Like most people of our generation I grew up playing video games. I played a good share of the contemporary games on the N64, XBox, and PC. I didn’t get an Xbox until 2004, at the age of twelve. The only two games that I had were Halo, and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
Splinter Cell was fun in its own right, but Halo truly captivated my twelve year old imagination. It looks a bit silly now, but it was great for its time.
I’ve made fun of people who are excited about New Gamestation. Partly that’s because the hardware improvements are so tepid compared to what we used to get. The SNES was before my time, but I lived through the enormous the leap from the N64 to the Xbox. In contrast, the change from the last generation of consoles to the new generation is so small that they have to show you side by side comparisons and then explain the difference. Quick, can you tell which side is the new console, and which side is the old console?
Imagine doing that with Mario64 vs the old Mario, when one of them is 3D and the other isn’t.
The lack of hardware improvement is one thing, but arguably a bigger reason to be cynical with respect to the games industry, is that modern (((gaming corporations))) don’t want to do anything other than render loot boxes at higher fidelity and shove weird trannies into everything.
Whatever latent artistry lies in video games, it won’t be achieved by (((Bobby Kotick’s))) Call of Zionism anytime soon.
Press F to pay respects for the wasted artistic potential of an entire medium.
I could play games for hours straight as a kid, but my enjoyment was already fading away in my early teenage years. The last game I spent a lot of time on was Halo 3 back in 2006, or maybe Mount and Blade a few years later. Every now and then I’ll fire up some game and play it for a while before remembering how little I enjoy the current state of gaming.
By the looks of things, I’m far from alone.
But back in the day I found Halo to be a transcendent experience. The day that I finished the game I immediately started it over again. Eventually I worked up the courage to try the game on Heroic. One thing lead to another, and one day I got to see the secret, legendary only, cutscene with Sgt. Johnson and the elite who cops a feel.
My favourite gaming experience of all time was to be followed up with my least favourite, Halo 2 on legendary.
I’ve taken two opportunities to rant about how much I loathe Halo 2. The first was when the Halo show failed, and the second was when writing about Brandon Sanderson. I felt the need to get the trauma of my childhood Vietnam being Jerry the Jackal 360 no-scoping me nine thousand times as I trudged my way through Halo 2’s legendary difficulty.
Those of you who have played the game know what I’m talking about. It was even worse for me, because I had beaten Halo:CE on Legendary so many times that I started playing Halo 2 on Legendary. After all, it couldn’t be that bad, right? It’s the same thing, right?
I was too stubborn to change up the difficulty even after dying thousands of times.
What stuck in my head wasn’t the sheer difficulty though, but rather the massive regression in depth between the two games. Jackal snipers are the most obvious terrible game design choice, where the only way to beat them is rote memorization of their spawning patterns, at which point they become trivial. Everyone covers that, but almost everything else that Bungie changed was made worse.
Don’t get me started on the inferior level design, where the wide open spaces of Halo:CE are replaced with corridors so cramped that you can’t dodge the incoming plasma fire, which they increased the velocity of for no apparent reason. On the rare occasion when there are open spaces they shoved a bunch of jackal snipers in there to insta-kill you on top of elites with hitscan carbine rifles.
The end result is that getting through each checkpoint is an exercise in hitting a bunch of “hard pings,” a term for anything that instakills the enemy. Stick every plasma grenade shot, hit every sword swipe, or do it again, faggot. The game is like an extreme example of Starcraft, where the strategy you use is dead simple, you just need to hit a series of absurdly precise inputs to be allowed to advance to the next checkpoint. To add insult to injury, occasionally the game gives you an outright impossible checkpoint three hundred deaths in…
They also butchered the story with some of the dumbest writing I have ever sat through. It’s Mean Girls In Space, plus weird tentacle creatures.
I’ve always been someone motivated far more by things wrong with the world than things right with the world. The contrast between the sublime experience of Halo and the infuriating experience of Halo 2 stuck in my mind throughout the years. Halo made me see the potential of the medium – it wasn’t just Halo there were other games – and Halo 2 made me want to do better, in the same way that watching modern (((Hollywood))) garbage makes me wish I was making films.
The last movie that I watched was Mission Impossible: Can Tom Cruise’s Ego Be Contained On One Screen. I panned the movie, a darling of the Disney Alogs, because it was beyond idiotic and Tom Cruise is aging into a lesbian. However, I give credit to Will Jordan, who goes by the alias “Critical Drinker,” because he is a published and decently successful novelist.
Creative writing is difficult and time consuming. Yet, publishing houses, and especially (((Hollywood))) are entirely captured by Globo Homo and indeed Schlomo, and they deliberately refuse to serve the market for normal people. Jordan saw that no one was making the stories that appealed to him, so he did it himself. That isn’t just morally commendable, but useful and potentially lucrative.
Anyone outside of Hollywood who takes a stab at making something for the rest of us deserves praise. That goes double for /ourguys/.
In my later teenage years I got a job at a movie theater, and taught myself programming by cranking through a few books on C++. Learning to code on your own can be a very rewarding experience, and more often an exceedingly tedious and rage inducing one, although I’ll spare you the details. Nevertheless, I was highly motivated, and soon managed to make Squares Game, the world’s greatest example of programmer art gone wild.
Upon making my first game – and a few others after this – I realized that video games cost lots of money to make for very good reasons. Sure, I’ve made fun of people obsessed with graphical fidelity before, and there’s little upside to chasing the bleeding edge of graphics technology three decades after Doom. However, even a 2D top down game requires one dedicated artist and one dedicated sound designer. For gameplay purposes alone, the player needs audio and visual feedback to fully understand what’s going on. A programmer drawing a few squares while some background music plays doesn’t cut it.
For example, here is the Halo:CE shields down and recharge sound. This is a very simple effect, relative to most things in a game, but without the combination of UI programming, art assets, and sound, the game is almost unplayable.
We’re skipping ahead, but as another example, let’s say that we have a top down 2D game, and we have some enemy that chases around the player and melees them if they’re close, or throws a boomerang thingy at them when they’re far away. How many images do we need to draw to make the player understand what the enemy is doing? I don’t even mean good images, or animations, just artwork that makes it clear what’s going on.
First we need an image representing the character just walking around, carrying a wrench or something.
Then we need an image that shows them winding up to attack the player. We can’t just have them suddenly attack, since the whole point is to telegraph their attack so that the player can move out of the way.
Then we need an image representing them attacking.
And another that represents them post-attack, but before recovering to chase the player again.
When it comes to them throwing something at the player we need one image of them preparing to throw, seen above, and another image of them having thrown it and waiting for it to return.
Even three frame animations triple our work requirement, and of course we haven’t even covered all, or even most of the states of this enemy. For example, if they flinch when they get hit, we need a new animation for that. When they die, another animation. If we want them to display any other behaviour, another. Most interesting NPCs have far more states than you realize at first glance, and you need animations for all of that, or at least one static image, just so the player knows what’s going on.
Part of this needs to be done through sound, because the game is fundamentally different if the player can use their ears to gather information, as opposed to only their eyes. This isn’t just for say, listening for footsteps behind the player, but even for basic UI features as well. Getting back to the example of Halo’s recharging shields, the player can figure out how charged their shields are at any point in time by listening to the pitch of the recharge sound, without needing to take their eyes off whatever else they’re looking at. If you don’t have this sound in the game, you can’t test the game properly.
I decided to enroll at University for computer science. An old joke is that comp sci students are there to learn how to make the games that they play, and that was true for me, minus the playing the games part. It was more like wanting to learn how to make the games that I would actually want to play, as opposed to the mediocrity on offer.
My grades ranged from excellent in my pure programming courses, to mediocre in the bullshit surrounding courses, to outright failing a “semiotics in art class,” that I was forced to take on the side. The class was everything that you would expect from modern university. The subject matter was totally worthless, and the professor might as well have had blue hair.
What I meant by “bullshit surrounding courses,” were the computer science courses where academics who have never worked on real software teach you outdated theoretical gibberish about how you’re supposed to structure your programs, train you on how to use totally useless UML diagrams, do mathematical transformations on the time complexity of imaginary algorithms, and other random garbage like that.
I felt that I wasn’t learning anything productive, and I didn’t want to retake the failed art class, so I dropped out. In retrospect, it was a poor decision. I wasn’t wrong to think that my time was being wasted from the perspective of actually learning things, nor was I wrong to think that it was bullshit that I was forced to take some stupid SJW tier “semiotics in art,” class just so that I could program.
Unfortunately, we live in a world of credentialism, and it would have been in my interests to grit out a degree. 2014 was a few years past the days when you could get a programming career without some sort of credentialism, but the general advice hadn’t been updated in that timeframe. I figured that I could get on as an intern somewhere, only to find out that no, I absolutely could not. I found this out the hard way after not getting hired by anyone upon dropping out.
So I got a job at another movie theater, then worked as a grocery clerk for years. Eventually I got my class 1 licence and became a long haul trucker. That job paid quite a bit better than the others, allowing me to save quite a bit of money. Totally unrelated, this experience also helped me deboonk the traffic soyboys and their “don’t need trucks,” nonsense. That’s my favourite work on this site, so please check it out.
Unfortunately, trucking, especially long haul trucking, is a lot harder on your body than you might think. I was spending five or six days a week away from home stuck in a tractor-trailer. Sitting down for that long is far from healthy, and it’s near impossible to workout properly. Almost every single trucker that I saw was overweight, many morbidly obese. I was getting there myself, and developing quite a bit of chronic lower back pain.
The drudgery got to the point where I spent my entire day off thinking about how much I was going to hate going back to work. I was looking for an offramp. I still wasn’t playing any videogames, but I had dumped thousands of hours into building a programming skill that wasn’t doing anything for me. I wondered if it was still possible for me to make a career switch once again.
I saw that Vancouver Film School had a year long course, programming for games, web, and mobile. I was quite skeptical of everything else to do with VFS, but the programming course seemed quite promising. I applied, and was quickly accepted, so I pooled my savings together, took out a student loan, and enrolled.
At the school I excelled, winning the “excellence in software development,” end of year prize, as well as the best portfolio project team award. It’s a year long course, and the first eight months is traditional teaching. The last four months you’re teamed up with some student artists, and at least one part time sound design student, and you make a game to the best of your abilities. Ours was “Suns Out Guns Out.”
You play as one of two roided out muscle beach weightlifters who have to save earth from an invading force of aliens. You can melee them, which sends them flying to eventually be insta-gibbed, flex your muscles to shoot their projectiles back at them, pick up and throw environmental objects at them, and throw a bottle of tanning lotion at them which acts like a grenade where the enemies get stunned wiping the oil out of their eyes. That last part didn’t make it into our trailer, but I still quite enjoy it.
After graduating, I applied with renewed vigour to just about every single game studio in the Vancouver area, and quite a few throughout the country, and in the US. The only employment I ever got was a part time weekend job teaching (Asian) children how to program for a company called Under the GUI.
I’d like to rant about how the VFS course was a total scam, and while I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, I have a bit more nuanced of an opinion. First, I can’t pretend that I didn’t learn an enormous amount of practical programming skills. Even in retrospect, it would be difficult for me to design a superior curriculum, and my main complaint was that the individual courses weren’t long enough.
For example, there was a course on computer graphics, where they got a brilliant Italian guy whose name I have forgotten, but who worked as the graphical tech lead for Activision-Blizzard, to come in and explain to us how the rendering pipeline worked. Then he walked us through creating our own shaders, first just pixel/fragment shaders, and finally full fledged shader programs.
It was a great introduction to graphics programming. The problem was that I didn’t have enough of a portfolio or experience with graphics programming to be considered for jobs as a graphics programmer.
As an aside, it made me appreciate the mindblowing things that some programmers can do with pure math. For example, Spanish programmer Inigo Quilez, also known as “IQ”, made what you see below with around 800 lines of shader code. It’s even more impressive in motion, since he managed to gently animate the snail antennae.
There are no art assets in this scene, except for noise textures. The snail is made and animated procedurally, as is everything else, all in a fragment shader. The same goes for the scene below.
Here’s an entire landscape, made procedurally in a fragment shader, in just a bit less than one thousand lines of shader code.
Anyway, in real products, the shaders must work with existing art assets, and my complaint was that a 101 level course is often not ideal. Sometimes being well rounded is great, but when companies are looking to hire, they’d prefer someone with an expert, or at least intermediate level of experience. But that’s actually irrelevant, because what these (((companies))) would really like is someone who is not White.
I was the best programmer of the class, and was even awarded as such by the school. Despite this, my non-White, and not even Canadian, classmates got hired at the same places that I applied to, which didn’t even bother interviewing me. I would have needed to be skilled far beyond what can be reasonably expected of a junior programmer in order to get hired, because what (((gaming corporations))) are looking for is queer Hebrew trannies of colour.
I spoke highly of the Activision-Blizzard graphics lead who came in and taught us about graphics programming. As for Activision itself, above is the (((CEO))), and below is the Chief DIE Officer. This is not unusual. Every one of these corporations boasts about how they have queer trans youth of colour throughout their terrible, unproductive companies.
I was at a crossroads. My experience had taught me that making games by myself was impossible. I had the choice of trying to recruit some artists to make a 2D game, or working on my portfolio by producing a more technical project as a showpiece.
I chose the latter, and decided almost on a whim to make a 3D football game, with the intention to never finish it. The purpose was simply to continue building my skills, gaining more experience, and using it as a resume piece. I knew full well that I by myself could never finish even the programming part of a game like this, to say nothing of the massive amount of animations, sound effects, etcetera that I would need, but that wasn’t the point.
Around the same time I also launched my first site, where I would write about technical things aspects of game development with all the autism and attention to detail that you’ve come to expect. It never amounted to anything, except one message I received on LinkedIn from some team who had read my site and wanted to call me. We arranged that, and they told me that they wanted to make me their senior developer until I explained to them that I didn’t have any real industry experience.
Anyway, less than a year into this project Fentanyl Floyd overdosed, and any hope that I had of getting hired at these mainstream companies evaporated. It was bad before, but I had gotten three interviews. Afterwards, I didn’t even get that, and saw the writing on the wall. The work that I had done building this resume piece was totally worthless.
I wasn’t getting hired, so the work I was doing was pointless. I had nowhere near the funds required to turn the game into a finished project, and had no desire to do so anyway. The project wasn’t going anywhere, and neither was my game development career. After about a year and a half of graduating, with no real job, I deleted my wordpress site and moved on with my life.
But there are still 24 hours in the day, so I started my first political site. The writing quality was below my standards today, but it gave me enough experience to hook up with the founder of Hyphen Report and start working on that site less than a year later. That relationship ended poorly, and the project turned into The Daily Rake. The goal of this site was to generate a large enough audience online to support doing real world politics in Canada. By and large, that didn’t happen, and while I’m very proud of my work here, I’ve said all that I need to say and it’s time to move on. I’m not interested in spending the next decade making political infotainment.
But move on to what? I’m not now and never will be apolitical, and I spotted an opportunity. I had spent almost the past two years cataloging a wide variety of the best that Globo Homo has to offer. In no particular order, we have Zionist warmongerers who are censorship activists.
AIDS patients who dress up in diapers at the grossest orgies ever.
Annoying online grifters.
Whatever this thing is.
Annoying celebrities that we all hate.
Every single politician.
Not even just the ones with hilariously fake lampshadocaust stories.
I mean just every last one of them.
Trannies who murder children.
And let’s not forget President Greenblatt, and President Greenblatt’s Bitch.
And of course, the cannon fodder.
It occurred to me that I was building something of a video game enemy list, replete with some obvious boss battles. Who wouldn’t want to fight against Jordan Peterson throwing explosive Benzo pills at you while demanding that you clean your room and rambling about lobster dominance heirarchies?
Hell, you could make a game where just the servative gatekeepers were the opposition. Ben Shapiro, then Alex Jones, Matt Walsh, Charlie Kirk, you name it. Give /Our Wakandian Retard/ Kanye his own video game already.
Or maybe make a game out of Steven “Turn Jews Into Powder” Crowder “playing Devil’s Advocate,” with the secular humanists kneecaps.
A top down 2D shooter is an eminently makeable game, and we could make use of all these enemy types, and there are so many possibilities for the story. Turn Nasim Aghdam into the protagonist and call it the world’s first biographical game. Only our version has a happy ending and everyone at YouTube headquarters gets got by the vegan bodybuilder.
Starting a few months ago I fired up visual studio for the first time in years, and got to working. This was to be a simple game, where the value comes solid, but not revolutionary game mechanics, coupled with serving a market that is deliberately ignored by (((the modern games industry))). Ideally pushing the right politics to a larger audience.
I had to get the skeleton of a game up and running. Pathfinding, basic gameplay, that sort of stuff. The art would come later, and from someone else. Unfortunately, it is difficult to convey the purpose of the game to the intended audience using only my art creations. I have progressed very little in that department in the past decade.
Nevertheless, I found some tutorials online and managed to create shapes that look different enough to be discernible, and not entirely abstract. In the final product, the visuals need to actually represent the thing we are lampooning, but the programmer art does the trick for now. I’m not going to kill myself becoming a mediocre artist when the goal is to get a real artist to make the finished products.
You’ll just have to use your imagination.
As of today, the game looks like the following in motion. Again, understand that no time has been put into the presentation of the game, and that video games always look like garbage until they don’t. Also, I’ve shameless shoved Sven parody songs in there, assuming that he wouldn’t mind.
Initially I thought that the plot of the game would revolve around some guy who went to Epstein Island to break his girlfriend out of Epstein Island, and the levels would represent various stages that he had to go through. Then I figured that it would be funnier if it was actually the guy who got kidnapped, because Epstein wanted to blackmail Ladybug Lindsay Graham, and you played as his girlfriend and had to break him out before this man had his way with him.
Today I’m playing up the Nasim Aghdam angle, but none of this actually matters until much later in the project. Whatever we go with, the point of the story is to be as ridiculous as possible. It can and will be written last minute, and plausibility is not a concern. Think of the tone of the typical Daily Rake Sits Down piece, or Rittenhouse interview, but for a video game.
If the first look video was too crappy to get the point across, the gameplay is something like a cross between Nuclear Throne and Geometry Wars. The point is to very much limit the scope of the project.
The game is being prototyped in Unity, and I can safely say that it will take a minimum of six months of constant work before anything approaching a release candidate can be made. In the meantime I am inviting you all into the Daily Rake Game telegram group, where new builds of the game will be dropped every Friday afternoon, for you to play over the weekend. Essentially you get the privilege of being an unpaid playtester.
The channel can be found here, and I will be uploading a new build every Friday afternoon. Initially I may upload more frequently, as there will be huge changes that need to be added to the game in order to make it functional on different machines.
I think we can all agree that it’s time for something different. Soon the game will progress to the point where I will want a full time artist, and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.