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Wednesday
Dec122012

IGNITION

...And we're live.  Good work, people, excellent, take five.  No smoking and I want you back on the set before we start the second act.

Sunday
Aug052012

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF ZOMBIES

I talk a lot about zombies with the woman who cuts my hair.  This is, in part, because the woman who cuts my hair grew up in the Soviet Union and has a lot of childhood memories that involve shooting rifles or kicking people in the face.

It is also because zombies have become the great equalizer, the one touch'a nature makes the whole world kin, the mystical bridge between Geek and Non-Geek.

Zombies have become mainstream, it appears.

All of a sudden it has become socially acceptable for adults to discuss their zombie readiness programs or debate about the merits of machete vs. shotgun.  This is very odd.

Of course, I have always been ready and willing to do that kind of thing, but I am also the person who spent a good part of the last month constructing giant prehensile claws out of an old umbrella so that I could wear them to work.  I do not consider myself a good core sample of the typical modern consciousness.

And why zombies?  Why not dinosaurs or pirates or the Trojan War or manticores?

People are so very strange.

But it means that I can talk about zombies with the woman who cuts my hair.

Which is better than nothing,

Tuesday
Jul172012

Take that, Romeo.

Way, way back in the mists of antiquity, when I was but a little Benny, there was a computer program called Klik & Play.  It was purportedly produced by Clickteam but in fact (as I learned after much research) it was forged in the depths of Hades by a maddened cabal of satanic hellsprites, for the sole and exclusive purpose of driving me out of my ever-lovin' mind.

The idea was that Klik & Play empowered you to make computer games of yowah vewwy, vewwy own, using pre-produced sprites and backgrounds.  And dark magic.  I am assuming about the dark magic part because no matter how much I raged and fumed, I never managed to make anything except a mangled gamelet in which a cartoon female with implausibly large breasts wobbled halfway across the screen and then dissolved into pixels.

(Why was my protagonist a cartoon female with implausibly large breasts?  Because I couldn't figure out how to change the default sprite to the spaceship and why, pray tell, would you leap to such unwarranted conclusions?)

If you yourself rejoiced in a copy of Klik & Play as a child, and so manipulated the dread contraption as to create the equivalent of Gabriel Knight or Psychonauts, then please feel free to shut up about it and never tell me ever.

Anyway, I say all this because I have decided to be the Pie Devil.

See, Klik & Play shipped with a number of demo games, designed to show us what WE TOO COULD ASPIRE TO MAKE with the cursed thing if we had ten years and a few graduate degrees in computer design to spare.  These were not what you would call inspired, with two exceptions.  There was one which had a doughnut as a protagonist, which I believe was a gaming first.  The other was a Donkey Kong clone, itself nothing to spasm about, wherein Romeo had to rescue Juliet from that most dreadful of perils, a series of platforms and ladders. 

But the antagonist, O, the antagonist...

Well, LOOK at him.

The Pie Devil's function in the game was to hurl down confectionary at his Veronan nemesis with the regularity of a metronome, accompanying his calorific onslaught with the battle cry, "Take that, Romeo!"  The Pie Devil was not one of your modern villains.  He did not agonize over his place in the world or share tortured memories of his miserable childhood.  Oh no.  Oh, no.  The Pie Devil hurled pie, and the Pie Devil hurled it well.  

Now, would not modern society be improved if you knew that any moment, someone could appear on a high structure nearby, screetching and throwing down deep dish bumbleberry tarts?  Indeed yes.  Destiny calls.

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