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Thursday, June 18, 1998

It's another good week for new products! We've added 3 new items to the Gift Shop: First, Forgotten Lives, an Over the Edge role-playing book with an adventure by our own Keith Baker, second, a line of stickers, including 3 new Aquarius stickers, and third, buttons that say "How's it Going to End?"

As if that weren't enough, Ginohn put up two new recipes, and some more Haiku Movie Reviews, and a game (scarfbarf). Lori added a face to the Milk Carton, Number 12 added two new stories to "Waiting For The Dawn", and just to show you all how much work went into the project, I've put up the working script for Right to the Bottom. Also, I've started up the Aquarius FAQ file, and there's a new link on the Fluxx links page. Not to mention chapter 38.

Among a million other things I'm doing, I started working this week on creating something new called Virtual Gina. To explain: Back in the days when I was doing game software for Magnet Interactive Studios, I had the privilege of working with World Famous Game Designer Paul Murphy. This curmudgeonly fellow was beloved by everyone in our division, and when he moved onto greener pastures, those of us left behind missed him. So with some help from Bondi (who animated Paul using an old photo) and Ben (who had Paul record a bunch of his popular sayings as Macintosh system alerts on his last day) I created a life-like simulation, using my 3DO development system. Each morning Paul would appear on a TV at my desk. Everyone on the wing was already used to looking at this TV set, since they'd been playtesting Icebreaker levels on it throughout the previous year, so when Paul started appearing on the TV, it sort of seemed like he wasn't really gone - he'd just moved closer to my desk. He'd look around the room, tilt his head this way and that, blink now and then, and occasionally even say something, like "Bite me," or "Go Away or I'll Kill you". I had the 3DO controller hooked up to it so that you could talk to Paul and then push a button and he'd reply to you, and it became very popular. People were always stopping by to see Virtual Paul. He was so popular that Pat ported him to Windows '95, Bondi did artwork for a special Christmas version, and I made videotapes of Virtual Paul for people who wanted to be able to bring him into their living rooms. I think Virtual Paul was more popular than Actual Paul. (Sorry, Paul.)

Anyway, we decided it would be fun to create a new version of Virtual Paul, except with Gina and Lori as the focus. So, this week I shot film of Gina and recorded her catch phrases, and this weekend I hope to begin putting it all together. I see by our Deadline Clock that Origins is now just 2 weeks away, but I'm hoping to get both Virtual Gina and Virtual Lori created in time for the event. We'll see how it goes.

That's all for now. Enjoy Life!

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