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volume 1, issue 15

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

Real Life: Check out our newest comic strip, Real Life! Updated daily!

User Friendly: Updated daily!


You've got an opinion...voice it! Drop a line to our Feedback column...you could end up with a free T-Shirt!

Random Feature :

Search the Archives!

The "We Can't Make this Stuff Up" Dept.:
MailBag for Issue #15



Comments by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman

Every week our associate editor takes on the big ol' pile of mail for your reading enjoyment...got something to say? Send it in. You just might win a swanky loonygames t-shirt. Letters are presented exactly as they are recieved.


On the redesign...

Subject: the redesign

Is it intentional or coincidental that the new design looks _exactly_

like Salon Magazine? (www.salonmagazine.com) I like the idea, but it

just looks like a copy right now. It looks great though!

Owen Williams

hahahaha That was EXACTLY what I thought the first time I saw it. It doesn’t really look that much like Salon, I know loony likes it as a tribute to Slate, but it is similar. :)

Subject: new design


Just a quick comment (or two). I like the new contents page format ok.

It still makes the page very long (as you tend to have alot of content).

However, having the various links along the left-hand side of articles is plain aggravating.

I'm not sure which is more bothersome, the fact that I have to scroll forever or that my eye keeps returning to the left hand side of the page whenever I finish a line of text. I first noticed it reading the final piece of the PS modeling piece and just now reading the Tune up Your Game! piece in the current issue.

Three suggestions (in order of preference): A. Ditch the extra references in the article altogether. B. Move the links column to the right hand side of the page so as not to interrupt the left to right scanning of western readers. C. Remove the right hand margin so that we don't have to scroll so much for long articles (I browse in 1024 or higher would like to use all of my screen space and assumes you haven't moved references to the right).

Enough grousing. I really enjoy the content and I will still be a loyal reader even if the format never changes again. Please don't take this as a personal attack as I know (painfully well) that implementing a new site design can be a ton of work!

Ken Riley

We got a lot of comments on the most recent Penny Arcade...

Subject: great Requiem cartoon

Great cartoon. When building the InstallShield program, maybe I shouldn't have checked that option "add 20MB of filler to make your application seem more impressive".

Seriously, on behalf of the Requiem team: To those who downloaded our demo with a 56k modem (or worse!), "I'm sorry we didn't give out more levels -- we didn't want to delay the final game any more by doing too much demo-specific work."

Ron Little
Technical Lead, Requiem: Avenging Angel
The 3DO Company

Subject: Requiem Demo

Hey, Guys,

I just want to say that a bunch of us over here on the Requiem team LOVED the cartoon you did on the demo. We thought it was so funny and it really made our day.

Keep it up!

Phil Co
Game Designer
Cyclone Studios

Subject: requiem demo

a few random thoughts on the ReqDemo..

the cartoon was enough to inspire an agreeing word or two about the ... 'Ooh, a new demo! wait.. wheres the rest' feeling one would get from playing it...

I think the Requiem demo cartoon was rather funny. :)

The demo, is, truthfully, and with slight disappointment after the download, and initial neato looking screens, very very short. of course, the control config was a bit frustrating, but, the menu screens had a neat touch to them... Perhaps the levels in the game are all in this one room fashion?

I mean, there might be a huge vast galaxy of hell-spawned monsters that kind of hop into this little teeny room, and you just kind of sit there, and in between kills, listen to bad dialogue, and taunting demons, while flipping through the latest brochure on getting around this room.. (the brochure is also, very short) Although the game can't be based totally on this demo, I surely do have to wonder about how the levels in this game might turn out....

Anyway, this has been an unsolicited commentary, somewhat longer then the demo in question.


Obviously, this cartoon struck a nerve with people. :)

Having ‘played’ the Requiem demo, I love the cartoon, and I think I blinked and missed the demo. This does seem to be a trend though, I can’t remember off the top of my head, but there’s a new demo that has a ‘time limit.’ But hey, as Ron Little said...they didn’t want to delay the final. And ultimately, that’s good news. I think the question is...will they release another, more accurate for getting a feel of gameplay, demo after the game’s done?

I want to play my game...and save it too!

Subject: Universal Save

Good article on the need for a 'standard' way to save games. While the idea of a 3rd party API to save games sounds appealing, I think the industry should go towards a more open standard. The simplest thing I can think of is using XML for saving games. This would allow the saved games to be used on multiple platforms, and could be easily accessed by third party application, without the use of ActiveX(tm)controls. An industry standard DTD would probably suffice.

Great site.

Iman L. Crawford

I know I don’t understand the intricacies involved in saving computer games, but why making them output to one simple file is beyond me...it doesn’t seem so hard to me? We almost went nuts transferring an e-mail inbox from one computer to another at work today, but finally did it by (easy enough), exporting the info to one file, and importing it into the other computer. Why can’t games just have an ‘import’ option?

And the winner of this week’s mailbag...because hey, he quoted Upanishad, and we like that here at loonygames. :)

Subject: thinking outside the box/OFFICE

Mr. Steed…thank you for sharing your ephemeral moment of what can only be defined as "every day life". (Warning: Although I passed all of my Political Science, Philosophy, Art History and Psychology courses…I didn't do very well with English Grammar…so your adept grasp of writing will just have to entertain my predominately left-sided brain).

So…we're complex in terms of organic machines but I think quite the opposite in terms of actual life. We are very simple creatures living in a complex society or environment. We're no different than say…an Elephant. We are born, we learn, we mate (hopefully), we procreate (maybe), we teach, then we die to make room for the next generation.

There is absolutely nothing complex about our existence. It is very simple:

If you understand, things are just as they are.If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

(zen buddhist saying)

I believe you have had what we in the academic art world commonly refer to as a "Dual-Brain-Art-Phart". This happens to mostly younger students of art when both sides of their brain fire off a sudden benevolent yet hysterical realization. We have heard of "Brain Fart", but the "DBAP" is far more dangerous.

"The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of pre-historic man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use." - Arthur Koestler

Eegads!!!…Mr. Steed, you can't possibly share with us a momentary break from work meant you had noticed that people out there quite simply "live". Trust in this simple fact, (I believe you can accept this considering your military background) as a son of a Federal District Court Judge, I can tell you that my father's "at ease" with his perception of his reality is due to the fact that at that very moment, the moment at which you are standing before him…he may as well be God.

They simply feel that powerful. Because it is their job to "judge" you. And experience should teach you that anyone accepting currency is quite comfortable with their reality. Eye contact for a Judge is as natural as eating is for a Great White Shark. It is there job to look at your eyes. One who accepts money tends to either look at you…or look at the money.

It was a 50/50 chance. I guess you lucked out. People are rarely "here now" because their primary motivation…this would be at the very core of every living thing on this planet…rational or not…is to survive. To survive means to exist in the next second, for if you stay still you could be caught in the mouth of a very hungry Leopard or Sabre-Toothe Tiger.

Motivation? Living beings' motive is survival. Whether it is masked as need for power, sex, money…these objects or desires can be broken down to very simple and primal needs to survive. With money you will survive, sex makes you feel more alive and waxing evolutionary…is hard-wired into your existence that through sex, you will achieve survival through procreation…even if you just want to have sex. You can't deny your primal state.

This type of "awareness" that you momentarily achieved cannot be a continued state of mind…though I appreciate the fact that you were able to step away from your very expensive machinery, top of the crop company and excellent abilities to realize that something exists beyond the microcosm of the game industry. Whether that job is developer, publisher or media person. Yes…there is "life" out there. Beyond the walls, in the next cubicle, out of the parking lot and into the world. "Life"…normal as nature intended. Wonderful and yes…we should sometimes stop to appreciate the unique aspect of our existence.

This type of awareness does exist in certain people…awareness of everything that exists within their own space, mind, environment…but it is usually caused from a hyper-sensitivity that is associated with physical/mental disorders linked to trauma. This awareness is "taught" to this type of person because they have evolved a hyper-sensitivity to sense danger…and survive. I doubt you would want to try it out.

So if we question motive…I begin with yours. Your motive to share your experience of "normality". Your motive is survival. Your need to write tutorials, opinions, random experiences…combined with your knowledge of the power of the written word…your motivation is survival. With the power of the written word, you will exist forever. You will survive.

(c'mon everyone…sing the SONG!!!)

My motivation? The same. Perhaps, in my "normal" life I am jealous of your employment position, your personal wealth, your car…whatever…your stature within the game industry. A stature that I have yet to achieve though fully capable. Motivation? I will debate your ephemeral moment and hopefully I will be printed on the mailbag. Immortalizing my simple existence, thus allowing me to survive. That is my trip.

To remain whole, be twisted.

To become straight, let yourself be bent.

To become full, be hollow. - Tao Te Ching


If you think you know much, you know little. - Kena-Upanishad

Welcome to the wonderful world of real people.

D. Tracey

[Editor's note: anyone who quotes the Upanishads deserves a T-Shirt as far as i'm concerned]


Credits: MailBag logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. The MailBag is © 1998 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and not nice.