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Crunchtime Woes
 
 
Be proud. I'm most likely donating 0.001% of my GPA to Each of you, for only after this column do I plunge into the heart of the heart of everything I have due this week. I'm a triple major in computer science, creative writing and procrastination with a minor in short attention span and a knack for right-brain indulgence.
I profess to be no god of any sort. I am the Druish Prince of Ramen, a direct descendant of the great forty-two artistic computer geeks who knew how to cook.
My materia is very hard to find, so remember that when you summon me to answer questions or deal with Thor's televangelist stalkers.
 
woes of the amateur game designer
Hey Mike,

I have a wicked idea for an RPG. Is it a waste of time to write it up and send it away to some company? If not, what style or format are RPG's written in?

-MrCanEHdian

Michael:

Sadly, yes :( As an aspiring game designer myself, I know how it feels to build up Crazy RPG ideas and storylines and have nobody to hear them out. Bigwig companies generally don't take ideas from outside, they have their own designer(s). However, some companies(Crave, right now for example) might have openings for game designers from time to time, and if your heart's set on doing it for a living I suggest looking for those places and applying after you have enough of the proper experience and/or college degrees.

Or, you can do what I'm planning to do; get together with a friend or three and start your own game company when the time is right, just be sure you learn all the tricks of the trade and how to survive in the business world.
Good luck in whatever you choose to do, and never lose heart.

 
The four questions(well, three and a half)

Heh, heh, that blank letter was funny. Kind of. Ok it sucked. Anyhow........

1.) Why does everyone want RPGMaker for PSX so bad. There's a version for Win95, except you can design your own palletes and sprites to use, instead of the premade ones (NOTE: FF Characters in YOUR RPG.) Plus, they can easily be distributed on the 'net (makes em .exe files) Except for Mac users..........

2.) When's EB gonna have the Lunar Demo? It's already a third of the way through April. I reserved my copy more than 6 freaking months ago. I want something!

3.) Please tell me your as pissed about Square ditching FF4 as I am (I don't give a crap who says its buggy! I've played it! It ain't buggy, people! Square just hates us.)

4.) Hmmm, I've been ranting the whole letter. Guess I need a question. Ok, Michael (obviously, since that's your name, your both cool and a genius, like me), what's up with LeGaia's battle system. I got the Demo from Playstation Underground. Suggest I play it? Mike "Rant-a-lot" Dore

Michael:

1) Probably the same reason why console gamers like us still exist despite the abundance of computer games. And unlike Microsoft, Sony doesn't have that "must crash well" on application requirements.

2) Honestly, I don't know. After all the delays I'm surprised Lunar still exists after April 1ST. Did you call EB and ask?

3) You'd better believe it! FF4 is by far my favorite of the series, and nothing will change that. I'm as angry about this as any old-school FF lover, if not more so. However, don't dismiss FF5 and 6 so easily out of anger; they're both still excellent games, and well worth supporting square over in my book.

4) Definitely. As I said I'm not far into Legaia, but so far it's quite good and from what I hear it only improves. The battle system is a bit like a command-based street fighter or Wild Arms(with a much less annoying way of saying "syke! You didn't run away! Neener-neener!").

Well, our namesake(the guy who kicked Lucifer out of Heaven) might have been a Genius, but I dunno about me. Not after the mog house incident =P

 
For all you techno-junkies
Dear Mike--

As a technology junkie, I usually read the column "I, Cringely" every week, where in the author comments on various issues related to computers.
Imagine my surprise when he devoted an ENTIRE COLUMN TO THE PSX2... with some very interesting comments. The article is at: (here. -M) and I was wondering what your thoughts were on this. Oh, I can honestly say that E.T.: The Extraterrestrial was a GREAT game.

FOR ME TO POOP ON!
Michael:
All you hardware buffs who've been asking about the PS2's specs and advantages should find this interesting. I like the idea of a new threat to Microsoft, as long as Sony doesn't get carried away and we don't start seeing stylish blue screens of death when we load up FF9 every now and then.
 
Delita's motive?(major FFT spoiler)
Hi Mike (aka T.G.MIKE)

I just beat FFT and there are a few interesting things that I think I can explain. First of all, off course the final boss looked female. Altima was resurected in Alma's body for pity sake. Second, the ending that everyone doesn't understand. Delita didn't kill Ovelia. If you paid attention to Olan talking to Balmalfula by the false grave, you read him say that he "pretended to kill her and then let her go to find herself." The knife he stabbed her with probably had some sort of anethetic on it to knock her out. That's probably what happened when he attacked Balmalfula. (That would explain why she was still alive in the ending.) Anyway, thanks for listening. See ya!

Evil Lover Extrordinaire >8^()

Michael:

I knew it! Yes, this is interesting. For the longest time I believed Delita didn't [purposely] kill Ovelia. When he killed others, he would walk away calm and composed. When Ovelia grabbed him and he (reflexively?) lashed out with his knife arm, he backed away from her shocked, stuttering and hardly on his feet. I always saw it as a spur-of-the moment thing, but never noticed what you just pointed out.
Anyhow, keep up those kind of thoughts...they lead to some pretty cool Fanfiction if you cultivate them right.
(and that's Druish Prince of Ramen(D.P.R.), not T.G. =)

 
Polygony
Hey Michael,

this question is to you or to anyone who can answer it.

I know playstation 2 is backwards compatible and I know that it won't enhance the playstation's graphics. But will it fix the polygon clippings? For example, if you take quake2 and run it on a crappy comp, it would be very choppy and nasty looking, but if you put it on a good comp, it will run well.
There are some playstation games that have more polygons than the playstation can handle. The result will either be a slow down or clippings. Will the playstation 2 fix that since it can handle more polygons than the playstation?

-KainVI

Michael:

Undoubtedly there will be less polygon clipping on the PS2, but the degree still depends on the game and individual developers. Also take into account games like FFT, which use little or no polygon technology.

 
the killer angels

Weekend Warrior, I am curious if you have any speculations on Square's views of Western religion. Some small things that started me thinking are the final bosses in both FF6 and FF7. Kefka is obviously fashioned after an angel when you fight him in his last incarnation as well as the Safer Sephiroth when you have the joy of battling him. While these may seem slight and not contain any direct themes, let us factor in FFT. Tactics is a much deeper game on the theme of religion, Western specifically. And again, at the end of the game you fight Ajora in the incarnation of an angel. It seems to me that a theme running through all of these is the constant battle against the divine and the glorification of the human spirit to overcome the order of things. Ah well, idle speculation.

LewsTeran

Michael:
Perhaps. Or maybe it's a sick conspiracy to make Americans battle their own positive religious symbols and enjoy it - heck, they made us fight God in Final Fantasy Legend, and even let us kill him with a chainsaw.
(They must be laughing at us pretty hard by now)
 
weird science

I'm not sure I can ask you this...but....just what the hell IS Norstein Beckler of ChronoTrigger???!!! This guy's scarier than Mayonaise (aka Flea). Spooky...

Maou Jacky

Michael: A game designer who never got enough sun. Suspected autobiographical.
 
My Favorite Things...

What are your favorite RPG's? I'm a fan of the Final Fantasies and the adventure 2.5-d games from SNES, like Zelda and SoM..

-kyle

Michael: It's hard to say - as I mentioned, FF4 is my favorite in the mainstream FF series. And while FF is my favorite RPG series, I don't feel right saying FF4 is my favorite RPG of all time. I guess I don't have any one favorite, so I'll mention FF4/2a, Crystalis and Xenogears - three of my absolute favorites.
 
Not enough for ya?
Ask Thor
(never judge a god by his hammer)
 
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Now Playing
Legend of Legaia
an overworld of molasses
 
 
Michael's mirror

I have a confession to make.

I lost Mog House.
You now have every right to disown me as the weekend omnipotent gamer, but I Am still the Druish Prince of Ramen, and that makes me happy.

RPG Darwin Award:

Megalixrs don't work very well against Safer Sephiroth, neither does fighting without materia or equipment. Jedi Terra vouches for this.

Shadow Zero Attack Mega! Michael "octopus royalty" Greenhut

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