Thursday, June 30th, 2005

I don’t know why I didn’t see this one coming, as it seems just too
obvious now that I know about it, but it still stunned me:  The
Left Behind series of apocalyptic-trashy-fundamentalist novels is being
turned into a Real-Time Strategy game.

I’m not kidding.  At least, not as far as I know:

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 29, 2005–Fans of the Left Behind
Series books will soon be able to join the Tribulation Forces and
participate actively in the battle of good versus evil with the launch
of the real-time-strategy (RTS) title, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, the
first PC game based on the blockbuster apocalyptic series by Tim LaHaye
and Jerry B. Jenkins.

Scheduled for release between Christmas 2005 and Easter 2006, Left
Behind: Eternal Forces will put players in command of the apocalyptic
battles raging in the streets of New York City between the angelic
Tribulation Forces and the demonic Global Community Peacekeepers during
the End of Days. Gamers will participate in events from the Left Behind
book series in single player mode and battle to capture territory from
other players in the multi-player online game mode.

The Left
Behind game series will allow play in the same End of Days fictional
world as the bestselling Left Behind(R) novels, which use the
prophecies of the Book of Revelation as a framework. The first title,
Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is set in the future when the faithful
have been gathered up and ascended to Heaven during the Rapture. In the
chaos that follows, the Antichrist has taken the reigns of power at the
United Nations and is gathering the countries of the world under his
banner. But a small resistance, the Tribulation Forces, have formed to
oppose Satan’s legions.

The challenge of converting
secular/neutral units to fight on the side of light or darkness is sure
to present gamers with a deeper level of game play than in other
real-time-strategy titles. The company says the scenery will also be
the most realistic representation of New York City ever seen in a game.
Left Behind Games photographed nearly 500 blocks of the city to create
maps and 3D environments in the first title.

OK, so converting units is not exactly something new.  There are a
boatload of RTS games where you can steal unit factories and the like
from the enemies.  Stealing the units themselves is just one step
further along that path, not something that really leaps light-years
ahead in the depth-of-play category, but now I’m just being snarky.

This game is going to either be a huge hit or a huge bomb.  If it is a huge hit, I’m willing to bet that it’s not because
players are out there preaching the word to the unwashed masses – at
least, not unless “preaching the word” is somehow code for “mowing down
the heathens with the BFG,” which frankly, in today’s climate…

Someone posted this to a *group I read on LambdaMOO, and I had to respond.  Here’s what I posted:

To:      *nextgen (#42483)

Oh my.

In the waning days of my rural-bred fundamentalism, way up in the
mountains, I read the first of the “Left Behind” books, absolute
trash.  It actually contributed to my desire to escape religion

Given that the books state that values such as concern for the
environment and giving a shit about other people are bad, and anything
you can do to fuck with Satan’s Kum-Bah-Yah Kommandos – insidious
hippies who just want to get in the way of YOU saving YOUR soul, a task
you must accomplish no matter how many demon-inspired, UN-flag-clad,
egg-head False Christians try to throw themselves and their egalitarian
ideals under the bald but sacred tires of your rust-eaten ’79 Ford
F-100 (the Peeing Calvin sticker is a shield of faith, my friend) – it
should be perfect for the RTS genre.

I might have to figure out how to pirate games from the interwebs and
give it a try, ’cause I sure ain’t gonna give ’em my money.


So, this week has been busy, busy.  Things I have learned this week:

Bruce really does just flat-out hate dogs.

Bruce lives up to his name (Bruce Banner, for the Incredible Hulk) by growing to twice his size when he gets angry.

Bruce will consent to me petting him even when in such a state.

Converting 2nd Edition AD&D characters who were bards to 3.5E
D&D as Rogue/Sorcerers is a huge pain in my ass.  Why yes, I have been up until 3am two nights in a row just trying to spend skill points.  Ack.  But now I’m done.

Bruce now completely owns the doghouse left over from the previous
owners of our home.  He naps in it, hangs out in it when it gets
hot and he’s outside, generally looks upon it as entirely his.  It
was built for a much larger dog than he is cat, so it’s really like a
whole house for him, and he frequently employs it when he’s
outside.  I now get to say, officially and truthfully, that
there’s a cathouse in my yard.  Pictures forthcoming, when I have
my camera and we’re outside and I get lucky with the timing.

Paranoia Agent is a deeply disturbing show.

12 oz. Mouse is a deeply annoying show and I am glad it has no website because I would not inflict it on anyone.

Samurai Champloo is a great show, but it’s tanking in the ratings (which surprised me).

While some of the art for the new The Batman
animated series is good, I find it dissatisfying.  I should give
it another chance, I guess, but it’s just not the same without Kevin Conroy voicing Batman.

Wow, I sound real busy, don’t I? (more…)