February 2008

Care-A-Lot’s Collision With Pollution Plaza

(Or: I’ve always wanted to make a Care Bears anti-pollution game. How’s that for positivity?)

I’ve wanted to make a Care Bears game since I first played the classic DuckTales and Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers for NES, and I tossed the idea out on a lark a few years back and some guys didn’t dismiss it. One evening I sat down and thought up the main multiplayer mode. First, note that the game was intended as a 3d platformer in the vein of Psychonauts/Mario64, but, well, with Care Bears.

And yes, of course there’s also a single player platformer element which would be the main focus on the game, but I’ve not taken the time to plot out how why the Smog Hogs’ (yes, my idea,) floating Pollution Plaza crashes into Care-A-Lot, and how the game will properly allow players to visit past notable locations from Care Bears lore (in a Psychonauts style of retreading earlier worlds to make for new content found when using alternate Care Bears with slightly different abilities.) But this post is about the multiplayer mode!

The multiplayer game gives each player a Care Meter that starts off at either 100, or -100, depending on which team they’re on (Care Bears or Smog Hogs.) Each player has the ability to shoot his Care Bear Stare out of his tummy symbol, and a secondary ability dependent upon what their tummy symbol is. (The secondary ability should typically involve a recharge time, and often is in the form of their tummy symbols, from rainbows or storm clouds that players can walk/fly on, to power-ups (four leaf clovers or trophies) that give players short-lasting extra abilities.) Half of the players will start on the team of the Smog Hogs, which have a Care Meter value of -100, completely uncaring. The Smog Hogs still have the same abilities as typical Care Bears, but there’s one difference.

Despite their team, when a player is hit with a Care Bear Stare, their Care Meter raises (to the max of 100.) But when an Uncaring Bear hits a player with an Uncaring Stare (Glum Glare?) their Care Meter decreases (to the minimum of -100.) When the 0 threshold is crossed, the player changes from their current team to the other. It’s essentially a giant game of ‘tag’, but with Care Bear Stares instead of bullets.

And yes, I’m serious. I think this game would rock. Y’know why? Who wouldn’t love to drive this bad boy around in battle?!

Care Bear's Cloud Car


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A Cooler Head

Let it be known that I enjoy non sequiturs. Also, it should be known that apparently after I horribly flub a job interview I react poorly. So poorly, in the typical “lash out at one person, because you screwed up something else with a completely different person,”-fashion, I almost sent this off to an different job prospect. I post it here mostly because I’m bored of seeing myself bitch about World of Warcraft. So instead, I bitch about games in general. Man. I’m a bitchy guy. Next post is nothing but butterflies and rainbows! (Or at least something slightly more constructive.) I promise!


Your job ad asked for a cover letter outlining my gamer history/identity, so I’ll be writing to that effect. I fall squarely in the area of ‘disenfranchised gamer’. Here’s why.

Imagine a restaurant that has an amazing soup. Another chef tastes this and says “I can do better!” He then opens his own restaurant, and makes his own soup, similar, but slightly better than the original. The game industry is this, but with dozens of chefs each competing with what they think is the best recipe for their soup. A dozen chefs compete over tomato soup, another dozen over gazpacho, and the entire time all I can do is sit here, eating soup, and think to myself, “What do I have to do to get some fucking meatloaf?”

What this leads me to is two options. Either: A)most Game Makers (by which I refer to people who actually have the power to determine what a game will be,) think that there currently exists a game that is damn near perfect, save one tiny flaw… And this Game Maker sees this flaw, and will fix it, or B)the Game Maker is just trying to make a fun game, or is even just happy to be making a living in the game industry, and I shouldn’t bust his balls for either trying something a little different, or just doing what it takes to get by.

A? They don’t exist. Or at least I really hope that they don’t. If they do? Damn. The Games Industry is in bigger trouble than I ever considered…

But B? The rest of the industry decision makers? Fuck those guys.

Okay, I talk a tough game but obviously I have a weak spot for many games otherwise I couldn’t get so angry. And yes, my weak spot is repeatedly attacked for massive damage by what some would call ‘obvious’ protagonists; a first person shooter/puzzle game was my favorite of last year, Fumito Ueda can do no wrong in my eyes, Tim Schafer is indeed a genius (it’s fact.) But don’t you worry about every Game Maker who works for a developer owned by Activision, EA, Ubisoft, and every other huge company that has titles that guarantee profit and can afford to try new things? Why aren’t they trying to raise the bar regularly by pushing games out in crazy new areas? I mean, when Nintendo, the company who has probably whored their mascot out more than any other company ever, is considered ‘out there’ and ‘risky’ by trying to appeal to the mainstream… That really shows how little anyone else is trying at all.

So that’s why I’m applying to your company. Because fuck you for not caring more.

Jeffool (blahblahblah)

Yeah, it was at that last line that I realized “Wow, I think I safely qualify as emo. I really need to calm the fuck down and collect my wits.” I think that, with this cover letter, I may have achieved the most self-aggrandizing post I’ve ever written. Let’s hope so, anyway. More than this and I don’t know what I’d do with myself.

Also, note to self: Less commas, less Portishead, more instrumental surf rock.

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