Last year was a pretty pathetic year overall for games, with far too many of the big names being sequels (in some cases sequels of sequels of sequels). In the spirit of helping your fellow man, here’s a little something to help the games industry come up with original ideas:
Take one idea at random from each column, and hey presto – an idea for a new game!
You heard it here first – Rockstar Games has no intention of making games with blue skies. Apparently they’re happy with brown cities full of junkies and whores.
A few weeks back while bored after Christmas, and with nothing on the telly I decided to write to Rockstar Games about their back catalogue. The email was perhaps a bit strong in its choice of language, but I didn’t really expect a reply anyway so I thought it might be fun to vent. The email went as follows:
As a long-time gamer, I have made purchase of many Rockstar Games products, starting with the original GTA for the Playstation (which was a shoddy port, sadly). I note with interest that Rockstar are keen on pushing an edgy, ‘adult’ image. But I feel your company has a lot to answer for. Not in a Jack Thompson, “videogames made my chid into a feral killer” kind of way. But the success of the GTA series has led to a lot of other companies following the money and now the market is saturated with crime games, rubbish free-roaming games (True Crime: Streets of LA, anyone?) and other assorted “adult” tat.
Is there any chance of Rockstar bucking the trend, and perhaps pushing out a cheery little happy game where nobody gets kerb-stomped? You could put it out on the PS Network and Xbox Live, and I bet that the media would be intrigued by such a volte-face. Or even on the App Store – you’d make a killing (no pun intended).
How about starting a reverse trend, Rockstar? Although I don’t think I will hold my breath.
However, about a week later I received this reply in my email inbox:
Thanks for your message. While we appreciate your point of view, we do stand by our catalog of titles as one that is indeed diverse and varied for many tastes. For every Grand Theft Auto title in our history, there is also a teen-appropriate Midnight Club racing game or a lighthearted title such as Bully or a Red Dead Redemption epic and dramatic western or even our occasional E-rated releases such as Table Tennis and the music-making title, Beaterator. We have always geared our releases to be cutting-edge, progressive entertainment and yes, many of those experiences are catered towards mature players – but hopefully you’ll stick with us and look forward to what we have lined up for 2011 and beyond including L.A. Noire, Max Payne 3 and more.
I would like to take the opportunity to reply to Rockstar Games by saying like fuck i will.
Celebrate the minor 2D Sonic revival by looking at this. A Mega Drive painted up in Sonic colours, by a man who’s got the right kind of paint brush and more paint in his collection than a ten-year-old pot of magnolia Dulux emulsion.
“I have a few spares in my collection and it got me thinking about painting up one of my Mega Drives. When I was staring at the Mega Drive shape [*SAD SMILEY FACE*] I noticed the ring around the cartridge slot and thought that I could use that to make the iconic Sonic 1 intro screen. I had loads of fun painting it up and thought you guys might like to see it? I put photos up on my Flickr page here” – Porl.
We have been significantly out-crazied to a ridiculously high multiple by reader “GigerPunk,” who has also managed to shame our attempts at woodworking and handicraft by assembling this – the Billy Hatcher themed hen house. Here is his DANGEROUSLY UNHINGED tale.
“Had three chickens, wanted to get more. Thus, needed a new, second, coop to keep new chooks separate for a while until they’re all settled and OK to share the current coop.”
“Picked up 2nd coop fairly cheaply from a farm supplies shop nearby, where it had been sitting outside, gently rotting, for quite a while. Because of this, they were fairly keen to get shot of it and I got it for the knocked down price of 80 quid inc vat and delivery. However, was very basic and think it may actually have been more of a rabbit hutch, seeing as it had no nesting boxes or roosting bars, so needed a door added, roosting bars, etc, etc, along with a lick of paint.”
“Once scrubbed clean of mould and the basic (i.e. bodged) carpentry was completed, it needed painting. Plain white seemed far too dull so I wondered what I could paint on it (and what was within my skill level with brushes and paint). Billy Hatcher just popped into my head as being the perfect chicken-related thing to paint for some reason, and so…”
“Source pictures were copied onto phone and taken to local B&Q, where I matched the basic colours as best I could. Colours chosen were:
Dulux Treacle Tart 1 (Brown)
Dulux Nectar Jewels 5 (Flesh)
Dulux Azure Sky 1 (Blue)
Dulux Sun Dust 2 (Yellow)
Dulux Red Stallion 2 (Red)
Dulux Night Jewels 1 (Black)
Bought 1 small (250ml) pot of each (about Â£2.50 or thereabouts iirc), plus a pack of cheap brushes (about a fiver) and a pack of small ‘artists’ brushes (about a fiver again) The white was a ‘cheap’ (i.e. 10 quid, cheaper than others) 750ml tin of b&q brand plain white exterior gloss (that I needed a second tin of in the end as I’d used no primer so the wood just drank the first coat and still showed all the grain…we live and learn. Total so far: Â£125 or thereabouts.”
“Used a projector to display the chosen image onto the side of the coop, then roughly traced over that with a permanent marker. Surprisingly tricky to trace something when your hand casts a shadow, obscuring what you’re trying to trace. Once that was done, painted the basic flat colours and waited for it to dry. (Covered to stop rain, leaves, dirt and chickens sticking to the work-in-progress. Somehow 2 of them (Daisy and Gracey) still managed to get white paint on them…although, thinking about it, Amelia might have as well, but as she’s white anyway it’s hard to tell.)”
“A few days later, mixed the paints up a bit into lighter and darker shades and started adding the shading. Did a couple of colours one evening, another few on another day, took about a month in total but only really about 8 hours or so of actual sitting-there-painting. Once all the shading was done, then went round outlines again with the finer brushes. Once that was complete, had to buy a tin of clear varnish as the cheap Dulux sample tins are only available as water-based stuff, suitable for indoor use, but not for being left outdoors on a chicken coop. So add another tenner to the overall cost = Â£135. Now complete, varnished and housing two ‘bluebell’ chickens – Agatha and Tabatha.”
“And I now have several 3/4 full tins of paint and various jam jars with splashes of mixed up shades of colours in, sat in the shed making me wonder what to paint next? And if that’s all far too dull and workman-like, here’s a pretentious write up on/review of the artistic side…” – GigerPunk.
AND SO IT CONTINUES:
“Let us consider this new Mixed media installation recently created and displayed in South Wales.
“It has a naive rustic charm, which contrasts beautifully with the clean and crisp lines of the original piece created by Sonic Team from which inspiration for this work was obviously drawn as well as a pop-art copyist simplicity not seen since the works of Lichtenstein and encompassing both video game art, post-structuralism and carpentry.
“It is absolutely perfect in its setting and placement, seeming at first inspection to be an almost purely functional piece work, but comes alive due to its delightful aesthetic features, not least of which is the way the artist forces one to come down to the level of a child (or even, once might say, a simple chicken) in order to view it clearly.
“Seemingly almost inspired by Humes principles of pains and pleasures, the childlike use of colours and brushwork mirrors perfectly the immature nature of the original subject matter, whilst the imperfections brought about by the natural grain of the wood, coupled with the warping caused by it being left out in the rain for many weeks before paint was applied symbolizes the absolute essence of a joyful game ruined by a pig of a collision detection system that caused you to become separated from your all-important egg when it was least convenient.
“In short, it is an interesting work from this new artist, an up and coming rural equivalent to the more urban ‘Banksy’ and I keenly await the next addition to Giger’s oeuvre.
“I would value this piece, for insurance purposes, at approximately 100 pounds.”
Oh, and one more thing… hold tight. You were reading all of the above with a Welsh accent, yes?
Never before has a man been so thoroughly documented.
There’s a competition. A reader entered it with this. It’s good work. Skip to 2:10 to see Amy Rose with a taped-up horror head if you can’t be bothered with it all, and maybe turn the sound down if you’re somewhere serious.
“So SEGA is doing a contest to win a trip to Japan where you have to ‘show your passion’ for Sonic The Hedgehog. My friends and I have made a video and thought this may be of – some – interest to you… Maybe” – Fozzcat.
It came as a 688k PNG with 300 words and a threat. From “Jon” again.
“Someone in the comments suggested that a reader – with too much free time, a vague interest and a basic understanding of ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ – should consider doing something like this at some point.
//Artistic thought process//
“A moment of inspiration struck me on Thursday, and I sought out that choice image of Mr. Kutaragi (courtesy of UK:R’s bandwidth). I decided against the customary ‘Save Image As’ menu command, opting instead to swiftly drag the image to my desktop (a feature that makes Macs so very lovely for doing unproductive crap like this).
“For comic effect, I enlarged the photo. Next, I cut around the heads using the tool that looks like a knotted umbilical cord, and spent at least 15 minutes trying to line up the estranged body parts. The results were very satisfying.
“Several other ideas were then tossed around on MSN, such as the inclusion of a prototype PlayStation 3 on the bench, party hats, and one of those animal cages found at the end of an act in Sonic the Hedgehog. Unfortunately, these additions seemingly detracted from my original, horrific vision.
“I fully encourage… no, scrap that… I fully expect, demand and require the UK:R community to step up, churn out and e-mail in a collection of uninspiring spin-offs, so as to extend my fifteen minutes of fame and further contribute to the downfall of modern society.
“P.S. If you use this photo on a t-shirt, please can I have one? Actually, make that two… I’ll give one to a friend, as he is likely losing his job, and will soon be spending every waking moment in a grotty gym called Zeus, drinking cartons of Ribena alongside women who actually look more manly than him.
“P.P.S. Please don’t tinker with my paragraph formatting again.”
Karl’s made another game. This one’s a bit puzzling, as it’s got Cream in it but is also a bizarre combo of existing Sonic art with new bits stuck on top.
Karl, you’re too good to languish in the Sonic remake scene. Concentrate on your original in-house IP.
“The plot – Cream must save Sonic so that he can once again save Mobius. The only problem is that Sonic is trapped on a memory stick in the real world whilst Robotnik wreaks havoc. Featuring AMAZING DIGITISED GRAPHICS and a variety (well 2) of gameplay styles” – Karl.
It’s very, very hard. It reminds us of when mum had to come upstairs and ask us to stop us shouting “CUNT” very loudly when playing Green Beret on the Commodore 64.
This doesn’t make any sense. Usually people attempt to bury imagery like this, not purposefully submit it to web sites in order to have MORE people look at it than would’ve looked at it naturally.
We’d imagine his wife made it, and he needs to make up for getting caught with a folder full of photos of [INSERT NAME OF RELEVANT REGIONAL CELEBRITY] on his computer.
Or perhaps he “gets off” on having eight people leaving mildly offensive comments.
“Note: I was tempted to shave for this outfit for authenticity, but most people seemed to be in agreement that no one has played Seaman in so long he may well have grown a beard by now. Note 2: Intentionally making a grumpy Seaman face. I was actually quite happy to be wearing it” – Joseph.
A reader found these. They are of light/mild interest because that blotchy, bruised skin is supposedly the skin of a lady. No idea what part of a lady, so you’ll have to invent the scene in which she slowly reveals them to you in your own minds.
“I was doing some Level 3 stalking of some woman I saw on a dating web site and found these pictures and I thought I would be a good idea to send them to you. I need to go and cry myself to sleep while watching my train set go around like a record” – Jim.
No idea what part that might be. It bulges out like it might be a bit of poorly-maintained side, and that may be a waistband bottom-left – but it’s tough to really narrow it down. Could be a monstrous arm, for example.