To the Editor:

Attracted to your site by the very intelligent article on bankrupt freelancers. I have deep industry knowledge of how bad it can get:

1986 to 1999 - worldwide forensic accountant specialising in fraud and deception cases, including frauds that cost over $3bn in total ...

1999 - I owned a chunk of a UK developer and helped it get two titles out (each scored over 90%). Went bust when a combination of publisher defaulting on £1.3m and two new publishers cancelling projects #3 and #4 came at the same time

2005 - saw the dirty side of publishing worldwide - bent deals, hooky royalty reports, stolen IPR, selling games that were not paid for, bank accounts from London to Samoa ... fled and launched litigation all over the world to stop them. Sadly not in time to stop them defaulting on large debts to Highbury (hence my noticing the article on your site)

2006 - helped the nice people in Delhi set up two outsourcing studios

2007 - escaped the games world completely, and am now making machinima for the masses

Would be happy to opine on games business topics, may even be able to write. Let me know if you have a gap in your schedule.

On a happier note - how about an article on machinima, how it started, how it has evolved and where it is going?

- David Bailey

David,

Thanks for the kind words. And the sordid tale. I love hearing from folks like you who've been there and done that.

As for the story on machinima, your wish is our command. There are three that immediately come to mind, two by Allen Varney, The French Democracy and Red vs. Blue Makes Green, and and a third by Christian McCrea, Limit and Measure.

In addition, you can type "machinima" into our search box and find even more stories, but none as enlightening as the three noted above, I think.

Enjoy!

- The Editors of The Escapist

***

In response to "Blackmailers don't Shoot" from The Escapist Forum: Noir is often seen more for its style rather than its substance. It's similar to the screwball comedy in that way. Noir paints a particular portrait of the world. The absence of exaggerated violence or extreme body counts in early Noir has to do with the time and place they were made.

However, I agree that it's a Noir heroes skills that make him an attractive tool for the femme fatale. Sometimes those skills are brutish (Sin City), but more often than not, it's the wits he developed at his job. I would love to see a great Noir adventure game.

- hawksdr

***

In response to "Girlfriend, Rat":

First of all, thanks Russ for your interest in my game! I enjoyed our conversations on noir a lot. One clarification on the article: the game is already available as a PDF here. I took some time off work recently to finish it.

clericsdaughter, that female role-players would feel excluded from the game a valid concern. Since the player characters are men the stories tend to focus on their troubles, and present problems that men in the 1940s and today could have. But the unifying force between the player characters is the femme fatale. Every character has a relationship to her, but it doesn't have to be a sexual or romantic relationship.

What's interesting is that it isn't decided until the epilogues at the end of the game whether the femme fatale was evil or innocent, or if she was actually the victim of the whole story. In one game I played the femme fatale crushed the player characters and took control of an entertainment-business city block. In another game she ended up trying to save one of the characters from the police, but was shot and died in his arms.

What I'm saying is that even though the player characters are men there's an interesting woman in every story. She's mainly controlled by the game master, but the players can control her in the story if they play certain cards in conflicts. If their character is the only one left in the end the player gets to decide what happens to the femme fatale and their character. Maybe they marry and live happily, or she betrays him or he does everything to avoid her.

You could play a game where the main interest is what happens to the femme fatale. To be able to decide on your own what happens to her, though, you'd need to have your character rat on the other characters and be the only one left.

To anyone that's reading, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have on the game.

- Jonas Ferry, Creator of One Can Have Her

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