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volume 1, issue 32

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 :

Hey Half-Life fans! Looking for some good reads? Check out Valve designer Harry Teasley's guest editorial, our review of Half-Life, or our interview with Marc Laidlaw!

Search the Archives!

The mmm...beefy! dept:
MailBag for Issue #32





Comments by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman

We love folks who get all gushy and giddy :)

Subject: Humbled....


Normally I disguise the fact that I am 16 years old, by keeping a calm face, and speaking in an intelligent tone (my facial hair helps too...but not much :)). However, this topic has me giddy, so my true age will probably show through in my speaking.

I'm writing in regards to the Steed "Thinking outside the Box" special, and especially, "Under His Skin", the article about God--er--Kenneth Scott. I "work" as a skin artist for The Coven, and have been an artist (3d, computer, painting, etc.) since I was born. My life knows only the eccentricities of artistic ways, and Gaming has been the best outlet, in terms of praying for a paycheck. :)

However, its oftentimes been very disheartening to go to gaming pages, and see only interviews with map designers, programmers, and people with indistinguished business roles within a game company. Yeah, they're interesting brain food, but no one ever interviews the artists. They [the artists] take "technology" and turn it into a "Game"...and no gaming page seems to recognize that as much as *I* believe they should.

You can now understand how happy it makes me feel to see an online gaming mag do interviews with guys like Kenneth Scott (at least once a month, I drop by Skinforge to admire the button bar, and fuel a false hope that there might be an update). It both humbles me and inspires me to read the words that roll out of these gentlemens mouth's (and onto a keyboard).

I'm studying for my MCSE, and my A+ certification (in between a 1,000 other tasks) and I plan to go to college for engineering and art, but my main hope in life is to...well...be in either Paul Steed's or Kenneth Scott's shoes, I guess.

Loonygames has officially won a spot on my list of bookmarks! :)


Jake Bielanski

After the battle of Verdun during World War I, it became a morbid joke among the soldiers that the only way the war would end is when the last man on one side and the last man on the other side, fought over a crater. The man triumphant would win the war for his side.


|----|Jacob Bielanski|----|

2-d artist for the Coven

Subject: Tutorials


Just to let you guys know, the tutorials Paul Steed posted rocked. I've been in the industry 2 years now and still learned quite a bit from them. Alot of pain (on my computers part) and frustration (on my part) could have been saved if I'd only seen Paul's tutorials sooner. Keep it up and thanks a bunch.

    • Bruce

Ill stop with the nepotism, I swear.

Subject: hey, I'm related too!

I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate. Can I have a teeshirt please?

Owen Williams

No. :)

Someone actually bought it!!

Subject: I saw them BUY IT! (What's the score?)

>That said, somebody has to go out there and buy Deer Hunter III.

I saw someone actually buy this game!! A woman even! Probably for her husband.... ;) Yes we too have gun totting hicks in NZ. But at least we require a gun license here and the type of weapon is very limited as opposed to the fully auto tank destroying monsters you US blokes can get your grubby hands on. Some how I feel a lot safer here in NZ.

As for the rest of the article.... well... I couldn't agree more. Games are heading for the mass market. Hell they're already there. Games will be just like the movies with huge production budgets and a credit list as long as the Bible. And also just like the movies there will be small bugdet indy hits too. Which the die hards out there will love.

As for game reviews... Well I don't read any offline Mags (although I was a fervent reader of PC Format and CVG a few years back, before the Internet). What I liked most about that magazine was the sarcastic humour and wit of the writers. In fact all English game mags (that I've read) seem to have a much more humourous attitude than any US mag gamming that I've read. US magazines tend to be much much drier. Nick is spot on with his comments about magazines not touching the > 20% <70% range for game scores. Either the game sucked (%5) or it was ok to average (>= 70%). But as Nick also points out most of the public just want to know what to avoid nd perhaps what to look more closly at. When I read PC Format and CVG I rarely touched a game with < 90% and had a policy of not tocuhing anything < 80% Hence all the games I bought I liked. Though I did buy games that I've never seen in mags too. Usually ones that had a brand I knew and liked. For example I bought _a lot_ of Sierra Adventure games (before I discoverd LucasArts).

So in summary. Games are like movies. People want and like a thumbs up or thumbs down. They also like brands or recognisable names. For examples see Alpha Centauri (nothing to do with Sid Mierer yet his name is on the box), Need For Speed (what are we up to now? Four I think. Or is it five? Does N4S 2 SE count?), FIFA 99 (hell the whole EA sports range), ID Software (lets face it, as single player game developers ID lost the plot after DOOM yet they still sell millions of copies).

Oliver Jones, BSc. - [email protected]
Deeper Design Limited

So heres the question. Is the mass marketing of games good or bad? Im personally not sure...part of me thinks that its a good thing, that anybody discovering games, however they find them, is ultimately for the greater good, a larger fan base, all that stuff. The other part of me remembers what the Internet was like 10 years ago, and what its like now. I do not want to see that happen to the gaming industry. Not that everything thats happened on the internet is bad..Id be a fool if I tried to claim that it was, but lets face it, we got a lot of crap with the good stuff, didnt we.

I guess my main question is...is it a payoff we have to take? In order to get more people playing games, do games have to go the way of AOL and pop up ads? I dont know. Its already happening though...ads inserted into games has been a discussion topic for months, ads in gaming related programs are a reality. How much longer until we start a Quake game just to find a banner pop up advertising the servers website? (Not that the huge welcome messages some servers have arent annoying enough, by the way) Ok...enough. /rant off. :)

And the winner of this weeks t-shirt...my favorite response to Sauls editorial:

Subject: the photoshop spoof

I'm getting really depressed because my image didn't come out as cool as the one in the tutorial! I even went out and bought Photoshop for dummies and I still can't do it. My real question is, is the name Saul Peed a spoof on Paul Steed or is that just a coincidence? Thanks


- Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman is an associate editor at loonygames. She's probably the most normal person on the staff. That's really sad.



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.