Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's easier than you might think.

So I was supposed to be working on something productive, but then I noticed that someone has commented on ALL of my posts with spam about hotel broking (and in Chinese no less).

Normally I ignore spammers, but if someone (or in this case "somebody") thinks I need to know about hotel brokerage that much, it's obvious that they are really looking out for me. They're basically saying: "Hey... Video games ain't nothin'. You're wasting your time. Running a hotel is where you should be at!"

And for that, "somebody": I salute you. I mean considering what this blog is about, it's a pretty random topic to spam it with. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's some overlap, but really, no ones coming here looking for anthing about property ownership (until now at least).

So, "somebody", I'm elevating you to No. 1 fan (or at least No. 2). Thanks for your support!

(Also, website's been updated a little more, including my status page, with as many "achievements" as I can remember. I'll try to keep it updated. Let me know if you think my stats are out.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An accurate description of my last couple of weeks.

Trainz. Kicking my ass. 24/7.

I'm pretty sure I had other stuff to say tonight as well, but I'm currently punch-drunk and I'm not really sure what it was.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So work's still kicking my ass, so I haven't really had the time or energy to do anything post-worthy. Also on the weekend circumstances forced me to immediately learn video editing (having only ever watched videos prior). I'm not so good with moving pictures... I just cant draw quick enough to do 30 in a second. (Rimshot).

So bad jokes aside, tonight I didn't have to run resource crunching tests on both of my computers (only one), which freed the other to scribble around on. Results are shown here (and may vary). Please bear in mind it was drawn hastily, and while monitoring something else. As a testament to how tired I am, I had to just google "bear" to check I was using the right spelling.

I was. Crisis Averted.

So... what is there to say about MechaGorilla that hasn't already been said?
- He's the cheap z-movie equivalent of MechaGodzilla.
- He's made out of adamantium, so only Wolverine has a chance of beating him in one to one combat.
- He's stood in as a stunt double for Donkey Kong.
- He's fictional.
- He's a first generation Pokemon.

Alright, I think that's filled up my required quota of movie/comic/videogame references. I'm off to bed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stompy Fantasy 2: Robot Chronicles

So I was watching this TED talk about solving the worlds problems by playing game, which can be found here. Now I agree up to a point (and that point is most of  second part of the of the talk), and sure, she repeatedly uses the phrase "Epic Win" with all seriousness many many times, but it's still an interesting watch.

But what I take most from it is the unquenchable need to level up. "Epic wins" are great and all, but I want the feedback. I want to ding. I want the final fantasy victory music at frequent intervals.

Considering there's sadly no in-world infrastructure in place to handle that, I've made my own status sheet. It should be available over at my website sometime soonish. I've tried to be as accurate as possible there, but really... Assessing one's attributes  accurately is a tough thing to do.

Speaking of the website: I've actually gotten around to updating it for a change. I dont think there's anything new there that hasn't been here already, but still. Also, I'm not 100% happy with the layouts, but the way I've made it will make it easy to change around stuff later on. So don't panic.

Hopefully I can keep that momentum up.

Also, just back to the video again: The problem I see with her approach is that it's still a bit too edu-tainmenty, and unfortunately, you'll never reach any kind of large audience like that. You can learn things from games, even when you're not expecting it, but it works best when you don't know you're learning anything. Not that I've had any indepth looks at their stuff or anything though...

Also... does anyone know why it's not doing columns next to pictures anymore? :S

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Because the current classification system is old and obsolete... Just like the NES! Geddit? Geddit? F#@k you.

A lot (okay... 2) people have asked me to write something about the game classification/censorship throwdown currently (or not so currently as it may be) happening in my home country of Australia. I've kind of avoided it because it's obvious. Really, everyone should know by now that censorship is bad, and if you don't, my blog's hardly going to be the place to convince you. There's no real arguement here, denying someone the ability to play something someone else has made is ridiculous. Anyway... The other day I remembered that I always wanted to do one of those hoity-toity retarded political cartoons and now with my magical newfound grasp of heavy-handed symbolism, I think I'm in the right place for it. It just means I'll have to think up something more interesting to type...

Plus... I've found the break button! Yay!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday night Deadpool

I was just messing around and then decided to have another go using that colour flatting technique from before. This time, I made sure I was paying attention to the lines (so they all cross this time! even if they cross a little too much).

Meanwhilst, this string of coloured posts totally means I can just slack off and do some easy black and white ones ;).

(Note: the thumbnail came out kinda blury, so maybe I should've saved it as a png or something... Either that or my eyes are just that tired...)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

We gotta get off this rock, Chuck...

So these minimalist poster/case/cover remakes seem to be the "current in thing" on the web... I don't really have the design skills to pull it off properly, but I more than make up for that with ham-fisted pointless symbolism. Robert Langdon would shake his ridiculous head of hair in disgust.

Anyway, Shutter Island was a good movie. Probably the best movie I've seen this year so far (but it's early days yet). It's odd how it seems to divide critics, but really, this was a much more superior movie than The Departed (which was still good, if not badly put together).

Bonus points to anyone out there who can tell me why the woman's glass disappears in that one shot in the middle of the interrogation.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

C'mon baby torchlight my fire - Torchlight retrospective

The second game I've completed (well as much as you can complete at least) this year was Torchlight.

For me, this game really came out of nowhere, but once I heard about it was was pretty excited. I was a massive Diablo 1 and 2 player, so naturally, a similar type of game by the same guys got my attention. I didn't mind the cartoony graphics... I know theres all the hoo-hah about Diablo 3's rainbow filled colour-scheme, but Torchlight's got a different mood about it. It's not the grim and gothic world Diablo inhabits. That said, I'm not saying Torchlight is all sunshine and lollypops, but it is a brighter more colourful place.

The graphics were definitely the first thing I noticed, but the next was just how much more streamlined and easier everything has become.  All the bits outside of the hacking and the slashing (or shooting and spelling if that's how you roll) have been simplified for the better. Inventory management isn't a juggling game anymore either, with objects only taking one space and a pet that can handle offloading your items. Aside from that, it keeps the Diablo tradition of grind-for-gear alive... always dropping tantalizing bits of armor or weapons to keep you going.

The combat itself is improved , at least in the ways enemies react to your hits. It definitely gives a feel impact watching those little monsters bounce around that was sorely missing from Diablo 1 and 2, although I guess that could be due to the limiting factor of sprites in those games. The only thing that did seem off to me was that the majority of Torchlight's action takes place in narrow corridors, which made spacing tactics tougher, although really thats a moot point considering there's no other play to work with. Maybe I'm just spoiled by Diablo 2 in that regard, but I remember Diablo 1 being a lot more spaced out too.

However, definitely the most limiting feature are the class sets. Diablo 2 was incredible in this respect, giving you enough skills and abilities to shape the original seven classes into distinct and viable subclasses of your own devise. Although I don't think Torchlight's three main classes are that limiting, the range of skills certainly is. It doesn't help either that many of the skills are available for all classes (and as generic as they are, tend to be the most use). That, and they don't really level up to any Godly type of limit. Sure, you can go back and try another build after, but its probably not going to be as effective as the generica-version you played through first as.

That being said, I did play through it once as the Vanquisher (Rogue/Assassin) and then most of the way through with the Destroyer (Warrior/Barbarian) although it was mainly to see how the inheriting system worked. When I realised that I hadn't really changed the way I was playing  (just doing it at a different distance) I got a little bored and decided to move on. The lack of variety between and within classes is what really killed it for me.

That being said, I did a lot of fun while playing it, and I'm glad/horrified that I've still got the grinding bug in me... But it's probably not a game I'd play again (unlike Diablo 1&2, which I'm considering reinstalling as I type). If there was multiplayer, I might've changed my mind, but with Torchlight supposedly a tester for a proposed MMO-version, we'll have to wait for that and see how I truly feel about it.

About the picture: I'm freakishly busy with work at the moment, so this ended up taking a little longer than I was expecting... Also, when I envisioned it in my head I had something a little less... well... detailed and coloured in mind. But then I started to like how it was turning out, so I decided to give it a little more time instead of rush it out. For those playing along at home, that's the Destroyer and Vanquisher classes... I briefly considered adding in the Alchemist class as well, but didn't because we all know magic users are a bunch of prissy bastards.

Also, I mentioned in the previous post I checking out a tutorial on colouring and wanted to give it a go... That tutorial was Jeph Jacques's (of webcomic Questionable Content) BPelt colour flatting tutorail. I did use it, but I didn't really think enough about what I needed to do to make it work properly as I was drawing (i.e. nice thick lines and no open spaces) so I had to do some trickery at the end to tidy it up a little. Totally worth it though... 

Bonus fact I find mind blowing for some unknown reason: "Barbarian" and "Assassin" are both spelt with the first three letters repeated twice.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Please make your own axe related pun...

So I saw this pretty cool colouring tutorial tonight, and instead of sleeping I decided to give it a shot.

I also thought I might finally do something for the second game I completed this year: Torchlight.

Naturally, things got carried away and instead of a dinky little coloured drawing I got too into the inks. On the plus side, I'm getting a whole lot more comfortable with the freehand tablet drawing. On the negative side my hands are cramping possibly from all the work I've been doing lately, or alternatively due to all the bananas I haven't been eating lately.

To be completed sometime this week (hopefully).