Saturday, August 08, 2015

John Scalzi, Game Dev

This is hilarious. Scalzi is trying to impress his fellow SJWs with his game dev credentials, which are so much better than those belonging to the many devs of #GamerGate.

"I write video games. I think it's pretty obvious GamerGaters don't speak for anyone but their own pathetic selves."
- John Scalzi, 6 August 2015

Needless to say, #GamerGate was unimpressed with Scalzi's credentials. Beginning with Mark Kern, who worked on Starcraft, Diablo II, and Warcraft III before becoming team lead on the original World of Warcraft.
Mark Kern ‏@Grummz
I had no idea you could just write video games into existence. Guess we won't be needing these designers, profs, artists, devs.

Dal Gren ‏@DalGren
Researching, I can only find one video game he's written (Midnight Star). So...he's lying about the amount.

The Deuce ‏@ibbibby
Scalzi lying about his involvement in gamedev like he does about his blog traffic? Say it ain't so!

Mark Kern ‏@Grummz
He lies about his blog traffic?

The Deuce ‏@ibbibby
Yeah. He's a shamelessly dishonest self-promoter.

The Deuce ‏@ibbibby
@voxday is the one who noticed and pinned him down on it. See these articles …

Mark Kern ‏@Grummz
Oh wow, Scalzi really inflated those numbers.

No Fun Allowed ‏@nochafaa
Damn, Scalzi is turning out to be a bigger tool than I thought.
It was a bit amusing for me to see this, as on August 6th I was on my way back from GDCE. I currently have two games in development, one game in temporarily suspended development, and three more of my game designs will be in development shortly. (Hence my request for questions from experts in various games; I'd like to have at least 2,000 questions and answers before development starts.) Guests at my SAE-sponsored game development course that begins next month will include studio heads, lead game designers, veteran programmers, university professors, magazine editors, and other industry professionals who will share their perspectives on designing and developing games.

To have one writing credit on one failed mobile game doesn't make you a dev. It means you've dipped your toe in the industry. (And to the real devs: if you had asked me, I would have told you a mobile rail shooter was very unlikely to work. Not all past mechanics are worth mining.) If John Scalzi genuinely wants to learn how the industry really works, he should take my course because he obviously knows very little about it. As Grummz wryly observed, one does not "write video games". The insiders can always spot the fakers and the wannabes.

As for Scalzi's frequent claims that I envy his career, I remind you of the Third Law of SJW: SJWs always project. And speaking of my career, here is a piece of concept art from one of our current projects in development.

Yes, that's exactly what it looks like. Think of Joust, only with modern graphics, powerups, and the addition of a vertical element that involves goblins with catapults and orcs with scorpios. The hawk-riding elf is also armed with various magic spells for air-to-ground combat and he can ride other flying beasts with various abilities. I always wondered why there weren't scads of Joustalikes, but I figured it out when I played the little-known Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest. John Newcomer transformed the core game from horizontal with vertical elements to a vertical game, which considerably changed the gameplay and made it very difficult while subtracting from the fun. That failure made Joust look like a dead end from a game development perspective; if the producers can't make an effective sequel, who else can expect to do so.

So, I thought, what if we gradually brought in additional vertical elements to the horizontal game, plus provided powerups to prevent the difficulty from overwhelming the player too quickly? That turned into an arcade spinoff of my Elven Raider design that was signed by Elephant in 2008, but never made it into development. Although set in Selenoth, Elven Raider preceded A Throne of Bones. And as it happens, The Wardog's Coin is what resulted when I turned one of the scenarios from Elven Raider into a short story.

This isn't the only game we're developing at the moment. Another one will be out in September, and I'll post some screenshots in the next two weeks. The thing is, it is very clear that the big fish in science fiction don't realize how small and insignificant their little pond is compared to the Vast Sea of Dev.
ASaltMineNamedZilla ‏@gameragodzilla
What games did he make again?

Bizz McTavish ‏@Bizz408
he's not a Dev, he's some B-list Sci-Fi writer

ASaltMineNamedZilla ‏@gameragodzilla
I know. Did he write any games worth talking about?

Bizz McTavish ‏@Bizz408
nope. he's a nobody.

Silvertongue ‏@SilvertongueDvl
He's writing for an ios game. He's bragging about writing for a _mobile game_.

Drew ‏@omgMyCat
Miyamoto, Kojima, Romero, Scalzi... lmao
Midnight Star was released in February 2015. It has an average 68 review score from 8 critics on Metacritic. It does not have enough any user ratings. One can only conclude that John Scalzi should have written it better.

"Midnight Star sure looks promising, but comes up short in execution with extremely watered down gameplay that is too bland, and repetitive to recommend."

Bland and repetitive gameplay in a mobile rail shooter? Who could possibly have foreseen that? In the meantime, KiA appears to have discovered ethics in SF journalism.

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Anonymous kfg August 08, 2015 5:47 AM  

And speaking for yourself is just wrong.

From what I can see, what Scalzi actually did was write the plot of an interactive graphic novel that forms the backstory of the game.

I suspect that Alex Seropian, Tim Harris, Mike Dekoekkoek and their teams would be surprised that find out that Scalzi had written the game.

Blogger Jack Ward August 08, 2015 6:10 AM  

Man, do you ever sleep? or eat, or.....
It's worth waiting for Bones sequel to be around all this energy and accomplishment.
Scalzi must be insane to think he can compete in this universe.

Anonymous 334 August 08, 2015 6:12 AM  

He "wrote" it in the same sense that Michael Mann is a "Nobel Prize Winner".

Because SJWs always ... aw nevermind.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar August 08, 2015 6:14 AM  

I can't believe there's really a guy named Scalzi. It sounds like something an Italian Guy would call a hermaphrodite hooker if it peed on his rug after receiving the Kiss of Death.
Sure he only has one credit, but that's only because a Dark Lord stole his greatest game by taking his name off of it probably. All he has to do is find a way into Cyberspace and fight the System to release the original version with his name on it. You know in Cyberspace he wouldn't have to worry about STDs either, just computer viruses and that screen magnifier used by old people.

Blogger Kryten 2X4B 523P August 08, 2015 6:27 AM  

Lol, Scalzi as a game dev is one of the funniest things I've heard in ages. Hell, I'm a total amateur, hobbyist coder who has made about 10 games myself. By that reckoning, I've got to be a professional!

Blogger Salt August 08, 2015 6:45 AM  

Scalzi dropped that bomb on August, 6? Impressive, and it was a dud.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan August 08, 2015 7:10 AM  

Give Scalzi big props for one thing he does well, he plays the non-threatening white male role as well as anyone on the Left.

But if he wants to harden his image as a throw down radical willing to take on the "racist, sexist, homophobic" right I think he should fight Erik Erikson gimp extraordinaire of tough talking conservative politics from a non-threatening white male perspective.

Blogger JACIII August 08, 2015 7:15 AM  

Nice elf,, but I have it on absolute authority that all female, golden haired elves have such tremendous breasts they often cannot get them to stay within their bodices.

Blogger Salt August 08, 2015 7:23 AM  

@8 No wonder the birds like them riding on their backs.

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 August 08, 2015 7:31 AM  

Oh...Heavy Metal?
"The insiders can always spot the fakers and the wannabes."
Hey, didn't some award winning economist...or sumpthin', refer to such folk as "rent-seekers"?

Anonymous NorthernHamlet August 08, 2015 7:37 AM  


I would told you a mobile rail shooter was very unlikely to work.

Can you explain why you believed success very unlikely?

Blogger Jim August 08, 2015 7:42 AM  

A car.
Five Guys burgers.
The Mona Lisa.


Blogger The King's Man (0007) August 08, 2015 7:57 AM  

Keen to play this game. Joust was a favourite of mine as a kid. Totally fatigued the muscles in my thumb hitting that button on the Atari joystick over and over. Still remember the first time that happened and exclaiming to the friend I was playing with: "My thumb's running out!"

Anonymous Eli August 08, 2015 8:01 AM  

Is one of these six games that First Sword game from Alpenwolf? Having six games in development is pretty impressive. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store.

Blogger Thucydides August 08, 2015 8:07 AM  

What is so weird is how he continues to make such obvious and easily caught lies. It might have worked in the dark ages when information flow was minimal and controlled by gatekeepers, but today anyone can find things out very quickly and cross check through multiple sources.

While "we" might do this for fun (debunking a known poser), I can't help but wonder why he never considers that one of his legion of fans (who is not associated with any community) might not say "wow, I wonder what games he developed?", google away and discover the truth. The bleed out of his reputation there will be far more damaging than anything we can do. A person of normal intelligence should be able to see this...

Progressiveism/SJW must be a very powerful pathology if it can override normal thought and self protection mechanisms. Hopefully there will be medication or therapy developed to help these people

Blogger Jim August 08, 2015 8:09 AM  

Using the "hunt and peck" method, John Scalzi wrote the 100 meter dash in 9.53 seconds.

John Scalzi wrote the top of Mt. Everest without the use of an oxygen tank.

John Scalzi can write a revolving door.

On D-Day, John Scalzi wrote the first platoon of transgendered women to land on Omaha beach, spearheading the drive to liberate Europe from gendered pronouns. He wrote each of them out alive. One of those transgendered women? George Washington.

Blogger VD August 08, 2015 8:19 AM  

Is one of these six games that First Sword game from Alpenwolf? Having six games in development is pretty impressive.

No, First Sword is the game that is presently suspended. We'll get back to it next year. Right now, we're finalizing the implementation of our in-game channel with several other games from other developers. We're developing two smaller games that will serve as examples to other developers on how to use the channel to its full capacity.

Right now, only two of my designs are in active development. The other four will be in development shortly.

Blogger VD August 08, 2015 8:32 AM  

Can you explain why you believed success very unlikely?

Certainly. My original argument for 3D, back when it was ugly, flat-shaded, and the industry was convinced that MPEG decompression was the future, was that the rail approach, as in Rebel Assault, was considerably too limiting in comparison with the 3D approach of X-Wing.

What the Midnight Star developers were trying to do was solve the limited screen problem of mobile with the rail approach. And based on their experience at Bungie, they probably thought this was viable given the "expanded rail" approach of 3D shooters like Call of Duty.

But the limited screen of mobile meant that they were much closer to the Rebel Assault-style rail than the CoD-style rail, moreover, a good part of the CoD appeal is in preparation for the free-form multiplayer. I saw all this the moment I read about Midnight Star, which is why I never bothered paying any attention to it. Rebel Assault was only popular because a) it was Star Wars and b) the graphics were very good for its day, it was never a particularly fun game.

The idea that after 20+ years people would want to go back to that style of gameplay just because they have a small screen with poor controls did not make sense to me.

Blogger Jack Aubrey August 08, 2015 8:34 AM  

I sent a set of questions in for Vox's new game idea, so now I am adding "game dev" to my resume.

Blogger pdwalker August 08, 2015 8:44 AM  

As soon as I saw that picture, my brain screamed "Joust". I spent sooooooo many hours spent playing that, it's not funny.

I'll be curious to see of anything further comes from it.

I know, maybe you could bury the hatchet with McRapey, and he can write the game for you.

Blogger VD August 08, 2015 8:47 AM  

I'll be curious to see of anything further comes from it.

It's already playable for web and mobile, complete with destroyable platforms and vertical scrolling. Only placeholder art at the moment, however.

Blogger ScuzzaMan August 08, 2015 8:56 AM  

I have Joust on the Shock Machine for Windows 98. Bought it for my daughter 15 years ago. Marathon two player sessions ensued.

Anonymous Soga August 08, 2015 9:03 AM  

Really enjoyed Joust as a kid on a Sega Saturn arcade collection.

But for the love of all that is good, please show my thumb some mercy!

Blogger LAZ August 08, 2015 9:40 AM  

I can't wait. I probably singlehandedly paid for the Joust machine at the local arcade.

Blogger LAZ August 08, 2015 9:44 AM  

"Hopefully there will be medication or therapy developed to help these people"

Already been developed. It's made of lead and travels at least 1200fps.

Anonymous kfg August 08, 2015 10:04 AM  


" . . . travels at least 1200fps."

Them's fightin' words in this crowd. If you'll just be a good lad and stand against that wall for a moment, allow me to demonstrate.

Blogger James Dixon August 08, 2015 10:13 AM  

Yeah, Kryten 2X4B 523P. I guess by Scalzi's standard that little dungeon crawler game I wrote in Basic on the Tandy Color Computer for me an some friends to play makes me a game developer. Who would have thought?

Blogger LAZ August 08, 2015 10:21 AM  

@ kfg: I don't need anything faster. Even the carbine is chambered in .45. I invite you to come stand at the end of the driveway and allow me to demonstrate to you.

Blogger Harsh August 08, 2015 10:25 AM  

Does Scalzi's game have an easy setting?

Blogger VD August 08, 2015 10:34 AM  

Does Scalzi's game have an easy setting?

It's a rail shooter. It doesn't need one.

Blogger Adam Lawson August 08, 2015 10:36 AM  

"I write video games. I think it's pretty obvious GamerGaters don't speak for anyone but their own pathetic selves."

So what if we do? We've established that #GG encompasses many people from various backgrounds.

We're not the ones claiming to speak for various minorities and sexual orientations/iterations/whatever. These (mostly white male) SJWs are the ones claiming to speak for everyone else.

Anonymous wEz August 08, 2015 10:46 AM  

As soon as I saw that picture, it reminded me of the missing peg I was looking for from the game I was playing at 'Cracker Barrel'. Damn bird flying elf.

Blogger Nate August 08, 2015 11:07 AM  

Vox... concept looks awesome. I know its just concept art but I'm gonna say it anyway... Bird needs to be bigger.

Blogger VD August 08, 2015 11:21 AM  

Vox... concept looks awesome. I know its just concept art but I'm gonna say it anyway... Bird needs to be bigger.

We need to keep him small for gameplay purposes. The bigger he is, the less maneuverable and the easier to kill with groundfire. It's the same with the goblin bat-riders and the orc-wyvern riders. If you look at the Joust concept art, the bodies of the birds are even smaller, they just disguise that with the long legs and long necks.

It will work at the smaller sizes you'll see in the game. Think of it like Mario Kart.

Blogger AmyJ August 08, 2015 11:28 AM  

"I can't believe there's really a guy named Scalzi."

I like Heartiste's take on it:

"Scalzied is similar to being afflicted with palsy. The body and mind contort to accommodate delusional pabulum."

Blogger Nate August 08, 2015 11:42 AM  

"It will work at the smaller sizes you'll see in the game. Think of it like Mario Kart."

I'll take your word for it. Unlike Scalzi.. I'm not a game writer.

Blogger Russell (106) August 08, 2015 12:34 PM  

This year, I wrote a Rouge-like game in JavaScript and Flappy Bird clone in Unity. I'm a game dev. And so can you.

Blogger Nate August 08, 2015 12:44 PM  

wait... if I wrong a choose your own path book would that make me a Game Dev?

Blogger VD August 08, 2015 12:48 PM  

Ahem. We call that a TWINE game. And, apparently, the answer is "yes". See: Game of the Decade Depression Quest.

Anonymous kfg August 08, 2015 12:54 PM  

LAZ: "I don't need anything faster."

And I didn't say anything about faster.

Anonymous A. Nonymous August 08, 2015 12:56 PM  

Vox, you are a giant nerd, in the best way possible. :-D

Anonymous kfg August 08, 2015 1:02 PM  

VD: "We call that a TWINE game. And, apparently, the answer is "yes". "

Little realizing that with the bar set that low we could swamp them with thousands of "hateful" games over the course of a long weekend.

Blogger ajw308 (#98) August 08, 2015 1:11 PM  

Give Sclazi time he'll start calling his wife LunarChick and telling people about his award winning band from back in the day.

Sclazi, Sclazy? Who cares.

Blogger Salt August 08, 2015 1:17 PM  

Does Scalzi's game have an easy setting?

It was written by a white cis-dude-bro. The easy setting was built in.

Blogger luagha August 08, 2015 1:53 PM  

I'm sure you are familiar with the World of Warcraft Joust minigame area.

Poor controls, somewhat random attacks, but good placement of physical platforms in the 3d space. No complications other than enemies.

Always had a crowd of fans.

Anonymous IndecisiveEvidence August 08, 2015 1:58 PM  

To be fair to mobile rail shooters, the RAGE mobile game was extremely good.

Anonymous Steve August 08, 2015 2:02 PM  

Give Sclazi time he'll start calling his wife LunarChick

I thought her name was Gort.

Joust - I loved me some Joust on the C64. Though it might have been a clone.

Bomb Jack was a lot of fun too.

Blogger Shimshon August 08, 2015 2:40 PM  

Where can I find info about this conference of yours?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza August 08, 2015 7:49 PM  

John's poor wife and kids. Oh well, he provides for them and that is good enough.

Mr. Scalzi, please refrain from lying about your resume and stop trashing Vox Day. Just stop.

Blogger Thucydides August 08, 2015 10:13 PM  

I'm pretty sure a shotgun slug moving at 1600 fps is also an effective "cure" for progressivism...

Blogger Mark Citadel August 09, 2015 7:36 AM  

Scalzi is a perpetual embarrassment. It wouldn't surprise me if they quietly put him in a closet out of the way soon.

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