even though he won't read this, happy birthday today to my dad
     Monday, April 1, 2002 "the duck raises an excellent point"     


Happy April, folks. Sorry, no April Fool's tomfoolery here, I just don't have the energy. Perhaps that will be a relief to some of you. Either way...

My trip to the Game Developers Conference went very well. My hard work over these last two months paid off. I showed off Vazgen's Quest and was offered a programming internship at Saffire. Of course, I accepted. I'm going to be working on a really cool Game Boy Advance project this summer that I sadly just can't tell you about because they'd have to kill me. Take my word for it, though, that it's something to be excited about.

If anyone has any questions or comments regarding my game, the conference, or anything else, feel free to drop me a line, and I'll get back to you. That said, let's move on to the letters.

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    Guess the Quote Contest
    Try to guess (be specific) the quote towards the top of the page. If you're the first one to email me with the correct answer, I'll mention you in my next column. An individial may not win the contest twice in a row.

    quote (?)
    Hi shield boy

    I have a guess for the quote. Let me reenact for you...

    Eeeeeeeekkkk!!! (Aeris screams) Don't kill me Sephiroth!
    *slice* (Sephiroth cackles) Vwa-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa!
    ... (Cloud declares) ...

    What? I'm wrong? Well, it was worth a guess. Good luck on the game!


    This quote was from Septerra Core, when you get to the wind city and enter the capitol, that's all that the monks in the library (who took a vow of silence) would say ;)

    There are probably 3 million other correct answers as well.


    When you put "..." as a quote, you'll get stuff like that. Pasty biscuits for the both of you!

    they call me dr. worm
    I think something might be wrong with my copy of the game...

    Seriously, though, good work. ^_^


    Stom posted a link to VQ yesterday, and I was a bit disheartened that this was the only mail I received that had any comment whatsoever toward my game. However, these screenshots made up for it. For those of you who haven't played the game, no, that's not the real script. ;)

    In one of the past Q&A Columns, someone mentionated the book "the ultimate history of videogames". That TPB is written by Sthepen Kent and its an update of "The First Quarter" by the same author. It's a great reading for all of us who grew on videogames since the time of Pac-man, Galaxian, Space Invaders and the rest (And I'm not that old, I just have 24 years) to the period of the gamecube, PSX2 and X-box

    Also, I recommend reading "Game Over: Press Start to Continue" by David Shelf. This is a great compilation on Nintendo's history, including it's ups and downs, legal problems and business tactics.

    This books are an excelent source of information for those who are interested on the videogames as a hobby, a business and a creative process. Give them a try.

    Greetings from México!!!!!!

    David Laredo

    There's not much more for me to do here but smile and nod (*smiles* *nods*), and also add that I was lucky enough to get a free copy of the first edition of Chris Crawford's book Understanding Interactivity at the GDC. Though I've yet to read much of it, it seems like a good resource for someone who wants to design games. Anybody so inclined can order the book (for cheap; $20) from this page.

    gamin' ain't cheap
    How ya doing aegis. Have a quick question for you. How many video games do you own, that aren't RPGs? I realised the other day that all of my 20 or so PS games are all RPGs with the exception of Resident Evil.

    -Phil AKA Dystopia

    Through a quick (as quick as possible, at least) glance over my shelf of games, I have about 197 games, 37 of which are RPGs. So, using simple math, about 160 of my games aren't RPGs. And that's not counting my plastic trunk filled with about 70 Sega Master System games, a couple of which are RPGs.

    party bag
    Hey-o, Aegis-san!

    1. Okay, what the hell is up with Squaresoft and the Final Fantasy Tactics port on Gameboy Advance? It was announced, but then they say it's not official even though they're working on it...WHAT GIVES? Can't they just make up their minds? If they confirm it, then all of us obsessive FFT fanboys/fangirls can go commence dancing in the streets, which many of us are holding off on doing because they're being so danged evasive. If they don't confirm it, and instead kill the project, at least then we won't be holding out false hope.

    It's a crazy, messed-up situation, and I honestly won't pay any more attention to any of these Square/Nintendo news stories until there's an official press release out there. And there won't be until E3, I can almost guarantee, so, until then, we should just quietly wait. It's only 7 weeks...

    2. Three-hour wait at GameJam2 to play PSO? Damn, man. We gamers truly are sheep, it seems. (Myself included. I'd be jumping in that line too, most likely. So nobody take that as an insult.)

    I don't think I'd be a sheep... unless the guy next to me was a sheep. Then I'd probably be a sheep.

    3. What do you think of the Phantasy Star games coming to GBA? Personally, I'm psyched, if only because it's a pain in the butt to play PSII on that Sega Smash Pack disc, because the manual gives you practically NO information.

    I'm quite psyched. I've played through the first (though I own all of them), and I'm ecstatic thinking about hearing the music and exploring those first person dungeons again (while in class!), let alone having a good excuse to finally play PS2.

    4. To all the screaming fanboys who are mad that Square picked up the Ogre Battle series: Please, wait and give it a chance, peeps. Maybe Square will have a flash of insight and try to stay true to the originals. If they release a new one and it's nothing like the old games and just royally sucks, THEN you can start screaming about how Square is the Antichrist.

    Slightly Crazed Izlude Fan

    Wait and see's a good policy, really. Less trouble that way.

    much music
    Hey Aegis, I haven't been able to try out your RPG yet, since I need my computer updated. But I'll give it a try when I have time...hopefully it's soon.

    I don't have much to say, so here goes!

    I recently downloaded a FFVIII song called "Eyes On Me" which IMO is a pretty interesting song (for an RPG, that is) Plus I never really knew that the person who sings the song is....Faye Wong! a popular Hong Kong singer who happens to be going out with a 22 year old (lucky bastard!), so I was just wondering. Do you know if any other "big" singers have sung any songs in RPG's? I've checked certain places (mostly HK movie sites and such) and got nothing at all, which sucks mondo chunks. I'll probably be bashed for this, but oh well. hehe

    I remember reading somewhere, but I can't find it again for the life of me, that the main song for the upcoming Square/Disney insanity called Kingdom Hearts was sung by a really popular female Japanese music artist whose name I think begins with an "H" and is referred to by her fans with a funny, shortened version of her name. But, as I said, I can't find that source, so I'm pretty much useless. Sorry.

    Also, (this isn't RPG related..but a DDR question!) a few weeks ago. At my local "SilverCity" I saw that they had a DDR machine and I gave it a try. Even tho I was horrible at it (people around me said that I did a good job at it, since they've never seen anybody actually play the game and score anything over 15 points, which I thought was cool...LOL!) and enjoyed the hell out of it, so I've been thinking of getting it for PSX for awhile now, but I've heard bad things about it (like it has a bad Dance Pad and such) So I'm asking you what your opinion is on the PSX version or it. I'm still very interested in it, since it has a "work out" section on it and I gotta get rid of this ugly gut I

    Another thing, I never really knew that DDR is popular in Asia...Since it's nearly in ALL of my Hong Kong movies (haven't seen any in Japanese films, yet) I'm waiting for DDR to be a sport soon now,, I've never really seen this before. But, my friend from T.O.(Toronto) says that some people "Brake Dance" on it...Is this true or is my friend telling me a April Fools joke? ;)


    Happy April Fools!

    "Whoa...this is INTENSE!"
    "Life of a Repo Man is always INTENSE!" (sorry, I just love this quote)

    ~Chemical Alien

    I highly recommend DDR in all forms, and though a home pad is certainly not as good as an arcade pad, if you have an official Konami pad you shouldn't have many problems with it. Third party pads are iffy, but cheaper. You make the call.

    And yes, DDR is really really popular in Asia, and some of the highest difficulty songs are so crazy that you practically do have to break dance to stay in the game.

    game development
    Stom, I have a quick question.

    I don't know any programming but i do want to help in creating storyline for RPG games and such. is there any kind of a job like that? or do I need some actual programming ability to have a chance?

    I'm not Stom, but...

    Here's the thing. Yes, those jobs exist, but unless you're good friends with somebody high, high up in the industry, you could never get that as a starting position for a commercial game. You've gotta start somewhere small and work your way up. Programming is a place to start, as is artistry and game testing. There is no set way to make it into the industry, though. You just have to throw your heart into whatever you're working on and hope somebody takes notice, but you are gonna have to work on something, cause people won't just take your word that you're great.

    That said, I'd like to provide a means for you and others who want to someday make games to meet each other and start work on some small projects. I could have never finished Vazgen's Quest without the hard work of some very talented people who responded to my call for help in this column quite a few weeks ago. If I could help bring together a few groups of artists, programmers, designers, musicians, and other budding game makers, who knows what great things might come from it.

    So, I've created an IRC channel on EsperNet called #gamedevelopers, and through it, amateur game makers will be able to meet and coordinate projects, and I'll hang out in the channel whenever I'm available and provide advice and assistance to whoever may want it. If you've not been on an IRC channel before, you'll need to start by downloading an IRC client such as mIRC and adding one of the EsperNet servers to your server list, then connect to it and join the channel #gamedevelopers. It's really not that difficult.

    I hope to see a bunch of you there. Perhaps some games brought about by this could be featured in a future column!

    End of the Road:

    I always end up doing this column far too late, and by the time I get to writing the closing, I'm far past spent. My bad. Mail Google for tomorrow. I suggest mentioning cheese if you want your letter printed. Just a hint.

    Andrew P. Bilyk lives underground.

    Until next time,

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