Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Posts posted by MrHoatzin


    Word Salsa is a San Antonio Tricentennial Art Object traveling around town for the duration of the celebration year. Dozens of San Antonio poets throughout the ages contributed their bodies of work, we fed them to a robot and taught it to think like a San Antonio poet. When prompted, it produces a brand new, unique poem, reads it out loud and prints it on a numbered card.


    Create art with the press of a button!




    We'll move it around town to various venues in the coming year. Are there any San Anto thumbs who might actually be able to write a Word Salsa of their own?

  2. Heyo Thumbs fam, how've you been?


    Some of you might know that for the last few years I have been teaching at this creative youth development nonprofit in San Antonio. It is a long-term after-school art program, project-based learning, free to students and all that fun stuff. My studio focuses on anything made on or with computers, new media, transmedia and video game design.


    This summer, with the extended summer hours, we're gonna have a little game jam project.


    And we have a little bit of a budget and we'd really like to bring a GUEST ARTIST for two or three weeks to work with/alongside our students.


    I was hoping you guys could RECOMMEND SOME GAME JAM ROCKSTARS. Someone who is experienced and comfortable with producing stuff in jam environments, but any and all accomplished indies and like game creators would be fair game.


    I'm hoping this someone would be a programmer and be able to speak to the engineering side of games. In this context, artists who program and anyone who can convert their ideas into games on their own but don't consider themselves programmers are fair game. They don't have to be US-based but it would be easier if they were.


    We were thinking about making it a Unity+Processing+PICO8 focus, with students picking groups and what they want to work in. There will be a theme, prolly something to do with tricentennial of (the colonization of) San Antonio which is this year. The residency would fall sometime end of June, beginning of July.


    Just collecting names right now, so no one is out of reach.


    Any leads?

  3. God, so much pedantic negativity! I didn't expect that coming here. I thought the movie was p great, very nicely designed. The structure and pacing and reshuffled familiar setpieces doing new things reminded me of a good Telltale game, which I'll gladly take from the Disney machine. It set fire to the reheated lore pile of the previous five movies, did weird shit with the force and angered a bunch of nerds. These are all good things. :tup:

  4. Hello thread i started a billion years ago when there was three indie games in the world, how've u been? Anyway, I'm here to plug


    Date Me Super Senpai



    It's an inclusive dating sim set in a superhero high school and it was made over the last year in an after-school art program in San Antonio by a bunch of weirdo teens (and myself and two other adults in the capacity of producer/teaching artist). It's our first big video game project in the new media studio. Check it out!


  5. As a relatively fresh dad, I've had my share of extreme new feelings at parent-child relationships on tv and film. I'm also not a stranger to the creative process, or killing children as a story device for that matter. And it is not like I have never damned any auteurs on the basis the unredeemableness or irresponsibility of their work (Gaspar Noé can freely go have a gruesome occult death somewhere which also unmakes all his movies, there is no universe in which his work needs to exist).


    That said, (with all those caveats :fart:) I am not that bothered by Chekhov's kid getting run over. The whole vector of the action with the run-stop-caught-run-stop-caught-run-stop-get run over-caught was stilted with that choice Lynchian foreboding and that choice Lynchian purposeful slow clunkiness. Carl's face carries the whole weird scene, and is probably better than all extra faces there. I couldn't help but think as it was happening how fun it must've been for the kid to shoot his own grody death scene, which prolly made it easier to stomach.

  6. Heyo!


    Jake & Chris mention the movie screen of the highway behind the curtain, the glass box tv setup, the purple old-school Caligari world below it all, the ultimate return into a super saturated modern family sitcom—just wanted to explicitly tie all of these themes into a bigger unifying theme so far, namely a journey through motion picture tech. Plus there's the b&w opening with ?????? which doesn't neatly fit into that trajectory but the grading is quite lovely and gets that warm silver gelatin look pat.


    You never really make this is your angle, but you flirt dangerously close to portraying Lynch as an out-of-touch grampa in matters of technology. Yes, he is angry at phones because the screens are small and a dumb way to see cinema, and he made Inland Empire with the shittiest camera imaginable—but he, in unequivocal words, embraced video over film when it was a ludicrous thing to do and all the serious people still shot on film. Sure he chose the ugly as sin SD because he prolly wanted Inland Empire to look like butt for reasons. I bet the purple room editing in ep3 and the tactless blue filter in ep4 also purposefully read like baby's first art school video projects for reasons I don't really wish to try to excuse...


    It is weird because his subtlety with special effects is sorta second to none in the industry. Eraserhead and Dune to this day look amazing. In '95 he used the original Lumière brothers camera to shoot Premonitions Following an Evil Deed—which I seem to recall reading somewhere was done in a single take. He is very aware of everything at his disposal and he chooses to use video effects over mainline CG. And true, all his computer interfaces we've seen look weird and out of time, but he also produced video content for the internet years before youtube and broadband penetration made that a sane proposition... so like he knows what's up. He just has nuanced opinions.


    Anyway, damn good pods. And hot.


    That Lumière camera thing for those who've not seen it:



  7. I ended up sharing these with the class:

    Hero Room (had it in a folder attached with the list)

    Star Court (ditto)

    Queer Pirate Plane

    Uncle Who Works for Nintendo


    King of Bees in Fantasyland

    Horse Master


    climbing 208 feet up the ruin wall


    There was some snickering over adult words from the 6th graders and some serious themes snuck through (had to include Horse Master nnnggh). In retrospect that may have given some of them already predisposed to wiseassery and sabotage implicit permission to go a little crazy with "mature" themes. There was a lot of weirdly inept, cartoony racism in their stories which the ones I pointed this out to, recognized and either worked out of the stories or didn't repeat for the second one.
    So two prompts for the projects I settled on were Tea Party and Heist. Check out hive dot saysi dot org (a bit apprehensive about spiders indexing the url against its robots.txt wishes what with lists o names o students and all so manually un-dumb link plz)
    I had to censor two games by one kid from the Official Published List Shown To General Public, even though kids voted to put both of them on the top of the list with an overwhelming margin. I'm gonna use this as a lesson in institutional censorship and how it works and why it happens and how to anticipate it and how to play ball. Also how to be more subversive. How to pick a venue for one's voice/themes/work. If anyone is curious about the censored games, I'll PM you a link.

  8. I'm probably losing my mind but that first 'Fever' track completely made me think of the Guybrush/Elaine music from TSOMI. The other track isn't really my thing but that one is a winner. :tup:


    The production is indeed kinda weak on that one. I am not a huuuuuuge fan of the final print of Fever either. It is infinitely better live. The rest of their songs they're recording now and producing themselves and are hopefully going to be mixed with fewer nonsense touches such as huge yawning voids of reverb in the middle of the sound.



    I'm plugging for a friend here ¬¬ Sal Limones having deleted her account some time ago ¬¬¬¬¬¬ tho I guess I did design the logo! So I'm not just sharing random dope music, but have some skin in that game ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ :fart:


    It's just a single and some rough demos on bandcamp so far, but they sound so good live omg :tup:

  10. I'm pretty sure a few of the kids would get that it's satire. But I'm afraid of poe and I'm afraid of humorless parents and I am afraid of even coasting close to themes that could derrail the class. It is difficult enough to hold 30 kids on topic as it is without encouraging them to play a game that allows them to objectify a female npc in three different ways. I would not think twice if these were high schoolers :/


    Ugh, its so weird to be in a position of having to make these sorts of calls.

  11. My light and airy Twine game is perfect for 10-14 year olds (with a tolerance for insta-death and Magnum pi references)!  :buyme:


    It was great until


    You die. You wake up screaming and covered in sweat. It was all a dream! You're actually a successful Interactive Fiction writer and today you're showing off your new game at PAX!


    Unfortunately, your brilliantly designed and yet overlong dream led you to sleep in and miss the latest Penny Arcade comic, which portrays all IF writers as paedophiles. Arriving at the expo, you are immediately lynched to death by a group of people wearing DEATH TO IF WRITERS J/K LOL t-shirts.




    And on second playtru I met your barmaid.

  12. Argh, just spent all day reading these (well, mostly those by merritt kopas and Porpentine, still have to take a stab at a lot of the other ones you've posted here) and they're nice and all, but damn, too weird, postmodern, queer for me to show it to my middle schoolers.

    The Queer Pirate Plane is perfect were it not for the random queer in the title which I'd have to tapdance around somehow. Maybe I can just say YOU KNOW QHEER AS IN WEIRD!! The KE$HA one is great, but there is cursing in it and potentially complicated themes, uh... the arrow one is good and short, but maybe not atomic enough? Cuddlefish is cute and fun, but also um, not quite G-rated enough because of depictions of INVERTEBRATE SAME-SEX/DRAG NOOKIE.

    Hero Room is perfect, do you guys know of any other ones light and airy along that line?

    My kids are all into Homestuck which has its fare share of complex relationships and queerness and cursing, but they didn't get into Homestuck because some teacher told them about it, so while I'm positive they'd eat KE$HA up and be all into making something like that, I can't really be the one to show it to them... maybe if they were in high school I wouldn't freak out about it as much, but they're not and I'm not equipped to jump into these topics at all, or deal with parent fallout were that to happen.

  13. Are you planning on using this for multiple projects of your own?  Would it save you time in the long run?


    Probably. The next comic project is an large world-building undertaking with many episodes/chapters/arcs in it.


    Is this platform agnostic?  Could I use this to produce say an xml file that I can use in Unity, Game Maker, Unreal, etc?   If so, you could stand to make a bit from selling it on the Unity asset store or a similar place


    It is a lot of PHP and JS and HTML and CSS—but I do want to make it so that one could poop out an archive of assets and an xml/json that could be agnostic of the web Storyboardo, but it would need a Storyboardo built in something else to work. I dunno if it can ever really automagically be divorced from JS tho if the story is too coding-intensive.


    Have you planned out exactly what you want to build or is this more of something you've been building ad hoc?


    I've been making CMSs for a decade and change. I know what I am doing and what I want it to do that, say, WordPress or Codeigniter or Drupal are not meant for. If anything, trying to anticipate too much before I commit to any solution and put down code is tripping me up.


    Has any of the code been commented, or is any documentation written?


    I am commenting it exhaustively, but I might need help writing more robust documentation. It could be a stepping stone for artists who're not well versed in programming. Just like Flash was back in the day.


    Could I use this for other purposes?  Maybe as a slideshow widget on a website?


    It is more than a widget, it is a full-featured website CMS on its own. It wants to live alone on a domain, or at least have its own dedicated nook. You could poke a hole in it and put a forum or wp there tho.


    Has anyone else tried using it yet? (or what of it currently exists)


    Nope, the spine of it, the layer mechanism is largely in the concept stage right now. I have a working prototype on the side which needs to be chopped up and rebuild to be more extendable.


    Are there any libraries you are currently using that you would have to license to use in Storyboardo?  Do you have any of the business related concerns taken care of in the event you want to sell it? (taxes, income and the like)


    I am thinking about making it GNU. Everything I am using is GNU GPL-friendly. If I want to make a community around it, I feel that would be better way to go than a tool I have to sell and support extensively.

  14. It's always a tough decision to dive into a new enterprise, especially one you know will eat up a lot of your time. I think the true metric should be how enthusiastic you are for this. You've been doodling on it for four years, you haven't grown tired of it yet... I'd say that's as good a sign as any that you should go for it (and finish HobLob ofc).

    So basically Storyboardo is the new Director but online.


    But I'm tired of the internet and its technologies!


    On the other hand, I am good at it and could make something nice as a last hurrah before I become a jaded old internet man.

  15. You build in layers in the editing mode, and you get the flexibilities that go with that. Layers are backgrounds with sprites for characters and speech bubbles. Imagine a marriage of photoshop's layers and flash's timeline with keyframes. That is what editing Storyboardo will be like. As a reader on the front end, when you click the standard slideshow nav arrows, if there are keyframes it will move to the next keyframe, if it is the end, it will try to load the next page. At any keyframe the editor can toggle the visibility of layers (and they will pop in or pop out according to their pre-defined default in or out animation) and/or define some kind of JS function that gets executed.

    Long comic conversations of old with their tall stacks of bubbles can now be split into multiple back and forth bubbles. Changing expressions, moving dudes around, basic directing goes a long way.


    A derivative layer type could be a conversation, which consists of a back and forth dialogue text block with different participants given different coordinates for bubble placement—and sortof grafts itself across as many keyframes as the conversation necessitates—or alternatively hijacks the prev/next buttons until it's exhausted, whichever method ends up having a more coherent implementation.

    A custom layer could be Sierra-style conversation with a vignette closeup of the person talking, with some kind of sprite-based (or whatever) animation cycle.

    I guess it all comes from my annoyance at having text and images share the same real estate. I never liked that about comics and this is my attempt at side stepping the issue and making something that would facilitate more comics formatted like something halfway between Homestuck and the traditional comic. The end result will be something more movie-like than comic-like. There will be no inherent need to split pages into panels, but there is no reason panels couldn't be used.

    This will give way to shitty found clipart & rage comics, and that's great, who cares. I am more excited about making adventure games in it—a setting to explore by clicking on hotspots, things to collect. In this paradigm a page becomes a room, and characters can be proper animated sprites. Remove the next/prev buttons and move between rooms/pages through doorway hotspots, and presto! A savegame system can work either through logging in or through cookies, depending on what makes more sense relative to the complexity of the gamestates that need to be saved.


    But also, eh, I could just jump straight into making my story in something else. Get to use particles. Use LUA or whatever instead of JS/JSON. Have path-finding characters if I want to...


    Another :tup: for Storyboardo would be getting to devblog it. Making it out in the open could be fun...