My little brother, Jonah, is obsessed with creating video games. But he's also incredibly lazy (and we're not talking fat-ass lazy, just...I-hate-our-generation-lazy). So what does he do? Not learn a programing language like a normal fucking person. He decides to go online and look for Game Makers.
RPG Maker has released four iterations of itself in the last decade. There has been a huge increase of mod tools in the last decade. There are a number websites for game creation that have arisen in the last decade. There has been a huge increase game creators and tools in the last decade, period.
What has happened to us? Have we grown so lazy that we'd rather have someone else create the tools we need for game making for us? Do we need to rely on free websites or expensive corporations to create what we need? There is a name for these "whores" and it is middleware.
Havok, SpeedTree, Gnome, Unreal 3, Source Engine. Yes, the fucking Source Engine. It seems as though these companies have it in their minds that we cannot do anything right and need their immediate and expensive help right now! These tools are useful but they defeat a purpose every game creator should have in their heart: to learn.
I know, it sounds silly that I want game developers to learn, but tell me of a time when originality ran rampant, tell me of a time when developement software companies were making games by the skin of their teeth, tell me of a time when a game meant life or death. That time was the '90s, dear reader.
Back then, all you had was the Dark Engine (Thief1/2, System Shock 2) and the Quake engine (Half-Life, SiN) to make your shitty games on, unless you had the balls to make your own video game engine. Those engines were most likely in-house.
The point of this article is very simple. What is something video games aren't lacking? Here's a hint, it rhymes with giraffics. That's right, graphics. What ugly ass games have you seen recently? Probably Mount & Blade and that's it. Face it, 2D games are never ugly and all 3D games are made with multi-million dollar engines. Graphics is not a problem for this new decade. Originality is.
And I may be beating a dead horse but at least I'm using a new stick. If companies made their own engines, their own tools, and skipped out on middle-ware, there would be far better games. Look at indie games. All of them are homegrown! ALL OF THEM. Look at mother fuckin' Overgrowth with their weekly builds and entries. These people know what makes a game fun and are sharing it for free.
We are sacrificing functionality for speed.
Learn, dear readers and dearest reader-developers, that knowing the ins and outs of your game and knowing how each little piece of it functions means less generic gameplay. The truth, I speak it. What do you think?
I'm talking to my hero, dude-who-I-really-don't-care-about. He runs the armory at UNATCO HQ and is telling me to stop murdering terrorists. "You need to learn the non-lethal approach. No ammo for you." Well shit, between the cattle prod that barely works at point blank range and the tranq darts that alert everyone to where I am, I don't really have a lot of non-lethal options.
Then I hear it, that little Ring-ring that Google does when I'm getting a phone call. You see, I'm poor (amazing!) and have a net10 phone, so to save minutes I use google voice. So I do some sort of ALT-TAB voodoo, crash Deus Ex and snap into Chrome where my email is...only...my phone isn't vibrating and gmail doesn't have anyone calling me. "What...the...fuck?" I wonder to myself.
I go back to my crashed game and have to restart the stupid conversation where my hero calls me a murdering loser. "You need to learn the non-lethal approach. No ammo for-" And it rings again. Usually gmail is good and turns down all other noises (somehow) so I can only hear the ringing...but...it's here in the game...
So my sleep addled mind comes to the massive conclusion that Google is using the Deus Ex phone ring noise! And it's true! From what my google-foo has churned up, I am the only relevant person to come up with this! But what does this mean?
Is google doing an easter egg throw back to Deus Ex? I have been using GMail since day one and ever since they implemented IM calling, that same ringing has appeared, so its not their original noise. Is it blatant stealing? I doubt that, google is too cool to worry about small time legalities like copyright. Perhaps the noise is just some copyright free sound that everyone steals?
Whatever, the point is...
1) If you like Deus Ex's phone noise, you'll like google voice.
2) If you like google voice, you'll like Deus Ex's phone noise.
3) If you like broken logic, you'll like this article.
4) If you like this article, you'll like broken logic.
Until next time, space cowboy.
PS I'm in the process of beating Deus Ex (fffff-, he hasn't beaten it?! D:) and I'll give you guys my impression when I'm finished. SPOILERS, it's alright.
My girlfriend is from Portland, where the homeless pour in from the sewers and the Goodwill store is larger than Walmart. That's an exaggeration of course, Portland doesn't have a homeless problem. In these Goodwill stores, people can find anything for dirt cheap. Sadly, Boise isn't as huge as Portland and while we don't have as many homeless, we certainly have enough sign-waving beggars to warrant a few thrift stores. So we went to one...right next to Walmart. This is the preamble to that adventure.
While she looked at photo books depicting the Portland of old against the Portland of now, and her friends were looking at shot glasses and mugs, I was looking at old electronics. Alarm clocks with cracked screens, missing cords, and possibly built in the late 1800's lined one wall while a thousand hooks holding mismatched adapters from a thousand lost electronics lined another. I scrolled along, goggling over the $100 TVs and cardboard boxes filled with modem cards until I came upon the jewel case. This is the preamble to the discovery.
Inside this glass jewel case were watches, iPods, and ... video games? Wait, not just console games, PC games too! Unopened...or at least relaminated, all priced at $10. Sitting in this pile of games were Left 4 Dead 2, Doom 3, FIFA Soccer, Bejeweled DELUXE, Nancy Drew's Lesbian Adventures, JumpStart 6th Grade, oh, and Alpha Protocol...all for $10.
Okay, all those games are good except for Alpha Protocol, but that doesn't mean you'll find a goldmine of great games at each thrift store. Hell, I wouldn't trust any PC game not found unopened in a regular store. But XBox and PS3 games for $10? I'd go hit up your own city's thrift stores to see what crazy good shit you'll find. We're in a recession (or something), life sucks and then you die, so live it up!
PS Even though I didn't buy any games, I still had fun reading the old books I found there. Such as "Dirty Talk" which covers sexy time in all cultures. In Japanese, who knew the literal translation for masturbation was "100 strokes" Sen-Zuri. Too bad for women its "10,000 strokes" Man-Zuri. Fun fun...
Who can live in the modern world without catching their share of them?
When I was a wee lad, my dad bought me a CD called Land of the Loops. These were the glory days when a child had no self-restraint nor sense of embarrassment. There was simply an urge for singing and a lust for techno. With quotes from The Brave Little Toaster, how could the youth prevail against such a beast of a band? It seemed as though this music was made for me.
Years later, I would dig up an autographed CD from Land of the Loops and remember those bliss filled days. I would then pop it into my computer and listen to the bizarre, mind sheering lyrics that had tickled my curiosity as a child. How abhor, I now realize, these lyrics were. The artist must have pulled these quotes from every little piece of minute inspiration he could and then funneled them into the techno that defined my mid-90s.
Yes, young son, I am too am tainted by the lyrics of my childhood. Tainted by one cryptic phrase which plays over and over in my mind, "I'm troubled by shapeless fears, who can live in the modern world without catching his share of them? I hope I've landed on my feet this time." And I, being what I am - a man who seeks monsters in a modern time, a man who dreams of apocalyptic human degeneration, a man who begs the unmerciful gods to rid this earth of the taint that is our corporate culture - I, being what I am, obsess over these lyrics.
Why, then, make a rant upon these sacred internets? Simply because these lyrics now define me. Type the title into google and my blog posts of old will arise. I am serious. I wouldn't link you to the drab that is my past directly. It is strange how easily you can be found with the right cryptic phrases and the right mindset. How easy it is to type in a username and find out a person's identity. You won't find me under "Myoga" though. "Myogaman" is how you will track me down.
How easily did the freckles of your past effect your future and how easy would it be for me to find you?
With some miracle use of Craig's List, I found a wonderful girlfriend who gets my humor and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I can tell stupid dirty jokes and we can poke fun at each other, we can lay in bed and pass the time with almost no effort, we can look at each other's eyes and see the spark. And even though I don't know if she's the one, at least she's fun.
I managed to hire a Japanese teacher at my community college so I could actually graduate with a language I'd use. I then managed to rally enough students to get us a Japanese 102 class in the next semester. I also collapsed the under financial burdens that is created by our modern educational system and took out an unsubsidized government loan. I'll also get my associates a year late based on a mistake I took right out of high school making me a year behind schedule. But with the government's money, I'll go to summer school and take as many classes as possible, my sanity be damned.
I somehow moved out of my parent's house in September of 2010 with some of the cheapest rent in the state of Idaho. Not only that but I managed to get my best friend as a roommate. Much to my dismay, his girlfriend will be moving in sometime in March but at least rent will under $150 a month.
Yes, my life has stabilized within the last few months. Except that now there is a time limit to it. No, no terminal diseases, no suicide cult, nothing like that. My life long dream, the goal that I have striven for these last two years, is coming true. January 2012, I'm going to Japan. But there isn't a smile on my face, only a burn in my eyes as I look at all I've manged these last few months, knowing it'll crumble away to build the foundation for a better future.
A time limit has been put on my current way of life and here is why I must turn it all away.
My mom's sister is married to a Naval Officer. They will relocate to Japan where my uncle will be at sea for two years, leaving my aunt alone with four kids. My mom broke the news to me and my girlfriend at a family dinner. "She chose Japan because of you. She can get you a work visa and all you have to do is help her with the kids. They'll be leaving January next year." And after the conversation died and the eating resumed, my girl looked at me and said, "I hate time limits." and my heart crunched.
There isn't a choice here. I can't give up my future for her, I can't give up this chance, the one I've been building towards. But that doesn't make this any easier... ...
A year is a long time, there is plenty of things that can happen, things I cannot predict, things I won't try to predict. Remember that game One Chance? I hated it. I hated it because it was the truth pushed into every gamer's face, a truth that we all would have to face one day. This isn't a video game though, this isn't some loot roll or RPG decision you can go back on. This is my fucking life and it sucks that the greater good doesn't make me feel all that good.
Real life doesn't have a save function. Real life doesn't give you the ability to replay it. Real life doesn't bend and sway to your will. All the features we want exist here in reality and it takes a hard knock to a fragile gamer's ego for them to realize that they should have invested more time in real life and less in a digital medium.
I don't want pats on the back, I don't want pity, I don't want faps. I want you, dear reader, to see that there will be a choice coming for you one day. I want you, noble enabler, to take a step back and realize good and evil don't exist within your life. I want you, hallowed veteran, to realize every action has a consequence, even the tiniest can break a heart. I want you to take something away from this and better yourself.
This is a life changing revelation, it's not everyday someone wants to share it for nothing.
These are my friends This is who they have been for always These are my days This is how they stay Hey, hey These are my friends, this is who they'll remain forever This is how we stay
EDIT: By some humongous stroke of WIN, DimmuJed gets the game with "Brett Neal Nelson"...which is spot on! The contest was won a mere 11 hours after posting it at 4am (my time). Give DimmuJed your congrats and high fives! And woo for the success of my first contest. How the hell he found so much from so little is beyond me.
Let it be known that I am an asshole! A contest by chance is fair in some ways but a contest of skill is far more rewarding. So I present my contest rules.
Requirements for Entry #1 Have a Steam Account If you don't have one, get one.
#2 Have a Destructoid Account Honestly, aren't these just the easiest requirements?
The Prize Dawn of War II: Retribution. Now's a great time to get into DoW2, especially since it just dropped Games For Windows Live in favor for SteamWorks.
The Challenge Figure out who my father is. (I know who he is, fyi)
If you win, I'll gift DoW2 to you in steam.
There is no time limit, only until someone wins.
If you win before DoW2 releases, you'll get a pre-order bonus of your choice.
I will be giving hints throughout the coming weeks.
PM me the answer and I'll PM you back to whether you won or not.
I know this may seem impossible but its entirely possible.
Here are your first few hints.
My name is Nicholas Nelson. My family lives in Boise, Idaho.