Oh that is fantastic.

"Some, say there's times..."

In-game spending in a way that is basically gambling and releases the same dopamine or whatever horomone - put in in-game currency (that you either spent a lot of in-game time, or some real-world money, accruing), and get random stuff back, and hope that it's what you want.

The ESRB took the wrongheaded, if painfully literal, stance that since you're always getting something back, it's not gambling, so it doesn't immediately warrant an M warning.

I've unfortunately developed Opinions on this whole thing since Shadow first posted it. I saw something last night about trying to drop unneeded Opinions. Like, just saying one day, "I no longer care that Activision is saturating the market with the same stuff year after year." Or I guess the best example is, deciding not to have Opinions on music, or more colloquially just not being a music snob anymore.

So Shadow, how 'bout them loot boxes.

The business model blew up in EA's face this week like an ACME product for Wile E. Coyote. Someone asked them a question about them on Reddit, they responded with canned PR crap, and scored the most downvoted post in Reddit history by more than a power of ten.


(76 replies, posted in Creations)

Yeah, make sure it's a photo you have the rights to modify.

I don't mind if you do. If you do blend-y things it might be fun to try to incorporate *something* from each actor into the portrait, but that's honestly just vanity speaking.

I do think that in this day and age, race bending to make the cast seem more diverse than it is is slightly questionable; I don't mind it in most productions, though I'm a white dude so that opinion's barely worth the metaphorical ink on the page; but I also think with a project of this scale, nobody will give a shit.


(76 replies, posted in Creations)

I really like it! Gets things happening sooner, a couple more repetitions of the stakes isn't bad.


(76 replies, posted in Creations)

Better to be a pain now rather than after release. "Why didn't you say anything earlier?!?!~"

May be a regional thing. I do think that there is a certain *style* of expressiveness that is allowed/encouraged, becoming this generation's dress shirt and tie. My boss is from the Seattle area and has that sort of sense about him. Me living in the northeast, meanwhile, I don't see how my sneakers are less casual than his leather flip-flops.

But as far as, everyone has this designer brand shades and so forth, while I see a more casual expressiveness to the creatives in my area, at least in my industry, there isn't any sort of judgmentalism or classism based on what exactly you're wearing.

Ugh. Yeah, that's a free-to-play business model and anyone buying into it in a game they've already spent full price on should be drawn and quartered.


(76 replies, posted in Creations)

I was worried it'd be piercing, and I feel like IRL it *would*, but obviously it can't be from a listening standpoint. I also like how it just stops at the end with a tiny little tail; reminds me of Andrew Huang's 100 Layers of SFX video, where one of the effects was craziness until it just STOPPED abruptly.


(76 replies, posted in Creations)

There was one part that felt a bit loose - where one character interrupts another, or it felt like one was waiting for the other to come in. I'll see if I can track it down. Ah, it was Argus saying, "You're way out of line, Con," I felt like it should push in on Grimm's line a bit so that Argus is backing Grimm up more quickly. Might be one or two more but that was the one that I noticed the most.

The first dialogue between Grimm and Con feels a bit awkward to me - like two people acting, rather than a conversation. I'm not sure if that's just me knowing that they're both being played by the same person.

I love the sound design. That squealer sound is awesome, I love six different things about it. With Con in the center, Finch and Argus on the right, and Grimm and Dread on the left, I'm able to visualize things pretty well.

And of course, the funny moments land really well.

I'd argue that Mass Effect codified a certain look that is currently all the rage in sci-fi design. Muich as you couldn't throw a dead cat around sci-fi in the early 80s without hitting Star Wars and Star Wars homages/ripoffs, Mass Effect is there from at least a design standpoint. (It being a tremendously solid game as a new IP helped at the time too.)

But since we can't have anything nice, people complaining about the last game made them put sequel plans on hiatus, so if you're lucky, in a few more years another new "look" will come around that everybody will crib from.

Of course d00d.


(27 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Yeah, JW was the movie that came to mind where it had a previous movie in the 90s largely unmolested but I couldn't find a great comparison side by side that already existed.

Oh, I thought you were talking about subscription boxes like Loot Crate. They used to be a cool way to get a bunch of overstocked but still neat merch around a specific theme that month. Now they're stuffed exclusives, which cost them more to make and thus result in less stuff in each box.

I only subscribed to Loot Crate because I did unboxing videos. I opened one just on its own and it was the most underwhelming thing. We tried Bark Box but nothing in it was right for our dog at the time.

And I have no desire to go for a similar concept, meals-in-a-box. Overpriced and far too niche.


(27 replies, posted in Off Topic)

I'd be interested in that. I remember A Scanner Darkly playing around with the craft of film, I could see it being done here.

Frankly my favorite part of the film would probably be when it's using high-quality film stock but not overly graded.



(23 replies, posted in Off Topic)


I was gonna say next time.

But I might have some pickle juice.



Alright, not gonna back you up on that. I half-assed it with what I had (non-chilled vodka, strained some relish), but that wasn't promising enough for me to go, "Not bad, I'll have to do it right next time."

One more facet of the early internet: at least one community I was on used straight HTML formatting for its forum posts. Which was great for learning HTML. And not so great for, "Someone forgot to close a tag and now the thread is broken."





(102 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Praxus, I'll agree with you in that Star Wars doesn't feel special anymore. It's great fun and I'll always love the OT, and enjoy the PT, and probably watch movies as they release, and wow that deescalated quickly. When it was those three movies, and stories being told around them, it was great. Now there's so much and... it's just another franchise.

It's a franchise I enjoy, don't get me wrong. Until one burns me for being totally unnecessary (ugh Obi-Wan really) I'll probably see them all as they release, but they'll need to hook me. I enjoy Marvel movies, but each one has to hook me on its own at this point and there are so many that I have no desire to sit and watch them all, like I did with Phase 1, or like I did with Star Wars OT and PT in college.

Alright we're getting off track here. I don't know if it's been said, but I'd like a remake of The Last Starfighter. Everyone raves about it but trying to watch it for the first time a couple years ago it was just far too 80s, as a barrier to entry. If done right I think it'd be a good piece for a generation that grew up with home video games.

The only teen-focused sci-fi show with three characters instead of five is VR Troopers, but that's not with mechs, sorry.


(40 replies, posted in Off Topic)

The only reason I enjoyed playing Dark Souls 3 last year was that I was doing so on stream to raise money for St. Jude and people got to commiserate (and offer advice). I hit a dead end about five or seven hours in and just stopped, and I'm happy to never return to it. I don't mind difficulty but it was just too much for me personally.


(40 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Meanwhile I, a gamer, had a friend over a couple weeks ago and we played Halo 3 ODST start to finish, wrapping at 5:30AM.


(23 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Ah, I'll have to keep this in mind. I have answers for some previous prompts (faith: "My very religious girlfriend wanted to help me explore my faith and go from casual believer to active believer and I ended up discovering I was atheist instead") but will have to think about the current ones.

Alright, here goes. What fictional work has most changed your life?

I'll probably say Star Wars. Big shocker. I grew up with the Original Trilogy and reading the Expanded Universe, begged my parents to go see the Special Editions in theaters (well, begged is strong, I wanted and they easily said yes, Dad being the one who got me into it and all), and I looked forward to and truly enjoyed the prequels. To summarize the path my life took after Attack of the Clones came out:

2002: We started coming up with lightsaber choreography. We pondered making a movie out of it. I discovered fanfilms. And that... normal people could do this.

2003: I participated in the local FanForce group, and met people in other groups. One of those was Justin Monk, aka Primrodo, as my ears heard the word "fanfilm" across the gymnasium while preparing to march in the Grape and Wine Parade in Niagara Falls.

2004: I became friends with Justin, and he invited me to help film a fanfilm he was working on, Lost Soul. (The second project to go by that name, and like the first never destined to be completed.)

2005: Through Justin, both on Lost Soul and at the beginning of a new project in 2005, I met the members of what would eventually become Key Pixel Gathering of Filmmakers. We'd go on to create movies together for a strong five years, and even for a few years after that. The main creative force behind this - the one who had the most interesting (if not the most polished) ideas and the most able to light fires under asses - was Laszlo Kovacs, aka Covax as he went by online. Through Covax and his online community, Writer's Block Media, I met more new friends - they weren't necessarily Star Wars people, but a direct line could be traced back. In the WBM community, I met a girl, Steph N., who was dating another member at the time. Slowly, I fell for her. (Couldn't have been that slowly though, looking back, man.) Her relationship fell apart over the course of the year, I was there for her, I got the girl as we started dating in fall of 2005.

Also in 2005, I switched my major from computer science to... well, that's not important, but it's when I realized that programming wasn't for me, but film was. I made video projects for class and got more people into it. I took the one film class offered at my school at the time (and, having learned my craft at the school of TF.N FanFilms, almost knew more than the professor teaching it). But I stayed because of the social life, even if it wasn't the ideal school for what I'd discovered I wanted to do, because of the love for filmmaking that Star Wars had ignited years prior.

2006: Did I mention that almost all of the names here have been Canadian, and I ended up crossing the border a lot during this time in my life (no Tom, I'm not Canadian, though the joke was that I was an Honourary Canadian at the time). "Visiting my girlfriend," I'd say to customs agents (when the purpose wasn't for filming Stargate: Hades, which would end up being a baker's dozen of weekends that year and into the beginning of the next). "How did you meet your girlfriend?" I'd look back on this chain of events and be tempted to say, "Star Wars," but would often just say, "A mutual friend." Sometimes I'd have to offer the abbreviated version of all of that anyway.

From 2007 on, that direct line - Star Wars to fanfilms to friends to making movies to communities to the girl - became more blurred. Steph and I stopped dating in May of 2007. (I started dating my now-wife, also named Steph, that October - yes, our ten year anniversary is coming up shortly and I'm excited for that. As for the first Steph, she's now married to someone else named Andrew. I guess we found the wrong ones the first time around.) I work in wedding films - not directly related to Star Wars at all but it can still trace its reasoning back to holding a camera, pointing it at a friend waving a stick around in a forest.

I still have most of the friends I've made along the way. And I do still truly enjoy Star Wars. I may not have a Star Wars job or a Star Wars life, but I carry it with me. I mean, when my wife and I entered the reception hall at our wedding, we entered under an arch of lightsabers held by our best friends. That's pretty special.

Alright, let's try to keep it to four prompts. We have:

Worst work related incident?
Weirdest booze?
Most ironic thing that's ever happened to you?
What is something you did that you once deeply regretted, but now are glad you did? (NEW)


(27 replies, posted in Off Topic)

For the record, the wedding editing process hasn't changed since my previous post, we've just gotten better at every step along the way. Especially color correction ugh. Oh and we use even more cameras sometimes.

Everyone here pretty well covered my internet nostalgia. Different communities; TF.N, PlanetDescent (or PlanetWhatever, before Gamespy took over the network). Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone for Age of Empires and sometimes other things. Playing "minerva" in Descent II and getting whooped. Downloading mod after mod for Half-Life, some total conversions of which I want to go back and try to find today.

Things were both more centralized - your community for something would be in one specific place (fanfilms) - and more spread out, as you'd be in many different communities. Now everything is all together - YouTube, Facebook - but everything is all together. Elite: Dangerous videos mix it up with science videos. Fellow LCC producers are in the same News Feed as my aunt. It's both more convenient and more overwhelming, due to it being less tidy and segmented.