Well well well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? So much for trying to keep a proper schedule. School’s been frighteningly busy but that’s something I’d rather talk about later. For now, I actually have games to talk about!
The first is something I wanted to get around to last blog, which is Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. I beat it the night I posted the blog and man, what an ending that game has. Plot twist after plot twist, insane reveal after insane reveal. The end of 999 is some bizarre-ass rollercoaster that refused to let me close the slack-jawed expression I kept for hours both during the ending and after. Additionally, the cast of characters hide interesting backstories and complex personalities behind some admittedly stereotypical design. The way their stories intertwine is well-thought out and the overall plot hides a secret that still sticks in the back of my mind as one of the more memorable stories I’ve played through in years. Some of the reveals at the end of that game, one in particular that involves the DS hardware itself, are so clever and so baffling that I have a really hard time not loving everything about that game. I’m eager to start playing Virtue’s Last Reward, if only to more about the universe the first game sets up. As far as virtual novels go, 999 is easily my favorite. Few games make me want to lock myself up in a room or message board and just endlessly talk about everything in it.
The second thing I’ve put a bunch of time into is what’s acting as my in-between before I jump into VLR-- Fire Emblem: Awakening. After a three week-long search, I was able to secure myself a physical copy thanks to a friend of mine who works at Gamestop. Amusingly enough, he let me know he had a copy left a few minutes after I had another retail store email me to tell me they had a copy of the game set aside for me. I got my copy at Gamestop but went on a long adventure/walk with a friend to the other store, that was significantly more out of the way than I thought, so she could also have a copy for herself. … At any rate, I really, really like Fire Emblem. It’s not exactly surprising the socks off of me or anything but it’s an extremely good SRPG. I’ve been meaning to scratch that itch for a long time now and this is doing that job wonderfully. The in-combat mechanics are fun, inventory management is neat, and the character recruiting/team building/team organising stuff keeps me a lot busier than I’d of thought. I can’t say the story is exactly captivating or anything (so far, I’ve just completed Chapter 10) but the gameplay is keeping me going, as are the Paralogues.
I’ve been killing time with some other stuff when school hasn’t kept me super busy, too. I got Crashmo which is adorable and fun. (And surprisingly hard past the halfway point) I’ve also been dabbling in Black Ops II here in there when I can, mostly trying out new loadouts and tactics. I used the QBB LSW for a good stretch to find that I really, really like that gun. Right now I’ve been playing a Tac-45-only class, which has also proven to be pretty fun. And funny. People seem pretty irked when you finish 40-10 in a Demolition match when only using a pistol.
So, games aside, why have I missed so much blogging time? School, man. School. I’m on study break right now until Monday and while not having to wake up at 6 every morning is a welcome change, I’ve still been doing schoolwork and other nonsense that’s been keeping me from completely de-stressing. For the last two weeks, I’ve been tirelessly working both here and at school to finish the panoply of projects that were due. I had a 44-page children’s book to finish, a giant poster for Seoul Fashion Week to fix and finish, a bunch of armored police concepts to make for Concepting class, bookstore banners to design, a magazine layout to design and finish (both cover and inner-spread), along a bunch of other shit. The children’s book nearly killed me as it forced me to stay at school for close to ten hours straight and the fashion week project was no easy breeze, either. What’s been stressing me the fuck out, though, is my animation project.
The Dean of Education (I think that’s his position, at least) is going to give a speech at some thingamabob about how our school, Dawson College, plans to educate kids properly and blah blah. The speech is a little boring, so he’s asked us, the Illustration and Design program, to create a short animation that would accompany his speech to make it a bit more captivating. Since we’d be pooling both of our program’s third year groups, (For a total of 30-something students) we’d all have to find one style for the animation and have everyone stick with that. As such, our animation teacher made each of us create a bunch of designs for the characters, objects, and scenes in the animation. He’d then take all of them, go over them with the class, and the designs and style we’d like best is the one we’d pick and animate. I was nothing short of thrilled and honored and terrified to have my designs picked as the winner.
Alongside having to animate one of the harder scenes, (that I admittedly volunteered for) I also had to create a bunch of character sheets and respond to a bunch of design questions all at the same time. It’s unspeakably humbling to be in the position I’m in but at the same time, it’s made me work my brain and my patience for my own art to a really dangerous point. Everything I make, everything I draw, everything I think and say about the project has to be made so that it’s not just for me to draw, but so that everyone else can draw it, too. It can’t be too difficult to draw. I need to draw multiple things in multiple ways because they can’t guess what I’m thinking that hidden part would look like. It’s having a whole mess of people watch over my shoulders while I draw. And that’s not counting the expectations I have to make everything as nice and appealing as possible for the final look of the animation. It’s an important project that means a lot to the program and the Dean; I can’t fuck it up. Not that he hasn't been supportive since or anything either, but I suppose having the teacher, when the design was chosen, say: “Aw, I was really hoping [other person]’s drawings would win.” is little fuel for motivation and confidence, too. Things like that have made me second-guess every stroke I make when I draw for the past two weeks on this project...
On a brighter note, though, I took up something over the past few weeks that’s been doing me a lot of good and I’ve started to find a really fond appreciation for. As per a requirement for a class, I started taking Kung Fu lessons. I’m four weeks in now and I’ve all but forgotten about the requirement. I’ve been going purely out of interest and love for it. I’ve been practicing Wing Chun, a discipline that is centered entirely around the human body and efficiency. Every movement, every stance, and every action is all based on what is the most efficient way of completing that action. It’s absolutely fascinating to both study and practice. I encourage you to read up about it. It has a pretty interesting history, too. Plus, it was the discipline Bruce Lee used. What have you got to lose? NOTHING. That’s what.
That’ll wrap it up for this week. I hope to have something up next week. We’re starting a bunch of projects so the work load will be minimal, hopefully. Who knows. This program keeps surprising me in the worst way possible. I can’t wait to be done and get out there working, doin’ neat art and stuff.