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25/1/06: All Hill Breaks Loose

New feature today, called Silent Hill Showdown. I promise to stop writing so much crap about Silent Hill from now on. If you didn't grasp the fact that the link to the feature was in the first sentence of this paragraph, here it is again. The link was in those four words there.

- Yahtzee

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12/1/06: Too Angry To Write Puns Right Now

Okay, as I write this I am experiencing a mood swing. I don't know what that means to other people but for me it generally means me being depressed with no explanation beyond a semi-coherent 'eh' and a sort of inconclusive attempt at a shrug. And after that, I start feeling extremely angry for similarly absent reasons. It's just a sense of deep and gnawing generic fury at everything around me with no outlet save for hammering away on a keyboard for a while. Perhaps if the rage is still with me by the time I'm finished I'll even upload this as an update in a fit of spite.

Here, then, is a short concise list of everything that's making me angry right now:

- The hot Australian summer sun sitting on its big blue high horse like a big fucking shit

- The fan to my immediate right that is not pointed directly at me, because I've heard somewhere that fans actually take away cool breezes from everything it's not pointed at

- The Awful Forums, because none of the threads I'm interested in have updated in the last minute or so

- The curious smell rising from the armpits of the Hawaiian shirt that I have been wearing for probably too long and which I refuse to put in the wash because laundry in this flat gets done with a frequency roughly equivalent to extinction level events

- The community of ants that seem to think the bounty of crumbs to be had on my kitchen worktop is worth risking me and my apocalyptic dustpan and brush

- My girlfriend playing Animal Crossing behind me selling her green table in an infuriatingly blase fashion

- My tummy because it is hungry and I'll have to get up and microwave myself some fucking dinner but I can't because I'm too angry to stop writing this twatflappery


- Every single one of the people who do now and have ever posted on my forum, some of whom also fit into the above category

- The fact that I have another idea for a fucking game that I really want to make but can't because I'm still doing 1213 but now progress is slowing on that due to all my passion for that project bleeding into the new idea

- Blockbuster Video for not having the game I wanted to rent

- My editor at Hyper who is often slow to answer email during busy magazine editing periods, which I fully understand and respect, but which nevertheless sets me off like a churning trough of boiling jam

I think that's it. No, wait, here comes another one:

- The entire world and every single fucking person in it especially the ones who had even the slightest involvement in bringing me into existence

Okay, that's enough, this isn't healthy. I'll just look at a picture of a dog until I have calmed down.


- Yahtzee

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3/1/06: Animal Tossing

I've been playing a lot of Animal Crossing on the Gamecube recently, and since I haven't done one lately I decided to write a review of it. Of course, these days I'm often in funny moods brought on from dehydration and subsequently it's a somewhat unconventional review. Anyway, click here or on the pretty picture to read it.

In other news, the new Hyper with my new article (it's about Dizzy, incidentally) is out now in Australia, so buy it and ensure my continued status as pet freelancer for Next Publishing.

In other other news, Alex Thompson sent me an awesome piece of 5 Days A Stranger fanart. Click here to check it out. Why can't the rest of you be as awesome as Alex Thompson?

- Yahtzee

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30/12/05: Release Day

The first episode of 1213 is now complete and ready for downloading on its own special page. Click here for a direct download if you are an impatient soul, but then you'll miss the cool title graphic I spent five minutes on.

Also: screenshots!

Not sure when episode 2 will be complete. I'll probably want to have a bit of a breather first, I really was working flat out on this.

- Yahtzee

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27/12/05: I Am Not A Number

Okay, so I guess I should tell you about this new game I'm working on.

Since Galaxy of Fantabulous Wonderment, I have continued to experiment with the limits of AGS, and what variations on the theme of adventure can be devised with a little imagination and a little neurotic obsessiveness. The other day, I was struck with this thought: could it be possible to make a Prince of Persia or Flashback-style game in AGS?

Apparently, yes. And it was easier than I thought, so I quickly rustled up an engine. When I was happy with it, I started making a game. The game is entitled 1213, pronounced Twelve Thirteen, and it tells the story of an amnesiac who escapes from the cell in which he has remained for as long as he can remember to quest for the answers he seeks.

I'm planning to release it in an episodic manner as soon as each episode is done, with a planned 3 episodes so far. At present, all I have is a brief demo to demonstrate the gameplay style and mechanics. Feel free to download it from one of the following sites (thanks by the way to roushimsx on the Awful Forums for the hosting):

Mirror 1 - Mirror 2

I'm working pretty fast on the first episode because this is my new obsession. As my girlfriend pointed out to me recently, I probably wouldn't achieve so much if I wasn't completely neurotic.

Oh yeah - pick up the next issue of Hyper, there'll be another article by me in it.

- Yahtzee

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25/12/05: Ay Gee Ess: Eff You

Sorry about the absence of updates lately, but I've been working pretty obsessively on my latest AGS fancy. And when a fancy takes me, I have to go with it, because I don't get enthusiastic about many things these days. It's too damn hot.

I would have been working on the game today, and possibly finished a playable demo I intended to release, but every time I tried to start up AGS it'd close down with the following error message:

You know, as much as I respect Chris Jones for his awesome program, this is the wankiest feature I've ever seen. Maybe I can't spend time with my family, Mr. Jones, maybe they're all 12,000 miles away. Maybe it's too fucking hot to go out and do anything. Maybe I LIKE working on games and this would have been my Christmas present to myself. Maybe the demo I would probably have released today would have been my Christmas present to the world. Well, now that's all ruined, Mr. Don't Work On Your Game At Christmas.

At least until I change my Windows clock. But it's so hot and I can't be arsed.

- Yahtzee

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12/12/05: Hello My Future Arterial Blockage

Sometimes, I get the urge to eat a Big Mac.

Now, I don't even like Big Macs that much. As a meal, it's not appealing to the gourmet. They usually put so much of that horrible pink dressing on that that's the only thing you can taste. Additionally, I'm pretty sure it would be healthier to drink a one litre bottle of canola oil neat than to eat a Big Mac. And when you bite down on it everything between the top bread and the bottom bread shoots across the room to land in the hairy exposed arse crack of a breakfasting truck driver.

But every now and again, when I come into some money, like for instance when my payment has just come through for an article I wrote for a magazine whose name rhymes with 'Diaper', in between paying my bills and blowing the rest on video games I'll suddenly realise how lucky I am to be living in a capitalistic society where you are free to blow as much money as you like on stupid shit. And like a good acolyte, I pay my respects to the higher power that makes it all possible.

And so I will buy that Big Mac, and I will eat it, and I will go home and have a monster shit, because capitalism may be a flawed and cynical system, but it's a system that allows us to blow our money on video games and stuff ourselves with crap that make our aortas scream for mercy, and for now, that is a moment to celebrate.

- Yahtzee

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12/01/05: The New Regime

If you live in Australia, pick up this month's edition of Hyper magazine, because within its pages you will find my print debut. A four-page article on amateur adventure game design, because apparently that's all I'm qualified to write about. Please buy a copy and one for all your friends because they paid me 400 bucks for that and I can now gratefully pay my gas bill.

Let me explain to you how this site is going to go from now on. Between personal projects, Gridwerx and magazine writing it's becoming more and more of a chore to hammer out the occasional lengthy update for this site, so it looks like Chris & Trilby is going to be the sole regularly updated section while this place your reading now will be delegated to the simple duties of news, new feature reporting and the general services of a blog. If I do come up with ideas for essays or reviews they'll probably be kind of rare and have their own page. I just can't be arsed to update as much as I used to.

That's all; enjoy the comic.

- Yahtzee

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24/11/05: Look To The Left

Slight site redesign, as you may have noticed. I added a new 'sample panel' showcasing the latest Chris & Trilby strip, to make it more obvious when a new one is uploaded. Incidentally, there's a new Chris & Trilby strip, so click on the image to the left to read it. Hopefully I can get back into it now NaNoWriMo is behind me.

- Yahtzee

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21/11/05: Winner Takes It All

The last two chapters of Fog Juice, 17 and 18, can be read by respectively clicking here and here. I decided to put them both up at the same time because 18 is little more than an epilogue. I've also made a special page for the chapters and linked to it from the Novels page for posterity.

Yes, with the conclusion of chapter 18 Fog Juice clocks a grand total of 50,927 words, meaning that a NaNoWriMo winner is me with ten whole days to spare. This should communicate strongly that I really have the stuff to be a writer and you should probably found a major publishing house and give me large sums of money.

Thanks to everyone who supported my effort over the last twenty days. Now maybe we can get back to business as usual.

- Yahtzee

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1/11/05: Let's Get Authorous

(I rearranged all the novel updates in reverse order so the newest chapters appear at the top, you lucky cunts)

UPDATE 19/11/05: Sweet Christmas, it's chapter sixteen!

"Instantly I was assailed with a feeling, in the same way I was assailed by disgust and loathing whenever I neared Bulstrode's realm. This was different, though, in that it felt unpleasant in an entirely different way. It just felt... really, really boring."

UPDATE 18/11/05: We're steamrolling towards the finish line with chapter fifteen.

"I'm going on a picnic," I said in a monotone, "and I'm taking anthrax, beer, coffee, doughnuts, estrogen, flamingoes, glue, horses, ink, jelly, Knackwurst, lemonade and murder."

UPDATE 17/11/05: The action really hots up with chapter fourteen.

"We had thought about getting hold of some 12-gauge shotguns, but Frobisher now considered guns to be a heathen Western decadence and Rose and I, as pirates, were determined not to use anything that had been invented in the last hundred years or so."

UPDATE 16/11/05: Absolutely nothing rhymes with chapter thirteen.

"My parents wanted me to become a goth and kill myself in my teens," I said, nostalgically. "They kept leaving razor blades in the bathroom and pushed Cure CDs under my door. They're probably pretty pissed off I lasted this long. Why are you all looking at me like that?"

UPDATE 15/11/05: Now let's delve into chapter twelve.

"The Black Pudding, the ship that had so recently rocked with the laughter of drunken corsairs and the sound of Stinger being levered from the back molars, was now a silent, drifting ghost ship. A thriving crew of mischievous buccaneers reduced to five. Well, five useful crewmembers and about twenty-six mindless ones in the brig playing a neverending game of Musical Statues. Sailing the galleon with just five people - well, four and a half, Penfold was only an accountant after all - was difficult enough, and it became no easier after we made the command decision to tie Lance and Quentin to the mast."

UPDATE 14/11/05: Been quiet over the weekend because I kind of have a life now. Anyway, here's chapter eleven.

"And then he had to stop talking, because the bullet that then lodged itself in his brain destroyed his ability to say things."

UPDATE 11/11/05: Here we go again with chapter ten.

"I woke up in my hammock that morning to find a crossbow being aimed at my face. This is a position in which I have decided I do not like waking up."

UPDATE 10/11/05: Oh look, chapter nine. It's very fine, is chapter nine.

"Sometimes we didn't even want to plunder it. Maybe our cargo decks were already full of booty or we had pressing engagements elsewhere. But when we see a civilian vessel, and they start trying to flee from us, and you can just imagine how terrified the crew are, it almost feels discourteous not to give them the chase they expect. And then of course it's down with the boarding planks and over on the swingy ropes to start waving cutlasses threateningly and going 'aharr'."

UPDATE 9/11/05: Blah blah chapter eight blah blah.

"When I caught a glimpse of my opponent as he approached, the crowd parting before him like the Red Sea, I freely admit that my balls instantly shrank into my body. He was the biggest pirate - and very nearly the biggest man - I had ever seen in my life. He was easily seven feet tall, and his body looked like a pile of boulders sewn into a man-shaped leather pouch. What little part of his face was visible behind his gigantic and obviously real beard was shaped entirely from scar tissue. It was like looking at a walnut trapped in a gorse bush."

UPDATE 8/11/05: Chapter seven and we're still going strong. Current word count: 24,035, so nyah.

"I didn't like the sound of that. I attempted to say something witty and cynical but all that came out was a hacking cough and a few fluid ounces of seawater. "Not that I'm complaining, but why did you come back?" I croaked, dreading the answer, certain as I was that it would involve keelhauling or oceanic buggery."

UPDATE 7/11/05: I expect you'll be expecting chapter six, but before that I'd like to add that I got bored this morning and made a proper novel cover in Photoshop for the bizarre parallel universe in which Fog Juice gets published. Click on the free sample below to see the full, awesome version, which makes reference to the novel's growing obsession with Swizzels chew bars:

And now, after a one day rest I can now produce the equally mediocre chapter six:

"We had splashed down in the sea some distance from Accountancy Island and were then swept into warm surface currents, so even if we did both acquire retarding brain injuries and want to go back to Bulstrode's little homegrown concentration camp, it would prove physically impossible anyway. The best we could hope for now was to find some other island, passing sailing ship, or failing that an accommodating shark who could be persuaded to bite our heads off with merciful speed."

UPDATE 5/11/05: Sing hallelujah my children for chapter five.

"I've never been very good at making friends, because of my tendency to alienate people by having unabashed and frequently expressed contempt for almost everyone I meet. But I could concede that, in this cramped environment, I would either have to make friends with Penfold or end up trying to kill each other for food. It was time, then, to reaffirm his self-esteem."

Stay tuned to this entry for future additions over the coming month.

UPDATE 4/11/05: Chapter four, somewhat predictably. I'm up to about 12000 words because I am the most prolific man alive.

"It's the little things. A missing cell on an LCD calculator here, a vending machine getting stuck there. We started to notice the little signs. He started using staplers in a really savage manner. He answered phones by saying 'hello' in a really sarcastic tone of voice. Then he draped an old quilt over his cubicle so no-one could see what he was doing and disappeared into it for days at a time. I think the final straw came when his computer screensaver came on when he was trying to read something. We found him in the supply cupboard eating shredded documents and the courier's left leg."

UPDATE 3/11/05: Ta ra ra chapter three de ay.

"There are times in everyone's life when sudden gear changes have to be made. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, that whatever happens you at least have the lowdown on the situation, some hitherto unknown factor comes out of nowhere and knocks you right off your bike. It's like that moment everyone goes through in the school playground. Just when you've got the hang of the fact that girls smell and have nits and if you touch them you catch girl disease, bang, touching girls suddenly becomes the in thing and you're right back to square one."

UPDATE 2/11/05: Chapter two is in a state of uppedness.

"Around the third day I was getting pretty hungry. Fishing was out of the question, because leaving aside the whole rod aspect I was being followed by several angry sharks with splinters and they would no doubt snatch anything I tried to reel in. I tried making an artful little salad from bits of wood, but it wasn't very appetising, so I opted to peel off the soles of my shoes and chew them. I'd heard that shoe leather can offer some nutrients this way. Of course, I was wearing trainers, but I was hoping if I didn't think about it too much then my digestive system could be fooled."

The first chapter of Fog Juice is ready for inspection. Here's a sample.

"The shop had the biggest variety of cakes I had ever seen. They started with traditional chocolate and vanilla flavours, moving through slightly more esoteric ones like avocado or chicken, before starting on the completely ridiculous flavours like bricks and existentialism."

Stay tuned to this entry for future additions over the coming month.

- Yahtzee

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