Compo: Splendid-o-shirts

and lunchtime is for wimps

Seeing as folk are ruminating upon the possibility of RPS t-shirts over in this thread, now seems an opportune moment to drop in another competition, and one that may expedite devising our own merchandise. We’ve got four gamer/geek t-shirts from marvellous torso-cladding specialists to give away to four lucky RPS readers, or possibly to one lucky RPS reader who can convincingly prove he has four entirely separate personalities.

Splitreason have an impressive repository of t-shirts that tick pretty much all of the discerning pop-culturite’s robot/zombie/WoW/WCC/noob-baiting boxes. At the top of this post and beneath the cut are a few suggestions as to your chosen prize, but have a gander at the site to see the other stuff on offer, both PC-relevant and otherwise (they’ve also got hats and hoodies and similar adornments). While we may sidestep Mario gags here, we won’t judge you for having such predilections, honest. Entry challenge follows below.

And so, a question. More of a project, almost – we want you to submit a design for an official RPS t-shirt. It could be a drawing, it could be a phrase, it could be a logo, it could be an impressionistic attempt at Kieron’s beard made from mushroom soup splatters.

There’s no guarantee we’ll use the winners for our eventual shirts, if they ever happen, but it’s certainly a possibility. Send your entry here, and please keep file attachments to less than 50kb (if we need to see a larger version, we’ll get in touch). Closing date is two weeks hence – the 18th of April. And yes, so long as they aren’t unacceptably offensive, we’ll post the winners on the site.

Send your entry here, quickly now.

Vague rules:

– the idea is infinitely more important than the execution – i.e. you’re not on a back foot for not being an artist or pro Photoshopper.
– Don’t worry about sticking it onto a t-shirt image – just the design/logo on its own is fine.
– Also don’t worry about contact details beyond email address for now – we’ll be in touch with the winners.
– Follow the Roger Rabbit rule: naughty swears and blasphemy etc are only worth doing if the result is genuinely funny.
– One entry per person. And, while you can post your design in comments if you like, you have to email it to enter the compo.
– It’s open to all nations, unless it’s one that isn’t allowed to receive post from America.
– Prizes = any four t-shirts. Hats’n’that are out.
– If a t-shirt’s out of stock, you’ll have to pick another one.
– The editors’ decision is final, no matter how weird or reckless.


  1. Chris Evans says:

    Can we just pitch our idea without sending an image of our idea?

    Pretty much can we just send our ideas by words :P

  2. Alec Meer says:

    Let’s stick to images, no matter how crude.

  3. AbyssUK says:

    God damit

    link to


  4. Chris Evans says:

    I’m out then :P

  5. Okami says:

    And yes, so long as they aren’t unacceptably offensive, we’ll post the winners on the site.

    So this means I can submit an unacceptably offensive design and still win? Great!

  6. Seniath says:

    I fear all this years creativity was used for the Crysis compo. But good luck to all those entering, I look forward to seeing the results :).

  7. Nick says:

    Tanks: Like Angry Houses.

    Shit, wait, that’s been done hasn’t it..

  8. tacticus says:

    either my sign language skills are quite a bit poorer than i thought or i have nfi what beh means
    then again i might be completely misinterpreting it

  9. Nick says:

    It’s like rock paper scissors only the last one is meant to be a shotgun.

    Personally I think a real shotgun along with the traditional hand shapes would look better.

  10. Robin says:

    “Uh huhuhuhuhh Noobz! Uhuhuhuhuh FRAGSors! Ninjas! Pirates! Zombies! Cake! I deserve to be shot in the face!”

    Oh god, please don’t do your eventual merchandise with SplitReason. They are appalling. They’re like the sworn enemies of wit and fashion. They do CTRL+ALT+DEL and Destructoid’s merchandise, for fuck’s sake. Anything that supports their ongoing trading is like a knife between the ribs of people who actually like games and/or jokes.

    I really, really hope you’re just being polite because they’re sponsoring the competition.

  11. Crispy says:

    Your commercial affiliation has succeeded and multiple purchases have been made.

    That T-shirt collection is on a par if not better than ThinkGeek/Penny Arcade’s. Looking forward to the RPS results.

  12. Crispy says:


    Speak for yourself. I see you have a rather long list of site links to ‘avoid’ on your website, giving no reasons for why (seriously, you don’t like the sites yet you give the reader a direct link to go check ’em out, simultaneously boosting their Google rating and contributing to their success!!!!). I don’t read CTRL+ALT+DEL or Destructoid regularly, but you have provided zero supporting information for your opinion. At the moment it just looks like you’re devoid of humour.

    I notice you also promote World of Stuart as a must see site. WoS -is- a great site from an intelligent, original-thinking and vocal games journo, but Campbell has blatantly made a grave error in making his forum pay-to-post. You should be boycotting the site until he comes to his senses, not supporting his decision with free linkage.

  13. Robin says:


    Yeah, that was a bit of an outburst. It just winds me up when I see things which have clearly had a minimal amount of talent or effort put into them marketed solely on the merit of making pop culture references that the consumer is supposed to identify with. Such as a tshirt with a mushroom on it and the slogan, “Get a life”. Or the film “Epic Movie”. It’s just shit, and I’ll gladly risk looking humourless to say it.

    Re: my Avoid list, it’s not meant entirely seriously. Some of the sites on it I read regularly, if only for the entertainment value of how wrong they can be. I don’t link to anything that I would have preferred to have been spared from ever having to know about, such as Ctrl+Alt+Del.

    Good point about WoS. I’m going to leave the link because the back-catalogue stuff is worth reading, but hope Stu comes to his senses (regarding making the actual site updates paid content) soon.

  14. Leeks! says:

    Abyss – That’s a great concept. If you incorporated Nick’s suggestion, I would totally buy that shirt/wear it when I was hung over.

  15. Findus Crispy Pancakes says:

    Destructoid is a blight on the internet. I hope RPS makes some kind of weapon that can eradicate the filth.

    @Rocky Robin:
    You list The Escapist in both section. I assume this is pre and post facelift?

  16. Robin says:

    The Escapist is a mixed bag really. I suppose ZP should pull it out of the ‘Avoid’ section. Hark at me, judge of the internet.

    To bring things vaguely back on topic, I’d like a BRING BACK SYNDICATE t-shirt.

  17. James G says:

    Right, lets see if my beginners luck holds out.

  18. elias says:

    Guys, does this seem good or should I have another go? (I haven’t submitted it yet, think I can maybe do better if I try a bit.)

  19. mister slim says:

    No interest in entering the contest, but I’d like a “Rock Paper Shotgun Is Killing Home Taping” shirt.

    I haven’t taped any games since I started reading RPS.

  20. Crispy says:


    I can think of snappier lines (actually I can’t otherwise I would be entering, but what I mean to say is: snappier lines most definitely exist). Think about whether you would want to buy a T-shirt with that on it.

    For me, I don’t just want any old T-shirt that says ‘Rock, Paper, Shotgun’, because other people will look at it and not know what RPS is. I would want the RPS bit to somehow be linked to gaming lore, so that even if no-one else get’s it, at least self-respecting gamers will look at it and think “Fellow gamer, respect+1” (or something more, equally or possibly less nerdy).

    I’ve come up with a couple of ideas (5?) for own entry just thinking about those criteria. They’re pretty simple, but could be done well with the right visual style. I’ll throw up some images next weekend when I can put together some stuff in PS or on paper and see which one people like the best.

  21. AbyssUK says:

    Ok guys thanks for the feedback.. I’ve made a new one let me know what you think. I spent a bit more time on this one… oh at least 25 minutes…

    link to

    ok made it black as its easier to find black t-shirts and easier to print on. Found a better ‘rock’, added the DOOM2 Super Shotgun :) Pixelated the Slogan

    I think it looks better!

  22. Lunaran says:

    I was thinking something similar.

    link to

    Haven’t vectorized it yet, so the outlines are all inconsistent and etc bleh.

  23. Leeks! says:

    Have either of you thought about making your shotguns blunderbuss-ey? It would fit well with the 1873 thing.

  24. The D-Man says:

    Hmmm, starting to regret entering mine so fast.

    link to

    It’s been entered but comments (nice or otherwise) appreciated.

    and yes, that is gabe newell

  25. elias says:


    Ok. I thought from other comments that obscurity was a quality people were interested in for this, but I’ll try again.

    To the others who’ve posted images, these were all pretty much ideas I thought about. Guess I’ll have to come up with something different. ; )

  26. Crispy says:

    Well, at the end of the day it’s down to the judges to decide. I am not one of the judges, so all I can do is imagine how I would judge such a contest based on what I would want to have on a T-shirt, and that basically boils down to:

    – Possibly humourous or clever, without being untasteful, lurid or puerile

    – Possibly related to games or gamer culture

    – A design that isn’t so woefully geekcore that I cannot wear it outside my bedroom during daylight hours, not something that is garish, written in Lucida Console or has a picture of Bill Gates’ face (RPS faces are okay, in fact this gives me another idea for a T-shirt)

    – Appropriate content that ties in with RPS somehow and something somewhere that tells people that RPS is a ‘views on PC games’ website (although this last part does not have to be part of the main design, as I’m sure that if they did choose a particular design, this could always be added on later)

    I wouldn’t worry about the ideas being particularly original, I think a lot of people are going along lines of the clenched fist, outstretched palm and shotgun motif. I think the way they’re incorporated is the clincher.

    One idea I just came up with, which I’ll share because I don’t have the Photoshop skills to do it justice, is a Blur-style T-shirt with the faces of Gillon, Rossignol, Meer and Walker. If anyone can do that justice they are onto a winnar, for sure!

    P.S. Apologies, D-Man, I wrote the Bill Gates thing before I saw your design. No offense is intended.

  27. Subsonic says:

    Submitted my entry last night. Pretty generic I’m afraid (all I had to work with was Windows Paint). But what someone with the skills and tools ought to do is a “Girls of RPS” t-shirt. Something along these lines:

    link to

    (with the last chick holding a shotgun, of course.) ;-)

    Best of luck…

  28. elias says:

    How’s this?

    The phrase can be changed to something else if desired. Other things can be changed as well. Should I submit it?

  29. Crispy says:

    Heh quite like that, but there’s something about the word order of the ‘Cleverthinks’ line that doesn’t quite ring true. Maybe thesaurus up a few different possibilities for ‘different’ and ‘sort’ and look at the word order until it sounds as catchy as possible. E.g. for me ‘A different kind of cleverthinks’ has a better ring to it, probably because the keywords are falling nicely in a way that allows them to be emphasised on the first syllable and in an order that is rhythmical (a DIFFerent KIND of CLEVerthinks).

  30. The D-Man says:

    lol, no worries about the bill gates thing.
    I just had an awesome idea though, which really ticks me off as I entered that other one, which I think was a bit rash.
    No chance of entering another one?

    It would be awesome! *winks*

  31. dartt says:

    @elias I couldn’t agree more, the obscurer the better, I want people to be either delighted to be in on the joke or backing away slowly.

    Which is why I submitted this

  32. elias says:

    Ok, these are the last changes I’m making. Which should I submit, this or this? Or the other one?

  33. Lunaran says:

    The phrase “Rock, Paper, Shotgun” is itself a gag, a surprising and hyperbolic twist on a known phrase. We all ‘got it’ and smiled the first time we came to this site, and I think anyone that sees a shirt bearing the aforementioned will interpret it the same way. They don’t have to know it’s a website for the shirt to ‘work’. (And honestly I’d prefer they didn’t – I’m not wearing anything with a URL on it. :P)

  34. Crispy says:

    One of the new ones, but it’s a tough call.

    True, anyone will ‘get it’, but without anything to point out that it’s a (good) website, it’s nothing more than gamer stash. Considering the guys here want to make a living from this site and T-shirts are a good way to communicate between PC gamers (words often fail in this respect because it requires striking up conversations with strangers who you either meet outside of your bedroom or, less likely, you invite to your bedroom)… (still with me?)… I don’t see why RPS shouldn’t leverage the merch to get more pageviews, more ad revenue and closer to their dream of working on this site fulltime.

    It doesn’t hurt me to have a .com label on the back of my T-shirt just below the neckline if the T-shirt is good and the website is one I am proud to endorse (not a full URL obv.). Below the neckline is a surprisingly effective area to advertise when you think about it. On the one hand it doesn’t have to interfere with the main design if there is one on the back of the shirt. On the other hand, think of all the time you spend stood in line looking over someone’s shoulders. Queueing for tickets to the cinema or for the checkout, for entry to a music gig or club, on an escalator in the mall or metro station. There are simply zillions of opportunities for people to see this website’s name, get the joke, and log on for enlightenment.

    P.S. Yeah, I know the bedroom gamer is a horrible cliché, and one that isn’t wholly representative nor one we should perpetuate, but it is still representative of a fair group of specifically PC Gamers, if we’re brutally honest with ourselves.

  35. Crispy says:

    Sadly I only had time to do one of my ideas, this is what I came up with.

    I had to rush the shotgun in the end and just completely rip the GTA icon instead of adapting a different image into the GTA style. The boxes could have been better (they look a bit too Nintendoey, mainly because I took a PS noob pixel art approach instead of using the advanced Style options, which I couldn’t find to begin with!), but I’m a PS novice so it was fun to jump in and have a play around.

  36. moa says:

    there are my versions of abyssuk design.