Bored Artists: The Devil's Playthings

Email to an emailing list set up quickly for the survivors of Monday’s purge: “So let’s all get together tomorrow afternoon and compare notes.”

Me: “OK, if I can get there, since I’m currently sitting in a dentist’s chair and can’t feel my jaw.”

Matthew Weigel: “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

Me: (shrugs) “OK, you asked for it.” (flips iPhone around, takes extremely unflattering self portrait with numbed-open jaw)

Eric Kearns: “I present: Lum the Vlad!”

If I cross my arms, you can't see me.

If I cross my arms, you can't see me.

Jon Jones: “I went with a different approach.”

This should help with my new career as a Vegas lounge singer.

This should help with my new career as a Vegas lounge singer.

Everyone: “Those are great! You should post those on your blog!”

Me: “Sure, it’s not like I’m looking for work or anything!”

Hi, Recession!

Farethewell, John Deere Tractors Online, we barely knew ye. (John Deere Tractors Online is what we jokingly told people we were working on. Because, hey, tractors.)

Farethewell, John Deere Tractors Online, we barely knew ye. (John Deere Tractors Online is what we jokingly told people we were working on. Because, hey, tractors.)

So, I’m unemployed today.

Lots of games never ship. I’ve worked on two now. Suffice to say that it is getting old. :)

I don’t really want to talk too much here about my last project. As a condition of my severance I can’t discuss a great deal, and anything I say here will most likely be picked up by the MMO news sites (wave, wave!). Plus I’m still a bit sore since I think what we were working on was pretty damned cool (if nothing else, it was *nothing* like World of Warcraft) and I’m a sad panda that it won’t make it out the door.

This is also the first time in almost a decade that I don’t have something already queued up and ready to go the day I pick up my severance package. Which, given today’s climate, is KINDA FRIGHTENING, YOU KNOW? I have some possibilities (most of which involve our entire team – having the proven ability to come up with a client/server MMO prototype in 6 months is Kinda A Big Deal) but nothing definite.

Today I get to file for unemployment, for… um… pretty much the first time, ever.

Whee.

So, tomorrow, I’ll get back to snarky Youtube videos, promise.

You've Got To Curse At ALL The Players!

Eric Heimburg at Elder Game on why superheroes have potty mouths.

Jim in QA gets tasked with testing the new profanity filter. He doesn’t know how to make a test plan, and Marty the engineer didn’t have time to make one for him, so Jim just loads up the game and starts typing in cuss words. It seems to work. But he knows that he needs to file a bug on the feature. When QA is in trouble, they always file a token bug on each feature if they can. That way they look like they’re working. (In fact, you can tell if a QA department is borked by how many token bugs they submit versus the number of serious issues they find.) It takes a while but Jim finds something to complain about.

Well, That's That, Then. Maybe.

SMASH THE FOREIGN LEVEL DESIGNERS AND THEIR MARKETING LACKEYS

SMASH THE FOREIGN LEVEL DESIGNERS AND THEIR MARKETING LACKEYS

China quits flirting with blocking foreigners from their online gaming market and just flat out says “yeah, you ferengi aren’t welcome“.

China’s video game industry regulator the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) and copyright watchdog issued a circular on Saturday prohibiting foreign investment in domestic online gaming operations through joint ventures, wholly owned enterprises and cooperatives.

The new directive also disallows foreign firms from indirectly influencing Chinese gaming firms through agreements or technology support.

It remains to be seen how this will effect large joint ventures already in place in China. This blog implies that part of the issue is a turf war between two powerful government agencies.

Interestingly, a Ministry of Culture (MoC) official “expressed his shock” (link in Chinese) at GAPP’s latest announcements, saying it clearly violates the State Council’s earlier guidelines. It’s quite rare to see different branches of the government argue in public, but the MoC will probably take some further actions to protect their turf.

That same blog also includes quotes to Chinese market commentators saying that at a minimum this means another closure for World of Warcraft while they pay the correct bribes get their paperwork in order.

In any event I’m sure this was all a pleasant surprise for all the Westerners in town for GDC China this week!

It Is Very Epic

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzcirEwN2Sg

Like most hip-hop, lyrics probably aren’t that work safe.

(If you’re confused by pop culture references, the original:)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_YlkEUOonI

Vikings Pillage, Rape, Rap, In Roughly That Order

I’ve been down with the flu this past week, much like, well, everyone else. So I’m a bit late with this; but on the off chance your brain hasn’t already melted:

Every game company I’ve worked at has done some sort of company music video (especially in Austin, where literally everyone has a guitar in the closet and dreams of playing Rock Band FOR REALZ).

I’m pretty sure CCP is the only ones crazy-Viking enough to actually post theirs on the Internet.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgvM7av1o1Q

Im chillin at my desk with two girls and one pimp cup
Sippin champagne, reading mails checkin what’s up
Isk spamming scum bags disturbing the peace?
WOOP WOOP its the sound of space police!

Eazy-E wept.