I can’t believe Kevin Bacon is the new Persona protagonist.
So, Erika Moen and her work are really important to me. In a very personal, I sent her a little autobio comic about it kinda way. So when I saw that DAR! was gonna be unavailable soon, I had to get on it and make sure I owned those books before it was too late. I am very happy to say I managed to get them, but I also wanted to draw a little something in tribute to an artist who is, quite frankly, one of the most important in comics right now. She’s an educator, and her work is both hilarious and helpful for a lot of people who would otherwise be left confused or tormented by their own identities, desires and whatever else may leave you feeling like you’re not quite what the media or society says you are or should be.
I couldn’t resist drawing her in an Oh Joy, Sex Toy inspired way, the art in that comic is just fantastic and so charming.
Aw yeah we’re gonna have a good time now! Oh no wait it’s not very good. I got it for very little, and the theme song came out really nicely on the Mega Drive but the cheats won’t work and I sure as hell won’t be able to play it without them. Still, one more for the shelves.
Phantom Ganondorf of the Opera
Because god dammit Marvel, I will write her an ongoing series myself if I have to.
Also, how do people manage to make skyscrapers look so good in comics all the time?
This is an interesting point (and yes, this was the main thrust of the article - I was kinda going off on a separate point). But since you’ve brought this up, I have mixed feelings about it. In general, I’m a quality over quantity guy in games. When people say a four-hour game was great, but they think it’s too short, I’m usually confused. You said yourself it was great. The short length was at least one of the reasons it was great. Why take good, tight content and artificially spread it out, padding it with useless garbage?
So I get it, and I agree to a point. But I don’t know if this “all-the-best-parts-in-ten-minutes” thing is the right answer. Modern AAA games already have the problem of being too much spectacle and bombast, and I worry that condensing things like that would lead to a ridiculous level of sustained action - the kind that just becomes numb and boring without the quieter moments to balance them out. Plus, what about story and character development? Games already skip too much of that stuff so more things can explode, and if we condense everything down to ten minutes, how are we going to get anything resembling a character arc? Not every game needs these things, of course, but I certainly think that Alien, at the very least, calls for pacing, quiet moments, and characters.
At the end of the day, I think it’s a false choice (or, at least, it should be). I get the idea that says, “Instead of making ten hours of worthless fluff, why not just cut out everything that sucks into a tight ten minutes.” But that just assumes that the best we can do is to make a whole bunch of crap and then cut most of it out. I’d like to think that we can simply demand that developers don’t make the crap in the first place, y’know? Instead of an eight hour game with only ten minutes of worthwhile content, why not a six-hour game that’s all worthwhile content? I don’t think that’s too unreasonable a request.
Not at all, at the end of the day more variety is always a good thing. I think if the game wants to be under an hour then the developers shouldn’t force it to be any longer, Thirty Flights of Loving will always be a testament to how great an experience can be in about ten minutes. But certainly there are things that warrant or even need a few hours to get the best possible experience. I think if the pressure on length can be relieved (which doesn’t seem to be what’s currently happening in AAA as they try to be infinitely long with endless shared multiplayer whatever the hell they’re doing) then we could see a much more open approach to how long games are and should be, similar to how films will comfortably come out around the 1.5-2 hour mark but if needs be (or if egotistical directors demand…) you can expect 3 or 4 hours.
Former Psygnosis developers release Slamjet Racer gameplay trailer
R8 Games, consisting of former members of Psygnosis, the game developers behind the Wipeout titles, have released a trailer for their upcoming game Slamjet Racer. The title seems to be intended as a spiritual successor to their classic franchise, with inspiration from the Wipeout series seen in throughout the game play trailer, from weapons and hovercraft to crazy high speeds on roller coaster racetracks.
watch the trailer here.
I’m unsure on my feelings on this. On the one hand, it’s the new game from people who made Wipeout. On the other, it’s just more Wipeout. I’d have liked at least some distinctive aspects between the two or to see what new personality they could bring to the formula, even if it was still a high speed arcade racer. If you told me this was the new Wipeout game I’d have absolutely no way of knowing otherwise.
Sega is cutting cheques for consumers who felt Aliens: Colonial Marines was wildly different to the marketing videos used to promote it, but while that particular battle is over, the war of words between the publisher and Gearbox Software, which developed the game, certainly isn’t. This week brings fresh squabbling to light. The respective parties presumably wish they could just dust off and nuke the whole sorry episode from orbit.
They can’t, of course, and having played Aliens: Colonial Marines to completion myself last year in order to appear on a panel about it at the Glasgow Film Festival, I certainly hope everyone concerned has to waste at least as many hours dealing with its putrid aftertaste as I lost suffering through its wretched incompetence and incompletion. But I have moved on now (that ranty bit just then was a momentary lapse), so really what I thought when I saw the stuff this week was, well heck, those vertical slice demos are a double-edged sword.
In gaming terms, vertical slices are simply demos that illustrate progress in every component of a piece of work. They’re the sort of things developers produce to pitch games to publishers, to convince publishers development is on track and, increasingly, to show to the public to drum up enthusiasm. And in Aliens’ case, sending out that famous video is probablynow considered a bit of an error - sort of on a par with sending colonists to LV-426 in the first place.
On demos, advertisements, and vertical slices.
Or, and I really don’t think this is all that strange, a developer could just make a whole game, and you could just wait for the whole thing to come out and be fully reviewed, so you could know whether you’ll like it. I don’t know why we have to do all of this bizarre marketing stuff and make demos before the game is even a third done, and sometimes release them as retail purchases, all so that people can feel better about buying a game before it comes out. If you people could just wait a damn minute, you’d never have to worry about not knowing what you’re buying. That seems like a much simpler solution to me, and one that puts the onus back on the developers, and the power back in the hands of the consumer, where it belongs.
I think the primary message of the article isn’t so much make/play/buy more demos, but rather that the demo be the entire product. The point I took away from this is that when the short but sweet demos are such a high quality small dose, of in this case Alien, isn’t it better to have a great ten minute game that goes neatly through a variety of tones and generic elements - quiet tension to high action finale - than to see it stretched, often unsuccessfully, into a “full length” game of eight hours? That’s something I know I agree with.