A place about everything and nothing

Archive for August, 2010

Shiny New Games! WANTZ


ZOMG WANTZ

ORKS! ORKS! ORKS! ORKS!

Angels, Devils, Titans, Dragons. Yes baby! Heroes of Might and Magic is BACK!

Hi I’m Hawke and this is my favourite trailer in the Thedas


Artist of the Week: Daryl Tan


Hey folks! Now for something entirely different. This is a new weekly segment I’m promoting. Artist of the Week!

This week, I’m introducing you guys to the brilliant illustrator Daryl Tan. He is a local here in the sunny island of Singapore and boy is he good. I must say, it is an honor to be able to meet such a person in real life. I personally admire his art style and as you can see, he is a fan of Warhammer 40k and that is like a +25 on my Approval Rating!

He is definitely someone to look out for in the games /comics industry. The next time you see him might be at comic con where he is promoting his new graphic novel. Maybe I’ll be there as well unveiling a new game. So check him out! What are you still doing here? I mean it… here are his blogs again

http://thebiggestmeat.blogspot.com/

http://thebiggestmeatart.blogspot.com/


Iron-Y Man ep1


Actual quote from Iron Mans 2. More Iron-Y Man goodness next week!


What’s New on The Elysian Plains?


There comes a time when you know that your life can be so much more, so much better and so much more meaningful. But often, people let this feeling pass them by and do nothing to grasp this ethereal promise of something greater. But I am not just anybody and today shall mark the day of change.

Some new concepts to be posted on this blog.

1) Artist of the Week – A weekly look at artists I personally think deserve wider recognition.

2) Iron-Y Man – A weekly photoshop Image of Iron-Y Man and an ironic quote.

3) The Vault – A picture compilation. Neatly sorted and categorized… relatively

4) Portfolio – Self explanatory

5) WTF?: What the FRAPS? – Still Pending, the file size is a problem.


The Real Fake Fans


I’m a self-professed geek. A super-duper geekazoid. And you know what! I’m proud of it, I was proud of it waaaayyy before the advent of the whole Comic/Games-to-Movies business venture. In all honesty, I was a late bloomer in the geek culture. I spent a good 14 years trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, but I found it, games, games in all its glory, not just playing them mind you. Making them, crafting them, forging them and weaving them.

Even as a kid, I was hooked on the act of creation. The need to tell a story, and I made small little inept comic books about Talking Dinosaurs and even a Digimon doujinshi. Not the naughty ones, I was only 8 for gods’ sake. I even made a paper and pen rpg as well, in fact I still have it.  So yes, maybe I was not a late bloomer but just stunted in my growth to geek culturedom.

I did not have a PlayStation 1, I did not have a SNES, a Sega Saturn let alone a computer. You know what I had? A Childcraft encyclopedia compendium, a Mighty Morphing Power Ranger Megazord if you remember that, a 1/8 scaled action figure of RoboCop and LEGOs.*I actually still have them* So yes, I told stories with my toys as I’m sure many of you did. And it sharpened my mind. The movies I watched when I was a kid, oh wow, I’m not sure if that was even legal! I mean I watched Invasion of the Bodsnatchers, Evil Dead series, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13thExorcist. And not to forget Tim Burton‘s Batman. I actually liked those and not to mention Adam West’s Live Action Batman. But it was the Batman: Animated Series that really just go WOW Batman is frakking awesome and you start consuming more and more of Batman’s lore.

Now at the age of 21, I’m still trying to catch up on all the geek culture I lost out on. I love the classic games that are my forerunners and I praise them for the ingenuity for their time. I love the classic movies, Citizen Kane, Jacob’s Ladder, Predator 1-2, Aliens. Now, I am even playing table-top roleplaying games like D&D and Dark Heresy. So yes, I do believe I have the right to judge the new influx of ‘geeks’ and yes I am a geek, albeit a more socially amiable one.

I really liked this post from the Bat Fan Diaries and it is so true. I mean come on… As geeks we are socially shunted, people look at me funny when I’m carrying my 6 Dark Heresy books and reading them in plain sight. I bet they have no idea what that is but it sure as hell seems geeky and they either give you the weird eye or they snicker at you. I’m a very observant person.

The Image on the van was from the first star wars movie poster FYI.

I don’t know… we were like Godzillas, people use to see us and they go, point, laugh and run. Now everybody is trying to jump on the Star Wars decal bandwagon of geekiness +5. It is so annoying. You are trying to shunt us from our already shunted position on the social scale. I mean is there anywhere you can throw us to? You took our place in society, you reduced our chances of having a mate and what are you trying to do to us now? What do you want? Our dignity? Our pride? Our passion? Our lives?

You can read my review here.

Sure, Iron Man 2 was awful for you, cause it had less LAZERS and PEW PEWs, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad show! It was a good movie you assholes. You do not know Ironman. You do not know KickAss, you do not know Batman, you do not know Green Lantern, you probably know Spiderman but I’m sure you do not know Scott Pilgrim. You know what I think you know? Twilight! Yea Twi… I’m sorry I can’t even bear to type it out. You see, that is the thing. You jackanapes pretend to be geeks because you are jealous of us. You are jealous of the passion we have for life, for work and everything we hold dear. The very same passion you lack. So now, you are trying to take from us the thing you cannot get. It was not cool to be a geek, but you guys are trying to make it cool so you can have a small measure of comfort for your vapid meaningless lives.

I mean, just because you play Counter-Strike or Defense of the Ancients like every day does not make you a gamer. Not in my books it doesn’t. Gaming is not just about 1 singe game you know. It is about the myriad of games out there waiting for you to pick them up before their shelf-life expires! I’ll take comics as an example; people often consume not just 1 particular series but several. Playing Counter-Strike is like playing the same game and same map over and over again…. Oh wait, people actually do that /De_Dust/. So mind you,  just because you watched the latest Batman movie does not automatically earn you the achievement unlock of being a fan, though I’m sure you are as stupid as a desk fan but that is not the point.

That applies to the chicas as well; I’ve heard some chicas saying “oh I think geeks are sooo cute”. You are only saying that because geek culture is now ‘cool’ and you want a piece of that cool. I’m sure plenty of guys would totally eat it up but seriously, screw you not literally of course. I find the idea of a pretentious prick of either sex repulsive.

You see my dear socially acceptable dull minded fools. Passion is a commitment; it is a mental condition even. Passion is the fire that beats between your sternum and your spine, there is no such thing as spontaneous combustion of passion, and you kindle it from a slow interest to a raging inferno of utter devotion. When people actually feel enraged about a crappy remake of their favorite superhero, they are really enraged. They will beat the shit out of you if you even mentioned such an atrocity. That is how strongly we as a culture as a community feel about things. We get into heated debates over these kinda things, but what about you? Drinking, sleeping around, going to parties and getting STDs. So if you have any decency at all, please do not sully the geek culture.

Your’s Truly

A Concerned Citizen


Game Literature: East vs West


Today I want to talk about games literature, especially the difference between Japanese and American storytelling methods. This greatly affects the games each respective culture is likely to favor.

So let’s get this show on the road by looking into Japanese Games literatur. I’m going to quote from classics like Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X. I believe this topic also applies with one of the most prevalent form of media that has taken the globe by storm. Manga. Alright so let’s get this started. Taking Final Fantasy VII as a basis, we realize that Japanese games have a tendency to be more character centric as compared to American games. When I say this I do not mean that American games lacks character but rather the focus of Japanese game itself is solely on the characters.

Cloud, a mercenary and a ‘rejected’ SOLDIER, starts out fighting for Barret and Tifa , he battles his former employers but that is pretty much all you learn about Cloud at the start. Then things start getting out of hand. Soon Cloud realizes his memories and dreams are not really his own, but that of his savior and friend Zack. As things progress, you are constantly chasing Sephiroth, the only true link to Cloud‘s past. They chase Sephiroth throughout the world before they realize that Sephiroth intends to end the world with a giant meteor. The thing is Cloud is so intricately tied to Sephiroth that you kinda feel that defeating Sephiroth is to find out the truth and saving the world is just a by-product.

That is the essence of Japanese storytelling. The Protagonist is pitted against the world but the world is in general a nice place. There will always be an omnipresent threat but it is never visible till later in the story, said omnipresent evil/threat is always somehow tied to the Protagonist and the final battle is as climatic as it is emotional. Take Final Fantasy X for example. *SPOILER ALERT* the father of Tidus is deeply involved in the final boss, Sin to say the least.

This pattern can also be seen in many mangas. To summarize, Japanese storytelling are heavily character based. The story follows the protagonist as he/she grow. The real threat would always be omnipresent but never visible till the end. When the real threat is revealed, it is always of significance to the protagonist. (Search for father, becomes stronger, evil appears, evil was father, defeat father after moral dilemma)

For American games however, it is the opposite that is true. The thing about American games is that they tend to more objective base then they are in their Japanese counterparts. By objective I mean the threat to the world is clearly portrayed as an overwhelming evil force. Take Lord of the Rings for example,Sauron is shown early and the whole premise is defeating him by tossing his One Ring into the heart of Mount Doom, another example, one of the latest games, Dragon Age. The Blight is coming! It is always about the Blight.

That is not to say the characters in American literature lacks personality or character for lack of a better word. Characters like Alistair and Leliana are extremely endearing, depending on which way you swing. I personally like them both. That is the key difference in the way the two cultures tell their stories, American culture has a tendency to wrap the world in an almost oppressive sense of the evil that is to come. That of course does not stop character development, but rather give it a more dynamic feel to it. How a character reacts and talks in such an atmosphere really allows their personalities to shine through. Of course as they journey, the characters will no doubt learn more about themselves and grow as a fictional persona.

Of course, this is just a general sensing of how these two different cultures produce powerful narratives. This does not mean there are no exceptions to the rule, there are always exceptions to the rule. Take Mass Effect 1 for example, you Commander Shepard was just minding your own business when blam! Saren screws you over. You find out later it was all a puppet act by The Reapers but hey you honestly had no idea. Of course you do mention The Reapers from your visions but Saren was really more of your target then The Reapers. Honestly.

In summary American storytelling is usually objective based. (Protagonist is entrusted with a mission to save the world) The threat is clearly stated and the story revolves around the trial and tribulation of the protagonist.

I’m a fan of both storytelling methods as well as the culture that inhabits them. Hope you enjoyed this read.

 

 

Today I want to talk about games literature, especially the difference between Japanese and American storytelling methods. This greatly affects the games each respective culture is likely to favor.

http://homepages.nyu.edu/%7Ekjw278/images/final-fantasy-vii-cast.jpg

So let’s get this show on the road by looking into Japanese Games literatur. I’m going to quote from classics like Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X. I believe this topic also applies with one of the most prevalent form of media that has taken the globe by storm. Manga. Alright so let’s get this started. Taking Final Fantasy VII as a basis, we realize that Japanese games have a tendency to be more character centric as compared to American games. When I say this I do not mean that American games lacks character but rather the focus of Japanese game itself is solely on the characters.

Cloud, a mercenary and a ‘rejected’ SOLDIER, starts out fighting for Barret and Tifa , he battles his former employers but that is pretty much all you learn about Cloud at the start. Then things start getting out of hand. Soon Cloud realizes his memories and dreams are not really his own, but that of his savior and friend Zack. As things progress, you are constantly chasing Sephiroth, the only true link to Cloud‘s past. They chase Sephiroth throughout the world before they realize that Sephiroth intends to end the world with a giant meteor. The thing is Cloud is so intricately tied to Sephiroth that you kinda feel that defeating Sephiroth is to find out the truth and saving the world is just a by-product.

That is the essence of Japanese storytelling. The Protagonist is pitted against the world but the world is in general a nice place. There will always be an omnipresent threat but it is never visible till later in the story, said omnipresent evil/threat is always somehow tied to the Protagonist and the final battle is as climatic as it is emotional. Take Final Fantasy X for example. *SPOILER ALERT* the father of Tidus is deeply involved in the final boss, Sin to say the least.

This pattern can also be seen in many mangas. To summarize, Japanese storytelling are heavily character based. The story follows the protagonist as he/she grow. The real threat would always be omnipresent but never visible till the end. When the real threat is revealed, it is always of significance to the protagonist. (Search for father, becomes stronger, evil appears, evil was father, defeat father after moral dilemma)

http://mw2.gamersmafia.com/storage/news/0/dragon-age-origin.png

For American games however, it is the opposite that is true. The thing about American games is that they tend to more objective base then they are in their Japanese counterparts. By objective I mean the threat to the world is clearly portrayed as an overwhelming evil force. Take Lord of the Rings for example,Sauron is shown early and the whole premise is defeating him by tossing his One Ring into the heart of Mount Doom, another example, one of the latest games, Dragon Age. The Blight is coming! It is always about the Blight.

That is not to say the characters in American literature lacks personality or character for lack of a better word. Characters like Alistair and Leliana are extremely endearing, depending on which way you swing. I personally like them both. That is the key difference in the way the two cultures tell their stories, American culture has a tendency to wrap the world in an almost oppressive sense of the evil that is to come. That of course does not stop character development, but rather give it a more dynamic feel to it. How a character reacts and talks in such an atmosphere really allows their personalities to shine through. Of course as they journey, the characters will no doubt learn more about themselves and grow as a fictional persona.

Of course, this is just a general sensing of how these two different cultures produce powerful narratives. This does not mean there are no exceptions to the rule, there are always exceptions to the rule. Take Mass Effect 1 for example, you Commander Shepard was just minding your own business when blam! Saren screws you over. You find out later it was all a puppet act by The Reapers but hey you honestly had no idea. Of course you do mention The Reapers from your visions but Saren was really more of your target then The Reapers. Honestly.

In summary American storytelling is usually objective based. (Protagonist is entrusted with a mission to save the world) The threat is clearly stated and the story revolves around the trial and tribulation of the protagonist.

I’m a fan of both storytelling methods as well as the culture that inhabits them. Hope you enjoyed this read.


DC Universe Online: Collector’s Edition


*Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

I will direct this post personally…

Relinquish your form to us and you shall see the truth.

Embrace perfection for we speak of DC Universe Online

You have merely delayed the inevitable, for the Collectors are gifted with the ability to fight as Batman in  two on two arena battles.

Progress cannot be halted, a Batman figure has been issued out to the Collectors

You do not yet comprehend your place in things for included in the Collector’s Edition is a DC comic and  an Art Book

Click here to check out the Pre-Order!

We do not die

I will find you again.


When Games go Minority Report


I have not slept for more than 24 hours now so I’ll make this post a quick one. If you remember *Which is highly doubt so* when I first started this blog, one of my first few post was about technology and how it can and is being integrate into games, as you can see here. Yes, I am talking about the touchscreen technology and gaming. I recently came across an article on Kotaku that was covering the same topic.

Took them awhile if you ask me. In all honesty, I am extremely excited at the possibilities it can bring to both the boardgame industry and the video game industry. But I’m kinda sad that in the end as this technology progresses, we will no longer have actual dice to toss, game pieces to move. The total assimilation of video game and reality is the ultimate goal of gaming immersion. Which leads me to the other article on Kotaku. Total immersion of games. Pretty interesting read.


Witch Hunter Costume Revisted


Due to the overwhelming response of my earlier Witch Hunter costume post, I have decided to revisit this topic and go in-depth into making the costume as authentic as possible. Prepare yourselves warriors of Sigmar. The Empire depends on you and it is really gonna be taxing.

First up! The basic look of the Empire’s much vaunted Witch Hunters. As you can see from the picture above, courtesy of Warhammer Online, a Witch hunter costume. At it’s most base, is made up of several pieces of clothing. The look primarily revolves around medieval and renaissance time period, so for best effect. Look for clothings from this time period. You might also notice how the Witch Hunter kinda looks like a swashbuckler, so pirate costumes would work too. You have to be careful not to be overtly piratey though.

Basic Witch Hunter Look

1) Breeches / Hosens / Pants

2) Doublets / Vest /Shirt

4) Medieval BootsRenaissance Boots /  Pirate Boots / Misc / Alt

5) Leather Belt

6) Flintlock Pistol

7) Rapier

Ok, sure it would look like a Witch Hunter but I doubt it would impress. So let us throw in some armor and other accessories. I advise wearing the Duster first then put everything over it.

Medium Witch Hunter

1) Leather Baldrics

2) Leather Pauldron / Full Arm Armor

3) Duster Coat

4) Daggers /  Boot Dagger

4) Pilgrim Hat

If you really want to go all the way or you just have too much money to spent you can do a Witch Hunter decked out in his/her finest wargear.

Heavy Witch Hunter

1) Breastplate (Wear the Breastplate first and everything else over it)

2) Steel Pauldron (replace the leather pauldrons)

3) For final touches, get some purity seals and scrolls to hang over the armor.

The intricate carvings and designs are not replicated in this most financially ruining guide to a witch hunter costume, you have to find a local embroider/artist to get it done. This is a quick guide for those too lazy to maker their own costume from scratch so don’t expect it to be expected it cheap. Cheers!