Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Shiv & Lemon

Yesterday I had lunch with His Holy Fishness and spent a good part of the afternoon hanging out with him and Thugglife Chris at their place of employment. And I'm pretty sure I'll never be invited to do that ever again. Also, it is clear to me that, while they think I am the crazy one, the reality is that they just fail to see the incredible brilliance of my idea.

I'm hanging out in the store talking small gamer talk (ok listening. Truthfully I had no fucking idea what they were talking about) and wound up somehow having two items in my hands: A Nerf-like lemon thingy from Jamba Juice and one of those little metal hook-like hanging-thingies you put on the wall and hang shit from when you want to display it (Fish is currently shaking his head at my extremely articulate description of this. But you all knew what I was talking about right?).

And being that I'm hanging out in a video game store, as well as the fact that I'm a jackass, I randomly start slashing at things with my display hook. Which I've now begun to imagine is some type of shiv. After a particularly vicious slice to Thugglife's chest, I remember my "lemon" and say "Oh hey, wouldn't it suck if I had actually cut you? and then squeezed some lemon juice into it with my real lemon? If I had one? Boy that would be totally mean."

That was when it hit me, and what hit me is this: Wouldn't that be an awesome video game? Your character slashes people in battle, pretty bad alone, but then he squeezes some lemon juice in the open wound? I mean, that's just brutal. Did you ever get some lemon juice in a cut? That shit hurts! Why simply cut your enemy when you also pour citric acid in the wound? Man , I am so brilliant.

I run this great discovery by Fish and Thugglife. Their identical reaction being to stare fixedly at me and blink. But no matter, I'm on a roll now.

The patented move in the game is this spin move, see. You spin around so that you lead with your slasher hand, cutting your enemy, and then the spin carries you through for the follow through with the lemon squeeze. I twirled around the store in demonstration* of the beauty of this move. "and I even know what I'm going to call it," I announced. "It's great. I'm going to call it Shiv & Lemon."

"That is never going to sell," announced Fish in his Retail Voice of Authority. "Never. You're better off with your original idea." The original idea he was referring to was my first attempt at video game concept generation, a game I tentatively titled "Kill Things and Take Pictures". The inspiration of this was my horror at a story Fish told me. Apparently, back when he was the Ubernerd, he once was playing Everquest and killed the same frog over and over again for 12 and a half hours. That's real time folks. His motivation? It had a pretty earring, and Fish wanted his character to have the pretty earring, and to get it he had to sit there for over 12 hours repeatedly killing a frog. And, living in reality (or rather next door) as I do, I found that to be...a tad excessive. As in, when I want an earring I got to the store and buy one. I don't massacre tiny reptiles just so I can look pretty. But apparently, in Everquest, that is what you do. And it seemed, I don't know, fruity? that boys were bludgeoning things to death for charms and body glitter. So I was trying to think up another reward system for all that brutality. And what I came up with is, every character has a little camera, and when you maul something to death, you get to take a picture. Then you can show it off online to all your other reality challenged fantasy gaming friends and prove what a manly stud you are. At the time Fish insisted that that was the dumbest gaming idea ever, but now he had cast his previous disdain onto Shiv & Lemon.

"No," I insisted, "You don't understand. It will have a cult following. It will be bought by people like me just because they think the title is funny. I mean, c'mon, Shiv & Lemon! And what will happen then is, they will like the game so much, they will tell others, and they will like it, and tell more people, and suddenly it will be flying off the shelves. You won't be able to keep them in stock. AND THEN, after Shiv & Lemon is such a big hit, then I will release Kill Things and Take Pictures. I'll get James Earl Jones to voice the commercials. Like this (in my best girl-trying-to-sound-like James-Earl-Jones-voice), 'From the makers of Shiv & Lemon (long dramatic pause) comes Kill Things (shorter, but equally dramatic pause) and Take Pictures'. Oh, this is so going to rock."

"No, it's really not. No one is going to buy that, I'm telling you. No one." Fish, obviously just jealous that I thought of it first, continued to try raining on my parade, with Thugglife Chris standing behind him nodding in hardcore agreement.

They refused to understand, and also refused to let me go get a second opinion at Best Buy. I refused to shut up about it, and also refused to stop running around the store like an ADHD toddler.

Shiv & Lemon people. I am telling you. It's genius.

*Yes there were customers in the store. Yes, I asked them if they thought Shiv & Lemon was the greatest idea ever. Yes, they left quickly without buying anything.


sean said...

this begs for Flash development


TheJesusFish said...

Hey now, I was compassionately explaining to you why no one was going to buy your game. You make it sound like I was just tearing your game to pieces.

Which would have proven difficult as your game didn't consist of a whole lot to tear up.

As for the Everquest stuff...
Yeah, I was a hardcore nerd once.


Soulfire said...

Take comfort in the fact that geniuses are often misunderstood and ahead of their time. If Van Gogh had thought to cut off his ear and then squeezed a bit of lemon on it in public, he would've been a household name in his time.

amberance said...

Sean - I was thinking the same thing as I wrote this. My friend JoE draws some wicked bad flash, I was going to pretend it was good and ask him to di it.

Fish - You're not understanding this. It's SHIV & LEMON. How could that not sell? Look, all the other games out there you just cut stuff up. In this one you cut stuff up AND THEN squeeze lemon juice into the cut. We'll see who's the dummy when Best Buy is my exclusive distributor.

Soulfire - I knew you would understand. It's all about the lemon. Lemon is the key.

Hot Heather said...

i love you!! you kick soo much ass. and i'm glad you decided to spend your 4th at a video game store instead of asking what i was up to and hanging out at my house... oh wait... jim's there, that's why... damn

amberance said...

I love you too! When are you sleeping over? Who's going to use all that shampoo you left at my house if you don't?

Hot Heather said...

soon i hope... i should be having a lot more free time sooner than later at this point! call me and we'll make plans. lots o love!

swishyclang said...

SHIV AND LEMON: I need this in my life.

That is all.