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volume 1, issue 41

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.

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AGN: Our interview with Mur's editor.

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

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Community Profile:
Jim Downs

 

 

 

By Stephanie "Bobbi Bergman

ím the first to admit it...I have a really cool day job. But like any job, itís only as cool as the people you work with. Jim "Aufeaux" Downs, Executive Producer at the All Games Network (I work for Jim) is just cool. I mean, come on. DJ, pilot, killer Battlezone player, designer of *cough* Sim Pimp (unfortunately, the story is true)? Oh, and lots, lots more. And hey, thanks to Jim I can recognize all the sounds from Battlezone. Which Iíve never played. Which actually came in handy once! :) Meet Jim Downs!

Name/rank/serial number? Jim Downs, Captain U.S. Army 1188324

What do you do at All Games? I am the Executive Producer, which mean I oversee the day to day production of AGN's video content. I Also book guests and titles for our flagship show, GameTime!

What is it like having to go on camera daily? Do you like it? When I started here I hated it. I was brought on a producer and dreaded being on camera. I remember last July Scot Rubin (the founder AGN and host of GameTime!) took his vacation and I was left to host the shows by myself for a whole week. Those early ones were rough, and I remember lots of dead air as I sweated it out in the studio raking my brain for something to talk about. What saved me during those early attempts were out chatters. Having all those people there every day in real time really inspires me and keeps us going. Granted, they can be real buttholes sometimes but that's just the nature chat. These days I love being on camera. The show we do is the culmination of a hard day's work and preparation.

How did you end up working at AGN? "Back in the day" I started hanging around Pseudo for a weekly electronic music party/show called Freq. I used to bring my record bag to the party hoping to get a chance to play in front of a crowd. One week the guest DJ for the show didn't show up, and there I was ready to play. I really sucked ass that night, but the kids really likes my set... Ravers, go figure! In any case that set turned into a semi regular thing and I ended hanging around Pseudo quite a bit. Did I mention that my girlfriend was the receptionist at the time? Well, thatís the long version I guess. Anyway, I was spending considerable time here and one night discovered this back office full of PC games. It was like the motherload! The first one I remember being stoked about was Red Baron 2. Shortly thereafter a position opened up in the very office that housed the cash of games and I leaped on it. With a background in TV and film production and a love for computer games it was happily ever after.

AGN has a great group of chatters who show up for the shows every day. Being the nuts we are at loonygames, we asked one of them what they wanted to know about you. So a question, care of Belnite: "Exactly when did Jim inherit those Buddy Holly Glasses?" I used to wear contact lenses, and during an especially long period of unemployment about three years ago, they began to decay. anyone who wears contacts knows that they require maintenance: various solutions, protein removing fizzy tablets, it's a pain in the ass. At some point they became painful if not dangerous to wear, so while I was out a pair of contacts, I did have a pair of Stussy sunglasses. After a visit to lens crafters, and in about an hour (the commercials are true) I had a whole new look.

What effect do you think interactive television is having on the gaming community, if any? Gamers are online already, so it makes sense that they'd find video programming about what they love. Regular TV doesn't even to begin to cover the gigantic world of games. ITV is an outlet for gaming news and editorial that just doesn't exist anywhere else. The fact that you can watch a show on AGN and actually be a part of the fun; having you thoughts addressed in real time and being able ask questions of the developers we talk to every day, only has a positive impact on the gaming community.

Where do you see the future heading for AGN? I see computer games becoming the future form entertainment for the masses. As graphics become more immersive and realistic I think that people will begin to play games instead of watching TV or going to movies. I mean wouldn't you rather be the action hero then watch one? Being the first ones out of the gate providing video content about gaming, I see AGN poised to become the premier source of interactive video coverage for the future of electronic entertainment.

You have a reputation for being a killer Battlezone player. If you could design Battlezone 2, what would it be like? :) I make no pretenses about being a game designer. Except of course for my idea for a massively multiplayer game called SimPimp. A chatter came up with the name, but the idea was mine. A big website out there had a poll about the best games that would never be made and SimPimp was one of them...I think it won! Anyway the idea started at AGN and if you don't believe me go check the archives! Was this question about Battlezone 2? All facts available lead me to believe that BZ2 is right on track and I wouldn't change a thing that the guys over at Pandemic are doing. If you're an Action/RTS fan then head over to www.bz2.com and take a look at why I'm so into this game.

You're a licensed pilot, and a flight sim fan. Has that made you a tougher

critic on sims? Flight sims: yes

People like to say sims really do 'simulate flying.' What do you think,

having done both? Flight simulations do to an extent. The truth is that no amount of 3D acceleration or eyecandy can recreate the forces that act on your body when your flying an airplane. Whether your being mashed into your seat during a hard turn or going weightless in a zero G nose over, a sim with out a motion simulator just doesn't cut it.

What are your favorite games? Battlezone

Half Life

Need for Speed: High Stakes (I'm currently hooked)

Mech Warrior 3 (GIANT ROBOTS!)

Kingpin

What are your favorite websites? That's a tough one actually because the web is a place I work on everyday so for me websites are a utilitarian thing for me. I like ones that provide information in a sensible manner. Flash chaps my hide, heavy Java that is slow on the T1 turns my stomach and....this question was about what I LIKED wasn't it? What's the sense? I could name some freaky places where you can see horses kicking farm hands or intense car wrecks and plane crashes, but then you'd know what a freak I really was.

Thanks Jim!

- Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman is an associate editor at loonygames. She's currently organizing the Female Frag Fest tournament.

 

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