Randy: You're laying on the floor staring at the top of the cave, dude. And don't we have a column to write?
Gary: Yeah, but check this out.
Randy: Okay. So, what are you staring at from down here?
Gary: Oh, nothing. I was just noticing that this sure is a lot more fun than writing a column. Am I right?
Randy: Well, now that you mention it, this is way better!
Gary: I was eating a Spam sandwich earlier, and that was way more fun than writing a column, too!
Randy: You know, now that you mention it, I was pulling my nose hairs and -
Randy: Yeah, I know, but still more fun than a column.
Gary: Actually, I love writing the column one week , but then the next week it seems to be difficult to get it going.
Randy: It does seem that we have about half as many good ideas for columns than we have column deadlines.
Gary: Yeah, that's when we make up fake e-mails to answer.
Randy: You're not supposed to say that, moron!
Gary: Oh, damn! Now we won't be able to do that anymore. Well, instead we could switch to writing a column once every two weeks, instead of making up stuff.
Randy: Yeah! That would be even lazier! What a great idea!
Gary: Yeah, I am always thinking.
Randy: So, what are you thinking now, Einstein?
Gary: That I really don't like Spam.
Randy: Yeah, I was wondering why you bought a case of the stuff.
Gary: I noticed that the grocery store had left a case of Spam out on the sidewalk all morning, and when I asked about it, the loading guy said I could have it for five bucks.
Randy: Man, it was like a hundred degrees out. What is wrong with you? You're going to get syphilis or scurvy or something.
Gary: Dude, It's Spam! It's completely indestructible. But, I admit this batch seems a little ripe.
Randy: Well, if you start feeling queasy, just make sure you make it outside the cave before anything messy happens.
Gary: Hey, don't worry. I can handle my Spam.
Randy: Is that some kind of euphemism for something?
Gary: Hey! But I'll tell you what does make me sick.
Randy: The new Nacho Cheese Spam?
Gary: Besides that. All the letters we have received over the past few years, that we have left unanswered asking about our own time waster. Our game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter.
Randy: Ouch! That is a sore spot. We have been so busy with writing a weekly column and making money doing commercial work for our IWS clients we really have left the game on the back burner too long.
Gary: Sad but true. That little game we created a couple years ago was the whole reason we got so into computers in the first place. And here we are two years later and I am sorry to say that not much more has been done to the ol' game, Apartment Hunter since we started writing for The Mac Observer.
Randy: True, true. And that's one of the big reasons we are cutting back on how frequently we write these silly rants we call columns. People still write to us every week and ask the same question.
Gary: "When will the full version of Manhattan Apartment Hunter be available?"
Randy: And until now we have not even been able to project a date of completion for our beloved game. It just seemed like we always had too many things going on to get any real progress done on Apartment Hunter.
Gary: So we have decided to lighten the load a bit and focus on what we really love to do with our Macs. Make fun games. For you readers who have never checked out our playable demo of Manhattan Apartment Hunter, please stop buy the Idiots web site at Idiots.com and grab a copy of the demo. You can also snag it from Happy Puppy as well. It's a mini adventure in and of itself, and it's real creepy, so please check it out.
Randy: When we first released the demo we received some very nice press from our friends at Mac Gamers Ledge and other sites as well. In fact, it was even featured as one of the software highlights of the month on an issue of MacAddict magazine. (Anybody remember October 98?)
Gary: So after this last round of mail about the game from nice folks like Lisa, Kathleen, Neal and Patti who have been waiting more than patiently for the full game to be released, we said it's time. Time to get back to our baby, and finish it.
Randy: When we dreamed up the idea of the game, we foolishly thought that if we made a killer demo, someone would finance the project and we could get it to market for a publishing deal. The only problem is publishers only want a finished product. They won't risk any of their money on development. They just want a piece of the pie AFTER you have put in all the work and money. Typical!
Gary: After a few years on the inside of the Macintosh world we realized we were going to have to finance this puppy ourselves. So we have come up with a way to publish the game and finance it ourselves, all at the same time. We are going to serialize it.
Randy: Uh, didn't Charles Dickens actually come up with that idea.
Gary: Sure! But we are going to do it with a computer game, over the web! Each chapter in the story of the game will be released as a mini adventure that gamers can buy and download right over the internet. Each chapter will be only a few bucks and provide you with hours of mystery and entertainment. And of course each chapter ends in a big cliffhanger, so our players will be hungry for the next installment in the saga. As each chapter is completed we will release it for purchase and hopefully help pay for the production cost of the last episode.
Randy: And in the end we hope to publish the entire game as a whole on DVD once all chapters have been completed!
Gary: Pretty clever, eh?
Randy: It's just crazy enough to work, my friend. So to our wonderful readers who have faithfully read our weekly columns, we do apologize. But we are not leaving you, we will just be here every two weeks instead of every week. And please understand it's for a greater good.
Gary: Our favorite waste of time. Manhattan Apartment Hunter!
Randy: Gary, do you think we tooted our own horn too much in this column?
Gary: Maybe, but at least we talked about something. Besides staring at the ceiling of the cave and my poor choice of luncheon meat byproducts. Speaking of which, I think I need to step outside the cave for a few minutes. I don't think Spam is indestructible after all.
Randy: It may be, but you sure aren't. See you in two weeks folks.
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .