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Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Beginnings

As a new year approaches, visions of shiny new game companies dance in our heads, promising gaming experiences that will bring us joy and cheer. Let's have a look...

Green Monster Games

A belated grats to my mortal enemies Moorgard and Blackguard who have joined Curt Schilling's celebrity-studded new gaming company. They have a lot of exciting people on board and I don't just mean McFarlane and Salvatore.

Everything I've been able to glean from perusing various forums leads me to believe this company is headed in the right direction. If I had Schilling-esque money, I probably would have done something very similar.

I truly feel that Green Monster will put out a great product.

A brief side note on EQII: Did the team lose some great people? Sure. Am I worried? Nah. EoF seems pretty great so far and there are still plenty of excellent people on the EQII team. I think even the most ardent SOE hater would agree that Gallenite does a great job at the helm. So as long as he's still there, I'm not really worried.


Areae is showtime for Raph Koster. Cosmik does a great job collecting the relevant links over at n3rfed so head there for more info.

Areae will be a very exciting company to watch. I would bet that they actually do come up with some innovative concepts that change the MMO landscape. I also have a sneaking suspicion that they might be more financially successful then people initially assume.

Okay, so I've said enough nice things, right? I can make fun of them both now? Cool.

I'm pleased to announce the formation of my new game company: Aggro Monster Games. I've assembled my own dream team of superstar talent to take the MMO world by storm. Tremble in fear at this mighty celebrity-studded lineup:

CEO/Founder: Aggro

Community Relations Director: Pam from the Office

Lead Designers: The design team from Mourning

Chief Programmer: That dude who was Crash Overide (Zero Cool) in Hackers

Business/Investments Manager: Omarosa Manigault Stallworth

Diversity Co-ordinator: Michael "Kramer" Richards

Chat Interface: Ceciliantas

Public Relations/Driver: Lizzie Grubman

Youth Outreach: Julio Franco, NY Mets

Holiday Events: Tom Cruise

Character Clothing Design: Britney Spears

And much more to come!

But that's not all. Refusing to be content with the creation of one game company, I also present to you the brand new Aggrae Games. Here's a coy little interview I did with the NY Times on the new company:

Q: So, you're working on a game?

A: Heh. We like to think it's a little more than a "game."

Q: Um. It's something you can play, right?

A: Haha, typical response. Perhaps you're "playing" it right now.

Q: What? Am I?

A: Maybe. It's a little too complicated to get into at this point.

Q: Wow, it sounds really interesting.

A: Hmmm....interesting. I'd say invasive. But yet inviting. Invisive. Is that a word? Well it is now.

Q: Can you speak about any specific mechanics your game will use?

A: *Chuckles* Game mechanics are for the weak. As are programmers. We're talking about something so revolutionary that it topples the world order as we know it.

Q: I've heard you mention Web 2.0 in relation to your project. Can you speak more about that?

A: Feh. More like Web 4.0. We're going to really tap the neanderthal-like intelligence of the sheeple - I mean players. Second Life.

Q: What? Will the game be something like Second Life?

A: *Sigh* No, of course not. Why do people insist on saying that?

Q: Um, you just mentioned it.

A: Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dofus' Holiday Cheer

Dofus, I like you. Heck, I even posted a positive review once. So why do you leave threatening holiday messages in my email inbox?

Um, thanks for the cheery offer, Dofus. I'm not sure if Dofus wants to "ruin" me mentally, emotionally or physically but since I don't have far to go on any front, I think I'll pass.

Full version of the Dofus holiday promo (with promise of "great surcraprises") here.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hasten Bootstrutter's True Travels in Norrath: Part III


10th Day of Warmstill

Think there are enough orcs here? I sure do.


23rd Day of Warmstill

Hmm, how can I put this. I didn’t try to rob a market stall. I definitely didn’t try to arrange an appointment with a Maj’Dul Courtesan using the money I stole. And I certainly didn’t get zapped by some lunatic mage on a flying carpet claiming he was “keeping the peace.” Nope. That stuff didn’t happen. But I’m not welcome in Maj’Dul anymore. I hope it crashes or whatever.

Sinking Sands

3rd Day of Busheldown

They call these people Dervish Lunatics and Dervish Madmen. But every single one of them has a flask of water. I have two copper and an empty bottle of Jum Jum Juice. Who’s the crazy one?


11th Day of Lastleaf

News flash: lava does not “burn off the shroud of failure that surrounds me.” It just burns.

Nektropos Castle

19th Day of Lastleaf

I was feeling lonely so I decided to check back in with Alexa. Maybe the “breakup” last time was really my fault.

Nektropos Castle

20th Day of Lastleaf

She tried to kill me again.


14th Day of Lastchill

When will I learn not to take stupid bets? 5 Gold to go skinny-dipping in the Fanged Sea. The bite from that giant shark might actually hurt if I could feel any of my extremities.

Qeynos – Baubleshire

13th Day of Deadening

Ah, home life. Honest work during the day and a good sleep at night. Yes, my wife came to her senses and took me back. Sure, she said it was only because her husband was killed by an Oakmyst Great Bear, but I like to think she realized her mistake. I’m finally content and able to find some peace in life.

Qeynos – Baubleshire

1st Day of Deepice

My wife made me promise I would never go traveling again and I agreed. But I never said I wouldn’t go exploring, hehe. I’ve been hearing rumors that Kelethin has been rediscovered…

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hasten Bootstrutter's True Travels in Norrath: Part II

Enchanted Lands

23rd Day of Grayeven

When did the Halflings become so angry? I thought they were cheery, chubby folk? They think they’ve had troubles….


4th Day of Stargazing

Kegs upon kegs of Jum Jum Juice. Taverns and inns all around. But not one single public restroom. Sometimes I hate my life.


11th Day of Weeping

There was a gnoll here who was telling a long story about some guy named Harclave. I slept through most of it but then the gnolls kicked me out. They said they didn’t trust me. I don’t blame them. By this point, I probably smell worse than a Mucus Zombie.

The Arena

13th Day of Weeping

Finally, a nice quiet place to sleep.


20th Day of Blossoming

There’s an Ogre in Big Bend who makes the best Taquitos. I don’t want to know what the ingredients are but they are so tasty I just don’t care.

Tenebrous Tangle

11th Day of Oceansfull

Sure, I’m a brave traveler. But if you think I’m jumping off a really high waterfall from one floating island to another just to talk to some Frogloks, you’re crazy. I don’t plan on getting on any flying clouds either. Ever notice that most of the people who live here have wings? Take the hint.

Nektropos Castle

3rd Day of Scorchedsky

I met this fantastic woman today. She’s not only beautiful but she’s apparently from a wealthy family. Her name is Alexa Everling. She says I should meet her in the basement tonight for some “experiments!” Hehe, sounds saucy. Things are really starting to turn around for old Hasten!

Nektropos Castle

4th Day of Scorchedsky

Okay, Alexa tried to kill me and turn me into a zombie.

Stay tuned for the mildly thrilling conclusion...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hasten Bootstrutter's True Travels in Norrath: Part I

Hail adventurer! Allow me to introduce myself. Hasten Bootstrutter is the name, and traveling is my game.

You may know me from one of my delightful “field guides.” I’ve written one for almost every locale in Norrath, guiding you, my faithful reader, to points of interest and adventure! But my publisher tells me that today’s generation of adventurer prefers a travel account that’s a little more personal. Well, I aim to please. I've decided it would be fitting to start my latest journey from the place all journeys begin…home.

Qeynos - Baubleshire

13th Day of Deepice

Ah, home. They say it’s where the heart is and who am I to argue? Sure, my journeys are wonderful – filled with constant excitement, adventure and intrigue. But there’s nothing like returning back to hearth, home and the wife who loves you. I knocked on the door and I admit I was a little taken aback by how much my dear wife had aged. But, well, she’s a sweet woman and I do care for her. I’ve even been faithful to her all these years. Mostly.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“Haha. Good one, good one.” I gave my best impish grin and a wink.

“Get out, whoever you are,” she replied pushing the door closed.

“It’s me, Hasten!” I shouted. She looked hard for a second and then put her face into her hands.
“Brell Serilis preserve us,” she muttered.

I started forward but she put her hand up.

“Listen, Hasten, I had you declared legally dead a long time ago. I’m married.”

“Of course, you’re married,” I laughed. “You’re married to that famed rogue of a traveling gnome – Hasten Bootstrutter!”

“Um, no. To someone else.”

“There must be a mistake-“

“It’s been fourteen years, you moron.”

“Did you at least wait a decade?”

“If a decade is three weeks then sure. Now get away before I call the guards.”

I need a drink. Or shall I say drinks.

Qeynos Harbor

14th Day of Deepice

I can’t remember much of what happened here. I was trying to celebrate Brew Day but everyone kept telling me that it wasn’t for months and to stop annoying them. I started fighting with everyone I could find to defend the honor of Brew Day. Well, except for that Nathan Ironforge kid. He kind of gave me this cold, evil look and, well, I just got freaked out.

Eventually the guards tossed me out of the city, none too gently I might add.


15th Day of Deepice

I finished the last of my “Brew Day gifts” today, right about the same time some highwaymen stole my J-Boots. I screamed at them for three hours about how I invented J-Boots and then passed out in a river. When I woke up a Coldwind King Crab was pinching my neck. I could barely walk without my boots. To make matters worse that idiot Hwal Rucksif came strutting by and started laughing, “Where’s your fancy J-Boots now?” Then he pointed to his stupid Dwarven Work Boots and said, “These boots are made for walking!” I hate that guy. My feet are cold.

Thundering Steppes

2nd Day of Grayeven

Does anyone have a key to this gate? Sigh. It’s going to be a long night.

Stay tuned for Part II in a few days...