Category Archives: Bad Day LA

Bad Day Airport

“The Airport” is one of the disasters in Bad Day LA. We included some nonsense about how the “food” is made, the baggage is searched, and the interrogation process is handled. It’s in the airport that the player acquires the smart-bomb weapon, a pair of nail clippers (The BDLA-9000).

I was going to comment on the recent airport-related nonsense currently gripping the US and UK, but this guy did it better than I could have:

We Have Met the Enemy in the War On Terror. . . and He Is Us, by Doug Newman
Thursday’s news read as follows: “Airline passengers around the country stood in line for hours and airport trash bins bulged with everything from mouthwash and shaving cream to maple syrup and fine wine Thursday in a security crackdown prompted by the discovery of a terror plot in Britain.”

I too keep wondering when Americans are going to wake up to the fact that all of these Bad Days are happening for a reason. And it has nothing to do with protecting freedom or spreading democracy.

BDLA-9000

Bad Day LA DEMO – Available NOW!

Worthplaying has news of the Bad Day LA Demo release:

Set in modern day Los Angeles, Bad Day L.A. is a third-person action/adventure combining fantastical art style, groundbreaking collaborative gameplay elements and a heavy dose of dark satire to create a truly unforgettable experience. This demo features the Biological Attack mission where a plane crashes on the Santa Monica Freeway.

You can grab the demo here. Are you prepared!?

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GamesRadar -Bad Day LA Demo- Hands ON

Games Radar is running a hands-on review of the Bad Day LA Demo:

In Bad Day, we controlled the most unlikely of anti-heroes – a former movie producer named Anthony Williams who decided to chuck it all and live the carefree life of a homeless bum. Despite being a big-time Hollywood exec, our hero inexplicably speaks with the thick-tongued Ebonics of a proud fourth grade graduate. We knew it was time to take off our thinking caps – Bad Day L.A. possesses all the subtlety and comedic nuance of getting tasered in the balls.

Nice. One of our internal goals was “make people feel like they’ve been tasered in the balls.” Glad to know we could deliver.

US release date for the game is set for August 29th, 2006. Games Radar will run features every week until the launch. Expect something new from them on the 18th and 25th.

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Bad Day LA – Translation Laughs

Living in Hong Kong, I’m constantly frustrated by the complexity of the Cantonese language – what some have called “the most difficult language in the world.” Others call it “WTF?!”.

As an example, take the word “Gau” (say it like “now” with a “G”). Depending on the tone you use, Gau can mean: 9, enough, dog, dumpling, or “cock” (sexual connotation, not a rooster). “Gau m’gau” is how you ask, “Have you had enough?” or “Gna yau ho die gau!” can mean either “I have a very big DOG!” OR “I have a very big COCK!” – all depending on how you pronounce the tone. On my island is a shop which advertises a “Gau mung, gau chun, gau.” or “9 dollar, 9 inch, dog.” You can see where gwielo (foriengers) can get themselves in serious trouble. “I’ll have a 9 inch cock, please.” Yeah, put some mustard on that.

But, as it turns out, Cantonese isn’t the only language where these problems exist. I’ve been reviewing translation questions from the European BDLA publishers today… and having a good laugh. I thought I’d share:

ANTHONY: Gang members! Pssssht. I’ll show them a member.

Publisher: What he means by “I’ll show them a member. ” ? What is the situation ?

American: “Member” can refer to the male sexual anatomy – “Touch my member!” or “My what a large member you have!” – “Member” can also mean a part of a group, or in this instance, a gang. Anthony is mixing the two meanings of the word in order to make a joke.

Double entendre doesn’t seem to cross international borders.

ANTHONY: Damn girl, you so fat when you cross the street cars look out for you!

Publisher: Meaning “when you cross the street, cars look out for you” or “when you cross, the street cars look out for you” ?

American: Usually a person looks for cars when crossing the street. This woman is so fat that it works the other way around: cars try to avoid her.

I guess “fat jokes” don’t work either.

ANTHONY: Touch my hot dog!

Publisher: what he means ?

American: “Hot dog” once again refers to the male anatomy, as in “keep your hot dog in your pants” or “I’ve got the hot dog and you got the buns.” in this context anthony is making a joke about being searched by an airport security guard.

Sadly, innuendo also fails.

ANTHONY: Yo! Chill it leaf blowers!

Publisher: stay quite, mexicans ! ??

American: This means “calm down my mexican friends.”

Even the goofy racial euphemism doesn’t work.
Who says English is easy?

BDLA Tour – Paris

In Paris I met with the guys from Gost Publishing, who are publishing Bad Day LA in France. After being relieved of my luggage at Charles de Gaulle airport (honestly, it was too heavy anyway) I made my way into Paris via the train and subway system. One thing I noticed was the French attitude “problem”, which to me felt a lot like, “figure it out on your own, stupid.” Even as I am hit over the head with it I can’t help but agree with the sentiment. Tourists are often so insulated from the country they are visiting that they never get a true sense for the color, texture, and feel of the place. At least when you leave France you know you’ve been IN France!

Eidos was kind enough to allow our press event to take place within their offices (they are distributing BDLA in France). I presented the game three different times, to three different audiences of press people, working out the presentation on the fly. By the third presentation I had the format that I stuck with for the remainder of the tour: genesis of the concept, thematic overview, introduction to main character, basic game play overview, talk about interface, introduction of support characters, use of in-game and pre-rendered cinematics to tell the story, talk about weapons and tools, and then a run through of humorous and memorable moments from various areas in the game.

I was pleased that whenever I presented the game it was met with laughter at the appropriate moments. Even when I told the French reporters that the terrorists in the game were French, as a response to rampant anti-French sentiment in the US at the build-up to the Iraq war, they loved it. Every person I met with shared a sense of dismay, disappointment, and fear at what American foreign policy is doing to the world. Bad Day LA seems to provide a much needed comedic vent to our shared frustrations. And the best part, at least in my opinion, is that the game is opening a dialog about these issues in venues where such was previously non existent.

BDLA generated a LOT of non-game related questions such as, “…why don’t American do something about their government?” Sadly I don’t have the answer for this one. Polls indicate that we disapprove of our president, his war, and what he’s doing to our rights as Americans, yet he remains in office, the war continues, and our rights are illegally stripped from us – all in the name of The War on Terror. Perhaps we should take something from the fact that Bush’s numbers improve whenever the media hypes the latest terror scare. Fear is a potent form of control.

When asked “…what right do you have to make a game like this?” I responded for starters, my name is American. And last time I checked it was still legal for my opinion to differ from that of the government… at least that’s the case here in Hong Kong. Things probably won’t work like that for much longer in Bush’s US.

Bad Day LA may not turn out to be the best game ever made, but it certainly establishes the concept of a politically motivated, major video game. I love the fact that already the game is creating dialog and allowing alternate points of view to be expressed. On this trip I’ve been able to tell people that not all Americans are the same, that we share their frustrations, and would also like to see change.

Another question I heard a lot was, “why aren’t big publishers making more games like this, politically motivated games?” I guess if BDLA is successful we might see more. Game, like films and books, can and should be used for expressing opinions on politics and the human condition.

For the fact that companies like Gost in France and Frogster in Germany are willing to publish games like this I have to give them great credit and great thanks.