Game7

June 21st, 2016 by harold

Shouldn’t have happened and yet it did and went Cleveland’s way.

I’m just reflecting on the game with a team, the Warriors, believing that it’s pretty much done while the other team is still grinding and determined.

I’m looking at Curry’s faith and terrible decisions in a final game and it’s like, I think he thought he was the Chosen One except that no one is, it’s just sports. Ultimately it’s going to come down to skills and physics. And in a game of basketball, the paint is going to be important no matter what.

Once they were up 3-1 the Warriors just stopped looking for blood, while the Cavs were harnessing super Sayan powers. The Warriors acted as if they firmly believed they deserved the title, that the 73-9 was some kind of a free pass to a back to back championship. Like Lebron wouldn’t try to block them on fast point breaks (he always does I don’t know how Curry and Iggy expected otherwise).

The irony to lose in the last 50 seconds on a three, that weapon that you’ve been using all year at a rate never seen before…

Respect to the East, see you next year. I want my Spurs with KL and KD to get the trophy back to the West.

E3 16

June 18th, 2016 by harold

Well,

Handhelds are definitely dead and for kids before they get phones and need laptops.

VR is in this super weird spot: expensive devices around, technology mostly working but not perfectly for everybody, and business-wise studios pretty much have to be financed by VR manufacturers because outside developers out there, I don’t think anyone bought a VR headset for the lulz in 2016 except for a bunch of enthusiasts. Manufacturers subsidies mean exclusivity which means more fragmentation and an artificial market… We’ll have 11 different VR headsets on the market soon. Yup.

What annoys me the most is to see critical advices not being followed: Jesse Schell is THE VR specialist, he said multiple times that headsets need 90 fps otherwise motion sickness happens real quick. Sony is about to ship a headset that doesn’t do 90 fps. Jesse said multiple times sound design is extremely beneficial to VR experiences. I have seen far too many demos and proof of concept with the most basic audio, it’s insulting.

Also, Magic Leap. Man that AR/MR thing just feels like the real deal. The last demo is very impressive. Not here yet though.

It’s impressive how crunch is never ever mentioned during E3 –not even as a joke-  even though organizations are so eager at GDC to talk about how it should never happen. Tell that to the Last Guardian team and gazillion others, I’m sure they’ll agree.

Zelda as main protagonist and the “what would Link be doing?” question couldn’t illustrate game conservatism more. It’s 2016 and that kind of stuff is frustrating. But it doesn’t matter Zelda was apparently the star of the week and Nintendo is about to play it safe and true to a 30 year old legacy. The usual.

Musically besides the little part in Watchdogs 2 with some refreshing classic everything is kind of the same vibe: epic orchestra and whiny pop music. And they all sound the same, exciting and extremely predictable. So it’s like eating pasta, basically.

So many things to get better at, folks.

The story demands

June 11th, 2016 by harold

Apparently, people have been asking for a story mode in Street Fighter V and I can’t believe I just wrote this, in a way.

Street fighter’s story is not a story it’s a setting: there’s a championship with all the best fighters in the world and you are one and you need to go at the top. The way SFII was dealing with fighters stories was perfect: it gave us a quick look at the possible reasons of a fighter entering competition once you won it all. We all understood that the story was an excuse to throw punches and kicks.

Here’s SFV story:

“Seven “Black Moons” are deployed by Shadaloo, granting M. Bison unimaginable power and enveloping the earth in total darkness. Seeing the moons mysteriously appear in the sky, Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li embark on an epic journey around the world to retrieve fragment pieces that are the key to stopping the “Black Moons” before it’s too late. Along the way, they encounter the rest of the World Warriors, each of whom have their own agendas and motivations in mind. The final battle between good and evil begins now… who will RISE UP?”

It’s beyond corny and overdone. It’s made for the fans who demanded that story mode. And that’s where it’s interesting in the relationship between developers and fans.

I don’t think we should give them what they want all the time. It feels like we’re parents stressing out with crying kids asking for that candy and we finally cave in, make him happy but in the end it’s still a shitty candy that the kid didn’t need and didn’t even care about as much as he was expressing how much he wanted it.

That story mode is exactly that. The problem is that candy is costly as hell and Capcom is probably trying to make it as cheap as possible (it’s free DLC) so, no one will be happy.

In the end caving in for fans makes financial sense. But this thirst for having everything explained and edited and movie-fied that people have is weird to me like, people are too tired to use their imagination and play with it?

Or more likely, there’s an entire generation that doesn’t feel comfortable at all with scarcity of anything and will just demand to obtain what they want.

Submission

June 11th, 2016 by harold

On rape

June 10th, 2016 by harold

Fuck the term rape culture like it’s cute and legit what the fuck?

I guess the thing I do about it since I’ve been aware of it for a long time, is to not hang out with dudes only. Because we’re just having fun and talking shit but then we become wolves. Predatory. Dumb.

All men know exactly when things turn wrong in those moments, when respect for women somehow completely disappears. When we turn our brains off and start being dumb beyond reason.

I prefer to be face to face with a friend. At most, two dudes. Even at three including me, after two beers people start talking about hoes. When I’m just talking to one friend, we never go there and it’s the best example of “individuals are smart, people are idiots”. I always preferred to be with a heterogenic group of people, because it’s almost the only case where people are not idiots, where they actually try to be smarter you know? I appreciate that.

Anyway, the consequences are that it can be lonely to avoid groups. But I know we need to drastically change as a society about rape and if I need to stay away from socialization, bars and beers I’m fine with that. Shit. I have too many friends who got raped. France or California, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not half of the women in my life which is fu-cking crazy. It keeps happening. I still see the same excuses and I don’t say shit, I just try to not allow situations where it could happen. Definitely not smiling at your stupid rapey joke.

On the other side of the coin, it is super exhausting to spend time and energy to convince women I’m dating that I’m cool and that I won’t try to hurt/rape/kill them. It’s pretty much the #1 thing I have to do first before thinking about anything else. Of course sometimes I fuck it up, overthinking my moves and then they freak out and it makes me sad because I won’t see them ever again, probably. I understand the situation though.

I wish there was a won’t-do-shit-to-you-unless-you-ask list and that I was on it and that all women were getting the notification. You know, so that we all enjoy our lives faster, them without fearing to end up dead in a ditch because you said no and me knowing that I don’t have to set up all those “cool as fuck, I swear” signs around the diner table.

The truth also, is that most women and men get raped by family and friends. Rape survivors had a whitelist and they got raped anyway, so it’s awful.

Still. Please gentlemen, stop doing this shit. Not even the start of the slippery slope. You’re hurting everyone.

If you get killed or hurt hard in the future because you tried to sexually abuse someone, it will be completely fair.

And you survivors are some badass motherfuckers.

My European comics heritage

June 6th, 2016 by harold

I guess I don’t see myself as a comic book reader but I read a ton man. Basically from 83 to 98 this was me on weekends:

I read a lot about comics these days since Marvel movies and superheroes are so in but I just don’t really connect with that. I’m a child of the European format, bigger and longer than the American one. 40 to 60 pages with a start and an end. Consistent, impeccable drawing quality. And, outstanding diversity:

I loved les petits hommes –the little men- so hard. It’s the story of small humans the size of a glass of water with highly sophisticated technology (as a kid I couldn’t stop starring at all those robots and spaceships etc.) living crazy adventures like this one, where they come back to Earth and everything is white and monochromatic. And weird robots took over. Oh and there’s a version of the hyperloop in this world.

I don’t even remember names or relationships. I just know those stories –a lot influenced by 50s and beyond American cinema mixed with post war European artistic hope- transported me far away. 70s-80s-90s European comics are completely amazing at that.

Papyrus and his cute friend. And giants walking for real.

Bidouille & Violette. 81 to 86. It’s the story of that little chubby guy and his first love in a little town in the north of France. It’s sweet as hell and it was a companion story back way back when. I loved it and at the same time of course as a dude I didn’t want to tell anyone about that. And this unique drawing style. Man.

This one is special to me. I really enjoyed the amount of detail put in the drawings, in the motorcycles, so cool. And then puns after puns after puns after puns. I’ve never read anyone that prolific with stupid puns. See the moto risées title? I can’t even explain, it’s dumb and hilarious at the same time. I think it brought me a sense of wanting to play with language more than any comic book really.

One of my fav. Yoko Tsuno the electric engineer and her crazy ass stories. Phenomenal.

Awesome mecha designs and compelling tech-heavy stories. Drawings you can look at forever. If you love sci-fi you got to try out some of the 27 albums.

The man who shot faster than his own shade. Not only that’s pretty fast but LL didn’t show off. As a kid I wanted him to right? But no he’d be cool and use his talent here and there. Super chill.

There’s a humility and ordinary feel to all those heroes and stories. And yet they transported me. They’re not about how heroes change the world but how the world changes people. A lot of stories where in the end the “bad guys” are not bad, they’re just trying to make it. Some violence and death and sex, but mostly non-violent, “let’s agree to disagree” endings.

I read this one late but, shit. We follow this brunette during the 18th century in the middle of the slave trade. Now nowhere on TV, at school or at the movies people were showing the slave trade like this comic book showed it to me back in the mid 80s. It shows a lot of angles and it was a fascinating read. It’s raw, hard. The kind of read for which you need to turn the music off.

So, when these days I read about comic books and antiheroes and character development I’m lost because I’m about the adventure, the locations, eternal characters that don’t change because they’re just an excuse to travel, a vessel for the mind to build a word around.

More Interstellar than Avengers I guess.

The story comes and goes. You cannot become a fan of something that comes and goes. It’s a healthier relationship to me. American comics immediately create strong feelings when you’ve been following a character for years. I have read some forums, people go apeshit on their cape-wearing bae.

Anyway in the end it makes me feel like, what we try to do and fail often at today in the entertainment industry –inclusivity, strong duos, diversity, stories and themes that touch a lot of different people-, I had that in spades in my parents’ European comic books collection (all albums of all comics above and so much more). I read them all a bunch of times. It was great. It made me push my imagination and let it run, how much you can mix up things and re-invent classics.

In games we constraint ourselves so much on universes and themes, it’s frustrating.

I recommend that EU stuff for inspiration, creative people. And your kids.

EU closing doors and shit

June 2nd, 2016 by harold

Just got an email from some hosting services I’ve been using for a long time. They’re based in Belgium and apparently, because of some European law that passed last year I can’t no longer use their services as I’m not from Belgium. My French citizenship doesn’t allow me to benefit their VAT.

And then EU referendum at the end of the month in the UK, right?

Europe is already kind of no more. It saddens me, man.

Visual representations

June 1st, 2016 by harold

Floating mountain

Vineyard

Good car

In the middle of LA

Nope

Vet be like

Circlezz

"Another one" -Ciclavia

Playground leaves

He's getting old but he's still up for some fetchin'

Them 3s

May 31st, 2016 by harold

Damn OKC.

Well the WarriorsVSCavs is happening but nothing before made sense: Thunder getting rid of my Spurs despite them leading most games, Warriors almost gone, Raptors fighting hard exposing Cleveland…

The game is changing for one thing: 3s. I’m not talking about one or two good shooters behind the arc, I’m talking about having a team shooting 3x3s in a row because that’s almost ten points.

So let’s say it takes your team 2 hard minutes battling to take a 10 point lead, in three possessions and 50 seconds your lead is cut to 1 point. Your opponent is barely sweating offensively and can focus on defense. That’s how the Warriors and other teams too, have been able to recover from being dominated. That’s a massive game changer.

We’ll see how this plays on Thursday but more interestingly, next season. You can be sure that everyone in the NBA is working on those long shots right now.

Hey I noticed

May 24th, 2016 by harold

There’s something very weird being hit with US politics and a wave of superheroes movies at the same time, both being terrifyingly black and white. And how much people are into those narratives, damn.

Guys, we talked about this. The world is grey. The world is a crossfade mixing signals, blurring ideas.

Oh boy.