The plans we're kicking around for this ridiculous one-off gaming spectacular have me very excited. You won't have ever seen anything quite like it.
But anyhow - more details next week, hopefully. Now? Now it is time for some more of your awful letters.
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
1. What is your favourite beer? (You've said you don't drink much these days, so it's an "all time" sort of question).
2. If you could write an episode for any TV show (past or present), or write a sequel to a movie, which would it be and why?
3. What's your favourite line or scene you've ever written in your screen writing career?
4. Do you believe in ghosts?
5. Do you think Earth has been visited by aliens whether in the past or up to the present day?
Hope you're well, keep up the good work!
2) I've toyed with whether I'd ever want to write Doctor Who, but having been an EastEnders fan - and then never watching it again following my horrific experience writing for it - I think that might not be such a good idea. The closest I ever got was when I nearly wrote for the CBBC spin-off Sarah Jane Adventures... but then the show came to a rather tragic, premature, end before it could happen.
I'd love to write one of those Doctor Who audios put out by the company Big Finish, which feels like it'd be less pressure. I've approached them a couple of times, but apparently they don't like people contacting them out of the blue, or something. FFS. I've been nominated for a BAFTA three times! And won a Royal Television Society Award!!!! They should be biting my hand off, he says arrogantly.
3) "I'm always laying eggs... well, I assume they're eggs" is tied with "You owe me a new handbag. This one smells like hens."
5) No. And both those answers make me sad, because I want to believe... but no.
So looking at the Wikipedia page for Digitiser (which is now out of date), under ‘regular characters’ it mentions:
Doctor Derek Doctors - A sinister megalomaniac, whom Biffo and Hairs secretly removed from air, after a concerned mother rang to say she found him "Perverted and disgusting".
I must have missed this one, can you please enlighten? Mr. J (the wife) is also intrigued as s/he’s only had the recent live action characters as a reference - we have a door on the boat with a window shaped like one of the Man Daddy’s gas mask eyes that we now refer to as the door of ‘ka-tis’.
In regards to your request for loads more questions about the Durutti Column, here we go:
Are you looking forward to Shenmue 3?
How come they don’t make “Hang On” games anymore?
Did you ever own a laserdisc player?
David Davis (MP)
No, but I wanted one.
Q - How many ZX Spectrums made before 1986 does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A - 48, okay? (48K)
Bea Bea C. Mic-who. (BBC Micro)
Why did the Commodore 64 cross the road?
Why DIDN'T the Commodore 64 cross the road, am I right!?
Q -What's the difference between an Amstrad CPC 464 and an Amstrad CPC 664?
A- About two hundred.
I really hope you have a letters page this week or I've just wasted ten minutes typing this on my phone.
Why I love backwards compatibility
When mentioned, backwards compatibility creates a serious discussion and is often met with many different views. However, there are a substantial number of advantages in having this feature on games consoles and PC.
Through each generation, we have seen many games that have exceeded original expectations and become quite popular with gamers. Examples of this are the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 library of games.
Many games from each of these formats have actually sold really well, including publishers who did not expect to see as many sales and pre-orders of certain titles. With backwards compatibility, you can play your favourite last gen games on your new console, or PC, which also brings me to the following points.
Upscaling technologies for graphics and sound can be used to gain vast improvements in certain games, and bring new life to some of the old games not available on the new systems like Xbox One and PlayStation 4. And to bring superior re-enjoyment of a game you loved and still love now.
The convenience of not having to have multiple systems covering up space on your TV stand, and making a good impression when you can play great classic games on your new system, just looks good in front of friends.
And even a classic game can look great on a newer TV with better technologies, allowing you to enjoy a lot of popular games for old formats on a new system. This also saves a great deal of inconvenience in having to use an old TV as well. Expansion of the games library is a further advantage of having backwards compatibility.
This opens up a lot more games available to play to the gamer, and allows them to build their libraries – enjoying previous titles from a franchise that they have not had the chance to play or own and enjoy. This gives greater choice and variety of games that can be played on a newer system. Another advantage that this brings to the gamer is the ability to save money by being able to buy games released many years back at full retail price at a much cheaper price. This allows the gamer more value for their money.
It also allows games stores and local entertainment stores to be able to sell previous generation games, which add to the success of their business and allows them to provide more entertainment and improve someone’s day when they find a great game they wanted but could not afford many years back but could now.
There’s also the potential of developers to be motivated into developing new titles in their franchises from last gen systems, when they see one of their last gen games running great or even better on a new system. Need I say more? Backwards compatibility has been around since the days of the second PlayStation system and was also implemented in early versions of the PlayStation 3. It is a feature that is highly requested by people and is in demand. The Xbox 360 offered this, as well as the Xbox One.
This shows that backwards compatibility has lasted a long time with technology, and is still popular with many people. I don’t know why those who are objecting to having this feature do not want it but to me, I’d rather have this option instead of a more limited library of games.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)
gazberotten ( PSN)
As I get older I take pride in moments where I can still beat a younger person at a video game (these are rare). Do you have any great moments like this or have the reactions completly given up?
So in all honesty, apart from one moment in Call of Duty - I forget which one - where I was holed up in a little room in a town, and somehow managed to get dozens upon dozens of kills as the enemies kept trying to storm it... no. I'm too rubbish to have any great multiplayer memories.
I guess I should "git gud".
Since you announced Digi Live, I have a couple of questions:
Will there be any merchandise available to purchase at the event?
How long will the actual show last?
Who is gonna be there on stage?
Roughly how much will non-backer tickets cost?
We've yet to make a decision about merch. Possibly, but we'll make a call when the show itself has finished being organised. Merch is another big outlay up front, and if we did - say - t-shirts... then we'd have to think about sizes, and probably end up with loads left unsold.
It'll last probably about two hours, with a short intermission for wee-weeing and refreshments.
There'll be me, Gannon, Larry, Octav1us, and maybe a special guest or two - but we've yet to ask anyone else to be a part of it, as we're still in the figuring out stage.
Tickets will be no more than £15.
I read your review of the remake of Gods. What a load of crap (the game not your review). Which game/s would you like to see remade if any? I would quite like to see a remake of Stunt Race FX or a sequel.
I was in the shower while thinking about Stunt Race FX.
Remakes? I've said it before, but Skool Daze, plz. A proper one in 3D - not one of these fan remakes that are like the original, but with slightly better graphics.
I've got 2 questions:
1) Digitiser Live. Give me what we know so far, in case anyone's been living under a rock for a while.
2) Monday was April Fool's Day, there were some good pranks and a few that got people hyped for no reason. What would you say was the best one?
Mine would be the one where a Twitter user who has an online radio station named after the classic Jet Set Radio did a tweet supposedly based off a Nintendo Direct announcing a new Jet Set Radio game for the Switch, people are still tweeting their hype for it even as I speak.
The BV Reviewer
Which means ensuring it has a certain scale, as the venue we're most likely using - due to apparent demand - is actually a full-size theatre. Also: I'm an idiot, and when I do things I find it impossible to take the path of least resistance.
Already my vision for it has alarmed some members of the Digi team, but I'm not really somebody who does things by halves. Found Footage/Trojan Arse and Digitiser The Show were far grander and more ambitious than they really needed to be, and the same will probably apply to the live show. I'd rather shoot for the moon and fail spectacularly than to have done something half-arsed.
When my wife - who produces Digi - and I were discussing the other day whether to take the risk of hiring a larger venue (which, obviously, costs quite a bit more money), I argued that you only live once, and that - even if it's a disaster - at least I'll get to say we put a show on a big stage. We're not going to make any money out of it, so we might as well do it for the experience of doing it.
Something to tell the grandchildren and all that.
2) I dunno... I sort of find April Fool's Day a bit tedious these days. It was a bit of fun when I was growing up - the one day of the year when I'd bring my parents a cup of tea in bed (hilariously, I'd always mix the tea with washing-up liquid!!!!).
Nowadays it has mostly become this corporate thing, where companies use it as a way of getting a bit of free publicity by saying, I dunno, they're bringing out a self-revolving hamburger full of dog poo, or something.
Hi there gang!
As a kid I watched two video games shows: Gamesmaster and Bad Influence. I preferred Bad Influence as they had more reviews and footage of games, and Andy Crane having a lot of enthusiasm (like he was on coke), for something he knew nothing about.
Although me and my brothers have joked for years about Andy owning a FM Towns with its dubious collection of games featuring tentacles, and trying to get a section about it on the show, and being completely innocent to what they were about.
Gamesmaster only got good once Dominik Diamond came back (after the Dexter Fletcher disaster) and Dom brought his own brand of Scottish humour to the show (it seemed like he really was on coke).
So I was wondering what shows did you all watch growing up and why did you like them?
What shows did I watch growing up? How long have you got?
There weren't really any shows about video games when I was a kid, but shows I loved included Grange Hill, Monkey, The Young Ones, Monty Python, Doctor Who obviously, Blake's 7... The one I really held in my heart was Swap Shop. I was less of a Tiswas fan, but would switch over to it when Swap Shop were doing something boring.
When I was young, Luke Skywalker was my favourite Star Wars character, but as I've got older it became Han Solo. Similarly, I now appreciate Tiswas more than I do Swap Shop.
Hello Mr/Mrs/Not Sure - 'Tiser2000.
I used to watch you on Teletext, which was nearer to the year 2000 than we are now.
Anyway, enough about that. I enjoyed your review on the rather average at best (even at the time, let's face it) remake of Gods, the old Amiga and ST game that everyone seems to have in their bloody top 20 Amiga videos on YouTube.
I also enjoyed you ripping millennial games journos, as I've never trusted reviews as little as I do nowadays.
It's almost as if 'some' of this retro culture we have is not based on playing games; it's about posing and thinking you're cool. Hint-hint to you shmup loving Rougelike, Metroidvania types (It's never really that cool to show people that you think you are cool - at least try to hide it a little bit).
Mr Midnight (World Videogame Champion)
PS. Don't give out my email. I'll be forced to thrash you. Toodle pip!
But at the same time... I do find a lot of modern games journalism quite boring and po-faced. Edge was properly groundbreaking when it came out, but that sort of serious analysis became the default. I miss games writing that was fun first, and informative second.
But then, I am an old man who doesn't know what the kids want, obviously.
I need to make a complaint, because it's basically your fault. Games are my favourite thing. Well, they were, then I went off them for a bit, now they are again. When I think about when I fell back in love with them, it's probably around the time Digitiser2000 came into being. I don't contribute much/anything, but it's nice to feel part of a community of like-minded individuals. It's a nice place to be.
Anyway, inspired by my renewed interest, I started listening to a variety of retro-themed podcasts. In particular, I made the mistake of listening to a podcast about the Nintendo DS - a console that I have a deep, irrational love for. I'm not really a collector, but it made me go a bit odd. In the last year, I've amassed a collection of over 100 DS games and 7 consoles to play them on. I cannot stop.
The thing is, I've barely played any of them and have no particular inclination to. For a while, I thought I was just delaying the inevitable realisation that it was a waste of money, but now I think it goes a bit deeper than that.
When I look up at the pile of games, it gives me the same feeling I got as a child in WHSmiths, staring up at the rack of budget Speccy games. So many potential adventures to go on. So many lovely little boxes, covered in words and pictures. I miss that feeling, but I've managed to recreated a little bit of it, even if I never get around to playing them. I fell less bad about the money now and at least I'll have something to put on my shelves when Stadia takes over the world.
This is a roundabout way of saying, if you could return to one location from your gaming past, what would it be?
Oddly, the only game I do remember buying from that rack was the darts sim 180, which I later learned was created with the involvement of the Pickford Brothers, for whom I wrote the script for Future Tactic, and Ste Pickford has (brilliantly) illustrated the DVD cover for Digitiser The Show. Funny old life.
Help me, Obi-Ffo Kenobi. You're my only hope.
The last couple of weeks of Digi, both on the site and in the YouTubes, have been particularly good. I doff my cap to you Mr B, you've smashed it, owned it, and rolled it in breadcrumbs.
All my kissy, kissy
Can we have the video shorts you’re doing as podcasts, please, Biffo? It’s not that I am against the idea of the videos, but it’s more a case of finding the time to watch them.
Yeah, I know you put time and effort into the visuals (probably), and I know that the videos aren’t that long, but finding the time to watch them is a struggle.
But…I do listen to a lot of podcasts, now that I have a long commute due to moving to Tennessee and living in the middle of nowhere.
I have cows and horses for neighbours, and I even need one of them there mini tractors to mow the lawn, which at first seems like the greatest thing ever to a committed city boy, but when it really comes down to it it’s actually a proper pain in the arse, but even more of a pain in the arse is paying somebody $150 a pop to do it for me, especially when it needs doing every two weeks so fuck the countryside, because it’s shit.
All you can get delivered is Domino’s pizza, and I can’t even let my dog out into the garden, or park, as my brother referred to it, cos there’s coyotes and snakes (cottonmouths and copperheads), and less lethal squirrels who the dog fucking hates, and the two closest stores to me in either direction are Tractor Supply stores – why would you even need TWO tractor stores within 10 miles of each other? - and when you do have to go to a store for anything other than cattle feed or something tractor related, suicidal deer try and kill themselves by appearing OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE and attempting to jump through your windscreen, but I digress.
So yeah, can we have the video shorts as podcasts so as I can listen to them on my drive to the office or when I have to waste a couple of hours mowing the lawn and avoiding venomous snakes?
I've thought about releasing the mini eps as podcasts, but some of them are rather short, and some of them I don't think would necessarily work as podcasts, as I tend to think of them in a visual way when I'm editing.
Also, I'm currently worried that there's simply too much Digi stuff out there as it is, with two new eps a week, daily updates on here, and occasional updates of nonsense on the second channel. Admittedly, it's hard for me to force myself to cut back, because my enthusiasm tends to get the better of me and - once I have an idea in my head - I want to realise it, but I do wonder if a more restrained approach might be sensible.
Looking at most of the other retro gaming people out there... I'm putting out more content than any of them, but - frankly - growth on this site and the YouTube channel has sort of stagnated of late (honestly - we've been so close to 13,000 subscribers for weeks now, and every time it looks like it's going to happen... a couple of people will unsubscribe). I just wonder if it's because I'm doing too much.
I worry that, if I do a podcast - even if it's just an audio version of the videos - that's another thing I'm telling people to dedicate some of their time to.
That said... my dear wife and I keep talking about doing a podcast together, just for fun, on topics that interest us... but that'd mostly be for our benefit, rather than any sort of extension of Digi. So, that miiiight be something you can listen to while you're driving your silly little tractor.
Wotcha Biffo. How’s it going? Hope you’re regular etc.
Thought I’d take time out from copying a load of Atari ST games to my ace gaming tablet and drop you a line and all that.
Soooooo, yeah Atari ST, taped about 2000 games off of the internets last night in about 10 minutes, I’ve said it before but isn’t the future really ace?
It has its downsides too I suppose, but I’m not going to dwell on that because, well that’d be like, really crap wouldn’t it?
Did you ever play an ST? I had one second hand for Xmas when I was about 14 and got that feeling like Bob Hoskins at the end of Long Good Friday when I realised we’d been sold a dud, bought a copy of ST Action magazine and it was about as thin as a pizza leaflet!
Knew right then that it was like the arse end of the Speccy days all over again and the cool kids with Amigas would either mock or pity me, heavy sigh.
But, hey, I’m not bitter, I’m really groovy about it all. Honest.
Loved the point about cloud gaming anyway, that’s why I’m bringing up the death of a format and how it used to feel when you were still kinda forced to stick with it as it kicked the bucket, will we ever see that again?
Who knows? Anyway I’ve rambled on for too long. I’ve got some RRRRRoms to play and stuff.
Hello Mr Biffo!
I've mentioned in my first letter a few weeks ago that I was a high school teacher. Well, I like to show my students a video once a week to kind of take the edge off and today I showed the class your Armstrong Wong video. They loved it. I've been wanting to do some Digi videos (appropriate ones) for a while now, so it's good to know that there is an audience. You didn't even have to mention Pewdiepie or nothing!
Ok, question time: I'm a bit salty about how people are praising the new Devil May Cry game as this glorious return to form in action games, while I still think its previous entry (the reboot, DmC) is a much more polished, satisfying game.. Personally, I think the new title is Ok, made enjoyable more through nostalgia than actual substance really, but I enjoyed it.
A pretty popular Youtuber put the reboot on his show for failed video games such as Duke Nukem Forever and the PS2 debut of Tomb Raider. I know I should't let this or other people's opinion bother me, but for some reason it does - comparing the reboot to freakin' Duke Nukem Forever!? Really!?
Anyway, have you ever gotten pissed off in a similar fashion for a game? As in, you like a game but a very vocal group of the fanbase doesn't, and despite reason saying you should ignore it, it still bugs you anyway?
Thanks, and sorry for being kind of a dick in the comments regarding Stadia - I was kinda grumpy that day.
I am very happy to hear you showed off Armstrong Wong to your class, and that it went down well. Must be doing something right, so I dunno why we're locked into such a relatively small audience, but at least that audience is passionate and supportive.
Anyhow... I'm not sure I've ever really cared what the gaming community think about games I've enjoyed. I get more irritated by movie fandom, to be honest - all that spamming Rotten Tomatoes with negative comments even before a film has come out. Certainly, there's a very toxic element in the Star Wars fanbase these days, which saddens me hugely.
I've been getting back into updating Digitext (the online teletext simulator aka digitextsim.com) and I wanted to ask you, which pages/posts were the most popular on Digitiser back in the day?
I ask as I'm going to include a new page on the website that will randomly pick one of those popular pages to display every time the page is refreshed - much like how the charts page currently works.
Good luck with Digitext, boiiiiiii!