Some of you may have witnessed me on Twitter and Facebook asking if you can see your way to occasionally giving Digi articles a bit of a retweet (some of you, I know, do this already, because you're nice) . Candidly, we don't get as many hits as we used to, even though I think the website remains a unique and excellent proposition.
I'd love it if we could build it up a bit in time for the release of Digitiser The Show later this year. Around then, I'll be slightly changing the look of the site to more closely align it with the show, and maybe offering contributions from those involved with it.
But of course, the other way you can help support the site is by backing me on Patreon. I write at least one fairly decent-sized article a day, and I'm doing it for far less money (through what I already receive on Patreon and PayPal) than I could get if I decided to write freelance for other, bigger, websites and magazines.
I don't really want to do that, despite loving writing about games, as I think on here I get to offer you distinct voice and perspective and stupidity that you don't get anywhere else.
Anyhow. Have a think about it. I know it's a big commitment to give pledge your hard-earned once a month, but you can back me for as little as $, and you do get access to my semi-regular personal blog posts.
That's the begging done. Let the letters commence!
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, please send your filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Stan, I hope you are good, I know it’s been a long time since we saw each other.
I hope you haven’t forgotten about the good old days at the Bird’s Eye Factory. The hours I spent throwing breadcrumbs at you were some of the best of my life.
Even today I still like to travel to the seaside. I tripped over a dead seagull and that’s what reminded me of you. As a passerby craned my head up off the pebbled beach (what happened to all the sand? All the tea leafs roaming about!), the stiff gull’s beak bore a striking resemblance to your honking schnozz.
I hope you’ve finally managed to get over the whole baby food prank. All the lads thought it was hilarious at the time, and said you’d see the funny side. In hindsight I can understand why you were so angry that it knackered your car’s engine.
Well you have my email, write me back if you’d like to stay in touch (no pun intended).
I commented the following on your article about Sitcom games, but about a week too late, so:
Did anyone like Mike on The Young Ones? As much as it's easy to forget that Alexei Sayle was specifically supposed to be one of the five, I forget about Mike's existence all the time.
Nozin' Aroun' is still classic
In addition, I watched some episodes recently and some were as funny as ever, but there's one that was such hard work, I cast it from my memory.
As for video games, while I'm not as busy as you, I did manage to put nearly 200 hours into Breath of the Wild. I achieved this by mostly fitting in an hour, while also catching up on my recorded TV/Netflix whet the gf went to bed.
Outside of your current busyness, have you been chipping away at a game in chunks, only to find you'd spent an inordinately huge amount of time? I'm currently doing a similar job on Hyrule Warriors.
And yeah, Alexei Sayle always felt like he was just doing his own thing too. BUT! The Young Ones remains, probably even more so than Python, the TV show which was the biggest influence on my senses of humours.
There's a bit in one ep where Neil is droning on about something, and a hand comes on and draws a moustache and glasses on him, on top of the screen, and you hear a voice going "Stop that! Rub it off! Oh now look what you've done - quick, get the picture back before Elephant Head comes on and starts singing..."
And then Elephant Head comes on and starts singing. I laughed so hard at that I couldn't breathe. And I got into trouble at school the next day, because I thought about it again and started laughing in the middle of a German lesson.
Anyway. Games. Yeah, not really playing any big, big games at the moment, unless you count Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. And sort of dipping in and out of that Crash Bandicoot anthology they released a while back. Otherwise, it's all short indie games for me at the moment.
Thanks for the recommendation of Inside in your review this week (available on iOS, happily): it’s great. I’ve been home alone for a couple of evenings, and it’s the most atmospheric game I’ve played in ages. Those bloody dogs had me well scared. Not so much the underwater git, but anyway.
I can only add to your recommendation to those who may have missed that it’s available on mobile (£6.99, but worth it I reckon: there’s a lengthy free-to-play intro if you want to try it out).
Anyway, what’s your mate Ralph Stramps MP up to these days? I reckon he’d be a good man to lead us through the pitfalls of Brexit. Assuming his mum’s OK now, of course.
I consider myself to have been around for the entirety of home consoles. Friends of my parents had an Atari 2600, a girl in my street had a NES and Zapper, a boy had a Master System with built in Alex Kidd. One Christmas Santa brought me a Megadrive and such was my SEGA fanboy fervour I later got the Mega CD just to play Sonic CD.
But I didn’t get a Saturn, it was too expensive and there didn’t seem to be any good games for it anyway. I certainly wouldn’t get a PlayStation, what were Sony doing trying to make consoles the idiots? By 1997 didn’t play games at all because they were “for kids” and I was too busy trying to act cool because of how uncool I was.
Then I played Mario 64. Everything changed. I was a born again gamer and never tried to be cool again. Mario, Ocarina, Majora, Goldeneye and the other Rare games. It was obvious the N64 was the greatest console of all time.
The N64 is special to me, it was the gateway console which led me back to my favourite past time and while there have been great games since I don’t feel like there has been a console as good. I still buy N64 games off eBay with alarming regularity and I still play the N64 as a second console (I see it like owning a classic car that you wouldn’t use for the daily commute).
Recently I’ve seen a lot of youths online say the N64 is rubbish, saying of all things that the controller was rubbish! I get more enjoyment out of playing a game that’s trying to do something on limited hardware, and using my imagination to fill in the gaps, than I do from a game that can do anything the developers imagine. Yet, to the majority of modern gamers, N64 games are just laughably old fashioned, and I’m a silly old man.
It’s all opinions though isn’t it, formed from different experiences? With that in mind isn’t it odd that most places still want to stick a number on the end of their own opinion? Isn’t it odder still that people want to argue about it.
Anyway, do you incorrectly like a rubbish old console that the kids sneer at, if so what/why?
Apologies, this was like one of those self indulgent letter you see in Edge. Thanks.
As time goes on... I even feel nostalgic for the CD-i and Jaguar. Which I never thought I'd say. So... there you go. The success stories, to me, are less interesting than the noble failures.
Who is your favourite superhero - can be a baddie if you prefer - follow your heart!
Why’s that then, mate?
Please explain, tough guy…
Marvel or DC?
How come, buddy?
And finally, if you could have any super power….
Care to elaborate on that, champ?
If you’d like to complete another of these next week about James Bond or something then please press 1 at the end of your reply.
Alternatively, please press 2 to opt out of future emails of this nature.
Then I suggested I was Doctor Who, but she didn't like that answer either, for some reason.
So... to answer YOUR question. I dunno. I know I'd like whatever superpower would make me really, really rich. Midas? He's a sort of superhero isn't he? Yeah, I know it's a cautionary tale. I don't care. I don't want to be poor anymore.
I'm sick of this hot weather. I don't know what I'd do without my desktop fan (that migrates into the bedroom at night). I'm also sure hot weather makes young lads (they look about ten years old) go mental. A few days ago I was watching two of them climb up a fence then onto the adjacent tree. The tree is pretty big - a lot taller than a house.
I was watching them for a bit but then they got so high up they were hidden by the dense leaves. A couple of minutes later I witnessed one of them come out of the tree; I say come out, I suppose fallen out is more correct. He landed right on his side with what I can only imagine was a pretty big thud. I don't know who he is but I do know he was alive when the ambulance turned up.
Two days later the tree was cut down, presumably to stop such tomfoolery happening again. The tree did nothing wrong! Stupid boys.
I'm, well, the same as always,
I am a member of the Commodore party. I have always found your party's politics somewhat breathing and your individual views rather urinating. I believe in the values of honesty and deception. Your sultry is confusing and your bottom, collapsing.
Recently, I have come to feel angry about Colour Blindness. I am affected by this daily because colour clash.
During your time as a politician, you have spoken out against Amiga and argued in favour of SNES. I hope you will rise to the challenge and put an end to pubic hair.
I am writing you to ask that you no red on black text and also, hopefully more barnacle features. Don't let your vomiting relationship with Ceefax stand in the way of progress.
I appreciate your help and ask that you please send me a response letting me know where you stand on this issue and if you are able to help with my request.
Thank you for taking time to read my letter, oh confusing one.
Hello me old mucker Biftyboos. In something of a departure for me of late I'm writing you a letter, it doesn't contain a poo story and I'm not sending it two hours after you post the letters page on Friday.
Since I last saw you things haven't gone so well as you probably know. After my fleeting involvement in the Digitiser the Show filming I came back home and all was well if a little weird. After all the enjoyment of the three of five days I spent with everyone it was odd to go back to normality.
I think others have expressed the same either through the sheer physical and mental exhaustion of it all, or just nothing being as fun as that was.
On the Friday that week I went and saw my mum and dad, as it was her birthday, and my sister and nephews were still over. My father's motor neurone disease continues to progress and he's getting more and more frail and wobbly on his feet. I'm wondering, as morbid as it is, whether that get together won't be the last and most complete get together of us all in one place. I hope he's still around this time next year but he's taken to assuring us all he won't be.
Coming home from that and into the weekend one of my two remaining rats Elwood was struck down with a pretty hardcore respiratory infection, which he struggled with but he was so clearly losing the battle I took him to the vets this morning to be put to sleep.
Putting a pet to sleep is a weird one, it's both the best thing you can do to end their suffering, and the worst betrayal because you're knowingly taking them to be killed (nicely) however much of a kindness it is. It was his time and I had a lovely big cry in the vets and when I got home which probably did me good as a kind of release because of all the stress of looking after him the last couple of weeks.
I went to do an exam this afternoon (This is Thursday sorry by the way anyone reading this the day before letters day) and I passed that which means now when someone asks if I'm any good at that thing I can tell them I passed the exam. Sure I could probably have done better, but I've been so distracted in the lead up to it with Elwood I'm happy it turned out Ok (and I don't have to pay for a resit).
In game-related news, I am enjoying Octopath Traveller so far on the Switch, but I think it needs more to tie the characters together than it has bothered with.
"Hey we'll help this random person we've just met because why not" makes sense for some of the characters who are just going on a vague adventure. For some of the others with very specific goals it needed more work doing on why they're going on a massive detour from their quest (other than the actual reason which is they need to level up). This small whinge aside, I really like it. The art style again proving that you don't need more power to make something that looks great, and will still look great in 10 years when the attempts at photorealistic graphics will look horribly dated.
The last two weeks have not been great, but after a good cry and getting my exam behind me and not going to bed with rampaging anxiety tonight I feel a little calmer and like the worst of it is behind me.
Although tomorrow is Friday and I have a ton of work to finish off. See you on Twitter all day, everyone!
P.S. I made this and it only has 60-something views and I personally think it's hilarious even though it probably isn't but anyway here: https://youtu.be/QVUGwzgZnZ4 Maybe with Digi's readership we can get it to 70 views!!!! It's a bit rude though. It's men trying to woo ladies.
You're right though; I think a few of us have struggled somewhat since the filming. I was straight back into work on the Monday - having not really even been able to take the weekend off (and having had a mad few weeks before the filming, getting everything ready).
Thus, I've still not really recovered either, and my mood has been all over the place, and I can feel my brain shutting down section by section, day by day... and I'm just hanging on long enough to finish the work I've got left to do, and can have a break. Then the autumn is going to be all about getting Digitiser The Show finished.
I wouldn't say for me any of my wobbliness stemmed from returning to normality - though I know some of the cast felt emotional after the highs of that week - just that I'm deeply, profoundly, knackered.
1. If you had to guess, what will be the next genre of game to become, if not dominant, the most popular over the next 10 years? We went from platformers to RTS to FPS to open-world so I wonder what will be next?
2. In terms of FPS games, Doom stands alone as the foundation of the genre, despite not being the first of its type. If you were to discount it though, what would the most influential FPS game be? Half-Life or Halo are the obvious answers, but I'd argue Deus Ex (the original) because so many of its design aspects are used in FPS games almost as standard. What do you think?
3. Can you think of any games that were hugely influential but are not only bad in the way that most old games are but actually wasn't very good at the time? Maybe Shadow of the Beast?
2. That's a really hard question. I'm not a massive fan of Halo, but it was enormously influential. But that came along way after the FPS genre had been established. Also, as you say, so did Doom, so I'd say Battlezone, even if it was a far cry from the free movement seen in later examples. Also, as far as console FPS games go... there's Goldeneye.
3. Yeah. I thought Quake was overrated. Loved Quake 2 though.