Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The word specialists

For those who don't know me and come visit Drawgunz, this is what I look like.
A quick scan of my 3D school card.
My 3D school from which I never went to take my diploma.
I thought I had more time to go get it, but they closed about a year after i finished.
A year is plenty enough I ear you say.
But, once you earned the diploma, it's not so urgent to go get it.
It's that kind of thing you're just too lazy to take care of and that trails for ages with you finally forgetting about it.
Until one day when it's too late.

I hate renewing stuff.
It's there, it exists, it's valid and works.
Why the hassle of renewing it?
Damn bureaucracy!

Hey! Good news!
Guys, I stumbled upon Megatough games two weeks ago.
For all those who didn't hang at Mira back in the days, you must be aware that Megatouch (touch screen game) is my favorite mind grinder bundle of games.
Wordster. And by the way, the scores are beatable there. Not like ours that were the top at Mira. (Forester) These are the best letters you can get.)
The goal of the game is to make at least 8 words using these letters. The more letters in a word, the more points.
What a kick-ass game!
The place is in Chinatown in a tea shop. Very comfortable and friendly ambiance.
Plus huge bubble teas.
Open invitation to all. I'll be hanging there often on sundays and I'll put a good fifty credits in the machine at the star tof the session.
And hopefully Kingsley will be working that day. If you don't work King, come.
Or I'll Balrog kisk ass you at A3. Dhals or not.

Au fait, pour les peeps d'entre vous qui parlez francais, allez voir le blog d'Amande.
Elle est trop sympa, et elle vient dire coucou ici de temps en temps.
Mais attention, elle est gentille, alors soyez gentils!
Merci les poteaux, et venez nombreux a Megatouch.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The season of ambers

Another astonishing drawing drawing by Rock Ray.
The city in the volcano.
Drawn and executed from an idea I had for the table top game I'm creating.
This picture also goes straight in the project.

When summer comes, I can't help to look at this and think...
Hey, that's where I am now.
Carved in the flank of a volcano.
I went to volcano high, and volcano college, volcano 3d school, and now, volcano work.
The heat is unbearable.
Hot and humid.
Being on a large river, my city gets shamelessly humid.
It raises the temperature by a couple of degrees like the wind factor decreases it during winter.
but honestly, I'd trade +40 to -40 anytime.
In the winter, you add a couple of layers, and you are warmer, or you move and your body heats up.
In the summer, there's nothing beyond naked.
You sit in your own stew, unnable to move, lazy. Counter productivity has a name.
Everything smells bad in the summer.
The heat has this faculty of getting into things alive or not, and gfet the worst smells out.
Dog excrements (among many other things) are anonymous in the winter.
Frozen solid in a blissful manner that spares your nose from contact with the said olfactory offense.
The heat will also effortlessely puncture your skin to make it's essence visible to all.
The sweat. How fun is it to forget your armpit elixir in a hot summer day?
Aren't the shirts and pants annoying when they get wet and stick to your body?
If you sit for to long, your behind will also not fail to notify with uncontrollable itches.

Work has no AC for the moment, rendering the situation the more hard.
It will be fixed soon I heard.
Maybe I have too much Vicking and Celtic blood in me, but I can't help to favor winter and fall over the intempestive summer.
Besides, in the winter, there is snowboard.
No palm trees for me, nor beach. Pine trees instead waving in the dusk's winter wind.
(I love to stand in the forest by winter evenings, and gaze at the summit of the pine trees. No noise, immuable tranquility. The smell. All too precious of an experience eagerly renewed when snow comes again.)

(I'm also allergic to detergents I think, and when summer comes, the heat and sweat combined liquify the soap that rub on my body, leaving me with the most apparent rashes, and a red collar even when my T shirt is gone.)
Three months before an appointment with a specialist.
By the time, it will be fall.
So I'll wait fall.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The kid's thinking

Who am I in this picture?
I'm the kid scratching his ballz like we (boys) all do at that age.
Because we don't know what they're for, and they just feel weird.
The guy in orange is my brother.
I have no clue how old we were.
I was probably four.
I remember that when I was that age, I thought silly things.
Like, that people really got killed in the movies, and that they were probably convicts deserving it whom were given a chance at acting instead of dying unfamous in an elecric chair.
I thought something horrible happened when you sneezed, because you always close your eyes.
A natural reflex to not see whatever abonimation appeared in a flash.
And I thought midnight was a pretty late hour to go to bed, and only criminals dared to go to bed so late.
I also started believing in the Santa Claus for a year, because my uncle came disguised at one, and started pulling magic tricks and vanished.
I thought. 'wow, this is real magic, it has to bo real!'
Next year, my uncle was less magic, and I caught the santa Claus in the bathroom changing into my uncle. That was it for me. (I was five.)
Five minutes earlier, Santa farted, so I started to suspect something.
My bro once had fallen into a weird trip.
He had put underwear (you know, the white ones that look so standard, and that get saggy if you're an elder wearing them? Those with the slit you pull your thing out of to pee.)
Anyway, he had put fourteen on top of each other, and believe me, it is as hard as a cast.
The laugh we had.
So I thought...why aren't guys constantly wearing as many? It's the best defence against hits in the groin. After 20 minutes of that, I understood why guys were not wearing them constantly.
This is also the age I started discovering stuff.
I tested pissing while running.
Funny, it takes a lot of will power to start running and ignore the fact that you shouldn't run while pissing.

Yo, by the way, I don't watch the bus schedule for my boss no longer.
It's all lies anyway. I just feel like taking a marker and writing a big fat 'LIES' on it.
When the bus comes at the right time, it's just a coincidence. Out of twenty times, you're bound to get the right time if you're supposed to be there every 6 minutes.
AND, I also don't like the fact that they're cock blocking everything possible to be done in the metro.
The latest example is the fine they now give you for holding the door. Up to 500$.
I used to hold the door for people who really seemed to be in a hurry, and that the driver would try to ditch. People were thanking me. I was pleased to help someone. What is it for the rest of the people? 3 seconds?
Plus, I'm in war with the STM, so I'll gladly go for the clients like me rather than for the fools working for the STM.
But they eventually got angry that a person like me helped other people not get ditched.
So here we have it. Selfish society that encourages selfishness and competition.

I'd also like to denounce the open sexual discrimination the STM does towards men.
You didn't know? Yes, discrimination is also possible at the detriment of men.
If you read the electronic media in the metro, you'll see the ad that says the STM is hiring women for bus and metro driving.
I thought sexes were equal, and that men were as able as a women at driving.
In other words, this ad clearly states that women will be hired over men.
Isn't that discrimination? A choice over sex is clearly sexual discrimination to me.
Let's imagine the ad stating 'Hiring men for bus and metro driving'.
Inimmaginable! Now THAT would be discrimination.
STM is just too backwards. Everyone else is trying to fight discrimination for the sake of equality, while STM promotes it.
Let's just hire everyone applying for the job with equal chances, with equal rights and equal salaries without regard to the sex nor ethny.
Is that unreasonable? Is that foolish?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Sugar Pebbles.

Sikh man!!!
A sketch Rock Ray did in India.
I know where the shoes design inspiration came from.

Do you eat cereals in the morning?
Or any time for that matter?
I didn't until two weeks ago.

But last time I went to the market, I bought the biggest box of Fruit Loops available on the market.
Eat too much, and your tongue will get sort of caluses.
Can you resist it.
I'm so like a kid, my cereals are a good argument to get out of bed.
I used to eat (let's call them candy cereals) all the time.
But then, something happened.
The pac-Man cereals were impossible to get any longer.
They were officialy the best, and I challenge anyone to say the contrary.
Huge chunks of dried marshmallows. Licky Cahrams as the last brand to Have Marshmallows is naught but a pale immitation.

I question myself.
Have I lost a part of my appetite for candy cereals?
(A devastating effect of puberty perhaps.)
I used to go through a box of anything in a day or two. (yeah, my bones are strong)
Now I barely eat four bowls a morning.
And I have the guts to lose weight. How' I don't know.

See Sofy, I answered to your challenge of writing a post about what I eat in the morning.
It's kind of boring, but I did it.

Now, onto the serious stuff.
Here is my top ten list of the worst movies in the last ten years, (or so) that actually had exposure. (Not necessarily in order)

Street Fighter. (Van Damme at his best. The best for him is being bad)
Mortal Kombat 2. (whaa whaa, what just happened, who's this guy?)
Stop or my mom will shoot. (err...Stop)
Taxi. (Queen Latifah? Downgrade from the french series somewhat)
Dungeons& Dragons. (Why Jeremy, why? At least Christopher Walken didn't do it)
Dungeons& Dragons 2. (this sequel didn't need to be made. Does the word worster exist?)
Double Dragon (teenage movie, but still...)
The seed of chucky. (Is the seed melted plastic? I would've loved to see the porn scene with the two dolls)
Ultra Violet. (yeah yeah we know... bad ass model with attitude killing 20 ninjas) (of course)
Mixed Nuts. (Hahaha...not funny.)

Any others that belong here?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The clowns you stumble onto

This is my friend Vinz.
Not a clown, a best friend.
With the most devastating sense of humour.
This picture is the most serious I've found.
Vinz can make your abs the strongest in a couple of days.
Trash your ab exerciser.

No, the real clown is the one that makes you laugh without even trying.
If you get a roomate off the net, you might get a psycho, or you can get a clown for free.
I wish you the latter.

Think of a guy that does everything wrong.
The clown will make you run a couple of risks, but in the end, think of all the good laughs you could get if no tragedy ever strikes.
I will hereby not mention names, but the facts are real.
Let's just call the clown Guy.

Yo Guy, why was the door of the appartment completely open when I got here!?
-Oups, I forgot to close it when I left for work. Sorry.
(The clown will not forget to lock the door, he will forget to close it.)
After placing a couple of post its on the door, the problem was solved.

Yo Guy, there is a grey cloud hovering above the kitchen, what the f**k is happening!?
-oh, I was hungry for pastas, but then I was not anymore, so I cancelled.
-Next time you cancel, turn off the cooking, so the pastas know you've cancelled.

Hey, LD, I give up the game. I cannot cast anything!
(Guy is mana short after ten turns in a game of Magic the gathering)
-Lemme see.
Yo Guy, your pure green deck only has two forests, everything else is islands!
-No wonder I would never draw forests.
-Are these placeholders?
-No man, I got plenty of forests in my blue deck.
I tweaked his deck for him, and he actually got to beat me a couple of times.

Ok all, you find a level 7 dagger with + a on accuracy, and a iron cup.
(in a pen and paper role playing game)
Hey, I do a 'Identify object' spell on the cup.
-No need to, your rogue abilities tell you right off it's nothing special.
-I want to cast it on it to make sure it's not magic.
-Don't bother Guy, it's not.
-I still do it to make sure.
-Knock yourself out.
-Ok, Succeeded. Then, what is it?
-It's an iron cup, no magic on it.
-What? But I rolled and spent my spell.
-Still, it's not because you cast your spell that it's going to make the object magic.
-But I cast it! It has to be magic, or I've done my spell for nothing.
-I told you!
-Unfair, I don't want to play anymore.
Oh no, we explained better, and he kept playing and enjoyed it. (A few other funny incidents happened, but he ended up laughing with us every time when he understood.

These are only a few tales, but there are many more.
You get the idea anyway.

I can't help but to like these people.
I feel like there is so much I can teach them.
Maybe they remind me of me when I was the victim, being bullied after skipping a year by the older students in my class. I remember feeling that no one understood me.
Maybe it is also my instincts of protecting the less fortunate after having been one myself.

So if ever you know a clown, (the usage of the word 'clown' is not pejorative nor condescendant, it refers to the original and purer meaning of the word) 'Make people laugh' don't feel bad about laughing, it's the human reflex when the mind is confronted to a non-threatening situation never before encountered.
But don't disrespect, and explain.
And think about it, if every one was like that, we would probably still be in the middle age, but there wouldn't be wars, and we would probably live happier.

There is no evil intent, therefore, no legitimate anger nor violent response is accceptable.

Just a story to tell.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Means of Transportation

An other astonishing artwork from Rock Ray.
One of his first steps onto impressionism.
By that, I mean suggesting the image by undefined strokes rather than concise.
Impressionism is not really the final result of the image, but rather the means of acheiving what is to be perceived. (In this case that is)
I have but one critic about this depiction.
The wheel looks too pointy, but I might just be anal there. (This is a mistake I could also easy make.)
The best way to obtain circular shape in perspective, is to first draw a box in accordance to the vanishing point. (here, the horizon at the end of the street)
Then, draw a pale X from all the extremities of the square, that all join together in the middle.
Now, draw another line that will pass in the middle of the X created, and that is perpendicular to the upper side and lower side of the square.
Repeat the proccess on the horizontal plane.
Now, draw a circle in the square that touches the extremities of the four lines previously made.
The circle has to be flattened on all four extremities to give the circular feel.
It is longer that way, but gives a more precise perspective of a circle. (or cylinfer end.)
You have no lessons to learn from me Rock Ray, (you are my mentor and you know it, or do you?), but other people might want to have handy tricks. ;-)

I wonder what is happening in the Metro here in Montreal.
People seem to have lost their civism.
I see crowds rushing in the metro as soon as the doors open to get a seat.
What about those who want to get off?
They must struggle to exit. I hate that.
I'm certain these were not the ways 10 years ago.
Were the metros less crowded back then?
Were people less caring about their comfort?
Selfishness is made visible. Peolpe care more about their own well being than in the most basic rules of civism.
Once, I was waiting in the stairs of the bus to get out, and I feel a hand crisped about my shoulder pulling me back.
It was an elder that was trying to push me aside to disembark before me.
How far will people go to gain two seconds in their life.?
I shook my shoulders and stepped out.
I heard him insulting me after.
We clients are not the only guilty however.

'I'm holding court in the streets'
To all the bus drivers who see me running to the stop and leave when all they have to do is open the doors. Next time just open the doors and don't wait for the light to go green in hope of leaving me behind. I'll have a rock or a stink bomb on me.

You know they see you, but they feign looking elsewhere.
Some even refuse to let you in because the bus has moved after picking up people.
They have rolled 2 meters away from the stop, and for them, they are no longer forced to pick you up.
They are not forced to open their doors at any time it seems.
I once got ditched by a bus that didn't slow to pick me up at my stop. (the bus was also nearly empty).
I runned after it, and eventually catched up at the next stop.
When interrogating the driver about why not taking me, he said, 'You didn't look like you were waiting for the bus'.
what does a guy have to do to get a bus to stop?
Isn't waiting under the stop enough?
Would I need to wave two flags to signal my intention of taking the bus?

Another driver felt like giving me an expired transfer. Like a naive fool, I didn't watch at the expitation time on it.
Upon arriving at the metro, my transfer didn't work.
After arguing for a good 10 minutes at the wicket, I got this answer...
'You need to talk to your driver for another'.
Yeah, like the driver would be there waiting for my complains after 10 minutes to give me another one. He was gone of course.
So I jumped.

This story is from my bro.
He had runned after a bus that had ditched him at the stop.
After catching it later at the next stop, (he runs fast) the driver reluctantly (because humiliated in his bus driver pride to have let a passenger in) let him inside.
When came the time for my bro to get out, he signaled the bell, but the driver didn't stop.
So he went at the front of the bus to ask the driver what was wrong with him.
When getting out, my bro thought 'I can also make you lose your time. '
So he stood if front of the bus for a whole green light. (there were no passengers left in the bus)
Actions must be made against these foul drivers frustrated and hating their job.
And for doing that (and another millions of things), my bro is my hero.

Notice that the drivers will always salute you when they are on strike, to get your favorable opinion. They are well paid already, and we the customers are providing their salary whether it be with tickets or taxes.
It is only fair that we get a good service.

It seems nowadays, that the drivers would rather drive empty buses, and that they somehow have a satisfaction in not letting you in.
Do your job, let me in, drive, and quit being so frustrated about it.
Or, let another driver, less frustrated take your place. Do us and yourself a favor and resign.
Nuff said.
Angry Genotzarr!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The bonds of work

This photo of me (white T-shirt) was taken in Honduras.
me and the rest of the scouts financed a trip to Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua in central America.
We sold and delivered Christams trees, sold chocolates, and organized community parties.
It was a tough year, and we were never certain to actually gather enough money to go until the last week. (We were twenty.)
The objective was to get there and build schools and Basket ball courts in small towns on the country side.
Which we actually did, for the most part.
We didn't attain our objectives, but we did well all in all.
We split in three groups in different towns. I consider my team to have been the most lucky.
On top of a mountain we were. The air was clean, the weather, rainy for the most part, but fresh.
The mosquitos never reach that height. Another good argument.
I heard the tales from the other group when we gathered later.
Some were misfed, some had la tourista, some were bitten by scorpios and slept outside.
The only drawback from being in my team was some guy that snored louder than I can yell.
(He also fell asleep in a truck in which our group travelled in the open trunk. He leaned his head on another guy's shoulder and gave way to an important stream of saliva that accumulated on the poor host's T shirt. Needless to say, we took pictures.)
Good memories, I even got to meet the Honduras president in a feast given in our honor.
Back in Canada, we got a medal from the Governor the same summer we got back.
A good accomplishement.

The bonds of work?
Oh yes. As much as I simply love my job, I realised that when I get home after work, I don't feel like doing anything but lying down on my couch to play video games.
I hate it! (well I like to play of course, but I don't like it being my sole option.)
This is why I'll need your support.
I'll get my permanency tomorrow if all goes well.
It means that I'm going to get a discount on the gym.
I promised myself three months ago that I would start training as soon as I'd get my permanency.

It has been so long since I got to the gym. I haven't smelled the odour of rubber and iron for a long time, and I miss it. I also miss the ache in the muscles you get from tearing them.
I used to train 7 days a week for a year. I didn't have a job, so I considered training mine.
I achieved in that period, 215 lbs with 4,5 % fat. (I'm now 170lbs)
Just by boxing two hours one day, and lifting weights the next day for the same amount of time.
I intend to regain what I lost by giving up the training for a job in the north.
I was a snowboard teatcher for 'Acedemie Laurentienne. '
No time to train there even though they had a small gym, which was always locked when I got back from the mountain anyway.

The plan is to unleash the beast I once was by training after work everyday.
(I really need a gym with boxing equipement though.)
So this is a call to anyone reading this.
Would you come to the gym with me?
Or if you don't, would you please kick my ass every time you hear me say 'I don't feel like going' or, 'I'm too tired'. (you then have my authorization to treat me like a drill sergeant would a lump of shisay he just stepped on.)
I want to evolve from the larvae that I am, into the muscular butterfly that I was back in the day.
I'm counting on you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Moon Canto

Surely you heard of Sofy by now.
She was the tester whom I had the honor to work with.
Photographied here in Japan, next to a sketch she did.
Even though it was made in paint, it certainly has a feel of pencil on paper.
Props for the drawing Sofy, and keep the drawings coming lass.

Me and Sophie had the habit of stopping by at the grocery store on ground floor of where we were working.
We knew very well lwhat we were hunting there.
Every morning.
They would come out of the hoven at the precise time we would get to work.
As fresh as they would (and could) be.
But still.
They were grocery croissants all baked together in one huge batch.
The baker was also french. I don't know what it is, but the croissants outside of France are just not the same.
You may import the baker, but the taste remains in France no matter what.
Is it because we cannot grasp the details in the recipe, or the love required?
I don't know, I feel that any food (or drink for that matter) cannot be taken out of its context and packaging else the true taste is lost.
We all know what Coke should taste like.
That's right, is a glass bottle.
Croissants the same way, shouldn't be stored in plastic, or should not be stored at all, but eaten no more than 20 minutes after their conception.
Where I lived in France, there was a bakery right under my window, and I must tell you, the smell does have attracting powers.
I would get out at 6 am, get outside for my daily croissants quest, eat them in the most hectic way, and go back to bed for another 3 hours.
It was simply worth it.
I just don't expect a croissant to be as good here. Why?
The experience aquired from enjoying something I really like.

On the exact opposite, France cannot boast for a lot of things we have here.
Even their ketchup doesn't taste right.
Selection of chips? Two flavours. Regular, and Ketchup. (Has that changed Greg?)
Not many chocolate bars either. Mars, Lion, Kit-Kat, Kinder, and what else? ...Not much except the high quality ones.
They probably eat too right to have as much trash food as we do.
But...I don't want to hear them calling their burgers or pizza American style.
Goat cheese with asparaguses and viennese ham is not very American.
Fast Food lives here!
Like I said, you may try, but you can't export the taste.
Nor the correct ingredients.
Bacon isn't the same in Europe. They're 'lardons.' (nearly as good, but assuming a less attractive form.) I0d3 knows about them. (He told me he got fed up after a while)
The same applies to a lot of things.
Just keep in mind that when you go in an Indian restaurant for instance, you might get the traditionnal recipes long forgotten there, but you will certainly not get the real things they eat there. (ask Rock Ray, he certainly concurs)
So, be glad of what you eat wherever you are. And, be conservative for anything about food.
The real taste of a certain food, is in the country that invented it.
That being said.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Seer

Here is a depiction of the notorious Alex D.
No, he's not a Intel Fanboy, but there seems to be something about those stickers.
Is it the logo? The glue? The color? Or the substance underneath?
Apparently, it was a very long Lan, and the poor guy was tired from playing.
He's standing near Mars (the god of war) I like the implicit analogy filled with irony.
Sorry Alex, but your face is not that of a warrior on the picture even though you had probably killed a lot via Warcaft that night.

I'm feverishly witing for Disgea 2.
If only there also was a promise that a sequel to Stella Deus would come out.
Astouding game. I reckon, it might be the best tactical turn based RPG released on PS2.
It required advance tactics and true skill.
I also reckon Shin Megami Tensai Digital Devil Saga to have been great (and Nocturne), but their style is different.
I also loved Phantom Brave for their abusive customization system that allowed exploits that would bring your characters to level 9999 in no time, and power beyond power. 18 000 000 damage per strike from a character level one.
If ever you want to know how you get there, just ask.

I endow myself with the powers of a divinator to tell you this.

Prophesize part one.

Alan Wake will be a good game to get for the Silent Hill fans.
DMC 4 will be like euh, like a DMC
Dark Cloud 3 was canned and will never come out. (sadness and dismay)
God Hand will launch the comedy beat them up type. ( this reminds me of Fist of The North star nonetheless)
A Silent Hill 5 will come out.
I will buy Ninety Nine nights. (100%)
There will be a Golden Axe 3D version. (hehe, you know too?)
A Bionic Commando 3D will come out. (I don't see why not)
Ikaruga might have been one of the last good top down shooter.
3Rd Strike tournaments will take place still ten years from now.
Capcom will never come up with a 2D fighter again. (the one they announced? you'll see...pfff)
Capcom versus Namco will get (or has been) canned. It's not normal we haven't heard of it since
last year.

Are there other prophecies I should announce here? What do you anxiously expect too?
Tell me what to add on the list.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Reckless and the Courageous

I organized a BBQ last week-end.
It was for the People at Neo-Cell.
Most of them showed up.
Of course, it was raining. Since when can you organize an event with no rain showing up?

Nearly everyone was there. And to those who weren't 'cheers'. To Chae, Jason, JF, Dan, Thierry, ad Karl.

These are the folks I was telling you about.
The heroes at Neo-Cell who went all the way, against all odds until the game was made.
Yes, it does tightens the bonds, working as a family through joy and tears.
For the crew....I'll never forget you.
This is what it was like around the barbecue. (first Photo.)
From left to right...
Rock Ray, behind him, Marc G. blue cap, Lord 69, on the BBQ, Dararith (who handled it like a Chef), Black cap, Kouyah, and Serge, the boss.

A friend at my job found me the Silent Hill II sountrack.
I have been trying to find it phisically for so long.
It includes, some of the best video game musics of all time.
Also coming to my mind in the same category, Symphony of the night.
Are these soundtracks good or what?
Dark Cloud also had simpler, but good musics nonetheless.
Anyone here remembers Air Diver? A flight simulator on Genesis.
Damn, they had good musics for the time.

By the way? Have you guys seen the Spore trailer?
The long version explicitely says 'this game will give birth to a whole new genre'
Off we go, I tell you now, programmers are going to be in shortage for at least the next decade.
Imagine all companies wanting to use procedural animations.
10 artists, 4 designers, and a hundred programmers.

This game is openning a new area in video game history.
I don't exactly see anies stepping down on the concept.
Just think of what the future holds in that domain.
Do you see yourself playing a RPG on that scale?
With a character you have modeled yourself?
This is the next step to a sandbox of infinite proportions. Te ultimate freedom given to the player, in a boundless universe.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Game!!!!

This drawing's original concept as well as creation, comes entirely from the fertile mind of Rock Ray.
It conveys a funny idea. What would the westerns have looked like it they had been chinese from the start.
The gun would be a sword.
Isnt'it funny how the architecture and mood still remind of the
westerns even if it clearly takes place in the far east?

I particularly like the image composition. All in the Y axis.
The beam on the right, the slander silhouette of the protagonist, and the composition of the background which is darker to create a contrast that allows a clear reading of the character.
Dusk or dawn?
Hard to say.
The light hits the beam on the character's left side.
The the light source comes from his right, the East then. (as usually symbolized)
'Which suits for an eastern western'.
The rising sun, I say dawn. Only one man knows. (two, including the man on the picture.)

Speaking about dusk and dawn, I am currently playing Dawn of Dreams. (Onimusha 4)

First thing that strikes me is the main character's design.
How odd for a Blond westerner to be in a samurai game. I prefered Samanosuke Akeichi.
Or even Jubei Yagyu.

The good thing though is that you can play five different characters. (like Onimusha 2)
The main, and a assist that accompanies you. It is possible to boost them all up to level 100, but it's a long task that requires over perhaps a hundred hours of gameplay.
The best spot to level up your guys is the Dark Realm. I'll speak about it later.

First, you need to level up your weapon to level 10. (which can be quite fast to achieve.)
However, the weapon you are going to put souls in to boost it, will rapidely prove to be of insuffiscient power for the challenges ahead.
You will then need to find another weapon that suits you best later. (which will also become outaded by the difficulty level.)
This is for one character. You'll have to repeat the process four times for the other characters if you want them to be decent.
Roberto is my favourite by the way.

On to the core of the matter.
Can japanese game creators balance a game correctly?.
I think so, but some of them undeniably difficult time doing so.
I'm a hardcore one and I plan to spend around 300 hours playing this game.
Having played the whole Onimusha series, I must say I'm pretty at ease with the gameplay and combat system.
I go through the whole game effortlesslly, until I reach annoying bosses.
They are not so much difficult as annoying.
Since you might not spend any heal items doing the levels, you'll have plenty when you reach the boss. And it will be time to use them.

It seems like the whole item thing in this game is only for the bosses.
Nowhere else will you need them. But in the boss fight, you might end up spamming the heal in your inventory in which most of the fight will happen.
I favor the approach of finding the boss's weakness and then play along, but some of them are so annoying you will just charge headlong not caring of the damage you take.
If you go in the Dark Realm, you want to be at least level 60.
Reaching level 50 will take you about one to two hours.
At that point, the screen will be crowded with the most annoying creatures.
If you leave, you have about 40 bars of EXP. You then use them to boost up your armour, or weapon if you haven't done so.
If you dare keep going, and if you get killed, well, that's two hours of your life wasted.
You lose the Exp you've gained, and restart from scratch outside of the Realm.
I would for one, have put a saving point at every ten levels.
This design error could certainly have been avoided easily.
The Dark Realm certainly lessens my appreciation of the whole game.
The improvement, is in its location.
Easily accesible anytime.
BUT. 100 floors.
Once you start, you should make sure that you have four hours ahead of you otherwise, don't get in.
The previous Onimusha games had around 10 to 40 floors which you could easily clear in about an hour or less.
Why did they change that???

The other blatant example is Devil May Cry 3.
Why would one think, they make difficulty levels differently?
The japanese version had Easy, Medium, and Hard. (I'm excluding the Dante Must Die difficulty level which was in both versions.)
The thing is that the japanese levels were what they were supposed to be.
In North America, the 'norma'l level corresponded to the easy level in Japan.
The 'hard' here was 'normal' in Japan.
And the 'hard' here didn't have an equivalent in Japan.
Do they think we are better than them and that they need to adapt the game for the American market?
Or they take pleasure in giving us a bad time?
I always found that odd. But I don't relly mind, since I want a CHALLENGE.
(as long as it is fun and not annoying. It's called a game after all, and games are supposed to be fun.
Nonetheless, Japanese games are the shit!
They favour me, the hardcore gamer, and for that I thank them.
95 percent of my games are japanese.
I agree with my coworker Jason in that they are of superior gameplay quality.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The remembered

This drawing of a Necromancer goes straight in the project. I did the original, which was nicely shaded by no other than Rock Ray himself.
It is not 100% complete, but it already conveys clearly the final depiction. It was made last year in 2005.
Rock Ray would grunt whenever I would come up with a too detailed drawing. It takes him to shade two to three times the time I need to complete the drawing with no shades.
But he didn't say anything for this one, except that he liked it. So he went home saying he liked the movement in the picture, and the energy and ominuousness emanating from the character.
He must have been to bed late that night (like 10pm imagine) because he brought me a version close to final the next morning. What a rewarding association we have! Look at that!

On to the core of the matter.
Here are some quotes I need to share with you.
This is my way of remebering them, I write them here so you can too wonder why they were said.

`It makes me want to kill a baby' :Lord69
context: Getting hit everytime he would absorb souls at level 44 of the dungeaon in Dawn of Dreams (onimusha 4.)

'How far can you throw a baby?' : Me.
context: At A2M around my desk, eavesdropping on a conversation about babies the next day.

'Go wash your tooth!': Vinz.
context: Reaction to being taunted by Mathieu as he was losing in a game of cards.
We wanted to say 'go wash your mouth with soap in the bathroom' (in french). It came out ugly.

'I don't know where my clitoris is' :A girl friend of mine.
context: In a conversation about how guys were gifted to find the damn thing so easily.

'What? a tuning fork? ':Vinz.
context. Right after sticking a fork in Gaas's ass as he was farting leaning his way on the sofa.
(bringing it close to his ear to feel the fading vibrations. )

'I threw the bananas at the dogs.': Rock Ray'
context.Opening his shutters late at night in New Dehli to scare off the dogs howling beneath.
(he was telling us the story.)

'Adidos' : The knock off watch he bought there.

' I really felt the heat' : Me telling my bro on the phone what I felt immediately after the poo started accumulating in my pants and underwear.
context. A sudden urge as I was struggling to find the right key to my front door. (the kind that you can't prevent exiting)

'The wee!?' : Jason
Context. Hearing our lead reading the announcement on Gamespot the day the Revolution was called the Wii.

Do you have a quote that you would like to share? Post it here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Free Hate

BuckTown Bullies.
This drawing is printed on a T-shirt.
Art by Simon.
He's one of the guys that came often at the arcade. He wouldn't play though.
Just chat with me, and we would have the most vain debates about unimportant stuff like noodles (or was it sauce?) for a true chinese recipe.
I like debates about anything not important, and so does he apparently.
So, good work Simon, and don't forget to print me one.
He's a graphic designer for anything. He now works in a clothing company.
The Wii

I so hate Nintendo even more now. I didn't think they were serious about the controller, but E3 confirmed even more what was already confirmed.
The controller. I think it's plain flat out crap.
First, I must tell you I had Nintendoes before, and it was fine when I was a kid, but more and more I come to dislike the fact that they keep picking the easy path.
It's alot harder to get complains when your client is a kid, or rather, a kid's parent who will never
play the game in the end. Expectancies from a kid are also way less oriented, and complex.

That being said, I have nothing against kid's games, they have the right to play too.
It's just that the average gamer has grown and is now 28. Why would not one focus on the base market? That's where the money is. A kid has to ask his parents for a game, whereas, the adult can also buy as many as he desires.

I was told a lot that being a hardcore gamer I would certainly not like the applications of the controller. Why do you think? Because it allows anyone to play, the non-gamers especially.
It does not involve skill, that's why it is designed for the non-gamer or noob.
Slow-paced gameplay focused on using the controller at its best rather than having a game made to be played as itself not straining or drifting away to make use of the pad.

It reminds me of the function the DS allows. To blow on your screen to guide a sail powered boat.
What an amazing game that is! How many games now use that function? None. Because it has to establish a gameplay where blowing is the only fun and the only control. I'd rahter buy a straw for blowing wet pieces of paper to Jason sitting next to me at work. That's making use of the human blowing capacities.
It blows. Nuff said.

Back to the remote controller.
I hate the fact that Wii is orienting itself towards the non-gamers.
Are they thinking the controller will change all that? It will make the non-gamers turn into gamers al of a sudden? I think not.
It's like turning cigarettes into cigars for the non-smokers. That's what they were waiting for to start smoking right?

I' ve put a lot of money into Nintendo products before, but seeing they've grown to turn their back on me with that money, and favor the non-gamers who have never helped them before just pisses me off. Betrayal that shisay!
I just don't see myself standing up in front of my TV playing DevilMayCry with that controller waving it like the StarWars kid.
But I'll look at you do it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The questioning

Here are a couple of questions to see your console level of gamingness.

What is the most powerful weapon you can get in Dark Cloud 1?

What's the name of Dante's brother in the DMC3 special edition?

Who is the ultimate boss in Phantom Brave, and what is it's form?

Can you skip FF10 dialogs?

Which success shooter game hit the GameCube long before the PS2 last year?

Which game has the 'bouncing breasts on/off' option?

Which console game has recently been made after Tekken by the same makers?

In which NES game was it needed to kneel with a crystal equipped for 10 seconds to proceed forth?

In last year's release of Capcom classics, what game had you play a flying guy with a mohwawk?

What did you turn into, at the third level of Altered Beast on Genesis?

Which old PC game had you solve a puzzle taking place on a cake?

In Mystic Defender, what was the first boss?

On the first Maximo poster where you could see his boxers with hearts on them , what was the color of the legs.?

From which NES game is the 'bang you're dead' boss ''the Albatros?''

Which game features Spider man, Batman, and Godzilla as bosses?

On the back of Grog's Revenge for Coleco, what did they say you were supposed to learn if you finished the game?

What Silent Hill episode does the recent movie relates to?

What weapon do you wield as the Prince's evil alte-ego in Prince Of Persia3?

How many hits does ken's EX ShoryKen do in 3rd Strike? 2, 3, 4, 10,12, or 18.?

The rise

I was there, in a small arcade, wondering how to make my way into life . I must foremost thank all the guys that hung there just for their presence. It was fun for a long time, but I had to get out of there soon.

It's not exactly the job that offers rich perspective. I was in the video games alright, but not exactly where I had hoped. After completing my 3D school, and knocking at every door, I was tempted to give up, and I honestly did.

So I stayed there grinding my teeth, wondering where I was going.

There was this guy that came often at the arcade , and we played 3rd Strike together. He would come up on his way to school and we'd talk for awhile.

I one day showed him my drawings, and he liked them. At the time, he was in a big company, but they canned their project at the very end while the game was ready to be released.

A shame really. Richard, because that's his name, told me about their new company.

He and some of the crew had banded to create a game on their own. A team of 18. Very small for today's standards. But they were brave and focused.

They were at the stage where they needed testers.

I was taken, all thanks to Rich. I'll never thank you enough man!

There at Neo-cell, I got all the experience I needed to take off in my career.

There were only amazing guys there, I realized. I'll tell you all about them later.

The drawing there is from Rock-Ray. (Viv)
I really look up to him. I'll tell you a lot about him too. In time. There is a lot to say. All good stuff.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The first pick

I got this Drawing from Frank G. (better known as Lord69) a ex co-worker that was assistant artistic director and doing textures and all the interfaces on a xbox game. The guy draws freely, and damn fast. His hand runs on the paper (or tablet rather) in quick stokes, giving way to an image that starts off blurry, but swiftly ends up in an expressive swirl that reveals all.
I envy his method but even more his absence of hesitation and speed.
I'm the perfect opposite. Technical, mathematician, strict, unsure, and slow.

Above all that, he's the friend you wish to have. Impetuous, funny, expressive like his drawings.
A guy of contrasts all in all. (the least timid guy you'll ever meet.)
The drawing here is not coplete, but reveals a lot of what it to come.
The sword handle, will be acompanied by a huge sword. More colour contrasts too maybe.
Up to him.
Props nonetheless, for the form and expression. Warcraftish. All good.
Just admit that you haven't seen many Female Orc drawn before.
Are all orcs of the male gender or what?
So yeah, thanks for the broadening of the genre Lord69.
(Lord 69 also agreed to put this drawing in the project)
I'll tell you more about it later.

The word of the day for those who don't know it.
'Shisay' to be pronounced 'she-zay' .
Comes from the german 'Schiesse' with a north american twist.
To be said when for instance you drop something heavy on your toenail. (to say before it gets black.)
Feel welcome to post about the drawing and all.
See you.

The Welcome

28 years old and hopefully a long way to go still. I'm a hardcore gamer. The path was taken a long time ago when the ancestor of the Wii came out. No turning back now, It's my bread blood and sweat. I started drawing when I was four, not knowing it would open me the doors I would later dream to cross.
So here I am, level designer in a big one, but I intend to slowly climb the rough steps that allow true artistic expression. Up to the top. (ambition costs nothing, and it's the best money maker) However, the money has little to do in my scheme.
Enough about me, tell me about you. What do you play, why do you like it, how would it be better, what ideas you have, and what do you draw. (if you do draw) Let's focus group out here!
I welcome herein anyone having an interest in playing video games, video game conception, video game industry, as well as to all those who believe in their drawing skills and imagination.
We will dicuss your suggestions comments, critics, and art. We'll go through new and old releases, classics, and brainstorm to get the new ideas and concepts the games are nowadays starving for.