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Thread: The GameFan history thread

  1. Quote Originally Posted by IronPlant
    I forget, it would have been around the time GF had it's own quake2 server. I remember playing with a bunch of the GF and GR staff a few times.
    Yep. Those were good times.

    Quote Originally Posted by shidoshi
    If you want to read about my past feelings about Halverson, then hit this link. It's an archived page from Fatbabies that came about when Halverson showed up on the GameGO message forum. As I said, I'm over all of that now, and I'm sure he's quite a different person now as well.

    http://www.fatbabies.com/story_sept-oct01.html
    Well said, Shidoshi. Although I seriously doubt Dave has changed much since then. I have never met anyone that would just bold-face lie directly to your face like Halverson would. Except when Bergstien came along... man, those two were a match made in Hell.

    And sorry about your mad scientist character, but I was just following Dave's orders He could be pretty mean-spirited with that shit. Especially if you dressed or looked a little differently.

  2. I've got a neat paycheck story. After GameFan was 6-7 issues old, the ad money wasn't paying the bills and the investor who had bankrolled GameClub and the start of GameFan, Andy Fell, was getting tired of throwing away his money. So Halverson started looking for more investors. He hit up everyone, including employees and employee's families. From my speaking to them, I gather he got at least three of them to invest somewhere around 50-60k between them. He also found a lady who owned a beauty salon who was interested in investing. Her name was Elaine Shings. I heard rumors that she put in around 70k but I don't know if that was all of it or if that was accurate. To make sure her money was invested wisely, though, Elaine insisted on becoming the office manager and being in charge of the payroll and expense account, which she did. We were all pretty happy about this because the pay was never steady, but there always seemed to be enough money in the tills to pay for neon signs, custom embroidered jackets and lots of other expensive, unnecessary stuff like that. So we figured with Elaine in charge of the checkbook, we could rest assured that everything would be on the up and up.

    Well, no more than 2 or 3 weeks after Elaine started working in the office, Jay came round to tell everyone not to cash their paychecks quite yet. He said that Halverson had broken into Elaine's desk, taken the checkbook, and bought a 3' Sonic the Hedgehog statue with the payroll money, so we should wait until Elaine said it was okay to cash checks.

    It was at this point that I got the sinking feeling that Halverson was the devil himself and I had better tie up some loose ends that had gone unresolved for far too long. That leads into the story of how I left GameFan, which I'll leave untold for now.

    I know none of the employees ever saw a penny of their investments returned, but I hope at least Elaine stuck in long enough that she got some money back when Metropolis took over. I was gone by then so I don't know.

    Good lord, there really are a lot more interesting things to tell about GameFan.
    Last edited by djpubba; 02 Jan 2005 at 01:51 AM.

  3. My god! Breaking into the desk for a 3' sonic with stolen payroll? I never in a million years could have imagined that this shit was going on behind the scenes of a magazine. Unbelievable!

  4. Quote Originally Posted by djpubba
    Okay, time for the story of the first GameFan cover.

    It was one day from our first deadline and we had no cover art. That morning, George Weising came in and said that he had met this dude at a game store in Newhall, CA (High Tech Game Center), who did artwork for Heavy Metal, and was looking for work. We all thought, cool! THE Heavy Metal, like, you know -- the movie and magazine -- this stranger's artwork will blaze with fiery balls of joyful bliss! So we gave the dude a call and told him to come in with some work samples. This skinny blonde guy named Terry Wolfinger showed up in short order and showed us his art and it was indeed reasonably blazing. So Halverson showed him a cover of Famitsu and asked if he could airbrush something of that quality. He said he could, so we told him that if he could do us a cover we could use for our first issue and have it to us in the morning, he was hired. We showed him Monitaur and told him to draw him, Sonic, Mario and Bonk busting out of the cover. He said he'd do his best and went home. Meanwhile, we set to work burning the midnight oil to finish the rest of this issue. Around 5 AM, Terry called and said he ran out of ink for the background but was on his way over with the art. Around a quarter to six in the AM, he arrived and presented the artwork. It was fab, except the background was a blotchy red color. So we scanned it and turned the background black. I created the logo in a 3D program on the Mac called Infini-D. On my IIx it took, like 3 hours to render. When it was done, I noticed that I screwed up and had the wrong texture on the "DieHard" part of the logo, but it didn't look too bad, so we called it done and we had our cover and a new staff illustrator!
    All pretty accurrate except for the timeline. I actually met George a few weeks prior to the deadline for the first issue. I was introduced as Tim said, and did indeed tell them I had done finished airbrush art (when in fact I barely used one when I had to paint clouds!) So they gave me a test assignment to produce finished art of a Sonic, a Bonk piece, and a something with a fighting game character. So away I went and picked up a "How to Airbrush" book that was also a kit. It had a couple projects laid out in it with a few supplies. The first I attempted was a big letter "E" and how to paint it to look like chrome. Well that thing came out so piss-poor and ugly... man, it was just the worst thing you'd ever seen. If I had shown them that they woulda laughed in my face and thrown me out the door. But I had learned a bit what not to do. So I had about 3 days to turn in the projects, unfortunately the same weekend I was meeting my family in Pismo Beach to go wheeling in the sand dunes. So I brought my supplies and materials to the hotel room to work on them there.

    So as luck would have it, my first day out riding I get a piece of sand caught in my eye and scratch my cornea all up to Hell. After coming back from the hospital I now have to complete my 3 projects with an eyepatch on, "Arrr!" So what else can wrong. Well I managed to make it thru and the 3 projects came out surprisingly well (for a novice that is, ha!). Then this is when they said they'd need a cover by tonight! So yeah... pulled an all-nighter and was almost done with it, when I just drag my hand thru Mario's still wet moustache and ruined several hours work... fun to paint when you're tired...

    After another couple hours of sloppily repairing Mario, I deliver the cover 30 mins away. They liked it so I start back home just as the sun is coming up and then I actually fall asleep at the wheel! I changed a full lane on the freeway before waking back up and nearly hitting a motorhome. And that was the beginning of my GameFan career.

    Quote Originally Posted by djpubba
    So Halverson started looking for more investors. He hit up everyone, including employees and employee's families. From my speaking to them, I gather he got at least three of them to invest somewhere around 50-60k between them...

    ...I know none of the employees ever saw a penny of their investments returned, but I hope at least Elaine stuck in long enough that she got some money back when Metropolis took over. I was gone by then so I don't know.

    Good lord, there really are a lot more interesting things to tell about GameFan.
    This is also why I stuck it out for as long as I did. My father invested 30k for some profit-sharing percentage that never happened. And Dave did not make one effort to pay him or the other's back. He did show up on a brand new Ninja motorcycle one day tho, that he paid cash for. How does one sleep at night doing the shit he did?

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie
    How does one sleep at night doing the shit he did?
    Satan doesn't have a conscience.
    Last edited by AstroBlue; 02 Jan 2005 at 02:10 AM.
    Quick zephyrs blow, vexing daft Jim.

  6. Here's a fun one:

    GameFan's first trip to the CES (consumer electronics show) in LAs Vegas to get some attention and advertisers for the mag. This was way back in '93 or so. Way before E3. Anyway, so a bunch of the guys go a couple days early to check everything out, then a bunch come a couple days later, myself and Jay Puryear included. So Jay and I are to share a room (oh joy), and this is the room previously shared by The Enquirer (Cockburn) and K. Lee. So we get there and the room is thrashed- the beds are all unmade, condom wrappers everywhere... (oh boy times two)

    So the next day we are told that after asking Halverson for money for food etc... that K. Lee, The Enquirer, and Kai Kuboki promptly went and used that money to buy a hooker which they then all shared. Then they all played Yoshi's Island.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie
    So the next day we are told that after asking Halverson for money for food etc... that K. Lee, The Enquirer, and Kai Kuboki promptly went and used that money to buy a hooker which they then all shared. Then they all played Yoshi's Island.


    That's just awesome.
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  8. Hahaha, that's probably the funniest story yet. The stolen funds stuff is just pathetic though. Halverson being Halverson is probably his eternal punishment.
    matthewgood fan
    lupin III fan

  9. Hey, welcome Terry! The man that helped give Gamefan its 'look' is here. Good to have ya. You do some amazing shit with an airbursh.

    Question: how hard is it to learn to use an airbrush, and do you still use it? Is Photoshop a better alternative in your opinion?

    Now all I need is Takuhi and Nick Rox (the real one, not me) to show up and my life will be complete.


    BTW, I used to have a Diehard Gamer's Club near me years ago in Manhasset. I used to take a drive out there on a fairly regular basis. Cool place, they had a Monitaur statue bursting out of a wall in the back over the counter where the import toys and stuff were kept. They had a nice selection of Japanese games, mags, controllers, etc. However, the demo area that they advertised in every issue of Gamefan (where you could hang out and play games) was never turned on.

    I remember they had a rack where they had what appeared to be every single back issue of Gamefan...I finally decided one day that I was going to head on over and pick up all the issues that I was missing. Of course, that was right when the store went under and closed.

    So, if anyone has any issues up to August 1995 (the KI cover) that they're willing to part with, send a PM my way.
    Last edited by Dolemite; 02 Jan 2005 at 02:54 AM.

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  10. Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie
    Here's a fun one:

    GameFan's first trip to the CES (consumer electronics show) in LAs Vegas to get some attention and advertisers for the mag. This was way back in '93 or so. Way before E3. Anyway, so a bunch of the guys go a couple days early to check everything out, then a bunch come a couple days later, myself and Jay Puryear included. So Jay and I are to share a room (oh joy), and this is the room previously shared by The Enquirer (Cockburn) and K. Lee. So we get there and the room is thrashed- the beds are all unmade, condom wrappers everywhere... (oh boy times two)

    So the next day we are told that after asking Halverson for money for food etc... that K. Lee, The Enquirer, and Kai Kuboki promptly went and used that money to buy a hooker which they then all shared. Then they all played Yoshi's Island.

    My God - these great stories just keep rolling out.Hookers, Yoshi, Sonic statues,mullets,motorbikes,and more....

    And Halverson *shakes head* damn he sounded like such a shady dude.Like Shidoshi was saying in the GameGo threads, hopefully the guy has changed his tune a bit.

    Great Site, too Terry.Im really happy to hear that that the man responsible for all of the kick-ass Gamefan covers is doing so well in the biz.And your work still looks as stellar as ever,if not better than what I remember.And with that remark, I've filled my quotia for ass-kissing comments for the rest of the month.

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