Help me with the ending to our short film!

So we're a bunch of 5th year Architecture students, and we've been given an assignment (in a non-core subject) to make a 5 minute short film.

As an aspiring filmmaker (once I'm done with this course) I'm taking this assignment pretty seriously so that I can add to my portfolio and experience. I've done a couple of short films before, and a lot of music videos as well, so the technical parts aren't an issue. But we seem to be a little stuck with the writing.

So I'm hoping for some good insight from you Giantbombers (I've learnt quite a lot from you guys.) especially since most people on here seem to be well informed on a large variety of topics. I remember asking you guys what makes writing "bad" or "good" in this blog here, and got satisfactory responses. I'm hoping I can get similar help again :)

So Anyways, the plot - (as it stands)

1. Character, setting, obstacle and our intention

The story is about an architecture student (obviously :P) who is stuck with his design. He's struggling between his emotions that drive what he wants to design/ plan and between being practical. Every time he is about to draw even a single line, he stops himself, as he considers how the jury that he will face the next day might criticize his design intentions that he might not be able to "justify"

(This is a problem we students face all the time. Over the years we learn never to put anything in your design plan unless it is completely needed, even though it might just "feel" good. Every wall, window, column must have a reason.)

So the intention here ^ is to question. There are somethings that we feel personally that can sometimes not be explained, that we ourselves might not know the source of. So we chicken out of putting them in our designs and stick with approved methods of design.

So as this student is stuck on one part of his design, he closes his eyes (in frustration or fatigue) and starts to imagine (as we do for design)

2. The character's childhood - his inspiration

At this point, say he imagines running down moss covered stone steps, his hands grazing a similarly moss covered stone wall as he runs down these stairs. This place is probably where lived as a child. A beautiful home of a beautiful time of his life, at least as he remembers it. He may not know this, but his architectural designs are all inspired from his memories, or his experiences as a child (Our childhood experiences greatly affect and shape us)

So maybe he has an attachment to walls like those, that he faintly remembers touching while running past as a child. The sense of touch has stuck with him, and for this inexplicable reason (for him) he feels a strong emotional need to put a wall that conveys this feeling in his own design. Planning sense tells him otherwise,(maybe put a courtyard instead) but the feeling of running down in that particular way or speed begs him to put a wall .

There would also be him providing Voice over, talking about his experiences as a child ("I would run down to play in our gardens every evening.. etc")

Other similar experiences would be - say, his father who would play the piano for him, but would like to keep the curtains drawn when he did so - leading him to have a specific affection for a certain type of dim - lighting: Affecting the kind of windows or openings that he feels the need to include in his own design. There are a bunch of other experiences, but I won't write them here - Hopefully these ^ convey the point. They reveal his character and history, and try to show the mentality of design and inspiration some of us have.

3. A jury as a companion through his memories - self criticism

Now, at one point, one of his faculty/ jury begins to accompany him through his memories. This basically is a visualization of what goes through our heads when we criticize our own work during the process of design (Whenever I think of creating anything for my design, I am always able to imagine how a certain faculty member would react to it, and accordingly change/ fix what I intend to do)

Here the faculty member walks with him and learns about the character and his history, something the jury doesn't get to do in real life while criticizing our designs from our 2D plans. It gives a new dimension to the interaction between student and jury.

This jury member gets a chance to sit next to the character on his favorite moss covered steps, watch his dad play the piano etc, and talk to him about it.

4. Jury through his design

Next, the student character leads the jury out of the spaces from his memories, and into the spaces he's trying to design. These are basically normal buildings, but have clear inspirations from the experiences shown earlier from his childhood. For example, lighting inspired from the piano evenings, moss covered walls in a more contemporary fashion.

It's something that every student would love to do - take the jury through their designs and show them what they would feel if they actually stepped into their imagination, rather than trying to dissect them unemotionally through 2D technical drawings and 3D models. The experience of walking through the building is, in the end, the most important.

The "Problem Point" - Where all of us are stuck:

Now the company reaches the point where the student is stuck (funnily, where we are stuck as well). At this point, we plan to show something that conveys the incomplete state of his design, or a mental block. (We'll show this with the help of a cliff overlooking the sea, or a dam or something of that scale. A bit inception-ish here)

Here are the ideas that we have had -

1. If we do this on a cliff, we could have them walk over to the edge and see a body sprawled on the beach below. "Who was he?" the jury could ask. "My brother" or "That's me" the student could reply, with a shocked expression on his face.

The idea behind that is that maybe there was such an event in his life, that left him with a "missing piece" in his memories. If it was his brother, maybe he was too traumatized and blocked that part out of his head (A bit inspired from "To the moon" yes) If it was he himself, then maybe he suffered actual brain damage that led him gave him amnesia.

Since for this character -> memory = design, a missing piece of memory is bound to lead him to a mental block in design. Now that he has undertaken a bit of a mental journey through his memories, and through this experience, in a bit of shutter island fashion, remembered what he had forgotten, he is able to overcome the block. Whether he has the courage to actually put it to paper is undecided.

But, since we are not completely sure about whether this is a... good, or atleast, correct solution to the story, we've been thinking of more possibilities.

2. One of my friends suggested keeping the body on the beach a purely metaphorical point. No brain injury, no death. The body on the beach signifies that the student himself has, maybe failed too many times, and is scared to proceed.

I'm not too sure about that though, it seems a bit inconsistent with the rest of the story. Why show the whole thing about inspiration from memories then?

3. Another idea is that he is frustrated, maybe due to his need for perfection. The beauty tied to his childhood is unreachable, pure and ultimate, largely affected by nostalgia. Everything in his memories is filled with life, whereas his representations in design feel like soulless imitations. There are no memories attached to that yet. Maybe that's what keeps stopping him from proceeding with his design. In comparison to his childhood, it's just not good enough.

Help me with a central issue here- Since we are taking the audience through his memories, it would have to be that the conflict relates to his memories somehow right? I mean if it's a confidence or self esteem issue, we wouldn't waste the audience's time with the memory trips would we?

Thanks for any possible help duders. Sorry it was such a long post :P Tomorrow we're going to look for locations, and day after we start shooting. Thanks again!

8 Comments

A massively underrated game (of thrones)

(I am unable to link this to the Game of thrones 2012 forums. Help?)

For some reason this game received extremely negative feedback and reviews, even though it is a really really enjoyable game. I suspect the reason for this is the name that it had to be associated with: Game of Thrones. The name alone brings along with it a heavy burden of expectations, and not without reason.

Game of thrones, as books and the Tv show, have a huge amount of fleshed out characters, and they consider all of them to be equally important to the story; rather than have most of them as supporting characters. There is a solid lore in place, and the show brings along with it great cinematography, locations, and high budget effects and scenes; all of which tend to lend an image of what a game of the franchise should be like.

What most people would expect is a huge open world games with a faithful recreation of locations, characters and the world. You'd expect to see the towering wall, a bustling, sprawling King's landing, and vast rolling plains and valleys to travel though from one location to another. You'd expect to see all the characters impacting the story, voiced by their respective actors from the show. You'd expect an epic adventure that brings all the highlights of the show into the game. But the game is not any of that.

It's hard to fault anyone for those expectations; blame Martin or the directors for spoiling us with quality, especially budget wise (in the show) But it is ridiculous to dismiss a game from a stubborn perspective of the game was supposed to be like. Disappointment in the above aspects seems to have made most blind to how good a game this is on its own merits.

The story is the game's strongest point

The game is set up as a prequel to the events of the books - the game ends around the time when John Arryn dies (in the very beginning of the books) and overlaps the events for the last hour or so. The story here is a very personal one, and not (as desired by most) an epic one.

The story follows two separate characters - Mors - a recruiter of the Night's Watch, who's on an escort mission to protect someone who could turn out to be one of the most important characters of the story told in the books, while he is also plagued by the pain of his family's mysterious death.

Alester is the other character, a follower of Rllhor, who had abandoned his claim to Riverrun (I think) in order to follow "The lord of light". The reasons for his sudden disappearance are unknown, but he makes a return a decade or so later for his father's funeral, and decides to stay in order to set things straight back home.

Their stories are played bit by bit, and for more than half the game, the stories remain completely disconnected. However, the coming together of the stories, when it does finally happen, happens beautifully. Questions are answered, friends are reunited, and there are a lot of great twists to be had. The game is brimming with schemes, betrayals, dark pasts, and attempts at redemption.

Infact, the story of the game is one of the best stories in video games. If you are a fan of good stories, you should check this out.

Soundtrack from the Tv series features here, and works pretty well with the game's setting.

Alester homecoming is a difficult one
Everybody loves a prison sequence!

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Combat is solid and enjoyable

The combat plays out tactically, with you in control of (mostly) two characters. It's quite similar to Dragon age (Origins) with maybe a bit more emphasis on immediacy: The combat doesn't pause, but slows time down upon pressing the space bar key, allowing you to que up actions and plan your moves.

Alester gives you the ability to set your enemies on fire through a number of skills, and allows you to take it further through explosions, wildfire etc. You have the option to specialize in a specific class made for the character, granting you special skills of that class. You get the option to have a second specialization in the later levels of the game. Planning the character well can lead him to become a serious killing/burning machine, which becomes really enjoyable to watch and play with.

Mors on the other hand is more of a tank, with his own class specializations. He also has a pet dog that aids you in combat (with his own set of upgradable skills) Mors, being a skinchanger, allows you to control the dog (giving you a cool first person view through the dog) in order to stealthily explore your surroundings and take down your enemies in advance.

It's fun when the two characters combine their skills to take down strong groups of enemies, and I can say that I had fun during the combat sequences, rather than it being a chore between the story bits.

Side characters, side quests, open world, graphics, locations - The "misses"

The two reasons above- great story and combat - make this game a real pleasure to play through. Those are the core aspects that run the game (and would be true for any other good game) Unfortunately, the other aspects of the game don't keep up (possibly due to budget problems)

The game gives you areas to play in (sometimes them being suitably large) such as the Castle black, and its surrounding areas, or the unfortunately disappointing recreation of King's landing. But, it is not an open world game. A bit like The Witcher 1, it opens areas from chapter to chapter, later allowing you to move to any of them through the map. Still, the locations of W1 had life and personality, which is quite obviously lacking here. There are citizens and npcs spread around each area, but they are far too few and static.

King's landing is deserted, the wall looks too small, and the major book characters are absent from the story (except for Cersie Lannister, who is somewhat involved in the story towards the second half)

The npcs themselves don't have much of a personality. Once they've played they're part, they're just mannequins filling up the game world space. While some of these npcs shine in the story or cutscenes, outside of it there isn't much use of them.

There aren't many side quests to take or problems to solve. I guess the characters are pretty focused on their missions, but it does feel lacking. Fortunately, the story and its quests are long and involving enough to make up for it, but it does make the game feel...smaller.

The graphics lack as well, mostly looking hazy and too dark to make out anything. Its as if someone fogged up the whole world, reducing contrast and saturation.

Maybe the lord of light took away our eyesight - graphics are dark and hazy
Other times, it doesn't look half bad

On their own, these aspects can make a game pretty enjoyable (recent example Risen 3) In the same way, on its own, solid story and combat are often more than enough to provide a great experience, and GoT RPG does just that. A combination of all the aspects, obviously, creates the best games (Hopefully Witcher 3!)

So according to me, this game received huge negativity based solely on the latter aspects, and the praise for the former aspects is curiously missing.

If you're a GoT or RPG fan, do check this one out at some point. Hopefully, Cyanide studios continues to make great games like this in the future, although all the games they've released since have been pretty bad. I guess this was their one shot at greatness, and undeservedly, it failed completely

10 Comments

What creates a beautiful gaming experience (And AC IV thoughts and tribute!)

(This is a copy of my post in the ACIV forums, which due to the site being broken, I couldn't attach it through my blog. Therefore I just copied it for my own collection of my blogs. I tried removing it from the general discussions forums, hopefully it worked. Either way, this topic is probably buried at its bottom)

I often feel that the perspective with which we have begun to discuss games with, discussing it through some isolated parameters, blind us to the satisfaction of the overall game. Sure, gameplay, graphics, story, atmosphere, sound, replayability, its multiplayer are all important things to think about when it's time to decide whether or not a game is worth spending our hard earned cash and time on. Only thing is, at least for me, I think these smaller parameters contribute to a larger, more crucial factor - the overall experience. In my case, sometimes by the end of a game, and despite its apparent flaws discussed in great detail by some reviews, I can't help but fall completely in love with it simply on the basis of how it made me feel by the time I was done with it.

It's reasonable to believe that if each of the individual factors (gameplay, replayability etc) are touched upon, it'll give a good idea of the overall experience. But the only thing is, I feel, that each of those factors may not always contribute equally to the overall experience. I guess what I mean is that games are discussed in too great a depth in only technical terms.

Simply put, a game lacking in gameplay (though not to the level of unplayability) may have an amazing storyline or atmosphere, that makes up for the less than great gameplay. The feeling at the end of the game may be one of satisfaction. On the other hand, it might even be that a game with very tight gameplay might lack "soul" and be forgotten after a few months of finishing it. Giantbomb's way of reviewing is pretty good in this way, because although they discuss the details, the overall verdict is just rating out of five stars and a concluding line, rather than rating per parameter.

Sometimes it's the moments you create that matter as much, if not more, than the technicalities

Some examples I can share here are, on one side, the game Risen. It is, as we know, a mostly underrated game, and some of us love those types of games. It did get praise for certain parts (involving gameplay and leveling, interesting atmosphere) and criticism for some others. Thing is, giving a conclusion based on those points makes many people avoid buying that game, because they get the feeling that it isn't the most polished of experiences, and for some reason that would prevent them from having a good time with it.

Honestly speaking, I still sometimes watch Youtube videos of that game, because something about that game still sticks in the back of my head.

A pretty great experience

Another ( somewhat ridiculous) example is GTA IV. It's a great game, very playable, with a lot of interesting things to do in a very interesting world. Yet, we have managed to weed out (unnecessary) criticisms about it and almost giving it a bit of a bad image.

Maybe It's just me who is tired of criticism, being an Architecture student, who faces it almost every other week during presentations/ vivas :P But I just feel in a medium that focuses on experience, there should be more of an emphasis on what experience the game provides and a lesser focus on it's technicalities.

I should clearly state though, this is only my way of playing/ looking at games. I'm a bit of a romantic that way, and would probably make a terrible game critic/ reviewer. I never like getting technical about things. If a game (or even film) manages to evoke emotions within me, I'll be completely in love with it.

I mean, Deadly Premonition was my GoTY. Yeah. (And yet, I barely remember my experience with a very similar game - Alan Wake)

Deadly Premonition had many surprisingly beautiful moments, which were on a more intimate scale
The Witcher captured the weight of your decisions (the consequences of which were always revealed with delay) through incredible paintings
Do you feel it too, Edward?

So it's quite obvious what creates a beautiful gaming experience in my case - Story, characters, atmosphere. Games that I love for doing these well are Mass Effect 1 & 3 (where people mostly prefer Mass Effect 2), Dragon Age: Origins, The Witcher 1 (I vastly prefer it over the much more acclaimed Witcher 2); Fable TLC (people prefer the first in the franchise, but very few would put it in their top 10); TES IV: Oblivion (Prefer it much more over Skyrim, I guess in a way similar to those who love Morrowind above the others); Assassin's Creed 1 (AC2 isn't bad, but I was admittedly disappointed with it the first time I played it. It lacked... some wonder of the first. I have begun to appreciate it over time though) and most recently, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag.

I guess I play games in a search of beauty. In search something profound, deliberate or there by accident. That is where games do something that films cannot. Films cannot allow you to dive from your ship into the depths of the bright blue Caribbean ocean, with the power of decision to choose in which direction you'd like to swim.

In the beginning of Black Flag, I spent a large amount of time slowly sailing on the seas, often diving off to spend some time in silence on one of the many tiny islands scattered throughout. Many of them didn't even have a chest or a collectible, but they were places that I could choose to go to, and stand there for as long as I liked, watching the sun set, the moon rise, the change of color in the sea, the dolphins (I think) swimming by, the birds circling up ahead, and the soft music that accompanied it all. Here's a 1 minute video of what I'm talking about (The pic on the right is from that vid. I didn't embed it as I couldn't reduce the size of the video player)

The freedom to do this, to make our own experiences, is where the unique strength of games lie. Another game that accomplishes this beautifully is TES IV: Oblivion (or Skyrim, you could say, but in that I didn't feel the world as much)

This highlights another funny way of playing games of mine. I never try to get any of the achievements, or say, collectibles. I'm sure there are other people that do this too, but we are surely a minority. In the end, after spending hours playing Black Flag, (actually I played it over a period of 4 months - started around November, finished yesterday) my percent completed stands at 63%. My ship was only adequately upgraded, I only fought one legendary ship once (and died), I did about 6-7 assassination contracts, and collected only a few treasures.

I did chase down shanties though, and finished all the Templar assassinations. I guess I do those things that the character would (say role playing) and everything that adds to the story. Rest is just my wanderings through beautiful locations to soak in the atmosphere (streets, jungles, taverns and the above mentioned island)

Ofcourse, this isn't the only thing I loved about Black Flag. Everything else was spot on. The exciting gameplay is one of the reasons why it has received a great reception, and it makes me all the more happier. The game is finely crafted, and here, the overall experience and the individual parameters are both excellent.

I had exceedingly high expectations from the game, so a tiny bit of disappointment was expected. That happened after the initial few hours, when I began to find the story a little shallow. It gave me a Mass Effect 2 vibe. It had characters, but the story didn't feel too engaging. That feeling went away though, as the story began to pick up in an interesting way a little later than halfway through.

*******AC IV: BLACK FLAG SPOILERS START HERE******

Regret becomes a central theme towards the end of the game
The game manages to show a slim silver lining before the end, making it all the more heartbreaking

What sealed my final feelings about the game was the ending (I had a similar feeling after finishing DA:O) The story became very personal, and centered on Edwards' (and Anne Bonny's) feeling of being the survivors, of having witnessed all the chaos, and now being left with a feeling of emptiness. It did have the expected ending - the protagonist succeeds in defeating the bad guys, and accomplishes his mission. But the reaction wasn't the most expected, not for us and nor for the characters. It's haunting how through the blur of the action of the major bulk of the game, everything else was forgotten about, both to us and the characters. At the end though, it's there for everyone to see - what mattered were the people we met.

Dragon Age Origins had a similar bittersweet end

The hunger for success was so strong, Edward was blinded to everything else by it, and lost everyone in the process. At the end, when he has achieved what he set out for, it feels less like an achievement, and stings more of regret. It's a bittersweet end. And it scares and cautions me, to not become blind to the more subtle, everyday precious things in life during my journey towards success.

*******AC IV: BLACK FLAG SPOILERS END HERE******

And that's pretty much what I feel makes a beautiful experience worth spending my time and money on in games, which Black Flag beautifully achieves. It isn't very quantifiable, it's a bit mixed up, and it keeps adjusting itself according to the game in question, but I guess it's all led by feeling and instinct. Like the way I just knew Black flag was going to be a great experience while some moaned about another installment. And I know Witcher 3 is going to be the experience of all experiences for me :) Can't wait.

To end, I made a bit of a "tribute video" for the game, focusing on Edward's journey through those years. I used soundtrack from AC 3 (only good thing about that game), AC4, and also The Dark Knight ;) Please give it a watch if you enjoyed the game (and my blog)

Also, it has MAJOR SPOILERS So do not watch if you have yet to finish the game :)

So what are your opinions? What is it that makes a game stand out above all others when you look back at all the gaming experiences that you have been through?

1 Comments

I animated a painting I'd made and composed some music for it :)

I used to share my attempts at learning painting (digital, using photoshop) on these forums quite frequently, but I began to get busier and busier with college work that prevented me from both blogging or painting too much regularly.

I've been missing both, and while I continue to procrastinate that blog I've been meaning to write about the many interesting experiences I've had in life, (or that have been made interesting by sitting down and thinking about how movie-esque life can be), I managed enough time in the past few months to paint a new painting, and then eventually animate it.

My personal achievement is that I finally learnt FL Studio, which I'd wanted to for a couple of years but it's complexity always led to confusions and me giving up on it. Somehow, this time I stuck with and didn't let go throughout the confusions and frustrations. I just kept trying, failing, creating crappy music, and then trying again. By the end I was able to create a track that at least satisfied me personally.

The painting also came after a period of terrible looking paintings that had me doubting my ability to draw. I felt like I'd forgotten everything I'd learnt.

So overall it's been a pretty good experience creating this painting and then the video, and it makes me happy cause it sort of shares some things very important to me personally.

Hope you like it!

31 Comments

So I just finished watching LOST (And my confusions about story-writing in general)

So i'm writing a (proper) blog here after a long LONG break. Like, after about 2 whole years. The last blog I wrote was about my excitement for Skyrim. Oh man time passes by really really fast! (That's a topic for another blog though)

So I started watching Lost ... well i'm not exactly sure when, but I'm guessing around late 2010. Giantbomb's Deadly Premonition Endurance Run had ended earlier that year, which had led me to watching Twin Peaks to scratch that DP ER itch. And after TP, I started watching X-files to scratch the Twin Peaks itch. But X- files didn't really satisfy me, so I landed up on Lost. (Pretty cool how Giantbomb is the cause of it all right?)

(To get in the Lost mood, you could play this while reading the blog :P)

*******LOST SPOILERS AHEAD******

Man the show has left me feeling really empty inside, and I knew it would. I was actually scared to finish watching the show and I really slowed down during the last season. I even planned the situation I wanted to watch the finale in. Alone at home, while it rained heavily outside. Beautiful.

And that's what I loved about the show. There was always so much beauty in all of it. I'm sure many people watched it for the mysteries, the thrills and everything (at least in the beginning) but what got me hooked were the heart breaking and beautiful stories of the characters. I guess people find what they look for. What mainly got me hooked in the beginning was John Locke. His perception about life, about their role in the island, his immovable faith in things that other people could not understand were what mainly made me fall in love with the show.

The point in the show where they revealed that he only regained his walking ability upon reaching the island completely blew me away. Suddenly, him lying on the sand, staring at his own toes moving within his socks, in the middle of all the chaos suddenly made sense. Him helping Charlie out with his drug addiction ("The Moth") almost had me in tears - tears of happiness. I had finally found the show to satisfy my new itch, but probably something more.

From then on, that was mainly what the show was about for me. And every episode delivered. Every episode had those amazing moments, and even though Locke gradually lost his initial aura, and suffered a change in character (plus, you know, death), I kept finding new characters to love - Sawyer, Hurley, Charlie, Ben linus (started loving this guy), Jin and Sun (broke my heart a billion times goddammit) Miles, Faraday, Jack and eventually even Desmond. I really loved all those moments towards the end when they all began to remember one by one. Their expressions were priceless. Add to that the beautiful music, and I felt like the producers and writers of the show exactly what satisfied me. I think I'll never love a show like I've loved this.

Infact, I feel like this is the most satisfying and beautiful peace of art/ fiction I have ever experienced. Better than any book or film I have read or seen. And this is what sort of worries and saddens me. This is for two reasons:

Firstly, I was impressed with every episode I watched. I could not understand how the writers possessed the intelligence to remember every alternate life story they had written and make them all come to some sort of a conclusion. I'm currently writing a book (or im trying my best to) , and writing a single page is a challenge. What they have written, involving so many lives, with time travel, mysteries, histories and then all the beautiful, emotional moments, is worthy of some sort of a lifetime achievement award. If I was one of the writers of the story, I would consider my life complete. I am that impressed. (although I would've preferred if the ending was actually about an alternate timeline rather than a purgatory, that doesn't change much.)

But in contrast, stand the reactions of the rest of the world. George R.R Martin joked about its ending, a lot of people really criticized the ending and called it a "cop out". Many people called the writing of the last season weak, while some even said that the whole shows script was just improvising on random ideas and the writing was clueless. And this is what saddens me. Have I not watched and read the same things as these critics have? Because it feels like their opinion comes from more experience. As if they have seen better shows, better films and read better books. It's a little sad, but also confusing. What works of art have I missed out on, even though my life seems to be headed in the direction of devotion to some of these forms of art? How am I gonna catch up in time?

These are the exact same things I felt after finishing Bioshock Infinite, which got criticized for "poor writing" as well by some. I mean, I guess my question is: How much better can you possibly do? What the hell is "good writing" then? Does it exist?

And if it does, I want suggestions (please). In any form: books, films, TV shows or even games. I wanna know what qualifies as good writing.

Because I love writing. I LOVE a good story. I think it's all I want in life as well. A good story. I want to write a good story, and I want to live a life that can be remembered as an amazing story.

Which is my worry #2: Will I ever have what it takes to create an amazing story? Do I have the ability? Or will I continue to be Lost exactly the way I am right now, wondering what "good writing" is supposed to be. Wondering what it is people have read and seen that gives them their perceptions about writing. It seems like a huge mountain I need to climb, and if I do end up learning anything, it'll take a pretty big revelation. Because I am currently quite confused.

But especially after watching the last episode of Lost today, I realized that this is a mountain I want to climb. And then meditate on it and be enlightened, of course. But climbing the mountain comes first. Struggle and indulge in worldly affairs like writing and then give it all up. Pretty crazy right? But I guess writing is what I hope to understand life though, before I... Move on (wink!)

The story that I'm writing is just about a boy who has lived in a monastery all his life (that's twenty years), and the things that he learns about life outside and among people as he and an elder student travel across the land - to reach another monastery that they need to deliver books/ scrolls to. I'm 80 pages through it, but all those things I described above really make me worried about my own efforts.

So yes, that was a pretty long blog, and thanks for reading through it all (if you did). I'm looking forward to some good replies. Try not to be too harsh though, I've bared my soul in the form of a blog after a long time ;)

Oh, and goodbye, Lost.

16 Comments

Tomb raider- My thoughts (and a music tribute!)

So i just finished playing the new Tomb Raider a couple of days ago, and found it quite enjoyable, atleast gameplay - wise.

Thanks to my new, relatively powerful laptop (in comparison to my old PC) I was able to push the settings up to (almost) max and still get a good framerate.

The animations are beautiful, and Lara moves, runs and jumps fluidly. I'd say the animations and the gameplay are the best parts of this game. Love the small details in the game, like the way she sticks out her arm to touch the walls of the caves as she runs by them :D

The story though... was sort of disappointing. Having not followed much of the news/ reviews surrounding the game, I didn't really know what to expect, but I'd gathered the game had been getting quite a lot of praise. And as I started it and played about the first hour of the game (before she begins going crazy with guns) I got the feeling that this game was going to be perfect both gameplay and story - wise.

It felt like a mix between Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed in the beginning, and I thought the story and atmosphere was going to be something similar to LOST. I began to expect good pacing, exploration (and stuff like hunting around in jungles) and a really deep character driven story.

Unfortunately though, all that was thrown out of the window a couple of hours into the game, as it took a sharp turn towards a fast paced heavily action/ combat oriented game. The character progression turned from survivor to murderer, and the exploration turned into exploding bridges and similar running sequences.

I soon realized that I had begun to expect something different from the game than what it was really offering. After swallowing my disappointment, I began to enjoy it for what it was. So in the end, it wasn't all that bad.

And after a long time, I recorded footage of me playing a game and made a music tribute for it. I tried capturing the major emotions and character drive that I noticed during the game, and with Linkin Park's "By Myself" (I like(d) Linkin Park :) - you know, the first 2 albums) made a tribute to this reboot!

(MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE VIDEO)

Hope you enjoy!

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So I finished Alan Wake on the PC and made something!

(Reposted as blog)

So I'd been waiting an ETERNITY for this game. Ever since trailers started coming out I was very interested. And then they went ahead and cancelled it for the PC, and that's all I have! And then I spent the coming months searching "Alan Wake PC" on google quite regularly, only to come up with disappointing fake images and rumors.

But finally, it was announced for the PC and I got it! And I wasn't disappointed. I loved the game. Although some of the sections were a bit too stretched and the gameplay wasn't my favorite part (although it was quite enjoyable from time to time), the highlight was the story and the atmosphere, which was what had got me excited about the game in the first place.

SO, after completing the game, I made a music video for it (as I usually do) made up of all the cutscenes and gameplay i'd recorded.

The song I used, infact, has been written and created by me and my friend, and it's called "Marrying the Tide". Our band is named "Retarded Compound".

I chose my own song as the lyrics seemed to be matching the theme of the game beautifully! So anyway, here's the video. Oh, and the vocals aren't the best :P But the music's pretty alright imo

Here you go!

Video description:

A music video tribute to the Remedy game "Alan Wake (PC). I used a song from my own band (Retarded Compound) for the video as the lyrics seem to match the theme of light and darkness, hope and struggle, very well!

Enjoy and comment!

I do not own Remedy or Alan Wake, this is just a music tribute. The song is by my band (Retarded Compound)

Follow Retarded Compound on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Retarded-Compound/140781369310207

===LYRICS===

You kept a dream within

and left your heart unlocked

like a child you wore it on your sleeve

and all that they said you would believe

Standing by the cliff

you were pushed before you could even leap

they gave you back your heart in pieces

and stole your will to dream

[CHORUS]

I know its hard but you must believe

Coz there's a way out of this darkness

You must keep moving on for me

Behind a bend may be the light you seek

You closed your eyes to another life

you dreamt of what you wished to see

but now that youve been woken up

you no longer wish to breathe

Into the sea you dint follow

you've drifted along but you cannot dream

yes, you stayed away from sorrow

but happy you cannot dare to be

[CHORUS]

I know its hard but you must believe

Coz there's a way out of this darkness

You must keep moving on for me

Behind a bend may be the light you seek

Theres nothing to which you can hold on

what you have today tomorrow will be gone

valleys are made by hills, sorrow through delight

love what you have and everything will be alright

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Another photoshop painting! (a scene from The Last Samurai)

Remember my attempts at painting on photoshop with my new (now an year old) drawing tablet? So I did a few more drawings after that which turned out pretty decent.

Then I was forced to take a big break as college work took over all my time. But before that I had managed to start a new painting as a tribute to one of my favorite movies of all time The Last Samurai (strange choice? maybe :P) So about an year later, I finally found the time and completed it! Here you go giantbombers :) (and thanks for all the help during my learning process!)

(so irritating, giantbomb's having trouble uploading images, so here's a flickr link:) http://www.flickr.com/photos/48092420@N04/7529517492/in/photostream/lightbox/

update: proper image upload-

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When the Dragonborn gets emotional

So I was gonna make one of my game - music videos, this time showing the beauty of Skyrim with some pleasant music, but I ended up getting heavily addicted to this Oasis song (who put the weight of the world on my shoulders) and ended up making a video with that instead.

It somehow developed a very interesting theme of the internal conflict that a person in the Dragonborn's position would probably experience, one of having to deal with a huge responsibility thrown on his shoulders. Watch as the Dragonborn sits in a corner, trying to deal with his emotions, as the HUGE mountains, rivers, and endless plains of the world of Skyrim create a contrast to him, while symbolizing his confusions :D

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Learning photoshop: This time I drew my friend

So here's my latest work! I asked a friend of mine whether she would like me to make a portrait of her, and she was all up for it. It wasn't possible for us to do it live at that moment, so i decided to take a photo of hers as a reference.
Did this in 4 hours (can't believe it! My last one had taken me 4 days! But that was much more detailed as well) sitting from 12 am to 4:30 am (almost on a deadline, as I had to move my PC the very next day) 
Personally im very happy with the results, and im hoping i can keep up this momentum of drawing regularly. The shorts didn't come out that good though, as I began to lose a little bit of patience at the end. :P   But im pretty happy with the shirt.
 
No background yet, might add that in later
 
Critiques and comments welcome :) 

 
 
 
 
Oh, and needless to say, my lady friend was impressed.
Mission accomplished ;)

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