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Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... Get Off My Lawn! Edition

Pinatas are yummy!With Spore, Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, and Mercenaries 2 coming out last week, our wallets are finally able to go back on their diet while our thumbs revel in this rather sudden call to action. Rather bizarrely, opinions on this latest batch of games are not as positive as one might expect, so this installment of Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice reads a bit like something written by grumpy old men (which, mind you, may not be far from the truth). It is a bit odd that VP2 and Spore, which both got good reviews in the media, drew such a mixed reaction from our local gaming lot, while Mercenaries 2, which fared considerably less well in the media, is making for some good coop times around these parts.

In any case, let's hurl some eyeballs at the following:

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Chris 'Hauser' Bull

Chris BullSince last week's Chris was so well received, we decided to follow that one up with another member of our Chris army. As Splash Damage's Animator, Chris 'Hauser' Bull is literally responsible for getting things moving, at least as far as game characters and models are concerned. For Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, Chris handled the bulk of the animation work, and he is now taking things to the next level by animating the first real-life Splash Damage baby.

To find out more about what Chris does here at Splash Damage, how he ended up here, his work on Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, and much more, put on this ridiculous looking mo-cap suit, pretend to be an emu, and waddle your way over to his profile. In related matters, we're totally trying to go for a Chris hattrick here (a Christrick, if you will), so keep your fingers crossed for Chris Dawson next week.

ETQW Website and Back-end Servers Untangled

After Sunday's and Monday's partial disruption of the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars Community Site and back-end authentication and update servers, normal service appears to have been restored. We're still not sure what caused the routing commotion in the first place, but Activision's server wizards continue to investigate. If you're still seeing connection problems with the website or in the game, please let us know in the comments and we'll pass the information on.

ETQW Community Site and Back-end Connectivity Issues

We're currently seeing some connectivity issues with the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars Community Site as well as the back-end authentication and update servers. It appears that certain ISPs are unable to establish connections to either one (we're actually unable to get to the Community Site from the office, for example), while others are completely fine. We've let the folks at Activision know about the problem and they're currently working to fix it. As soon as we have more information about what went wrong and when we can expect normal service to resume, we'll let you know.

Splash Damage Profiled by Develop Magazine

In the wake of Splash Damage being named Best Independent Studio at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards, Develop Magazine decided to chronicle our history from the Quake III Fortress mod days to the AAA-filled present. The piece was written after a long chat with Splash Damage directors Paul Wedgwood, Arnout van Meer, and Richard Jolly and is laden with plenty of quotes and behind-the-scenes information on how Splash Damage got to be where we are now and what we've got in store for the future. Definitely recommended reading!

Update: As noted by Develop writer person Ed Fear in the comments, the print version of the magazine is now online. You can find the Splash Damage piece on pages 32 - 34, including lots of pretty pictures from throughout Splash Damage's history.

Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... It's Almost September! Edition

Pixel TapirWith virtually no major releases in the past two weeks, we've got another small gaming drought at our hands, but that certainly didn't stop us from picking up our peripherals of choice. Xbox Live Arcade continues to deliver the goods and while we may not have gotten any new AAA fodder, the occasional quiet time lets us catch up on games we missed the first time around. Those of us yearning for new games will be happy to hear that September, which for some reason of other seems mark the early early beginning of the holiday season, is just around the corner.

If you haven't seen it yet, join our local Xbox Live Community Leaderboard (currently headed up by forum member Ging) and show off your achievements to the world. Getting on there is simple - just register a forum account, fill out the Xbox Live Gamertag field and start posting on the forums. Now, let's see what's been killing our thumbs:

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Arne Olav 'ao' Hallingstad

aoSlowest to skitter away from our Fiery Eye of Notoriety/duck beneath the Swishing Sword of Publicitisement this week was Splash Damage's code warrior Arne 'ao' Hallingstad. Arne cuts a dashing figure here in SD Towers, resplendent as he is in his floor-length satin robe embroidered with the Norwegian coastline, but he is most noted and famed for his jawdropping code-bullying skills. In fact the movie "Babe" is almost entirely about him, as long as you replace the pig with Arne, and the sheep with code, and wherever the movie is set with where we are. Seriously, he should sue the studio or something.

To find out more about where Arne's from, at and about, behold the entire and colossal interview which lurks within his new-fangled unmanned and horseless staff profile.

ducks and jRAD interviewed on EnemyTerritory.tv

ET.tvWhile out at QuakeCon 2008, Splash Damage ambassadors Jared 'jRAD' Hefty and Dave 'ducks' Johnston were dragged away by the EnemyTerritory·tv crew for a video interview featuring not just one, but in fact both of them. The dynamic duo discusses a variety of things, including the typical process a game update for Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars has to go through, the value of large-scale beta tests, the ETQW console versions, and a rather hotly anticipated fruit analogy. You can grab the interview in a variety of flavors over here on the EnemyTerritory.tv website.

Currently Hurling Mice/Controllers At... Braid: Bad Company

BraidSummer and the associated drought of games are still in full swing (as if you couldn't tell by the gap between this installment and the last one), but we're now back in action! We've had a few games come out in recent weeks, with Xbox Live Arcade serving up the excellent Braid alongside Geometry Wars Evolved2. Soul Calibur 4 appears to be the only notable retail release to hit lately, but September (and with it a fresh crop of games) is drawing ever closer.

In any case, let's see what we're playing, shall we? We've actually got several new faces in this installment, with recently crowned Audio Director Chris 'peaceful warrior' Sweetman and freshly spawned Lead Programmer Dean 'Deano' Calver hurling peripherals for the first time.


Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Jiri 'JFK' Kristek

JFKRepresenting our crack team of Production Coordinators, Jiri 'JFK' Kristek fearlessly throws his hat into the Ring of Interrogation for our latest staff interview. Jiri is currently attached to our art team (metaphorically, of course, otherwise that'd be pretty weird), where he makes sure that the guys and gals have everything they need to be as artsy as possible.

To find out more about Jiri's daily duties here at the office, how he ended up at Splash Damage, his gaming habits, and his giant Swedish brain, we heartily recommend slowly slurping the soup of words that is his profile page.