Sunday, December 26, 2010
Anyway, here's all the stuff I haven't linked to yet. XPs: little touches in games and the fun of extravagant gore. ZPs: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Epic Mickey and Splatterhouse.
Splatterhouse I want to dwell on for a second, because I want it on record that I don't usually play 'challenge rooms' in games when I'm done with the main story. But in this case, I did. I played the Splatterhouse challenge rooms. Why? Because it unlocked extra pictures of titties. Divided into four scraps and bestowed throughout the course of the battle, and the last scrap would almost always be the one with the actual titties on, the coy sons of bitches. Kudos to Splatterhouse for figuring out my personal carrot and stick.
Now, I know full well that it's easy to find pictures of tits, in fact, on the internet it's hard to get through a day without seeing a least one lovely pair of bouncing judders. But as any sixteen-year-old sweatily bringing a Playboy up to the counter of a newsagent's expecting everyone in the room to suddenly point and start screaming like the guy from Invasion of the Body Snatchers will tell you, titties become considerably more satisfying when you have to work for them.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
"Few if any of these petty hatreds are rational. They exist because humans can't function without an enemy, something to hate, and indeed to blame for the injustices we believe we suffer. Zombies are a permanent foe. To our "us" they are eternally "them." No redeeming qualities, no moral ambiguity. I guarantee you, in a zombie apocalypse scenario, relationships within the human strongholds will be considerably more courteous than they are now. We'll reserve our hate for those rotting punks outside. They want to eat us for no good reason. What dicks."
This week's XP was a selection of short Iphone (not iPhone, learn how to capitalise properly) game reviews. Here's a quote.
"The Iphone's virtually unique one-touchscreen no-buttons nature also means that games are basically forced to innovate in their controls and design. A lot of publishers have simply tried to port old 2D games like Sonic the Hedgehog or the first Prince of Persia, but they don't translate well to the format. Innovation is what gets rewarded, because if the download charts are anything to go by, there's absolutely no style of gameplay that's guaranteed to sell well. The top 25 contains shooters, physics puzzlers, platformers and whatever the hell you'd classify that Where's Wally thing as."
This was intended to follow on from last week's Zero Punctuation, which was also about Iphone games.
"I don't have a quote for this one because ZP is a video series, you dolts. Click on these words to watch the video."
I know some of you have been a little disappointed by this coverage, and now you know how I feel when faced with most of the half-arsed triple-A releases in the games industry these days. Sue me, I wanted to fill some time while WoW: Cataclysm is making every other publisher too scared to release anything that could possibly compete with it. And I genuinely think Iphone games and other small-scale indie markets are where a lot of the really interesting, cutting-edge innovation stuff is going on, while the massively advanced graphics engines of mainstream gaming produce little but big piles of indigestible overdesigned slop.
Anyway, in other news, those of you still dubious about my debut novel Mogworld's quality may wish to know that the entire first part of the book is being serialised on ABC.net.au's technology section even as we speak. And if you find yourself enjoying that, you should be aware that most critics agree the rest of the book is even better. Have I mentioned that it would make a perfect Christmas gift?
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Perhaps this is his way of trying to get my attention, the poor shy boy. Anyway, kick off Tuesday at 6:30. Come along.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Anyway, my desk calendar currently says 'do the laundry'. As well as 'Thursday, November 25th', and that means next Tuesday (the 30th) is trivia quiz night at the Mana Bar again, do come along for a piss-up and a brain-up. I do compile all these quizzes myself in my spare time, not that anyone ever thanks me for it.
In other news, the short story I wrote for the Machine of Death anthology, the tantalisingly titled Exhaustion From Having Sex With A Minor (all the stories are named after a death prediction that factors heavily in the story, you see), has now been released in audio book form as a podcast, read by some dildo called Yahtzee Croshaw. Oh wait, that's me. How embarrassing that I just called them a dildo, because that means I'm calling myself a dildo. Christ, I can't do anything right today. Click here to check it out if you're some kind of scrub who can't even summon the effort to download the PDF version, let alone buy a copy.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I've been getting reports that Firefox has been reporting my original site (www.fullyramblomatic.com) as an attack site. Indeed, the redirect page appeared to have been hacked and filled with spam links. I've now removed it and put the original back in, and replaced the main index of the old site archive just in case, so hopefully that solves the issue and you can jolly well tell Firefox to stop being such a fussy nanny browser.
And finally, a thought for the day: a 'relationship' occurs when two people run out of things to say to each other, so they shut each other up by putting their genitals in each other's mouths. A break up comes about when they run out of things to do with those, too.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Machine of Death is now available! It got all the way to the top of the Amazon book charts by simple expedient of getting everyone to buy it on the same day. Why didn't I think of that? Anyway, it's too late to contribute to the sordid Amazon chart manipulation but you should still pick up a copy 'cos it's dead good. And my story's in it.
Speaking of my stories, Mogworld has now officially sold out of its first printing. This is good news for me. Probably less if you're still waiting for a copy, but the second printing should be underway even as I type this. I have spoken to the Dark Horse bods about a digital version and an audiobook, but while lacking any dates I can definitely say they're in the works.
And after an unfortunate bout of illness, and Yug rather obstinately wanting to stay on some mysterious regular schedule known to him alone, Yahtzee's Trivia Night is returning to the Mana Bar next Tuesday (November 2nd) after a solid month of absence. Can't say it hasn't been nice having my weekends free, not having to make a quiz and all, but it's always nice to shout people down from a position of authority, so do show up to join the fun. As always team registration is at 6:30 with kick-off at 7. But you should definitely try to be there as soon after opening time (5pm) as possible, because my musky animal magnetism always seems to fill the place up.
Finally, I asked this on Twitter but no-one seemed to know what I was talking about, so I'm posting it here because it's driving me mad. There's this thing that really good improvisational comedians and actors can do where they appear to be speaking in a specific foreign language but are in fact making up complete gibberish on the spot. The Swedish Chef arguably does it with Swedish. John Cleese does it with German while pretending to be a ranting Hitler in the 'North Minehead by-election' sketch from Monty Python. Danny Kaye's character in The Court Jester does it several times with several languages in a fairly early scene to show off his repertoire. There was a game in Whose Line Is It Anyway called Foreign Film Dub where the cast would speak gibberish that sounded like a particular audience-suggested language. Hopefully this creates a clear image of what I'm talking about that the Twitter character limit prevented.
The thing is, I know there's a special term for this ability but I can't for the life of me remember what it is. It's not pidgin - that's a blend of two languages. It's not glossolalia or xenoglossy, that's just plain old regular gibberish that isn't intended to resemble a particular foreign language. If you know what the term (it might be a two-word term) for this is, please post it in the comments before I eat my own face.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
And XP was about Halo Reach.
"It's adequate, that's all. Mediocre. Halo remains what it has always been to me: strictly rent-only - at best. But in the interest of clarifying my position, here are some more reasons why it didn't set my pants alight."
This concludes the digest of the week. Today (Saturday) is the special Duke Nukem Forever event at the Mana Bar. I've worked out some questions for Randy Pitchford and Steve Gibson for the presentation at around 6pm and personally, I'm quite looking forward to seeing what, exactly, 3D Realms were doing with all that time, besides sticking liquorice twizzlers up their arseholes, then pulling them out and licking them for some illicit sexual thrill.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
But I've just downed my morning cappuccino so hopefully I can get it together long enough to update you on everything I should have mentioned earlier. For example, there's last week's Zero Punctuation, which was for Amnesia: Dark Descent.
Secondly, there was yesterday's Extra Punctuation, which was also for Amnesia: Dark Descent.
"Also, incidentally, Clock Tower 3 contains some of the most spastic character animations I've ever seen in a game. In some cutscenes people throw absolute fits while conversing with each other. It's like they stuck all the motion capture balls on an octopus in an electric chair."
And finally this week's ZP, which was the latest of the serially adequate Halo series, Halo Reach.
There's also something quite exciting going on at the Mana Bar soon, on Saturday the 16th. If I were to say the words 'Randy Pitchford' and the words 'CEO of Gearbox' and also the words 'demoing Duke Nukem Forever for the first time in Australia in a public venue', you might find a subtle hint somewhere in those words as to the nature of the event.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
And there was a special bonus video this week I did for the Video Game Voter's Network. It's not shit.
Now leave me alone, I'm having a sleep.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I am working on my second book, but it's not a sequel to Mogworld. It's going to be somewhat different fare. Still humour-oriented, but less gaming references. I'm trying to spread my wings, alright? There is a link to Mogworld in that it shares a couple of characters, but really it's a completely different story, this time not taking place in a non-existent fantasy realm. Except the standard one that all fiction takes place on, perhaps.
Anyway, speaking of endings, that was the subject of Extra Punctuation this week.
"The ending is important because it's the last thing the audience takes away, and this isn't secret insider storytelling lore, this purports to be common knowledge. Stand-up comedians are always advised to end the set with their best joke. Movie DVD extras will often include an alternative ending, and very rarely an alternative scene from forty-five minutes in. So why, since everyone knows endings are important, have I played so many games with incredibly disappointing endings lately?"
And continuing the theme of endings, here's the end of this update. Bye.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
"I stand by the point of my joke review, and the point I made more overtly way back in my GDC '08 videos: There is absolutely nothing the developers can put out that will be in the slightest bit worth the wait. The advantage of vaporware, after all, is that you can never be disappointed by it. Hype and anticipation is like Schroedinger's Cat; everything's fine until the subject actually gets released and then the waveform collapses. Nothing can possibly improve upon what your imagination furnishes, with the obvious exception of Silent Hill 2."
And what was this week's Zero Punctuation about? Why, I believe it was about Mafia 2.
Now, Mogworld is doing quite healthily in the world book market, apparently, but a lot of people have been complaining to me about Amazon. Apparently Amazon is still stuck in some kind of incredulous timewarp and doesn't believe that the book's actually been released, and some people are being asked to wait almost unreasonably long periods of time for their copies of Mogworld. The thing is, if you complain to me about it, you are basically complaining to the pig because your sausages were undercooked. I know my name is on the front of the cover in big fat serifed letters, but I've got nothing to do with distribution and sales or anything to do with Amazon. If you are dissatisfied with their service, then complain to them. Repeatedly. With sticks.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Anyway, this week's ZP covered the absolutely unforgivably bad Kane & Lynch 2. Whoops! Spoiled it.
Also, here's a link to yesterday's Extra Punctuation, because I forgot. It's about Hideo Kojima and his terrible mistreatment of titties.
"In Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 women only really existed to die some mawkishly tragic death at some point, with the closest things to romance in the series taking place largely between men, but this is no worse than, say, most action movies. And it's considerably more progressive than a lot of stuff that comes out of Japan, the country where sex crime is the foundation of the entertainment industry."
Monday, September 6, 2010
That was item one. Here's item two:
Copies of Mogworld will be available to buy from the bar for $12 each, on the night. I'll be there from 5pm. Hopefully that clarifies everything. Now I have to get back to practising my signature.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
And to mark the occasion, the launch party is (predictably) at the Mana Bar next week on Wednesday, September 8th, the official release date of the book and the day after quiz night. Everyone's invited and we're actually going to be selling actual physical actual copies of the actual book, before any other retailer, probably. I'll also be there to sign them (and anything else you feel like bringing in), exponentially increasing their eventual resale value. Plus they're first editions! Double trouble! Come on down at any time after opening (5pm), but move fast! We only have 100 copies in stock, and these things are going to be flying off the shelves so hard they could potentially become embedded in human skulls.
But don't despair if you're one of those fools who haven't done the smart thing and moved to Australia yet: you could be in with a chance of getting a copy of Mogworld even before then! All you have to do is get down to PAX this week, where the Escapist are giving away a limited number of copies to anyone who attends the Escapist Movie Night events, where Escapist videos such as Doraleous & Associates, I Hit It With My Axe and some rubbish called Zero Punctuation are being shown. 25 advance copies are up for grabs, just show up and enter the random draw.
Also, my tireless editor at Dark Horse, Rachel Edidin, is also at PAX, and will have a number of advance copies on her person each day to give away on a first-come, first-served basis, so go up and ask her for one. I'd tell you what she looks like but I've never met her in person. Maybe this could be a fun little detective game for you guys. Here's your first clue: I think she has short hair.
Why, there are so many ways to get a copy of Mogworld, it seems like you'd have to have learning difficulties to not have one in your possession by the end of next week. If all else fails there's always Amazon, I guess.
Oh yeah, and the results of the best Zero Punctuation ever debate are in: Duke Nukem Forever. The only review I've ever done of a game that doesn't actually exist. I really don't get you people sometimes.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Anyway, here are links to last week's stuff. First there's Tuesday's Extra Punctuation, which was about the word 'gamer':
"The point I'm trying to reach is that playing games, as entertaining and fascinating and beneficial as it might be, is just something people do, not something they should be defined by. People don't call themselves moviegoers, or TV watchers, or book readers. That's the job of marketing agencies."
And secondly ZP itself, this week Transformers: War For Cybertron.
Also, you may not have noticed but the Escapist were running in my absence a little competition over which ZP video is the best, perhaps (on an educated guess) to decide what they're going to show instead of a brand new ZP next week. Here's a link to it, because you can still vote to have a chance to win a signed copy of Mogworld! Phew!
Later I may post a fuller account of my trip with some photos I took. If you're very good.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
It's cool, the book's still good. At least, I presume so. Maybe the publishers are just telling me this to let me down gently because the book's actually crap. I've been out with girls who used the same tactic.
Anyway, this week's Extra Punctuation is on the subject of exploration as a gameplay mechanic, and continued tongue baths for Shadow of the Colossus. Here's the clip.
"I think the use of exploration for its own merits is something that's been neglected lately. I can think of a lot of open world sandbox games that seem to actively discourage it; the ones with dreary, repetitive environments, a minimap you will spend half the game staring at, and a live GPS system to hold your hand in case the freedom gets a little bit too scary. I'm thinking of you, Red Faction Guerrilla."
Monday, August 16, 2010
"PC Gamer: Some of your best gags are in the animations – do you do those after you’ve recorded the review? Do you ever make a point specifically for the fun of illustrating it?
Yahtzee: I generally write the script first, then do the images, then record the voice, because sometimes I’ll be making the images and realise a point can’t be easily visualised and I need to reword it a bit. Colourful analogies help. ‘This game controls bad’ doesn’t immediately throw up an image, but ‘this game handles like a stag on an icy lake with its antlers tied to two different windmills’ does."Other topics include my occasional game development aspirations, my guilty pleasures, and inevitably another plug for my book. Check it out.
Closer to home, we're working on sorting out a signing event for Mogworld to take place at the Mana Bar. It's going to be an event where you can buy copies of the book and get them personally signed and it looks like it's going to take place some time around the end of August. The book's official release is still August 18th (although I hear some Amazon preorders missed the first printing and will have to wait a bit longer), but it may take some time for a stock to finally get to us, plus I'm going on a week's holiday next Saturday. Doing it a bit later might work out better, on reflection, 'cos it'll give people who ordered the book time to get their copies so they can bring them in for signing.
As for signing events elsewhere, none are currently planned. Give me a break, I don't have the kind of lifestyle where I can just drop everything and do an international tour. Maybe for the second book if the first one becomes, you know, global #1 bestseller and ensures I never have to work again. Mm.
Finally, in Mana Bar-related news, I'll be hosting Gaming Trivia Night there again this Tuesday from around 6:30, so feel free to drop in and register a team. Half gaming trivia, half general knowledge, but no half measures where prizes are concerned, I assure you that. Come on down and be a man, or woman, or whatever unnatural combination of the two you are.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
This week's ZP is a retro review because the release schedule is still a bit dried up. Late August is looking a little busy, though, with Mafia 2 and a number of other things. The pre-Christmas period gets here quicker every year, doesn't it. Anyway, enjoy Shadow of the Colossus. I command it.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
"Now, when you're developing a game, an important part - some might say the very first part - is to figure out who, exactly, you're developing the game for, and factor that into your gameplay, story and difficulty level. Lucidity, a 2D platforming thing by LucasArts of all people, appeared to be targeting its gameplay at retro arcade players, its story at 70 year old grandmothers and its difficulty level at self-flagellators."
It also mentions Cave Story, which if you haven't played then you have no excuse for not currently downloading it as we speak.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
"After a long year of excitement, disappointment, renewed excitement, continued disappointment, thickheadedness, obstinacy and relief, we are pleased to announce that Machine of Death will be officially released this October by Bearstache Books, the boutique printing arm of Wondermark Enterprises."
Machine of Death is a short story collection set in a world where everyone knows how they're going to die. It was compiled by Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics), Matthew Bennardo and David Malki (of other things), who sent out a call to all the people in internet land for contributions. And one of the selected short stories was mine. A light little piece about spin and corruption in British politics with a singularly massive ignorance for the actual workings of British politics. I'd submitted it so long ago (pre-ZP, I think) that I'd almost forgotten about it. But now apparently it's coming out.
If you've got some pocket money left over after buying copies of Mogworld for all your friends, family and pets, then I highly recommend you pick up Machine of Death as well. It's got contributions from some of the freshest young talents on the internet. So God knows why they let me in it.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Just to clarify this clarification, no, Mogworld is almost completely unlike Looking For Group save sharing a source of inspiration. Just trust me on this one.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I resolved to make this blog a slightly more regular and definitive digest of my work, so to that, here's a link to today's Zero Punctuation, along with a funny image, above. Christ, I am taking this seriously. This week it was an XBLA double bill: Deathspank and Limbo. I hate this time of year.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
"I'm not saying it's bad or an unnecessary sequel, although it could well be both of those things. I'm saying my opinion on StarCraft 2, or indeed any real time strategy game, is about as much use as Roger Ebert's opinion on gaming as a whole. Or Ug the caveman's opinion on the diesel engine. I don't play them. I've never been able to get into them. They're just not my cup of tea. Okay?"
Anyway from there I indulge a little train of thought to try to find the answer of how players of RTS and FPS could perhaps learn to live together in perfect harmony. Click here to read it.
Last night was trivia night at the Mana Bar, and I was surprised that we didn't get the usual massive turnout. Still packed, of course, but not all the way up to the walls like usual. It's probably because it's been three weeks since the last one rather than two and we lost a bit of the momentum. Still, if you've been discouraged by the crowds for these events thus far then you may be in with a better chance of getting in next time, on August 17th.
I heard a story that Guinness once decided to stop advertising. Everybody knew what Guinness was. Everyone who liked and regularly drunk Guinness wouldn't find out anything new about Guinness from TV spots and they were guaranteed sales as long as St. Patrick's Day existed. But you know what happened? Their sales plummeted. Very, very quickly. So next time you complain about adverts on TV or in the cinema or even on my online videos, remember that it wouldn't be necessary if you weren't all such flighty cunts.
Friday, July 30, 2010
It was quite fun to make, perhaps there will be more of these if any more good questions come up. Good questions meaning questions other than 'will there be an audio book version read by you in a very fast voice?' which I'm afraid the entire population of Hilaritytown beat you to.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Doubtless there are people even now feeling the beginnings of a panic attack because some infitesimal thing has became different to how it has been for quite a while. Those people can mainline some cocaine and go back to sleep. I did this for my sake. It's a lot easier to update now. Look, here's a link to this week's Zero Punctuation. See, that was easy. If you honestly liked my old hideous site with all its reams of disorganised crap then there's still a rather obvious link to it on the side right there, along with links to everything else that still matters. Like Mogworld, which you really should buy. Hopefully now I will be considerably more arsed in my regular publishing activities.