While everybody is waiting, poised with baited breath, for the next big Valve announcement I thought I would take this opportunity to tell some early Valve stories. I’ve told these stories in part throughout my blog but I thought I’d take the opportunity of this historic moment to compose them into a single narrative.
I first met Gabe Newell in 1994 when I had a problem on my hands. My earliest job as Games Evangelist at Microsoft had made me responsible for ensuring that the Windows 95 DOS compatibility layer could actually support the thousands of DOS games that were prevalent in the market. Since the goal of Windows 95 was, in part, to kill off DOS, I had made the case that a serious investment needed to be made in ensuring that the Windows 95 DOS emulator could actually run all popular games. It was also my hope to use this chore as an opportunity to open dialogue with all of the leading game developers of the era to start discussing what it would take to persuade them to start making games specifically targeting the Windows OS. Bob Heddle, a Project Manager on Windows 95 was assigned the task of managing the compatibility testing of 1000 DOS games I was to collect. A tiny Asian engineer named Raymond Chen was responsible for the actual coding work on the virtual DOS engine to get the games working. Raymond was a fascinating character for several reasons;
1) He wore a suit and tie to work every day in stark contrast to Microsoft’s typical casual nerd attire
2) He kept a running diary of his frustrations with the task which grew over time into a litany of mad raving about the terrible assembly code most games included at the time.
Later when Origins first engineers came to visit us on Microsoft campus and met Chen they realized the heroic and herculean effort he was undertaking to support their games and he became, rightly so, somewhat of a hero in the DOS game community. Zack Simpson of Origin even persuaded Chen to share some of his diary with other developers which was hundreds of pages long and hysterical reading as each game Chen ported to DOS drove him closer to madness. Chen Later wrote a book about Windows coding called “The New Old Thing” which I would highly recommend to nerds everywhere. At some point I’ll track him down and see if he still has some of that diary. I’d love to publish it again.
Of course one of the first companies I met with on my game collection tour was id Software and the legendary John Carmack. Carmack and Zack Simpson provided me with the earliest education and foundations for the ideas that later went into crafting the DirectX API’s. Of course when I met with Carmack I attempted to persuade him to try porting Doom to Windows. Carmack was adamant that it couldn’t be done… but in classical Carmack style he made an exceedingly generous offer. He offered to give Microsoft the source to DOOM to try to port to Windows ourselves. I was of course thrilled with this offer and returned to Redmond to triumphantly find an engineer within Microsoft willing to attempt the task for me. I put it around Microsoft that I was looking for an engineer who was willing to undertake the task and that was when I first heard from Gabe Newell.
Gabe already had a long and respected career at Microsoft where he had worked on over 30 shipping products including being the Program Manager for Windows 3.1. As most burned-out Microsoft veterans were understandably inclined to do, he had taken what was known as a rest-and-vest job in Nathan Myhrvold’s Advanced Technology Research Group where the best and the brightest minds at Microsoft were then known to accumulate and work on highly speculative stuff that never saw the light of day. Gabe was working on set top box UI at the time and had a small team of engineers at his disposal. He offered to lend me one for the task of porting DOOM, which I eagerly accepted. Everything did not go as planned however…
After arranging with Carmack to transfer the code to Gabe’s engineer, the project disappeared into a vacuum for several weeks. Gabe’s engineer was often MIA and unresponsive to email. Finally out of frustration I made the 200 yard trek across from building 4 to building 10 to stake out his office and find out how he was doing with the port. The guy didn’t answer his door when I knocked, but I found him sweating over his keyboard in pitch darkness working on Doom. He seemed frazzled and stressed out and was not happy to have an unexpected visitor. He assured me that he was working on it and I left. A few days later it was reported that he had been found dead at his desk from a drug overdose. *For the record that was the first and only time I ever heard of such an occurrence at Microsoft. That unfortunate turn of events left me with a serious problem however. The DOOM port would have to be started from scratch again and I needed another engineer. I turned to Robert Hess a seasoned Microsoft veteran who ran the porting lab for the Developer Relations Group. Hess generously offered to undertake the port despite his many other responsibilities at the time. Robert’s effort was heroic and extremely educational about precisely the problems with the Windows OS that prevented its practical use for such games. Robert’s Windows 3.1 port of DOOM used WinG for graphics (link) and the Windows media architecture of that era for sound, networking and input. Roberts struggles with the Windows platform limitations led me to hire contractors to prototype new input, networking and sound API’s that later became the prototypes for the early DirectX API’s. WinDOOM, as we called it worked, but NOT nearly as well as its DOS counterpart. When I returned to id to show our handiwork, John was gracious but justifiably said he could never ship it as an id product.
It was the second attempt to port Doom to Windows by an engineer I hired named Fred Hommel that resulted in DirectX 1.0, whose requirements were basically, whatever we had to write for Windows 95 that was necessary to make DOOM run better as a native Windows application that it did on DOS. I’ve recounted all of those stories in previous postings, so we’ll jump forward in time to my next interaction with Gabe Newell several years later.
While I was working on this technology Gabe retired from Microsoft and founded Valve. Given his relationship with John Carmack he licensed the Quake engine for his first game, Half-life and signed a publishing deal with Sierra, one of the leading game publishers of that era. As we all know, Half-Life was a mega-success. He had upgraded his offices in downtown Kirkland, Washington and I was looking at moving WildTangent into his old office space which was right next door to his new offices. I paid him a visit at that time and got a tour of his budding game studio. Gabe expressed to me that he was having a great deal of frustration with his publisher Sierra over royalties for Half-Life. Like many former Microsoft founders, we had found it quite an adjustment to go from being all-powerful resource rich Microsoft employees to being struggling tech company founders on our own. Gabe was fortunate enough to have left Microsoft with sufficient wealth to fund Valve himself while I had raised some 76.6 million dollars in venture capital from dotcom era VC’s to finance WildTangent.
At the time Gabe was preparing to sue Sierra over the issue which is a famously well chronicled lawsuit as well as the subsequent one Valve filed against Sierra acquirer Activision.
I suggested to Gabe that he consider developing his next game for the WildTangent Web Driver and publish it himself on the Internet. Since Valve didn’t make its own engine at the time and WildTangent had superior 3D character animation technology to anything Gabe could get from id Software I attempted to persuade Gabe to adopt my engine. Gabe didn’t believe that there was any way that a full production 3D game could be delivered over a modem so I arranged a demonstration for he and his engineers at WildTangent headquarters. For that demonstration we had Brent Orford, then a junior engineer working for us duplicate a level of Valve’s famous Counter-Strike mod for the WildTangent Webdriver in Java. As I recall we were able to compress a 3.6MB level of the game into a 250K streaming level. Gabe and his engineers were suitably impressed. Unfortunately for WildTangent, Gabe is himself an extremely brilliant technologist and decided to build his own next generation game engine and streaming platform… Steam.
It turned out for the best since WildTangent turned its business focus towards capturing the rapidly growing market for downloadable casual games while Valve targeted core game publishing. For a time WildTangent and Valve competed to win distribution for our respective game clients with leading PC OEM’s but the OEM’s couldn’t ship violent core games to all of their audiences and WildTangent won a monopoly of distribution relationships across all major PC manufacturers of that era. Valve focused on winning distribution with core games via retail bundling of the Steam client with their CD games in exchange for use of Valve’s game lobbying and DRM services. I didn’t interact much with Gabe at that time because our companies had become somewhat competitive with one another for control of channel relationships. WildTangent’s platform was heavily tied to games written in Java and Gabe was of course focused on core games written natively in C++.
In 2008 WildTangent released a product for PC OEM’s called the WildTangent ORB. A software game console for delivering gamepad enabled “Mid-core” gamepad enabled games over the internet directly to PC desktops.
WildTangent brought light online MMOG’s from companies like Runescape and Bigpoint into the Western market and distributed them early on around the same time that Valve started adding casual games like Bejeweled to their downloadable channel. By 2009 I had retired from WildTangent and left the downloadable game market to focus on social game publishing. In that era Electronic Arts had made overtures to acquire WildTangent, Valve, Popcap and BigFish Games (all Seattle based) to get into the online publishing space, but it was growing so fast for everybody involved that they were summarily rejected.
In my absence WildTangent moved into mobile gaming while Valve doubled down on the dying PC retail channel and managed to dominate that space almost completely. Both WildTangent and Valve experienced constant frustrations with subsequent OS releases from Microsoft in the early 21st century as Microsoft would increasingly cripple the Windows gaming experience in favor of its XBOX console while launching failed downloadable game initiatives for the Windows PC one after another. Like Valve the temptation to abandon Windows as a gaming platform was ever present and appealing if it were not for the vast technical hurdles involved in creating a stand-alone gaming OS. Years later the prospect of a serious effort by Valve to finally ditch Windows and go it on their own is both exciting and daunting. I certainly wish them the best and hope they make a serious go of it… Microsoft certainly needs the boot in the ass for the mess they have made of the PC game market. My own, less successful attempt at the space leaves me with an abiding respect for what an accomplishment it will be for Valve to pull it off.
Alex St. John – who has written 17 posts on The Jace Hall Show.
Best known for his early work on gaming and creating the DirectX media platform at Microsoft in the early 1990’s, Alex St. John later founded WildTangent Inc. one of the world’s largest online game publishing companies and became a technology columnist for leading computer enthusiast publications MaximumPC and CPU Magazine. His many exploits during the fast growth years at Microsoft are chronicled in various books including; Renegades of the Empire by Michael Drummond, Masters of Doom by David Kushner and Opening the Xbox by Dean Takahashi.
Award winning singer-songwriter Debbie Gibson teams up with Jace Hall for a remix of her pop hit, Electric Youth! Did Debbie Gibson predict the future with her original? Check out the redux, featuring headphones from PDP, for the answer.
Actress Eliza Dushku confronts Jace after he questions her credibility as a female gamer, turns out she can rap as well. If all you can see is “Faith” listen to the lyrics, carefully, Eliza knows her stuff.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis has a “gamer intervention” with Jace in her house. Meanwhile all Jace can do is tout how much gamer skill he has. Parody of Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” viral, music video.
The OFFICIAL “Pacman Fever” music video re-mixing one of the original and most epic video game geek songs of all-time. This is the official EPIC REINVENTION of the 1982 top ten hit called PAC-MAN FEVER by Buckner & Garcia.
Jace Hall steps up on the stage and proceeds to impress some of nerdcore hip-hop’s biggest stars with his latest musical hit! Check out the 8-bit inspired history lesson of Jace’s gaming conquests! Special thanks to: YTCracker, MC Lars, Boss Fights.
Jace Hall follows up his mega popular music hit, I Play WoW with the redux entirely featuring Machinima characters. Music written, performed and recorded by Jace Hall. Video directed by Benjamin Dressler of /Afk Films.
The Music video that made history, pairing Fab Morvan and John Davis on stage for the first time ever. Music and lyrics written, performed and recorded by Jace Hall. Featuring the vocals of John Davis. Parody of the original hit “Blame it on the Rain” by Milli Vanilli.
Released on the cusp of the first Mortal Kombat for current gen consoles, the Mortal Kombat rap music video hit nearly 20 million views on the internet, and helped make Mortal Kombat’s launch one of its most successful in the game’s history.
Jace has a message for all the haters who ever made fun of someone just because they enjoyed video gamers. It’s not all about the money, it’s about doing what you love and being passionate about obtaining your goals. Watch this video with nerdcore rapper YT Cracker for proof.
For those of you who didn’t believe romance and video games mixed, clearly you haven’t seen this music video produced by Jace Hall, and inspired by an SNL Digital Short that may or may not make you happy in your pants.
The maker of I Play W.O.W, Jace Hall, proves he’s a true street fighter as he beats all challengers one handed while rapping. Starring Jace Hall and the cast of the online series, Street Fight High School.
Jace, the rapper behind I Play WoW is back, dissing n00bs in the best geek battle rap ever recorded, You Got PWNED. Digital suckas, recognize. For all your PWNING needs, send people this song.
The #1 hit that started it all, Jace’s “I Play Wow” is one of the most popular, gamer inspired music videos of all-time. Garnering over 12 million hits, I Play Wow preaches why we love World of Warcraft, no matter what the haters have to say.
Beat up or made fun of at school? It doens’t matter what happens, you can always pick up a controller or a d-pad and make yourself your own hero with video games.
The first OFFICIAL Jace Hall Show music video that started it all, Superplaya proves, with a helping hand from a number of celebrity cameos, that video games AREN’T bad for you.
Jace tries to explain why he needs his own show to one of HDFILMS producers, as “Heroes” star Greg Grunberg talks about Rock Band and Halo on the set of his movie “Group Sex”. Jace then visits Free Realms to get the scoop on what could be the next Duke Nukem game.
Actress and Singer, Christina Milian tests Jace’s dancing skills in DDR and out strikes him in a game of bowling. Then Jace takes his next potential ride for a spin, a T-Rex automobile that is unlike anything the road has ever seen.
Professional MMA fighter Cung Le goes face to face with Jace and tries to tell him that his show isn’t funny. Meanwhile, Jace visits with “Chuck” star Zachary Levi, who engages in a little Grand Theft Auto and gets blasted into the air with game designer Cliff Bleszinski.
Jace has decided to try his hand at singing and has dragged everyone with him to the recording studio, including “Chocolate Rain” creator, Tay Zonday. Jace talks trash and Duke Nukem in a sit down with Randy Pitchford at Gearbox Software.
Marti and Corey have decided to print out the comments from the Jace Hall Show website to let Jace really see what everyone thinks of the show. Plus, Jace visits actor’s Wilmer Valderrama crib and plays with some of the toys he has lying around the house.
Producer Shanna Ferrigno’s office birthday party is interrupted by the Urban Ninja, and Corey the Intern is left to clean up the mess. Meanwhile Jace visits with professional baseball player Curt Schilling and checks out his gaming company 38 Studios.
Jace takes a very…interesting look at life at Gamepro headquarters and explores what it’s like to be an actual, video game journalist. Jace, Marti and Corey argue over the notes about the show from the network, and Marti decides to take matters into their own hands.
Jace gets an exclusive interview with controversial lawyer and anti-violent video game activist Jack Thompson to see what he really thinks of Mature Rated games. Plus, Corey the intern gets into hot water for what are allegedly a couple of VERY explicit emails.
Jace goes to the gym with actress/model Vida Querra to look at her butt workout. Someone has taken Jace’s parking spot and asks Corey to have the car towed off the lot, which has Sean Patrick Thomas less than pleased and Jace has a hot sauce contest with game designer Paul Steed.
Marti confronts Jace over a fan of the show who has decided to show up at the office to confess his love to Marti. Jace then heads out to get a tour of Dan Roebuck’s private Monster Museum and then heads to Santa Monica, CA to sit in on a production meeting at Collision Studios.
Reno 911 star, Wendi Mclendon-Covey visits the office to talk about making video games for women to better connect with young kids, who happen to be about Corey the Intern’s age. Plus, Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley sits down with Jace.
Corey gets busted in the office for “itching his lower region” and agrees to take a lie detector test to prove it really was just an “itch”. Jace visits his old gaming company, Monolith, to talk Blood and Fear with game designer Craig Hubbard.
At the office, Marti has finally grown tired of Corey the Intern’s antics at work and is ready for the show to be over to not have to deal with him again, in any way it takes. Meanwhile. Jace engages in a real life multiplayer mission with the guys at id Software.
Jace grills geek goddess Felicia Day about her twitter following and web show The Guild. Former office intern, Corey learns of his new position at the office, and Geoff Keighley catches the HD Films staff on camera stealing from his craft services table.
Jace and Corey do market research on Little Big Planet. Then we head to Insomniac Games to talk with CEO Ted Price, the award winning developer of Ratchet and Clank, Spyro the Dragon and Resistance. Jace spends Thanksgiving with his host, Lou Ferrigno.
Corey, without having a job, falls asleep in the office and is subject to whatever Jace and Marti need to do to get him up. Then Jace goes to Ice-T’s house to check out Coco’s snapshots, while Ice-T wants him to convince Cliffy B to create a character for him in Gears of War.
Jace has a special guest at his house, Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane, and they bust out the Atari 2600 to get back to the fundamentals of gameplay. Jace then goes to Blizzard Entertainment where the reign hell on Felicia Day’s WoW character.
Jace and Seth MacFarlane decide to check out E.T. for the Atari, considered the worst failure in video game history. Jace then goes to Gearbox Software to test out guns on the shooting range with Randy Pitchford and company.
Jace & Todd miss the last flight of the night to San Francisco, and decide to rent separate Corvettes to race to the Prince of Persia launch party where we get a rare sighting of Jade Raymond. We also get on the set of Creepshow: RAW, the online series’ directed by Wilmer Valderrama.
Prince of Persia Producer Ben Mattes, and Marketing Executive Tony Key tell all to Jace about the development of the game and the argument of including Unicorns in the game. President of Sony Pictures Television, Steve Mosko, plays indian poker with Jace.
Season 2 gets off to a rousing start when Jace interviews Tom Green and plays an emotional game of Ms. Pac-man. The first mystery of the season unfolds when the office gets tp’d with no known suspects. It all culminates with Jace going to EverQuest’s anniversary party.
The perpetrator behind the recent office toilet paper incident is revealed. Jace and company celebrate the Street Fighter Launch in style, where they run into “Chuck’s” very own Zachary Levi. Jace also visits arcade in a box to get a look at a Jace Hall joystick being made.
Jace gets a close up look at the exclusive Jace Hall Show joystick being made for him at manufacturer Arcade in a Box. Jace then goes on to make the horrific mistake of offending UFC fighters Cung Le and Josh Thomson, the latter of which puts Jace an a choke-hold.
Jace re-visits some of his old pals at Warner Bros. and tries to make new ones with international music superstar Akon, who isn’t convinced Jace is at the top of the video game world. Meanwhile, Jace learns a hard lesson in letting someone purchase a gift.
Jace shows of some noobish skills playing with his old Warner Bros. The trend continues when he heads to Sony Online Entertainment and drives the designers crazy with his inability to correctly play the MMO Free Realms (not without trying).
Hall plays House of the Dead with Keke Palmer who decides to take it to the paintball range when her and Corey the intern can’t settle their differences in the video game world. Corey continues to lose it when Todd and Jace can’t assist him with an audition.
Ian Somerhalder gets asked by the show team to do a segment, without clothes. We also visit the set of PG Porn, the online series from James Gunn starring Mikaela Hoover. Then we head to San Francisco to talk with Tim Schafer about the game Brutal Legend.
Actress and Former Miss Teen USA Kelly Hu plays mini-golf with Jace, then gives him a hard time for his “gaming habits.” Jace and company take an in-depth look at Brutal Legend, taking the Double Fine studio tour with Tim Schafer.
Leela Savasta is wooed by Corey at the office who struggles while Jace looks on. We take a tour of the huge Electronic Arts facilities with Glen Schofield of EA Redwood Shores, a trip that isn’t exactly a slam dunk for Jace.
Jace takes Battlestar Galactica bad girl, Katee Sackhoff on a date to the Smoke House for some cocktails, but ends up helping her dog out at rehab. Jace then sits down with the developers behind Dante’s Inferno, the new game from EA.
Joe Flanigan from Stargate Atlantis drops by and tries on a rare collectors item of Jace’s. We also take a sneak peek at Dante’s Inferno from EA and visit the set of “Sanctuary” the online series turned TV show and talk with actor Ryan Robbins.
Fitness professional and Arnold Schwarzenegger doppleganger Roland Kickinger joins Jace at Zach Levi’s house to play Terminator: Salvation and Jace is back in Canada to tour the set of “Sanctuary” with stars, Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne.
Corey gets high…on chocolate at the office and goes a little manic. And Jace’s dream comes true of touring the Stargate: Universe sets with the shows Executive Producer, Brad Wright in Vancouver. The happy dance is introduced.
Jace talks with show editor and Mr. Negativity Nic Aragon regardin why Grand Theft Auto sucks. Jace then meets up with technology and gadget guru Ben Heck of Revision 3 fame, to see what new gadget he’s working on.
Jace talks music and games with legendary rapper, B-Real of Cypress Hill, and then heads to San Francisco to visit one of the largest iPhone game developers NGMOCO and check out their newest iPhone games.
HDFILMS producer Marti deals with Corey the Intern, while Jace takes his crew of Producer, Todd Roy and Editor Nic Aragon to visit actress Olivia Munn at her house, where she challenges Jace every step of the way.
Jace and the rest of the HDFILMS staff watch Jace’s footage from The Streamy a.k.a. “Internet Oscar” Awards. Plus, we take an intimate look at Batman Arkham Asylum from the designers themselves at Rocksteady Games.
Jace crashes the hotel room of “V” star Morris Chestnut in Canada, and tries to tell him there’s been a mix up of hotel rooms. Morris clearly doesn’t get the picture and eventually gets frustrated.
Armin Shimerman, Gary Graham, Jeffrey Combs and other stars from the cast of Star Trek gather around for dinner with Jace, who quickly learns that it was not a good idea to serve alcohol at the interview.
The Jace Hall Show pays tribute to 3D Realms and Duke Nukem: Forever after it is announced that the games development was put on permanent hiatus. Little did we know how much this would change two seasons later.
Actress Olivia Munn starts warming up to the idea of replacing Jace as host of The Jace Hall Show. Visionary Artist Alex Pardee shows us his new web series, built in the Unreal Engine, called Chadam, and is interviewed by Corey as Jace is running late.
Jace and Todd discus a replacement assistant, as The Smoking Jacket Guy also grows perturbed. And for the first time in “boxing history” Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) are back for a rematch. Plus, Felicia Day makes an appearance as things get testy.
Carl Weathers and Dolph Lundgren decide Jace’s office is the perfect place for a Rocky rematch, as they settle their dispute via Wii Boxing, once and for all. Felicia Day stumbles upon arch nemesis Jace at the local Cyber Café and we get exclusive to a design meeting for Diablo III at Blizzard.
The Smoking Jacket guy a.k.a. Gary Graham slips further into absolute hell, as his personal videos get even more personal. Meanwhile, The Guild creator, Felicia Day continues the battle over the Baby Jesus Doll with Jace in one of the most famous duels in Jace Hall Show history.
Jane Badler from the Original “V” series wants to talk to Jace, Executive Producer on the new “V” on ABC, about being on the show. Badler re-enacts one of the show’s most famous scenes without special effects to prove why she is the original V Queen. Don’t eat before watching this.
Gary Graham’s unreleased song about the Jace Hall Show is revealed to the world while Marina Orlova from Hot For Words deals with Gary’s old smoking Jacket. Meanwhile, Jace and Todd continue auditioning hot girls for their new assistant role – someone has to do it.
Jace and Todd run into an old friend in Stargate’s Joe Flanigan, who is still wearing Jace’s priceless original “V” costume while he’s getting coffee in Burbank. Jace once again goes inside an actual design meeting at Blizzard Entertainment, one of the biggest gaming companies in the world.
Actress Laura Vandervoort goes inside Jace’s recording studio to mess with her “V” co-star Logan Huffman. The tables are turned on Jace, when professional fighter Bob Sapp threatens to go postal on Jace for not “supporting” one of his main ideas.
Logan Huffman wants to know who is posting comments about him online and asks Jace for help. Meanwhile Joe Flanigan is caught again flirting in the V costume. Jace heads to the set of Law and Order: SVU to catch up with Ice – T and Coco and the Starcraft II team gets “rushed” by World of Warcraft Lead Designer, Jeff Kaplan.
“V” Star Logan Huffman is still trying to get to the bottom of the videos being posted online, meanwhile Hotforwords.com’s, Marina Orlova tries to describe the word “1337″. Plus, ICE-T makes an appearance and gives us an intimate, behind the scenes look at his gaming life.
Jace visits Sean Gailey at J!NX, the exclusive clothing partner of the Jace Hall Show, to check out the operations and find out where his royalty check is. Then go back to visit ICE-T, where they flip through some of his wife Coco’s most vivid bikini shots.
The hunt for the new assistant winds down as the perfect candidate seems to have shown her face, as opposed to other body parts. Jace sits down and talks shop with some of the writers at College Humor and gets an earful from the executives at J!NX.
Jace is caught off guard trying to work when Randy Jackson’s “Americass Best Dance Crew” show moves in down stairs and disrupts the office and begins to take action. Meanwhile, the guys at J!NX still want let Jace off the hook on The Jace Hall Show.
Jace tracks down “America’s Best Dance Crew” show creator and American Idol Judge, Randy Jackson to ask him to turn the music in the show down. Meanwhile, Jace gets on the horn to talk some interesting items with game designer Cliff Bleszinksi.
Marina Orlova gives Jace and Todd one last chance to get rid of the smoking jacket before she will read one more word. All the while, Randy Jackson continues his tirade against Jace and refuses to move his show America’s Best Dance Crew to a new location.
Jace tries to convince Todd that he actually handled the noise problem with Randy Jackson well, which new assistant Ashley seems to confirm for the time being. Meanwhile, Jace and Todd return to the office, where something horrible has gone wrong.
What happens when The Smoking Jacket Guy gets mad? Gary Graham can barely keep it together as he goes off on Todd and Jace about his new role. Warning: this video isn’t for small children sensitive to language and/or aspiring cameramen. We could barely keep it together with this one.
This outtake gives an unusual look at the design process behind the popular video game franchise Diablo. Jace and Todd were given exclusive access inside Blizzard Entertainment headquarters, and found some interesting things, namely, making a video game is a lot like playing darts.
An outtake of what has become one of the most iconic scenes in the history of The Jace Hall Show. Comic book legend Stan Lee can’t keep it together as he and Jace do their best to clean hot coffee off one of the most valuable comic books of all-time.
In what has to be the most anticipated staged rematch of the past century, Carl Weathers and Dolph Lundgren prepare for their epic rematch, in front of a live-studio audience at HDFILMS. This is the lead-up to proceeding episodes featuring the two film stars.
Everyone is a critic…even the writers at College Humor, who give Jace a hard time about The Jace Hall Show in this short, outtakes clip. Is the Jace Hall Show funny? Don’t ask these guys, they’ll give an answer that’s less than favorable.
Season 4 premieres with EXCLUSIVE in-game footage from the highly anticipated sequels of Duke Nukem: Forever and F.E.A.R. 3. Plus, The Old Spice Guy stops by wearing a towel and the legend himself, Stan Lee asks Jace for a huge favor – which wasn’t exactly what Jace was hoping for.
Jace scores an exclusive look at Fallout New Vegas with the designers themselves, and learns one of his arch nemesis is in the game. Jace’s visit with Stan Lee continues to take a turn for the worse, and pop celebrity Audrina Partridge stops by the office…and steps on a few feet.
Audrina Patridge (Dancing with the Stars) offers to teach Jace and Todd how to dance at the new offices, but the music seems to have thrown Todd off his rhythm causing a painful accident. Meanwhile Jace talks smack with UFC and MMA superstar Cung Le, as things start to get violent.
EA Sports MMA Star Cung Le decides to show Jace his moves in Cung’s Dojo since they don’t have a copy of the game, naturally Director Todd takes the worst of it. Tensions flare up between Jace and Stan Lee as the worst thing imaginable finally blows up before them.
Team Unicorn’s very own hottie Milynn Sarley challenges Jace to a game of Kaboom, while he and MMA fighter Cung Le ride on horses into the sunset. Also, The Jace Hall Show is given secret access at Sony Online Entertainment to get a peak at Star Wars Clone Wars.
Jace visits some of the top game reviewers at IGN, and finds out the hard way how they review some of the industry’s most popular video games. Jace is treated to a surprise when his car alarm goes off…apparently there is someone else in the neighborhood with a cooler car.
Jace takes a break from hosting and gets the chance to be interviewed on NGAME.TV – where things quickly take a sour turn for the worst. And are video games too violent? Jace talks the politics of video games with Ted Price, the CEO of insomniac games.
Jace gets invited to the “Lost Planet 2″ party and runs into “V” Star, Logan Huffman who is still upset that Jace hasn’t gotten a video of him pulled from Youtube.com yet. Jace then goes to Crystal Dynamics to talk Tomb Raider with brand director Carl Steward.
Jace manages to piss off two of the most important people in the country, Barack Obama and Jessica Chobot. The former is upset at Jace’s TV show, while Chobot doesn’t appreciate Jace crashing his set. Plus, Jace sits down and talks V with the legendary actress Jane Badler.
Jace Hall visits BioWare to check out Star Wars: the Old Republic and sees a secret Tomb Raider project. Tempers finally flare on set of Jace’s interview with NGAME TV, not before Jace has a sit down and talks with cast members of ABC’s “V.”
Jace catches up with Stargate Executive Producer, Brad Wright on location in Vancouver to get even more insider info on what has kept the Stargate franchise popular with the fans and networks for so many amazing years. Also, more Star Wars: Old Republic exclusives pop up at Bioware.
The “EPIC” Cliffy B. himself has taken up the KABOOM! open challenge on the office Atari to test if he really did put the FUN in fundamentals. Plus, Jace relives one of his lifetime dreams of doing the happy dance on the set of Stargate…much to producer Brad Wright’s dismay.
Jace witnesses nerd mating rituals at Sony Online Entertainments fanfare and visits the DC Universe Online studios, where he is met with quite a challenge. Jace also has another intimate chat with President Obama, as the latter continues to express his dismay.
Jace has decided to take advantage of his co-hosting duties at the Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire celebration, by showing his new music video to the thousands of EverQuest players in attendance, much to the dismay of the crowd. That didn’t stop one enthusiastic guest from doing something radical.
Jace finally meets his match, getting destroyed in a game of DC Universe Online. That doesn’t stop him from rocking Vegas with Randy Pitchford from Gearbox, and venturing to Gaikai, where he learns about cloud gaming with company President Dave Perry.
Donald Faison and Jace discuss the best biblical ally to have in a fight, while Donald tries to pitch his newest show idea, he only needs a few bucks. Jace then goes to Vegas to talk Doom, Quake and some of the greatest first person shooters of all time with the guys at id Software.
The team at id Software reveals Exclusive RAGE footage, direct gameplay that only The Jace Hall Show can bring! Plus, Jace puts Sandeep Parikh, one of the stars of The Guild on the spot about his series, and just what exactly he and Todd Roy are trying to pull behind his back.
The Jace Hall Show debuts more Exclusive RAGE footage with the id Software team, but Jace isn’t satisfied with just “looking”, he wants to play and has decided to pull a runner! Then Jace and Todd decided to pwn the Goodyear blimp, getting a limited access view of Los Angeles from up above.
The Season Finale is so 1337 it just couldn’t fit into a single episode. In part 1, we take a special trip to the home of Gears of War and Cliffy B himself in North Carolina, EPIC GAMES where Jace is looking to cash in on the “favor for a favor” that Cliffy promised him.
The Jace Hall Show closes it’s 4th season with an Epic sized finale (is there any other way?) Showcased is Exclusive footage from the new Mortal Kombat game in all of its gory goodness, as well as perfectly inappropriate Duke Nukem: Forever footage in all of its “Glory”.
The Season 5 debut features Jon Heder a.k.a. Napoleon Dynamite losing a video game battle to Jace, forcing Jace to debut his “Blame It On The Game” music video (starring Fab Morvan and John Davis) that made history. Plus, we sneak into Blizzard headquarters for Diablo 3 EXCLUSIVES.
Geek Goddess Felicia Day stops by to settle an old score and try to steal something back from Todd and Jace – somehow her underwear drawer gets in the way. Plus, the I Play WoW video that grossed over 13 million views is back in the new I Play WoW redux ENTIRELY using machinima.
The fight with Felicia Day continues, as Jace gets the opportunity of a lifetime to record an ACTUAL character in Diablo 3 – it didn’t go as well as everyone had planned. Plus, Jace receives an ATARI automobile that you have to see to believe (something Todd can barely put up with).
Jace continues to struggle in his Diablo 3 voice session, causing lead designer Jay Wilson to ask for more BLOOD. The SOE team behind PlanetSide 2 offers Director Todd Roy the chance of a lifetime. Jace’s Kaboom skills are put to the test against a team of ambitious gamers.
49ers Tight End Vernon Davis visits the office to buy Jace’s T-Rex, offering a huge price! Matt Higby show Jace more from PlanetSide 2, while YTCracker and MC Lars try to get Jace to show some nerdcore skills by rapping live as Jace debuts his latest music video, “My Game Ain’t Done”.
Comic book legend Stan Lee returns and promptly destroys his ACTION COMICS #1. Meanwhile, Vernon Davis offers a HUGE offer for Jace’s T-Rex, only to have everything fall through in the end. Plus, Jace continues putting up ridiculous scores, pwning little kids in Kaboom.
Jace begins building what is undoubtedly the greatest ARCADE Machine in the history of space and time, while the much balleyhooed PlanetSide 2 trailer Todd was hired to direct debuts…to much jaw dropping. Plus, the fight continues as Thousand Pound fighter Amy Johnson kicks ass.
The Ultimate Arcade Machine is finally revealed, with pretty much every video game ever made! Get a look at Jace’s new toy and its insane features! Plus, Todd auditions a film and TV star to take Jace’s place as host of The Jace Hall Show, without Jace even knowing it.
Exclusive gameplay and all access behind the scenes look into Defiance, one of this year’s most anticipated shooters. NBA champion and celebrity actor Rick Fox makes his move to replace Jace as host, while Producer Todd makes moves on Rick’s hot sister.
Actor and NBA champion Rick Fox scores an exclusive look at the top secret Sims City game at EA. Jace then crashes Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski’s celebrity packed wedding – the only problem is that none of Alison Haislip, Isaiah Mustafa or Randy Pitchford will let him in.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest are caught committing a MAJOR gamercode violation, while NBA star Rick Fox previews a never before seen SimCity demo. Plus, if you thought the annoying orange was annoying, wait until you see what Apple’s biggest competitor has cooked up.
ATARI founder Nolan Bushnell faces off against INTELLIVISION’s Keith Robinson in the final battle of which gaming platform is better. Then actress Eliza Dushku confronts Jace, proving why he shouldn’t question a girl’s game cred, in one of the most epic rap music videos ever.
The Jace Hall Show gets an exclusive look at the hidden scandal behind why Kevin Pereira left Attack of the Show. Meanwhile, Debbie Gibson and Jace fight over Afterglow Headphones then think about making a music video together. Has Electric Youth been reloaded?