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Everything posted by JPL

  1. So weird that we got a totally unnecessary wrap-up for Janey-E + Dougie given everything else about that finale. I guess they were from a different world where things just work that way? I'm 100000% on board with the ambiguity and nuance of the main thread's conclusion, but I gotta say it was painful not seeing any more of Audrey. Why show her trapped as she is? There was neither a ray of hope nor a decisive defeat nor a careful sprinkling of ambiguity. At least she got to dance...
  2. Wondering at the necessity / plausibility of Bad Coop raping Diane and Audrey connects to a larger unease I think a lot of us have with the entire allegorical layer of Twin Peaks most vividly raised with part 8's Golden Laura Orb: are these humans (and the odd doppleganger) just proxies for elemental forces, or are they complicated people who sometimes give those forces life via "the evil that men do"? As folks here have said, the former collapses a lot of depth from a lot of wonderful performances and writing. FWWM's grim family portrait really seemed to point towards the latter, but the supernatural stuff stayed in the frame, reading mostly as an echo of the human drama. If the former idea holds sway with Bad Coop, then he raped because he contained / was possessed by BOB, and that's what BOB does. If the latter, then it seems almost entirely gratuitous: Bad Coop is all of Cooper's resourcefulness and insight and dignity in a dark mirror, he may "want" things but only in service of seemingly very non-BOB-like goals. Unlikely The Return's conclusion will give us a firm answer in such broad strokes but I suspect it'll still do much to confirm my sense of the intent here. Either way, as with any use of sexual assault in fiction, I think the burden of creative justification rests very much on Lynch, Frost et al.
  3. Pretty Hate Machine was 89, but fall 89 and I think S2 has been proven to take place in early 89, and I forgot that Temple of the Dog / Pearl Jam formed in 90, so yeah it's just a smidge too early for her to have been aware of those acts. (Also young Audrey didn't really seem like an industrial or early grunge fan?)
  4. The entire roadhouse being a construct in Audrey's mind seems too far-fetched, but I did wonder the same thing. Maybe only the music numbers that are introduced by the MC are in her mind? I forget exactly which ones are and aren't. It would explain some of the unconnected dialog of some incidental characters. Amusing but probably not actually relevant: "The" NIN and Eddie Vedder are both acts that Audrey could theoretically have known about if she had entered a coma in 1989.
  5. "Two birds one stone" - is Linda going to climb up onto that same rock and be electro-disintegrated?
  6. Haven't seen anyone else mention it yet, so: I'm struck by the resemblance between the shape of the salt shaker (which Coop very deliberately moves into view as he munches away) and the shape of the Bowie Dalek. If they were many episodes apart that'd feel like a reach, but they are very close in the editing here...
  7. "Do you need any money?" guy is a memorable symbol of the blandness of so many willing servants of evil.
  8. Anthony Sinclair is so going to have his garmanbozia harvested.
  9. I wondered that too. Garmonbozia is waaaay above Chad's pay grade though.
  10. Secret History connection: the second little slip of paper in Briggs' message capsule is a direct clipping from the dossier. It's a message the listening station received. The Archivist's conclusion is that he's being told that Cooper is the one to inherit his work... which obviously doesn't happen.
  11. At the bottom of the page are coordinates, presumably the ones Bill and Ruth got for Briggs? Somewhere in South Dakota. Buckhorn obviously isn't a real town but maybe it's near there.
  12. I'm reluctant to take any symbol in this show, especially stuff that happens outside our reality, too literally unless it's explicitly spelled out. Garmonbozia is pain and sorrow, but it looks like creamed corn as it's being eaten. When I saw the Laura Face Orb, for whatever reason I didn't immediately assume "that's Laura Palmer's soul, being sent to earth so she can become a human and have all that stuff happen to her". I took it as a sort of symbol of what her life meant - the coexistence of suffering and joy and, in the end, powerful defiance - and /that's/ what was sent into our world, and maybe it has echoed in other people besides Laura. If we ever see the 1956 teens again, I'm guessing it will be shades of this. I do get the concerns - plenty of ways these kinds of allegories can remove humanity and collapse depth. When you say something is cyclical or fated, you suck a lot of agency out of the characters involved. When you have a character represent an idea, other facets of them can get pushed aside. But there are usually many other opportunities to (re)establish their humanity, and FWWM is the pretty-good standard I hold Lynch to for that. We'll see!
  13. I went back and watched the Diane + Bad Coop exchange again, and just from that it seems pretty ambiguous what happened during their last meeting. On the one hand, it seems like if she'd been assaulted that night Diane would be more visibly upset to hear him talk about it now. On the other hand it's clear that Diane is very good at steeling herself and maybe she brought it up deliberately to test more than simply his identity. When Bad Coop says "I'll never forget that night" it seems more like he's repeating a sentiment left over from Good Coop's brain, than relishing a memory of something nasty he did. My money's on her last meeting being with Good Coop, just before he was sent to Twin Peaks, and maybe they connected emotionally but left it unresolved, and she's had 25+ years of zero closure.
  14. The high density of plot points in this episode has oddly given me more appreciation for the slower paced, mood-building stretches of previous episodes - I'm thinking ep6 especially but maybe that's all down to those long close-ups of Coop's drawings. Anyways yeah variable pacing is good; I'm glad the show got 18 episodes and can take its time instead of having to hurry through 9.
  15. Maybe Briggs didn't age because he was in the White Lodge?
  16. Looking For A Fairly Specific Doom Mod

    I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED. FemDoom.wad from October 1994 might still be your best bet: Anna Anthropy mentions it briefly in her book "Rise of the Video game Zinesters". Sadly it does not replace the original pain sounds, just the face art. Someone should really do a proper modern high quality version of this!
  17. Hey... just because I couldn't find a better place to post it, here's my old "X-Com strategies" email, for those who care. I wrote it for folks at my previous studio and have passed it on a few times since then:
  18. BRILLIANT. Thanks for posting this! and thanks so much for listening!
  19. Understandable. For an alternate approach, then, what kinds of experiences do you think this kind of game could provide that is absent from current offerings? What parts of human experience do you suspect games could speak to but don't currently? While you don't have any working examples, are there small elements from games that seem to offer a glimmer of this? Often I try to think of it in terms of what's there now, and where I'd like to go, and strive towards a working reality in the middle.
  20. Chris Crawford frustrates me these days. He was a total hero of mine years back, when he was much more of a lone voice in the wilderness. Now, far more people have come around to some of his key points yet he's still quite dismissive and focused on problems, rather than solutions. His life's work has ended up being some combination of overambitious and misguided - he wanted to make a single game that did some of the narrative modeling stuff within a specific premise, but got sidetracked for more than a decade making an engine with which you could make 1000 such games. That's a classic development mis-step, never make an engine when you just want to make a game! It's all just kind of sad. I really hope he ends up with something salvageable from the whole adventure.
  21. Hi! I think about this a lot too. As I've said, enough times that I'm starting to feel like a broken record, the biggest single limiting factor on the expressive range of most games today is that so many - even the most magnificently constructed of them - are about the Shooting or Stabbing of Faces, on both the metaphor ("Pretend you're shooting people in the face") and simulation ("We model guns, the bullets that shoot out of them and the faces they are shot into") layers. So the range of human experience such a game has access to is something like: - With what shall we shoot these faces? - How - in what specific manner - shall we shoot them? - (In certain games such as Deus Ex that highly value choice) Whose faces should we shoot? - (Only recently) Why do we shoot these faces? Movies and books have plenty of people getting shot in the face, but all but the most vacuous of them use that as the turning point of some social or emotional dynamic - the final confrontation between the hero and the bad guy, a heist gone wrong, etc. The social or emotional dynamic, and the way the actors carry it out, are what keep people watching. If we make games that model those dynamics instead of the usual gun->bullet->face dynamics, we will have access to a broader range of human experience. Full stop. People outside the bubble will start to take notice. And those of us inside the bubble who care will feel a little better about the future of our medium. The reason creators miss the mark so often with this stuff is because there's a huge difference between making the interactivity of your game about these things (which is quite hard) and simply sprinkling it everywhere in the cutscenes (which is quite easy). David Cage thinks he's making a game about serious emotional stuff, but he's actually making a game about mashing a button to mess with a toaster or to keep from getting strangled. Maybe it'll be a decent take on that, we'll see. But it's not going to be about being a single father or being a drug addict in the way that (legitimacy touchstone incoming) Braid was about consequence and regret. There are two big forces that keep us from this, and they plague us from opposite directions. The first is, as I said, the artistic and craft challenges of tackling a fundamentally different subject matter, and to an extent a different raison d'etre, than we're used to. We have to step out of our game design comfort zone. The second is the industry's resistance to the prospect of doing that. Breaking ground in a fairly unexplored set of core mechanics means failing many times until you discover what works well. The truly powerful people in the industry won't tolerate that because it's not sound business, and gamers won't tolerate it because on the whole they're very resistant to most change and see it as zero-sum, subtracting from the huge mass of established stuff that they like. Chris Hecker can talk about this with a bit of confidence because his new game seems to be about modeling social dynamics in a simple way. He's also right that indie games are better set up in some ways to lay the early groundwork, to fail interestingly and instructively in a lower risk environment, so that fewer creative directors on AAA projects have to drive their 20 million dollar party bus off a cliff to find that same new ground. However, Hecker's also right that indies can't be the only ones doing it. The first part is mostly up to game designers. Part of the reason I'm such an indie cheerleader and weekend tinkerer is because I want to be one of the first to get there. And I do so love saying "toldja so". The second is at least partly up to gamers. If we can show the rest of the industry that there is a market for Absolutely Nothing To Do With Face-Shooting Simulator 2010, and Contemplative Indie Rumination On Things Besides Face-Stabbing, then the influence of those ideas within the culture of games will improve, and more creators will try something different, and eventually we'll have some new kinds of games to play. I'd like that! Would you? First, though, we have to wade into the flames of popular scorn and creative failure, and think about new things for a while, as we slowly wear out the semicolon keys on our keyboards.