Inside Gaming Best of 2010 Part One
Rolling out later this month during our much needed two week vacation will be Inside Gaming’s “Best Of” moments from this year. The following are a few select scenes that have stories, significance or interesting history tied to them. In either case, I just want to say that this year has been amazing. 2010 was all about doing as much gaming coverage as possible while maintaing our sanity and integrity.
I’m really looking forward to 2011 because of our new emphasis on quality and content output. I can’t say much right now but it’s safe to assume that Inside Gaming will grow beyond just a bi-weekly news show, far beyond in fact. Ok, that is far too much rambling for me. Let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the best moments in 2010, shall we?
YEAR OF THE HORSE
This is just something that dawned on me late in the year, the horse is taking over the goddamn gaming industry. While everyone is off complaining about Zombies and zebras, this oat munching, salt licking thoroughbred is invading our games one by one. Don’t mistake my fear for hate, I just envision a day where we can ride a horse jumping a shark in Assassin’s Creed 3.
PAX EAST WITCH
Women are crazy. This one in particular puts the typical “chase me when I leave” broads into perspective. Our cameraman (and now newly promoted studio producer) Brendan Schulze filmed the hell out this witch and does not regret for a minute keeping his flashlight on. Thanks Brendan.
NEW YORK BIKE RIDE
While covering this years New York Comic Con we all arrived at a similar conclusion: there was almost nothing worth putting on the show. Thankfully we made the best of our trip and found a new (and in my opinion, better) way to cover events. We learned to let our hair down and just have fun, actually play the games and embrace the location. There may have not been a lot to see at the show, but riding a tandem bike near the Statue of Liberty was worth the plane ticket cost alone.
Total Jerk Face is a developer whose original game, Divine Intervention, offered hours of enjoyment while at a family holiday get together. This guy has a real knack for odd, violent and overall fun flash games and Happy Wheels feels like his opus. I still play this game from time to time and am grateful to have a show that educates the world on flash based child endangerment.
CS:S ON THE MAC
I’ve never liked Counter-Strike, blasphemy I know. I just could not get into a game that offered no respawn options in the vanilla version of the game; I do terrible under pressure in vidya games. Since its release I have discovered lobbies that play more like, say Call of Duty with deathwatch modes, but I’ve already subscribed to Valve’s tastier crack, Team Fortress 2. I wanted to re-spark that lack of love for CS:S on the Mac and I thought this extended first look did just that.
The Halo series holds a very special place in my heart. Hell, I wouldn’t have my job if I didn’t have an unexplainable love for Bungie’s spaceman shooter. I’m really excited/scared to see where 343 and company plan to take the series and because I am a fan, I always like to speculate. As as kid I predicted Star Wars Legos (the toys not the game), Gooebumps becoming a TV show and as a teenager wrote down GTA ideas that later became cool features in games like Mafia 2 and full blown projects like A.B.P. The point I’m trying to make is I’ve always had pretty good foresight, now whether creative types used my unheard physic ideas or not isn’t known to me.
For example, I thought A.P.B. would have done well if Realtime Worlds allowed users to play for free as the cops and charge a premium for users to play as criminals. They ended up creating a game that was dependent on player population (No pedestrians, WTF?) and other terrible design choices. As the story goes, A.P.B. failed and now a Korean game publisher is buying the official rights to make the game free, I’m glad someone got a the third eye message. I’m just hoping 343 understands what Halo is all about, a great sci-fi story with interesting questions. Whether they decide to integrate my ideas about a time traveling Master Chief who interacts with Forerunners or instead copout with a lame “Let’s finish the fight…again” ending is entirely up to them, I just hope they make the right choice.
I really hate flame bait and I especially hate the notion that anyone has any kind of allegiance to a brand. How anyone can feel strongly for devices that offer similar experiences is beyond me. I forget sometimes that I am fortunate; I have a good job and the ability to save money while remaining relatively debt-free. I can afford consoles, games and the occasional accessory while much of my audience can not. A rule that I try to live by and often forget is to keep an open mind. And yes I know, I give the Wii crap but that’s a hatred of hype, not Nintendo. I hope people took something away from this segment and remembered why the show is called “Inside Gaming” and not “Inside INSERT_CONSOLE_OF_CHOICE_HERE”.
Making Machinima in Halo was one of my first creative gaming tasks. When Tina Wood was leaving G4, she asked me to make some Halo 2 skits for some personal project. That footage never made it outside a homemade DVD but I always remember it fondly. This is when I realized film making in videogames had some actual potential in my future. So when Microsoft approached us to make a series in Halo Reach four years later in my life, I was a little bit more than excited. The above scene in particular was written by Sark, voiced by myself and Hutch, captured/edited by John Y and then put together for a final cut. This type of work is becoming more and more like a real production process and the future of movie making in videogames has me very excited.
DILDOS WITH LIGHTS ON TOP
I would have never thought that getting over the name “Wii” would be quicker than not seeing a thick black penis every time I see the PlayStation Move. I recall guys from X-Play screaming in 2006 at how Nintendo was finished, dead, out of the race for their worldwide friendly name. Here we are now, Nintendo is sitting upon an even bigger cash pile and Sony released a complete rip-off while making a generation of boys feel a bit more confused about their sexual orientation. I found this clip to be extra special because it’s the only time (that I can think of) where I’ve laughed at my own joke in an episode, something I try to avoid. I was hesitant at first with John keeping in outtakes for final episodes but I think it ultimately works here.
BILLY GOES TO BLIZZCON
As I said before, the show is called “Inside Gaming” for a reason, but when it comes to MMOs, this is not where the show shines. I attempt to play as many high profile games each year as I can but when it comes to the WoWs and EVEs I just do not have the time. People like to give me shit for not talking about “X” MMORPG or “Y” click-to-kill game but those kinds of titles just do not interest me and probably less so for the majority of our audience.
Thankfully we have a new YouTube channel, Realm, which handles all that stuff so I don’t have to. I’ve attended two Blizzcon’s in my life. Combined, I’ve stayed a total of 3 hours, once to play StarCraft 2 and the other to pick up my swag bag and look at Diablo 3. Thankfully this year we sent in Billy, who gave me his notes on the event. I recall those notes being slightly less than usable so I was left with no other choice but to grab Billy, toss him in the VO booth and make BlizzCon look interesting on my show; I thought we did a damn good job.