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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!

Related Links:

GameSpy: crt's employers, and the makers of the GameSpy server browser.

MP3Spy: crt's latest concoction, the music server finding MP3Spy.

From the Mouth of Madness: Jason "loonyboi" Bergman discusses GameSpy's future. Features a special Q&A with biz guy Mark Surfas.

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 :

Inside Raven Software: Our definitive history of the company behind Hexen, Heretic and other classics.

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Community Profile:




By Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman

(This introduction has been written by Mark Surfas, the head guy over at the GameSpy Network. Why? Time to do something different and fun with the profiles. :) And hey, Mark wrote this a thousand times better than I could have. Thanks Mark!!)

Three words describe David 'crt' Wright: Versatile, Dependable and inexhaustible... oh yeah - he's "kinda smart" too. During High School and his first Semester at Stanford crt wrote Keygrip and Keygrip 2 the premiere demo editing systems for Quake 1 and 2. He also programmed and directed all aspects of the Rocket Arena and Rocket Arena 2 modifications. He runs the associated websites, handles all their tech support and map development, etc. He came on board at GameSpy last summer as Software Development Director and architected much of the new GameSpy backend systems as well as designing and leading the development of GameSpy Lite and now MP3Spy. We simply feed him crackers and water and he seems fine.

I first met David 'crt' Wright at a little lan party known as M3 held on Memorial weekend in 1997. Actually we met in the one-on-one Quake tourney. He beat the snot out of me on dm4. And then he scolded me about how long it was taking to get the Keygrip website set up on PlanetQuake..... and we've been having fun ever since. crt is to be ph3ar3d in most areas…but I make him cry like a baby in half life. Just ask him.

Mark Surfas

Name/rank/serial number? The name's David Wright, but you can call me Tex… er…crt. Right now I'm working full-time as the software development director for GameSpy Industries in sunny Southern California.

Where did the idea for Rocket Arena come from? One day Termy (the guy that used to run the game servers for PlanetQuake) threw a map on one and got everyone on the PlanetQuake staff channel to join on and try. It was nothing but an arena with a bunch of weapons…you waited in line, then jumped in, grabbed weapons, threw a grenade, and went at it. It was TONS of fun, and we opened it up to the public, but they didn't seem to grasp the rules (imagine lines as Disneyland, without the rope barriers). So we decided someone should make a simple QC mod to automate the lines. I ended up doing it because, frankly, everyone else was too busy.

As a creator of Rocket Arena, do you have an advantage over the other players? (Any programmers tricks to share?) :) Besides the backdoors (which don't exist!) my main advantage is tons of practice I got while developing it. After taking a few months off from developing it, I decided I should be playing more, so I joined a clan (McP) and we've been kicking ass ever since.

What was your first reaction upon hearing about Q3:A? Even now..I'm still picturing Rocket Arena in the Q3 setting. Probably something akin to "those bastards!" ... but I've calmed down since then. :)

From everything we've heard about it so far, it doesn't sound like it will be much different from Q1 or Q2 DM, so there will probably still be plenty of room for RA3.

Right now, you're part of Rocket Arena, Keygrip, MP3Spy, and that's a GameSpy addy up there. :) Are Rocket Arena and Keygrip going to be created for Q3:A? Rocket Arena…almost definitely. KeyGrip...will depend on time. How KeyGrip originally came about is another story altogether. :)

So how did Keygrip come about? Well, a couple years ago when I was a senior in high school, a friend of mine (Drastic_Man) came up with this half-assed idea of creating a visual demo editor for Quake 1. I didn't think such a thing could be done, and I told him so. After looking into it, I realized it just MIGHT be possible. So in order to prove him wrong, I decided to try and make one. And to make a long story short, I was wrong.

Is GameSpy going to support Q3:A? So many games right now have had GameSpy support virtually out of the box (a very good thing, imho). Is this in the works for Q3:A?

I'd say that's a fairly safe assumption…but I can't give any details yet!

What is MP3Spy? MP3Spy (www.mp3spy.com) is this sweet little server browsing utility for Shoutcast servers. Shoutcast is a audio streaming technology done by the guys at WinAmp.. there are tons of servers playing all kinds of cool music. Even modem users can listen in, and people with cable or ADSL can find CD quality streams.

How long has this been in the works? (And how the hell did you keep it so quiet?!)

Well, it's been in the works for about as long as Shoutcast (that is, only a few weeks). It's based on the same framework as GameSpy Lite, so we already had a good head-start. It was developed entirely internally, including the web and backend stuff, which made it a lot easier to keep quiet until the big launch.

MP3Spy came with it's own Winamp skin. Which skin do you use? Mix, our kick-ass web designer/graphics fiend (who did the new PlanetHalfLife.com and ClassicGaming.com site designs) did both the MP3Spy design and the WinAmp skin of the same theme.

There have been jokes about WarezSpy, but is a ftp-server browser in the works? MP3Spy seems to have opened up a whole world of ideas. We do have some exciting plans in the works, but I assure you they are 100% above board. There were quite a few legal questions that we looked into before releasing MP3Spy, but after talking to the WinAmp guys and some people in the music industry we found that webcasting is (surprisingly) legal, and we need not fear being shut down by The Man.

Did you register your copy of GameSpy? :) Yes…and it was the best $20 I've ever spent. That's probably less than a penny for every hour I've used it... AND it's lifetime registration…which means that each time a new version comes out, registered users get it first.

What are your favorite games? I still love good old QuakeWorld, and I play plenty of RA2 and CTF2, but at the office Half-Life has been the game to play the last couple of weeks. It's a little different, but the user maps are great, and some of the weapons are VERY cool.

What are your favorite websites? Well, besides PlanetQuake and PlanetHalflife, which I read daily, I like to check out Blue's and VE to see what's going on in the rest of the gaming world. I also read news.com and abcnews.com so that I don't miss out on the happenings in the Real World.

Thanks!! Check out crt’s work at the GameSpy, MP3Spy, KeyGrip, and RocketArena sites!

- Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman is an associate editor for loonygames.



Credits: Community Profile logo illustrated by and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Community Profile is © 1999 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is just a bad idea. We have lawyers.