The gaming community was shocked when the controversially outspoken yet undeniably talented indie designer Trent Trout publicly rage-quit the industry. Trout’s long and self-destructive struggle to complete the puzzler/platformer Fedora was already the stuff of legend. But he joined the notorious ranks of creative hothouse flowers when he got so upset over an insult from some blogger that he went ballistic on Twitter (vacillating, as usual, between preening belligerence and the rawest vulnerability) and cancelled the hotly anticipated Fedora 2, which had been predicted to take Trout much less time to complete than the first one, thanks to advances in Microsoft Paint. But a guy’s got to work, right?
This month, YPIW reports on the trail of carnage Trout has left in industry after industry since he swore off games with a final unwarranted insult to his long-suffering Twitter followers, thereafter only taunting them by posting the occasional mysterious Vine or random electro track.
First, Trout tried his hand at fashion, attempting to parlay his Fedora brand into an actual line of hats. Forming the company Polygon Headwear with partner Jared DeFragg, Trout prepared to debut his line at the Pan-American Chapeau Showcase, or PACS. But the business partners had a row before the convention, and DeFragg threatened a lawsuit if the hats were shown, which caused all the capillaries in Trout’s eyes to burst. “I’m going to lose my shit,” he snarled through his bloodied gaze. “I’m going to fucking kill that guy and it’s going to get everybody in trouble” – although it’s unclear why he thought it would get anyone in trouble but him.
Still, the show went on, and Trout’s kiosk was pure bedlam, as the half-finished hats frequently unravelled or got stuck on people’s heads. Sometimes they even crashed and had to be rebooted – which was odd, because they were just hats. No lawsuit was ever filed because, we suspect, Trout did go on to murder DeFragg, most likely eating the carcass raw. Polygon Headwear was summarily dissolved.
Why Trout took his next gig is difficult to fathom – perhaps he’d sunk the Fedora war chest into Polygon Headwear and had to take the first thing he could find. Whatever the explanation, we know that Trout then manned the customer complaint department at a shopping centre for exactly three-and-a-half minutes. He spent the first three minutes alternately berating a puzzled security guard, trumpeting his own accomplishments over the intercom, and demanding arbitrary public apologies from strangers. He spent the last 30 seconds calling an elderly customer – who mildly complained about the air conditioning – a “shrivelled-up old colostomy bag” that “sneezes smegma” and suggesting that it was nice and warm in Hell, where she should go by killing herself. He was escorted off the premises by security, while he harangued shoppers about his unjust persecution.
Fully in a state of career freefall, Trout bought a hotdog from a Japanese vendor and took a bite, which he then spat out onto the pavement with disgust. “Your hotdogs suck,” he sneered, and lectured the silently weeping vendor about the deficiencies of the Japanese hotdog industry for half an hour. Humiliated, the vendor slunk away to disembowel himself, dropping his apron, which Trout then put on.
When word spread that an infamous videogame designer was working at a hotdog stand, a queue quickly formed. It stretched around the block as Trout slaved over his first order, placing each particle of offal in the hotdog casing by trembling hand. When the customer – who had by then grown a mosaic beard and Guinness World Record-worthy fingernails – finally dared to protest that he had been waiting five years for a hotdog, Trout condemned him as a “trivial pundit” who “sat in judgement, masturbating”. Cancelling his next order and all to follow, exeunt Trout from the hotdog business.
Finally, feeling the need to get away from it all, Trout donned a skipper’s cap that dashingly set off his mutton chops and booked on as the captain of a freighter carrying videogames to Singapore. But the trouble started almost right away. “People are telling me they’re going to pirate my games because they don’t like me, over,” he radioed back to shore. “Gamers are the worst fucking people ever, over.” This was unfair – people were going to pirate Trout’s games not because they disliked him, but because they were actual pirates.
Trout’s vessel was overtaken by speedboats in the Strait of Malacca and hit with an RPG, hurling the unsold hats that were ballasting the ship as far away as Sri Lanka. The pirates took Trout captive but, finding his incessant jabbering intolerable, released him after just a few minutes. Perhaps it was then that Trout began to realise that most gamers weren’t so bad after all, priming his inevitable comeback after a span of sufficient pleading and coddling from his fans. In fact, let’s make a bet – if he isn’t back in gaming in six months, I’ll go back and pay for all those copies of Fedora I pirated out of sheer malice and spite.
Illustration: Marsh Davies