Photomats In Technicolor
Another Monday gone. Monday is my least favorite day of the week. It always is the beginning of a new week, where I have to start picking up my medications again every morning (they give me the medications ahead of time on the weekend), which means that I can’t stay up. Which is funny because I don’t stay up anyway. I guess it’s just the feeling of freedom that I experience. I always go to bed at sometime between 11 PM and 12 PM.
I used to stay up really late. When I was in high school I’d stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning programming, or doing whatever it was that I did. Part of that was that I was unmedicated. Trying to get me to go to bed at a reasonable hour was a struggle. Every friday night for a long time was ‘stay up all night night’. I’d wear my friends out staying up all night, doing whatever. The library in my childhood home at Handyville was our headquarters (that was where the computers were.)
Often, when I lived in Handyville, I would have an actual person act as my alarm clock. My mother, or someone assigned by her, would come and wake me up so I could go do whatever I needed. This was the arrangement when I worked as an insurance agent a couple towns away, and as well, when I worked at the elementary school (that I attended).
So one day, Hurricane was told that she should wake me up in the morning because Mom wasn’t going to be there to do it. Well, evening rolled around and it soon became ‘bedtime’. Hurricane said, “You should go to bed Asher.” I retorted, “I’m an adult, I can go to bed whenever I want.” The next morning I was super late to work because she didn’t wake me up. When I asked her why she didn’t wake me up that morning, she said, “You’re an adult, you can wake yourself up.” Touché.
So, I did get a new camera. It’s a low end model, but that’s perfectly fine. It has twice as many megapixels as my iPhone, so that’s good enough for me. I also got the student edition of Creative Cloud from Adobe. This means I access to all of Adobe’s products at a reduced price for a year. Maus was gracious enough to hook me up. My hope is to use the tools, as written about in a previous post, to create an adventure game.
In the game I’m going to make the graphics using a technique I identified as ‘repetitive uniqueness’. It probably has a name or some kind of pre-existing school of thought, but I know zero about art history. In essence, it’s the idea that you re-use a technique over and over again in your composition, but each iteration is unique unto itself. If you remember my final art project for Drawing II, it’s a good example. This idea was first identified by me when I did a formal analysis of Face of Concentration by Darrel Black. That served as a very huge inspiration for this piece.
This next piece employed the same type of idea, though I had not identified the concept yet:
The second piece is a much more concrete example of the type of graphic style and design I plan to use the game.
The name of the game is Man Fur Machine. It’s in the style of a point-and-click adventure game, much like Kings Quest, or the Blackwell Chronicles.
It’s funny, everyone thought that old graphics, old ways of making games, and old formats, like point-and-click, were dead. Indies came out of the woodwork slowly, and soon lots of people were making games. Now retro graphics are in, and often a conscious style choice (as one kid from the Shining Stars called it, ‘8-Bit Style’).
I remember when I was reading Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. In it he described a huge fracturing of mass media due to improved and innovative ways of delivering that media. Instead of a ‘main-stream’ he projected that there would be unique channels and a ‘flattening’ of media production in the world. He talked about how the monolithic ‘main-stream’, the shared TV experiences when there were only four channels for example, would disappear and the entire process would become more democratic. That’s what we are experiencing in every medium now, from original Netflix series, to indie games going retro.
I have to remind myself that a game doesn’t have to fit in a certain style. It astounds me sometimes the types of interactive experiences people are satisfied with and even hail. There are ‘games’ that I wouldn’t even consider ‘games’ that do quite well. I think, ‘If only I had a looser more flexible way of thinking about games, I could’ve made that.’. But, I think we all think that sometimes.
I keep having this image of a tree blowing in the wind in my game. The tree would be made out of lots of different things, including far away and close up shots of branches, wood, textures, but also some other elements. It’ll blow in the wind and be not only ‘externally’ animate, but also ‘internally animate’.
It’s interesting to think of something artistic, after thinking for so long every night about my invention. I just wasn’t getting anywhere, and it’s been three or four months. What I’m trying to do with my invention is regarded as impossible, so it’s not easy. I finally decided that if I wasn’t coming up with anything new, and just going over the same ideas over and over, I might as well think of something else.
So I told myself that every time I think about the invention I say, “Nope! Not thinking about that!”
Now I let my mind wander more, particularly before sleeping (which was when I’d think about the invention). It’s interesting to see where it goes.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten what it means to be me. I used to have a very solidified sense of self when I was younger. I honestly think I never really knew what doubt was until I was eighteen. Then it all went downhill from there, wink wink smile. I had a very distinct creative streak, and would think up things of my own all the time. Like monsters that had blades for the appendages, being one of my favorites.
I think about all the experiences in my life, and I realize that there are many that I haven’t thought about in a long time. Like when I thought I’d destroy the Vatican and establish a colony base on the moon from where I’d rule the Earth in one government. Yeah.
But other things too, small things, like how I felt when I was growing up, how I felt when I was trying to figure everything out. I’m so in the moment sometimes, I forget to think about my past. Of course, part of that is also that when I think about my past, it kind of brings me down.
It’s not that anything particularly bad happened in the past, at least when I was a child, but things happened when I was older that kind of broke my heart. My heart’s been broken for a long time, but just this week I realized that that may not be true anymore. I don’t know if I have a broken heart anymore… and I guess that’s a good thing.