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< Piro >

capture the bear - poster design preview

"invisible fanart"

Sunday - May 19, 2002

[Piro] - 11:46:00 - [link here]

new! l33t m3 swag! express your inner lame... er, l33t!

Just a quick update - gonna try to do this more often (hahaha, ok, stop laughing at me. :(

Kinda nice to have an entire weekend devoted to nothing but MT stuff, but even so, it seems like the weekend is half gone and i don't feel like i've done anything. Which isn't really true. On monday, i am bringing the final design for the Capture the Bear poster to the printers. These posters will not be as big nor on quite the chunky paper the Pirogoeth poster was on - it's more like just a nice poster. They should be available for purchase in a few weeks. Here's a preview of what the poster looks like - i think it came out pretty good, considering how lame my photoshop skillz are. ^^;;

I finally sat down and watched the last three episodes of Kanon. I've been thinking, recently, about just how long this stupid game and it's related works have been part of my collection of things that effect and influence my work. Kanon has been around for several years, actually - the game originally was released in june of 1999 - i was living in Atlanta at the time. I was starting to see Kanon characters show up in winamp skins, and then in fan art. A friend of mine sent me a AVI file of the opening sequence for the game, and I was hooked. I must have listened to the opening song 'last regrets' a million times.

Who hasn't done that before with a series tho? What strikes me as odd is just why this one has stuck with me over the past three years. I mean, its just a GAME. The original didn't even have any voices. Hell, i didn't even know the stories and scenarios back then. Yet I had this kind of odd obsession with it. I dug and dug and dug over the past three years trying to find what was locked inside the stories i could barely understand, took apart the game itself and poured over the 771 images that make up the game. I got artbooks, cards, collected fan works...

Isn't it funny that i really haven't done much fan art for the series?

but then again, you could consider most everything i draw to be a reaction in some way to one series or another. For me, i try to get to the core reason WHY something effects me the way it does. I like to get into why things work the way they do. There is a misconception that in real life I am fluent in Japanese. I am not. I know little more than your average American anime fan (well, maybe a little more). I've been into anime for over 8 years, you'd think i'd be fluent by now, right? Not really.

You see, i spent my time learning the language of the art and the expression, not the japanese language itself. I'm still learning too.

When you do fan art, you get all the elements of that character or story to help elevate the emotive impact of a drawing - the character you are drawing already HAS a past. Doing original works is harder - you have to give that character a history, a past, something that people can connect with. If you are good, you can do it all with one drawing. You can cheat and do what i do - put a truckload of crappy drawings together to get your point across.

Often, for many people, no one else seems to see what you see in a drawing you did. All art is really about putting your feelings down on paper. Learning how to do that so it effectively communicates it to others is a major undertaking. The mistake that people make is that they feel that if it doesn't communicate well to others they should not do it. Don't EVER think that. If it makes you feel something, remember that your frustration with it is that you haven't been able to communicate what you want effectively enough - and doing that takes time. Just don't give up on it.

Thats where the frustration in learning to draw comes in - from thought to paper is never as potent as you feel it. Thats why i will never be satisfied with my work.

heh, getting a little cryptic there. Gomen. Finishing Kanon just made me think, that's all. It's always made me think. I think they did a great job with the TV series. Sure, it could have been better. Trying to wrap five different scenarios into a single show is gonna leave some of the girls hanging, but it was kind of odd... i actually appreciated the way they tweaked it together. I can't really go into what i liked about it, because that would lead to some spoilers... spoilers for both Kanon *and* Megatokyo, because the reasons why i felt something stir in me that was a reaction to the ending of the show has a lot to do with a strong thread in the MT story. A thread that i still have to refine.

I think i've turned into a Nayuki fanboy. I don't really know why. Maybe i do, but i just can't go into it...

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< Largo >

you're already here.

"My l33t Wedding"

Tuesday - May 7, 2002

[Largo] - 12:20:00 - [link here]

First up, Some Bioware News!

This Media Alert has been brought to you by the letter 'L' and the number '3', oh, and also by those talented Canadians that make my favorate unreleased game, Neverwinter Nights.

"Neverwinter Nights fans get an early look at the tools that make the game.

Fans of Neverwinter Nights will soon be able to get their hands on the BETA version of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset - the same tools that BioWare developers are using to build the game’s expansive Official Neverwinter Nights Campaign story. This BETA version of the Neverwinter Nights Toolset is being made available to enable the Neverwinter Nights community to become familiar with the easy-to-use Toolset, and with the process of building Neverwinter Nights modules. The BETA version is an ‘in development snapshot’ of the toolset that we’ve chosen to release to the fans early. It is not finished, but it is quite cool, and we thought the Neverwinter Nights community would appreciate getting their hands on it. The full, complete toolset will be included with the Final Neverwinter Nights game (coming soon to a software shop near you).

So, where can you get the BETA version of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset? Participating retailers (Electronics Boutique, Best Buy, and GameStop) are making the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset available as a Pre-Order bonus disc. As well, some of the participating retailers are also including in the pre-order package, a special ‘custom created’ module - to be made available after Neverwinter Nights is released.

About the BETA version of the Neverwinter Toolset:

This is a BETA release of the Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset. As with the previously released Neverwinter Nights Model Viewer, the Toolset may not work on certain systems. As a BETA version, it will include a limited selection of the final content in the game. There will be no updates, patches, or fixes to this BETA version of the Toolset. You will not be able to play, or test modules created with this version of the Toolset - you need the server software to do this, and that will be shipped with the final version of Neverwinter Nights.

Modules created with the BETA toolset will probably not work in the final game. Neverwinter Nights is still under development, and we may change the way things work. We will attempt to build a utility to convert modules made with the BETA toolset to be compatible with the final retail game, however we make no guarantee this will be possible.

Additionally, fans with a fast Internet connection can download the Aurora Toolset from various gaming websites (to be announced). Be warned, the toolset download is quite large! -Brad Grier, Bioware Communications Manager"

Well.. there you have it, within the next few weeks, everyone will be able to start working with the NWN Tools Set... I can't wait to craft myself my own little magic sword with that thing...

It's always an odd time when a game that you've been following for years while in development begins to approach that final moment of release, for us - the fans and press, we wait patiently, telling ourselves "Just One More Day." -- meanwhile the developers themselves are working "standard 60 hour crunch weeks", which is code for "I live in my cube, shoot me... please!"

Initializing Wedding Rant

As many of you know, I'm getting married in just a few short weeks on June 3rd. A Wedding is a wonderful thing, I always pictured it like a big fancy party with some ceremony and lots of beer at the end.

... man, was I wrong.

The truth is, a wedding is a massive undertaking, and ironically, the middle-sized weddings are the hardest to plan, apparently a large wedding is easy to deal with as you're forking out so much cash to hold it, that you just hire everyone else to do the work.

Having spent the last few months tied up in planning, decision making, and other assorted wed'd goodness, I've come to conclusion that couples who end up just eloping may be on to something.

Still, there is a certain irreplacable charm to a traditional wedding and reception, and so - my bride to be and I are looking forward to it. It should be great, I only wish I could invite all the fans of MT out there to it, but I don't think that could be managed with our current budget.

However, I have gotten a lot of emails about where to send gifts / where we are registered, etc. So for those of you interested, we are registered as Rodney Caston & Ruby Boiko at the following websites. Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and The Knot.

Recently I've taken a keen interest in playing Go, as a gamer I've always been fasinated with gaming systems from the d20 rules on down to far older games such as Chess and Go.

Lately I thought I'd try to see if I can actually get good at playing Go. Initally I started some games up on yahoo and the zone but finally came to find a server called Kiseido, a site for playing Go online that allows you to use their software so others can view your games and vice versa - and so you can determine your ranking and progress. Along with this, you compete with others for purposes of learning, or in my case - losing, lots of losing...

I had always been a good chess player, but it gets stale after awhile, like most strategy games, it eventually comes down to a war of depleing resources, as the board yields fewer and fewer pieces.

In Chess - you begin play with a board with a complete set of pieces, and as the game progress's the pieces are slowly removed, one by one. You always end play with less pieces on the board then when you began.

With Go, it's the opposite, you begin play with an empty board for you to fill with your stones like it was a canvas.

With Go, it's not that the stones that get depleted, it is the territory left on the board.

Another difference between the two, is scale - where Chess is about unit control, Go is about entire armies. You get a different vision about conquest from Go then you do from Chess. Chess has a singular objective - "CheckMate" - the striving to capture one piece on the board, where as Go focus's on aquiring territory on the board, not capture - instead, capturing stones in Go is a side effect, not the goal.

I suppose I could go on for a few more pages about Go, but I doubt I could really give my description of the game any justice.

If you want to learn more about the game, or to find local Go clubs and tournaments - try this link.


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