It doesn’t count if I link to it

I’ve spent a lot of this weekend at the keyboard; some of it typing and a lot of it alternating between staring into space and firing up a C64 emulator and MAME. And I’m pretty much done now, bar a bit of tidying up that I think can wait until the morning. In my immediate future lies soup and garlic bread and probably an episode of Lie To Me, and in my even more immediate future lies this post.

Three months ago at work we found ourselves in the position of having to conjure up a load of extra traffic to 3D World’s website out of thin air for reasons too facepalmy to go into. With no freelance budget to speak of, it fell to me to magic up some content. Tricky, because I don’t really know anything about 3D software. I once played with POVRay and didn’t really like it. However, what I do know about is games, and it was decided that I’d do a countdown of the BEST 100 3D GAMES OF ALL TIME.

An idiotic idea, clearly, but I went away and thought about it for a bit and came back with something more reasonable: 50 milestones in 3D gaming. Much more doable; milestones are so much less subjective than BEST, and I figured I could come up with 50 of them. Just to be sure I put a call out to Twitter for people’s suggestions, and set to work on a list.

I think I came up with something like 65, which I then hacked back to 50, and then I had the fun of trying to organise them into five themed lists, which was clearly impossible but which I just about managed with some imaginative headings and a very large crowbar. And then I had the stupid idea of linking each one to a YouTube embed; a no-brainer for modern games, but with a lot of the titles on this list going back to the 1980s and the earliest dating from 1976 it was an idea that really ought to have been strangled at birth. Amazingly there was only one game on the list that I couldn’t find a video for, and to be honest it’s one that I should have probably ditched anyway and replaced with something good. Also, why isn’t there a single decent video of Ant Attack on YouTube? There are a few, but they’re all being played by utter fucking cretins.

All that remained was to write the thing. Ten items a day, every day for a week, around 100 words per game, most of it culled from memory with extra trips to Wikipedia for hard facts when necessary. Seems reasonable, but the trouble with writing lots of little pieces is the danger of repeating yourself and digging out the same old phrases over and over again, so at times it was something of a slog. I managed it though, and got away with publishing it seconds after finishing writing without any sub pass, and on the whole it went down pretty well and generated a nice big traffic spike.

Which doesn’t amount to a lot, and so in the near-certain knowledge that you haven’t read it, today’s post is just a big preamble, leading up to this link.

And I’m well aware that the rules say something about using old stuff; like it says up there, though, it doesn’t count if I link to it.


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