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I'm not normally one to write a eulogy blog -- especially a mostly NVGR one (Seaman notwithstanding) -- but the news of Leonard Nimoy's passing has really hit me hard :'( By all accounts Nimoy was not only a pillar in the nerd community, but a hell of a nice guy to boot, and the world has truly lost one of its greatest examples of humanity today.
One of my favorite of Nimoy's roles (other than the obvious Star Trek: TOS) was in the underappreciated JJ Abrams show Fringe. As William Bell, Nimoy was charismatic, funny, and at times a little bit frightening, and I always looked forward to seeing his name in the guest star list at the beginning of his episodes.
Rest in peace, Mr. Spock. You were loved by millions and you'll be missed by everyone who has ever seen your work <3
Are you a Dtoid community podcaster? If so, this post is for you!
Here's the deal: Occams and I are working on a front page thing to promote our fine community podcasters (that's you), but we need a bit of help to get it going. First thing's first, the gist: What we envision is a post that will list each of the active community podcasts (say, anything that's been updated in the last three months or so), a brief blurb about each show (which community members are featured, what it's about, etc.), and a direct link to the most recent episode of each. The idea is that we will then "bump" the post once every couple weeks (or whatever) with updated links to the most recent episode of each show, etc., so that it's constantly put in front of people's faces (and hopefully, their ears).
So what do we need from you? Well, we need to know what each of your shows are about, duh. So if you host a podcast on our Cblogs, please do the following:
And that's it! Banner art, show synopisis, link. Simple and effecient for our readers/your listeners, and easy to keep updated for Occams and yours truly. Any questions? Suggestions for making this better? We're all ears!
That was a podcast joke.
Please note that, while I think this is a fine idea for now, the intent is for this to only be a temporary solution until we get a site redesign later this quarter. At that time, my hope is that we will have some sort of front page portal that will handle all of this for you (similar to the one that appears on the front page highlighting the most recent Cblogs we currently have). Any ideas on how best to implement that feature are also welcome :)
As of last month, I have officially taken over the task of making your HUGE memberships something worth dropping $3/month on again. That started with a fun new "Bonus Levels" monthly newsletter (new issue out tomorrow!), but that was just the beginning.
Here's the short list of what we're currently working on for early 2015:
Loot Crate partnership
Do you like loot? I like loot. That's why Dtoid has partnered with our friends at Loot Crate to give away three crates every month to random HUGE members! Think of this like the auto-entry you currently have into every contest, only the contests aren't even open to the rest of the world. Also, should you decide to subscribe, you'll be able to save 10% on all purchases by using the coupon code "Robot" at checkout! (That perk will be available to all.) We'll have more on this when we do our first Loot Crate unboxing on the front page soon :)
This one's been a long time coming. In conjunction with a site redesign scheduled for early 2015, official Dtoid reviews will soon have a "User Reviews" sidebar right alongside the official score, which will link directly to any community reviews of the game in our Cblogs! While this feature is planned to be open to all at some point, HUGE members will get in during the beta phase, so you'll have direct input on how the feature is implemented. Sweet!
Not gonna lie: my very favorite HUGE perk is the ability to customize the site background with whatever I want. For a while, this pic of Young Holmes graced my every move on the site, but recently my narcissism got the better of me and I replaced it with an absolutely gorgeous selfie of yours truly. Good god I'm beautiful.
On that note, Niero and the engineers have been hard at work on a half-dozen other customization options, ranging from replacing the Dtoid logo with a picture of your own face (or ass. Or elbow) to blowing up the front page with strobe lights. (Why? Because we can.) We'll update you all with the full list once it's done, but know now that it will be silly and dumb and you will fucking love it.
This one's pretty simple: a page featuring every single person who supports the site via HUGE subscription. All of your beautiful faces in one beautiful place!
Ever wonder how many people are reading your blogs? Well wonder no more! Soon, HUGE members will have access to the same stats that us front page writers have, so you'll know exactly what kind of audience your words are reaching. It's simple stuff, but a welcome addition!
HUGE member of the month
Starting in January, I will be profiling one HUGE member every month in a front page post. We'll talk about your deepest fears and darkest desires, and basically anything else you want to share with the world. You'll be famous! (This will be opt-in, obviously.)
Every time we pick a winner for a contest, we take all the entries from the front page (or wherever), add in all the HUGE members, and let Random.org decide who takes home the prize(s). Well recently, HUGE member king kong five took home a fucking PlayStation 4 and he didn't even enter the contest himself! Talk about a return on investment.
Typically, once the holiday season is over, the number of contests we're presented with slows down, but you can rest assured knowing that more beta code giveaways are coming your way (new ones launch tomorrow) and that you're still being entered in every contest that appears on the site.
There are a few more things being brain-stormed, but that's all the stuff that's ready to talk about at this point. As always, please share any suggestions or concerns you have regarding HUGE in the comments below!
Radio Destructoid records its 50th episode this Saturday -- 50! -- and we've been blessed with some truly amazing guest hosts from the community over the course of the last two years. Well, we want to continue that trend as we head into season 3, which is where you come in!
If you're interested in being a guest host and hanging out for a few hours with Mxy, Conor, Kyle, Beccy, and me, just send us an email at community[at]destructoid[dot]com and we'll add you to the schedule! It's almost always a not-awful time; I promise.
Also, if you've got a community podcast you'd like to promote (or anything else community-related, really), we're always accepting short audio clips to play during the show (think "sponsored by" commercials during an NPR broadcast), so send 'em in!
[Image credit: Roberto Plankton]
DOOM is timeless. I don't think anyone would argue against that. And yet, while it's one of my absolute all-time favorite games and I'm beyond happy to replay it year after year (which I do), even I can admit that there have been a few modern game design improvements in the last 20 years that even the great grandfather of first-person shooters could benefit from.
So as Doom 4 (not gonna call it just DOOM, sorry) trudges its way through development, I'd like to offer a few suggestions for id to consider in order to properly bring DOOM into the 21st Century.
Let us look up and down
As much as I enjoy firing a rocket and having it shoot straight up off the screen at an unseen foe, or standing at a ledge and getting my boots scratched by an enemy 100 feet below in a pit of green goo, the ability to simply look up or down to survey the scene around you would be a welcome addition to Doomguy's utility belt.
I mean, maybe I'm alone here, but I, for one, would love to walk across narrow pathways like the one in the screenshot above and not have it be the videogame equivalent of the "leap of faith" scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Exotic vertical level design has always been one of DOOM's shining accomplishments, and I certainly don't want to see that change. But why not let us take it all in?
You've clearly got a mastery of the X-axis; Y U NO Y??
And while we're at it, a jump button would be nice, too
Look, I'm gonna cut it to you straight: the "puzzles" in DOOM and DOOM 2 where you have to run across pillars, corner-to-corner, in order to collect items are literally the most frustrating of any videogame I've ever played. How many of you Tabbed out into the map just so you could position yourself directly on the corner of a ledge (since, again, you couldn't look down to see where you were standing)? Yeah, me too.
Just let us jump, id. Jumping is fun, it accomplishes the same task, and it doesn't make us want to slit our wrists in the process.
Crouch can go fuck itself, though.
Give the monsters something to do
This one is bound to be controversial, but bear with me here. I'm not saying they need to be full-on NPCs like in an Elder Scrolls game or anything, but I'm cool with making it at least look like the demons, zombies, and imps were doing something before I got there. Have me walk into a room and find them feeding on a corpse or playing basketball or something; I'm not picky. But just standing there literally forever with their backs to me until I make a move? Come on, even zombies ain't that boring.
Don't bother explaining the dudes in the monster closets, though. As far as I'm concerned, their being stuck in there is pretty self-explanatory...
Make doors look like doors
Now before you ask, no, I'm not talking about hidden doors to secret rooms. I'm talking about the actual doors that are required just to progress through the level. Having what looked like a wall in a previous level be a door in the next is just plain mean, and caused many a premature bald spot due to scratching my young head when I first played through these games.
A bit of consistency is all I'm asking for. I'm even fine with making them all look like vaginas or assholes if that's what it takes.
That's literally it
No really. DOOM is perfect except for those couple things.
So don't you dare fucking change anything else.
I guess I should have seen it coming. I mean, all the signs were fucking there. Development hell doesn't even begin to describe what Prey 2 went through these past few years; how could I have not known it would end like this?
Maybe I was just naive; so blinded by my excitement, that I ignored what was going on right before my eyes. But god dammit, why wouldn't I be excited? Prey 2 looked really, really fucking good back in 2011. Hell, even its CGI trailer didn't do it justice; the gameplay spoke for itself. Inventive weapons, a colorful, Blade Runner-inspired world, creepy and unique enemies and NPCs, an incredible sense of space and freedom of movement -- for a game so early in its development, I was blown away literally every time I saw it in action.
I remember standing outside Bethesda's booth at PAX 2011 and watching the live gameplay demo. I must have watched it five times. And every time it ended, I cheered right along with the rest of the crowd. My shit-eating grin circumnavigated the globe. I'd never been more excited for a videogame.
But then time went by, and instead of the usual stream of updates on the game's development, we were hit with constant. Bad. News. Delays. Developer drama. Publisher drama. The continuous back-and-forth, will-they-or-won't-they bullshit that's signaled the end of too many promising titles. And yet, I still held out hope.
It's fitting that today is Halloween, because I'm convinced that Prey 2's hell-on-earth development saga is the work of none other than the devil himself. There's simply no other reason for such a good looking game to get such an unfair shake in life.
And so, I pour one out for you, Prey 2. For all the worlds we'll never explore, all the aliens we'll never shoot, and all the next-gen butthole and vagina doors we'll never open.
Here's to you, buddy.