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About SpectreCollie

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  • Birthday 06/27/1971

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  1. Yes, it was the same sound! Unrelated: I’ve been a fan of Laura Dern (in Lynch projects anyway) ever since Wild at Heart, but her performance in Twin Peaks has been astounding. After such a drawn-out, intense, scene, Diane’s reaction to being told she was a tulpa was one of the best moments of the series. I can’t get over how good she and Grace Zabriskie are.
  2. I suppose it's not necessarily the case, since the Roadhouse we've been seeing and the Roadhouse where Audrey's Dance happened could be two different places. If she is in a coma or something, then she could be dreaming about the Roadhouse in this episode. Especially since almost all of the characters who've appeared there and in what I assume is the "real world" have been Richard Horne, Shelly, and James, all of whom are people Audrey would know. (I'm assuming she knows Freddie as a Universal Archetype of the Cockney Iron Fist, even if she'd never met him in person). (Oh yeah, and Chad, too. Never mind). I don't believe that, since most of the scenes in the Roadhouse have seemed weird and other-worldly, while Twin Peaks "proper" has been surprisingly normal this season. Apart from the bizarre scene that Bobby saw in the stopped car with the sick girl, it's been fairly light on the weirdness and super-elevated melodrama. And Audrey's Dance just filled me with dread like nothing I've seen in a long while. Whatever is going on with her story, I can't imagine any version that isn't my worst nightmare. Even with monsters chewing faces and strange women suddenly appearing in dark motel doorways and faces getting pulled off to reveal blackness, the most horrifying thing for me has been the scenes with Audrey and the sense that something is very wrong and it's possible that she's been going through this for decades. Also: good call to Jake and Chris for pointing out Dougie's reaction to spending time with Sonny Jim. Y'all noticed that it read like he was reacting to a family life that he'd missed out, but to be honest I'd thought that was a reach. This ep all but confirms it, and it's a pretty sad story when you realize that he's lost 25 years of his life in the Black Lodge.
  3. Robert Forster's reactions to Wally Brando were the redeeming part of that scene -- I thought it was hilarious, but it felt more like a comedy bit than like a part of the show. The funniest bit of the entire episode to me was Cooper/Dougie's little gasp of surprise when the limo driver came to open the door for him. Is Showtime selling mugs yet that say "I AM DOUGIE'S COFFEE!" in Helvetica Italic?
  4. I only saw afterwards that y'all talk about this on the first episode of the podcast, and FWIW I agree completely with your conclusions there. I was happy you mentioned that establishing shot of Manhattan because I was struck by how eerily unreal it looked but couldn't think of how to describe it. And probably a better example than my failed attempt at over-explaining David Lynch lighting is the way "comedy" succeeds or lands, since it can be super-tough to figure out the show's sense of humor. For me, nothing's landed as well as Nadine excitedly opening and closing the silent curtain runners; everything else is just an uncomfortable uncertainty. Also: I've gotten so annoyed hearing people go all-in on auteur theory with Twin Peaks and attribute every single thing to David Lynch and David Lynch only, so I was happy to hear y'all not only acknowledge Frost, but succinctly describe what is probably Frost's main contribution. I'm a huge fan of Frost's novels (at least the Sherlock Holmes ones) but have never been able to identify exactly what he does for Twin Peaks apart from a vague guess of "balance."
  5. Apologies for commenting before listening to the new podcasts, but the point where I most consistently disagreed with Jake and Chris in the podcasts for the original run was re: how much was intentional and how much was just poorly done. Obviously it'd be impossible to get a definitive answer even from somebody who wasn't as notoriously "the art speaks for itself" as Lynch, but I tend to side with "intentional" almost always. For instance: one thing I'm really happy to see in the new series, and which I always associate with Twin Peaks*, is the way traveling in the woods at night is depicted. It seems to always be headlights or a flashlight against the trees, with a circle of stark, artificial clarity in the center of the frame and a huge completely black expanse everywhere else. Technically speaking, it's poorly lit. And the "standard" technique for movies and series inspired by Twin Peaks seems to go the X-Files route and have enough ambient light to fill the whole frame -- X-Files often had flashlights diffused by fog, or a preternaturally bright light just over the horizon, to make everything seem creepy, but it was still well lit. Shots in the woods in Twin Peaks are just unsettling, though. Especially when they're going to the Black Lodge. It feels like darkness is closing in on everything, and your feeble attempts to fend off the darkness can barely make a dent. To me it does the same thing as that recurring shot of a traffic light in the original series, which is that idea of civilization feebly trying to hold off darkness everywhere. So I tend to think the same for the VFX. Even when it's not intentional to convey an idea, it's still part of a unique look. The artifice draws attention to itself and is part of what makes it uniquely unsettling. I'd agree that there's some element of "good enough for what we're doing," but I don't see it as a limitation in any way -- I can imagine that "more professional" effects would just blend in with everything else and become forgettable. *(It's in Wild at Heart and long stretches of Lost Highway I guess, but it's not used exactly the same way)
  6. Same here. I'm assuming they all knew that she was ill, since she was on oxygen during the scene? It played as if the show was so huge in her life and she was having to say good-bye to it. I only saw the first episode tonight and hope to space them out one per night (and avoid spoilers). I really enjoyed it. I was surprised how tonally different it was from the original series, but I'd compare it to Lost Highway more than anything else. (I haven't seen Inland Empire). Scenes were awkwardly paced, the look of everything was somehow between film and video, and it was so matter-of-fact in its creepiness. The effect in the monitoring room (which I'm going to have nightmares about tonight) looked almost like an X-Files-era effect. And the music was so understated that I don't remember any playing in the entire episode, diegetic or otherwise. The original series was so overwhelming with the music and melodrama that its soap opera influences were apparent. This one seems more like a subversion of Law and Order than a subversion of Peyton Place, and I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. I feel like with the original series, that layer of artifice helped distance everything that was being shown, so it was scary but never felt ghoulish. I know all those affectations annoyed some people, but to me that tone is what made the first season and a half near-perfect, and what Fire Walk With me lacked.
  7. Oops oops. I was distracted because I was simultaneously working and also still desperately trying to forget the Rock-a-fire "spray this on my face I love it" bit.
  8. Also! There was the comment on the podcast that Radiator Springs rock formations in Cars Land would be analogous to if Mount Rushmore were naturally occurring. Since the peaks in the Radiator Springs mountain range are modeled and named after subsequent years of Cadillac tail fins (citation: tourist info plaque on the path from Bugs Land), it would be as if Mount Rushmore were naturally occurring and featured the Presidents' butts.
  9. Here's the chandelier from Flo's V8 Diner. Enjoy your food, human friends! I think the tail lights are especially interesting/disturbing if you consider dog anatomy. Maybe I was wrong to assume they're nipples?
  10. So I've got to be That Guy and point out that the theory of "This is a post-Zynga SimCity" is way off-base. The only reason I bring it up is because I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but it's actually a slam on Maxis to suggest that the exchange of ideas between SimCity and Cityville or Farmville or whatever was anything other than one-way. Just about everything in the new SimCity (except for the cool data layers as in-world infographics) is a direct descendent of SimCity 4 and the "Rush Hour" expansion. It feels to me like they took the concept art and prototypes from SC4, combined them with the amazing scripted effects system that Andrew Willmott & Ocean Quigley did towards the end of the project, and then waited ten years until they could actually make an entire real-time city simulation out of it. (And made Spore in the meantime). That's actually a big part of what's got me excited about the game -- the effects system started out as a side project to add some visual flourishes, and over time it became more and more powerful, until they could go from idea to having it in game in a very short amount of time. It ended up being as powerful as the system I'd spent almost a year making, and it was a lot more extensible. To see that basic idea driving the entire simulation is awesome. It means that exchange of stuff between regions can be simulated and doesn't have to be as faked. The bit in where he starts a fire in his city and the fire trucks come in from the neighboring city is the best thing.Plus it means the behavior of the simulation is modular, not just the buildings. That's what makes the Sims series so expandable. People all over the place are complaining (predictably) about greedy old EA forcing expansion packs on innocent victims, but I think that the prospect of being able to add entire new industries or new types of services to SimCity -- instead of just cosmetic changes like new building sets -- is amazing.
  11. Tweak my pooter

  12. Ugly pretty textures

    I doubt it's a technical limitation of the Unreal Engine as much as a marketing one. They made a big push to position themselves as the official middleware engine for Microsoft around the same time that Microsoft was trying to hard sell consoles based on processing and graphics power. At least back in the early days of the first Xbox, there was an explicit certification requirement to include no less than n items from a list of features to show off the GPU -- particle systems, bump maps, etc. I'm sure that's changed in the >10 years since, but it seemed to set a standard for what people expected to see in a game. (And of course, NVidia is still always trying to sell video cards and looking for games to show off). It seems like it started a push towards screenshots with over-the-top texture density, bump maps, specular highlights, etc that gradually became accepted as "the way games look." I remember when World of Warcraft first came out, I was stunned by how painterly everything looked -- it's pretty standard now, but at the time it was unlike what anybody else was doing. And I remember reading tons of complaints that the art was too simple or cartoonish, I assume because people had been taught that that Gears of War screenshot above is what "realistic" was supposed to look like.
  13. I had no idea Steam worked like this pre-Greenlight; I'd assumed it was strictly an "after-market" type deal, only listing games that had already been available elsewhere. What you're describing sounds more like XBLA and (I assume) PSN, where developers target Steam as their "main" market. (But, I'm presuming, with almost zero chance that Valve would ever act as a publisher for a 3rd-party title, unlike Sony & Microsoft). As for the question of "bias," I still think (like I said to Greg Brown) that it'd be welcome for Valve to have a curated section of Steam -- not even for the developers so much as because I think those guys generally have good taste in games, and I'd be even more enthusiastic about a game if Valve recommended it than if a majority of fans recommended it. I still think it'd have to be kept completely separate from Greenlight, though -- the only way Greenlight works at all is if they keep up the idea that it's the customers voting and Valve is keep completely hands-off.
  14. I'm not being argumentative, but this is what I'm still not getting. It seems like they've tried to present the Greenlight submissions exactly as if they were games for sale on Steam, with the only difference being that you can't actually buy it yet. So it seems to me that you'd have to put the exact same information on a Greenlight page that you would on the sale page; your end goal is the same -- would you be willing to spend money on this? That's assuming that Greenlight is for games that have already been finished and are ready to sale, which I assumed was the whole point of Greenlight from the start. It sounds like you're seeing more overlap with Kickstarter there, games that aren't complete but are looking for customer interest. Personally, I don't think that unfinished games should be submitted to Greenlight at all, or at least, they should be in late beta at worst. (But Valve's hands-off approach means there's no check for completion). I can understand that, but I think that Greenlight and what you're talking about would necessarily be two completely different things. There's no room for ambiguity as with the "is this like Kickstarter or is it just like selling already completed, established games?", where the answer is "both? kind of? maybe?" If Valve got in the business of doing "Editor's Picks" (which I think could be a good idea, for what it's worth) then it'd have to be completely separate from any type of crowd-sourced thing, or else Valve's picks would get lost. And then of course you'd go back to what I mentioned with Apple's editor's picks & the like -- suddenly Valve isn't an objective third party and is opening themselves up to accusations of favoritism.
  15. I'm not sure I completely understand your point. Is the objection to the $100 fee, or to having Greenlight be crowd-sourced instead of curated? Steam is still easier to deal with than the console publishers, and from what little I've heard, it's even easier to deal with than Apple. It seems to me that putting Valve people into the position of curator or gatekeeper would push things more in the direction of Nintendo, Microsoft, et. al. They're no longer representing "what the people want," but "how Valve wants to sell the image of its platform." I don't think I understand that bit, either. The trailer for Thirty Flights does a fine job of saying what the game is (a "short story", sequel to Gravity Bone, etc) without spoiling any of the surprises of it. Again, I may be an oddball since I never buy stuff after browsing randomly through Steam; I only buy off of recommendations, or from a developer (like Blendo) who consistently makes good stuff. So I don't think you have to make a trailer or landing page that tells the player absolutely everything about the game. I don't think "zero information" is the way to go, either, though. You've got to establish what the game looks like, a rough idea of what type of game it is, and just enough to provide the hook. That was actually one of the things that I disagreed with Telltale management about, but gradually changed my mind over time: I think we actually did have a tendency to get a little too precious about withholding information from players for fear of "spoiling" it.