Hi! I was working in QA at Gizmondo for 8 months before getting offered a new job 3 days before they fired us all :)
I dunno if this will be of any interest to you but you might be amused to hear that I got paid late on about 5 of those months because they just didn't have the money to pay us (apart from that one time their bank manager made a mistake and they showed us all a copy of the letter from the bank manager so we would actually believe them). So for about a week every month or so, the Gizmondo QA department among others would refuse to do any work until we got paid. Some of us had to borrow money from petty cash just to afford to make it into work on several occasions.
When I joined it was a whole development studio (used to be Warthog) and they had some cool sounding games in production which probably would have been the best games on there, but obviously when they realised no money was coming in after the launch they thought making good games was going to be too expensive and 'downsized' by firing their developers leaving just a rather demoralised QA department.
Other than that, we all had a hilarious time hearing about the CEO paying his wife for marketing consultancy and paying us out of his own pocket when funds were low. Especially when we then later read headlines like "Former Gizmondo executive's mafia convictions revealed"! Of course any news we heard about the company's finances ended up on the internet long before we were told anything.
As for the games, I think the only game I really enjoyed playing was SSX which is probably better on every other platform anyway. It's a shame they never got chance to release the augmented reality games using the camera cause they were ace. Or you know... finishing their flagship game Colours might have helped their sales a bit. Everyone likes GTA clones!
Also please say hi to all the great people from Gizmondo QA who all read this site religiously!
Keep me anonymous please, I'm not sure what I can still be sued for...
Anyone who used to work in the shop, particularly the people who said they remember the day we came in to take our photos and are apparently blaming UKR for killing the console. Anyone who used to post on the official Gizmondo forum - to this day we remain convinced you were all paid employees embarking upon rudimentary "viral marketing". Anyone else who got bummed by the Gizmondo scam. Bulletproof anonymity assured.
THIS is a link to our MySpace thing, featuring fictional example friend "Tom". Watch it stagnate and eventually expire. THIS is an Animal Crossing Wild World forum someone else set up. Watch it stagnate and eventually expire.
Proper web sites also place grabs between large chunks of text so the feature looks nicer.
How's the PS2 version of Coast 2 Coast going to look compared to the arcade-perfect GENIUS MAJESTY of last year's Xbox OutRun2? (Don't lie and say it's going to be awesome if it isn't, because we'll be able to tell and then you'll look bad.)
Sol: If we hid the pads, and did some Pepsi challenge thing, then it would be split down the board I reckon. There are some subtle differences due to each consoles in-ability to do things the same way, but you've got to be some obsessed arcade fanatic with no social connections or a life to be able to really tell. Or work at Sumo - which is pretty much the same thing.
When we inevitably compare the PS2 version to the Xbox version, what are we going to say are the main differences? (Bear in mind we HATE SONY like an abusive step-dad, so will pick up any minor differences and say they're really big and obvious.)
Sol: Reds are a bit redder. Something to do with bridge rectifiers. I was told about that by this American chap I spoke to on a forum once. Fog might be slightly less foggy - or foggier. Bloom (which is a fancy word for sunlight burning into the back of the retina) is slightly different - but shouldn't make anyone weep over it. Biggest difference is the controllers, but we've tweaked them with the help of AM2 to keep the right feel and control.
How do you go about converting an Xbox-based arcade game to PS2? Keep this brief, as no one's really interested in knowing about this apart from us.
Sol: It's like re-packing your suitcase after two weeks on holiday. Although you should have the same amount of stuff, it doesn't seem to want to go back in. Even if you've worn all the booze and drunk all the suntan. You just have to shut the lid and jump on it, or in our case, jump on the textures and models a bit. And music. And code. And other stuff. You're not supposed to start a sentence with 'And' are you. But like that. Except it has to look the same, unlike a very squashed hat.
***THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF THEM ALL***
Will the Xbox version work on Xbox 360? This is the most important question of them all, so please answer it like this is a serious interview for somewhere proper like IGN or Edge.
Sol: Backwards compatibility is not something that works from our code - rather Microsoft has developed a software emulator that should make this happen at some point in the future. Should that be the case, it will be downloaded on Live or by visiting the Xbox.com website. I think at the moment the emulator doesn't work with all games but Microsoft say they are going to fix it so everything works eventually. So we don't know really; it's out of our hands.
How's it going to look on PSP? Surely it's an IMPOSSIBLE TASK? It's like signing a contract to get an elephant in a shoebox! It's a poisoned chalice, surely?
Sol: It looks quite a lot like the screens on the web mostly. Runs at a fair lick of knots too. We've been squishing stuff into the PSP for a while (shameless plug for TOCA, Virtua Tennis and Go! Sudoku) so it's like a comfortable chair. Not quite one of those lazy boy ones, something a bit smaller and a bit shiner perhaps. I will demand some eating of hats on a few forums when it's out - from those non-believers.
This is OR2006 on PSP. We've played it, but aren't allowed to 'review it' yet, especially not on the internet. They'd go MENTAL if we did that! We can probably get away with saying something vague like "what we've seen of it so far looks really fucking good and smooth and awesome" though.
Don't people just use PSPs for watching porn on these days anyway?
Sol: Maybe if you've got strong wrists, I can't hold it one handed.
Can you play Coast 2 Coast on PSP's digital pad? Only the analogue stick thing's a bit rubbish and isn't placed very well. It'd probably work better on the d-pad. Just a thought. It's not like you really need analogue for OutRun.
Sol: You can use the D-Pad - you won't be getting top times on the online ranks as you can turn some mean times with the nub. Nub, there's a good word.
Is Richard Jacques doing any new music for Coast 2 Coast?
Sol: His "Euro Remixes" from OutRun2 are included but unfortunately that's it. We felt he couldn't possibly top those aural sensations... Plus he is working on some other top secret Sega stuff. There is some new music provided by the original Japanese composer though.
Have you met Richard? If so WHAT IS HE LIKE?! He seems really nice!
Sol: Can't really tell - we're tried shouting to him through his letter box once but all we heard were muffled cries and sobs.
What did you talk about?
Sol: It was hard to tell, something about us going far away is about all we could work out.
What was he wearing? Go into as much detail as possible, especially about his trousers.
Sol: Damnit, you broke us. Can't say really, last time the closest we got was downloading the files from Sega. I imagine he's really smartly dressed but with pop star hair. I bet he hangs round with top models and smokes fags with a cigarette holder. In fact I think I hate him for that.
Going back to the game, can you tell us anything about your new content?
Sol: Err, it's got some new Ferraris in it and there's no rain. It would suck if you had enough money to own an open topped Ferrari and went on a road trip and all it did was rain, so we left that out. Also, no-one seems to grasp that every platform is online, PSP too. 6 players, you don't even have to have that many friends; OutRun will go out and make them for you. If you've played the Arcade to death, then there is even new tuned up versions of the cars, done with the help of Ferrari. Open top Enzo sir? 4:18 on Route A without breaking a sweat. Now that's fast. There is also a load of other stuff in there, but best not ruin it.
Xbox OutRun2's Mission Mode was really, really good and we completed it all-- what are you doing this time? You can definitely tell us, it's out in a few weeks. Even if Sega says you're not allowed to tell us, you can still tell us. It's OK. Really.
Sol: We hope to divide opinion once again on the mission mode. We've split the missions into Heart Attack type stuff and Racing missions, as we know not everyone likes the same things as us. We've added kittens and lions as well as the obligatory fruit and there's even a beach ball to dribble. We've also kept the maths, because we like watching people's faces contort when we watch them play it in Dixons. Plus you get the Flag Man telling you what to do. You could imagine him there dancing whilst he does it.
Going back to Richard Jacques, did he mention UKR at all?
Sol: I'm sure if we ever have a conversation, that would be the thing to break the ice. Me saying 'Is it fun being stalked by the internet' and him laughing jovially whilst nodding at the models we imagine he hangs around with to go and warm up the getaway car.
Xbox OutRun2 got a bit jerky on Xbox Live sometimes. Is that something you can fix "your end" or is it a general Xbox Live issue that we're going to be stuck with forever until they invent a better kind of internet?
Sol: We can't really help it if some peasants with a steam powered internet connection log onto Live and host games. There is some stuff we've fettled with to make it better - we'll find out about 5 minutes after it hits the shops if people on the forums start moaning that it's lagging on their 56K modems.
What sort of PC will we need to make it look super-awesome? Our PC is a Dell from two years ago and we don't know what the graphics card is -- will it work on that?
Sol: We're waiting for someone to send us some really good PCs - like Alienware or someone, so we can say that those are the ones you'll need, hopefully seeing a cut of the profits. In the meantime we're making do with trying to keep the spec to something sensible - couple of Gig processor, half a gig of ram and recent video card. If it runs DirectX 9 stuff there is a good chance it will work. You could try running it on a 486 if it's got AGP, but it would be like receiving a series of postcards of someone driving into walls.
This is what PC games usually look like. Imagine how excited PC gamers will be when they get OutRun 2006! It'll be like when we first got a Mega Drive.
Labels: MEAT BAGS (WOMEN)
All Female Game Team Leads Roundtable Discussion
Thursday, February 9, 2006--San Francisco, CA--Women in Games International, a non-profit organization in the interactive entertainment industry, today announced the addition of the Frag Dolls as speakers at their next conference, Women in Games International-San Francisco. The Frag Dolls are an all-female video game team sponsored by global game publisher Ubisoft.
Women in Games International-San Francisco, titled "Games for Women, Games by Women" is scheduled on Saturday, February 18 from 1 pm to 6 pm at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco. This conference addresses the myth that women don't "do" games by discussing statistics, game genres and careers in game development. Frag Dolls members Morgan Romine ("Rhoulette), Kat Hunter "Katscratch") Ashley Jenkins ("Jinx") and Emily ("Seppuku") are participating as speakers at the conference.
FRAG DOLL SPEECHES AND TIMES:
"Nintendogs -- why is it so lovely?" by Jinx, 9:45am Exhibition Hall 2
"What is it about football games?!" by Rhoulette, 10:30am, Nelson Mandela Room
"Has he got a better gun than me or am I just rubbish?" by Katscratch, 11:00am Exhibition Hall 2
"I know!!! They should do NintenCATS next!!!" by Seppuku, 12:30pm Jonathan Sands Room
"Why not make it so you look up when you press up?" by Katscratch, 1:30pm Exhibition Hall 2
"Shopping games - a routemap for design" by Seppuku, 2:00pm UbiSoft Experience Room
"Why are driving games always too fast?" by Rhoulette, 2:45pm Exhibition Hall 2
"What's best out of Puzzle Bobble and Columns?" by Jinx, 3:00pm Meeting Room 3
"What I think matters because I'm such a cutie-pie!" by Katscratch, 3:45am Exhibition Hall 2
Labels: MEAT BAGS (WOMEN)
THING ONE: FAKE PSP PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
"This was up for a while ago but only via torrent -- now it's available via the magic of Google Video, wheeee! enjoy!"
FAKE PSP PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
THING TWO: A PIECE OF 'NEW GAMES JOURNALISM' POSTED ON IGN, OF ALL PLACES, WHICH WE WERE PRESUMABLY SUPPOSED TO RIP THE PISS OUT OF
"I thought it would be ripped to shreds already!"
'NEW GAMES JOURNALISM' POSTED ON IGN
THING THREE: 'SEGA MUSIC' WIKIPEDIA ENTRY
"You may have already seen this and posted about it, but just in case you haven't..."
'SEGA MUSIC' WIKIPEDIA ENTRY
"The music's traditional form was largely improvised and was intensely emotional. It was also used as a funereal dirge and as part of traditional exorcisms."
"Who knew SEGA had such magical powers?"
"Look at the woman dancing the SEGA too!"
"If you've already seen this and are already bored to tears of random peple sending this to you, then feel free to bin this immediatly..."
THING FOUR: ANCIENT SAKURA TAISEN ADVERT FROM JAPAN
ANCIENT SAKURA TAISEN ADVERT FROM JAPAN
"Had to pass this on"
THING FIVE: SEGA TOYS 'MAKE-UP GAME FOR GIRLS' COMING TO AMERICA
"Radica, the company that makes these stand-alone joystick only titles has signed a deal with Sega."
HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 9, 2006--Radica Games Limited (NASDAQ:RADA) has announced a partnership with Sega Toys (a subsidiary of Sega(R) Corporation) to develop, manufacture and distribute Digi Makeover, one of the most anticipated toys to debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York City, February 12-15. Designed for today's young teen girls, Digi Makeover includes a makeup case-styled touch pad with digital camera that plugs directly into the TV and lets girls take their picture and get creative with their very own makeover, including makeup, hairstyles and accessories.
Digi Makeover is expected to hit retail shelves in the fall of 2006 and will retail for approximately $59.99.
According to Jim Silver, editor of Toy Wishes Magazine, Radica's Digi Makeover was one of the most talked-about products when industry experts saw it last October. "If the execution is done well and there aren't any major problems with it, I can see it being a big hit this fall," he says.
"Sega Toys continues to be a dominant force in interactive entertainment," says Pat Feely, CEO, Radica. "We're thrilled to be partnering with them and bring their innovative technology to this
Isao Kokubun, president and CEO, Sega Toys notes, "As a leader in girls' lifestyle products, Radica is an important partner to bring the concept of digital makeovers to the retail marketplace."
The foregoing discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Forward-looking statements include statements about efforts to attract or prospects for additional or increased business, new product introductions and other statements of a non-historical nature. Actual results may differ from projected results due to various Risk Factors, including Risks of Manufacturing in China, Dependence on Product Appeal and New Product Introductions, and Dependence on Major Customers, as set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. See "Item 3. Key Information -- Risk Factors" in such report on Form 20-F.
THING SIX: ANOTHER ASTOUNDING COMPLAINT ABOUT THE RETRO GAMING FEATURE, ONLY IT READS SO POORLY WE SUSPECT IT MIGHT BE A FAKE (AND IF IT ISN'T A FAKE WE GENUINELY FEEL A BIT SORRY FOR THE AUTHOR)
"Your Retro Special is a defilement to 1000's of gamers world wide. To act like the old should of never existed only means that you have no respect to what brought games to what they are. BACK THEN and AT THE TIME, those games were top of the line in not only entertainment, but even technology. International Karate, along with Street FIghter 2, Mortal Konbat, and many more has given the fighting games of today a platform of exsistence. WIthout them, you may never even see your damned VF4 (another thing: VF4 is made up from the improvement of 3 other game before it. You wouldn't have VF4 without even those 3 games)."
"Games like FFVII, Sonic 2, and Driver were the cream of the corn. They were the at the top, and the pinical, or the gaming stages before all else came along. Without FFVII, or even Final Fantasy 1! There may not even be a strong base for any existence of good RPG."
"As for other poiints, sex in games was never a strong point outside of the virgin 18 year old players. Noone really cared for 1000 polygon girls as much as they did with the 200 pixel failure of Sam Fox Strip Poker. Cause they are all into real things, honestly."
"oh, and the lack of back light during the Gameboy days. This factor was to cut to damn cost. Really good for those short on cash, cause those things like the GameGear failed based on eye hazzard, and for cost. the Back Light screens of the GBA sp and DS are a invention of price reduction in the economy. If you gaming in your hands for the go that wasn't over 500 buck to have back in 1995, you'd never be bitching about the Gameboy not having a light. You'd have a flash light shoved in your mouth while under the bed sheets playing Pokemon for the 150th catch."
"For fuck sacks, you're got it made in the fucking sun with gamign to day. Respect the past, cause it's hardships gave you this golden shove that is surgecly embedded in your ass!"
This is not an MTV commersial...
THING SEVEN: SOMETHING ABOUT ENTIRELY FABRICATED GIRL GAMING CLAN THE FRAG DOLLS (U.S.)
"I don't know if we're supposed to send in news about the Entirely Fabricated Girl Gaming Clan The Frag Dolls to you anymore in case you're tired of the Entirely Fabricated Girl Gaming Clan The Frag Dolls.
"Just in case though, here's a link where the writer appears to be unsure what's sexier, Entirely Fabricated Girl Gaming Clan The Frag Dolls member "Rhoulette" or shooting Nazis in planes."
SOMETHING ABOUT ENTIRELY FABRICATED GIRL GAMING CLAN THE FRAG DOLLS (U.S.)
"There, that's got to be a contender for most extraneous mention of Entirely Fabricated Girl Gaming Clan The Frag Dolls yet!"
THING EIGHT: A LINK TO SOME BBC RESEARCH ON 'GAMING'
"...whereby anyone who has accidently played a mobile game instead of pressing the shortcut for sending a text, or lent on the red button of their remote and played an interactive TV game in the last 6 months qualifies as a 'gamer'."
"Playing a game of any sort once a week or more makes you a heavy user."
"Sega Dreamcast is more popular than Sony PSP across the 6-35 year old age range."
"66% of 6-10 year olds have played interactive TV games in the last 6 months. This is more than Xbox, Gamecube, Dreamcast and PSP put together. And more than mobile games."
BBC RESEARCH ON 'GAMING'
"I'm sure you could squeeze an update out of this report. And feel free to crib any of what I've written."
THING NINE: SOMEONE'S COLLECTION OF BOOTH BABE PHOTOS:
"Now that the subject of the E3 booth babes is all over the Internet, here is a link to my annual boot babe pictorial to add to your list - the best to be found anywhere - every year - eight years running!"
BOOTH BABE PHOTOS
THING TEN: A LINK TO A WEB SITE THAT SELLS 'INTERCHANGABLE RECTAL UNITS'
'INTERCHANGABLE RECTAL UNITS'
"There's got to be a joke in there somewhere, I'm sure."
Labels: MEAT BAGS (WOMEN)
A site about games and game paraphernalia and how nothing's as good as we remember it, probably because we used to inhabit a FANTASY WORLD.
What are we half-heartedly skimming RIGHT NOW?
Each post .02% worse than the last.
THE HTML ERAS
When men used to till the pages by hand.
12 years of wheat and chaff in one vast and impenetrable mass.
Some updates weren't universally hated by the entire world within seconds of being uploaded.
Links to that blog of yours you started up and were excited about for a whole weekend.
Some people we might've MET. Or at least seen in a room and been near.
Other sites we are happy to officially endorse without requiring Adwords spend.
Having one is compulsory, apparently. Ours is here. It is not meant to be funny.
People off the internet. Quality and commitment levels may vary.
It came with the template. Maybe in 2014 we'll jump on board the Twitter train and put that in here. Or a radio. That'd be nice.