08/02/2006

Simply Awesome

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

- So yeah… last night’s incident was pretty Goddamn, fucking crazy, and I’m still pissed about it. But at least folks have been sympathetic, which is really nice. The best sentiment thus far comes from “Baron Patsy” from Insert Credit, who said, “yeah i think that all of the shit that happens to you officially gives you the right to carry a gun and shoot random people if they piss you off.”

Thankfully I have insurance, which means I’m getting a new phone. But it’s going to take a few days for it to arrive, and till then I’m going to have to deal with a busted display. Which means that I can’t set the alarm (I used my phone to wake me up for work), nor change the ringer (guess I’m stuck with the crazy rooster ringtone… which is sorta funny at the same time). But most annoying part is how I’ve been meaning to take a picture of the the picture that sometimes magically appears on the display from out of nowhere; Travis when he came to visit, took a picture oh himself with my phone, and for whatever reason ever since, it will just pop up out of the blue. And I always thought it was funny and have been meaning to document it. Guess it’s too late…

- Despite last night’s bullshit, yesterday wasn’t a total washout out (though there were plenty of other annoyances peppered all throughout, such as yet another wonderful trip to the doctor’s office… I don’t feel like bitching anymore, though I will add that the mysterious “thing” on my right ear lobe is still a mystery). First off, I got a wonderful email from Katie in the morning who told me that The Panda Hex, her drawing journal which has been quiet for a few months now, is back in full effect!

- Also, I met up with Laura, the uber talented girl artist of Copykat, that new book which MK recently wrote for Otakon. Since she won’t be able to make it to the show, I picked up the paper dolls that will also be available at the show this weekend. And they look phenomenal!

- Later in the evening was the final session of my summer introduction to game design course. I had some coworkers come in and play the board-game that the students had been working on, and offer feedback and the such. Then after going over their final projects, we checked out something which one person has been working on for a while now, one who’s been creating his own games for a while now, mostly graphic adventures, using a program that’s geared specifically for their creation. The game is called The Shiva, and you play the role of a Jewish Rabbi who has to solve a murder mystery. Its one of the very few games out there, and the only one that I personally know of, that deals with the Jewish faith. And from what I saw, its quite nice, and has all the staples of a really good adventure game: great dialogue along with puzzles that are sufficiently clever and tricky, yet totally logical, and not totally arbitrary and arcane.

To close things off, I showed them both Vib Ribbon and Love Love 2, that dating/mine cart racing/sandwich making simulator that I love showing off for folks (and once I can figure out how to run PSone game on my Mac, I’ll be more than happy to pass along screenshots to this game which the whole world NEEDS to know about. The line of the night came from one student who just finished the first level, and did moderately okay (he had problem grabbing the bonus fruit, which all the girls love, plus he choose a sorta bitchy, hard to impress one), then asked “So does she put out, or what?”

- And earlier in the day, during work, I got a good laugh when a coworker, who’s latest thing is playing online poker, went off on other players that try to make conversation:

“Hey buddy, I’m from Ontario!”

“FUCK YOU.”

How’s it going?

“MY LIFE SUCKS!!!

… What the fuck do I care about Ontario Canada?!?!”

- Though the one thing that made me laugh the hardest was coming across a topic at the IC forums from last week once again, and re-reading the quote of the month. The topic was about people that frequent message boards that have passed away, which then shifted to people who play online games, like FPSs and MMOs, and the reaction from others:

A poster who made a career out of tormenting other posters and made very few friends over the course of five+ years died a while ago. The thread started with disbelief, two counts of sorrow and grief and then a bunch of people either saying, “he had it coming” or “any loss is horrible, even his, even though he was such an insane fag.”

That last line is just so… brilliant. And I believe that thread the always awesome Worlds of Warcraft funeral crashing vid is there as well.

- Oh, and you know that awesome old school game character mash-up I passed along on Monday? Well the origin of the piece was recently revealed; seems that it was a submission for GamePasued, yet another “creative celebration of the video game”, much like i am 8-bit no doubt. The artist began showing off bits and pieces of the work at 4 color rebellion a whiles back, then disappeared, presumably to concentrate on his masterpiece.

So its originally from 4 color rebellion, and not Kotaku, which many people have accused for taking credit for or something. And 4 color also passed along links to some other hot Mario-inspired art, including a piece from Dan Schoening which I highlighted a while ago (and at a much bigger, more wallpaper-worthy size), and something really awesome from Gabe Swarr…

Don’t forget to check out the full sized version!

- Sticking with the topic of game related artwork this time, I forgot to pass this along: a terrific piece featuring Gum from Jet Set Radio Future, as pointed out by Life Meter from Ashleigh “Py” Firth

- Yet another thing I forgot to mention before: when I hung out with Jeremiah last Saturday, he showed me something that was right below 4 color’s item about the Nintendo-art: Bullet Hell: Vulkanon. It’s… insanely pretty. And it reminded me that I really need to get a GBA Flash cart.

- Anyone who’s been paying attention to world of games is well aware of the big news from the past few days: E3 is dead. I wasn’t going to even say anything, but since its the topic of conversion everywhere, I may as well pass along my two cents…

But first, for those who haven’t seen it yet, check out Next-Gen’s story which broke the news for everyone, and which has since been heavily criticized for its dramatic spin. Truth be told, I haven’t even paid that close attention to the actual facts, just all the bitching and moaning. Its really polarized a lot of people: many are going to miss it, while others are glad to see it gone.

On one hand, I will agree that the event has become this big, bloated spectacle that has become a PR trainwreck of sorts. Sony’s clusterfuck this past year comes instantly to mind, naturally. But on the other hand, E3 is very little different from all the other trade events that many other industries have. As shitty as this sounds, all the meaningless noise and booth babes is sort of a sign that the video game industry has matured. Many feel that such things hurts the industry, but in my mind, that’s just the shit one has to face when things get big. Though what really pissed me off is game journalists who are glad to no have to deal with the crowds and other annoyances related to E3… like covering a fucking video game show is like the hardest job in the world.

I’m pretty sure that guy making Big Macs is telling himself “Well, at least I don’t have to deal with crazy Xbox fans!”

The plan is to turn the whole thing into a much smaller affair, which in the end makes the most sense. From what I gather, or least from what I’m guessing, smaller companies were probably sick of all the attention that the big guys, namely Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, were getting. They pay just as much for floor space as them, though for the little guys its obviously a much bigger burden, but if the returns aren’t going to be nearly enough, what’s the point? I know that the Nintendo line was about three hours long, so if it wrapped around and went past (as well as block) my booth, I’d be f’n pissed. Plus in the end, it will allow developers a chance to spend less time, money, and energy getting ready for some big show and use that towards making the games good.

Though anyone who thinks the elimination of E3 is going to miraculously make things like target renders and bullshit sales spin disappear, then they are sadly mistaken (as evidenced by Sony’s presentation at the San Diego Comic Con a few weekends back in which they claimed that the PSP is ahead of the DS… yeah right). That stuff is here to stay. And one proposed plan is to close off the show so only journalists can attend, which I’m not so keen on simply because that means even more annoying “I’m at E3 and you’re not! Ne-ner, ne-ner, ne-ner!” sentiments from jack-assed writers.

- I really haven’t had much chance to stay on-top of gaming news in the past day or so, but I have heard via the NeoGAF that Camelot will no longer be supporting Nintendo. Well at least it seemed that way at first (the original report was mistranslated… which happens a LOT, but also comes with the territory), but now it looks as if their Nintendo projects have been postponed as they attempt to venture into new territory (right off the back, they’re working on a PC title). And this sucks obviously… everyone loves their Mario Golf and Mario Tennis titles (I’m actually playing Toadstool Tour once again these days).

- The other series that I’m really into these days is WarioWare (I’m currently going through both Scratched and Twisted, with plans to tackle the original once more real soon). Right now, most hip GBA players are busy with the bitGeneartion series, though my attention has been somewhat shifted towards Rhythm Tengoku, mainly because its like WarioWare, but with music. Though also because it comes out tomorrow.

To find out more, check out the trailer from the official site. And for anyone interested in the creative process behind making a music orient gamehere you go.

- Also found on the NeoGAF is this random picture of some extra button kit for the PSP…

- Anyone who’s really interested in shooters, or shmups, absolutely needs to check out this French documentary. It’s really, really great, with an excellent overview of all the highlights and milestones from the genre. Hey, I’m just happy to see Radiant Silvergun recognized in ANY documentary. Though on the downside… now I HAVE to get Senko no Ronde now.

- Here’s yet another thing which from Insert Credit I forgot to talk about a whiles back: check what has to the potential to be the indie game of the year, as well as a glorious return to the salad days of Mortal Kombat 3 and Tattoo Assassins… Conquering Light!!!

First off, dude, check out the roster. My faves have to be…

Then you have the story. I’ve read erotic Katamari fan-fic that’s made more sense than this. And finally, here’s a screenshot…

Basically, GAME OF THE YEAR.

- Sticking with the IC, and going back to Mario real quick, take a look a super rare Super Mario Bros anime from 1986.

- And now moving away from video games, but sticking with YouTube, check out this awesome music video from the 60′s(?) featuring girls making out with robots.

I believe I mentioned that I tried uploading Taste of Bread on YouTube the other night and was rejected due to length. So I applied for a director’s account, but I haven’t been approved yet, and who knows how long it’ll take to do so. In the meantime, I’m trying to upload shorter clips, but one involving a Hong Kong soccer hooligan got rejected, and I have absolutely no idea why. Maybe it was too violent, but I’ve seen so much worse on there. At any rate, it wasn’t due to size since it a super small file, since I may as well host it myself: its a real oldie (I’ve had this clip for years) but it never fails to get a laugh from me.

Though one vid that did get accepted, of some dumb white kids at the lamest “hardcore”/”punk”/emo/whatever gig you’ll ever fucking see. It’s all about the 1:20 mark.

- And here’s a trailer for some ultra stylish (and noir-ish) animated flick that looks very Killer 7-ish.

- Finally, I just got back from a press event with Microsoft. They’re in town for two days, and I’ll actually be going back for more; today I was their all ages offerings, and tomorrow is center on their more mature titles, like Gears of War and Dear Rising (yes!).

Was demoed the Live version of Uno, along with the Xbox 360 webcam. The rep on-hand was playing against three others online, and one we were told was part of some ultra popular GRRL gamer clan. She was called “PMS Tart”. I fucking love how all these game girl “hotties” are all about being viewed as equals on the virtual battlefield, yet their names have to constantly reference their tits or the time of the month. How about something more original, like “HatchetWound”?

Anyway, if I have time, I might chime in with a report. Otherwise I’ll just be busy trying to get as much work done before Otakon. The anticipation for the show, along with a slight dread at what might be in-store continues to build. Both has increased ten-fold once Jeremiah alerted me to the title of one of the panels: Do It Yourself Bukkake.

Holy shit indeed.

  • http://www.johngreenart.com John Green

    Is Dave Gilbert (The Shivah creator) in your class?

  • http://www.fort90.com Matt

    Yes, indeed he is (or was). Know the guy?

  • http://www.johngreenart.com John Green

    I’m familiar with his games. Didn’t know he was in NY.

  • J

    Its almost noon on Monday and I still see no Otakon summary. What gives Hawkins! MACH SCHNELL! Wir m?chten die verr?ckte bukkake Geschichte h?ren!

  • http://www.fort90.com Matt

    Dude, its coming. Due to the heavy load of pictures from the show, and my ever increasing web-hosting costs, I’m going to have to them at Flickr, and I don’t know if cross-poting them is going to be a pain in the ass (the whole uploading process seems to be taking forever, but it is 145 pictures).

  • http://pandahex.blogspot.com Katie

    I also need Otakon news. REAL BAD!

    Also, I’ve had problems with Flickr. Try Photobucket, that’s what I use for Panda Hex (plug #2).

  • J

    That’s it. It’s almost 7:30. Disappointment am total. I doubt Hawkins was EVEN THERE!

    C’mon guys… let’s go…. that’ll teach us to count on CheapAss Mr. No-Story for a recap of DIY Bukkake class.

    For shame Matt… for shame…..

  • http://www.littlemathletics.com alistairw

    I think Mason is clearly the highlight of the Conquering Light roster. Sakata is also very funny, but that’s only because it’s the name of an Australian rice biscuit.

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