nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. ([T] a design most sublime)
News about that new Thief game whose working title is too silly to reproduce here is pretty scarce. For all that it was announced more than a year ago, there have been no trailers, no concept art, no prospective features, no hints about the plot or tone or setting or protagonists it may or may not have (and since the third game rounded off the overarching plot pretty definitely, those parts would be important. Those last four things are Thief - their interplay and interconnection with the game mechanics and design made it beautiful). It's been relegated to the back of my mind lately mostly because SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM and to a lesser extent various other things I've been following. And life, too. I suppose life is involved somewhere.

I just found something to spark my interest again, though; a piece of flotsam kicked up by Good Old Games getting their hands onto Thief Gold and Thief 2: Metal Age and poking them into working on today's computers. (Run and buy them now!) Thief did things with sound that games today still don't do. So it was somewhat of a relief to find the fellow in charge of the new game's noise-making (Paul Wier), despite not being Eric Brosius, making this presentation about generative sound (or making noises that shift smoothly in tone, key, scale and general mood according to specific game states on the fly, rather than composing looped backing tracks for each setting or situation). And it was an instant sell for me because of the slow thrumming atmosphere he brought about. No heavy percussion, no noticeable melody, just...foreboding.

Because of course, Thief is not about being James Bond or Solid Snake or Sam Fisher or Catwoman. It's darkness and stone, old magic and the dead, and the ever-present press of technology and zealotry.

...Anyway it's called Stealing Sound and if you don't want to listen to a somewhat nasal-sounding dude talking about the processes going on you can just skip to the last two or three minutes and listen to the impromptu track he plays. The volume might need to be turned up. Also headphones are possibly necessary for the proper experience. Mmm, tasty noise.
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (can hear you breathing)
I'm bored. My degree of boredom is truly astonishing. I also have not posted in days.

To atone for my sin, and also to relieve my boredom, have a tiny little Thief picspam! Though you can click on the pictures to make them bigger. It is a strange and baffling state of affairs in a tiny picspam.

Thief: The Dark Project )

Thief: The Metal Age )

Thief: Deadly Shadows )
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (can hear you breathing)
Way back in the mists of ages past, I promised Squeem I would write a pimp post for Planescape: Torment. And here it is at long last while I draw my design assessment! I probably have a lot more to say about why it's so awesome - including babbling about the characters - but a) most of it is spoilers and b) it would make this post nine times the size of God.

As it is, it's about three times the size of God, so cut. )

What can change the nature of a man?
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (can hear you breathing)
I've resolved to not mention or research or obsess over 9 until it is released (oh god eight months why). TO THAT END, I have decided to research/obsess over Bioshock instead! Apart from the amusing fact that the developers admitted they just did their best to remake System Shock 2, the trailer for the sequel (which I admit to being deeply skeptical about) and the discovery that they're going to try and adapt it as a movie (because once they plunder the depths of the comic industry, Hollywood'll need a new source of ideas, clearly), I found something rather neat.

One common complaint about the game – from the sane people, anyway – is that the enemies aren't really varied enough. I think I agree, but only in the sense that there aren't enough combat variations. The Thuggish, Leadhead, Spider, Nitro and Houdini Splicers, along with the Little Sisters and Big Daddies, really don't require a whole of experimentation to find combat styles to suit the different types. You can improvise if you want to, but the game doesn't really encourage it the way, say, any Valve product does.

That's kind of a pity, because in the personality aspects, there's variation aplenty. And somebody decided to demonstrate just how much by making compilations of each of the Splicer model variants, so I'm posting them here for anyone on my flist whose played the game (or doesn't mind spoilers).

There's a lot of the 'junk' noises – coughing and screaming and so forth – but also a lot of the lines I hadn't been able to make out before due to our television's sound sucking. Some of them have odd names that don't immediately call up the images of the people they belong to, so I've put a physical description beside each one. Also be warned: Spoilers, disturbing content, and a lot of swearing. )
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (i have no PANTS)
I'm trying to make a cheerful and witty comment about the fact that I got roughly two hours sleep last night, but. Just. Cannot. Oh god.

If I'm ever talking to any of you at three AM in my timezone in future, I want you to hit me. Hard enough to knock me unconscious, if possible.

ETA: YOU KNOW WHAT. Have two short animations with no dialogue, because they're simple enough for me to understand in this mental state and also pretty. Plus I'm kind of in glee state about the 9 trailer.

The Original Short Of 9, For Any Who Hasn't Seen It: Undoubtedly they'll expand upon this setting for the movie; for one thing, the movie has dialogue and more variations on the dollpeople. But it's a clever, technically and visually accomplished little short, and has some lovely atmospheric music.

The Cathedral: CREEPY. But gorgeous use of matte paintings and light. Could have done with more polished animation on the main character, I think, but still very evocative and cool.

Sometimes I think I should build up a collection of links to these little movies so I can watch them whenever, but I'll have to do it when I am more awake.
nano_moose: Serenity: River Tam's skirt flaring out as she moves, almost like a sea creature. (fwoosh (ish pretty))
So.

I think by this point I just have to accept that there'll never be another Sands of Time. )

Spoilers are here. )

If you got through all that, I have a present! It's the comic commissioned by Ubisoft from Penny Arcade. It's lovely, and simple, and indicates some of the backstory created for the villains without spoilers. Heeeere you go.
nano_moose: The Iron Giant. Said Giant beaming adorably. (glee!!!)
Oh god I am physically ill. It seems to be a head cold, with accompanying sore throat. I hate sore throats, because they always start off as this horrible itch at the back of my throat, maddeningly impossible to eradicate, and I now have other symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes - in short, nnrrrrrgh, whine, I want ice cream and a hug so I can infect others with my misery.

Seeing doctor on Monday. Believe it or not, that is unrelated to feelings of nnrrrrrgh.

Anyways, to cheer myself up I am going to talk about Wall-E. At least part of my rage at its late distribution in Australia is because I missed all the reaction posts, so if anyone knows where I can find any interesting discussion, be awesome and point me toward it. Or if you've seen it yourself, feel free to discuss in comments. My traitorous siblings are unwilling to discuss IRL. (...or, I guess, stand still and be discussed at by me. I'm not obsessed! What makes you think I'm obsessed?)

Anyway, this is kinda going to be full of animation geekitude and spoilers. Stand back. Here we go. )

EDIT: Oh, and I'm downgrading my hiatus to a semi-hiatus! I'll still be commenting a lot less than usual (is it possible to post a negative number of comments? Huh) but I have a lot of half-typed posts about things I'll be putting up at irregular intervals. Hope everything is cool with you guys. ♥

FUCK YES

Apr. 3rd, 2008 06:35 pm
nano_moose: The Iron Giant. Said Giant beaming adorably. (glee!!!)
I HAVE IT

I HAVE INTERNETS

IN MY HOUSE AND EVERYTHING

I AM SITTING AT MY LAPTOP WITH INTERNETS

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO



NO ACTUALLY I NEED MORE WHOO TO COMMEMORATE THIS

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


Okay I'm done.

...whoooooooo

But in any case! I think it is time for me to talk about Planescape: Torment. Because it is fantastically awesome, and everyone whose ever frothed at the slightest implication that games can't be intelligent ought to play it.

So, Planescape: Torment. Spoilers directly proportional to word count. )

It's a pity I probably won't play it again for a while (because of the aforementioned waaaaah and augh) and that my gamer brain made me tear through it as though my hands had been nailed to the keyboard, but at least I know for sure now that it is SERIOUSLY FUCKING GREAT.

Also I want a Nordom for my very own. He was adorable.

whoooooooooooo
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (can hear you breathing)
To make up for not posting anything particularly long or interesting for a while, I'm gonna do a pimp post in the grand tradition of [livejournal.com profile] thebaconfat and [livejournal.com profile] memlu. I miss babbling about things that I love, which is what this journal is for in the first place, so this post will be a return to form, I hope. It will be, essentially, about how you as a person are not complete until you have played a little old game called Thief.

I started with the third game in July last year, then annoyed my brother into letting me install and play the first two, because by that point, I had fallen in love. The achingly tense gameplay, the strange and beautiful cutscenes, the whimsical details, the anti-heroic main character,the frequently hilarious writing and the magic-and-machinery visual theme all combined to hit me straight in the heart. It's remarkable how obsessed I've managed to become with this series, which has ended up influencing my storytelling and my conception of what makes a great game a whole lot more than I ever would have expected (most notably causing my obsession with light, one of the things it is famous for).

Now, seriously, these games are classics of the medium and still contain an extraordinary amount of impact and charm nine years after the fact, not to mention some truly kickass writing. But if you aren't convinced, well, click the cut and follow me.

And so our most promising acolyte left us...(no spoilers) )
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (Default)
I just bought a copy of Skulduggery Pleasant and read it all in one go.

It is not deep.

It is not groundbreaking.

It is, however, very smart, very witty, a masterpiece of lampshaded tropes and more fun than thirty barrels of monkeys, and that should be enough for anyone.

(It would make a brilliant animated movie. I want to make it.)
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (wheee)
I just fished a metal detector out of a giant box of kitty litter (for giant kitties) with my scythe in order to plant some ID in the morgue and get some random yutz declared dead so I can steal his job in a ship's kitchen and avoid being turned into an explosion of flowers. I have already drugged him using a combination of a dodgy tattoo parlour, beatnik alcohol and a verbally abusive scrimshaw artist. "When I am done here, I will tattoo big, floppy ears on the side of your head so that everyone knows what a jackass you are!"

Grim Fandango? Is awesome. No fair that it didn't sell well enough to break even.
nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (lack of content)
I must warn you that I will take this opportunity to be hatin'. I – I can't be unbiased about it, I just can't. I restricted the bitching to parentheses, but there's a fair bit of it – I forgot just how stupid parts of this game are, sheesh. I am so, so glad Sands of Time eventually outsold it, and I am going to find the guy who put his own tattoo on the Prince and punch his lights out, because the music is his fault. Ugh. Spoilers behind the cut.

Right. So. Warrior Within. )

All right, with that out of my system, let's talk about Samurai Champloo!

It's set in feudal Japan with several deliberate anachronisms, and it can be weird and hilarious, touchingly poignant and creepily intense over the space of a few episodes. I love how beautiful it can be, too – the intro sequence is really cool in a way that few are. And I love love love the way the characters interact.

And then I babbled. )

Avatar and Samurai Champloo are attempting to cross themselves over in my mind. This shouldn't be happening. Their tones – not to mention ratings! – are completely different. Partly it is because it would be awesome to see The Clash of the Fluffy-Headed Rebels, i.e. Mugen and Jet, and also Sokka's Haiku Rapping does not help.

I don't have the time, Brain, sheesh. How the heck would it work, anyway?

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nano_moose: Final Fantasy X. Yuna standing on sunset-limned water with her arms at her sides before she begins the Sending Dance. (Default)
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