Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What's this body thing and what do I do with the dangly bits?

Link roll.

Here is a long, brilliant article on MMORPG development. Lots of true stuff in it (and lots that I recognized from previous discussions with my ex).


Holidays now. Which is fortunate in multiple ways, partly because I just read that somebody shot several times at the bus I'm always taking in Salzburg (three stations away from my flat). Of course, something like this happens a day after a drunk guy had to chat me up and spontaneously decided to follow me home (in the same bus line that was shot at).
Sometimes I think that all the lunatics gather in Salzburg.


I believe those familiar with Second Life will enjoy First Life, too. (Or not.)


And lastly, just because Neil Gaiman asked nicely, I'm linking to his blog post about Penn Jillette.

Bad drawing day. Time to do a couple of pages hands again.

Friday, January 26, 2007

This bus is under attack. Please dial 999.

Apparently there are tons of OverheardIn-Websites out in the deep darknesses of the internet. I've only looked at a couple of them from Britain. They are deeply entertaining, particularly the London one. I love the idle comments that bus/tube drivers make over their speakers. It made me remember some of the nice accents and funny comments of the Ryanair and Easyjet captains on the planes, and also the conversation of an American dad with his son in the Collosseum in Rome (of which, unfortunately, I only remember that it was about a cat that could cross the boundaries to the restricted section of the Collosseum).

I've felt like going away again for a bit recently. It's probably just because it's winter and my last medieval fair has been months ago, and now there aren't any fairs nearby, so I can't go off for a weekend and have fun with like-minded people. Right now I'm just glad that my D&D group in Salzburg works out so well. The guys are really nice and work well together, so I'm always looking forward to meeting up.


Apparently this video showing the WoW GM powers has been going around and depressing some players. I'm not a WoW player, so I guess I'm not so emotionally involved. Still, it surprises me that such a video would gain such interest and cause such emotions. The powers shown in the video are far from surprising - basic stuff that, I reckon, GMs/developers in all online games can do (I could in the games that I GMed). I also always thought that most players are aware that GMs can do stuff like that, and everybody I asked has agreed with me.
This is interesting: People know about the GM powers, have always known about them, but seeing them in action still depresses them. One reply I got was that "It's depressing to see how one line of command has the same effect as weeks of work for me". Well, if you consider levelling "work" then there're already some issue arising, I think (as a game's a game and work's work, and work can be fun, but games being work is a different thing altogether).

People don't consider that, while you can do that stuff as a GM, you really can't do it for your own character (or if you do, Blizzard hopefully fires you instantly). It's not that much fun anyway. When you can change your character's level at will, the level doesn't matter anymore, because you lose your goals (of gaining levels) - and goals are the most important factor to keep playing, at least for most players. In the end these powers mean nothing to you. Enjoying yourself while playing no matter what level you are is more important then (and if there's a community, the focus shifts from the levelling to the community).

I think you get better off if you enjoy playing and interacting instead of working on gaining the next level.


So ... I'll try to post at least one picture with every post from now on (even if it's just a crappy sketch with bad anatomy, like ... today). Just to make this blog more artsy again and to force me to practice more. I do really need it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bad Day (rant, rant, rant)

No particularly interesting information included here, so skip if you like (just me ranting).

The day started with falling asleep again after the alarmclock had woken me up (so that point of 101 in 1001 starts again for the third? time), so I was almost late for school. Then the lessons that were taught were mostly boring because of the ever-evil frontal teaching (at least the supervisor noticed it and said that now he knows how his pupils feel). Then I had to go to Salzburg even though I hadn't intended to, because I have an exam tomorrow for which I need the video of one of my lessons and the tutor hadn't been there on Monday to do the DVD stuff for me. Today he was there, but apparently hadn't done it ... after having had 9 days to transfer the video from my cassette to a DVD (which takes 90 minutes). Yes, I love throwing money at the train company for nothing. I also love having to chose an extract of the DVD by chance tomorrow for the exam because I can't look at it beforehand.

Geez, the stupidity of mankind. You can't put your trust in anyone because eventually you'll be disappointed anyway for sure; and if you want to have something done properly you have to do it yourself because other people just don't manage to do it even if it's their job.

I can forgive a mistake once (sometimes, depending on the circumstances). But I went to that guy twice last week and twice this week; no result. Others went to him once and got their DVD after 1.5 hours. I'm silently swearing and cursing guys a lot right now.


Amazon doesn't love me either. There are two books by Subterranean Press that would have looked nice on my bookshelf (Beagle's "The Last Unicorn: The Lost Version" and Tad William's "Rite: Short Works"), but they were sold out before they were even shipped. I guess that was predictable since it's Limited Edition stuff.


Also, still no lasting snow and getting warmer. Everybody's probably just happy that they don't have to cope with ice this winter, but hopefully some realize that it's due to the climate change (I hear it's also ten degrees warmer than usually in Canada).
I'm not a snow-person, but I want a normal climate, not a messed up, pole-melting sauna.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Firefly again

I finished watching all fourteen episodes. How could this brilliant show have been cancelled? I like it better than Buffy, and I'm not even into SciFi that much.
More especially, why was it cancelled (partly) because the main character is too dark and the crew is pursued by the law (and does not enforce the law). Dark and brooding MC is usually a big turn-on, at least for me, because, well, the MC is dark and brooding and leaves the watcher a mystery that he can discover. Is that why there are so many crappy Hollywood comedies? Because the MC has to be cheerful and bouncy? Don't you get sick from cheerful and bouncy after a while?

Oh unfair world. You kill the good and leave us with crappy romance comedies.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


First one was pretty much a quicky. Trying to do a not perfect character who is nevertheless (ha!) happy. The style is a little experiment, also chosen because Manga characters always look perfect (young girls, at least).
With the second I wanted to make a portrait with obvious Fantasy elements, except for just a girl with pointed ears. Funnily enough, I only realized afterwards that the background is similar to the ones that we always had on the portrait photos that were taken at school.

It's also funny how Joss Whedon talks a lot about Buffy and Angel on the Firefly commentary.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I finally bought Firefly, Joss Whedon's series that was ended prematurely because of financial reasons. It looks like the story is basically the same as in Serenity, although I've only seen two episodes so far. It rocks. A bit hard to understand some of the dialogues because of the accents, but for Whedon's typical humour I definitely don't regret buying it.
I watched the pilot film twice to understand some of the things that were said (that I absolutely couldn't understand in English) and again realized how much some of the translation sucks. I realize it's hard to translate humour well, but some of it just seems as if the translator was afraid to translate it correctly. Or how else do you explain that "I need this man to tear all my clothes off" turns into "I'm kidnapping this man" in German?

But the personality of Kaylee, Inara's clothes design (wow, wonderful style) and the humour are top-notch. Very, very great.

What People Don't Think About

Some people (including me) don't consider the upside of having a film made after a book, and deviating from the book in some degree. I read LoTR twice, ages ago, and saw the film lots of times, not long ago. So I only really know the story of the film (I also know some of the things that were omitted, like Tom Bombadil, but not much about it). Now I'm rereading the books to increase my active vocabulary. It's much better than when I read it the first two times. Somehow, the books get better the more often you read them. And since the films deviate from the book, there's still some suspense in the scenes that I don't remember from the first two reads. It's nice.


I read in the newspaper today about some US teenagers who said they wouldn't consume for 10 months in 2006, and felt so great about it that they'll continue in 2007. It sounded like second hand goods were an exception, which is fine. Unfortunately the article didn't say where you can read more about them. I'm sure that would have been interesting. It was also just a very small article. I'd have given it half a page if I was the editor.

101 in 1001 is going good, except that I simply don't manage to get up when the alarmclock rings. I'm starting that task anew for the second time tomorrow. Gah.
But the daily exercises and the vocabulary learning have a nice impact (my back doesn't hurt anymore and I now know that Tolkien must have been a botanist as well as a linguist and writer, for all the plants he mentions in the Old Forest).