Controversial ‘BDLA’ One Of Few Video Games To Tackle War On Terror

Take that war on terror! Although sometimes tells me the war will hardly notice:

MTV News
“I’ve had a unique perspective being American for the last 12 or 13 years, traveling the world,” he said. “I introduce myself. I say my name is American, and it used to be it didn’t matter where I went: From Japan to India to Korea to Russia people were like, ‘What a f—ing cool name. We love America.’ These days they’re like, ‘What a f—ed-up name.’ Getting that cultural temperature of the world whenever you introduce yourself to people, that tends to drive you to wonder what’s going on with America’s role in the world.”

The game is now available in the US. Enjoy!

15 thoughts on “Controversial ‘BDLA’ One Of Few Video Games To Tackle War On Terror”

  1. About the Name:

    I hava another friend from U.S.A name Tom Champion. It no doubt that not any champion is called Tom…

    Actully…it really makes me envious of you American. Because so many people will say “I love American” 🙂 hehe…

    I had seen a reply on GameSpot about the topic “B.D.L.A”. It said that American McGee should change his name to China McGee right now 🙂 Hope it’s just a joke…I love this name!
    Sounds like I LOVE THIS GAME…Or we can design a name game called “Name Crisis”…..:)

    About the Game:

    I have already checked some screenshots of “B.D.L.A.”. When I have a first look at the screenshot,the paint style drives me to a Cel-Shading movie “Waking Life” from FOX SEARCHLIGHT. Has anybody here watch this movie? I know that the “B.D.L.A.” is controversial on the world view…I wish I can played this game soon in china. And then I will tell more feeling…:)

  2. I wasn’t sure if i was going to buy Bad Day LA. After seeing some screenshots, i wasn’t sure if i wanted to download the demo either.

    But after reading that article, i think i’m gonna go straight for the full game :-). It’s always interesting (for me) to see games that pass messages (political or not).

    Have you played Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy, the name depends on your location…)? There are lots of messages in there. Most of them are hidden, or need a bit of thinking. Others come straight to your face (like the introduction narrator saying something like along the lines “My story takes place in New York, wherever else? The center of the world” (which gets enhanced if you notice that the developers are from France).

    Well, i think it’s tough to make such games, but i believe that it’s better to say what you think than keep it hidden. By adding your thoughts to your games, you give them your personal touch (and this “American McGee presents” over the title gets a meaning, beyond the marketing stuff).

    In any case, i wish you good luck with your new game :-).


  3. Yea, you sure have one f-ed up name, Mr McGee… ;P

    But now that you’ve gone to being openly political, be sure that you can defend your beliefs. You’re bound to receive tons of backlash from people now that the game is widely available. And I don’t just mean idiot trolls from the Something Awful forums (interesting how you have to pay to comment on those boards yet you can comment here for free, despite all the commercials and advertisements on SA).

    By the by, it’ll be interesting to see how games such as Ninety-Nine Nights and Jaffe’s HL will turn out, both being based upon or influenced by a post-9/11 world as well.

  4. “Getting that cultural temperature of the world whenever you introduce yourself to people, that tends to drive you to wonder what’s going on with America’s role in the world.”

    Irregardless of agreement on the politics involved, I think that attitude is folly. A widely held opinion does not make the opinion true.

    The entire world can agree that gravity doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t make it true. Obviously, that’s an exaggerated case, but it’s relevant nonetheless.

    Personally, I believe there’s been plenty of rights, and just as many (if not more) wrongs US foreign policy in the past 5 years (actually much longer than that). The catch is that just because everyone agrees on something, doesn’t make it right.

    There are plenty of cases in history that suggest otherwise. Human nature leaves us very susceptible to groupthink. An argument should always be backed up with reasoning rather than just “everyone else agrees.”

    As a side note, I’m eagerly awaiting actually getting my hands on this game… 🙂

  5. It becomes such a political thing to spout on about the war on terror, and where things are headed in this world. I hate to get into political debate, but I am oddly drawn to it.

    On an unrelated note, since you mod all of your blog comments, I want to point your attention to another subject going on in the gaming world:

    We’re looking to get Raven to dual-license the code to Heretic/Hexen to better suit the needs of the sourceport makers out there. Sourceports such as: – Doomsday Engine – Zdoom Engine

    These ports have been supporting the original iwads from DoomI/II, Heretic and Hexen (which has up to this point been kind of a hack because of the way the source has been released to the community). The Doomsday Engine strives to be GPL with its code, which is all fine and dandy on the Doom side of things, but with its Heretic and Hexen plugins, it cannot follow those guidelines.

    What’s going on here is the Doomsday devs, and the community as a whole would like to see the Heretic/Hexen sources GPL’d so that they can distribute their sourceports in GPL Linux distrobutions, such as Debian or Ubuntu, thereby increasing the possible userbase and furthering the goals of the community.

    I thought you would like to know about these goings on, since you were involved in the creation of Doom, and you tend to be interested in this sort of IP topic. Feel free to digg the story, come to the Doomworld Forums and post, or join the discussions in #legacy or #doomsday on We welcome your thoughts.

  6. In response to Angus’ comment, Waking Life used a rotoscoping technique where live footage is shot and animated over, Zelda: Wind Waker or BDLA’s cel shading is distinct from this technique in that the affected shapes are 3d models instead of live animation, and the shading is done by (comparatively) simple processes, instead of applying the talent and pattern recognition of human animators.

    I suspect a rotoscope effect, sort of a hyperrealism, might work in a future game. I hate to be pedantic, but the difference is significant.

    Hey American, how would you like to do an industry specific interview? It might be a nice break from politically weighted PR. Ping me your e-mail and we can do a typed back and forth or a phone conversation to be published in Gamasutra. I’d really like to discuss the role of the autuer in production, vs. the design-by-commitee approach. I’d also like to dig on outsourcing, procedural rhetoric, games for change, and a few other pleasant suprises.

  7. i downloaded the demo and found it quite funny although there were far too many stereotypes – the how to play walkthrough was a riot.

    cant wait to get a proper copy.

  8. I still think the name American is pretty cool. When I heard it the first time, i thought it’s a company. Also, it’s not very common.

    I read an article about you a few days ago, wish i had been on that party of yours where you gave away all your stuff. I’d die for a good razor. I guess yours had a TV in it.

  9. This game is not worth your money. Let me explain why:

    1) NO CEL SHADING IN-GAME. Every contour is embedded directly to the texture, so forget about a nice comic-style effects you could see in games like XIII. Instead you will get blocky models & some crappy MS Paint graphic work. The cut-scenes though are using full cel shading making the graphics look twice nicer. However those are only pre-rended AVIs…

    2) TASTEFUL JOKES. You can make good jokes & gags that aren’t harmful for anyone. You can also make Jackass or Happy Tree Friends style jokes from time to time. But overloading the game with all those “butt-muds” is just pathetic.

    3) AUDIO (EXCEPT VOICING). Spoken dialogs are well done, I must admit. But everything other is terrible. Repetable yellings, poor variety of sound effects & lack of music made my gameplay looked like early beta testing.

    4) PRICE (NOT INCLUDING POLAND). I could call myself lucky since I got the game in a magazine for 16 PLN (eqv. of 5 USD). As in most cases it’s a LOW PRICE = LOW QUALITY buy. However, everyone outside PL will have to pay for it much more. And this WILL be overpaying.

    What is GOOD in this production? There certainly are some pluses, but the two major ones refer to the POLISH release only. Those are: the mentioned above LOW PRICE and PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION: the author of it put a very hard work to “save” some of the dialogs – the language is less rough and some of the bad and not funny jokes replaced.
    OTHER PLUSES: speaking squirrels (that was the only thing that made me smile in my 20-min play) and the idea itself of making an anti-hero the main character (sadly, the realization is utter crap).

    My final thought. If you’re a gamer, but not a hardocore of American McGee and enjoyed playing Alice or Scrapland (like I did), you will be dissapointed either because of humor or bad realization (the BETA-TEST feel is significant).
    If you’re American McGee’s fan however, you will probably like it. You will also be dissapointed though – as I read on many forums, you can finish the game in a day. For you it won’t be bad though. But for non-fans, other gamers & your wallet it’ll sure be!

    Let’s all hope that next games signed by American McGee won’t be
    such crap as this one.

    Thanks you.

  10. I normally hate it when entertainers try to shove political messages into their products, but I can stand it and even buy the product if the product is at least good (Dr. Strangelove pulled it off).

    Unfortunately, Bad Day L.A. is not a good product, which is sad because the premise for the game (a bunch of disasters hitting one after the other while you try to escape town) is really cool. But the premise BEGS for an open ended sandbox style gameplay experience, and doesn’t at all work when you are led around by your nose solving one arbitrary objective after the next all while being confined to a single block by unnatural barriers (why is it that I can’t jump over this two foot fence? Is there some clever racial joke here, or does this game just suck? My money is on the latter). The jokes rarely seem to rise beyond “Oh snap, I’m a black guy and I’m so scared that I crapped my pants hahaha!”. Between the overly obvious and crude political satire and the awful dick and fart jokes my eyes began to ache from over exercise as they were being rolled so often.

    Bottom line: Feels, looks, and plays like an N64 port. And not even a port of a good game, like mario. More like a port of Superman 64. Not even a clever political satire could save this title, much less the awful attempt at clever political satire that they actually included in the game.

    Better luck next time.

  11. Hello mr. McDonal… McGee, the friend of mine asked me to post here a message for ya.
    He said that he is in a great sorrow about you and your last masterpiece named BD LA, additionaly he asked me to post here that you are a triple cursed trashsculptor.
    Thats all, thank you mr McDon… McGee

  12. I used to believe you putting your name on your products was just a reflection of your pompous, narcissistic nature, but now I realize after playing your latest “butt mud” that it was a bit of a warning sign. American McGee on a title now has the same effect to me as the Surgeon General’s warning on a pack of cigarettes. “DANGER: AMERICAN MCGEE MADE THIS” Just wanted to say thank you again.

  13. I first read about BDLA on some video game website. It sounded kind of funny, but I decided not to check it out. However, I did remember your name. At the time I thought it was just some kind of pseudonym! Anyway, I wound up looking for a picture of the Cheshire Cat from Alice, weeks later, and found a link to your little website here. On BDLA: I liked the visuals in this game. They seemed very stylized. The sense of humor appeals to my friends and I greatly, and I hope I can buy this title soon!
    Also, looking forward to the Alice flick!

    Thanks for having such an interesting name(without it I would’ve forgotten about you!),
    Justin White

  14. American,

    Cheers for taking on some of the complete and total bullshit that the media is giving us, and that the government is giving us.

    Unfortunatly, Bad Day LA rates as quite possibly the 3 least exciting hours of my life. 3 hours from start to finish, with 30 minutes of that time trying to figure out why the fark something in the middle of the gang war level wasn’t triggering.

    Commendations for bringing out a different game, different style, and such.. it’s really too bad that it is EXCEPTIONALLY short, and quite possibly the most boring game EVER. Nintendo Cooking looks to be more interesting.


    Please get into the movie business. You could have taken what you put into building this game, and made a movie that would’ve kicked ass. In fact, the movie sequences in BDLA are the only reason anyone should even look at this game. I actually feel more cheated for spending $30 on this game than I did for spending $20 on Daikatana.

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