Tuesday, 25 February 2014

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME - EPISODE 6: BEATEN UP (+playlist)





EPISODE SIX IS LIVE! Check it out, this is our biggest episode so far, clocking at nearly a third longer than previous episodes! Lots of interesting revelations about characters and the ongoing story in this one.



"Beaten Up" continues the story of our heroes in the beat 'em up world. Some revelations about Kera's past come to light and Don's will to be a hero is pushed to the limit as he takes the fight to the streets!

Monday, 24 February 2014

METROID: Fight For Love





So normally I don't post stuff on my blog that isn't my own. But Brent is a good friend and as my co-star in MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME. I guess it counts. Well.. this counts for being absolutely f-ing awesome. Really great job done by the animator and a brave choice of style and story for the song by Brent. Congratulations, Brent this might be the best brentalfloss song you've ever done. Best of luck trying to top this, rest of the world.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Do Nintendo actually NEED Third Party Developers?

The Wii U is failing, not only failing but borderline a complete failure all together. If it doesn't pick up steam this year and get level in sales at least with the other next-gen consoles, it's going to have to go down as Nintendo's first real home console failure. Sure they've had the Virtual Boy in the past that was quickly forgotten but they've never had a high priority console be a failure, not a home console. One reason people have been claiming is that Nintendo is not getting the 3rd Party support it needs. This is true, the lack of third party titles on Wii U does at times look pretty astounding. But let's take a closer look at that.

There are third party developers on the Wii U, plenty of them in fact, a lot of big name games from Ubisoft have ended up on the console. Are some of the bigger name games like Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto or Dragon Age ending up on the console? No, they're not. But is this really a problem is the question. Let's go back and look at Nintendo's history with third parties. In the past their consoles since and including the N64 have lacked 3rd Party support quite significantly.

The NES and SNES both had very strong third party line ups and are naturally considered the best line up of games in gaming. Of course back then, third party meant a very different thing to what it does today. Nowadays when a game is made on Playstation, Xbox and PC, it's practically the same throughout, with PC having a bit higher graphical fidelity. Back in the 8 and 16 bit eras, 3rd party games came out on say the SNES and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, but they were completely different games. There was always a clearly better version, not to mention controller preference was always key as the SNES and Mega Drive consoles had completely different and layouts. But look at these two versions of the Contra, a 3rd party game.


They're completely different from one another. Compare that today where you get comparison videos that literally go down to the most basic of textures on the games just to try and find a difference, when really there is none.

Also interesting of note is that these games lack the same title specifically. They're both Contra games made and released around the same time for competing consoles but they're completely different games. Which brings up the next point. Third party games were often basically exclusives, sure you had your Mortal Kombat, which had a cheat-code blood version (people always forget it was hidden in a cheat code) on Genesis, and the superior version of Street Fighter II on SNES, but generally speaking third party games were often akin to what is now considered an exclusive title.

Final Fantasy for example, released six games across the NES and SNES eras (no, I don't count Mystic Quest or the other spin-offs). They were released as exclusive titles on Nintendo consoles that eventually jumped ship to Sony's Playstation with Final Fantasy VII, a game that put Sony's console on the map. The games were a huge success and I'm almost certain the video game landscape would be a very different place today if Final Fantasy had remained on Nintendo consoles - as Final Fantasy and Square Enix kinda represent that ship jumping mentality that happened in the late 90s that Nintendo never really got back.

Nintendo would continue to have third party developers for their consoles up to the GameCube era or at least more so than they do today. It didn't work out well for them then, so who is to say it would work out well now. Let's go down to basic numbers...

Ubisoft and other companies have released stats of where the percentage of sales for their game came from, and usually games like Assassin's Creed take 2-3% from Wii U. That is a very small number, now granted the install base is also considerably smaller than the other consoles and a lot of people say that is partially due to a lack of third party support. Does that mean Nintendo is in a Catch-22 scenario here. Perhaps a little, yes. But not to the extent that people believe.

What sold the Wii, it wasn't a third party game, they barely got any of those. It was Wii Sports. What sold the original Xbox or the PlayStation 2, it was Halo and the DVD Player in the PS2. None of these are third party games, they're often a bonus not a reason to buy a console. There are some GREAT third party titles out there, but often the best seem to come from first and second party developers. Games like Wii Sports, Halo, GoldenEye, Super Mario World, Gran Turismo, The Last of Us, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart e.t.c

The question in the eye of the average consumer, and make no doubt about it, the gaming industry is so insular and cliquey, that they've forgotten that most people who buy consoles, are actually averages joes not hardcore gamers. No-one outside of gamers really has loyalty to Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft. They look at three devices and say "what does this one offer me that the other two don't". For Sony and Microsoft, they offer better graphical power than the Nintendo. Nintendo last generation offered motion controls and dominated that generation, now they offer the GamePad - which while a neat innovation has had little in the way of software that showed off why this GamePad is the reason to purchase a console over the others. The main reason the PS4 is selling so well right now is the strong price point over the Xbox One. These are essentially exclusive features, reasons to buy a specific console for the non-mainstream gamer.

Nintendo's problem isn't a lack of third party games. It's a lack of games in general. No-one has a reason to buy a Wii U and it's version of let's say "Tomb Raider" when they already own a PS3 or 360 that can play that version. The GamePad simple isn't enough. Wii Sports and it's motion controls were something entirely different and new that consumers couldn't get on other consoles. The GamePad is an interesting addition but not enough to purchase a whole new console. The 3DS had a similar issue at first, 3D gaming, while I stand by and support it, is not enough to make people buy a 3DS. But hopefully, hopefully, Nintendo can convince developers to release some exclusives on the console like they have with Sega on the Wii U. Their future line ups of games might help boost the console's sales. 

More and more I see comments on Kotaku, GameSpot and other gaming sites that people are starting to say "I'm finding less reasons not to buy a Wii U". Public opinion is changing and it's not cross-platform third party games that are going to sell it. It's the question of "what does this console offer me that the others don't". And the PS4 and Xbox One are going to be powerful competitors for Nintendo, visuals are an easy sell for people to upgrade their existing consoles. Nintendo has an uphill battle but that's nothing new for them, at the very least they hopefully can bring out enough solid software that is exclusive to Wii U in 2014 to change people's minds.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

MENU'S VLOG: Kung Fu Nightmares (+playlist)





MENU'S VLOG is back! This time Menu is talking about his unsuccessful attempt to learn Kung Fu.. the kicks were just way out of his programming...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Damn You Mayans! (2012 MAYAN APOCALYPSE PARODY)





I did this parody video about a year ago during "the apocalypse". Check it out!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME - EPISODE 5: RIGHTEOUS & RADICAL



► Gamers; LIKE & SUBSCRIBE! ►http://bit.ly/15pBwSL ◄

EPISODE 5: RIGHTEOUS & RADICAL: Don and Kera go to their first new world together. A world of bad-hair-bad clothes and bad people. Travel back to the awesome 80s into this jaunt inspired by Double Dragon and Streets of Rage!

Check out our T-Shirts, Posters & Other Merch:https://www.districtlines.com/My-Life...
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mylifeasavide...
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MyLifeasaVG
Check out our Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mylifeasavid...
Shoot us an email: info@leonfilms.net

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME is a live-action online series created by Leon Films. It is set inside the world of video games. A series by gamers for gamers.

Starring..

Petros L. Ioannou as DON DEWITT
http://www.twitter.com/PetrosOfSparta (@petrosofsparta)

Jennifer Polansky as KERA ALTHORN
http://www.twitter.com/JenniferMya (@jennifermya)

Brent Black as MENU
http://www.twitter.com/brentalfloss (@brentalfloss)

Directed by
Nicholas. M. Holmes

Written by
Petros L. Ioannou

Produced by
Petros L. Ioannou
April Joy Haddad
Brian Dickson

Sunday, 9 February 2014

So, about that Man of Steel Ending...

WARNING: The Following Blog-Post has MAJOR SPOILERS FOR MAN OF STEEL - duh!




So as you may have noticed you're one of the three total people who read this epic blog of awesome crap, I did not write a Top 5 Things I HATE about Man of Steel. This is for two, almost opposing reasons and a third, which I'll explain now. I felt like I couldn't narrow it down to just five reasons, I really hated this movie, but at the same time those dozens (yes, dozens, I counted) of reasons, all circled back to the same point. This movie lacked hope, fun, enjoyment and inspiration - which can be fine and all but it's not what the character is supposed to represent, no arguments about adaptation here, the movie even says so. But even The Dark Knight was more hopefully and inspirational than the movie about a man who has a symbol for hope sprayed across his chest. The third and final reason was that simply, I just hated the movie so much that trying to write about what I hated about it was not bringing me any joy either, I just felt so drained and let down by a movie that so badly misrepresented the character, who has literally been an inspiration and guiding light in my life in the way that he is supposed to be in the movies. To paraphrase General Zod in Man of Steel; my soul, that is what this movie has taken from me.


A tad over dramatic? Yep, but that's me. I speak almost exclusively in hyperbole. But this movie did really emotionally affect me. And truth be told many people point out the ending of Man of Steel as a low point, how Superman is forced to kill General Zod, and then worse, the destruction and death and his neck snapping is just thrown under the rug at the end because apparently they couldn't spare five more minutes of run-time to show a city in recovery or Superman feeling guilty. This ending has been debated to death and I'm not going to even begin to say how much I hated it (though it's not my only issue with the movie); and how much of an absolute betrayal of the character it was. Superman does not kill - end of story. Has he done it before? Yes, it was bad writing then it is bad writing now. But that is also not the point. I never considered the ending of Superman II as a kill either, just a severe beating (even if it's a deleted scene, it clearly shows the creators intention). But at least Superman II had earned it up until that point Man of Steel had not. One day I will probably do a "What I Would Have Changed" about Man of Steel, but I'm just not there yet, in order to do that, I should probably watch the movie in it's entirety again. 

And here is where I do this. All the problems can be summed up in the ending, the lack of hope, inspiration, the lack of joy, all there. Many of my other problems too, a lack of character depth, a lack of growth or story arc, a lack of real meaning to the story other than mindless destruction. It's all there. Superman is young and inexperienced, but he learns nothing and the audience is taught nothing either. The flashbacks serve no reason but to disjoint the story, and Jonathan Kent just comes off like an asshole frankly. Protective of his son, but still a douchebag. So what do the flashbacks have to do with the ending? Bearing in mind hindsight is 20:20 or X-Ray vision in this case, and I do not purport to be a better writer than Goyer, Snyder or Nolan - they're totally out of my league. But picture this:

The Final Battle: Superman vs. Zod is raging all around Metropolis. They go up into space now are plumetting, as in the movie, Superman gets the upper hand and is forcing Zod down to the ground. A few hundred feet before they hit the station, Superman draws his fist back and in a blast of rage and anger and SLAMS it into Zod's face. Zod crashes into the station leaving a crater where he hit. Superman on the other hand gracefully glides in. Zod begins to rise to his feet, he's clearly dazed and beaten, there's even blood on his nose and swelling around his face from bruises forming. Before Zod can even react, Superman BLASTS HIM with his heat vision pinning him further into the crater. We see the rage and madness of an angry God in Superman, he teeth gritted his flared eyes glowing. 


He's pounding Zod with a continual beam of heat. Zod screaming in pain. Superman lets his heat vision go, he jump up and POUNDS DOWN onto Zod. The crater in the hall gets even bigger. Superman wants to kill Zod, it's obvious, people are terrified of the fight. Zod looks helpless now and Superman just starts PUNCHING HIM over and over and over and over with rage in his eyes. Now, Lois walks in, she see him, shes horrified and screams out his name "Clark!". Clark Kent realises who he is again and where he is, he looks down at Zod, now beaten to a bloody pulp, face messed up, Superman's knuckles covered in blood.
 CUT TO:

Except instead of this scene as in the movie continuing on, it starts at "Clark... you have to keep this side of yourself a secret..." "What was I supposed to do? Just let them die?" "Maybe..."

Momentarily cuts back to Superman looking down at his beaten opponent. The piano music showing the vulnerable, emotional side of Superman begins playing. It cuts back to Jonathan Kent now sitting on the car with his son.

"I don't have all the answers, son. I know you can't just let people die... I know it's hard with all your power and ability. I know you can't just stay on the sidelines forever, Clark. You might be this world's greatest hero one day... One day you'll have to make a decision for what kind of man you want to be Clark. I've tried my best to raise you right, to be a good man and do the right thing. And I trust that when the time comes for you to step out into the light, you'll do the right thing - and save them."

Remembering his father's words, and Jor-El his birth father's words from earlier, "You can save them, Kal, you can save them all." Superman stops. Zod slumps down. He's beaten and out cold. Lois runs up to to him and they embrace.

"I thought you were going to kill him..." Superman shakes his head, confirmed in his decision not to kill him. There's been enough death for one day, and he won't be responsible for any more. From now on he will do his best to save them all. He does not kill, he learns not to kill, no matter how much he wanted to. He has become a Superman. 


So what does this do for the movie? Well it establishes Superman as Superman, not just the alien who came and let everyone die, or punched shit up. It establishes him as Superman, the man who will do his best to save everyone to always find another way. The easy way out is to kill, the hard way is to be the example. The hard way is to be, Superman to shoulder that responsibility. He can now be an inspiration to people, they have seen him not kill, they have seen him save the world.

Following scenes in my mind include Superman literally stepping out into the light and hundreds of Metropolis citizens seeing the man who saved them, who stopped the evil General Zod and did not kill him, setting an example. He flies off with people cheering him and watching him in awe.


Zod now in a Kryptonian prison chamber de-powered by a Kryptonian atmosphere is sent back to the Phantom Zone using the same technology, but not vowing to Superman that he will return and kill everyone he loves that Zod should have killed him (as that is what Zod wanted, he wanted Superman to kill and Zod would have won, as in the movie). Superman accepts this responsibility for protecting Earth. He accepts it knowing it will not be easy, but that if he is to be the inspiration to humanity, he need to be a paragon of human kindness, compassion, forgiveness - y'know all that stuff in the Bible and what not that the film oh-so subtly presented to us with symbolic imagery.



Metropolis is on the mend, people debate about it, the death toll was high but limited. Superman saved those he could. Now we have a hopeful ending, one that says "bad things happen" but we can rebuilt, we can overcome and now we have a true hero for truth, justice, all that stuff. 

And that is the story arc Clark has, he is as powerful as a God but he knows he needs to be an inspiration and a symbol of hope. His story up until now the one we saw in the movie, has not been an easy one but it has let him to become: Superman.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Friday, 7 February 2014

Awesome new Teleport VFX from MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME

Check it out, created by Alan Chamberlain, these are the new teleport VFX we're using from now on. We think they're pretty damn cool. It's designed to look like various pixels coming together and reconstructing a human.

You can see the full series we use it in here.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME - NEXT STORY ARC TRAILER





Easily my favourite piece of content we've produced since the last episode. Get ready for action, adventure, lead pipes, red barrels, dominatrixes and one metric shit-ton of Kung Fu!