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X-Files Asks the Idiots for Help, More Halo, and the Ultimate Mac Game Resource
August 17th

Gary: Hey, Randy, what do we do when we are feeling especially lazy?

Randy: Uh, take the Cheetos out of the bag with our tongue?

Gary: No, but that does explain the soggy Cheetos. What I was going for was, we write a column where we answer a little VIEWER MAIL!

Randy: Last week, we asked readers what they thought about taking damage when you fall from high places in Halo. And we got a ton of responses.

Gary: Boy, did that ever backfire. But we did get some insight from gamers out there.

Dear Idiots,

As I understand it, the default character you assume is a cyborg (humans and aliens are supposed to be another option, right?). Other reviewers have documented some incredible feats that these borgs can accomplish like a backflip while still firing on an enemy. That said, I think its completely feasible to say that the borgs have reinforced legs allowing them to fall from significant heights. When was the last time you pictured Arnold breaking his leg while falling a few stories as a Terminator?

Josh Warner

Randy: That's a good point. I wholeheartedly agree.

Gary: We also got some good feedback from the opposing camp.

Dear Idiots,

In a way, I feel bad calling you that. However, you do call yourselves that and you did get to see Halo up-close, so I guess I'm glad I didn't call you worse. Anyway, on to the subject at hand...

I think that a player should be penalized for taking long walks off of high cliffs.

One of the most thrilling aspects of multiplayer gaming is being rewarded for chasing your opponent down to a place where they must stand and fight. The attention to realism is significant enough that it should make a difference when the conflict comes down to "you vs. them" and you've been backed up to a steep gorge. Do you take your chances with the ledge hoping that you are able to find some sort of cover when you hit the ground? Or do you turn and engage the aggressor in an attempt to survive, even if that means tearing off in another direction?

How lame would it be to pull off some sweet shot that sends players and vehicles careening through the air just to have them hit the ground running with no physical penalty? If the good folks at Bungie have gone as far as to implement the staggering physics that we have seen and read about so far, I think it would be a gross error to allow such a breach in the overall feel of the game and give players the capability to leap off the tops of mountains without paying the appropriate penalty.

Besides, I'm gonna be pissed if I've spent five minutes trying to sneak up behind some stinking sniper who's been keeping my teammates pinnned down from atop a cliff just to have him notice me and fly off into space with neither a care in the world nor what I had come there to deliver.

Shonah & Brian Grant

Randy: That's a good point. I wholeheartedly agree.

Gary: You're just phoning your part in, aren't you? Anyway, we got about a three to two ratio, with more people saying that some damage should be taken from a great fall. It will be very interesting to see what Bungie does with this aspect of Halo.

Randy: That's a good point. I wholeheartedly agree.

[Editor's Note: I forgot to send in my vote... Cliff + Fall = Death in my book.]

Dear Idiots,

Umm...I'm the guy who founded the Macsport site and I just read your column on Mac shareware. Macsport, of course, was completely dedicated to Mac sports games.

Anyway, on the topic of finding shareware (or commercial) games for the mac, I'm spearheading a new online venture that's currently simply titled the "Mac Game Database".

We're covering any game that's currently available. The database will be the ultimate Mac games finder, a search engine if you will. Everything's organized by price, release date, system requirements. Eventually any or all of these details will be searchable, but we're still working on things.

Right now people can come to the site and rate games from 1-10, which we push into the site as a guideline for a game's worthiness.

Anyway, enough blathering. Just go and look at it. It speaks for itself.

Marc Antony Vose

Randy: That's a good point. I wholeheartedly agree.

Gary: Shut up, you! Thanks for the info and thanks for this killer compendium of Mac gaming products. While the Mac Game Database is still growing it currently lists over 400 Macintosh gaming products including game controllers and products that have been announced but not yet released.

Randy: We found all kinds of neat surprises here. There were games we didn't even know existed. For example, think you have played all the Racing simulators out there for the Mac? I'll bet you haven't played Speed Demon.

Gary: This excellent sharware racer from Cerberus Development has full 3D racing and carnage to spare. And there's even a sequal on the way too. Who knew?

Randy: Or maybe you were in the market for a twist action joystick for your Mac.

Gary: They make those for the Mac?

Randy: Sure! The handy Mac Game Database led us to the Cyborg 3D Stick from Saitek. This nifty joystick allows you to turn the stick to turn your in-game alter ego, while the standard joystick movement makes the character walk forward or backward. Cool eh?!

Resistance is futile, but who cares when you use this wicked looking joystick?

Gary: Next time some PC loving weenie tells you there's no good games for the Mac. Point then to the Mac Game Database and shut 'em up quick.

Randy: So kudos to Marc for this invaluable resource for Mac gamers everywhere. Once you use it you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Dear Idiots,

As a close observer of psychopathic behavior, I find your column constantly rewarding. That being said, I would like to take advantage in a minor way of your undoubted expertise in the domain of slang -- gamer slang in general, but first person shooter slang in particular (if there is such a thing).

I'm working on an X-Files (with William Gibson -- it's our second) set in a gaming environment and could really use some teenage boy gamer talk.

*Not* to suggest that you are teenage boys, except in a retarded, adolescent, "we'll be there forever" way.

Well, I guess what I mean is that you would either come into contact with gamerboy slang in the line of duty or through consulting your inner gamer ...

If you see what I mean.

So, what do you think? Got anything?

Tom Maddox

Randy: Wow! Someone with a real job wrote us a letter!

Gary: And they write for one of our favorite shows too! We're not worthy!

Randy: All right readers. Here's your chance to help shape what we watch on the boob tube. Gary and I are compiling a list for Tom of great gaming slang, but we need your help.

Gary: While Randy and I do use "the slang" whilst we "frag" each other in rounds of Quake III test, we are finding ourselves hard pressed to build a "sizable list".

Randy: However we have much success at "writing in quotes."

Gary: "True enough."

Randy: Can we "knock off" the "quotes bit" yet?

Gary: "Almost."

Randy: ..."Now?"

Gary: Yes.

Randy: Wheew. That was "going nowhere."

Gary: I agree. And you can quote me on that.

Randy: Please, no more.

Gary: So folks what we need are the popular slang terms you gaming freaks out there are banding about these days. Please send legit terms and their definition here. And please, no made up words you just thought of when you read this column. Randy already tried that and they sucked.

Randy: Dude, they were good terms. I use them. And if you don't believe me, I'll sporkhole* you.

*sporkhole: To insert a plastic spoon-fork from KFC or Taco Bell into someone's nostril.

Gary: I think I've proved my point.

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 .

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