MegaGear MegaTokyo Visual Novel MegaGear
Strip 1332

newsbox

Megatokyo on Facebook
A Fredart banner S-Words
  • Megatokyo Twitter
  • Megatokyo RSS feed
  • Fred's Twitter
  • Fredart RSS Feed

support

Advertise on Megatokyo!

MegaTokyo Visual Novel

console

< Piro >

into the QR dungeon

"Sprites in a QR Dungeon"

Friday - February 24, 2012

[Piro] - 15:09:26 - [link here]

Just before we went to Ohayocon last month, Seraphim asked me to make her a hoodie with a QR code that led to the Megatokyo website. Not a bad idea, really - you’d have to scan it to find out what it was for. The only problem was, I didn’t put too much time into understanding how QR codes worked. To put it on a black background I inversed the QR code which, needless to say, didn’t work. You can imagine the level look I got from her at the convention when it was discovered that the QR code she was wearing was unreadable. Oops.

Partly in an effort to make up for that FAIL, I poked a little at how QR codes work. Seraphim noted that it might be in my best interest to see if I could make the QR Code a bit more interesting by adding some sort of design to it. This is actually possible because QR codes have a certain amount of error correction built in - if you work within the error correction, you can do some interesting things. Since working within error correction ranges is what I’m all about… challenge accepted.

At first I experimented with putting the word ‘megatokyo’ in the design. In the process of trying to get it to work, it kinda seemed to negate the whole purpose of having a design that you would have to scan to identify. Then it dawned on me that a QR code looks an awful lot like a Pac Man game or a Dungeon Maze… which lead instantly to my sudden need for some Megatokyo sprites. If I could create decent, recognizable sprites of Largo, Pirogoeth and M0h it would be the perfect overlay. If you recognized the characters, you’d know it was a Megatokyo shirt - if you didn’t, you could scan the QR code to find out. Fun, I thought.

Except for the whole making the sprites thing. In case you weren’t aware of it, doing really good pixel art is HARD. A lot harder than you might think. That said, I think my first real crack at doing pixel art in years didn’t come out too bad - Largo, Pirogoeth and m0h, actually looking pretty reasonable. Are they TRUE sprites, designed to a low color palette and to a specific size? Uh… no, not really. But they’re close, and probably could be tweaked, if need be.

Now all I need to do is fire up RPG maker and … uhm…

Woah. Getting ahead of myself. ^^;; Lets get the t-shirt designs out first. The QR Quest design is now up in the Megagear store, as well as a shirt featuring just the MT Endgames sprites. All our black t-shirts including these new designs, which normally sell for $20 are on sale for $17 (S-XL - larger sizes are a bit more). A nice alternative to all those Nintendo sprite shirts, no? ^^;;

Speaking of sales and stuff in the Megagear store, all Megatokyo posters are on sale for $10 each, including the new Megatokyo Cast poster.

Also on sale are all 11x17 Fine Art Prints, $15 each, including a brand new full color print “Respawn Point” print. The sale includes our full selection of prints from the sold-out 2012 Megatokyo calendar, now including Dom, Ed, Piro, Largo, Junko, Seraphim and Junpei.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

< RayKremer >

XKCD, they baked Fred a cake once

"Umwelt"

Tuesday - April 3, 2012

[RayKremer] - 16:45:44 - [link here]

Long before MegaTokyo drifted into an examination of the zeitgeist of extreme fandoms, one of the earliest recurring themes that Fred inserted into the comic of was that of the personal reality, most commonly exemplified by "Piro-vision" and "Largo-vision", and examined explicitly in comic [132]. Over time and as the plot evolved, most readers started to view "Largo-vision" as "aware of the masquerade" and "Piro-vision" as "not aware of the masquerade", but it's not supposed to be that simple. For one thing, the entire point of Largo seeing the masquerade so easily is that he has always expected all that stuff to be there in the first place. In fact at times he expects quite a bit more to be there than the TPCD actually deals with. Piro, meanwhile, has other things to worry about and therefore just isn't paying enough attention to see anything he would consider out of the ordinary. (This is, by the way, exactly what Douglas Adams was satirizing with the Somebody Else's Problem field, the actual human tendency to auto-censor things of low priority, no outlandish technology needed.)

Where am I going with this? Monday's XKCD comic at first glance was cool just for being an Illinois joke (I live there). But upon viewing the mouseover alt text, I immediately had to grab Fred to take a look. "Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit--from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser." That sums up the personal reality principle incredibly well.

If you check wikipedia, the term umwelt seems to be applied more to the animal kingdom than to humans, if only because the difference in sensory organs is actually significant as you cross species. Check the "See also" listing though, and you will find Reality Tunnel. "Every kind of ignorance in the world all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don't even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality." – Robert Anton Wilson

This is exactly the moral of the story that Fred was going for when he laid out the divide between Largo's reality tunnel and Piro's reality tunnel as a recurring theme. (Note that we speak of "Piro-vision" and "Largo-vision" because those two are MT's earliest main characters, but it applies to everyone equally, every character in the comic and every person in real life.) It's still a theme, in fact, alongside the newer fandom theme that has sprung up. Combine the two and you get the fanboy reality tunnel, which is most definitely a factor in the recent storylines.

On an unrelated but timely note, conventions! Since there are some coming up, I will mention them. (We've fallen down on doing that, at Ohayocon I heard several people say they didn't know Fred was going to be there.) Fred plans to be at both the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention this weekend and Anime Central at the end of the month. If you are in either area, please do stop by, bring an MT book to get signed, buy a t-shirt or art print or bracelet while you're there.

Update: I have been informed that the real gag behind the 4/2 XKCD is that the comic you see is dynamically generated according to your location and the browser you are using. I guess the joke's on me, since the comic I get using Firefox in Illinois is titled Umwelt and is on its own consistent with the theme of umwelt, a California native makes fun of an Illinois native for making a big deal of an earthquake in Illinois, then the reverse happens when a tornado strikes. Fortunately the larger point I made above relates to umwelt itself and not the particular comic I saw.

credits

megatokyo the comic - copyright © 2000 - 2014 fred gallagher. all rights reserved.

'megatokyo' is a registered trademark of fredart studios llc.