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My Blog. My Art. My life.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Birthday 2012

Well, it's my birthday. Another year older, another year closer to insanity. Or something.

It's always been awkward having a birthday wedged between Christmas and New Year's, mainly because everyone's preoccupied with holiday things. My siblings are married/have kids, which keeps them busy, dad's been busy with his yacht racing and many friends are doing their own holidaying stuff.

Oddly though, this shouldn't bother me. I don't like having a fuss made over me - I certainly don't want to be the centre of attention. However I don't like being ignored, either. I prefer some kind of middle ground. 'Acknowlwdged' is probably the best fit.

However if I'm ever able to get my animation ideas out there into the world, then oh boy, things will change for the better. Or at least I hope they will.

Anyway, I hope everyone has had a decent 2012 and it shall be interesting to see what 2013 will offer.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Ok, so the Nintendo Wii-U has just been released in Australia. Will I be buying one? You betcha, but not until there's a 'must have' game available and I'm employed and earning money again.

But what I'm more interested in is what the competition - Sony and Microsoft - are doing. As far as I'm aware, very little, if anything, has been said about their next consoles. It would seem Nintendo will have free reign for a while.

Part of me likes to think that the others are holding back, waiting to see how Ninty's new console will fare before they make their own moves. After all, when the Nintendo Wii was released, showing the appeal of motion control, Sony and Microsoft both then decided to bring motion controls to their current consoles. If you were to ask each company why they would bring out a motion control scheme during the mid-life of their consoles rather than saving it for their next one, they'd probably say some kind of PR fluff like 'We believe motion control is the next step in producing entertaining and immersive gameplay experiences.' when in reality they probably mean 'We underestimated how successful Nintendo would be with their motion control and we are kicking ourselves for not following suit ealier. We have developed these motion control systems now as a hasty means of playing catch-up and getting our hands on the money and success we did not want our competitor to have.'

Speaking of which, Ninty seems to have always been the trend setter with video game controller design. The button layout of a PlayStation controller is more or less identical to a SNES controller, then both Sony and Sega (remember Sega and how they used to produce consoles?) added analogue sticks to their controllers once the N64 came into play. I think Nintendo may have also introduced the rumble feedback feature to controllers (but this is pure assumption on my part, I may be wrong) and then there's the aforementioned motion control.

However one thing that may be a concern is the fact that the Wii-U hardware does not support DirectX 11, which will make the console incompatible with games using the upcoming Unreal Engine 4. As I understand it, the current version - Unreal Engine 3 - has been used in well over 100 different games and this next engine is likely to be just as popular. It may not affect those games made directly by Nintendo, but may have an impact on third party support further on in the console's life cycle. Time will tell.

Apologies for the long gap between blog posts - I've been busy with my engineering studies. I haven't forgotten about my readers (all ten of you), so I hope you can forgive me for these occasional lulls.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Too... many... ideas...

Gah! I've been bitten by the creativity bug (Insipriationonus Creativitus) and have about a million projects I want to work on. Problem is that I don't have the time. Well, I do, but the big problem is that I want it all done at once. At present I've been creating an animation to put up on my YouTube account. It isn't finished yet and already I'm itching to get started on the next animation project, but I'm trying to get into the habit of finishing things before moving on. The other idea that's recently popped into my head is to write an episode guide to my Dog Of War series. Yes, that's right. An episode guide to a series that doesn't actually exist. That's how obsessed I am with my ideas. Mind you I'm only half thinking about it. I wouldn't mind getting it commercially published, but the idea of an episode guide based off something that doesn't exist may be difficult to convince someone to publish. Oh well. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No comic for you


My graphic novel prospects seem to be dead in the water. I haven't heard back from the people I sent my proposal to which, given the span of time that's past, means that they would have rejected the idea.

While disappointed, I'm not overly surprised that this happened. I often get what I want in life, but never what I really want.
The other problem though is that I've had a look at some other publishers, but from the outset it doesn't look any easier. The requirements to get publication seem a little more demanding than I feel I could provide and one of the publishers seem to suggest that they are currently not even having a look at any submissions.

Mind you I've only been looking at the top comic publishers in the industry. There may be smaller publishers or those that distribute comics/graphic novels digitally. I'm sure there's someone out there who would pick up my idea. The problem is that I have no idea where to start looking.

I'm not giving up, though. Perhaps what I need is to get my ideas out there in some form - gain some public interest. Maybe that could make it easier to convince someone to publish my work. Or even get advice from the public on the best course of action I should take. I just need to find a place to put up my ideas. Not here - while I do get visitors from around the world (which I greatly appreciate and am curious on how you stumbled across my blog. I haven't really advertised this space) the overall traffic is quite low. I need access to a wider audience.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I don't have the patience to wait

Grr, I'm getting frustrated.

Recently I sent off a submission of my graphic novel. I've been waiting and waiting, but haven't heard back from the publisher. Mind you, they did say that it would take up to a month for them to send a response if they were interested - so far it's been a little over two weeks, so there is still a chance, but I'm starting to lose hope.

Sure, there are other publishers out there I can try my luck on, but the publisher I sent my proposal to seems ideal and I just want to be able to get my ideas into production.

What I find most agonising though, is that I want to be able to get my ideas out into the public consciousness. I want people to enjoy and appreciate what I come up with. Every time I see a film, book, TV series - anything that is the result of someone's creativity, I get envious. I want this too. Yes, I could put some stuff up on the internet - which was sort of the point of creating a blog, but I'm a bit cagey when it comes to the concept of copyright.

Now, I'm no expert on how copyright laws work exactly, but as I understand it, copyright of intellectual property is obtained as soon as it's put up on public display. However there are a few well known and used sites where it's not quite clear cut. A recent email on a digital artist mailing list described how they lost ownership of a showreel clip on YouTube due to owners of referenced material getting all antsy about their work being used, even though the person who put up the clip had acquired all the necessary permission to use someone else's material in their clip. Or something to that effect. And I don't have any examples off the top of my head, I may have read somewhere that a few places where you can put up things (now that I think about it, Facebook might be one), where everything you put up, may be owned or part owned by the owners of the site, in the off-chance they wanted to do something with it. This is why I've momentarily stopped putting up pictures on this blog and instead these essay length ramblings. I don't know what the policies are on user's retention of ownership on material on, but I'm erring on the side of caution.
The other reason is that I'm reluctant to share most of my ideas until I really get at it and get my ideas out there into popular culture. This is because someone may see an idea of mine, think it's good and adopt something similar to their commercial work. Even if it's done in a way that does not infringe copyright, a similarity may still be there and despite that I may have come up with the idea first, the fact that it has been adopted into someone else's, more pouplar work, means that I lose some of the originality and uniqueness of the idea. These ideas of mine have been swimming around my head for over a decade. They mean a lot to me.

I suppose it's best for me to keep trying to get published, but I don't want to wait - I want it NOW. Oh well - Borderlands 2 is out tomorrow so that might keep me distracted for a bit.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Originality? What's that?

So, Hollywood have released a remake of the 90's film Total Recall. Yet another re-imaging for something that didn't need it. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised - nearly every film made nowadays is either a reboot, sequel or based off some existing franchise. Originality it seems, is a dirty word.
Despite this, there are a few franchises that have gone by untouched. Maybe no-one has been able to secure the rights to make the film, but I'd love to see movies made of the following, assuming they're good (But quality is another thing that seems to take aback seat in modern film). These ideas I suggest are all some type of sci-fi war film, so sorry if you couldn't give a toss about the genre.

1.      BattleTech/Mechwarrior
I love the Mechwarrior computer games and a movie about excessively armed 'mechs (let's ignore Michael Bay's Transformers for now) would be awesome. However the only plot I can think of involves an Inner Sphere planet being invaded by some Clan forces. The Inner Sphere armies are overwhelmed by the superiority of Clan 'mechs at first, but are eventually able to regroup, maybe steal some Clan tech to improve their own 'mechs and kick the Clanners off their planet. This is pretty much the storyline of the animated series Battletech. As much as I liked it, I'd rather something a bit more original. Clan vs Clan doesn't work as well as they are more evenly matched and you don't get the 'underdog' status like with the Inner Sphere.

2.    Warhammer 40k
Lots of lore to base this on and the intro to Relic's Dawn of War game (the first one) is one of the coolest intros I have seen in a game. However there will be limits as to what would be featured. The Space Marines are cool and powerful, but they tend to have a heavy 'kill all aliens' mentality, which makes them look more left-wing than the Nazi's. Instead, the film could focus on a regiment of Imperial Guard, as they are the closest representation to real life armies. While still part of the Imperium, I think they're less facist than the Marines. However the Marines would still get an awesome arse-kicking cameo somewhere in the film.
As for the enemy, well there are plenty to choose from but very little if we want to be unique. The Orks are a bit too comical to be taken seriously in a film like this, the Necrons make it look too much like the Terminator fillms, Tyranids too much like any 'bug alien' film made, the Tau don't feel evil enough to be portrayed as the antagonist, Chaos Marines... hmm, maybe... but they're more of an enemy to the Space Marines. This leaves the Eldar (unless I've missed anyone else out). The Eldar are a human like race, which doesn't make them too alien and they are also a dying race. This means the invasion on the Imperial planet or whatever it is the Eldar do that pisses off the Imperium is undertaken as a means of survival. This way, we can inject a morally grey area to the plot - the Imperials may be defending an attack, but the Eldar are just doing what they can to continue surviving. Who is the real villian here?

3.    Command and Conquer
Not much to say. I love the C&C games and given the amount of FMV the games feature, it may as well be a movie. Again, lots of lore to base this off and an ongoing war over a valuable resource (Tiberium) I guess has some kind of resonance to real life. Of course, I'm focussing on the Tiberium series, not the Red Alert series as I'm sick of games/movies still portraying Russians as evil. The Cold War is over, people! I'm not sure whether the movie could be based on the first C&C game (which is set in modern times) or go for a futuristic, dystopian fight for survival like with the Tiberian Sun/Tiberian Wars games. Either way would work. Oh, it'll just be NOD vs GDI. None of this alien Scrin nonsense. Also, get Frank Klepacki to do the music.

If any of these are turned into films, remember - they got the idea from here. Even when in reality they didn't.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stylene and Josh

I've been getting back to colouring some of my sketches. The whole point of having this blog is to give me a place I can showcase my ideas.
These are two characters from my graphic novel/highly desired TV series. When writing the scripts, I've on occasion teamed these two together. There was something appealing about the match up and apparently it took me a while to figure out why - it's the contrasts.
I mean, just by looking at them you can already see differences and it is further reinforced by the personalities. Stylene is a small, agile, intelligent, serious and some would say temperamental character, whereas Josh is big, tough, a bit immature and while he isn't dumb, he isn't as smart as the others.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finished! Again!

Yay! I've finished my graphic novel!

Yes, I know I said the same thing several months ago, but this time I am properly finished.
I've made the tweaks, extended a couple of scenes, created my own font and finally come up with a surname for one of the main characters.

It it now ready to submit to a publisher. Hope they like it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My subconscious is more talented than me...

...and it knows this, which is why it tries to spite me from time to time.

You see, when it comes to composing music, I have next to no talent. I can barely struggle to come up with an original tune in my head. Oh sure, I create something if you gave me one of those music maker computer programs where you place sample tracks, but it would be rather generic. I envy those musicians where the creative process seems to come naturally.

But what's annoying though, is on occasion I have a dream that features music which I'm pretty sure is original. Sometimes I can remember a couple of bars when I wake up, but shortly afterwards it's gone. Why, just the other night my arrogant jerk of a subconscious came up with an original Rammstein song. It sounded quite good and would certainly sit comfortably on one of their albums.

I've also had the occasional dream that have given me some good ideas to incorporate into my 'Dogs Of War' stories. Fortunately I can remember these when I wake up and make a point to jot them down.

It's just so cruel that I have all this untapped potential but am unable to actively access it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Diablo auctions post 2

Well, after a slight re-scheduling, the Diablo 3 real money auction feature is up and running.
However my plan to make a bit of money isn't really coming to light. I planned to sell only Legendary class items, but haven't found that many and the ones I have found are mostly lower level items which would be quickly replaced by others as the player progresses. I suspect all the good stuff is in the Inferno difficulty setting (the hardest fot those of you not familiar with Diablo 3) but this is rather hard and I haven't made much progress.

It was interesting looking at some of the real money auctions to see what prices people were asking. Some were at 200 US dollars for individual items. This is about three times the price I paid for the entire game! I suppose you have to admire their optimism and pity their greed. Although good on 'em if they did get a sale. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Man, if I've got a blog I really need to use it more often.
Erm anyway, recently I bought the long awaited game Diablo 3. Fun as it is there's a really intersting feature I might try to take advantage of.

Diablo 3 contains an auction house. Here you can put up all the goodies you have collected and as you would expect from an auction, other people can bid to acquire it. At the time of writing, you bid using the money you gather in the game. However soon Blizzard will activate the feature where you can deal with real money.

This is both intriguing and scary. I like the idea as it might be a way for me to make some money (although I don't know how much people are willing to pay when it involves real money and I'm sure EVERYONE would be doing the same thing as me), but it's a little worrying that computer games have reached this level of exploitation.

Still, time will tell. I'll continue to play Diablo 3 and amass a stockpile of sweet loot ready for sale.

As a final note, in the EULA, it states that any money earned is classified as income for tax purposes. I figured that would be the case before I bought the game. What I'm curious about though, if you make money off the game, can you declare the purchase of ther game itself as a business expense? 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dogs Of War - volume 1

It took a while, but I've finally completed my graphic novel. Still a few tiny tweaks to make, but overall it's DONE.
Of course, finishing it was one thing. The next is to find a publisher willing to take it on. Bugger knows where I should start, I know nothing about the publising world.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carrots are... good for you?


No, not the vegetable variety - the proverbial on-the-end-of-a-stick variety.
EB Games have recently released a loyalty card. The idea is that as you buy games/place pre-orders/trade games etc, you earn points (which EB refer to as the aforementioned 'carrots'). Sounds pretty much like every other loyalty card out there but here's the hook - you start at level 1 membership and as you earn enough points you get upgraded to level 2 and so forth (up to level 4).
They have fiendishly tapped into the video gamer's psyche of the desire to level up and get access to better perks like with many RPGs. Extremely cunning and clever in my opinion, just a shame that I'm becoming less and less interested by the games themselves as the years roll on. I'm still a bit iffy about buying Diablo III, but that's for another blog post.