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Strip 564, Volume 4, Page 190

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< Piro >

Yuki Goes Ape$|-|1t.  One many fun little MT fanarts i have scattered around my hard disk.

"a whine-free rant!"

Wednesday - May 26, 2004

[Piro] - 16:34:00 - [link here]

Rants sure seem to be the things that get short shift these days. And when I do rant its about not having time to rant. How lame is that? :P For today, I'm going to replace my normal whining with this cute little forum avatar I made for myself:

Much more entertaining, don't you think? Oh, and when I say I made this avatar, that means I just put it together in ImageReady. The drawings are actually from a webcomic that prompted me to take on the nickname "piro" - "Dining Table of the Minase Family" (Minase-ke no Shokutaku) by Quarter Iceshop. None of them make a lot of sense if you don't know much about Kanon or Air, but these were some of the comics that inspired me to start working on MT years ago. Comic number five is the one I used to make my avatar. It's almost like a little tribute to Himuro Tomoe-san for sticking me with this damn nickname for the rest of my life. :P

I had a whiny drama-laden rant I typed up, but I think that little bit of mt history instead should be far more entertaining. :) Lots of stuff going on, as you might guess. Seraphim and I are real busy with the store, and things are going well. I've finished quite a few new shirt designs, and even have a few off to the shirt printer (gasp). Lots of new girls shirts too - something a lot of our girl-type readers have been after for a long time. Sorry it took so long. (be sure to take Seraphim's little survey on ladies shirt sizes - we have little data on them :P). The website backend stuff is muddling along, and I have two trips to take in the next two weeks. Let me provide some info on those real quick.

Seraphim and I will be at Fanime in San Jose, California this weekend (May 28-30). Not only will we be there, but so will Dom, Ed, Cortana... yes, Ed will be there. Maybe that's why I'm scared to go. :P Sarah and I will be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and you should be able to find us at the Wizzywig booth drawing and signing stuff most of the time :) The Megatokyo panel is at 5:00pm on Friday, so be sure to come if you're commin to Fanime. :P

The following weekend (and that's the killer - we'll be home for three days between cons) we'll be at Project A-Kon in Dallas, Texas (June 4-6). I don't know what our schedule at A-kon is yet, but I'll post it here as soon as I know. I won't be at the Wizzywig booth for A-kon (they don't want us in the dealer room :P) but we will have a table somewhere to take care of everyone. Wizzywig has some maps on their website showing where they will be with MT swag stuff at least.

What does this mean for the comic schedule? Well, hopefully, not too much. I have 4 comics and two DPDs planned. If everything goes according to plan, then there will be something up each day, and (gasp) no SGDs. Well... I will only resort to Shirt Guy Dom strips as a last resort, but I've been known to resort to last resorts before. In fact, Dom is actually doing some to fill in the gap. it was very nice of him to offer to do two full weeks of SGD strips, but... I thought that might be a little overkill. :P

More info later if I have any. Right now, I'm gonna get cracking on more drawings. One other small problem with A-kon is that I will be getting my copy of Clannad when I am there from a friend who picked it up for me... heheh. ^^;; I have a feeling Seraphim will lock it away till after the store is up and running. Hell, I might do that myself. :)

As for the rant image, thats one of my fave little MT fan arts i have scattered on my hard disks. Yuki goes Apes**t. :P Makes me chuckle every time i see it. (if you know who to did this, please let me know so i can credit them ^_^)

< Dom >

Yari houdai SRPG!

"Crossing deadlines"

Thursday - May 27, 2004

[Dom] - 00:00:00 - [link here]

So. They're not only re-releasing Disgaea, but they're giving out a free artbook with purchase. That's nifty. It's nifty enough that if I didn't already own the Japanese limited edition, I'd get the re-release of Disgaea for it, because I'm tired of Sony America being dicks about limited editions and not allowing package sizes to be any larger than the standard.

Screw you, Sony, I want gigantic packages with oodles of goodies! Gimme the Koei treasure boxes for the Dynasty Warrior games! Gimme ridiculous amounts of coasters and a parfait spoon! Gimme calendars and art! Hell, I don't care, give me that princess dress that came with Princess Concerto (warning: Japanese link). It doesn't matter to me, I just want SOMEthing. Yes, I'm a limited edition whore. I don't mind.

Sigh. Oh well. I'll just stick to Japanese games.

But speaking of American games, I just got an e-mail from Trebor himself (known to the mundanes as Robert Woodhead) that I'd like to relate, just to complete the whole Wizardry saga and give everyone an important gaming history lesson:

One of my many spies has informed me that in your May 19th column,you quote Robert Del Favero as saying:

"Woodhead was little more than a contract programmer"

Needless to say, my perspective is a little different.

Before Andy and I started working together on Wizardry, I had writtenand published a couple of Apple II programs (Infotree and GalacticAttack). I was looking for a new project to work on and came up withthe idea of doing a computer RPG.

I was well into the design of this game, which I called Paladin, whenI heard that Andy Greenberg was doing something similar. I knew Andybecause we were both heavy users of the PLATO computer assistededucation system.

We got together, compared notes, and realized that we could do abetter job as a team than we could apart. The final design forWizardry combined features in his original BASIC game and the Paladindesign.

I did almost all of the programming of the original Wizardry game andthe scenario editors that created that database it ran off. Andyused those editors to create the first few scenarios, and he and hisfriends, including RDF, playtested them. This was an obviousdivision of labor since I had a lot more time than he did, havingbeen kicked out of Cornell for a year for fooling around too much onthe computers and neglecting my grades. And finally, my companyreleased the program onto the market.Had Andy and I never gotten together, most likely his Wizardry wouldnever have evolved into a marketable product, because of all theother demands on his time, and my Paladin would probably have made itto market but would not have been nearly as good as Wizardry was,because of his story skills and the efforts of his playtesting team(who it would not be unfair to credit as the "third" author of thegame). Fortunately, it was one of those "right people in the rightplace at the right time" kind of things.

That said, RDF is entirely correct that your statement that "BrianFargo and Robert J Woodhead pretty much created the American RPG" iswrong. I assume you mean computer RPG, btw.

The Computer RPG had its real genesis on the PLATO system in themid-70s. By 1977 or so, PLATO was featuring real-time multiplayerdungeon games, not to mention real-time spacewar, IM, chat, email,netnews, and a host of other things we now take for granted. Allthis on high-resolution plasma panel terminals connected at 1200 baudto twin Cyber 6600 supercomputer. Now you understand why I waskicked out of Cornell for a year; PLATO was crack for computer nerds.

Wizardry (and Paladin and the original BASIC Wizardry) were ourattempts to see if we could do something similar on the puny personalcomputers of the day. For example, the idea of the 6-character partywas a way of simulating multiplayer interaction when in fact therewas usually only one person playing the game. But at the same time,the fact that only one person was playing the game allowed us to putin a story (and lots of cute ornaments) that raised Wizardry beyondthe "hack-hack-kill-kill-loot-loot-run home" style of game.

BestR

I consider myself educated. I seriously need to find a book about the early days of computer gaming like Game Over has the beginnings of Nintendo and The Ultimate History of Video Games has for the arcade and console industries. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm interested in hearing them.

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