Hidden Plains Trailer

Okay, this is only about 13 days late, but I had to take a break after the release of Hidden Plains. By taking a break of course I mean starting work on a new game pretty much immediately and getting all wrapped up in the fun of a new project. This one is for the Monthly AGS game jam (MAGS), which means it has to be done by the end of the month. I will post some images before it’s done. For now, enjoy this trailer.

And yes, I totally still love Blender.

Posted under Future plans, Games, Hidden Plains, Videos

And then this

I’m so tired right now it feels like I’m high, but I got this bastard released in 2017!

Yessir, Hidden Plains is live on windows, and the linux version is uploading. I kind of hit the jackpot with that name, because it’s not very popular on search engines at all. There’s a street in the US named that, and that’s it.

I will make a point to be a better blogger in the new year. I have some chronicles I can share with ye of my travels in a few modern AAA games. I probably still won’t want to share too much about projects in progress, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll start blogging about politics and give everyone what they want.

For now, enjoy this game. (ENJOY IT!!!)

Posted under Games, Hidden Plains

Just some junk

I’ve been stuck on character art for my new game for months, and after finally just doing it myself, I now have some really good game dev momentum going. I really hate to talk about stuff I’m still working on, but since I’ve been so lazy, both in the dev and blogging departments, I’ll post a screenshot from the unfinished game:

It’s an adventure game hybrid, set in the same universe as my previous game. Now that I’ve cleared a major hurdle in development, I’ve been making the few remaining game assets in blender. The shot above is one of a few scenes of debris that will be encountered in the game. You basically collect spare parts from these. (more…)

Posted under Future plans, Games, Pictures, Previews

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Nothing. The iconic opening title and scrawl is conspicuously missing from the start of Rogue One, and this is the first of many reasons why “Star Wars” was not the start of the film’s title, but was tacked on to the end. What’s remarkable about this is how many artefacts and persons from the Star Wars universe can pervade the setting, without it feeling like a Star Wars film. The feeling that I did get from the first two thirds of the film is one of wasted potential.

It would be fine for this film to stand on its own in this way if the screen writing were not a complete mess. It tries to do too much in terms of characters for the time available in a single film, and ends up feeling hollow in this regard, because practically none of them are developed by the end of it. The only character which is really developed in any way is the lead, who starts out with an arc that could have been very well utilised, but then switches suddenly into hero mode.

All that said, this film is far better than The Force Awakens, which in itself does not say much because TFA was ridiculous. Unlike its predecessor, this leverages nostalgia very well, at least in the closing stages. When certain ships jump onto the screen near the end, it abruptly begins to feel like a Star Wars film, but only by association, since it’s a very familiar scene to fans. It maintains this energy all the way to the final scene, which is guaranteed to leave most fans with a high.

The cinematography, again, was spot-on. Like TFA it very much manages to capture the look of Star Wars, this time even going so far as to emulate the look of film stock from the late seventies. It’s just sad that with all the resources and talent available, a writer could not be found to capture the soul of this now-struggling franchise.

Posted under Reviews

I’m Playing: Grand Theft Auto V

I recently started replaying the GTAV story missions from the start, having already finished the campaign twice. Before I did this, I took advantage of another perk that comes with using the pirated version of the game rather than the one you paid for: Practically unlimited modding.

Apart from the story being cut short for the benefit of GTAO, the only criticism I have of the game itself is that the tires are slightly too sticky. The game boasts a fantastic handling physics engine, and to have it nerfed is a shame. The same goes for the game’s analogue of the Veyron being merely a supercar. So I applied a mod to improve that.

This mod is better than the others I’ve tried, almost perfect, but modders seem to share a love of exaggerated deformation. Knowing I’m not going to be causing much mayhem on the streets of Los Santos if my wheel locks up after the second hit, I set about doing a little XML hacking. Soon I had all the benefits of the adjusted handling, while preserving the deformation of the original. And it was good.

(more…)

Posted under Games, Grand Theft Auto, I'm playing, Pictures, Reviews

Still no

I did it. Despite my previous protestations, and saying that I would not. Somehow I got to be in a mood to watch a Star Trek film. One I hadn’t seen a million times already, so it had to be a new one. Yes. I rationalised this by realising that I was in the mood to see any new star trek film, even if it was another terribly bad one, such as “into darkness”.

When I decided to do this, I knew I would like it, and I did. It was fun. Nimoy had a cameo which is sure to make any fan one hundred times as nostalgic than any of his other entries into the reboot, and you know there is another actor you would never see in their role again. At one point it went past fun, and became utterly goofy. You will know which point this is. The film had undeniable strengths. And I don’t feel that it did the series justice.

I had previously been sucked up in the popular belief that the director is the film, when really, it’s the writing on these new sci-fi reboots which is lacking. Obviously this can be influenced by many things, from director input to director execution, not to forget the basic competency of the writer and their suitability to the subject matter. The number of films wrecked by studio interference alone deserves its own sentence.

The new star trek films and the new star wars one are not bad films, but the other thing they all share is a total lack of soul from their subject matter. I wanted to shit on Abrams because he was involved in all of these, but he nailed the star wars look a lot better than Lucas could in the prequels. The fact that Lucas managed to recapture the soul of Star Wars in the prequels however, even expanding on it, is all that kept them afloat over all the heavy-handed CGI. The first film in the Star Trek reboot was fun, a totally acceptable addition to the series, but only because there was just one of them. From here on the writers demonstrated that they had no feel for the series at all. The star wars reboot writers performed similarly, showing all the understanding of the content as someone whose knowledge of the subject ended at having completely read the first wikipedia article on it. Star Trek Beyond gave the distinct impression of flailing in the dark at the core of the series, and many other things. No, Star Trek was not about unity. The Borg were about unity.

If these same films were instead presented as their own thing, not based on other series, they would not be covered in the shame of such wasted potential. If this whacky star trek universe was truly the alternate universe, and we still had premium star trek material available, that would have been great. But what they’re trying to do now is sell two of the most cerebral and spiritual series to people who won’t care tomorrow to recall which film they saw, and that’s never going to work.

Posted under Reviews
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