Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tales from Steam Chat: Volume Three

In today's episode we see what happens when I talk politics. It's funny because SEA BEAR! is Canadian. LOL.

Shadgrimgrvy: How will you do the transition from night to day though>
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: I have two options. The first one involves a 3d skybox, that has a hemisphere with an animated texture, and a light dynamic , that changes colors, or use screenoverlays
Shadgrimgrvy: Both sound really good.
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Yeah. IT's going to be hard though.
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: It's*
Shadgrimgrvy: Well, I'm planting a cubemap garden right now.
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Sounds cool. Will they grow into cubemap trees
Shadgrimgrvy: Yes sir, and I''ll be able to sell all the cubemap fruit by next county fair.
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Sounds tasty. I'd like to consume the fruits of your labour
Shadgrimgrvy: Well you can't! WE LIVE IN A LASSIEZ FAIRE SOCIETY!
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Boo!
Shadgrimgrvy: How 'bout you go read some Ayn Rand like a man and then come talk to me about my cubemaps!
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Well I never!
Shadgrimgrvy: Well you did!
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Oh no you deedn't
Shadgrimgrvy: Yeah! I DID! Ya mayple syrup guzzling socialist.
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: :(
Shadgrimgrvy: I'm so sorry.
Shadgrimgrvy: I just get so worked up about socio-economics, y'know?
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: xD I don't care. You can say what ya want xD
Shadgrimgrvy: Well, in that case; I'll burn your house down.
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: We'll come in and burn your whitehouse again
Shadgrimgrvy: Bet you couldn't without your indian friends help!
DashRush: THE SEA BEAR!: Wanna bet Mr Uncle Sam
Shadgrimgrvy: As a matter of fact, I do! What are yooou gonna do about it you beaver.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Them Things

It's what I've been thinking about. And it concerns me.

Ask yourself: Do I need a new construct? Really think about it. I'm sure for most people the honest answer is no. Really, how many times can we download the same flat slab of grass, water, and square buildings?

I began thinking about this and of course it made me wonder just what makes Protone unique but more importantly: necessary. Now of course progress is being made to make this map, but one cannot help feeling like it's all for naught. If anything this just means that there will be a need for some feature that really makes it stand out, something like a huge pit the player can fall down.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fabulous Double Post: New Video and Korsakovia

Hey dudes, I just uploaded a new video to Youtube last night. Nothing special just a little Garry's Mod dandy. Remember a while ago that I needed to make an honest-to-goodness Garry's Mod video for old times sake or something? This is that video, sort of. But I'm not here to talk about that. No.

I want to talk about Korsakovia.

Ho boy, was this a weird mod. First let me tell you how I came across this strangeness. Well, a couple nights ago I was reading TvTropes as I am usually inclined to do. That night I was particularly enjoying the Mind Screw page.

As I sifted through the multitude of examples of strange works of fiction, David Lynch references and the obligatory Warhammer examples, I hate those so much, I found a little paragraph talking about a Half-Life 2 Mod.

This was really exciting. Not only was there a Half-Life 2 Mod but it's already been established that it was really weird. I had to find out more about Dear Esther.

Long story short; it was some kind of "art-experiment". There are no weapons, no enemies, no established goal and the plot isn't really explained. But that was okay, this was what I was looking for. Sort of. I played Dear Esther, well, maybe played isn't the right word, more like walked around and island while some guy reads a letter that another guy maybe sent to some lady who might have died about his kidney stones.

So that was all fine and good, I felt like more of an intellectual for "getting it" and resisting the urge to use the ingame console to spawn Combine Soldiers which I totally think they forgot to remove from the Source Code.

But I wanted moar. I wanted a game this time. I did a little poking around on their website and found Korsakovia.

Unlike Dear Esther, Korsakovia is an actual game with gameplay. The story is of a guy who has Korsakoff's Syndrome which is just a awful as you may be thinking and his therapist. The player explores his delusions and gets frequent voiceovers of his and his Therapist's conversations. During all this they need to avoid flying smoke monsters that try to kill the player by, um, flying into him.

Yes, they are exactly like the smoke monster on Lost. Exactly.

The whole game has the end of the world as a major theme; at first the Therapist tries to convince Christopher, the crazy guy, that the world has not ended but as it progresses we're lead to believe that she may start to believe him or that even she was part of the delusion the whole time.


This is were the game really shines, it is just so twisted and leaves the player constantly second-guessing. This is best exemplified in the level design which, like all self-respecting abstract maps, looks like a prog-rock album cover.

Plus, the only weapon the player is given is the crowbar. Yes yes, I know but it really does work for the setting! Heck, it doesn't even give you that for most of the time. Korsakovia likes to have the player running away from the screeching smoke clouds more than it likes to have the player hit smoke clouds with a crowbar which, really, is kind of silly if you think about it.

Of course, Korsakovia does have it's share of problems and they are big ones.

I hope you don't like moving very fast because this game lags. Remember the aforementioned smoke monsters? Sure you do; they're particle effects and as such they just love to gobble up your processing power. Keep in mind that there are usually several of these on the screen whenever they show up.

And the level design being really cool and weird is a very good thing because here in Korsakovia no level goes to waste. As in, you will play the same three levels over and over again. Now now, before you all get up in a hissy(?) about this I really do think that was the point. You see, Korsakoff's Syndrome, which the player character may or may not have, is a form of amnesia where the afflicted cannot form new memories. The level design is supposed to reflect this because you play through the same three stages, a hospital, warehouse, and apartment building, and you can see the gradual decay of these locals and in turn, the decay of the players own sanity.


Korsakovia is defiantly not like other first-person shooters, mainly because you have no guns. But it is unique in style and story-telling more importantly, It is certainly not a perfect game, far from it, but I highly recommend it to anyone who owns a copy of Half-Life 2.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tales from Steam Chat: Volume Two

In today's episode we see what happens when I'm allowed to postulate what the future holds for Humanity's evolution.

EcoVentura: Scout is spy!
EcoVentura: NO
EcoVentura: I'm a force of nature
Shadgrimgrvy: What was that?
EcoVentura: AAHHHHH
Shadgrimgrvy: IS NOT POSSIBLE!
EcoVentura: hehehehehe
Shadgrimgrvy: So, I've been thinking about them things.
Shadgrimgrvy: I've been thinking about whats wrong with all civilization: the need for resources.
EcoVentura: I've been thinking about bioshock 2
Shadgrimgrvy: Bioshock aye? When's that coming out?
EcoVentura: feb 9th
Shadgrimgrvy: The original Bioshock still doesn't work on any of the three computers I've tried it on.
EcoVentura: ;(
Shadgrimgrvy: But anyway, if I could find a way to modify my, and other's, bodies in such a way as to render us totally independent society as it is today would become obsolete.
Shadgrimgrvy: Without the need to buy food or other commodeties we would have no need for money and no need for petty "jobs".
EcoVentura: If I could find a way to instantly convert all the oxygen in our air to potatos. The same would happen.
Shadgrimgrvy: Exactly!
EcoVentura: Lets get working on it
Shadgrimgrvy: What I need to do is get a bunch of Human brains and put them in plants to create a master race.
EcoVentura: OR
EcoVentura: We could put Dolphin brains in Dogs thus allowing us to get more entertainment and not give them the fish
Shadgrimgrvy: I'd much rather not involve myself or my master race with dolphins. THANKS.
EcoVentura: HEY
EcoVentura: HEY
EcoVentura: Go to hell man
EcoVentura: Dolphins are the future
Shadgrimgrvy: Yeah whatever! How 'bout you cry about it to your ammoral sqweeking hedonist friends from the sea!
EcoVentura: Hey, they're the key to knowing when our world is going to crumble
EcoVentura: And they won't tell you when because you don't deserve to live!
Shadgrimgrvy: Pffft, I already know when: 42 years from now. Even next year it'll be 42 years from now.
EcoVentura: You'll be 42 years from 50 years ago.
EcoVentura: So you're behind
EcoVentura: How does that make you feel?
Shadgrimgrvy: It makes me feel retro which feels good man.
EcoVentura: No, you feel ollldddd
EcoVentura: And gaaayyyy
Shadgrimgrvy: ur ghey
Shadgrimgrvy: You'll be sorry; after me and my plant-people brethren overthrow the bondage of your society we will create an objectivist utopia, UNDER THE SEA.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Story Behind Protone

Protone is acutally the name of a map I made a long time ago. Back then I knew nothing of cubemaps, HDR, or any of that fancy stuff. It was just another map no one downloads. You know the kind.

Anyway, back then the name stood for Prototype-One. I shortened it to Protone because it sounds sorta cool. Alas, that would mean any sequal would logically be called Prototwo which in turn sounds ridiculous. This means we are now at Protone_01 which might afford you some odd glances if you said it out loud anywhere except one of those vulgar techno raves.

There's a lot of things that'll set this remake apart from the original. Yes, a much greater understanding of Hammer and proper construct aesthetics are foremost but remember the original Protone was made before Team Fortress 2 came out.

This really has no practical implications towards this project but it certainly lends itself to assimilation into the creative process.

The original Protone had very little to do. Imagine a big square blotch of grass with boxy buildings at every corner surrounded by a bland looking wall and you've got a basic idea of the original. As I have already said, Protone_01 will have a tonne of various clickables and pressables and a huge pit that the player can fall down. This is very important.

Until next time, I'll be shooting flaming arrows into a crowded used car lot.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


How long has it been? Seventeen days? Already? That's right, seventeen days since Paranoia was uploaded to Put simply, I am flabbergasted at how popular it has become. As we speak it has been downloaded 1443 times (even more after this post was published LOL) and it has rocketed to the front page of the maps section on the website. That practically means that Garry himself considers Paranoia more important than 2739 other maps (citation needed). I really don't know what to make of this. How long can my humble little piece of work sustain this? Will it stay this popular forever?

Either way, this post is not about Paranoia. No.

Remember when I said after it was finished that I finally had time to enjoy life again without some big obligation looming over me? Of course you don't because no one reads this blog. But incase you did I would like you to meet Protone. Sorry, no pictures or videos to show you yet. But I am making a new map. This time around it'll probably be nowhere near as big an undertaking as Paranoia because it will be a construct, as in, for Garry's Mod Sandbox.

You see, I have a problem with most of the constructs people upload: They're ugly. They're boring. The people who make them would have a heart attack. A HEART ATTACK. if you dared even think about REUPLOADING their masterpieces.

Pfffft, as if that means anything.

Protone will be different. There will be prop_statics as far as the eye can see and a disco palace and a huge pit that the player can fall in.

Anywho, more on this later. Right now I'm just trying to get a basic skeleton of it laid out.

Paranoia, LOL.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tales from Steam Chat: Volume One

Last week, or maybe later, I posted a little excerpt from a conversation I had with my friends on the Software Distribution System/Social Networking...Thingy Steam. As you who were involved would know, I have conversations like this all the time. As in, every conversation. Some might say this is a problem that's quickly drifting into my social like off the Internet as well. For better or for worse, this is a quick peek into the dark cynical world of my social circle. It would be better to imagine it as a film noir sort of affair as we take a look into Tales from Steam Chat: Volume One.

[Team Demo] Ou812: im fat enough
Shadgrimgrvy: I disagree. As your attourney I advise you to eat everything in the crate marked "Hamburgers" that I sent to your office. Your dirty dilapitated office.
[Team Demo] Ou812: oh you sent that
Shadgrimgrvy: Yeah.
[Team Demo] Ou812: hmm , well this is ...well this is bad
[Team Demo] Ou812: you see i felt i had no need for hamburger
[Team Demo] Ou812: so i sent it to you as a gift , not knowing you sent of course
[Team Demo] Ou812: except in the crate marked "babies"
Shadgrimgrvy: I wouldn't eat them. I can smell the difference.
[Team Demo] Ou812: well it was a gag i didnt know you woul....Erhm
[Team Demo] Ou812: well this again is very embarrasing
Shadgrimgrvy: What isn't embarrassing with you involved!?
Shadgrimgrvy: As your attorney I advise you to listen to this:
[Team Demo] Ou812: ok
Shadgrimgrvy: I also advise you to skip to 1:30.
[Team Demo] Ou812: this is the stupdest thing
Shadgrimgrvy: You don't even know.
[Team Demo] Ou812: true music
[Team Demo] Ou812: from Iceland
[Team Demo] Ou812:
Shadgrimgrvy: You know what else comes from Iceland? Bjork; your argument is invalid.
[Team Demo] Ou812: but these guys
[Team Demo] Ou812: made up thier own language
Shadgrimgrvy: Sounds like more of your hippie garbage.
[Team Demo] Ou812: and use vocals as an instrument
Shadgrimgrvy: That tears it, it's hippie stuph.
Shadgrimgrvy: Man, Art of Noise was BIG in the 80's.
[Team Demo] Ou812: yeah WHEN THE HIPPIES DIED
Shadgrimgrvy: For the good of the whole world too!
[Team Demo] Ou812: now they are back
[Team Demo] Ou812: a musical renaiscance is among us!
Shadgrimgrvy: KNOW ABOUT IT.
[Team Demo] Ou812: hey the music festivals wedge is missing
[Team Demo] Ou812: you think that they would fix that before posting it
Shadgrimgrvy: Hang on, I'll find it.
Shadgrimgrvy: KNOW ABOUT IT.
[Team Demo] Ou812: i love hippies
Shadgrimgrvy: You are a hippocrite and you are a demoman and you smell because YOU. DON'T. BATHE.
[Team Demo] Ou812: why would i ?
[Team Demo] Ou812: my bodies oils are perfectly suffiecient as a cologne and dedoderant and shampoo
Shadgrimgrvy: Your oils only serve in the plot to corrupt MY glands.
Shadgrimgrvy: Which is disgusting.
[Team Demo] Ou812: i dissagree
[Team Demo] Ou812 is now Offline.