It’s Halloween, do you know any scary stories?
Yes, I do. I warn you though; the story is not for those weak of heart. For this is a tale of true horror and treachery passed down to me by my grandfather who heard it from a gypsy fortune teller.
A long time ago, in 2006, a young 3D artist named Warren P. Weed went to work for a small games company called Flagship Studios. Warren was not unlike you or I; he was a simple man with a burning desire to create a great game.
Warren toiled away at his job, knowing that the studio promised this amazing game. But in actuality, the company had a dark secret that only the CEO, Mr. Marcus Blean knew. For you see, the company had been spending money it didn’t have to produce a game that was the spiritual successor to Diablo II, but had no idea of what they wanted beyond that. That is what Warren Weed came to learn as he delved deeply into the code of the game, seeking the answer to the question, “What is this game about?”
Now, Mr. Weed was not a rich man. He had student loans and an evil ex-wife who demanded alimony, regardless of her inability to act like a human being. That is why, when Warren discovered that his company was without a solid idea for a game, he set out to help the company and come up with the best game idea ever.
Warren spent all his time off drinking Mountain Dew Gamerfuel and developing a rich narrative, deep characters and unique but fun style of gameplay. Slowly, whether due to some pre-existing mental disorder or his growing addiction to the sweet taste of the Dew, his devotion to the project slowly turned into a maddening obsession that began taking over his mind. He tossed aside convention and dropped his ideas of space-marines battling Nazi zombies wielding chain sword Gatling-lasers. He dismissed quick-time-events, and collectables. Yes, Warren Weed had truly gone completely insane.
And it was in this state of near insanity that Warren Weed pitched the idea for a game about white and black dots learning to live in harmony, which, in his madness, he claimed to be an allegory for the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. Not seeing the lunacy in Warren Weed’s eyes, Mr. Blean laughed openly at the idea. He mocked the thought of people living in harmony and even laughed when he considered how the company could insert a leveling system, FPS combat and the occasional gimmicky RTS segment.
Warren Weed was not happy and he quickly turned his deranged thoughts to revenge against they whom mocked him. He returned to work the next day to poison the coffee. As the office grew quiet, Warren Weed knew his plan had worked. He went to Mr. Blean’s office to make sure the deed was done. But Warren Weed had made one fatal mistake; Mr. Blean only drank his coffee with a low-fat soy foam. That is why, when Warren made his way past the dead secretary into Mr. Blean’s office, he found his tormentor on the phone, oblivious that everyone else in the office was dead, aside from himself and Warren.
Angrily, Weed shouted one last curse before jumping out the window to his own death, “You should all go to Hell!” Ironically it was his dying curse which inspired the CEO. Hellgate: London was released two years later. All who play the game are cursed to wander through empty sewers tunnels for eternity seeking escape from their torment but dragged back into hell by their guilt of having paid $60, and tormented once again by the angry spirits of the dead.
To this day, it’s said that Warren Weed’s spirit wanders the empty halls of Flagship Studios pitching ideas to hapless developers that wander into this haunted place.
Rumors circulated over the weekend that the makers of Oblivion and Fallout 3’s parent company, Zenimax, hope to purchase a studio that has a reputation for releasing quality games. They have, instead, settled for Valve which was reported to release a game once. Our in-the-field reporter went into the streets to check out the public’s reaction to the rumor.
Martin J. of Wilsbury, PA, was angry at the prospect of Valve being even loosely affiliated with the creators of Fallout 3. He said, “Valve is worth a…Hey, what’s after a trillion? Valve is worth a bajillion dollars, and there’s no way an international mega-corporation like Zenimax could ever afford them!” He then punched our reporter for even suggesting that it was possible.
Another, less “punchy” fan, maintains that he isn’t that upset over the rumor, stating: “I can’t see how this would be a bad thing; I think a close collaboration between Bethseda and Valve could have a lot of positive benefits. Just imagine how awesome Half-Life 2 could be if we could harness the derivative story-line of Half-Life 2 and combine it with clunky robotic animations, and Bethesda’s prosaic take on classic IPs such as Fallout.”
Regardless of whether this rumor is true or not, one thing is for sure: Half-Out is a much better name for a game than Fall-Life.
Rumors suggest that Sid Meyer’s studio, Firaxis Games is feverishly working to bring his highly acclaimed turn-based world domination strategy game, Civilization, to Facebook.
Concerned naysayers have already begun protesting the idea. The group claims that the fusion of the two time consuming forms of entertainment could easily result in a rip in the space-time continuum which could spell out the destruction of the entire human race, and perhaps all existence, as we know it.
Sid Meyer has yet to respond, but several scientific sources denied the claims that such an occurrence was a possibility and asked the attention grabbing jerks in charge of the group to be reasonable and not stir up the same sort of unmitigated fear mongering that had caused Americans to stock up on canned food and ammunition in preparation for the Y2K bug.
Regardless of the true outcome of this dangerous amalgam, one thing is for certain: commerce will come to a halt as desk workers demand a “One more turn!” office policy to ensure that Shaka Zulu’s Russian cavalry does not conquer the ancient city of Denver and stop them from completing the great wall of Egypt.
Rumors that the Chinese company, Shanda, will require its female users to prove they are not men via webcam are completely true. The company said earlier this week that all players playing female avatars must be verified as female before they can continue playing.
However, what is more interesting is that this news comes only a few days after it was reported that Shanda’s CEO Wong Shui was caught “cybering” with a female avatar only to find out it was actually a local reporter looking for a story. News of Mr. Shui’s indiscretion ran in the Hong Kong Times Tribune over the weekend. Mr. Shui has refused to personally comment on the situation, but in a recent press released company, he vehemently reaffirmed his love for the female anatomy in great detail.
The company also said that having a picture database of all the women who have ever played the game would not be creepy at all.
Marion Cox is a weekly columnist for The Escapist and has been watching the Left 4 Dead 2 video on repeat for 12 hours to simulate playing the same five maps over and over again.