Woo-hoo

Brother Eric and I watched a lot of DuckTales as kids.  A lot.  So I went into watching this trailer with a heavy heart.  Especially with the art style.  It really does nothing for me.

Let me start out by saying that, with the exception of Donald Duck, all the voices sound WRONG.  Gone are the duckese voices for the nephews, Launchpad, while close to right as any of them, sounds off, and Scrooge…

No one’s going to replace Alan Young in the part.  No one.  I don’t care how Scottish the new guy is, Young is Scrooge and no one will replace him.  Ever.

Beyond that, my God am I looking forward to seeing a full episode.

This looks fun.  The nephews look to be an improvement on the original series (you can tell them apart even without the individual color schemes!)  Plus, more Donald Duck is never a bad thing.  More importantly, David Tennant, the new Scrooge, sounds like he’s having a blast playing the part, and I’m sure that’s going to help the series.

There are signs of the typical Disneyisms here and there, but this looks promising.

In Many Ways It’s a Pity I Can’t Give It the Lambasting It So Clearly Deserves

During my little traipsing through the internet I came across mention of the novel Dances of the Dwarfs.  It’s the story of a biologist who leaves his chosen field to examine what he believes is a new species of animal.  It’s a decision he comes to regret, but not for long.  Which isn’t a spoiler, as the novel opens up telling you that much of his fate.

I rather enjoyed the novel.  So much so that when, while at the same site, I was reminded of a movie version, I got myself an urge.  One that would be hard to satisfy, as the movie never came out on tape or DVD.  However, Youtube sometimes comes through for me in this regard, so I merrily made my way over there.

Fortunately for me, only the trailer exists there.  I say fortunately because… half a moment.  Why should I be the only one to suffer?

The trailer doesn’t hardly begin before I want the protagonists dead.  On fire, covered with bees dead.  On fire, covered with bees, eaten by a hungry Chihuahua dead.  And soon.

We’ll leave off the fact that we’ve strayed from the book with these two charmers (the bickering couple who are destined to become lovers, how original!)  It’s like everything they do or say is so very, very hateful.  We can’t just pour the liquor out, oh no!  We have to do target practice with the bottles.  And the smug conversation afterwards.  Yeesh.

Peter Fonda embarrassing himself here.  Jeez, how the mighty have fallen.

Oh!  And the monsters!  I wondered how they were going to pull the dwarfs off on an Eighties F/X budget.  You don’t get a good look at them, but I can assure you, they aren’t anything like they are in the book.

Man, does that look bad.

Yep.  Real bad.

Really, really bad.

I shouldn’t have to say I’m hoping for a future Blu Ray release, right?

That’s One Big Ape – Rambling Thoughts on the Eighth Wonder of the World

So we step one step closer to the Rematch of All Rematches.   I’m excited, but then it’s a Giant Monster Movie; I tend to dig those bad boys.  Especially the ones with monsters fighting monsters.

A quick, amused thought: watching Kong go after the helicopters in the above trailer, I thought, This is Kong’s revenge for the Dino De Laurentiis flick.

I haven’t sat through the De Laurentiis Kong in years.  Decades.

The original Kong I own on DVD–it’s around my desk somewhere.  The Toho versions are there, too.  There might even be a Peter Jackson version hidden in the shadows somewhere.

No  De Laurentiis.

As a kid, we had a jigsaw puzzle that was based on the movie poster.  I had a Kong board game.  I think I even liked the movie; I know I regretted sleeping through it when Mom and Dad took Brother Eric and me out to the drive thru to see it.

And I haven’t watched it in decades.

My standard criteria for Godzilla films is “Please be better than Godzilla v. Megalon.”  If the film’s better than Godzilla v. Megalon, I’m generally happy.

I have no such criteria for Kong flicks.  Maybe I should.  King Kong Lives was wretched enough.  Maybe I should be hoping this new one is better than that.

No.  No, that’s setting the bar too low.

Anyways, enough rambling.  One step closer to Godzilla v. Kong the second.  I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, the only way this could be better is if we were stepping closer to Godzilla v. Gamera.

Oh–dare I dream?–Kong v. Gamera

I Really Don’t Like Lemons or Lemonade. Though Both Are Handy If Good Titles Are Hard to Come By

It’s strange.

Some days are superproductive.  You get what you want done, when you want done.  Sometimes even more than expected.

Then there are days when you have done something, yet have nothing to show for it.  Just the vague sense of moving forward, despite the appearances of holding still.

Personally I’ll take the first over the second any day.  But when a pinch comes, the second will do.  The second will do nicely.

What have I done today?  Overcame an outline problem.  Nothing big, nothing amazing.  Just something that might help me move forward tomorrow.

In life, we have to enjoy and be thankful for what good comes along.  There have been and will always be days when no good will come.

Power Girl in Yellow

power-girl-in-yellow-000

One of the things about Power Girl is that she seldom has what you would could call a “good” costume.  For instance, the boob window on her more typical duds really is kinda silly.

This particular outfit, worn during her Justice League days, is on the cusp.  Why I think that I can’t explain.  Maybe it’s the neck line.  That looks ridamndiculuce.  The yellow/white color scheme doesn’t do a lot for me, but it’s growing on me.

Anyways, Power Girl.  In a costume we haven’t seen her in before (at least not on this site.)

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXIX) – All the Maps, Where We Stand, Where We’re Headed

All the Maps Save the One I Thought I’d Be Working On

So, in a week where nothing went quite as planned, is it a surprised that my work on the game didn’t pan out the same, either?

Let me explain.

Five days ago, RPG Maker Web tweeted the following:

I took one look at that image and the first words out of my mouth was, “No way.”

The second was, “I said no.”

The third was, “GOD DAMN IT!”

I fought for three days, then yesterday caved the rest of the way:

gs-development-077 gs-development-078

The first image is how the map look when I started.  The second is the way I’m toying with doing the maps.  It looks like I have more space, but there are issues here and there that need addressing.  I might break down and see if there’s a tutorial on the matter.

Assuming I go that route, mind.  It’s going to be more work… But I kind of like it.  It has design possibilities.

Where We Stand

While I haven’t hit the milestone I’d hoped for today, I figure I might as well talk about what comes next.

hero

Once I “finish” this section of the game (have everything playable from our Hero Hero (so wonderful redundant) setting out from the castle up to his… um… celebrated return) I have at least two more village maps to port over from the earlier game.  I then have two addition maps to draw, one a town, one an expansion on the Mysterious Elven Forest of Mystery.  All the necessary Events need to be added and check to see if they work.

This done, I need to break down and start working on spells, special attacks, weapons and items, monsters, and the characters themselves.  To do this, I need to read up on the basic mechanics of RPG Maker’s game, and that…  That’s going to hurt.  We’ll moan about that another time.

After doing those two things comes the fun phase: the Writing Phase.  I’m expanding on the various less than boss dialogue, filling out some ideas here and there, and so on.  This includes various dialogue for all the townsfolk present and accounted for (though I may hold off on at least one village for the time being).  A part of this has already been done.

After the Writing Phase ends, I have to put in all that text into the game, test it out, the works.  I might even set up battles to test those out (though I might hold that off until closer to the end, when I’ve finished everything else.)  Whatever I do, when I finish all that, it’ll be the end of the First Act.  I’m thinking about two more Acts after that.  Maybe three…  not quite sure.  No more than that, though.

A hell of a lot of work.  This whole project is probably too ambitious for one man to work on, in fact.  But it’s been fun so far.

Where We’re Heading

All of this is nice and all.  Sounds like I might actually have my act together.  However there’s one small, small area I’m not exactly certain about.  That’s the story beyond the First Act.

Here’s where I am, at least in my head.wizard

Hero and his companions succeed in claiming the Mac Griffin (whatever that is.)  After returning the borrowed row-boat and its tag-along back where they belong, he and his new best friend (not really) Wizard head back to the castle, where no doubt a grand ta-do awaits their return.  Or at least a hardy handshake and an “At-a-boy!”val

At the castle, Hero spots a certain purple haired woman.  Though she doesn’t see him, her presence makes Hero uncomfortable.  He excuses himself and heads off to points unknown, promising to return in time to see the King.  Needless to say, the time comes and he’s nowhere to be found.  Wizard has to see the King (whom he’s never met) all on his lonesome.

He heads to the throne room, where he discovers that the local government has had a major shift in power.  To be more precise, someone’s dead.  Murdered.  And guess who gets the blame.

There’s more, but that’s where I start to look a little nuts.  More so than usual.

See, I like the idea of having a random element to the game.  I don’t know if I’m ever making another one after this one, so I want the most replay ability I can put in.  Thus I’m thinking that the victim might be

  • The Chancellor
  • The King
  • Or the previously unmentioned Queen

I think I can do this branching with minimum extra work.  I’m also thinking about making the murderer a random choice, too.

Whoever dies, Wizard finds himself charged with murder and thrown in the dungeon.  After a day or so he’s visited by the Chancellor.  Unless he’s dead, then it’s the Queen.  Whoever it is, it’s revealed that an Ancient Evil is on the rise and the murder is just one sign of it.  In order to deal with it, three sacred artifacts must be found.  The Mac Griffin has a connection to these things (and Wizard does make a comment on how similar this is to what he’s just been through).  In any case, while he’s out doing this, all efforts would be made to find the real killer.

Wizard has no choice but to accept the offer.  However, there’s one sticking point: He can’t just be freed.  Too many questions would be asked.  Instead, he has to escape the dungeon on his own.

I’ve got a few more ideas on future plot, but this post grows long and I might need post boosting in future.  To tease it a little, Hero isn’t who he claims to be (no shock I know) and the actual truth is further signs that I’m too ambition.  Or nuts.  Or both.

Next time I post on Goblinstomper! it’s will be a little comic of sort, “celebrating” the thirtieth post in this series.  If all thinks go according to plans (and surely that will start soon, right?) I’ll have that done as well as a little more to talk about next week.

So far so good…

The Hand That Makes – A Fiction

I have this nasty habit of writing simply dialogues and (in this particular case) monologues.  I think it’s because doing so skips on descriptions, and I hate, hate, hate descriptions.  Of course, they’re also easier to write and easier to finish.  Mustn’t discount natural laziness.

That confessed to, sometimes with the monologues I come up with rather neat little stories.  Not really something I could sell, but something I think worthy, or neat.

With this particular tale, the monologue format helps with the overall effect of the tale.  Properly told with descriptions, it might not work as well.

Then again, as I’m writing this note some ideas about how it could be done are coming to me.

In any case, here is the tale.  I hope it amuses.


Don’t whisper like that. It’s unbecoming.

Much better. Thought you could enunciate a little better.

That’s it. That’s the way.

The whole line now. Don’t miss a word. It’s important to get it all right and remember.

Yes. Progress. I think tomorrow we might try a different passage.

You can rest now.

#

I don’t care if it hurts. You have to do it.

Why? Don’t ask me why. You just do.

Okay, because if you don’t I’ll rescind outside privileges.

Ah. Don’t like the thought of that, now do you?

And there you go. Flex and relax. Flex and relax. Each day a little stronger, each day a little less pain.

You can rest now.

#

Finished. No more stitches. When you’ve healed there won’t even be a scar. So much better than my last one. I might be learning a thing or two myself.

Don’t mutter like that. It’s worse than whispering.

I can understand your frustrations. It must seem like it’s taking forever for you. You must believe me, though, you’re advancing at quite a steady rate.

Everyone says exactly what you did. At least at first. It’s completely understandable.

Each day you become better and better. And one day it and the pain will all be over.

You can rest now.

#

Exciting news. From now on, instead of a full day of therapy, you’ll have only a half day.

I know! The rest of the day you will be outside. That’s right! Outside doing so much. And better still it will be for the benefit of all.

Oh, lifting and pulling. Building and cleaning. Whatever the schedule says for the day, that’s what you’ll do.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. One of the things you’ll build? It’ll be a new house for me. Now isn’t that a wonderful thing to be building?

Oh no. No, I won’t be helping. Don’t be silly. I have far too many important things to do myself.

You can rest now.

#

Well done! A full therapy, and not a word of complaint. If all could see your progress!

Better than who now?

It’s not fair to compare the two of you. Nor should you do any comparing. You’re on the same shift as he, and must work together in any case, for the benefit of all.

He can’t help smelling bad, any more than you can. Though perhaps if you bathed more, it wouldn’t be such a problem.

Yes, yes, I’ll make the same suggestion to him when he comes into therapy.

You can rest now.

#

Now that was ugly, now wasn’t it? So unbecoming. So less like you should be.

His fault? What do you mean, his fault? It doesn’t matter what you think he thinks or how he smells. You shouldn’t have done it. You should have left him alone.

No. No, you didn’t kill him. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you did. Just delayed production, bad enough.

No, we won’t be doing therapy tomorrow. I’ll be attending your… playmate.

Oh, let me assure you, I’ll get that arm back on and functioning. He’ll be back to normal in no time. Until then you’ll just have to work a second shift as well as yours.

Get back to resting.

#

I hear you went a calling today. And let me tell you, no one is happier that you sought to apologize than me. Well done. Well done indeed.

Oh, I wouldn’t have made you do it. Don’t be silly. Forced apologies are pointless.

Don’t say that.

I told you not to say that.

Well you’ve certainly spoiled that gesture, now haven’t you? And such folly. Had you not opened your big yap, I might never have known.

I’m done with you today.

#

Did I tell you to rest?

DID I TELL YOU TO REST?

I don’t care how upset you are I want you working on my building now get up off your lazy ass and—

Oh, so that’s how it is, is it? That’s what you think?

You think that’s a threat? Go ahead, try and rip off my arms. Go ahead, big Man, you go right on and—

THERE! HOW’S THAT GOING FOR YOU? LIKE IT? LIKE IT?

#

Round and round we go. Sometimes for every step forward there is a step back. For me as well as for you.

For what it’s worth, I am sorry for what happened. I should never had let it go so far.

Oh, that’s all right. No need for you to apologize. Remember, you were hurt much worse than I.

Now, now. Everything will be fine. You will be fine. The bones will heal just fine, and you’ll be back on track to being what you always should have been. Just like how the Father Doctor always meant us to be.

After all, do we not now walk on two legs? Do we not drink from glass and eat from plates?

Are we not Men?

Look, Just Because I Mentioned Lemons In the Title of One Post–ONE POST!–Doesn’t Mean I Want a Metric Ton of Them Dumped On My Lawn, Okay?

I knew better than to setting up a schedule.

I.

Knew.

Better.

This time it wasn’t my fault.  Completely.  This time I lost internet access.  And phone access.  For two days.

Two whole days.

If we could have some how harness the power generated by me clicking the Chrome button, then saying, “Internet’s out, stupid!” I’m sure we could reach Mars in a day.

So what did Mr. Waters do in his unintended vacation from the wonderful wonderful web?

I made lemonade.

Not literally.  But I would have, had I thought of it.

First off, I cleaned up my Devil Box desktop.  Condensed it down to a few links, then made icons for each link:

my-devil-box-desktop-000

I like making icons.  Really like it.  I made icons for a ton of folders.  Hopefully this will make things easier to find.

Also?  I went through my writing stuff and organized that too.  Found a few short stories that seem worthy of posting.  Maybe tomorrow.

This inspired me to look at some old backup disks and, more importantly, make a new one.

Last one I made was in August of last year.  Ie yi yi.

I hope I spelled that last bit right.

To go back to icons, working on then inspired me to revamp the feature images of the sister site.  This was a little hard to do, as it involves access to the internet to do.  But I think it’ll improve things.  But I want it 100% ready to carry out before starting to change things.  So expect that… Probably never.  Who knows?  Projects and me are like schedules: we don’t always follow through.

I’m working on that.

Speaking of projects, I also progressed with Goblinstomper!  I’m actually quite happy with the game so far.  In fact, I have maybe one more map to do before I’m finished with the ruins.  Then a final cut scene and I’ll be done with the first stage of the proceedings.  We’ll talk about that Friday, as well as brush upon how I’m insane and probably shouldn’t be working on a game like this.

It’ll be fun!

I also played a few video games.  But I do that every day.

What didn’t get done was any work on writing any novel.  However, I had several nifty ideas.  I even used RPG Maker’s character designer to work on character appearances, thus getting to see some of my characters’ faces for the first time.

Kinda neat, that.

Anyways, that’s my week so far.  Hopefully the rest of the week will be a little less… lemony…

Keeping a Schedule Attempt #1756

Another day, another lack of anything to say.  This, as experience has taught, leads to long blog silences.  Rather than do that, I thought maybe I’d plan out my week.  Working on another life style change, don’t you know.

It’s not a big list, but this is what I’m planning:

  • Monday’s a new Cullen Reads?  Which isn’t me asking you about it; that’s the title.  I intend to talk about Costigan’s Needle, a Science Fiction novel by Jerry Sohl.  It won’t be in-depth, but there will be spoilers, including the ending (which is the part I really want to talk about.)
  • Tuesday I’d like to do another Walking the Outline.  Things haven’t been moving forward with the other outlines like I’d hoped.  Maybe a deadline will help.  Or not.  we shall see.
  • Wednesday and Thursday I’m leaving open.
  • Friday and Saturday are Goblinstomper! Development Diary days.  Though Saturday will be a joke entry; it’ll be entry XXX, and if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s an incredibly obvious joke.

The schedule is, of course, subject to change. Especially if something comes up in the meantime.

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXVIII) – Fiddling, Puzzle, Doors

Time slips away from us all.  I apparently thought I had more hours today than the actual 24, and didn’t get all done what I intended.  But I did get some work done.

Another Fiddling With Maps

One of the great things about writing, in general, is how fluid it can be.  Ideas that seemed great one day are replaced the next by hopefully better ones the next.  And if those better ones aren’t so hot, they can always go to the wayside.

For instance:

gs-development-070

This was the original map I had the first time I tried making a game.  Not too shabby, I thought then.

I reach this point last week, though, and I thought better.  I wanted puzzles.  Not great puzzles, maybe, but something.

My first thought was switches and doors.  Flip the right sequence of switches to open the door.  That sort of thing.

In fiddling with that, I made closes walls and doors, as mentioned in the earlier post.  I also dumped the door idea and went back to calling up a bridge, like I’d done at a MUCH earlier stage.

All of these ideas lead to a change in the map.  Like so:

gs-development-071

Not too shabby, but, as I said before, I’d lost the maze aspect to the proceedings, and I liked the maze.

Thus after what passes for a lot of thought with me, I went back to the old map.  But with some changes:

gs-development-073

I’m going to call this done for now.  I can fiddle with things until the cows come home and still want to fiddle some more.  Best to set it on the shelf and move on (though I might get some Door Events ready just to give it a better look while I test it out.)

My work here brings up two further points I’d like to discuss with you.  If for no other reason than to keep this from being two posts in a row on the same flarking area.

Puzzling Out Some Puzzles

One of the things holding me back on this part was the puzzle.  I kept thinking that it had to relate to those little matters I set up in the woods.  Needed to be switches, that sort of thing.  Only how many of these things could I make without them becoming derivative and cliché?  Which wouldn’t be long, as sequence switches are ALREADY derivative and cliché.

Just like them, is all.

Anyways, to circle back to an earlier point, I suddenly changed what this first act was about.  This was the tutorial act.  The act where I show the various features of the game, then expanded on in the later acts.

Thus inspiration came.  Go crystal:gs-development-075

The Player touched the crystal and a bridge appears.  Or a door opens.  Depending on the situation.

Not any different from a switch, you say?  Well on the next floor I set up three crystals.  Turn one off and the one next to it turns on or off, depending on what lit or not.  It’s no more original than the switches, but, again, I like it.

For the next point, allow me to draw your attention to the lower right corner of the above image.  You know what’s there?

Obviously a Door

Sure, it’s a door:

gs-development-076

This brings up an interesting little point.  Or at least it was an interesting point for me; you’re mileage might vary.

With the perspective of this game, you can’t just have doors in just any wall.  It needs to be demonstrated to the Player to be used by the Player.  Am I right or am I right?

That’s where those silly shadows on the floor come in.  Put in the right place, they say door just as surely as a doorway.

The shadow could be drawn a little smaller than that.  I considered it a bit, then rejected it.  Didn’t look right to me.

Still, it behooves me to show what the gap in the shadow means.  I was thinking of redesigning an earlier map anyways (LATER!), so I’ll no doubt do it then.  Might even have it in a few other places, just to be sure.

Not the greatest point, again, but who knows?  Maybe it’ll be vital for me to know and now I have a place to look for it.