April 17, 2006 by Tim

Normally I don’t do this, but I know there are a good chunk of readers outside of the U.S. who haven’t seen the Allstate insurance “good hands” ad campaign. Hell, I’m sure there are some people here stateside who haven’t seen them. Anyway, here’s an example. You know, for reference.

I do usually try to avoid parodying things that may be country specific, or obscure, so as not to alienate readers. But I see these commercials a lot, and I couldn’t resist lampooning an auto insurance commercial for a post-apocalyptic vehicle MMO.

Really, I’m not going to play Auto Assault at any great length. Long enough to adequately review it, probably, but I don’t see playing it long-term. I played it last year at E3 and I was unimpressed, and another year of development did nothing to change those impressions. It’s such a cool concept, but I think it falls short of its potential.

I am anxious to give Dungeon Runners a whirl though.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of grabbing D&D Online, since I saw it was on Direct2Drive. I find it hard to argue with that kind of convenience. If I get an itch to play an MMO, but have to go to the store or have it shipped to get it, I can usually use laziness to talk myself out of it. But it’s right there. One click and it’s downloaded to my PC. I played DnDO a few times pre-release, and I found to to be somewhat enjoyable. I certainly didn’t think it was terrible. It would pass the time until Vanguard.

Or the Sierra Police/King/Space Quest compilations. I had previously reported that they were arriving in March, which has come and gone. They have in fact been pushed back to December. Because, you know, it’s so much work to release games that have been around for over a decade.

Members of CAD Premium have gotten the first in a series of wallpapers I’m calling “CAD Unleashed”. They’re sort of dramatic, fun, stylized takes on the characters, similar to the concept of the “Star Wars Unleashed” toys (hence the ‘Unleashed’ name).

I had someone the other day ask me why I had decided to start charging for comics and wallpapers and such. I wanted to clarify that that isn’t my intention, or the purpose of CAD Premium at all.

CAD Premium is a subscription service for the animated series, because it costs money to produce. They’re professionally animated and voiced, and they’re pretty expensive. If I were to give them away, I could afford to privately fund maybe two or three before I was bankrupt. We have to charge for them to recoup the expenses, so that they can continue to be created. Advertising and commercials won’t cover it. It’s simple business.

That I give CAD Premium members exclusive comics, wallpapers and video newsposts is just extra. I do it because I’m aware we’re asking people to pay for an animated series, and I want to make that payment as valuable as I can for those people that support the animated series. So it’s not that I looked at my wallpapers and comics and decided “hey, I should make people pay money to see these”. Originally we were just planning to charge a flat rate per episode. But we decided that if we were going to charge money for it, we should try and make it as valuable as possible to a CAD fan. If someone is going to pay $3 a month for a cartoon anyway, I want to give them as much additional stuff as I can to really make it worth every penny.

And if you don’t subscribe to Premium, can’t afford it or aren’t interested, I don’t want you to feel like you’re getting gypped. I’m not taking stuff that would have been free prior to CAD Premium and charging for it. Everything I create for CAD Premium is additional content that I work extra hours to produce as a thank you to subscribers. If you don’t subscribe to Premium, you’re still getting everything that you would have if there was no Premium in existence. And if you still feel you deserve extra without paying for it, on top of the free comics I’ve consistently given you for the past three years… well, that’s your problem, not mine.

Hopefully that clears things up for anyone who might have been wondering the same things.

Speaking of wondering, does anyone here work for Sony that could steal me a Qrio? I want one of those little buggers so bad…

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