Monday, 25 November 2013

Gail Simone

It's not every day you see an otherwise respected, reasonable-thinking member of popular culture have a complete meltdown. Usually it's pretty gradual, with a celebrity only slowly dishing out the insanity over their careers until it reaches critical mass.

It's interesting when it happens all in one day. When someone who appears to be a sane and functioning member of society just throws out everything that made them beloved in the first place, usually it's because they said something on Twitter.

How strange, how sad, that Gail Simone of all people would be the next in line. It's not every day a talented writer and an ally of diversity in comics chooses to throw out the goodwill she's earned from her fans by being a complete jackass. The author of comics such as "The Movement" and "Secret Six" has, up until now, displayed the charm, the intelligence and the fierce talent comics need. And also the polite, good-natured sense of humour that an often all-too-serious medium could use more of. To see her fall this low is tragic.

She responded to an innocent question from someone concerned about what his place in the comics industry might mean to someone who might have a harder time breaking through. Her response equated to telling him to give up.

To respond with such venom, such contempt was uncharacteristic of her. Her fans(including myself) responded. At this point, a reasonable human being(like the one we thought Gail Simone was) might become introspective. They might try to understand the negative reaction, maybe take a look back at their decisions and ask themselves if they had made a mistake.

Gail Simone, in her wisdom, decided to be a stubborn, mean-spirited bully instead. And then complain that people are sending her mean letters.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Fresh Air & Vapor Trails

I forgot why I wanted to be an artist.

I haven't been able to even think of calling myself an artist over the last year. I've lost count of the people who I pushed away, and the people who just straight-up abandoned me. I lost almost all of the people I wanted to write and draw for. I lost the only audience I ever wanted. To try and start over now would feel like an empty gesture. I thought to gain success and personal achievement without them would be a hollow victory.

Why bother? Why bother getting all of those stories in my head down on paper? Why bother trying to learn anatomy, or research trans issues to better portray the characters in a comic book project? Why bother finishing NaNoWriMo this year, when I failed every other year I tried it, and no one will read it? Why learn to code, so I can design a game for vile, stupid underachievers who feel video games are their to masturbate them? Why should I learn to write a screenplay, for a fascist film industry that has brainwashed a generation into eating its' own regurgitated shit?

Why did art and entertainment matter to me to begin with? 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Ana Kessel

Ana Kessel, an intern artist at Insomniac games was the victim of a hit-and-run car accident. She had to have one of her legs amputated.

So Epic Games, a completely different, unrelated game developer mind you, decided to auction off some merchandise of their to help pay for her medical costs.

And I have nothing to add to this story, except that I never expected the guys responsible for cover-based shooting and the chainsaw gun would warm my heart, but there you have it.



Friday, 15 November 2013

Like Rogue

I like the idea of proceduraly-generated content in games. Especially where that's the main focus the game is built around. Every room being completely different and having different monsters and items and such every time. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Each experience a little different from the last? So why are so many people who try to pay homage to those games so bad at it?

What I'm seeing in the games that say they're inspired by "Roguelike" games is unflattering and sloppy. Without fail, games like Spelunky and Binding of Isaac mistake giving the player nothing to work with as "challenge", or "difficulty". It's not challenging in BoI when there are dozens of treasure chests and treasure rooms I could use to upgrade my character to stand a better chance... but the game doesn't give me any keys to unlock them. It's not "difficult" when Spelunky makes it so I need bombs to progress when I don't have any. Or making you find treasure to get money to buy items, and then not putting in any shops, anywhere.

That's not challenge or difficulty. That's being a lazy, cheap-ass game designer.

I only got this far because the game was suddenly very generous with its' powerups early on. Luck should be a factor in a roguelike game, but it sucks the fun out of it when it's all about luck, and nothing I do to improve will have any say in what happens.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

I Belong

Four hours ago, I ran into my best friend at a grocery store near my house.

I haven’t seen her in 8 years. I never thought I would see her again.

I’ve spent the last 8 years hating my guts for how I treated this person in high school, wondering if she was still alive even. Or if she’d ever forgive me. Thousands of sleepless nights staring into the dark, killing myself for how I could treat someone who did so much right by me like garbage.

She remembered me. And she was happy to see me after all these years. She wasn’t mad or uncomfortable. My face was red the whole time.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Final Fantasy X: Nemesis

Over the last year, I've spent 108 hours in Final Fantasy X min/maxing my team to defeat "Nemesis", the insanely high-level optional superboss. This is something I rarely if ever do in these types of games. I've come close a few times, but this is the first time I can ever say I haven't just beaten a game: I've annihilated it.


Call of Duty Ghosts: System Requirements

The new Call of Duty blocks out paying customers of the PC version for made-up RAM requirements. Enjoy your $60 doorstop, kids!



Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Majora's Mask: "Blue Shell"


I never finished Majora's Mask. I always meant to, but either it was too "weird" for me at the time, or I just needed more time to recover from the impact Ocarina of Time had on me. But even having only gotten about halfway through, I still remember it leaving an impression on me. I've played more than a few horror games in my day, but this is one of the few video games I'd call "haunted".

After seeing some very thoughtful video analysis on it, I decided to give it another go. And that will surely lead to my own extensive, thoughtful analysis of its' themes, its' mechanics and the understated effect it had(or should have had) on the games industry, in the shadow of a giant.

Or I can just be really bitter about the Goron Racetrack.

Fucking Mario Kart isn't that cheap.



Friday, 1 November 2013

Super Smash Bros: "Wii Fit Trainer"

There's a screenshot making the rounds of a male version of the Wii Fit Trainer in the upcoming Smash Bros. game. It might just be an unrelated promotional image, it might be a different character, or it could be an alternate "costume", akin to Wario's two different looks in Brawl.


I hope this means what I think it means. Specifically, how weird it was that the Animal Crossing villager was revealed as being male, despite the series' strong popularity among women(at least according to my Tumblr dashboard).

I kind of hope they take this further. Not to the lengths of giving every single character the Rule 63 treatment, but anything to make this less of a sausage fest. Yes, it is called Smash BROTHERS. But I think the franchise can evolve past a pun of the game it's named after. Brawl disappointed me in part because the character roster exploded, yet there wasn't a single new female combatant(Fanservice Suit Samus does not count). Even though it has dozens of options from the Fire Emblem franchise alone, let alone the entire Nintendo back catalogue.

Maybe this means we can see more diverse characters without the need to put on a huge workload for the dev team. If Fox and Falco can count as two separate spots on the roster, then I don't think it's too much of a stretch to throw Krystal in there as an alternate skin. Maybe you could frankenstein Marth and Ike's moveset, tweak the strength and speed and come up with a suitably playable Lyn. Even if they're clones of existing move sets, it's better than nothing. We'll just have to wait and see.