I love that the reason for Simon & Tom playing Shark Simulator in today’s Game Goblin video was that Ben told Tom to play it ;) <3 Every time I see a cartoony shark, I can’t help but smile and think of Ben :D
It’s weird looking back at the first forum I signed up to.
They’d produced The Gates of Hell, an ambitious D&D fan project based off of lifting the underwhelming rules for demon and devil lords included in the Book of Vile Darkness supplement to a more “realistic” level. Specifically, it was a full supplement for the lawful evil plane which included stat blocks for the highest Devils which wouldn’t lose a fight against a small band of their own generic underlings.
In retrospect, the stat blocks are completely useless for gameplay, far above the power curve 3rd edition D&D can actually simulate… But still, having those big walls of numbers does serve an illustrative purpose, showing how strong such entities are. Just… You kinda don’t need more than one example “This is what a Lord of the Nine looks like, you can’t fight him” statblock.
Anyhow I haven’t read the supplement in over a decade but I seem to remember it being pretty well realised overall, with plenty of lore detailing all the layers of Hell and it’s hierarchies. And they promised on the site that they were still developing chaotic and neutral evil supplements, and a good aligned supplement. I saw no page for the NE stuff, so my young, awkward ass plucked up the courage to write a stat block for the weakest yugoloth (neutral evil equivalent to demons and devils) sign in, post it and write a post on my intent to work my way up on those.
The immediate reply was a moderator making a bunch of condescending remarks then locking the thread.
For some bizzare reason I didn’t immediately leave, but talked to the regulars there (but not the actual people working on stuff, turned out they had private invisible forums) and eventually settled into years of shitposting. You know those really young shitposters you get floating around sometimes who don’t really know how to be funny on the internet yet? That was me, I ended up using that forum as a testing bed for my sense of humor for years, somehow never getting banned for it despite being an annoying unfunny little shit.
What I didn’t know though, was that the forum was already dead. Behind the scenes they were trying to do too many projects at once instead of focusing like they did for Gates. So they dragged on like that for years, occasionally promising content would come “soon”… And then 4th edition D&D came out in 2009. That was my first fandom apocalpyse. It wasn’t -quite- as bad as Age of Sigmar happening, but it still tore the D&D community to shreds for a while. The impact on the little forum I was on was immediate, with half the Dev team jumping ship because they only cared about 4th now, half of them staying but demoralised that their projects would no longer be compatible with the current edition of the game.
It was then that I realised that they were never going to release Horrors of the Abyss, A Light from On High or the unnamed Neutral Evil project that mod had assured me they had handled behind the scenes and didn’t need me for. The forum actually still exists, but has crashed and been rehosted about 3-4 times and has about as much activity as you’d expect for a “community” that now only really exists to host Gates. I kept shitposting a while longer, then moved on to my comic book forum phase.
Takumi: Thank you very much for talking with me Kaoru! We’ve known each other since I started holding guitarist parties.
Kaoru: Yeah. Nice to see you again.
Takumi: I’ve been really wanting to visit the studio in which you guys (Dir en grey) do your pre-production, and learn things like how your heavy sound comes to be. What kind of work do you do in this studio?
Kaoru: I work here from the first stage of song production. The other members make demos at home and then we gather in this studio with them. Each persons demo will often just have one riff, one lyrics verse, or just one idea, etc so firstly we listen to all of them together and then decide which ones we’re going to take to the pre-production stage. From there we do arrangements and pre-production together here.