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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Here’s a fun little trailer for League of Legends Season One:

I don’t play WoW. Apparently, this is a spin-off from it, and the Trailer is marketing for the game. Which is cool.

If one peruses the LoL website, you can check out the multiple characters, and it’s pretty staggering: artistically, it’s like you took comic books, Mortal Combat, pro “wrestling”, steam punk elements, Harry Potter, Frank Frazetta, Pokemon, D&D, pin-up models, cute anime characters, and Capcom into an blender, and this is what you’d get. It’s like a unified theory of role-playing, power-wish-fulfillment, and avatar-powered escapism. And it’s pretty grand.

These MMORPG games are an artistic borg- “What? Superheros? Sure. We’ll take ’em. A He-Man-type comic Orko sprite-thing? Yep. Magic chick in an improbable bustier? Yes, please. Sauron-huge guy with proportionally ridiculous armor? Uh-huh. Werewolves? Well, WHY the f*@k NOT?!?” And I’m not even capping on the sensibility; there’s something amazingly, geeksomely democratic about the whole thing.

Watching the two teams of super-hero archetypes in fantasy-sheep’s clothing Avengers Assemble! into two fighting forces for “the Final Battle” would make Jack Kirby proud. You’ve got your huge bruiser-type, your hot-chick-who-can-best-any-man, your thief/mage, your magician, your small-yet-mighty lil’ guys- it’s the Superfriends vs. the Legion of Doom, WoW-style. When I saw it, I was like, “Of course it was heading in this direction: take the proven super-hero soap-opera, skin it with fantasy elements, add some FIGHTING…” and there you go.

When I saw BioShock a couple of years ago, I was really taken by how it combined Myst-like storytelling, remarkable cinematic design (both character and sets), with Doom and Silent Hill-like scary atmospherics and action. Intense. I think at this point, it’s beyond safe to say that the true visionaries are working in games, not movies.

Taking chances in the box, not worrying whether someone’s nephew (who got the studio job because of staggering nepotism) will greenlight a project if he can get his client/good friend on board. Game production is punk rock, in the box (the computer, rather “artistic box”), with an unlimited budget for effects, costumes, and sets.

What of story? (more…)

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…right before your eyes. Remarkable.

Now, I’m not advocating living in boxes on top of each other- it’s my pig-headed belief that trees and restaurants make a city, not buildings (I’m from that Ray Bradbury school), but it really is an ingenious use of space, using every part of the architectural buffalo, if you will. More ideas like this, please, along with smart cars, solar paint, eco-friendly Cannonball Runs in which the victor uses the least amount of fuel versus the asinine most to simply go in a circle real-fast-like (hyuk).

And, since I mentioned Ray Bradbury, here’s a nice little interview he did with Frank Black (yes!) who’s Massiff Central is probably in my top 20 songs of all time. The album version from Show Me Your Tears is epic– here’s an acoustic version from the Christmass album.

Ray Bradbury interviews are fantastic, by the way. Just a take-no-prisoners, opinionated old codger who’s pretty much right about everything. I aspire to that level of imperious curmudgeony-ness.

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I cannot wait to see this. The scene in the trailer where Banksy scales the wall effortlessly to escape the cops is tre´ Ninja.

This, to me, is the purest example of art needing a valve. When people will risk criminal prosecution to exercise free speech, creativity, and really, hard-ass-work, I think there’s a pretty compelling case for the world always getting its prophets when it needs them.

It’s just a ride.- Bill Hicks

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Stumbled upon this the other day, whilst hunting for reference photos. Daniel m. Davis’ really beautiful web comic, Monster Commute. The man’s work with illustrator is sublime and his color sense is impeccable. I’ve only gone through a number of panels, but each page is just a joy to behold. His work is just remarkable- a little J. Otto Siebold, a little Mignola, a little lowbrow, all fun and original.

Besides Monster Commute, Daniel also illustrates a staggering amount of things on his website, Steamcrow. It’s all beautiful, and all serving to squeeze envy into my hollow shell like cake-frosting. Back to work.

(Image Copyright Daniel m. Davis- No copyright infringement intended. Please visit his site and buy tons and tons of stuff.)

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Illustration experiment, Reclining Girl Wit’ Beasties:

Reclining Girl Wit Beasties - 2009 Dan McNeill

From a sketchbook drawing, Illustrator, Photoshop. There’s some Paul Gauguin/Gustav Klimt influence somewhere in that brain-mire. Unfortunately, there may be some Patrick Nagel, as well.

Original sketch after the jump: (more…)

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I’m not a big video game player (at least not since my Donkey Kong days- the Glory!) but occasionally I fall into one like Alice down a rabbit hole. The SSX series completely had me for about 2 years, I enjoyed the hell out of the lo-fi World of Goo, loved the ambition and scope of the  claymation-meets-Edgar Allen Poe CD-ROM The Dark Eye, even if it was fairly static and uneventful.

And BioShock made my head explode.

Above is the trailer for Machinarium, by Amanita. It’s a point and click game for PC and Mac, and the world is just beautiful. I think this is where games need to go: creating not only interactive worlds, but lush, designed worlds with a unifying artistic vision, even down to a cohesive pencil-style and design. Imagine Dave McKean’s Mirrormask as a playable game. Shane Acker’s 9 might’ve been more successful as a game, although I haven’t seen it, and should just shut the hell up until I do.

These are exciting times for creators to be alive.

Boing Boing has some really nice sketchbook pages from Amanita’s Jakub Dvorský and Adolf Lachman, as well as some stunning screengrabs. Check it out, y’all.

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This song almost sounds like an outtake from The Damned’s Anything album (not one of their critical faves, but I loved it). Huge reverbs, poppy and to the effin’ point, man. Nicely done.

And the video is really beautiful: organic, lush, and the amount of depth is really staggering. It’s a nice Gorey homage without seeming like a rip-off. This scene with the spirits reminds me of a children’s book on ghost stories I used to have; man, I wish I knew the title of that book.

Picture 1

Hats off to Mr. Timms. Hire him and pay him lots of money, Hollywood! Now!

Dammit you hacks!

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