Siromatic

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About Siromatic

  • Rank
    Moonage Daydreamin'
  • Birthday 04/25/89

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  • Gender
    Male

Converted

  • Interests
    Movies, comics, art--any and all forms of visual narrative.
  • Favorite Games
    Grim Fandango, Earthbound, Rez

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  1. Haven't listened to the episode yet (won't be able to until tomorrow), but I'll take any excuse to link to this: (And if anyone's jonesing for some more Pavement, these are their two best songs in my opinion: "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" and "Grounded." So god damn good--perfect tunes to relax to at work going into the weekend. Thanks for the reminder!)
  2. Some of the AGDQ runners still being snarky assholes towards devs of the game they're running (which makes no sense since the game having been made is the reason they're at the event, and exploits/skips should be viewed as a good thing by speedrunners since it allows them to finish games quicker than they otherwise could; also I imagine a good programmer would never make such derisive remarks since they would readily admit that like anything even the most well-programmed software is still going to have minor flaws/etc.) made me realize these last two sentences from my post could be misinterpreted as being snarky/negative, which was absolutely not the intention. All I was trying to convey with that last sentence and emoticon was that I knew my suggestion was a dumb/silly one since Monae is so accomplished and famous that she probably doesn't allow for her work to be licensed and if she did that the price would be prohibitively high, even for a megacorporation to afford. I was making fun of myself and the first sentence/suggestion, trying to indicate I was aware it was a silly/unrealistic suggestion. But I can see how it could easily be misinterpreted, and I apologize for that--I ain't good with words and stuff. (That said, she is really rad and if she saw the trailer maybe she'd be interested to license it at an affordable rate. But even if so the tone of the song might not work at all for a trailer for the game; I'm just an idiot and wanted to mention it in the post since it's such a great song and does have the rad Nefertiti reference in the incredible rap section at the end. Anyway, apologies again for poorly wording that part!) Should also note, and this is true for anything and everything I say: I'm just a dipshit who likes visual narrative works. I don't expect any of my suggestions/criticism to be taken into account or used and merely state them to be discussed with other forum members. This isn't even the medium I like/know the most about--that's movies. (I'll admit I used to hope that one day I'd go from my boring 9-to-5 job to working in a creative medium like movies, but the last few years and thinking about all the negative aspects have heavily deterred that desire. Now I'd rather try to get into social work and/or a public library or museum; something where I feel like I could hopefully have a tangible positive impact.) Anyway, back on topic: this conversation between Amy Hennig and Sean was a really good read. Wide-ranging and funny; I particularly liked the bits about "Chaos in the Windy City" and narrative/interactivity in games. Also: this might not be of any help to the dev team, but I thought folks would still enjoy looking at these great posters for silent movies that are in the public domain (made prior to 1923) regardless. I have no idea if a movie in the public domain means that additional material related to it (such as posters and other promotional material) are *also* in the public domain, but if so maybe they could be useful for the dev team. (Though the setting could very well preclude them from being able to be used even if they are part of the public domain, if it wouldn't make sense in terms of a movie theater being anywhere close to where the game takes place.) Anyway, like I said even if not useful still thought some folks on the forum would enjoy them! Gives a decent insight into the types of movies/genres that were being made in the late 1910s/early 20s, and of course a strong reminder that movie posters from the 20s-60s are generally of a much higher quality than contemporary ones. (Though to be fair I totally understand how posters could be viewed as less important in terms of promoting movies nowadays than they were in an era devoid of easy access to trailers, information, etc.--still a bummer that beautiful ones like these are mostly not being made for new movies, though. Fan made posters and Criterion/Masters of Cinema covers are the closest we have, for the most part.) Here's the posters: "Cabiria" (1914): poster 1, poster 2, poster 3, and poster 4. "The Phantom Carriage" (1921) poster. "Nanook of the North" (1922) poster. "Dr. Mabuse the Gambler" (1922) poster. And here's some for movies from the 20s post-1922. (So not in the public domain yet; movies from 1923 will be added January 1, 1919, and movies from 1924 will be added January 1, 2020, etc. Just figured folks would like looking at these since they are incredibly well-done, too.) "The Thief of Bagdad" (1924): poster 1, poster 2, and poster 3. "The General" (1926) poster. Fritz Lang's "Spies" (1928): poster 1, poster 2, and poster 3. "Woman in the Moon" (1929) poster. Those posters are all for silent movies that came to mind for various reasons after seeing the "In the Valley of Gods" trailer. They're not all good/great movies, but they all certainly have great posters. If anyone's interested in getting into silent movies and looking for suggestions on where to start, my humble recommendation would be to start with "Safety Last!," "Sherlock Jr.," "The Phantom Carriage," and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Feel free to PM me if you want more suggestions beyond those (maybe I'll start an intro to silent movies thread in the movie forum if there isn't one already). Anyway, hope y'all enjoyed the posters and the transcribed "In the Valley of Gods" convo--have a great weekend!
  3. AGDQ 2018

    Only run I've had time to watch the archive of so far is "Sonic Mania," which was great. Claris is the best runner of the game with Sonic & Tails and she did a great job. Some really cool techniques, skips, and just non-stop speed. Of course you'd expect that with a classic-style 2D Sonic game, but as she and the announcers pointed out, the drop dash (a new move invented by the wonderful "Mania" dev team to give Sonic a unique ability since Tails and Knuckles have their own unique abilities) really makes "Mania" a better/even more enjoyable speedrun game than 1/2/CD/3K (though those are good speedrun games as well). I think "Mania" is one of the best 2D side scrolling speedrun games there is now. Really cool. Here's a timestamped link to the speedrun. Other runs I'm looking forward to catching the archive of when I have free time: "Splatoon 2," "Hollow Knight," "F-Zero GX," "Magical Pop'n" (such a great/cute game), "Mega Man X," "Dynamite Headdy" (which has the greatest pixel art and animation made thus far, along with "Demon's Crest," "Owlboy," and "Sonic Mania"--such incredible work), "Symphony of the Night," "Mario 3D World," "Wario Land 4," "Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga," "Yoshi's Island," "Mario Sunshine" (just to see how a great speedrunner deals with the camera/the most awful aspects of the game--though the secret levels are great/a precursor to a lot of design elements of the "Galaxy" games), "Star Fox 2" (just because it will be fascinating to see what a speedrun of this looks like), "Ori and the Blind Forest" (should be a fun race), "Owlboy," "Hyper Light Drifter," "Spelunky" (last GDQ run of this was great; little disappointed this isn't a hell run like that one was but is just Olmec, but still should be good), "Super Mario Galaxy," "Mega Man 1-3" relay race (this should be great--might be the highlight of the whole GDQ), "Kirby: Canvas Curse," "Tintin in Tibet" for GBC (never played this but it's based on one of the best Herge stories and I am aware that the music is really fucking good), "Super Mario World" (should be another great race) and "Breath of the Wild." Like always lots of good stuff--will take me a long time to catch the archives of all those! Hopefully none of the runners or announcers for any of those games and the entire event say/do anything egregious like has happened in years past. (Always hate when terrible stuff happens at an otherwise pretty good event, though they've seemingly done a good job with disciplinary action when it does.)
  4. Idle Thumbs Streams

    A song for @Nick Breckon and everyone who watched his stream to enjoy. Great stream; looking forward to more adventures in the future. Happy holidays everyone!
  5. Is Steam (Valve) Good? If not, what then?

    Agree with many of the points made. I also thought this lawsuit sounded god awful when it happened, in which an employee said they experienced transgender discrimination and were fired simply for complaining to their superior that Valve was wrongfully asking community members to provide free language translation services, dangling a carrot in front of them that it might lead to a paid position with the company that of course they never followed through with. I used to love Valve. (I have a dumb Vortigaunt and Headcrab plush sitting on my desk as I type this, and framed "Team Fortress 2" posters.) But the immense success of Steam and some of their multiplayer games seem to have both been great (in a financial sense) and awful (in a quality of life/enjoyment sense for its employees) and dramatically changed the company, for the worse. Problem is how dominant and convenient they still are for customers. Physical copies of PC games are nearly non-existent now, so that's no longer really an option. Of their competitors itch.io seems to have the best reputation, but that service is still missing many major and even indie games that are available on Steam, GOG, and Humble. Quite a few games that are on GOG and Humble aren't treated the same way as the Steam release, lagging behind when it comes to patches, updates, DLC, etc. There are still some games that are on Steam but not *any* of the other digital services. And as shitty as these things are both for the creators and customers, they frequently have huge sales on many different types of games, and the inane card shit you get for free merely by playing games enables you to make small amounts of money to further save on purchases. It is an awful, bloated service made by a changed and seemingly much worse company, but as often happens for the time being they seem too big to fail, and there are legitimate reasons/issues that would prevent people from avoiding them altogether. I hope they eventually have a strong competitor--a service that matches their advantages while doing away with all the negative aspects. A service that had all the best games (both from major studios and independent creators), that was treated the same way by devs when it comes to patches, that allowed for convenient access to all your games and cloud saves via a lightweight app if you wanted those features but also had DRM-free versions of all games on the service that could be played without the app for people that didn't want to use it or are worried about access to what they bought in worst-case scenarios, that allowed for refunds with good rules in place to qualify, that had decent deals throughout the year at prices they allowed the devs to set (also allowing them to opt to not be part of a sale if they didn't want to), that provided the same metrics and services and ease of use to devs who use them, and so on and so forth. None of the competitors come close to doing all of that as of now, but I definitely think it's possible--though obviously incredibly difficult--for someone to do so eventually. Let's hope so.
  6. [RELEASED] The World Begins With You

    A, H, and I are my favorites--they all look great, though! Wonderful work.
  7. [Release] Phaedrus 2010

    Really wonderful art, and the game sounds rad. Great work!
  8. Kentucky Route Zero

    In the same boat as some of y'all of not having played Act IV yet. I knew after III that I just wanted to wait and replay the whole game when it was all out. (Cool to hear IV has more replayability to it, though.) First three Acts were incredible; even if they don't stick the landing at the end of V I know I'll still wholeheartedly recommend the game to folks. I guess the Switch TV edition coming out sometime before summer means we won't have to wait too long for Act V. Hope those folks get a massive boost in press and people talking about the game when it's all out. They greatly deserve it.
  9. Ha, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one! I find the Herge "Tintin" comics it's adapted from to be significantly better (even with their major issues), especially the clear line art style versus how the movie looks. (The dialogue and action-adventure aspects are also much better, in my opinion.) Also personally not a big fan of Spielberg's thus far unsuccessful attempts to return to the type of subject matter he excelled at in the 80s/early 90s--he just hasn't been able to rekindle the magic of those entertaining action-adventure movies since 1993, which is totally understandable for many reasons. (I've enjoyed a lot of his other late-period work, though!) Never thought about it before, but interesting to consider if his adaptation of "Tintin" is better than "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"--obviously the source material is, but hell, I'd also concede that the movie slightly is. Kinda weird to have the ersatz adaptation of a work that many people mistakenly thought he was inspired by for his own popular rousing action-adventure movies be better than the fourth sequel in that series, but there's an argument to be made that is the case. Maybe against all odds Peter Jackson's "Tintin 2" (if it's ever made) will somehow be as good or better than its source material and all the Indy movies. Highly unlikely, but it's possible. (I'd love to be excited about a Jackson movie once again, too.) (Though it does seem fitting to talk about "Tintin" and Spielberg/"Indiana Jones" in this thread, I doubt the Thumbs folks want it to stray too far from their work. Of course feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that! And feel free to PM me @TychoCelchuuu and anyone else if you wanna talk about "Tintin" and/or Spielberg more; always happy to chat about silly action-adventure stuff.) Regarding "In the Valley of Gods," I wonder if they have a specific date in the 1920s in mind, and where/how many silent movies would have played in Egypt at the time. If they wanted to they could potentially have some cool silent movie homages (all movies made prior to 1923 are now in the public domain). Definitely wouldn't want to go overboard with that stuff, though.
  10. "Shaun the Sheep Movie" from Aardman (the "Wallace & Gromit" folks) is a pretty good "silent" movie. (I put silent in scare quotes since unlike a genuine silent movie it has sounds from the environments the characters are in and the characters make expressive grunts/noises. But there is not a spoken word of dialogue in the movie.) The discussion about the animated Mario movie made me wish Nintendo had gone with Blue Sky Studios (if they were dead-set on going with a huge American animation studio and not a smaller foreign or independent one). Blue Sky doesn't have a great track record, either, but "The Peanuts Movie" from 2015 was pretty good, against all odds. It seems like the onus of not ruining Schulz's creation made the creative team that made it do their best work. It wasn't incredible or necessary by any means (there's 50 years of the strip--24 of those where it was of an incredibly high quality--plus the wonderful Melendez-helmed animated shorts and movies, after all), but it was good/entertaining. They probably could have given a similar treatment to Mario. (The "Wreck-It Ralph" creators also seem like a more natural fit, though I guess they're too busy with the sequel to that movie to have taken it on.) The dream scenario would be if they'd given it to the "A Town Called Panic"/"Ernest & Celestine" folks, and let them engage in the same wonderful freewheeling surreal madcap insanity that they do in "A Town Called Panic" with it. That could be pretty incredible. Ah well.
  11. Game looks great! Really cool characters, concept and setting. The movie-about-making-movies genre is pretty played out in its own medium. That said, not only will it likely be more new for many video game players, but using the genre with a video game enabled the dev team to come up with the really neat feature of "making"/watching your own documentary. That's a unique, great feature that wouldn't be possible to do in any other medium--kudos to whoever came up with it. (Also get the sense the story will have more to do with the relationship between the two characters than the movie-about-making-movies aspect, which is great.) Presuming there will be dialog options to choose from between the two characters in-between the documentary-making segments. Will be interesting to see if there's any other systemic aspects other than those two, and how much variability there is with "making" the documentary. If there's enough variability to make it so the video outcome from the second playthrough looks sufficiently different than your first one, that'd be cool (in terms of making a second playthrough compelling and to make it interesting for people sharing and comparing their videos online). Imagine there can't be too much dramatic variability with it, though, which is understandable. I think those two systems, especially the unique documentary one, are more than enough for a first-person exploration game like this. Another cool aspect of "In the Valley of Gods" is it will very likely be the greatest Egyptian-themed visual narrative work made thus far. It's amazing to me that as much as the basic iconography (pyramids, hieroglyphics, mummies, etc.) of Egypt has permeated/sustained into modern culture, there really hasn't been a great visual narrative work set there. The best Egyptian-themed movies are "The Mummy" (1932), "Five Graves to Cairo," "The Prince of Egypt," and "The Ten Commandments" (1956). Those are all good--I like "Five Graves to Cairo" the most--but they all have fairly significant issues and I wouldn't consider any of them to be great. The best Egyptian-themed comic (that I'm aware of--there may be more) is "Cigars of the Pharaoh." That's an early Herge "Tintin" comic. It's pretty good/entertaining, but since it's early Herge--one of the first six "Tintin" stories he made--it has some pretty awful/unfortunate depictions of native people. Herge apologized for this aspect of his early work later in life, but it's still hard to look past it when viewing his earliest work. (If anyone's ever looking to get into "Tintin," start with "The Black Island," his seventh story featuring the character, and go from there. Of the first six stories only "Cigars of the Pharaoh" and "The Blue Lotus" are worth reading, and like I just said, while entertaining in the action-adventure sense both have some bad depictions of native people. And whatever you do don't waste your time on the middling Spielberg adaptation.) So yeah, I think "In the Valley of Gods" has a very strong shot of being better than any other Egyptian-themed visual narrative work that has been made so far, which is very cool. Maybe it'll inspire a renaissance in great works set there and in nearby places! The only minor, obvious criticism/worry I have is in the authenticity of how the two main characters are portrayed. Rad to have two black characters as the leads. I and everyone else on this forum obviously know everyone on the dev team has the best of intentions with the setting/main characters. But the paradoxical phenomenon of a work having more diverse characters than the creative team that made it seems to be at play here. Based on info posted Monday, the dev team seems to consist of 12 white guys, 3 white women, and 2 Asian women. (The team being 30% women sadly seems good compared to most other game dev teams! Though 1 or 2 of those women seem to have done work on a one-off contractual basis only.) Some people in this thread have discussed the art style/depiction of Zora; personally don't see any issues there. The art all looks great/incredibly well-done to me. (If the team feels like they need help in that department at any point, there are many great black artists they could inquire about doing contract or full-time work, such as Tiffany Ford, Shivana Sookdeo, Catt Small, K. L. Ricks, Alleanna Harris, Pearl Low, Olivia F., Laura Wilson, Vashti Harrison, Chelsea Charles, et al. I don't know much about 3D modeling, so couldn't give recommendations there, but surely there's many great black 3D modelers, as well.) The part I'd be slightly concerned about would be the writing. White people writing two black women characters and having it all sound natural seems like a tall order to me. Of course we can't judge that aspect based on this trailer (assuming a combination of it being early in production plus waiting for the strike to be resolved is why there isn't any dialogue in it), but even if there was and even if it sounded great it'd still be a minor worry. If y'all manage to pull it off and authoritative voices on the matter (i.e. not a dumb white guy like myself) don't have any issues with it, then good job. It's difficult to have different characters have distinct voices from each other/your own, especially the further away those characters are from your own background and experience. Don't get me wrong; I know the writing will at least be very good. Simply seems like some help from someone whose background is more similar to the main characters might help ensure it all sounds as natural as possible. (And to be clear: I have that minor worry for any and all white people that are writing black characters. Even "In the Heat of the Night," a landmark work for positive black representation in movies, has minor writing issues where you can tell both the book it's based on and the adapted screenplay were written by white guys.) Video game writing is a weird field and I'm unfamiliar with people from it, so I don't have any specific suggestions there. The artists I mentioned above all seem like they would be able to help in that capacity, as well, though. And yes, I'm aware what I'm suggesting is essentially for "diversity hires." A) To hell with anyone that thinks that's a bad thing. B) The people I suggested are without a doubt more qualified than 99% of people. C) In this day and age when it's easier than ever to come across great work/portfolios online the old model of only looking at applications submitted and not seeking collaborators out yourself seems grossly outdated. Should also note: on a pragmatic level I totally understand that SF is expensive as hell and the dev team might not be able to add 1 or more people to the project (either full-time or contractually) at this time, or for the rest of production. My humble hope would be that if "In the Valley of Gods" is a massive financial success and y'all wanted to make more works that focus on non-white people in the future, that you'd hire on more non-white people. Like everyone else greatly looking forward to the game! Easily my most anticipated game now. Take your time and best of luck with the rest of production. (And if y'all are looking for another song to license for a trailer, I humbly suggest one of the greatest songs ever created, "Q.U.E.E.N." by Janelle Monae. There's a Nefertiti reference in it. Should be easy/cheap to license that one, right? :P) Edit 1/9/18: realized the last paragraph directly above in parentheses could be misinterpreted as being snarky/negative--all I was trying to convey with the last sentence and emoticon was that I knew my suggestion was a dumb/silly one since Monae is so accomplished and famous that she probably doesn't allow for her work to be licensed and if she did that the price would be prohibitively high, even for a megacorporation to afford. Though she is really rad and if she saw the trailer maybe she'd be interested to license it at an affordable rate. Then again the tone of the song might not work at all for a trailer for the game; I'm just an idiot and wanted to mention it in the post since it's such a great song and does have the rad Nefertiti reference in the incredible rap section at the end. Anyway, apologies for poorly wording that part!
  12. Looked up some more info about the very small team behind "Cuphead." They do have one black animator--he worked on it for two and a half years (joined the production six months in). Seems like a wonderful, rad person from this interview. Interesting to hear him talk about the creative freedom the co-founder brothers gave the animation/art team to pretty much come up with whatever designs they wanted, as well as his answer about them putting in an easy mode due to feedback. (And thumbs-up/hell yeah to him citing "Animaniacs" and "Freakazoid!" as being influences when he was young.) (Also interesting to note he created King Dice, did all the animation work for him, and wanted to "honor the black artists of the era" with the character.) Guessing the MDHR folks have seen the Unwinnable article and take the criticism seriously. With the recent news that they intend to always stick with hand-drawn 2D animation for their games and will likely do more "Cuphead" (either in the form of DLC or a sequel--wasn't specified which), perhaps they'll try to address it in some way and/or make sure to not employ any papered over tropes or motifs that were also featured in some of the most racist cartoons from the first half of the 20th century. Will be fascinating to see what their next game--whether it's "Cuphead 2" or something else--is like systemically. Like Chris said on the podcast, that element of the game is fine but not especially noteworthy--the visuals are the impetus to keep going and play all the way through. They seem well versed in NES/Master System/SNES/Genesis era games; maybe using the art style with some other gameplay genre would make for a better or more interesting combination.
  13. Strongly agree that it's a great article from an edifying perspective. I can see how the folks at Studio MDHR thought they were doing the right thing by removing and/or papering over the worst of the racial depictions from Fleischer and other cartoons from the first half of the 20th century, but also how the result of doing so could not sit well with folks. Also agree with @jennegatron about the two solutions the author presents to the problem within the piece. I think solution #1, of having black animators be the ones to create the caricatured depictions in an attempt to make audiences think about/contend with the terrible past, only works when the work is made by an all or majority black team. I don't know much about Studio MDHR--the credits for "Cuphead" list 14 people responsible for various aspects of the visuals in the game. They may very well have non-white people on their team, but the two white brothers are the only ones that have been visible in press events etc. to my knowledge. Even if they have one or more black people working on the art for the game, and even if the idea to include awful depictions in an attempt to face and deal with the past originated from them, I still think that is a bad idea/would not go over well, especially when two white guys are the public face of the game. "Cuphead" would have to of been made by an all or majority black art team in order for that to be remotely acceptable. Solution #2 is clearly the better and preferable choice, not only to #1 but also to what they went with in the game itself. Removing and/or papering over it is obviously easier to do (considering how much they are riffing off of/paying homage to characters and imagery from cartoons of the first half of the 20th century they sadly would have needed to come up with much more original designs than anything else that's in the game if they were to depict black characters in a positive way), and I assume when they made that choice they probably thought it was the best thing to do, as well. This article and the discussion around it clearly shows that isn't the case, but I don't fault Studio MDHR for the decisions they made. A third solution would be to have chosen an art style that doesn't have as terrible of a past when it comes to depictions of various people. Sadly for animation that wouldn't be possible for the first half of the 20th century--while there are certainly individual animated shorts from that era that are devoid of any terrible depictions, I don't think there's any one studio that didn't have at least a few shorts that did. The first black animators to work at a major animation studio are Floyd Norman for Disney in 1956, and Frank Braxton for Warner Brothers sometime in the late 50s. Not only is that past the era and art styles Studio MDHR was most interested in emulating, but obviously they still worked for companies that were majority white employees and had problematic pasts in terms of depictions of black characters and other people. Comics were very slightly better in this regard (emphasis on "very slightly"). George Herriman--the creator of one of the greatest comic strips ever made, "Krazy Kat"--was black, though apparently most people that came into contact with him did not know this was the case due to him having a lighter skin tone. There was also Jackie Ormes, who had various comic strips between 1937-1954, all of which portrayed black women in positive ways. They were both incredible artists and a movie or game emulating their art styles could look incredible, as well. That brings me to my ultimate point/takeaway from this article, though, which is that even solutions #2 and #3 still aren't great. Solution #2, of positively depicting black characters using an art style from the first half of the 20th century, still papers over the racist history of animation in the first half of the 20th century. And my third solution of avoiding the problem by emulating the art styles of black creators of the era seems great, but there would still be the part where it's being carried out by a team of presumably all or mostly white people. Like the article itself says, the animation, comics, and video game industries (and nearly all other industries) still have an issue with diversity wherein a lot of the work is being done by white people. This isn't to say white creators shouldn't tell stories that feature non-white characters--that is obviously preferable to us just perpetually making stories about ourselves. We should be constantly striving to learn more about, empathize, and positively depict people of all types and from all backgrounds. But I can't help but wonder if many studios, companies, and individuals are missing the forest for the trees when it comes to this. "Do the Right Thing," "Hoop Dreams," and "In the Heat of the Night" are three of the greatest movies ever made, all dealing with race relations in America. They're all of comparable quality, but I would always cite "Do the Right Thing" as being the most important of the three since it was directed by a black person, features a majority black cast, and had black people heading up most of the major departments in the movie crew. That isn't to diminish the quality of "Hoop Dreams" and "In the Heat of the Night"--they're both incredible and were made by great people with the best of intentions. But nothing is better or more authentic than when creative works focusing on non-white people are made by creative teams that consist of mostly non-white people. Or where at least the heads of the major departments/the folks making the biggest decisions are non-white. Too often I think studios and companies looking to make works that are more diverse do so without making the team that creates it as diverse as those depicted in the work itself. A lot of these studios/companies end up doing extensive research to try and get all the details right. Doing research/due diligence is always important, but when you see behind-the-scenes featurettes of mostly white people traveling to places and consulting non-white people to get the details right, I can't help but think "why didn't you hire more skilled non-white people to help make it instead or as well as doing that, people for whom getting the details right would have come more naturally and authentically?" (To be clear this is an issue that seems to plague American media studios/companies much more than works made elsewhere.) That doesn't really apply to Studio MDHR--they clearly just wanted to make a standard run and gun game with the best elements of old cartoon aesthetics, while sidestepping this issue altogether. (Though I think it's more than fair to call out the terrible past of the art style they're using for folks that aren't aware about it and to be upset about the ways in which they papered over those negative depictions.) But in trying to think of ways to solve the issue of how to best portray non-white characters or use an art style that has a positive past in terms of representation/depiction or reclaim one that didn't, I think the best solution is to hire skilled non-white workers to make those depictions. White people can and should be working alongside them and helping realize the creation as well, but if the goal is for the work to be diverse and empathetic and focus on non-white people then studios/companies should do the right thing and put non-white people in charge of those projects.
  14. Women Directors

    The OP said to feel welcome to add your favorite women directors to the thread, @Henke, so any and all are welcome! I've got conflicted thoughts on Coppola's work but mostly like it. Haven't seen any directed by Bigelow yet, though. You're probably aware of this @Erkki but if not, and for anyone else reading the thread: Dee Rees's next movie, "Mudbound," comes out on Nov. 17th. Pretty strong early reception for it. The trailer makes it look harrowing but well worth seeing. Another one to keep an eye out for is Maysaloun Hamoud's "In Between," which starts playing on Nov. 10th. It's gotten good reviews, and the trailer makes it look humorous/very good. My local Landmark and other limited release theaters don't have it listed in their upcoming section yet, but hopefully it'll play at Landmark theaters across the U.S./other limited release theaters. (Highly likely it will.) Certainly seems like this is going to be a great fall/winter for movies!
  15. Spelunky!

    Hell yes! I wonder if there will somehow still be bees... Will be fascinating to see what the movement/game feel is like. Will folks that have put a ton of time into the first feel right at home or will they be changed due to the setting? (Though the "looking to the skies" dialogue and title card certainly seem to suggest it's taking place on the moon maybe it's just going to have a more lunar and/or sci-fi aesthetic. Ice caves already have a lot of that going on with the aliens, UFOs, Mothership, etc. Ice caves are so damn good aesthetically and sonically that if the whole game is going more in that direction that would likely be rad.) Also since Derek Yu and Andy Hull were clearly tuned into the strategies that players developed, the speedrunning community, stuff like the eggplant run, etc., you gotta heavily assume this game will have even more nested secrets than the first and additional items to further supplement the already existing repertoire. People are gonna have a field day once this releases trying to discover all the nested secrets/areas and figuring out how to best use any new items, etc. Should be a god damn good ass time.