Saturday, February 12, 2011

My older brother: the game industry

The past few weeks I've been rambling on here about how much I hate the video game industry and how everyone who plays video games are dumb and how I hate everyone. But the truth is, I really don't HATE everyone. The video game industry is my passion. If I didn't love it, then I wouldn't have studied it for 3 years in college. The game industry is kind of like family to me. You love it, but you also hate it. You have fights and think it's stupid, but you always love it at the end of the day. I still believe there are real idiots out there that make gaming hard to support from time to time, but it's best not to think about them.

The important thing to remember is: the video game industry is still very young. And no matter how many pea brained, annoying little fanboys and fangirls there are ruining the image of videogames for contemporary society, there is still a strong backbone of hardworking, creative minds that are working diligently to push this medium further. Games are still evolving and although they currently consist mainly of people punching blood out of each other, soldiers shooting rivers of bullets into mutilated alien corpses, and pretty boy/girls fighting off zombies with swords bigger than their bodies, it's only a matter of time before something truly new and revolutionary reveals itself and changes how people look at games forever. I'm not saying it's going to happen soon, and I can't even tell you what that change will be, but I have faith that it will happen.

Or maybe it won't and I'll go work on a farm....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get it Get it

Here is a render of the mobile crane I've been working on for Flaming Brain Studios. This image depicts the low poly model with the normals, AO, and base colors applied. I've had a rough go with the normal map projections, but I believe they are cleaned up well enough to work. I'm sure by the time the initial diffuse map is completed, I will have fixed up the normals as well as the AO more thoroughly. I expect this model and all of its maps to be completed in the next few days. At the same time I am working on a handful of models for Vteractive's current Facebook game, Questinations. Once I get the next set of those completed, I will throw up some renders of them as a group.

Other than modeling, I have been doing some digital painting as well as reading. If you may not know, the new season of Power Rangers debuts this Monday on Nick. They are trying to promote the new series using Facebook and have been holding fan art contests as well as other ploys to draw attention to the new show. And considering how every single piece of art submitted has either been a poorly photoshopped version of an image, a copyrighted piece of artwork, or just a really bad fan creation, I've been trying to make something pretty cool. I have about 14 hours into this painting and it's sure to be bad ass. However, by the time it's done, the new show will have premiered, and for all I know, the facebook page will cease with all of its promotional antics. But oh well.

My last post was about my hatred towards the videogame world, which is ironic because that is where I'm trying to succeed career wise. I don't want people to view me as a hater of videogames or something like that, I just hate the way ALL of the media portrays the genre. Last night on the Colbert Report, they had Jane McGonigal come on and talk about the state of the videogame world and how it should be viewed by the public. She attempted to "enhance" the image of gaming in the public eye, which is understandable. She wrote a book and talked about how videogames make people more productive, give people confidence and have better lasting effects on a person than most would think. Ultimately she told the world that she wanted more people to be playing games and playing them for longer periods of time during the week. She spoke about how they are making games to teach problem solving, games that work towards solving world crisis, and games about working to cure cancer.

I understand the whole problem solving thing, but I really have no idea what she is talking about when it comes to curing cancer and that kind of stuff. I probably have to read her book in order to fully grasp what she was saying, but what it all comes down to, is that she (as well as others) are trying to change the image of videogames in a more positive way. And although I like that idea, I don't think making videogames about curing cancer is the right idea. Video games are FUCKING GAMES. They are made for entertainment. They are made for fun. You can talk about how videogames are helping to solve the problems going on in Egypt all you want, but the other day I watched a video of a 10 year old falling off a subway platform because he was playing PSP and wasn't looking where he was going. No kid is going to purchase a cancer curing game. They want something fun. Sometimes, mindless entertainment.

Videogames are a form of entertainment created for the enjoyment of people. Nobody needs to make them into some world saving tool. They are GAMES. Let them be GAMES. Society is going to hate them regardless and I'd rather have people hate them for being violence inducing weapons then think they are some kind of life changing tool created to help the world, because that's just dumb. The fact is, any videogame is bad if you spend a majority of your day sitting on the couch playing it. It's the same with television. It's the SAME THING. Don't make it into something it's not. Comic books were under fire when they first arrived on the scene, but i don't believe anyone strove to make them into manuals on fighting cancer. They are stories with pictures. Just like videogames are stories with controlled movements and flashy graphics. It's all the same.

That's not to say games and comics alike can't have stories that push people to think about world events or science, because they can and have. But they are created for entertainment first. It's all entertainment. Society needs to just deal with it, and I belive that they will. In about 30 years, videogames will take their place as just another entertainment medium alongside movies, music, tv, comics, and theater. I don't really think we have to fight it. We just need to stand up and reassure people what videogames actually are, and keep reassuring them over and over and over and over again.