Unlike before, where we were having to order shirts in advance of selling them - and had to guess the sizes and designs people might want - here there's no limit to the number of designs I can sell, and Spreadshirt can offer a greater range of sizes, colours and qualities.
Plus: you can customise the positioning and size of the designs yourself! This is a good thing. Everyone is happy. And if there's a Digi or Found Footage character you'd like to see... let me know and I can put it up in the shop.
They're really nice shirts, and worth the slightly higher price than we were selling shirts for, because - frankly - I tend to devalue myself. Also, going via Spreadshirt does bump up the price a bit. But, as I say, a couple of extra quid is worth it, given the flexibility and breadth it offers.
My favourites are the Sensorium Girlybox, Xenoxxx and Insincere Dave designs. I also like the randomness of the Stinky Metcalfe one. Anyhow... if you order within the next week you'll get 15% off by using the code in the image above. They'll even arrive in time for Christmas!
Go now and get spending loads of money. And then come back and read this week's 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, please send your filthy emails early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I absolutely loved your "I've seen things" column in this month's Retro Gamer. Perfectly expressed something I've thought myself many times. Just one question - what did you mean by Maria at the bedroom? Missed that reference...
The Maria reference is about Jet Set Willy - in which you play a hungover Miner Willy who just wants to go to bed, but his housekeeper Maria won't let him until he's gathered up all the empties from the previous night's party. I'm guessing you were either a Commodore 64 owner, or are too young to remember the ZX Spectrum...
Knowing that you are a massive Star Wars fan, I thought I'd share this rejected poster for The Last Jedi.
Peter (Dr Peanuts)
I know you're a fan of Aunty Donna. So am I! I wonder how many Digi readers are either fans, or would like AD if they saw them. Probably lots? Probably.
So, I thought I'd tell you about a thing I did. It is a short video game in the Dizzy style, starring the Aunty Donna boys.
You can play it in your web browser!
If you review it, I'm hoping for 73%.
Anyhow... I'm a big fan of Aunty Donna. I was meant to see them live in the summer, but ended up going on holiday instead. If you're interested, here's a good clip to start with (don't worry - there's no convoluted underlying sci-fi plot or any poo jokes):
From: Princess Peach's Castle
150 Castle Glade
Dear Digitiser 2000,
As a concerned fan, I write to you to raise my concerns over the recent release of Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch. Like many concerned Super Mario Bros fans, I was heartbroken to see Luigi was not included in this title.
Like so many people who star in video games I still remember the original days of the NES when they were the Mario Bros., then later the Super Mario Bros. Indeed, I still remember the first time I was ever saved from Bowser it was by the tall dark handsome Luigi and not his limelight hogging brother Mario, who Bowser was stomping on at the time.
However mistakenly Mario appears to have gotten the credit and there is this bizarre fan rumour that I am attracted to him (don't they know he's been married to Pauline since 1981 - they keep their relationship a secret to keep the rumours and limelight going and even poor Donkey Kong doesn't know the truth.)
I believe Pauline may have even be involved in getting Nintendo to drop poor Luigi and giving myself a smaller role. So her and Mario could be the stars of the show, she even had a singing part. They also told me I would once again play the kidnap victim role, which I feel I am being stereotyped for.
What's more many of my friends from the series don't get a look in, Birdo, Daisy, Toadsworth, poor Tatanga hasn't been in a game since Super Mario Land 2. He was in floods of tears when Nintendo said they didn't need him for Odyssey.
Mallow and Geno my friend from Mario RPG also disappeared without a trace after confronting Mario about his solo appearance in Super Mario 64. That was over 20 years ago! Pauline just laughs if anyone mentions their names, and said that's what happens if you disagree with Mario.
Bowser these days is also in Mario's pockets he's got eight children to feed after all, so always agrees with Mario on matters of who is cast for each game. This has to stop, I've decided to make this information public, in the hope we can come to some agreement to and see Luigi, restored to his rightful position, along with new roles for many for the support casting. That's why I have started a campaign to relaunch the game as Super Mario Bros. Odyssey.
A concerned fan of Luigi,
Princess Peach Toadstool
P.S. It would be wonderful if you could include a giant picture of Luigi when you feature this letter.♥
I recently bought your book "Confessions of a Chat Room Freak" for holiday reading. Unfortunately I accidentally left it in a hostel in Sydney, where I expect it is now on the communal book shelf where one day it will be picked up by an unsuspecting backpacker. This incident has led me to ask the following questions:
- What is the strangest or most unlikely place you've found a piece of your work or reference to something you've produced?
- Can you quickly summarise what happens in the final two thirds of the book that I didn't read? As the Loopylisa's computer was purchased in a car boot sale and I spotted at least one reference to poupons, is there a connection between the book and the events in Found Footage?
- Are you a keen car boot sales attendee, or is it just a convenient plot device?
- With your experience of almost writing scripts for Eastenders, do you think a soap based around the goings on at a weekly car boot sale has televisual potential?
Dr Alex P. Gaywood
2. I believe it actually ends on a sort of upbeat note, as it all got a bit depressing. There were a couple of transcripts I had to leave out, because they just made me feel too bleak about humanity, but - if I remember (and it was a long time ago) - the final chat sort of underlines the intention of the book, that most people are lonely and just looking for connection and want to feel validated. Ha ha - joke's on you. You just thought it was a silly load of old nonsense.
3. I used to sell stuff at car boots sales quite frequently, back when I wrote Digi. It was the best place to shift all the review copies I got; games sell better than anything else.
4. No. Though for years I kept starting to write a sitcom set at a car boot sale, but it kept boring me. I actually started watching Detectorists last night and really enjoyed it, but it's the sort of gentle, subtle, sitcom I could never write.
Reading your post about that Minecraft person, whats his name? Ohhh... Perrson - I appear to have made a hilarious gag!
Anyway comedy genius aside, it reminds me when I encountered him on a BBS (called Monochrome, which I log onto daily) years ago and he mentioned his game which was still in beta, but still charging for it.
I played it and told him it was fun for five minutes, the blocky retro feel was nice would not appeal to the kids of today, that the free-form nature would bore people quickly, and that in my expert opinion it would not do very well at all. Days after I learned it had already sold 3 million downloads at $10 a go!!!! $30 million for an unfinished game!!! Shows how much I know!
The Porridge King
I once had a terrible experience with Jagermeister. We had started drinking this in the local pub, they had this machine that looked intriguing and it was only a quid a shot, and inevitably someone would come back from the bar with the round of drinks as ordered, but with an extra Jagermeister shot each on the side. That warm, sickly taste, downed with a “Cheers!”.
Good times with good friends.
Then I made the mistake of buying a bottle of the stuff. It sat in the freezer for a while, because I’d read somewhere that you’re supposed to freeze it (the alcohol stops it freezing solid). Then, at my next social event at home, the Jagermeister flowed. I’d come back from a holiday and picked this bottle up at the airport. It was massive.
But we all loved Jagermeister, right? All my friends together, the Jager flowed. And everything around me started to melt into that hazy feeling of being contently sozzled that you get. We drank and drank. Then I blacked out.
I can’t drink it anymore. But it’s more than just thinking, “I don’t like that”. It’s a strange sensation as if my brain is yelling “Danger! Don’t touch that stuff ever again. Remember that night!” Which I don’t. I have no memory of my friends leaving, finding my way to bed, it’s worse than just being a blur. I don’t remember at all. But I know with all certainty that Jagermeister is evil. The mention of the name, the smell of it, sends my entire body into a state of uneasiness. I can’t even look at the bottle. And this week, I realised that Playstation VR is Jagermeister.
The Black Friday deals have reinvigorated PSVR, with the cheaper packages selling more units in a weekend than they did even at launch. The forums are buzzing again, with the same excitement as a year ago, as people comment, “I can actually BE Batman!”, and “Resident Evil 7 is terrifying!”.
Over the last year I have played on mine more than I’ve played regular non-VR Playstation and as well as enjoying the new stuff I’ve revisted the old stuff and the novelty just doesn’t wear off. However, the experience of this year has shown me exactly how to use this thing. You leave the breakout box permanently set up on top of the PS4 and keep the cables connected to the headset. Then, all you need to do is connect the two cables to the breakout box when you want to play, it’s no hassle at all.
Then, if the lenses steam up, don’t wipe them with a cloth, just give it a minute. By the time you’ve loaded a game and got through the menus everything will be fine. I adjusted the IPD setting so it matches my eyes, and the image is now really clear. I bought a storage case which holds the PS Move controllers and headset neatly so it’s all tidy when not in use.
And now, a year down the line, I’m still hearing people saying the old stuff that we should have learned from and moved away from. Because like Jagermeister, PSVR will make you sick if you overdo it. You need to spend the first day or so sipping from the shot glass. But it’s worth it, because if you take it slowly and don’t overdo it what you have left is something so good it actually devalues your non VR PS4.
You won’t want to play the loot-box riddled Battlefront, the Call of Duty’s and the like. You’ll play Rez in Non-VR and wonder how the game ever had any appeal before the VR version. You’ll BE BATMAN for crying out loud. And when you look at the back catalogue of just over a year’s worth of games you’ll see how the showpiece demos have been superseded by absolutely first rate killer apps.
Megaton Rainfall lets you be Superman in everything but the name. It’s EDF in VR. Resident Evil 7 is awesome from start to finish, where non-VR players say it runs out of steam halfway.
Rec-Room is completely free, yet offers a 3D Charades experience that put a smile on my face in a way that modern games just fail to do. It’s up there with Outrun 2 in that it’s just plain FUN, and yet all you’re doing is playing Pictionary in 3D space with strangers.
Doom VFR shows just how good the graphics can be in VR. Skyrim VR is a full length, immersive experience. And so it goes on. There are hundreds of games in the PS Store.
Yet, the magazines and websites are making the mistake of assigning reviewers to these titles who don’t have the ‘VR legs’. The review of Driveclub VR that scored 4/10 saying “no-one in our staff could play it for longer than ten minutes without wanting to be sick” is akin to having a tee-totaller reviewing Jagermeister. They complain that there are too many wires, and it’s a pain getting it all set up.
Time has passed and we’re good at VR now. I can play Resident Evil 7 with smooth movement for as long as I’d play on the TV. Those early worries about sickness pass in no time as long as you don’t overdo it, and once you find those feelings have passed, they’re never a problem again. And all those extra wires are behind the TV apart from the one leading to the headset itself.
Tidy away the clutter once and there’s no extra fuss above and beyond what you’d get with a wired controller.
Driveclub VR, along with Dirt Rally and GT Sport are utterly incredible. Played with a wheel they are just so immersive in a way you’ve never felt before. They create a new sense of being part of the game, an immersion just as convincing as that moment when you played Yoshi’s Island for the first time and realise the complex control sequences required to create and fire eggs whilst jumping is making the control pad melt away into your hands.
You stop thinking about playing the game and become part of the experience. And don’t get me started on Polybius. One of the single best games of my life, VR makes it an experience up there with any of the best games from the entire history of this hobby. You switch off to everything apart from the game itself. Something clicks and you sail through the levels you struggled with. You become part of the game itself, no longer a participant looking in from outside. Incredible. And it’s £13, with no DLC or loot boxes in sight.
But, many people have that first game, overdo it, come away feeling funny and say, no thanks that’s not for me. But like Jagermeister, if you overdo it that first time, you’ll never want to go back to it, and you’re missing out on something extraordinary if you don’t.
PSVR has redefined my expectations of what games can be, and is the single biggest leap forward since it all began. Always drink responsibly. When the fun stops, stop. Build up your tolerance and get your VR legs. You’ll not regret it.
But anyway... you nevertheless make a good analogy. My experience with VR - specifically, Resident Evil 7 - is exactly how I feel about cider, which I haven't really drunk since my mid-20s, after I threw up in the kitchen sink.
Indeed, I'm fast reaching the point where I swear off booze altogether, because of the hangovers. I'm almost there, and I'm getting closer to that day; I saw Digi's Mr Hairs for a drink last week. Didn't have much to drink, yet still suffered a three day hangover from it.
My Resident Evil 7 hangover is still grinding on, sadly...
The mother-in-law’s boiler packed up a few months back so she was without hot water for a few days. She lives pretty close so we suggested that she come over to ours for her shower until she got her boiler sorted out.
I work at home on Wednesdays as my wife has to go into London for her part-time accountancy job so I need to drive the kids to and from school. I’d just got back from the school run and switched on my laptop when I heard a shout from upstairs. It was my mother-in-law Kathy, she had let herself in with her key and had her shower – “Chris! Chris! Have you got a bigger towel? The ones in here are tiny” she yelled from the bathroom.
I rummaged in the drying basket and found a towel, rushed upstairs and knocked on the bathroom door. Kathy opened the door with the tiny towel wrapped tightly round her midriff. As she reached to grab the bigger towel from me the top of the towel she was wearing slipped, exposing her right breast. She’s in her early sixties and has had four kids but she’s kept herself in great shape, her breast was still round and firm, sagging only slightly from the ravages of age and motherhood.
Seeing the obvious delight in my eyes she let the towel drop completely, exposing her curvy figure, still damp and steaming from the hot shower. “You’ve been married to Helen a long time, haven’t you ever wanted to sample the original?” she asked coyly.
We’d kind of flirted in the past, but I’d always put it down to her wicked sense of humour, I never dreamed this would happen. Well tell a lie, I had one or two dreams about it LOL. I grabbed her and kissed her greedily and we staggered into the bedroom in each others arms. We made insanely passionate love that morning, her slender legs wrapped round my back, my strong hands running through her blonde hair tinged with grey, revelling in the sheer wrongness of our actions.
We’ve been doing this most Wednesdays since then. After our bouts of hot sex she loves to watch me play Star Wars Battlefront, especially as the Empire. “Kill the rebel scum!” she exclaims as I pick off another poor opponent. The problem is that she’s been nagging me to get Battlefront II, but I’ve refused due to the whole lootbox fiasco, saying that EA are exploiting our love of Star Wars and we shouldn’t become part of the problem.
Kath says that without the prospect of massive returns investors just won’t fund these big scale triple-A games and if I really feel like that I should “go live in Russia”. To top it all she’s threatening to tell the wife about us if I don’t get the game. Now given everything at stake, and I REALLY hate EA for how they are treating us players, should I still get the game because, you know, Star Wars and everything?
I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but could you tell me what instructions/notes did you give Pete Ace for his very first Goujon John job?
Did you have to explain the changes in tone you were after, or did he just do all that himself?
I'm more that a little fascinated by your original request to him and what he made of it
Thanks for any peek behind the curtain you're willing to give.
I honestly think he's a massive star waiting to be discovered; I'd work with him properly if I could. Indeed, that was the plan - to actually film with him in person - for The Trojan Arse Protocol 2, but none of you wankers wanted me to make that. Thanks a bunch.
Warning: shameless plug request and bum-licky fanboy fawning ahead.
Having dabbled (read: failed) with writing for the last few years as a means of keeping sane in my detested day job I, somewhat unbelievably, have had a (5-minute) script produced by my local BBC Comedy unit in Belfast... AND HERE IT IS:
Any watching/sharing of this by yourself or any of the other Digi2000 bods would be hugely appreciated, especially as I found out I'm probably getting the boot from my temp day job just after Christmas (Happy 2018 y'all). I shan't pretend it's the next Rick & Morty, but as far as first efforts go I think it holds up and lots of much harder working/talented people than me knocked their pans in to make it a reality, so it would be nice if it was more widely seen.
Plug complete, time for some premium fawning:
It took me far, far too long to actually pluck up the courage to attempt to create something myself. I blame both my own chronic lack of self belief and growing up in an environment that really felt about as far away from any kind of creative industry as it's possible to get.
But I definitely credit you (and Digi) for starting me down a different path. Seeing you interact with people back in the Board of Biffo days, as well as sharing all the behind the scenes stuff from Biffovision etc., was the first time I began to realise that my favourite comedy/comedians weren't just beamed down fully formed from Planet Hysterion, or annointed in some unholy swine-bothering ritual in a back room of the Cambridge footlights.
Anyways, thanks to anyone who's made it this far through my self-indulgent bilge and to you especially for the aforementioned inspirational doings (you also popped up as a talking head on a Writersroom vid about kids telly which was good too). I guarantee there's more laughs in my vid than there were in this letter. I'd also dare to say there's even a tiny hint of some digi-ish type humour in there that somehow slipped passed the script editor who baby-stepped me through the process.
P.S. On a slighlty serendipitous/stalkery note: my thing was filmed in Killyleagh Castle which, I was informed on the day by the script supervisor, was the filming location of Dani's House which I remember reading you worked on. You and me man... WE'RE THE SAME. :-O
When I was starting out I went to a lot of BBC Writers Room events and courses, and they were great. It's a brilliant resource for anybody interested in getting into writing for a living. That interview I did with them was horrible, mind. I'm normally pretty okay with those sort of things, but it was the end of a long day, and I completely lost the thread of what I was trying to say.
And yes - Killyleagh Castle! It was actually Dani's Castle - not House - which was filmed there. I went over for filming a couple of times. Apparently, during the months of production, the family who own the castle carried on living there, but just moved into two floors of the castle, and let the crew have free run of the rest.
I felt like a big bastard for having to tell my family not to get me any gaming tat for Xmas. I would love a Digi tshirt, but I know I would end up with a 'Number One Gamer' t-shirt featuring a vague approximation of a Space Invader that cost £35 from M & S.
Instead I've asked my dad to shave his beard into a mustache like Mario, and my sister is going to dress like Nathan Drake. I wanted my mum as Master Chief but she said she'll be cooking and that.
Are you all looking forward to Xmas? What are some Xmas gaming 'memz' (memories)?
As for Christmas... I'm still waiting to get paid. I don't feel I can really start looking forward to it until I know I can actually afford to have it. Which is a shame, because usually I love Christmas, and last year I was very, very ill with gastritis, and basically missed it.
Hey Biffo. My new T-shirt and hoodie turned up today. They are this: very nice and also this: proudly baring the Digitiser logo.
But I have a question.
Why do they have the Digitiser logo? When I ordered one of the original ones a year or two ago it came with the Digitiser 2000 logo. I vaguely remember you saying this was for legal reasons, so is this no longer the case? It doesn’t bother me in the slightest either way, I’m just quite a nosey bastard.
Also can I request a Mr T shirt without the text please? I ruined my original one fixing the washing machine whilst wearing it, and they never came back in stock.
If I wear the zombie Dave shirt to work, will I get fired?
PS... it's 7pm, it's snowing, and the ice cream man is parked outside... there is a queue.