Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Can Still Smell It

Greetings all - I hope you all had a great Christmas and are preparing to hoist a few to ring in the new year. And if you aren't, well that's OK, I will drink an extra one for you. It's no problem at all I assure you!

A couple of posts back I talked about the iSmell and it's wonderous but unrealized powers to bring smells to gaming. Well my brain wouldn't let go of it right away so I did a little more websearching and discovered a few interesting factoids. Since the whole point of dabbling in this blog thing was to chronicle my opium-fueled gamer visions I thought - why not share. And so, here is a jumbled collection of what I found.

I mentioned in the last post about the scratch n sniff card included with the Infocom game Leather Goddesses of Phobos.

I discovered that there was another game that used this same gag - Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail. In Love for Sail, there was a scratch n sniff (called the CyberSniff 2000) that the player was prompted to smell at various points throughout the game. I found an interview with the game creator Al Lowe on JayBot7 that provided the following delightful exchange:

Jason Surguine: And include the CyberSmell 3000 [I was close]

Al Lowe: And CyberSniff 2000!

Jason Surguine: I don’t even want to know where you got some of the smells. [The CyberSniff 2000 was a scratch-and-sniff card that came with Larry 7]

Al Lowe: You know, that was one of the most fun things about developing that game; researching and finding the company that makes Micro Encapsulated Odors. We called them up and had this hilarious phone call with this woman who, I’m sure, her normal day consists of people doing straight-business things.

And here these two wacky game designer and producer call her up and ask:

‘Yeah, have you got a good fart smell?’

I also discovered that both FIFA 2001 and Gran Turismo 2 for the Playstation came on scratch n sniff CDs. FIFA 2001 smelled like turf and GT2 smelled like burning rubber.

Hideo Kojima apparently wanted to coat the disks for his 1988 PC game Snatcher with a chemical that, when heated by being inside the computer, released the smell of blood into the air to enhance the immersion with the "stench of a murder scene." Konami nixed the idea.

And last, but not least, I found a BBC video about a company in Birmingham that is giving the iSmell another go. Some of the delightful odors featured are garbage, body odor, hosipital, and burning rubber. I'm starting to see why this never gets off the ground - nobody ever includes chocolate chip cookies or roses, they always go straight to the BO and burning rubber!  That's just a poor business model.  Anyway you can check out the video of that in action HERE.  PEACE!

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Fallguy40 said...

It's coming soon. Resistance to Smell games is futile.

MadPlanet said...

You are so correct Locutus. So correct.

gnome said...

See, I knew it would probably turn out for the worse; unless of course guided by your average adventure gaming genius. Loved the article. Oh, and PEACE!


MadPlanet said...

Thanks Gnome. C'mon, you know you want to smell the ozone from the TI Invaders' laser fire. Peace and long life.

Mik said...

Hi MP, happy new year! I've been quite busy these days, but I'll be coming back with a new CRT screen, which means better pictures for old games :) Glad you tried LDC, actually it's a little harder than your standard Disney game, but with a little practice you should breeze through with little effort.
Oh, and did you notice that most Master System cases smell like... er, washing powder? Not quite sure why, maybe it's the plastic used...

MadPlanet said...

Happy new year Mik! Yeah - I was able to navigate through LDC a lot easier after a few deaths. But still considerably more challenging than LOI. I wish I could smell the SMS cases (nice tie-in to the post BTW), but unfortunately I still don't own one. I played them on emulator but did at least play them with a USB NES controller to approximate a true SMS controller which I also still don't own. But some day!