Patrick R

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Posts posted by Patrick R

  1. This is a very good thread worth reading if you want to be even more mad about the news.


    I knew they'd never be able to continue Important If True while working at Valve and was afraid that In the Valley of the Gods would be the last game they ever made, which just goes to show how little imagination I have for how things could go wrong. There is zero chance I will ever be able to play a VR Half-Life game, nor do I know anyone who ever would, so this is such a bummer. 

  2. 16 hours ago, TychoCelchuuu said:

    As long as we're talking about Midsommar, is it scary in like a "stuff popping out" or "sudden string instruments" or "loud noises out of nowhere" sense? I can't watch movies like that, so if it's that kind of horror movie I'll have to skip it (although I did manage to make it through Get Out, albeit barely). But lots of "horror" movies (AlienJawsSuspiriaThe Thing, zombie movies, etc.) are fine for me. Any chance I could handle Midsommar?

    There aren't really many jump scares, none that I recall, but there is a fair amount of very realistic grisly violence, so fair warning for that.

  3. I just played this for the first time and it was really disappointing. It feels very empty compared to most Lucasarts adventure games with few characters, repetitive settings, less objects and hot-spots to interact with, less lines of dialogue. I get that Ben is very taciturn and can't be a quip machine like Guybrush Threepwood but it feels like most attempts to interact with the world are met with the same 4 dismissive lines, which makes me not want to try anything. Even in situations where it makes no sense he'll fall back on the same lines, like when I was trying to use my bike chain on the semi-truck during the climax and he replied "I'm saving that chain for my friends on Mine Road."

    And Peter Chan's art is beautiful but scene layouts are often at the expense of clarity, like the magnet tower Thyroid mentioned or trying to figure out where the gas cap on the security force hovercar is supposed to be. Between the lack of humorous bespoke dialogue and hard to parse scenes (oh, that tiny little square in the trailer is a cabinet?) it feels like the game wants to make it hard for me to play. Same with some of the puzzle design: I get a steak and instantly know I'm going to use it to distract the junkyard dog but when I try to use it on a nearby car Ben informs me that the dog would eat the steak and then eat him. Ok, so throwing the steak into a car isn't the answer, so I bash my head against the scene for 15 minutes (luckily the remaster lets me skip the animation of Ben getting chased by the dog, no way I could watch that 15 times in a row without turning the game off) until I give up and look up a FAQ. Turns out I was supposed to throw the steak into a DIFFERENT car. That sort of thing happened half a dozen times, where I figured out what I was supposed to do (bunny minefield was another big one) and then spent a while trying to figure out the exact specific way the game wanted me to do it.


    It's clear the focus is story and I had heard great things about it, especially Mo and Ben's relationship, but even that was a little underwhelming: there's barely any meat there. They have a brief conversation when Mo finds him, don't really interact again until he finds the Vultures hangout, and then they pull off their motorcycle heist and there's a finale. I like that the sexual tension is ambiguous and that the game doesn't spell anything but they're both too unemotive for that ending to really mean much.


    There's a lot I liked (art, music, the more cinematic approach) but overall I found it missing most of what made me fall in love with Lucasarts adventure games.

  4. On 9/6/2019 at 8:54 PM, TychoCelchuuu said:

    I think it's 1337 speak. Franc3sH4.


    7 hours ago, Ben X said:

    I think you mean "vowel" rather than "vocal"...


    It took me two levels of UHS to figure out how to watch this, I am foolish.


    Congratulations, Erikki, this looks beautiful. All your time and effort (and money!) are onscreen. Now armed with this experience your next step is a massive feature length Mario Bava homage.

  5. 2 hours ago, Erkki said:

    The password is: the full name of the protagonist of Frances Ha, without spaces, with the last vocal of first name replaced with 3 and the last vocal of last name replaced with 4.


    I feel dumb but I cannot crack this riddle. By vocal do you mean syllable?

  6. I've been rewatching this and it's got me incredibly nostalgic for 2012/13, when I moved to Chicago and discovered Idle Thumbs which got me back into games, etc. I really miss Idle Thumbs, for sure.

    On 7/20/2015 at 11:31 PM, Patrick R said:

    I've been making my way through the documentary series and while it definitely feels like a really valuable document (that will only get more valuable as time goes on) I think as an exploration of the creative process it's a bit hampered by the fact that they don't want to spoil everything. Which is a problem that I don't really think would be solvable, considering the circumstances under which it was produced. But I always feel at an arm's length from the creative process because the specificity of choices people are making are often hidden away.


    I still agree with the first bolded statement, no longer with the second. I think I was just looking at the creative process through a limited scope of "individual artistic decisions people make" (which are in fact part of the documentary as well) when what this series is actually is an incredible macro look at the creative process of massive collaborative projects, how all the parts fit together and, more importantly, create bottlenecks for each other. You really walk away with a thorough understanding of how bizarre and unintuitive the game development process can be. It is wild to me that Two Player Productions would go on to make nothing else like this. Are they even still a thing? Their Twitter is active but the link to their official site is broken and this is the last project of theirs listed on Wikipedia.


    When they refer to "sprints" they're talking about crunch, right?

  7. It's been a bit since I've posted here but I figure I'd wrap this up. I didn't get this into any festivals so I can finally make this public. Figure at the very least the first two minutes are of interest because the Thumbs were nice enough to let me use clips of Important If True. Making movies is hard and I am proud that I finished this.



  8. Most festivals want submissions via Vimeo links and if that link isn't password protected they will be way less interested. But they won't scour the internet to make sure you haven't posted the link accompanied by the password elsewhere.

  9. 8 hours ago, itsamoose said:


    In my view South Park went from being a show making fun of bigotry to one who points out how bigotry develops, particularly in the face of overly aggressive opposition to it.

    How aggressive should one's opposition to bigotry be? This is a strange sentence to me.

  10. The temp titles we have in right now bug me in ways I can't explain because I know nothing about graphic design. I also can't afford to pay anyone who does know graphic design, but all our titles are on hard cuts rather than superimposed, so I figured I could do the titles by hand and scan them.




    This is not the final title by any means, but the chalk + black construction paper is a look I like a lot.

  11. Self-insert can be a term for the character that's supposed to represent the artist (like main character of most Woody Allen movies), didactic preaching when a character is just saying the thing the writer believes (like a lot of Spike Lee movies) but there's probably not a term for it because it's a presumption on the viewer's part, not a fact like a dissolve or voice-over or something. Also it's probably more common than we think, it's just that people like Spike Lee, Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino are also celebrities in addition to being screenwriters with unusually distinct voices so it's way more obvious when they do it.


    Though I'll say I never took Mr. Pink's views on tipping to be Tarantino's. The other characters who do tip make good points about why one should. It's about setting up Mr. Pink as a caustic asshole who isn't afraid to butt heads with the other characters. Could be wrong though, never heard about Tarantino's views on tipping either way.


    I think Pulp Fiction really holds up. The conversation (which is very long and only briefly about fast food) is about building tension for the upcoming hit (Tarantino's chief trick), setting up characters, setting up Vincent's drug use, building tension for the upcoming date with Mia, establishing minor tensions in Vincent and Jules' relationship to explode later and, most importantly, about establishing the tone, pace and atmosphere of the world. It's about introducing the characters via something innocuous like a story about a vacation before slowly layering in more menace and implications of upcoming violence. "Royale with Cheese" sort of just became the annoying over-quoted bit. Same thing with the Madonna conversation in Reservoir Dogs, except that one's more grating. 


    It's maybe less interesting now that it's been imitated a billion times but I'd wager no imitator's really come close to the kind of world-building Tarantino's done, to say nothing of the performances he gets out of actors in that movie. With a script that over-written (and REALLY over-quoted) it's a miracle the film still feels so spontaneous. To me it does, anyway.

  12. Jeff Goldblum used to be one of my favorite character actors and I feel like the past couple years of Goldblum memes have made me never really want to see him in movies again. Being so nakedly over-exposed to his thing makes it feel way less spontaneous and endearing.


    Come Drink With Me is an utterly gorgeous wuxia film from legendary director King Hu. He's known for other martial arts films like A Touch of Zen and Dragon Inn and is famous for mixing arthouse influences into the martial arts genre. The story isn't unique (lone warrior, revenge, bandits, old grudges between former colleagues) but his earnest and patient approach definitely is. Hu paces Come Drink With Me like no one had ever made a revenge film before and gives the story time to actually meditate on the themes instead of just using them as an excuse for righteous violence. And the way he composes these deep frames with multiple planes of movement and orchestrate's them with the camera's movement is absolutely incredible. Basically every dolly shot in this movie is the best you've ever seen. I can't wait to see his other films.


    Here's Ang Lee talking about King Hu:





    I've included a clip from Tropical Malady above because no trailer ever does the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul justice. His films are all about the pace and the slow steady accumulation of emotion and symbols. Tropical Malady is a diptych film. The first part is about a love affair between a small-town boy and a soldier. The second part is a folktale of a soldier being stalked by the ghost of a tiger demon in the jungle. What makes the film so beguiling is that it's not readily apparent what the two parts have to do with each other. My current working theory is that the second story is the internal emotional journey of the first story, with the glancing over-too-soon romance being represented by the soldier and tiger stalking each other in the woods. But it's not a super neat metaphor, I don't think it'd have the same power if it was. The final shot of this movie will stay with me forever.