Mad Max

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I’m joining the myriad of fans to confirm that Mad Max is among the best movies of the year. More than that. It’s an unapologetic masterpiece that shatters the genre just to revitalize it in ways that only a handful of films have done in the past.

If Miller had 20+ years working on this script, it certainly pays off. It’s such a tidy mess that it almost literally goes into a perfect circle despite pissing on many of our conventions and expectations.

This is like what some of the most subversive directors in cinema – Zombie, Noé, von Trier, Lynch, Jodorowsky- have aimed to do many times but emptied from any pretentiousness and distilled into a pure, accessible form that is no less profound and can be snorted as many times as you want.

A future reference and breaking point in cinema. Tom Hardy apologized to Miller because he knew he was awesome but he never imagined he was this brilliant.

If I ever meet him, I’d do the same. Respect.

Lagunas

I’m the devourer of worlds, consuming ephemeral memories that I’m incapable to recall.

I’ll die with an empty stomach before the greed of my insatiable hunger, regurgitating unsatisfied desires and the yearning for imaginary objects.

Taste my lips full of darkness.
Come with me to ride emaciated elephants towards uncharted territories, seeking relentlessly for that precious gift left to me by Mnemosyne.
No.
left to us.

The sting of sand hitting our skin, the smell of artichokes overflowing the untameable wind, the sea of faces blended into another until they are just one big brownish stain.Let’s sail the earth and walk the sky until we’re overcome with emotions and the certainty of having each other.

Only then, when you drift away and I glimpse in the horizon a brief anodyne pit too small for pachyderms but too big for our minds, I’ll descend and open my mouth wide and big as the universe, swallowing you and our adventure whole, transforming it into nothing and defecating an aching phantom that follows me forever but that remains invisible to my eyes.

I AM the devourer of worlds and you

will

not

escape from my implacable indifference.

I wrote this text as an expansion of a 4 lines reflection in spanish on my fragile mind and the terrifying process of constantly letting go memories unwillingly. It was an initiative for a writing group that I assisted to in Dublin.

Maleficent – How to make a villain less interesting in 6 simple steps

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MOVIE REVIEW: "Maleficent" is Magnificent - Lez Get Real | Lez Get ...

1. Aim to humanize her but confuse the process of making her sympathetic with just making her plain, old good. What’s that? Why was she born as Maleficent you said?  It’s probably the name that the creatures of  The Moors gave her after she killed her parents with her obnoxious gleeful personality. Wiiiings!!!

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2. Character development? More like wardrobe quick-change! Furious, disappointed, betrayed, hopeful,  who cares. The important thing is what you’re wearing and whatever random ruins you decide to habit in a heartbeat because it just goes with the current mood.

Lana Del Rey

3.- When creativity fails to come up for some interesting material on her life, just add an epic battle with lots of effects. Haven’t you heard? War conflicts are the RAGE  in fantasy! They are never unnecessary enough.  Just look at Snow White and Noah. Then you can brag about how clever your “gritty” reboot has been.  Instant profit. 

 

4.- And since she’s more of a Beneficent now, why don’t just make her Sleeping Beauty’s ally and every man in Aurora’s family a dickhead? See what we did there? We swapped the roles. You didn’t see that one coming.

 

5.- Magic! Ditch all the actual captivating  logic from the original tale (like how one of the three fairies actually saved Aurora from dying), rendering half of the characters useless, and add super powerful magic as needed, even if the titular character doesn’t seem to be entirely sure how it works either. Much like the writers. And Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

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6. Don’t forget the crappy, Catwoman costume. Because nothing say evil fairy from the woods like leather! Rawr.

 

Thanks GOD we had Angelina Jolie and all those close-up shots to soften this crash.  I also appreciated the effort on following the footsteps of Brave and Frozen on empowering women and pretty much getting rid of the blue prince that saves the day.  That’s setting a better example for girls. It’s still a mess though.

Type:Rider – A typographic video game

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The characteristics and features of fonts are intrinsically related to the history of art. Much like fashion, fonts have evolved according to humanity’s needs, customs and technological advancements.
Although the concepts of typography and fonts were not really defined until centuries after the invention of the printing press and moveable types, different styles for calligraphy, letters and glyphs have existed since the birth of writing. That’s to say, the history of typography goes along the history of mankind.

Type:Rider is a video game that explores this fascinating topic through the platformer  genre but in a very didactic  way.  You play as a colon who travels along this timeline in levels filled with types that simultaneously are part of the environment challenges and educate you about the typography of the particular period you’re in. Is a beautiful and minimalistic game (as many indies nowadays)  where every decorative detail is set to match the mood and setting each font evoke.

 

Golden Ratio in videogames music

We tend to think that the golden ratio, that divine proportion that have kept the interests designers and mathematicians since as far as back Pythagoras,  is present only in a visual level. That’s to say, a pattern that we can only perceive through our sight, be it on nature in a bacteria or in  the art work of a man.
Music theory have  studied for decades though how the Golden Ration can  also be present in sound, in the repetition of tunes or the climax of melodies.  I stumbled into a brilliant article of musician Christian Ponte in which he analyses how the Golden Ratio can be found in several songs by composer Koji Kondo for The Legend of Zelda video games.
It is unknown whether this was a concious decision from Kondo, but if it was coincidence it makes the results even more perplexing. The proves are there and the article deserves a read.

Zelda Music of Golden Proportions

Broken

An interactive Twine story about a defining day in the life of a kid and his broken family.
This game was made for my Narrative class at Dublin Institute of Technology.
It’s a short story but it has several branches depending on the choices you make, mostly over the breakfast scene.
The idea is for the player to play all the branches so he can get together the pieces of what’s going on.
Click on the title to play.
Disclaimer: This game deals with heavy topics and feature some images that some may find unsettling.

What Ireland gave me last year

I
 “WHY Dublin?


I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I’ve been asked this in incredulity. In fact, just a few hours after new year’s, it happened again.  You see, even if deep down Irish are proud of their heritage and their idiosyncrasy, most of the time they just make fun of it.  I’m sure there is a more serious research in this matter than my empiric evidence,  but my opinion is that this is a symptom of their complex struggle with the U.K. in the past.  A long series of episodes that left deep scars that manifest in all form of insecurities, dealt with their best weapon:  humor.

I often prescribe as an antidote to those who ask me to take a stroll outside of Europe and U.S.A., where they will probably discover Ireland is in a MUCH better position than they give it credit for, in many areas.  That’s not to say the country is not going through a hard time, but they compensate this  crisis with so many amazing qualities.

Of course I didn’t know this before I came here, so why did I choose Dublin? My relationship with Ireland started more than 15 years ago through the Irish language (again, something any Irish would probably find strange). I found myself  fascinated with this romanticized-juvenile image of the country, and for a while I got addicted  to it’s music and myths.  That passion subsided as I grew up (as most beautiful things do),  but another interest of mine never did: video games.

After studying Audiovisual Media it was time to get SERIOUS with video games. With a tight budget I studied my options and, surprisingly, I found myself considering an old friend as a destiny, again.
Game Development education was much less expensive in Ireland than in most countries that offered it.
More importantly, it was an option that people rarely considered when moving out for education -at least in my country- and rather than dissolving among thousands of others newcomers trying to break in into the industry in a huge city as New York,  I thought it was more clever to follow P.J. Harvey’s advice and move to a smaller, less popular site that still had a lively community.

It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken.

II
What Ireland gave me

Dublin wasn’t AT ALL what I expected it to be.  People rarely spoke Irish, in fact they cared little about it, it was less greener than I imagined, beer wasn’t super cheap and, drunk mates, well, were not always ha-ha fun.
It is a small, multicultural city with a strange Georgian-Gothic-Modern mix going on and a strong class “separation” in some areas.  It’s a city of shades all concentrated and packed up in a relatively tiny portion of land, a place where you walk by and in  the same block you can feel and see the aggressive ups and downs of a country that has gone through heaven and hell in a short period of time.
It’s very hard to describe, but this was far more fascinating than my stupid folk expectations.
And then there’s its people.

Let me get out of the way first that I’m incredibly proud of being Venezuelan and I’m in love with what my country used to be. Sadly, apart from my friends and family, my homeland feels like a strange place now filled with unfamiliar faces that I no longer understand.
In 2013 I lost hope, I felt betrayed and frustrated. I didn’t feel like there was a place for me in my own country and that despite the fact that most of my compatriots were doing far, far worse than me, they still embraced our horrible situation. I was a stranger.

I also felt alienated for a while in the Game Development department.  Granted, I wasn’t in the right social circles for many years, but I had met a few  people that desired to make games just like me and  felt demotivated for a  myriad of reasons.
Things have changed  and now I understand we had the tools to follow that dream by ourselves, but the context was less than favorable.

I’m not Irish, but I’ve rarely felt so much part of something as I do now.  I’m incredibly lucky to have chosen and been accepted into this country among many others. That cold attitude that’s expected from a lot of people from the north, that usually clashes with our south-american affection, Irish don’t have it.
They are among the most friendly, joyful, loyal and funny human beings I’ve ever met.  In fact, all things given, they are very similar to Venezuelans.
Because not only are we equally loud and share a love for the pints, we also try to get the best out of the worst by the means of a joke and a smile.

A couple of days ago I read a post from a Venezuelan friend that lives in another country in Europe and was complaining about the arrogance and bitterness of game developers where he lives. I was shocked by this comment.
I’ve been even more fortunate in this area. The Game Development community in Ireland is small but growing stronger and stronger every month. I think 2013 was a particularly amazing year for it and this one is going to be even more promising!
Everyone is willing to help each other, to lend a hand, a word, a space, a pat in the back. It’s a tight, humble and pure group that makes you feel welcome and wants you to get better at what you do, so we all become more awesome.
The contact with these boys and girls has taught me more than whatever I’ve learned from the institutes I’ve been in and has given me back the hope I lost a year ago.

I love them and I’m infinitely thankful for their support and friendship.

So, yes. I’m not Irish, but I’m an #IrishGameDev. That’s how I feel. That’s the best gift I was given.
I hope that someday in my country, when we get our heads out of the ugly mess we’re into, we can look up at everything that’s happening in the globe around us and be able to look for the same personal goals with less fear and hatred in our hearts.

 

 

Unity Assignment II – The Glass Experience (W.I.P.)

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Last assignment (for the year) for my Unity class at DIT.
It was a open assignment where we have the freedom to experiment with our skills with whatever we wanted.
I decided to stick out of my comfort zone (RPG/adventure/narrative experiences) and go for something that, although a simple idea, I knew would
be a challenge for me.

In The Glass Experience (working title)  three types of cubes are generated according to the highs of whatever song is currently playing.  Thus, the game
experience should be less or more overwhelming depending on the music. In this demo, there’s only one song from Philip Glass.

You have to try to group cubes from the same color to clear the scene. If too many cubes get generated into the scene, you’ll get a text message saying you lose.
I’ll try to work more on it during these Christmas.

 

Unity Assignment 1 – Environment

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This is my first assignment for the Unity class at DIT.
The goal was to build an environment with basic sound functionality and some triggered text if certain conditions were met.
Not much to do here – walk around the bridges, find the key for the chest and try not to fall.