Re-watching Star Wars Episode IV, what I'm struck by most is how some of the most endearing characteristics of the characters are things that were not, or seem not to have been deliberately decided. The words "over-produced" often apply to movies where decisions that could or should be left to the actors, or in other ways done naturally, are instead done according to some formula or theory as to what would look best.
In the most recent episode of 3 Moves Ahead, commentators Bruce Geryk, Rob Zackny, and Troy Goodfellow talk about ancient warfare and in particular the many and disparate models of leadership in strategy gaming vis a vis the effect of leadership on combat in the ancient times. It is an interesting discussion and fits into a larger discussion of the general lack of ancient wargames.
Inspired in no small part by someone else's list of random comments on what could make or break the remake, I suppose I ought to speak broadly about several things instead of narrowing in on one thing in particular like I have previously.
1) 3D vs Pre-Rendered: The Quality Control Problem
God I love Final Fantasy VII. I just... wow.
When I first put together the idea for the Demonsword Project--the setting, not the game--I put it together in order to gather my thoughts about fantasy and magic so that, in my various stories and daydreams, I would have a consistent flavor for how magic worked. Magic in fantasy has been in many ways my obsession since I was a child; I spent months or years worth of time in my own head telling myself stories, because it was fun. I love magic, in principle; I love the idea that when you get the right idea in your head you can change the world to make it just so.
Right off the bat I will go ahead and say that I am going to need help with this, not even in implementation, but just wrapping my head around the problem I've set for myself: Project Histronic aims to be a language by which you can automatically generate stories.
By language here I mean something akin to a programming language heavily mixed with actual story writing and improv. Consider the following improv exercise:
It bugs me that I am right with Tite Kubo (author of Bleach) about the Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tenshou right up until the sword, Zangetsu, attempts to explain in the dreamworld what is happening. I feel like he's close, but doesn't quite reach, the perfect thematic explanation.
Honestly, this workaround is probably a bug in its own right.
Have you ever had a window appear off-screen? Like so far off-screen you can't click the title bar to move it around? Of course you have, you're using Windows. If you can get the standard Restore/Move/Size/etc/close right click menu for the window, and have a keyboard (on screen or otherwise), there's hope.
I have been reading webcomics since at least 2003. In my first years of college I spent far too much time pouring through archives in a major depressed slump, and I never really stopped following them since then. The names have changed a lot--some broke up with me, some I broke up with, and some now live on only in memories, their archives gone forever. This is a list of most (but not all) of the webcomics I currently track.
Let's talk about Virtual Reality. It's been in the news lately as several recent attempts have overcome some of the early technical difficulties with the screen real estate. Specifically I am responding to some incredibly positive reviews to the HTC Vive, a a VR headset being made in conjunction with noted software and games company Valve, but the Oculus Rift has also been in the news, especially since it was bought out last March by Facebook. Virtual reality, or having your entire field of view replaced by a virtually created environment, seems closer now than it ever has been.
Anyone who was ever a fan of Final Fantasy VII has by now I'm sure seen the FF7 HD "tech demo" that was put out in 2005 and which they have utterly failed to develop into an actual HD remake. I mentioned before that the remake seemed to be stalled based on the sense by the developers that they never really recaptured the magic, and when I think about the differences between modern action-heavy game aesthetics and those of the original PS1 period, it's clear they need to think very heavily about tone.