Category Archives: Gaming

My First Podcast

dass bettuh...

I was on The Indoor Kids gaming podcast! I literally don’t stop yammering about who the hell knows what (that’s how I recall recording this anyhow). I don’t think I mention any smaller games I’ve been playing because my Colonial Marines sadness was still fresh in my brain. Also, I wish I had never attended that party where that guy I never met took that awful photo of me and uploaded it to Wikipedia because it’s sorta the go-to photo to use for people who want to remind me that people take terrible photos of me, or that maybe I’m just terrible.

Just click on the image above to go to the podcast, or find it on itunes or I just don’t know, I can’t keep telling you how to live your life, man.




Dead Space 3 victory comic


Finished Dead Space 3. I don’t know that I ever need to play another Dead Space game ever again, but I loved getting through this many of them and feel content to remember all the breathtaking badassery experienced.

Drew this right after in honor of mashing the goddamned RB button on my controller to mash open containers for years and years.

The Cabinet of the Ghosts of Gaming’s Past

Man oh man!  I don’t usually plan on going out for groceries and coming home with a burlap sack filled with women, but it’s just one of those things that happen if I’m not wearing that collar the doctor’s put on me.

Generally I deal with it efficiently enough so as to not bring any more problems down on me than usual, but this time I ran into storage issues, so I had to start clearing out some space wherever I could, and that’s what brings me to this silly little post.

Before emptying out a chest to make room for my new friends, I thought it would be fun to document just a few of the items inside of it before putting them in storage.  This thing had become a repository for old gaming hardware from days long past.

Have fun, try to identify as much of the magic as you can while I look on and nod every now and then, taking down notes that you’ll never get to see.

Click on the images to go over to the Flickr page hosting them for the super high res versions!

Maybe I'll be buried in this chest, with maracas in hand like a crook and flail.

Ghouls N' Ghosts is better than people.

Someday we’ll find it, the Portal-ZIM connection?

The INVADER ZIM factor in the making of Portal?

Some gamers out there might get a smile out of this (I know I did!)

Got this email on the ol’ fanmail account a few days ago, and though I usually don’t make a habit of waving fanmail around, prancing about like a lunatic, this was one that stood out a bit.  That’s not to say that getting fanmail isn’t always nice, but now and then you get something from people that had something to do with something you yourself are a fan of, and it makes you realize that everyone else writing to you is shit.

I kid!  Stop with the sad eyes.  You know what I mean.

Anyhow,  I asked  Jeep Barnett if it was cool to reprint his email here for you guys to read, and after he edited the email, removing all the racial slurs and threats to kill the President and such, he said okay.  Thanks, Jeep.

(No, he does no misspell my name.  I sometimes write it out without the O for a more staccato effect.  No kidding.)

Hey, Jhnen! No, we don’t know each other. However, I have a bonus INVADER ZIM Fact that I believe even you aren’t aware of!


Valve’s “Portal” may never have existed if it wasn’t for Invader Zim. It’s true! I know this, because I’m one of the programmer’s who worked on Portal and predecessor, Narbacular Drop. Here’s how it went down…

For our final year at DigiPen IT, our game team wanted to create something awesome that would become DigiPen’s “flagship” of the year… to take us to independent game festivals and propel our budding careers. After a lot of design work, we came up for the portal/puzzle concepts in Narbacular Drop (and Portal).

However, we were missing a key ingredient: artists! While I was at DigiPen, the art and programming students were generally kept apart, except for the final year where artists could choose to work with a programmer game team. There was a very limited supply of art teams that wanted to work on games, so the programmers had to pitch their game to them and pray to be selected.

Well, that year there was only 2 art teams and 15 programming teams, so we knew that we’d have to have a kick ass impressive pitch. We built a small prototype of the game to show them and did a lot of thinking about potential art styles that would make the game an attractive pick. We finally decided on a sort of “twisted fairytale” theme and in our presentation we used JTHM and Zim as examples of the direction we were going for.

I honestly have only seen a few episodes of Invader Zim (I really enjoyed it, but never got around to watching them all), but I love JTHM and Squee (also the Bad Art Collection was awesome). Others on the team are huge fans of Zim. And as it turns out, the art team that decided to work with us were also rabid fans of Zim. Mentioning it in our presentation made our game stand out and was a key factor in acquiring the art team.

So the teams worked together for 8 months, made Narbacular Drop, that went on to great success, got the whole team picked up by Valve, made the spiritual successor Portal, and the rest is history… all thanks to Invader Zim! And in Portal itself, maybe you can see some of that morbid humor that your work inspired in us.

So… thanks!!

And thanks for putting so much time into the 31 facts posts! I’m a slow reader so I’m a little delayed on finishing them, but I was throughly surprised and entertained! I’m especially glad that I didn’t need to be a Zim nerd to enjoy them. I learned a lot and it’s inspired me to add the Zim DVDs to my Netflix queue.



Yesterday’s entry was maybe just a bit too amazing, I think, and I have to restore the balance by making today’s twice as awful.  Them’s the rules, as they say, and who am I to break them?

Besides, today I’m just a bit too busy to be sitting here not doing what I should be doing when not doing what I’m currently doing, writing this entry for you.

Baking these words with love.
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Pre-Game Lobby

So last month, maybe two months ago (hard to keep track of time when you’re thousands of years old, get what I’m sayin’?) 2K games sends out one of those probes, not unlike the one they send down to Hoth at the start of Empire.  I fucking LOVED that probe when I was a kid, all the arms and the lenses – it was pretty much my kind of probe, ya know?

Anyhow, the 2K probe showed up and asked if I’d be interested in doing one of those Xbox Live things where you play a certain game with fans, in this case playing Bioshock 2 with people.  Now, if you’re in the know, which you are (this is where I ruffle your hair good-naturedly, then wink at you and creep the living fuck out of you) you know that I’m kind of known for being somewhat bemused by the general perception of my fans.  I’m not exactly known for having a huge audience of gamers so much as I am for attracting people who were apparently taken over by parasites that only now forming the connections to their hosts’ communication centers.

That’s not saying they’re all like that!  It’s just that there are so many that those are the ones that make the most noise when I say things like “Some of these people make me sick to my stomach” or other such passing comments based on HARD FACT.  And a few are gamers, even!  That group of folks that showed up at PAX – awesome people.  Lovely, polite, and either uninfected or inhabited by parasites that have been around long enough to be able to convey thoughts and ideas without making everyone around them incredibly uncomfortable!  Man…I miss those people.

But then I got to thinking about it:  What if the people I end up playing with ARE the hideous ones, the ones that think that everything I say or do is a reference to my own work, as if I am constantly bathing in a stew of self reference?  The object of the game is to light these people on fire and shoot them in the face!  What better matchup, what better pairing of differing aspirations?!

So I said yes and I’m sure it’ll be fine and I’m sure I’ll get my bloody ass kicked bloody because I’m not that good at the multiplayer in that game from what I have experienced.  I’ve played it a bit and it’s a more old-school, bang your dead before you turn around to see who is filling you with lead kind of game.  But I hope to get in a few lucky shots.

Still, I’m not entirely sure how this whole thing is supposed to go down.  I had assumed it would be me in a lobby of constantly rotating fans, going into matches and then playing a different group each time.  But I realize that that’s not how Xbox Live works.  There’s no real way to mediate this other than to do it myself, so that’s going to be a bit odd and somewhat clumsy the way I am thinking of it.  If I accept a game invite, will I simply be playing with that one person that invited me as well as a bunch of people who don’t  necessarily want to play with me but have been thrown into the mix by the matching process?

And if I am in a party, and invite people that have sent friend requests, do I tell them all to leave after each match and then fill it with more people?  Very time consuming if that’s the case.  Now I wonder how all those other luminaries feature on the dashboard have dealt with this and other mysteries.

Ah, well.  I’ll tell you how it went down after it goes down later tonight.  Back to work.

God does not want me to make a video game.


One of my favorite news stories of the year had to do with the Large Hadron Collider’s history of bad luck, ranging from the kind of technical/machine errors you just expect when trying to operate your typical supercollider in peace to outright things exploding and possible terrorism.

Considering the LHC’s importance as a player on the stages of both the scientific community and those that fear its very existence is an affront to GOD or simply a hideous threat to the existence of existence, its easy to see how a “run of bad luck” could be blown up into something much more dramatic, depending on your point of view.
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