And that title is “as sung by Johnny Cash” in case you were wondering.  The unfortunate truth is I actually did hurt myself when I started writing this two weeks ago – on a shark-tooth, no less! About 7 or 8 years ago, some friends went to Hawaii and brought back a “ceremonial dagger” which was probably made in Indonesia or Central China, but the edges of the colorful piece of wood are lined with shark teeth. As with all things like this, it has found its way to the bottom of a box which happens to reside in my closet. While searching all around for my journal (yes, I keep a journal – it’s very therapeutic…although, not so much when you’ve misplaced it for the past 6 months), I stuck my hand down in said box and managed to find the ceremonial dagger or rather, one of the dagger’s shark teeth, with the tip of my finger. Cut. Blood. The whole 9.

That said, the title is actually in reference to a game I somehow stumbled upon on AdultSwim called Amateur Surgeon 2. It is not for everyone as there is excessive cartoonish blood and you are essentially using a pizza cutter to operate on patients, but the premise is hilarious and the gameplay is addictive. Imagine, you are a blackmarket surgeon who uses a few household items to repair even the most devastated bodies. Witty one-liners and ingenious levels that recycle the tools for new uses make this free-to-play flash game a must.

Since beating this particular title (at least the 2 available acts), I have begun playing the original Amateur Surgeon. I can see how much they’ve improved with the second title: sewing wounds rather than stapling, upgrading the usefulness of the tools rather than leaving you (or your patients) to rot, etc. My, how the young Alan Probe has aged in the past 50 years, but he’s still got the chops to pluck your glass and suck out your body poison. No innuendo.

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…and speaking of Games

September 24, 2009

I’m sitting here at my desk eating some Ketchup chips (thanks Dyana and Canada!), reading a bit of gaming news on Kotaku, when I decide that a carbonated beverage would hit the spot. Lucky for me, I have a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper at my desk (courtesy of the IGDA Writing SIG’s Leanne Taylor – Ooo, I need to blog about Austin GDC last week, don’t I?) and I reach for one. The others roll down to take its place (I could see through the handle hole) and it took me back to my skeeball days as a kid.

OVER THE LINE! Donny, mark it zero.

OVER THE LINE! Donnie, mark it zero.

Remember throwing the wooden balls up the lane without so much as a glance to see if you were scoring points? I was always fascinated by the remainder of my wooden ammo rolling down my way. And there was often a window to see the remainder of your shots. Sad was the time when I would come to the last wooden sphere. I would try to make it really count and either granny-throw it into another lane or try to put some sort of strange spin on it that resulted in a 12 mph roll that would just crest the lip up to the scoring area and fall in the “gutter”. Tragic. At least until I would drop the next token in and see a new full rack of opportunities roll my way.

Do you have any fond/funny childhood memories of gaming? I wouldn’t mind compiling a little list of “I remember when”s.

Bumble Tales – FTW!

September 9, 2009

At long last, the game that took priority over Domain of Heroes (the game for which I was initially hired to write), Bumble Tales is now available for preview and purchase! You can find it on most of the big portal sites if you don’t trust our main site, but then you’re just giving your money to “the man” instead of us. 😉 

The Team - Bumblized

The Team - Bumblized

It feels like a long time has passed since I originally started writing the tales for these 35 Bumble characters, but our (Tandem Games) development time was only 7 months, so I can’t complain. It has been an experience full of fast-paced crunches, leisurely time-off and lessons learned on how to go about it “the next time”. We have not had our official post-mortem meeting yet, so I’ll keep quiet on all the nitty-gritty details for now, but rest assured, the creation of Bumble Tales will be known by the masses!

Check out our games at the above links or just visit www.TandemGames.comto see a trailer of Bumble Tales. Have fun and give me some feedback – what do you think of the stories? Would you rather have a more linear storyline? How do you feel about the game as a whole? Is this your typical genre?