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JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULD NOT POSSIBLY GET ANY WEIRDER [Author: lum]

It all started when I went into the #dawn chatroom over at Stratics on a whim. I had heard that the Glitchless folks were present and, um, none too happy with the coverage their site had recieved lately (can’t imagine why) so I figured I’d, you know, talk to them about it. The helpful Stratics folks +v’d me when I arrived to confirm that yes, I was that EVIL LUM PERSON, and immediately thereafter Jeff Friedman, Glitchless’ most visible representative on the net, arrived in the chatroom.

[l33t_McClown> hola jeff hows it going tonight, How was school?

[GL-Jeff> school was great, we had a pop quiz in pre-algebra tho and i dont know if i passed

[GL-Jeff> anyway basically i wanted to congratulate the l337 hackers for exploiting our UBB…which is about the equivalent of netbussing your grandmother.

[GL-Jeff> we’ll have them back in working order shortly. honestly we don’t mind attempts at security like that as long as they are non-threatening. we like to know where the weaknesses are.

[GL-Jeff> And Glitchless will be moving to a commercial headquarters soon, which is obviously what every company needs in order to be legitamate.

Since the channel was thrown into moderated mode, Jeff and I were effectively the only ones who could speak. I decided to, um, take advantage of this situation. Basically, I wanted to find out for myself if “Glitchless Jeff” was a con artist seeing the MMOG community as a great place to sell T-Shirts and ad banner impressions, or simply someone who had no clue.

The ensuing conversation was humorous at times, sad at other times. Jeff questioned my integrity, my knowledge of the gaming industry, and what I did for a living (at one time he implied that since I “just did data entry” I had no clue what managing a coding project would entail). Here’s some excerpts.

[00:14] [GL-Jeff> see lum, you are a parasite.

[00:14] [GL-Jeff> we are making a game.

[00:14] [GL-Jeff> we’re not asking for anything

[00:14] [GL-Jeff> except for people to test it for free.

[00:14] [GL-Jeff> you on the other hand

[00:15] [GL-Jeff> have a site who’s sole purpose is to generate revenue via web hits caused by controversy.

[00:15] [GL-Jeff> and you have a whole lot of sheep that eat up what you say.

[00:17] [GL-Jeff> yes we’re spending a lot of time and money on our eleborate hoax are we not?

[00:17] [GL-Jeff> unlike you we actually registered the names we claim to have trademarks for

[00:18] [Lum> It’d be hard for me to trademark “Lum the Mad”. TSR beat me to it, the rascals.

[00:18] [GL-Jeff> actually i was referring the the lumcopr that has the fancy TM after it which indicates a trademark

[00:18] [Lum> Jeff… that’s HUMOR.

[00:18] [Lum> You know, satire.

[00:18] [Lum> Jokes.

[00:19] [GL-Jeff> no you lost me

[00:19] [Lum> LumCorp is not really a huge multinational congolmerate owned by Time Warner. Honest.

[00:19] [GL-Jeff> really? i had no idea

[00:19] [GL-Jeff> but you do realize the TM after lumcorp means something official

[00:19] [Lum> Yes, it means I used the “TM” tag in HTML

[00:20] [GL-Jeff> see i could explain to you in detail HOW, but don’t you think that might give our competition a little edge?

[00:20] [Lum> How do you seriously plan to carry off coding an MMOG with features above everything else coming out, with one coder and 5 artists?

[00:21] [GL-Jeff> i’m glad you asked

[00:21] [GL-Jeff> basically what it comes down to is that you are not a developer

[00:21] [Lum> Actually, I am. But thanks for asking.

[00:21] [GL-Jeff> you dont know what it takes to make a video game

[00:21] [GL-Jeff> oh you made a VB rpg when you were in highschool too?

[00:21] [Lum> No, I code terabyte-scale database applications in my day job.

[00:21] [Lum> So I do have something of a clue about how large-scale coding projects work.

[00:22] [Lum> Which is why I’m curious how you’re going to pull this off.

[00:25] [Pizza_Guy> SOMEBODY SHUT THIS FUCKING PRICK UP ALREADY!! im tired of lums shit!! THESE ARE REAL FUCKING LIVES HES MESSING WITH

[00:25] [Pizza_Guy> A FUCKING COMPANY IS AT STEAK

[00:40] [Lum> You’re saying you’ve made a very ambitious MMORPG about to enter beta. I’m asking how with so little visible support.

[00:40] [GL-Jeff> the point is video games have become incredibly easy to create through the use of advanced API’s. Carmack had it so incredibly hard making doom and quake because he didn’t have these things (for the original version of quake) to work with.

[00:41] [Lum> You have an MMORPG API?

[00:41] [GL-Jeff> what is an mmorpg?

[00:41] [GL-Jeff> its a quake type game with advance netcode

[00:41] [GL-Jeff> well you’re the expert with data entry under your belt right

[00:42] [Lum> Data entry?

[00:42] [Lum> Um, no.

[00:42] [GL-Jeff> what do you do now lum?

[00:42] [Lum> I told you, I code databases.

[00:42] [Lum> But we’re not discussing me. You were telling me all MMORPGs were were Quake with spiffy netcode.

[00:43] [GL-Jeff> but you see this involves your credentials because you are making claims that you know what i say to be false.

[00:43] [Lum> You want credentials? What credentials do I need to ask “How are you going to pull this off with one guy”?

[00:44] [GL-Jeff> what it all boils down to in the end is what i’ve said time and time again

[00:45] [GL-Jeff> we’re going to make a game. you dont understand how we’re going to make it. you want to know how we’re going to make it. we obviously won’t tell you that.

[00:45] [Lum> I don’t want to know how you’ll make it, I want to know IF you can make it.

[00:45] [GL-Jeff> and only time will tell

[00:46] [Lum> Surely you understand how there is some doubt of that.

[00:46] [Lum> Making MMORPGs does not mean simply coding around a mythical MMORPG API

[00:46] [GL-Jeff> and i’m not asking you to believe we can do it! i’m just saying shut the hell up and leave us alone so that we can.

[00:49] [GL-Jeff> and i’ve told you, ALL of your questions will be answered in spring. that is the only way either of us are going to know whether or not the game is do-able.

[00:49] [Lum> Then come Spring obviously many people will be very surprised, if you’re correct.

[00:50] [GL-Jeff> its not as if we disagree on that point

[00:50] [Lum> And with that, since you obviously don’t care for me personally, I’ll leave you to your chatroom.

[00:50] *** Lum (Lum@sdn-ar-004mdelkrP048.dialsprint.net) Quit (Quit: Leaving)

[00:51] [GL-Jeff> i should like you though shouldnt i?

[00:51] [GL-Jeff> i mean all you’ve done is ask serious questions right?

[00:51] [GL-Jeff> you have no alterior motives of inciting contorversy right?

[00:51] [GL-Jeff> you dont run a rant site or anything right?

[00:52] [GL-Jeff> i wish he didnt have to go

[00:52] [GL-Jeff> well that was fun

I had originally told Jeff during the chat that I wasn’t logging it since I was using Stratics’ Java IRC client — however, quite a few others DID log it, and shortly excerpts began showing up in various places, including DawnHQ, one of the main Dawn fansites.

This apparently didn’t make Jeff a happy camper. After the first DawnHQ post about the chat went up (which actually was very pro-Glitchless in its intent), Jeff wrote Brisk, DawnHQ’s webmaster, the following note:

Your VERY unprofessional you would NEVER see a post like that on Stratics or IGN. If you do not change your ways I will remove your link from our main site.

He did in fact shortly thereafter remove the DawnHQ link from glitchless.com’s site. According to sources at Vault Network, he’s also tried to get folks “fired” from their Horizons site (!) as well for making sarcastic posts about Dawn in the Horizons forums.

Brisk, now somewhat unhappy with Glitchless for some reason, posted another excerpt from my chat with Jeff, this time being far more critical of Dawn and Glitchless. In response, Jeff sent the following note to Brisk’s host, the HQ Gaming network:

This is a friendly request from Glitchless, the makers of Dawn, to remove completely your page concerning our title. We at first supported your effort in full and linked you from our main page, but the people who run the DawnHQ site have shown repeatedly that their only interests lay in stirring up controversy which in the long run does not help your network nor our company. At the very least you will be required to remove all Dawn media from the page. This includes all pictures and game statistics.

We wish your network the best of luck, but we are not in a position to allow the use of our copyrighted media for a site whose interests are not in accord with ours.

-Glitchless Staff

Meanwhile, the faithful continue to be, well, faithful. As one told Delusion during my chat with Jeff,

us true believers dont have to believe or be led to believe what the non-believers are trying to make us think