Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Pokky Mash

Now that Classics Mutilated is in print, Anna Tambour has posted a quite Tambourian look at “Pokky Man” at her blog, Medlar Comfits.  Anna was the first reader of the story, and a staunch champion who convinced me not to rewrite it into paste, but to leave some lumps in.  It is an honor to think she spent so much of her intense intelligence on this odd little story.  But Anna likes odd things.

PS: If you buy the Kindle edition of Classics Mutilated, you’ll get two extra stories that aren’t in the paperback.  But the bound volume is hefty and beautiful, and the illustrations by Mike Dubisch are fun in any event.

Why So Little Zothique?

Why has Clark Ashton Smith had so little influence on gaming?  Grognardia, to which I have recently become addicted, has some good thoughts on this.

(Interestingly enough, I took this photograph, along with some others of Smith’s sculptures that may be found on some CAS sites, while visiting the house of Smith’s old friend Bob Elder, in Auburn, California.  I shared my shots with Ron Hilger and some of the other keepers of Smith’s legacy.)

Death of a Duke

This is sad.  Duke Nukem is Dead.  I learned a lot from Duke 3D.  When I joined Valve to work on Half-Life, there were many discussions of how well Duke had done things.  There’s a seminal moment where Duke is about to be executed, and suddenly you (as Duke) discover that you can break free and bust out of the execution chamber and (you being Duke) go on a rampage.  It’s safe to say this particular scene had a big impact on what I thought was possible in a first-person shooter.  Although the interminable wait for Duke Nukem Forever was, well, interminable, and made a great target over the years, the fact is, many of us were eagerly waiting for it, and couldn’t wait to be blown away.  Knowing people who worked on it over the years, and hearing them hint at how great it could be (if it would only ship), I have no doubt that over the course of its development, Duke was probably several dozen sorts of minor masterpiece at one time or another.  We’ll miss ya, ya big lug.

Gravity Bone


Do yourself, and all of us, the whole game industry, a favor.  Play Gravity Bone.  This is why we’re here.  Don’t read about it, although you will see links to plenty of people talking about why it is wonderful.  Play it first.  It’s short and sweet, and will pay you back handsomely for a minimal investment of your time.  (Oh:  Quicksave is F6, and at one point you may want it.)

Update:  Here’s a good Tom Chick interview with the game’s creator.


Left 4 Dead is out.  It was intensely fun when I first played it a couple years back, and it’s leagues better now.  I didn’t work on it, other than a fair bit of playtesting, so I don’t mind telling you it’s awesome.

I also recommend the blog, where you can find the large original of this image for your wallpaper: