Plus, there are clearly a lot of ex-Digi readers out there who don't know that I'm still around, so it might be nice to use this opportunity to see if we can reach out to some of them too. Be nice.
I've got some ideas for what we can do to mark this momentous occasion, but I also asked you lot what you'd like to see. Which was probably a bit stupid of me, given that nobody knows what they want until they get it.
Anyway, a few of you chipped in, and I've published the responses below. Along with the usual guff and stuff. Incidentally, I've had a dire cold for over a week now. That's apropos nothing, but I feel like mentioning it.
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 early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of your recent articles got me wondering, but I thought I'd give it a week or two so you don't think I'm trolling...
So here is my question - have you always followed the plot of games? Thanks!
That said, a good cut-scene will keep me watching, but I don't think it's the most effective way of getting plot into a game. Or, at least, an action game.
When I picked up my Switch earlier this year, the reason I quickly became a fan of how portable the device was Hulu.
It’s lighter than its predecessor, the Wii U’s GamePad, and moves seamlessly between living room and anywhere else I’ve brought it.
My TV habits — like many others — aren’t limited to the living room. I’ve got the Netflix app on my iPhone and iPad, and those are used everywhere the TV isn’t: I’ll frequently throw something on one of those while I’m working around the house, cooking, or eating lunch. But my iPad is one of the original ones, and it’s getting old.
And while the Switch’s screen isn’t that much bigger than my iPhone 8 Plus, the slightly larger size is noticeable. One downside of watching TV from your phone is also that it’s not all that uncommon to get a push notification while I’m watching something
I have only just come across Digitiser 2000, in all honesty I had completely forgotten that I regularly read Digitiser on Teletext back in the day. It definitely had an effect on my sense of humour and coming across the site has filled me with joy!
Oh and I see you are a Marillion fan too. Only over the past year have I rediscovered my love for the band and have been listening to them pretty obsessively ever since. I have even got myself a ticket to see them in Bristol next April, hurrah!
Anyway just wanted to share that with you.
Actually, that reminds me of something else...
The world needs Ridge Racer now more than ever.
I know you don’t like racing games very much and that’s okay because I didn’t like Half-Life 2 and that somehow makes us even.
I’ve said before how much I love Ridge Racer - even when you had the wrong-headedness to flag the PS1 original as little more than a demo because it only had one track. Well, Mr, what it lacked in tracks it made up for in this: fun.
It’s not the fastest, prettiest or most realistic and although it eschews marques and actual physics, it does so because both of those things are boring and detract from what it most certainly is - the purest arcade racer ever ever ever.
I’ve never enjoyed Granny Turismo and I think Forza is a load of Forzing Shit. Just saying.
There was that entry not so long ago that wasn’t Ridge Racer in anything but name and then there are the poor as piss IOS iterations - it’s almost as if they’ve tried to run the franchise into the ground. Bastards.
Drifting around corners in Ridge is like conducting an orchestra (by my reckoning) and when I play games like The Crew, Project Cars, Need for Speed… my heart breaks a little because I know it doesn’t have to be like this - it could have been good.
Such is my love for Ridge Racer that I’m going to throw down a string-backed driving glove with this - yes, I do hate Microsoft BUT if the next Ridge game was an Xbox One X exclusive then I’d cough up the 500 quid for the privilege and I’d even throw an open tin of green paint right across my living room for some reason.
I’ve gone to the trouble of including a photo I took of a Spock toy I thought you and your fine readers would definitely like.
Mainly I would like:
- All contributors present, so that I can ask about different characters that you didn't do personally.
- Name check song that includes every character, sung in that really fast style.
- Digi merch.
- Interactive quiz. Something surreal/creative then you can read out the funniest answers later in the event.
- A sing-a-long of FF songs. Live performance, Chris?
- Really little known facts, like did the weird faces on the index page have names? That kind of thing.
- You and Horsenburger illustrate some Digi stories that you can then tell on stage?
2. Dunno. If someone wants to do that they can, but the thought of writing that makes me cringe.
4. Probably will do a reprise of Quiz-Me-Do at next year's as-yet-unscheduled Digifest.
5. Unnnh. That's up to Chris.
6. I'll do my best to dig out some Digi facts.
7. Illustrated stories? I dunno...
For your 25th anniversary of Digitiser I would enjoy special sticker sets of 25 Digi characters like Man with the Chin, Predict-a-Ham, sicking up Turner, Mr Nude, Fat Sow, Chart Cat and Ring Sir. Maybe we could all meet and worship some of these characters IN PERSON at your Blackpool party! (Could we at least have an epic game of pass the parcel in Blackpool?)
Incidentally, the Blackpool thing Geeky Girl refers to is the Blackpool Play Expo, happening in February. I'm going to be there, doing a talk, but please do come along if you're more or less in the area and fancy hanging out. I'll be there all weekend, so if enough of you are coming we can, I dunno, go and play on the Penny Falls together.
Also: the last time I was in Blackpool I got the runs, and it's highly likely that I'll be mentioning that on stage, because I can't help myself when it comes to stuff like that.
Anyway, later in the year, as mentioned above, it's looking likely that we'll be organising a big, celebratory, Digifest. Details will follow in due course.
I bet you get loads of folk asking you if they can have their content shared or published by by Digi2000. If that assumption is true then my suggestion is a Digitiser 25th Anniversary Takeover day or week. Between now and then take submissions, and vet them then publish them on the relevant day/days.
1. Review Revenge - where readers submit a game review in response to one of your reviews from way-back-when.
2. Comics and cartoons - done anyhow, so long as you and you alone find them funny.
3. Brilliant/terrible jokes; top-tens; letters from Mr Biffo to your readers; one-page spoof scripts for games cut-scenes.
And when its all done you will realise what an awful idea it was and that the reader really is always wrong!
So... alas, probably won't be featuring any of your ideas any time soon (barring the occasional appearance from the excellent Super Bad Advice). Though that's also why I started the letters page; to give the readers a chance to appear on here.
1. What is your favourite incongruous guest appearance in a computer game? I'm torn between Fred Durst in 'Fight Club' and, of course, David Bowie in 'Omikron: The Nomad Soul.'
2. Who is the greatest British games designer, in your opinion and what makes you choose them?
3. What do you think about government assistance for computer games makers? Canada, in particular Quebec, has had much success by offering tax incentives for games firms to locate there. As someone who is dismayed at the lack of genuinely British content and character in games part of me thinks that anything that could help the industry here is worth a try. Having said that, we generally don't like tax incentives being given to banks, coffee companies of popular search engines so should it be acceptable just because I like playing computer games? I'd be keen to hear your thoughts.
2. Um... well Ultimate Play The Game for me, probably. Less so Rare, as great as Goldeneye was. I'm looking forward to Sea of Thieves, though.
3. Oh gawd. I don't think about this at all. It would be nice to think it could be offered as a way of making games which reflect the UK more. A lot of financial incentives for film and TV makers work this way, but... the benefit of that might end up being off-set by the games selling worse in the US and Japan because everyone in those countries is racist.
I just got a Sony PSP and am keen to know what are the must have games for it? Also is there porn on UMD so I can secretly watch a bit of blue in the toilet?
The Porridge Master
I come to answer your request for suggestions for the Digitiser anniversary. Which is probably not a good idea on my part because, as I have mentioned in the past, I do not remember much about the Teletext Era, mostly due to being 10 when it ended... I think.
However, I did some poking around the internet and have come up with some suggestions, in the vain hope you won’t dislike all of them.
- Man’s Daddy Plushies (OK, did ask for this on Twitter already and you said Nay due to lack of demand, but I need a kick off point).
- A dramatisation of Mr. PSBs memoirs on the life of Mr. Biffo.
- DJ Stringy Hobo talks about the gaming cabinets he stood near this one time.
- Morse, Lewis and Cracker investigate the history of teletext.
- 3 hour Tea Prancer Movie
- The Man of Zinc takes some vitamin C and we guess the results
- Clothes Shopping in the 90s with Mr. Nude
- Party of Five Review. ... actually, scratch that. Might go against type a little too much.
- Some sort of Quiz Show involving Turts, Golden Amigas and YouTube’s Big Clive. (Or Mentski, if he’s available.)
- A revisiting of the characters of Digi. (Yes, this may be the one serious suggestion.)
Hope that helps!
El Greenio Screenio
Given that I only write in letters about Half-Life 3 and Nintendo’s mobile games, I thought I might as well write in about Half-Life 3 again.
Did you read Marc Laidlaw’s thinly disguised outline of the plot? See here if you (or your lovely readers) did not: http://www.marclaidlaw.com/epistle-3/
This is old news which didn’t exactly set the gaming press alight at the time, and I’d forgotten about it til just now. But I’m glad we didn’t get the game in this form... It sounds cinematic and all, but not much different structurally or mechanically from the previous games. And the open ending: blahhh.
I’d like some closure. Who is the G-man? What have Aperture Science got to do with this? And so on, and so on...
(Why do I even care all these years later?)
I am an idiot - do not listen to me. But i thought I'd tell you why i didn't enjoy Found Footage as much as your other stuff, like Biffovision. And I'd like to do it with a poorly thought out metaphor. I think it was a pizza that was basically all topping and no base.
Biffovision had the studio "base" and the segment "cheeses", and i could pick up a slice and enjoy it. Found Footage was delicious cheese, but made my hands gooey and dripped on my slippers. And after a while with all cheese and prawns with no base, i felt queasy.
I want you to make more, but package it differently, so if you do another kick starter I'll back it.
Unfortunately, what this led to was a barrage of emails and comments from people telling me what they didn't like about Found Footage, and advising on what I "should" have done differently. Which wasn't what I'd asked for, because - y'know - who asks for that, especially when they're really proud of the thing they've made, and it has taken up a year of their life?!
Normally, I can take this stuff on the chin - I write professionally for the TV, and I get notes on everything I do telling me that it's wrong, which builds something of a thick skin when it comes to criticism - but perhaps because of the very personal nature of FF, this was a bit like having an involuntary nervous tic, and someone suggesting I "should stop all that twitching".
On the one hand: fine. People paid money for it, and if they didn't enjoy it as much as they'd hoped then it's their prerogative to moan about it. I get that the feedback was given with good intentions. And I admit that FF was kind of designed to be challenging; it's prog-comedy, man! I never expected everyone to love everything about it. But... there are pop songs in there amid the longer conceptual pieces!
On the other hand... I started receiving these messages on the day I'd spent hours trying (and failing) to fix a leak underneath my kitchen sink, harming various parts of my body in the process, all because I can't afford a plumber, because I'd spent so much of my own money (and time) on Found Footage. I could've taken the family to Florida for the summer, or gotten married!
That was stupid of me, of course, but I felt guilty that people would throw so much money at me to do a thing, and not make what I felt was a comparable sacrifice of my own. My ambition was borne from a sincere and well-intentioned place. So, it felt a bit like, I dunno, carving something out of a tree trunk to give to someone as a gift, and when they unwrap it they just shrug, and find fault with it, and say "You should have given me something else".
With regard to bulbous receiver's issue, that FF didn't have a "base"... the whole underlying Xenoxxx conspiracy was intended to be that base, but I got told a number of times this week that the Xenoxxx stuff was the reason people couldn't get into the series, and a "barrier" to the comedy. Even though that was kind of the point, but it was evidently a point that wasn't appreciated by all.
So, in summary: I can't win, and shouldn't ever try to tailor what I do to what people want, because that's just going to result in something watered-down and anodyne and devoid of its own personality.
I still love what I made, and I'm sorry if what some of you wanted was a series of six, ten-minute episodes of random silly sketches, rather than something a bit more challenging and ambitious.
Anyway. Right now... if I'm honest, I dunno if I'll do another Kickstarter next year. But I also know that I'm as stubborn as they come, and if you tell me not to do something I'll just do it even more the next time... The inner troll... he stirs!
As we limp bloodily towards the end of the year, we start to come across lots of “Best of” lists and the like, and I’ve been trying to think of my favourite games of the year. And to be honest, my favourite new games that I’ve played this year have been Titanfall 2 and Doom. Both of which came out last year.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, or part of a problem of growing up/growing old, but I maintain the same level of interest in gaming that I had when I was 14 and building levels for Duke Nukem 3D, but I have substantially less free time to enjoy it in. Plus games keep getting bigger and longer, and I have more and more demands on my free time.
Somehow I’ve ended up with three other human beings in the house, two of whom often need help getting dressed or going to the toilet, which seems awfully selfish of them when you consider neither of them would exist in the first place if it wasn’t for me.
Plus I’ve got a job, I’m trying to write a book, and also (ahem), trying to edit the behind-the-scenes Found Footage doc. And (and!) those Marvel Netflix shows aren’t going to watch themselves, are they?
I guess what I’m saying is I don’t understand how on earth people have time to play games when they actually come out.
In the past this bothered me, but I think I’ve kind of come to terms with it. It’s nice to be able to contribute to discussions I guess, and vote in end-of-year polls and the like; no one wants you to interrupt their Horizon/Zelda/Mario discussion with your opinion on a game that came out nearly two years ago. But I’m absolutely, thoroughly enjoying myself regardless. Have I finally grown up? Have I achieved a modicum of peace and perspective? Dunno. What do other people think?
Oh, hold on – Thimbleweed Park. That came out in 2017. I’ve played that, it’s ace. There you go, game of the year.
PS. Idea for Digi’s anniversary: get some contemporary kids to try to navigate Teletext, then point at them and laugh.
Well get this: I had a dream about you the other night. We were on some bus tour in Switzerland, and you and I decided to explore the town while the rest of the tour group went up the mountain, but then we got bored in the town and decided to walk through the town to meet them.
We were having a breather and trying to catch our bearings in a square in the middle of the town, when we heard a roar.
"What was that?" you asked.
"I think it was a lion," I replied.
"Nah, I think it just sounded like a lion," you said.
So I climbed some nearby steps, and looked out over the square, and there was a little zoo in the middle of it, and there was indeed a lion in the zoo, roaring.
"Yeah, it was a lion," I said, smugly.
I appreciate that it's really weird of me to tell you this. I don't fancy you!
What is the worst video game you ever did play?
I was wondering about your opinion on the Star Wars Battlefront II debacle, in particular whether this qualifies, as it does for me , as to EA "messing around with your star wars" as you put it recently, I think it is shocking myself EA really do know how to be a shitty company at times don't they?