on which spells we could skip 'cause a lot of 'em were broken or not that useful, and most of 'em had names and descriptions that didn't make any sense, and all this stuff like that.

It was cool though, man, it was actually really easy to get into it and nobody ever yelled at anybody for not doing it good or anything stupid like that (I sure as hell didn't start out doing it good, since I had just come from crowbar murdering people in Half Life ahaha).

I think it takes folks that can set really good examples for that to work though.

And a bunch of other environmental and mechanical stuff that helps it work, too, like the way you could lose your corpse and all your items (so you couldn't even fight at all if you weren't a spellcaster guy), and you might need a Necromancer to help you find it, and so the Necromancers ended up being like some kinda Ambulance Drivers that everbody came to when there was a terrible accident heh.

And if they were your size (or bigger) you knew that you were going to have to go into some godawful freaky place that you were too smart to go to that had gotten this guy killed ahaha.

Y'know, I'd lose a nice big "old school" chunk of my exp for helping you get your body if I got killed while trying to do it, too AHAHA.

The humans had it bad, though, there wasn't nothing interesting in their environment to draw on that would make it easy and fun to get into it, y'know?

Well, wait, the barbarian guys had it pretty good, actually.

And when a human came to the Dark Elf Woods he got some of it, 'cause all the Dark Elves could see in the dark but the human couldn't see his hand in front of his own face and all us Dark Elves knew we could stand just outside the light of his torch and whisper junk at him and freak him out and make him doubt we were gonna help him find his way out of there and stuff if he got lost heh.

Yah, see, that stuff was entertainment man ahaha.

And it was all situational and stuff.

That's the kinda thing I'd like to see again, that was some cool shit.

Yah, no, our server wasn't a Roleplaying Server, that stuff hadn't been invented yet either back in them days when folks still called the things MMORPGs, that's just how it all worked out.

You Gotta Try Not To Laugh AHAHA

I'm Redlining Baby

I got this "cussing" thingie from the WorldIV guys.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

She's about ready to blow, captain ahaha.

And here I was fussin' and sweating my ass off and doing my best to be a proper gentlemen, gittin' all dressed up in my sunday best with all them powders and perfumes and oils and ointments, puttin' on airs and all that silly "thank ye" and "no thank ye" nonsense and tom foolery, what the fuck man.

I even put on some shoes!

Well that's the last time I'm gonna bother my pretty little head with all that stupid-ass shit.

I figger it'd be disingenuous to pretend to be some kinda nice guy and slip past all the defense systems they got in place nowadays anyways, y'know, its nice that pretty much all I gotta do is talk like normal and all the robots will automagically keep me sitting out there on the front porch in all the fresh air and sunshine where I can smoke in order to protect all them folks what got delicate sensibilities and tender ears and timid little bird hearts beatin' six million miles an hour from something I could say on accident that might kill 'em stone dead or something.

I DO feel a little bad for all you nine percenters that musta had to stay inside or something when all the other kids was allowed to go outside and play though ahaha.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Try To Love One Another

There's guys that work on one game after another.

Y'know that whole "development team" and "live team" switcheroo garbage.

I think that sucks.

In a game where you want players to put all this long term investment into it to retain them as customers I think there might be a certain advantage to not having all your developers be allowed to constantly run off and start making something else.

That's why I support hobbling them and faking their deaths.

We used to think that Everquest could've kept being upgraded forever and ever with expansions by the same guys that built it, 'member that?

I think that's a cooler way to do it.

Although I really hated that client upgrade for Everquest that made all the ogres look like vampires heh.

Yah, I liked the original Fred Flintstone Ogres way the hell better, man.

Even though our helmets were horrible ahaha.

They just didn't want to keep paying that guy or something.

Or he wanted more money.

I don't really wanna know the answer y'know I just figger its better to leave it like that where they're both "the bad guys" 'cause that way its fair or whatever ahaha.

Man I hate all that showbiz stuff heh.

"And then the Brad got into Artistic Differences with his Co-star or something and he stormed right out of the building!"

Yah, they always screw over the guys that make all the models, man.

That's like a Rule of Game Design or something.

That's not done for business reasons or anything, though, y'know, its just 'cause its so much fun to screw over the guys that make all the models, since they're the dudes that actually have to do all the work.

I mean, games are like 1% programming-and-game-design-and-posturing-and-babykissing-and-box-stuffing-and-stamp-licking and nine thousand percent tedious-ass CAD work.

See, so its like, totally easy to push them game artist guys right over the edge for the Big Laughs man ahaha.

"I'm just here to change out the woodchips in your cage, man, I don't make any of the decisions."

I'd Biddy Biddy Bum

I'll Make A Game of You

Man I really need to avoid certain "bearded" areas on the internet 'cause it gets me all riled up ahaha.

There has always been folks that make games that people can play for free, guys that give away their source code, guys that will even sit down with folks and explain to people how to do things and what the trick is and how to make stuff and all this other awesome junk like that.

That's how I learned how to do everything I know how to do, I mean, there isn't anything that has ever had to do with this stuff that you couldn't learn to do from the net, I learned how to program OpenGL from a sixteen year kid who had a website for it, I learned about UDP network games from the Silicon Graphics Game Contest guys, I learned about database stuff from the dudes that built that attachment to NWN for persistent worlds and the EQ emulator, I learned about bitshifts and logic optimization and Binary Space Partition Trees from the Quake dudes, I learned how to make maps for Quake and Unreal from the dudes that were awesome at doing that stuff.

I could go on and on forever like that, every little game thingie that I know about came from some kinda Techno-Johnny Appleseed guy that told me how to do it, somebody that just loved whatever he was up to and wanted to share it with folks who appreciated the art and craft of it all and wanted to learn how to do it too.

Not that I'm any good at that shit, but its fun to make shit on your own y'know.

There's nothing stopping you from being one of those guys, you coulda contributed code and tools to any of the MMO server emulators or open source games that are out there, you can just run your own servers without even needing to know how to program, and you could've made mods to just about anything that ever came from one of the Johnny Appleseed guys, who, even when they do sell something for money ('cause they do gotta eat and buy things like gasoline just like everybody else ahaha), always add hooks into the thing so that folks can play around with it and make their own things out of it (which is good for your game most of the time anyways, especially if you are selling an engine or something).

Companies are a helluvalot less creepy than the goddam beards when it comes right down to it, Nintendo is more than happy to have you learn how to use Blender, Microsoft is more than happy to show you how to use Direct X, the guys that ran UO were totally cool with the UO emulator guys.

And that's all there is to it, man, there really ain't no sense in talking about how there's Four Kinds of People That Listen to Rock and Roll, or how many fans it will take you to make 100k a year, or when you should announce your beta.

That's the other kind of folks.

That's the bad stuff.

Well, sorta.

I mean, at best its really just a bunch of people playing some kinda Game Company Tycoon Rockstar Simulation Game where you don't actually have to know anything about making music (or even LIKE music) and you can just magically pretend you have a hit record on your hands, y'know, How Will You Manage Your Millions.

Ain't nothing really wrong with that, that's just fun for those guys, even if its a little weird, y'know, 'cause of the way they never go Out of Character ahaha.

Somewhere in the middle its a bunch of guys trying to make a buck off a book or some college course or something while making excuses for their general lack of character.

Ain't really nothing wrong with that either but it is a little more depressing and less entertaining than the first thing heh.

The college stuff gives you good benefits, y'know, there's lots of tech dudes that do that kinda thing at the end of their usefulness 'cause its a pretty smart way to retire.

And at worst its the total opposite of the Johnny Appleseed thing, its just plain predatory, with no appreciation for the Art and Craft of it or the people who actually play and make games.

But I shouldn't get mad, 'cause those are the people who buy a guitar that ends up gathering dust in a closet a couple days later, those are the guys that might try to make something and then, just as they start to realize how goddam hard it actually is to make a model of a stupid-ass elf, they quit so that they can keep up their illusions, so they can keep pretending they could do it if they wanted to, y'know, if they had more time or whatever.

And then they go back to playing the Rockstar Game, that Game-Company-Tycoon Roleplaying Game, I mean, the hard thing is managing all your customer service people who get burned out from all the troublesome folks (like me AHAHA) in your fanbase and all this theoretical game design mumbo jumbo handwavium and unobtanium bullshit, right?

You guys just can't seem to stay away from that amatuer cult building stuff though sometimes seriously I mean I could spell it all out for you and name names and tell you guys exactly how your game works and who is the Gamemasters and everything but I think you already know and I just want you to quit doing the bad shit y'know taking advantage of all these poor unstable and misguided shmucks when you oughta know better 'cause the rest of that Game Company Tycoon crap is harmless I guess and it's prolly even flattering to Smed to see all you loonies worshipping guys like him heh.

And its probably even good for your brain to do all that Fantasy Football type stuff.

Well, y'know, as long as you guys don't start dressing up in creepy goth Game Developer Costumes and talking about "subscribers" in that weird "meta-this" and "meta-that" language of yours in public and shit ahaha.

"I wonder what your retention rate is for all these subscribers who just want to talk about shit and never make anything."

"Its all about cognitive dissonance, you see, the more time you spend here, blabbering, the more time you've wasted, unless it was all for some good reason."

"Once they get to the endgame they either quit or go totally insane. Cthulhu Ftagn!"

"There's three types of people that play the Game Company Tycoon Game, as any fool can plainly see on this graph."

"Dude this is like some sorta meta-meta-meta-game or something isn't it."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Thoughts Betray You

I don't feel bad for any of these guys that think they got their asses handed to 'em by WoW.

WoW was Luke Skywalker coming along and kicking everybody's evil ass inside-out as far as I'm concerned.

It was a long time coming and I'm glad it came, the evil was all over the goddam place when WoW finally rolled through town.

I've always hated all that smirky know-it-all evercrack boil-the-frog-slowly shit, how to make players waste more time by making all the hallways ten feet longer instead of giving them content and all that crap like that.

Treating players in a predatory way, using them for shit, as if you had somehow transformed yourself into a totally different and superior species, that's the bad shit, man, that's the Dark Side.

I'm a developer, these are my players, I don't play games, I study them.

Very few of the people who walked through that place came out the other side in good shape.

Fix yourself.

You aren't a vampire or a rockstar.

You aren't even anything like an artist.

I don't think you even like this shit or understand this shit anymore.

I dunno if you ever did.

I don't remember you being there at any of the battles where the good guys won.

A lot of the guys you look up to, in the wrong way, were down there fighting alongside the good guys in the front lines.


The Brad was there.


Smed was even down there.


But maybe you were there.


Try to remember.

That's all you have to do.

I know there is still good in you.

It might not be enough to make you into anything great.

But at least you'll quit making me sick to my stomach.

You might even have enough good left inside you to transform yourself back into some kinda Charlie Brown guy that I can at least feel a little sorry for ahaha.

The Mechanical Bull

There's a lot of guys that say things like "I know what it takes to make a MMO."

And I can't really argue with that 'cause shit man my gramma knows what it takes to make a MMO.

I think the whole trick is that its just really hard to know what it takes to make a good MMO heh.

This isn't a "but how can there not be any Aliens?" kinda game man I need to see me some evidence before you start using that as an argument.

And then there's the way that what you are probably really (really? probably? really? actually? ahaha) saying is something like "I know what it takes to make a game like EQ or WoW," which is kinda funny and sad all by itself heh.

'Cause I have serious doubts that you actually know how to do that.

Dude, turns out the Brad Himself didn't even know how to do that I mean c'mon seriously ahaha.

And you definitely can't do it all by yourself, it don't matter what the hell you think you know how to do, y'know, its not all game design or project management or whatever the shit, there's all sorts of different geniuses involved, and they're all super important, 'cause if even one little thing is f'd up, it totally messes everything else up, no matter how awesome all the other stuff was.

You need to attract the good players too, you know that right?

Well to make something really great, y'know?

Old EQ and UO and Asheron's Call owe no small part of their Total Awesomeness to all the cool people that actually used to play those games, the players that taught us all how to play better and made the game fun for everybody else (whether you were a roleplayer or an "avatar guy" or a PK or all three or whatever heh).

That's actually what Lum and Dundee are, y'know, they were famous players that actually helped people out and stuff.

There was a bunch of 'em in EQ too but I only know about the ones from the good ole smelly Bert server and we weren't all into being famous (and we were way the hell too lazy to go outside the game and make websites and stuff) so that wouldn't be as meaningful to everybody heh.

And there was a ton of 'em in Asheron's Call too man, I still call all templates type systems OG Templates in honor a dude that was actually called OG in Asheron's Call (plus its got the multiple meaning thing going on that's all good every which way ahaha).

The funniest thing to me is that its the guys that really did do something awesome that don't seem all that sure of what the hell it was exactly that they did that was so awesome.

Well, I guess that ain't so funny, 'cause I think that's probably how you get to be a genius, y'know.

Of course, thinking you know what you are doing and wasting millions of dollars to learn one lesson after another would prolly get you there too eventually but holy shit man that's an expensive (and slow) way to do it when you coulda just talked to folks and made friends and had fun along the way while y'all learned shit from each other.

Y'know like this thing does it.

Dude, that is the way to do it.

And this thing too man.

Not that I'm totally against feigning ignorance and trying to bluster and badger and bludgeon people into learning me something, just ask Raph ahaha.

But the folks that I do it to are either all wise and peaceful and sad that I'm such a dumb animal and they take pity on me or they know its okay to roughhouse and that I'm always gonna help 'em bury the hookers in the end so it all works out and it doesn't really matter either way ahaha.

Anyways everybody always thinks they know what would be really great, y'know?

Like, in my case, its all comes down to the helicopters.

You ever play Longbow 2 on the network?

Where your buddy was your gunman and you were the pilot sitting behind him, and your other two pals were in the other helicopter (that game only supported four players and two helicopters) that was always smashing into farms and killing cows with its hellfire tank killer missiles and making us laugh?

Holy shit that was some fun, man, watching your gunman's helmet move wherever he looked with the mouse, having him throw up tactical stuff on your HUD so you could swing the guns around to where he wanted to be and he's all screaming and yelling the whole time and you got the sound of the helicopter blades in your ears ahaha.

Do you know how to make a game like that?

'Cause like, I think that's the only time I ever saw a game like that, it was one of the goddam awesomest things ever, but it was only fun for like, a couple of hours, y'know?

But I don't mean to rain on anybody's parade and kill their enthusiasm or anything, I just wanna get to the good stuff quicker, and I just don't think that all this energy devoted to thick-headed know-it-all chest-puffing and crap is helping heh.

You guys gotta work together man.

Which is not to say that I don't like Abalieno, but he's so awesome at his Ahab-like tenacious evil supergenius thing that you just gotta put up with it and make some room for him, 'cause if there was ever anything that was obvious its pretty damn obvious that he really loves that shit and he'll just keep digging and digging (and digging and digging and digging) until he finds gold no matter where he digs and who he's gotta kill along the way, he's got the power to do things, and he ain't got any reason to be afraid to show you, 'cause he ain't bluffing at all man ahaha.

So he's got a special exemption and that's the only one of those that I'm gonna give out 'cause I don't think I can handle more than one of those heh.

Well, besides the one I gave to Fraxas for pretty much the exact same thing, but I think that both of us know that I deserve all the shit that Fraxas does to me.

Although Fraxas isn't really a game-centric kinda guy, he's more macrocosmic in scope.

Anyways I dunno how I ended up talking about players 'cause I meant to yell at the dev guys that go around thumping their chests.

Dev guys that didn't have nothing to do with anything I ever heard of, not as dev guys or as players.

Y'know, 'cause when a guy shows up out of the blue and they're all like, "I know what it takes to do this right *karate chop* hoo-hah!" the first thing that goes through my head is a list of all my favorite games that they didn't have nothing to do with.

"Did you work on Tomb Raider?"


"Dungeon Keeper 2?"








"Okay I'm gonna start to get tired of this game we're playing soon, so I'm going to have to conclude that you obviously don't know a goddam thing about making games that are fun to play heh."

A Metaphorical Apocalypse

In the oldest times everybody was simple farm folks, and they could barely think at all.

It wasn't their fault, it was just that thinking was new to them, back in them days, and hardly anybody did it.

And when they said something, it took a lot of work to put it all together, and they meant exactly what they said, and that was that.

They just weren't capable of imagining that a word could have more than one meaning.

Words simply didn't have more than one meaning 'cause it seemed like there was more than enough words to give a name to every single thing that there was.

And they had a word for every single thing you could do y'know too.

'Cause there was even less to do than there is in Wisconsin, since they didn't know that they could get drunk and screw yet, back in them Ancient Times.

And so they never even thought of using one word for two or more different things, 'cause there just wasn't that many things.

But then these two guys from the Big City came along one day and one of 'em asked a country guy, who happened to be standing next to his wife and a fine pig, "how much for the pig?"

And the city feller's buddy laughed.

And thus the Double Entendre was invented and the city people started pulling all this funny crap over on all the simple-ass country people.

And all the poor country folks were just left standing there scratching their heads and wondering what in the nine hells was so goddam funny, y'know, 'cause it sure didn't seem like there was anybody around that had slipped and fell on a banana peel or smashed their thumb with a hammer or racked their nuts on a fence or anything worth laughing about like that.

Which just made the whole goddam thing even funnier to the city folks.

See, 'cause in the Big City, the city folk had started using metaphors for things.

Well, no, actually they started using similes for everything at first, saying "oh man that woman is like a pig."

It was a new thing, y'know, to say that something was like this and like that and not like this and not like that.

And then they dropped the "like," y'know, 'cause city people are always in a hurry, and that was how they started using metaphors like "oh man that woman just is a pig" instead heh.

And then apparently the country people sorta started to figure out what was going on and they wrote this Wikipedia Entry.

And a million years after that Groucho Marx came along and he could just totally destroy everybody with that multidimensional meaning kinda stuff 'cause he operated on so many different levels and in so many different directions at once.

And there were just so many meanings for words and phrases and so many contexts they could be put in and things that they could be potentially referencing.

Y'know, depending on how many farm animals were actually present and stuff.

And there was all sorts of reversals and stuff layered on top of it like sarcasm and innuendo and feigned ignorance and being facetious (which is not what the dictionaries define it as at all ahaha) and jokes about jokes about jokes and you could refer to woman as "chicks" and "broads" and all sorts of other weird stuff like that and it was just totally awesome and hilarious.

But eventually, after many millions and billions of years of everything being great, something started to go wrong.

At some point, there became too many meanings for every single word and phrase.

And so it was that a mere nine frazillion years after the Golden Age of Groucho Marx, it became almost impossible to say anything that couldn't be taken wrong in at least three totally different ways by some chick heh.

And so quadruple entendres actually became some sort of default.

"Oh no baby I didn't say that!"

"Oh no baby I didn't mean it that way either!"

"Oh no baby that is not what I was saying!"

Anybody who was ever stupid enough to argue with a chick would know that there was at least three meanings for everything you ever said that was totally unintentional and incorrect ahaha.

Plus you risk digging yourself into deeper and deeper levels of "malevolent" and "false" entendres everytime you launch a rebuttal.

"Oh no baby I didn't say that!"


See, turns out that metaphor stuff isn't all fun and games, its more like falling down a well or something, and there's all sorts of negative levels to the Entendre Spectrum that you might have to fight your way out of heh.

And eventually there was, quite literally, a metaphorical meltdown, a metaphorical apocalypse, when good meant bad and bad meant good and yes meant no or "sometimes no" and all sorts of other stuff like that.

And the very last thing that people would ever think you meant was what you had actually meant to say.

And that goes double if you were trying to say something nice.

Uh, no wait, well, yah, okay, I guess, I mean, it's like sorta like that, right?

Oh whatever, you know what I'm saying heh.

Anyways going back to the beginning of this thing, my advice is to just sell that damn pig if some smart ass from the Big City seems willing to buy her off you y'know you don't wanna be the guy stuck paying for all the pig maintenance fees and pig insurance costs and pig medical bills, taking care of that damn pig day after day after day without any vacations and putting up with all the headaches and stuff.

And if I was you I'd move my ass to Wisconsin, too.

Like, seriously.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scribbling About Scribbling

I know a lot of people that think it'd be easy to write something every day.

And there's a lot of people that know that it isn't anywhere near as easy as it looks.

Y'know, like, anybody that ever actually tried to do it instead of just thinking they could do it heh.

And its really hard to do stuff that you think is good every day.

Mostly I write and publish shit so that the fear of public humiliation will motivate me to edit and correct the crap afterwards, 'cause that's like, a kind of mental exercise I think I should do that I really have to force myself to do.

And I spend most of my energy doing that.

Editing and proofreading.

And that's why I don't use spellcheck.

And its interesting to me where I fuck things up, when it isn't just a typo or one of those bad edits where I end up deciding not to say something and then I delete a bunch of stuff and weld what's left over together, those can be especially bad, sometimes, but you don't really learn nothing you can use to fix yourself up from that kinda thing, except that its dangerous to do a delete-and-weld ahaha.

Y'know, like I know I have a problem with words with french roots, 'cause their I and E rules are all backwards (well, to me heh).

And you find words that have weird spellings and phrases with really strange construction and it makes me think about how it musta originated from the multicultural crews of pirate ships and cool shit like that.

But you also find things like places where you would definitely say "a" instead of "an" in front of a word that started with a vowel or an "h" and I love that kinda shit 'cause that's the places where the books are wrong y'know language comes from the people, the people who speak it and evolve it through slang and stuff, and not the dictionary, the dictionary does not dictate language to us, we dictate the language to it, and its the failure of all the grammar and language guys (and english professors like Bloom haha) if they don't study us properly ahaha.

That's another reason I really gotta work hard on editing shit just right and I feel terrible if I fuck something up (and boy do I ever fuck a lot of shit up when I'm just flying along and leaving my hands chasing after me on the keyboard like a little brother in a snowsuit heh).

Anyways that's at least 50% of the reason I write anything on the internet, its just a selfish self-improvement mental exercise kinda thing, y'know.

And I don't even really like doing it, I mean, its sorta like doing situps, it ain't fun to proofread yer own shit, its gives me a goddam headache sometimes, and misspelling crap in front of all these professional proofreader guys like Dundee and shit isn't exactly what I'd call fun for my ego either heh.

But its good exercise and it builds character and it keeps me humble.

I don't really care if other people fuck shit up, though, I mean, I've got tons of pals who have english as like their 4th language and shit.

But that's just another thing that bugs me if I fuck shit up, 'cause I don't wanna confuse them, I'm supposed to be teachin' them how we really talk y'know you can't have any goddam typos and fuckups innit especially when you got buddies like that that are gonna try to read your crap heh.

Those guys are all super fucking smart language-puzzle-solving machines like Daniel Jackson compared to regular people, though, and they're all real life adventurers on top of it, so its not like its that big of a deal with them if I fuck shit up ahaha.

Anyways another reason I do what I do is 'cause of that Chowder Society from Ghost Story thingie, where I think its gotta be one of the hardest things in the world to be the guy that had to come up with ten Fresh Helicopter Stories in one day, and its good for your brain.

And that's where I'm just testing myself and training myself to be able to come up with shit really fast, like, "you have thirty minutes to write three stories" and shit like that.

And I try to do 'em all as original as I can on top of it, I try to make "thirty minutes for three stories that nobody ever heard of before," just to prove to myself that everything hasn't been done before.

But that's a lot easier said than done, especially when you just wrote something an hour ago that used up all yer best shit, and you've been doing three of 'em a day like that for a week or six months or ten years or whatever like I have ahaha.

That's my personal battle with entropy thingie.

That's also why I gotta take breaks and recharge my batteries sometimes though heh.

Hey it should help us if I ever gotta come up with a story every night to keep the cannibals from eating us during an apocalypse or something ahaha.

But that's another selfish reason I do the things I do, too.

Oh, and then I like trying little multi-dimensional plot and logic games and making language puzzles out of shit, I dunno what you call that exactly, but Lovecraft did a lot of that shit, he just wrote short little stories to share his magician tricks with people who like to tell stories, I mean, even though he was a totally awesome flowery poetry-talking dude, he was also a master of format and structural tricks and shit.

Sundry does a lot of that too.

And that brings me up to about 99% of the reason I write shit here.

The last 1% is cheering folks up and making 'em laugh and giving 'em the beginnings of ideas or giving 'em a leg up or giving 'em something that'll let them get out of their own head for a sec or whatever if they need it.

And roasting people I like ahaha.

So there's really no serious part to it, y'know?

Well, not for you at least, since you ain't gotta proofread and fix all my shit you lucky bastidges ahaha.

I'm not doing "philosophy" or practicing to be a "writer" or an "artist" or whatever I'm a guy that had a scholarship for the Art Institute that can build robots from scratch and create my own programming languages who ends up being a business analyst all the time 'cause the sad truth of it all is that nobody is as good at reading people and predicting exactly what's gonna happen as a guy that understands robots and programming heh.

Not that that's a whole lot of fucking fun either.

Dude I need to find some rich person with some kinda Killer Think Tank Anti-Amish Commune for Renaissance Men who like Big Lumberjack Breakfasts and Fake Hippy Chicks and Post Apocalyptic Recreational Vehicles or something, you'd think this stupid fucking internet thingie would help us find some awesome shit like that but this retarded-ass planet seems to be totally busted or something man all I can find is crap about Anime that's so fucking 80s and Health Tips for Cats and Britney Spears where the fuck is all the good stuff man ahaha.

What the hell was I supposed to be talking about aw goddammit I did it again didn't I.

See this is the kinda shit that happens when you try to wield more than eight streams of consciousness at once let that be a lesson to you ahaha.

Insert Uranus Joke to Continue

NASA Built My Hotrod

Haha *kicks imaginary guy in the nuts with special Kungfu Action Move*

I think a totally realistic and scientific (well, as far as we know what that is) NASA "colonize and industrialize space and the solar system and establish research outposts on Mars and the moons of Saturn" type game could be fun.

I kinda agree with Mike, though, NASA as a "brand name" ain't "cool," but there's probably some value to it, y'know, with parents buying stuff for their kids, or people who wanna be a part of the whole space thing for real ('cause NASA would be using this for funding, so you, as a player, could feel like you are a part of all that, with access to "exclusive" information through the game, too, and I'm sure there'd be "missions" to repair the Hubble Space Telescope and shit like that).

The biggest collaborative computer thing on the internet (and the most powerful supercomputer ever put together) was for one of those Search For Intelligent Life kinda things, y'know?

The "exclusive access" to NASA stuff is junk like being able to use the actual photographs and elevation data for planets and shit.

There's free games that already do that, I even used NASA's database when I was playing around and hacking up Vegastrike to make all my planets heh.

And it sounds like they'll set things up to pay some Space Habitat Specialist Guy (or whatever) so that you can pick his brain, which you could do for free already too, if you were charming enough and stuff ahaha.

Yah, they'll just pay the guy so you don't even need to be charming AHAHA.

But, sorta parallel to Hib's thing, I kinda wonder how far they'd let you go with showing all the "realistic" and "scientific" dangers of space stuff, y'know?

'Cause that would be where all my interests came in heh.

"Realistic" and "scientific" isn't all fluffy and nice, y'know?

And if you gotta ask permission for every little thing that you wanna do, so that some dude at NASA can protect NASA's "image" however he feels he needs to do that, then that sucks man ahaha.

Its really hard to build up anything that's sorta heroic story-wise without touching all the dark places to establish context.

"I prefer my science to be all fluffy and nice."

Man I hate those jobs where you are the guy stuck negotiating between the wishes of the fishes and reality man those are the worst ask any technical guy ahaha.

Yah, the more I think about this, the crazier of a niche it gets, and I doubt that's the kinda thing the NASA image-guys at NASA is gonna want AHAHA.

"Its gotta be educational, but not too educational, 'cause that's scary."

"Dude, everybody is gonna fall asleep at the wheel unless its scary, seriously."

Its like being the guy stuck negotiating between the dummies and the super smart guys with some dude looking over your shoulder to make sure that the smart guys always look good, but at the same time you need to appeal to the dumb guys and get money from 'em.

I think you kinda need to make something that makes the dumb guys look good to do that ahaha.

And you can't make stupid people appreciate smart stuff by making the smart stuff stupid, 'cause then it ain't smart stuff, its just stupid stuff heh.

Or is it supposed to be something that the smart guys will want to play?

'Cause that's a tiny audience man if I had a nickel for every smart guy there is I'd still have to go around begging on the streets a little to get enough money together to get drunk ahaha.

Yah, better to just make it all up and do your own thing, I think, and not have anybody slowing you down with their two cents and junk.

Educational stuff ain't bad though, its a hook just like boobs and gore, educational stuff makes people feel like they didn't just totally waste their time, y'know, and educational stuff is always a good thing to wrap all the boobs and gore in, y'know, so folks can tell themselves they read Playboy for the Articles, or they watch the Tudors because History is So Interesting, and Star Trek: Enterprise isn't just a really slow strip show for the hot Vulcan Chick, or whatever heh.

Now, if the Russians made a space game that was all dark and kickass and grim-with-a-sense-of-humor and underfunded and stuff like Russian Scifi and junk, I'd totally play that ahaha.

C'mon seriously y'know those guys are real heroes.

You just gotta be careful with the russian women 'cause they're smolderingly awesome up 'till they try to kill you in your sleep.

Man, NASA should just make some totally awesome scifi porn for funding, with some smokin' hot and supersmart scientist slash librarian chicks in the labcoats and glasses, aw hellyah, we'd be at Alpha Centauri in no time, why we wasting our time chasing this educational bullshit, that's a totally illogical kinda power source to use when we could just tap into the raw sexual energy of the entire human race and happily screw ourselves (and NASA haha) into space heh.

Oh but they're too prissy and self-conscious and high-falutin and worried about their appearance and whatever to do what makes sense according to science ahaha.

"Yay! Let's just sell posters of telescopes to raise funds!" AHAHA.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Scorpion and the Frog

I like the guys that worked on the original Everquest.

I dunno how I ended up with all these UO guys and stuff.

I guess its 'cause the UO guys are the only ones who will talk to me still, they're hardier and shit, survivors, they're from the Depression Era of Online Gaming, y'know, they've weathered all sorts of toxic hurricanes and shit that would turn a regular guy into a bubbling pile of pyschological muck ahaha.

And it seems like there's two groups of guys nowadays, the UO guys, and the 38 Studio guys.

But none of 'em are the old EQ guys.

None of 'em are even the couple of old EQ guys who worked on WoW.

And then I play games, and I bump into the old EQ dev guys, like, playing EVE Online and shit.

Y'know the no-name redshirt dudes that actually sat there and made all the maps with the totally fucked up tools that EQ had to make shit with ahaha.

The guys that don't go to all those in-club meetings at gaming conventions and shit.

And I'm all like, dudes, you gotta get back out there and make some games, man, all these noobs out there suck!

And they're all like, I'm not falling for that shit, man, yer just trying to trick me into sticking my neck out so you can rip my head off lol.

And I'm all like, dudes, I promise I won't do that again!

And they're all like, nature-of-the-scorpion this and nature-of-the-scorpion that.

And I'm all like, okay, okay, fuck it, forget I said anything, yer probably right.

And they're all like, good now stfu.

And I'm all like, such a shame, really, y'know, I mean, I guess I'm gonna just have to go around talking about how awesome "the Brad" McQuaid is and rewriting history all the time then oh well.

And they're all like, you fucker.

And I'm all like, dudes, you know that all this pitiful little shit like WoW and LoTRO and gaming websites and "gaming industry standards bullshit" and college courses and books on game design and cases of MMO Malaise and all this other crap is just a bunch of teeny-tiny little side-effects left spinning and trembling in the wake of the Unbridled Awesomeness of One Man's Vision.

Dare I even speak his name?

We need a new Brad McQuaid, man.

A virgin prince.

A true believer.

Something worthy of being thrown upon the fires of our almighty altar of sacrifice.

That's what I have a malaise for.

A worthy sacrifice, somebody that can make something new heh.

Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch! ahaha.

And they're all like, see, I knew it.

And I'm all like, wtf was I saying all that out loud?


Earth Day

I wonder if viruses have a holiday every year where they sing songs about not killing somebody and think about trying to be nice to their host by drinking their own pee and not farting so much.

Lawnmower Man

See I didn't really wanna get all deep into this, 'cause there's a part of me that says I should just concede all your points, since I actually want your side of the argument to win, well, in certain ways, and I think you need to be a bit over-the-top about some things in order to dislodge some of the crud that's got people stuck in an infinite loop of suck, and I don't really care about the collateral damage and error, and I also don't wanna nitpick shit or make you feel like I don't prefer you to be outrageous and trying to shake shit up or whatever heh.

But whatever, I can't think of anything else to type right now ahaha.

Alright, back in the very beginning of 3d programming, when we thought of it more as "Virtual Reality" than "Games," we realized (pretty quick) that there was a serious hardware accessibility problem, because we built these huge-ass lawnmower man machines with crazy helmets and gloves and rollcages and motorized chairs and stuff, and we knew that not everybody was going to be able to afford (or even want) to have one of those things in their living room.

Let alone two or three, so that everybody in the family could play a "multiplayer game" together, which really burned me up, 'cause that's exactly what I wanted to do with the things.

Compared to the good old passive entertainment system, the Family Television set, where everybody thought they were doing something "together" whenever they sat around it and turned into zombies in front of it, y'know, that was our enemy heh.

But at least they didn't have to wear thirty-pound helmets that made you look like an idiot or glasses that burned pictures in the back of your eyes with lasers (don't worry its harmless! ahaha).

So we knew the thing we had built was never going to become popular, even though it was cool as hell when you could actually feel the bullets bouncing off your chest 'cause of the special suit filled with inflatable pockets of air and all that shit ahaha.

The software from all those mad phat experiments carried over into the world of regular computers just fine, y'know, we gutted the 3d positional audio and graphics programming and all that, but the hardware, the big ass lawnmower man machines, were left to gather dust in laboratories and warehouses, or cannibalized for parts for other mad phat experiments, like robots with chainsaw arms and stuff.

Consoles are like those old machines, in a lot of ways, I think they might be the thing that eventually evolves into a replacement for TV, and there's a part of me that roots for consoles.

But computers are always going to be the things that outlive them, because computers have other reasons to stick around the house, and the school, and the libraries, and the workplace.

The same hardware is also used for email, schoolwork, taxes, sharing recipes, TPS reports, and whatever.

I have a laptop (somewhere heh) with every Arcade Game Ever Made, and every Atari game, and every Nintendo game, and every Supernintendo game, and every Sega game, and every Commodore 64 game, and every Amiga game, and everything, and I can play most of 'em on the network with other people, and it doesn't even take up hardly any space heh.

Computers do things like that to stuff like consoles.

They're not (always) better than consoles, they're like humans, they're just more adaptive than all the other animals, to different sorts of tasks, and so they survive, 'cause we want to keep them around.

To say nothing of how it can seem to your parents as if you were doing your homework while watching TV, when you are actually chasing some robot through a maze or something heh.

Or how your wife thinks you are working on your taxes ahaha.

Or whatever, y'know.

That's why I have to pick the shitty laptop.

Its cheap, its portable, its everywhere, and its multifunctional.

And I'm guessing that there'll be a lot more households with more than one laptop, especially once the kids of Gen X grow up a little bit more and start using 'em for stuff besides games, than there will be households with more than one console system.

Not that consoles don't have their advantages, especially right now, when the kids are too small to read and type (well, well) and shit.

Hello wii! ahaha.

"Its nice that they're doing something active instead of just sitting there like lumps!"

And parents will spend tons of money on their kids (or on something that could be disguised as something for their kids heh) where they won't spend hardly any money on themselves.

But in the long term, nah, not happening man.

I almost don't want to argue, 'cause I actually concede to most of your points, and I'm on your side as far as content goes, totally, man, I'm not really in favor of the PC or in favor of the console, or anything as far as programming goes, they're the exact same thing to me.

Its just that consoles would have to become computers to do all the other stuff that computers can do.

They'd have to be just like shitty laptops to have all the powers of a shitty laptop interface.

Nobody is gonna be pretending to do their taxes on a gameboy with that tiny little screen, y'know ahaha.

And aside from content (I read the shit you've said about the game you're working on and I think that's as cool as it is applicable to any platform), I kinda wanna stay away from the "graphics quality" issue, not because its a weakness of consoles, or a weakness of PCs (when you consider high powered graphics PCs, or a strength of consoles when you consider shitty PCs), but because I think you should apply your content accessibility logic to that, just like the guys who did WoW did, instead of the Vanguard Mistake.

If you only know two people at work who can play computer games on the net, and they can't play the game you play, because their computer won't run it, well, guess which game you are gonna be playing with them heh.

Y'know there's a whole universe of physics to why that kinda thing is a smart play.

Just like there's a whole universe of physics to why making some luxury item that nobody can afford is nice, since you don't have to make a whole lot of 'em or sell a whole lot of 'em to make money.

But software is the one thing that doesn't really fit that luxury model, you can send it all over the world in the wink of an eye without having to ship it by truck, you can copy it as many times as you want without requiring any raw materials.

So consoles aren't really taking advantage of the strengths of software, they take advantge of the Old Ship It In a Box model, which a lot of old business guys are more used to, heck, they've got all their age-old tricks and deals worked out ahead of time for stuff like that heh.

You don't need to play a computer game on a computer that you own.

Anyways, the most important element of this whole thing from my perspective is that you want to get your art into the hands of the largest amount of people possible, to maximize the effect of your art (and all the goddam energy you wasted making it) on the world.

Maximum Impact.

And its is safe to think from that perspective, since that almost always converts into cash and power somehow, well, unless your art totally sucks and everybody hates it ahaha.

And if you gotta do WoW-type graphics tricks to do that, insteada wow-ing the pitiful small handful of people with the latest in killer graphics cards (who happen to be the people that everybody in the neighborhood hates because they're jealous of 'em haha) then so be it heh.

Y'know, when you argue that consoles are more accessible (on some levels) I have to concede that I'm in favor of things being more accessible.

But I don't think consoles are more accessible, I think they're actually a luxury item, with a limited amount of usefulness, and since every house doesn't need a console, let alone 2.5 of 'em (or whatever), they're just not all that heh.

Maybe you think I shouldn't even really be arguing this way since I'm such an elitist prick and I never do anything for "regular" folks 'cause I ain't got any use for 'em, but I'm not selling anything to anybody y''know ahaha.

But I do think it'd be better if your light could shine down into all the darkest places, where its most needed, and give those kids a break or a leg-up or something.

I think its the awesomest thing in the world to be able to cheer folks up and give hope to folks in crappy places and third world countries like the dudes that did Star Trek and shit, man.

That's the shit, when all is said and done, y'know.

And people ain't gonna learn how to program consoles on a console, and I want them to want to learn how to program so they can entertain me and advance the medium farther along and all that too heh.

Good junk don't usually come from the spoiled brats, y'know?

There's that whole son-of-a-rich-man syndrome heh.

Plus I don't wanna keep 'em all stupid, or they won't make any money, and then they can't buy all my shit ahaha.

Anyways that's all the stuff going on in the back of my head besides the fact that a computer can have paddles, and still be a computer, but a console can't have a keyboard without becoming a computer

And the fact that computers are never gonna go away 'cause you need a computer to make games for a console.

Oh, and there's also the bit about remote desktop software and virtual desktop software, where a server might be optimized to create all the graphic images for the game your playing, and so your "client" only needs to be able to display the updates and take your input, which makes everything as hardware-independent as it is bandwidth-dependent, but that's way down the line and not every parallel universe has that heh.

Its nice on the customer support side of things though ahaha.