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Meet the Fallout 3 devs - Jonah Lobe

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Jonah "KamikazeKangaroo" Lobe

INTRODUCTION AND FALLOUT RELATED:

Who are you? Hey, my name is Jonah Lobe and I am a character artist working here at Bethesda. I'll be working on creatures... I'll try not to mangle any old favorites you might have. I don't have too much say about the actual concept artwork, since I'm pretty much a grunt here, but I like giving my own personal twists. To the questions...

What’s your job at Bethesda? Guess I answered this.

Well How is Fallout going? Is it developing as how you imagined and planned in the beginning? What's Fallout? Ohhhh you mean the slight Oblivion mod we're making. You've heard of it? It's going great! You're gonna love it, even more than horse armor!!

Name your worst fear about Fallout 3? That I'll got shot by a particularly enthusiastic fan of the franchise, just for working at Bethsoft.

Which one is better in your opinion: Fallout 3 or Oblivion (you can PM me this xDD) Hmm I loved Oblivion, but the way things are shaping up, I'm gonna have to go with F3.

What is stronger -in your opinion ofcourse- a Deathclaw or a BoS dude? Oh, a Deathclaw. I got a very, very special, scratch-proof place in my heart for those big guys.

If you were allowed to put yourself as a char in fallout 3.. ofcourse saying nothing about the game itself.. what kind of person or thing would you want to be? I'd be a Deathclaw. I'd divide my time between wandering the wastes, decapitating people and meditating on how [censored] I am.

Will we be able to push mutated cows around, aka brahmin tipping? The Brahmin-tipping minigame has been in the works for the past 4 years actually, but we're having trouble getting the physics just right. I can't even count how many times I've done field research on the matter. In the past week.

Are you able to play Fallout 3? Oh yeah, definitely. I bounce into the game a couple of times a day to check out my work in-game.

What is the worst point of Fallout 1 in means of gameplay mechanics for you? That's like saying "what's the worst part about God?"

Which kind of quests do you find interesting in Fallout 1- 2? Well combat was so graphic in that game, I couldn't NOT like the bounty hunter-esque ones.

What previous projects have you worked on at Bethesda and elsewhere? Previous projects... none, really. I came straight from an art major at a college in upstate NY, came back down to DC (where I'm from), worked at home to brush up on my computer animation skills (before that I was a pen-and-ink artist), and eventually - after applying to Bethesda three times over two years - managed to land an interview and bum-rush my way in.

How long have you been playing Fallout, and how would you describe your feelings towards the franchise? It's been a while since I've played Fallout, but God what a game. I rarely think that excessive gore and violence are great things - there's enough of that in the world - man, it really had it's place, and the game probably would have been far lamer if they hadn't executed it the way they did.

If you were magically teleported in a world that is exactly like the world Fallout 1&2 depict what would be the FIRST thing you'd do? In all honesty? I'd probably find the nearest vault, make them let me in, and spend the rest of my days enjoying clean water and dental hygiene.


What have you drawn on for inspiration in developing Fallout 3? Books, movies, music, etc would be fine, if you don’t want to name any games. As for inspiration... why, the original fallouts, of course! Well, actually, since I'm not any kind of dev and I'm just a lowly artist... I'd have to say other artists are my personal, constant inspiration. I recognize that I might not be answering this question quite the way you'd like, but I'm a creature-creator, so I figured I'd answer your question from that angle. CGtalk, ZBrushCentral, 3DTotal, Conceptart.org... these computer art websites constantly supply me with ideas. I guess when I create a creature, I try to concentrate most on personality. Is the creature constantly angry, silently predatory, mindlessly rabid, cold and calculating... or is it just an animal, like any other animal? I try to have its character traits reflected in its appearance, and not just it's face... I concentrate on proportions, coloring, equipment (claws etc). I also constantly divorce myself from the idea that this creature exists just to eviscerate the player... I want to be able to picture this thing doing it's thing on a daily basis... Since we're talking Fallout, I remember playing the game a long time ago and wondering what Deathclaws did in the wild, away from humans? Did radscorpions stay motionless in their cooler caves, their massive claws tucked in tight while their soft, pale brood squirmed on their backs? What was it like being a supermutant living with other supermutants? I mean, those [censored]ers weren't evil, even if they always wanted me dead. Yeah, I think of this kind of thing a lot. I should probably stop talking now.

I want to start by asking a question of the Dev. Crew. Something I haven't really seen answered here, even in Todd's moving speech. That question is this: Many of the TES: fans felt it a depature from the norm they had seen. Many Fallout fans feel that F3 is going to be, to quote one of my readers, "the mentally handicapped sibling" of the Fallout Franchise. I'm pretty sure you guys know all of that. I also know that, Beth, as a company, is going to take the franchise in the route they thing best. Now my personal stake in this is different. I'm a fan here, not just an outside set of eye's like I am with so many other games. While there are many questions, I think i'll just pose my most important one's now, and see how it goes.

Let me preface this by saying that I joined the Bethesda crew a few months before Oblivion was released, so I only got to playtest it for a while before they put me to work making monsters. On the one hand I was floored by the graphics, recorded audio, all the new gimmicky things Oblivion introduced to the TES series. I was also immediately addicted to the gameplay, I was impressed with the game mechanics, and I thought it "felt" fantastic. On the other hand, visually and conceptually I felt let down, since I thought that Morrowind was one of the most visually creative games I'd ever seen. Here was a concrete world, much like our own, but with art, architecture, clothing and culture that was utterly alien. I was entranced completely, and everything felt truly impressive and realistic. Oblivion didn't do it for me. In terms of graphics and gameplay, it was farrrr superior. The vision was what was lacking, in my mind. Of course, part of this had to do with the different setting within Cyrodil, but still. However, in no way do I think this is indicative of where we're going as a series... I think perhaps we got so wrapped up in making it truly FUN that that became somewhat of a priority? I could go on for a while, but let me get to the questions.

1. What is your "Vision" for F3? By that I understand the "Best we can make it". But at this point what are you shooting for? Classic Fallout? Or will this be a new vision under the same franchise? 1. I'm just a lowly artist, but for my own part, I want the same look and feel of the creatures... just more realistic. In terms of overall game... I think we are doing our best to capture the spirit of Fallout. That's why we purchased the IP, not just make our own game... we're in love with Fallout.

2. How much freedom are you shooting for as far as dialog options, quests, factions, feats, stats, ect. go? 2. As much freedom as possible, of course.

3. Do you take a "Fan-first" Perspective to development? Meaning, are you fans of Fallout, who now get to work on it? 3. Absolutely. It's a lot of fun, it's a lot of pressure, and there's a lot of pride when something new gets added that is just SOOOO very Fallout-appropriate. Anything involving nasty laughter, a disturbed, stomach-churning "ohhhhhh...", to shocked silence... yeah, that's Fallout for me.

4. How shocked are you that I, as a Vault Dweller, am currently writeing to you from the future? 4. I'm only shocked that you've made it that far. Am I still alive?

5. In all reality, everyone knows that Beth. will probably assemble the finest team possible to put this game togeather. Do you ever sit in a round-table room, dress in medievel garb, and discuss spreading the holy word to the heathens? 5. Of course we do. The problem is, everyone took all the good garb, so I've got to wear the retarded sheep outfit, and a cow-bell. That cow-bell gets annoying, I tell ya.

6. What is going to be more important to you for F3? Freedom of choice, or the over-all story? 6. I'm gonna be a douche-bag here and say both. Yeah, I know I just ruined that game, but hey. Although I will say this... I think the main story in Oblivion could've gotten amped up a bit, since ultimately you could complete the main quest at your leisure... which is fine usually, but in a "demons-are-invading-through-rapidly-spreading-warp-gates" kind of story, you'd imagine there'd be a certain sense of urgency.

I think we learned a lot from Oblivion, and I believe that a lot of the criticism we got - particularly in the forums, but like someone said earlier (Fizzbang?), mainly from ourselves - is being addressed very consciously. Ok I've got to get back to monstering, I've spent way too much time on this post..!

What gets you in the 'zone' to create/design the many beasts that you do? To get in the zone? My iTunes and a whole host of high-resolution pictures of creatures - elephants, blind snakes, tiger beetles, horseshoe crabs, iguanas, dog's with mange - generally do the trick.

What's your fav medium? Outside of 3D work, I love pen-and-ink illustration (I want to be this guy), and I've just started to teach myself how to paint digitally.

What kind of education do you devs have and has it in anyway helped you as a game developer? I graduated from Skidmore College in upstate NY, with an art degree. As an artist, it definitely helped in refining certain techniques... but in terms of computer animation, after I graduated I lived at my mom's house for 6 months trying to teach myself more advanced modeling/texturing/rendering techniques that would get me a job. Lo and behold, it worked! As cheesy as it sounds, this has definitely shown me that whatever your goal is, achieving it is just a matter of sweat. And I can get very sweaty... Ok, yeah, next question.

Also, I wanted to answer one more question someone had about what tools the artists use. We use Max and Photoshop primarily, and at least for me, since I do lots of character artwork, I'm big into ZBrush, so I use a Wacom tablet for that. Which I'm using right this moment, actually, so I should get back to that. It's been a pleasure!

How is the work-environment? Is it competitive or co-op? Do the different teams talk together? Very cooperative, and yes, they do. You kind of have to when you're all working on one cohesive project. I really dig the people I work with.

What do you have on your desk? Do you have any figurines or maskots? Books? Well, I'm an artist here, so I got lots of strange things in my cube... let's see... I've got a glass-faced box with various large insects mounted (HUGEEE horned beetle, scorpion, other cool things), a dog skull, a few random pewter figurines, a Star Wars Walker AT-ST, A book on bugts, 2 "Spectrum" fantasy art books, a bubble-blowing bottle, a cool tri-faced golden mask my friend just got me from Italy, a sword from Toledo, a crab encased on clear plastic, a Far Side calendar, personal artwork on the walls, an Albrecht Durer etching, a Utagawa Hirshige painting, various pieces of art, an alligator skull and a Skidmore mug.

How do you survive sitting your ass on your chair for about 8 hours and in front of the screen? It's not the sitting on my ass that bothers me, since most computer-game junkies can do that... it's the fact that there are no windows in sight. It's like sitting in the bat-cave. And I either go lift after work or play soccer. Ohhh and GChat and Facebook are lifeee savers.





WORK RELATED:

Could you tell us a little bit about your job? Im very interested in all phases of development and im just curious about your Enviroment Artists position. What exactly do you do? You mentioned my name as well, so I figured I'd go ahead and answer the question. Basically, I do the same as Megan, but as I am a character artist, I don't get a chance to touch environmental stuff at all... rather I'm limited to monsters and creature creation... which is actually completely fine by me, I loves that stuff. I basically create 3D monsters and such, and UV Map them and then texture them. I do the whole process with rigging and animation in mind, so I try to keep in mind how the creature will move, etc. It's fun, I basically create horrific digital puppets! By the way, Megan is ridiculously good. Kamikaze... How did you enter the biz? (and do you do the rigging, or just modeling and/or textures)? I took some classes on computer animation at school (I was an art major at Skidmore College), I made a 5 minute long computer-animated short for my senior thesis (and 4 other large pen illustrations), and yet I found after graduation that that wasn't enough. So I basically crashed at my mom's place, spent like 4–6 months teaching myself computer modeling and texturing and rendering, pushing myself with each project I did, and then, coupled with a paper portfolio of drawn artwork, I submitted that to Bethesda Softworks. It was the 3rd time in 2 years I applied to this company, but this was by far my best contribution, and it worked! I do just modeling and texture work... I'm just a monster monkey.

  • innocently* Are you the one who made the Super mutant? *cough*

Hahah no I did not do the supermutant, I did the giant ant (of which there are no pictures, sorry!). I understand that there's been controversy over the look of the supermutant... but I personally really like it, and the person who did it (I'll leave names out for the time being at least) is an extremely formidable artist.. one or two screenshots doesn't do it justice... the amount of detail is fantastic... further screenshots will hopefully sway ppl's opinion's.

Do you just design creatures or do you design bit's and pieces of armor for them as well? Any thongs-wearing female bimbos designed, evar? If you do design armor - do you research armor design before or do you apply you reality-feel and mix it with 'dang, that looks gooood'? I'm asking because especially with full body armors and armorsuits I find myself often wondering how this could actually work out. The range of motion the armor offers often doesn't seem to fit that there's a person inside that has some thick plating around arms, legs etc. especially the area of shoulder and groin. Well and helmets, too, I guess.

Actually one of my first assignments for Fallout was to create the supermutant armor. However, given that the armor is not so much real armor as it's scrapped parts thrown together, I didn't do much research in that regard. I agree with you on the regular armor thing though... armor in videogames usually looks ridiculous and unplausible, and while at times cool, is at other times completely overblown and ludicrous.

Also, do the environmental artists get to think up the monster, and then it is added to the story and the game, or does someone else think up the monster and then you make it from their concept?? The lead artist, concept artist and others go through many reworkings of a certain creature, after it's placement in the game has been figured out well (so it's not just: is this thing cool? it's also, "does this fit the look, feel, story?) Then the drawing is handed to me, and they say "ok make that" and I start modeling! I definitely try to take movement into consideration, and it's really really fun to invent a whole skeletal and muscular structure to something that is completely fictional.

What do you do when you know full well that there's work to be done, but you just can't get yourself to focus on it? See what you guys are doing. No, just kidding. Bethsoft's electric shock treatment took care of that after the first month! I love work now! I want to work all the time! I'm always inspired.

Do you guys have regular workhours or is it going overtime all the time? Pretty regular at the moment... but when I'm not done with a monster, I come in on the weekends.

And does it get bad towards the finishing of the product? Yes, yes it does.

If it gets crazy towards the end of finishing a product - which job usually takes the brunt and who can take it more easy (e.g. programmer, graphic artist, pr)? I'd say QA gets the worst, but programmers have plenty of late nights too. At what point during game making do you go from oh god will we manahe this to oh my god its ALIVE!!!! What if any milestone makes that happen for you? I feel this all the time at work. All the time, new features are coming up and online, aspects of the game I didn't even know we were implementing... for me, as a character artist, it's seeing my creatures get animated, slapped with some kind of AI and have Wolfric (who, yes, looks remarkably like Harvey Keitel on chemo) do the sounds for them. Every time I see that I go "DAMN I love this job."

Have you ever worked on a game and wondered afterward. I hope no one ever knows I worked on that! Oh I recall one monster I made for Shivering Isles which verged on utterly embarrassing... perhaps it wasn't that bad... perhaps it was worse.

You mom/dad buys a copy of fallout 3 after its out... How would they react to you working on it? My mom would NEVER forgive me (she works in human rights). My dad (a journalist) would just shake his head and say "Jonah, this is disgusting." But what do I care? I love my job, who cares what my dad thinks? It's not like he ever supported ANYTHING I ever did. DID you dad?? NO YOU DIDN'T! You just said 'try harder next time' and 'not good enough' and 'Why can't you work hard, like your brother??'. Well, you know what, dad, I'm NOT my brother, and I'm NOT YOU. STOP TRYING TO CONTROL MY LIFE! I HATE YOU! Whoa. Blacked out for a second. What number am I on?.

Do any of you support GNU/Linux, or free software in general? Oh I've been known to download plenty of free software in my life. We'll call em "learning editions" of extremely expensive programs.

Kami-Kang, what are your favorite genre of monsters? I don't have a particular favorite genre of monsters... the typical id Software demon-machine fusion is a cool design, but overused and somewhat nonsensical (also, take a look at the new Doom and Quake games... does it strike anyone as strange that the Quake monsters are - in design - virtually identical to the bio-machine bestiary in Doom? And, even more perplexing, why do the marines look like they have pretty much the exact same technology??). So yeah, while that kind of creature is definitely eye-candy and fun in the extreme, I've been getting real tired of it. I prefer making monsters that look like basically super-predators... they could possibly exist in the real world, and have their own daily cycle of activity... but they're just terrifying in the extreme. Strong creature design to me (pulling titles off the top of my head) include: Mimic, Starship Troopers (horrible, horrible film... but I still own it), Lord of the Rings, the Host, all the creature designs in King Kong... also, Gonarch from Half Life 1 was really cool... some of the zerg in Starcraft... yeah that's all got.

Have/did you ever wanted to work on any other game projects, like the Deus Ex sequel, or a sequel to any other favourite games you've played? Ohh yeah definitely. Since I've been employed here, that feeling has subsided substantially, but in late high school all I wanted to work on was Doom 3. Then in like sophomore year of college I was all about working on System Shock III. Starcraft was always a wish of mine, but in retrospect, the creatures are too small for me to do work that I knew would be appreciated... plus Blizzard has made moves toward more cartoonish, exaggerated creatures, and I'm not particularly saavy with that.


WORKING AT BETHESDA:

Are you guys humans?? Don't let the third nipple and vestigial tail fool you, I'm as human as the next guy.

Are you developers Jedi Knights, Sith Lords, or opponents of everything Star Wars? After the new Star Wars, forgetaboutit. Also, I saw George Lucas give a talk 2 years ago at Siggraph... and that man... he's got... SOMETHING alive that lives right under his chin. It's actually extremely distracting, and he doesn't have the decency to grow a beard over this massive goiter-thing that just sits there and jiggles. Oh, and he's a really boring speaker.

Do you guys and girls need to go to rehad after creating a game (to get rid of the coffee habit) or do you go cold turkey? Once you ride the black horse, you're in the saddle for life.

Will you be sending the first hand-printed copies of the finished Fallout 3 to the original creators? Along with some booze and a hooker of course. We're trying to get ahold of some depleted uranium as a kind of special edition thing for them, but it's harder to get than you'd think, no matter how deep you dig in your backyard.

Cookies? Well I'll say hello. Hello! Soft-baked cookies are the BEST kind of cookies... but ohhh I do love Oreo's and milk... and girl scout thin mints... mmmm. So far, half a bag of Sour Patch Kids. Christ, socrates, it's not even noon. (note: Socrates has a habit of sucking off the sugar coating of sour patch kids and making a bigger and bigger ball out of the gelatinous remainder... only God and Ron Pearlman knows what he plans to do with it).



FAN RELATIONS RELATED: and how to get into the industry by any means necesary:

5 Say bethesda decided YOU should write up the answers to the first Q&A session.. Do you.. A contract plague. B suffer an unfortunet life threatening shaving accident. C Tell them that so and so.. anouther dev realy wanted to do it and types far better... then hide. D whine for days but do it anyway.. then whine for days after. E Do it because they trust you.. and your paid extra. F Exclaim ... YES SIR!!!! Then do your best. G jump at it like a room full a ferrets on a mars bar. 5. If I had to do a Q&A session with people on the forums... I think I'd feel like the Mars bar... not that you guys are in any way ferret-like, but you get the idea. Absolutely not, I wouldn't do it, that's like the people in the horror movie who tell their one friend to "go check out what that sound was." "What? [censored] that, I'm not going out like that."

What do ya'll play on "game night"? Is it more of a competition? If so, who's the reigning champion and at what game(s)? I don't do game night, I do soccer night. A bunch of us have spearheaded a really fun neighborhood pickup game every week in the area.

If I'm 50,000th person to say "Oblivion with guns" do I get a prize? You get a night out with Yours Truly. I'm warning you though, I don't put out on the first date... unless I've had a beer. And it only counts if you say "Oblivion with GunZ."

Do you guys ever hunt around on the mighty Internet for reactions and discussions concerning Fallout 3, other than on this forum? Oh sure, but never too hard... Fallout fans are a rare breed, and can be highly toxic. Handle with care.

Getting the job? I don't think previous experience is necessary, truly. What matters is "how badly do you want in?" and "are you actually good?" I'm making monsters now for a living because - and I won't exactly describe how I went about it, lest I incite a wave of people inappropriately trying to claw their way in to game companies - I scrambled at the door for a while, and when that didn't work, I tried the windows... Seriously, previous experience is not needed, as long as you're sure of your own dedication and passion. For me, I found the key to be just NOT GIVING UP. If they say no one day, work on your craft, come back later with something better to show, and go for it. The saddest thing is when people just kind of give up before they've begun, saying to themselves "I don't really have what it takes, I shouldn't even bother," or when they try once, get rejected and throw in the towel. All I will say is, don't worry about getting that towel sweaty. Get it dirty, grimy, get tired, get depressed... but GET THE JOB. I'm not sure that last bit even made sense, but I felt like Al Pacino in "Any Given Sunday," and I decided to chase that feeling.

Who knew "neutral" would be such a difficult Karma state? Maybe I should just pick a side and stick with it, just to make things a bit easier? Heheh you're probably right, it's probably best to just hate us! Easier, at least!



About games:

For the devs, what is your favorite console and/or PC RPG and adventure game of all time and why? I think maybe Baldur's Gate II. God I loved that game.

What is your favorite type of game to play (RTS,FPS,RPG etc) I really like FPS's, and I used to be a Counter Strike monster... but after a while I got fed up with the people who play it... all the stereotypes are true. I love RTS's, like Starcraft, which I think visually and stylistically was one of the coolest games to come out in a while. I'll never again play another Diablo clone... that kind of game is the crack of gaming: addictive and fun as hell, but after a while you realize you've lost all your friends, you haven't showered in a week, and no matter how much you offer him sexual favors, for some reason the Arch-Angel Tyrael won't give you anything arch-cool.

What's important to you in a game and how much so? On scale of 1 to 5 a. Graphics - 3.5 b. Mechanics - 4 c. Story - 4 d. Humor - 4 e. Reality - 5 (has to be realistic WITHIN the setting, not necessarily realistic by today's "factual" setting) f. Artificial Intelligence - 3.5 g. Freedom to go your own way - 2.5 (something like Half-life, which is extremely linear, can still be done in a way such that you don't notice you have no choice) h. bonus features for fans - e.g. hidden stuff, easter eggs etc. - 2 i. overall Feel/ Fun-factor - 5 (trick question?? C'mon, it's gotta be 5!) j. Multiplayer - 1 (it's great to have it, but it's not in any way necessary... depending on the game) k. Modability & Ease of modding - 3 (I don't mod anything, soooo) l. Support from the developer (regarding patches, new features, add-ons) - 5

What games are you looking forward to on the horizon? Oh, and even though I'm busy, I wanted to answer just one question from the original list from this thread... what game I'm looking forward to. Bioshock man, Bioshock. Gonna be hot. System Shock 2 was one of the best games ever, in my humble opinion. Sound design, immersion, story, everything... one of the few games that truly stuck with me.

What's the last game you bought? Did you like it? Actually I've been playing Planetside 2 for about a year now, and I've got to say... besides the graphics and various gameplay mechanics, it might be one of the MMO games with the most potential that I've ever played. I've been extremely tempted to purchase other games, namely "Stalker," (although I heard it doesn't end all that well, and that it kind of falls off after a while), but I've decided that I've got too much on my plate outside of work to afford another addiction. So I'm holding out for Bioshock.

Have you tried Titan Quest? Oh, absolutely not... I got a friend here who was (not sure if he still is?) really into it, and it seems too fun for me to get into. My goal is to NOT get addicted to games right now in my life... I want to put that off for a little while, at least until my current projects are done.

Even though you're all probably RPG fans, do you ever get the urge to play random and seemingly pointless shooter/hack-n-slash games like Unreal Tournament, Diablo [II], Blood, etc?? I play pointless shooters allll the time. Counterstrike was my addiction for years.. but man... Counter-strike players tend to be some of the most horrible people alive. It's like a smorgesborg (??) of racists, sexist, homophobic mouth-breathing 13-year-olds.

Which other FP RPG have you enjoyed besides Oblivion (or the TES series in general)? I've gotta go with Morrowind. It's the game that made me want go get in here.

Did any of you devs ever get a game as a gift or something like that, and you didn't think you would like it? However when you played it, you actually started to like it and it caused you to delve deeper into those type of games? Not really, but my current addiction is Planetside. I got talked into trying it out, and I've been playing for more than a year now. Just got to Command Rank 5 today. It's a proud day for the Lobe Family.




PERSONAL INFO AND PREFERENCES ABOUT THE REST OF UNIVERSE:

Is there a better way to ask "what do you need" than "what you be needin'"? "Watchuwant? Whatchawantttt?"

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? I once chucked a woodchuck. I laughed about it, but it failed to appreciate the irony.

Favorite quotes? Remember: Only by eliminating feelings of jealousy and competition can you become as happy and healthy a person as that smug bitch Rebecca.

Curiously the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias, as it fell, was, "Oh no, not again." Many people have speculated that if we knew *why* the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

When placed in water, the drunken volunteers fared even worse, and the alligator markedly better, Sawyer said. In addition, the alligators far outperformed their inebriated human counterparts in the following areas: lunging, biting, crushing, dismembering, and swallowing.

Favourite lost character and babes? My favorite lost character stopped being Locke a long time ago... I admit, I haven't seen season 3 hardly at all (waiting for them to come out on DVD), but Season 2 to me felt like all the characters stopped growing and just stayed more of the same... Locke's such a stick-in-the-mud, he's no fun and he never explains himself. I liked Eko, he was badass. My favorite though, has gotta be Kate. Why? Because she's hot, and I really like super-athletic girls like that. Ok, real reason? She's REALLY hot. Like superhuman hot. She's in the same category of hot as Laura Prepon (Donna from That 70's Show), Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johanssen and Barbara Walters.

I fully understand that I've lost any potential of being regarded as a respectable member of a professional development team, but once I start talking about any of the aforementioned females, I lose all sense of propriety and manners. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted... Same thing with Gwen Stefani and Jessica Alba. I feel the same way about Jessica Alba... yes, she's very beautiful in like every way, but I just don't find her appealing... I mean, don't get me wrong, she's a full 10/10, and she seems cool, but she just doesn't have that certain "what the french call: 'I don't know what'" that makes me fall head over heels in love. Also my girlfriend worked at a spa a couple summers ago, and Jessica Alba came in, and apparently she's very very skinny, which I don't like. I know what you mean about Scarlett Johanssen, but once I saw "Lost in Translation" I knew that I'd propose to her the second I ever saw her. And as for Barbara Walters.. http://www.timallen.com/gallery/img/friends/300/barbara.jpg Are you saying that does NOTHING for you?? heheheh


Books vs games Oh, also if I could throw in my 2 cents in regards to the book vs. video game thing, I've got to hand it to books. In a huge way. I've got a friend here who firmly believes that video games are a superior art form than books and movies. While I agree that games have an enormous potential, true story-telling - and everything that comes with it - is championed by books (and perhaps movies as well). It's so easy to confuse entertainment with art, and so hard to separate "making your own story" to reading another story. In a game, yes, there is a main quest, and a large story, and in playing the character, you're creating your own small stories. But in books and movies, there are real reasons WHY characters do what they do, and this ties in to all kinds of motivations and their natures, etc etc. When something in a book happens, it happens for a reason. The author could've gone any way, but they chose that way. What's more, we get insight into characters through just a few words, and real authors are able to write powerful stories through the artful play of carefully placed words and - at times - sparse description. Not that I'm a fan of Hemingway, but he comes to mind in this. "A Song of Ice and Fire." Fuckin awesome. Great stories, great intrigue, plot and character development, sense of timing, themes, ambiance, etc etc. I just don't believe the same degree of storytelling and such can exist in a genre that is primarily entertainment-based. What's more, video games are composed by a team of people... and no one person can fully control and orchestrate and love the characters in as complete and thorough a way as a gifted artist or actor can. And with that I'm going to inexplicably stop typing.


Wiliam Gibson? I love me some William Gibson. Haven't read anything but Neuromancer, would anyone recommend any 1 book by him or another author, in the same genre, that truly blew them away?


Neuromancer or Wintermute? And yeah, Shodan is the Queen.

What's your favorite alcoholic drink? Lately, when I've gone to bars with my girlfriend, we've taken to ordering one drink in particular. For her it's ok, but for me... it's like teetering on a knife-edge between 007 Pimp and flamboyant crossdresser: dirty martini. Oh, and in terms of beers, I've gotta stick with either Dos Equis or Moosehead (Canadian, fantastic beer).

Whats your favorite beer / liquor / mixed drink? Beer = Moosehead Liquor = any top shelf vodka Mixed drink = used to be vodka-cranberry, but after a world-spinning night of debauchery in Baltimore, which involved inappropriate behavior on a kitchen floor (dirrttyyyy), stepping over my friend passed out in his boxers on the bathroom floor to get to the toilet at 4 AM, the fight I had all night with the apartment wall on my left hand side (bastard wall kept running into me, and sometimes the floor did too) and not being able to leave the city until 4 PM the next day due to the extreme likelihood that I would projectile vomit... it's no longer my beverage of choice.

How did you guys spend memorial day weekend? shrimp on the barby? stuck in traffic? satanic mass? I had a crazy busy weekend.. Girlfriend was in town, so Friday went to a place called the 18th Street Lounge (very classy bar/club with live jazz and an open rooftop area) and met some friends, then Saturday we went to a DC United Game (didn't actually go in, just tailgated the entire time with a bunch of people), went to a BBQ afterwards. Then Sunday she and my cousin and I drove to Shenandoah to go meet some friends for camping, and then went on hikes and drank beer and made hamburgers in the dark. I also may or may not have gotten frisked by a park ranger that night. And not in a smooth, sexy way. The GOOD news is that I took some friggin AWESOME pictures of a couple crazy huge centipedes, some kind of nasty water bug, a big cool looking spider and the hugest, most BEAUTIFUL, HUGEST moth I've seen in a long time (It was like a night butterfly, butterscotch-colored with crazy lookin beautiful fake eyes on the wings... I'll try to upload a pic tomorrow if ppl are interested). ANDDDD I saw 2 black bears!!! One was on a hike and we saw it climbing a tree and watched it a bit... and then on the drive out, a bear crossed the road... sooo cool, I'd never seen a bear in the wild before. So yeah, (generally) a good weekend.


Given that several of you devs have a literary background, is T. S. Eliot British or American? American. Little known fact: T. S. Elliot is actually Ben Affleck's pen-name. Man can't act to save his career (Daredevil, anyone?), but he does write a good piece of literature.

Sweet or sour? There's actually a box of Lemonheads on my desk right on my right... so... I don't know. S-sour?

Who killed Kennedy? Jason Bourne, I thought?

What sort of music do you listen to? Everyone always says everything, but truly... everything. Bands of choice at the moment include: TOK (reggae), Amy Winehouse, Clipse, Sufjan Stevens, Damien Marley, Damien Rice, Twista, Nightmares on Wax, Sparklehorse, The Go! Team, Grandaddy, Citizen Cope, any instrumentals, Jay-Z, Portishead, Al Green, Mike Jones, Sigur Ros, Afrocelt Sound System, Tego Calderon, Cee-Lo, The Secret Machines, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Beatles, Beck, Budo, Spoon, TV on the Radio, Tool, Metric, Sublime, Strokes, Andre 3000, Elliott Smith, The Dismemberment Plan, Esthero, Ratatat, Keane, Le Tigre, Brian Eno, Blur, Kamikaze Hearts, Royskopp & 8MM. I hope I'm being specific enough.


Which Max do you prefer, Mad Max, Max Payne, or Max from Sam & Max? Max Payne could circle-strafe the crap outta Mel Gibson... I doubt Mel even knows how to Bunnyhop.


Novelist At the moment, George R. R. Martin

Artist Soo many to choose from!! Just check Zbrush.com, close your eyes and put a finger somewhere on the screen. Traditionally, I'd have to say Hokusai.

Cartoonist Jhonen Vasquez

Comic Book Writer Jhonen Vasquez and/or Masamune Shirow (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and GitS I)

Actor I hated him for years and years, but after seeing the Aviator, DiCaprio's got my vote.

Actress So often this question isn't "can she act" but "how much do you love her?" I'm going to have to go with Amy Smart or Jessica Biel.

Movie Pan's Labyrinth, The Shining (so much better the third time around), Pulp Fiction, V for Vendetta, BBC's Blue Planet series, The Aviator, Shawshank Redemption, Run Lola Run, Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, Lost in Translation, Fight Club, Anchorman, Lord of the Rings, X-Men 2, The Big Lebowski, Aliens, Anything with great special effects, really.

Band At the moment... er... TV on the Radio

Television Show Daily Show. Or The Office.

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