“BUT DUDE, HIS HEAD LOOKS LIKE ASS!” [Author: Lum the Mad]

This is that game’s story. A game called Caeron 3000 AD. Not related to Battlecruiser 3000 AD. No, this game, my friends, has achieved the impossible – it makes Dr. Derek Smart look completely sane. I mean, hell, at least Smart actually releases games. With code. And stuff.

That’s no longer required in the MMOG market. Now, all you need are some really weird Unreal Tournament-influenced pen and ink drawings of Klingons with heads of ass, and you too can get a Gamespy Industries blowjob. Or, as Thomas Scott, one of no doubt THOUSANDS of Caeron3000 coders and coincidentally Lead Programmer, Lead Designer, and President of the company put it,

I am excited about our Real-Time Global Persistence (RGP), Simulated Sensory Perception (SSP), and Life-Link AI and World Management.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t excited about RGP, SSP or LLAIWM, so I just shook my head at the endless gullibility of Gamespy’s editors and/or readers and moved on. However, you, our loyal readers, did not move on. Something about Caeron3000’s dynamic world generation, peerless PvP design systems, or intricate world history and backstory drew you to discuss the game further. Or maybe it was just all the heads that looked like ass. I don’t know.

The truly scary thing, though, is that Mr. Scott joined the conversation. After other board posters idly tried to guess the various 3D art programs the “in engine screenshots” were rendered in, Thomas Scott leaped blindly in where angels fear to tread:

Hmmm…faked text box? I must admit that all your posts are very amusing, but seemingly designed just to amuse by way of senseless slander rather than fact.

Caeron3000 is indeed in alpha testing and yes people are actually logging in and talking to each other while testing the software. And if anyone doubts it here, just submit an alpha test application and state that you saw the Lum the Mad thread and I’ll have you in there testing as well.

But please remember that this game is in extremely early alpha. Very little is done at this stage, but we are making improvements every week.

We are currently working on a direct3d port that will take full advantage of directx 8.0 features and will be able to do some amazing things on a geforce3 card.

Thomas Scott

President, Magique Productions, Ltd.

So far, so good. Maybe he was just new at this, used to other gaming news sites treating him like the GOD OF GAMING that he is, and really expected us to be better behaved. Unfortunately, alas, he was wrong. And he wasn’t terribly happy about it.

I wonder why none of you flamers have the guts to post on the Caeron3000 forums.

ROTFL. Dan doesn’t know how to get into a public forum.

One forum habitue, SaintNW, took Mr. Scott up on his challenge, and actually entered the Caeron3000 alpha/beta/gamma. Here’s his after-action report. Amazingly, there was actually sort of a game-type entity to log into.

I now have a copy of the alpha, and I’m STILL not sure there’s really a game here.

Here’s the bug documentation in the readme:
-Escaping from the game and re-entering will cause your avatar to be invisible to other players
-Right Clicking can cause a program crash
-Holding a button down and dragging off the button will cause the button to remain active until clicked again

Yup. Right clicking crashes the game. I can confirm that.

I started it up, and was forced to listen to THE FUCKING WORST midi music I had EVER, EVER heard. I tried to create a character for 10 minutes, and then I heard Win95’s email sound effect and quit the game. The creator told me that that he forgot to tell me, you can’t create charachters yet, and to just hit the “Enter game” button. So I did.

I was put control of a alien Hawkeem warrior named “yourname,” who enjoys red jumpsuits, chainmail bracers, and jogging in the desert.

After playing with the controls and figuring out that there’s NO gui (just a chatboox), I figured out that ALL I can do is chat, walk, and jog. Since there was no one to chat to, and walking is exponentually slow, I ran.

I quickly found out that I can walk through the red tree things. And rocks.

So I ran towards the nearest hill.

The nearest hill turned out to be a 15-minute run away.

Finally, after nearing scuicide (twice) I made it to the hill. “Thank God,” I thought, “Now I can see what’s on the other side!!”

You can walk through the hill too.

There’s nothing on the other side.

As in, you clip right through and are running in midair.

I emailed the creator (that’s you, Tom) and we have had a little exchange. Here’s what happend (my text is in italics, his is in bold.)

Ok… I tried it… Don’t you think it’s a bit EARLY for an alpha test at this point…? I mean, you can’t even DO anything. This doesn’t help my opinion of the game. Is there anything but desert? Is there anything I can DO?

It’s important that you saw what you saw. That is what alpha in early stages is. Alpha means incomplete. And early alpha emans very incomplete. That’s the whole point. People are flaming a game that is very, very early in development. Kind of ridiculous eh?

But you won’t have to wait long if you stay in the testing. New things will be added very soon and you will be able to do all kinds of stuff.

And he sent another right after that one:

Also, remember that this is a very rare thing being able to participate in an alpha. You are not testing a completed game, you are actually watching and helping as it’s built piece by piece. Our beta phase won’t open until September of this year. Not until then will you see things to the level of completion that you may have been expecting or that the others are looking for.

I’m sending him this now:

First of all, the main reason people are making fun of your game is that it looks REALLY stupid.

Responding to your emails: That’s BS. In an alpha you normally have some sort of GAMEPLAY that you can test out. Why are you even letting people in the alpha when all you can do is WALK AROUND? You are REALLY jumping he gun here. You never should have let anyone into an alpha like this in the first place! You literally have NO game systems in place – all you have is charcters that can walk on a flat plane and a bunch of really amatuerish concept art.

I still don’t believe you will ever produce a game. You have something here that any idiot can, and has, come up with in a month of programming. There is no feasible reason to be holding an alpha test at the mind-bogglingly early point your game is at.

By the way, your concept art is laughable and your music REALLY sucks.

Well, perhaps you’ll revisit the game when it goes into public beta this fall. It’ll be at the stage you feel it should be at now. And I believe you will be pleasantly surprised with what we will have done between now and then.

Shitty concept art never dies, Tom…

I only wish it was over at this point. Alas, it wasn’t. While SaintNW and Tom kept trading emails that more and more descended into “Am so making a game!” “Am not!” “Am so!”, DanSTC took Tom up on his challenge of posting better concept art than the head-like-an-ass pics we’ve seen so far. Tom’s capsule review of Dan’s work?

OMG. That picture which you laughably call art is unbelieveably bad. Rick Marshall has won awards for his art at legitimate art fairs. You’ll be lucky if you get that scotch taped to the wall at a kindergarten class. ROTFL.

Art Tom Scott likes

Art Tom Scott doesn’t like

OK, so I think we’ve successfully made fun of the heads that look like ass. Now, in true Jerry Springer style, it’s time for the Final Thought.

Yes, Caeron3000 is a joke. It’s funny, sort of, but in a way they really may be trying. Just like some other folks are. What’s funny is how people don’t get the joke.

I’d go on about wondering why Gamespy put up two feature pieces and a hosted site about Caeron3000, thus giving it more publicity than, say, Shadowbane, another independently developed game with some unfortunate concept art – but thankfully lacking both in heads-looking-like-ass and in unrealistic expectations. Clearly, Caeron3000 and Shadowbane are in different leagues. Shadowbane will actually be on store shelves at some point (whether with GODGames or not only your rumor mill knows for sure). And at some point, you think someone at Gamespy would have looked up from their opium pipe and said “um, wait a minute. This game’s never going to be released. For god’s sake, the head looks like ass!

But then I remembered. According to Gamespy, pointing out that the Emporer has no clothes is bad.

It seems, then, that it doesn’t really matter whether the game is a hoax or not. You had fun either way, made friends, and most likely learned something, like better Web coding. If the game makes it out and just flops because of lack of financial support or poor design, it may even be possible for the community to pick it up, and improve or finish game.

This really opened my eyes. Because, you know, Gamespy would never post something like this to justify their own total lack of editorial control over their own content. Naw. They, you know, mean it. For the community. And stuff.

So ya know, fuck journalistic integrity, fuck editorial discretion, fuck actually pretending that you have an opinion on what babble spews forth from your word processor. From now on, we’re not writing any more stories about games that don’t include heads-like-asses.

For the children.