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  1. Awesome! Did a free trial for Shudder. Great film. Loved it.
  2. dumpster

    Gamer or lamer?

    One of the reasons that the world seems full of crazy people going on shooting sprees and glueing themselves to trains is that human beings need purpose. Suicide is the number one killer of middle aged men and i thinking a lack of purpose plays a huge role in this. Having a cause, like Extinction Rebellion for example, gives people a sense of worth. Moaning about politics on Twitter, glueing yourself to a train, yelling "stoooop breeeexittt" behind a newsreader, or marching for or against Corbyn, it gives you something that feels meaningful to join in with, but also fills a void and gives you something to do. The issue is, previously many people got their sense of worth through working. But capitalism has created multi billion pound companies that wiped out small competition and created a job market where most people work for 'the man'. You're a piece in a big machine, making sure that, come Monday morning, Claire's Accessories will have enough purple hair grips to go around. You did it! The promotion went perfectly. Well done everyone, you achieved something today. Good job. But it's not a good job. No-one cares about this stuff outside of your office. It doesn't matter to the real world. I did tough and stressful work, for long hours. It was demanding on my skills, my brainpower and my evergy levels. It paid well, but wages went straight into the bank and bills were paid by Direct Debit so I lost that sense of correlation between the money and the work. But my purpose was to increase take up of a broadband based TV package. I spent each day surrounded by other people who treat this vacuous topic with the huge gravitas I did and living in that bubble isn't healthy. You work long hours, your days off are spent recovering from the stress of hard work and ultimately you live around your job. Then one day you quit, take a step back and look at it from an outsiders point of view and suddenly realise that the broadband based TV service truly doesn't matter, all those targets don't matter, none of this matters and all you're trying to do is create money for a load of shareholders. You need to have a purpose and you need to take a break from the pressure of having a purpose so you play a game, stick on a movie, read a book or waste 32 minutes watching porn (achievement unlocked - a new challenger appears). But it is dangerous to live in a world where you have no purpose and then spend your spare time doing something that should be there to give you a break from it all. I'm self employed now and making a fraction of the money i used to, but what I'm doing is something I have chosen that is worthwhile. It's my idea, it makes people happy and it pays the bills. I get a sense of real satisfaction from the hard work now and when i want to unwind i write tediously long forum posts and play video games, watch movies and read books. It makes sense now and it didn't before.
  3. Thanks for the reminder, im going to play this again now. It's a very silly game, to do this by trial and error needs a pen and paper and takes ages. Imagine actually playing it that way in 1994. Still love it though.
  4. Does any of that specify the ownership of character of Willy? Also, does it state that, for example, Willy is the same person in both games? If Miner Willy replaces his mining helmet with a top hat, is he still Miner Willy or does he transform into Jet Set Willy? Is Miner Willy referred to in the instructions or is he just Willy? It would be interesting for any of these IP owners to have to go to court to actually prove they own the likenesses of the characters, rather than just the rights to the game. If i buy the rights to Castle of Illusion on the Megadrive, i can't claim ownership of Mickey Mouse and make my own soft toys and cartoons. Unless Matthew Smith specifically sold his rights to the character rather than selling his game to a publisher then he would surely own the character.
  5. I said as much in the other topic but these conpanies that buy liquidated publishers are acting as if they own every aspect of every product and legally that's not necessarily the case. To use the Horace example above, Billy Tang wrote Hungry Horace, and sold it to Sinclair. If he had sold the character as well as the game he would have needed to buy the rights back to make Horace Goes Skiing to sell to Melbourne House. To me, the idea that you can accurately trace the character owner after 40 years of contracts, bankruptcies, closures, asset transfers is ludicrous. Unless anyone specifically bought the character from Billy Tang (or whoever created the actual graphic) then the ownership still lies with the graphic artist.
  6. I agree with you, and I would imagine no-one would care about Horace (the holy trinity! Mario! Sonic! Horace!) , But if the owner of the character does care then they hold all the cards. I just doubt anyone could prove ownership of such a character. They would need to have evidence that the ownership of the character was legally and clearly transferred from each and every publisher in the 40 year chain. Surely the chain broke at some stage. He might own Hungry Horace, or Horace Goes Ski-ing, but actual ownership of the character? That's 40 years of watertight contracts that would be needed to be able to prove the company you bought the rights from had those exact rights to sell in the first place. Like, if you printed T-shirts with screenshots of Chuckie Egg on, you'd have a problem when the copyright owner complained. But if you did a shirt with an isolated image of the main character, with no reference to Chuckie Egg itself, you'd only have a problem if someone owned that character and i'd bet no-one does.
  7. The difference is how you use it. Putting Horace, Mario or whoever in a Youtube video where you are reviewing the game, discussing the history of video games, that's all fair use. Writing a Channel 4 Sitcom where Mario and Horace meet for dinner every friday night isn't fair use. You don't own the characters, and you can't put them in your storyline, give them a script or make them a character in your film. You can talk about them and make reference to them. Octavius had Horace as her flatmate, a recurring character in her show. You can't do that. You'd imagine no-one would give a toss because it's Horace, but if you switch that for, say, Elsa from Frozen, you can see how it would upset the copyright holder. Mark Kermode can post reviews of Frozen on Youtube and include clips from the film, but if he used the character in a story he'd be in trouble.
  8. Oh God, single game. Single game. So many years..... It has to be Outrun 2. No, Astrobot. No, Burnout 2. No, Ridge Racer. Aw fuck it. All those four. Really? Only allowed one? Astrobot. Got to be. Puts a smile on your face for the entire duration. Absolutely magnificent and something every PS4 owner should play, even if you have to pick up a cheap VR headset from Facebook Marketplace to do so.
  9. It's a funny one. I ran a tight ship, with flexibility to keep the team happy. As long as customers were not being cheated and the (very weak) rules were not being broken I was happy. But there were stories which usually came out after someone was fired, people came up with the craziest of schemes. To be fair, if you made your sales target and also your margin target then the company was happy. If you were a manager back then it gave you great opportunity to actually manage, to make your store successful or to make it fail by your own rules. Like, if you didn't hit target there was obviously some problem with your own ability. But it also gave you many opportunities to fiddle the books and those that did, even with the smallest of fiddles, usually got used to doing things that way and the fiddles became that little bit more elaborate and more and more until they got found out. When the systems changed to become fixed rules, I don't know how this affected the manager's ability to actually manage. For example, if the till tells you what price to trade in at, what to sell at, then surely the company can't bollock you for not hitting your margin target. I know when EB bought Game that planograms and fixed layouts became much more of a thing and stores became more standardized, hours budgets were reduced and there pretty much became one "correct" way to do it all because you didn't have the staff or systems to let you do things in your own way. No fiddles, but also no opportunity for creativity for the genuinely talented managers.
  10. Funny to think back about how ramshackle the pre-owned system worked in that era, specifically the lack of accountability, audit trail or overall management from head office. There were no lists or guidelines, and no stock records of the actual titles. Everything was made up in the spot in store. Someone asked how much they could get for their stuff and you'd pull a figure out if thin air based on what you, personally, thought you could get. If the customer asked a different staff member they'd get a different price. Plus, the margin was there for all to see, because company sensitive pricing info was written on the box. 7405 in marker pen over the barcode meant software (7), for playstation (4) that you traded in for a fiver (05). I would go into a store and see the game I wanted, and if the barcode showed me they didnt pay much for it, I'd add 30 percent to the barcode price and go to the till and make an offer. You'd usually get it because the manager aimed for 30% margin. The stock control system didn't keep a record of the titles, so all anyone knew was that you had x number of 7401s, x number of 7402s etc. How abusable was that? See a game in the pre-owned you like, bring in a game from home, write the code from the game you want on it and you're done. No money, no receipt, no trace . Customer buys a game they like, takes it home, gets a crappy game from their collection and writes the same number on the barcode and takes it back and gets a refund within the 10 day return policy! You could never prove otherwise, they had an item that matched the receipt. This definitely went on in some stores, I'm sure. I did loss prevention for a while and I'd see suspicious pre-owned codes but there wouldn't be a way to track it. You couldn't tell if it was just staff abusing the system, customers abusing the system, or just generous staff taking in crap games for too much money. But you knew that the 7620 on a Mary Kate And Ashley's Horse Riding for Ps1 surely wasn't just an overly generous member of staff offering a good deal, that 7620 probably used to be Halo 2 a week after launch but someone switched it. But there was no proof because the till didn't know what the game was supposed to be, it just knew you paid £20 for it. If your store sold lots of preowned and you made your margin, everything was OK so no further checks were needed. Crazy really, and when I used to audit these things the preowned basket was a good indication if you were in an honest store or not. You might not be able to prove it, but suspicious preowned often meant there would be other fiddles in other areas that you could prove. Then there was the famous 6500 code. Items you didn't give money for but figured you could sell. Promo items, stuff found in a trade in that you hadnt spotted, that extra disk found in the other half of a dreamcast case. When Andy's Records closed down and they threw a load of stock out, we took it from their bins , stuck it in preowned for a quid a time and the till did the maths as 100% margin. Everyone was doing that to inflate their margin figures. Likewise, if someone traded in a stack of games, say they had 10 games and you traded them in for £5 each, if there was a game you wanted there was nothing to stop you trading 8 of them for £6 and the other 2 for a pound each. Then you could buy the one you wanted for trade+40%. This was rife too, and every game sale for £1.40 was suspect. But completely within the rules, because the staff made up the prices as they went along anyway. The business made a higher margin on preowned than new, and we were told to promote preowned wherever possible. For a company that placed such a massive focus on the importance of preowned, it is amazing to me that they had this crappy ad-hoc system in place for so long.
  11. I did a thread a few days ago about this and got one reply that was one word long and 2 people negged the topic. But this is exactly the issue. This guy is complaining because he bought the rights to the Horace character, but he hasn't provided any evidence of that. But Horace was created by Billy Tang for the game Hungry Horace. When that game was sold to the publisher, did the contract state that the publisher now owned the rights to the character? It's legally hugely important, and seeing as how these games were often written by schoolkids, there may not even have been a contract. Even if there was, does it still exist? The crux of the matter is that someone, somewhere, owns the rights to the Horace character and therefore you are not allowed to make soft toys or use the character in your videos (fair use is one thing, but having Horace as a regular character living with Octavius is different). But the copyright holder needs to demonstrate that he owns the character - that is to say, He didn't just buy the rights to the Spectrum game Hungry Horace, but actually owns the likeness rights to the character. I'm not sure how he can prove that beyond doubt. If Octavius did these videos with Mario, Bugs Bunny or Captain Underpants, there would be no question of ownership. But because it's Hungry Bloody Horace For Crying Out Loud it's assumed that no-one really gives a shit. But if someone did buy the rights to the character then they can exercise their right to protect that character. But again, who do you buy Horace from, and can they prove the owned it in the first place? Hungry Horace was published by Sinclair Research and written by Billy Tang. If the rights of the character are sold with the game this would mean Billy would need to buy back the rights to Horace in order to create Horace Goes Ski-ing which was published by Melbourne House. But this was 1982 and I'd wager that no-one really cared about the character, so Billy just knocked out games with the character he'd designed and sold them to whichever publisher wanted them. I'll wager that a contract from that era was to surface it would be a straightforward "I exchange the publishing rights to Hungry Horace for this bag of cash" , meaning the character would still be owned by Billy Tang.
  12. Just tried the PC version of Outrun 2 Coast to Coast 2006 (White Label Budget re-release, thanks Oxfam!) and used the patch here http://dragonking.arcadecontrols.com/static.php?page=AboutFXT Link to patch is bottom right in small letters. Adds all the current control options you would want and also wheel support. What a game!
  13. About a year ago I discovered an engine for the old Emerald Mine Amiga game. It takes the level data from the original games and runs them all on your PC , Mac or even Amiga. This really is something special, and I can't recommend it enough. If you are loving Mr Do in our high score challenge thread, this might be right up your street. Emerald Mine came out for the Amiga in 1987 and was a very challenging and tricky Boulderdash variant. But it's much more than that. It's fast. Very, very fast. And it is stupidly addictive. I first stumbled across it by accident - I had been given a copy of what I thought was a Public Domain game called EatMine. It turned out that the commercial game Emerald Mine 2 came with a level editor on a second disk, and once you'd designed your own levels it saved them as a independent stand alone game title. I'm sure the PD library that sold mine was probably unaware they were selling effectively pirate games but the homemade versions of this game were everywhere and totally overshadowed the original. In fact, the commercial release, Emerald Mine 3 was a collection of the best user made levels that was released in 1990. The thing is, Emerald Mine looks like a Boulderdash clone, but when you play it (especially when you're playing a well designed level) you realise it's incredibly fast, challenging, inventive and really really addictive. I don't think I've ever played a more hardcore game of skill, so punishing, and yet it makes you want to play again immediately every time you lose. For example in Eatmine level zero there's a small blob of green slime at the top and bottom of the screen, and thousands of enemies all over the place. You are safe for the moment, but when the slime expands it kills you on contact. However, if the slime comes in contact with the yellow enemy it kills them and leaves behind 9 gems. Grab the gems, and make your way to the exit, letting the expanding slime kill the enemies without the gems falling on you. It's simple, yet an absolute nightmare all at once, and you get such a massive feeling of satisfaction when you complete a level. And even though it is so twitchy, where one wrong keypress means instant death, you will complete the level if you keep trying. Every keypress is gamble. It's tense, like the last few squares of Minesweeper, all the time. Levels include strategy and forethought combined with sheer panic. Level zero on Eagle Mine 28 is a proper race against the clock. It's fairly easy to get the right amount of gems without being squashed, but you'll need real practice to get them all in time. The screen becomes a chaotic mass of boulders falling all around, and any single one will kill you immediately. I played for an hour and finally nailed it. Eagle Mine 28, levels 11 - 15 are a masterclass of puzzle design. Yellow blocks have rocks inside them. As soon as you tunnel under, they drop out. You're being chased because you're leaving a trail of rocks that will kill you if you stop. You avoid them all and breathe a sigh of relief but then you realise you've blocked yourself in. Hit escape and try again. Immediately. It's outstanding, and sooo addictive. And here is the great news: There's a fantastic Emerald Mine Engine for the PC, and a downloadable level pack that contains every single version of Emerald Mine, and the whole download is a tiny two megabytes in size. YES. Megabytes. It's smaller than an email! http://www.emeraldmines.net/?emeraldx11 (Download the main game, and then the level pack for 50,000 levels!) I recommend Level 0 on the game EatMine, as a starter, and the other levels I mentioned above for a good game. Enjoy!
  14. It does , you press left bumper to ram. It was food fun though.
  15. Funny, I have just been doing a mission that involves shunting but it was great.
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