Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Apparantly, I'm into independant filmmaking

I've been recruited to be work on a movie called, "How Myspace Ruined My Life." Its about a guy who goes on a bunch of dates with girls he met on MySpace, hilarity ensues. So not only am I in the movie (as the guy's asshole friend) but I'm also co-writing the script (or what passes as such), assistant directing, and basically production managing (which includes making sure we have everything we need.)

I'm having a blast making this movie. Setting up scenes, doing multiple takes, rewriting the script, the whole process of moviemaking is simply amazing to me. There is something about collabratively making a work of art that keeps the energy up. I'll have to explore this for making my games. I suppose we'll see if this movie comes to fruition and if we come out with something actually watchable, hell funny even. 'Course optimism isn't my strong suit, but what the fuck, this shit is fun.

Oh, the excited director actually made a teaser for the film and put it on Youtube. I'm torn between loving the fact that some of the footage actually hit teh intarweb and the roughness of the footage grating on my nerves.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mystery Science Arcade 3000

So I had this idea for an internet show the other day, inspired by Mystery Science Theatre. Basically I plus any friends/puppets I can convince to be my sidekicks play old abandonware games and proceed to heckle them. 'Course I still I have not figured out the layout but it seems hilarious in concept. There's a lot less history to draw on, but I doubt that'll be a problem. Old games are hilarious and plentiful. Plus I get to hit the nostalgia nerve that every good gamer should have.

It's still an idea though and I have tons of questions to answer before I even consider going through with this. Should I use puppets? Do I want to put forth all the extra work of using a screen capture program (which one?? all the ones I've seen seem pay-for) and putting our silhouettes or should I just be lazy and stick a camcorder behind us as we play? What should I name it? I refuse to name it Mystery Science Arcade 3000 as I feel that just adds insult to plageristic injury. Should the play session be uncut, or should I just cut the boring bits out?

The delivery format for this nonsense would probably be a *.blogspot with videos posted to YouTube. I wonder if I should add a wacky storyline? Should I even bother? Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Digging through my memories...

When did I know that games were going to dominate my life so? Hmm, I'm going to have to memory searching...

Perhaps it was when I was in middle school, when I spent hours upon hours play MUDs. (Gemstone and DragonRealms, oh fantastic memories) I even managed to convince most my friends to play MUDs and they all enjoyed it. Organizing the group sessions, getting booted of the MUD because they thought we were Multiplaying when really were just all logging on from the school network. We were such foolish gamers. 'Twas all good times, but I think it was earlier.

Maybe was when I met my best friend due to talking about Starcraft and we realized we both played Magic: the Gathering as well. We formed a partnership of Jay and Silent Bob proportions which continues into the present day and the forseeable future. Hmm, while that was a hallmark of my life, I don't think that's when I knew games were going to important to me. I think that just when I found someone who feels the same as I do. Which, while cool, is not the topic of this Round Table and I'd be basterd to digress.

Well, it could be during the hours I spent playing X-Com: UFO Defense and X-Wing plus it's sequel Tie Fighter during my elementary days and many other games too. The fiero I felt when I beat Tie Fighter I can still feel sometimes. I couldn't beat X-Wing or X-Com, though I still had fun playing them. Somehow I think it was earlier still.

I wonder if its when I found this book at the library for kids on programming games in BASIC. I remember when I found that little gem and ran home to mess around with QBASIC. No, that's when I learned the programming was going to be important to my life (even though I at point I had been programming batch files for awhile) Goddamn, I'm starting to think I'm never going to remember the point. Maybe it was just too early for me to remember.

Wait, I got it. Silly me. It was when I was watching my dad play Wing Commander I or II, I was too young to know the difference. Probably I though. It was such a cool bonding activity for me. Watching my dad fly through space, taking down the Kilrathi (except for Hobbes, who was your boy) well that was just inspiring. I wanted to fly through space and shoot down baddies too! Yeah, that was it. I think I knew then that games was what I wanted to do. So I can blame my dad for all of this. Naturally, he was also the one who introduced to Warhammer 40k, which continues to dominate my life.

What a life decision to make, and I was like maybe 4 years old?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Warhammer 40k

So right now, I have once again been immersed into the wonderful world of Warhammer 40k. For those who don't know it's a tabletop miniature wargame. Which essientally means that there is two hobbies going on at once, the actual playing of the game and the building of the models that you play with. I am really into both sides of the game, I love 'converting' models for instance, but really it is the exercise in strategy and tactics that I love about this game. There is a feeling of uniqueness that each unit and army has on the battlefield. It's something that seems a bit lost in most computer games (less so in most turn based combat games, more so in RTS games). I've always felt that most 'tactical' games weren't really all that much tactical. There are of course exceptions,, X-Com, for instance but for most games I always get the feeling that they can be play algorithimically without much hard decision making. The *craft games are good of this. I love Starcraft, but really those and most RTS are about choosing the most efficient 'path' of generating units and seeing whose mob of units can win. There's not a lot of room for cleverness (notice I don't say no room) in these games. I've got Dawn of War chilling on my computer and I've played it maybe once, but it might be a little different, but I doubt it.

Perhaps I'm just bitching because I think I good at tactics but I suck at Warcraft III. But I feel that for a game to be tactical, position of units should make just as much of a difference as which unit is tougher or bigger. At least for strategy games where you are controlling an army. RPGs and Fighting games are a whole different beast all together. Something I may get into later.

Basically, all that rumbling in my brainpan has led to idea of game I want make which sofar as been call 'Position' but the name is crap and I'll change it as soon as I come up with something better. What I want to create is a tactics game in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics, X-Com, and Tactics Ogre, but I want to remove the health bar. I want that grid to mean more than as a way of calculating line of sight.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Making My Own Damn Game

So I just finished reading Make Your Own Damn Movie by Lloyd Kaufman of Troma fame. It's pretty interesting guide in a making low budget independant movies. Though not directly applicable to me, the making of games and films are quite so I hear, I still feel that it is useful to me. In general, the mindset of an independant artist-rebel doing what he can to create and get an audience is something I need to get into and collecting wisdom from successful auteurs seems prudent. Personally the thing that I need to learn the most is:

It's okay to make crap. As long as I can make something brilliant, enjoyable, and fun, it can certainly be crap. Artists have made careers out of making great crap. Toxic Avenger, Evil Dead, Dead Alive(Braindead) are all low budget crap but it's magnificant crap.

I have this impulse to hold myself back from making stuff, games included, because I feel that what I'll produce will be a pile of steaming shit but I have to tell myself that it's okay if its crap. And of course, I shall be inflicting my crap on the internet because the Lord knows that there is always more room of the internet for mediocrity.

Maybe I should have called this blog Crapgames. :D