Ernest Adams | Aaron Allston | Phil Austin | Mark Barrett | Sean Barrett | Jason Bergman | Greg Costikyan | Chris Crawford | Rob Fermier | Ron Gilbert | David H. Hackworth | Tom Hall | Steve Jackson | Jon Jones | Iikka Keranen | Raph Koster | Marc LeBlanc | Scott Miller | Phil Proctor | Brandon Reinhart | John Romero | Richard Rouse III | Bill Sears | Ken St. Andre | Phil Steinmeyer | Dave Taylor | Allen Varney | Eric von Rothkirch | Tom Wham | Eric Zimmerman

Click my cartoon head to view The Ultimate Codex.Today's Doctor Fun
My Life as a Blog
by Rich Carlson

Instant wisdom:

To GDC and Beyond Beyond
Roll up with Digital Eel on the road!

Bill, Iikka, Jim (Aid-de-camp) and I, AKA Digital Eel, did the road trip to GDC thing once again this year, this time to San Francisco for the Independent Games Festival there. The conference was hectic, the IGF was fun, but San Francisco itself, the city, stole the show. There's just too much good-natured (for the most part) weirdness and diversity of cultures and things to do to be thinking about games all the time. So, we let ourselves become distracted, and during the road trip as well, and you can view some images from our little big adventure on the Digital Eel GDC Mystery Tour 2005 page.

While we were in San Francisco, we ate a lot of great food; Vietnamese, Italian, excellent breakfast joints. *burp* We also checked out the Museum of Modern Art, downtown, which has a blow away permanent collection. You walk out of a place like that aesthetically shaken and overloaded, and you can still hardly believe you viewed, first hand, famous works of art you've only seen in books all your life. The Museum of Modern Art is a block away from the building where the GDC was held, yet nobody else I asked at the conference had any desire to go see it, which seemed weird to us. I mean, the history of modern art, past to present, is right there, you knobs.

One of the highlights of the trip was a chance encounter with The Shooting Gallery, a small gallery across the street from the hotel we were staying at. On the way back from the con, the same day we had visited the Museum of Modern Art, it happened to be open after dark, so we went in. A reception was just starting for a new showing of paintings by two lowbrow artists named Van Arno and Anthony Ausgang, and theirs is some amazing work!

Van Arno and Anthony AusgangLowbrow has its origins in 60's and 70's underground comics, hot rod art and psychedelic poster art, so if you're unfamiliar with the term, that should give you some idea of what it is...but of course it is so much more. I won't try to describe the paintings we saw, except to say that they were refreshing to see after the Museum of Modern Art collection, but you can see for yourself at Anthony Ausgang's site, Van Arno's site and The Shooting Gallery.

We hung out for a while, looked at everything, met the curators and met the artists. Iikka bought one of Ausgang's picture discs, which Ausgang signed. Pretty cool. We chatted with Van Arno about lowbrow art and artists like Robert Williams, and even about computer game art as he had once worked as a game artist. We gave them both some Digital Eel buttons, then we took off, and it was a really entertaining, interesting and inspiring good time.

It's DND Not D&D
Underdelving CRPG History

Way way (way) back in 1972, a young programmer by the name of Daniel Lawrence liked to play Dungeons & Dragons very much. So much, in fact, that he decided to create a computerized version (as they used to say) in BASIC. The result was DND, the very first computer roleplaying game.

DND was pure D&D, right down to the hit points, character stats and spell names. There was no need to obfuscate this theft for legal reasons because it was "pass around ware," sort of the precursor to what we know of as freeware. It was a D&D fix for programmers and students who used mainframes and minicomputers.

Telengard box cover artIn 1983 or so, desperate for a D&D fix myself, I picked up an Avalon Hill computer game called Telengard. It was fun, it featured this kind of phony real time random monster element, which was new at the time. But it was pure D&D, right down to the hit points, character stats and spell names... (Suspicious? You bet, but I hadn't yet heard of DND.)

I couldn't figure it out, how this could be... Avalon Hill and TSR (originators of D&D) were competitors. Strange, and many years later I heard that there was some kind of legal action, and then again maybe I'm dreaming. Anyway, both Avalon Hill and TSR are no more, and DND, in all of its forms, is floating around the net. Telengard is even being sold again as shareware...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

It turns out that Telengard is actually a revved up version of Daniel Lawrence's DND. In fact, Daniel wrote the code directly from DND. So there's a connection there that explains half of the story. Or something like that.

Eventually, DND spawned lots of revisions, ports and variants. What's remarkable is that it's still going on. New versions of Telengard keep popping up. --That's like a 30 year run. Longer than Ultima. Longer than NetHack, even if you count Rogue...which reminds me. DND (Telengard, etc.) is often called a roguelike, that is, a game based on Rogue, which spawned Hack, NetHack, Moria, and so many others of its ilk. This is technically incorrect. DND preceded Rogue by eight years, and is really quite a different kind of game with its own unique presentation and features, even if early versions look somewhat similar to ASCII roguelikes.

Lately, while researching these things, primarily via the comprehensive Unofficial DND Home Page (alt url), I got hooked on Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain (DotND), a "ground up rewrite of DND" done in 1988 by an outfit called RO Software. It's DND folks, no huge surprises, but with a few nicer features, still all very simple and old school. Very addictive. Thing is, the author released a couple of tools for it, so users could create their own 20 level megadungeons to share with other DotND players. Neat.

So I'm thinking, well, the latest beta version of Weird Worlds is in the can for the testers and the IGF, and I have some time at night for a few days... Why not try making a level or two? This turned out to be as addictive as playing the game. After a few nights, I had my own 20 level megadungeon completed! Lots of cool touches and tricks, even though the feature list is primarily "door, wall, secret door, altar, fountain, etc." DND and its clones are all about 20x20 rat mazes. I went for more variety with the level layouts.

Anyhow, it's guaranteed to work, bug free. It's fun, and funstrating in logical (and hopefully fun) ways. It's called Underdelve and you can download it here (you'll need DotND to play it).

New Consumer Laws
Of Modern Physics and Consumer Protection

New Consumer Laws: The combination of modern physics and consumer protection laws leads to a new wave of product labeling.

NOTICE: Due To Its Mass, This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.

WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Object in the universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses Divided by the Square of the Distance Between Them.

CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight. The Manufacturer warrants that this product is to be used only as matter and will not be responsible for injury or damage if it is converted into energy.

HANDLE WITH CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.

CONSUMER NOTICE: Due to the "Uncertainty Principle," it is impossible for the User to know precisely and simultaneously where this product is located and how fast it is moving.

ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Remote Chance That, Through a Process Known as "Tunneling," This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Other Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damage or Inconvenience That May Result.

READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.

THIS PRODUCT IS 100% MATTER: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result. The Manufacturer cannot be held responsible for resulting injury or damages.

PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Aggregate Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Assumed Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to a state of "Warm Death" of the Universe.

NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a "Gluing" Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power, therefore, Can Not Be Guaranteed Indefinitely. No responsibility is therefore assumed for the structural integrity of this product.

ATTENTION: Notwithstanding Any Listing of Product Contents Found Hereupon, the Consumer is Advised That This Product Actually Consists of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.

NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: While the Manufacturer is Technically Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are "Rolled Up" into Such a Small "Area" That They Cannot Be Detected.

PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That, When Unobserved, This Product May Cease to Exist or May Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State. Therefore all warranties are in effect only while this product is under the direct observation of a human being.

COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and Competitors' Claims to the Contrary are neither Justified nor Legitimate.

HEALTH WARNING: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User. The manufacturer cannot be held liable for injury or damage resulting from relativistic mass increase.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe,Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe, and its performance and suitability for any purpose, Cannot Be Guaranteed.

Missing Links
And News from the Fringe

What about a catapult? | History of Robots in the Victorian Era | Hackers, Slackers, and Shackles | | Ascending and Descending | Bill Gates in Teen Beat | Maze Game | V838 Mon: Light Echo Update | James Brown: Feeling Good | Psychonaut Tim Schafer on Taking Risks | School RFID Plan Gets an F | My Favorite Moon: Mimas - Outsider Moon | The Lord of the Rings Movies | Game developers mull 'Hollywood model' | John Carmack's Blog | Melas, Candor, and Ophir: Valleys of Mariner (hi res) | Brightest Explosion Ever Observed Overwhelms Telescopes | The Definitive DungeonCrawl GeekList

Welcome Intrepid Adventurers!
Dungeons Deep Update

Just added at Dungeons Deep: DND (Designed in 1972. The first computer roleplaying game, and it's still a blast. Rare PC executable.) - Hack (The classic. Rare PC executable.) - Dungeons of the Necromancer's Domain (DND rewrite.) - ZZT (Tim Sweeney's classic ASCII action crpg.)

Crawl in Technicolor
Dungeon Crawl Tile Version


At last, Linley's Dungeon Crawl gets a makeover, in this case via the ultwa atwactive RLTiles set. What does this mean? The Dungeon Crawl Tile Version makes it possible to play Crawl with highly-improved color graphics! But that's not all. (You're excited. I can tell.) It also adds an automap, an at-a-glance hit point bar, mouseover item and monster information, and lots of other nifty tweaks and features all for the low low price of FREE. So, if you like computer roleplaying games, especially those set in deep dark dungeons, but you don't enjoy roguelikes because the graphics are ASCII, you should definitely check this version out. Even if you don't mind ASCII, you'll appreciate the cool features. I switched. In fact, I'm playing it right now.

Dungeon Crawl Tile Version (here or here) | Original Crawl | RLTiles

Iikka's Stuff
Mystery Scans & Vista View

Digital Eel co-conspirator, Iikka Keranen, has been busy lately. Among other projects -Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, for example- he whipped up a website called Iikka's Pile of Mystery Scans which features "a collection of various doodles I've drawn while on the bus." Intrigued? Click the link because he's got some fun stuff up there.

Also, while on a recent trip to Hawaii, Iikka snapped this panorama shot (see details below) from the summit of Mauna Kea. Wow, is there no end to this guy's magically mysterious meanderings? Nope, I don't think so.

The Sunset at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, 1/28/2005. Various giant telescopes in the foreground. The distant peak just below the sun is (I believe) mount Hualalai at the western edge of the island. Composite of two photographs, stitched together in PhotoShop. -IK

Missing Links
And News from the Fringe

Hallmarks of Felinity | Frankenstein's Earthsea & To the People Who Wrote Me About the Sci Fi Channel Miniseries, by Ursula K. Le Guin | A Strange Streak Imaged in Australia | The Incredible Zombie Machine | ROT13 | Samorost | DX-Ball | Super-Toys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss | Lennert Green performing his Laser Deal | Secret of Monkey Island Swordfighting Insult Lessons | Venomous snails with lightning strikes | Buddha vs. Shaolin | Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 Diary

To a New World of Mods and Adventures
Beyond Adventure and Zdim's Morrowind Mods Are Back

Now that we have moved Digital Eel to a new server, I'm slowly going try to get some of our free game sites that went down last year back online. For starters, Beyond Adventure features 33 award-winning freeware text adventure games ready to play right now in your browser. On the other end of the gaming spectrum, I posted my Morrowind mods download page as well, with Three Shades of Darkness and all the rest, plus Bethesda's official plug-ins for the game.

Yuletide in Cyberspace
Here Comes Santa Claus

Santa Visits VarrockRuneScape players will be happy to meet Santa for the annual Holiday Drop. He only comes around once a year with presents for all the good little fighters and wizards... Click and drag SPOILER: This year it's a yo-yo, and your character can do tricks with it, like "walk the dog" and "around the world." It's otherwise useless, of course, but a lot of fun, especially while you're waiting for that Lesser Demon to respawn...

Btw, you can click here now to play RuneScape absolutely free.

Earthsea in Clorox
The Skiffy Channel Bites It Again

"A vast crater full of monkey puss."
- Ryn of Iffish, Havnor Sun-Times

"Spine bendingly awful."
- Orek of Gont, Roke Island Gazette

The skiffy channel finally aired Legend of Earthsea, its highly-anticipated two-nighter of Ursula Le Guin's imaginative fantasy novels, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan. I know. The skiffy channel productions are always weak. Always. But I was optimistic that the power of a good story would prevail...

Unfortunately, Legend of Earthsea was, as Orek said, spine bendingly awful. Everything that could possibly be done wrong in a fantasy film was done wrong, and sadly, Le Guin's plot was barely discernable. From a gratuitous "sex scene" within the first few minutes to the pandering to Potter and Hogwarts, it quickly became clear that the latest skiffy channel extravaganza was going to be a complete train wreck. As I watched the first installment crash and burn, I mused about focus groups and mediocrity, marketing and lowest common denominator decision making, and other factors which might cause such a debacle to occur.

And I thought about Ursula Le Guin. What was her role in this? People unfamiliar with her books will assume that the movie is an authentic treatment. What was her reaction? Well, it turns out that she has commented fairly extensively about these things, and more. You can read her comments by clicking the links below.

"Earthsea" (if the link seems dead try again later)
Earthsea in Clorox
Ursula K. Le Guin

H2G2 Game and Fallujah Links
Courtesy of the BBC

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game is back again, online and recently revamped by the BBC. This is a nice Flash version of the classic Infocom text game created by Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky. It also features cool graphics (!) by Rod Lord, creator of the original TV series' animated guide entries. So, go here (or here) to play and here for hints. Brain-scrambling puzzles await you.

Also, here's a link to an amazing video piece about the Fallujah offensive by BBC reporter Paul Wood. 16 minutes of "you are there" like you won't ever see on CNN. Whether you're prowar or antiwar, check it out soon. The link won't last forever.

Brian's Pirates! Review
"Sid At His Best"

Brian Uhrig sent along a terrific review of Pirates!, the recent remake of the legendary 80's classic. (Fortunately, it was remade by the original designer of the game, Sid Meier, and his hand-picked crew of scurvy knaves.) Brian likes the game a lot and, based on his comments, it's easy to see why. Go here to read Brian's enthusiastic review.

The Roman Toothpick
For Want of a Nail

Iikka (one of the guys I make games with) made this cool little sword out of a nail. He shaped it with various files and so forth. Nice work, I think, and a neat project to get lost in for a while. Now, if I was an Incredible Shrinking Man, well...I'd sure like to have a weapon like this to fight off those scary basement spiders!

The Iris Nebula
Blossom of Dust and Gas

The Iris NebulaMore nebular wonders from APOD: "Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers."

Be sure to check out the original NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula post and latest APOD entry too.

A Brief History Of Computer Games

Zarnoth Declared Victor In Galactic Prez Bid
Latest Results Confirm Reelection

Dateline: Nov. 3, 4664
Zarnoth Declared Victor In Galactic Presidential Bid

No use beating around the Bush. The results are in from the majority of allied worlds, and the Fang and Fiberglass party has emerged victorious once again. All hail, Zarnoth!

President elect Zarnoth, along with vice president elect Yig%nabbo, met with defeated presidential candidate, Skree Kwawa'a III, and his would be vice president, Blorbus, at the splendid Seven Spheres pleasure dome on Zelulig, to offer condolences and parting gifts before ritually devouring them in atonement to immortal Gorgar for their victory.

Interstellar congratulations to Zarnoth and Yig. This was a battle hard fought, a real slugfest, and no holds were barred. The Feather and Slime party proved to be worthy opponents, making this contest a pseudopod biter right to the bitter end. Bleh.

When cornered by reporters, Yig%nabbo vomited fiberglass and exhaled sooty green gas from a newly-formed blowhole. As usual his penchant for non sequitur was appreciated by all in the interplanetary press corp.

Decision 2664

2004 Vice Presendential Debate

Tales of the Arabian Nights
Of Snakeskin Beds and Dangerous Hunchbacks

Hi Chris, Amy and Iikka!Got together with Chris, Amy and Iikka to play a cozy session of a classic board game from the 80's, West End Games' Tales of the Arabian Nights (by Eric Goldberg). It lasted about five hours, we unlocked many hitherto unknown secrets of the game and everyone had a great time. Scheherazade and Abu Hasan made it back to Baghdad, with famous and wondrous stories to tell, to claim a shared victory, although I won't reveal who was playing who. (Note that a character's sex may change during the game. But that's a story to be told another time.)

Tales of the Arabian Nights, which is long out of print I'm sorry to say, is a remarkable hybrid of strategy, adventure, storytelling and roleplaying game elements. I could write a lot about this game, it's that good, but I don't have time right now (but I wanted to post the pic). So, I encourage you to go here and here to learn more about the game. You might be able to find it used on Ebay, but it's going to be expensive because it is somewhat rare (and it's particularly good).

Swifty Boats Are Coming To Win Us
History and Truth According to Grumpy Folks
10.08.04 (updated 10.09.04)

I have a hard time dealing with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads. God love 'em for serving our country but what they are putting out there is horsehockey.

The Swifty guys who produce the Swifty ads, employ stupid little AV tricks, tricks we should not fall for, to mangle quotes and soundbites and present statements out of context. Dang them!

The latest batch of Swifty ads impugn, to put it mildly, Kerry's involvement with the Viet Nam antiwar movement.

"John Kerry came home and accused all Viet Nam veterans [EDIT] of unspeakable horrors," says Phyllis Galanti, "wife of former POW," in the latest Swifty Boat ad called "Never Forget." (All Viet Nam veterans? I'll get to that.)

Note the edit. Halfway through her comment, the second half of a different comment is spliced in. I'm not even going to waste your time suggesting why. That kind of thing just ticks me off. The kicker is that the edit is obvious and poorly done. By the way, this is the sound of bad editing.

Previous to this marvelous piece of work, another well known Swifty Boat ad (often reprised) showed Kerry testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, saying "they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads..." implying that a] these were Kerry's own words about things he was claiming to have seen, and b] Kerry was accusing "all Viet Nam veterans" of doing these kinds of things.

Well, the Swifty Boat AV guys focused their expertise on this one too. The ad omitted the fact that Kerry was referring to statements that veterans themselves had made during the Winter Soldier Investigation in Detroit that same year.

Here's what Kerry said to the SFRC:

"(at the Winter Soldier meeting) many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia (and relived) the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam..."
Here's an excerpt from 1st Lt. William Crandell's opening statement at the Winter Soldier Investigation:
"In these three days, over a hundred Vietnam veterans will present straightforward testimony --direct testimony-- about acts which are war crimes under international law. Acts which these men have seen and participated in."
First, Kerry, Lt. Crandell and the 100 or so veterans who spoke at the WSI certainly never said or meant to imply that "all Viet Nam veterans" committed war crimes. That's ridiculous, nobody would say that and that was not the point or charge of either the SFRC or the WSI.

Second, as I see it, we have a choice. We can choose to believe in life as it really is or we can believe the hack work of a second rate audio/video engineer. I leave it up to you.

About war crimes: War crimes go hand in hand with war. They happen during every war and no side is immune. Read your history. That's just the way it is. If anyone tells you otherwise, they're trying to sell you a bill of goods. Btw, you can read about My Lai (Wikipedia) and Tiger Force (Pulitzer Prize-winning report) on the www to learn more about the things the Swifty Boat folks do not want you to know or accept.

About the Viet Nam antiwar movement: Nobody gets this. Not the news media, not politicians, not even Michael Moore. Guess what? The Viet Nam antiwar movement was a mainstream movement. Hello!

By the time Lyndon Johnson had escalated the war to involve over 400,000 American troops, the antiwar movement had swelled to include folks from all walks of life, rich, poor, hawk, dove, men, women, old, young, civilian, veteran -everyone. It wasn't "bad," it wasn't unpatriotic, it wasn't "liberal," it wasn't phony. It was an authentic, heartfelt, honest and almost universal expression of outrage by the majority of US citizens against the continuation of a pointless destructive war.

By the time Richard Nixon ordered the bombing of Cambodia, I didn't know a single person who supported the Viet Nam war in our neighborhood (St. Paul, MN). -Well, maybe that one redneck guy with the Confederate flag hanging in his garage.- Among my friends and family, few if any supported the war, including friends and relatives who were veterans of WWII, the Korean "police action" or Viet Nam.

But that doesn't mean we didn't support the troops (and returning veterans). In fact, we offered our ultimate support. We wanted to bring them home.

The antiwar movement of the late 60's and early 70's was a positive mainstream movement that changed the history and culture of America for the better. It bridged the generation gap, it taught everyone from gay rights activists to right to life demonstrators that proactivity is effective, and it put enough public pressure on the White House to force Richard Nixon to end the war. In short, it worked.

I don't mean to sugar coat this. There's a lot more to the story but I guess that's part of the point here: There is a story, and one that is both historical and poignant, but it's not being told these days. So, there's a vacuum that groups like the Swifty Boaters can fill with rewritten history contrived to manipulate us.

2004 Vice Presendential Debate

Weird Worlds of Baffling Mystery
A Tip of the Hat to Weird Comics

We took a lot of time picking the name for the sequel to Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. We mulled through silly names and overly serious names and variations of the original name and more. Nothing really sounded good.

Think about it. It's pretty tough to think of a name for a sequel when the original name is so odd and lengthy. Suddenly Bill said "Weird Worlds" and we all liked it right away, maybe half because it was a name which fit the vibe of the original and half out of sheer desperation. Well...

When I was researching the name I found an old series of comics from the 50's called Weird Worlds. That didn't really bother me because all of these kinds of titles are floating around and getting mixed up and used all the time but one thing leads to another and pretty soon I was reading about this old subgenre of comics we used to call "weird comics." When you look at the examples below you'll sure see why we called them that.

Baffling Mysteries #8    Gkostly Weird Stories #122    Mister Mystery #12    Spellbound #3    Weird Worlds #3

We loved these things when we were kids and yes, we knew that they were totally cheesy. That was part of the fun. Weird comics were over the top, or else mind-numbingly stupid, and our parents and teachers hated them! What could possibly be better?

The Great Nebula in Orion
Eye Candy That Isn't Candy

The Great Nebula in OrionA good APOD happened on the 27th, and it reminded me that it has been a while since I posted a nebula picture. So, here's a new one.

"The Great Nebula in Orion is a colorful place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. Long exposure, digitally sharpened images like this, however, show the Orion Nebula to be a busy neighborhood of young stars, hot gas, and dark dust."

(See the original September 27 APOD post here.)

A Perfect Short Game
Gamasutra SAIS Review

Thanks to a heads up from Raphael van Lierop, I just caught wind of a nifty (and thoughtful) review of Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. It's called A Perfect Short Game (free registration required) and it was written by Gamasutra writer/lecturer Ernest Adams.

Weird Worlds
SAIS 2 Named

The sequel to Strange Adventures in Infinite Space might well have been called Damp Kawangi if a butterfly fluttered its wings at the wrong time and the Earth skittered a few degrees sideways on its axis --For only in some dimension gone awry does the not-so-dreaded Damp Kawangi threaten the galaxy with total...dampness.

Fortunately, none of these things happened, and thanks to Howard and Bill, two fellows who live on separate continents, the new Digital Eel game has a spiffy name (and just in time for the 2005 IGF).

Howard suggested Return To Infinite Space and Bill suggested Weird Worlds. Both were great choices so we smacked them together and called it a game. Way to go, guys!

Coming soon!

The Sorcerer's Cave Nabbed
There Goes Another Dungeon Crawl

The Sorcerer's CaveFinally scored a copy of Peter Donnelly's classic dungeon crawl boardgame (mentioned below), The Sorcerer's Cave, courtesy of Mike Taylor in Great Britain. The game arrived in fine condition thanks to the unpredictable (but seemingly reliable) Royal Mail. Opened it up and read the rules and it's a peach alright. Tried to play TSR's Dungeon for kicks the other night (yow!) and we quickly put it away. Not a great design to put it mildly. Anyway, I can't wait to play this. Thanks Mike!

Gif-o-rama Theatre
What about a catapult?

Archive the 6th
Things To Do
Mixed Bag
Masters of Fantasy
Missing Links
Of Mystic Woods And Sorcerer's Caves
Your only REAL choice in 2004
More Digital Eel News
Real Magic
Buckminster & Jinx
Digital Eel News
Closer to the Edge
Links of the Week
The ElectroComp 101
Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite
Now Serving...
The Best of My Life as a Blog
JinxCam Live 24/7
The Art of Game Design
Google-Eyes Art
Three Flat Games
Patching the Blob
SAIS Patch Released/Enchanter Revisited

Archive the 5th
Road Beat
DBO Nabs Two
Dungeons of the Doomed
Doom Is Not Dead
Links of the Week
Edge of Oblivion
Oblivion Released
Cheapass Games Circles the Square
Ion Storm
Name Matters
Links of the Week
Steel Dawn: Forgotten Rebirth II Gold Edition
All Things Must Pass
Intellivision Lives
Links of the Week
Laurel & Hardy
Have A Jolly Holiday!
Quake Level Name Generator
IGF Finalists Announced

Archive the 4th
Chicken Heart
IFComp 2003
Links of the Week
3 For 1
To Mars And Beyond...
A Dark and Stormy Night
Space Empires: Starfury
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Halloween Masks
From Space to Spacy
Links of the Week
Digital Eel's Big Box of Blox
Inside the Eagle Nebula/X Minus One
What's in the box?
Ossman's Audiola
Dice History 101
Rod Lord's H2G2 Guidebook Graphics
Links of the Week
Flash At Its Best
Elements of the Swan Nebula/Eigenradio
I Wannabe (A Rockstar)
Blog Wars: A New Scroll

Archive the 3rd
Still Playing
Boris the Dodger
Some Get It and Some Don't
Links of the Week
It's Alive
The Sun's Surface in 3D
Something To Hold On To
Links of the Week
Mr. Kosmik Sneez
Digital Eel Summer
Late News
A Sonic Boom
Report from the Skink Works
M17: The Omega Nebula
Attention Gwog!
London at Night
Light Echoes from V838 Mon
Monsters, Surrealism and the Kustom Kulture
BushWorld and the Trees of Mystery
Links of the Week

Archive the 2nd
Wizardry vs. Telengard
Links of the Week
M42: Wisps of the Orion Nebula
News (Really) Bites
Dumbbell Nebula Close-Up from Hubble
Links of the Week
A Beautiful Game
The Columbia Tragedy
The #secretlevel Awards
BHR 71: Stars, Clouds, and Jets
Links of the Week
The Reflecting Dust Clouds of Orion
Three Shades of Darkness
The Creeping Crud
Story Time
Links of the Week
Post Holiday Update Thingy
Ketchup Date
Story Time

Archive the 1st
Independent Games Festival finalists announced
IGF, SAIS and Links of the Week
FST Thanksgiving show axed by NPR
Links of the Week
Links of the Week
Two New Board Game to PC Ports
How to Write Science Fiction Without Really Trying
The Sum Total of All Human Knowledge
What is the next entry?
Story Time
Little Ghost
The Plasmaworm Collection
Liquid War
Two From Space
Firesign Theatre
Lord of the Rings
The Doctor Fun Page
certain maxims of archy
Flog the Blog

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