WELL. YOU FUCKIN DID IT.
I thought I was done. I was going soft in my old age. I saw a couple of Kickstarters that looked pretty good. I even, for a brief moment, considered backing one.
I know, I know. And now this is my punishment. I have tempted the crowdfunding gods, and I have to accept my fate: I live in a world in which international treasure Richard Dawkins put his name on a shitty video game Kickstarter project. I’m so pissed I wanna spit.
This unholy abomination by Gordon Douglas Ross looks so insultingly bad, I had to seriously consider that it might be a joke. First of all, it’s called Richard Dawkins: Evolution. Look, I get that he’s a prominent figure and has spent his life studying this shit, but he can’t honestly think that it should be his name that gets tacked on to the word Evolution like he invented it. Or that it’s his particular brand of evolution. If anything, I imagine even he’d concede that it should be Charles Darwin’s name on it. I can’t help but feel like this game is heavily relying on Dr. Dawkins’s name to get some recognition, which begs the question: WHAT ARE YOU GETTING OUT OF THIS, RICHARD?
If he was shown any of this footage ahead of time, I feel like he would have questions. The same questions I have.
- Could you maybe produce a better title screen? This just looks like plain green text shrinking a gameplay screen.
- Why is this game running at 10 frames a second?
- Why does this look like something a teenager could toss together in a day with purchased assets?
- Okay, but if it’s just alpha and the art is temp, seriously why is it running so poorly? Are you running this on a Voodoo 3? (Kids, ask your parents.)
Okay, Why Are You Capitalizing Every Word in the Sentence Like a Title? Also, if that is a Charles Darwin reference, I’m gonna slap the shit out of you. This game is called Richard Dawkins: Evolution, and Darwin gets called fucking Charlie? Fuck. You.
Hold the fucking phone. This is a game about finding aliens?
You know what, why did I not even question the fact that we’re on a spaceship until now? This is a game about evolution – A THING THAT HAPPENED ON EARTH. A THING THAT WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE HAS HAPPENED ON ANY OTHER PLANET. If this is meant to be educational, it’s already fucking the pooch so hard that I feel bad for it. Poor pooch.
Seriously though, I get that it’s entirely possible – you could even argue likely – that living beings have evolved elsewhere in the universe. But why not set your game where we know how it happened? Going to space just feels like it was done to give it more whimsy, not because it helped explain or demonstrate anything. It feels like Gordon Dougie Fresh read one too many articles about No Man’s Sky hype and thought oh shit, the kids really dig space right now. Why don’t you find Sean Murray’s armored bunker and go ask him if he thinks that’s a good idea.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS GAME? Where is the evolution? So far we’ve discovered life on an alien planet and now our spaceship is fucked. How is any of this needed for a game about fucking evolution? Are you telling me that this is a very narratively driven game? That it’s not just a simulation, we’re telling the story of Spaceman Albie who crash landed on an alien planet and had to understand the intricacies of natural selection in order to survive? Bullshit.
I don’t think there’s any fucking selection going on here. This planet looks less habitable than Mars.
“Excuse me, Dr. Dawkins, we need to give you a title. I know you’re a famous scientist, author, etc., but right now – well right now, I just need you to be the Science Director for a video game.”
“If you could actually simulate an organism… it uses the power of the computer to explain something deeply important.”
To make sure this quote was followed by something deeply important to explain, we’re again treated to an ATMOSPHERE CRITICAL warning and Spaceman Albie running away from excessive bloom that I wish my eyes could have run away from, followed by some space cockroaches.
Okay, so let’s talk about this happening real quick. If you’re supposed to learn about evolution, fine you can gamify that. If you’re supposed to learn about natural selection, then the whole thing would be as interactive as a kinematic visual novel, in which you do not affect anything as a player. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be natural selection. But all that aside, life being exterminated is just part of evolution by natural selection. It’s not a failure state, it’s the system working as intended, weeding out those that don’t adapt adequately. So exactly what part of this is a game? What do you even do other than discover aliens, run away from lighting effects, and watch things die? Hm, that might actually sound like a complete game to some people.
Okay, you have a bunch of bugs in tanks. Are you “evolving” them? What the fuck? Learning about evolution means observing them in the wild, so why are you capturing them and blowing bubbles in their faces?
“The computer world that you’re playing in is somehow available to lots of different players around the world through the Internet.”
Dawkins talks about video games like they ARE science fiction. And again, that’s fine, but A) it goes to show how little he is connected to games, and how Douggle Bear explained it to him in a way that made it seem like a magical new idea, and B) why put that quote in your video if you know how out of touch it sounds? Aren’t you the video game guy? You’re gonna make the video games with the hip indie game engines (yeah, I saw you, default Unity UI).
“The community will be able to effectively afford to host a million organisms at once.”
G.D. Ross wildly gesticulates the figure “a million” in this barely-a-sentence brag that sounds like it’s coming from someone equally ignorant of the current state of video games. Sorry, No Man’s Sky had 18 quintillion planets. You’re bragging about a million organisms. Can’t wait to see your plans for world domination when you hold the planet hostage for thousands of dollars, Dr. Evil.
“The bigger the community, basically the more competition.”
Wait, you’re competing against other players? For what? Who can evolve more? How would that even work? In order to compete, you would have to have some kind of control over your creatures. And I don’t know if you’ve actually ever talked about evolution to the famous scientist you’re sitting with, but that’s not evolution.
I’m just so mad. He must have been shown some kind of footage or demo of the game. He must have been told that it’s normal for your 100-poly character to cause framerate dips this early in development. Games always look like trash and hardly run at all and don’t display any kind of features whatsoever when you launch your Kickstarter campaign. Everything is fine.
And that was just the video. Let’s explore the text.
“Richard Dawkins: Evolution is a ground breaking video game project created in collaboration with award winning Game Director: Gordon Douglas Ross.”
“FASHION STORY, is a AAA video game franchise project with a budget of $5M USD split 50/50 between production and brand marketing. The game is a high production value narrative led adventure through the world of celebrity and high fashion.”
Translation: this game does not exist.
“STARS Ltd is a start-up company based in Dundee focusing on mobile game development and publishing. They are developing 4 separate game IPs and 4 game engines to create an initial 16 games. The cross of the different engines with the different IP creates an efficient ecosystem for production and marketing”
Translation: these games don’t exist.
Okay, but hold on, just look at the language used here: “4 separate game IPs and 4 game engines to create an initial 16 games”. Alfred Gordon thinks that you create video games by multiplying your IPs by your engines. This guy legitimately knows nothing about game development. It is truly Unreal how out of touch he is with game development. That was the worst sentence I ever wrote in my life. I’m sorry.
“MyPlaneta Ltd is a start-up e-commerce platform promoting local trade on a global scale. Using Ebay style trading the company seeks marketing finance to promote the message.”
Transla- wait a god damn second, what the fuck is this doing under “The Game Director”? THIS ISN’T A GAME OR EVEN RELATED TO GAMES.
[Pictured above: Baymax looks over Hiro’s crashed ship. I guess this is from Gord Trucks’ next game, a late Pixar film tie-in.]
And that’s it. That is as close to an answer to “what games have you worked on?” as you are going to get from Gordy-Two-Shoes. (They call him that because he always buys his shoes in pairs.) Take a gander at his hilariously-blank “About” page in case you want a more thorough list of his qualifications. And I have very convincing evidence that all of his poetry was plagiarized. Seriously, this is the impression he wants to give people looking for his professional guidance. IT’S A GOD DAMN WEEBLY SITE, GORDLES.
I was able to find a Gordon Ross listing for credits in video games, but I’m not sure if it’s even the same person. And even if it is, it’s not exactly anything to write home about. Technically, the game he tested in 1997 did win an award. If that’s all it takes to be called an award-winning game director, then I am a golden god of video game development. Fuck this guy. I’m triggered. Can I say that? This is triggering me right now.
One more important note is that Bordon Ramsey promises that the game will be out THIS YEAR for PC and Mac. This game is going to take 9 months to make. In 9 months, this game will be transformed from what you see in front of you right now, to something that is worth paying for.
“”I’ve read many of his (Richard Dawkins) books over the years, including The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker…. I consider him to be one of the great scientific writer/explainers of all time.” – Bill Gates”
This is a quote about how great Richard Dawkins is. It has nothing to do with the game even a little bit. It says nothing about the quality or viability of the project. Just in case that wasn’t clear. And god damnit, Roddy, “Richard Dawkins” should be in square brackets, not parentheses. Asshole. AND why are we caring what Bill Gates has to say about Richard Dawkins? You know that Bill Gates didn’t invent the video game, right? And even if he did, he wasn’t talking about video games in this quote at all. And even if he was, it wouldn’t mean that he thought that a game about evolution was a good idea. And even if he did, it wouldn’t mean that your project specifically is a good idea. AND SO ON. Are we getting the picture here for how removed from reality this ass clown is?
“Assisted by Richard Dawkins in the form of a holographic ship mate you explore the Galaxy seeding life from one planet to another. You can splice genes from one species to another to make your own unique offspring and share them with your friends.”
Sorry, but when are you going to start talking about the game that’s about evolution? Because all I’m reading right now is a story about a panspermatic Johnny Appleseed playing god with the natural world. This is practically educational material for intelligent design. Ray Comfort is rolling over in his grave at you calling that evolution. Is Ray Comfort dead yet? ..Nope, doesn’t look like it. Damnit. He must have just rolled over in his sleep.
Sidebar: Shit, I was really convinced I made up the word panspermatic, but then I Googled it. Assholes are always ruining my originality. In case you thought I was just being dirty, look up panspermia. It was actually a super relevant word. Leave a comment below if this is the first time you’re hearing about panspermia; I’m trying to get some educational analytics so I can call myself an award-winning teacher. #THEMOREYOUKNOW
“As a player it is your job to explore, collect and describe the creatures that evolve.”
Hold. Up. I thought I was supposed to control the genetics of these creatures like some mad fucking scientist drunk on the power of altering the very DNA of other lifeforms, and competing with my friends for who can splice the biggest dicks on to our monstrosities – not some fucking librarian, cataloging every different color egg that shows up. I’m starting to doubt that this will be the whimsical literal-dick-measuring competition god simulator I was promised by the stock music and Unity Asset Store visuals.
“Risks and Challenges”
Oh come on, you just know this is going to be great.
“Prof. Richard Dawkins leads his field in Evolutionary science and as a best selling author his books have sold millions of copies world wide. Richard insists that the science can be as fun as it likes, so long as it remains true and accurate.”
Hm, yes, I see. Those are some interesting risks and challenges (I keep typing Ricks and Challenges – what is wrong with me?) I can see you’re taking this section very seriously.
“Gordon Douglas Ross started his career in Video Games 20 years ago as the Lead Quality Assurance Supervisor for the original Grand Theft Auto.”
Well, I guess that answers that question about him being the right Dorgon Boss before. It is an impressive start to a career, though, right? But the real problem, Gordo, is that you also ended there. *[ohsnap.png]*
“Gordon has produced and directed over 50 games and is responsible for the conception of products which have sold hundreds of millions of copies across the globe for companies like Disney and LEGO.”
“Responsible for the conception of products”? If he’s so proud of these products, why is he acting like the most evasive Maury guest ever?
“Are you this boy’s father?”
“…Well, I am responsible for his conception.”
You couldn’t possibly give people less of an idea of what you did on a project than that. If that doesn’t set off any alarms, then your alarms are broken. Good luck getting up for work in the morning.
[Pictured above: an Aquatic Beast (said with a Boston accent for some reason)]
“Every project comes with its own challenges, but with Richard and Gordon leading the team from the front, you can be confident they will succeed.”
Oh thank the heavens, he’s actually addressing the issue at hand: ricks and challenges. (More like Richs and- oh my fucking god, stop me) Except, wait – he’s not addressing it at all. He’s just acknowledging that some will happen and telling you to be confident in his (groan, and Richard’s) abilities.
And Gordello mold, from the fuck where does one lead a team if not the front? Are you saying you’re not a rear-leader?
“The main risks and challenges we have is that we are working with cutting edge technology suppliers and as such the technology we use is constantly in the process of being improved.”
Well, if I had to name a weakness, I’d guess it’d be that I work too hard. And I care too much. Yeah, real cutting-edge technology – a game engine anyone with 2 GB of disk space has access to, and a genetic mutation system that looks far worse than its 2008 counterpart. Have you been telling Dawkins that Will Wright doesn’t exist or something?
Then, the rewards:
“Pledge £5 or more: 1 Month Game Subscription + Early Access to the game before the official launch”
HOLD. THE FUCK. UP. You’re going to charge a subscription for this game? And no one who backs you gets permanent access?
You. Are telling me. That if I hand you £30 right now, I can only play your game for 1 year. And after that, I basically don’t own it. This is a full-blown, subscription-based MMO. Indie, subscription-based MMO. About evolution. You have to be out of your fucking mind.
This guy is asking for £50,000 (or about $68,000 in freedom bucks) to make an MMO in 9 months, and it will be a subscription-based service model so that people can pay us monthly to create the biggest in-game Tumblr of all of the living creatures in the universe and how they evolve. And because it’s Tumblr, dick-splicing will be half of it.
Everything about this project smacks of a complete charlatan feeding lies to a famous scientist about video games so that for the love of god, someone will finally pay attention to him. This is a desperate and sad project, and I’m simultaneously mad at Dawkins and feel insanely bad for him for this. On one hand, he’s not a part of the video game industry even a little bit, so of course he doesn’t know. On the other hand, how the fuck does he not know anyone who can tell him what a pile of shit this is? Perhaps one of his 1.8 million Twitter followers could have told him this. In fact, I happen to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true, because I am one of that 1.8 million. And how could I possibly be the only one? I can already hear the excuses when this project fails miserably – and I mean even if it does get funded. In fact, I think this project getting funded would be the worst thing to ever happen to Gord Art Online’s career – because then he’ll have to tell this incredibly accomplished scientist that he couldn’t, in fact, make an evolutionary simulation MMO in 9 months like he thought he could. I can’t even imagine that embarrassment, and this asshole is signing up for it willingly. I don’t know if he evolved balls of steel or if he’s homo habilis-ing it up. But either way, I’m furious at him for dragging a legitimately brilliant man down with him.
So Gordan Freemon, I’m only gonna tell you this once:
You stay the fuck away from Richard Dawkins.
Editor’s Note: Somebody posted a link to this brilliant video in the comments for the actual fucking Kickstarter page. What a god damn legend. It’s probably funnier than this post, so I’m sorry I wasted your time, but at least you can get your jollies on this video as a thank you for slugging through my garbage no question.
Wait, I have one more: Sq-Gordle. Like Squirtle? The Pokemon? Okay, it doesn’t look like much, but say it in your head. Or out loud – who are you trying to impress, anyway? Just say Sq-Gordle out loud. And I dare you not to laugh.