Yes, everything really is on Reddit. This subreddit is dedicated to recognizable Former Pizza Hut locations. Why? Well, because we wanted to.
Tales From The Pizza Guy, including *any* and *all* stories from the heroes of **food delivery!**!
I downloaded Knockout City in May 2021 when it dropped on Gamepass. The bright colors and unique gameplay drew me in. I was instantly addicted. Finally, a fun and original multiplayer game that doesn’t involve guns. I ignored my backlog and played KO for hours on end. If I didn’t know what to play, I’d play KO. If I wanted to unwind after a long day, I’d play KO. My street rank went up and up, I maxed out and started over at 1 several times. I watched them add new maps, new balls, new modes, I was there before 3v3 team KO was a permanent mode. Then they added Superpowers! Charge up and a sniper ball, I felt like Billy Madison pelting kids with dodgeballs. I got a pro controller with trigger locks so I could play KO better. I unlocked so many awesome customizations without spending any real money, even when we went free to play. My favorite part of being MVP was watching my brawler do the pizza dance.
….and now, I have to go back to boring old multiplayer guns. Big sad.
Does anyone know what's going in at the former Imperial 300 car wash on Wilmington Pike (across from Domino's Pizza near Smithville)? I can't find any info online or in public records yet. I'm really hoping they'll put in a Mike's Car Wash.
Hi, my chosen name is Astrid and i'm 2 months on HRT, i've known i was a woman since i was 12 and have struggled with getting HRT since 15, in the end i gave up trying to get it the proper way and now i DIY while on all the waitlists. I still boymode but only because being non passing feels very scary especially since i'm not in the most progressive city in the country.
I like gaming, collecting pokemon cards, playing yugioh, watching anime, eating pizza & befriending cool people, so i hope someone wants to talk :D I'm fluent in english and swedish, preferably you're someone who also lives in sweden :)
Currently on 2mg and have been for about 9 months or so after being on 1 mg for over a year. It doesn't seem to work for me anymore and I'm not sure whether to quit entirely or try going down in dose and back up again, or stopping for a few weeks and starting again. Hunger is back full force and I can eat absolutely anything and everything with no I'll side effects like before- pizza, wings, fried food with no issues. Anyone have this happen and have any ideas on jump starting it again? My doctor isn't much help, I'm one of her few patients on it and I'm the only one taking 2mg
My mom has been overweight/obese for most of my life. In the last 6 months, she’s lost over 30 kilos. I’m really proud of her and completely support her journey, but some of her behaviors and things she says about food since this change have been driving me crazy.
So, she lost weight by doing the low carb thing. Very few carbs, absolutely no sugar. Today she asked me to make her a coffee and I used a creamer which I didn’t know had sugar in it. She acted as if I’d poisoned her.
I’m also a little bit overweight (BMI 28) and wanting to lose weight, but I still eat sugar, and my mom has been constantly on my case about it. She comments on my weight and how I need to lose weight, even though I’ve repeatedly asked her not to, and gives me unsolicited advice about how I should go about it. She also basically calls dibs on all the healthy food and then acts like I don’t deserve to eat the chicken breast or whatever, because I still eat sugar so it’s like I don’t deserve it. “Why eat this healthy thing when you still eat your unhealthy junk? This healthy stuff is the only thing I CAN eat on my diet, you can have something else.” That’s the vibe.
Today my 13-year-old sister (who is normal weight, healthy, and active) asked for some money to buy pizza at the school cafeteria and my mom acted shocked and very off-handedly said she eats too many carbs. It was almost like a knee-jerk reaction. She literally only said this because my sister likes to have instant noodles when she gets home from school, so in my mom’s mind pizza + instant noodles = too many carbs, which I think is ridiculous. The school has pizza day once a week, and when my sister doesn’t get pizza, she usually brings a sandwich from home. Which I commented is ALSO carbs but my mom said that’s “different” somehow.
I think my sister is way too young to be worrying about “carbs” and my mom is starting to develop some really unhealthy (and scientifically incorrect) beliefs about food AND is projecting them onto my sister and me. I’m glad low carb is working for her, but I think she’s becoming obsessive. She won’t even allow herself a slice of cake at a party every once in a while.
I’m just kind of over her acting all “holier than thou” because of successfully sticking to her diet, and now feeling like she has the right to impose her food beliefs onto everyone around her. I had an ED throughout my teenage years and my mom’s comments on my weight and food choices are very triggering and not helpful. I also have a rebellious streak so the more she pushes the no sugar thing, the more I want to push back.
It’s just very frustrating overall.
Two weeks ago, I spoke on the phone with Tom Ono, the manual writer for Heroes of Might and Magic III. As usual, Tom asked how things were going. I said things were good... then proceeded to whine and complain for the next five minutes (much to Tom's amusement). 12/05/98
When the conversation concluded, Tom said, "Don't complain too much. Some people would give their eyeteeth to be in the game industry." I responded, "Who are these people and why haven't they been beaten for their own good?"
My name is Gregory Fulton, game designer for Heroes of Might and Magic III (developed by New World Computing, published by 3DO). You may call me Greg. Like most game designers, I'm sure you'll find me a bitter and cynical man, aged beyond my years, full of sarcasm, and inexplicably drawn to the horrors of game production like a lobotomized moth to the "pretty" flame.
As I guide you through your weekly tour of my memories, I promise the recollected images will be truthful and sincere but written with a smirk and a wink.
Undoubtedly, we will interact with the following animals: artists, level builders, managers, producers, programmers, testers, and monkeys. To help ensure your safety, I request you fasten your seat belts, keep your hands to your sides at all times, and be sure to not make any quick and sudden movements. Remember... we will be passing through the game production process.
It's Saturday. I'm at work with three other members of the Heroes3 team. I'll be in again tomorrow.
Smells like "crunch time."
Everyone in the game industry knows the term "crunch time." Those not in the industry may ask, "What is crunch time?" Long hours: 10-18 each day. We're starting our fourth crunch month. We have at least one more after this.
Bad take-out food: Mexican and Chinese food are New World's favorites. Today we had Taco Bell and Domino's pizza as part of NWC's "work for food" program.
Social Life: To work in the game industry you must already have some form of social retardation. When crunch mode begins, you may only speak in code to coworkers. Immediate family and friends may be seen on brief occasions so they don't file a missing-persons report. I'm one of the lucky ones; I don't remember having any friends or family.
Hygiene: Haircuts and showers become optional in favor of more sleep time. For me, showers are a must, but my hair is sprouting wings and a tail. Pretty soon I'll look like the lead singer from Flock of Seagulls.
Stress: Anger and frustration are frequent companions. If bridges are burned, this is usually the time. Earlier this week morale was low. In a fit of anger concerning team interactions, I was heard shouting, "I feel like a kindergarten teacher. Can't everyone just keep their hands to themselves and play nice!"
Murphy's law: Any potential hazard will be encountered. I'm writing this diary from the NWC conference room. My computer refuses to function for more than five minutes without seizing up. 12/06/98
This weekend I'm taking care of my PR duties (hence this diary). Not the most exciting stuff, so I'll relate a short story from earlier this week.
David Mullich (producer), Mark Caldwell (NWC vice president and programmer), Jon Van Caneghem (NWC president, creator of all things Might and Magic, and company design visionary), and I found ourselves crowded into the sweltering office of Scott White.
Scott did all the town screens in Heroes III except the Rampart, Necropolis, and Fortress. Since he finished his 3D duties, he's turned his skills to the game's interface. Believe it or not, we were in Scott's office arguing about color: interface colors and player colors.
After much arguing about the interface colors, we decided to leave it virtually untouched. Player colors were a different subject.
Originally, we used light blue, dark blue, red, green, purple, brown, black, and white. These colors needed to change. Light blue looked like the blue used in the main menu. Brown clashed with the brown used in the general game interface. Game text disappeared against white. Black and green disappeared with the terrain colors shown on the game mini-map.
OK. We agreed some of the colors needed to change. After this, the agreements stopped. I don't know what is more ridiculous... arguing over what colors to use or the twisted logic behind the arguments. Red, blue, and dark green were safe choices. We still needed five other colors. The conversation went something like this....
"I don't want yellow. Yellow is the urine color."
"What about brown?"
"I don't like brown."
"Brown is the s**t color."
"What about pink?"
"Pink is a sissy color."
"We won't call it pink. We'll call it 'rose'."
"The rose player?"
"I don't know. If I saw a pink hero, I'd turn and run away. You know any hero secure enough to use pink as his color is bad ass."
"What about magenta?"
"What about cobalt? What about cadmium?"
"Have we accounted for all the fecal colors?"
"What about orange?"
"Phelan (our art lead) doesn't like orange. It looks bad."
"So. I don't think it looks bad."
"Fine. You tell her you want orange."
"She'll kick your ass."
"Oh. Fine. We won't use orange."
So it went. Fifteen minutes later everyone agreed to disagree, and Jon was made the final judge. Here are the final colors: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, aqua, and rose (pink). 12/07/98
Today we stopped all map production. From here until we ship, I join the mapmakers and testers in playing maps and writing bugs... or so I thought.
Today, I had dropped into my lap the assignment of converting the 144-plus pages of the game manual into a help file. Anyone who has written a help file knows how huge this task can be. I could probably finish it in a day, but it requires no one bothering me for an extended period of time. Ha!
At this late stage of the production cycle, my entire day is spent meeting with people, making sure people are doing their work, and confirming that what is being done is correct. I don't have time for work. I've made the ugly evolution from game designer to middle manager.
It wasn't like this at the beginning of the project. At the beginning of the project the game designer is the screaming prophet, lost and alone in the desert (or the design process if you prefer).
In the middle of the production process the prophet is being screamed at by all his fellow coworkers who are wondering what to do because the design doc is behind schedule.
At the end of the project, everyone's a screaming prophet, and everyone is screaming at everyone else.
Sometime in the middle of all this screaming I've got to write this help file. Maybe I could give the assignment to Christian Vanover (H3 assistant director). Isn't it the job of a middle manager to delegate? 12/08/98
Yesterday I was wondering where I would find the time to write the game help file. Today I have the answer.... I think I have the flu. This doesn't feel like any 24-hour "see-ya-bye" flu either. This feels like "kneel before Zod!" flu.
All right. I've got a story for you.
Earlier today we "officially" stopped making maps. From here on out, we play, test, and polish the game. This could mean a little, or a lot. If the maps play well the first time out, revisions will be minor. If we end up chucking whole maps, we may find ourselves back to making maps. Thus, we started playing them today. JVC (Jon Van Caneghem, New World's president) ended up playing a notorious map named "Barbarian Breakout."
Ten minutes after he starts, JVC pages me over my phone intercom: "Hey Yoda." (He's been calling me Yoda lately. I don't know why. I'm not sure if I should be honored or offended. On one hand, Yoda is wise and he trains Jedi Knights. On the other hand, he is a short ugly green dude with big ears.) "Enemy hero with six behemoths (one of the highest-level creatures) knocked on my front door on week two, day one."
"Oops. I'll be right there."
As soon as I walked into JVC's office, the razzing began.
"What's with the six behemoths? Is this one of the balanced scenarios?"
"OK, OK. Something's wrong. Turn off the fog."
Jon restarts the scenario, turns off the fog of war, ends turn four times in a row, then right-clicks the enemy hero to see the extent of his forces. Aside from his other three stacks of creatures... he has one stack of six behemoths. Oops.
"All right. Open the map in the editor."
Jon opens the map in the editor. What do we discover? First, the enemy hero starts at level three, and the mapmaker (Dave Botan) has given him four stacks of creatures. In addition, the enemy hero's starting town has three of seven creature generators already prebuilt.
No wonder the enemy was able to recruit behemoths on day four.
Remember the story about the father who comes home from a bad day at work and yells at his wife? She in turn yells at her kid. The kid in turn kicks the dog.
At this point, I'm looking for a dog to kick. So, I hunt down Dave Botan. Immediately, Dave states his defense.
"Everyone says the map's too hard. It isn't. The AI's cheating." (Recently, we discovered the artificial intelligence was exploiting an undiscovered bug allowing it to recruit more creatures than were actually available.)
"The AI doesn't need to cheat. It's already got a huge advantage."
"There's a bug."
"Doesn't matter. Set all players to normal starting conditions."
At this point everyone begins to playfully dog-pile on Dave telling all the reasons why his maps suck. In the end he relented and fixed the map. 12/09/98
I'm not writing from work today. I'm writing from home. I have seven-way-straight-from-the-bottom-of-the-Amazon-flu.
With this kind of flu the logical course of action would be to rest, drink lots of fluids, watch lots of movies, maybe see a doctor. However, I am a game designer and unfamiliar with the ways of logic. A day at home with the flu means I have the opportunity to finish the H3 help file.
How pathetic can you get? On my day off to rest and get better, I use the uninterrupted time to convert a 144+ page manual into a help file.
I should get sick more often. I get more work done. 12/10/98
I'm back at work today. Good news... I finished the help file. Bad news... I still have the flu, and because I was so efficient in writing the game help file... I've been given the task of writing the map editor help file. Oh yeah, finish it by Monday.
Monday? There's so much pressure in my head, when I sniff, my eyes want to flee their sockets. My voice has the auditory consistency of sandpaper. Monday? Sure, I'll have it done by Monday. 12/11/98
Well, it's Friday night, and I have yet to see Star Trek: Insurrection. Doubt I'll be seeing it anytime soon.
One of the unmentioned symptoms of crunch time is cultural unawareness. In my time at a previous company I almost missed the entire O.J. trial. I haven't seen a movie since Starship Troopers. I'm not kidding. 12/14/98
I shouldn't have come in to work Thursday and Friday. It really pushed me over the edge. For the past two days I've been laid up with fever and chills. Remarkably, it was the one thing to take my mind off work. Aside from a froggy throat, it seems to have passed.
Enough about my illness. From here on, assume I'm always ill with the flu. 12/15/98
Today NWC (New World Computing) took a brief pause from game development to listen to Trip Hawkins (president of 3DO, NWC's parent company).
Twice a year, Trip makes a formal visit to talk about the company and where we're going as a company. It's a nice break from things.
However, Trip wasn't half as exciting as David Richie (our tools programmer) who sat next to me. Turns out David is coming down with the flu.
Over the course of the meeting, the air conditioning didn't turn on. With over 50 people crammed into a room, it got hot very fast. As the minutes passed, I could see David slowly whither.
I thought he was going to vomit. So basically, for most of the meeting, I sat envisioning how I was going to get out of the way when the volcano erupted.
Luckily, the volcano did not erupt. David left in the middle of the lecture and I haven't seen him since. 12/17/98
Welcome to the end of another working day at NWC. There is still no sign of David Richey. Another one of our programmers, John Krause, called in sick today. David Mullich (the Heroes III director) was ready to take bets on who would call in sick next. Of course, everyone blames me for getting them ill.
As far as your average NWC workday goes, this one was hectic and full of revelation.
Yes. Revelation. Only today did I look at my calendar and realize Christmas was next Friday.
Yes. Hectic. Every now and then I need to wipe my desk clean. This means catching up on all the hand-scrolled notes and stray post-its littered about my desk. When my desk is clean, I'm caught up.
This very act of cleaning makes for a semi-chaotic day. There is much gear shifting and subject changing to close dangling issues.
Add to this my usual parade of visitors, and my first chance to test multiplayer, and it takes great effort to avoid turning into a screaming monkey. Yes, I said screaming monkey.
Frequently, I find myself held hostage in my own office as a line of visitors (testers, programmers, artists, producers, etc.) quickly assemble outside my office in a short period of time, all wanting a piece of my brain.
Today it happened to occur while I was in the middle of a multiplayer game with Jeff Leggett (H3 multiplayer programmer). Simultaneously, I had three people show up and cram themselves into my small office. Each began jockeying for position to ask a question. Meanwhile, Jeff waited on the phone intercom, with Heroes III continually chiming in the background, letting me know it was my turn to play.
At this point you may apply the screaming monkey metaphor.
Despite the great potential for chaos, I asked Jeff to wait, gave my three suitors a number, told them to wait in line, then answered each of their questions.
On the surface, everything looked under control. Little did these poor souls know there was a screaming monkey, trapped in my mind's steel cage, wildly thrashing about in a desperate attempt to escape and turn me into a volcano of anger and lunacy.
When it was over, I took a deep breath, noted the walls weren't sprayed with the blood of innocent coworkers, and returned to my multiplayer game with Jeff.
Heroes II multiplayer wasn't friendly in the least. When it wasn't your turn, all you could do was sit at the computer and stare at the screen like a moron.
Well, thanks to our wonderful network programmer, Jeff Leggett, a moron you will no longer be.
Jeff has finished implementing multiplayer support. Now we're on a bug hunt. So, today, Jeff and I played a multiplayer game in the background while we went about our work.
I must admit, I had a blast. Moments like this make me forget my job is serious work. 12/18/98 Friday
Today I actually managed to catch up on all my notes. Next up, International Translation Kit. It can wait until Sunday. I don't get to enjoy these moments of accomplishment very often.
Being a game designer is nothing more than a life of delayed gratification. You spend the first month of the project "being creative," then spend the next 17 as a bricklayer implementing low-level details and boot-strapping the game design when unforeseen consequences arise.
Tomorrow we have our annual company Christmas party. I won't be going. I see my coworkers every day at work. I don't want to see them in a social environment. It'd be too weird. They'd have, like, spouses and dates and stuff, and wear dress clothes.
We've been told we can dress formal or casual. To me this means torn jeans and a food-stained white T-shirt. To everyone else, this means dress formal, because no one wants to underdress.
I don't want to see any of my coworkers dressed up. The thought frightens me. We're a bunch of geeks. We don't look good in casual wear. Formal wear will only amplify our geekiness.
Only one thing could entice me to go to the Christmas party - seeing the wives go off on the management for working their husbands so hard. I'd pay to see that... provided I wasn't on the receiving end.
By the way... hello to Chris Cross and Brian Reed, two friends I made when I briefly worked at Dreamworks Interactive (I didn't work on Trespasser). They called me today. They'd read the first entry in the Designer Diary and called to tell me what they thought. They then tied me up on the phone for the next 30 minutes while simultaneously sending me e-mail with bizarre and obscene attachments. 01/02/99 Saturday
Well, I'm back at work. The Christmas break was needed. I spent the first three days drinking eggnog, sleeping in 12- and 16-hour shifts, and watching Clinton get impeached.
After I was well rested, the eggnog was all gone, and Clintion was impeached, I did what any game design loser would do... worked on the game while on vacation. Ugh. I'm so pathetic.
My initial goal was to play existing maps. After playing five maps, it was obvious the AI hadn't been fully tested. It tended to sit back and never struck out until it had enough forces to guarantee a win.
This made for very extreme game experiences. Either you never saw the AI, or it came storming out of nowhere, knocked on your door, and politely introduced itself as your doom.
When our AI programmer (Gus Smedstad) gets back from vacation, I'll need to share my findings with him.
Well, seeing as I couldn't really play the game, I turned my attention to our 144-page game manual... much to my horror.
It turns out our second draft of the manual was full of errors. So, with red pen in hand, I promoted myself from game designer to fact checker. Over the next three days, I proceeded to bloody the pages of our beautiful manual.
To say it was tedious would be an understatement. When it was all over, I couldn't read anything if it wasn't written in fine print. 01/04/99 Monday
Today was another screaming monkey day. Why? One word: programmers.
I won't say who, but one of our programmers came into my office and proceeded to yell at me over a feature request he'd been given to program.
Why was he yelling at me? On the surface, it was because I hadn't given him enough details, or I hadn't thought through its impact enough. Or it could have been because it was simply a stupid feature, I didn't know what I was doing, and I was ruining the game.
The real reason? He wasn't sure how to program the task he'd been given, and the specified time frame was short. Instead of calming down, thinking it through, and telling me whether it could or could not be done in the given time frame, he panicked, and chose to vent at me.
Programmers are a unique breed. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Some of my best friends are programmers.
I must admit I am fascinated. I've watched each of our team programmers code. It's very amusing. How they code gives me a unique insight to their personality. For instance...
John Bolton (lead programmer): When John programs, it looks like he's playing chess.
David Richey (tools programmer): David doesn't code. Beforehand, he thinks about his task in depth, like contemplating philosophy, then simply writes it up. Quite often you can look through David's office window and see him bent over in his chair, chin on fist, like The Thinker.
Mark Caldwell (NWC VP): You need to know Mark to really understand, but when Mark codes, it's like he's in a boxing ring, ducking shots, trading blows, and trash talking with the program.
Now take such individuals and do the unthinkable... Make them into a team. Worse yet, force them to have meetings in which they must interact on a social level and agree to work together. Worse yet, force them to interact with right-brained artists and game designers.
It's a wonder any games ever get made.
Join designer Greg Fulton as gives us his very last Designer Diary entry, which tracks the last days of Heroes of Might and Magic III. In these last few days, the team waited anxiously to approve the gold candidate. But there is no rest for Greg, as he mentions a little something about the expansion disc. Join us as we count down the final development of Heroes III. 01/07/99
Ever heard the phrase "thousand tile stare"?
It's a phrase used by our mapmakers. You get the thousand tile stare from making H3 maps all day long.
Today I got the thousand tile stare after making a map for our eventual game demo.
It's a very simple, small map, letting players experience a portion of the game. Hopefully they'll experience enough and feel compelled to buy the game. I've been calling the map "Dead and Buried."
When I finished, I gave it to Chris Vanover (H3 assistant director) to play. Chris is an expert Heroes player. He's a good gauge of the map's difficulty.
Watching Chris play was a lot of fun. It allowed me to take a break from work and finally see the game in action. However, I am the worst person to have over your shoulder when you play.
Why? I'm a backseat driver. It's a bad habit from playing console games with friends.
Thus, I watched Chris play and second-guessed him all the way. We were like two old men spitting and complaining about the best strategy as Chris clicked his way through the game. It was rather humorous. 01/08/99
Today I gave the Dead and Buried
map to a few select people to see if anyone could beat it in the allotted time frame of four game weeks.
One of my candidates was Jen Bullard. Jen is the only female tester in the QA area.
Upon entering the test area, I found Jennifer burning a candle at her desk. She wasn't afraid to comment aloud how everyone else in the test area doesn't wash their clothes often enough. She thinks they stink.
No sooner did I sit down to watch Jen play than the verbal bantering between the testers began.
Ryan Den, another one of our testers, was sure he found a bug and asked aloud if anyone had encountered the same bug. No one had. Immediately everyone began shouting "user error." Ryan thought they were all high... until he realized it was user error. Everyone then proceeded to playfully tear into Ryan yet again.
I must admit, our testers are pretty cool. Their interactions are quite amusing. They banter with the voracity of a knife fight, but it's rarely cruel. 01/14/99
Last night was my last chance to revise the game manual. Thus, I decided to pull an all-nighter to finish it. This was my first time being at NWC so late. I also experienced something completely new.
I had been drinking many free Cokes when my bladder reminded me who was really in charge. Without hesitation, I raced to the bathroom. I opened the door. It was dark. This is not unusual. The lights are hooked up to a motion sensor. To save energy, they turn on and off based on the presence of a moving body. Confident the lights would turn on, I strode into the bathroom.
The lights did not illuminate.
Fumbling around in the dark, I was able to find the light switch and flip it on.
Fumbling around some more, I found the door handle and exited the bathroom.
Moving quickly to Mark Caldwell's office (Mark and George were also working late), I told him, "The bathroom lights won't turn on." He said, "Yeah. The bathroom lights don't turn on after midnight." I asked, "How do you go to the bathroom with the lights off?" He answered, "Usually I just feel my way to the urinal."
"I need to take a crap."
"Hey, I wouldn't know anything about that. Get the flashlight from George."
"I need a flashlight?"
So, I walked to George's office.
"I need the bathroom flashlight."
Giggling to himself under his breath, George reached into his desk and gave me a pocket flashlight. With flashlight in hand I returned to the bathroom where everything went according to plan.
I know game production has its odd moments, but... this one was really odd. 01/18/99
In the last days of a game's production, the game designer makes a desperate attempt to prevent features from being cut to make the deadline. However, if I got all the features I wanted, the game would never ship. Thus, there is always a tug of war between the game designer, management, programmers, and artists, to decide what gets into the game and what gets pushed back to the expansion or sequel.
Today I was doing my best to get a new hero into the game without too much additional programming or art. I realized I could get the results I needed by simply adding a new graphic and customizing an existing game hero. Even better, I could get the graphic from existing art in the intro movie. All the artist had to do was crop a freeze-frame from the movie and give it to our asset manager to be put into the game. I could customize the hero in the editor. All the programmers had to do was recognize the character's unique identification.
Well, we did.
I wonder how much longer I can push my luck. 01/19/99
I have become the Walmart floor manager.
No. I haven't quit my job.
Let me explain.
At this stage in the making of the game, I find myself spending most of my time walking the halls with my Notepad of Oppression waiting for people to call out my name.
The notepad is a list of issues needing resolution. Most people find the notepad humorous unless their name is on it. Ironically, I end up putting my name on the notepad more than anyone else's (I'm oppressing myself).
Regardless, when I am walking the halls and someone calls out my name, I duck into their office to answer their questions. Sometimes this means getting on their phone and calling someone else to clear up an issue. If I don't have the answer, I'm the intermediary.
Thus, I feel like the Walmart floor manager, roaming the isles, taking care of arising issues. All I really need is the blue vest. 01/20/99
For a moment, consider most game manuals. Usually, a manual details the game interface and introduces you to the various game elements. Rarely do these manuals give you true game statistics.
For Heroes III , we wanted to buck this trend. Using the Heroes II strategy guide as a model, we decided to make a big manual loaded with information. This is exactly what we did - 144 pages.
Today we signed off on the manual. Well, no sooner did the ink dry than we discovered some errors. It was terrifying. I literally sat at my desk, looking at the errors I had discovered, and heard the manual mocking me with the chittering of a wild hyena.
There was nothing I could do. It was carved in stone. Now understand, most manuals ship with some errors. This is what the Readme is for. However, several people had gone over this manual time and again, and still there were errors.
I'll never make a big manual again. It's too much upkeep considering the fluidity of game design.
I'm sure I'll lose some sleep over this. 1/25/99
Today the Coke machine caught fire.
Let me repeat this. Today the Coke machine caught fire.
Since we started crunching, around 7:00pm each night, Mark Caldwell (NWC VP) has been unlocking the Coke machine for free drinks to go with our evening meal. We don't continue pressing the selection buttons for the various drinks. Instead, we literally open up the front half of this big, red, half-ton refrigerator, made to withstand the assaults of the most juvenile of delinquents.
Now, I'm not exactly clear on the details, but one of the testers pulled open the front door to grab a soda from inside. Apparently, some of the electrical wires were sheared, followed by fire and smoke.
Upon seeing the fire and smelling the smoke, the tester grabbed Ben Bent (NWC office manager and part-time game director). He then pointed out the fire in the Coke machine.
With perfect calm, Ben simply unplugged the Coke machine. Poof. The fire went away.
I must admit, I can't help but see the fire in the Coke machine as a metaphor for Heroes III in production. A fire starts, someone panics, and someone else calmly solves the problem.
Truthfully, it's the story of the game production process. 2/07/99 Sunday
Today could be the day.
We've decided to make a "final candidate" CD-ROM for 3DO approval. A final candidate is what we consider "ready to ship." We then send the final candidate to 3DO for them to do shrink-wrap testing.
Tonight, no one leaves the building until the game is finished. 2/08/99 Monday
It's 5:00am Monday morning.
We just started burning the final candidate.
About half the team is still here.
We've been crunching too long. Everyone's burnt.
About 15 minutes ago, Mark starting broadcasting Money For Nothing over everyone's speakerphone.
I am literally weak-kneed. Except for writing this entry, all I intend to do is just sit in my office chair and do everything I possibly can to do nothing.
As of 8:30 Saturday, February 13, we're calling it good Barring last-second crash bugs, the game is done.
It's 9:30, and with the realization the game is done, already I'm beginning to crash.
After crunching for so long, the crash is the aftereffect. This is the time when you finally realize you can relax and return to a somewhat normal life. This is also the flag signaling the release of all the pent-up stress and illness you've been holding off by sheer will for the past six months. Thus... crash.
We're done. 02/14/99
Four days after announcing Heroes has gone gold, we're already talking about the expansion pack. Already, I've assembled my map makers. They're good people. With H3 under their belts they should make even better maps for the expansion.
The downside? Chris Vanover is moving onto a different project. Technically Chris was H3's assistant director, but I adopted him as my assistant designer. He was a big help in many of the grunt areas. I was hoping to hand the expansion off to Chris so I could concentrate on the next Heroes.
No such luck.
Ultimately, this means vacation must wait.
Where is a monkey boy when you need one? 02/19/99
David Mullich's (Heroes III director) wife was pregnant and expecting about the same time as E3 last year (Atlanta '98). So, he couldn't go and demonstrate the game.
I was the next logical choice. I know the game better than anyone else, and when needed, I can turn on the charm.
Now don't get me wrong, when I have demoed the game, it has been a delight. Yet, as a game, Heroes III doesn't demo well. It's a turn-based game. It's not a first-person shooter or real-time strategy game. There's no real immediate reward for your attention span to latch onto.
However, Heroes does have a very large, very dedicated following. Thus, most people who want to see Heroes are already fans. This was the case at E3.
At E3 I did the vast majority of the presentations. I did so many I ended up losing my voice. Almost all the people who saw the game were fans of Heroes and liked what they saw. We were so successful, people were taking chairs from the other game stations to sit in front of ours.
Well, the downside to my work at E3 was... I became the demo guy. The downside of being the demo guy is traveling.
I hate traveling.
Once I arrive at my destination, there's no problem. I'm just impatient by nature. I'm also 6'1" and hate sitting in supercramped airline seats.
So, today I got to fly up to 3DO with Peter Ryu (MM7 producer), Keith Francart (MM7 director), and Jeff Blatner (new Heroes producer) to give presentations on MM7 and Heroes III to our Ubi Soft partners and a smattering of European journalists.
As much as I hated getting up at 5:30am and traveling to San Francisco (less than one week after going gold), the trip was amusing for a number of reasons.
Since I have been at New World, Peter Ryu has always worn shorts and sandals. For the presentation, Pete was ordered to wear pants and shoes. Throughout the day, he was wincing as the shoes rubbed his feet raw.
The other amusing part was hanging out with the French chicks from Ubi Soft and the European press.
Last time I was at 3DO I did an H3 presentation to a number of European journalists. Not a French woman among them. It was different this time, and dare I say, worth the trip. 02/22/99
David Mullich (H3 director), George Ruof (H3 programmer), and I are the only members of the team in the building today. Everyone else is on vacation.
Over the weekend I began my self-rehabilitation for returning to the real world.
When you do nothing but work 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, and then it all comes to an abrupt halt, you suddenly find you have all this spare time on your hands.
Ultimately, you become bored. You don't know what to do with yourself because your "normal" situation meant working on the game... but the game is finished. Normal has become different and no longer normal.
A logical assumption for curing this boredom would be a vacation. Not yet. I've got to write the design for the expansion disc. I've got two weeks before it is due. After hammering out the specs, everyone will be briefed, then I can go on vacation.
I've got it all planned out. I haven't seen my parents since Christmas of 1997. So, I'm going to go back home and sit in the rocking chair in front of my dad's big-screen TV and watch nothing but cable television for at least two weeks. You heard me. Nothing but CNN Headline News for two weeks. If by then I'm not properly vegetated, I'll watch it for another week. Then I'll track down my old high school girlfriend and see if she's still single.
I've set up an e-mail address for your feedback about the game when it hits the shelves. This e-mail is merely for player feedback and suggestions. I will be the one reading the e-mails, and most likely, I won't be answering any of them. So, don't flame me if I don't respond. [[email protected]
I've enjoyed writing these diaries. I wish I had been able to dedicate more time to them.
My apologies to Elliott Chin (who made these diaries possible). Elliott wanted me to talk about the design philosophy behind H3. After practicing design philosophy 12-14 hours a day, I couldn't bring myself to write a diary about it. So, I thought I'd do "a day in the life." I hope you enjoyed my tongue-in-cheek account.
I leave you with the following words I once heard the great Jon Van Caneghem speak, "When it's all over you'll forget how hard it was and do it all over again." He's right. We will.
Been thinking about adding some percussion to my setup and of course the BIA has been in the back of my head. I'm also familiar with Bastl as their Kastle synth was my first device and perusing their wares I found the Pizza. The BIA is described as drum first and the Pizza as voice first, and from youtube I've seen depending on how you twiddle them you can go places. I'm still new so I could be totally off base ha!