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Handguns, fist-fights, missing payrolls, a kaleidoscopic galaxy of hard illegal drugs, reviews written while on LSD, insane deadlines, missed deadlines, an eclectic band of eccentric characters, one guy with mafia connections who could order a hit on some, plus a Vegas prostitute named Simone. These are just some of the wild, wild stories that allegedly took place during the wild, wild days of DieHard GameFAN. And then there were the games, of course, with some of the most amazing layouts imaginable.

GameFAN was a magazine unlike any other; a unique part of gaming's history, never to be repeated. For many, such as myself, it shaped my entire way of thinking about games, in addition to my playing preferences. It defined an era for many. It was a legendary magazine.

Almost as legendary is THIS THREAD on The Next Level forums, featuring former GameFAN staff. It started Christmas Eve, 24 December 2004, and continues to this day. It took in the rise and fall of Hardcore Gamer magazine, plus the rise and fall of Play, and then the start-up of the new GameFAN. At the time of writing it's 182 pages long, with over 1800 posts, including some of the wildest stories imaginable.

I took it upon myself to read through each page, and links to other related forum topics, and condensed it into a single page. I have filtered out the comments of readers, to bring you 100% comments from GameFAN staff, or those that had direct interaction. My reason: a lot of the follow-on topics, on other forums, ended up closing and the recollections were lost. Apparently, K LEE from GameFAN made numerous posts on a now long dead forum which the Wayback archives don't have. This is a valuable, and fascinating piece of history, and so it deserves to be archived. Plus, why sift through 180 pages, when what you really want are the juicy stories? Please excuse any errors or coding problems - the entire thing weighed in at over 50'000 words, which is as long as a novel! I then had to tidy it up, and convert into HTML. Instances where posts contained quotes, I have ITALICISED these quotes.

I didn't ask permission to repost any of this. It's a matter of public record from a publicly accessible forum. Nothing here is private correspondence. I won't remove anything, but if any of those mentioned want to add something (such as the aforementioned K LEE), then I would be more than happy to make additions and place them at the top.

All photos courtesy of those who posted them in the topic.

I want to say: I have only respect and admiration for those featured here. In my youth, reading GameFAN, they were my heroes. The magazine was my Bible and laid the foundation for my appreciation of games, especially imports. Terry Wolfinger's art was fantastic, even more so when you learn he's an artist who is colour blind - which I found astounding, and inspirational. Some have spoken negatively of Dave Halverson's business practices - I can't comment on this. I've written one review for the new GameFAN, and I was paid with no problem, so in that regard I have only positive feelings for my dealings with the new magazine. I was treated infinitely better by the new GameFAN than I was by certain British games magazines, some of which failed to pay me several thousand pounds, and others where the petty attitudes of certain editors threatened to derail my career. The staff on the current GameFAN I've dealt with, in comparison, have been upstanding, sterling gentlemen.

Whatever your feelings of the magazine world, enjoy this wild ride through history.

If you have further material, such as from the dead forums which I mention and link to, please email us with it!


HISTORY OF DIEHARD GAMEFAN MAGAZINE

Shigeru Miyamoto was a fan

Cover

24 Dec 2004, 01:36 AM

The GameFan history thread

Shidoshi

I've got a new wiki-powered section of my website, and I'm working on the page for GameFan magazine. One of the pieces of the history of GameFan I'm really sketchy on, though, is the part where Ziff Davis game in. I've heard a few things - that Ziff tried to purchase the rights to the name GameFan but failed, they purchased the rights but never used the name, and that they even ran gamefan.com for a short time before putting it down.

Could anybody clear things up concerning the connection to GameFan that Ziff had?

(Last edited by BonusKun; 13 Jan 2005 at 10:01 AM)

===============

Shidoshi

Originally Posted by IronPlant

Shidoshi make sure to put a transcript of that review where one of the eds goes crazy and writes nothing but racial slurs against the Japanese.

Already planned on that.

This page is one of the things that confuses me, specifically:

(http://gamegroup.ziffdavis.com/presscenter/biographies.html)

Sam was hired to relaunch GameFan.com, where he managed to quadruple traffic in a matter of weeks. He then accepted a News Editor Position at GameSpot; where he played a key role in raising the site's traffic to record levels and helping formulate a massive relaunch strategy.

Now, I'm not so familiar with the end-of-days GFO crew, but I've never heard of Sam. As well, saying that he was in charge of the "relaunch" of GameFan.com makes me wonder.

==================

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Matt, I heard rumors back in the day that some GF editors caught shit because were selling review copies of games to pirates. Any truth to that as far as you know?

From my said GameFan information page on my new site:

GameFan found itself in a tight spot when a pirated copy of the pre-release version of Resident Evil 2 was found by Capcom at a local SoCal video game shop... a copy that contained information showing it to have been copied from the preview release given to GameFan.

A member of the staff stupidly let the copy of the game get into the hands a friend who was know for pirating games. What would result would be pretty obvious to most people.

Quote Originally Posted by Integrity

When Sam left Gaming Age, his first "paying" gig was for GFO, but he was there for just a couple of months before he left for GameSpot. His "name" at GF was Captain Smak (it was during the ECM era that he was writing for GFO, not after the magazine shut down).

As far as the supposed 'relaunch', GFO hit a dead cycle for a period of time and when Sam came on board, started updating way more frequent and thus worked miracles according to his bio.

Ah, gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to GameFan.com after I stopped running it, so I wasn't always up on who was part of it. I remember Hi-Fi, but that's pretty much it.

===========

Shidoshi

When will your Gamefan page be finished?

Here is what I've got so far. It still isn't finished, and things like the staff listing and links to stuff like the 'Jap Bastards' incident haven't been touched yet.

http://bible.morningmayo.com/index.php/GameFan#History

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Well, that answers that. Thanks 'doshi. Were there any repercussions from Capcom?

Being that I was just a lowely peon, I didn't get the full story. I know that we had to seriously kiss their ass, and I think we agreed to do some special projects for them in one way or another.

=========

djpubba

According to Ruebus, who worked for us at DoubleJump briefly, the federal marshals actually showed up and searched the place. This was long after I left (which was shortly before the move to Agoura Hills).

===========

Shidoshi

You know, this might then connect to what I thought was the IRS investigation. I know we showed up for work one day, the place was locked down, and we were each given like two minutes to be escorted in to retrieve any personal belongings. That would make sense.

==========

djpubba

The original magazine was handled by three main people: Dave Halverson, Jay Puryear, and Guy Whose Name I've Forgotten.

The original was handled by Halverson, Greg Off, Terry Wolfinger, George Weising, Kei Kubuki, Andrew Cockburn, Mas something and Tim Lindquist (me). Jay mostly worked the counter at GameClub until a little while later.

We printed the first issue (and the catalogs) at my old place of employement, TV Fanfare in Valencia. Jay drove around to the local newstands with the first issue in the back of his pickup truck and basically gave it free to whoever would put it on the racks. By the 2nd issue we had a deal with the people who distributed Low Rider magazine to distribute us nationally -- in liquor stores across the country. We were on our way.

======

Shidoshi

See... this is why I love the internet.

Thanks for the info. I'm updating as we speak.

======

cka

GameFan Network (surely this was seperate from GameFan the magazine) was run by eFront, and eFront were a bunch of real cheap pricks who rarely paid their hosted sites for advertisement hits. They eventually closed up shop (WITHOUT PAYING US MIND YOU), and all the sites got the shaft -- including my old prodigy fighters.net, somethingawful.com, and a handful of PC gaming sites.

======

Shidoshi

If you (or others) can expand a bit on GameFan Network, I'll put up a page for that as well.

======

cka

I explained pretty much all I remember about them... We got a shitty server, they never paid us, and they folded after only a few months because they couldn't afford to pay hosted sites for advertising.

=====

MVS

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Matt, I heard rumors back in the day that some GF editors caught shit because were selling review copies of games to pirates.

I know what you are reffering to, but it was this:

RE2 review copy came in.

Andrew Cockburn took it home and, no pun intended, burned it.

2 days later it was brought to the attention of he president of Capcom Japan that it was released in HK, a copy was brought to him and he wasn't happy.

Federal Marshals raid GF office.

Took at least 2 years for Capcom to leave a review copy of a game at GF, usually they were there waiting as it was played.

So, true it happened, not true it was sanctioned or intended by GF.

The January 2001 Issue was finished and burned onto CD, btw. I assumed Bruce had it, but he might not have taken it.

The 55,000,000 'investment' is shady as well. Rumor has it that Dave Bergstein 'lost' 30,000,000+ of it and it's a mystery to most why a hitman hasn't shown up on his doorstep.

There was also 2 different and yet unnamed buyers for GF that were in negotian's to buy GF from around December 1st-15th (Shit Birthday Luck again) and then on to about the end of the month.

=====

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by IronPlant

hmm, could one of you clear one thing up for me? What were the politics behind the chat going pure java? I think I've been told, but it was so long ago I have forgotten.

Boy, I don't know anything about that. The biggest chatroom story I know was when Dan (Knightmare) went in there drunk one night, and ended up getting temporarily fired for what he said the next day. *heh*

Oh, and: The "Jap Bastards" incident

http://bible.morningmayo.com/index.php/Jap_Bastards

====

djpubba

I do have the first two around somewhere, and all the catalogs.

There's a nice list of all the issues with cover pics here:

http://www.millartime.com/videogames/gamefan.htm

Edit: Whoops, it's gone now. You can still get it here for now:

http://web.archive.org/web/20031216131108/http://millartime.com/videogames/gamefan.htm

======

COmpass

Interesting read, Shidoshi. I'd like to hear about the post-Halverson GameFan. It seemed like everyone who didn't accompany him to Gamers' Republic harbored a lot of resentment. There were comics that made fun of him, lots of referrals to "the Mullet", etc. Why was there so little respect? Was he a horrible boss, secretly hated by everyone the whole time? Or were people just pissed 'cause they got left behind at GameFan?

========

Shidoshi

Well... I've really calmed down about Halverson, and I've talked to him on different occasions in recent years, and we've been pretty cool with each other. So, I don't want to sit here and point fingers and place blame and whatnot.

At the time of the split, it wasn't totally those who were "left behind" - a number of people, including me, decided to stay. I never felt like I got much of a chance under Dave's rule, I felt he didn't like to so much, and I felt that I'd have far more opportunity at GameFan once he was gone. Once he left, I had the chance to actually do reviews of some of the games I wanted to, and I was able to do anything I wanted to do with AnimeFan.

If you want to read about my past feelings about Halverson, then hit this link. It's an archived page from Fatbabies that came about when Halverson showed up on the GameGO message forum. As I said, I'm over all of that now, and I'm sure he's quite a different person now as well.

http://www.fatbabies.com/story_sept-oct01.html - ZIP archive

[http://web.archive.org/web/20080513175002/http://www.fatbabies.com/story_sept-oct01.html]

==========

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Compass

Why was there so little respect? Was he a horrible boss, secretly hated by everyone the whole time?

When I worked with him he seemed to me to be the biggest bullshitting backstabber I'd ever had the bad luck to meet. If he's changed, that's great, but from what I've heard from PR folks who I talk to who have to deal with him still today, he treats them the same way.

==========

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Core Boy

Shidoshi, something doesn't synch-up with the dates in that article. Was it the Sept'96 issue?, it doesn't seem like Sept'99 is correct. ..just a heads-up.

Yeah, a moment of brain failure on my part. It was 1995, not 1999. Thanks.

Quote Originally Posted by sedition

thanks for the link... looks like i'm missing the catalogs 1-3 and the first two magazines.. along with the Street Fighter Alpha 3 issue(which i saw in the store once and didn't buy, damn) and the Soul Reaver issue. Also missing the last megafan.

My guess is that finding the catalogs would be a hundred times harder than finding the first two issues of the mag. I think I've only ever seen one of the catalogs once.

The Soul Reaver issue was one that I want to say was featured at the E3 show of that year. Unfortunately, it was during a particularly bad time for getting the mag printed, and it saw only very limited release beyond that. My guess is that that issue is probably one of the hardest to find.

==============

djpubba

Speaking of GameFan rarities, here's an interesting one I found on an old Syquest disk. It's the media kit we made to take to CES before the launch of the magazine. We couldn't afford to print it so the only thing that even possibly exists besides the files is the film, which probably got tossed in a move.

Here's a PDF of it.

GamefanMediakit.pdf

Some of the graphic links are missing so they come out with white boxes around them. As bad as it is, it wasn't as THAT bad. (Okay, the background on that masthead is that bad).

==========

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Compass

::does a double-take::

wait a sec, you almost got fired for having dyed hair?

Yup. The argument was that I wasn't presentable to the reps from game companies anymore.

Of course, I never was presented to reps in the first place. Also, the entire office itself was never presentable to reps. *heh*

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

Speaking of GameFan rarities, here's an interesting one I found on an old Syquest disk. It's the media kit we made to take to CES before the launch of the magazine. We couldn't afford to print it so the only thing that even possibly exists besides the files is the film, which probably got tossed in a move.

Consider that stolen for later use. *heh*

Very interesting. If you have anything else from the early days of GF, I'd love to see it.

============

djpubba

Who was your alter ego?

I did very little writing since I was too busy doing the "real" work. ;-)

Especially in the beginning when George and I were the only ones who knew how to type. The "writers" would all stand around us at the computer and dictate their reviews as we typed them directly into the layout.

The only stuff I ever wrote went under the name "King Fausto". I did a few Viewpoints and a Streets of Rage preview.

========

Fe 26

Dango is still around. I'm not sure what company, but he does something in regards to putting out sports games. He is the only orginal GF writer that still comes to GF_Tavern to talk.

=C he doesn't talk about VOOT much anymore.

============

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Klonoa

Whats that story about how the GF crew weren't getting their paychecks for a long period of time and Halverson was driving around in an Audi TT?

I don't know Dave's side of this: however, here is the staff's side.

When I started, GameFan was under Metropolis Media. What would happen is, as payday was day or two away, we would call the bank to see if there was any money in the back to actually make the paychecks worth something. It was pretty sad that we knew by heart the phone number for the bank and the account number for Metropolis Media. Maybe twice a year, on payday, the full amount to pay all of the employees was in there. The most common even was that there would be about half of the required amount in there. The morning of payday, we'd call to make sure that there was at least something in there. The moment checks were handed out, everybody would run out to their cars, and Cannonball Run style, race to the closest branch of that bank to cash the checks. If you got there too late, you were out of luck. The remainder of the money to cover the paychecks might come the next day, or it might not come for a few days. I think once or twice, it even took a week or so to get in there, if not longer.

There were times, though, that no money was in there at all on payday, so everybody in the office simply had worthless pieces of paper. We'd then have to just call every day to find out when we could actually get some money.

==========

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

The "writers" would all stand around us at the computer and dictate their reviews as we typed them directly into the layout.

Quote Originally Posted by Brisco Bold

What? There's gotta be a story behind this...

Hmmm, story... well nobody there could type worth a darn and for a while the only computers to type on were mine and George's (I had a Mac IIx, my own computer which I brought in from home, and they bought George a Mac IIci). So most articles would be hand written and handed to us. The Viewpoint section was consistently dictated right into the layout for many issues. Everyone would gather around me or George and just brain dump. Several of the aliases were all Halverson -- Skid, Mr. Goo, E. Storm, sometimes Sgt. Gamer -- probably one or two more I'm forgetting... more than a few times the different Viewpoints on the same game would all be written by him.

I guess another interesting story would be about how the GameClub GameFan catalogs got done. This was before I was in the same physical location as everyone else (pre-magazine). Halverson would write out the copy in pencil on pieces of paper. He'd cut screen shots out of Japanese magazines and paper clip them to 3 x 5 cards with the names of the games written on them. When it was all ready, I'd meet with him to get the pile, which I took home to turn into a catalog. That's how all the DieHard GameClub ads in EGM got done, too. I'd do 'em up then return with printouts for approval.

Speaking of screen shots... we started off with some really horrible composite video capture hardware. The quality of shots in issue 1 was piss-poor, but I knew from my experience hacking the Genesis and Neo Geo into arcade cabinets with RGB monitors that if I could find a screen capture card with RGB input we'd be able to grab near pixel-perfect shots and trounce EGM and the other mag's shot quality. So I dug through the ads in the back of a bunch of Mac magazines and found what I was looking for -- the Computer Friends Colorsnap 32+, which advertised RGB inputs. So I told Dave that it'd be so worthwhile to plunk down the extra dough to buy this card. He was skeptical but agreed with some reservation. When the card arrived, it came with a cable that just had BNC connectors, so I cannibalized the cable I had made for the arcade monitor, mated the two, grabbed some shots and showed him the difference. He was upset that I hadn't showed this to him sooner.

After I left GameFan and started Dimension Publishing with Talko and Brody, Halverson sued Dimension when we came out with a competing publication (PS-X, later PSExtreme) and part of the suit was that we had stolen RGB screen capture technology owned by GameFan -- not any of their hardware -- no, we stole the very concept of grabbing screen shots in RGB.

============

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Rumpy

E. Storm too? I thought he did the manual for Weaponlord...and that he was a real person. Or am I thinking of someone else?

E. Storm was definitely Halverson. The full name was Ernest Storm, made from a combination of Ernest Evans and Alien Storm (or Nova Storm, I forget which Storm game it was).

==========

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Jetman

And this just makes me want to vomit. Halverson didnt win the law suit did he?

It was settled out of court and I believe there was an NDA clause I signed preventing me from disclosing the details of the settlement.

However I can talk about the stuff which anyone we were talking to at the time would have heard. There was more than just the RGB screen shot issue. From what I understood from being around while this was happening, there was a contract between GameFan and Talko that had two parts. Part one was that Talko would continue to write for GameFan after he left (the sports section) and they would pay him an agreed upon amount for his work. Part two was that he wouldn't compete with GameFan. Well, it wasn't long before Talko said he wasn't getting paid for his work so he considered the contract broken and he was free to compete with GameFan. So we made PS-X. GameFan sued him and there was a settlement, the details of which I cannot speak. As anyone can see, however, Dimension continued producing PS-X (renamed PSExtreme because of a threatened suit from Ziff Davis) and we merrily continued grabbing screen shots in RGB. :-)

Quote Originally Posted by Melf

Wasn't Halverson also the Postmeister?

Yes, most of the time, but I recall that different people would write the Posty replies, depending on who knew the best answer. So Postmeister wasn't just one person. And yes, there were occasionally times when both the questions and answers were written by the Postmeister. But in fairness, that didn't happen at GameFan as much as at some *other*, *cough*, magazines I worked on.

=============

bahn

Quote Originally Posted by Melf

Wasn't Halverson also the Postmeister?

Actually, most of the team took turns -- not sure if he ever stepped up to that duty. But as it turns out, Hi-Fi ended up playing the role the longest from what he told me sometime ago.

================

djpubba

I only speak of the time I was there, of course, which was full time from before issue 1 until about the 12th issue, plus I worked on 4-5 issues after that on a freelance basis, part time, but on site.

===========

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by x2y

They even made Macross VFX look good too bad it was a turd.

Hey, at least I trashed it in my review.

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

As for Shidoshi, I remember your review of Real Bout: Fatal Fury and how you went on and on about the "Blue Mary Blues" extra you got when you beat the game (I think you called it "the greatest extra in the history of fighting games"). Good review.

Haha, yeah. I wasn't the biggest Real Bout fan in the world, but at that point, I was far and away the biggest NeoGeo fan that was at the mag. Anything that I could do to get more coverage for the Neo, I did.

And actually, Blue Mary made a cameo in one way or another in most of the game reviews that I did.

==========

Adol

E. Storm on McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure:

"Believe me, this is an exceptional game. In fact, it's so good that witin minutes you'll forget all about Ronald because you'll be having fun, playing a great and original acion/platform that is ful of great play mechanics, colorful, detailed graphics and beyond 16bit special effects." GameFan Vol. 1 #12.

===========

Shidoshi

A few more quick stories from the days of GameFan...

Bergstein (the guy in charge of Metropolis) had this small army of guys who did his bidding - problem solvers, basically, no matter how big or small the problem. They were all of the same certain ethnicity, Middle Eastern or something like that. The lead guy - Musha, Misha, Moesha, some name like that - had supposedly made sure more than a handful of guys were never seen or heard from again back in his home country.

Jody Setzer was a nice guy, but I had a stupid situation with him one time. He asked me if I wanted to help on the Puzzle Fighter guide (the pocket one that was given away at Kay-Bee), and I said sure, because I was a big fan of the game. He then took that to mean that I wanted to DO the strategy guide, and expected me to get started on it. I had never done a strategy guide in my life, and at that point, I had little grabbing experience and zero layout experience. I tried to tell him that I couldn't just "do" a strategy guide without at least some suggestion on how one makes one, and he got pissed about that. The project was given to a few of the other guys, but I still helped out on it.

Most of the foreign writers started working at GameFan totally illegally. They would come over on a visitor's Visa, work at the office, and once their three month vacation Visa was up, they would fly back to their country and stay there a bit until they could come back on another visitor's Visa.

THQ came by when they were trying to pimp their PSX fighter Vs. The semi-Asian girl with pink and black hair in the game was based on a real girl that one of the lead developers had a hard-on for. (It might have been his girlfriend, but I don't think so.) So THQ brought her along one day, and we sat down with her to play the game. Most of the guys were just goofing around, not really playing seriously, and letting her win. I wasn't such a gentleman, and kicked her ass in the game. Suddly, the THQ PR chick pulls out this Sony discman with a huge "Vs." sticker on it, and proclaims me the winner of the Vs. "tournament." We, of course, had no idea we were in some sort of tournament. The THQ PR woman was a TOTAL hottie, so even though their games sucked ass back then, I loved it when they stopped by.

I was in charge of reviewing Ten Pin Alley, a bowling game (and actually, a pretty good one) for the PSX. One of the guys who worked at the company releasing it, ASC Games, tried to convince me to convince Dave to put Ten Pin Alley on the cover of GameFan. He even offered to name one of the characters in the game after me if I could talk him into it.

I'll post more later.

==============

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Ex Ranza

Halverson had me totally convinced of Cybermorph's greatness, I'll tell you that much.

Then I got a Jag, took it home, and something seemed... not right.

Oh, there's a doosy of a story behind that one. I shit you not, but Halverson was high on acid when he wrote the Cybermorph article, along with half the staff. We had just pulled a couple of all-nighters in a row, which was the norm at deadline times. Apparently, when The Enquirer came back to work the next morning, he dropped some acid in the coffee pot, which most of the crew, including Halverson, drank from. I wasn't a coffee drinker at the time so I didn't really notice anything unusual and didn't learn what was going on until George started threatening to murder Cockburn.

So, re-read that Cybermorph article now that you know he was on acid, and it'll shed new light on just why he thought it was such a great game.

========

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Klonoa

I think Halverson posted on TNL once to straighten some things out (in a thread about Halverson, not surprisingly)

Either it really happened or, all this Halverson talk got me imagining things.

Actually, to correct this, Dave stopped by the GameGO forum to plug the introduction of Play - he wasn't there because of any talk about him. He posted, I went nuts on him, and things snowballed from there. (That was a pretty interesting thread, actually, because a lot of the old GF crew ended up stopping by to say something.)

And the "acid in the coffee" story was still a pretty popular story when I was working there.

=======

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

I'd like to give a shout out to Shidoshi and djpubba for what they've contributed to this thread. Gamefan was my all-time favorite gaming mag. As has been pointed out, it wasn't the best or most professionally written, but it had 10,000x the personality of any other mag. I enjoyed reading it so much I even read the sports game articles, and I couldn't give a shit about sports games.

I hear that. Even though I don't have good things to say about Halverson's people skills, he was and still is dedicated to what he does and some great magazines came out of what he does. I take pride in the part I played in making GameFan. It was definitely the most interesting time of my life and there was a lot of good fun mixed into the nightmare. :-D

============

rezo

Quote Originally Posted by Ex Ranza

December '93. I've been looking for a transcript or something on the web since my original copies are long gone, but to no avail. Man.. that was over 10 years ago.. I feel old..

It was posted here before, <b>during an older version of this topic</b>. However, when I looked for it, all that I found was diffusionx asking for it over a year ago and mentioning that he knew it was posted here before but couldn't find it, so I guess it was posted on one of the older versions of the board. =\

==========

djpubba

Okay, another story. One day, we were sitting around, minding our own business, making a magazine, and the police showed up wanting to speak with Andrew Cockburn's boss. They wanted to see if this kid they had with them was a good hard working honest citizen, or just some drugged out acid dropping nutjob. So, of course, Halverson told them what a good kid he was... hard working, all that, yadda, yadda. So the police say, allegedly, The Enquirer was making a right turn, but was watching for traffic coming from the left, saw none, and went... right into a female jogger. Well, since Dave vouched for him, they told the jogger she should have known better and Andrew did no wrong since he had no reason to look right when traffic comes from the left, and let him go.

I'm not sure if this was before or after the authorities came looking for Andrew for obtaining a fake ID under the name "Guile" from Street Fighter 2, and had used it to get a passport and went to Japan on it, but I'm pretty sure it was before spiking the company coffee pot with lsd.

=============

djpubba

Okay, and then there was Kei (Special K). Kei was Japanese. He was the one who translated all the Japanese games and magazines for Dave and co. so they knew what the hell all the little jap bastards were talking about. Dave had a dog. He had two dogs, actually. One was a pug named Puggle and the other was a small white furball named Snowball. Both male. Both spent a lot of time at the offices. Puggle was dumb as stump and thought Snowball was a female and would routinely test that theory. Kei thought this was the best thing ever and would show how he was not afraid to manually take care of Puggle's needs, right in front of whoever was around to see. Kei also confided to whoever happened to be listening that he was not jealous of American men. He explained that American men may have large penises, but they were not able to have very stiff erections because of that. He went on to say that Japanese men had small penises, but enjoyed the luxury of VERY hard erections (illustrated with a shaken fist in the air, arm bent at the elbow). I wasn't sure at the time, but now that I've met more Japanese natives, I'm relieved to find that these aren't just normal Japanese social behaviors and Kei was a little off base. I don't think he was gay.

Still, Kei was a pretty nice guy and we were friends. We actually printed one or two of his Japanese sections in PS-X. It was sort of a magazine within a magazine, called "Impact Magazine."

=============

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

I'm not sure if this was before or after the authorities came looking for Andrew for obtaining a fake ID under the name "Guile" from Street Fighter 2, and had used it to get a passport and went to Japan on it, but I'm pretty sure it was before spiking the company coffee pot with lsd.

That's so great. RESPECT!!!

I only met Kei a few times myself, but I knew of the dog thing, and of the running joke of imitating him with this, "Hey doooooood!"

Quote Originally Posted by IronPlant

Didn't you have some werid thing for her, and the knight girl from SS? I recall there being fanshrines and some other nonsense on your webpage back in the day.

Hell yeah... Mary and Charlotte, the girl from SS.

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Shidoshi

Another few quick ones... not terribly exciting, but still fun.

One time the Capcom reps were at the offices, showing us Megaman Legends, and they were giving Nick crap about his SF EX review. In the layout, Nick had taken the character art for Skullo, I think it was, and Sakura, and had positioned them on the page so that it looked like Skullo was copping a feel on Sakura.

Also, if anybody is familiar with the Japanese movie version of Weather Woman, I took a screenshot of what was basically the US video cover (the main character pulling up her skirt to flash her panties, which looked like nothing more than a swimsuit or something) and included it in with the other screenshots for my review. The next day, I got a call from GF HQ saying that I was in big trouble for trying to put porn into the mag.

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Shidoshi

Who was MVS?

Kodomo. The guy with the soccer ball. I can't remember if he was technically "last generation" or next to last.

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djpubba

I don't believe that's the right Cybermorph article. The acid one was more pages. I do, however, love how he calls the layout artist (which was probably Jacob Riskin or George Weising at the time), "my trusty Quadra operator". What an assface.

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djpubba

"...filled with vivid, brilliant colors and detailed polygon enemies, that seem aware of my presence..."

That sounds like the acid talking to me. Enemies that are aware of your presence? Uh yes, Dave, they've had that in games for a while.

And besides, there's no doubt that it was true. I was *there* when it happened.

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kdeselms

Nick pointed this thread out to me on my blog's message board and so I wrote a long-ass post about GameFan Online during my tenure. I won't waste the bandwidth here to reprint it but go here if you want to read it. I think Sam taking sole credit for quadrupling traffic is a bit self-serving, but he did have a huge hand in getting the site turned back around. I know that during my time, Shidoshi was off-site and doing his AnimeFan stuff independently, so may not have as much perspective on that period of time, which happened to be the site's most prolific, traffic-wise.

Kevin Deselms

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ZIP archive of the above described forum page, as taken from Wayback.

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KEVIN DESELM'S POST FROM EVILNET, JANUARY 2005:

Okay, be prepared...this is a long one.

It's so funny to me that years and years after the magazine's demise, people are still talking about GameFan. I think that magazine probably had the most loyal following in the industry. I came in after the departure of Halverson, when Jay Puryear was acting as publisher. Jody Seltzer, who was part of GameFan from very early and was basically responsible for GameFan Books, was a good friend of mine from back in the day. He hired me to be his assistant manager at a game shop in Colorado called "Power Play Games"? This was circa 1991, during the height of the 16-bit era. I used to hang out at the store and B.S. with him, we got to be chummy and when the owner came in and I was there, chatting with customers and recommending stuff (actually waiting for him to deliver Final Fantasy 2), he told Jody to get an application from me, so they could unload their current assistant manager and hire me in his place. I worked there for around a year or so, I guess. Jody and Lew (the owner) ended up moving to California to hook up with Diehard Gameclub when Lew's Power Play business started going south. They were hoping to start up a Gameclub franchise, I believe. Anyway, Jody and Halverson hit it off, while Lew apparently clashed with him. So Jody worked for GameFan until Imagine offered him a job (presumably to head up a books department, since he'd run GameFan books with a great deal of success). Things didn't happen for him there, so he ended up coming back to GameFan again when Jay took over.

The details of how I wound up at GameFan have been covered early in my columns on the VideoWrestling site - but while I was there, things were fairly fun. I was one of two people (Sam Kennedy being the other) hired to beef up the website. Since my focus had become television and video editing, I felt I had knowledge and ability beyond that which was being shown by other game sites in their video offerings. So I decided to give our site a different draw, by cutting promos for every major game we previewed and reviewed. Sam Kennedy was brought in at the same time, because he had earned a reputation as a news hound and also had a very solid and communicative Japanese contact who provided quite a few good scoops. We thought that since he was getting news all day, and we were basically writing all day, we'd buck the trend of all the sites updating at 6pm and go all day long, whenever something was ready. This ended up working against us a lot of times, because we'd scoop something and then the competition would snap it up and use it as their own. But between Sam's news and my video contributions and of course, review and preview writing by all three of us (Brandon Justice was the existing online writer), our traffic increased fairly rapidly. I don't know whether it's Sam taking credit for quadrupling traffic in his first few months or whether someone else wrote that, but it certainly wasn't his news alone that accomplished this. We easily quadrupled the amount of worthwhile content that was being published exclusively on GameFan.Com and that was entirely a team effort, among the three of us. I had Thomas feeding me European exclusives that angered the Euro sites, because of his huge array of Euro contacts, so we weren't just limited to Japanese import news. This is not to belittle Sam's contributions in any way at all, he scooped a lot of people with news...but our videos were also gaining a ton of notoriety among fans as well as PR people. In fact, we were allowed to publish videos of games other sites weren't, simply by virtue of the fact that I was making crappy games look good. I remember Eidos actually REQUESTING that I take an alpha of one of their games, which had almost no enemies in it, and do a video making it look like a winner. I forget what it was - some third person action game - but after I did it, we got the video exclusive on quite a few games after that, from them.

Anyway, Sam was with GameFan.Com for a very short while - maybe a couple-three months. I was named the managing editor of the site and I think both he and Brandon resented that fact - even though I was the one doing the copy-editing, writing a ton of the content, the Postmeister, and spending 4-5 hours digitizing gameplay and cutting videos for the site. It wasn't without merit that I was placed in that position. So Sam took his opportunity at Ziff (I don't blame him one bit and he's done spectacularly well there for himself) and shortly thereafter (actually, right before E3), Brandon bailed for IGN. I was the sole GameFan.Com staff member for that year's E3 - we were in a little 10' by 10' cubicle in Kentia Hall and I sat there all three days, never leaving but for the last two hours of the third day. I organized all of the magazine writers into shifts, assigned them companies to cover, and throughout the show they'd come in and file reports and give us CD's with shots and movies. The IT guy would process the shots with our watermark, I'd copy edit every article and post it, along with the shots. We had record traffic during that show and afterward, we started hiring new people for the site. Anthony (Dangohead) was moved over first, as my main help - God bless him. I also got some help from Jason (Fury). Eric was ecstatic to land Levi from Nintendo Power (actually, he was always thrilled at the opportunity to hire people away from other pubs) - and Levi proved to be my right hand from the beginning. The guy's a great, witty writer and a fairly fun presence in the workplace - if you're not easily embarrassed. We put out a call for writers on the site, and Rick came in for an interview. I talked to him for a while and liked him, he seemed like an easygoing guy and would be a good fit, even though he hadn't had a ton of writing experience yet. He definitely loved games and he had a unique taste - which of course I ribbed him about constantly. But it's important to have diversity on your review staff. Matt Van Stone came in and interviewed, at this point we were looking for someone who knew Japanese and loved games, but the Japanese knowledge was really important with the gap that Sam left. We at least needed someone who could read the Japanese magazines and sites, as well as import games. Matt had a good grasp of the language and a decent background in games, so we hired him, too. We were pursuing a redesign of the site that compartmentalized each platform; the concept was to put one guy in charge of each section, and have one person to help them. Levi would head up the Nintendo section (naturally) and Rick would help him, since he loved Nintendo too. We needed people to run the PlayStation and Dreamcast sections, though. Again, relishing the chance to steal talent, ECM grabbed Fernando Mosquera (then at Gamer's Republic after folding his SegaNet site into their property) to run the Dreamcast site, and Jay Boor (then at IGN PSX) to head up the PlayStation section. At this point, we had what I felt was a really, really good staff and our traffic really started to take off. I was able to focus less on writing and more on videos (still doing the copy editing and Postmeister, as well as trying to direct traffic among all the different writers), and traffic started to climb pretty steadily.

You have to understand that when I started at GameFan, the website was only getting around 6-7,000 unique visitors a day (around the time when Shidoshi and then Brandon were running it, more or less alone). When Sam and Brandon left, we were getting around 20-25,000 uniques. With the crew I described above, we got up to about 40,000 unique visitors per day - and that's when we decided to branch out into the PC games world. We approached Robert (Apache) who had been running the most popular Unreal website on the net, about starting his own PC site as a subsection of GameFan.Com (under the final redesign) and he liked the idea of competing with the likes of Voodoo Extreme and Blues News. So he came on board, and we hired one person to help him out - a well-known PC hardware reviewer whose name I can't remember - I think it was another Matt. Those two worked fairly independently of the rest of us - it was a little weird, actually. They were in a separate room (with Fernando) and sort of pursued it like they were running an entirely different site - although most of the content still filtered through me as the copy editor. With their help, we boosted traffic to over 55,000 unique visitors per day. Things were looking bright - until Bergstein got greedy. He then did that deal, essentially conning Eidos - our closest ally in the advertising sense - out of around 55 million dollars and using that as incentive for DVD Express to buy us. (Word has it he made out with a giant chunk of that money in some contractual wrangling and actually bought Express after bankruptcy, briefly turning it into DVD.Com before it also tanked.) DVD Express was looking to IPO this giant 'all in one'? retail and content supersite - cashing in on the big Internet boom. They'd already hired a ton of talent for the entertainment and music areas, being led by the most annoying woman on the face of the planet, Allison - who hailed from Variety magazine and who insisted on using that vernacular in her e-mails...much to my great irritation. Anyway, unfortunately for Express, they were doing this right on top of the online advertising bubble - and it burst shortly after we moved into their offices in Hollywood. They sold me on the idea of doing a video production department that I would head up, providing video content not only for video games but also 'behind the scenes'? packages for films and music on their other entertainment sites. So I turned the reigns of GameFan.Com over to Levi in anticipation of this video thing - which never materialized.

They had also started the GameFan network with Apache's help, since that seemed like 'the thing to do'? at the time - boosting ad revenue through sheer traffic numbers. They overextended themselves financially by making the most attractive offers to the biggest fansites, to lure them away from competing networks - but then the bubble burst and there was no money to be had. So they couldn't pay off the fansites for the ads they ran, and the thing collapsed under its own weight. This was the beginning of the end of GameFan.Com - and shortly thereafter, the magazine. This giant behemoth of Express.Com just crushed itself while madly scrambling toward an IPO that kept slipping further and further away - while the pressures on us to deliver unreasonable results mounted. Plus we were now being supervised by an ex-Variety writer who knew a sum total of jack and shit about running a gaming website. Our staff was slowly decimated and workloads increased, eventually only Levi and Rick were left for the final few weeks, writing product descriptions for Express.Com and keeping the shell of GameFan.Com alive. But it was over.

Before Express.Com came along, GameFan was actually a pretty fun job...even if I was constantly annoyed by ECM's interference with the site, as I was proud of the fact that we maintained a different tone than the magazine...at one point, even "unmasking" ourselves, KISS-style and abandoning the nicknames. If we were ever combative or caustic, it was his influence on editorial - particularly in picking fights with other sites. However, I did have numerous unfriendly e-mail encounters with IGN's Doug Perry, who always came across as if he were the 'Big Brother'? looking down his nose at us. At the time, I'm sure it really rubbed him the wrong way that Jay had jumped ship for GameFan.Com but Jay did it out of practical reasons, not disloyalty - he wanted to live in Los Angeles and continue writing about games. However, I also feel that many of the 'supersites'? were starting to feel a little threatened by the steam we were gaining at the time. If things had continued the way they were before Express took us over, I think the chances are good GameFan.Com would have been near the top of the heap. But I am thankful things went the way they did, because it put me on my current path - and this is really the direction I intended to head, when I took the job and moved out here. It's just that you sometimes get comfortable and it's easy to get complacent when the money is as good as it was, back then.

As for stories about GameFan, I'm sure Levi, Rick and I could tell quite a few, both good and bad. I had a good time, for the most part - it was fun taking Posty into a direction that was one of the most popular and recognizable in GF history, with readers copying his catchphrases in their letters and using them on message boards. I also think I was one of the longest-running Posty writers in the magazine's history. I also took a lot of pride in the video aspect of the site. It's disappointing to note that no websites have picked up that torch and carried it - because I still feel that a 1-2 minute promo-style video with choice gameplay moments is far better than a minute or two of random gameplay by unskilled players. But this is coming from the guy who cut in two frames of a dog crapping on the game box in his Hresvelgr video. [Wink]

UPDATE - GameFan/GFO Alumni "Where Are They Now," to the best of my knowledge:

Me (Hi-Fi / Postmeister / Occasional magazine ghost writer) - Editing and Assistant Editing on various television, DVD and feature projects. Check my resume for show names.

Levi Buchanan (Angus / occasional magazine ghost writer) - Prolific freelance writer, still in the game industry. Semi-regular poster here.

Rick Mears (The Wanderer) - Full-time Nintendo shill - West Coast sales rep. Irregular poster here.

Jason Weitzner (Fury) - Currently a P.A. for Big Bug Man, an upcoming animated film starring the voice talents of Brendan Fraser and the recently deceased Marlon Brando. Frequent lurker here and one of my buddies, even though ever since I moved away from Woodland Hills (and got married), we don't see each other as much.

Thomas Puha (Riot) - Probably the most successful of GFO alumni in the game industry, certainly the most prolific - publishing his own magazine, producing television shows and generally doMinating Finland's game scene...next step, European conquest. His magazine's website. Semi-regular poster here, one of my oldest friends from back in the day.

Mike Wakamatsu (Waka) - PC game player and full-time layabout. I think he's been unemployed longer than anyone I've ever known and it's probably the biggest travesty there is, because he's a talented graphic designer and some of the most memorable page layouts in GameFan were his work. Posts here once in a great while, but we stay in touch and hang out now and then.

Anthony Chau (Dangohead) - PR honcho at Visual Concepts / Sega Sports. Pops his head out once in a great while to say hello.

Robert Howarth (Apache) - Longstanding site runner of VE3D.com, aka "Voodoo Extreme." Stays busy with his site, but also pops his head out to say hello, now and then.

I've lost touch with:

Eric Mylonas (ECM) - Had a falling out with him, our personalities always clashed somewhat and so I don't know what he's up to, now.

Jay Boor (Doctor J) - Last time I saw him, he'd moved to England to be with his new wife, and was working at Codemasters in PR. Now he's back in the States doing PR for a mobile phone company - thanks to Rick for the update.

Fernando Mosquera (Lagi) - I think he may have gone back to Argentina to pursue more school, he hasn't been seen in the game industry since the collapse of GameFan.

Eric Patterson (Shidoshi) - Not sure what he's up to, others will know better than I. Likely still a significant presence in the online games and anime community.

Brandon Justice (Big Bubba) - When last I spoke to him, he was also working for Visual Concepts / Sega Sports, in product development (in some capacity). His dream job, to be sure. Now at Tiburon working on the future of Madden football - thanks for the update, Thomas.

Sam Kennedy (Captain Smak) - Now heading up 1up.com - heard from him a while back and things seem to be going pretty well for the site, so far.

Geoff Higgins (The Judge, El Nino) - He was doing QA/support for an online MMORPG, the last I heard - but I don't know if that's still the case.

George Ngo (Eggo) - He went from being PR at Tecmo to doing testing for Activision, I believe it is...from what I've heard, he's still there, heading up a test group.

Jeremy Corby (Core) - I haven't heard from him in ages, though Jason said he'd run into him a while back...the guy's probably doing porno or something right now. Funny guy, very extreme personality.

Kim Tran - Another talented layout designer, but I haven't heard anything about his whereabouts or projects at all. I know he'd been thinking about graphic design school, don't know if he pursued it though.

Tyrone Rodriguez (Cerberus) - There for a while I was seeing his stuff on an IGN website, related to the import auto scene...I know he'd been writing for an import cars mag for a while. But now I don't know what he's doing or where he's at.

Bruce (Reubus) - No idea what he's up to now, I haven't heard anything since GameFan went down.

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KEVIN DESELMS'S POST FROM EVILNET, JANUARY 2005:

To be honest, as the site's copy-editor for the longest time, I was in a constant battle with grammar...Rick was not the sole offender, by any stretch of the imagination. Anthony wrote some of the most head-scratchingly confusing phrases I've ever read...and Boor's stuff was usually a challenge, too. I was thankful when we actually hired a real copy-editor, but then Eric liked the idea of having a copy-edited magazine so much that our help got co-opted and his workload went through the roof. Naturally, we got short-shrift.

Which was actually fairly common, since Eric would occasionally refuse to let us use something WE got, if he could appropriate it for the magazine as an exclusive. So we were often being crippled by our association with the magazine...which only served to make Levi and I both strive to separate ourselves from the magazine even more. We eventually became our own machine, arranging our own visits from PR people, our own interviews, our own...everything, basically. I think, with several PR people, we had a better reputation in the way we handled ourselves with them. I'd already become friendly with many of the PR people through my work in television, so those relationships carried over...but everyone else we brought in from other publications had their own built-in relationships too. So that really helped us a lot, I think. There was still sharing going on between the site and the mag, there wasn't "bad blood" or anything like that - but we were in a separate part of the office and had our own infrastructure in place. To be perfectly honest, too...the magazine staff often came back to visit our area, because we always had a good energy and a lot of cool stuff happening there. The most frequent visitors were Jason and Waka, I imagine...but George and Geoff came back quite a bit too. I think the only person that I never really saw leave his desk was Kim.

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KEVIN DESELMS'S POST FROM EVILNET, JANUARY 2005:

posted January 04, 2005 02:57 PM     

I remember that day Jay brought his woman and left her in the car...there was also the time that we found her, curled up under his desk crying...everybody was like, "WTF?" That was a troubled relationship, for sure.

The people on that TNL forum have been eating up all those old GameFan stories, and Tim hasn't even scratched the surface. We could talk about Higgins and Levi, upping the ante on each other with their streaking habits...

I thought the photos were funny though, the one with Jody at CES cracked me up. He was looking quite wankerish there. That was actually pretty shortly after he and Melissa moved out here, I think.

I told Tim that Waka's not doing anything, so if they need a layout guy they should talk to him [Wink] Hehe...don't know if you'd want to do that dude, but it's not like you have a lot going on! I said if he wanted some videos or something, I might be willing to help out. Thomas talked to me about that too, recently. I like doing game promos, they're pretty fun and easy to be creative with. Don't know how much I'd be able to do, I'm going to start cutting a documentary pretty soon - it's called "Gamers" but it's about the "gaming" community, not video games. It's about stuff like Warhammer, pen & paper type role-playing, live-action role-playing, and nerdy stuff like that...but showing the social aspect of it as well. I thought it sounded interesting. [Smile]

You know what would be awesome Waka? If you could get all the "busted" E3 photos you did for the mag together and post them...the one you did of Jason the monkey boy cracked me up, big time. Or the high-forehead mutants at the entrance...

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RICK MEARS POST FROM EVILNET AROUND THE SAME TIME:

Memories...

As mentioned above I came in during the tail end of the GameFan legacy, but the time I did spend with Kevin, Levi, Anthony and crew was, by far, the best work experience I have ever had. Sure, some days were better than others - but the fun and friendship we all shared can never be replaced.

Except for the time you guys sent me to that English class with all those immigrants... F you and your families too Ok, so my writing skills weren't always up to par but jebus was I humiliated! I remember almost packing up the family that weekend and moving back up north. Crazy times.

My favorite GF.com moment - Completely fing up Express.com's product info pages. Who knew that typing "yeah, safety glasses" into a transformer toys product description could be so much fun. I felt really guilty at the time, but I would also put in acronyms into many of my previews & reviews for the GF.com site. It was more of a personal amusement thing, but damn hard sometimes... my favorite was a Hot Wheels PSX game review that, if you took the first letter of each paragraph, spelled out C U N... you get the picture. Man, that was deep dark secret that up until now only my wife knew about.

I'm with Nintendo now, and will probably stay that way for a nice long time. I'm looking to get out of my current position though and will probably be making the trek up north to WA in the near future. And to add a little self promotion in this post, in the very near future I'll be doing the blog thing too at http://www.squidtv.com

Oh and BTW, Jay Boor is back in the states now - doing PR for a mobile phone publisher. Next time I'm in the Bay doing my rep thing I'll probably do lunch with him... we'll see.

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Waka FROM EVILNET:

Waka ver. 2.0

posted January 04, 2005 07:11 AM 

Heh. Layabout? I walk around the house every now and then. That counts as something, right? RIGHT?

Good to see you back though. From the sound of stuff, looks like you had a cool time. Hope everyone had a cool vacation as well. [Smile]

Well damn. I was hoping people would get over this GameFan shit already, but it seems that no matter how much time goes by, it always comes back to haunt me. If there's anyone that knows the stories, I have tons of skeletons to let out of the closet. Not like I'd care. Although I have to admit that I have had some very fond memories of GF, and I've had my share of pretty messed up times.

This is what I know.

Bruce Stockert went back to North Dakota. For what? I have no clue. I guess I would since there was practically nothing left after GF imploded.

Eric Mylonas was doing strategy guides for Brady or whatever. If I remember correctly, he was working with Matt for a while after GameFan went kaput, no?

Tyrone worked at Activision last time I heard. This was when I was working at Hyper Game Action before they also closed down.

George (former GF designer that started the mag with Tim back in the day) was working at Atari last I heard.

Terry Wolfinger went to work for Stan Winston on various stuff. Including a Michael Jackson video.

Fernando went back to Maryland (or was it Maine?) to live with his mother and actually appeared on several news stories there. If you remember, he was taking steroids for his medical condition. Since he was legally on medicated marijuana, he joined a group to 'reach out' about legalizing it. With court hearings to boot. He was a good guy.

Jay Puryear is still messing around in the gaming industry last time I heard. As for what company or position, I have no idea.

Jacob (one of the designers as well back in the day) went to work for a game company. I think it was either Eidos or Activision. I remember him coming to GF to plug a game he was working on, and Puryear and I nearly had a heart attack when he came in. Small world.

Matt Taylor (yes he worked at GF at one time and did the Mortal Kombat guide.) He went on and started Versus Books. Pretty successfully I might add.

Casey Lowe and Ryan Iforgothislastname worked with Matt Taylor at Versus with Nick for some time. I was actually going to work with Matt as well, but the ass flaked on me. He just wanted the dirt on GameFan.

Nick Des Barres (Nick Rox) went on and did various stuff. Including winning the design contest for the Resident Evil movie poster. I even got an e-mail from him asking to put an entry in. I have to add that all of the other submissions were really shit. It's no wonder Nick won. He was a talented designer as well.

Kelly (K. Lee). Oh man. He went on to work at EGM way back in the day. Read on to find out what happened.

That's all I can remember for now. I'll add more when I can remember.

Funny thing is that I see Tim is posting at TNL. Funny shit. I vaguely remember meeting him up in Frisco at Dave Weising's house (could have swore I shook his hand) to talk about Kei's endeavor with them. I had to take a nap because I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before and we drove over 7 hours up there to see them. And I drove back roughly two hours after the meeting with them after we went to Wendy's. I got a fucking ticket on the way home as well, LOL. [Big Grin] I think I just fell asleep while I was driving and my foot stayed on the gas. Cop said he was following me for about 6 miles. D'oh!

Now for the old school stories. Woot! [Smile]

Jay Boor: Masshole.

I remember back when GF Online was one of those places where you can hang out and see what 'new' thing Levi got in his e-mail or new 'name' someone got plastered with. I remember walking up front where Melissa was one day and seeing if I got any mail. I was talking to Elaine when I noticed she was kinda spacing out towards the window as if she was trying to see something in the parking lot.

Fast forward about 7 hours.

Jay and I are talking about some crap when he tells me he'll be back in about 10 minutes. Thinking nothing of it, I went to get a soda from the fridge in the kitchen cause it was fucking hot. I hear Melissa and Elaine with their "OMG!" and "WTF!" voices. Jay is laughing his ass off (well trying not to - you know Jay), and trying to cover his ass about something he obviously did. I ask Melissa what happened, and she gives me this stern face. Uh oh. Jay already hit a nerve and was in trouble.

I found out that he left his girlfriend in the car (yes, that long!) in the heat, and acted like he did nothing wrong. WTF! I asked him WHY he left his girlfriend in the car for over seven hours, and he just said... "It's embarassing enough that I walk around in public with her. Why the fuck would I want to bring her inside?" I busted out in laughter and I knew that was so wrong. But I later found out that she was just a really shy person and was comfortably sleeping in the car the whole time becuase she was tired. Still. Funny shit though.

Kelly (K. Lee) Tyrone Biggums?

Where should I start? I know it's messed up to make fun of someone who's life got completely messed up, but you can't help to bring this one up during the old GF reminiscence sessions. Now this guy was an oreo cookie. Black on the outside but whiter than most white people I know, inside. This actually strings on to Nick's antics.

He appearantly got addicted to meth sometime during the first time I quit (or what people called a Wakabout). One of the first things he asked me when I came back was "Hey dude, good to see you back! Umm, can I ask you something later?"

WTF?

Anyways, later I'm alone and he asks me "Hey. Umm.... Can... You get some crystal meth? You know... for a friend of mine..." Who the fuck is he kidding? I told him I can, but I'm not gonna bring it to work. That was the last time he ever brought it up with me. Yeah. Like those pawn shop reciepts on your desk for over 400 dollars in jewelry was because you had no money for food right?

Well, I recall him getting fired at GF for something (the reson eludes me). Time goes on and a few years later we all hear he's doing awesome at EGM. They paid for his moving expenses, got him a company credit card, and was actually making a decent amount of money (he had a baby to raise as well). It's quiet for a while, and then we hear this shit.

Appearently, his addiction followed him all the way up north. He ran up the company credit card on crazy shit (probably pawned it on stuff for you know what), lost his house and his wife ran off with his crack dealer. With the baby. Talk about messed up. >_<

Nick Des Barres (Nick Rox): Shup foo! Recognize!

OK. I think Nick was actually a really cool person. Once you really get to know him, he's a really nice guy. I just can't believe all of the shit people gave him. Anyway.

Nick was notoriously known for speaking like a black person (full ebonics!). He told me it was because his school was 98% black people, and it rubbed off on him. I knew where he was going to school as well, and I can totally agree. So sometimes during the delirium from crunch time, we would do stupid shit to give us that extra steam we needed to go on. This was one of those things. This was actually the birth of the famous "2 skoops!" line (StreetFighter double fireball reference in ebonics. Yes, it's rasin bran pun.)

Now Kelly heard around the office that Nick did an impressive 'black person' imitation, and he wanted so bad, to hear it. But of couse Nick wasn't about to bust out with it in front of Kelly. Umm. Yes, he's black. That would be a bit awkward, no? Everytime Nick would go into this mode, Kelly would always miss it. Unless we triggered it, of course, Hehe.

One day, I was talking to Nick and I see Kelly in the corner of my eye. We were standing there (I think Casey and Ryan we there as well) and I busted out with "Wassupwiddat?!" then Nick just went awol. He was going off on ebonics and waving his hands like the gangsta he is for about 10 minutes. The whole time he was doing this, Kelly was standing behind him. Listening. I couldn't take it anymore and started laughing. Nick turned around and turned white as a ghost, then turned red from embarassment. He stood there shocked for about a few seconds and said "Uhhh. Hey Kelly..." and ran off into his office and slammed his door behind him.

Needless to say Kelly was very impressed with his impression. After all, he was much 'blacker' than Kelly ever will be, ROFL!

Damn should I go on? I got fucking tons of this shit. [Razz]

=============

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by James

Shidoshi, if you want a pile of issues to destroy for the purposes of scanning, speak up. I've got a pile collecting dust here, and if I send them away then I won't hear their screams as you razor down their spines.

Let me do some testing with my scanner to see what kind of quality I can get. If I think it would be worth it for the quality, I may indeed be interested in your offer.

Also, I'd like to say the more history I can collect about GameFan, the better. So anybody with stories, post away. And maybe this can be a part two of the GameGO thread were all of these past editors came out of the woodwork. *heh*

It won't be for my moma.bible GameFan entry, because the point of that is strictly to be a non-POV informational page about the basics of what GameFan is. I do, however, have another idea for something, but I can't get into that just yet.

====

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by kdeselms

Nick pointed this thread out to me on my blog's message board and so I wrote a long-ass post about GameFan Online during my tenure.

Very interesting read, Kevin. You're right - I had little perspective on what was going on with the site at that point, and to be honest, the magazine in general.

One of my big regrest is the point at which I was part of GameFan, and the website, in terms of my personal life and experience. I wish I was heading to GameFan now with the knowledge that I now have, as opposed to what I had at that point. My experience with websites was so minimal at that point, and I look back at what I did and do a lot of cringing.

For those who don't know, this is how I became part of gamefan.com. Well, actually, let me go a bit further back. I got my start with GameFan the one (and only time, I believe) that there was an actual "writers wanted" ad published in the magazine. At that point, I had done a number of fanzine publications, I was an unoffical staff member of GameOn! USA (Viz's short lived video game magazine), I was part of their J-pop.com website project, and I had done a thing or two for Animerica. (I think I had, at that point. It might have been a bit later that I started doing freelance for Animerica, though.)

I sent in my resume, copies of my fanzines, and some other work. I got a call from Dave, and a few months later I flew out to SoCal with the intent of being one of the new video game reviewers for the magazine at the same point that people like Mike Griffen (Glitch) and Michael Hobbs (Substance D) were also joining the magazine. Unfortunately, things didn't work out quite like that. I think some of the people there weren't as happy with my writing as they were hoping to be, and I think part of that was that I was pretty rough on the games that I reviewed. So, anyhow, I ended up getting a lot less work as far as reviewing game reviews than I was initially set to get.

Because of that, it was decided that I was to help out Ryan Lockhart (Orion), who was then head of the GameFan website. I was then given the shittest job I could have had at GameFan; when press releases came in by fax or mail, I would sit there and manually retype the entire press release so that it could be put up on the website. Trust me, it sucks as much as it sounds like it would. After a while, it was decided that they wanted an AnimeFan section for the website, and that task was given to me. Initially the design was handled by the IT guys, but then later re-design of the website was handed over to me. At that point, I had so little experience with designing websites that the result was utterly hideous. It was used, however, and I was then in charge of AnimeFan Online. (While also, of course, still retyping press releases.)

Two factors worked against this. First, the computer I had to use at the office was utter crap, and not meant for anything beyond some simple text editing and whatnot. To be fair, though, the hardware available at the GameFan Offices was for a long time at that kind of level. Everybody there was forced to push their hardware farther than it was ever meant to go. The other problem was that I had never run any sort of website, I didn't have a feel for what it took to run one, and I have ALWAYS been crap when it comes to coming up with news out of the air. I've never been very good at that. Finding news and interesting information from other places, that I'm good at, but I didn't want to make a site that was simply content pulled from other sites and sources. (Of course, now you have sites like Slashdot that are famous for being that very thing.) So the site was a small smattering of news, backed up by a bunch of reviews and a few other kinds of things.

I think Ryan really disliked the stress of having to find new and interesting content on a daily basis, and having to also beg and plead the magazine writers to help out with previews, reviews, screenshots, and whatnot. At a certain point, I think he just snapped, and decided he had had enough. Ryan stepped down from running the site, and I was pushed into running the site by myself. Here's a word to the wise - when you have a real, "major" site, don't put somebody with only a minimal amount of experience running a website into that position. The thing that worked into my favor was that, back then, there weren't a lot of people who had experience running websites, so people with little experience could run one and still possibly get away with it.

So I found myself running GameFan.com, with no experience running a site that size, no industry contacts, no experience talking to industry contacts, no idea where I was supposed to be getting news from, or anything. For a while, I hated it, and the site totally sucked. After a while, I just sort of said, "Fuck it," and started running the site as I would my own personal fansite. This had two effects, I think. First, we felt a lot more like a fansite than any of the other "majors" out there. The other was that I think we were a lot more fun than any of the majors out there. *heh* I honestly still can't believe I got away with some of the stuff I did. After a while, Bryn Williams (the Guvnor) joined up, and he was pretty close to the same type of personality that I was. He also wasn't totally clear on what to do for content, so we ended up producing even more of the kind of stuff I had been doing. I think the site really felt like the mag, though, and we did stuff a lot of other large sites weren't doing. We had Jun (J-bomb) translate stuff for Japanese games almost nobody had ever heard of, and we'd do up big articles with a bunch of screenshots, artwork, etc. (For example, we did a big write-up on Atelier Marie.)

I think that what Bryn and I were doing, it wasn't what needed to be done for bringing in the visitors or ad dollars, but it was a lot of fun, and it was different and interesting at the time. That isn't to diss the era of the site when Kevin and them were running it: the site under the two regimes were totally different beasts, and each were great for different reasons.

====

kdeselms

Quote Originally Posted by Clash_Master

I am more interested in what happend to Cerberus, The Judge, Eggo (still with Tecmo?), and those folks I guess.

I added a "Where are they now" thing to my post on my forum, yesterday - that'll give you a rough idea of what's happening with alumni from my time there, at least with those I have contact with...I've lost touch with a lot of them and only have "last known whereabouts" basically. George left Tecmo ages ago, he's been in test at Activision for a couple years at this point, I think.

======

djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

What was the deal with the Monitor guy (or whatever he was called)? Who came up with him, and why? Was he around since the beginning, and why was he dumped?

Monitaur was a character which Greg Off used to doodle before getting a job at DieHard GameClub. When GameFan was started and the subject of having a mascot came up, Greg suggested they use his character and they thought it was a great idea. Terry Wolfinger took over the drawing of the character from the first cover onward (there's a good story surrounding the first cover, I'll tell soon). I didn't realize they ever dumped him.

=====

Shidoshi

I don't think it was that he was dumped... for a while he just sort of disappeared, and then in the last year or so of GameFan, he was given more face time again. But, not to the point where he was on the cover of every issue, like he used to be. My guess is that his being on the cover with various video game characters was inspired by Famitsu and their fox mascot

==========

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Compass

Also Evil Lights. He just disappeared all the sudden. I remember a reader asking about him (prolly in the letters section) and the answer was onimous (like he did something terrible and would never be heard of again). But that's my memory which is hazy.

Dead, I believe. Can't remember if it was suicide or not.

Was it a couple specific guys in charge of all the layouts or did the writers chip in too? I remember there was some really artistic, pleasing-to-the-eye stuff in Gamefan that's yet to be seen elsewhere (including PLAY). I think it was FFVII or VIII had a particularly gorgeous layout.

There was a core group of people who did layouts, and then a few people who did their own. Nick, for example, pretty much always did his own. Same, I believe, for Casey. (Takuhi) When I went back to doing more game reviews, I did almost all my own layouts. (SamSho 4 was my first stab at doing a layout.) I also did all of the AnimeFan stuff as well when I was in charge of it.

I remember there were a few issues where the staff was ribbing him about his "chronologically challenged" girlfriend. And then later about how he was breaking up a marriage. Sounds like a wildcat.

I think Eggo's girlfriend was jailbait, or something to that effect.

Quote Originally Posted by Compass

What's Takuhi doing now? He was my favorite reviewer after Halvy and ECM. Although he did go a bit overboard on the first Suikoden.

I know for a while, he was working at Versus Books with Nick. The last listing for a book from him that I could find was 2003, though.

=========

isamu

If "Evil Lights" is the same reviewer as "Stalker", then the person he is referring to is Dan Grannet....who died in a car accident sometime in late 1998. A very close friend of mine as well.

============

Shidoshi

Okay, it's quite possible I got the two people mixed up. I knew that one of the staff members ended up dying, but I guess I got the wrong one.

========

djpubba

Okay, time for the story of the first GameFan cover.

It was one day from our first deadline and we had no cover art. That morning, George Weising came in and said that he had met this dude at a game store in Newhall, CA (High Tech Game Center), who did artwork for Heavy Metal, and was looking for work. We all thought, cool! THE Heavy Metal, like, you know -- the movie and magazine -- this stranger's artwork will blaze with fiery balls of joyful bliss! So we gave the dude a call and told him to come in with some work samples. This skinny blonde guy named Terry Wolfinger showed up in short order and showed us his art and it was indeed reasonably blazing. So Halverson showed him a cover of Famitsu and asked if he could airbrush something of that quality. He said he could, so we told him that if he could do us a cover we could use for our first issue and have it to us in the morning, he was hired. We showed him Monitaur and told him to draw him, Sonic, Mario and Bonk busting out of the cover. He said he'd do his best and went home. Meanwhile, we set to work burning the midnight oil to finish the rest of this issue. Around 5 AM, Terry called and said he ran out of ink for the background but was on his way over with the art. Around a quarter to six in the AM, he arrived and presented the artwork. It was fab, except the background was a blotchy red color. So we scanned it and turned the background black. I created the logo in a 3D program on the Mac called Infini-D. On my IIx it took, like 3 hours to render. When it was done, I noticed that I screwed up and had the wrong texture on the "DieHard" part of the logo, but it didn't look too bad, so we called it done and we had our cover and a new staff illustrator!

One of the next things we had Terry draw was Sonic humping Tails. Sadly, that joyous drawing never saw the presses.

It turned out that Terry didn't actually have anything to do with anything Heavy Metal(tm). What he had done was some animation work on a heavy metal themed animation straight to video series called "Hard and Heavy". George had somehow, err, got them mixed up.

Something Terry never told anyone but me was that, on his way home from that meeting, he stopped at an art supply store and bought a book on how to airbrush because, while he did have an airbrush, he had never airbrushed anything more than some smoke and clouds before! So not only did he crank out a fabluvulous piece of art in less than 24, he taught himself how to airbrush in the process. (I checked with him to make sure it was okay to spill those beans here. He said it'd be okay if only I plugged his site, Cursed Amusement).

http://www.terrywolfinger.com/

========

MELF

Quote Originally Posted by Kraftwerks

Whatever happened to Fernando Mosquera? I remember visiting Seganet everyday.

He got sued by Sega over the SegaNet name. Last I heard, he joined Game Fan online, didn't he?

http://www.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/95469.htm

========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

Oh, there's a doosy of a story behind that one. I shit you not, but Halverson was high on acid when he wrote the Cybermorph article, along with half the staff. We had just pulled a couple of all-nighters in a row, which was the norm at deadline times. Apparently, when The Enquirer came back to work the next morning, he dropped some acid in the coffee pot, which most of the crew, including Halverson, drank from. I wasn't a coffee drinker at the time so I didn't really notice anything unusual and didn't learn what was going on until George started threatening to murder Cockburn.

Yup. It was all true! I was there too!

=========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by kevincal

Welcome!!!! You're a hell of an artist man.

Thanks very much! I'm sure I can add to the stories part of this post too

==========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

The morning of payday, we'd call to make sure that there was at least something in there. The moment checks were handed out, everybody would run out to their cars, and Cannonball Run style, race to the closest branch of that bank to cash the checks. If you got there too late, you were out of luck...

Yep, this happened every payday very shortly after

Metropolis and Dave Bergstien became involved. It was quite a ridiculous way to run a company and quite an insane event to witness. No matter what time of day, if you called the bank and found there was money, it was into you cars and race to the branch. I had one of the faster cars at the the time (a twin turbo RX7) so I was usually one of the first to arrive. It was usually quite a scene at the bank too- 8 to 12 guys rushing inside and trying to cash they're payroll checks all at once... There was one time where I came up to the teller and handed my check to have cashed, and the teller confirmed that the funds were there but needed to get the transaction authorized. Well by the time she got her manager to sign it, the funds were gone due to someone getting their checked cashed just a moment quicker...

It was complete bullshit to put up with, but I think we all thought that GameFan would pull through for the sheer fact we all loved the mag and loved what we did. I ened up staying till the end, but did not return for the "resurrection" year... sigh....

Quote Originally Posted by Rumpy

Hey Wolf! Are you working on any projects now?

Yes, quite a few. Some recent work you may have seen has been the game, "The Suffering" where I did Character Design, and also I worked on the film "TerMinator3" where I designed Arnie's FX make-up. Also did some character designs for Midway's Area 51 remake which should be due out soon.

Presently I'm working on a graphic novel doing all the art. I also work quite a bit with djpubba (Tim) on various game boxes etc...

==========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

If you want to read about my past feelings about Halverson, then hit this link. It's an archived page from Fatbabies that came about when Halverson showed up on the GameGO message forum. As I said, I'm over all of that now, and I'm sure he's quite a different person now as well.

http://www.fatbabies.com/story_sept-oct01.html

Well said, Shidoshi. Although I seriously doubt Dave has changed much since then. I have never met anyone that would just bold-face lie directly to your face like Halverson would. Except when Bergstien came along... man, those two were a match made in Hell.

And sorry about your mad scientist character, but I was just following Dave's orders. :-(

He could be pretty mean-spirited with that shit. Especially if you dressed or looked a little differently.

=====

djpubba

I've got a neat paycheck story. After GameFan was 6-7 issues old, the ad money wasn't paying the bills and the investor who had bankrolled GameClub and the start of GameFan, Andy Fell, was getting tired of throwing away his money. So Halverson started looking for more investors. He hit up everyone, including employees and employee's families. From my speaking to them, I gather he got at least three of them to invest somewhere around 50-60k between them. He also found a lady who owned a beauty salon who was interested in investing. Her name was Elaine Shings. I heard rumors that she put in around 70k but I don't know if that was all of it or if that was accurate. To make sure her money was invested wisely, though, Elaine insisted on becoming the office manager and being in charge of the payroll and expense account, which she did. We were all pretty happy about this because the pay was never steady, but there always seemed to be enough money in the tills to pay for neon signs, custom embroidered jackets and lots of other expensive, unnecessary stuff like that. So we figured with Elaine in charge of the checkbook, we could rest assured that everything would be on the up and up.

Well, no more than 2 or 3 weeks after Elaine started working in the office, Jay came round to tell everyone not to cash their paychecks quite yet. He said that Halverson had broken into Elaine's desk, taken the checkbook, and bought a 3' Sonic the Hedgehog statue with the payroll money, so we should wait until Elaine said it was okay to cash checks.

It was at this point that I got the sinking feeling that Halverson was the devil himself and I had better tie up some loose ends that had gone unresolved for far too long. That leads into the story of how I left GameFan, which I'll leave untold for now.

I know none of the employees ever saw a penny of their investments returned, but I hope at least Elaine stuck in long enough that she got some money back when Metropolis took over. I was gone by then so I don't know.

Good lord, there really are a lot more interesting things to tell about GameFan.

==========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

Okay, time for the story of the first GameFan cover.

All pretty accurrate except for the timeline. I actually met George a few weeks prior to the deadline for the first issue. I was introduced as Tim said, and did indeed tell them I had done finished airbrush art (when in fact I barely used one when I had to paint clouds!) So they gave me a test assignment to produce finished art of a Sonic, a Bonk piece, and a something with a fighting game character. So away I went and picked up a "How to Airbrush" book that was also a kit. It had a couple projects laid out in it with a few supplies. The first I attempted was a big letter "E" and how to paint it to look like chrome. Well that thing came out so piss-poor and ugly... man, it was just the worst thing you'd ever seen. If I had shown them that they woulda laughed in my face and thrown me out the door. But I had learned a bit what not to do. So I had about 3 days to turn in the projects, unfortunately the same weekend I was meeting my family in Pismo Beach to go wheeling in the sand dunes. So I brought my supplies and materials to the hotel room to work on them there.

So as luck would have it, my first day out riding I get a piece of sand caught in my eye and scratch my cornea all up to Hell. After coming back from the hospital I now have to complete my 3 projects with an eyepatch on, "Arrr!" So what else can wrong. Well I managed to make it thru and the 3 projects came out surprisingly well (for a novice that is, ha!). Then this is when they said they'd need a cover by tonight! So yeah... pulled an all-nighter and was almost done with it, when I just drag my hand thru Mario's still wet moustache and ruined several hours work... fun to paint when you're tired...

After another couple hours of sloppily repairing Mario, I deliver the cover 30 mins away. They liked it so I start back home just as the sun is coming up and then I actually fall asleep at the wheel! I changed a full lane on the freeway before waking back up and nearly hitting a motorhome. And that was the beginning of my GameFan career.

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

So Halverson started looking for more investors. He hit up everyone, including employees and employee's families. From my speaking to them, I gather he got at least three of them to invest somewhere around 50-60k between them...

...I know none of the employees ever saw a penny of their investments returned, but I hope at least Elaine stuck in long enough that she got some money back when Metropolis took over. I was gone by then so I don't know.

This is also why I stuck it out for as long as I did. My father invested 30k for some profit-sharing percentage that never happened. And Dave did not make one effort to pay him or the other's back. He did show up on a brand new Ninja motorcycle one day tho, that he paid cash for. How does one sleep at night doing the shit he did?

================

Wolfie

Here's a fun one:

GameFan's first trip to the CES (consumer electronics show) in LAs Vegas to get some attention and advertisers for the mag. This was way back in '93 or so. Way before E3. Anyway, so a bunch of the guys go a couple days early to check everything out, then a bunch come a couple days later, myself and Jay Puryear included. So Jay and I are to share a room (oh joy), and this is the room previously shared by The Enquirer (Cockburn) and K. Lee. So we get there and the room is thrashed- the beds are all unmade, condom wrappers everywhere... (oh boy times two)

So the next day we are told that after asking Halverson for money for food etc... that K. Lee, The Enquirer, and Kai Kuboki promptly went and used that money to buy a hooker which they then all shared. Then they all played Yoshi's Island.

========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Question: how hard is it to learn to use an airbrush, and do you still use it? Is Photoshop a better alternative in your opinion?

Hey, thanks a lot. Learning the airbrush is a bit tricky; mixing paint, keeping it from clogging, cleaning it... Photoshop is much more forgiving (unlimitted undo's!)

Funny about the monitaur statues. I actually helped design them but never got to see the finished project. I saw a small scale prototype but that was it. I figured it was just another of Bergstiens fantasies. But it kinda makes sense now- pour the company's money into giant fiberglass Monitaur statues instead of employee paychecks. Wonder why GameFan collapsed...

:rollseyes:

Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy

Hahaha, that's probably the funniest story yet. The stolen funds stuff is just pathetic though. Halverson being Halverson is probably his eternal punishment.

Pathetic is a good way to describe Halverson.

Shidoshi was spot-on with his description of the Mulleted-One. I seriously doubt he has changed. He did in fact start his life as a used car salesman.

There's a bit more to the Vegas CES story as well, but I'll have to think about that one....

========

Shidoshi

Uh oh... ex-GameFan staffer +1. *heh*

Like I said, I'm willing to believe he's changed. I don't agree with a lot of the things that went down during my time at GameFan, but I also know that if you don't know the whole story on things, it is easy to fill in the gaps with mis-information and incorrect assumptions. Sort of the same way that it's easy to form an opinion of somebody know you only via the internet that ends up being wrong.

I won't take back what I've said about him in the past, but at the same time, I'm willing to get past all of that and give him a chance for who he is now. I look back at who I was back at that point, and I would hope that people would look at my more for who I am now than who I was then. *heh*

And sorry about your mad scientist character, but I was just following Dave's orders He could be pretty mean-spirited with that shit. Especially if you dressed or looked a little differently.

Trust me, no hard feelings at all. My one Terry story, since I didn't have a lot of encounters with you, was right before I "left" the magazine. (When I moved back to Nebraska, but kept running the AnimeFan section.) Terry had put a lot of work into a brand new version of my character, which then only got used once - in the comic where all of the old staff members were killed off, and the remaining staff members were searching through the rubble.

Quote Originally Posted by IronPlant

I forget, it would have been around the time GF had it's own quake2 server. I remember playing with a bunch of the GF and GR staff a few times.

I can't remember exactly if it was Quake or Quake 2, but this was what pretty much got me into playing FPSs. I liked Doom and whatnot before that, but I swore by the control pad when playing them. Dan Jevons tried everything he could to get me to try keyboard + mouse, assuring me that it was the only proper way to play. I simply couldn't believe him, and was stubborn about trying it for a long time. Finally, I broke down, and finally saw the light. I spent many a night after hours in the office playing against the other guys.

==============

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by diffusionx

Thats hot, way better than working on fucking videogame mags.

Yeah, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my time at GameFan and loved doing the work and met some really great people, but yeah, it was nice to move on as well.

===============

Prince Planet

All this talk makes me want to go and pull the Bergstein/Metropolis (Game Cave) file. I can at least tell you how some of the ugly litigation turned out. Most of the allegations were what you'd expect -- lots of hooks onto investors, and then a fabulous disappearing act with the money.

========

djpubba

Oh yeah, do it. I wish I could post some of the choice parts of the depositions from when they sued Dimension.

Here's some memorabilia I dug up:

That's the catalog which eventually turned into GameFan. This was made before I even had my own Mac. I did it at my workplace on a proprietary Harris PLS system which was used primarily to do the ads on shopping carts and the back of grocery store receipts.

That's a shot of the retail store that we started GameFan in the back of. This was on Ventura blvd in Tarzana, CA. Note the front door looks like a floppy disk. So 80's.

That's us making the magazine on my IIx. Left: Cockburn. Middle: Halvy. Right: Me. This was pre-issue one. Cockburn was taking a GameClub order.

==============

BonusKun

That I'll leave up to Mina to explain if she sees this thread. It's been a long time & I've forgotten most of the details. More or less it was after some shit with Seganet that Dave tried holding her Website and all her work hostage.

==============

bahn

Man, Mina isn't going to bother coming here to explain - she's too busy with SZ and OA. Nice to see ya again - how long has it been, 10 years?

==============

Wolfie

Actually Tim Lindquist (djpubba) was the first ex GF staffer here other than you He gave me the heads up at any rate.

And I'm not trying to sway your opinion (D.H.), nor is mine based on what I read on the internet. I worked with the guy from issue one and have seen plenty of his "character" or lack there-of. If he has truly changed you'd think he'd try to make some sort of ammends or something. but that sure hasn't happened.

Anyways, glad there are no hard feelings about the character stuff ;-)

===========

Wolfie

Wow. Blast from the past! Lookit all that long hair! I have a pic or two I'll have to send you ;-)

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

I remember being very "WTF" when I read that comic. Really, what was the point of it? A final "Fuck You" to the departing staff? What exactly went down before that issue went to press that inspired the comic? Did Rox, Halverson, and a bunch of others just walk? Weren't you guys coming back from a hiatus at that point?

Halverson up and abandoned ship. He took some key people with him, promised to take others, but basically threw GameFan into a tail-spin. Those that stayed were pretty pissed-off yes. Jay Puryear came into my office and said, "T, lets say goodbye to some of our characters." I was surprised at how viscious he wanted me to go with. Any editors with sore feeling about that, my appologies. Halvy...? Well, I saw him one time after that at an E3 I think in Atlanta. And the one thing he said to me was, "You made E. Storm a drooling vegetable in the Mullet Ward?!!" He was pretty upset. It was pretty funny.

=========

djpubba

Here are the pics T sent me.


Wolfinger, Seltzer, Cockburn, Kuboki in Chicago. CES '93 or '94?


Dave Halverson


Julie and Dave


Just relaxing

splotch on the shirt?

Something, um, accidentally, uh, fell on the picture. No, really it's just something that happened to the picture over the years. Same with the straw in his hair.

============

djpubba

Ahh, the Graveyard. That was the very first section of GameFan that was ever designed and this reminds me of the story of how it was done.

When Dave started getting serious about really, truely starting a magazine, I agreed to bring my computer into GameClub and work there full time. When I showed up and plunked my equipment down in the back of the store, we hadn't agreed on what my salary would be yet. So I told Dave what I'd need to survive, he said sure, no problem. Then, the next day he didn't show up for work. So I twiddled my thumbs and messed around with ideas all day. The next day, he didn't show up either. Julie (his live-in girlfriend and employee at the store) came to me and said Dave was deathly ill and she didn't know when he'd be back to work. So I decided to just start designing sections, and picked one to do from the media kit we had made (see earlier this thread). I started with the Graveyard section and worked on that stuff all week. At the end of the week I asked Julie if she'd be giving me my paycheck. She said something like, "Oh, Dave talked to Andy, the money guy, and he doesn't want to pay you. So Dave wants to know if you'll take a percentage ownership of the magazine instead, and we'll just give you whatever extra money we can out of our pockets, like, whenever you really need some money." I really wanted the magazine to work, so being young and naive, I agreed. Coincidentally, Dave got better right after that and was back to work on Monday, good as new!

Whew, glad we didn't lose him to that mystery illness! It must have really strengthened his immune system, too, cause I don't recall him taking a sick day for the next 12 months straight!

More pics I found:


Me checking out the latest issue.


Terry and I celebrating something.

==========

djpubba

Terry and I were metal heads. That's a Slayer shirt I'm wearing in the pic of Terry and I, a Metallica shirt in the one of my reading the mag and a Danzig shirt in the one of Cockburn, Halvy and I earlier in the thread. I have short hair now, but I still like metal. Here's a more current pic (from E3).

I'd probably grow it long again but it doesn't grow in fully any more ever since it all fell out from chemo (lymphoma, currently in remission, knock on wood).

==========

Wolfie

Ha! You're reading one of the first Monitaur comics! And man... all that hair!!

Yes, Tim and I listened to the hardcore stuff and I had previously worked at a heavy metal video company.

===========

Shidoshi

Not a magazine story, but a staff story. The first and only time Shidoshi has tried hallucinatory drugs. *heh* I'll use their magazine names, as not to directly use their real names. I doubt they would care, though.

I was roommates with Glitch, and one night his friend showed up with shrooms. Substance D soon showed up, and the three of them were going to enjoy some time doing that. Up until that point, I had smoked pot maybe three, four times in my entire life, so I wasn't exactly versed in the ways of those things. I was curious, though, and thought that if I was ever going to try something, I'd try something like that instead of something a bit more hazardous.

So, we took them, and then decided to walk up to the convenience store real quick to get something to drink. At first, I didn't thing I was feeling anything, and then all of a sudden I was in the store and I couldn't stop laughing. We get home, and we're sitting around in Glitch's room. I'm sitting there, sitting on the floor, leaning against his closet door. On his wall he had a poster for Battle Angel, the pic off of the DVD cover. Suddenly, Gally (the chick from BA), looks at me, smiles, and walks off of the poster. That wasn't what freaked me out - what I thought was freaky was that there part of the poster where she had been was perfectly fine, no hole cut out or anything.

Glitch and his friend get up and go outside, so it's me and Substance D there. Somehow the room's light had been turned off, but Glitch's TV was turned on to the video input channel, so the room was this strange blue color. His Saturn had also been turned on, and it was playing the music from Dark Reign, or something like that... it was a 2D fighter for Saturn. I remember sitting there, and the music was freaking me out so much, but I couldn't get up to turn it off. So, I begged Substance D to turn it off for me. He got up, walked over to the Saturn, gave it a look for a few moments like it was some sort of alien technology he couldn't comprehend, and want back and sat back down on the bed. A minute or so later, I begged him again to turn it off, and he got up, walked over to look at it for a moment, and then sat back down. This repeated probably five or six more times.

===========

Wolfie

And here's a link to a more recent pic of me as well, maybe a couple years old.

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/6664770/

Also if anyone's interested, there's a whole bunch of my newer art in the gallery here that's not anywhere else, including a lot of The Suffering character art.

===========

Dolemite

I remember the time I won Gamefan Online's 'pick a PS2 mascot' contest (of course, I entered a Photoshopped Dolemite pic). I won, but I never got the promised copy of "Without Limits", autographed by ex-Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson.

I took a screen cap of my winning entry as it appeared on the GF Online page, I'll see if I can find it tomorrow when I get to work.

===========

Shidoshi

Nick originally wasn't interested in getting to know me, because somebody in the office told him that I was hot for him in a gay love kinda way. *heh*

==========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

The Suffering was a cool-ass game. Nice work. What was the deal with that, anyway? I know Stan Winston Studios did the creature designs...did you do the official artwork based on their designs, or were you directly involved in the character/monster design process as well?

I was working at Stan's when that project came thru. I was a creature designer on the game yes.

Quote Originally Posted by Clash_Master

Who did the art in ECM years of GameFan? Or was that still you Wolfie? Because the art style was very different.

I had left and was making games by the time ECM had come to power. I guess they got that other guy very cheap.

=============

john tv

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

BTW, I used to have a Diehard Gamer's Club near me years ago in Manhasset. I used to take a drive out there on a fairly regular basis. Cool place, they had a Monitaur statue bursting out of a wall in the back over the counter where the import toys and stuff were kept. They had a nice selection of Japanese games, mags, controllers, etc. However, the demo area that they advertised in every issue of Gamefan (where you could hang out and play games) was never turned on.

I remember they had a rack where they had what appeared to be every single back issue of Gamefan...I finally decided one day that I was going to head on over and pick up all the issues that I was missing. Of course, that was right when the store went under and closed.

Were you a regular customer? I actually worked at that store for about nine months before I started freelancing and eventually shipped off to Chicago to work for ZD (Sendai at the time). I had a good time working there -- it was one of the better DHGC spin-offs, and I got to meet some cool people from being there every day (like Joe Madureira, who was a regular customer, and Peter Mui, who was just getting NCS off the ground at the time).

I'll never forget when we got the call from Dave (or it may have been Julie that day, I forget) demanding that we take all of the current issues of GameFan off the rack because of the 'Jap bastard' incident. They asked us to remove the polybags, rip out the offending pages and then put the mags back on the racks. We complied, but not before I nabbed five unopened copies for myself, a few of which I still have today. :-)

Terry, nice to see you posting here -- your art was great! Yours and Tim's stories are a real trip, too. I've made friends with lots of former GFers over the years (Ryan, Kelly, Hoagie, Granett, Jevons, etc.) and I never get tired of hearing tales of the 'glory days' of GF. My favorite's always been the one about Kei wanking the dog, but that hooker story definitely ranks up there with the best of 'em. :-)

Cheers,

-John

==========

djpubba

You know, screw writing a book about what once was. We should put our effort instead into making something that is great once again. Like, starting a new magazine in the spirit of GameFan. I think the key to making it right, though, is to avoid having to go to money suits (investors) to pay for it. I've seen enough magazines come and go, including ones I've helped start, to know that suits tend to ruin 'em. So where do we get the money to start one? Fuggit. The only thing we'd need money for is printing and paying employees, so let's not print 'em or pay anyone. Let's start by giving each issue away free to download (PDF) and all involved work just for the love of it (i.e., for free).

Let's make a magazine that is all about our love for games, and focus on reporting to other gamers what they want to know about games before they buy them. Let's share the things we think are fun and enjoyable about our gaming addiction and show respect and friendship to our fellow gamers while doing it. Screw anyone who wants to try to get rich off our love for games. That's what's wrong with all the current magazines. They're all run by suits trying to make money by hiring gamers to make their products. Their every motivation is to increase their profit. The gamers are their tools.

What made GameFan so great was that it was run by the gamers. It could have ruled the world if Halverson wasn't such an evil, lying, cheating fuck. It was all the gamers there putting their souls into that magazine that made GameFan so good, not just Halverson. A magazine made only by Halverson alone would be, well, like Play. (No offense to the other guys at Play who do a fine job considering what I bet they have to put up with).

I've never been in charge of my own magazine because I've always been more interested in playing games than running shit. But I've been in the magazine business long enough now that I know what kind of things need to be done to make it work and what kind of things will screw it all to hell. So I think I could run a magazine just fine. I can give up some game time for that.

So who wants in? There's not much chance we could get the GameFan name for it. I think the name Hardcore Gamer Magazine is pretty good, though. I've already been talking to a bunch of people about it in private and we've been generating material for a first issue. However, we're lacking some key people to make it all come together and we recently put all our effort into publishing the official strategy guides for Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Phantom Brave, which put the kybosh on the efforts. Now that those are out of the way, I'm ready to get things rolling again. If we can find the right kind of people, I think it could be a wonderful thing like GameFan was, but without the psycho-drama bullshit going on in the background.

Here's the positions I think we need to make it happen:

Editor in Chief - Responsible for deciding who does what and what goes where and when. Responsible for the day-to-day tasks of creating an issue. I've already got at least two people who could fill this position immediately. One of them is another ex-GF guy.

Editor - The guy who makes sure what everyone's writing and designing makes sense.

Art Director - responsible for the look of the magazine. Section designs, logos, icons, etc. I know a few willing already, but we need really some badass talent... someone with raw skill. A Nick Rox.

Illustrator - We already have Terry Wolfinger, so we're pretty f'in set. However, if there are any other badass mofos out there looking to help where help's needed, we'll check you out.

Production artists - responsible for adding content to the sections -- adding the writer's text and shots to the art director's designs. I have a few people willing to do this, too. Need more.

News editors - Folks who are constantly posting news first on the message boards would be perfect -- like that Wario64 guy over on GAF. Also people fluent in Japanese to kype the news off Japanese sources.

Reviewers - Most well suited would be people with real debugs or just modded systems, but who already are known and trusted by PR contacts in the industry so they'll send them betas. This is key. No betas means no timely articles. However, we also need hardcore game fans with just plain raw gaming talent who know how to tell it like it is and connect with other like minded gamers. So any seasoned reviewers we find should be willing to take new ones under their wing.

Writers - Special feature writers. Same as above. Let's cover all the things gamers really dig. MAME cabinets, JAMMA boards, hacking shit, finding games cheap, interviews with developers, game artwork extravaganzas, cosplay, fanfic, fanart, game tournaments, gaming in Japan and Europe (and elsewhere). No fashion-lifestyle bullcrap, though.

Strategists - People to write up game strategies. People who write amazing FAQs already just 'cause they love it are who we need. Too bad Chris McDonald died. He was the embodiment of that.

Codes Editor - Person who maintains the cheats, codes, hints section. This is a HUGE pain in the ass. It'll take a very special kind of person who loves maintaining a large database which constantly needs correcting and updating, with very little reward. I do know one guy who may still be up for it, though.

Sports Editor - Person to do all things sport-like. Most sports gamers only like sports games. We have a guy like this already and he's probably reading.

Web guys - html wizards.

Online programmers - Got one, may need more.

PR Evangelist - Person to contact various video game publishers to get the word out about us, get us on their PR mailing lists, preview and review code mailing lists, etc. Also to write press releases announcing shit about us -- someone familiar with the current mainstream gaming media PR machine. This is a key position as well. Without someone very good at this, we come off looking like amatuers to the game company PR and marketing people.

Ad salesperson - If we get popular enough that there's demand enough to print real magazines, we'll need to pay the print bills. And if this all turns into a shitload of work, the people making it happen are going to need to get paid, too. So we'll need to get money. An ad guy is the alternative to a money suit (investor). He works on commission, and doesn't get no chunks of the magazine in return for the money he brings in, like investors always seem to want. An ad guy who is a gamer would be ideal.

So if you're ready to throw yourself head first into a thing like this, post here and/or email me (tim@djpub.com) or Thomas Wilde (wanderer@djpub.com) and let us know what you can do to help turn this dream into reality.

Okay, I've already stayed up past my bedtime writing this, so g'night.

============

kdeselms

Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie

I had left and was making games by the time ECM had come to power. I guess they got that other guy very cheap.

That artist was Patrick Spaziante, he'd done a lot of comic book work (I think ECM got turned onto him by his work on a Sonic/Knuckles book) and still does, I believe. He's pretty good, don't know what his asking price was though. His cover quality largely depended on how much time he was given. I really dug the character he did for me, but it irritated Jay, Jody and ECM because Hi-Fi didn't look anything like me and wasn't done in the traditional GameFan "not-so-subtly rip on the writer's appearance or behavior" style.

Actually, Brandon (Big Bubba) named my character - I couldn't think of one for myself, at the time...and I wasn't going to use Jody's old nickname for me: Enis.

=======

AstroBlue

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

Too bad Chris McDonald died. He was the embodiment of that.

Which is depressing. Since he was essentially "broken" because of for-profit ventures like EGM taking advantage of things he created out of good will.

Are there any stories on the Something Awful/GameFan connection? Weren't the websites linked or something?

==========

cka

Like I said earlier in the thread, SA was hosted on the GameFan Network which was bought up by eFront (as was fighters.net for about a year or so, and apparently Tracer's site posted above). eFront really screwed us over on ad revenue and eventually there were lawsuits and all sorts of other wacky crap flying through the air until eFront decided to fold and go bankrupt -- and promptly run with our ad revenues*. That's the only connection I'm aware of personally.

* - may/may not have went down that way but that's how I remember it.

And djpubba: Best of luck to you on this new magazine venture, however if it does fall short I'm certain we can find some sort of non-paid sweatshop stuff for you to do on TNL if you're interested. God knows we could use the help.

==========

WAKA

    OMG.

    I read the thread hijack at Kevin's site and had to register to have my say in this as well. After all, I was pretty much there when people were coming and going at GameFan. I've had my share of "Wakabouts" as well. Heh.

    Here's a cut and paste from Kevin's site. With added stuff.

    Bruce Stockert (Reubus) went back to North Dakota. For what? I have no clue. I guess I would since there was practically nothing left after GF imploded.

    Eric Mylonas (ECM) was doing strategy guides for Brady or whatever. If I remember correctly, he was working with Matt (MVS) for a while after GameFan went kaput, no?

    Tyrone Rodriguez (Cerebus) worked at Activision last time I heard. This was when I was working at Hyper Game Action before they also closed down.

    George (former GF designer that started the mag with Tim back in the day) was working at Atari last I heard.

    Terry Wolfinger went to work for Stan Winston on various stuff. Including a Michael Jackson video.

    Fernando Mosquiera(Lagi) went back to Maryland (or was it Maine?) to live with his mother and actually appeared on several news stories there. If you remember, he was taking steroids for his medical condition. Since he was legally on medicated marijuana, he joined a group to 'reach out' about legalizing it. With court hearings to boot. He was a good guy.

    Jay Puryear (Kid Fan) is still messing around in the gaming industry last time I heard. As for what company or position, I have no idea.

    Jacob (one of the designers as well back in the day) went to work for a game company. I think it was either Eidos or Activision. I remember him coming to GF to plug a game he was working on, and Puryear and I nearly had a heart attack when he came in. Small world.

    Matt Taylor (yes he worked at GF at one time and did the Mortal Kombat guide.) He went on and started Versus Books. Pretty successfully I might add.

    Casey Lowe and Ryan Lockheart (Takuhi and Orion) worked with Matt Taylor at Versus with Nick for some time. I was actually going to work with Matt as well, but the ass flaked on me. He just wanted the dirt on GameFan.

    Nick Des Barres (Nick Rox) went on and did various stuff. Including winning the design contest for the Resident Evil movie poster. I even got an e-mail from him asking to put an entry in. It's no wonder Nick won. He was a talented designer as well.

    Kelly (K. Lee). Oh man. He went on to work at EGM way back in the day. Read on to find out what happened.

    Dan Jevons (Knightmare) went to work at Conspiracy Games. I forgot what role he had in the company. He came by GF a few times.

    Bryn Williams (The Guvnor) is working at GameSpy. Still there AFAIK.

    Micheal Hobbs (Substance D) is working at PLAY magazine.

    Now for the old school stories. Woot! [Smile]

    Jay Boor: Masshole.

    I remember back when GF Online was one of those places where you can hang out and see what 'new' thing Levi got in his e-mail or new 'name' someone got plastered with. I remember walking up front where Melissa was one day and seeing if I got any mail. I was talking to Elaine when I noticed she was kinda spacing out towards the window as if she was trying to see something in the parking lot.

    Fast forward about 7 hours.

    Jay and I are talking about some crap when he tells me he'll be back in about 10 minutes. Thinking nothing of it, I went to get a soda from the fridge in the kitchen cause it was fucking hot. I hear Melissa and Elaine with their "OMG!" and "WTF!" voices. Jay is laughing his ass off (well trying not to - you know Jay), and trying to cover his ass about something he obviously did. I ask Melissa what happened, and she gives me this stern face. Uh oh. Jay already hit a nerve and was in trouble.

    I found out that he left his girlfriend in the car (yes, that long!) in the heat, and acted like he did nothing wrong. WTF! I asked him WHY he left his girlfriend in the car for over seven hours, and he just said... "It's embarassing enough that I walk around in public with her. Why the fuck would I want to bring her inside?" I busted out in laughter and I knew that was so wrong. But I later found out that she was just a really shy person and was comfortably sleeping in the car the whole time becuase she was tired. Still. Funny shit though.

    Kelly (K. Lee): Tyrone Biggums?

    Where should I start? I know it's messed up to make fun of someone who's life got completely messed up, but you can't help to bring this one up during the old GF reminiscence sessions. Now this guy was an oreo cookie. Black on the outside but whiter than most white people I know, inside. This actually strings on to Nick's antics.

    He appearantly got addicted to meth sometime during the first time I quit (or what people called a Wakabout). One of the first things he asked me when I came back was "Hey dude, good to see you back! Umm, can I ask you something later?"

    WTF?

    Anyways, later I'm alone and he asks me "Hey. Umm.... Can... You get some crystal meth? You know... for a friend of mine..." Who the fuck is he kidding? I told him I can, but I'm not gonna bring it to work. That was the last time he ever brought it up with me. Yeah. Like those pawn shop reciepts on your desk for over 400 dollars in jewelry was because you had no money for food right?

    Well, I recall him getting fired at GF for something (the reson eludes me). Time goes on and a few years later we all hear he's doing awesome at EGM. They paid for his moving expenses, got him a company credit card, and was actually making a decent amount of money (he had a baby to raise as well). It's quiet for a while, and then we hear this shit.

    Appearently, his addiction followed him all the way up north. He ran up the company credit card on crazy shit (probably pawned it on stuff for you know what), lost his house and his wife ran off with his crack dealer. With the baby. Talk about messed up. >_<

    Nick Des Barres (Nick Rox): Shup foo! Recognize!

    OK. I think Nick was actually a really cool person. Once you really get to know him, he's a really nice guy. I just can't believe all of the shit people gave him. Anyway.

    Nick was notoriously known for speaking like a black person (full ebonics!) with lines from 2Pac. He told me it was because his school was 98% black people, and it rubbed off on him. I knew where he was going to school as well, and I can totally agree. So sometimes during the delirium from crunch time, we would do stupid shit to give us that extra steam we needed to go on. This was one of those things. This was actually the birth of the famous "2 skoops!" line (StreetFighter double fireball super reference in ebonics. Yes, it's rasin bran pun.)

    Now Kelly heard around the office that Nick did an impressive 'black person' imitation, and he wanted so bad, to hear it. But of couse Nick wasn't about to bust out with it in front of Kelly. Umm. Yes, he's black. That would be a bit awkward, no? Everytime Nick would go into this mode, Kelly would always miss it. Unless we triggered it, of course, Hehe.

    One day, I was talking to Nick and I see Kelly in the corner of my eye. We were standing there (I think Casey and Ryan we there as well) and I busted out with "Wassupwiddat?!" then Nick just went awol. He was going off on ebonics and waving his hands like the gangsta he is for about 10 minutes. The whole time he was doing this, Kelly was standing behind him. Listening. I couldn't take it anymore and started laughing. Nick turned around and turned white as a ghost, then turned red from embarassment. He stood there shocked for about a few seconds and said "Uhhh. Hey Kelly..." and ran off into his office and slammed his door behind him.

    Needless to say Kelly was very impressed with his impression. After all, he was much 'blacker' than Kelly ever will be, ROFL!

    Writing a book would would freaking rock. But it'll be pretty damn long cause of all the shit that went down at good 'ol GameFan. I've seen the shadier side of it all for some reason. Things that people either don't know or have forgotten about. Like when I got the whole day off at GameFan because Andy Fell wanted me to "escort" him to the bank to withdraw 30,000 dollars cash. WTF?

    Or how about the time when we weren't getting paid for 3 months at a time and people higher up on the payroll list were cashing it before us peons could? I remember when Halverson got into Jay's office to steal his and Julie's paycheck so they could cash them ahead of us. When he was confronted about it, his words were "I don't care. Throw another body on the fire for all I care."

    Hey Shidoshi. Remember the guy downstairs from GameFan that would have a heart attack because we would run down those stairs and all of his shit would fall off the wall? Or how about the time when Griffon was "living" at GameFan for about a month before you guys decided to get an apartment? Damn. Good times.

    Good to see Terry and Tim adding to the memories as well. I'm sure Halverson liked the E.Storm in the wheelchair issue. I recall that was the time around E3 and that was the "news" when you guys got back. Classic. I'm not even going to get into detail about the whole Firepuss or "I fucked Joe" incident. Hehe.

    Tim - I'm not sure if you remember, but I went up with Kei to Weising's house to meet up with you guys about adding his section in your mag. Don't know if you remember or not. I was sleeping on his couch the whole time after I got there. I'm all for resurrecting a mag. That sounds like a freaking awesome idea! I was doing layouts in GameFan for a good 5+ years or so. Not my best work, you know how them GF crunchtimes were. Shoot me an e-mail and let's hook up sometime.

    Damn. I remeber when we were all having a meeting in Jay's office about what was going on one day. His office was practically all window, overlooking the parking lot. We were all sitting there when all of a sudden, a guy in a tow truck came to repossess my car. It was pretty embarassing. So I run out to see what's going on, and Bergstein run out a few seconds after I do, and tries to tell the guy to leave the car here and in return he'll pay for the whole thing upfront. I remember him clearly looking me in the eye and telling me, "Don't worry. I'll take care of it." as the guy drove off with my car in tow.

    It kind of sucks about Elaine. She stayed with us pretty much till the end. I remember we had a meeting right after she literally walked out after finding out the Bergstein had no intention of paying her back for her investment. Puryear just wanted us to know that her leaving would have no ill effect on us, so we had a damage control meeting afterwards.

    I promptly left soon after. I just couldn't take the shit there anymore. I even got a call from one of the Human Resources chick we dealt with from express.com call me at home asking why I left. I remember going back to the office to get my stuff I left behind and the only ones in the office was Jay Puryear and Brian Olshever. Brian was quick to tell me that express.com closed down GameFan, and actually had the sheriffs come down and escort everyone out much like the U.S. Marshall incident.

    Don't even ask me about (deleted his name for my safety, lol). Bergstein's personal assistant. This guy could get a mob to whack a guy if he wanted. Drugs? He only supplied some of the staff with their needs when they wanted it. Shady indeed. I'm pretty confident to say that over half of the staff including our Human Resources guy, Conrad, was a reefer head. I've seen and smoked out with them as well back in the day. Heck, even Nick Rox was toking at one time.

    Well I think that should be enough to add for now.

    Take it easy guys! Good to see you're all doing good.

==========

Fausty

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

I think Ryan really disliked the stress of having to find new and interesting content on a daily basis

Oops, sorry about that - didn't mean to leave all that stress with you. But yeah, you're right, having only one or two people run a "major" site is a tad insane. It was fun at first (scanning Famitsu and ripping on Next Generation Online's mistakes), but when Berg started demanding updates before 6 and I was put into a role with helping Rau, I sorta lost it. I know I drove you a little crazy at times, and I don't really remember if you hated me or not - if you did, I apologize. Heh, I blame the madness that was working at GF.

===============

Shidoshi

Oh... good times. Two more show up, and we get to look at that comic again. I never knew this thread would be so much fun when I started it.

I don't have the time for decent replies now, so I'll save those for later.

=====

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Issue Two...

BTW, who the fuck was the Blowmeister supposed to be?

Wow... that was hilarious to see all that shit again. I had forgoten a lot of that...

So at first the Blowmeister was just the embodiment of all that was bad video games- an amalgom of all the suits who wanted to make a quick buck and put out shit games, like Chester Cheeto etc... then at one point a rivalry broke out with GF and EGM and it was an easy swap from Blow Meister (B.M.) to Blow Meister Games (BMG) then finally BGM. Something like that...

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kdeselms

Even though there are a number of ex-GF staff members who post on my forum, we rarely talk about the GameFan days anymore - so it's kind of a trip now that we've all got some distance on those years, to talk about this stuff and reminisce. A lot of stuff, you just can't fully appreciate the weirdness unless you were there for it. GameFan was, by far, the most unique work experience I've ever had and by far, the most diverse group of personalities. Even before working there, I knew a lot of the guys who had been. Dan Granett had been writing for me on a site I'd been doing. I met that guy on Prodigy, back in the day - I remember putting in a good word with Jody to try and help him get hired at GameFan. Dan was just sort of a unique personality. I've never known a bigger or more knowledgable pro wrestling fan, either. Ryan was another guy I'd met on Prodigy's message boards, the three of us posted there all the time. I can remember visiting Jody at the GF office in Agoura one year while at E3 and watching Nick rant and rave about some other magazine stealing GameFan's screen shots. I was never a big Nick Rox or Dave Halverson fan, personally. I loved the spirit of GameFan but I couldn't stand their writing. To this day, I pick up Play and think, "Wow, this would be a good magazine, if I could actually read it."

I know from Dan's stories that Dave H. would actually take everyone's copy and "Blissify" it - that's something that just infuriated Dan. He took his writing very seriously and every time it got copy-edited by Dave, it ended up being peppered with those patented Nick Rox-isms that he loved so much.

===========

kdeselms

There was one issue we went to E3 with, with Street Fighter on the cover I believe - the cover was of much heavier cardstock than usual and if memory serves, they only basically printed enough to send to subscribers and have some for E3, it never hit the newsstands. I'm not sure if that's the missing issue, but it's a rare one. The cover was yellow I think...can't remember, I gave Waka all the issues from my time at the mag so he could scan them for work samples for his portfolio.

==========

isamu

Quote Originally Posted by kdeselms

Dan was just sort of a unique personality. I've never known a bigger or more knowledgable pro wrestling fan, either.

I know from Dan's stories that Dave H. would actually take everyone's copy and "Blissify" it - that's something that just infuriated Dan. He took his writing very seriously and every time it got copy-edited by Dave, it ended up being peppered with those patented Nick Rox-isms that he loved so much.

I can personally attest to this. It's too bad his relationship with GF ended on a sour note. But I miss the little guy nonetheless.

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djpubba

Hey, good to see you around Waka.

I'll add in a little of what I know to the where are they now's.

Quote Originally Posted by Waka

OMG.

Bruce Stockert (Reubus) went back to North Dakota. For what? I have no clue. I guess I would since there was practically nothing left after GF imploded.

Bruce went to work with Jody Seltzer doing guide work for Prima. Things slowed down for Jody at one point so Bruce moved back to CA and helped us make the SMT: Nocturne and Phantom Brave guides. After those gigs were up we ran out of stuff to have him work on, so he's looking for work last I heard.

Quote Originally Posted by Waka

George (former GF designer that started the mag with Tim back in the day) was working at Atari last I heard.

After G left GF he got a job at SCEA, later left there, started a dev house called Player 1, developed a game called Robotron X and five or six other games for Midway and Crave, which didn't take off. So now he's back at SCEA doing game design again. Sounds like he's doing pretty good there. George is, like, my best friend in the world. Went to high school with him.

Quote Originally Posted by Waka

Jay Puryear (Kid Fan) is still messing around in the gaming industry last time I heard. As for what company or position, I have no idea.

I bumped into him in the hallway at E3. He gave me his card that's from a company that appears to be developing some VR goggles or something.

Quote Originally Posted by Waka

Matt Taylor (yes he worked at GF at one time and did the Mortal Kombat guide.) He went on and started Versus Books. Pretty successfully I might add.

OMFG. I got an email a few years ago from Matt announcing that he was leaving the game industry completely to dedicate his life to helping children, and was changing his name to Matt Love to show his love for children. Shortly after than, Versus Books went out of business. WTFLOLOMG.

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kdeselms

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

I bumped into him in the hallway at E3. He gave me his card that's from a company that appears to be developing some VR goggles or something.

I ran into him a couple years ago, he was working with some technology conference to try and get game companies to buy booth space at that convention, or something. Olshever was still in ad sales, I think working for a car magazine...trying to sell ads to game companies. I got the feeling Jay was still trying to settle on a path, post-GameFan. Don't know about the last couple of years, I wasn't at E3 last year - for the first time ever. Strangely, I didn't really miss it...

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JesusisGod

Interesting to read everyone's viewpoints on how Gamefan was. I see things a little differently then most since I was on drugs most of the time while working there, thanks to certain people @ Gamefan who introduced me to drugs. I am just glad that those days are over. I have had enough back-stabbing and lying to last me 10 lifetimes after working there.

Andrew Cockburn

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Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Hey Wolfie- how did the process of creating the pics of the editors work?

Well it kinda varied at how much Halverson liked you or respected you. The guys he thought were cool he let them kind of have free reign, Like Dan Jevens charater Knightmare (one of my favorites). Then there were the people he liked to make fun of so he would dictate to me to make them look "broken" or stupid etc... (Poor Nick)

In the case of the Postmeister, Dave just came to me with the name and I thought that was just the greatest name and quickly scribbled out this freakish postman thing, with the goggles etc... He loved it and the character kind of evolved into this maddman persona based on how the character was designed.

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Fausty

Quote Originally Posted by JesusisGod

Interesting to read everyone's viewpoints on how Gamefan was. I see things a little differently then most since I was on drugs most of the time while working there

Andrew! Um, Respect! Glad to see you're still alive - it's been a long, long while. How's life? Still competitive in SFA2?

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Wolfie

Dude! What's up Andrew? How are ya what ya been doing?

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JesusisGod (Andrew Cockburn)

Quote Originally Posted by Fausty

Andrew! Um, Respect! Glad to see you're still alive - it's been a long, long while. How's life? Still competitive in SFA2?

Life is great. I still play games, but only the best ones. I really do not care about SFA2 anymore. It is still my favorite fighting game ever made, but I prefer to play Halo PC online. I am good at that now. I just work, workout, spend time with my wife, play videogames, and study the Bible. That is my life right now.

Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie

Dude! What's up Andrew? How are ya what ya been doing?

Life is very good now Terry. I am glad that you are doing so well.

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Wolfie

Hey Wakka! What's up, man? Boy, this is like a reunion! There are just tons more stories left aren't there?

Quote Originally Posted by JesusisGod

Life is great.

Dude! I'm glad you're doing so well. Seems like you've really turned your life around. Sounds like you're really happy!

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bahn

Good to see ya again Kevin (all of you actually) and hear that things are going well.

Perhaps Geogre, Rick, Jay and Eric will pop up next?

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kdeselms

Yeah dude, I've sorta just kept to my own little forum community over the past year or so...my activity in gaming has died down quite a bit in recent years and so I haven't found myself checking out the game sites much, anymore. The guys on my board keep me up to date, and a couple of them visit this board frequently as well, so that's how I heard about this thread...which is probably the coolest one I've read on a message board in a long, long time, with all the reunions going on. Plus the potential for something to come of it is even more interesting, with Tim's desire to do a new publication of some kind.

Plus it's just cool, seeing what a profound impact GameFan had on many people, both good and bad. It wasn't a magazine that was well-respected by its peers, to say the least...but I think it's clear that the memory of GameFan and the enthusiasm behind it will outlast MOST of these sterile, "gaming journalist" magazines. Where are the lengthy threads memorializing Next Generation?

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Waka

OMG! Andrew?!

Last time I saw you, I bumped into you at Fry's in Canoga Park. After that incident, I told a few guys at work that I saw you and chatted with you for a while, but their reactions weren't exactly what I expected. You must have rubbed them the wrong way or something because the crap that flew out of their mouths were.... damn...

Good to see you're doing good though!

Folks, this is a guy who used to dump crates of porn on his lawn for the trash guy to pick up only for it to get ravaged by the local neighborhood kiddies, lol.

Tim - Robotron X! That's it! I remember him coming to GF to plug it. It was actually a very cool remake of the old school game. God. I still remember Bruce playing the shit out of that game till the wee hours in the morning at our house.

Do any of you remember when I fell asleep downstairs in the "Dungeon" one time during crunch time? Damn Puryear taped my head to the table. It wasn't just a piece of scotch tape. It was that plus a whole roll of duct tape. He then promptly proceeded to make an alarming sound and scream "Waka!" I woke up so fast and moved that whole rubbermaid desk. My head bounced off that table like, 5 times.

Kinda funny, though.

Damn! Speaking of tape, does anyone have any Tapeman pictures? I think Halverson was the only one that had it. I could be wrong though.

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Waka

Tim - Robotron X! That's it! I remember him coming to GF to plug it. It was actually a very cool remake of the old school game.

Yup. That game never got the props it deserved, although the camera was flawed. They should fix that and resurrect it on the PSP. It's the perfect type of game for a portable.

I emailed George a link to this thread so maybe he'll show up and give us a story or two.

BTW, Waka, your email's blocked so I PM'd you instead.

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Waka

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

No no. Chief Hambleton was... God damn, the name isn't coming to me of course... but it wasn't Gary. Gary pretty much did design, and never had a real character in the magazine.

David Hodgson = Chief Hambleton

Gary didn't want a character because he thought it was childish and whatnot. So he opted out. The brit invasion at GameFan was pretty intense. Lots of creative writing and design stuff all over the place.

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Fausty

Oops, sorry about that - didn't mean to leave all that stress with you.

Ryan! Nice to hear from you again. Back then, I had a bit of ill feelings towards you. But you know, all of these years later, looking back at things... a lot of us were pretty young, we were working at what was probably our all-time dream job, and then you add in all of the crap that went wrong with the situation... it was just such an unhealthy situation in so many ways. It indeed was madness. I don't hold bad feelings for anybody anymore, and what I most regret is that people just didn't really know each other better and gel more to create an even better magazine. All of the stupid personal conflicts and spats and whatnot are all in the past, and I'd hope that now any of us could meet up and be cool with each other.

Well, except, I'll never forgive you for making me re-type the press releases we got in via fax or mail. Lord almighty that drove me insane. *laughs*

Quote Originally Posted by Waka

Hey Shidoshi. Remember the guy downstairs from GameFan that would have a heart attack because we would run down those stairs and all of his shit would fall off the wall? Or how about the time when Griffon was "living" at GameFan for about a month before you guys decided to get an apartment? Damn. Good times.

Waka! Heh... weren't we actually banned from using one of the sets of stairs because of it driving that guy nuts? I can't imagine what he put up with having to work under a group like us. I actually don't remember Griffen living out of GameFan, but it doesn't surprise me. When I got there, he was staying at the hotel down by the apartment we ended up getting. I think we lived there for like a month. *heh*

I was actually going to post about your car being repo'd. *hehe* That was such a crazy day. We were there, having that meeting, and then somebody is like, "Hey Waka, isn't that your vehicle being towed?" and Waka went running out the room screaming, "Noooo!" *grin*

Oh, and Waka's girl (at least, girl back then, don't know what has happened since then) was hot. Well, okay... I don't exactly remember what she looked like. But she was Japanese, so she was hot. *laughs*

Quote Originally Posted by Kevin

There was one issue we went to E3 with, with Street Fighter on the cover I believe - the cover was of much heavier cardstock than usual and if memory serves, they only basically printed enough to send to subscribers and have some for E3, it never hit the newsstands.

Are you sure? I would swear that the Soul Reaver issue was the one that was pretty much E3 only. At least, I remember that being another hard to get issue. Damn... I'll have to check to make sure that I have that one.

Quote Originally Posted by JesusisGod

Interesting to read everyone's viewpoints on how Gamefan was.

Hot damn... Andrew! I haven't seen or heard from you in ages. I'm glad to see that everything seems to be going okay for you. Were you crazy enough to marry another Japanese girl? *grin* Unfortunately for me, I haven't learned my lesson about them yet.

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Also, did each editor get to pick their name, or was that assigned as well?

I know that Dave had a name already picked out for me - "Eggbert." I came in shortly before the deadline for an issue, and while the art for my character was in place, the name wasn't. So Greg Rau - he was a really great guy, BTW - came to me and asked me what I wanted to use for a name. (I'm not sure he was supposed to do this or not.) I told him I wanted to use the Shidoshi. And, actually, I had been using the nickname since like 1989.

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kdeselms

Oh, and Waka's girl (at least, girl back then, don't know what has happened since then) was hot.

Actually, if you're talking about Akari...he married her

Waka, what issue was that Street Fighter cover that we only printed a handful of, for giving away at E3 and stuff? It was the year we had the motor home out in the parking lot and had the grilled sandwiches and stuff, by invite only? That was the first E3 I was with GameFan, stuck in the friggin' Kentia Hall cubicle. The Catered Cubicle, because guys had to bring me food. I remember being in there with Fury and Dango, when some dudes showed up with a bunch of issues they wanted signed. I thought that was the funniest thing ever.

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JesusisGod (Andrew)

I use to be full of myself back then. Remember, I started working for Dave the day I turned 16 (November 28th, 1990), and by working with him I turned into a copy of him. My dad committed suicide when I was two years old and I was always looking for a father figure. Too bad I dropped out of High School to go work with Dave 24/7 and become like him. That is why I was such an evil person. It has taken God about four years to get those evil personalities out of my character. So, of course people from Gamefan might not like me. Back then I only thought about getting money for weed, sex, and more sex. Videogames were thrown out the window when I brought over my ex-wife from Japan. That was one of the biggest mistakes I made. It changed me into a person that I hated. I wanted to leave her but because of the weed and attachment, I never could. I lost almost all of my home friends because of that relationship, so it is no wonder people did not like me. I did not even like me

I married a woman that I had known for quite sometime. It turns out that she is the perfect partner for me. She loves Jesus, videogames, animals, food, people, family, computers, web-design, traveling, and me. With my ex-wife, the only things we had in common were sex and weed. Since I really did not understand Japanese very well and the same for her with English, the relationship would become hell once we smoked weed. No one would understand what the other was saying. This went on for years until she cheated on me with one or two of her coworkers. I was never sure, but I am glad we got divorced.

Never marry just for one out of the three possible connections: the physical. You need @ least two out of the three for it to work; Mental, Physical, or Spiritual.

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Waka

Quote Originally Posted by kdeselms

Actually, if you're talking about Akari...he married her

I can't remember for the life of me. Those were so hard to get, that I didn't even get one. Not sure if it was even in the stack you gave me.

Yeah. Akari has been through with me thick and thin. I feel bad that it's not exactly the way we wanted to live our lives. But hell. If anyone sticks through you during the GameFan shit, then I suppose you should marry them, no?

Funny story. I remeber back when they had the CES in Las Vegas. I was sitting there with our booth model, Christen. We were just talking when some asshole storms up to me all drunk with a GameFan in his hand with the page open in the sports section in question. He was pointing furiously at the page and cussing me out. "This is politically incorrect! This is bullshit! Who wrote this piece of shit?" I just looked at him and said "Why the fuck are you yelling at me? You got a fucking problem, then go talk to whoever wrote it. I'm not here to listen to your shit!" He stood there for a minute then walked away, sobbing. Then Christen looked at me and said "Ummm. Is that normal?" We both laughed for about 10 minutes. We couldn't even hand out the mags after that.

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Shidoshi

Another small story of Shidoshi getting himself in trouble. I was working on an issue of AnimeFan, and decided that I was going to review the live action Weather Woman movie. I reviewed it, tossed in the screenshots, the section was finished, and I sent it on to GameFan. A few days later, I get a call or an IM (can't remember which) from Waka, saying, "Dude, you're in serious trouble." When I asked why, he said that the higher ups were pissed off that I was trying to put porn into the magazine. I had no idea what he was talking about. What it was was, I had taken a screenshot of the scene that was used as the DVD's cover - the main character lifting her skirt to show her panties. (Which looked like nothing more than a typical bikini bottom.)

What really cracked me up about that was that in a recent issue, that had used artwork of the chick from Pandemonium 2 totally topless, with her hands covering just enough to get away with it. I thought it was funny that that was perfectly fine, but a small screengrab of a girl flashing a pair of non-revealing panties wasn't. (I know, she was a real person, versus a render... but still.)

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djpubba

Well, if you go by the number of people who want to help make it happen, it's looking pretty good. We've got a private message board set up to collaborate on this thing and 34 people signed up to do it so far, 6 of which are former GameFan folks and we even have a former EGM'er who might help.

The ex-GF folk on board to help so far include me, Wolfie (who's more up for it than I thought, yay!), Waka, Shidoshi, Weising, HiFi, and one surprise bonus member who I can't name yet.

We still need more experienced reviewers and editors to make it work, though. Any of you ex GMR/XBN/GameStar folks interested?

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Waka

Quote Originally Posted by Jetman

That sounds pretty funny. I would love to pull that off on one of my drunk friends. I hope you got Jay back for that one.

Oh I did. I cocked my arm back like I was gonna sock him, and he flailed his arms up to cover his face. Which was even more funny because of the situtation.

Yeah, it was me that called you Eric. Basically, we were looking through the issue before we sent it off and Jay saw it. They don't call him "The Hatchet" for nothing. I personally had no problem with you doing your AnimeFan. If you recall, I called you again because I was told to work with you on redesigning it. Don't know why, but I enjoyed having at least one section of the mag I could read on white pages without having to squint or go color blind.

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djpubba

More story... nothing mind melting, just a little funny...

The printing on issue one wasn't that great. We printed it at my old job, which used pretty low quality presses and we used too high of a line screen for that type of press. So it was really dark in spots. So we needed to find a real printer. It just so happened that Andy Fell's brother in law, or cousin, or some relative like that, owned a printing company called Wolfer Printing. So Andy hooked us up to get the magazine printed there. Back then, we used to go on what were called "press checks." This was where one or two of us would go to the printer while the magazine was printing and make sure the pages coming off the press were good. It was a hell of a long drive away, so none of us wanted to go because, since they printed in the middle of the night, it basically meant sleeping in their waiting room until the press dude came in to wake your ass up and look at the next set of pages (a sig). It was a crap thing.

So when we'd get the magazines back from the printer, Halverson would always look at every page in the magazine and find some thing wrong and get all pissed off and insult whoever went on press checks. It was always fairly minor stuff -- stuff that happens in every magazine, like misregistration, blues going purple, etc. Finally he got so fed up with printing problems, he decided he was going on a press check himself. So he loaded up a shitload of game systems in the car to hook up to the crappy TV in the waiting room and we head down to Wolfer printing. Of course nobody thought to bring a fucking RF modulator to hook them to the crappy old TV so we're bored out of our skulls by the time the press dude calls us out to look at the first sig. Halverson picks up a sheet and rubs it between his fingers, holds it up to the light and starts freaking out. He's going off that he's paying for 80 lb paper and this is fucking 70 lb paper and he's not paying for this crap. I'm standing there thinking, "no fucking way he can tell the difference between goddamn 80 lb paper and 70 lb paper with his fat fucking fingers." So the press dude hauls out a micrometer and measures the paper. Sure e-fucking nuff old microdigits Halvy caught 'em red handed trying to stiff us on the paper weight. He was the living press check god for a while after that (and more power to him).

Funny thing, at our DoubleJump Publishing offices here in Valencia, CA (different place, way far from where we did press checks), like, 13 years after that, we get mail addressed to Wolfer Printing. They occupied the same suite as us some time in the past. It's usually from the employment board or the IRS. Go figure.

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djpubba

JesisGod quote

You weren't too drugged out when I worked with you. You were a genuine, enthusiastic teenager doing typical fucked up teenager things, loving games and fun to hang out with. Glad you survived it.

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Shidoshi

By the way... I had no idea you had anything to do with DoubleJump up until today. Major props. I own not one of your strategy guides (as I own not one of the games you've done), but damn they are hot.

I still remember finding and purchasing issue #3 at the local mall video game shop. The magazine was just so different than anything else out there, and the screenshots were just insane. I remember these shots for the second Mickey Mouse platformer for Genesis where like only two shots fit onto a page because they were so huge. It was like they weren't just screenshots from a game, they were art or something. Also, the entire mag just had this feel, this vibe that no other game mag had. It wasn't these writers talking down to me, it was like a friend saying, "Hey, seriously, check this game out."

GameFan was one of the few mags I ever subscribed to. Every time an issue came in the mail, all I did that night was sit around and read it front to back.

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djpubba

Oh crap, that reminds me of the little story about those. It was way late in the wee hours of deadline eve and everyone had crashed before the magazine was done except me and I think it was Greg Off. We had one last damn page to fill and nobody awake to help us fill it with something. So we looked at each other and both said at the same time, "Mega-shots!" and blew up those two shots big enough to take up the whole page, and went to sleep on the floor

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by IronPlant

Thicker paper means less content. Dave planning that out would not surprise me in the least.

Naw, Dave wasn't like that. He'd work like a dog non-stop to fill as many pages as he could get the printer to extend him the credit to pay for. The problem was that he wouldn't let anyone else do anything until he was good and ready to dole out the assignments like moses coming down the mountain. So we'd get jack shit done for two weeks of the month then kill ourselves trying to cram all the work into the next two. We seriously nearly killed people working like that. I remember staying up for 5 days straight to make a deadline then catching a cold on the last day and my brain feeling like a piece of rock.

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kdeselms

I don't know how they could get pissed about that, considering the shots of DOA Hardcore I took that you used in the mag, Waka...I seem to remember a particularly tasty (and totally purposeful) shot I grabbed of Kasumi delivering her powerbomb move on Ayane...you know, the one where she lingers in that special place for just a little longer than maybe is appropriate? As I recall, it got used in both the layout AND the TOC...hahaha...

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BonusKun

Quote Originally Posted by Compass

Somebody track down ECM and get his ass in here. What is he, too good for us? I can see why Halvy wouldn't pop in but this thread is bursting with fans of ECM's more than anyone else's ('cept maybe Nick).

No. I just don't think he wants to deal with this anymore. After the whole mess with GG happened a lot of people hated him for that last post he made on the old GG boards.

Do you honestly think some people *Master for example* are going to let it go?

Back on track tho. I actually got the nerve to bust open my old storage case of Gamefans. Volume 1. Issue 3. Feature Story of Battletoads. Dear god.

~BonusKun

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Typefiend

Thanks to a kind email, I was directed to this forum where I could revisit the fond and frustrating memories of working at both DieHard GameFan and Gamers' Republic. Its a trip to see some of the names of people whom I got to work with for a short while...basically the last 6 months of the Halverson era GF, before I joined Gary, Bryn, Hoagy, Gerald, Jeremy, Ryan, Jun, Jevons, Hobbs, Griffin, Corby, and Halverson to launch GR. I had almost banished the memories of Metropooplis: Bouncing Checks Inc, and its all come back in vivid detail. But I remember people like Waka, Rau,Rustin, Jody, Terry, Bruce, ECM, Shidoshi, Nick and Andrew....it was my first job outta college, hired by a great first boss (Gary Harrod), and a dream job at that (graphic designer). Well, at least until the paychecks stopped and all we did as staff was play hours upons hours of Poy Poy and Command & Conquer. I only regret that I left just as I was about to get my own character in the masthead...Terry was going to make me a pretty keen panda bear character. But alas, it was never meant to be.

Hope all you original GF/GR kids are doing well!

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Typefiend

Quote Originally Posted by Dragonmaster Dyne

so you were the "6th man" or whatever the last couple issues?

To be honest, I was the whole damn team in terms of design production after a couple months there because the other designers had stopped working out of anger due to late paychecks. I was so yippy-skippy about working, I tackled a lot of the shit games layouts, and just soldiered thru for awhile. But after a few months of not getting paid, there I was alongside everyone else playing WarCraft or taking 2 hour lunches...

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Dragonmaster Dyne

wasnt real. i have the Turok issue and it isnt there. it had to be PS'd in.

It is so totally there. I'm not saying it was intential on our part, but I can see it clear as day.

[posts regard the word "sex" in a dinosaur's nostril on the Turok cover]

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djpubba

quote regarding new guy on new mag

Nope. It's Greg Off. Greg has agreed to be the Editor in Chief. Also, since Greg is the original designer, IP owner and copyright holder of Monitaur, he brings us Monitaur as a character we can use. With Terry fully on board as our main art man, and several of the other old GF crew on board, this is really going to be fun.

It took forever for me to get an account on Gaming-Age, too.

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Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

No no. Chief Hambleton was... God damn, the name isn't coming to me of course... but it wasn't Gary. Gary pretty much did design, and never had a real character in the magazine.

Mike Hoggson I believe was his name. Very cool guy and was pals with Gary Harrod. Both Brits

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Akumachan

Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie

There's a few of us on here but only a couple from issue one on: me, djpubba (Tim Lindquist), JesusisGod (enquirer aka, andrew cockburn). Shidoshi was later...

wow... I didnt go through even a quarter of the shit you guys went through, but I'd like to think that I kinda understand your pain. These stories are unbelievable, yet TOTALLY believeable where Dave is concerned.

and those pics from the early 90's of Dave = HI-larious.

and for anyone who hopes he has changed... It speaks highly of you as humans to give Dave that much benefit of the doubt. but its greatly misplaced. The stories of the end of GF so much mirror the end of GR that it makes me shudder.

and Play.. well that remains to be seen I suppose. I should give Brady a call and see how he is doing.

[REGARDING SONIC STATUE BOUGHT WITH STOLEN PAYROLL MONEY WHICH IS THE ENW OFFICE]

You mean its still there?! That is rightfully mine!!! I will have it!!!

It sure is. Its a little battle damaged now. (one of Sonic's spikes is broken) But he and Knuckles are still holding down the entryway to the Play offices.

A covert-ops mission may be needed to recover Sonic.

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Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

The problem was that he wouldn't let anyone else do anything until he was good and ready to dole out the assignments like moses coming down the mountain.

I can remembr that shit. The new games would come in and that's all he would for like three weeks is play them and then hand out assignments in the last week like every issue. Then the printing would be delayed and they'd start tacking on these late fees and holdover charges. The print bills became astronomical! GF was never able to catch back up with that. Dave's solution? Stiff the printer on the bill and go find a new one..! Well I think the burned through 3 printers like that before pretty soon, no one would take GF's print orders as its reputation preceeeded itself...

Little off-track there, heh. But after the crunch-Hell-week, everyone would take like a week off to recover and the whole process would start all over again. Its amazing that the mag was ever put out at all! I usually was spared the agony of the crunch week cuz of my situation. .. I needed x amount of time to paint covers, and characters etc... I got caught up in a few snaffus tho. I'll go into those later.

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Akumachan

Quote Originally Posted by Dragonmaster Dyne

ive wrote to Hobbs on a number of occasions and every reply was a genuine, taking time out to answer reply. seems like a pretty decent guy to me.

Yup Hobbs is really a nice guy. Very sincere. I was surprised when he went from underpaid reviewer to seriously underpaid lead design for Play.

Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie

I can remembr that shit. The new games would come in and that's all he would for like three weeks is play them and then hand out assignments in the last week like every issue.

well well well... it's like deja vu all over again....

That's exactly the way GameRrepublic and Play ran.

frankly Im astounded anyone will print his magazine....

Im not sure I ever saw an issue of GR or Play on time. ever.

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Akumachan

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Where's the Play office located?

a sleepy little high end suburb of Los Angeles called Agoura Hills.... only minutes from the old GR offices.

Quote regarding Dave being sick

LOL, awesome... he still uses that particular trick.

And he still has Julie do his dirty work. But now it's her job to give people his excuses.

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie

Geoff Higgons needs to get in here (El Nino). Man he could string together the mullet monologue better than anyone!

He's probably too scared to come in here... he still has my SE Army of Darkness DVD that he was supposed to get signed by Bruce Campbel and never did. About four years later now, and the bastard still hasn't sent it back to me. *heh*

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Mike

I still want to know the address of the old place on Ventura Blvd in Tarzana, just to see what's there now and if they still have the disk door.

18612 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA 91356

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Shidoshi

Hobbs, Griffin, and Jevons were my best friends during my time at GF. All three of them were awesome, great guys, very dedicated and passionate about what they were doing, and all ready to put in the work to make the best magazine they could. I've always thought that if I had the money to make my own magazine, those three would be the first I'd go looking for to fill staff positions.

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Mike

But are you guys seriously thinking of starting a new mag?

Heel yea. The current name is Hardcore Gamer Magazine, but Three Foot Sonic f'ing rules.

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by JefmcC

I had a friend that met The Mullet at E3 many years ago. This was the first time I heard of his being an a-hole. Any truth to this?

Not when I knew him. He was your friend and best buddy to your face and called you worthless and insulted you to others when you weren't there.

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Dragonmaster Dyne

seriously tho, anything with hardcore just makes it sound like you're trying too hard.

If DieHard was good for GameFan, Hardcore is okay for us. The only reason they stopped using the name DieHard in their title later on is because Sears threatened them. For real.

What I don't like about Hardcore Gamer is that it sounds a little elitist. However, unless something better comes along, it's probably what we're going with.

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Akumachan

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

Not when I knew him. He was your friend and best buddy to your face and called you worthless and insulted you to others when you weren't there.

co-sign.

you dont know how many times i listened to it at the Play offices. Friendly up front, but as soon as the person was gone, the shittalking started.

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Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Mzo

Prepare the ninja shirts!

Hee hee, and they all know how insane I am. When I first started working at gamefan I had this big plack Chevy truck where I cut a hole in the grill and mounted a big red skull that had lights in the eyes that were wired into the blinkers. People kinda thought I was a little nuts.

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Typefiend

At least you're not going to name your magazine "Gamezilla" as Halverson wanted when we launched Gamers' Republic. The whole staff basically vetoed every suggestion from Dave....thank goodness!

Core Gamer?

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Akumachan

and for anyone who hopes he has changed... It speaks highly of you as humans to give Dave that much benefit of the doubt. but its greatly misplaced. The stories of the end of GF so much mirror the end of GR that it makes me shudder.

Here's my thing... I look back through my life at who I was, the things that I've done, and the mistakes that I've made. As I've gotten older, I've changed, I've mellowed on a lot of things, I'm not the same person that I used to be. Did Dave do some things that I thought were really screwed up back when we both worked at GameFan? Absolutely. But I also did some damn stupid stuff myself.

I also know how easy it is to form an opinion on somebody based on pieces of information gained from here or there. There are so many opinions floating around about me that it's crazy. I look at what's been said about me, look at all of the misconceptions that various people have about me, and it forces me to rethink the way I look at other people. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some wonderful guy who doesn't dislike anybody and has all this inner peace and all of that crap... I've just learned how easy it can be to get the wrong impression of a person.

Don't take this to say that I think everybody who has a beef with Dave is wrong or whatever. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, and I didn't live in their shoes. Like I said, my experience of him hasn't always been best, but at the same time, I didn't have really direct dealing with him most of the time. What is done is done, and just as I've become a very different person since that point, I'm also willing to believe that he has as well until I'm proven otherwise.

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Akumachan

I salute you then Shidoshi. If you can feel that way, then you are an honorable human being indeed. And Im not being facetious.

In earlier years, i used to hear a lot of crap about Dave, but then i could never figure out why people felt that way. Needless to say that all of that has changed now.

I can admit that, of course, not all the times I had were bad times either. In many ways, I can even thank Dave for giving me much needed industry experience. But, IMO, it doesnt change the things that he did do to people that were not so nice.

I suppose Im just disappointed in the amount of politics in a line of work where many of us do this out of love for games.

And i can also understand your point about being misunderstood. i have shaped my opinions based pretty much on my own direct dealings with Dave. It just disturbs me to see so many people offer similar situations.

but thanks for the great thread Shidoshi

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Wolfie

Ok, to finish off the GF '93 Las Vegas CES show trip... So there were lots of shenanigans going on as you might guess and it the excitement quickly wore off for me. So I went down to the cassino and started playing roulette. I actually turned $20 into $90 so I thought well, not really much use for me to be here anyway (I'm not a PR guy or an editor...), so I buy a plane ticket to get back home a couple days early. (The group of us had driven out there). So I get my bags together and I go "oh shit! I cant carry this on the plane!" So when Jay puryear got back to the room I go, "um Jay, do you think I can give you something to take back for me" and had him a small blue bag. He was like, "uh... what is it, Tee?"

I say, "Well dont tell anyone, but um... its a gun." Jay: "A gun?! Are you nuts?! What the Hell did you bring a gun for?!" I dunno, long car trips thru the dessert I always packed heat back then. LOL, more likely I had seen too many movies... So of course Jay told everyone back at the office about and for the next several months heard lots of entertaing comments: "Hey T, you packing?" "Sup, gangster?" "hey, don't shoot" . Hee hee

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djpubba

Trivia: Dave Siller came up with the GameFan name.

(The Aero the Acrobat guy)

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Corebee

Yo locs... It's Jeremy... good to see everyone is still alive... Fuckin trip down memory lane reading these stories. Spent a good 3-4 years of my life in Halver-Land and glad to have escaped with my sanity. Still gotta be thankful to the guy, had it not been for him I would have never had the chance to discover graphic design... I would probably still be out vandalizing shit...

Happy 2005

HardCorebee

Oh yeah Terry... of the story you told about the check cashing... I was actually the guy who got the last of the funds that day... sorry

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Wolfie

Hmm, so who are you? I'm glad my pain made you laugh.

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Corebee

i was the guy who ran away to japan with andrew in 92... me, gerald, and andrew were all good friends in jr. high. gerald and i worked with jody handling the strategy guides

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djpubba

Okay, I guess it's time for the story of how I left GameFan.

I already mentioned that in the beginning, I had taken a percentage ownership of the magazine in lieu of a paycheck. When I agreed to this, Dave told me that Andy would draw up the proper paperwork and get that to me -- not to worry. A couple months went by and that paperwork didn't show up. When I'd ask Dave about it he would say that Andy was just busy and he needed lawyers to handle it and all that, so it was a slow process -- but not to worry. This repeated every couple of months. So when the "Three Foot Sonic" incident happened, which was about 12 months after I was promised those papers, I really started thinking about what was going on there. I wrote down what I had heard from various people about who got how much percentage of the magazine for their investments or participation and good damn if it didn't add up to more than 100%. Dave had promised away more percentage of the magazine than there was to give, by a margin significantly larger than the margin of error!

So soon after that I asked Dave about the papers again and got the same story, but this time they were real close to being ready. The next day, I decided to call Andy myself and ask just what was the holdup with my ownership papers. I got him on the phone and he was like "huh? WTF are you talking about? Dave never said anything to me about you owning anything. There aint nothing left for you to own." So I thanked him politely and immediately called Dave. When he answered, I exploded into an outburst of unintelligible gibbersh punctuated by pauses to suck the drool back in my mouth. My wife came and stood next to me and urged me to think about what I was saying. So I repeated to Dave what I had just said in English -- that I had just spoken to Andy and told him what he said, and he replied, "What? You're not allowed to call Andy! Only I can talk to Andy!" I was so taken aback by his complete disconnect from reality, I just told him that I'd be there in the morning and hung up.

So the next morning when I got to work, I went straight into his office, which he shared with Dave Winding at the time and when I walked in, he looked up at me like a deer caught in headlights. I sat down and stared at him for a minute. Nobody said a word. Then I calmly said that I was resigning, and he had two options for how I would leave. He could pay me a reasonable figure for my share of the magazine and I would stay and help him finish the issue and then train a replacement for myself, or I would leave right then and he could rot. Winding still didn't make a peep. It was deadline time and they'd have been royally screwed if I left, with George being the only other one left to do all the layouts. So he took the smart choice, agreed to pay for my share and I stayed long enough to train Jacob Riskin to replace me. Once I was paid off and I felt a *little* better about things, I then also agreed to freelance for while after that to help with the magazine. That lasted about 4 issues until I just kinda slowly faded out of there.

I think I was probably the only one who ever got anything out of their ownership of GameFan.

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Corebee

who all from gamefan is posting in here? I can only tell who a few people are... enlighten me please

Oh shit... if you are who I think you are. Colby?

And yeah, we really need to put together a listing of who is who in here.

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Shidoshi

I'm not sure I've ever showed this to anybody... but this is from the "lost" issue of AnimeFan, the one that was being produced for the issue of GameFan that was canned when the mag closed down. The issue was set to introduce a new look for the section, that of course then never came to be. The section itself wasn't finished, which is why some of the text doesn't make sense with what it is paired up with. As well, there six pages in total, but the rest of the pages weren't as finished as the first two were.

Anyhow... here you go.

animefan.pdf

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Corebee

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

Oh shit... if you are who I think you are. Colby?

its jeremy... sup dude

none of the readers here would recoginize me, i didnt write for the mag... put plenty of sweatshop-esque hours in for halverson though

spanked nick rox on the sfIII machine more than a few times muahaha

dam... the golden years

y'all should call your mag 1UP... jeah

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FuSoYa

Quote Originally Posted by Lyte Edge

Apologies if this was already covered and I missed it within the pages of this thread, but does anyone remember the "Monkey Boy Rox" home page, which covered the Working Designs/Gamefan incident of when Victor Ireland discovered that Nick Rox had not played through the WD Sega CD RPGs he was reviewing?

In late, but I remember that. Wow. Isn't there a 'way back' internet web machine for that kind of thing? Anyway, it wasn't that Rox wasn't playing through WD's games, it was Lunar 2 in particular. He played the Japanese version of Lunar 2 but supposedly he only had time to finish half of WD's U.S. release before the mag went to print. (talks of the game crashing near deadline after an exahausting 18 hour RPG fest come to mind).

I could dig for the print outs of the usenet transgressions, (usenet archive might have it) but Vic really went wild for a number of reasons. One, Nick didn't finish the U.S. version, and no defense from GF was given on this point, as Nick had called WD for hints on how to beat Borgan. Two, he didn't know enough Japanese to make substantial comments about the translation quality. Some drama ensued, Vic offered Japanese tests for Nick, Dave defended him and refused, and it was an amazing conflict at the time.

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kdeselms

It's been kind of a combination of "old school" and "new school" GameFan.

So far (In order of appearance):

Eric Patterson (Shidoshi)

Matt Van Stone (Kodomo)

Tim Lindquist (King Fausto)

Kevin Deselms (Hi-Fi/Posty)

Terry Wolfinger

Mike Wakamatsu (Waka)

Ryan Lockhart (Orion)

Andrew Cockburn (Enquirer)

Thomas Puha (Riot)

Gregory Han

Jeremy Corby (Core)

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Corebee

its jeremy... sup dude

none of the readers here would recoginize me, i didnt write for the mag

I wonder if my bad memories of names made me remember your last name wrong, or if I've been mistaken since the beginning. *heh*

It's odd, because the first memory that comes to mind about you is sitting around with you, Gerald, and a few others on the GF Books side, and you guys were screwing around with the GameBoy camera and printer.

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Wolfie

There was one sort of upside to not getting paid at GameFan- a lot of us got really good at playing Command and Conquer! No money that day..? Well no production either. Just 8 hours of C&C and warcraft. Good times.

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Typefiend

Yeah except Gary was a big crybaby when he was losing, and Geoff Higgins was ultimately the first to die in every multiplayer RTS game. But yeah, those were damn fun times....

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Soundwave

I assume everyone on staff had side jobs to cover the expense of, ya know, living? I could't survive on my savings for months at a time.

Hahahaha... no. No side jobs, at least for most of us.

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Wolfie

I had some side work... the most I ever went I think was a month...

Gary was the biggest Crybaby ever!!! And greg rau would always shoot you as you tried to ally with him.

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K Lee COMMENTARY

http://www.ga-forum.com/showthread.php?t=30650

[THE THREAD DIED AS WAS NOT ARCHIVED ON WAYBACK - WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE SAID.

BASED ON SUBSEQUENT TNL POSTS, K Lee RESPONDED WITH ANGER, AND ACCUSATIONS OF BEING MIS-REPRESENTED.

THE THREAD ALSO SEEMED TO SPILL ONTO A NEOGAF FORUM THREAD]

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djpubba

I agree we should stop talking about HGM here and go back to GameFan stories.

The way I remember Kelly is he had more integrity than half of the old GameFan staff combined and the people who messed with him and disrespected him back then suck.

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Cowdisease

Now the drama continues in the GAF thread. OMG, Crossover!

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba from the GAF thread

Hey Kelly, it's Tim Lindquist! Good to see you around.

Yeah, I heard that wife running away with the drug dealer story, long, long ago. I never imagined you would get into drugs. You were one of the nicest, politest and honest people I ever worked with and Dave and others treating you with such disrespect is part of what helped foster my dislike for them.

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djpubba

I have a feeling Reubus will be showing up here soon, he just emailed me asking for the link.

Hi Bruce!

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Shidoshi

Any ex-GF people who show up over there should be made fun of mercilessly on here until they show up and post. Then, we can tell them how much we love them.

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djpubba

LOL! "I really loved you Dave Halverson."

Speaking seriously, while many of the people at GameFan did some wacky shit worthy of making legendary, everyone was good at the core. None were as genuinely evil as Halverson.

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Chief Hambleton

The Chief Hambleton 0.000002 cents

    Hello everyone.

Sorry I didn't hear about this thread earlier.

(apologies if anything is repeated -- I'm only on page 8)

This is David Hodgson. I was "Chief Hambleton" on the mag between 96-98, when I left to form Lamers' Republic. I have to say, now that all the water has passed under the bridge, that GameFan magazine, despite the sheer insanity of it all, was the BEST time I've had in this industry. Now then, I've a few matters to clear up.

1. I harbor no ill-will toward ECM. I don't speak to him, and ironically, we both freelance for the same company (Prima), but he is the ONLY person I've ever had a stand-up row with. THis was after ECTS 97 when I came back to find him hired without my knowledge. I won't go into details (water under the bridge), but the argument was fun.

2. Not as fun as the time one of the art directors fought with Cockburn and slammed him up against the wall. Here's some stories I remember (sorry if they're repeated). Shidoshi, let me know if you would like to know more:

3. Capcom lawyers and "bernie".

4. Cockburn screenshot fellatio and Rare's Blast Corps.

5. Police cordoning Cockburn's Honda.

6. Megafan. The debacle.

7. Living with Reubus and Waka.

8. GameFan Books.

9. Riding shotgun with Wolfinger.

10. Drew Barrymore arriving.

11. Brandon Lee's Monitaur dummy.

I could go on. But I won't.

And if there's any perceived ill-will towards anyone, there isn't from my perspective. I patched things up with Dave Halverson last E3, and I hope to do the same with ECM this year.

Cheers

David Hodgson

AKA Chief Hambleton (Postmeister on occasion)

EDIT: I'm reworking the list, so that only the stories I witnessed first-hand are there. Especially as the last days for us were tough, and I don't want to revisit stuff that's just heresay. Andrew C -- glad you've turned your life around, and good luck to everyone I worked with.

Soppy guff? Correct.

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Soundwave

Quote Originally Posted by k.Lee

AOK, that shit actually did happen

What can I say....I am alot older and a little wiser now

P.S. the hooker's name was Simone

===============

Typefiend

Quote Originally Posted by JefmcC

Can we still refer to Halverson as "The Mullet"?

Internally he was known as ten-ninety (10% in front, 90% in the back), I believe after the release of the snowboarding game 1080.

One of my favourite Halverson moment was when we went into the supply closet where he stored some of his personal collection of games, toys, memorabilia where we found a CD from 80's new wave hair travesty Kajagoogoo. When confronted with his choice in music, he went into full denial mode, almost seeming angry that someone would claim it was his. Of course later he admitted to owning it.

In retrospect, Dave could be either seemingly the nicest man or a complete liar depending on mood or situation; I believe its in his nature to be both. He was personally pretty nice with me until the very end of my days at Gamers Republic, where he freaked out when everyone started to leave en masse because we weren't getting paid like in the GF days all over again (most went to Computec, I went to Imagine Media). I basically lost all respect for him when I witnessed his sexist and bigot side when we hired an asian woman to help production design. Now I can look back at him with forgiveness and just hope his team at PLAY are being treated well.

All I can say is that the people at GameFan and Gamers that I worked with day to day were very dedicated, passionate, and completely insane. It was amazing fun with those first two magazines.

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Wolfie

Ok, I was just reminded of a story...

So yeah, we'd go weeks at a time without getting paid as you all know by now. So we would all get called into the conference room for our monthly pep talk and morale boost. So Dave Bergstien is yappin' about how he knows its tough and we'll all pull thru, yadda yadda, but there's been some theft around the office and that has to stop... He lists off a few items and then says "...and a fax machine thats worth about $1200." So I instantly perk up "$1200 hmmmm?" Well ya see, its the fax machine I still use to this day. Awww...

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djpubba

I've been teetering on whether I should post this because I don't remember some of the details clearly. Plus it just makes my stomach turn to think of how Greg must have felt.

Early in the life of the magazine, Dave invited a guy to come work on the staff who had been working at Prima writing strategy guides. He did the official guide for Sonic 2. His name was Tom Stratton. Tom lived in the San Francisco area, so he needed a place to stay to come work at GameFan. Greg Off offered to let him crash at his place until he could find his own place. At the time, Greg was working at GameClub taking and shipping orders, while writing for the magazine. There was always a little bit of a power struggle going on with Greg versus Andrew, Kei and Mas. Apparently, after a couple of weeks at the magazine, Tom decided to take sides and he went with the majority and turned on Greg. Tom went to Dave and told him that Greg had been stealing from GameClub and had amassed a collection of loot in his apartment that belonged to GameClub. Dave freaked out and told Tom to give him Greg's apartment key, which he gave to his girlfriend Julie and told her to take *I forget who she took with her* to go get the stuff from Greg's place. So the pair went to Greg's apartment and emptied it. They came back to GameClub later with two big boxes filled with every one of Greg's earthly possessions. Then Dave and *like, two or three other people, I forget who*, proceeded to pick through all his stuff and take whatever they wanted for themselves. When Greg came back and saw what was going on, he was, of course, floored. Most of the stuff was rightfully his possessions and included some things he valued very much.

He admitted that he sometimes took games home but he felt that this was something that was understood as a perk of the job and that the vast majority of the stuff they had taken from his house was rightfully his. He felt that he was part of the "family" and since he routinely worked more hours than he got paid for, put his heart into the business, was treated like Dave's best friend and saw Dave do this himself, it was understood to be okay. It was like two friends sharing a pack of cigarettes (or a prostitute in Las Vegas).

When the dust cleared and everyone had their words, since, like everyone else there, Greg really wanted to be a part of the magazine he took it in stride and went on working there, still putting his best effort into making the magazine succeed.

*Edits: Reflecting on this, I probably shouldn't have said that Andrew and Kei were involved in taking Greg's stuff because my recollection on who was involved isn't that clear and if I'm mistaken and one of them was innocent, that wouldn't be right. I definitely remember Dave and Julie's part in it and that Tom was the one who betrayed Greg. I don't remember if Tom had anything to do with taking Greg's stuff either.

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djpubba

Quote Originally Posted by Jetman

Did you guys eventually give him back his stuff or what?

I didn't touch any of it.

I think he took what was left in the boxes. I don't know if he got anything else back or not.

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bahn

Wow, Tom Stratton?!? I remember him from Golin Harris, West Coast division (now at THQ these days). That's some crazy shit.

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Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by djpubba

I definitely remember Dave and Julie's part in it and that Tom was the one who betrayed Greg. I don't remember if Tom had anything to do with taking Greg's stuff either.

Yeah, there was a lot of ugliness that went down there. Usually I wasn't around when the shit came down. I was married at the time and I'd come in, do my work, put in my 8 hours, and go home. I was also kinda crammed into this corner of the room with my drawing table, airbrush and compressor, facemask on oblivious to a lot of the shit that went down. Except for Dave and Julie's stupid dog, Puggles. That thing would come right into my area at least once a day and lay the nastiest shits right on the carpet! Hated that dog! Then I'd go get Julie and make her clean it up and all she would do was pick most of the mes up with a paper towel and not use any cleaner. I swear they must've feed that dog bacon grease cuz the would be just this huge stain that I would then drench with windex (thats all they had) just to kill the odor... Dave and Julie just thought that was the funniest thing tho. "oh, Puggles just likes you."

Heh... I guess I was around when the shit came down lol

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Typefiend

Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie

Is this Dango-Head? Greg?

Hola, its Gregory, your former cubicle neighbor for all of 5-6 months at the tailend of the 1090 GF years Hahaha, after all these years I can still remember us laughing in unison watching Higgin's lone engineer or motorcycle scouring the map in the hope of a crate when we played C&C. Do you remember how my tactic was to create a bazillion motorcycles and just overrun Gary until we could hear him curse across the office? I still remember when I got in early one day early the GF offices (when most of us had 11am start times) and changed everyone's Mac desktop with Rau's face photoshopped onto some fella getting a delivery in the rear. Man, those memories are cracking me up as I type it.

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Typefiend

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

How exactly did he freak out? I mean, what did he expect his staff to do if they weren't getting paid? How many walked out at once? Details, buddy.

What did he do to her? Did he call her a little jap bastard?

"Freak out" meaning literally freaking out, running around shouting profane accusations about anyone and everyone, all the while waving his arms, and once even charging at me while I was on the phone with one of my former coworkers who had already left/quit. I think 5-6 people intially left, as they got good offers from a larger publishing company. I left soon afterward to art direct the Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine (that was a whole drama in itself). People were jumping ship like crazy, and those who stayed were very disgruntled. Daily closed door meetings where most of the time we were discussing how much we hated Dave's lies about how things were going so well (really, he could have earned out trust and respect much more if he simply shared the bad news in an honest manner, but he always too the route of masking the truth, thus the ill will back then).

In terms of the racist/sexist attitude, all I will say is that he basically made working at GR hell for this young lady and on her last day(unbeknowst to her) laid into her so badly she came out shaking, crying and later furious (she was actually thinking of litigation at one point).

On a lighter note, I remember when someone installed a Mac extension (during the OS 9 days) onto his machine which would allow us to make popup system dialogue boxes come up onto his desktop at our whim. We spent quite a while sending his popups warning about "incorrect binary trap error -06" or some other bullshit error, and then slowly changing them into more personal and strange "warnings" about "gay anime porn files exceed storage capacity. reboot". I'll give Dave that credit...he allowed us kids to be kids.

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Reubus

This thread is hilarious. So many GF'ers, so many stories. I was only back in North Dakota for a year, then Wyoming (!!!), then Denver, working for Jody. Been back out here for about 7 months now! It's great to hear what so many of you have been up to. Shidoshi, Wolfie, Waka, djpubba, Hoagie, MVS, Deselms, Ryan, Cockburn (!), Han, Corby, how the hell you all doing?

You guys miss DH as much as me? LOL

I've got many happy memories of GF, and a few not-so-good ones (you reading this, Jevons? Heh...). Now, if only ECM would step up and post. And I mean that literally. He'd have to step up just to reach his damn keyboard.

Oh, and Tim, I told you I was in for the new mag thing months ago!!! And I'm not on your list of those currently interested! Hook me up with the info!! =]-~

It'd also be great if K.Lee, Dangohead, Eggo, Fury, or Nick showed up! Cripes, we should all go drinking, that'd be a blast (though not till it stops raining; that's no fun on a motorcycle).

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LOST VIDEO FILE

http://www.got-next.com/staff/gfohollywood.mpeg

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Reubus

One story that comes to mind that made me laugh harder than I think I've EVER laughed in my life was the day someone (I think it was Greg Han) brought in some Dave's Insanity Sauce. (For those not familiar with this stuff, the back label says you can also use it strip cement floors!) After a bunch of guys chimed in their "holy shit that stuff is hot" type of comments, Andrew (Enquirer) Cockburn told us we were all pussies, and only a mexican like he knew what hot was. Anyway, long story short, we gave him enough crap that eventually he downed about a shot's worth of that stuff - STRAIGHT! And he was fine - for about 5 seconds! Then his face turned beet red, he started coughin' and sputtering, doubling over; God it was funny! Sorry, AC, but that was funny shit!

Needless to say, he spent the next couple hours in the bathroom, drinking water and puking, drinking water and puking, drinking water and puking, drinking water and puking, drinking water and puking, drinking water and puking, etc. while the rest of us were in tears laughing so hard.

RESPECT!

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Typefiend

Holy shite, that was indeed a really funny moment. I remember all of us, including myself, were very careful and conservative with the Insanity Sauce. But Andrew drank shot full! Initially he was giving us all the cocky thumbsup pose, like it wasn't no big deal. I think it was roughly 30 seconds after he swallowed that the effects of the habanero peppers kicked in, and he looked like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Tears of a clown, Smokey Robinson style.

Funny thing is that Rustin Lee had no problems with the sauce. He was eating it like it was just plain salsa.

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Wolfie

Oh God! I was totally gonna post something about that! That was the fucking funniest thing ever. "Will you pussies shut the fuck up if I drink this?", he says in typical Cockburn swagger. I remember us all saying, "oh yes!!" That look on his face after realizing what he had done... priceless!

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djpubba

Another little story, nothing nasty or evil this time...

I remember, slighty before the magazine started, I was doing the Die Hard GameClub ads to run in EGM, I used to put my phone number in tiny, tiny print in the ad to get more business doing other people's ads. It said something like "ad designed by Mindset 555-1212" in, like, 5 pt type. DieHard's number in the ad was nice and big and color, in like 24 pt type. Then Street Fighter 2 came out. I literally got 20 calls a day from people wanting to order SF2 from DieHard but couldn't get through.

Soon after that I started full time on the Magazine and nearly everyone there played SF2 all the time. It was the original version where you couldn't control the bosses. One of the things I liked to do was make cheats for games with the Action Reply. The SF2 players there were always begging me to try to make a cheat to play the bosses. So I messed around and messed around and I finally came up with a combination of 2 or 3 different AR codes that let you control them, but with a different character's move set. So you'd do Ken's fireball move and M.Bison's firey spinning forward superman impression thingy would bust out. I was like a tiny god there for a while for pulling that off.

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kdeselms

The GameFan Network debacle rests entirely in the lap of Express.Com, GF Online had absolutely zero to do with that and in fact, we didn't really know anything was up with it until we started getting harassing e-mails and saw the letters being published online. By that time, it was the beginning of the end for all of us...the hatchet started falling soon after. Of course, we were all given the command to issue "no comment" to anything internal related to what was happening.

Besides, the happiness in that video faded after about a week of being in Express.Com's offices...the vibe there was a complete 180 from the GF offices and they started treating us like product description writers...which is ultimately what they wanted from us, it turned out. Incidentally, I do have that video on my website, along with a couple of other rarities.

I can remember when they laid off everybody but Rick and Levi, who remained to do product descriptions and keep the shell of GFO alive...by that point, I had become completely belligerent about my displeasure with working at that place. My desk was facing a walkway and the head of the web operation would come up behind me, TOTALLY "Office Space" style with the "Keviiinnn...what's happening..." I'd have my resume open, surfing job sites, etc... I would routinely break the silence rule (they didn't want other areas hearing what was happening in the "games area" even though sound carried easily over the maze of cubicles) by playing metal. Other guys from GFO can attest to how vocal I got. When they laid me off, they commented that they'd never seen anyone so pleased to be given their walking papers. They said I had to sign an NDA not to talk about internal strife or anything related to the collapse, in exchange for two weeks severance - if I didn't sign, I didn't get paid. Of course I signed...knowing it wouldn't be long before I could talk freely. Sure enough, bankrupt within like, six months.

Another story was a meeting in which it was revealed by Allison (ex-Variety writer, heading up Express.Com's web editorial staff - including us) that basically, the promised video production department wasn't happening and in fact, I should stop focusing on doing videos and do more writing, preferably news stories which drew those crucial hits...I explained that I'd given up running the site in anticipation of this new role and now I'm left in a situation where I'm a copywriter. She looks at me straight-faced and goes, "Well that sounds like a career issue to me." Levi told me after the meeting, he saw the look on my face and my death-stare at her and thought for sure he was going to see blood. That's when my belligerent behavior began.

Bruce, good luck with the job search man! It's tough being freelance - I've been doing it in post-production for the past three years or more and am missing a full-time job now Get on a show, finish the show, look for the next show while doing freelance work. Wish I could latch onto a show that stays around for a while...but after American Candidate, I've sworn off of reality TV. Working tonight on a Fox show called "Who's Your Daddy?" Ugh...reality knows no shame.

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Wolfie

So here's another non malice story.

So I had been doing the airbrushed cover for about 6 issues now, no easy feat since I wasn't allowed to scale the image up at all, (you see we could only scan images so big as scanning them in halves and then combining them in photoshop hadn't really been perfected yet or something). As it was the covers had to be cleaned up in photoshop anyway to get rid of dirt or fix the paint that had chipped etc... So I started watching the process as Tim Linquist was doing clean up one day. He showed me how to use the color dropper and I just thought it was the coolest thing. So I think on the next cover he let me do the clean-up or at least talked me thru it. Then I think by issue 7 I added some photoshop generated art into my airbrushed cover, it was the one with Rock and Roll Racing on the cover. All I had done was some shaded spheres that I scaled here and there and a bad KPT filter for the sky. I still thought it kicked ass tho!

Then I noticed the little airbrush tool and asked Tim if it worked like a real airbrush. He said yeah and showed me how it worked. So I'm thinking this could be really good. After fucking around a bit with that Tim and I convinced dave to let me try doing a whole cover on the computer. It was the issue 8 Zombies Ate My Neighbors cover. It had Monitaur protecting some kids from a giant baby and some other zombies. So all went pretty smoothly, it wasn't perfect, but I was learning as I went and also using a mouse (no wacom tablets back then!). So I show Dave and Jay and they point to the giant baby and say "What's up with the flesh color on the baby? Why's it grey? It looks dead." I look and I couldnt really tell and then had to confess that I was massively color-blind. I explained that I could get by by reading the color labels on my paint bottles etc... Jay thought that was the funniest thing "a color-blind artist" and Dave I think felt like he had been duped. Heh. I soon learned to always check the color picker to see what color range I was in. So Tim I'd have to say is the one who was most supportive of me going digital, and soon had my own Mac Quadra! LOL. Pretty sweet at the time I'm told.

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Dangohead

Wow… this is something really special seeing all these GameFan alums like Waka and Wolfie (poor little Billy, Terry… he never had a chance hanging on the wing of the plane) posting all the bad and good memories.

Myself, I'm still heavily involved in the video game industry working at Visual Concepts as a PR manager - 3 years to the day now! But there are a couple times of the month where I think back to those hard, but fond days back in Agoura Hills and later in Woodland Hills. It was in Agoura Hills where I was hired on the spot by Chief Hambleton (AKA David Hodgson) to work as a strategy editor for the short-lived MegaFan magazine… and the birth of the aboMination known as Dangohead was willed into existence.

Stories? Well, there's plenty of stories that have already been told on races to the bank for checks with no money, of the management be it the early days of "The Mullet" to the late days of Bergstein. A lot of the stories that have been told make GameFan seem like a pretty morbid place… and to a certain extent, you really had to be really dumb, really insane, or really passionate to work at GameFan. Personally, I was all three: pretty dumb to leave college early to be overworked and underpaid, really insane to keep working late hours and weekends 2-3 paychecks behind, and of course, passionate that I'm actually working at my favorite video game magazine. That's probably what got me through those nights of instant ramen and cereal - that I was doing something I truly loved. And as some former GF member commented already (I think it was Wolfie), we always figured somehow we would pull through no matter how dire the situation became.

I do miss writing about the industry, even though my writing was mediocre at best (as Hi-Fi and Eggo can definitely attest). I do plenty of writing nowadays at my current job - just not any fun type of writing. That's probably what I miss most - writing reviews for bad games. And there was definitely a difference in writing a review for a bad game and writing a GAMEFAN review for a bad game; it was always fun trying to figure out new and fancy ways to describe "crap". Oh… that and trying to find new ways to promote "VOOT". (SHAMELESS PLUG!)

Anyways, thanks for the trip down memory lane and I hope all former GameFan members are doing well. Also, thanks to all those GameFan readers who still remember the magazine; it's rare to find a group that still remembers GameFan so fondly. I especially want to give an appreciative thanks to the regulars at the GF_Tavern IRC channel as I've known most of the guys on that channel for several years.

For all the crap that I had to deal with, at least today I can look back on those days and laugh. And I think that sentiment is echoed for the greater majority of the guys who worked on GameFan.

BONUS!

I've attached a scan of my first business card... I actually found in a few days ago while cleaning up my desk area... which was really odd since it's been several years since I've seen anything GameFan related.

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DHG Otaku

this is truly a great thread! Not a great story, but on topic...waaay back when I had been talking a little to Nick Rox and knew of Dan Jevons through a mutual friend who worked for the Euro Computer and Video Games magazine. Nick and Dan had managed to get me an interview with Halverson and Hodgeson. This was around the time Starfox 64 was out. What cool offices I must say.

The night before the interview my friend and I decided to drive up to GF at like 2 am and just check the place out. So after arriving (my friend proceeds to take a piss on the side of the building) we try the door and it's unlocked, we dare each other to go in and we do, awesome blue carpets, cool looking place to work way in BFE though. Seriously, you guys must have lived off that McDonalds and Dennys down the hill.

So the next day we're told to wait outside until someone comes out to get me. Out comes Hodgeson (chief hambelton). I just got such a kick out of seeing what the actual chararcters looked like...only one I even recognized was Waka who looked EXACTLY like his bio pic. Jody Seltzer was cursing someone out in the lobby with his check (now I know why) I finally meet with Halverson and he looks nothing like E.Stomr OR Skid aside from the mullet, who proceeds to kick his feet up on the table, call David Perry the slut of gaming, riles my writing for a bit (admittedly it wasn't great but not COMPLETE shite either) and laughs at my salary suggestion.

Back at this time Hodgeson himself wasn't exactly the nicest guy either, but since running into him again at E3 this past year he seems a completely different person, maybe being so close under Dave's wing back then poisoned his mind or something...Shidoshi told me not to take that shit personal. :P

Dan Jevons is a cool dude just don't piss him off! That man seriously knows how to go off.

Andrew, what's up man! Send me an email sometime! Glad to see so many ex-GFers posting here, this is some seriously good shit. If I can recall any untold stories will post as well. Very cool you guys are starting up a new mag project, I'll definitely be emailing those involved about...getting involved! Sorry to go off on such a rant here!

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Mina

Oh yeah, BonusKun did contact me weeks ago to put together my part of the story to this. I keep forgetting. Anyway...

It was a long painful story and I wasn't there when it started but I was there before it started to end. Dee and Junon were the only one's there when it began to take a turn for shit alley.

Well it starts off with a montage of my parents having unprotected sex and then raising me to become one of the most electrifying personalities the internet has ever seen.

Well as few of you know, I (well many of us on SZ) used to work with Fernando Mosquera (aka Lagi) on SegaNet before any of this mess happened. We ran the experimental Media.SegaNet.com site that dealed in Sega Oriented Media, but we also added in non-Sega stuff. This has become a hit real quickly, it in fact became the biggest videogame MP3 site available at that time, added with the fact that SegaNet was the biggest and baddest Sega sites at the time as well (even SoA's Official site sent people to us for DC news). I was always being told that networks were interested in looking to put up SegaNet for their own. Even IGN had sent Junon email about wanting to suck up media.seganet.com as their own media site. Instead we stayed with SegaNet and let Lagi decide where it all takes us. At this time, we (SegaNet as a whole) were affiliated with IGN as an external Sega site.

Then one day we were told that we would be joining up with Gamers' Republic. I guess that sounded exciting at the time, so we prepared for it by moving our stuff from the shared server with Gaming-Age on to this new server. It took about a week for this process to take place but something bad happened. I downloaded all the stuff from the server to my HD as a backup to put on GR. Then my computer suffered a HD crash. Then the GA server wiped our account out and I was left with nothing but all our unlinked MP3 files (which gladly to say was on another server). At this point I gave up the site and left the net for a week. This is where the first blackout for me hits, but from what I got from Junon, I can continue.

He and a few others rebuilt the site from scratch in about 3 or so days. New design, new content, new everything. They even gave it a new name, Chupamedia! Named for all the Media Leechers out there. Anyway our site was back up and things seemed to be back to normal. I was still kind of out since I needed to cool off from that big mishap that took place.

From what I gather everything was working fine up to this point until the FTP account was suddenly not working...

Dee and Junon made all attempts to contact Fernando by Email and or ICQ to find out what was going on, because none of them could connect to the sites by FTP. They said for days they got nothing. So they contacted someone at GR about this and it took another day or so to get a response. They were contacted directly by someone named Dave Halverson and Dave told them that Fernando had ditched everyone at GR, including us. And he was saying all kinds of crap about Fernando, trying to convince us that Fernando was the bad guy and that GR was not. Dee and Junon were a bit pissed to learn Fernando had ditched us but also pissed that GR locked the FTP as a result. When this took place, Junon, Lawd and Bathory registered a new domain name (Perfect-Zero) and found hosting elsewhere. They just needed the content back from GR.

So they asked Dave, nicely, if we could have our portion of the site back, it wouldn't hurt him or GR since we were always different than SegaNet anyway and that without us, that site is useless anyway. We've always done our own thing. Dave's response was to work for him on GR running SegaNet first. This is when the hostage situation took place.

At this point many things went on at once:

1. I had returned only to find our site on the brink of death, AGAIN! Ugh!

2. Junon was working Dave by submiting to all his requests, to coax him into getting our site back.

3. Dee was designing a new site for Perfect-Zero.com for our big switch, if in case it was needed.

So then there was another week long battle trying to get our site back and Dave was not being helpful. Dave set up proposition for us to get our site back. He wanted us to design a new SegaNet site, and then to run it with the content he would give us. Although we didn't design a new SegaNet site (the ex-SegaNet designer did), we put it together in HTML and added in the news updater script to make it look and run like a real site. Dave was so pleased to see it up in 2 days that he offered us all free lifetime subscriptions to GR. As if we gave a fuckin' damn about his magazine. We wanted the site back.

So then after we created a new site for him, for SegaNet, we asked for our site back. He came up with another term. He wanted us to populate the site with content, to bring it up to speed. Time consuming, but we told him we wanted our site back first. Instead of giving us the site back, he came up with yet ANOTHER term. He wanted us to relocate to his offices (in L.A. right?) to work for him and then we'll have our site back. We questioned this and then asked once more for our site back. After he stood by his decision to hold the site hostage, to make us do all kinds of work on SegaNet for him, he was later told to go fuck the whore he came out of and die.

2 things happened here.

1. Junon planted a .cgi script on this server the day we moved to GR. This .cgi script pretty much gave anyone in the world read/write access to the GR server, if someone got ahold of it. This script was used to help us do Web Based file management since we were not given Telnet access back then. In the wrong hands however, it could destroy the entire server. Anyway, after we left GR for good, they had a web server down-time for, about a week or so? From what we gather, it looked like the script got into the wrong hands.

2. Our domain name Perfect-Zero.com had just become active, Dee uploaded the new site design to it and with only 1 day of downtime, we were back up. It so happens we came back up on 9.9.99, the Dreamcast Launch day.

1 week later something happened. We were contacted by Fernando from his spiffy new Gamefan.com email address. He told us his side of the story and mentioned how he was moving from 1 company to another, moved out of his apartment, and he was unable to get to us on time. He said that GF offered us to join them, but the decision was that we had already went through enough BS at this point and that we're doing this on our own. So we declined the offer, whether or not it was a paying offer. After this we parted ways and then history takes it's place.

==========

Shidoshi

Dango finally made it! Nice to see you again.

And Bruce! Damn, nice to hear from you again. Apart from our little posse (me, Jevons, Griffin, Hobbs), Bruce was probably the person I was closest to friend wise. A really super guy, very down to earth and level-headed even as everything at GF was going crazy. Always had a crazy story, and was far too kind in giving me and Griffin rides to work. Man... Bruce's cars. *heh* There was always an interesting story there. I still remember heading home one night, getting pulled over by the cops, and being searched. *heh*

Wolfie's mention of the fax machine brings this to mind... any of the ex-staffers willing to admit to things that they helped make "disappear" from the office? *heh*

I'll say that I had reason to feel guilty when ECM was trying to figure out where the hell the NeoGeo MVS board had gotten to. *heh* I also may or may not know where the office's two MAS NeoGeo arcade sticks went to. *grin*

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Reubus

Here's one for all the Nick Rox fans out there...

I was working late night one night, thinking everyone else had gone home. Round about 3 in the morning, I heard a noise somewhere out in the office, so I went to check it out. As I came through the doorway into the sort of snack room, adjacent to Nick And Casey's offices, I saw Nick with a styrofoam cup in his hand. He didn't see me, so I just watched this whole thing: He had some kind of thick liquid in this cup, swirling it around (I asked him later what it was; turned out to be hot cocoa mix, just with little water in it, so it'd be thick). He then pours some of this goop on his right hand, smearing it over the whole palm side, picks up a piece of typing paper with his left, holds the paper to the wall, and slams the goop-covered palm onto it, smearing it downward as he draws it back. Then he shakes his head, crumples it up, and does it AGAIN. After his second slam, I just walked back to my office, shaking my head.

Next day, I dropped into his office, intending to ask him what the hell he was doing, and what do I see on his screen? His latest Resident Evil layout, with a small but incredibly realistic looking bloody handprint contained therein. He had scanned his own chocolatey handprint, made it blood red, and there it was! How dedicated is that? It was awesome...

Yeah, I actually got pulled over 4 times in the first month living in Thousand Oaks!!! Long hair and '66 Ford Galaxie (w/a crushed rear panel) didn't seem to be the TO police's idea of an ideal resident! LOL

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Shidoshi

I remember one night when Griffin and I had walked up to the mall (it was about a block and a half away from our apartment complex) to see a movie. We were walking back - just walking on the sidewalk, doing nothing more than talking - when a cop car drives up along side us and shines his spotlight on us. He asks what we're doing, and we tell him we're walking home. He gave us some smart remake, and drives off.

Thousand Oaks was a nice place to live, because of how quiet it was, but I found it funny that it was so quiet that even we were getting harrassed.

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Reubus

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

*heh*

On the Nick thing, no matter what people may think of him, you simply cannot deny his layout skills.

I always liked Nick. Little strange, but aren't we all? He's one of the most talented guys I've ever met, smart as all hell, and a helluva layout artist. The only thing was, he had a tough time getting things in on time cuz he was such an idealist as far as his own layouts go.

Oh, and one night late, his dad came in to pick him up, and he had the most incredible blonde with him. Musta been half his age, but gorgeous!

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Riot

I was the Sixth Man a few times. In my rubbish Ecco the Dolphin (Dreamcast) review and I think in the Red Dog review as well. I remember ECM writing another piece on Red Dog was once it came out in the US since we disagreed on it.

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Chiblitz

Hey guys,

I don't know how I came upon the thread, but I thought it was pretty interesting. I used to work for EGM and OPM (I'm Kraig) until a couple years ago where I got into game development.

Anyhow, the one inaccuracy I saw here so far is that GameFan was purchased by Ziff to be launched as a new magazine. This isn't entirely correct.

Actually, Ziff bought GameFan (which was very inexpensive) to grab its subscription base to help it bulk up against GamePro, which was slightly in the lead at the time. It wasn't a huge sub base, but it was a nice chunk of gamers to automatically give EGM a quick boost.

Kraig

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EvilLightsCK

Quote Originally Posted by Shidoshi

Dead, I believe. Can't remember if it was suicide or not.

Last I checked, I hadn't committed suicide. Nor died. I think the opaque/foreboding Postmeister info on the sad passing of EvilLights (no space) was a joke. The abrupt departure was because I did a little something called "resuming school" after summer break.

Maybe you're confusing me with Dan Gran(n)ett, who worked there for a while before I arrived -- and whom Casey, Nick, Ryan, Jason Cross and I first met when our teeny-selves booked a hotel room for the 1994 CES, where he'd been hot on our trail. He was killed in a car accident in one of the hilly sectors of L.A. about two years ago.

Apologies if I'm repeating any information that's already been given out. I'm only up to Page 6 of this very long thread; Casey -- sorry, "Takuhi" -- gave me the link. I'm surprised so many of these sacred stories are being bandied about on a public board -- certainly they'd be better preserved for a book someday. But as the lid's off the picklings, I'll add that everyone's favorite Japanese correspondent did indeed masturbate his dachshund, by rubbing its scrotum when it was rolled over on its back. He also once claimed to have been raped by a fat girl on the summit of a hill in the Japanese countryside; he told us he was so ashamed of the contact and disgusted by her fatness that after the act, he got hold of a pocket-knife and scraped off the outer layer of his penis-skin.

craig.

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EvilLightsCK

People, people, people! If I say it once, I'll say it twice (forty times maybe, as I'm only now on Page 7!) -- EvilLights is alive and well and living in Pennsylvania. EvilLights was I, and "Stalker" was Dan Gran(n)et(t). Whom I believe died in 2001 or 2002, not 1998 -- because Nick was telling me that an armada of netizens were petitioning Kojima to include a tribute to him on a dogtag or something in 'MGS2,' shortly before the game was released -- as Dan G.'s 'MGS'-love was apparently legendary.

Kojima responded with the tribute of silence.

craig.

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NRX (Nick Rox)

Greetings. Hello. Namaste.

This thread has -broken my mind-. I was referred to it by former GameFan editor EvilLights (who was likewise referred to it by former GameFan editor Takuhi, apparently) not six hours ago. It's taken me that long to work my way through it, though it looks like it's died down a bit in the last week or so.

I am the former Nick Rox. Nick Des Barres is my Christian name. I am the offspring of character actor Michael Des Barres and legendary "supergroupie" Pamela Des Barres. I was 15 years old when I began at GameFan, and 18 (or 19?) years old when I left, circa 1997/8. My memory is a bit hazy...perhaps as a result of the legendary Andrew Cockburn's uberpowerful pot. No, I'm kidding. Maybe. (No hard feelings, though, AC, respect!)

Working my way through this thread has been quite an experience. I thought I had left this era of my life -thoroughly- behind me. Indeed my final contact with any single GameFan staffer was over a year ago...mainly due to my own negligence. I really should have kept in contact with ya'll.

(Please forgive my lack of respectable English syntax and grammar...I haven't spoken the language for more than a few sentences at a time in over a year. 4-real.)

My God, the names, the memories. Taking it back to the origin...the true origin, at least personally, I'm talking '92, '93. Takuhi, aka Manticore, aka Casey Loe. Orion, aka Ronin, aka Hawkeye, aka Ryan Lockhart. EvilLights, aka Craig Keller. The Stalker, aka Adol, aka Dan Granett, RIP. Songoku, aka Nick Rox, aka me. Yeah, don't give me crap about calling myself "Songoku". I was kickin' it in '92 long years before 'Dragon Ball' ever made its debut on these shores. We were just a bunch of teenagers geeking out on Prodigy "UGs" about Japanese video games. It was truly a meeting of the minds...dare I compare it to, say, pre-French Revolution meetings between Robespierre, Marat, and Danton? Nah, that's just too damn pretentious. Taking it to the GameFan era...AC, Shidoshi, Terry, Waka, Corby, Hoagie, Reubus, et al (Even Tim, who I never met at GameFan, having joined the enterprise long after he left, yet had the good fortune to work with on the 'Guilty Gear' manual and package which I designed post-GameFan). It's been a real treat reminiscing with everyone, however vicariously.

A few notes, in no order whatsoever...I wish I had a grand plan for this posting, but I don't:

'Street Fighter Alpha' and the notorious "blue shadows": The video capture system for Sega Saturns at GameFan did not allow for audio. As many of you are no doubt aware, setting the audio in the Saturn version of 'SFA' to 'Original' enables arcade-perfect "super shadows". I never did so, owing to the limitations of GameFan's screen shot capture system. Was this an egregious error on my part as an ostensible "game journalist"? Sho'nuff. Yet I humbly offer the preceding text as my excuse.

The 'Lunar 2' debacle? Yup. I didn't complete Working Designs' translation of the game before reviewing it. Let's face it; it's a really, -really- long game, and the monthly deadlines did not behoove my finishing the English version before review. Not to mention the ill-advised difficulty-tweaking WD inflicted on an already perfectly-balanced game (see the Borgan battle). Nontheless, I stand by the statements I made a decade ago, when I was still a teenager: Working Designs introduced countless superfluous "comedic" elements to the game, not present in the Japanese original. As for challenges made to my Japanese ability (or lack thereof), I retort most strenuously: I began Japanese lessons at age 11, and have worked on the professional translations of such games as 'Breath of Fire III', 'Valkyrie Profile', 'Guilty Gear', 'Suikoden II' and the original 'Shadow Hearts' -- I am completely fluent in Japanese and will be more than happy to prove it, should anyone decide to "challenge" me. Heh. (An amusing aside: Working Designs, apparently stung by my review, demanded a "test" of my Japanese skill at the very first E3. For whatever reason this never happened.)

Regarding Dave Halverson. What's with all the vitriol? My God. Did he have the Mullet To End All Mullets? You're damn right. But guess what...so does Solid Snake. Were his people skills not quite adequate? Is he a flawed human being? Sure. So am I. So are you. I guess you could say I was one of his "favorites", so I may not have seen the worst of him, but I'll tell you this about Dave Halverson: He loves video games. He loves video game journalism. He may have got in way over his head, but he is a genuine person. He and his wife Julie gave me my start in life and I am hugely grateful to them for it. I'll hear no ill talk regarding Dave -- he created GameFan, wrought it from the very ether, and without him this thread would not exist. Everyone who talks shit about personal experience with him -- let's face it, you wouldn't be where you are today without DH.

Insanity Sauce!! That day was -epic-. I tried a -drop- of it on a nacho and it knocked me to the fricking pavement. AC was truly a hero that day.

My Legendary Bloody Handprint in the RE Saturn layout! That was indeed an inspired moment of design, though I'm not one to toot my own horn (any and all ex-GF staffers out there, feel free to retort)! I remember doing five or six hand-shmears until I got one that compared favorably to the one in the game. Anyone who still has that issue, check it out, and kneel before the might of Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix!

I doubt anyone really cares, but what have I been up to since the fall of GameFan? I designed manuals and packaging for a few PS and PS2 games, translated a few games from Japanese, and won the poster design contest for the original 'Resident Evil' motion picture -- it was fun to see my design on bus stops and in theater lobbies, I'll tell you. I did not enter the 'RE: Apocalypse' design contest, which I sincerely regret. I also worked for Matthew Taylor (aka Slasher Quan)'s Versus Books until its demise, designing countless strategy guide covers. Gaming-wise, I am currently in a sort of limbo, consumed by the sound and the fury of 'Final Fantasy XI: Online'. Ryan/Orion, Casey/Takuhi, and Craig/EvilLights will probably remember a statement I repeatedly made: "I'll never play an MMORPG; my perfectionist personality is such that I'll never escape from it." And so it is. I find myself consumed, addicted to FFXI; I'm a key member of the top NMLS on my server. I'm the only non-Japanese member. I have three jobs at Lv75. I have forty million gil. I have two full sets of abjuration equipment. No, this doesn't mean anything. MMORPGS are -crack-. My advice to you...don't play them. If you are a hardcore gamer, the type that -simply cannot rest- until you've achieved Big Boss rank on Extreme mode in 'MGS', the type that is not satisfied until you've finished the battle mode in 'RE Code: Veronica' using only Wesker with the knife, do not play MMORPGs. To paraphrase Alex from 'SFIII': You can't escape.

On my "reputation": As I said above, I was/am a perfectionist. As a result I had a reputation as being -completely- unable to meet deadlines. I do not deny it. The only reason I was able to complete such eye-popping layouts is the simple fact that I was heavily indulged by Dave, with regards to time. On a personal level I like to think I got along with everyone at GameFan, but on the "professional" level (was there such a thing?) many people resented me for the seemingly endless time I was allowed to take on layouts. I was only a teenager at the time, but looking back I realize I was blessed with a level of autonomy that no other editor/designer, save besides Takuhi and Dave himself, enjoyed. I would often take a week on a single layout when others would have only a day or two for theirs.

To everyone who had something nice to say about my reviews, and especially my graphic design, thank you. Thank you so much. Especially Shidoshi and Reubus, dudes who I worked with, thank you for your kind words. You guys rule. I'm sorry we didn't stay in touch. (To Reubus: I still have your copy of 'Goedel, Escher, Bach'! It totally blew my mind!) At any rate...I was quite proud of GameFan's look, originally created by such luMinaries as Tim, George and Jacob, and the heights to which designers like Gerald, Gary, Bruce, Jeremy, Waka, Greg, Mike, and myself took it. It was at complete odds to the "cool" design trend of the period -- indeed a trend which continues to this day, aided by Flash and whatnot. I speak, of course, of "techno" design. To current proponents of the genre, I say: Get over it. The Designers' Republic mastered the style in '93. Will you forever ape them? Take a step beyond, people. I may never have liked techno design, but I do respect it. It was very, very fresh at the time...over a decade ago, let's not forget. You could call it a battle of ideologies, though that term may be a bit too Kojima-esque...bitmap VS. vector. I attempted to carry the GameFan style over to Versus Books, but was never quite able to express it except on covers and back covers. I was quite fond of the "Phantasy Star Memories" section which I wrote and designed in Versus Books' 'Phantasy Star Online' guide, however. That and the 'Resident Evil' theatrical release poster. To me, this is the final expression of the Nick Rox GameFan "style" -- please permit me to use such a lofty term. Thankfully people like EvilLights (Craig Keller) at Kaizen Media Group/Prima continue developing the style.

Whoa, this post is insane. It's a madman's manifesto. No cohesion whatsoever, no relation to previous discussion, and you know what? I don't care. Speaking of design, art, and whatnot, Terry Wolfinger, you are the fricking man. I'd never have mentioned this here had Terry not already brought it up, but we are talking about a colorblind artist. I'm not 100% sure on the details, but apparently the range of the spectrum that Terry had the most trouble with is blue. Monitaur is blue. We blessed with full-spectrum vision take this completely for granted, but Terry drew the undeniably blue Monitaur for years...every time to perfection. Terry is truly a world-class artist and gets my vote for "Most Blazing, Blissful-Awesome Dude To Emerge From GameFan, Ever".

...Whoa, I just noticed the smilies on this board. Mad props are given to the Opa-Opa icon! Not to mention 'Kamigami No Triforce' Link and the Chu-Chu...damn. I sense die-hard game fans at work.

Anyway, in closing, a few parting words only true GameFans will recognize...

Skilliam "Skills" MacGregor and Styler "Styles" MacGovern say: Respect! Flex! Do Mah Mai! It's just a balls!

=====

isamu

Quote Originally Posted by EvilLightsCK

EvilLights was I, and "Stalker" was Dan Gran(n)et(t). Whom I believe died in 2001 or 2002, not 1998 .

EvilLights, with all due respect, it was either 1997 or 1998. Trust me.

======

djpubba

Hey, nice to see you poking around the gaming scene, Nick. Indeed your Guilty Gear design was quite nice. If you ever want to get back into designing manuals and packaging, let me know. We have some clients with the kind of titles you may still enjoy working on.

NRX quote

he created GameFan, wrought it from the very ether, and without him this thread would not exist. Everyone who talks shit about personal experience with him -- let's face it, you wouldn't be where you are today without DH.

I disagree with this strongly. You can't possibly know how GameFan was truely created since you were not there. Halverson did not create GameFan out of the ether, not by a long shot. I got myself where I am today by doing what I love doing, just as Halverson got himself where he is by doing the same.

People can form their own opinions of what kind of person Halverson is. Most of the stories I've told of him are a recounting of the facts as I remember them. Those memories are what form my opinion that he was satan walking the earth. Whether anyone else forms that same opinion, I could care less. It was fun to talk about my experinces at GameFan and that's my only reason for posting.

==========

Takuhi (Casey Loe)

Rox!

Long time no see! It has saddened me than an Y's game has come and gone with no comment from NRX. Also, has FFXI so ensorcelled you that you have neglected to appreciate the majesty of DQVIII?

Hey everyone else! How ya been?

I've enjoyed the reminisces here, and would gladly have shared some of my own if I did not have the memory of a goldfish. (And this without the help of any pharmaceuticals provided by Andrew.) So my recollections go something like this: "Hey remember that thing with Nick, with that one game? The bad American one, with the driving, and that announcer, and the whole Captain Snappy thing? And he either said or did something really funny? Remember that? Man, good times."

But I do second Nick's defense of Dave Halverson... I can't speak for the early days of GF, and Dave did have a compulsion to people what they wanted to hear (often in lieu of the truth), but there was no malice in it. He was fiercely passionate about gaming and making the best mag he knew how. If you're looking for the stench of evil, I assure you it was coming from the offices David Bergstein or Jay Puryear, not E. Storm. The only time I ever saw Dave be intentionally cruel was to Shidoshi, and if he has forgiven him, surely the teeming masses can as well?

====

Reubus

Holy crap on a stick, Nick and Casey! And Craig! Wow... You're still alive? (just kidding...) How the hell are you guys? Drop me an e-mail, I'd love to chat with you guys!

As to all the comments regarding Kei Kuboki and the dog, I saw NONE of it (thankfully), but do remember something about him humping our couch, back when Waka and I shared an office...

Maybe Waka remembers better, and can enlighten us? =]- I'd love to get a copy of that Bone Thugs he used to play constantly!

And a note to K.Lee, should he be reading this: Metheny's newest is awesome!

=======

Shidoshi

It's funny, because my memory can be like that. I can't remember exact details about the big things, but I can remember a lot of little things. I remember when we first got in Soul Blade for PSX, and everyone stood around in awe watching the intro. I remember Nick sitting out in the little hallway between the staff area and Dave's office, doing whatever it was with his NeoCD. I remember "arguing" (polite arguing) with Takuhi over some of my entries in the AnimeFan Online dictionary, which Dave told me to run through him first. I remember standing in Orion's office - when he was in that weird office that used to be a hallway but was then half-heartedly converted into an office - talking with Nick about anime voice actors. I remember going to Takuhi for help translating a letter I had gotten from a girl in Japan, and then getting jealous when he started writing to her. *laughs*

You know, for all the craziness and money problems and crap equipment and whatnot that went on at GameFan, I'd go back and do it again in a heartbeat. It really was this whole other world, and it was the farthest thing from a "job" any of us could ever find.

=====

Shidoshi

You know, I remembered something else, something I'm going to fess up about. *heh* Right before I joined GameFan, I was producing a fanzine called Digital Anime. In the third issue, for some reason, the "Blue Shadows" topic had come up, and I said how it was silly that Nick had bitched about that.

GameFan ran their ad for new writers, and in collecting material to send to them as examples of what I had done, I wanted to include that issue. Right before I was about to send the package, I suddenly remembered the Nick comment that was in it. I rushed that night over to Kinko's, edited the piece, and re-printed the issue.

It's funny, though, because you don't appreciate the situation people are in until you're there yourself. I look back on my time at GameFan, and beyond, and look at the mistakes that I've made. Depending on how many games you had to cover, how much work you had for the issue, sometimes it was impossible to give each and every title the time they deserved. That isn't meant as an excuse, it's just meant as a fact. I remember things like Critical Blow for PSX, a game I originally trashed but lated came to really like and respect. Or you have things like Samurai Shodown IV, where I gave it a 98% in my viewpoint but now wouldn't begin to score it that high.

In Nick vs. WD, I was always on Nick's side on that one. Vic from WD was a psycho... I talked to him a lot before I joined GameFan, I thought we were cool, and then once I joined the mag he turned into a sudden asshole towards me, even to the point of insulting me and my writing (without having read any of it.) WD's translations at that time, like them or not, were full of ridiculous jokes, and Vic himself admitted that they took the basic storyline of the games and then pretty much re-wrote the rest. On one side you had a young, "fanboy" video game writer and the head of a "professional" company... it was amazing how childish the company head was in the entire situation.

===========

NRX

Replies from Tim, Takuhi, Reubus, and Shidoshi (proper capitalization/lack thereof duly noted)!

You've made my day. Please allow me to respond to your messages, in classic, incoherent Nick Rox style.

Tim, please don't misunderstand. Obviously you wouldn't have a successful multi-media company if you didn't possess the Mad Skillz(tm)! I have nothing but respect for your contributions to the birth of GameFan (not least of which was singlehandedly creating the GF style), and everything that came after. It goes without saying that Dave couldn't have created GameFan without the talented people that surrounded him. I simply mean to say, the man started us all down our path in the game industry, however indirectly it may have been. You began with that first catalog and ads, I began by basically hanging around Gamers' Club. (And oh, how I pined after those ads you did in EGM! I'd stare at those things for hours when I was like 12 and 13, marvelling at their intricacy. It was as if a whole new world of gaming I never knew existed was opening up before me...and I guess it was.)

Takuhi: No doubt we have catching up to do! I commiserate with you on the lack-of-memory tip. I've strained to recall amusing GameFan episodes to relate here and have come up short. In fact, many of the recollections already posted I'd completely forgot! The best I could do is like, "Hey, remember when I was sleeping vertically in the broom closet after I'd lost my office?" and, "Man, didn't Waka drive -fast-?" and, "My 'Nightwarriors' book sure took a long time to finish!" and, "Wasn't it fun breaking into Dave's office via the ducts in the ceiling in the middle of the night to retrieve the 'Street Fighter Alpha' PCB that was confiscated from us because we'd play it all day and not work, and then sneaking into the unoccupied officies next door to steal a piece of ceiling tile to replace the one I broke dropping 12 feet to the floor of his office, ninja-style?" As for 'Ys VI', yes, it was/is an -atomic bomb-. I hope you'll play the PS2 version coming out in March, though I hear nasty rumors that it won't be featuring the scandalizing JDK tunage from the PC original. Or maybe that's just for the North American version. Hey, if it doesn't I'll send you the PC OST as mp3s. It'll bring tears to your eyes (A note to Takuhi fans: The man practically -was- JDK. He had fifty or sixty Falcom CDs, I swear to God). I am, of course, playing Mister Yuji Horii's masterpiece, when lulls in my "Vana'diel Life" permit. I am so pleased you've finally awakened to the majesty that is 'Dragon Quest'!

The "Nick Rox: Movie Star" thread amused me as well! I had no idea anyone took notice of the film 'Happily Even After'. I shot it almost two years ago -- I believe I had four or five lines. It was a tiny part, shot in a day, one take. I don't remember much about it except that I wanted another take. And yes, I did make third callbacks for the role of Anakin Skywalker in 'Star Wars' Episodes II/III, though I have absolutely no idea how this information "got out". Getting so close to that part was...a difficult experience. I like to fantasize that the Prequels would have been good had I been in them. And I'd be married to Natalie Portman. Also I would have won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Another tidbit for ya'll: I also had a callback for the role of "The Kid" in the 'Matrix' sequels. Whee! What might have been, eh? All I can say is "go-kitai shite kudasai." Hopefully I'll be appearing in a Major Motion Picture coming to a Theater Near You...just as soon as I can tear myself away...from the cursed 'FFXI'...

Man, Blue Shadows. I might name my production company that someday. Nice ring, actually. If only I'd set the BGM to "Original", might my life had taken an entirely different path...?

Shidoshi my good man, I'm glad to see you still doing what you do best. Thank you for always sticking up for me whenever a bit o' shit-talkin' was directed Rox's way. Yes, I took notice, with gratitude. Regarding Dan Granett's tragic death -- I hope the superlative-laden nature of my writing won't color that statement, it is was beyond tragic and I mean that from the heart -- it definitely occured in 2001. We met and interviewed Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa at the E3 that year, and got Solid Snake sketches on our 'Art of Metal Gear Solid' books together. Actually, I think Dan's was the Ninja. Anyway. I attempted to get his name in as one of the dogtags in 'MGS2', writing a letter to Kojima in Japanese, which he acknowledged the receipt of, but to no avail. Perhaps some other GameFan staffer met with an unfortunate end in '97-'98...? I can't imagine who it might be, though.

Mzo, you're damn right. Casey made the best English-language game guides ever, and you know what? He still does! Givin' a shout out to my brothers at Kaizen Media Group -- look for their products published by Prima. Yeah, that Prima, but don't let the name scare you away -- they operate independently. Also, yes, I did like 'MGS2'. A lot. I thought the Raiden device was absolutely brilliant, and I'm saddened that most fans didn't understand his purpose. I'm even more saddened that Kojima got pissy with the fans' response and lashed out like a wounded Anne Rice on amazon.com with the truly ill-conceived Raikov in the otherwise genius 'MGS3', but that's another story.

Super-Eggroll: Your Sho sig earns instant respect. I'm astonished anyone outside of GameFan remembers Skills MacGregor, though we all made every effort to promote his infinite mastery of fighting games in many issues of GameFan. Yes, Skills is indeed a forgotten hero, as is his even less-known rival, Styles. Perhaps they will one day emerge from their hermitage to wreak havoc once again on scrubs everywhere. Something tells me the current state of fighting games would disgust them, however.

This reminds me of an another potentially interesting GameFan story. I wish I could remember the guy's name, but someone sent the GameFan offices a professionally-designed business card for the (semi-) fictional Skills MacGregor, complete with personal seal bearing the motto: "Mad Skillz". That's a memento I wish I had held onto. I may be wrong, but I think David "Hoagie" Hodgson kept it.

To King Of Fighters, I wish I could say I remembered the art you sent in specifically. We sure did get tons and tons of incredible fan art, though. Far, far too much to print. This reminds me of an amazing artist whose work we printed frequently, a girl named Jen Seng who happened to be totally obsessed with Guile. I always totally dug her style, and she too has gone on to wonderful things -- like drawing the syndicated comic strip 'The Boondocks' for a while, to Aaron McGruder's script. She might still be doing it, actually, I'm not sure...I squint at the signature in the strip and it no longer seems to be Jen's. Maybe my vision is just getting worse. Perhaps someone could enlighten me! Anyway, I think she kept in touch with Terry, who she was a big fan of.

To isamu, I -do- remember you. I even remember telling you 'Ys Book I - II' was my favorite RPG, though if you asked me today I'd be tempted to say 'Suikoden II'. I am flattered by your kind words, and gratified that I "got through" to someone via the conduit of GameFan, for that was my surely my intent. Old-school Japanese 2-D gaming needs more champions, and I'm honored to see people like yourself taking up the charge. I'm no ECM -- I readily embrace 3-D gaming when it works (I'm thinking Kojima, Miyamoto, Mikami) -- but my heart will always remain steadfastly affixed in two dimensions. And my favorite game system is -still- PC Engine. I see you have love for some 3-D games as well -- 'Ridge Racer' will always be a classic! Play 'Ridge Racers' on PSP if you aren't already. It is joy-drenched, blazing, blissful.

Jeez. Another day, another manifesto. I'll quit while I'm ahead, but anyone who'd like to drop me a line, please do so! Believe it or not I still maintain the same e-mail address. If you don't have that...hmm. Maybe I'll set up another address to deal with mail originating from this thread. Until next time, I remain

Mister Nicholas Rocks.

Oh! Oh! Now I'm totally reminded of where my breathtakingly lame GameFan name came from. No, I didn't choose it. Actually, many of us had our monikers chosen for us...a story for next time.

======

djpubba

Thank you for the flattery. Of course I was not single handedly responsible for the style. Dave would say what he wanted and George, Terry and I would deliver it. So, what emerged was a group effort, not purely a Halverson creation. Swap out Terry for a different artist or George and I with different layouters and the results would have been very different. Maybe better, maybe worse, but not the same GameFan that emerged. I will take 100% credit for the screen shot quality, though. ;-)

If I had not been willing to trade ads for games, make the magazine for free with my own equipment, and stubbornly stay at GameClub creating the first issue alone for a week while Halverson hid at home afraid to deal with how to pay me, GameFan would never have happened. When I arrived Halverson didn't know the first thing about computers, couldn't type and barely knew the basic rules of spelling and grammar. My drive to make a magazine and my ability to do it is what got Halverson started in the magazine making business. I've seen him post in public that I was one of the many people he got started in the business and that I didn't even know how to work in color before I met him, as if he somehow made it possible for me to do that. Fuck that. That's such a typical Dave Halverson disconnect from reality. He took advantage of my skills to start a magazine, lied to me to get me to give them freely, and only barely compensated me for it all in the end because he was 50% dependant on me to make the magazine for him at the time I discovered he was screwing me over.

If I hadn't met Halverson I'd still be doing what I do today. If Halverson hadn't met me or someone like me to make a magazine for him, he sure as hell wouldn't be making magazines by himself without a few more years of hen pecking at a keyboard at the very least.

Edit: So Halverson did not start me on my path, we all started down the same path together. As for talking crap about him, come on. The man deserves crap for the shit he pulled. Yes, he did it only to make a great magazine, and a great magazine indeed came out of it, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give him shit for it. He gave us 10x the level of shit he's getting back.

==========

Takuhi

Hey all!

Thanks for the warm welcome! I can't believe I have fans from the GF days... You guys made me feel, for one brief, shining second, that my entire life has not been a colossal waste.

Captain Normality - You know, I ran into Jen Seng online about a year ago. (I was the postmeister during the Jen era, so we sort of knew each other) She has a website, but I forgot the url... You can probably google it up. She sent me a picture once, and surprisingly she was actually cute. Just thought I'd throw that out there, since we all had our girl gamer crushes.

Amusingly, many of the GF readers' crushes were on our very own Kelly Rickards. I would get at least one postmeister letter a month asking us to "run a picture of her" or talking about how great it was we had a girl writer and what is she like, really?. Admittedly, it's an unusual name for a guy, but "her" character clearly depicted a well-muscled man.

Mzo - Thanks for the kind words! I loved doing this guides... I really miss being able to say whatever I wanted in unofficial guides. One hint of any sort of humor and licensors completely freak out now.

Shidoshi - HA! I had forgotten about that. I TOTALLY STOLE YOUR PEN PAL! Did you know she did the art in the versus FFVII guide and the maps in the RE2 guide? And that she designed... Um... I forget which Pokémon, but some of the only good new ones in gold and silver. Do you still talk to her ever? I haven't heard from her in years, though. Wow, I feel sort of bad now. I was a shameless pen pal cuckolder. Hey, still into Tori Amos? Her new single is up on her website, if you weren't aware.

One thing I do clearly remember is your first day at GameFan. Dave really liked your fanzine, but right after your interview, or whatever, Dave came into my office and was like: "DID YOU SEE THAT GUY? He's wearing FINGERNAIL POLISH! Like a GIRL! LIKE A GIRL!!! And he WROTE ON HIS SHOES! Why would someone DO THAT?" He went on for fifteen minutes or so, and while he was clearly being an ass, I was amazed that he was so legitimately stunned. Clearly he had not been outside in a public place frequented by young people since 1978 or so. (As his own personal style attested to.)

Dolomite! You rocked in Shaolin Dolomite. Really. Great flick.

Reubus - What the hell are you up to these days? Yeah, I'm still alive! I'm now trying to remember what arcane copy editing debate we managed to maintain for months. Do you recall?

NRX - I maintain that I have not come around to DQ, but that DQ has come around to quality. DQ8 stuns me! As for Y's VI... WHY WOULD YOU REPLACE THE MUSIC IN AN Y'S GAME? That's... that's MADNESS! I already do have the PC soundtrack to Y's VI, but I was hoping for a nice arranged version. What have you heard about Taito's Y's V remake?

Yeah, it's sad how hazy those stories have become. The other day I was thinking about a good NRX story... And you need to correct me if I'm wrong here, Nick... I think you quit or something, and then came back, and Dave was being petulant and decided to make you write reviews and do layouts for crappy american games instead of imports for a month. And so you did all these reviews of AWFUL, AWFUL, US-made Saturn games, written painfully earnestly, and then even after Dave tired of the punishment you insisted on keeping at it for months, either to prove a point or solely for the sake of irony. (Some of those reviews are absolutely hilarious, but only if you read them in Nick Rox's voice.) As a result, Nick Rox is quoted on the boxes to some of the worst games ever made.

Okay, that's not a great story, but I do remember that period fondly, because it meant I got to do all the good imports.

Still, I KNOW we're all holding back some great stories. And I think part of the reason is out of respect for a certain GF staffer who is actually on these boards. Um... So what do you say, Andrew? Can we tell the really, really great stories? Now that you've found Jesus, surely embarrassing stories of your misspent youth will help you repent past sins and cement your bond with the lord? Yes? No? Maybe?

======

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by NRX

Oh! Oh! Now I'm totally reminded of where my breathtakingly lame GameFan name came from. No, I didn't choose it. Actually, many of us had our monikers chosen for us...a story for next time.

That was all Dave! He made me draw you that way too, I swear! Hi Nick, how are ya?

Originally Posted by djpubba

So Halverson did not start me on my path,

Amen! Speak it, my brother. I know I definitely did not get my "start" from Dave. I came to work for GameFan at age 25-26. I purchased a house with the monies I made from my first endeavor, Hard'N'Heavy Video Magazine at age 22. So I was already pretty established in the art world when I joined up. Dave can lick 'em. :-D

======

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Takuhi

But I do second Nick's defense of Dave Halverson...

Casey... it saddens me to here you say such things... I just can't begin to fathom why anyone would want to deffend Halverson. He was not a good guy. Yes he had a pure passion for gaming etc., but he was such a slimeball in every other facet of life. I guess I can understand the perspective of you and Nick and Shidoshi; all young kids getting their first start in the industry, and being grateful for their first real "job". Forgiving is fine, but lets not paint the guy as a saint. Did you know all the times we were not getting paid and Dave would tell us how he's in the exact same boat that he was in fact cashing his checks before anyone else (and depleting the funds...). I can go on and on... And to diss on Jay?! Jay stuck it thru to the end and was the only one who was actually up front with how fucked the whole situation was and honestly tried to keep it all together. Berstien? Yes, very Evil- tho only slightly more evil than Halvetica abnormal.

Any ways, I always liked ya, Casey. Hope you are doing well.

=========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Voltz

I remember hearing the news on GR when Dave got his new house and wheels while everyone was told they wern't welcome to work for him anymore. I'd like to hear more to clarify this.

That is pretty accurrate, great big house with very nice furnishings while all the editors were three to four per apartment living off Top Ramen. Dave had a new vehicle like every 5 months... like a spoiled kid just had to have the latest toy and got bored with his old ones. I remember one year as a Christmas bonus we all got these stuffed Sonic the Hedgehog dolls... woot

I'm doing well thanks. I've been my own boss for about 2.5 years now. I work with Tim a lot and still do a lot of art in a lot of areas.

=========

Wolfie

Quote Originally Posted by Zero-chan

Wolfie: I had heard rumors that Halverson used to have a strange obsession with Jen Seng... any truth to those?

Oh God. I hope not! But I wouldn't be surprised. I think we all just really Loved Jen's work. She's an amazing artist. She was also a really enthusiastic gamer and would send us these huge letters asking about all kinds of games etc... We all looked forward to hearing from her. She and I still talk quit frequently. She's just an awesome person.

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Takuhi

Hey Terry!

Yeah, it's me, Casey! It's great to hear from you again, and see some new Wolfie art again. Where are you at these days? (I know, I'm just too lazy to read the beginning of this thread and find out) Still have that beautiful woman? Still have that beautiful car?

Wow, I had no idea you had anything against Dave.... You always seemed pretty tight at the time. Of course, my somewhat fond reminscences of Dave are partly due to the fact that I left before things got really bad. I had my share of get-to-the-bank-in-time cash runs but I never got totally screwed like the rest of you.

That said, I don't know that I could blame Dave for that. It was pretty clear to me from the beginning that Dave was hands-off on money issues and the like, and while he was beyond naive for inviting in snakes like Bergstein in the first place, I can't blame him for the business side of things. That's partially why I blame Jay... He WAS the business side of it, but I don't recall him ever looking out for anyone but himself.

I'm certainly not saying he was a saint, though. He lied constantly, but it was so pathological that you almost came to expect it. I don't think he intended to deceive or defraud anyone, he just couldn't accept the reality of things. Perhaps I'm being overly rosy in my memories... I remember the GF days fondly and for some reason Halverson puts me in the mind of Kramer from Seinfeld or any other bumbling but likable sitcom character.

Hey, do you know what's up with Joe Koberstein these days?

King of Fighters, CaptainNormality, and Zero-chan,

Thanks so much for the praise! Of all the things I've done, that FFVII guide is certainly the one I'm most proud of (and those old FFVII previews for GF are certainly up there too. Man, I worked on those for weeks!). But really, you're all insane if you don't sell those FFVII guides on eBay while, for some bizarre reason, they're actually worth something.

It really is a shame about how doMinant the clean-white look is becoming in everything game related. And like I was saying earlier, most companies are so zealous about protecting their licenses you can't even write about them in any sort of whimsical or opinionated way. When did games start being so serious? Everything has to be clean and proper and sedate, like we're writing about international diplomacy or the spread of AIDS or something. They're just *GAMES*! They're supposed to be FUN!

Alright, that's my old-fogeyish rant for the day.

=======

Wolfie

Casey! Hi! So yeah, bring up allll the pain at once- Me and my "beautiful lady" parted ways quite some time ago. And I sold that car a few years back as well Ah, but its all good I've been working as a freelance artist from home last couple years. Koberstein is good. He's back in Wisconsin, married (I was in his wedding), and he's a recent daddy. He's a higher -up art director guy at RavenSoft. We chat on occassion.

As far as Helvy goes... well he was a character and I guess it was kind of easier to just humor him to get along, as it is with most bosses. And most of the really bad stuff was found out after he bailed. So then suddenly all his promises were shit...

But you were the character, man. You had that great dry humor! And you liked NIN! Still listen to them as much as ya used to? So enough about me. How are you doing? Where are you at these days?

========

Reubus

Quote Originally Posted by Takuhi

Hey all!

Reubus - What the hell are you up to these days? Yeah, I'm still alive! I'm now trying to remember what arcane copy editing debate we managed to maintain for months. Do you recall?

Heh, that "stll alive" jibe was tossed Craig's way, not yours! And "arcane copy editing debate"? I can't even come close to recalling specifics. I remember a debate or two, but nothing specific as far as what they were about! Allow me to second Wolfie's question: What are you up to these days? Weren't you on your way to Japan to teach or something?

Nick: Drop me an e-mail, I almost forgot about that book! BTW, I still (!) haven't finished reading it. I can't seem to wrap my brain around some of that math shit. It starts about a third of the way into the book, but by a couple chapters later, I'm lost! If you made it through that crap, following that math, then by god (raises frosty mug) here's to ya! =]

======

JesusisGod

Quote Originally Posted by Takuhi

And I think part of the reason is out of respect for a certain GF staffer who is actually on these boards. Um... So what do you say, Andrew?

You can say what ever you want. My memory from back then is not too good because of the amount of weed I was smoking and my marriage problems. You probably have some great stories that I might need to hear. So, please go ahead.

Andrew

=======

Zero-chan

Quote Originally Posted by Mzo

I was thinking about that, too. Seems that he got hired without most people's consent, and then one day he's editor-in-chief.

He got his start in #GF_Tavern chat, actually. I dunno how he managed to get pulled out of there and put into a position of employment - we just heard one day he was going in for a job interview. As far as I know Halverson never come into the chat, but somehow, he liked the guy. *insert derogatory variation of "great minds think alike" here*

Anyone have more details on this?

Also, does anyone remember the old location test Street Fighter Alpha 2 preview? Supposedly that was written by Slasher Quan around the time he left to do work elsewhere, and Dave was so pissed that he had the name at the article's end changed to "B. Stabber". Any truth to this? (It IS in the mag, tho - I have that particular issue still.)

======

Zero-chan

There used to be an interview with Dan Jevons (Knightmare) up on this site, but it has vanished into the ether. Thus, fishie has kindly provided me with the transcript, viewable here:

http://www.night-striker.net/etc/Dan%20Jevons%20Interview.doc

There's some amusing GF-related tidbits in here, as well... have fun!

[FILE SINCE REMVOED - INTERVIEW LOST FOREVER]

=======

Typefiend

Quote Originally Posted by Gondolin

...btw, who did the design and layout for Gamers' Republic? GR is partly to blame for my interest in design.

Okay, I'm going to give into my ego a bit and lay some claim to that. When a few of us left GF to start GR, the GF art director Gary Harrod and Dave gave me the reins to a large extent to form the basis of the GR magazine (the masthead title, fonts, style guides, etc). Gary was really an amazing designer whom I owe a great deal of gratitude for direction, criticism, and support. He could be scathing when he didn't like something, but he also was an extremely detailed designer with a formal design background that everyone at GR and GF respected, and he aided my first stint as an art director.

Its obvious at the time we were heavily influenced by the information overload made famous by The Designers Republic, Attik, with a smidgen of early RayGun-David Carson. Young, dumb and full of....fun? I will give Dave credit, and fondly, for the most part he was very supportive and trusting about us taking a more modern design approach than GF (though he fought alot about the concept of empty space); we wanted to have it be packed with visual interest, but also rein in some of the freeform tendencies of GF (which I think represents something special in itself). GF to me has always been more an example of artistic beauty and passion than what I would categorize as design; layouts were personal extensions of many of people who laid them out (Nick was the virtuoso of the crew, but damn, he did get way more time than anyone else so it was an example of natural talent aided by a unique situation of having near indefinite time to see his vision thru....very rare in the actual print/design world) and there was very little groundwork for organized visual communication of what we could and could not do. "Just make it look stimulating" seemed to be the code, and hell if it wasn't fun. At GR, since we didn't have the same staff size for design, since we were also launching a strat guide division, we had to streamline some of the design and only aim for "hardcore" for features. And I think some of the designs done by Gary, Gerald, Jeremy, Edd and myself were visually arresting. Of course, limitations noted didn't stop us from putting in photos of friends, hidden messages, tiny photos of women in thongs, and other tomfoolery that kept us sane under the pressure of working under Dave. So "it was the best of times, and the worst of times", but times I will never regret experiencing!

=====

Shidoshi

This isn't directly GameFan related, but since this thread is as much about the people behind GF as it is the mag itself, I thought some might find this interesting.

This is the first two issues of Dragon's Tail. (Well, issues #1 and #3, as I have forever lost issue #2.) This was the first real fanzine I ever produced. Before this, I had made a few small little two page newsletters, but this was my first real attempt at trying to make something that could be considered a fanzine.

I won't feel one bit bad if people are horribly cruel about it. *laughs* They really are terrible, and I can only laugh when I go back and look through them again. Take in mind, though, that I made these things a little over sixteen years ago, and this was back when the most desktop publishing experience most people had was Print Shop.

Anyhow, here you go.

Dragon's Tail #1

http://d105423.temp37.hostica.com/dtail01.pdf

Dragon's Tail #3

http://d105423.temp37.hostica.com/dtail03.pdf

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Shidoshi

I remember getting new magazines, especially issues like the EGM CES show issues, and just spending hours pouring over every detail of the screenshots. I remember being at school looking through the game lists that the game shops that advertised in the back put into their ads. The ads were black and white, and there would always be these games you had never heard of, or sequels to games that hadn't been announced. It was so exciting reading through those lists and wondering if those games really did exist, and if you might suddenly see them on the shelf the next time you went to a store. I also remember taking that damn NES Player's Guide from Nintendo, which was like a gaming bible back then, and spending hours re-reading every page of it.

======

Spidey

So I just discovered this forum tonight. Have to chime in! (I was too late for all the GameFan craziness, but man was I a fan of that magazine, warts and all. When you think about where the industry was at the time, it was a perfect reflection of what we loved about gaming.)

I started working with the Gamers' Republic guys on the second issue, after learning of an opening from Ryan Lockhart. Whatever its faults, the mag was a blast to work on. I still say some of the best talent in the industry was on that thing. Looking back, we were all little immature kids, loose in a new play pen that generated enough good memories for a lifetime. I still have to laugh at some of the squabbles we had and mistakes we made. I wouldn't trade the experience in for anything. A few of my best friends in life came out of there.

A huge hello to any oldschool GR dudes reading this!

-brady

==========

http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?14983-Some-questions-for-a-Die-Hard-Game-Fan-magazine-expert

POST BY USER CAFEMAN ON DIGI PRESS REGARDING HALVERSON:

I interviewed DH as part of a 3-part series (also Chris Charla and Steve Kent) called Interviewing the Game Writers. As info, Charla's and Kent's interview questions were done & posted in the spring; it took DH half a year more to find time to answer the questions, he even lost them at one point & I had to re-send them. But he continually promised he'd get to it, and he came through. He seemed unbelievably busy to me.

If you want to read detailed reports of Gamefan stories, go search on related topics at the TNL forums, and also there's a lot of ex-Gamefan guys who frequent Gaming-age's forum. There were beans spilled at the old GameGO! forums years ago too.

My take: I loved Gamefan in the DH years. There was a noticeable drop in quality for some time after DH and gang left, but I was starting to enjoy Gamefan once again under ECM as editor in chief, when the whole thing collapsed again. It only took one year of late/missing subscriptions for me to learn NEVER subscribe to Gamefan, buy it at the newstand. For all the bad talk about Dave, it is in direct contrast from what I perceive him to be like, coming across as jealousy in some instances. Dave has got the fire inside about gaming and regardless of what games he likes/dislikes, this is what makes his magazines successful & a great read-through. Dave has always had a penchant for ink-filled pages & layouts and I love that. DH really won me over with Play (I initially didn't like it, now it's my favorite game mag).

ECM had an acidic, elitist style of writing. He knew what he liked and pulled no punches ripping apart games and people he thought sucked. Again, regardless of whether I agreed on his choices of games or not, I was always quite entertained by his writing. I talked to ECM quite a bit on chats and the GO! forums, he always came across to me as a nice guy.

Concerning ECM, one of the coolest things that I remember happening me concerned the Genesis game Ristar. I found it late in the 90's and loved it, and I made this tribute page:

http://cafeman.www9.50megs.com/necessary.html

Not long afterwards, ECM had a Graveyard special on Ristar which I tremendously enjoyed reading. I emailed him (for the first time I think) and linked to my own Ristar tribute page, and he replied to me that my page is what inspired him to write the Gamefan Graveyard article in the first place. Back then, the idea that something I put on the net might influence the direction a game magazine took, well it impressed me.

ECM and TK's GameGO, now THAT was unfortunate. I heard lots of $$$ was lost on that endeavor. Is GameGO #1 worth mega bucks yet?

========

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite

Here's something I've always wondered about, and I guess this is the perfect place to ask. Who the hell are these guys in the old Gamefan Subscription ads? Are they from a movie or what?

Don't say I never do nothing for you guys - I tracked down the answer.

They were photos taken by people over on the Metropolis side of things, possibly from one of their other magazines. The infamous Dave White, over on the GameFan side, got the photos, and did some photoshopping to them.

========

ExcaliburGenX2

Revoltor: No, I know something DID happen - there was a public exchange of words had between Halverson and Semrad on the editorial pages of their respective publications. Apparently, EGM and GameFan had an on/off rivalry that was taken public by both magazines' editor-in-chiefs. I remember reading Halverson's editorial, and Semrad's response. I may not be sure about Semrad even saying anything about it in public, but I definitely recall Halverson writing an editorial or two about the whole thing. Anyone ... ?

=========

Veela

Quote Originally Posted by sethsez

This thread rules, but really. There's only so much to talk about.

Oh, I could probably start talking about Play, that could open a whole new can of worms!

Shidoshi, if you ever happen across this...Dave hasn't changed. At all. In fact, he's worse. Then again, I don't know the whole story of GF, but Dave's spiral into complete possession by the Devil is nearly complete.

Well, I laugh at Dave a lot.

And yeah, this is Veela, formerly of Play. Dave fired me last month...and it's really weird, my story STRANGELY parallels Shidoshi's. Like, Twilight Zone style.

========

Shidoshi

I'm not going to comment on your situation, for a number of reasons. First, I don't know you, so saying anything for or against you would come without knowledge of you at all. I've also heard things about your situation from other perspectives, so that complicates knowing whose is being honest about what.

What I'll say is that it always sucks when somebody doesn't have things turn out the way they hoped, so I certainly feel for you in that regard.

I'll also say that Mike Griffin - somebody I still have a lot of respect for - chose to go back to work for Dave, and is enjoying doing so. That says a lot to me. That isn't meant as a jab at your or anything, just as a factual statement.

And I know you guys like drama, so maybe I can help provide some more here soon, especially in light of our new arrival. *heh*

=======

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Glass Joe

Damn Shidoshi, that is some seriously turncoat shit right there. You all (ex GFers) had a few unbelievable stories about how Dave treated you guys. Now that you are/might be going to work for him again you shouldn't play like they never happened. Shame on you.

Where did I play like it never happened? I've never taken back anything I said. Ever. If I was trying to get on his good side for whatever reason, I'd say "oh I never said that," or go back and delete my old posts, or try to skew what I said. I haven't.

What I have said is that people can change, and what happened between him and I happened almost ten years ago. You want me to just sit around for the rest of my life being bitter about something that happened that long ago? Doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me. Thinking about how different of a person I was back then, compared to who I am now, leads me to believe other people can be the same way. Long before anything that may or may not be going down right now, I talked to him, and we put all of that stuff behind us.

Thus, don't sit here waving a stupid finger in my face, telling what I should or should not be saying, just because you aren't hearing what you want to hear.

==========

Voltz

Dave doesn't really suprise me anymore, afterall he gave himself and Hodgeson a nice fat bonus for closing gamers republic. They got houses and SUVs, the rest of the staff was told to fuck off without notice.

========

Shidoshi

I don't know the facts behind the situation, but let me ask this: if that was 100% true, why did some of the staff from Republic follow him to Play?

======

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by RoleTroll

So what's the scoop? One guy wanted his old job back, and got the boss to fire the chick doing his old job and give him the job?

I had absolutely nothing to do with her job until after she was gone. Come on now - I'm not even close to being that big of an asshole. I had been talking to Dave for a while about maybe doing something for Play, and it was all "possible" stuff until after Veela was gone and he asked me to step in as online guy.

It was only my "old job" in the way that I used to do it way back in the GameFan days, and I only started doing it at that point because I was mostly forced to.

======

[MANY PAGES OF RUBBISH]

01 Jun 2006, 10:32 PM

jriskin

I know I'm like 6 years late on this thread, but I just wanted to confirm any info if anyone is interested...

RE: Cybermorph... There were only a few of us there that weekend, I believe I was the only one who stayed all night that night besides George and D. Halverson. Fortunately for me I don't drink coffee...Dave and George both DID drink it, and trust me, while it might not have been a heavy trip, those two were staring at the screen for HOURS...

Dave, seriously thought the characters in the game knew he was watching! On the other hand he once mentioned he was afraid David Blane knew he(halverson) knew he(blane) was magical and thought he might come and get him. But who knows, he was probably stoned then too, my pot-dar isn't very strong. I highly (bad pun) doubt he would have dedicated THAT many pages and the cover if he wasn't so obsessed with it from being on acid.

If anyone has any questions from my era of Gamefan, feel free to ask. I'm still good friends with Terry W. but I rarely see the rest of the crew except the occasional run-in at E3 or the infamous E3 Sony parties (which I passed on even going to E3 this year).

Jacob Riskin

=======

03 Dec 2007, 04:32 PM

Shidoshi

So, I wanted to bring this thread back for a moment, due to what I received in the mail today. A check for $269, paid due to the finalization of the bankruptcy case of Express.com... aka, part of the group of people that ran GameFan into the ground.

Just over seven years after the final issue of GameFan was printed, I get one last paycheck (in a way) from GameFan. I ended up being owed $2500 in back pay, and as of this check I've been paid just over $500 of that. I wasn't at all expecting to receive this money, but my name was still hanging on as part of the list of people who would get some sort of further compensation, so I had an idea that I might get something.

So, thanks GameFan... because of you, seven years later, I can go buy myself something nice. (Not something $2500 nice, but who am I to complain.) As well, my personal saga with the mag now finally comes to an end... seeing as how, you know, this was my last chance to get any money from the entire thing. *heh*

========

Shidoshi

I don't remember how it began, but I think I tracked down the law firm that was handling the bankruptcy, told them my situation, and then had to file some paperwork in order to get onto the list of potential payees.

I know for sure, though, that then a few years ago, they were going to drop a bunch of the creditors from the list of potential payouts. Thankfully, I actually read over the huge packets of legal stuff I'd get every now and then, noticed this, and called and made a complaint. They were trying to drop people they thought had invalid claims, or claims that weren't of importance, and I think for me Express.com's lawyers were trying to argue that I wasn't a true employee. At that point, I submitted whatever proof I was able to dig up (old pay stubs specifically listed Express.com, my signed agreement with GameFan, etc.), and that kept me on the list.

So, I'd say, try to find out who is handling the bankruptcy case for your situation, call them up, and find out if you have any options, or if it's too late for you to make a petition for yourself. Then, of course, prepare to (a) wait a long, long time to get any money, and (b) be happy with whatever you get, because you probably aren't getting anywhere close to all of it.

=======

April 2010

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite View Post

So it's just Gamer's Republic/Play 2.0. Fail.

Actually, probably worse than that, because Dave was starting to get to the point where he thought Play wasn't being handled properly. You know, things like not having ridiculously high scores, not giving the shit games he liked eight pages each, only giving coverage to games from companies that purchased ads, etc.

Brady, and the staff overall, was helping keep him in check. Now, he's got people who won't stand up to him in regards of those things, he's got more reason to only give coverage to companies that spend big ad bucks with (due to needing to keep this thing afloat), etc.

=======

Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by Dolemite View Post

...or maybe Halvy just spins a good line of bullshit.

He really has that Steve Jobs quality to him where the stupidest ideas in the world can come from his lips but when you hear them they seem to make perfect sense. Then, when he's not around and not talking to you, you'll think to yourself, "What the fuck am I thinking listening to this guy?" And then he'll talk to you again, and for some reason you'll be back to buying it.

=====

Shidoshi

Play is 1.2 million dollars in debt. That's what happened to Play.

======

Shidoshi

Since I wrote a post about it on Play's forums this morning (which the strangely disappeared a short time later [the forums, not the post]), for anybody curious, here's a rundown of what the main staff is owed at this point.

Bill Gray (did anime stuff): $5,350

Brady Fiechter: $16,000

Casey Loe: $5,835

Eric L. Patterson: $2,544 (which I would actually argue should be around $4,400)

Greg Orlando: $400

Heather Campbell: $1,800

Matt Cabral: $7,650

Nick Des Barres: $1,800

Robert Duenas (art): $3,625

Quote Originally Posted by RoleTroll View Post

Shidoshi, just wondering, would you how much money it takes to start up a print magazine and give it a good year or so to find its legs?

Unfortunately, I don't know exacts. The production of the magazine would cost next to nothing, so long as people are willing to work for free for a while and you have at least a couple of computer sitting around.

Print and distribution is where things get tough. I've never done anything but small-time print runs, and even those can get pretty pricy. You then have to get good distribution (aka magazine rack space), which I've heard can be very hard to do, unless you're willing to just distribute it via some sort of online source.

You won't get serious response from most advertisers until you've got an issue or two to show, and even then typically you won't get the money from any ads you sell for at least a few months.

========

Shidoshi

    From bitmob:

http://bitmob.com/articles/dave-halverson-speaks-the-demise-of-play-magazine

    Dear Mr. Halverson,

    I was hoping to discuss the closing of Play Magazine with you. I have been a loyal subscriber for a few years now, and just discovered the magazine was shut down. I am also hearing rumors that you may be looking into restarting GameFan.

    Would you be willing to discuss any of this with me, or do you have any messages you would like to give to Play subscribers?

    Sincerely,

    Frank Anderson

    Here is Dave's response:

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks so much for the inquiry as I've heard many a disturbing rumor regarding Play's demise. Fact is it hit no one harder than myself. After nearly 10 year's of 'round the clock work, hearing the company was in dire straights this past November--I was working on the year in review issue no less, a celebration of sorts--hit hard. It was a culmination of things that ultimately took Fusion down. What was a terrible year ad-wise was made all the worse via Geek never finding its audience (a great mag tho). It was a big drain on the company but a risk admin felt (I'm told) was worth taking considering the potential. It just got worse though.

    This economy is like nothing we've ever seen. Shame they robbed Peter to pay Paul though. Had I known I would have done everything in my power to stop it but my role was 100% creative. That said, I guess everything would still have been OK, had Q4 panned out anywhere close to normal but turns out it was a disaster. Over 60% of our advertisers decided to abandon print and go online exclusively. No matter how much we fought and could prove our readers choose print they just slammed the door in our face like we were pond scum. It was a rude awakening after 18 years. There's too much turn over in the game biz. Too many relationships come and go. Our best clients have always stood by us--or more over, our readers--so once again I've decided to tough it out and stay the course developing print, rather than joining the online community. Nothing against online, but, it just doesn't hold water for me. I love print media. always have; always will.

    Truth be told I wasn't all that thrilled with Play last year. I felt we needed to evolve but was always met with skepticism and or fear. I wanted reviews back in, more original content, a bigger size and so on but it wasn't to be. So maybe this was meant to be. I love fresh starts and the way GameFan was taken from us has always haunted me, so, I figured why not... As magazines go all three I've been with have defied the odds. 1 in 10 succeed and even less make it past the five year mark so I guess I've been lucky in that respect. I just wish I could find someone on the business end as dedicated as I am on the creative so we could weather these storms that hit every now and again.

    I set the new company up personally--it's my first since the original GF--so I'll be running the GF office until I find the right person to stay the course, so no surprises. No way I can go through this again. Making magazines is an extremely personal thing, at least for me. The only reason I really do it in the first place--it's also really hard on an indie level--is for the love of games and the people who make them, and the readers.

    What a mess the US press has become. I can't sit by and watch great games get massacred while assembly line blockbusters get the red carpet treatment from freelancers who can't brave anything beyond extended tutorials or understand art beyond different ways to render a meat-head. Bigger isn't only not better, it's debilitating. The industry is all out of whack. That said, man, it hurts to read what people are saying. I've worked my ass off for going on 2 decades and have 3 kids. Like I need Joe-bonehead hurling accusations for them to ponder. But I can't involve myself in all the cynicism. That stuff drags you down. I prefer to stay positive and live every day.

    As soon as the GF site is up we'll be offering free digital subs to Play subscribers and huge discounts on print. Issue 1 is on its way to newsstands now so by the time it hits we'd like to reach as many subscribers as possible. Fusion may be gone but I'm here for you. My crew is all new (and growing) and really pumped to be doing something unique. It's nice to work with hungry people again willing to brave the early days of building a print foundation; not an easy task. GF is work in progress but issue 1 is a good start in my book. I threw out the old format and started from scratch developing what I think a modern print magazine needs to be, and set up the co. in such a way that we don't need to rely so heavily on advertising. In a perfect world we'd nail down a dozen choice clients and close it off. In fact, we just may. Because at the end of the day 10 of our readers are worth 1000 online. The smart money realize it, and I've grown tired of trying to convince the "eyeballs" sect. Let 'em drop like flies. It's fun to watch.

    ...I feel a rant coming on so I better go, but hey, thanks again for actually asking me directly. This has been really hard on me. I've had to fight for every inch and some people still see me as some tyrant. I'm anything but money grubbing or greedy, which seems to be the problem. I just don't believe in cynicism, really dig a great video game, and believe that hard work and dedication is the only way forward (along with the new DL game nets). Next stop XBLA! Thanks.

    PS. Shoot me your address and I'll send you the first issue of GF. Feel free to let any other subscribers know that I have their backs too. I'm limited in terms of what I can do to reach them so every little bit counts. Looking for like-minded gamers/writers and a business manager too if you wanna put the word out.

    Take care,

    Dave

===========

11 April 2010

Shidoshi

Hello to whoever it is that is reading this thread and told Dave about it!

"Somehow" as in I got an utterly crazy email from Dave.

My absolutely favorite part was where he actually went back 14+ years and used the fact that I showed up at GameFan wearing black fingernail polish as an insult against me! Either he is a dedicated listener of WAHP, or that event made such an epic impression on his life that he never forgot it.

Also, I was not aware that t-shirts, jeans, and Doc Martins counted as "freak show wardrobe".

========

Shidoshi

Well, I don't know the full story, but I've always been confused with Dave's timeline of getting into games. I swear that, from how I understand it, he got into games in the 16-bit era (which I honestly think he's said at times), and then he'll say things to the effect that he was playing games during the NES era.

And yeah, I'm 99% sure I was reading GameFan during 1993. As well, indeed, I was getting Transformers toys before I even had an NES I'm pretty sure. If not, I know for certain I was getting not original-series TFs for the same birthday that I got Ghosts 'n Goblins for NES.

I STILL have not seen the issue, but now that somebody has found it, I'll hit the bookstore tomorrow to see if they have it yet.

====

Shidoshi (on the first issue of new gamefan)

Got my copy today. Haven't read any of it yet, but here are some initial thoughts. Just to be clear - I'm being totally unbiased here, and coming at it as I would any other magazine. I also realize that this is not only a first issue, but one that was brought together in a short amount of time. So, I'd expect at least some of these things to work out as the magazine really gets going.

The main comment I had heard was that it's "OMG huge", and it is definitely big. If the magazine was thicker, I think the larger size would be nice, but as it is, it feels exceptionally flimsy. Paper stock is very thin, and being saddle stitched (as in, big pages folded and stapled in the middle, versus a hard spine), the magazine wants to bend in half vertically if you hold it upright. If paper stock and page count end up not changing, I think it was quite a mistake to go for the large size they went with. I also think it might not have been the best choice given the layout style they seem to be going for (more on that in a moment).

The magazine opens with its very first line of text being wrong - the original GameFan magazine started up in 1992, not 1994. I find that funny.

Pagination feels like a total mess. Things feel like they've been placed completely at random, and there's nothing to really help you understand the transition between content. (Which isn't helped any by the lack of a TOC.) The idea of Viewpoints - mini-reviews where more than one editor reviews the same title - are back, but there's stuck in before the actual reviews section. It feels awkward and out of place there. The original GameFan had the Viewpoints near the front of the mag, where as EGM has their very similar-styled short reviews section near the back. The problem is, it's a very structured and detailed section, and putting something like that smack in the middle of more content-focused page layouts doesn't work.

The overall layout design reminds me of the original GameFan - and that's not good. Everything feels way too dark, and layouts are either over-designed or just sloppy. I mean no disrespect to GameFan's art guy Rob, who I believe is responsible for said layouts: I'm not sure he has much history doing layouts, and he had a lot to do in a short amount of time. Still, that's just how it is. Some of the design work I do like, concept-wise, because big pieces of artwork are used, and those pages aren't afraid of open space. Going back to my previous comment, however, I think a slightly smaller magazine can work better for doing a lot of big art, because then you have a better chance to find pieces that are of a resolution that won't look like crap when sized that big. That's a small point to make overall, though.

What I think really needs to happen is for pages to get clearer indicators letting you know what you're looking at. There are far too many pages where you just have no clue what you're looking at from the information that is provided on the page. Don't expect people to know that they're looking at a preview - tell them. Every page of content should be clearly marked as to what it is.

There is a serious lack of non-preview / review content, but again to be fair this is the first issue, and Dave himself says in the opening ed zone that they didn't get all of the stuff they wanted into the issue. Don't do news, though - seriously, it's worthless. If you have worthwhile text you can write that concerns a new story, then great; recycling stuff that is old by the time an issue hits is just a waste of space. Okay, breaking my previous rule, one personal comment I'll make - Dave has said that he "wanted to do more" with Play (though, everybody on board did), so I hope that he'll make good on that and do more with GameFan. If it's just going to be a bunch of reviews and previews with a few pages of filler (like the original GameFan was), there's no place for magazines like that in the year 2010.

69 pages of games, and then 28 of movie stuff. I don't care. I understand the desire to also do the movie stuff, but are you going to be able to do quality content without needing more pages and then taking away room from the GameFan section? Do 30 odd pages of entertainment content deserve their own branding and wacky "flip over to read" requirement? I know the argument is to sell "two magazines in one," but I have no confidence in the idea yet. The bookstore I picked GameFan up in didn't have the magazine reversed as MovieFan over in the entertainment section. If they can get that done, then that'll be a plus, but I'm still not sold on the idea of doing the flip thing. If I'm spending $8 on a game magazine, I'd rather put that chunk of money toward a magazine like GamesTM, where I'm getting a thick book of nothing but gaming.

Design-wise, the GameFan portion of the magazine is what it is, but the MovieFan portion is god-awful. Almost every section has this bizarre "I just learned how to render text in 3D!"-looking logo, and elements on the pages just kind of... exist. Oh, and then there's the page where I have to hold the magazine sideways to read it. DO NOT DO SHIT LIKE THAT. It isn't cool, and it serves no purpose except to be fucking annoying. Otherwise, browsing through the content, like I said, I don't care personally, but a lot of what I see looks like total filler. I think, even more so than gaming, the market for movie magazines have some seriously good offerings, so a lot of work needs to be put into the MovieFan stuff to make it feel worth paying attention to. Otherwise, you're going to have a section movie buffs don't give a damn about, and the people buying the magazine for the gaming stuff feel is a complete waste of space.

Oh, and why is there a preview for the Iron Man 2 game in the MovieFan section? When Play and Geek were separate magazines, that kind of thing made sense. Here, it's just weird.

So, my initial thoughts, coming from somebody who (a) loves print, and (b) is very anal about things like design and formatting. It's a first issue, and first issues are notoriously rough, so I don't expect what I hold in my hands now to be what you'll find six months or so down the road. I do think that, for that price, with the magazine market the way it is, and with EGM soon to take away a decent chunk of its thunder, GameFan had better whip itself into shape ASAP. There aren't enough people who know (or care about) the name GameFan at this point, so it won't survive on brand alone.

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Shidoshi

Quote Originally Posted by kingbet123 View Post

Shidoshi, have you heard anything else about any other problems? Thanks!!!

Well, ends up they lost two staff members, not one. Issue #3 is completely doing away with the magazine being flip-style; I guess it'll just be GameFan now, and maybe have a MovieFan section in it somewhere. As for issue #2, while I was able to confirm that it does exist at E3 (I held a copy for about 20 seconds or so), it's now over two months since I found #1 on store shelves and issue #2 is still nowhere to be found as of yesterday. Sounds like it might finally be hitting this week, though.

Being that I don't work for them, I don't know anything for certain, but I would always be concerned whenever a magazine misses an issue by such a large amount of time. From what I've always understood, distributors really, really don't take kindly to that, and it also doesn't look good to people you're trying to get to subscribe to your magazine. (Speaking of which, I think they still aren't even offering subs yet.) For their sake, hopefully they can get issue #3 out the door on time and not have another big delay like they had for #2.

I will say, from my brief time with the second issue, the paper quality was much better, which is good. Other than that, though, I didn't have enough time with it to be able to really look at any of it enough to remember much.

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Shidoshi

My first "professional" layout ever! (Not writing, but layout I actually did.)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/45478630@N07/4267428697/in/set-72157623192904630

Yup, it was Quark. I think, at the time, that was the only serious option for print layout software. Of course, Quark was terrible, so I was happy when Adobe finally gave them real competition.

That's what I was trying to think of: PageMaker. I knew there was an "alternate" app back in the days when Quark was big and ruled the universe. I remember learning PageMaker in high school, and using that until I got to GF and switched to Quark.

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