Friday, May 22, 2009

Shard Eighteen - Game On

Alright, which topic should I start with? Let's flip a coin.

*flips a coin*

Rock Band it is.


This is a more personal update, here. As in, it's not particularly exciting. It's mainly just for those of you who love hearing about my personal activities.

For those of you who've been living under a rock and don't know what Rock Band is about, it's a music-based video game. You've got a Guitar controller, a Drums controller, and a Microphone. All adds up to a rock band; guitarist, bassist, drummer, and vocalist. (Bassists just use the same guitar controller, since there's not any difference in the gameplay for the controllers, only a difference in the song charts.)

Anyway, I play Rock Band 2 almost non-stop. I'm at Expert level on all of the instruments (the highest difficulty), and out of the hundred-plus songs I've got, I can beat all but three of them on guitar.
One particularly fun play style is if you've got a mic stand; set up the microphone on the stand, and play the guitar or bass at the same time. It's decidedly more complex (tough to watch both charts at the same time), but if you know the song, you can do it very well. It's quite fun.

Just today, I've finished up a fun project, which is the subject of this section; using PVC pipe, I've constructed a boom-style microphone stand. Why? So I can play drums and vocals both at once.
It's decidedly harder then vocals/guitar, but it's a ton of fun. I'm still finding out which songs I'm good enough at to finish on Expert with both vocals and drums, but so far, it's been working out.
I've got a habit of singing at a very low volume, since singing isn't something I'm totally comfortable with. But it's something I've been wanting to get more comfortable at; drums/vocals seems to be fixing that. I'm not sure, but I think I'm singing louder when I'm doing them both. (Mainly because the drum controller is quite loud, and I need to sing a bit louder to hear myself, hah.)

...that's about it, I suppose. Anyone else play Rock Band 2? I'd love to hop on XBox Live and play with you. =D


And now for the tails on the coin flip (yep, I flipped a heads).

The so-called "TRICO" game.

For those of you who haven't heard of ICO (I won't re-use the "under a rock" expression this time, since the game is sadly not extremely well-known), ICO was a very early game for the PS2 system. And might I add, still an amazing game, borderline artwork.
It's gained a cult following more or less, not gaining a ton of widespread fans; not because it wasn't impressive, but because it just wasn't very well-known or advertised.
The game developer, Team ICO (led by the visionary who thought up the concept for ICO, Fumito Ueda), later made a second game, Shadow of the Colossus. Another amazing game, this time slightly more popular, having ICO as a predecessor.

And now, Team ICO is working on "TRICO", which is a working title for their third game. Very little is known about it, other then the fact that it's in production, it'll be for the PS3, and it'll probably be really good.
And recently, a teaser trailer for the game was released. It's still a little tough to tell what the game's story will be like, but it seems to be another adventure/puzzler game, like the previous two. And it looks very impressive, which is why I'm taking all this time to lead up to a simple video.

I'm certainly looking forward to buying this the day it's released. (more info)



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shard Seventeen - Behind-the-Scenes: Fragmented Infinity

Okay, I'll admit it. I completely forgot about my blog. I have no other excuses for my lack of updates. I'll try to make it up.


Alright, since the blog is more or less named after my Fragmented Infinity world, I suppose it's only natural I put a few Fragmented Infinity-related entries in here. There's really nothing to be a fan of yet, but perhaps someday when the Fragmented Infinity story is up and running, it'll have fans. And they might like to dig through old blog entries for some behind-the-scenes peeks.

To those of you reading this in the future, this one's for you.

(and those of you in the present can enjoy it too, especially if you like hearing about all the projects I start and don't finish.)


Lately, I've been focusing a lot on character design. creating characters is a hobby of mine, you could say. It's mainly why the Fragmented Infinity world has so many important ones.
Now, the Fragmented Infinity website (linked above) has a Characters section in there. But due to my lack of updates there, most of the pages are empty. (They're there, just devoid of information.) So for those of you who are interested in characters, let's make this entry a nice little character primer. A bunch of characters are "finished", and only missing bits and pieces of information.

let's just do some main characters for now...

Jioruji Derako (Jio) is my main character. The star of the series, although the spotlight is also shared with Anji. Jio's also based off of me to a certain degree, although he's decidedly more impressive then I am.
Jio's also a very dark-minded character. While I've entertained some rather dark and moody thoughts myself, I'm nowhere near as impassive or silent as Jio is. This is the point where Jio stops being based off me, and takes off on his own path.
Jio starts the story as a very militaristic person, very repressed. A main point of the story is his transition to a more outgoing, open personality; how big of a transition this is will have to remain a secret until some of the story is released.

Anjiru Deruku (Anji) is the second main character in the story. Jio's the first one in the story, but when Anji shows up shortly afterwards, she takes over a good chunk of the spotlight.
Unlike Jio, Anji is quite outgoing and open. She's gone through a lot in her life (much like Jio, again), but she's not dealt with it in the same way; she'd much rather be optimistic, as opposed to becoming withdrawn. And for the most part, optimism works for her.
Anji and Jio make quite a connection early on in the story (although that's a big part of the plot, so I'll not spoil it). Anji ends up having quite an impact on Jio's life thanks to this connection.

Jeni Senka (Jeni) is a third "main" character. She doesn't appear in the story until a good while later, but she's a favorite of mine; very like the Jio we all see in the start of the story, she's quite dark and cold as well. I don't have many other details, unfortunately, but hopefully, I'll be able to get a picture of her drawn soon; like I said, she's a personal favorite.

Alice (Alice) is a final major character, who doesn't show up until a good deal later (after Jeni shows up). I actually haven't figured out what part she'll play in the story, but she will play a part; she's got quite a link with Anji right off the bat, and I hope to play off this as the story progresses.
Alice is the newest of my characters, and she's somehow managed to just straight up into an important spot in the story (Jeni was meant as a side character, and only later gained a bigger role). I'm personally interested to see how this pans out; these sorts of things tend to play themselves out in my head without much intervention on my part, so even I'm not sure how Alice will fit in the story. I feel like she'll mark an important part of it, though.
Alice is also likely going to get a picture done earlier then some of the other characters, but she's also not very developed appearance-wise yet. That'll change, though.


At the risk of lengthening this entry (which might be seen as a good thing), I'd like to cover some of my Fragmented Infinity projects.

...Of course, the story itself is a project. I am trying to work on that one.

One major thing I'm working on, however, is character reference pictures. General profile images; a casual side view, paired with a more dynamic front pose. The images will let me show off the characters (much easier then describing how they look), and it will also double as a reference and designing tool for their outfits.
Right now, I'm already started on Myrkr's image, with Jeni and Alice most likely going to follow. Lysa, Nott, and Lemja (the other three faeries) will probably follow.
...oh, that's right. I forgot to mention Lemja. She's new. I'll have to go into more detail on her some other time.

The other project is one I've mentioned before, and posted in-progress shots of.
That one's still in progress; it's temporarily on hold, while I work out the details of Jio and Anji's outfits. That's pretty much the only thing holding it up, however.
It's gone through a few changes since the last update I showed off, and it's even been colored in a few spots, but I'll save the WIP shots for a little later; I'd mainly like to show off the outfits, once I get some of that part done.
All in all, it'll probably be quite a good picture, once I finally finish it.

And that's about it, I believe.

See you all next time.