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Old Man Murray Vets To Make Portal Funny

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-miss-the-old-man dept.

49

Via Joystiq, an article at the GameInformer site generally about Valve's upcoming plans for Half-Life, Team Fortress, and Portal. In that article, they mention that some of the writing for Portal is being handled by veterans from the Old Man Murray site. From the article: "When you have that style of game it could just be very stale and very dry. It's just puzzle solving and you could put in a little techno music in the background and leave it at that. But we thought it would be much more interesting if we introduced this idea of the narrator. The original idea came from the training room in Half-Life 1 where you had that voice that was talking to you and whatnot. She was a little bit cynical, but not nearly as so as the voice in Portal. The writing for that is being done by Chet [Faliszek] and Erik [Wolpaw] who used to be Old Man Murray. They're at Valve now and one of their first projects they've been tasked with is to do the writing for Portal. So if you were a fan of Old Man Murray you're going to be a fan of that voice in Portal because it's the same wry cynicism."

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49 comments

I'll Bite (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016362)

Who is Old Man Murray? Please, I want a human answer, not Google.

Re:I'll Bite (3, Informative)

brunokummel (664267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016377)

How about wiki?? [wikipedia.org]

Re:I'll Bite (2, Interesting)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016570)

How about wiki??

You should have just said 'RTFWA'

It should no longer be acceptable, in this day and age, for people to ask questions that are answered in a wikipedia article for that particular subject.

Re:I'll Bite (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016687)

If people don't ask simple questions that are easily answered with a simple Google or Wikipedia search, how will anyone else whore karma on Slashdot? Cut and paste the article text into the comments section? The very idea is absurd!

Please...think of the karma whores.

Re:I'll Bite (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017460)

I guess I was just looking for personal opinions.

Thanks for the links everybody, and the instant surmise of clear retardation; I guess it's much easier to paste a few hrefs into a box than to string a few sentences together expressing ones own understanding.

\flameoff

Re:I'll Bite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16020064)

I guess I was just looking for personal opinions.

In that case, you should have said "What do people think of Old Man Murray" not "Who is Old Man Murray?".

Re:I'll Bite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16020147)

Yeah. Is it good, or is it whack?

/stupid meme off

Re:I'll Bite (1)

nazsco (695026) | more than 7 years ago | (#16021655)

> It should no longer be acceptable, in this day and age, for people to ask questions that are answered in a wikipedia article for that particular subject.

go read google news then, troll.

the 1st comment was an obvious critic to the editor. it's the most hermetic reference i've ever seen. and a two word description in the news body wouldn't have hurt.

If you're fine with weak news, accept weak comments (specialy if you don't get them ;)

Re:I'll Bite (5, Informative)

jqh1 (212455) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016414)

Re:I'll Bite (2, Informative)

Bigboote66 (166717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016457)

Or you could really go nuts & try http://oldmanmurray.com/ [oldmanmurray.com]

-BbT

Re:I'll Bite (1)

jqh1 (212455) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016544)

heh, yeah. After a few years of repeatedly trying the URL to no avail, you give up, you move on.

BTW - read the "news" section from front to back.

Re:I'll Bite (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017920)

You didn't happen to be a forum member, did you? We moved to and built caltrops.com after Chet axed the ones at OMM - love to see you there if you missed the jump. A bunch of old members (not to mention Chet and Erik) also kick around quartertothree.com.

Re:I'll Bite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016454)

Why do you deserve a human answer? Get off your fat butt and learn to look things up. All you wanted was a cheap first post.

Re:I'll Bite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016629)

Who is Old Man Murray?
Please go on.

Please, I want a human answer, not Google.
Why do you want a human answer not google?

Re:I'll Bite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016682)

Old Man Murray is/was a website (at oldmanmurray.com) which mostly did video game reviews in a cynical, sarcastic, and brutally honest style. They became semi-famous for developing a "Start-to-Crate" system for evaluating games- the time from the start of the game to when the player encounters the first crate (or barrel, round cousin to the crate), in the belief that at that point, the game's developers gave up. (This seems to have been spurred on by a crop of weak FPS games which all decided that forcing the player to clumsily move and stack boxes to form a staircase counted as adding a "puzzle element" to gameplay).

My favorite, though was their response to 9/11, a cathartic account of a video game hockey contest involving Canada (filling in for a grieving, and less talented at hockey USA) stomping Kazakhstan (the only Islamic-sounding country available in the game) to the tune of 198-1, in a game where Canada's goalie was replaced by an invincible Jason Voorhees, of Friday the 13th fame, and Kazakhstan's by Noam Chomsky. Soon after, however, their site became moribund, and I don't think they updated anything from 2002 onward. The move to Valve isn't a huge surprise- Half-Life was one of the few games they reviewed positively.

[Insert post about how *blank* is not funny] (0)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016363)

[A rant about how everything sucks.]

Re:[Insert post about how *blank* is not funny] (2)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016850)

You'll be eating your words once they introduce Team Fortress 2: Fat Chicks in Party Hats

w00t! (5, Informative)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016371)

OMM was 10lbs of awesome stuffed into a 5lb sack.

Allow me to present Exhibit A: http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/39.html [oldmanmurray.com]


erik: Die Hard Trilogy 2 just keeps getting better. It defies logic.
Chet: I can't believe it's so much better than Doom.
erik: Science is not about your feelings.


Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

Re:w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016731)

Funny, but I like this one better:

Chet: I didn't think we'd ever find the crates.
erik: I knew we would because I believe in myself. I'm high on life. I'm so high on life, I shouldn't be allowed to drive, if I wasn't already not allowed to drive for other reasons.
Chet: Me too. What about you Kevin?
Kevin: I'm high on heroin.
erik: Is that like hugs?
Kevin: Kind of, but you're being hugged from the inside. Imagine being high on life, except you're actually high. And unlike life, you don't die at the end. Usually.

Re:w00t! (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017185)

It's amazing to me that this is a six year old article, and yet I knew exactly which one it was from the quote you pulled. It's still damn funny.

Re:w00t! (1)

pchan- (118053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017383)

All I can say is SWEET.

I hope there are minigames like Alien vs. Child Predator or that you get to play Mayor Haggar on a mission from the devil.

I can see it now:
"Oh, a sewer level. I guess this is the point where the developers said 'fuck it, I'm out of ideas. Let's just have you go through a sewer.'"

Re:w00t! (1)

sskang (567081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16021928)

So I went to check out this site, and in there I found this gem:

Attack that, and Uncle Sam's gonna plant his submarine-lauched-missile-shaped foot up Ganesh's giant elephant ass so hard it'll make this last attack on the World Trade Center look like the first time you Arab idiots bombed it.

So he's can't tell an Indian from an Arab from a Muslim from a Hindu from a hole in the ground. But that's ok, because bigots need to grieve too. When he's not in the throes of nationalistic (-white) symbolic pain, I'm sure he's really a lovely and funny guy.

Nice article about crates though.

(For the record, I only fit one of those above listed categories, up to you guys who care to work out which one)

Re:w00t! (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16022008)

(a) in the same article he states "Gaming has effectively turned me into a mummy - a motionless,dessicated South American mummy like you'd see on Nova, though, not the Egyptian kind that can climb walls and punch a hole through your chest."

(b) sometimes on humor sites the webmasters will write articles that consists of several jokes [wikipedia.org] . It might be edifying for you to further research this phenomenon.

Re:w00t! (1)

sskang (567081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16023588)

Oh thank you, I feel edified. I now understand how ignorance becomes funny when it is published on a gaming jokes website.

Re:w00t! (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16024730)

Glad to help. I'll do whatever I can to help those trying to overcome their crippling lack of a sense of humor. Keep reaching for the stars, sskang!

Re:w00t! (1)

sskang (567081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027696)

Excellent, then as your pupil I hope engage your services one last time. Does it count as humour to suggest that US civil engineers and architects come up with buildings with integrated AWACS and wheels? I shall consider your reply part of my ongoing education.

Re:w00t! (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027735)

I guess that would depend whether your intent was to amuse. If so, welcome to lafftown, population: YOU! If you were serious, then you're an idiot. Humor can be a wily foe!

Re:w00t! (1)

sskang (567081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027762)

Shame. would it have helped if I had placed the comment on an Arab gaming joke site?

Re:w00t! (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16027874)

Probably. See, that's the trick: sometimes things that are offensive when said seriously can be funny when they're phrased in joke form. Or rather, they can be to people who aren't too busy being self-righteously indignant for no discernable reason.

Re:w00t! (1)

sskang (567081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16028004)

Well I'm taking away a different lesson - when a gentleman with a proven track record of making adolescent jokes about people's ethnicity like "Jewy Jewenstein", happens to make one that only appears, we must assume, to stem from ignorance, well then that's funny. On the other hand, when an unknown person from another country makes a joke about a landmark tragedy in a foreign country without a previous record of doing so, then that's not funny. I suppose the moral of the story is to develop a reputation for making such jokes so that people get over their initial discomfort and begin to laugh from the familiarity. A sort of humor by attrition, if you will.

Truly I have learned something today. This has been very useful. Thanks Mr. Bunions.

Re:w00t! (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16029916)

> On the other hand, when an unknown person from another country makes a joke about a landmark tragedy in a foreign country without a previous record of doing so, then that's not funny.

I don't think that's true at all.

But hey, don't let me get in the way of your misplaced feelings of self-righteous indignation.

Can you turn it off? (1)

BlahMatt (931052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016388)

Could be interesting. But there better be an option to turn that voice off. I can see it getting really irritating, really fast.

Crates! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016429)

I wonder how Portal will do on the Time To Crate game ranking system?

Re:Crates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016632)

best. rankings. ever.

Re:Crates! (3, Insightful)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016756)

*I* wonder how many times the narrator is going to call me a fag.

Re:Crates! (1)

hakoMike (696355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016802)

That comment shows the best historical knowledge of OMM of any here so far.

Gooder and gooder (1)

stinkbomb (238228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016521)

Wow. This game just keeps getting gooder and gooderer. I'm excited.

lol (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16016537)

old man murray = niggers.

Sarcastic Narrator? That's (not) new (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016710)

Somewhere all the disembodied narrators of Infocom games of the past just heaved a collective sigh. It's also been done recently. The narrator/character banter in the most recent Bard's Tale was also pretty good. Not sure if I'm all that jazzed about this.

Re:Sarcastic Narrator? That's (not) new (1)

Frac (27516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16016905)

Somewhere all the disembodied narrators of Infocom games of the past just heaved a collective sigh. It's also been done recently. The narrator/character banter in the most recent Bard's Tale was also pretty good. Not sure if I'm all that jazzed about this.

We're excited because we're big fans of Old Man Murrary, and we're happy to see Chet and Erik putting their writing talents behind a game. We don't care whether sarcastic narration is ground breaking for not, but thanks for your "this isn't new, this is nothing special" comment, Cranky McKilljoy.

Umm, no. (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017330)

I wasted 30 minutes of my life on the new Bard's Tale. It thought it was *far* more funny than it actually was, and the cutscenes took far too much time to go through (and didn't have an obivous way to skip forward while acquiring the content through textual subtitles). I have very little time to spend on gaming, so I *really* don't appreciate it when those games I do play waste my time. (Well, waste my time without providing the expected level of entertainment in return).

That said -- if I'm looking for good writing in a game, I tend to play modern IF. (Varicella, Blue Chairs, Spider and Web, etc)

Jumping on the bandwangon (1)

geekwithsoul (860466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017141)

of including sarcastic narration, 3D Realms will be announcing that Duke Nukem Forever will include narration by the crew from MST3K!

Re:Jumping on the bandwangon (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017761)

Wow! Now they have those guys and the guys who wrote the Ash movies working for them!

Oh, baby! I can't wait!

You will never be the crate master! (1)

DudemanX (44606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017280)

CRATE-O-WUSS!

From the people who brought you cut scenes (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017396)

Now, from the people who brought you the Long Cut Scene - the Sarcastic Narrator.

This could get old really fast. Especially if you have to listen to the same narration every time.

Re:From the people who brought you cut scenes (0, Troll)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16017827)

Ignore the parent: as usual, they're being a real pantload.

Re:From the people who brought you cut scenes (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16030872)

Aw, c'mon. You've never played the 'Space Quest' games? :)

The voice is funny already! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16018348)

If at first you don't succeed, you fail.

Psychonauts (1)

robson (60067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16021951)

Erik Wolpaw also co-wrote Double Fine's Psychonauts [psychonauts.com] , and won a Game Developers Choice Award [gamespy.com] for that effort.
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