Depending on when you read this, there'll be a new Digitiser Mini video up around teatime tonight (that's Friday, obviously . I think this is the best one I've done so far - as with all things, they take a bit of trial and error to get right. Next week's one is also a doozy. Please watch and share where you can, as they help to bring in subscribers in advance of our Series 2 push.
Also, the Digi hosts and I are making plans to get together soon to shoot some actual proper, on-screen, visual content for you. And, of course, Larry, Gannon and I got together earlier this week to record the pilot episode of Digitiser Presents: Bubblegun. It's a podcast. About old things. Presented by three middle-aged white men. Because there simply aren't enough of those!!!!?!
It went pretty well though. Hopefully we'll debut the series in a month or so. Letters time now, plz.
If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, or you've got a picture of a bin you wish to share, please send your filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
There was a tank game on my Amiga, I think it had the word tank in the name.
It was in space with a view looking down from above. Each level was full of twists and turns, with some really narrow sections, and you had to make sure you didn’t go over the edge. You had to go really slowly because these invisible mines would suddenly appear in front of you. And every once in a while a really creepy noise would sound and you’d know a really big bomb was slowly circling you, and the noise would get faster until it came close enough for you to shoot it but if you missed it it would kill you.
What was it called please?
Jango Fats Hammer
Those are all real good puns, man!
271) Sony in some ways are unique among platform manufacturers in that their 'face' changes with each generation, with many previously popular franchises now dormant. Obviously Sony cannot fund everything, so do you think there are opportunities for them to lease out some IP to 3rd-party developers e.g. a new Jak and Daxter could be developed externally?
272) Which game mechanic most needs to disappear? My own choice would be revealing the map via towers/tallnecks etc.
273) Which game series, for you, had the best initial game? There are plenty to choose from but Horizon and Halo must be strong contenders.
274) It doesn't make much difference, of course, but I think that it is unfair for Billy Mitchell's legitimate scores such as the first perfect game of Pac-Man to be erased from record books because of his (alleged) cheating in other instances. He doesn't seem like a particularly nice man, but removing all records feels more like revenge than justice to me.
275) What do you think is more likely in the next 15 years, VR becoming the 'default' way to play games, all games being sold through a Netflix-style service, Google being the dominant force in games or all games being PC compatible?
272) I don't mind the climbing the tower thing. I like me a bit of parkour. For me the most tedious game mechanic has to be escort missions, or missions where you have to trail somebody. Any mission that depends on a slow-moving NPC, basically.
273) Sonic The Hedgehog. It's almost perfect (see more below). Halo... I enjoyed to a point, but the sponginess of the vehicle and weapon handling, and the repetitive enemy waves, niggled at me. I suppose Tomb Raider was - for the time - pretty perfect. I mean, it plays like arse today, but the series seems to have lost a sense of isolation that was essential to the atmosphere in that first game.
274) It's all a bit meaningless really. Billy Mitchell's biggest issue is that he appears to take it all too seriously, and acts like it matters. And dresses like an idiot (yes: pot calling the kettle black).
275) The streaming one, as - indeed - I wrote recently on here. I think the sensory deprivation aspect of VR, even if they fix the motion sickness, is always going to be a barrier. There'll always be games that you play on a screen, in the traditional way.
After Nikki's lovely dog letter last week, and Bunty's poo letter at Christmas, I threatened to send a poo story if I had nothing video games/retro related to say. Here goes.
My secondary school wasn't a particularly old building - it was a 50's build, and was built to accommodate 1000 students plus staff. By the time I got there, there were 1,500 11-16 year old students, 200 sixth formers and over 100 staff members. This meant that the school as a whole was cramped and always felt uncomfortably full, and there could never be a whole school assembly or gathering because the largest hall could only take one house's students - there were four houses.
To try and prevent students from smoking in the toilets, the school decided to remodel them. Instead of having the toilets in a room with a door, they were individual cubicles that opened straight out onto the corridor. Not only did this curb people smoking in the toilets, it curbed toilet use full stop. Any noise made in the toilets could be heard plainly in the corridors. In the 4 years I spent at that school (having missed Year 11 due to ill health) I used the toilets three times.
All of this adds up to make the giant log even more mysterious.
I first heard whisperings in a Physics lesson, the last lesson of the day and directly after lunch, which was peak toilet time.
"Someone's done a giant poo in the boy's toilets in A Block!"
We were all distracted. News of the poo spread quickly through the class and our teacher got quite cross at our inattention. That level of inattention was nothing, however, compared to the rumpus when one of the boys acquired a photograph of the poo via whatsapp. Physics was forgotten, our teacher ignored, we all crowded around his desk to see the photograph of the poo.
It was enormous.
It was more than enormous - it was spectacular, amazing, incredible, awe-inspiring.
It was one solid log the size of a rugby ball, partially wedged in the U bend but mostly stuck in the toilet. The water level had risen very high - clearly an attempt to flush had been made, but it had been unsuccessful. A wad of used toilet paper was stuck against the back of the bowl, sodden. It was carnage.
Who did the poo?
To this day, none of us know. Anyone releasing such a gigantic bottylog would presumably have made a lot of noise - it must have felt like giving birth - and yet no one heard anything. Did they need medical attention? Are they dead?! I wish I could say.
Later that night, all of our parents received a text telling us that school wasn't open the next day. As it turned out, the school had to get a plumber in to switch off the water and remove the pipes to that specific toilet entirely, because the poo was so big and dense that it couldn't be pushed through. A poisoning prevention service also had to get involved, as it was considered a public safety hazard.
That is a poo story. I hope you enjoyed.
Chai (@findmethewords) xxx
Well, I do, but I'm sure I've told the stories of how my dad blocked a train toilet, and the time I got a panicked text from a mate who'd been hired to set up a new computer for Joan Collins, of all people: "I've just blocked Joan Collins' toilet with a massive rotter". Apparently, he was in there so long trying to flush it that she was knocking on the door asking him if he was alright. He was genuinely shaken up.
Though last year somebody left a violin case outside of my parents' house, and there was a big poo in it. That sounds like the set up to a joke about Nigel Kennedy, but it actually happened.
I've been playing a load of PUBG since I got it cheap on Eggsbox. And it's really good. Though I'm finding it hard to play after having drunk half a bottle of wine beforehand.
Well, not hard to play initially. Just my ability to shoot opponents is somewhat impaired, unlike when I play other games. There was me thinking mild inebriation and automatic weapons would be a perfect combination. No, that's just America.
P.S. There's nothing better in life than writing on the sole of your slipper with a biro.
Yes. Yes, writing on a slipper with a biro is nice. But have you ever tried writing ON A BANANA (not a euphemism)?!
For ever-such-a-long-time I was foxed by the Digi2000 avatar thing on YouTube. I couldn't work out the link between Digitiser and Red Dwarf that led to a Technicolor Kryten turning up periodically in my 'feeds'. Then, recently, I realised my error. Oh, how I laughed! (I didn't actually, I just called myself a bell-end.)
Have you ever missed the completely bleeding obvious for so long that you could use it as an anecdote to fill space on a webpage?
Mr S Anderson
You strike me as a fellow who seems as though he would enjoy the works of David Lynch.
If so, what would you say is your favourite Lynch creation? What is your opinion on his newer work?
And since this here be a gaming website, here's something related to both the topic and the site.
Good day, sir.
Can I just say what a wonderful start to 2019 Digitiser is off to - really been enjoying the articles and attached comments.
I’ve been thinking about retro gaming a lot lately - I’m not the most enthusiastic of enthusiasts but I do ‘dabble’.
One of the over-arching themes to my gaming thinkings is how games fit into the wider world of media - specifically movies, books and music.
We’ve probably argued about how they’re all so similar really and how one is not ‘better’ than another but I think I’ve come up with something of mild interest:
Games age poorly.
Some books may be of their time, movies may have looked better once, and music doesn’t really date at all (pop fashions aside, but 80s stuff still sounds great to my yeroles!)
Games, though? Oh boy!!
I’m a gamer and I find the idea of having to spend a couple of hours playing Atari Flashbacks V.3 akin to having to masturbate with a cheesegrater - yes, it would grate a bit and the experience would be anything but great!
Why am I going on about all this? Well, you’re a creator and host of a retro gaming show and I do wonder what you think about it all - what’s your take on how, as Tommy once said, you can’t go home again?
PS. Er….. Old one this but that’s sort of the point:
What’s the difference between a giraffe and a combine havester?
One has hydraulics…
Yeah, I know, but it’s funnier if you don’t get it.
Fuck it! I’ll make a collage!
They exist for me as a nostalgic trigger; the sound, the visuals, the feel, all give me a warm fuzzy feeling when I play something like Skool Daze. Actually, I often don't even want to play them; I do like watching videos of old games. Plus, I just really admire the ambition, and their place in the history of gaming.
So, yes. I confess I'm more a passive retro gamer - at least with regards to almost anything pre-1986.
This week, I am mostly cursing the central heating, which is failing to meet either of the words in its name. It’s not central, and it doesn’t seem to be heating either. Despite my efforts to kick it into life, it’s refusing point blank to comply.
Although some men are coming today to put a new washing machine in, so I suppose I'll have to...
This is exciting. This is what you're all here for, eh?
Partly, it was the colours. So many colours. What a range of hues, shades and... where's a thesaurus when you need one?
Also it was the smoothness. Not just the scrolling, but the controls. And the music! Proper tunes played with what sounded like an orchestra of instruments.
The level wasn't based on a grid! Or if it was, the grid was hidden behind the myriad ramps, curves and loops.
I'd been playing games of all kinds for years but when I saw the first Sonic the Hedgehog everything changed.
I would argue that the gap between 8- and 16-bit was my first big 'paradigm shift' in gaming. I wonder what yours was?
I remember first laying eyes on Sonic, though. It has, sadly, been diluted by years of disappointing sequels and spin-offs, but that first game truly was a revelation. Even the way the continue points spun round when you ran past them. The parallax scrolling. The sheer speed. It's a shame that it wasn't more indicative of Sega's overall output.
Q. Which track did Beethoven publish?
A. 'For Release'