Viewpoints.

I’ve completed a new videogame—another entry in another TIGSource competition. The theme, this time, is ‘cockpits’. My game is pretty much on the fringe in the way it implements the theme, though. What I originally intended to make was some manner of car driving game, inspired by the original Out Run, since I’m such a big fan of the series, and because I love the aesthetic of that kind of low-tech 3D. I might do this in the future; we’ll see how creating such an engine will go for me. But the game I ended up conceiving, because I only had roughly a week to make it (until the deadline was extended another week), is not about driving anything at all, it is merely about looking; how much more simple can a game’s interface and set of verbs get? You are still in some kind of convertible sportscar, but you’re just sitting on the passenger’s seat.

I’ve coined the term ‘narrative exploration’ to describe Viewpoints, because the very core of the concept is about exploring, but not a physical space, like in, say, Metroid, but, instead, a space of different possible stories—a narrative space. The concept itself was shamelessly ripped from Terry Cavanagh’s Pathways —a short game I can wholeheartedly recommend—, though his execution is different from mine (I’m not quite that flagrant).

Viewpoints screenshot

Play Viewpoints in your browser (requires Flash)

Also, for this past April Fools’, I made a variation of Viewpoints and released it as if it were the finished game for the competition. I took the Out Run and Sega inspiration further, and created something quite ridiculous. I call it Winner. (It may be worth mentioning that some of the contents of this variation were taken straight from Sega-made games.)

An audio game.

Another Klik of the Month, and another game made in two (and a half) hours. This time it’s an audio game, no graphics. To tell the truth, the idea for this game seemed much cooler in my head than the result, but what am I going to do. I might make a more involved game with the general idea for this game in the future. If you play it, please, excuse my poor diction.

Download NSBD System Console (Windows, requires latest Direct X). The password is 5467.

Also, remember how Matt made music for my past two Kliks? Well, this time he didn’t, because he made a game himself. Nice!

Volcano.

A few weeks ago, Matt showed me a preview of a song he was working on, called Volcano. I liked it so much that I decided to make a video for it. After I graduated, I finally got around to making said video. And now it’s done!

In the meanwhile, he released the EP the song is a part of; it’s called Moonfish Moon. I recommend you give it a listen if you liked Volcano.

This was about a week’s work, shooting around the neighborhood, here in Santiago, Chile. I filled up almost three miniDV tapes of footage, which seems to be a lot for under four minutes of edited video, or maybe I’m just not used to this kind of stuff. I also discovered only yesterday that this Handycam that I used has a manual exposure setting, which would have been useful for many of the earlier shots, but such is life.

I also got myself a new bycicle a week ago, which can be partially seen in one of the shots. It’s a cheap ‘beach cruiser,’ but I love my new bike.

Campodecolor got me out of college.

Español

As of today (yesterday), I am a professional graphic designer. My final project, which I now refer to as Campodecolor (Spanish for ‘Colorfield’), was the same videogame I have been talking about for some time, the one about visual composition. It’s not finished as a project, but an important milestone has been reached: its first purpose has been accomplished, which was to get me my degree. Of course.

Here’s my project report (in Spanish), which is a bit out of date and a bit incomplete, but I guess it shows the main arguments that support my project. I have touched on these a bit in past posts, and I might do it further in the future, because they are based on my opinion that videogames, as an artform, can be a relevant contribution to society.

For my defense I had to —evidently— show the game, and do a presentation of basically a recap of the same points already covered on the report. On top of that, during the past week I recorded some playtests, and edited a brief video with that material to show to the committee that graded my work. It was pretty funny to watch the testers stumble around and finally grasp the mechanics a bit, though some came to the conclusion that the game was more about the music than the visual aspect, which, I suppose, is a compliment to the sound design in the end.

Campodecolor, final presentation version

I have uploaded the version of the game that I presented today (yesterday). The algorithms are still lacking, I’m afraid, but I plan to make them my top priority now. The dynamic audio is created using the minor pentatonic scale, with the sound of a Rhodes piano, as recorded by Guy Cockroft. I’m glad it sounds as well as it does, considering the notes are selected randomly from the scale. Since it seems to be crediting time, I have to thank Stephen Lavelle and muku for their invaluable help and suggestions on all aspects of my game. Also, of course, my teacher throughout this whole process, Eduardo Castillo. […]

Infidelidad.

increpare (Stephen Lavelle) just released an entry for the CODEAR Single Boss Game competition that is currently running, called Infidelidad (Infidelity). Since the competition is held by the ADVA (Video Game Developers Association of Argentina), I offered him to translate it into Spanish, and so I did. The dialogue is brief but quite comical, and I had lots of fun doing the translation. The game itself is short, but sweet. Put a smile on my face.

increpare (Stephen Lavelle) acaba de lanzar su entrada para la competencia CODEAR Single Boss Game: un juego de nombre Infidelidad. Ya que el evento está organizado por la Asociación de Desarrolladores de Videojuegos Argentina (ADVA), le ofrecí traducir el guión, y eso fue lo que hice al final. El diálogo es breve pero cómico, y me entretuve bastante realizando la traducción. El juego es corto, pero me hizo reir.

New front page.

Changed the design of the front page. Tried something different this time—I wanted it to be more disorderly, less clean; a bit more striking, perhaps. It didn’t come out quite how I envisioned it, but it will have to do, for now. The main reason for this redesign was that I wanted all the links to my different accounts at community websites there. I had something else entirely in mind at first, a design that integrated the last few piclog thumbnails and blog headlines, but since I don’t know much Javascript or PHP, all that will have to wait until I have the time to sit down and learn.

There is something I still don’t understand, which happened in the old design too, and that is some Firefox rendering glitches when it first loads the page. After refreshing, it goes away. My guess is that it’s a bug related to blocks with the CSS display property set to ‘none’, which is how I make the popup effect. Well, nevermind the jargon, but the point is that it somehow screws up the design.

We dreamt of music.

i apparently had kept songs from my all past lives. and apparently i have been mostly female in my past lives.

ok um i dreamt music stuff

so i was like “finally, i can record an album with female vocals”

i was listening to music and i wanted to play it

<somari> What kind of music stuff? Mostly female?

i think it was something lofi made

no

“nobody will need to know i’m singing with my past selves”

something played on a keyboard, and i wanted to play it on my keyboard because it sounded so cool, kind of melancholy

then i woke up and couldn’t remember the tune
which sucked

i don’t know anything else outside of what i recited

‘The story of my sneakers’.

Español

This is a video I made in 2007; it was my final exam for an experimental video class. It’s the story of a young girl, as she documents her own cathartic ritual. The script uses some stereotypes, to match the ingenuity and simple mind of the main character, and also to leverage immediate recognition. I also let many scenes drag on, despite the initial storyboard’s briefness, because I felt that such a contemplative style suited it best, and a fast editing would have done a disservice to the aesthetic. This was proved later, in fact, when I made a 30 seconds ‘digest’ (no subtitles) that didn’t really capture what I was after. That short version was created for an awful contest which I only entered because the topic matched perfectly: stories of sneakers, and it was an advertising campaign for a department store.

As you can see, the video could not have been made without the help of the star, Sigal, who was also the main camera-person. In fact, the concept was created around her, so, had she not agreed to help, I would have been forced to make something else entirely.

And since I’m on the subject, here’s another video I made for that same class, as an exercise in shooting and editing. All of the material was recorded at the Diana arcade in San Diego, Santiago. My original idea was to make it much more musical, but due to time constraints, I was only able to do so much.
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