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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Panzertron The Ruiner's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
6:18 pm
music meme thing.
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.

2. List (and upload) 5 songs you love that begin with that letter.

3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[via grotesquery]

I got "M".

DIFFICULTY: I've been living at my gf's house for a few months, and I only have a few CDs with me, plus the music that's on my hard drive and the stuff I'd already posted on my Tumblr.

In no particular order:

1. Akira Yamaoka - "Meltdown" [from the Silent Hill Zer0 / 0rigins soundtrack]

2. Nachtmahr - "Mein Name"

3. Sabrepulse - "The Manhattan Transfer"

4. Gogol Bordello - "My Companjera"

5. Bear McCreary - "Mandala In The Clouds" [from the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 soundtrack]

(Insert Coin)

Friday, December 3rd, 2010
8:44 pm

[Some of you have already seen this, but I realize not all my friends are on Facebook or Twitter, so I thought I'd share it here, too.]

(1 Credit | Insert Coin)

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
1:37 pm

(Insert Coin)

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
6:15 pm
im visier
Today's work-in-progress 3D Maya doodle type thing: STUKA.

Los geht's!

Current Mood: tired

(Insert Coin)

Friday, October 22nd, 2010
6:38 pm

(Insert Coin)

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
7:38 pm
vague panzertron telemetry update - status: still functional.

Finished my Character Animation & Game Design class. Working on stuff for my portfolio, so I can hopefully get a job. Or something.

Finished PixelJunk Shooter, Transformers: War For Cybertron, and Enslaved: Odyssey To The West. All enjoyable, each for unique reasons. There may be reviews here at some point.

Been taking it easy the past couple weeks. Maybe too easy.

Current Mood: quixotic

(Insert Coin)

Monday, August 30th, 2010
12:28 am
arise, god poseidon
Thanks to negumi, I am now the proud owner of a BBTS exclusive G1 Seacons commemorative set. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but the original set was seriously up there in my top five favorite toys, growing up. (Bruticus, too. But a lot of that was that the limbs and most of the accessories were interchangeable.) So this is basically like having the whole set back again... except that this time I plan to not immediately lose 85% of the little weapons and robot pieces that come with it, and not accidentally snap off all their dorsal fins like a clumsly, uncaring little kid. As an adult, I have a lot more appreciation for the fact that things can permanently break and get lost now (and a lot of that is because of having the original version of this set as a kid).

As a reissue, it's not absolutely perfect. There's a little not-very-noticeable mold degradation, and some of the color schemes aren't quite exactly the same as the original. But at least this time, the stickers come pre-applied (I was never very good at stickers; thank you, small Chinese child whose job it probably was to endlessly apply stickers to toys of greater quality than anything you will most likely ever own in your life; rest assured - your work is appreciated. You get a gold star!*)

But seriously, it's pretty sweet. It's one of those things where you get the set as a kid, then spend years afterward cursing the fact that you've lost most of the parts and broken off little components that can't be fixed, and eventually the whole clusterfrak just disappears at some family yard sale because there's too much lost for you to care enough about what's left. And then, one day when you've (mostly) grown up, it comes back, new and pretty much whole again.

Also, having a girlfriend who thinks it's cute that you still play with Transformers, and that you still (after all these years) remember how to transform them, and who gives them all nicknames like "Squishy" and "Cuddles" even though they're horrible robot isopods or sharks with legs, kinda doesn't hurt.

* - All commendations to be awarded posthumously, so as not to breed counter-revolutionary individualist thought. Stand to your duties, comrade.

Current Mood: nostalgic

(Insert Coin)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
1:53 pm
Finally got my first demo reel thrown together. Not too amazing, since we didn't have all that many projects, total. Also, my first project (the Triscuit box) didn't really fit in with the rest of it, so this is mostly my Kübelwagen and the Transformer I made that reused all the Kübelwagen parts.* I'll be adding to and revising this eventually (probably many times).

* - Also, I'm pretty sure, at this point, that I want to get into a 3D modeling kinda job. So my instructor told me my reels should focus on the wireframe/structure of my models. The Triscuit box looks good, but it's basically just a stretched-out cube with scans of the box projected onto the faces. Nothing complex or impressive.

Current Mood: accomplished

(Insert Coin)

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
3:35 pm


Pretty much all she can do is talk and transform, but I'm still proud.

Current Mood: accomplished

(1 Credit | Insert Coin)

Friday, May 21st, 2010
3:46 pm
down to the wire

This is the last week of my 3D animation certification class. I'll be leaving my job and starting a full-time game design and character animation class that goes for 12 weeks. This week and next week are gonna be pretty full, with putting together my resume website thing and demo reel.

It's been a long, tough journey, so far. If this were a videogame, I'd be at a point about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through. About when the learning curve ratchets up drastically, but the main character has amassed a bunch of upgrades*. From here on out, it's less about learning entirely new stuff, and more about learning to use what I've already absorbed in new and specific ways.

I am some combination of excited, exhausted, apprehensive, and purposeful. I wanna do this. I wanna be able to point to something, even if it's just a car or dented trash can in the background of some videogame and say, "That's mine. I made that. I helped make this work."

* - You know. Like in Mega Man.

Current Mood: anxious

(Insert Coin)

Monday, May 10th, 2010
5:01 pm
blast from the past
Last scene from Trinity & Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie.*

1) Full-face gasmasks for horses are pretty awesome looking.**

2) The second half of this video is still one of my favorite things ever ^_^

* - Although someone added the scrolling text at the end.

** - Most of the ones shown just have the breath filter, but at least one has a goggle-mask-thing that covers its eyes and ears, too.

(Insert Coin)

Friday, March 19th, 2010
1:37 am
I love this, depressing as it is. Beautiful. I watched it twice, back-to-back.

ARK from grzegorz jonkajtys on Vimeo.

Current Mood: impressed

(Insert Coin)

Friday, March 12th, 2010
12:51 am
Heavy Rain is heavy.
People seem to be polarized about Heavy Rain. Some people talk like it's the second coming of Jeezus. Others don't "get" it, or come down strangely hard on it, like they've lost a bet on it at the dog track or something. I like to think I was about halfway in between the two before the game came out. Maybe leaning a little towards the Jeezus side. On one hand I was excited that someone was making a game that was so story-based and emotionally involving that the "game" aspect of it became almost (but not quite) vestigal. On the other... I was terrified that it was gonna suck and fail, and ruin the chances of any game of this type succeding ever again.

So, after playing through the game, what's the verdict?

If this had been the tenth time, or even the second or third time, a game like this had been released, I wouldn't say Heavy Rain was especially amazing or good. I would probably say about average. The writing sometimes feels thin. The voice acting ranges from excellent to not great (half the characters have weird European accents and sound stiff and awkward; most infamously, every character seems to have his or her own unique way of pronouncing the word "origami").

But Heavy Rain is the first. It's groundbreaking. No game has ever made me feel as sad or stressed as Heavy Rain. I mean that in a good way; it's not easy for a videogame to have an emotional impact on the player equal to that of, say, a very good movie or book. There are people, whom I won't hesitate to label "uncultured weeaboos", who say things like "What's the point of buying it and playing it, if I can just watch it on YouTube?" These people do not understand that the point of Heavy Rain is making decisions - specifically, making them quickly under pressure. You can watch YouTube videos all you want, but you'll never get the feel of the game without actually playing for yourself. When it wants to, Heavy Rain does a great job of making the player feel rushed, contorted, cornered, and anguished. During a relatively peaceful scene, the player is made to do mundane things like brushing the character's teeth or shaking a carton of juice. During the more tense scenes, the very same control scheme decides how the character describes a crime scene to the police or attempts to talk down a gun-wielding robber in a convenience store. When a character has to do something dangerous or complex, the control prompts are designed to give the player a sense of just how hectic and difficult the situation is for the character they are controlling. During one scene, I was made to play "controller Twister", straining my fingers as one of the characters tried to maneuver through a rat's nest of electrified cables without touching them. By contrast, one scene had me making very gentle back-and-forth movements of the analog stick in order to rock a baby to sleep.

I guess my biggest complaint (and compliment) for Heavy Rain is that it's a game that defies replay value. The game doesn't end or start over at the beginning of a level if one of the characters dies or makes a mistake. The outcome of the story just changes accordingly. But, once the player finishes the game and reveals all the secrets, he or she can never again play the game for the first time. There is only one time you can play through Heavy Rain "for keeps", and that is the one time when you are groping blindly in the dark, knowing only what you've pieced together, wondering what will happen next. You can go back and play old chapters, changing decisions and actions, to get different outcomes for the story. But never again will it feel as real or immersive.

My first play-through ended depressingly. During a scene near the end of the game, one of the main characters (controlled by me) failed to escape from a police SWAT team, and as a result the Origami Killer got away and the victim died. One of the supporting characters I was responsible for didn't even survive to the end of the game. During the epilogue, one of the main characters committed suicide. One went insane. One overdosed on drugs. I could go back and fix all these things, make it all better. I could do this, but I would always know that, when the chips were down, I screwed up. I could go back and catch the killer, free the victim, and live happily ever after, but it would be after the fact. The game gives the player one chance to figure everything out and do everything right, without knowing how the whole story is gonna turn out. It forgives some minor mistakes, but you can't recover from everything. And you know what? I feel bad that I fucked up. Instead of actually going back and changing everything, which I have the power to do, I find myself wishing I could. Up until this time, videogames have only ever caused me to feel emotions on an objective basis. The player knows that the character is happy or sad or excited, but the player still has his or her own emotions that are distinctly separate. The player may be excited and happy about finishing a particularly difficult level or puzzle, even if the character shows no emotion. The character may become angry or depressed about something, but the player perceives this as one would the emotions of a movie character; at most, a plot point. And that is what makes Heavy Rain so good: it gets you into the characters' heads, makes you want what they want, fear what they fear, regret what they regret. When was the last time a videogame ever made you actually regret something?

See... It's easy for a videogame to make the player happy. It's not unusual for a game to be frustrating. But Heavy Rain is the only game that has ever made me feel regret. In the end, that is what impressed me the most about it. In a lot of ways, it's not especially amazing. But it went in a direction no one had gone in before, and made me feel emotions I wasn't yet ready to be sure it was possible for a videogame to inspire.

I know it took a long time to make Heavy Rain. I'm glad you can't rush genius, because if you could everyone would be trying it. And then, where would we be?

"The Casting" (early Heavy Rain / PS3 tech demo, 2006)

Current Mood: tired

(1 Credit | Insert Coin)

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
9:14 pm
I'm not quite at this level of CG awesome yet, but I'm still learning. I guess that's the important thing.

Samurai from Phil Shoebottom on Vimeo.

(Insert Coin)

Monday, March 1st, 2010
1:40 pm

Yeah, I'm still around. I know I've been hovering down around periscope depth since about Halloween, breathing through a snorkel. Watching the convoys pass in the distance. You know how it is.

But I suppose I had to surface again, eventually. Twitter has been rolling over my blogging motivation like a big, rubbery manatee wrapped in an old matress, which is to say that it's slowed me down and hampered me, but I'd like to think not permanently so. I like writing without being limited to 140-character bites. I like to be verbose sometimes. I like wondering if I'm rambling unnecessisarily. Sort of.

(Insert Coin)

Friday, January 1st, 2010
2:23 am
So the queue for jetpacks starts where, now?

Current Mood: tired

(1 Credit | Insert Coin)

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
4:07 pm
ataque de pánico

(The one thing I don't get is, that one guy who gets out of his car to gawk at the robots - why does he run away? He has a car.)

Current Mood: impressed

(4 Credits | Insert Coin)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
3:35 pm
colors may vary
Working on coloring and texturing the my Big, Still-Unnamed 3D Project. Nothing's finalized yet.

work in progressCollapse )

Tried out a Wacom tablet for the first time. Very weird and hard to get used to, but I could see it being very useful for some things. I still have yet to actually get one of my own.

Still playing around with various colors/textures, but all that's gonna get shoved aside into my free time because we're supposed to start rigging now. Rigging this thing is gonna be a bitch and a half because of all the car parts and stuff hanging off of the model. Probably gonna have to rig each piece of kibble (yes, there's a word for that) as a separate limb on the skeleton, so they can all be controllable when I start animating. Hell, I haven't even decided what I'm gonna make it do, other than probably transform, and that's gonna affect how I rig it in the first place, to a certain degree.

This is a huge, daunting task I've chosen for myself. I can see that it's probably gonna make me feel very accomplished when I'm done with it... if I ever get done with it. It feels like I've been working on this forever, and there are times when I don't know if my brain can learn hard enough to make it through.

I guess we're always our own worst critic. But I'm not just criticizing my work; I'm criticizing myself, and what kind of person I am, and whether I have what it takes to see this through. This class is literally probably the most difficult/complicated thing I've ever attempted with any measure of success, and it makes me feel like I'm constantly on the edge of not succeeding. I feel parts of me trying to slack and be lazy, and I have to keep forcing myself to keep going. I remember what happened with "real" school, and how that didn't work out, and I feel a lot of the same things I felt back then. But this thing is different. This has to be different. This is what I want. I have to make this work.

Current Mood: determined

(2 Credits | Insert Coin)

Monday, October 19th, 2009
12:39 pm
chitinous nightmare

Current Mood: hungry

(2 Credits | Insert Coin)

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
12:15 am
Progress has been made. Modeling is just about done. Car parts are all "attached" (most of the "attaching" is just a fake ball-and-socket joint type thing that looks like an attachment point, but really they're just floating; rigging will make them move like they're actually attached). Halfway through class, I realized I'd attached the car doors wrong. I pictured the transformation sequence and how all the parts would shift around, and the doors were attached to the hips upside-down, so I had to flip them.

Next is UV mapping and painting/texturing. I haven't settled on an exact color scheme yet, although I do know 1) her head is gonna be white with red eyes and a black "helmet" (like the Seekers - Starscream, Thundercracker, etc.), and 2) the outside surface of the car panels is probably gonna be gray and dirty (I'm actually thinking Panzergrau, like how I colored the original Kübelwagen model), although the actual torso and limbs might have some purple and black or something. Caution stripes on the bumpers and lower side panels, maybe. One of the square indentations on the shoulder armor will have a Decepticon symbol; I dunno what the other will be yet.

I did slap some red shiny stuff on the eyeballs for a sec, just for fun.

So... I think I might be able to make this work. Even if I can only make her transform, I'll be pretty frakking proud. But my 3D instructor and I seem to agree that this project has a lot of potential.

Current Mood: tired

(2 Credits | Insert Coin)

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