Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Life Well Wasted

Heres one of the best things Ive heard off the internet in quite a while:  A Life Well Wasted is "an internet radio show about video games and the people who love them".  Created and produced by Robert Ashley and featuring uber quirky pop music from him and his band, I come to Shanghai.   Very good editing that sounds like a very hip version of NPR and provides incredibly interesting material.   Trust me when I say you dont have to be a video game aficionado to enjoy as the episodes venture from the death of print journalism to musings on fame, creativity and ideals.  Currently there are six episodes and Ive listened to three.

Episode 1 - The Death of EGM includes interviews with the writers from Electronic Games Monthly at their going out of business party.  Suprisingly interesting with amusing travels down memory lane of guys who seemed to live in the land of misfit toys.  Reminded me a bit of skate culture from the same time period.  Makes a fine, though subtle, case for why we should care about the loss of print culture. 

Episode 3 - An outstanding piece on Jason Rohrer, a bohemian game designer intent on creating art through video games designed for 256mz systems (I gotta download Passage soon - its free!).  Another pretty good interview with a game designer who discusses what happens when a game turns bad (and is reviewed as thus).  Both pieces really translate well outside of the ideas of game design and are just plain interesting to listen to.

Episode 6 - A musical montage of user submitted game ideas.  A narration on ideas that sounds like Jim Morrison in an American Prayer circa 2010 (this was the highlight for me...really well written).  A man who licensed Tetris, made millions and now wants to save the world from itself.  A well endowed, fame loving video game geek.

I will probably finish up the other three episodes this week which is a shame as new episodes of this one man show seems to get made very sporadically but its definitely worth the wait.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stormy Baseball, Zombieland, Toy Story3

"Faust" Eddie Brock has become my "thing" ...meaning my next big project.  Ive mentioned him here before so in short he's the baseball player who claims to have sold his soul to the devil.  But where do we go from here?  As I asked before...whats the story.  In a straight up conventional world he wants to win a pennant (a pennant is so much more interesting than a world series..hey its baseball and baseball loves the old school and pennants only really matter in the old school).  Mayhaps we throw in a girl or an orphan (it is a Wallace Beery picture right?).  Or we throw in the Seatle  Supersonics (cause they are simialr to a girl or an orphan...Cause..um...they dont exist anymore).   But a city got screwed in the process (not for first and certainly not for last).  But the last year in a city who's losing its sport franchise is pretty solid for a pretend strory right?  Whos the protagonist and whats his issue?  Not sure yet.  Still, in the process of figuring it out. In the meantime, let me tell you a tale.

Went to the new Yankee Stadium last night.  I dont like the Yankees (You may not know it but Im a die hard Atl fan. Love my Braves, love my Hawks and above all love my Falcons) but it was a friends birthday so such is life.  Took the ferry uptown to the stadium.  Great 30 minute boat ride.  Good times.  But alas, we had purchased the Mohegan Sun Bar seats.  Ive been to many baseball games.  I was at the game where Otis Nixon scaled the wall to send the 91' braves to the pennant (see pennant description up above).  Or perhaps Ive got my facts wrong but stick with me anyway.  So we are in a bar in dead center field with giant glass windows.  But its a bar (with 11$ beers).  Nothing like a baseball game, more like sitting in a bar.  Ok, fine, I adjusted.  We are 50' from the center fielder and Im thinking in my mind about what is the story as Eddie should be a center fielder and the experience was..er..it was an experience.  Then somewhere around the 5th inning with a tornado warning in effect, a bitch of a storm wandered through (Hell came to Frogtown).  Mass amounts of water and lightning but still Im inside and behind glass and watching as some of the  bleacher bums dance and enjoy their 100% soakedness.  Im feeling guilty cause Ive never seen a game from a stadium inside a bar before and it feels fake but alas Im getting pretty sloshed from my 11$ beers and then the ceiling springs a leak.  As a result of a lot of water (did I mention how big this storm was?) on our seats leaking through the roof, we get our whole tab comped which is about $600 (there were a lot of us) which makes the whole experience worth it.  Plus the storm was uber-cinematic. 

So yea, my next picture will be a baseball flick I think.

In other news, I watched Zombieland today.  Solid but perrhaps lacking.  I would have liked to see more of the bigger picture of society (especially the zombie kill of the week stuff) and I didn't like the two females and the finale was pretty lame. Still, the whole BM (and I aint talking Bob Marley..in fact the whole Hollywood Zombie combo could have made an excellent movie itself.) scene makes my 2 hour investment worthwhile and Woody Harrelson was great.  (2.5 outa 4).

Also watched Toy Story 3 this afternoon with Kid Millions in tow.  His first cinema event in which he participated in whole.  I was a little dissapointed as the reviews I read made me think I would gather some insight from the proceedings (perhaps see UP...perhaps...).  I left feeling unaffected and wondering how much longer the 3d fad will persist.  It was used fine here but it added little (and was a big detriment when your three year old refuses to wear the glasses and ends up watching an unfocused blurry screen for two hours and get to feeling all guilty over it).  2 of 4 stars.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Ive been working a bit on an idea for myclone's comic book challenge lately.  LastLegs is a character I've been wanting to bring to life for a few months and a still life comic book seems a good place to start.  He's based on a song from CopShootCop (titled aptly...Last Legs) but my version is an old and decrepit man who's a bit more spry than you would think at first glance.  Wasnt completely happy with the character model yet (looks a bit to young and nice).  No telling if I can get it done by the deadline as I wont start really working till MotAA is done.  Anywho, played around a bit with photoshop this morn and got a look that I was pleased with.  File this one under more ideas floating about the noggin.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My hero, Incomptech.com

A few days ago I mentioned my baseball Faust story idea.  I made a little pitch to my co-workers over lunch and one of them mentioned a website (forgotten at the moment) where you pitch your ideas at people who have the ability to contribute to the idea which would fund your dream in the area's where money is necessary.  An interesting idea but alas I was mmm...pensive about just how this works and what benifit the contributer would get out of the arrangement and such.  Still its an interesting sounding idea.  And no, Im not going to pitch the baseball faust idea there.

However, Incomptech, Kevin MacLeod's music and movie critique website, recently raised $1,500 in 5 days for some new music software and I gotta say thats pretty freakin awesome.  Kevin has allowed his excellent music archive to be used comercially and otherwise with little else but contribution rights for the last couple of years.  His fingerprints can be found all over machinima and elsewhere.  Its pretty cool that people are willing to give back to a guy who gives a lot (or has defined himself and his website as a leader in the new age of internet music rights and responsibility)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

8 Bit Cities, Motel Modern, Spindrift

You've heard of Google Maps, yes?  Well here's Zelda Maps or rather 8 Bit City, transcribing some major cities from around the world into proper Zelda map style.  Cute.  I love maps.

And with the summers first big heatwave, I present The Life and Times of the American Hotel series from If Charlie Parker was a Gunslinger...  Sweat and dream of yourself floating in a cool, heavily chlorinated motel pool in 1960.  


Finally, commemorate Summer with a look at Reptor7's Spindrift Part 2!  Perfect 1960s Summertime Sci-fi Drive-In fare.  Pack a cooler, bring a date.  Enjoy.