By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
3/14: 11:00 AM – Too Early.
Did a lot of stuff last night…met up with the webmasters and we went out to Kobe Steak with John Romero and KillCreek…I think I've been spending too much time in Texas, lately…I had been there before. (Think I ordered the same thing, too.) I had totally forgotten that John was an old-school Apple ][ guy…had a blast reminiscing about those games. Highlight of all that was when he told me he wrote the OS for Zork Zero. Now that's cool stuff.
For those who don't understand how that's possible (a game OS) you have to understand how Apple ][ games worked. You actually had to boot up games back then…none of this new-fangled GUI crap. ;)
He also told me that if you hold down both apple keys on startup, you'll get a message with his name on it. Have to try that some how…
We all went from the restaurant to the fabulous Ion Storm office, located at the top of the tallest building in Dallas. (Astute readers will no doubt be able to guess that I stayed far away from the many windows, lest I get vertigo.) This is one seriously hardcore office. It's like any office in function, but at every turn they went the extravagant route. There's a theater, a fridge around every turn, music playing in the bathroom ( !) and my god…the best chairs ever. Every Ion employee has these uber-comfortable $1000 chairs. [Except Brian "Squirrel" Eiserloh apparently…the weirdo told me he doesn't like them.] Damn…I want one. ;)
After the tour, we set up a bunch of computers and played some Daikatana deathmatch. A lot of Daikatana deathmatch, actually. We played a couple of levels that aren't in the demo, including one totally kickass translation of the classic D2M1 map. A ton of fun. John mentioned that this will actually be included in the upcoming internet demo (not the one that's out now, but the non-Mplayer version) so trust me…you're going to have a blast. I discovered that the multiple fire shotgun is the best weapon in the game (looks like my initial thoughts were right on the money here) and the mine thingie is just too much fun. The mines work on line of sight, so deploy these in a doorway to ruin someone's day.
After several hours of DM I can say that John is doing a good thing with Daikatana. He's made the DM game of his dreams, and he really loves the thing…it comes through when he's playing, and more importantly, when you're playing it along side him. I actually put a tape recorder down and taped his smack talk…I'll put WAV files of some of those up soon. [Doh! Looks like my batteries ran out after about five minutes…oh well…next time.]
Before we left, we got to see the Anachronox trailer that's going to be released soon…it's cool stuff, but I was disappointed that there's no actual gameplay shown…it's cool stuff, just flythroughs of their environments. I had seen some of it before at last year's E3 (not populated, though, as it is now) which probably accounts for my disappointment. People who haven't seen anything will likely love it. The game just looks fantastic. Really different looking in some areas than what you're used to with the Quake engine. After that, it was uber-late, and we took our leave. Which brings us back to doe, as it were. Gotta run…that Daikatana press tourney should be going on…time to kick ass, baby! [As it turned out, the press thing was cancelled. Oh well…next time.]
3/14: 1:00 PM – Finals!
So here we are…finals are about to start. This is Rix vs. Immortal with a boatload of cash on the line. This is a much classier setup than previous events…it's two huge projection screens, sound, the whole works. Kudos to Angel and the gang for a bang-up job here. Immortal's just a beast with the railgun…makes me realize just how much I totally suck. If you've never watched a hardcore game, you don't know what you're missing…download a demo or two and see for yourself. They're horribly entertaining.
3/14: 2:45 PM – And the winner is…
Me! I won a Diamond Viper 550 in the door prize drawing…much to everyone's horror. ;)
I felt guilty about it, though, since I already have a TNT card. So I traded it in for a Diamond MX300 sound card. Still…I rule. Damn these things are fun…frankly, I think this makes up for the prize I was supposed to have won at QuakeCon '97. I wasn't in the room, so I didn't get it…it took almost two years, but I finally got it. Kick ass. ;)
3/14: 10:50 PM – Flyin' Off
We hung out a bit more at the hotel, Billy, Blue, Paul, Redwood and I (the webmasters crew…ph3r our [email protected] sk1lz y0). We huddled around a few computers with Internet access catching up on all the stuff we'd missed. Or…at least, I was…Blue n' Redwood were updating their pages, while Paul and Billy were checking on what their stand-ins were doing in their absence. Got a laugh out of John Romero's .plan update…that thing was a blast. Big thanks to John for having us over there. Didja notice he forgot to mention Billy? No implications I'm sure…Billy didn't insult his mom or anything. ;)
Got a chance to check out some Team Fortress Classic…after all the Daikatana and Quake 3 I did this weekend it seemed totally slow as molasses. It does look enjoyable, though…the new models are stylin' and the maps looked nice as well. It was a lot more unfinished than I was expecting, though…I was surprised at that. There were visual glitches on the sniper rifle's zoom…enough to give me a headache just watching it. But the kids seemed to dig it, which I guess is all that matters in the end. Let's hope they work out the kinks enough to release that bad boy soon.
Checked out the 3DFX booth, where they had some Voodoo 3 info, and coolest of all, the Irish Spring contest winners. I had no idea this was even happening, which sucks, because I would have loved to enter. Basically what it was, was a contest where you carve a 3DFX logo out of a bar of Irish Spring soap. (The Irish Spring thing was a reference to St. Patrick's Day, not any sponsorship, apparently.) The winners were amazingly well done, although I thought the third place winner was the best. That one was a thing that completely did away with the bar of soap shape…the others tended to have the logo coming out of the bar itself. Anyway, neat stuff.
After a few quick good-byes, we headed off to a Mexican restaurant. When we showed up there, amazingly Onethumb and Squirrel (Ion code boy) were just arriving as well. Go fig. :)
Blue and O.T. made a deal to exchange Blue's unheard of four button Logitech MouseMan wheel with a USB connector (I need one of those!) for a complete set of the awesome Doom pewter figurines. Damn…come to think of it…I'd like to be on both sides of that deal. :)
We headed back to Squirrel and O.T.'s pad to make the exchange and hung out there for a bit. The technophobe would have been horrified by the sight of this place…wires everywhere, tons of computers, just nuts. O.T. had just picked up a hands-free mouse so we got a demo of it using Doom 2 of all things. It was…odd to say the least. And they showed us this kickass mouse cleaning thing…it's actually a replacement ball that you stick into your mouse, and then roll it across a custom mouse pad….and voila…clean mouse. Cool stuff.
It was time to catch our flights, so we headed off. I've got some bitching to do about the airport, and I've got a recap to write, but I'm out of paper. I'll do it when (if?) I land. :)
3/15: 4:35 AM – Back in NYC
I guess I could bitch here about the marathon run through the airport, or the time we spent circling NYC from 30,000 feet or so…but I think you've had enough of that by now. Besides…it's almost 5 AM here. :)
I have to say…this event was the best one of these I'd been to yet. It was flawlessly run, there were lots of games showing, tons of people to hang out with…just a total blast. The CPL deserves a major pat on the back for this one.
Since I'm so tired, and feeling pretty unoriginal, lemme go back through my list of things I said I'd do.
Did this. In fact, we had the argument while standing next to the Dreamcast…he pretty much had me beaten to a pulp, when all of a sudden the Sonic Adventure level where you're running away from a killer whale that's destroying the pier beneath you came on. I think he's buying one now. ;)
Did this…and played lots of it, too. :)
Can you believe I actually forgot to do both of these. Jeeeeeez…of course, the first one was pretty silly, since the Daikatana demo was released…but it would have been a nice thing to check anyway. I'm naturally weary of the water running into all those game development houses down there.
Done, done, and done. Damn…I should be a mormon.
Can you believe I didn't do any of these? Starsiege was there, but after a while, all the computers it was on turned into Starsiege: Tribes and they had a mini-competition thing going. Oh well…guess I'll have to go out and get it now. :)
As for the other two…I was too busy to look around. Oh well…next time. Pretty good results, all in all…I'd say it was a hell of an event. If you've never been to a LAN party, you have no idea what you're missing out on. It's a hell of a time.
- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here at loonygames. He's been up waaaaay too long tonight.
Credits: Illustration © 1999 Illiad. Extreme Anniliation is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...or we'll kick yer sorry ass.