@LowBitLovecraft     Morgopolis Studios                                                 Good Stuff! About

Friday, April 29, 2011

Doom: The Novel


Fifteen years ago, for reasons I can only blame on insanity, I picked up and read all four (4) of the Doom novels.

I'm going to share with you my fond memories of these books.

By the end of it I guarantee you'll feel very lucky that you've never read any of this shit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You've Already Seen This Video

That's not the issue here. That's not the question.

The question is: Have you seen it this week?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Read Breathless and They Did, Too

mishkin01 - This book was written by a hack.

rgregg -  If this were the first Koontz book I ever read, I would probably dismiss him as a confused writer unable to create interest.

Patrick J Sullivan - Could Be - Maybe Should Be - a Franchise Killer

beam me up scotty - If you bought a copy, or received it as a gift, just save yourself the time and stick hot pokers in your eyes now

Mike Davis - Even for a Dean Koontz fan such as myself, this is simply too much BS to swallow even in fiction. I'm tired of helping Dean Koontz stay rich writing crappy spiritual parables.

G. Tenison - his publisher called and said "DUDE, we just got a 300k advance for another ODD THOMAS story!...and Dean responds "woah...time to wrap this book up before dinner!"

Carol Grzonka(my favorite) - given the last few books dean has written, and the reduction in both quality and substance, i am going to write his next book here:
there was this conflicted man who owned this special dog. they met an emotionally bruised woman. something amazing happened. a very evil man, who worked for a secret, paranoid branch of the government did some psychotic stuff. man determines what is valuable in his life. he and the special dog befriend the bruised woman. a lot of political/religious proselitizing is expressed. and all the right-thinking. good people live happily-ever-after. 
now, send me $10. 

This book was a novelty in just how disappointing it managed to be.

I'm trying to think if I've ever read a book worse than Breathless.

Oh, wait. Yes!!! I did!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Best Use for Time Travel

Playing Chrono Trigger, a role-playing game where you travel through time, I began to muse in a deep and satisfactory manner about if I had time travel of my own, what would I do with it?

The answer, of course, would be to travel back to the year 1995, the year Chrono Trigger was released on the Super Nintendo, and have a conversation with myself. Wouldn't the younger me be amazed that over a decade later he was playing Chrono Trigger again and enjoying it? How bizarre, right?

Of course, the first thing we'd have to talk about is time travel, because that would probably deserve some kind of explanation.

But after about five minutes (trust me, I'm positive about this) we'd get to the important stuff and start talking about video games.

Friday, April 22, 2011

60 Minutes of Rape and Incest

The most magical thing happened to me:

Time and time again, we've all been taught that if there's a book we love (or, for that matter, a graphic novel), the film/series adaptation will be terrible. I've had this lesson beaten into me so severely that when I heard about HBO doing Game of Thrones I didn't even blink.

Think about how bad that is: HBO, who brought us Deadwood, is bringing to life some of the best fucking books on this planet and I could care less.

A young, stupid Justin would have squealed like a little girl at this news. Honestly I'm not sure how my head could even process this news ten years ago when I'd first read about the Wall and the Lannisters, and Dany ordering a few thousand men to be de-cocked. My imagination would've gone wild.

But an older, jaded Justin has learned his lesson. There's no such thing as a quality adaptation. Only the exploitation of suckers like myself who are slowly becoming the target audience for the entertainment industry.

I sat in front of the pilot of Game of Thrones with less expectations than I'd have for an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

After about five minutes, I was squealing like a little girl.

Oh my god, I nerded out so hard.

The sets and scenery? Perfect. This is Ice and Fire to the letter.

The actors? They're not how I pictured them in the books. They're much, much better. Tyrion is charming. Cersei is a cunt. Ned looks fucking tired but determined. Best one of all? The Cart King. God, he's perfect.

I am so much happy right now.

George? Forget the books. You can finish your series on HBO.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Neon Jet-Girl

I'm building Jet-Girl with a 320x240 resolution in mind.

Or I at least I was.

See that first white block? Proportionately, that's the screen Jet-Girl is currently played on.

But, proportionately, not all monitors are so close to being box-shaped

This other white block is widescreen format. Very rectangular. Very appealing.

So, on a whim, I'm tearing out the flooring on my game to accommodate this new resolution.

Shouldn't I just support multiple resolutions?

Ha! Very funny.
Let's not get silly, now. I have perfectly illogical, irrational reasons for switching exclusively to widescreen that has absolutely nothing to do with the hardware available in my house.

And widescreen is the perfect opportunity for a vertical GUI.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This is fun! More XBLI!

I'm a sucker for 2D space-flight games with gravity, but aside from Solar Jetman I can't say that I've played many of these. Does this genre have a name? Doing a search gave me the gravity genre. That sounds about right.

Check it out! Gravitron!

It's even harder than it looks, but the controls feel great. A lot of genres play better now that there's analog controls, but gravity games are thousand times improved since instead of rotating you just point in whichever direction you want to and the ship immediately responds.

The best part of Gravitron happens right after you destroy all of the generators in the level. Everything begins to shake and this really intense music starts up and you only have 60 seconds to shoot into orbit and achieve escape velocity. Really, really intense.

Gravity genre tropes:
 - Limited fuel.
 - Save stranded people by collecting them in your tiny ship.
 - Drag heavy objects around.
 - Inaccessibly hard.

(I should probably try this out, shouldn't I?)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good XBLI Games?

Yeah, dude! They exist!

Protect Me Knight smells a lot like tower defense, but I'm not a fan of the tower defense genre and I love this game so it's got to be something else.

You and three buddies are all together on a single screen protecting the princess from waves and waves of enemies. After each stage you get to power up your characters with new abilities and every level provides a unique challenge.

And when you beat the game, you rock out!

This isn't another In the Pit. It's legitimately fun. Honest! Just make sure you bring some friends into the game with you.

You can convince your buds to play an XBLI game, right? No problem!

(look closely at the princess as she says fucking and you can see her give this really cold stare)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kid Chameleon

Old gamers like me love to complain about how easy games are these days and how they all hold your hand.
"Hit right here to kill the boss!" "Go this way to beat the level!" "Hit this button!"

We're right, of course, but not all of our low-bit games really captured that hardcore attitude we like to gloat about. Mario and Sonic are a lot of fun and they're definitely challenging but it's not like the designers sat down in front of a computer thinking, "Fuck these gamers. I'm going to break them."

In Kid Chameleon, though, that was their design thesis.

This game has almost an endless number of levels that share no rhyme or reason with each other. For one level you'll be in a forest fighting robots as a tank, and in another you're scaling the side of a floating castle as a knight (why is climbing the special power for the knight? Shouldn't it be a monkey?).

There's no world map. The levels have names but no numbers, and there are tons of multiple paths to take, so you could play the game a dozen times and end up in a dozen different places with no idea how far you've really gotten. Playing Kid Chameleon is like being dropped into a 16-bit wilderness with no idea of where to go or how to get out, and if time runs out you drop dead.

Even the story is about how tough the game is. There's an arcade machine the size of a building called the Wild Side and once gamers go into it they never come out. So even before you start level one the game is talking trash.

Too bad the controls are uncomfortable. Jumping with precision is difficult and your character has way too much momentum when he lands (no sticking power) so getting onto a small platform is a bitch. The concept of this game is great, but it was a long step away from what it should have been.

This would be a good remake.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dean Koontz

I'm reading one of Dean Koontz's latest supernatural thrillers and I'm not sure that I want to.

This guy pisses me off. He pisses me off so much I'm going to spend half an hour writing a bunch of crap about how Dean Koontz pisses me off.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Music: Danny B

(I've labeled my music update an identifying label, so now you can tell right away when I'm getting into a music post, just in case you're uncultured and prefer your life to be a grey, meaningless shuffle to the grave)

Daniel Baranowsky is one of my favorite artists of all time, and when I say artists I'm grouping all of the creative types together. I'd call him my favorite musician but I've only been listening to his stuff for a year, and being an old guy, I need at least five years to properly decide these things.

Danny B is a special creature. The man doesn't make bad music. He physically can't.

This is (surprise, what else?) a remix he did a while back. Very kick-back stuff. Especially that piano.

I feel bad about doing just one, little post for this guy. He deserves a tribute week.

This'll do for the moment, though.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Austin Kleon's Words

Hey artists, writers, musicians, game designers, creators. I stumbled over an excellent blog post and it's worth your time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Confederacy of Dunces

The protagonist in most works of fiction needs to achieve some level of empathy with the audience in order for anyone to care about them. They need to be kind, good-looking, and a tragic past certainly helps.

The protagonist of A Confederacy of Dunces is an overweight, overeducated, total asshole of a human being who spends the entire novel practicing sociopathy and manipulating everyone around him to appease his borderline psychotic agenda. It's soooo good.

Even better? People hate this book. They fucking hate it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

My 3D Pedo-Box

So it finally happened. I've unintentionally become a pedophile.

I blame the 3DS.

Check out my digital kiddie stable

Follow the jump to learn more about my downfall.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Query Letter

(Want to read an early draft of my query letter for Monsters in California? Read on, loyal Justinite)

Instead of working on Jet-Girl (for more than three hours) today, I'm going to put some effort into getting my book published.

Yes, I have a finished book just sitting around, gathering figurative dust. Collecting royalty checks would probably be better than constantly telling people that they can only read my book when it's published, right?

So step 1 is to write up a query letter, basically a lure in the shape of a one-page summary that I can use to catch an agent. The query letter/lure has to be extra-shiny, which is something I wish I'd realized a while ago because writing this thing is a bitch.

Here's how you're going to help me:
After the jump is the query letter. Read it and then tell me: does it pop?
Keep in mind a query letter isn't a proper summary. It's a lure (and a very sharp hook, if done correctly). I'm not interested in accuracy. Just attention.

If you haven't read the book then your input is greatly appreciated because I need those fresh eyes, but be warned that while I don't spoil too much I still give a good idea of what happens within the first five chapters.

Yeah, I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'm a Story Nazi. I love the surprise and mystery of a novel. I love the not knowing part of the experience. People who skip to the end of a book to decide whether or not they're going to read it should be put into camps.

If it were up to me the back of every book would just be a big question mark. Maybe a 'Just Read It, Dummy!'
And the fronts, too. Titles give too much away.

Query letter up ahead.

Monday, April 4, 2011

EPIC 1980's Game Concept Storyboard

A little history: Pretty-much everything I drew as a child related to video games in some fashion. 90% of the time I was sketching in crayon the Great American Novel of video games.

That's right. I'm a game design prodigy, and here's the proof: a full storyboard that, if made into a proper video game trailer, would break down any server trying to handle all the pre-orders coming in.

Cursive may not have been the best medium to write down the dialogue but I was probably in the third grade when I made this and we used cursive all the time in that class. Is cursive officially an anachronism?

Hit the jump for a transcript of all the dialogue.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Character Design: Jenny

Jet-Girl Jenny

There are extremely good reasons why 8-bit graphics are still around and it's taken me a long time to work myself from the higher resolutions down to 320x240 (which is still a bit higher than SNES/NES resolution), but now that I'm down here I'm having a blast. Especially with character design.

The limited resources have a habit of guiding your decisions. If your character doesn't immediately pop then you're going to know it right away.

I think I read somewhere that the reason Mario was given a hat and moustache was to distinguish the pixels from each other. The moustache was to show that Mario had a nose and the hat just worked better than black hair.

Anyways, lots of pictures up ahead if you want to see my amateur version of the creative process up close.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Must Show You My Sexy New Girlfriend

I ordered her three days ago and yes, I know you're thinking this is an eccentric purchase, but c'mon. Just look at her. That is amazing.

She's life-size and made entirely out of paper.

The only problem has been the shipping. I paid $350 for the entire finished model (no way I could build that myself) but it cost a lot extra to get it shipped from Germany.

When you buy luxury paper-craft make sure that the shipping is included.

She looks even better from the back.
I've got a picture...