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volume 1, issue 22

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!

T-Shirts: Stylin' loonygames t-shirts from Berda Compugrafix!

Artwork: Hey, dig the artwork on loonygames? We're selling some of the original art.


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 :

The Bargain Bin: Reviews of games you can actually afford to buy.

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The "there may be hope yet" Dept.:
MailBag for Issue #22



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.

EGN Speaks Out


I am Nick Fisher from EGN, and I am the CEO of the company. EGN is much more then a buddy list or even a game client. We have many additional features that are headed for EGN that will separate us from the rest of the pack, and we are confident the public will enjoy them very much.

EGN is a product that will always be free. This is not to say that we won't accept your registrations though, and in exchange for that, there will be the ability to remove the ads from the EGN interface. Sounds like just another company out to turn a buck you say? Not so. EGN will never ask you to register, and will never even suggest it. No nagging or hassles, just the ads. If they bother you, you will be able to pay a 1 time low registration fee, and get all of EGN's tools without those pesky ads. Why do we need the ads you may ask? EGN is a fully operational company with real expenses. We have many servers that we run and maintain, and some of the new features coming will require many more, and offer new and impressive features that we must cover our expenses of.

Some of the key features heading for EGN are:

IPX/SPX wrapper
Voice over IP (meaning you can have a voice chat room like IParty)
Video over IP (talk and see the person you are talking to at the same time!)
FTP servers
Built in ladders and tournaments
Game Lobbies
and much much more.

Don't sell EGN short, we have a very aggressive business model, and we are already working on deals to co-bundle EGN with games and even computers. Check out GamePC for instance. Every computer that ships out now has EGN on it. We absorb many of the expenses that GameSpy charges the computer companies and the game developers, and offer more. We are slowly gaining ground, and I expect soon to step into our own light, and grow from there.

To answer a key question that was raised in that thread, yes, EGN's scanner is much faster then that of GameSpy's. Sometimes as much as 500%. ( we tested and compared this many ways and times ) GameSpy uses threads in their scanner, and we chose not to with EGN, as threads are resource heavy. But we are not here to compete with GameSpy's scanning, we will be taking a much different approach to this, and ensure that the interface is always a very simple and straight forward feel. We don't want to confuse anyone with fluff features that 95% of the people just don't need or care about. You will see this in the coming weeks/months.

I hope this helps, and I would be more then willing to answer any further questions that anyone may have. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]


Nick Fisher


Hrm.I thought the whole idea behind EGN was that it was the Ďanti-GameSpy registration thing.í Goes to show...everyone has to pay the bills somehow. :)

Can I just say how much I love that Penny Arcade brings in a regular flow of mail? Now, how many comic strips do that? :)

Subject: recent cartoon comments

The cartoon of yours at http:/home/loonygames/loony.timedoctor.org/content/1.21/pa2/ mentions StarSiege:Tribes. As an avid player, I salute you! I've been married for almost 18 years to a VERY tolerant woman, and Tribes is the first game that could cause me to get hurt while I sleep... <smile?>

Thanks! It's great!

- Gerry White / Hagerstown, MD, USA


Subject: What does they mean?

Ah,after watching your "PENNY ARCADE" of "Baldur's Gate" I was confused by the sentence "It probably turn based!" and the sentence "It's a dinner service for five!". I think they are you Americans' special phrases,but I am a Taiwanese! So,would you tell me what does they mean. Thankx.

I actually think you not understanding is more based on the game, actually, I canít see someone understanding this joke without playing the game. Having played the game, however, I can tell ya, I thought this was hysterical. If you REALLY want an explanation, tell me, but I think this is one thatís better left for discovering on your own.

Buggies...be gone!

Subject: Bugs!

I have a simple approach to buggy software. A minor one here and there I'll live with until the patch comes out. But if I can't get the game up and running on my system within 30 minutes of opening the box, or there is more than 3 significant errors, the game goes back. No second chance. No waiting for a bug release. It's out of my sight. Why? Because I believe if you buy a badly buggy game, and you keep it and keep downloading the patches, you're proving to the game developers that they can release buggy crap and get away with it. I'm a programmer. And I don't tolerate it. Compabatibility issues I can understand.....They can't program for every system. But glaring problems in actual gameplay.....back it goes. More Hard Core Gamers should follow this approach, and maybe, just maybe, some publishers will wake up and smell what they're sholving out in the nice little boxes on the shelves. I don't blame the programmers wholly, because if someone is paying my paycheck and yells "SHIP IT NOW"...well...you have to buy food. It's up to the publishers to make better calls on when to ship software. I guarantee you, if you hold a game back an additional 3 weeks to work out the rest of the bugs,we'll be peeved, no doubt, but we'll not hate your guts for giving us a buggy POS. And for you publishers reading this, for a ship date, try this overused but very safe "WHEN IT'S DONE" ship date. It works. And then we can just get antsy and not diluge you with emails why some game was backed up a month again.

Robb S

I admire that attitude, I really do. But, damn, I wish I could say I do the same. Iíll sit and work out bugs and kinks until my fingers fall off before declaring something not worth having. I just wait for the patch, and sit happy that I have it at all.

Bad girl, I know. Bugs are bad. VERY bad bugs are horrible. (Oh, Bungie...)

For making me laugh (and I have no idea if this letter is serious or not), the winner of this weekís t-shirt...

Subject: Shauna...Steed gettin lazy?

I certainly hope that the avis presented in Steed's article weren't the final versions...I mean yea she looks *okay* and I realize his tastes run different than mine, but I figured he's such a great modeler he'd notice the small details. Between the top of her *chest* shall we say and her neck...it's like she has no rib cage, or someone punched her real hard and the cave-in never healed. The arms are just a *tad* to short, but I'm sure this could be written off as differing persons/differing traits.

As for the walk itself...It's still way too stiff. I'm sorry, but she's not walking *the walk* - I think Mr. Steed should play more Tomb Raider! Now *there's* a walk! Keyframing and inbetweening is okay...but it still needs work. It may be just the angle of the walk4.avi, but the feet look twisted - she either needs to fix her pumps or get ankle braces. Also, there's almost no hip-action. I'd think of Steed as more of a hip man...when a leg is directly under the body, that hip goes up, like the ahead should (and does). The hips will form almost a 45 degree angle. Also, in *the walk* that hip will also jut out to the side, as the walker puts more weight than normal on that leg. There is almost no secondary motion demonstrated here. For mentioning "bobbing" he certainly dint put any in use... She's got some bra! I think the head should move a little more than it does, too - unless that collar she has is stronger than it looks. As a final note, Mr. Steed mentioned in his tutorial that a person "catches himself as he falls forward' - you can see this philosophy clearly in his animation, she steps quite heavily. I think it could be fixed by moving the mid keyframes toward the middle, maybe? the head-bob needs to be more even, not have as much of a drop-off when the foot falls.

Again, this is all personal experience/preference, and Mr. Steed is definitely talented enough to do all this. (I hope). I'm thinking he just put something together quickly, given time constraints ; ) I really believe his next tutorial should be on the *principles* of animation, before getting into the actual work of it. Things like secondary motion, timing, lines of motion, exaggeration, ease in/out, etc.

just the ranting of a crazy perfectionist,

-sTuPiD fOoL

Me, I think she looks great. I did, however, get an e-mail from a friend at work asking where the bobbing was.

I hadnít noticed there wasnít any. Go fig. :)


Credits: MailBag logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. The MailBag is © 1999 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and not nice.