Saturday, October 25, 2014

R.I.P. Ludwig the Blackmoor Goldfish. 2005-2014.



Got him in my first year of college by winning a campus freshmen carnival game. He stayed in my dorms for those years, outliving Hedwig, the goldfish I got with him, and several others I tried to put in his tank since. He also outlived several gangs of snails, a gathering of ghost shrimp, a countless population (literally about 1000 born and died during the many years) of guppies that I bought in high school (the guppies finally died out about two years ago). 

Ludwig was a good fish, no question. He loved swimming into upturned coffee mugs, making poop strings, and eating rocks to regurgitate them later. He will be buried today in the backyard in a shoebox at the time of whenever I get to it. All memorials can be made to Flakes for Fortuneless Fingerlings. Stray cats be warned: He will be sprinkled with hot sauce.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How to make Mario Kart 9 Significantly Better than 8

Mario Kart 8 has some of the best racing in any game ever. This fact cannot be disputed. The items are finally balanced; even the blue shell is OK. The new courses are extremely fun, the remixed returning tracks are inspired and fresh again with the new mechanics. The anti-gravity is great. Bumping each other for boosts is really awesome. I love the glider and the underwater propeller. I love the racing. The tricks. Wow. Such fun.


All that above is undeniable. Best racing in a Mario Kart, hands down. The thing that Mario Kart 8 lacks in is features and game modes. While the core gameplay is the best it’s ever been, the extras were bare bones. It’s like all of the resources for Mario Kart went into the races, and then everything else was rushed to get the game out faster. Obviously, Wii U needed the game immediately, so I can understand why this happened, but it’s still worth talking about. Why? Because I love Nintendo more than any other gaming company. I want them to succeed, not fall behind. If I’m honest, though, Nintendo is falling behind when it comes to basic features that should be in every game. I’m not hating on Nintendo here, just trying to add another voice to let them know how critical it is that they get their games up to the same level as other companies.

First, I want to talk menus.

They are very simplistic, and not in a good way. The menu systems that Nintendo implements in its games feel archaic, dry. They are: go straight to the races. However, modern companies that accept that online is how gamers want to be should give its customers more than that. A menu system should make the community of people who love that game feel like it’s a living and breathing world.

Monday, October 13, 2014

No Coffee: Week 1


coffee pokemon
So, one week ago my evil friend assigned me 37 days of torture.

Ok, erm…

I decided that I needed a break from coffee. I was drinking too much. It was giving me an upset stomach and making me feel paranoid (not like dangerously or anything, just over little things). Now, I really, really love coffee. Perhaps Seattle had an effect on me, but I drink it every morning. I drink it when I write and when I play video games. I drink it when I draw and when I sit on YouTube. It makes me feel creative and motivated to work. I knew I needed moderation, but I’m bad at moderation. I needed some sort of quick action to expel me out of my routine.

What I randomly decided one morning was to ask Facebook to give me a number between 1 and 50, which would translate into the number of days I would abstain from drinking coffee/soda/caffeinated beverages. The first person to comment said, “37. I've always liked that number. XD” and so I charted off 37 days of torture.

That lead me to November 11th. That will be my first day I’m allowed to drink coffee again. It’s convenient that that day is also a day off for me. What I do plan to do is start on moderation. Instead of using this giant red cup, I’ll use my coffee mug. I’ll limit myself to one mug per half-day (so once in the morn and once in the evening), and that will cut my consumption in half.

So, week one is finished for me. My first day without was not great. I had a head ache. The next few were fine, actually. Sunday was the biggest craving for it I’ve had, and I quelled it with some cocoa.

My stomach has felt better. I have not felt paranoid. I’ve actually started a few other dietary habits in the last few weeks, including weight lifting and vegetable-only lunches, so I’ve been feeling good in general. My muscles have been weak and sore, but that has nothing to do with coffee. I have been excessively tired lately. I went to bed on Wednesday and slept for 12 hours.

That’s pretty much it for that.

Creatures and Monsters of The Unraveler - PART 1

My novel is filled with crazy beasts of my design. On this side project I'm working on, I'm creating nice artwork and describing some of the lesser-seen monsters of my world. So, to show a few of the creatures, I'm compiling a best-of monster list of creatures that exist in my novel.

Click the names to go to the full post about each creature!

Umi

Description: The Umi is the smallest form of a chain of ostrich-like bird-lizards. During the life of the young Umi, its brain divides, it grows two new eyes, and the bones in its neck and skull duplicate. When an Umi sheds its skin, that means that its head is ready to split into two, and from them on the two-headed creature is referred to as a Miras.



Kudanite

Description: Capable of breathing both water and air, Kudanites are highly intelligent beings that occupy the nation of Weskernoth. They consider it a challenge to live on the land, and they call those that stick to the seas as savage and uncivilized. They fight against themselves almost as much as they fight other species, however they still find value in trade, money, and creating allies. They have arms like humans, but with tentacles instead of hands.


Mothroven

Description: Mothroven choose the form they want, so you might see them as as men with two arms and two legs, or as a jumbled mess of limbs and features. Although many people believe that they are ghosts or spirits, Mothroven are not capable of the normal ghost tropes. For example, they cannot walk through walls... they can, however, usually fit under them. Their form-changing, nearly-weightless bodies are flexible enough to fit into the smallest of cracks.


Cauli

Description: Cauli are another creature, like Sneidlatter, that bear the anti-gravity puffball organs called buoyaffs. The puffballs contain a magnetic mineral that push away from the center of the planet, which allows them to defy the force keeping them attached to the ground.



Walking Mouth

Description: With four strong legs holding it up, the Walking Mouth has a surprisingly easy time navigating all types of terrain. While a hunter by nature and a frightening sight to behold, this beast usually never kills its prey. In fact, it only hunts for buoyaffs-growing beasts such as Sneidlatters, Driffon, or Parsers. The Mouth has evolved in this way specifically to snatch off the antigravity organs, which it stores in the sac at the other end of its body. The tall teeth are actually used defensively, more often than not.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

SLENDERMAN DISASSEMBLED

This is an idea I had: Take a cool concept/character/location/object from fiction and dissect it to find out exactly why it is just SO COOL! It's sort of a short literary analysis, only without a thesis. Some of these observations are obvious, but I'm going to list them because I'm going to try and tear apart the concept into its most fundamental ingredients:

drawing by me
SLENDERMAN

The core essence of what makes him amazing:

1. His story is unknown
It's weird how a mind can create its own narrative when there isn't one immediately apparent.

2. He's partially/vaguely human
I think the most terrifying monsters have human traits because humans are afraid of what they might become if they went down the worst of life's roads.

3. He lives in the woods, but wears a freaking suit jacket
Why the suit? A forest is a terrible place to wear a suit, however the suit does make him, in a sense, more welcoming. You don't expect a professional to also be a monster. I can't really think of too many other suit-wearing creatures, can you?

4. He follows
Just the fact that he's always right behind you is frightening. He doesn't come straight at you; he waits until you're not looking.

5. He only makes the kill after he primers you with fear. The fear, to him, is like a flavor
Slender Man stories always start with a few sightings of the creature before the kill. It's like the Slender wants to be seen, like the fear builds something desirable.


6. He is slender like the trees he walks between
The forest is filled with slender life: trees. He's just the right shape to hide amongst the trunks.

7. He disappears and reappears
Teleportation is creepy because it is an unknown. It's easier to be bold against your fears when you know where they are. It's not so easy to combat fear when it can move all around you.

8. Although his limbs are long, he generally attacks with the tentacles on his back
The arms don't move much. They sway a bit, which gives Slendy an eerie effect.

9. He can cause visual distortion
Along with the fact that he can teleport away and not be seen, Slendy can also take away your visual ability. Blindness is frightening, because it causes the world to become a great unknown.

10. He can cause memory loss

Forgetting is one way to renew fear. Without your field of experiences to draw upon, the old scares from before will be fresh the next time around.

11. He inspires paranoia
Even when he's not in view, Slender Man continually makes you look over your shoulder.

12. He is often seen stalking children on a playground

Harming children is the worst kind of crime imaginable, so any monster that goes specifically for them is the worst kind.


Follow me @Oxyborb and check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com Thanks for reading!