We're past the drafting stage and we're into production. My artist is currently in the process of inking chapter 1. Meanwhile, grading my student's papers has taken over my life. It's the most tedious thing in the world, perhaps, and I wouldn't do it except that teaching is so damn rewarding and enjoyable.
We all have our stories to tell. I just hope I don't have only one.
That's the storyteller's biggest concern. Unless you're particularly gifted or happen to be the reincarnation of William Faulkner, able to tell the same story several times over in marginally differing ways, you have to try to vary your work. Becoming marginalized is the worst sort of fate the writer can have--not unlike being typecast as an actor. Look at Al Pacino and tell me you don't think Montana every time he's on screen. Cop? It's close. Satan? Not too far away, in the grand scheme of things. But he'll always be Tony Montana to me.
My current project is a graphic novel set in a small rural town not unlike the one I lived in from 1997-2001. This place is the setting for most of my adolescent development, my high school years. It's where I had my first kiss. It's where I learned that girls can be heartless. In the winter, the snow comes down in heaps so thick you breathe them in and they sting. To be very honest, I hated living there. But this place elicits from me an emotional response. From it, stories can be extracted like marrow, retold not for the nostalgia of it all, but for artifice of creation, to say something. I've no indelible memory of the place, it is, rather, transient, shifting images that swirl around until one or two come out to paper (or, in this case, to screen). I wish to say more about the project at the moment, but I've been sworn to secrecy.
You can check out our website (where the magic happens) here: www.alienfetusproductions.com
Yesterday I finished Chapter 2 of my graphic novel and sent it off to my buddy in Portland via email. Seems like it's getting a warm reception there, as well as some helpful criticism. Next, chapter 3!
So I played Civilization Revolution yesterday for about 3 hours (the average time a game of Civ takes online), and I have to say that I was impressed. Not really impressed, because there are some odd things the game does. Things like unit movement can be unintentionally automated. One of the bigger problems I've had with it: when you get upwards of 12 cities, it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to finish cycling through them filling up their build queue before time runs out (in a player match - which are always set to 30 second time limits, but you have the option of 1, 2 minutes, or unlimited time). Another irritating thing is how antiquated units, such as pikemen can take out tanks or AIRPLANES. Also, I heard a rumor that the game was going to get patched pretty soon, and that the patch would fix some of the more obscure glitches with the game. One of those is: the Americans can RUSH half-priced galleys, and then sell them back the next turn for a 5 gold revenue, making the Americans WAY overpowered especially in the early stages of the game. Well, there's capitalism for you, simulated honestly in Civilization Revolution.
Still, the online game is unsurprisingly excellent, even with it's "noob-centric" feel and it's glitches, which says mountains for the core gameplay/turn-based-strategy mechanic, coupled with civ building, diplomacy, technology, and military conquest. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a rental, at least.
Hard at work on a graphic novel, and attempting to complete my newest electronica album. This week has been stressful. My wife thought she was getting laid off (turns out that's not true, they just wanted to chat), and I've been slaving away at the UW with some damned long-term project that just got longer, and more irritating.
I'm looking forward to getting home because I've got Civ: Rev on my queue of games to play. Also, this evening a few friends and I are going out to have some drinks.
I've been getting back into music (which should never be gotten OUT of, I fear), and now I'm listening to some Long Range--half of Orbital (Phil Hartnoll) with Nick Smith, who's a damned fine DJ. The band is pretty much my last hope for a euro-electric revival here in the states. Yes, I'm dreaming. Oh well.
I've been playing a lot of Culdcept Saga for the 360. That game is awesome, despite some less-than-amazing lost connections. Currently working at the University of Washington, and found out today that my contract with them ends in two weeks. So...yeah, I'm going to be getting another job. Hurray.
As for other games: I'm thinking about renting Civilization: Revolution today. Everyone on my friends-list has bought it, so I might as well give it the old college try. I'll let everyone know how that goes.
Battlefield: Bad Company is as good as Jeff G says. I wasn't expecting to like it, but it's now one of my favorite military shooters--mainly because it doesn't take itself so seriously. Also, things blow up good. Real good.
Although it's becoming standard for a military shooter to have stand-out sound design, BF:BC tops the lot. It's as good as, but perhaps better than, COD 4's sound design. Every gun, every echo, every clink, every shush, every splode every etcetera, is perfect sounding. It's one of those games that I don't care annoys my neighbors--it must be played loud. BF:BC = *****/*****
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