Simon FitzKit...In The Field!

Can You Google

January 3, 2009
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While trying to find out the answer to a burning question of mine last night (namely “Can you sacrifice a creature and simultaneously regenerate it in Magic: The Gathering?”), I began to type the question verbatim into Google.
In the past, I’d have used the search engine specifically built for that kind of search format, but I’m still mourning the loss of their mascot (previously mentioned here), and I can only assume he has not yet escaped the carbonite.

So I began typing into Google, and –helpful search engine that it is– it popped up a list of the most likely searches that begin with the words ‘can you.’ Let’s take a look-see, shall we?

Top result by far: Can You Run It, as people try to find the website of the same name that automatically tests your computer and tells you if it meets the minimum requirements to run almost any computer program/game, a site that has a nearly impossible url to remember (www.canyourunit.com) and thus must be googled for. …Although to be fair, maybe people thought that url was for the Bobbitt-fetish site: Can Your Unit.

Can You Spot the 44th President refers to the now fairly well-known Obama-win drawing:

I love the fact that this was almost certainly drawn over at least a few days’ time, as the artist just held his breath and crossed his fingers that his art would be relevant and not just an eternal What-If of a .psd file.

And then there’s the ‘Can You Get Pregnant’ questions. I would love to see those searchers’ google ads these days.

…Or maybe not.

But more than anything else, I like to imagine that all 10 of these searches came from the same person. I actually wouldn’t be surprised…Bristol.

…Oh, and for those who are wondering: No, you can’t. You’re welcome.

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Sinibomb and Sugar On Every Bite!

December 2, 2008
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I made this happen.


The Dragon*Pros Are Far Outweighed.

September 4, 2008
2 Comments

This past weekend, Dragon*Con took over half of Atlanta (the Underdark half, if you were wondering), and that means thousands of my nerdly brethren descended on every hotel in a ten-block radius of wherever Nathan Fillion was standing at the time, and that 8/9 of those thousands came in costume.

Costume. The word calls to mind equal parts ‘Halloween’ and ‘a theatrical production,’ which –8/9 of the time– translates to ‘scary’ and ‘a flop.’ I kid, I kid. There certainly are an unbelievable number of amazing outfits present every year, showcasing just how many hundreds of dollars and manhours some people are willing to spend to be confused with a Sci-Fi Channel Original character actor. But then there are those poor souls who go that extra mile to call themselves out, to draw uncomfortable attention to their potato-sack body-type or their incomprehension of the fact that there is a time to stop mashing up concepts (See: Garth Vader, Darth Parton, Bart Vader, Darth Vedder, Darth Vader Zim, Perth Vader, Ollie North Vader, Darth Vanadium, Darth Vega, Darth Avida, Dorothy Vader, and…Hello Vader).

Oh, but pictures do help, don’t they? Let’s see who we have out on the floor…

Let’s steer around the Boba Fat jokes (Foba Bat?) and go straight to the problem of thinking that 2(Awesome) = Awesomer. Reese’s are the exception, not the rule. I mean, what would happen if Samuel L Jackson dressed up as Wesley Snipes? This. What would happen if Samuel L Jackson dressed up as Professor Xavier? This. What would happen if Samuel L Jackson dressed up as Nick Fury? This.
Plus, if you only look at him from the waist down (and I’m truly sorry to force that concept on you), he looks like the Dread Pirate Robert(s) …Bob, a Fat Pirate?… damn! So close.


Heh heh…Beavis, Beavis: …Co-Bra Commandos. Henh, henh…

Seriously though, I think these two were created by Gargamel to seduce the other Cobras into getting sloppy. And while it’s still unclear whether he wants to eat the Cobras or merely turn them into GI Gold, one think remains clear: Cobra Commander totally called dibs on a threesome.


Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, Thunderdome Lasertag’s not until next week.

Actually, take a look at her trophies: torn hair clumps at the waistband, red plastic hat at the navel… oh god… Bitch scalped Howdy Doody.


Senator John Kerry, God of Mischief.


Didn’t I fuckin’ just. say., “Not nobody, not nohow?”

ALTERNATE COMMENTARY: Polio took its heaviest toll, however, on the steampunk genre.


And the DownLoadable Content for Team Fortress 2 continues with the “Victorian Safari Skins Pack.” Pictured here: Medic, Spy, Heavy, Scout, and Engineer. Bonus unlockables: The Blunderbuss, the Jumanji Board, and the Doctor Vatson.


Ah, cosplay: The only pastime where blackface is still okay.


Flipping your fins,
You don’t get too far.
Bet a stiff breeze
Would’ve
Knocked you
Over.
Don’t wear a costume
That hinders your
–what’s the word?–
Feeeeeeet!
You think you look neat,
But really, you’re dim. (Some)
guy snatches your shells,
How you gonna chase hiiiiiim?
Let me ask you
Waddle you do,
Pretty nerd…giiiiirl?


Madness? THIS! IS! POTTAHHHHH!
.


Is Wayne Brucey Gonna Hafta Choke A Bitch?

July 16, 2008
1 Comment

From Sketch, the Batslap Meme.

Using this blank template, I have created the following:


You Have To Spurn The Trope

July 13, 2008
2 Comments

So as you may or may not have heard me cheering over the past week, I won a song-parody contest! First, play the game You Have To Burn The Rope (HERE). It will literally take you under a minute. The contest was to write a parody of the closing theme, and to make it about my favorite video game moment.

I wrote it about the game “Shadow of Colossus” and they previewed my entry during this podcast (skip to 1:12:45 ). (They say, “By Kit FitzSimons, which is an awesome name.” Whee!)

And then the guy who wrote the original song commented on my parody, and his favorite line was line 3 (heard here – skip to 0:56:08). (He says, “He’s got a nice flow with the rhymes.”)

Regardless of what you may think of the people who run the podcast, I now have a free DS Lite, courtesy of them!

Thanks to my friend Sketch who suggested the reverb and who found a way to make the claps work so well…and, you know, for running Garage Band and mixing my vocals.


Death God Of War

April 28, 2008
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I like the anime series Bleach, a series about a normal guy becoming a Death God. I like the video game God of War, a game about Stone-Cold Rambo ‘Diesel’ Schwarzenegger killing the entire population of ancient Greece. And today, the PSP Fanboy website put the banners for the two of them on top of each other. Way to go, two great tastes tasting great together.


Console-ation Prizes

January 23, 2008
2 Comments

Video Games I’m Looking Forward To And Don’t Want To Forget:

1) Castle Crashers

Originally a game on Newgrounds.com, this Ninja-Turtles-like side-scroller may very well make me weep with joy every time I beat a boss battle and then have to fight my fellow knights for the right to save the one damsel-in-distress.

2) Patapon

Quirky, two-button music-centric game starring little monochromatic blobs? Didn’t I already love this game once before? Oh wait, no, that was…

3) God of War: Chains of Olympus

Yes, I did, in fact, “not” buy a PS2 specifically so I could own the first two games in the series. Yes, I did, in fact, buy a PSP so that I (and my friend Ted) could play this game. Yes, I do, in fact, consider the God of War series some of the, if not The, best video games of all time. Greek mythology, badass boss battles, enormous landscapes, brilliant plot twists, death scenes to die for…stop. You had me at “mythology.”

4) Jason and the Argonauts

Have I mentioned I like Greek mythology? What about how much I enjoy video games with mechanics like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (switch characters midlevel, up stats in character-specific skill trees)? Yeah, this game is supposedly the lovechild of God of War and M:UA, and that kind of offspring is the sort wars are started over. But, you know, fun wars where you probably get to sleep with a sorceress who’ll some day kill your kids and gift your wife with a poisonous wedding gown before being deus-ex-machina’ed out of your attack radius. Oh yeah, before I forget to mention it: I really like Greek mythology.

5) Brutal Legend

I am playing Psychonauts right now and am loving it to death. Yes, the difficulty curve fluctuates wildly. Yes, the collectibles are insanely difficult to finish collecting. Yes, the character models seem to be based on caricatures of childhood deformities.

But, god, I just killed a pyrokinetic cougar, then jumped into a madman’s brain where the landscape was a 1950s neighborhood where Dali had gotten to design the sidewalks. With all that in mind, it was made by Tim Schafer, the guy behind Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and now: Brutal Legend, in which Jack Black is a roadie with an ax for attacks (chopper) and an ax for magicks (guitar) who must quest across a world of heavy metal homages to rescue his girlfriend from My Chemical Romance fans.

…Now if only there were a hydra in it.


PSP: I Love You

January 1, 2008
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I saw this article a while ago, but I haven’t thought about it while able to blog until now.

From the article:
“Users have been reporting that Remote Play has been secretly updated in the last firmware revision. With PS3 2.10, PS3 owners that have a Remote Play-ready system will be able to play any PS1 game on their handheld.”

Yes, that’s right: You can now plug in your PS3, turn on your PSP and play PS1 games on the tiny screen.

…What!? I understand the seductive draw of ports and backward compatibility, I do. It just seems that, at some point, you’re going to reach critical mass…like so:

1) Drop your PS1 game onto the mousetrap.
2) Mousetrap springs, flipping the disc into a balloon.
3) Balloon pops, dropping the book it was under.
4) Book (the hardcover guide that came with Lunar: Silver Star Saga Complete) flattens disc on conveyor belt.
5) Impact disturbs cheerleader pyramid of Lego Star Wars figures, all of whom fall into cup.
6) Extra weight in cup activates pressure plate below, turning on conveyor belt.
7) Disc and book travel down belt, under hanging (pivoting and spring-loaded) pencil. Lunar guide pushes bottom of pencil forward, then passes under.
8) Pencil springs back, rotating so far that its top smacks domino on shelf above conveyor belt.
9) Dominoes tumble, pacing the disc and book below until final domino hits racquetball.
10) Racquetball bounces down narrow wooden chimney and hits pressure plate below, stopping conveyor belt.
11) Lunar guide simultaneously runs into another hanging pencil.
12) The impact knocks over bottle of acid, which spills into torus-shaped tube and drips out onto conveyor belt, just past where disc is held fast by pencil.
13) Acid eats through conveyor belt in circle, and a disc-sized circle of the belt falls down into beaker below.
14) Weight of belt circle and extra acid is enough to activate pressure plate, turning on conveyor belt again.
15) Disc is held still by pencil, but belt moves underneath it. Soon, hole wraps around bottom of conveyor belt and comes up under disc.
16) Disc falls through hole into PS3 below.
17) You left on vacation, like, an hour ago, and you’ve turned on your PSP on the bus to the airport.
18) You may now play KISS Pinball.

Alternatively:
1) Turn on PSP.
2) Play Exit.


I’ll Be Marvel When I’m Dead

December 20, 2007
1 Comment

In my Inbox this morning:
——————————-
These messages were sent while you were offline.

11:46 PM Matt: Two word question for you: Marvel Zombies?
——————————-

MY ANSWERS:

1) Yes, I like the Marvel Zombies. I have read the books but do not own any for people to borrow; instead, I used the sneaky poor-comic-nerd tactic of “flipping through” each issue as it came out…flipping through page by page, panel by panel… good stuff. Really good, but what else does one expect from Robert Kirkman, zombie author extraordinaire? And every cover is a parody of a classic Marvel Milestone comic cover (same thing goes for every reprint, each with its own new cover to parody). I have also read and enjoyed Army of Darkness Vs. Marvel Zombies but only because I’m a sucker for new classic Bruce Campbell stories (especially since he’s stopped being quite as cool these days).

2) Marvel Zombies got started during a run of Ultimate Fantastic Four when Ultimate Mr. Fantastic opened up a portal to another dimension, supposedly the main Marvel universe. Now, creators of the Ultimate universe had already said in multiple interviews that if Ultimate Marvel ever had a crossover with Earth-616 (the interdimensional area code for the main Marvel universe), “you’ll know we’re out of ideas and we should stop.”

So fans were a bit nervous/disappointed to see this FF-crossover. BUT EXPECTATIONS BE DAMNED! It turned out that the alternate universe Ultimate Reed Richards had opened was actually another universe where all the superheroes had been turned into zombies. They’d retained most of their personalities, but now the desire to save people had been transformed into the desire to eat them as fast as they could.

Now, of course, we’re to the point where a recent run of Black Panther comics had Earth-616 run into the Marvel Zombies, so that technically means we’ve had a two-step crossover with Ultimate, but hey, who cares about the spirit of the law these days, right?

3) Yes. Really. Marvel Zombies. I’m glad there are people who can think of these things because otherwise I’d say you can’t make stuff like this up.

4) If I were a Marvel Zombie, I’d be Zombie Spiderman, constantly guilt-ridden from having eaten my loved ones, always making jokes that annoy the hell out of most of the rest of the zombie heroes (zombieroes?), always descending on a webline upside down and waiting until my prey turned to say a quick one-liner before grabbing their head and sucking out an eye.

5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Zombies

6) Except.


TTRPG: Thirty Thousand Rounds Per Gun

November 8, 2007
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2) 1000 Words (Training Wheels)
Ready for the next rung? Good. You’ve stolen someone else’s ready-made character and made some aesthetic changes. Now, why not steal something more tangible and less defined? Why not steal a picture of your character? Now, there are those who will now be asking, “But how do I find a picture of a character I haven’t made yet?” Simple: Find any picture that you think is awesome.

EXAMPLE:

(Taken without permission from this deviantART page – Beloved-Creature, the artist, is on hiatus from the interblag. That is my excuse. Moving on.)

My suggestion is a drawing/painting as opposed to a photo, simply because photos tend to lead to one of two pitfalls:
1) a celebrity parody, which last, maybe, an hour before they stop being funny
or
2) You, Like Cliff Yablonski, Will Hate Them

So use a drawing. You’re much more likely to genuinely appreciate drawings. Good. Now that you’ve stolen the picture, what’s done is done, so stop feeling guilty or nervous of reprisal and just make a character out of it. First off, take your first impression of the picture…

Example:
Creepy, evil snowman stalking its lessers, who are only an inch tall.

…and set that in stone as a base for your character. The reason for making this step is that you picked this particular picture for a reason. If you don’t want to lose interest in your character, you should stay true to what attracted you to the drawing/photo in the first place.

Now, pick out details about that person/creature/chaaaaaaaraaaaacteeeer? by listing things you see in the portrait.

EXAMPLE:
evil looking snowman
giant bad-ass wooden claws
no mouth
glowing yellow eyes – magical?
tiny snowmen, some scared of him, some happy, some falling down
top hat that looks like warped metal
dark and spooky woods with light fog
claws hovering over tiny snowman

Those details, paired with your first impression and the picture itself, make the three-legged barstool that your character will sit on (where they’ll most likely be served by Father Samuel Malronus). Now, flesh it out. Combine some details, insert some observations, and trust that your intuition will not lead you astray.

EXAMPLE:
Cusp
Once a wizard of incredible power, the creature now known as Cusp is a man’s soul inhabiting the shell of a Winter Solstice (enhanced version of an ice elemental). It hates its own kind, as it was tricked into its current state by one. The wizard, years ago, summoned a Solstice and tried to dominate its mind to bend the creature to his own will. The Solstice submitted…but only as a trick. With a wrench, the Solstice gave the wizard control of its body, but in return it took control of his. The wizard lost all of his magical powers and he –or rather, it, as the wizard’s sense of self stayed with his body– it had to spend years learning how to use the Solstice’s supernatural abilities. Now it (going by the name of Cusp) is able to create homunculus-like creatures in its own image and direct them to do its bidding. It has learned how to wield a Solstice’s natural ironwood claws with brutal efficiency, and it has but one goal: finding and killing its former body. Cusp no longer even knows why it hates the wizard so much, and it is unaware that killing the man would forever trap it in this icy shell.

There. A wizard’s mind trapped in an elemental’s body. Sort of a Glen Or Rushy Glenda situation. It is important to note at this point that this treatise is not going to concern itself with stat blocks and class features. Those are limiting factors so that the people you play with can feel less insecure in the face of your kickass character concept. When creating a character, it is crucial that you not build it primarily around a rule system; once you start doing that, you lose sight of the character you want to play and start focusing fully on what game mechanics do you want to employ.

Boring. God, game mechanics are soulless and intractable and oftentimes just dumb. Seriously, why is D&D about to go to its 5th edition (called 4th Edition, but there was a Version 3.5 with all new books, so I stand by my assertion) if not because people found previous editions just dumb enough to stop being excited about?

Anyway. All I’m trying to say here is that you should build stats off of your character concept, not the other way around. Sure, let your Gamemaster/Dungeonmaster/Quartermaster have his power trip, let him rein in your creative concept to fit his overarching plot ideas, but don’t make the assumption that he’ll do it before he does. I promise you, if your character concept is cool enough, you’ll be allowed to play it.

DISCLAIMER ONE: If your GM/DM/QM is a jealous dick, all bets are off.

DISCLAIMER TWO: “Overinflated munchkin” is not the same as “Badass character concept,” so don’t be a dick yourself.

With all that said, I reiterate: this treatise will not be covering any of that topic. Now, let’s move on to the real meat of the matter, the average man’s method of character creation:

3) Cover Letter Attached (biking through the neighborhood)

TO BE CONTINUED…


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