Happily, I've concluded that I'm actually very proud of Found Footage, and sort of love it, but concerned it's just a tad flat-out weirder than I intended it to be. You know: weird rather than funny, in part perhaps because in my head it has become more of a sci-fi show than a comedy. How so? You'll have to wait for the full series for its secrets to be revealed.
Talking of... we're off today to check out a venue for the premiere of the series proper, for those who have tickets. When the series arrives I'll be billing episode 2 as episode 1, so that we can give it something of a relaunch. The one that's going out on Sunday at 9pm could be considered a special, or a prequel, or something. Its title? The Awakening.
That's right - on Sunday night at 9pm you'll be able to see the first proper episode of Mr Biffo's Found Footage on the Digi YouTube channel. It'd be great if you could share it. I know you're worried all your friends will think you're weird - it is, perhaps, for this reason my stuff tends to be liked, but not massively shared - but... if you think it's alright, it'd be great if you could plug it somehow, somewhere.
I'm thinking of doing some sort of YouTube live chat thing afterwards, at around 9.30pm, if anybody is interested. Are you interested? Leave a message in the comments if so.
If you can't wait for then, and would like to see Found Footage a day early, and get drunk with me and some actual comedians, I'm the host of the Centre for Computing History's Retro Comedy Night on Saturday 4th. Tickets are a tenner, and all proceeds go to charity. The event will be streamed live on the Centre's YouTube page from 7pm (though not the Found Footage part - ha ha).
But look: it is time for the letters. If you would like to appear on next week's page, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone - please send your emails for next week to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since we're doing celebrity stories now, here's another.
In the last two or three years of her strange and unusual life, my mother somehow got the idea in her head that I was Banksy. She would leave subtle hints that she'd worked out my secret identity in the hope that I would crack under the pressure and reveal all.
That's sort of a celebrity story, isn't it?
Oh, and for about a decade I had a recurring dream that I was in Grange Hill but everyone had forgotten.
Computer games: I have gone from being ambivalent, even snooty about the Nintendo Switch to sort-of excited. I'm not sure why as I haven't seen a game that has impressed me yet, but something about the machine seems exciting.
One of my favourite 360 games (along with the critically panned Mindjack) was Zöe Mode's XBLA game Chime. Utterly sublime and I clocked the achievements in fairly short measure. But still kept playing as it was the perfect game to relax with. Never mind it featured Paul Hartnoll's delightful For Silence among the tracks on there.
I always felt slightly resentful of PS3 owners as they got the pseudo-sequel Chime Super Deluxe, heck I almost bought a cheap PS3 just to play it. Sure, it also appeared on PC with Still Alive off Portal included but this is a game to become one with as well as the couch you inevitably end up slouched into.
Wind forward to 2015 and the age of Kickstarter, what's this? A Chime sequel? It was a no brainer to back it, I just wish I'd backed for more. For a good while it looked to be a PC only joint, only with my name in the credits as a backer. It fell foul of the same issue as Super Deluxe did, this being a game best suited to couch play. Later still, a couple of weeks ago it was announced for Xbox/PS4 just a week later.
As a result, I'm playing this instead of the much hyped Halo Wars 2 or Horizon Zero Dawn. It's just so good. I just hope it gets noticed as on current evidence, not many people know about it. So go buy Chime Sharp, it's fantastic. I don't want it to be criminally overlooked in the same way Titanfall 2 was by the masses. I suppose given the niche appeal it will be, but it's too good to miss. Just £7.99 and I've already ploughed many hours into it. Get on it guys.
Two good friends of mine have started a podcast, they are very nice, silly guys who sort of talk about music for a short amount of time. I'm always sending them Digi2000 links on our Whatsapp group because your jokes do what jokes should do to a person, to me.
Have a listen of these guys if you feel inclined, ep3 is them hitting their early stride I hope, I did some chortles, for real.
Keep up the good work (or I'll send you more scrubs)
PS. Fish from Marillion gets a mention!
Yes, I do want those scrubs,
A scrub is a type of sanitary clothing worn by medical professionals,
Scrubs worn in surgery are almost always colored solid light green, light blue or a light green-blue shade,
The scrub industry, much like maternity wear, used to have very limited fashion options. Indeed, scrubs were generally box shaped and ill fitted; often with limited design choices. Over the past 10 years, the scrub industry has taken notice of the individual preferences of medical professionals and have begun to design and manufacture fashionable and unique designs.
Dear Mr 2000. I read today something about Mr T being on the US version of Strictly, and decided that this probably means he has some advice to impart. I immediately(ish) created the attached.
Okay, I think this is everything you asked for: Master Chief. Quinoa. Throwing. Fridge. Sorted.
I’m sitting here waiting for a plumber to turn up. No, not one of those “Ben 10 space police” people, but the water, pipes, and jovial sarcasm kind.
There has been a problem with our central heating recently. It’s been making noises of the kind you’re likely to find in a science fiction film made by Russian Futurists, and hot water has confusingly not been getting from the pump to the radiators, even though you can hear water moving around the system.
The first step would be to clean the system out. I am not sure it’s been done before - certainly not in the the time we’ve been here. This involves a bottle of chemicals to tip into the header tank, and waiting for it to circulate for a couple of hours. So, yesterday, I did just that. It involves draining the system, pouring in the bottle of chemicals, refilling and waiting. Then drain and refill again.
I need to drain the system from two points, just because of the way the pipes in this house run, and the first cycle went well. All water cleared. Loft negotiated and chemicals put in. The system refilled and I ran it on full bore for a couple of hours.
I then drained and refilled the system. Again, using both drain points. This time, the water that came out was pitch black - clearly a lot of grot had accumulated, and this was some, if not most, of it leaving the system. Good news.
However, there’s a slight problem. One of the drain valves started dripping. Not a great deal, but enough to cause concern. Tightening it more didn’t make a difference. I don’t think that particular valve had been opened for over 20 years, so I expect that the rubber washer had given up and died.
So a plumber has been called. I don’t trust myself to tinker with the real mechanics of the pipework (especially as the scope for real disaster is massive). What I was doing was something that anyone could do, but I was thwarted at the last moment by ageing infrastructure.
At some nebulous time between 8:30am and close of business, a plumber will turn up. So today is being spent monitoring the dripping, and making sure that the container I’ve put under it doesn’t over fill. I also know that if I settle down to anything that requires more than a small dash of my attention, that he will turn up and my concentration will be broken. I can’t leave the house either.
So right now, I’m waiting, trying to think of something that’s not too engaging to do. Writing dull letters to websites about computer games seems to be the acme of my activities so far.
Just wondering what your interactions are like with the actor who plays Goujon John? Is he in on the joke? Is he aware of Found Footage as a project, or the finished product of the pieces he has produced so far? Did you ever have much input on his performance or did he just nail it?
I think I'd love it if he were utterly oblivious to all of this and is just a stone-cold straight laced pro with no idea of the hilarity he is providing for our happy tribe.
Sorry for all the questions, I could ask many more but I won't. Cheers!
A growing concern for me is showing that I, Fod forbid, LIKE THINGS. Just, anything. At all.
If I display even the hint of enjoying something, be it a vidjagame or a cartoon designed for people younger than me and yet there is something there that I enjoy about it, there are 100 gits around the corner telling me I am wrong for liking them.
That game is crap. People who watch that show explode. My piss tastes better than that cup of tea. And so forth.
And this is not even a new thing. As I have mentioned before, I grew up in a house where liking a TV show that was anything but Party of Five was considered high treason. Matthew Fox died for our sins apparently. He did not, his fictional parents died and now he is trapped raising his 4 siblings instead of going out and getting all that sex like he wants. And apparently, I must like that more than watching Pokemon, or whatever it was I thought was cool when I was 12.
So, I want to be excited about the Nintendo Switch, I really do, but I have been raised to feel like expressing that joy goes against the ways of the world. Instead I am just going to sit here and pout.
This has been a rather sad letter, has it not? Please find enclosed a picture of Pikachu forever eating ketchup. Hopefully, that'll make up for the high amount of angst.
Jojo of Islington
Why is the NES Mini not in stock anywhere other than eBay for a 100% markup? Please reassure me that a) It will come back in stock sometime, and b) That you don't play with yours anymore and I'm not missing anything.
My order status just changed from "Picking Stock" to "Awaiting Dispatch" on the Nintendo store.
Hopefully by the time this is on the letters page, I will have a Nintendo Switch and Zelda. That is all.
PS. I read you every day.
Reading all the Nintendo based articles of late has led me to wonder what all the fuss is about with the Zelda games. I've not owned much by Nintendo, the kids had a Wii and a DS and I love the likes of Mario Kart, but the only Zelda based game I've played was on the Wii shooting arrows at targets.
It was fun, but wouldn't explain how much people like these games. I just looked up some adverts on YouTube, but at first glance it simply looks like one of those run around solving missions type games such as Fable. Again great fun but for me not enough to get overly excited about. Am I missing something here?
Incidentally, I watched some of the old Zelda cartoon yesterday. They're a bit weird. Basically, Link spends the whole time trying to impress Zelda in order to get a kiss from her. What he sees in her is inexplicable; she's portrayed as a horrible, unlikeable, shrew, who does nothing but complain, and lead Link on a "merry dance". I'm not even joking: go and check some out on the YouTube.
If anything is going to make you less likely to play a Zelda game - it's those.
Which game, for you, has the best voice acting? I'm inclined to say The Witcher 3, although that's maybe just because of how great some of the accents are in it.
Do you believe that it is possible in the current 'climate' for a games website that is only really about games to thrive? It may be a consequence of my reading too many American sites but half of their articles seem to be a quest to discover racism in every game, unless it's Overwatch, or they turn every article into a social commentary. Is the games news website simply archaic now?
I'll tell you what though; the voice acting - though it can probably be attributed to the direction - in Horizon Zero Dawn is particularly appalling. There's no consistency. Some characters talk like cartoon Vikings, while others play their roles as petulant 21st Century teenagers. It's bizarre. Also: sloppy. Also: the dialogue is pretty rote. Review next week.
As to your other question... I'm sure a pure games site could thrive. Don't they already? Aren't you just overemphasising for effect? Admittedly, I've pulled back on the political/social stuff a bit in recent weeks. Not consciously; I just got a bit bored of it, and wanted to write about games some more.
I've nothing funny to add to that. It is what it is.
It's me again! I've not written for a while but as you asked everyone so desperately on the Twitter I thought I'd do so. Don't worry, it's almost certainly not going to involve piss or trains this time.
2017 is an exciting year for PC gaming, seeing the release of AMD's new line of CPUs that appear to not be terrible and cost less than Intel's CPUs. Nvidia have just released an even more powerful graphics chip to go in things, but they've only done THAT because AMD are going to be releasing THEIR new graphics chips later this year and they all want people buying their stuff because otherwise what's the point of the whole endeavour?
Some kind of altruistic urge to improve technology for its own sake and provide ever more realistic entertainment for humanity? I think not. Anyway, that's all very interesting and all, but the point is this: COMPETITION.
2017 is also going to be an exciting year because of the release of TRAIN SIMULATOR WORLD, the next generation Train Simulation game from Dovetail Games, creators (well sort of, Kuju made Rail Simulator which was kind of Microsoft Train Simulator 2, then some of the developers from that got together and made a new company to further develop it and the next version got called Railworks, then eventually the company RailSimulator.com came into being which eventually changed its name to Dovetail Games because they wanted to do more than train sims and led to today's Train Simulator games which are mostly upgraded Railworks but shhh it's a secret they're new games really!!!!!).
It is using the Unreal Engine 4 and looks very nice indeed, but unfortunately the first route they've done for it is a boring American one, and I hope they're working hard on something interesting and European. I'm not a train racist but I find the whole American railroad thing mostly boring, so I'm rooting for something other than that to come out soon, indeed I'll probably wait until it happens before jumping aboard. It will be some time before I start playing this as my swearing at trains game of chance.
I lied about the trains, so I might as well go all in. I'm going to Cambridge on Saturday to see the comedy and also see you at the same event, and I predict the trains I will travel on are: A Class 142 or 150, a Class 158 and a Class 170.
There is a possibility of a Class 156 in the mix as well, but I suspect not. On the way back depending on which way I go I may get on a Class 220/221 Voyager, but again it all depends, you see. It will be interesting to see if they still smell of sewage, I heard they'd fixed that, but people say a lot of things.
While I'm lying about not talking about trains I may as well add that I will probably piss multiple times on whichever trains I end up on. In the toilets, I mean, not inside them on the seats or floor, or actually up the side of them, I'm not a monster. Which is more than can be said for some other passengers.
I wouldn't piss on a train anyway, trains are the best. I feel like things are getting off track. LIKE A TRAIN'S TRACKS.
I'm looking forward to playing Zelda Breath of the Wild tomorrow assuming Amazon haven't LIED to me and they really are delivering it. I am only getting it on Wii U although a few people seem to be impulse buying Switches for it at the last minute because of the glowing reviews.
I am looking forward to seeing how it has turned out, it certainly sounds like a much more interesting Zelda game than they've made in a while, even though I thought Skyward Sword was essentially fine and good, which seems to upset people.
I still think it's going to be a good six to nine months before there's enough out on Switch to make it a worthwhile purchase, but at the same time it's odd, because Zelda sounds like it's a MASSIVE game and you wouldn't necessarily want or need anything much else for it for a while, especially if like most adults past 30 you're working full time and maybe have even been stupid enough to have one or more children you have to occasionally pay attention to because it's the law. It's going to last you a while is all I mean.
I hope this letter has been as unsatisfactory to read as it was to write, and that next time I write in I'll actually have something worthwhile to say, but I think we both know that will not be the case.
What's your favourite kind of firework? I like the candles myself, always consistent as opposed to the hit and miss Catherine wheel. My dad once tried to nail one to a goal post, in a park, and the bastard wouldn't do a single rotation. Rip off!
That said, I did have buy some "table bombs" for Christmas lunch. They're basically like self-exploding crackers, which you light, and they erupt in a shower of glitter and toys. Given that I spent Christmas lunch with gastritis, slumped over the table groaning and trying not to vomit, you might like to imagine the scene was like this bit from I'm Alan Partridge:
WELL THEN MR BIFFO.
IT TURNS OUT AMAZON DID TELL LIES AFTER ALL, AND MY GUARANTEED DELIVERY OF BREATH OF THE WILD WAS NO SUCH THING, EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN "GUARANTEED" SINCE JANUARY.
I HAVE NOW HAD TO BUY IT FROM THE ESHOP, WHICH IS ALSO A LIE, BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE TO BUY IT AT ALL, I COULD HAVE WAITED PATIENTLY FOR MY COPY TO EVENTUALLY ARRIVE.
AMAZON SAID THEY ESTIMATED IT WOULD ARRIVE ON MONDAY.
YOU'LL NOTE, "ESTIMATED" NOW, NOT GUARANTEED. HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN. BY MY RECKONING, AMAZON OWE ME A £20 VOUCHER FOR THEIR COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE TO DELIVER MY PRE-ORDERED GAME AND FORCING ME TO BUY IT DIRECT FOR MORE MONEY WITHOUT EVEN A DISC OR BOX TO GO WITH IT.
IT'S DOWNLOADING SLOWLY NOW AND I WILL HAVE IT TO PLAY LONG BEFORE THE COPY FROM AMAZON WOULD HAVE ARRIVED IF THEY HADN'T FAILED, AND INFINITELY BEFORE IT WILL ARRIVE NOW BECAUSE I'VE CANCELLED THE ORDER.
BLOODY BUGGERING AMAZON, AND IT'S NOT EVEN THE FIRST, SECOND OR THIRD TIME THEY'VE DONE IT.
"BUT MRPSB MAYBE YOU'RE BEING HARSH ON AMAZON, MAYBE IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT, MAYBE NINTENDO DID THEIR USUAL THING WHERE THEY LIMIT STOCK TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THERE'S MORE DEMAND?"
YES THAT MAY BE THE CASE, BUT WHAT AMAZON HAVE DONE IS THIS: SEEN HOW MANY ORDERS THEY HAVE. SEEN HOW MUCH STOCK THEY HAVE. WAITED UNTIL 2AM ON RELEASE DAY TO EMAIL ME "WHOOPS WE CAN'T COUNT, BUT WE PROMISE WE'LL DEFINITELY BE ABLE TO COUNT BY NEXT MONDAY".
THERE IS NO GUARANTEE STOCK WILL ARRIVE IN TIME FOR THEM TO SHIP ME PRODUCT BY MONDAY, IS THERE? MAYBE THEY'RE SHIPPING IT OVER FROM SOMEWHERE. WELL YOU KNOW WHAT? I'M SHIPPING IT FROM NINTENDO ONTO MY WII U'S STORAGE NOW BECAUSE IF I DON'T I'M GOING TO END UP WANDERING THE STREETS TRYING TO BUY A SWITCH AND THAT'S GOING TO COST ME MORE THAN £60.
HERE ARE SOME MORE ASSORTED LETTERS THAT I HOPE WILL CONVEY HOW ANNOYED I AM RIGHT NOW:
The thing is though, I'm really just a bit grumpy about the grim predictability of Amazon failing rather than APOPLECTIC, but at least my faux rage gave this letter a focus and purpose sadly lacking from the one I sent a few hours ago.
PS. My fate was sealed when I mocked you on the Twitter for cancelling your pre-order and saying you should buy it from the eShop for £20 more. I would express remorse but I'm not sorry in the slightest.
Sampleism is a community-driven sample marketplace - it says here - that features sample libraries for loads of different musical genres; from electronic, to hip hop, to rock, to chiptune, and that's just to name a few. Plus, you can also upload and sell your own samples on there too. A-OO-GA!
Here is a description of what the website does in Brother Lloyd's own words:
"Sampleism is a community-based sample library outlet. Here you will find a deep resource of cool, unique, inspiring and individual sounds made by talented people from all around the globe. These creative folk produce independent sample libraries, loops, instruments, VSTi's and audio, and happily share their abundent output with a global audience of musical maestros. Yep — that includes you!
Unlike other sample library websites all our content is user-created, self-submitted and community driven. This means you will find new, unique, cool, inspiring sounds here that you will never find on other sites; companies that have to wait for music scenes to become mainstream enough to justify the cost of a few intense studio days producing formulaic, flavourless pap. There is no single voice, style, or preference influencing the content here. Just the ears, wisdom, voice and noise of the crowd. Tell us what you want, and show us what makes your speakers smile.
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